50 cars were in the pits at Northampton for Day 3 of the World Championship weekend, including 13 Dutch drivers and the new World Champion Frankie Wainman Junior, with a freshly spray painted gold wing displaying the #1. The weather was considerably drier than the previous afternoon, much to the relief of many fans.
Heat 1 was led away by Jon Horne (19) and Sam Wass (284), with superstars Danny Wainman (212) and Nigel Green (445) at the back of the field. Wass hit the front at the drop of the green while Chris Cooke (460) tried to make a move on 19 for second place but ended up spinning them both out in turns 1 and 2. Mark Allen (301) inherited second and Mark Gray (224) was already up to third. Yellow flags were called for to move the white graders from the bend, who had since been collected by Paul Ford (388) and Mark Tesselaar (H40).
The top three at the restart were still 284, 301 and 224, with Todd Jones (186) and Luke Davidson (464) not far behind. 301 went through into the lead. Wass tried to retake the position but slipped wide and lost second to Gray. Davidson soon passed the lot of them, while Gray went around in the bend, taking himself and Sworder into the stranded Willem Zwerver (H295) car. The caution came out just as Nigel Green spun on the back straight.
Davidson was soon out front after the restart, with Fairhurst and Wainman (212) behind him. The 464 car survived several attempts from the 217 machine but eventually succumbed. Fairhurst’s lead was short-lived as Wainman nudged him aside as the lap boards came out. The top 2 swapped positions a couple of times in the closing stages, but it was 212 who crossed the line first. Davidson and Todd Jones had a drag race to the line for third, with the 186 driver having to settle for fourth.
24 for Heat 2, which was led away by Alex Wass (283) and James Tucker (369). Tucker quickly took the lead, with Jacklyn Ellis (219) going through into second, with H7 third. Raaphorst tried to muscle Ellis aside but couldn’t take the place and was left to defend from 501.
Elwell passed H7 and 219 before the caution was needed for Steve Malkin Junior (308). Harris appeared to miss the yellow flags, making up three places under the caution and restarting third behind 369 and 501. Harris was soon out front and in control for the remaining laps. Wainman (1) took second, with 369 just taking third from 16 on the line.
The Consolation, which was led away by 19 and 325, saw an early spin for Mark Gray. H70 and 24 hit the wall, with Bart Koopmans going in behind them. The early leaders were 19, 325 and H7, but Mick Sworder was already picking off the lower graders and soon up to fifth.
There were problems for 325, who dropped back down the order and unusually Sworder also lost a few places. As the half distance flag came out, 445 moved into second behind Jon Horne. Green made his move, spinning Horne aside to take the top spot.
As the lap boards came out, Green had a comfortable lead ahead of Sworder. Consolation Semi-Final winner Michael Scriven put the bumper in on 321 and 150, passing the pair of them for second. The bumper came back in from Mick Sworder, sending 12 and 321 wide on turn 2. Scriven survived to take second, with 150 in third.
The World Masters race saw a hard first lap impact for Daniel van Spijker and Gary Gratton, with Gratton going over the top of van Spijker but getting going again while the 231 pilot called for the yellow flags.
Jacklyn Ellis was the leader at the restart, while Gratton removed from the line up due to damage to the front end. Behind 219 were 283 and 501. Elwell was soon into second, with Ed Neachell moving into third. A recovering Mick Sworder delayed Ellis and bunched up the top 4, Elwell went up the inside for a brief stint out front but Michael Scriven was soon past him. The bumper came in on Green from Elwell, and the 445 car smacked straight into the back of Tucker, who was already stranded in turn 3 and bringing out the caution.
Scriven led them around for the restart, with 321, 501, 217 and 219 completing the top five. Michael Steward planted a big hit on Wainman JJ (555), sending him riding around the top of the Armco. The car ended up back on the track, facing sideways in the exit of turn 4, only to be hit by H40.
Newson moved into second on the restart, but Scriven was still in control. The laps wound down and third-placed Neachell dropped back, allowing FWJ to tap him wide on the last bend and take the position.
Michael Scriven took up his place at the front of the Grand National, which saw 284 the early leader, from 19 and Hobbs. It wasn’t long before the caution flags were needed to move Mark Gray, who’d become stranded following a hard hit into the turn 3 Armco. Ed Neachell went into the fence behind him but managed to get going again.
Wass led the field around for the restart, with Horne, Zwerver, Jones (186) and Ellis lining up behind him. The highest of the superstars at this point was Danny Wainman, but he had Nigel Green on his tail.
Jones was quickly through into third, then second as the race continued. The 186 was out front before the lap boards, but now had Paul Ford and Nigel Green behind him. Neither could close on the leader, who made light work of passing the back markers to take the last win of the weekend. Ford finished second, Green third, Wass an excellent fourth while final winner Scriven managed 11th from the lap handicap.
Words: Rhosanna Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley