Scunthorpe – October 24th 2009 Meeting Report

Scunthorpe.

The second visit to Scunthorpe in the 2009 season saw 56 cars in attendance. Not only was Saturday nights meeting round #7 of the National Series Shootout, it was also the third qualifying round for the 2010 World Championship.
Following a morning and afternoon of rain, blue sky with a brisk wind were the conditions at the start of the meeting, before the quickly setting sun brought on the floodlighting for a Saturday under lights race meeting.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Heat One.
Saw Paul Hines (259), Stuart Smith (390) and Paul Harrison (#2) as the three shootout drivers; ahead of them and the vital race points were Five White Grades, Four Yellows, Three Blues and Two Red Grades. A false start saw all the cars re-grid.
Richard Bryan (238) took the early lead while Stuart Smith powered his way through the field. Ike Parkinson (254) was the first car to experience problems with the tight, tricky track, connecting with the marker tyre exiting turn two, the front end bouncing up in air as the rear wheels pushed the car on top of the marker tyre.
Stuart Smith meanwhile had encountered the rear of seasoned shale driver Mark Woodhull (335), Stuart attacked the rear of the 335 car going round turns one and two sending the 335 car off into Graeme Robson (267) sending him well wide but Woodhull managed to keep his place. This attack from Smith allowed Simon Panton (288) the opportunity to get on Smith’s rear bumper going up the back straight. Smith, unfazed dived into turn three tight against the curb, passing the 335 car exiting turn four on the inside. While at the opposite end of the track Mike Williamson (111) overcooked it and spun on the tricky one and two turns.
Luke Dennis (192), contender for novice of the year was the next car to have Smith bearing down on him with Smith not wasting any time in tapping him wide and passing round turns one and two. While all eyes were on Smith’s lightning progression towards the front, fellow shootout drivers Paul Hines and Paul Harrison were not too far behind. As half way was reached, Smith had made his way into third spot while Hines and Harrison were well into the top ten places. Richard Bryan was still leading in possibility his most controlled race to date.
Simon Panton and Mark Woodhull were having a close battle themselves which quickly saw Paul Hines get in on the bumper hits. Hines attacked for the inside line going round turn three, seeing 259, 288, 335 three abreast. Hines went just a little too tight on the inside, connected with an infield marker tyre sending the front of his car rising into the air. Hines kept the power on powering out of turn four but lost about four places as a result.
Stuart Smith took the lead from Bryan. Bryan not giving up the lead without a fight got onto the rear of Smith’s bumper coming down the home straight, keeping close round turns one and two. As they powered up the back straight it looked like Bryan was setting Smith up for an attack going into three. The superior car and racing set up saw Smith go in tight around the bend while the speed Bryan was carrying saw him drift out wide. Bryan kept on with power, not giving up his second place to anyone.
With Smith now leading and pulling clear of second place Bryan, the action was once again focused around 335 – 288 – #2 and the 259 had now caught upto the rear of the #2 car. With the lap boards out, Harrison attacked Panton going into turn one and won the inside line getting ahead exiting two. Panton not giving away any places, returned the attack going into turn three. Hines seized the opportunity and attacked the inside line, keeping the already busy Panton out wide allowing Hines to exit in front coming out of turn four.
Result 390 – 238 – 215 – 2 – 259 – 288 – 212 – 215 – 267 – 446
(446 docked two places for jumping the restart).

