Northampton – July 18th 2010 Meeting Report

Bright and breezy weather greeted the cream of BriSCA F1 tarmac talent for the main event of the 2010 European Championship at Northampton on July 18th, with a trio of Dutch entries on the grid for the big race comprising H6 Geert-Jan Keijzer, H365 Joep Hendriks and H482 Peter van den Bosch. The theme of young European champions continued for another year, as 464 Luke Davidson put in an excellent drive for his first major title.

BriSCA F1 European Champion 2010 Luke Davidson 464 . Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 European Championship

The European was first on the programme and 31 cars lined up, the atmosphere heightened by two excellent preceding title races from the F2s and Rebels. The field was lined up in a closed formation in graded order giving 488 Mike Kingston Jnr and 51 Dylan Williams the front row, but the former would retire on the rolling lap as did the luckless 107 Lee Robinson. This left Williams alone at the front and he quickly raced off into the lead as 105 Chris Bonner was the first to spin, while another of the favourites fell early as 515 Junior Wainman pulled up on lap two as did 91 Tony Smith. 191 Josh Smith was next to fall which handed 372 Colin Goodswen second behind Williams who soon opened out his lead to around the length of the straight, and a few fans began to anticipate a big upset for the 16-year old on his Northampton debut.

Further back Davidson was heading the red top train as 141 Carl Pickering bumpered past Hendriks for third and 321 Ed Neachell picked up a puncture and pulled off. 153 James Lund was the leading blue top and fired Goodswen wide for second but Davidson was right up on his tail soon after, while the eyes of many were on gold top 1 Andrew Smith who was up to sixth from the back and soon moved further forward after an attack on Goodswen. At half distance Williams was still clear but Davidson was ahead of Lund for second and closing fast. A couple of laps later the red top found space on the inside exiting turn four and drew past on the home straight to take the lead.

Chris Cowley (37) in Dean Whitwell's (195) BriSCA F1 stock car. Photo Colin Casserley

Further back reigning champion 217 Lee Fairhurst fired Pickering in hard at turn three as another former champion, 259 Paul Hines, came to grief on turn two and Smith took Lund for third. With four laps left Smith closed in on Williams although it looked like the white top would cause a shock, but with two laps to go it all came apart as Williams spun himself out on turn two. Davidson had to flick wide to miss the spun 51 car but was too far ahead to be caught and crossed the line ahead of Smith as a flurry of streamers erupted from trackside cannons for a spectacular finish, covering the first two finishers. Behind them a tough last bend sort-out saw 37 Chris Cowley – racing Dean Whitwell’s car – bumper past Lund to take the place while Hendriks finished fifth to take the prize for the top overseas finisher. The cheers, however, were for Davidson, who celebrated his first of hopefully many title wins.

Result: 464-1-37-153-H365-84-2-390-53-16.

Luke Davidson 464 wins the European Championship 2010. Photo Chris Clark

Luke Davidson 464 winning the European Championship 2010. Photo Colin Casserley

Andy Smith (1) trailing European Championship streamers. Photo Chris Clark

Heat 1

The main body of the meeting saw the drivers competing for the Internations Cup, and 20 cars lined up for the first half car heat. 480 Dan Fox was the first to spin and he was collected by Josh Smith and Goodswen with the yellows flying for the stranded former Spedeworth V8 man. The restart saw Williams up front as 2 Paul Harrison went in on 428 Richard Regan and took one from Andrew Smith. Late on 223 Garry Townsend and 305 Carlos Perez hooked up and went into the fence as Williams held on for a superb first F1 victory ahead of Andrew Smith and Neachell.

Result: 51-1-321-2-464-459-53-191-11-12.

Heat 2

A slightly uneven split saw 26 cars line up for heat two which started with newcomer 287 Sean Willis taking in 301 Mark Allen as 462 Scott Davids also hit the wall as the red top battle began. Hendriks was the early leader as 13 Andy Ford spun into Willis’s stranded car, while 84 Tom Harris displayed his usual NIR style as he fired into 385 Steve Thompson. Bonner took over from Hendriks at the front and made up for his Euro non-finish with the win ahead of fellow yellow tops 60 Ian Venables and Hendriks, while Lund went in hard on the last bend.

Result: 105-60-H365-4-259-390-217-515-212-16.

Joep Hendriks h365 and Ian Venables 60. Photo Colin Casserley

Consolation

18 cars returned for the consolation with an early caution after Pickering tangled with 393 Dave Plumbley and Regan crashed into them, with Kingston heading the restart as further back Robinson piled Keijzer into Tony Smith as a battle began to brew in the midfield. Fox spun in a cloud of smoke as Townsend briefly took over but Perez – testing new Hoosier tyres – was flying and took the lead, riding out a last bend hit from Cowley to take the win with Davids third.

Result: 305-37-462-223-85-385-H482-H6-90-480.

Dan Fox 48 at Northampton disappearing in a cloud of smoke. Photo by Colin Casserley

Final (Internations Cup)

29 of the qualifiers returned for the Internations Cup Final with an early push among the red tops accounting for Thompson as 390 Stuart Smith’s quiet weekend was ended by a lap one puncture. Lund fired 41 Robert Broome hard into the turn three wall to compound a disastrous weekend for the latter before 4 Daniel Johnson climbed the home straight wall in the middle of a star grade battle and collected 53 John Lund as he spun with the yellows flying to check on the veteran and also Broome. Up front Williams was ahead once again and continued to lead the restart as third placed Townsend hooked up with Bonner to go into the wall.

Peter van den Bosch h482 t-boned by Steve Thompson 385. Photo Colin Casserley

Venables chased the leader to half distance with Harris leading the star graders only to be fired wide by Andrew Smith as the recovered Thompson spun out van den Bosch. The World Champion cut through to second with two laps to go but once again couldn’t catch Williams who crowned a stunning weekend by lifting the Internations Cup, Smith having to settle for second a third time and Harris diving past Venables on the last bend to take third.

Result: 51-1-84-60-153-464-515-4-321-191.

Dylan Williams Maynard 51. Photo Colin Casserley

Grand National

23 returned for the National with some early three wide moments at the front between Allen, Kingston and Venables seeing the latter emerge with the lead, while among the reds Davids battled it out with Harrison until the former retired. Davidson broke away from the rest of the star grade and was up to third by lap five, catching the leaders and taking over at turn three with five laps to run. The new European Champion took a fine celebratory victory with the rapid Venables and Bonner next home, Harris the only other red top to get on level terms.

Result: 464-60-105-84-1-515-2-107-4-191.

European Championship Sunday BriSCA F1 stockcar red top action. Photo Colin Casserley

An enjoyable and typically atmospheric and busy weekend, but yet again the Goodyear tyres limited the F1 action on track. Congratulations to Luke Davidson – like Fairhurst and Johnson before him, he is sure to wear the yellow and red chequers with pride.

Dave Goddard

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