Kings Lynn (World Final Meeting) – 22nd Sept 2007 Report

Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) - The Meeting Final winner.

Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) - The Meeting Final winner.

The first ever World Final meeting to be staged at King’s Lynn turned out to the best meeting of the year so far, and probably one of the best ever. Each one of the six races, plus the Ministox National Championship, were worth the admission money alone. The Dutch drivers were present in force, the most successfull being Robert Jan Schuter (H332). Driving an old Mark Woodhull car, Schuter made light work of his heat and then placed fourth in the Final. World Final aside, top driver on the night was Dave Willis, who had spent most of the afternoon putting his car back together after doing it all sorts of damage the night before. Willis managed only a few laps in his heat before a spirited drive and plentiful use of the bumper netted him a second place in the Consolation, and then he did the same in the Final. The 337 car was on it’s way to another high finish in the GN, but Willis got a bit too enthusiastic with the bumper and crashed into the fence with not many laps left to run.

The first race was the World Championship Consolation, with a place in the World Final on offer for the first two over the line. Twenty six cars lined up, although most of them failed to get around the first bend as Adam Slater (214) climbed all over Steve Jacklin (136), with the 214 car going skywards and the 136 car rolling. The rest tried avoiding action, which resulted in a big pile up and a blocked track. The second attempt was minus the 136, 214, 244, 231, 198, and 484 cars, and this time it was Michael Scriven (12) who went into the lead on the green, with Neil Shenton (35) taking second when Geoff Nickolls (215) smacked Hayley Parkinson (54) wide. Paul Hines (259) wasted no time in throwing the bumper in, with one of his harder hits sending Ryan Harrison (197) into a half spin. Dave Willis (337) then piled into the 197 car. Shenton then retired, leaving Parkinson second place, but she was passed by Timmy Aldridge (257). The waved yellows then came out for attention to Harrison, who was in some distress on the edge of the track. Aldridge had a go at Scriven after the restart, before Ed Neachell (321) bumpered them both wide to take the lead, with Murray Harrison (97) following him through into second just before the halfway. Neachell took a wide line down the home straight, which let Harrison through into turn one. Neachell then followed Harrison down the back straight and launched Harrison straight into the armco at race speed. Neachell remained in the fence, while Harrison rolled off the track and onto the infield. The waved yellows came out, and after what seemed like ages, Murray emerged from his car and the terraces breathed a collective sigh of relief. Race order was now 257, 335, 54, 105, and Mark Woodhull (335) was quickly past Aldridge for the lead. Parkinson then also went past Aldridge, only for Aldridge to fire both Parkinson and Woodhull into the turn three fence. This put Aldridge back in the lead, with Chris Bonner (105) now second, before the yellows were out again, this time for Parkinson. Bonner put Aldridge wide not long into the restart, and as they started the last lap, these two looked to be safe at the front. But not so, as from some distance back, Frankie Wainman (212) reached out and hit Aldridge into a spin into the last bend, giving Frank a place in the World Final in his last ever season.

The second heat fielded 32 cars, more than half of which were Dutch drivers. The early laps were hectic, with the Dutch lads in particular quite keen on using the bumper. The yellows were inevitable, and they appeared after about half a dozen laps. The actual reason isn’t known, but the shortlist would be Arjan Bouwe Hiddinga (H17) perched on Mark Gray (24), Ted Blom (H31) and Scott Davids (462) parked on the marker tyres, or Colin Nairn (280) in a dodgy place on the home straight. Tim Warwick (307) and Stu Heppenstall (189) were first and second at this point, the remaining positions were anybody’s guess. Heppenstall piled in on Warwick, which let Robert Jan Schuter (H332) through for the lead. Warwick came back at Heppenstall, but the 189 car pulled clear. Warwick ran third until the 3-lap board when Karl Gilbert (46) went by, and the following lap Chris Brocksopp (338) bumped Warwick wide, with Job Hondred (H540) also gaining a place. Warwick wasn’t having this, and on the last lap piled in on Hondred with a big hit that sent the H540, 338, and 307 cars wide, unfortunately Warwick didn’t gain any places but it was good to watch. Schuter went on to win comfortably.

Next was the World Final, which was a spectacular race and a victory for Stu Smith (390). See seperate story.

A big field for the Consolation, with Graham Wagstaff (330) leading before he crashed out with Toon Vronik (H2) and Mick Rogers (244). Jacklin then took over, before Craig Utley (484) moved ahead. Much of the race saw John Lund (53) and Mark Gilbank (21) trading blows and places further down the field. Willis moved to the front in the closing stages, but Cayzer wasn’t far behind. With three laps to go, Cayzer squeezed past in turn three, and bizarrely the red and chequered were waved as he went down the home straight, depriving the fans of a 337/380 battle. It was a heap of cars piled up in turn four that had brought out the yellows, but there was no obvious reason why the remaining few laps couldn’t have been run once they had been cleared.

Schuter raced off at the start of the Final, while Willis made his intentions clear with a big hit on Heppenstall in turn three. Into turn one, and Willis piled Warwick and Schuter wide to take the lead at the start of the second lap. Gilbert was up to second, while at the other end of the field Wainman (515) and Smith (391) were bumper to bumper as they moved through the grid. Wainman held off a decent hit from Paul Harrison (2), while Smith fired Tom Harris (84) wide and into the fence. The 515 car then moved past Smith and began to pull ahead. Willis had a decent lead past the halfway, with Gilbert and Smith (91) established in second and third. Smith moved past Gilbert before the lapboards, but the 91 car then came to a stop. Wainman moved into the top three with four laps to go and a lap later he was on Willis’ back bumper. Wainman got up the inside of the 337 car out of turn two and instantly pulled away to take the win, with Willis second ahead of Gilbert and the impressive Dutchman Schuter.

Willis was again in the thick of it in the GN, and hit the front early on after Falkena, Schuter, and Davids had all led. Robinson took over when he punted the 337 car wide, and inevitably Willis piled in on Robinson. Past the halfway, Robinson led, from Willis, then Mick Rogers (244). Rogers momentarily took second before Willis bumpered him wide. This let Cayzer through, and he too felt the force of the 337 front bumper. Robinson made an unforced error when he half spun himself in turn two and Rogers was through. The first four were in close contention in the closing stages, these being 244, 107, 337, and 21. Gilbank went past Willis, who promptly launched the 21 car at the turn three fence, and then retired with front end damage. Into the last bend, and Robinson threw his car at Rogers; the 244 car span and Robinson crashed into the fence, leaving Harrison (2) to take the win.

Results
Heat 1: 105,212,215,91,152,73,NOF
Heat 2: H332,189,46,H540,338,307,H17,415,H76,24
WF: 390,515,391,2,16,33,107,288,271,105,H007,H32
Cons: 380,337,21,53,259,4,84,335,214,H29
Final: 515,337,46,H332,391,2,271,21,259,33
GN: 2,380,259,107,22,21,16,4,244,H29

Carl Hesketh.

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