Kings Lynn British Championship 2011 – June 11th 2011 Heats Report

A bright and breezy Norfolk Arena set the scene for the prestigious BSCDA British Drivers Championship. The Kings Lynn venue had a lot to live up to after the 2010 British Championship meeting. It not only delivered but it exceeded expectations, providing five stunning heats and a spectacular last bend British.

World Champion Andy Smith (1) did not take part in the contest, still suffering with the rib injury he sustained at the Skegness Speedweekend. Matt Newson (16) looked to be all business pre-meeting showing off not only some new steel bumperwork front and back, but also a new small block engine which sounded sweet as they adjusted the timing. At his home track it was likely that Newson could be one of the men to beat.

As the cars for the first heat rolled out, anticipation was high with Garry Fox (48) getting straight into John Weldon (235) as Graham Wagstaff (330) barged through to take the lead. Immediately, Will Yarrow (22) took a turn to the infield after being forced into a half spin before bouncing back out, colliding with John Lawn (441) and going up over the stricken Lawn who has a penchant for rolling in the dirt at the Kings Lynn shaleway.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver John Lawn 441 takes a tumble. Photo Colin Casserley

Keeping his eye on the ball, Dan Johnson (4) skilfully managed to avoid the two as the yellow flags flew. Wagstaff re-led the field away as Ryan Harrison (197) got straight into the thick of it tustling with Paul Harrison (2) and Dan Johnson with Dan riding the wall as Tom Harris (84) went flying by. James Morris (463) and Tony Smith (91) sniped at each other with Morris spining to the infield as the two tangled. Stu Smith jnr (390) came a cropper, getting hooked up down the backstraight with Richard Regan (428) as the rest of the field raced by.

BriSCA F1 stockcar star grades in action. Photo Colin Casserley

Smith jnr managed to free himself but suffered the ignomy of a flat rear tyre and was forced to retire. Frankie Wainman jnr (515) made quick progress moving rapidly up the order followed by the swift Tom Harris. Up front Wagstaff was well clear of the chasing pack with backmarker Luke Davidson (464) just behind, resulting from an earlier spin out. Paul Harrison and Craig Finnikin (55) were tustling with Harrison giving Finnikin a lick as Mark Woodhull (335) joining the battle and the trio raced together exchanging bumper hits round the shaleway. Wainman jnr was reeling in Wagstaff with purpose with Wainman jnr taking the lead and charging off into the distance to take the flag followed quickly by Tom Harris.

BriSCA F1 stockcars in action. Photo Colin Casserley

Heat two soon followed with John Frost (351) thumping Tim Warwick (307) as Adam Slater (214) drove round the outside of the dueling pair and took the lead as the 2010 British Champion Paul Hines (259) was the first star grader to show. Richard Regan span with Colin Nairn (280) ploughing in. Will Yarrow and Joe Booth (446) roared up the homestraight squashing Matt Newson against the armco. Melton Mowbray’s Geoff Nickolls (215) manouvered into second place behind protege Slater and it remained to be seen whether it would be a repeat performance of the coventry meeting where Geoff pipped Adam after Adam went up over Tim Warwick.

Steve Cayzer (380) half span in front of Luke Davidson with Luke clattering Cayzer. Garry Fox gave Warwick a punt but the two became hooked up on each other. Superstar John Lund (53) got in the thick of it punting Wainman jnr as the reds valiently fought amongst themselves for position. Leader Adam Slater came up behind Tim Warwick but on this occasion he punted Warwick aside straight away and went onto take his second Kings Lynn Victory in two weeks after driving the majority of the race without power steering. Joe Booth (446) hooked up with James Clement (158) with both taking the flag, flying over the finish line together.

BSCDA British Championship Heat 2 winner Adam Slater 214. Photo Colin Casserley

A lively Heat three saw an early incident with Luke Dennis (192) take a spin on turn four with Geoff Nickolls clattering in only to be then on the receiving end as cars piled in. Craig Finnikin (55) and Ryan Harrison (197) went out in the tumult as the out front John Weldon (235) tried to hang onto his lead from fellow white grader Chris Clare (394). At the rear Stu Smith jnr (390) clearly meant business firing passed Tony Smith (91) before leaning hard on James Morris (463) with the two get entangled with Stu getting left behind as the two freed themselves. Dan Johnson (4), Paul Harrison (2) and Tom Harris (84) were battling hard with Murray Harrison (97) getting involved, sticking his own bumper into Paul Harrison but not long after got caught up on the 463 Morris machine allowing Paul and Stu Smith jnr to come flying passed.

a purposeful Stu Smith jnr 390 gets down to business. Photo Colin Casserley

Tom Harris and Dan Johnson were so engrossed with each other they did not spy Paul Harrison until he nicked by at speed. Chris Clare had set about creating a good lead while those behind fought amongst themselves and it looked unlikely that second place Mark Woodhull (335) would be able to catch him. Ryan Harrison got on the back of Morris, Finnikin and Scott Davids (462) and the four flew fencewards before gettign back into the action. Unfortunately for Chris Clare who looked set to take the win, the yellow flags were shown with four laps to go. It looked like a broken propshaft had left Tony Smith stranded meaning the field closed right up and Clare had a rear view mirror full of Mark Woodhull (335).

