Northampton – July 20th 2013 Meeting Report

A superb weekend for Michael Scriven. He won the meeting final on both days. (MH)

A superb weekend for Michael Scriven. He won the meeting final on both days. (MH)

Northampton’s 27th staging of the BriSCA F1 European Championship saw the traditional weekender get under way on a dry, slightly overcast evening which thankfully was cooler than the locality had experienced in the lead up to the main event.

A class field had arrived hoping to finely tune their car set ups for the main race on the Sunday – but instead of taking things easy, many of the drivers threw caution to the wind and a very damaging meeting ensued with a high rate of attrition, a number of heavy burials and lots of damage for the crews to get stuck into overnight when perhaps they thought they would be heading towards the stadium bar.

The first race saw the re-introduction of the once annual BSCDA Trust Fund race. The race open to drivers currently holding or have held star or superstar status throughout season 2013, with a closed grid format being used with Scott Davids 462 and Luke Davidson 464 forming the front row with Michael Scriven 12 and Will Yarrow 22 on row two. A total of 21 cars flew out of the traps as the green flag was shown, with Davidson surging into an early lead from Scriven and Davids with Joshua Smith 191 an early casualty as soon as lap two. The red grade drivers were keen to make an impression with Dan Johnson 4 wading into Ryan Harrison 197 on turn one, the compliment being repaid into turn three with immediate effect.

Frankie and Tom at speed. (SS)

Frankie and Tom at speed. (SS)

Tom Harris 84 and Lee Robinson 107 tangled and glanced off the plate on the far side, before Scriven relieved Davidson of lead position at the halfway stage. Harris pulled onto the centre green with 5 to go as Frankie Wainman Jnr 515 came under attack from Lee Fairhurst 1 into turn three with 3 laps to run. On the final lap, Danny Wainman 212 climbed all over Will Yarrow 22 on the back straight, which enabled Mick Sworder 150 pass them both around the outside to net 12th place over the line. Michael Scriven took the coveted trophy from Davidson with Ryan Harrison rounding out the podium positions.

23 cars for heat two, with the field made up of C, B and A grade drivers. The action began as soon as the flag dropped with H365 Joep Hendricks being launched into the turn one fence hard along with 300 Paul Carter, as the returning Neil Smith 507 and Peter Hobbs 108 had a look at the fence on the back straight, which required a caution to remove the stranded cars. Gerrit Zwerver H19 lead the field away on the restart, which was quickly yellow flagged again after Derek Brown 229 had been fenced hard on turn three. The positions on the second restart was Zwerver from 45 Nigel Harrhy, 300 Carter and 388 Paul Ford. Harrhy went through for the lead before a third bout of waved yellow flags were needed after James Lund 153, Mark Allen 161 and Phil Cooper 154 all connected with the turn one Armco very hard indeed, which saw heavy damage sustained to the 153 machine and James needing to get his breath back. It was enough to put James out of the meeting unfortunately.

More drama on the restart, as Harrhy retired before the flag dropped, so Paul Carter 300 inherited the lead from Paul Ford 388 and Daz Kitson 532. A fairly subdued end of the race ensued, hardly surprising after all the damage sustained early on in the race – Carter taking a straight forward victory from Kitson, Ford and Shaun Blakemore 221.

Jamie Jackson at the European Championship. (MH)

Jamie Jackson at the European Championship. (MH)

Just 14 cars made it out for the consolation race, such was the high level of damage sustained by many drivers in the two preceding heats, with Mike James 417 making his first appearance of the evening after a glitch in practice, taking an early lead from Smith 507 and Hobbs 108 also in the top three. By halfway James lead from Tom Harris 84 and Micky Randell 172, when the yellows were thrown for a loose wheel from the 507 machine. James lead the restart but couldn’t contain World Cup Champion Harris who went through for the lead.

Will Yarrow 22 dished out a hit on Mat Newson 16 into turn one, which saw the 16 car spun into the wall with a wheel flying off the ex James Neachell car nearly taking out a traffic light on its way into the catch fencing. As the race resumed, Harris remained largely unchallenged, but second placed James was guided fencewards by a fast moving Danny Wainman 212. Randell had moved into second spot, which he held until the final turn when the 212 car executed a perfectly timed nudge to send the 172 machine out wide and back to third place over the line behind racewinner Harris and Wainman.

The Dan Johnson car, reworked and repainted after a big shunt at Buxton. (SS)

The Dan Johnson car, reworked and repainted after a big shunt at Buxton. (SS)

The Grand Final saw a 31 car field contest the 20 lapper, but this was quickly reduced as 161 Mark Allen pulled off before the start and H6 Geert Jan Keijzer retired on lap one. Gerrit Zwerver H19 took the early lead, before Paul Ford 388 went through on lap three. Harris 84 and Johnson 4 clobbered the fence on the back straight, which saw a third wheel leaving an F1, this time from Dan Johnson’s car, before Lee Robinson 107 was T Boned by 393 Dave Plumbley which saw another race stoppage to clear the track. Before the restart got underway, mascot Timmy The Tyre, which the promotion saw fit to bring along for this event, received a comic kicking from Dan Johnson on the centre green as he tried to ‘help’ the stranded star man with three wheels on his wagon.

Two cars, four roof colours! Silver & red/yellow, and Gold & black/white. (SS)

Two cars, four roof colours! Silver & red/yellow, and Gold & black/white. (SS)

Tom Harris 84 was prevented from taking part in the re-run, and before he could make his protestations known to race control – we were back underway with Ford, Zwerver, Kitson and Michael Scriven showing up well again in his new tar car. Robert Speak 318 piled the bumper into Davidson 464 and Carter 300 into turn one, before exchanging metal with Paul Hines 259 as the intensity increased. Scriven was flying and was through into the lead on turn one, before Lee Fairhurst 1 lanched a train of cars into the fence on turns one and two, with the main man to suffer Micky Randell 172 performing a wall of death along the fence and ending up on his side, with Will Yarrow 22 for company. On the restart, Scriven continued to lead from Ford and Hines, as at the halfway stage, Speak had a go at Hines, before being fenced by Mick Sworder 150 into turn one. Hines began to slowly close the gap on Scriven but ran out of laps before he could get close enough to use the bumper – The Gloucestershire based man taking his second win of the night from a fast moving Hines and ex World Champion Paul Harrison 2 completing the top three.

Gerrit Zwerver tries to climb the fence. (SS)

Gerrit Zwerver tries to climb the fence. (SS)

The Grand National enticed 28 cars from the pits with the action continuing immediately with Robinson 107 firing Wainman Jnr 515 and Jamie Jackson 377 in on turn one, before the 377 car was hit by Chris Cooke 460 bringing out another bout of waved yellow flags. Gerrit Zwerver H19 once again lead away the restart before another stoppage was required for Mat Newson 16 who had hit the fence on turn three along with Paul Ford 388. Joep Hendricks H365 headed the second restart from fellow Dutchman Zwerver and Will Yarrow.

Speak got into Davidson and James into turn one, as Hendricks continued to lead into the second half of the race. Josh Smith 191 spun along the home straight, taking Wainman Jnr 515 onto the infield with him. Speak fenced Yarrow on turn three, in an incident which also took out race leader Hendricks and Luke Davidson. The final restart, with three to go saw Lee Fairhurst in lead position, which he wasn’t about to relinquish – Lee Robinson and Danny Wainman following him over the line. Final winner Scriven recovering the handicap to place fourth after another fine drive.

So a hard hitting meeting producing lots of damage, and a wide open field to contest tomorrows big race.

Words: Andre Zang
Photos: Marvin Hall & Stu Stretton

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