Scunthorpe – July 25th 2009 Meeting Report

Photo Paul Tully

Photo Paul Tully

On a pleasantly warm July summer evening, the Eddie Wright Raceway hosted it’s first ever BriSCA Formula One meeting. Fifty-five cars travelled to Scunthorpe for this event and filled the pits.

Heat One saw eighteen cars take to the track. Graham Wagstaff (330) took the early lead with Tim Warwick (307) getting it fully sideways on the tight oval in second place. Murray Harrison (97) launched an early attack onto the rear of John Lawn (441) going into turn one. Lawn was then fired into the rear of Les Spencer (98) spinning him out. Lawn managed to ride the double contact, only for Craig Finnikin (55) to launch his own attack up on turns three and four, assisted by Andy Smith (391). Lawn spun out on exiting turn four coming to rest up against the Armco. Lawn’s night went from bad to worse when George Heppenstall (189) went into the turn far too fast, losing the back end and clattering into the stationary 441 car.
Meanwhile, Mark Gilbank (21) was the leading red grade who had powered into third place behind the 307 car. Steve Harrison (118) in fourth place was feeling the pressure of a fifth place Andy Smith (391) going into turn into one and two and took it too fast, spinning himself out. Gilbank was now starting to apply pressure to the 307 car of Warwick. A marker tyre had been knocked onto the track on the exit of four creating a bottle neck between it and the 441 car against the armco.
Wagstaff was now being slowed coming into the back markers; Warwick closed the gap and attacked the rear of the 330 car and likewise the 21 car began attacking the 307 car. This ended up sending the 307 car out wide on three and four with Warwick needing to brake heavily to avoid hitting the parked 441 car. Gilbank chased lead car 330 down the home straight, Waggy survived turns one and two but Gilbank launched his attack again going into three sending the 330 car off to the armco, and thus opening the inside line. Andy Smith took this opportunity, getting in front of Gilbank and was the new race leader as the half way point was reached.
Craig Finnikin was pushing his car to the limit trying to catch race leaders, going into one too fast and clattering against Steve Harrison. Dan Johnson (4) was now in pursuit of second place Gilbank, and Paul Hines disposed of Ike Parkinson (254) to get into the top six places. Upfront race leader Andy Smith wasted no time in moving back markers out the way. Steve Jacklin (136) becoming the first car to be brushed aside by the sideways 391 car. Dan Johnson intensified his attacks on second place Gilbank, finally getting 21 wide up on three and four and Johnson powered his car through the gap of the parked 441 car and marker tyre to take second place.
Mark Woodhull (335), Craig Finnikin and Paul Hines were all locked in battle with just three laps to go, coming down the home straight three-abreast going into turn one. Hines clipped an infield marker tyre that launched him ‘Dukes of Hazard’ style into the armco of turn one but the 259 car simply powered on and got back into the race. With just one lap to go, Dan Johnson was almost within ‘attacking’ distance of race leader Andy Smith, who was giving it the full sideways round the Oval. Going into the last bend Smith managed to get back marker Warwick between himself and the 4 car preventing any last bend attack. Andy Smith took the win and put his name in the history books as the first heat winner at the Eddie Wright Raceway. Second place Dan Johnson set the lap record of 14.988 secs.
391 – 4 – 21 – 335 – 259 -97 – 55 – 215 – 35 – 307

Heat 2
Nineteen cars gridded up for heat two with Richard Bryan (238) making his first appearance as a yellow grade. The green car of Mark Williamson (111) took the early lead while Colin Nairn (280) spun on the opening lap up on turn three. Robert Broome (41) had nowhere to go but into the 280 car before managing to get clear and back in the race. Hayley Parkinson (54) led the yellow grades, putting pressure on the leading whites. Towards the rear of the field, Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) attacked and past the 337 car of Dave Willis exiting turn four, with Willis repaying the hit going into turn one.
James Clement (158) was now race leader with 111 in second place. Hayley applied pressure forcing second place Williamson to go into turn three too fast, spinning out. Tony Smith (91) followed this by attacking the 41 car going into two, while behind Chris Brocksopp (338), Bryan and Spencer Taylor (498) were battling against each other. Brocksopp launched an attack on 238 going into two, resulting in 238 – 338 – 498 coming out three-abreast down the back straight.
By this time, FWJ had reached the 91 car and began applying pressure. Tony Smith defended his position time and time again as the 515 fought to get the inside line and finally got up the inside and was able to pass. Paul Harrison (2) wasted no time in attacking the 91 car, sending him wide on turn one and getting past. FWJ had chased down race leader 158 and was now on his back bumper, attacking and winning the inside line on three and four.
Clement and FWJ were now racing side-by-side down the home straight going into one and two and still side-by-side down the back straight. 158 was carrying just too much speed going into three and ended spinning out. Race leader FWJ was now encountering back markers, with 515 – 41 – 267 going three-abreast into turn one.
Paul Harrison, seeing his opportunity launched his attack on the 515 car with both cars exiting turn two side by side. Harrison managed to just pull clear of the 515 car down the back straight to take the lead with just two laps to go. FWJ chased down Harrison for the remaining laps but was unable to challenge.
2 – 515 – 91 – 260 -338 – 238 – 212 – 498 – 158 – 276

