Knockhill – June 13th 2009 Meeting Report

Matt Newson celebrates winning Knockhill's Millers Oils Challenge Trophy. Photo Colin Casserley

Matt Newson celebrates winning Knockhill's Millers Oils Challenge Trophy. Photo Colin Casserley

Knockhill is unlike any other track currently on the BriSCA F1 Circuit so I’ll try and explain a little about Scotland’s famous Tri-Oval. The home straight (approx 100m) goes down hill into the hair-pin turn which is flanked by a gravel trap. The back straight (approx 100m) runs flat into a tight 85 degree Turn Two which has a short steep uphill straight of about 25m into Turn three that is also of about an 85 degree turn. This comes out onto the home straight that is grass flanked. So that’s the three turns of Knockhill – Hair-pin, Turn Two and Turn three.


Up in the hills the weather was pleasant and warm and seventeen cars came out for heat one of a two thirds format. Adam Slater (214) led the field, while fellow white grader Robin Newson (26) started at the very rear. The green dropped and the tight hair-pin turn saw Ricky Wilson (502) make the first visit into the gravel trap while the tight exit of the hair-pin saw Colin Nairn (280) spinning round. As the remainder of the cars got though the first unique turn, Dave Willis (337) and Daniel Wainman (212) became the first victims whilst trying to negotiate the tight and uphill turn two. The second lap saw Ricky Wilson make his second visit to the hair-pin gravel trap joined by Joff Gibson (249) and Luke Davidson (464). Adam Slater (214) was leading the field with Andy Ford (13), Dan Johnson (4), Frankie Wainman jnr (515), Lee Robinson (107) and Paul Harrison (2) following behind.
Lee Robinson began his attack on the rear of the 515 car, trying to force FWJ off the racing line. Lee managed to get up the inside of FWJ going into the hair-pin, only for FWJ to attack Lee’s inside line going into Two. Lee was forced wide and unfortunately slowed down by Luke Davidson who was getting himself out of the tyre wall that runs along the up hill short straight between Two and Three. Paul Harrison (2) kept himself tight and stole the place from Lee.
Dan Johnson was slowly closing the gap on race leader Adam Slater, Adam began to make his way though the back markers, passing Ricky Wilson with out needing to slow. As Adam negotiated trying to pass back marker Joff Gibson, Dan launched his attack, pushing Adam wide and off the racing line exiting the hair-pin to take the lead. FWJ saw his opportunity and dived up Adam’s inside as well. Adam got back on line and chased FWJ down the back straight, into Two and coming out of Three side-by-side with the 515 car. The superior power of the 515 car got clear and began it’s pursuit of race leader Dan Johnson. In the closing three laps Lee Robinson got past Adam Slater in the hair-pin turn and with Adam off line Paul Harrison was gifted a place. FWJ past Dan Johnson and Lee Robinson wasted no time attacking Dan and getting second place.
Result – 515- 107- 4 -2 -214 – 12 – 30 – 462 – 411 – 13


Heat Two saw 20 cars including Andy (391) and Stuart Smith (390), John (53) and James Lund (153). Timmy Aldridge (257) took the early lead, with Ian Venables (60) spinning on the tricky exit of the hair-pin. Luke Davison (464) had a bumpy ride along the back straight gravel trap avoiding the the 60 car. Andy Ford (13) attacked the new blue grader Lee Fairhurst (217) going to Two. Behind Frankie Wainman jnr, Lee Robinson and Robert Broome (41) where all fighting for the same piece of track and exiting Three, with all racing abreast down the home straight.
Dan Johnson quickly moved into second place behind Timmy Aldridge, before getting that all important inside line and taking the lead on the hair-pin. Lee Fairhurst in third place had Mark Gilbank (21) on his back bumper with Andy Smith behind Mark. Mark finally got Lee off the inside line going into the hair-pin, and Andy Smith kept Lee out wide down the back straight taking third place in turn Two. Andy was straight into attacking Mark Gilbank, getting past on the hair-pin while Mark kept close to back of Andy as they chased down leader Dan Johnson. Andy Got Dan off the racing line taking the lead with Gilbank in second.
Result 391 – 21 – 4 – 390 – 107 – 16 – 515 – 217 – 257 – 53