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Heat Two.
Three Whites, Six Yellows, Four Blues and Two Reds lined up in front of Shootout drivers Tom Harris (84), Mark Gilbank (21) and Frankie Wainman jnr (515) with novice Nigel Frissell (353) starting at the very rear in the Derek Wass car.
Graham Wagstaff (330) took the early lead while Gary Townsend (223) spun on the opening lap exiting turn two. Veteran superstar John Lund (53) found himself being spun up on turns three and four as the Shootout drivers showed no respect in making there way ever forwards. Mark Gilbank was the early leading shootout driver with Wainman closing down fast. Tom Harris being a little further back and being hassled by Jim Bamford (302). Wainman got the racing line coming down the home straight, passing Gilbank on the inside going into turn one.
Following Lunds early race spin, the 53 car was now positioned between race leader Wagstaff and second placed Steven Harrison (118). Lund found himself under constant attack as Harrison attacked, wanting to challenge Wagstaff for the lead. He finally got the inside line off Lund coming down the home straight, 118 led going into turn one, with his front bumper attacking and moving wide Wagstaff to take the lead.
Meanwhile behind, Wainman appeared to have found his groove and increased in speed, pulling away from Gilbank and Harris who are now racing bumper to bumper with Harris now in front of Gilbank. James Morris (463) proves a stubborn obstacle for Harris and Gilbank, slowing them further as Wainman increased the distance between them. Finally, Morris was moved as the lap boards were shown.
Up front, 118 had been passed and now sat in third place while brothers, James (322) and Ed Neachell (321)were in first and second place. Wainman attacked and past 118, with Harrison not giving away any places for free, returned the attack on Wainman, giving chase up the back straight, going too fast into three and drifting wide. With the laps running out, Harris and Gilbank were further hindered by the stubborn Mick Rogers (244) who proved a tricky customer to pass.
Wainman was unable to reel in the Neachell brothers before the chequered flag and had to settle for third place.
Result 322 – 321 – 515 – 84 – 21 – 244 – 463 – 302 – 308 – 118

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Heat Three.
Four Whites, Seven Yellows, Three Blues, Two Reds and the remaining Two shootout drivers of Dan Johnson (#4) and World and British Champion Andy Smith (#1) gridded for the final heat race.
Dan Johnson was immediately onto the rear bumper of Murray Harrison (97) as the green flag was shown. Jonhson then found Andy Smith on his own bumper, forming a three car train as they crossed the Start / Finish line. Andy Smith was able to force his way onto the inside line going into turn one passing both Harrison and Johnson in one move.
Upfront, James Clement (158) clattered against the armco exiting turn four under full throttle. Glancing back towards the rear of pack, Andy Smith with breath taking speed was already moving through the middle order with ease. He passed both Steve Malkin Jnr (308) and Dave Nickols (242) on the inside at quite unbelievable speed round turns three and four.
Russell Cooper was leading in this early stage of the race as the #1 was getting fully sideways around the tight Eddie Wright Raceway. Tony Smith (91) needing to be moved by Andy, was sent off wide connected with Steve Lewin (129) T-Boning the 129 car on the turn. Ex-f2 driver Garry Fox (480) clattered into the 129 car who is then clattered by Craig Finninkin (55). The 55 and 480 car became locked together; other cars ducking high and low going into turn two to avoid. Dan Johnson forced his way though the small inside gap between the inside curb and the 55 car but Les Spencer (98) went into the 55 car and in an attempt to free himself, spun 180 degrees and up onto the bonnet of the Finnikin car. Waved Yellows.
Restart Order 415 – 13 – (L.D 129) – 1 – 338 – 35 – 280 – 285 – 242 – 97- 4
The green flag was shown as leader Cooper took a wider line going into turn one which saw Andy Ford (13) attacking his rear inside. Ford was under attack himself from Andy Smith with the 13 and #1 momentarily becoming locked together, skidding onto the infield on the exit of two. Both cars quickly freed themselves and rejoined the race with Andy Smith dropping from third to about seventh place. Upfront, Cooper was still leading. Andy Smith at breakneck speed got into the rear of Dan Johnson with Johnson holding his own, while himself attacking the 242 car. Johnson finally getting the 242 car wide and passing on turns one and two with Smith following close behind. While this is going on, Murray Harrison (97) and Neil Shenton (35) are engaged in their own intense battle and are joined by Dan Johnson who is able to muscle his way in front of Shenton with just two laps to go. Smith ups the pressure on the 35 car, running side-by-side down the home straight with Smith on the inside line going into turn one. While at the front Russell Cooper is under ever increasing pressure from second place Chris Brocksopp (338). Cooper held on to take the win.
Result 415 – 338 – 97 – 4 – 1 – 380 – 35 – 242 -288 – 13

