Sheffield, 28th June 2015 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

With the last World Qualifying points up for grabs before the semi final draw, it was to Sheffield on Sunday 28th June for the Brisca F1 circus. With some dry and hot weather occurring during the week, a touch of overnight dampness and some careful track watering led to near perfect racing conditions on the day, for the 36 cars in attendance, run on a two heat and consolation format.

Heat 1 had a grid of 18 cars, with all going well before the yellows came out on lap 5 for the cars of 207 Ben Hurdman, 152 Neil Scothern, 335 Mark Woodhall and 98 Nigel Whalley. They had all collected big time down the back straight, leading to the first major test of the Sheffield fence; all got going under their own steam, bar Hurdman who was tractored off.  At the restart it was 24 Mark Adkins from 175 Karl Hawkins, 238 Richard Bryan with Frankie Wainman Junior (515) the followed by Craig Finnikin (55).

At the restart, Wainman was held up by the cars of Hawkins and Bryan and, with the 55 car pushing, Wainman headed for the turn 1 fence; recovering but allowing the Dan Johnson (4) car to slip up the inside of Finnikin. This melee led to the cars of Adkins and Dave Willis getting a run on those behind. At half way it was Adkins from Willis with Johnson, Finnikin and John Dowson (94) in pursuit.

With the track now drying the Johnson car was flying, passing Willis on lap 11, but it looked touch and go as to whether the Adkins car would be catched but #4 managed to get close enough on the last bend to put a well-timed and delicate tap on 24’s nerf rail, letting Johnson through for the win from Adkins and the 55 car in third.

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Dan Johnson (4) grabbed the win in Heat 1, leaving the World Champ, Finnikin, to come home third.

Heat 2 had a slightly larger grid of 19 cars and started scrappily, with 134 John Brown and 308 Steve Malkin Jnr hooking up on the main straight on lap 1, with 444 PJ Lemons and 313 Karl Roberts doing the same on turns 1/2 . Daniel van Spijker (231) tested the back straight fence big style and ended up headways in. It looked like a yellow flag situation but the 231 car eventually reversed out and retired. Peter Hobbs (108) had been leading  up to lap 6 but 249 Joff Gibson, in a hurry and with the star men behind, took care of that by firing the 108 car into the turn one fence for the lead. With the track drying, the positions remained the same, with Gibson taking the chequered from Paul Hines, Paul Harrison and Rob Speak.

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Peter Hobbs (108) was the early leader in Heat 2.

The consolation brought out 18 cars to qualify, including 217 Lee Fairhurst and Danny Wainman. The track had been well watered; the first few laps being very tricky. The yellows were soon out for 134 John Brown and 415 Russell Cooper on lap 4 who had tested the turn 1 fence; the fence crew requiring a bit of time to re-tweak the posts back into shape.

At the restart 308 Malkin Jnr led off but did not last long, Karl Hawkins (175) hitting the Malkin car down the back straight into turn 3. The 308 car hit the sludgy stuff then connected with the wires in spectacular style, requiring the yellows and the car to be towed off. At the restart Hawkins led off and was not challenged to the flag, with 217 Fairhurst in second spot.

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Consolation winner, Karl Hawkins

The final had the biggest grid of the day with 25 cars and it wasn’t long before the first yellows were shown on lap 2 for Adkins, John Brown and Mark Sargent stuck in the turns 1/2 fence, and also for the retrieving of a stray wheel. Adkins retired to the centre as did 515 Frankie Wainman Junior with mechanical gremlins.

The restart was led off by 175 Hawkins from Dave Willis and it wasn’t long before the fence claimed more victims; this time Paul Hines, Fairhurst and Mark Woodhall in turn 1, Paul Hines failing to get going again. Hawkins by this point had gained a fairly healthy lead, having the star men so far back at the restart, but luck was not on his side; having to retire with 6 laps to go with a flat outside rear tyre.

Further action occurred on the turn 1 fence again, with 444 PJ Lem0ns spinning with Willis and 338 Chris Brocksopp hooking up in the same area and failing to get going. With the yellows out to sort out the issues, this meant a last dash one lap to the finish: 152 Neil Scothern leading them off from Joff Gibson, Dan Johnson, Finnikin and Speak. At the restart, with Scothern crawling round the bend, Gibson jumped the lead car. Scothern gave the Gibson car a good tap helped by Johnson behind, Finnikin hanging back, Gibson hit the fence big time and with Johnson drifting wide Finnikin moved up the inside to then take the chequered flag from Johnson second and Paul Harrison third.

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In the Final, it was Finnikin who beat Johnson to the line.

Sixteen cars made it for the GN, the car of Craig Finnikin making it as far as the pit gate but electrical problems stopped him from making it to the track. Karl Hawkins hit the front early from lap 1 to make up for his bad luck in the final. All was going fairly trouble free until lap 10 when 45 Harrhy, Danny Wainman and 169 Billy Johnson hooked up big  on the back straight and heading to the infield.

In a huge cloud of dust the Johnson and Harrhy cars got going but in the dust and mayhem Frankie Wainman taking evasive action and heading for the infield clattered his younger brother climbing over the car – Frankie getting going but leading to some long workshop hours during the week for his younger brother. Hawkins was determined in this one though and led to the flag from John Dowson in second and Dan Johnson in third to round off a very entertaining afternoon’s racing at Owlerton.

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Yellows and blues lining up at Sheffield

Words: Andy Armer
Photos: Colin Casserley

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