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver Mark Woodhull 335 overcomes John Weldon 235. Photo Colin Casserley

Russell Cooper (415) looked to be in a dodgy place, not only sandwiched between Paul Harrison and Dan Johnson but having Stu Smith jnr and Tom Harris mere car lengths away. Cooper sensibly kept as wide as he could in the circumstances. At the off, Stu jnr was straight on top of Johnson with Johnson being sent out wide and dropping down the order with mechanical problems. Paul Harrison slammed his bumper into Woodhull to take second and swiftly began reeling in Clare who was off like a rabbit at the restart, trying to recreate his once huge lead. Going into the last lap, it was clear Harrison was well within striking distance and on the last bend he delivered the blow, sending Clare out wide but not so wide he wasn’t able to gather his thoughts and romp home for a well deserved second place.

BSCDA BritishChampion Heat 3 winner Paul Harrison 2. Photo Colin Casserley

The penultimate heat four soon rolled out with a lucky Luke Dennis only getting on track as Ryan Harrison had pulled to the pitgate for assistance before they started rolling. At the green Garry Fox raced into the lead as Adam Slater got stuck behind John Frost (351) before quickly moving into second. The reds soon sorted themselves out with Joe Booth firing into current European Champion Luke Davidson and Matt Newson pushing Ryan Harrison out wide. Blue graders Neil Scriven and Will Yarrow tangled up the homestraight in their fight to the front with John Lawn (441) getting a taste of Smith jnr’s steel as he bulldozered his way to the front. Ryan Harrison threw his weight into Joe Booth, who flew out into Wainman jnr sending him into a half spin.

Matt Newson was on top of Woodhull and passed just as the yellow flags were shown a stranded Colin Nairn (280) in the turn as Dan Johnson and Richard Regan ploughed into the fence but got themselves back in the race. Garry Fox had seen his lead disappear but led them away at the restart as Smith jnr knocked Steve Cayzer aside, followed not long after by Newson barging by Cayzer. Lower grader John Frost ran into Wainman jnr with jnr again spinning out with younger brother Daniel clattering in leaving the two momentarily stranded on the pitgate turn. Fox was feeling the pressure from Smith jnr and once out wide he dropped down the order as Smith jnr tore off into the lead to take the chequered flag.

BriSCA F1 stockcars Frankie Wainman jnr 515 and Daniel Wainman 212 get hooked up. Photo Colin Casserley

The final fifth heat saw Tim Warwick (307) lead the field away before Adam Slater took over. John Frost took in a spin and took Paul Hines (259) with him to the infield but Paul was soon back on track with the rest of the field backed up behind him. John Lund (53) gave Hines a quick lick as the jumble of red grades sorted themselves out. Too many red grades in a group saw plenty of bumper action. Local lad Matt Newson tangled with Loughborough’s Josh Smith (191) with numerous cars piling in with Newson then getting stuck on Murray Harrison before being forced to retire at the yellow flags. Lower grader Adam Slater was also forced to the infield after receiving damage, stating he was unlikely to make it out for the British Championship.

BriSCA F1 stockcar driver John Lawn 441 without his wing. Photo Colin Casserley

Yellow grader leader Geoff Nickolls then pulled to the infield himself before the green, gifting Tim Warwick the lead. Warwick had a stream of star graders breathing down his neck to contend with as well as Steve Cayzer tight on his tail. At the green the stars got stuck into each other with Tom Harris lamping Paul Hines but being initially unable to pass. Veteran superstar John Lund proved he’s still got it when he needs to, battling hard with Tom Harris as Paul Hines reeled in leader Steve Cayzer delivering a telling blow, sending the Essex man out into John Lawn. Lund decided he had had enough of Harris and sent him skittling round the turn three armco. Michael Scriven (12) got in on the action delivering a blow to Lund as Cayzer after his tangle with Lawn, retired to the infield with a flat tyre. Leader Paul Hines was by now well clear as the stars behind scapped it out with Harris getting back up with Lund and clinching second place. A quite damaging heat with about half the field residing on the infield at the end of the race.

BriSCA F1 stockcar Superstar John Lund 53 showing his class at Kings Lynn. Photo Colin Casserley

And so the scene was set for the BSCDA 2011 British Championship.

Ailsa Haigh

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