Heat Three
Eighteen cars made the field for the last heat race. Mark Tittcomb’s (398) race got off to a bad start as he collided with an infield marker tyre exiting turn two on the first lap, gifting the lead to Mike Andrews (220). Joff Gibson (249) wasted no time attacking for position having a coming together with Richard Earl (285) as they went over the start finish line on the first lap. Joff came out better off and powered after the lead 398 car. Unfortunately, Tom Harris (84) was forced to retire from the race very early on with smoke coming from his car.
Gibson by now was race leader. Meanwhile towards the rear of the pack John Lund (53) was engaged in battle with Stuart Smith (390). Lund launched an attack going into three, forcing the 390 car wide, with Lund tucked onto the inside and both cars coming down the home straight side-by-side. Matt Newson (16) got on the back of the 390 car down the back straight and launched his own attack on the 390 car going into three. SSJ was able to take a wider line and hold his place before chasing the 53 car down the home straight and launching his own attack going into one. Newson seized his opportunity, taking the inside line and coming out in front of the 390 car.
Meanwhile up front, Lee Robinson (107) attacked and passed Mike Andrews. Newson got in front of Lund on three and four and once again Smith was chasing down Lund. Lund kept in front on the next turns and along the back straight only to crash out and hit the armco head on up on turn three (unsighted incident). Joff Gibson was still race leader with periodic blue top Steve Cayzer (380) in second place and Joe Booth (446) in third. Gibson looked comfortable out front and began to manoeuvre his way though the back markers.
With two laps to go Cayzer began to pressure race leader Gibson, getting on his back bumper and trying to unsettle the 249 car. Cayzer applied just a little too much pressure going into turn one with just too much speed, skidding wide, allowing third place Booth to close the gap. Booth launched his own attack on Cayzer, going into three at high speed, T-Boning the 380 car with both cars skidding to the armco on the exit of four and the 446 car riding up onto the 380 car bonnet. Gibson took the win unchallenged while in the closing stages of the race SSJ suffered a rear tyre puncture and just about rolled over the finish line.
249 – 107 – 321 – 16 – 462 – 105 – 13 – 380 – 398 – 220
It was then announced over the PA that as there was a lot of cars, they would be running two consolation races.

Photo Paul Tully.

Photo Paul Tully.

Consolation #1
Seventeen cars gridded up for Consolation race No.1 which included Super Stars John Lund and Stuart Smith Jnr, with the top four cars making it to tonight’s final. Carlos Perez’s (305) night didn’t get any better with him spinning on the first lap exiting turn two as Graham Wagstaff spun exiting turn four. Mark Clayton (225) and Robert Broome’s (41) chances of reaching the meeting final took a blow as they locked together and veered onto the infield in avoiding the 330 car. 398 crossed the line to become the early leader, with 111 – 98 behind and Geoff Nickolls (215) moving 285 wide. While 498 – 158 – 308 were racing three-abreast, exiting turn two all three cars ended up being locked together hitting the armco on the back straight.
Mark Tittcomb 398 was still the race leader, Nickolls was on Steve Harrison’s back bumper desperately trying to get past the white grader and into fourth place. Daniel Wainman (212) had moved into fifth place and SSJ into sixth. At the half way point, the determined 118 car had the bunched 215 – 212 – 390 cars behind. Nickolls finally got past on turn four and Daniel Wainman followed. SSJ wasted no time attacking and passing 118 going into turn one. SSJ powered his way in to third place and began applying pressure to Les Spencer. The first attack proving unsuccessful, SSJ chased 98 down the home straight, attacking for the inside line going into turn one.
For reasons unknown 398 retired from the race giving the lead to the 390 car. With three laps to go 212 was stuck in fifth place behind the stubborn 215 car. John Lund two laps previous had sneaked though on the inside to take third place behind the 98 car. As the last lap board was shown, Daniel Wainman made one last desperate attempt, throwing his car into turn one at full speed, getting the inside of Nickolls who was sent off to the armco. Daniel Wainman took the fourth and last quantifying place while Lund and Les Spencer came racin g out of the last turn neck and neck and drag raced to the line.
390 – 98 – 53 – 212 – 215 – 305 – 118 – 41 – 308 – 225