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Consolation One.
With all Shootout drivers already qualified for the meeting final and with a track limit of Twenty-Eight cars; two Consolations were run, the top five from each progressing to the final.
Four Whites, Eight Yellows, Four Blues, Superstar John Lund with novice Nigel Frissell (353) behind, gridded up.
White graders Graeme Robson (267) and Steve Malkin (208) hopes of reaching the final were dashed as they hooked up on the opening lap. On freeing himself, Malkin then became involved with James Morris (463) on the exit of turn four. Mike Williamson (111) was the early leader with Steve Harrison (118) in second place. Adam Slater (214) and Robert Broome (41) hooked up on turns three and four and thus ending their hopes but allowed John Lund to pass as he chased a top five finish. Neil Shenton (35) and Geoff Nickolls (215) are involved with some great stockcar action as they hustle and bustle in the top five placings along with fellow yellow grader Maikin jnr (308) who has blue grade Joe Booth hot on his tail. In the thick of battle, the 215 spins on the turn and is out of the running. This fired up Booth who once again attacked the inside rear of the 308, almost T-Boning Malkin Jnr on the exit of turn four but the power of Booth’s car straightening up the 308 car. The experienced Lund dived past Booth and onto the rear of Maikin Jnr. The younger man not giving in to veteran driver Lund who is unable to pass lap after lap, attack after attack.
With the lap boards out, Lund was desperate to get past Malkin Jnr who would not move or give up his place into the meeting final. Craig Utley (484) successfully passed 118, to become the new race leader with just a few laps remaining. Lund intensified his pressure onto the rear of Malkin Jnr and still Malkin held him off, as he himself closed in on Shenton going into the last lap. Joe Booth had worked his way onto the rear of Lund. Going into the final turns Malkin jnr gets onto the rear of Shenton and with the added force of both Lund and Booth, the 35 car is spun out and out of the placings for the meeting final.
Result 484 –118 – 308 – 53 – 446 – 462 – 152 – 463 – 41 – 215

Consolation Two.
Five Whites, Eight Yellows, Three Blues and Two Reds gridded to battle it out for the last five places available in the meeting final.
Disaster again for Tim Warwick (307) who having lost part of his prop-shaft in heat three and retiring from the race appeared to suffer another major mechanical failure on the start of the Consolation. Yellow flags for debris on the track under the starter.
Restart Order 330 – 192 – 158 – 254 – 242 – 91 – 480 – 302 – 337 – 87 – 212 – 55
When the green flag was shown, James Clement (158) attacked and passed Luke Dennis (192) while behind, the three yellow grades of 254 – 91 – 242 had closed to become bumper to bumper, Young Ike Parkinson (254) was spun out as Tony Smith pushed on. Dave Nickolls (242) dived up the inside to pass both cars. While behind Dave Willis (337) attacked and passed Garry Fox (480) around turns three and four.
Wagstaff was still leading in the early stages with Clement in second place. Willis moves Luke Dennis with a solid bumper hit going into turn one. Daniel Wainman begins to apply pressure to the rear of 337 car with Willis holding off his attacks at both ends of the track. In doing so, Andy Ford is able to get on the rear of Daniel Wainman coming down the home straight, attacking and passing on the inside round one and two.
Jim Bamford (302) passed Wagstaff to become the new leader while Andy Ford intensifies his focus on third place Willis, not letting off going into turn one and two almost T-Boning the 337 car and half spinning himself, losing vital ground in the process. Willis unsettled is passed by Finnikin exiting turn two but is able to keep ahead and come out in front of Wainman.
With three laps to go Bamford is leading with Wagstaff in second, Finnikin third, Willis fourth and Wainman in fifth and the final qualifying place. Wainman, wanting to make sure he qualifies attacked Willis round turns one and two with Willis able to hold on as Wainman gives chase up the back straight. Willis had the back marker of 192 in front as he enters three and Wainman uses this gift to attack the rear of the 337 car sending both 337 and 192 out wide towards the armco allowing Wainman to pass up the inside. Finnikin attacks and passes Wagstaff as Andy Ford is driving with his foot down as he attempts to fight he way into the top five again, only to make contact with a infield marker tyre exiting turn two.
Result 302 – 55 – 212 – 330 – 158 – 337 – 254 – 480 – 13 – 98

