Northampton, 18th July 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

Anyone looking for pointers to a likely European Champion amongst the star and superstar drivers present would have been hard pressed to single out any one driver based on Saturday night’s performances. Also with just two Dutch drivers, Harmen Zwerver (H195) and Chris Weyenberg (H380) in attendance the chances of the title heading over the North Sea looked unlikely.

Heat One doubled up as the annual Benevolent Fund race, with two former 2 litre saloon drivers, Sean Webster (48) and Stuart Shevill Junior (518) at the front of the closed order grid. From the green all cars got around the first and second bends safely, not so the third and fourth as Smith (390) tangled with Cowley (37) and Steward (512) climbed the wall, almost tipping over in a collision with Randell (172). A lengthy delay followed while the 512 car was removed and the fence repaired.

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The cause of the first caution (and fence repairs) of the night

At the restart Sworder (150) shoved Harris (84) fencewards on the first turn, Smith retired and Harris clobbered the third turn wall with a flat front tyre, while Ford and Shevill filled first and second places. Speak (318) fired Wainman (212) into the pit bend fence (payback for Skeggy?) then spun himself, bringing out a caution.

Ford again led the restart from Scriven (12) as Shevill faded, but defending Ben Fund trophy holder Sworder was up to fourth then took third from Neachell (321) but could do nothing about the flying blue tops ahead of him, Paul Ford becoming the new holder of the Ben Fund trophy with Scriven second, while Sworder lost third courtesy of the Fairhurst front bumper on the last bend.

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Paul Ford celebrating his win in the Ben Fund race

Heat Two featured an amazing 17 yellow tops, but it was white top Chris Cooke (460) who led the early laps, until Bromiley (14) and Martin Bamford (143) tangled on the fourth bend and Booth (446) sent Hobbs (108) hard into the third bend plating, bringing out the yellow flags. Hunter (with an H) (202) took the lead from Allen (301) down the back straight but the caution flags flew again, this time for Noden (306), Cowley (73) and Murray Jones (196) who came together just short of the start line.

Bobby Griffin (166) had a bit of a thing with the 301 car before tangling with second placed Dave Allen (499), causing yet another caution. As he has shown before, single file restarts hold no fears for Hunter, from the green he just drove away from the pack to claim another victory.

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Even starting further back as a yellow top can’t stop Henry Hunter.

The Consolation featured the likes of Harris, Speak, Smith, both Wainmans, Hines and Harrison (2) at the back of the grid but while they fought amongst themselves Dave Allen, robbed of a good second place in his heat, showed that even a caution for Ben Riley (422) who had clobbered the wall hard, was not going to deter him from taking the flag in this one.

The Final, for the Allen Barker Memorial Trophy saw a big push on the first bend which claimed Hunter (220) as Cooke (460) led the opening laps, only for the caution to come out for Richard Davies (325) who was hit head-on by FWJ on the third and fourth bends, the 515 car suffering severe front corner damage.

T’other Unter led the restart, chased by 499, 25 and 446. Allen moved the 220 car aside to take the lead as Harris retired, stretching his lead to several car lengths over Goodswen (372). Goodswen closed on Allen as he negotiated back-markers but couldn’t get near enough to land a blow, the 499 pilot, crossing the line for his first F1 final win, with Goodswen second and Bradley Harrison (25) an excellent third.

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Final top 3: Dave Allen, Colin Goodswen and Brad Harrison.

No white tops in the Grand National so it was Murray Jones (196) and Jordan Falding (36) who led the field to the green but Hunter (202) was soon into the lead, not even two cautions, the first for Nigel Green (445) who lost a wheel and half-shaft, the second for Scott Davids (462) nor a last bend attack from Mat Newson could stop him from chalking up his second win of the evening.

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Matt Taylor presenting the trophy to Henry Hunter.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley and Steve Botham

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