King’s Lynn, 29th March 2014 – meeting report

Mark Woodhull, Paul Hines, and Will Yarrow, with Mia Reeves.

Top three in the Final – Mark Woodhull, Paul Hines, and Will Yarrow, with Mia Reeves.

An eagerly anticipated return to the Norfolk Arena on a bright, dry evening saw the track in superb shape (oval!) and 32 F1s in attendance, including welcome visitors from the Netherlands in both F1 and F2 classes.

The Whites and Yellows Final was first up. The 18 cars to make their way onto the Saddlebow Road shale were reduced to 17 starters when Paul Poulter (174) pulled off, leaking essential fluids.

Fresh from his stint of pre-meeting autograph signing, Tim Warwick (307) had pole position but it was Aaron Cozens (76) who hit the front on the first bend. His lead was short-lived, as he hit a marker tyre the next time around, causing chaos on the pit bend, which radiated down the back straight. The 252 car of Paul Redfern came out of the event with a decidedly dislodged back axle.

The racing claimed another victim as Daniel van Spijker (H231) was forced to pull off and it was Neil Holcroft (496) who took command of the race for the closing stages, coming home a clear winner ahead of Russell Cooper (415) and Billy Johnson (169). Dutchman Sierd de Vries (H54) claimed an admirable 10th place on his first visit.

Dutch visitors Peter and Jan van der Iest, with Danny Wainman.

Dutch visitors Peter and Jan van der Iest, with Danny Wainman.

With a 2/3rds format in place, the Whites and Yellows Final was classed as Heat 1. Heat 2 raised 18 cars, including Netherlands’ visitors Jan and Pieter van der Iest (H26 and H226 respectively). Holcroft took pole, hungry for another win. It was not to be. 76 soon had the lead from Nigel Harrhy (45) and 496, with the ex-F2 man Poulter going well in fourth.

Behind the leaders, a storm was brewing, as Mick Sworder (150) charged his way through the field. Back at the front, Nigel Harrhy had acquired the lead, but it wasn’t long before the 150 machine was chasing down the Solihull driver. By half distance, Sworder had successfully negotiated Harrhy to claim the lead.

Once at the front of the field, 150 pulled out a huge lead, dominating the second half of the race. Further down the places Frankie Wainman Junior (515) and Mark Woodhull (335) were battling hard. Local star Mat Newson (16) took up second place with 3 laps to go, but 174 wasn’t giving it up without a fight, trying his best to make it back past the 16 on the pit bend. His efforts weren’t quite enough and in the end he settled for third behind Sworder and Newson.

19 cars made their way onto the track for Heat 3. Colin Eardley (58) and Tim Warwick, in his ‘new’ car, led the field around for the start. Eardley, Warwick and van Spijker all spun and were collected by Morris (463)whilst Sworder tangled on the back straight with Scott Davids (462) and H231.

Sierd de Vries came all the way from The Netherlands to race at King's Lynn, and his long journey was rewarded with tenth place in Heat 1.

Sierd de Vries came all the way from The Netherlands to race at King’s Lynn, and his long journey was rewarded with tenth place in Heat 1.

Eardley had recovered to take the lead but a hard charging Scotsman in the shape of Paul Ford (388) nudged him into the pit bend fence and took over for an almost trouble-free run to the flag, delayed only by that man van Spijker.

As the lap boards came out, a battle between Paul Hines (259) and Frankie Wainman Junior was resolved when the Leicestershire man forced the 515 machine wide on the pit bend. Ford won at a canter from Woodhull with Hines third. Sworder recovered for eighth ahead of the ever-present H231.

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Cozens once again initially grabbed the lead in the meeting Final. H54 was an early casualty, ending up on top of the wall on the road bend, after an incident involving Mat Newson and Josh Smith (191), bringing out the caution flags.

Cozens was still in command and took up his place behind the water cart for the restart, followed closely by Eardley and van Spijker. In the midst of a hectic restart, Nigel Harrhy bounced off the wall, clipping Sworder. The 150 car limped around the track, pulling off on the home straight with a flat front tyre. Meanwhile, FWJ was also suffering –left crawling around the track with a broken half shaft.

While these two premier drivers were forced to retire, Paul Hines was battling hard with Will Yarrow (22) for the lead. 259 eventually won the battle and Woodhull took up second place as the lap boards came out. Hines took a well deserved victory.

Paul Hines took up his position in front of the field for the Grand National for the lap handicap. Mick Sworder did not make the grid, supposedly suffering rear axle problems. After only four laps of racing, Tony Smith (91) ended up in the wall on the pit bend, bringing out the waved yellows.

Will Yarrow in the ex-197 shale car.

Will Yarrow in the ex-197 shale car.

Holcroft led the field off for the restart. Five laps later, H231, 496 and Garry Townsend (223) found themselves in the fence and were collected by Scott Davids. Davids recovered well but chaos brought out another caution.

After the stricken H231 and 496 cars were cleared, 174 took the lead for the restart. He was followed closely by Woodhull and the two Wainman brothers. FWJ claimed the lead as the half distance flag flew, hoping to repeat his son’s performance in the Ministox Final, but 335 was not giving in without a fight.

With only 3 laps to go, the 515 car began to slow suffering from more mechanical gremlins. The younger Wainman brother took over the fight with Woodhull for the lead, lunging at the 335 car on the last bend. The attack took Woodhull wide but it wasn’t enough to claim the victory, the Silsden man half-spinning and losing the advantage. Despite narrowly missing out on the Grand National victory, Danny Wainman (212) remained top of the National Points standings.

Words: Rhosanna and Michael Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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