Kings Lynn – October 26th 2013 Meeting Report

Final winner Craig Finnikin, with Mick Sworder.

Final winner Craig Finnikin, with Mick Sworder.

King’s Lynn’s annual Hallowe’en Spooktacular meeting and the question on everyone’s blood-stained lips, did anyone have a ghost of a chance of catching Ryan Harrison in the Shoot Out or would the established stars trail zombie-like in his wake?

On the menu was a mixed grill of Bangers, 1300 Stock Cars and the penultimate F1 National Series round. The meeting got off to a bad start, with an infield marshal bowled over by an errant saloon in the first race of the night necessitating a lengthy delay to the proceedings.

14 of the 29 F1s present turned out for the Whites and Yellows race, reduced to 13 when Colin Eardley (58) failed to get his green Newson hire car going. Tim Warwick (307) took an early, smoky lead with Ben Hurdman (207) forcing his way into second by the time the cars hit the back straight for the first time. Aaron Couzens (76) spun on the pit bend and the starter began black flagging the 207 car, who promptly spun 307 for the lead before being passed by Waggy (330).

Joe Thompson (386) clattered hard into the pit bend plating whilst Wagstaffe(330) looked to have the race in the bag until he tripped over another car on the fourth turn. A knot of 4 cars tangled on the back straight, 165 & 386 locked together and through all the chaos veteran campaigner Geoff Nicholls (215) took the flag.

Result :215 267 41 268 307 386 52 183 496 NOF

Big damage for Tim Warwick.

Big damage for Tim Warwick.

Twenty cars for heat two, and the eleven Shoot Out competitors made an impressive sight as they set about each other, FWJ finding the wall before even passing the start line. 307 led from 386, with Eardley (58) in third. Mick Sworder (150) was really going for it, whacking 58 wide for the lead within a few laps. Paul Harrison (2) had a poke at 150 & 307 whilst FWJ, at the wheel of his tarmac car, retired with a flat rear tyre, a result of his earlier visit to the plating.

Tom Harris (1) entered the equation, annexing second place from the number 2 car. Sworder was clear with 5 to go until Eardley hit the parked 307 & 386 cars on the pit bend, collecting 150 and the order closed right up with 150, 1,2,217 & 4 all together. Craig Finnikin (55) retired as the caution came out with a couple to go. At the restart, 150 drifted wide on the road turn and Harris was through, taking 2 with him. Sworder came home third from Johnson (4) and 217

Result: 1 2 150 4 217 212 197 215 372 NOF

Some solid performances from newcomer Colin Eardley.

Some solid performances from newcomer Colin Eardley.

Neil Holcroft (496) and Couzens led away the 23 car third heat. 76 led first, then 496, then Richard Woods (268) then Eardley (58) and we hadn’t even got around the first bend yet! Eardley really impressed in the Newson hire car, throwing it into the bends sideways as 55 and 515 traded paint. Wainman took second place off 330 and tried to reel in the 58 car. Further back Shoot Out leader Ryan Harrison (197) swept inside Sworder on the road turn, followed by Harris.

Sworder tried to retaliate, going for the big one on the next bend but got it wrong and charged the pit bend boards instead. With the track drying, Eardley was still out in front but using all the track, allowing 515 to close up and take a short-lived lead until passed by Johnson (4). On the last lap Harrison (2) took second place off FWJ, who tried a big hit on the last bend but couldn’t shift the number 2 machine.

Result 4 2 515 197 58 1 355 217 259 212

Ryan Harrison suffered rollcage damage in this incident.

Ryan Harrison suffered rollcage damage in this incident in the Final.

With more than half the field wearing a red roof, a star grade win was definitely on the cards in the Final. Eardley led the way with Wainman the first Shoot Out driver to make forward progress. Sworder passed FWJ, then fired Steve Whittle (183) into the pit bend fence, bringing out the caution for a badly smoking 183 car and destroying the lead the 58 car had built up. Paul Harrison retired before the restart which saw 150 in fourth place behind 58, 386 & 76. Sworder hit the front chased by 197 and 515.

Johnson smacked 515 into the wall to claim third as Sworder opened up a half lap lead. By the halfway stage, the order was 150, from 197,4,515,55, 212 & 1. Harrison (197) clattered by the back-marking 386 car then slowed dramatically on the pit bend. Johnson, following close behind, couldn’t avoid hitting Harrison and hooked onto the back end of the 197 car, both cars taking to the infield, losing Johnson a bag full of places.

With 5 to go the yellow flags flew and Sworder’s lead was wiped out. Harris (1) had retired to the infield and just 12 cars made the restart, led off by 150,515 & 55. Finnikin put 515 wide and it was clear FWJ had handling problems. Slowly but surely the 55 car reeled in Sworder and they entered the last lap side by side. Finnikin squeezed by on the pit bend and led down the back straight. The inevitable big hit came from Sworder and both 55 and 150 slid into the fence, before drag racing to the line with Craig just getting the win. Danny Wainman (212) came home third from Fairhurst and Johnson, with FWJ down in sixth due to a flat front outside tyre.

Result: 55 150 212 217 4 515 259 335 215 58

Frankie and Ryan both used their tarmac cars, although for different reasons. Frankie's shale car has a blown engine, whereas Ryan was saving his shale car for the Shoot Out final at Sheffield.

Frankie and Ryan both used their tarmac cars, although for different reasons. Frankie’s shale car has engine problems, whereas Ryan was saving his shale car for the Shoot Out final at Sheffield.

Eardley was again the early leader in the 14 car Grand National as 55 took the lap handicap. 515 slowed and dropped to the back of the pack while Harris (1) soon hit the front. 217 fenced 335 but displayed some handling problems while Finnikin coasted around the track. Harris finished a clear winner from 4 and Paul Hines (259) to keep his Shoot Out hopes alive for another week.

Result: 1 4 259 58 217 335 212 372 55 286

Postscript: It was announced near the end of the meeting that the marshal knocked down earlier had no broken bones and hoped to be back out at KL next weekend – good news indeed.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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