Northampton, 23rd April 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

A mixture of F1s, Hot Rods and Superstox for this cool, Northampton evening. Just 28 F1s in the pits so an all-in format was adopted rather than running two-thirds. All 28 gridded for Heat One; led away by Richard Davies (325) and the ever improving George Elwell (501), but we had gone hardly a lap before the caution flags flew for a tangle on the pit bend involving Ben Riley (422) and Ryan Harrison (197).

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The cause of the yellow flags early on in Heat 1.

With the offending cars moved to the middle Elwell led the restart, pulling out a healthy lead while Harrhy (45) spun on the pit bend, trapping Neil Scriven (11) and FWJ (515) made his front bumper felt amongst the red tops. The 197 car re-joined from the centre, straight in front of the 501 car and was duly black-flagged, pulling off as the second caution arose for Carter (300) and Neachell (322) on turn four.

Elwell again led, hotly pursued by Todd Jones (186) and FWJJ (555). Frankie the Elder clambered over the 186 car, who then chopped off Tom Harris (84) in the borrowed 318 car, leaving Harris facing the way he had just come when a third caution was shown, this time for Aaron Leach (70). Murray Jones (196) took the lead at the restart but succumbed to the might of the 515 machine with four to run, dropping down the places as first Newson then Fairhurst, Danny Wainman and Green swept by in turn. Long-time leader Elwell spun on the very last bend to record a DNF – that first win must come soon.

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Aaron Leach brings out another set of yellow flags.

Paul Carter was missing from Heat Two so 27 cars made the shambles of a start and the yellow flags stayed raised. Attempt number two wasn’t much better but we got a green, 501 again setting the pace until he spun on turn three, taking 45, 73, 318 and 555 with him, necessitating more yellow flags.

Leach led the restart from 186 while FWJ sent Hunter (202) hard into the turn three plating. By halfway, the Jones Boys held first and second but Nigel Green in the “F1 RCE” was flying, chased by 197. Neachell (321) traded paint with 186 and 196, taking the lead and holding it until three to run when Green gave him the big heave-ho.

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The Jones brothers in Heat 2.

Daniel van Spijker (231) was an early casualty in the Final which saw either Todd or Murray Jones lead initially (difficult to tell the cars apart at speed – must be my age) from 70, 11 and 555 but there was a red-top train steaming through the pack, led by Newson and Green.

Murray Jones, for it was indeed 196, eased ahead until a weird incident brought out a caution – Will Hunter shoved Micky Randell wide on turn three, they sort of tangled and the 172 car suddenly did a complete roll over, back on its wheels and was rammed by Riley (422). You’ve got to feel for Micky – he seems to have had more rollovers than the National Lottery!

Jones got a flyer at the restart but was caught by Newson at the half way stage, passing 196 only to be overhauled himself by Green within a few yards, with Fairhurst and FWJ not far behind. The black 445 machine drove away from Newson for a comfortable win, with Frankie Wainman Junior getting the better of a subdued Fairhurst for third.

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Final Top 3: Nigel Green, Mat Newson and Frankie Wainman Junior

Ryan Harrison (197), off the front of the reds, made short work of the twenty-two car Grand National after Elwell led the early laps. Jones (196) took over from Elwell until eased wide by Harrison with a few to run with Harris claiming second as the 196 car, in sympathy with the 186 car earlier in the race, suffered similar engine trouble and ground to a halt.

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A Grand National win for Ryan Harrison.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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