Consolation #2
Seventeen cars gridded for the second consolation race. Craig Finnikin (55) and Tom Harris (84) being the only two red grade drivers. Tim Warwick took the early lead surviving a first turn attack from Ike Parkinson (254) and Mike Andrews (220). On the second lap Ike managed to get up the inside of Warwick to take the lead. Nigel Whalley (198) was forced to retire from the race with what appeared to be front axle / suspension / steering problems after spinning out on turn three.
Andy Ford’s chances of qualifying for the final disappeared when his front bumper became locked with the rear bumper of the 111 car down the home straight and both cars came to a standstill against the armco on turn one resulting in the first waved yellows of the night.
Restart order 254 – 307 – 441 – 189 – 136 – 55 – 54 – 84 – 276 – 380
Craig Fininkin went straight into attacking the 136 car of Jacklin with Lawn (441) attacking the 307 car for the inside line. Going into turn three, Jacklin made a huge lunge sending Lawn (for the second time of the evening) clattering into the armco of turn four. Jacklin powered wildly down the home straight connecting heavily onto the 307 car and ending 307s night. Ike Parkinson was still the race leader but following the melee of previous attacks, Craig Fininkin moved into second place, and was working his way though back markers in pursuit of the 254 car. In the closing stages the top four cars were evenly spaced.
254 – 55 – 136 – 276 – 189 – 380 – 267 – 441 – 35 – 307 – 220

The first Final to be held at the new Scunthorpe saw twenty-five cars on the grid, with the only omission being heat winner Paul Harrison (2) who was suffering from engine problems. Ike Parkinson (254) was present as sole representative for the white graders. Matt Newson (16) and Craig Fininkin (55) suffered an early coming together on turn four with both cars continuing to race. Joff Gibson in second place, quickly began applying pressure to the 254 car while behind Dan Johnson (4) was the leading superstar.
Steve Jacklin (136) went into three and four too fast while behind the 55 car clipped the rear of the 259 car of Hines. The Blues were closed into one pack with them all being bunched together. Lee Robinson as the leading red grade, had to defend his position from Chris Bonner (105) going into four. Joff Gibson was soon powering his way to being race leader while FWJ (515) attacked the Dan Johnson (4) car going into one, winning the inside line. As Johnson and FWJ went side-by-side down the back straight, FWJ entered three on the inside line and pulled in front of the 4 car. Daniel Wainman (212) and Mark Woodhull (335) were able to follow FWJ’s line, keeping Johnson out wide and also moving in front of the 4 car.
Andy Smith (391) meanwhile had powered past fellow Super Stars and red graders and was on the back of the blue graders with 107 – 105 – 515 behind him. FWJ launched a perfectly timed attack onto the rear of 105 going into one; firing the 105 into the rear of 107 who in turn was fired into the rear of the Tony Smith (91) car with Robinson and Tony Smith becoming locked together.
Andy Smith continued working his way though the blue grades and began chasing down Scott Davids (462) and Murray Harrison (97), passing both with ease. With the track really starting to dry up, the speeds increased and so did the dust. Dan Johnson span going into three and amazingly the following cars managed to avoid the broadside 4 car.
An infield marker tyre finds it’s way on the track which Scott Davids (462) hits at full chat down the home straight, launching him sky bound like a rocket to the moon and bringing out another set of waved yellows. Restart Order 249 – 321 – 238 – 260 – 391 – 98 -515 – 97 – 212 – 105 -390.
Ed Neachell wasting no time in attacking leader Gibson from the off, getting the 249 car wide on one and two. Neachell and Gibson racing side-by-side down the back straight with Joff leaving it on just a little longer going into three to retake the lead on the outside. Andy Smith also wasted no time from the restart and was now up in third place. Neachell again attacked race leader Gibson with Smith seizing the opportunity, connected with the rear of the 321 car sending both cars out wide and Smith successfully taking the lead. Behind there is a melee of red roofs and bumper action involving 16 – 212 -21 – 4 – 55 – 335 – 105.
Stuart Smith Jnr (390) in fourth place was glued to back bumper of third place Neachell, finally getting past on three and four. Murray Harrison (97) wasted no time attacking the rattled 321 car going into turn one but Neachell was able to defend position. Andy Smith becomes the first driver to win the first ever final at the new Eddie Wright Raceway unchallenged and in doing so set the lap record for the meeting with 14.471 secs.
391 – 249 – 515 – 390 – 321 – 97 – 259 – 98 – 16 – 21

Grand National
Andy Smith took the lap handicap, twenty-nine cars on track under a twilight July night sky with full floodlights on. Sadly due to levels of dust in this the final race of the evening no race notes were made, so no report but that’s not to say it wasn’t another cracker. If anything, it was the most action-packed race of the night.

S Cording

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