Northampton – July 18th 2009 Meeting Report

Weather: A Cool, Dry evening.
Format: Two heats with fourteen cars from each progressing and a consolation with four cars going through creating a thirty-two car final.

Heat 1
Overseas drivers to take to the field were Theo Van Lier (H57), Peter van den Bosch (h482), Joep Hendriks (h365), Jessie De Bruin (h399), Gerrt Zwerver (h19) and Gary Castell (h247). Also of note was Robin Newson (26) starting in the white grade.
Twenty-three cars in total; H365 launched an opening lap attack on Richard Earl (285) sending the 285 car wide. As the cars came down the home straight to complete lap one, Jim Bamford (302), Joep Hendriks (h365) and Dean Whitwell (195) all became locked together hitting the Armco and coming to a stop on the entry of turn one. The following pack of cars had little chance to avoid them, resulting in quite a track pile up and track blockage.
A complete restart was called with Daniel Wainman (212), Dean Whitwell, Jim Bamford, Joep Hendriks (h365), Lee Robinson (107) and Gary Castell (h247) all being unable to take their places on the grid.
Richard Earl (285) took the early lead as Ed Neachell (321) attacked Dutch visitor Gerrt Zwerver (h19). Meanwhile to the rear of the field; Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) began to power his way though the field, closely followed by Stuart Smith (390).
At the half way point it was 285 – 60 – 327 – 498 – h482 with FWJ, SSJ and Luke Davison (464) just outside the top five. Ian Venables (60) began to apply pressure to race lead Earl, with Earl finally giving Venables the inside line. Spencer Taylor (498) and Antony Davis (327) were quick to fall in behind the 60 car, keeping the 285 car out wide and off the racing line. It was not long before Taylor took the lead from Venables by which time both FWJ and SSJ were in the top five places. FWJ attacked second place Davis who tried his hardest to fend off attacks and keep his line. FWJ finally got up the inside to take second place going into turn one. With just one lap to go, race leader Taylor was being slowed by back marker Gerrt Zwerver (h19) which allowed FWJ to attack the rear of the 498 car, moving both 498 and h19 wide, with FWJ moving through comfortably into first place and taking the win.
Result 515 – 390 – 498 – 327 – 60 – 464 – h482 – 12 – 321 – 285 – 8 – 393 – h57 – 258

Heat 2
Thirty-two cars that included Dutch visitors Geert-Jan Keijer (h6) , Dave Schaap (h007) and Louw Wobbes (h22). Also of note was the 467 car of Timmy Farrell.
Amazingly, all cars completed their first lap without incident. Ryan Harrison (197) took the early lead where he remained from lap two to the checquered flag. Matt Newson (16), Tom Harris (84) and Paul Hines (259) were leading the charge from the red grades. Hines and Schaap had a coming together on the back straight but both cars were able to free themselves and continue racing. As the race was about a third complete, Harris (84) launched an attack on the rear of Nick Reed (209) with Newson adding his own bumper to the rear of the 84 car, sending the 209 car off into the Armco on turns one and two.
Ian Stirk proved troublesome for Harris to pass allowing Newson to pass the Harris car as a result. As the lap boards were shown Harrison (197) was the clear leader with James Lund in second place, while behind 16 –11 – 84 – 259 – 21 – 391 were all attempting to improve their position.
Result 197 – 153 – 16 – 11 – 84 – 259 – 21 – 391 – 2 – 4 – h007 – 249 – 53 – 37

