Northampton, 16th September 2018 – Meeting Report and Photos

The first race up for the F1s on the Sunday after the World Final was the postponed European Championship (see separate race report).

Heat 1 proper was led away by Steve Malkin (308) and Jason Eaton (448), with Jake Harrhy (345) at the back of a field which also included Adam Joblin (NZ2). 308 took up the lead at the drop of the green. Early on, Albert Sikkema (H215) spun and Kyle Gray (124) became stuck on turn 4. Jan-Roelof Wijbenga (H228) put NZ2 in the wall, but the New Zealander came back at him, spinning the Dutchman on the home straight. 308 was still hanging onto the lead ahead of 448 and Hunter (220).

220 made his move for second spot, while Joe Nickolls (242) gave Makim (93) a helping hand into turn 3, before being spun himself by Morris (463) on the next corner.  With 5 laps to run, Joe Nickolls (242) spun on the straight and was clobbered by Makim (93), almost turning the car over on the marker tyres. Meanwhile, 308 almost spun on the pit bend allowing 220 up the inside and into the lead.  The caution was needed to clear 424, 127 and 169, whose cars littered the track.

Second-placed man Karl Hawkins was forced to retire with a flat tyre prior to the restart, so the order was 220, Lourenz de Vries (H79) and Paul Hines (259). At the drop of the green, Hunter was away and gone. Wainman put the bumper in on Hines to take third, but no one was catching Hunter, who took another win on the Northampton shale.

Jake Harrhy (345)

Around 30 cars gridded for Heat 2, including Peter Bengston (NZ58) in the Fairhurst car and William Humphries (NZ1) out in the Chris Brocksopp car. The new World Champ was in trouble before the race even started, spinning before crossing the start-finish line.  The race itself was a flag to flag victory for Richard Woods (268). When the lap boards came out, 268 had a straight’s lead ahead of second-placed Dan Johnson.

William Humphries (NZ1) out in the Chris Brocksopp car in Heat 2

A wingless 76 led the cars away for the start of the consolation. There was no Stuart Smith Junior for this one and NZ58 was also forced to retire before the start. As the green flag dropped, H54 roared into the lead, while 76 almost got turned around down the straight.  A caution was needed to rescue the 11 car of Neil Scriven from on top of the fence in turns 1 and 2.

The damage to the fence was left unrepaired but track staff moved spectators away from the area. At the restart the lead car was still Sierd de Vries. He continued to lead on the increasingly dry and dusty track; pulling away from the rest of the field and negotiating the backmarkers with ease. Nobody could catch the H54 car, who took a comfortable win. 242 took second from 313 on the final corner.

A caution was needed to rescue the 11 car in the Consolation

A big field of cars made their way onto the Northampton Shaleway for the World Masters race, which was led away by 268 and H54. The track had been watered heavily prior to the race so conditions were very slippery.  Sierd de Vries took up the early lead, while 212 planted a big hit on 463 trying to find a way through the field. Jan-Roelof Wijbenga (H228) started a battle with Wainman (515) but Harris saw his opportunity, punting H228 into 515, spinning the Wainman machine around. Another big hit came in on H228, sending him flying backwards into the fence on the back straight, just as 12 and 212 retired with flat tyres.

We’d lost the early leader, but soon another Dutchman (in fact, another de Vries) had taken up the front running. Lourenz de Vries (H79) maintained control for the rest of the race. Behind him, 445 and 84 were putting their bumpers to work and making their way up the places. On to the last lap and the new European Champion was closing on the 445 machine, but Green just managed to hold him off on the line.

Lourenz de Vries (H79) maintained control of the final

The 23-car Grand National – the last race of a very long weekend of racing – was led away by 415 and H54. No sooner had the green flag dropped than 216 spun around on the wet track. A pile of other cars went slamming into the fence, including NZ2, 220 and H410. The yellow flags were needed to check on the New Zealander.

Cooper led them around for the restart, ahead of NZ1, H54, 216 and 335. Newson was the highest of the superstars in ninth, with Green lurking just behind him. On the restart, Dowson (94) put a hit in on Green, allowing 515 past as well.  H54 had hit the front, from 415, 515, 335 and 16.  Newson tried to force his way past Wainman, pushing him wide on the bend. Meanwhile, 445 was making up the places he’d lost after the restart. The bumper came in from Newson on Wainman, but Green was now up with them as well. 415 dropped back to fifth.

It was still de Vries (H54) with a good lead over Newson, Green and Wainman. As the laps wound down, Newson closed on H54. The Norwich man took the lead just as the lap boards came out.  De Vries hung on for another lap but then succumbed to Green. Into the closing stages and Green went for a big hit on Newson. Newson recovered, chasing after him and applying the bumper. The hit just wasn’t hard enough to stop Green, who held on to take the flag. Wainman took third away from H54 on the last lap.

Nigel Green took the last win of the weekend

Words: Rhosanna Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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