Northampton – June 23rd 2013 Meeting Report

Ryan Harrison dominated the proceedings.

Ryan Harrison dominated the proceedings.

Northampton’s second BriSCA F1 meeting of 2013 saw the final WCQR being staged and a last chance for drivers to gain all important points towards the Semi Finals. The majority of drivers attending had also raced at the penultimate round the previous evening at Ipswich, the exceptions being Gerrit Zwerver H19 and Daniel Van Spijker H231 who just had a day trip over from the Netherlands.

Changeable weather conditions provided drivers with another challenge regarding set up, however local man Ryan Harrison 197 stood head and shoulders above his rivals to claim a hat trick of victories and firmly cement his reputation as a serious challenger to the sports elite.

Sunday drivers - it was a quiet day for Tom and Frankie.

Sunday drivers – it was a quiet day for Tom and Frankie.

21 cars gridded for heat one, including the aforementioned Zwerver and Van Spijker with fellow countryman Marcel Jansen 46 completing the trio of Dutch drivers on track. The H19 machine was the sole C grade driver and lead into lap one, until Scotsman Paul Ford 388 went through on lap 4. Fellow B grader Paul Carter 300 went through into second spot with Micky Randell 172 and Lee Robinson H107 completing the top four at halfway. The top three remained the same until the lap boards, when a fast moving Frankie Wainman Jnr 515 moved from 5th to 3rd inside the final lap, but no-one was catching Ford who took his first tarmac F1 race win of the season, with Carter holding on to claim second at flag fall.

Paul Ford went back home to Scotland with a heat trophy.

Paul Ford went back home to Scotland with a heat trophy.

A short sharp shower 2 minutes before the start of heat two caught out many of the 20 cars that started, many opting for a dry set up, but it was a chance for Ryan Harrison 197 to open his race winning account for the afternoon with a commanding display of wet track racing. With no white grade drivers competing, yellow tops Dave Riley 422 and Mike James 417 lead them away as Van Spijker H231, Mark Allen 161 and Ricky Wilson 502 all ended up in a heap exiting turn four as the green flag was shown. Harrison 197 charged into lead position on lap 7 and soon pulled out a substantial lead over Dave Riley and Michael Scriven 12 in his new Falding Motorsport tar car. Scriven relieved Riley of second spot in the closing stages, with Harrison’s winning margin getting on for the length of a straight.

A tale of two Lees.... Three second places and a fourth made it a very successful meeting for Lee Robinson, but it was one that Lee Fairhurst would probably rather forget.

A tale of two Lees…. Three second places and a fourth made it a very successful meeting for Lee Robinson, but it was one that Lee Fairhurst would probably rather forget.

Another 20 cars for the third heat with Gerrit Zwerver H19 again into an early lead as Shaun Blakemore 221 and Riley 422 got into a mess on the outside of turn four. Scriven 12 was showing good early form from the blue grade and soon went into the lead but had a hard charging 197 car all over him in no time. Ford 388 turned it around into turn three, Robert Broome 41 followed suit as Zwerver H19 and Carter 300 found themselves fenced into turn three in separate attacks. Back at the front, Harrison was marching unchallenged to his second race success, with Scriven holding on for second, with Tom Harris 84 rounding out the podium places.

Gerrit Zwerver was one of two Dutch drivers to make the trip to Northampton.

Gerrit Zwerver was one of two Dutch drivers to make the trip to Northampton.

The Grand Final was run in a now persistent rain shower which made conditions treacherous for the drivers and also making notes for this write up nigh on impossible! The facts are that Paul Carter 300 drove a great race but was hunted down by stable-mate Ryan Harrison 197 who made the decisive move with four laps to go. Lee Robinson H107, fresh from his final win the evening before at Ipswich, found the conditions to his liking and began to close in on the race leader in the closing stages but simply ran out of laps to mount a challenge, with Harrison taking his hat trick win to the delight of the 197 team. Robinson having to settle for second, with Scriven completing a good day by placing third – long time leader Carter coming home fourth.

Lee Fairhurst loaded up with rear axle damage after his first heat. Will Yarrow placed in every race.

Lee Fairhurst loaded up with rear axle damage after his first heat. Will Yarrow placed in every race.

The Grand National race saw a commanding victory for Paul Hines 259 overcoming a determined Mick Sworder 150 in the closing laps to take the flag – only to fall foul of post race technical scrutineering – so Sworder inherited the victory from Robinson and Harris completing the top three.

So the qualifiers for the two Semi Finals are now known – the grids will shortly be announced and the Gold Rush continues next month.

Dutch visitor Daniel van Spijker.

Dutch visitor Daniel van Spijker.

Ricky Wilson tried his hand at tarmac, but met with little success.

Ricky Wilson tried his hand at tarmac, but met with little success.

Three different takes on where to mount the wing.

Three different takes on where to mount the wing.

Words: Andre Zang
Photos: Colin Casserley

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