Northampton, 19th June 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

The second half of this Incarace/Spedeworth tarmac weekend saw 42 cars in attendance, all eager to enhance their chances of getting into one or other of the all-important semi-finals.

Nineteen for Heat One which included novice Ian Clayton (341) starting from the back. James Tucker (369) led the first couple of laps before Jordan Falding (36) took over with Ed Neachell (321) in hot pursuit. Although the Sutton Coldfield man closed a little on Falding towards the end, he had his mirrors full of Michael Steward (512), who in turn resisted a last bend challenge from Dan Johnson (4) to take third by the width of a bumper on the line.

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Heat 1 winner Jordan Falding

Twenty-three for Heat Two but we lost one before the start. Simon Brooke (92) drove onto the track, gave it some welly and promptly sheared off some important bits of rear suspension. Mark Allen (301) led from Jon Horne (19) and Paul Carter (300) but an early caution for cars 24 and 464 saw racing temporarily halted.

Carter made his bid for the lead soon after the restart to chalk up another yellow top win. Neil Scriven (11) moved into second with four to run as Allen lost places to Riley, Speak and Wainman (515) but held on for a fine sixth spot by the flag.

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An early caution in Heat 2 was needed for 24 and 464

Eighteen for the Consolation with James Neachell (322) making rapid progress into third place before a tangle between Dave Allen (499) and Richard Woods (268) on the back straight sent Will Hunter (220) head first into the pit gate, bringing out the caution. Will took a heavy knock but emerged shaken but not stirred and it was Neachell who took the lead around the halfway stage, keeping well clear of second-placeman Luke Davidson (464).

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James Neachell made his way to the front in the consolation

No reserves for the Final, this being a World Qualifier, so twenty-nine cars lined up, headed by Allen (301) and Graeme Robson (267). A fast rolling lap and a ragged start saw Danny Wainman (212) into the wall courtesy of a train of red tops, FWJ taking the opportunity to pass a number of cars on turns three and four as they sorted themselves out. Allen led from Scriven and Falding in a fast and furious race.

Green (445) sent Speak fencewards with a big hit on turn three, the gold top collecting Frankie JJ (555), Hobbs (108) and Riley (422), bringing out the yellow flags again. A slight delay while Riley was attended to on the centre green and then it was back to green (flag, not Nigel), Allen still the leader. The 301 and 11 cars had a coming together, just the opening the British Champion was looking for and he dived inside three cars to take third behind a recovering Scriven and Falding.

The 36 car retired to the centre at halfway leaving Wainman to nudge Scriven wide for the lead on turn three, but the pilot of the 11 car tried hard to stay with him. As the laps wound down, FWJ extended his lead to the length of a straight then went into show-boating mood on the final lap, lighting up the tyres in spectacular style as he chalked up another final win and hoisted himself to the top of the World Qualifier’s table into the bargain. Mat Newson (16) followed him home with Steward (512) netting another excellent third place.

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FWJ on the way to another final win.

The Grand National fielded the biggest grid of the day, 31 cars including FWJ taking the lap handicap. Speaky tried to nail Green right at the start but within a couple of laps the race was stopped for Chris Cooke (460) who rolled on the home straight. “Old Fords never die, they just learn how to fly”? Chris has just returned to racing after his big Hedno hit in April but seemed OK after his aerial display, walking back to the pits with a “why me?” look on his face.

A complete restart was ordered and FWJ pulled off on the first lap with a duff diff, Allen taking the lead as a number of red tops engaged in entertaining bumperwork. Scriven (11) took over at the half-way but Mick Sworder was in no mood to hang about, reeling in the UK Open Champion and punting him wide on the last bend to take the flag from Johnson (4) and Carter.

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Mick Sworder celebrating a Grand National win

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley and Steve Botham

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