Northampton – April 18th 2009 Meeting Report

Frankie Wainman jnr (515) and Nick Read (209) at Northampton.

Frankie Wainman jnr (515) and Nick Read (209) at Northampton.

Northampton’s first BriSCA F1 meeting of the 2009 season enticed 35 cars to the South Midlands venue for Round 3 of the National Series Points Championship. Dry and sunny conditions greeted 19 cars onto the grid for Heat One, with lone White Grade driver, Nick Read (209) leading the field away. Bumpers were flying early on as Mat Newson (16) waded into his fellow star men on turn four, before Micky Randell (172) fenced Carl Pickering (141) also on turns three/four. Stephen Hopkins (347) passed Read on lap 3 to head the pack, as Mike Kingston (188), Dean Whitwell (195) and Pickering had a look at the fence on turns one and two.

Hopkins continued to lead, with Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) up to second by lap 7. At half distance the order was 347-515-16, with Stuart Smith Jnr (390) closing in on the top three. Early leader Read was spun on turn four by Tom Harris (84), as Newson pulled up with problems on turn two, and Jim Bamford (302) lost it on turn one. With 5 laps to go Hopkins had Wainman breathing down his neck, and with two to go, Wainman made his move, closely followed by Smith Jnr, who, despite closing the gap, was unable to launch a last bend attack on the 515 machine, and had to be content with second place, with Harris picking up third.

Heat 2 featured 23 cars and saw Rob Harrad (258) lead them away, with Lee Dimmick (459) quickly into second spot. Nick Read was under attack again in this race, this time Mick Harris (8) dispatching the 209 machine into the fence on turn one. Dimmick quickly caught race leader Harrad, and fired him fencewards into turn one to take it up, before Chris Cowley (37) eased into the lead on lap 2. This was a lead he was never to relinquish, despite Mick Harris and Dan Johnson (4) working their way through the pack to place 2nd and 3rd, Cowley’s win was fairly comfortable.

The third heat saw 24 cars on track, and Harrad was again into an early lead from the front of the grid, followed by Ian Venables (60), Luke Davidson (464) and Dimmick. The race was yellow flagged into lap 2, as Mike Kingston was stationary on the back straight. The restart saw Dimmick pass Davidson and set about catching Venables, which he did on lap 4 and nudged his way through for the lead, until the number 60 car returned the compliment into turns one and two. Whilst the two yellow grade drivers were taking turns at leading, Mat Newson wasted no time in breaking through the field from star grade to place third before halfway.

Dimmick had established the lead at half distance, with Newson through into second and Venables down to third. Newson was on a charge and caught the 459 car in the closing stages. With 4 laps to go, the 16 car pushed Dimmick wide into turn one, to take the lead and ultimately the win, as Craig Finnikin (55) bumpered Mick Harris into the turn four fence. Newson completed the victory, Dimmick hanging on for second and Tom Harris came home third.

28 cars gridded for the feature final which saw Nick Read lead them across the line as the green flag dropped, as Les Spencer (98) and Jim Bamford visited the turn one armco. Lee Dimmick again looked quick from the yellow grade and moved through to the lead, as Chris Cowley punted Ian Venables wide on turn four to take second spot. Bamford got into difficulties exiting turn four by hooking up with Luke Davidson, as Dimmick and Cowley continued to set a fast pace at the head of affairs.

At the halfway stage, the order was 459 and 37, with Newson again the first star man to show, with Wainman Jnr lurking ominously close by. The race was yellow flagged soon after as Spencer, Ivan Pritchard (434) and Dan Wainman (212) clobbered the fence on turns three/four which required a stoppage. Dimmick seeing a decent lead evaporating before his eyes.

On the close order restart, Dimmick lead from Cowley, Newson, Micky Randell, with Wainman and Johnson completing the top six. Newson quickly moved passed Cowley and with 5 to go had the 459 car in his sights once more. Three laps left and Newson made his move on Dimmick, but hadn’t reckoned on Wainman making up huge ground on the leading pair, and with 2 to go, the 515 car shoved 16 wide into turn three.

In his haste to return the compliment, Newson appeared to momentarily lose it out of turn two and clouted the back straight fence, which resulted in the 16 car suffering damage which took it out of the race, leaving Wainman to pick up his first final win of 2009, Dan Johnson the grateful recipient of second place with Dimmick a fine third, Smith Jnr fourth, Cowley fifth.

21 cars made it out for the GN, including Wes Goodwin (295) who had suffered clutch problems pre meeting, and finally made it on track for the last race of the night. Wainman Jnr took the lap handicap as final winner, which left Nick Read, Luke Davidson and Lee Dimmick to contest the lead in the early laps, until Dimmick eased into the lead by half distance from Davidson and Randell.

After seeing a healthy lead disappear earlier on in the meeting, Dimmick this time had no problems taking his first F1 victory, from Davidson who drove well to place second. Any action was further down the field with Carl Pickering again finding his way into the fence on the last lap, to complete an entertaining and slickly presented meeting.

Report by A Zang

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