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Final.
Five Whites, Three Yellows, Six blues, Five Reds and Superstar John Lund, along with the eight Shootout drivers made the grid for the meeting final. Paul Hines attacked and won the inside line off John Lund as the green flag was dropped; Paul Harrison was tight against Hines’ back bumper. Tom Harris, Frankie Wainman Jnr and Andy Smith were jostling for position around three and four with Wainman Jnr coming out in front. Dan Johnson positioned himself behind Paul Harrison up the back straight, attacked the #2 going into three who himself was attacking the 259 car of Hines. Hines was forced out wide and collided with the spun out 308 car of Malkin Jnr.
Johnson again attacked Harrison, who held firm. Meanwhile, Andy Smith had moved in front of Wainman jnr. Paul Harrison spun out on turns one and two. Mark Gilbank, Tom Harris and Stuart Smith were having their own three way battle, going into turn three, three abreast. Stuart Smith holding his nerve to exit four in front. Mark Gilbank attacked Tom Harris only for the cars to become T-Boned on turn two. Stuart Smith battled against Murray Harrison as he strove ever forwards. With the race fast approaching the half way point the speeds had increased dramatically. Andy Smith found his progress being slowed by Simon Panton (288) who he swiftly dispatched towards the Armco on turn one.
At the half way point the race for the lead was 244 – 446 but all eyes were turned towards the exit of turn four where the #1 car of Andy Smith was head-on into the Armco along with the #21 car of Mark Gilbank along with the #415 and #484 cars of Russell Cooper and Craig Utley.
Waved Yellows. In perfect autumn timing, a quick rain shower had blown over the track in the stoppage period.
Restart order with Nine laps remaining was 446 – 330 – 244 – 338 – 515 – 390 – 4 – 259 – 53 – 212 – 2.
Frankie Wainman immediately attacked and got passed Brocksopp as the green flag was waved, then passed Rogers going into turn one to move himself into third place,. Behind, Dan Johnson attacked the rear of Stuart and the sparks flew into the night sky along the back straight. Paul Hines moved closer to Johnson, launching his own attack onto the rear of the #4 car. Going into turn three Wainman attacked Wagstaff’s inside, with Waggy holding firm. Wainman attacked again going into turn one this time successfully; Stuart following close behind as the 330 car is forced wide. The next lap sees Paul Hines intensify his attack onto the rear of Johnson, making solid contact going into turn one sending the #4 car into the rear of the #330 car and consequently into fourth place, taking the #330 car out of the top five placings. Johnson amazingly held firm and exited turn two in front of Hines. Hines was tight against Johnson’s back bumper up the back straight, again attacksing going into turn three and was this time successful, exiting turn four ahead of Johnson and moving into fourth place.
‘With five laps to go, Joe Booth is the clear leader but all eyes are focused behind as Stuart ups the pressure on the rear of Wainman. Stuart relentlessly attacked the rear of Wainman. Wainman first held off an attack going into turn one, then again going in turn three. Stuart was on Wainman’s back bumper coming down the home straight. Again Wainman defended himself from Stuart’s attack going into turn one with both cars exiting turn two side-by-side. Stuart had won the battle for the inside line, getting in front of Wainman round three and four and becoming the new second place car down the home straight. Stuart goes into turn one wide in anticipation of an attack that never came from the #515 car. With the #390 car out wide round the turn, Wainman hugged in tight coming out in front of Stuart up the back straight. Stuart set the #515 car up for an attack going into three and this time Wainman was unable to defend or ride the hit and is sent off towards the Armco. Stuart is not safe, as Hines wastes no time in attacking Stuart as he enters turn four. Down the home straight the two cars charge, #259 and #390 side-by-side going round turns one and two with Paul exiting turn two ahead of Stuart. Stuart counter attacks going into three and wins the inside line and retakes the position from Hines, but is unable to catch run away leader Booth. Wainman jnr completes his final lap at full speed trying to gain any places, spinning 180 degrees over the start finish line while Paul Harrison launches a last bend attack onto John Lund to gain a place.
Result 446 – 390 – 259 – 4 – 2- 97 – 53 – 212 – 338 – 321

