Sheffield – May 7th 2012 Meeting Report

Murray Harrison 97 alongside son Ryan Harrison 197. Photo Steve Botham

Frankie Wainman jnr 515 ahead of Paul Harrison 2. Photo Steve Botham

Mark Gilbank 21 at the start of the race. Photo Steve Botham

An explosive start to the meeting when James Morris (463) impacted the home straight fence after a couple of laps of Heat 1, before slewing across the track and being hit by Mark Gilbank (21), who then collided with Scott Davids (462) before the pair of them came to a dead stop in the turn one fence. All three cars had substantial damage, although amazingly Davids made it back out for the Final.

Mark Gilbank 21 collides with Scott Davids 462. Photo Steve Botham

Scott Davids 462 damage. Photo Steve Botham

James Morris 463 damage. Photo Carl Hesketh

Mark Gilbank 21 damage. Photo Carl Hesketh

Waved yellows due to Davids’ wheel and half-shaft on the track, and Neil Shenton (35) took the lead from lone white top Ben Hurdman (207) after a few laps. Hurdman gave a good account of himself on his first visit to the notorious Sheffield track, and perhaps wisely took a wide line when Frankie Wainman (515) caught him. Shenton now had a decent lead and a clear track in front of him, but Wainman was visibly quicker and as the 5-lap board came out was sat on Shenton’s back bumper. He sat there for a few laps, but with Craig Finnikin (55) getting closer, Wainman pushed his way past with two laps to run, just as Finnikin closed in, and the first three crossed the finish line nose to tail.

Frankie Wainman jnr 515, Neil Shenton 35 and Craig Finnikin 55. Photo Colin Casserley

Long distance visitor Tim Farrell (467) led the second heat for half a dozen laps before retiring, leaving Mal Brown (34) in charge. It was a fairly quiet race until the lap board, when Ryan Harrison (197) and Danny Wainman (212) caught up to the leader. After a few taps on the bumper, Harrison lunged at Brown and eased past, while Wainman tucked up the inside and passed both. John Lund (53) had worked his way up the field, and was second when the chequered flag fell. Meanwhile, a big last bend hit by Chris Brocksopp (338) fired Joe Booth (446) into Wainman (515) into the fence.

Ryan Harrison 197 lunges at Mal Brown 34. Photo Colin Casserley

Daniel Wainman 212 on his way to the flag. Photo Colin Casserley

Shenton led the third heat almost start to finish, and at the halfway was the length of the straight clear. Harris was finding it difficult to get past Lund for a number of laps, and once he got through Lund sat behind him, biding his time. Brocksopp was also proving stubborn, and when Harris tried a bigger nudge on the last bend, Lund was ready to pounce. He threw the 53 car sideways into the turn and nerfed Harris wide, passing both Harris and Brocksopp around the turn to take fourth place.

Neil Shenton 35 in action. Photo Colin Casserley

the star graders charge into action. Photo Carl Hesketh

Sheffield final action. Photo Colin Casserley

The big surprise in the Final was the re-appearance of Scott Davids, whose team had worked miracles to get the 462 car back out, after extensive damage to both the front and rear end. Hurdman was the leader by default when the green dropped, although it wasn’t long before Shenton was past, while Lund continued his return to form by muscling past Paul Hines (259). Finnikin and Wainman (515) lost any chance of victory early on, when Finnikin half spun and Wainman piled into him. Lund’s charge through the field came to an abrupt stop when Harris thumped the 53 car into a spin around turn 3. Lund rejoined the race in front of runaway leader Shenton and within a few laps had pulled clear.

Tom Harris 84 alongside Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Steve Botham

Ryan Harrison 197 takes on Joe Booth 446. Photo Steve Botham

Harrison (197) and Harris were making most of the running and were up to second and third by the halfway, but still some distance behind Shenton. But as the laps went by, Shenton was visibly getting slower, and when the 5-lap board appeared it was clear that the 35 car had a punctured outside front tyre.

Harrison and Harris were still bumper to bumper as they went past Shenton, with Harris eventually finding a way past with a couple of laps left. Harrison then held off a last bend challenge from Mark Woodhull, with Shenton limping over the line in tenth place.

Tom Harris 84 on his way to victory. Photo Colin Casserley

Ian Higgins 29 driving up the fence. Photo Colin Casserley

After a fairly sensible afternoon’s racing, Ian Higgins lived up to his Captain Chaos nickanme at the start of the GN by driving up the turn two fence and almost rolling himself. This time, Shenton had no problems and raced unchallenged to the flag. Harrison (197) was again the quickest of the top drivers, but he was dumped out of second place on the last bend by Finnikin. Lund punted Hines wide at the start of the last lap, and then hunted down Wainman (515) and hit him wide on the last bend.

Neil Shenton 35 on his way to victory. Photo Steve Botham

Carl Hesketh

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