Northampton, 29th October 2017 – Meeting Report and Photos

From Birmingham we go straight down the road atlas and across a bit to Northampton Stadium for the penultimate round of the 2017 Mintex National Points Shoot-Out.

Heat One saw a convincing win by gold top Nigel Green (445) to keep his silver roof aspirations alive (just) but he must have been dismayed to see Stuart Smith (390) follow him home in second place. Danny Colliver (468) retired with expensive-looking smoke pouring from the engine and may have left a drop or two of oil on the track as well. Neil Hooper (545) took third ahead of Shaun Webster (48) and FWJ (515) in a somewhat processional race.

Heat Two was stopped almost as soon as it had started when Ben Riley exacted revenge on Ryan Harrison for the previous night’s incursion, the 197 car riding the turn three plating before rolling over after a massive hit from 422. Neither driver would return to the track. The restart saw Adkins (24) leading the way from Leach (70) and Jones (186), Todd slipping through for the lead as both 24 and 70 slid wide. Jones went on to win from Leach with Colin Goodswen (372) riding out a last bend attack from Danny Wainman (212) to take third.

An early end to the meeting for Ryan Harrison

Just 14 cars for the Consolation, Selwyn Dastle (13) again leading the way from Shane Geary (478) and Karl Hawkins (175). It wasn’t long before the “One Car” series leader annexed the lead and went on to win, with Michael Steward (512) second and Paul Hines (259) third.

Thirty-two cars for the Teng Tools sponsored VSCA Memorial Trophy final, but we lost 212 and 300 before the green flag dropped. Having experienced the highs of F1 racing in the consolation, Hawkins was quickly brought down to earth when he turned turtle on the third bend within a lap or two, getting clobbered by Frankie Wainman Junior (515) whilst upside down. Thankfully Karl was uninjured but obviously out of the race, as were 212, 408 and 515 who returned to the pits during the stoppage. Mark Whorton-Eales tried to re-join the grid but was turned away at the gate, taking no part in a fast and furious final – it always seems faster under the floodlights.

Karl Hawkins rolls after tangling with Ant Whorton-Eales and was collected by FWJ

A complete restart saw the reds into the blues before the green dropped as Geary led from Adkins until a caution for a three car tangle on the pit bend slowed things down. Another caution followed soon after racing resumed as Leach spun down the home straight after tangling with Phoebe Wainman.

Adkins led the next restart, Todd Jones taking third with a big hit on George Elwell (501) as Jackson took over at the sharp end. Green eased by Smith as 101, 24 and 186 pulled out a gap over the chasing red tops, Jones hitting the front ahead of Jackson but Green was third and catching fast, going second at the half-way stage and taking the lead with 5 to run after a firm but fair attack on the 186 car. The world champion notched up yet another final win coming home a clear winner ahead of Jones and Smith.

Nigel Green took the victory ahead of Jones in second and Smith Jnr in third place.

The last F1 race at Northampton for 2017 and incredible though it is to believe the last F1 race at Northampton until June 2018. I mentioned in the Birmingham report about putting the clocks back sixty minutes – with Coventry gone, blank Saturday nights on the fixture list and no Northampton until mid-season it feels like we have turned the clocks back sixty years.

Be that as it may (or dismay) the grand national also had the Al Henderson memorial trophy on offer and 23 cars set off, with Green setting a fast rolling lap, intent on making up that lap handicap. Paul Carter led the opening laps from Jackson and Scriven (12) in another high speed dash, these three changing places to record a lower grade one, two, three with Scriven taking the flag from 300 and 101. Green made it up to eleventh place, power-sliding the bends after the chequered flag to leave a coating of rubber on the track and a haze of tyre smoke in the air.

Grand National winner – Michael Scriven

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Ant and Mick Jenkins


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