Kings Lynn – March 26th 2011 Meeting Report

A dry but chilly evening greeted the patrons at the Norfolk Arena which provided ideal conditions for racing on what must be the best shale surface in the country. A visit to the pits prior to racing revealed a car turnout as moderate as the weather with just 20 cars in attendance. One pleasant suprise was a late addition to the programme 464 Luke Davidson who had managed to hitch a lift with Team Smith Motorsport and had brought a brand new shale car for its debut.

Luke Davidson 464 debuting his new shale car. Photo Colin Casserley

Only 5 drivers were eligble for the opening race for White and Yellow graded drivers and only 4 of them made it out on track. No great suprise then when a quiet race ensued over a shortened distance. 307 Tim Warwick took time out from racing to squeeze John Weldon 235 into the infield tyres while 98 Les Spencer chased after leader 223 Gary Townsend. Spencer eventually caught his rival on the last bend forcing his way past to secure flag, trophy and full heat winners prize money.

Les Spencer 98 took the Whites and Yellows win. Photo Colin Casserley

The superstars line up at Kings Lynn. Photo Paul Tully

The first heat open to all drivers brought all 19 available cars on track. Tom Harris struggled to get his car moving on the rolling lap and his race lasted only 20 yards or so after the green flag as mechanical issues forced him to retire to the infield. The rest of the stars and superstars set off at high speed with plenty of contact on every bend, World champion Andy Smith departed this battle after just a few laps when he hit the 235 car and put himself into a spin.

Andy Smith spins out. Photo Paul Tully

Up at the front Gary Townsend led from Les Spencer and a very rapid Ed Neachell 321. By halfway 16 Matt Newson and Wainman 515 left the other stars behind and were closing on the leaders. Spencer departed and Townsend hit a tyre leaving 321 in the lead. The 515 car looked quicker than it did most of last season and disposed of Newson then reeled in the 321 car. Despite some valiant resistance from Neachell the 515 car would not be denied and took its first trophy of the season.

Heat winner Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Colin Casserley

Son Frankie Wainman jnr jnr presents Dad Frankie Wainman jnr with his trophy. Photo Paul Tully

17 competitors for heat 2 with 267 Graeme Robson having his first race of the night. The 267 car led the early laps and was chased by 223 and 98, but 223 faded and 98 tangled with 380 Steven Cayzer on turn 4. 267 was now persued by 321 and 191 Josh Smith, while behind them Andy Smith, Paul Harrison and Matt Newson indulged their lust for contact with an aggressive battle for 4th place. By halfway 267 spun out leaving 321 with a healthy lead but a smoking 321 car lost some pace and Andy Smith was now able to close rapidly on the leader. The number one car caught Neachell on the last bend and forced its way past and took the win.

A smoking Ed Neachell 321. Photo Colin Casserley

Andy Smith 1 bypasses Ed Neachell 321 for the win. Photo Paul Tully

Just 15 cars started the Final. The undergraded 223 car took the lead but soon had to give way to 321. Further back 515 Frankie Wainman launched an unsuccessful attack upon Andy Smith. Craig Finnikin 55 found some extra pace in this race and left the other big names far behind taking the lead from Neachell at the halfway stage and having an untroubled run to the flag. The latter stages of the race were enlivened by a brief skirmish between Dan Johnson 4 and 446 Joe Booth which was settled when the cars charged the turn 2 plating and the number 4 car sustained damage to axles and its nice new paintwork.

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 races Andy Smith 1. Photo Colin Casserley

Craig Finnikin 55 alongside Ed Neachell 321. Photo Colin Casserley

Kings Lynn Final winner Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Paul Tully

13 survived to take part in the Grand National race, and no luck in this race for 446 Joe Booth who spun out on lap one, or for World champion Andy Smith who only made it to lap 3 before contact from Wainman 515 saw the Smith car hit the fence in turn 3 and retire to the infield. The rest of the race past off fairly quietly as Paul Harrison used his superstar experience to make the best of a star grade staring position and romped to the front establishing a comfortable lead before the 5 laps to go board was shown, behind him 515 and 84 did their best to entertain with a spirited battle for third and fourth behind the consistent Josh Smith 191.

Paul Harrison 2 overtakes Joe Booth 446. Photo Paul Tully

The F1 cars return at the end of the April and one hopes they will arrive in sufficent numbers to put drivers under a little extra pressure to qualify.

Damian Noblett

Photo extra

Josh Smith 191 and Tim Warwick 307. Photo Colin Casserley

Joe Booth 446 and Danny Wainman 212. Photo Paul Tully

Craig Finnikin 55 has a tyre let go. Photo Colin Casserley

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 alongside Tom Harris 84. Photo Paul Tully

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