Photo Colin Casserley.

Photo Colin Casserley.

Grand National.
With Joe Booth taking the lap handicap; Three Whites, Seven Yellows, Five Blues, Four Reds and Seven of the shootout drivers made the grid. Mark Gilbank was the shootout driver not present. At the very rear of the field, novice driver John Frost (351) was making his first appearance of the evening.
Ed Neachell (321) and Garry Fox (480) hooked up on the opening lap, while Paul Hines led the shootout ‘pack’. Meanwhile red grade Panton (288) moved aside Blue grade Willis (337). Down on turn one James Morris (463) and novice Frost (351) become hooked together on the entry to turn two. Stuart Smith came into the turn at full racing speed, colliding into the #351 car, Tom Harris (84) with nowhere to go clattered into the rear of the 390 car. Stuart keeping the power on hoping to free his car rode up the bonnet of the 351 car with Stuart’s front bumper against the front cab rollcage of 351 with his rear wheels spinning wildly in the shale.
Waved Yellows.
Restart Order 13 – 242 – 462 -330 – 4 – 1 – 192 – 259 – 288 – 515 – 390 – 41 – 254 – 2.
Andy Ford completed a well controlled rolling lap before the green flag was shown. Dan Johnson passed Wagstaff without any trouble and was immediately attacking the rear of Scott Davids (462) going into turn one as Johnson himself was attacked by Andy Smith. Andy Smith winning the inside line exiting two. The #4 and #1 car were side-by-side up the back straight, Andy on the inside diving into turn three and clear of Johnson. Johnson kept close to the rear of Andy down the home straight. Paul Hines saw his opportunity and attacked the rear of the #4 car going into turn three, sending Johnson into the rear of Andy Smith. Paul Hines then muscled his way onto the inside and exited ahead of Johnson.
Half way 13 – 1 – 259 – 4 – 462 – 242 – 515 -390 – 288 – 2.
Dave Nickolls (242) proved quite a nuisance to Wainman jnr as he was stuck behind the stubborn yellow grader. Wainman jnr was then sandwiched between #242 and the ever aggressive #390 who eventually passed both the #515 car and #242 car. Tom Harris and Simon Panton had a coming together exiting turn four, clattering the Armco on the home straight. As the race was fast approaching it’s completion, race leader Andy Ford (13) encountered a bunch of back markers, this distraction and reduction in his speed, gave Andy Smith the opportunity he needed. Andy attacked the inside line going into turn three and took the lead exiting turn four as the three laps to go board was displayed. Andy Ford was next under attack from Dan Johnson going round turns one and two, the #13 and #4 cars side-by-side up the back straight. Paul Hines was sitting just behind the pair and launched his own attack onto the rear of Johnson as they entered turn three; Johnson and Ford being forced wide. Hines hugged the inside curb putting all available power down as he exited turn four; so much so, that the #259 cars drifted out wide clattering the Armco with such force that the front two wheels are lifted clean into the air. Meanwhile as the frantic stock car race is fast reaching it’s end Wainman has once again got in front of Stuart on the final lap. Wainman then attacked and passed backmarker Johnson round turns one and two as Andy Smith crossed the line unchallenged.
Result #1 – 259 – 13 – 515 – 462 – 2 – 53 – 446 – 4 – 242

Stephen Cording

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