Consolation
Twenty cars gridded up, each looking to get a top four place and find their way into the meeting final. A restart was called after h19, Jessie De Bruin (h399), h365 and Colin Nairn (280) all clattering the Armco on turn one. H19 Gwert Zwerver was the only car unable to make the restart.
Peter Kaulbarsh (411) led from flag to flag in a faultless race securing his place in the meeting final. Dave Hopkins (447) and Joe Booth (446) were the first casualties of the race after being sent into the Armco on turn two by Carlos Perez, where the 447 car remained. Daniel Wainman narrowly avoided the stranded 447 car after attacking Dave Willis (337). Lap down Carlos Perez was really throwing it into the corners and appeared to have handling problems. He then had a coming together with the 212 car of Daniel Wainman, which ended Daniel’s hopes of reaching the final after he suffered a puncture and ended up retiring from the race. The H365 car of Joep Hendriks also appeared to suffering from set up problems; locking up when braking and spinning the tyres on exiting turns, losing places as a result.
Lee Robinson (107) was the most impressive driver, getting himself into third position by the half way mark and then taking second place from Rob Cowley (73) in the closing laps.
Result 411 – 107 – 73 – 65 – h6 – h22 – 467 – 434 – 337

Final
32 cars had qualified for the meeting Final; however, only thirty-one raced as Richard Earl (285) failed to make the start. Only three of the Dutch visitors qualified for the final Dave Schaap (h007), Peter Van Den Bosch (h482) and Theo Van Lier (h57).
On the opening lap Ian Stirk (65) spun in turns one and two; with Ed Neachell (321) and Paul Hines (259) coming together while Mark Gilbank (21) slapped the Armco exiting turn two. Ed parked up on the exit of turn two before making his way to the safety of the infield. Peter Kaulbarsch (411) was the early race leader.
Tom Harris (84) was leading the charge from the Red grades and was soon into the yellows, while just behind 107 – 515 – 16 – 2 – 390 – 391 were all bunched up and racing in a tight train.
As half way was reached; Joff Gibson (249) was leading, with Tom Harris in second with FWJ (515) pushing into the top five placings. Brothers Andy (391) and Stuart Smith (390) were busy racing each other and were not being shy in attacking each other.
Tom Harris began to apply the pressure on the race leader Joff Gibson in the closing stages of the race with Harris launching a well timed and controlled attack on the 249 car going into three. This moved Joff off the racing line with Tom taking the lead on the inside on the apex and having the line by the exit of four. Joff gave chase down the home straight, launching his own counter attack going into turn one, but was carrying too much speed and put himself wide; thus giving the inside line to the ever present 515 car who snapped up second place. Joff gave FWJ a tap going into three but the 515 car held firm.
Result 84 – 515 – 249 – 390 – 391 – 60 – 2 – 498 – h007 – 16.

Explosive finish for Tom Harris #84 crossing the line to take the final win. Photo Colin Casserley

Explosive finish for Tom Harris #84 crossing the line to take the final win. Photo Colin Casserley

Grand National
The last race of Saturday night took place under full floodlights on a twilight night, with thirty-three cars rolling out and Tom Harris taking the lap handicap.
Joff Gibson launched an opening lap attack onto Gary Townsend (223) going into the first turn; firing the 223 car into the Armco with all four wheels coming off the ground. Gibson took the lead by the second lap while FWJ (515), Lee Fairhurst (217) and Peter Kaulbarsch (411) had a coming together up on turn four.
Timmy Farrell (467) got himself into second place with Luke Davidson (464) and Matt Newson (16) behind. Newson was on a mission and quickly passed Davison and then Farrell and began chasing down race leader Gibson. Farrell next had to contend with pressure from Gilbank who was leading a train that included 107 – 259 – 390 – 391.
Newson was closing the gap between himself and the race leader when Gibson went into one far too fast and almost spun out completely. Gibson managed to save it but stalled the car in mid turn place gifting the lead to Newson. Stuart Smith was attacking second place Farrell, launching an attack on the next lap going into one. Farrell needing to have lightning fast reactions to avoid the still stranded 249 car. Unfortunately for Farrell this move placed the 467 car high and wide and gave the following 390 – 21 – 107 enough time to get in tight and make the pass; dropping the 467 car from second to fifth. Newson negotiated the back markers with ease to take the win.
Result 16 – 390 – 21 – 107 – 259 – 391 – 212 – 2 – 53 – 459

S Cording

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