Heat Three was properly the fastest and cleanest of all the heats. Timmy Aldridge took the lead with Michael Scriven (12) in second and Adam Slater in third, with Scriven taking the lead from Aldridge. The first half of the race was quite a straight forward affair and as half way was reached Mark Gilbank was on the back bumper of Mathew Newson (16) trying to get him off line, Mark cleanly overtook Newson down the back straight. Andy Smith had wasted no time in getting up to second place and began to pressure the 12 car, getting past and taking the lead exiting the hair-pin. While behind Mark Gilbank, Matt Newson and Stuart Smith (390) were all nose to tail in a high speed train. In the closing laps the 21-16-390 train reached the back bumper of Scriven going into the hair-pin, pushed him wide and powered past.
Result 391 – 21 – 16 -390 – 12 – 2 – 217 – 462 – 257 -53


The Millers Oil Challenge Trophy saw 25 cars grid up. A poor start saw the Yellows, Blues and Reds all as one group as the green was shown. Adam Slater attempted to put as much distance as possible between him and the field. Going though the hair-pin was not the case for 217 – 411 – 459 – 41 – 30 and 462 who were all pushed wide and into the gravel as ‘too many cars and not enough space’ came into effect with Scott Davids (462) getting beached. Adam was leading with Timmy Aldridge in second. Frankie Wainman launched his car down the inside of the hair-pin on the next lap picking up at least 5 places from his power move. By the third lap Matt Newson had got himself into third place and began closing the gap to second place Aldridge. FWJ was attacking Dan Johnson who kept to his line, allowing Andy Smith to gain yards on the 515 car. FWJ finally got Dan wide on the hair-pin to take the place with Andy Smith getting the free pass behind.
With Matt now in second place he began chasing down race leader Adam Slater. Adam began to encounter the first of the back markers and was able to pass Joff Gibson without losing speed or coming off the racing line but Ricky Wilson proved a little more tricky and Matt was able to take full advantage and steal the lead. Meanwhile Lee Robinson, Dan Johnson and Paul Harrison were engaged in battle coming out three abreast on turn Three. Matt began his own task of moving though the back markers luckily avoiding the tangling 464 and 257 car. With five laps to go Matt had a cushion of three lap-down cars between him and second place FWJ. Lee Robinson launched his attack on Stuart Smith but Paul Harrison nicked up the inside and claimed the place.
Matt exited turn Three on the last lap with his fist out the cab window putting the power down smoking his rear tyre in celebration at taking the win.
Result 16 – 515 – 391 – 2 – 390 – 21 – 4 – 12 – 107 – 53


The last race of the night was touch and go with the weather; the wind had swung round and was bringing in the rain storm and the temperature had dramatically dropped. Twenty three cars came out for the last race of 2009 at Knockhill with Matt taking the lap handicap. Peter Kaulbarsch (411), Lee Dimmick (459) and Michael Scriven (12) all ran wide into the gravel trap on the hair-pin on the opening lap. All got back onto the track but the next lap saw Ian Venables and Ricky Wilson make another trip into the hair-pin gravel trap. Dan Johnson was first of the red grades to reach the blues, attacking Joff Gibson going into Two, getting up the inside. Joff chased Dan down the back straight launching his own counter attack going into the hair-pin, sending both cars off into the gravel.
Adam Slater was holding onto his lead with 391 – 217 – 515 – 107 behind. FWJ launched his attack on Lee Fairhurst going into Two getting up the inside. Lee got straight back on the inside line launching his own counter attack exiting Three in an attempt to get the 515 off line for the hair-pin.
Andy Smith applied pressure to leader Slater down the back straight; Slater gave up the inside going into Two and attempted to tuck-in behind the 391 car. Meanwhile Joff Gibson and Scott Davids were having a proper ding-dong, until Joff dispatched Scott into the Hair-pin Gravel trap.  In the closing laps Stuart Smith, Lee Robinson, Lee Fairhurst were all nose to tail while Andy Smith had a comfortable lead on second place FWJ.
Result 391 – 515 – 390 – 107- 217 – 2 – 4 – 459 – 464 – 12


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