Sheffield – 2010 World Semi-Final #1 Race Report

After a fairly lacklustre season by his usual standards, Frankie Wainman returned to top form in fine style with a convincing victory in the first of the World Championship Semi-Finals.

Sheffield Semi Final Grid 2010. Front row FWJ 515 and Paul Harrison 2. Photo Colin Casserley

When the green dropped, Paul Harrison (2) made an audacious start and powered around the outside of Wainman and into lead. But Wainman was not having this, and gave Harrison a big shove going into turn three to put the number 2 car wide, and Wainman took up a lead that he would not relinquish.

Behind them, Stuart Smith (390) brushed home straight fence, then retired to the infield with rear axle problems, having done less than half a lap. Also having early problems was Ryan Harrison (197), who hit a fence post at the end of the home straight, quite possibly the same fence post that he knocked over on his shale debut in the 2007 Semi Final.

After a couple of laps the race settled down, with Wainman already a few car lengths clear of Harrison, from Dan Johnson (4), Matt Newson (16), Craig Finnikin (55), and Murray Harrison (97). Making the most progress in the early laps was Andy Ford, who had moved from his row 6 starting position into the top ten after half a dozen laps.

BriSCA F1 Sheffield semi-final contestants Andy Ford and Will Yarrow. Photo Colin Casserley

Harrison (97) spent a few laps trying to pass Finnikin, before the two cars got tangled up and dropped back down the order. Harrison then landed a much bigger hit on the 55 back bumper, which Finnikin did well to hold.

The biggest hit of the day came just before the halfway, with Harrison (197) delivering a flat out kamikaze shot on Rob Cowley (73) and Dave Willis (337). At the halfway stage, Wainman was about 8 lengths clear from Harrison, who had Johnson a few lengths behind. After his early race problems, Finnikin fought his way back up the order into the top ten around the middle of the race.

BriSCA F1 Sheffield semi-final contestants: James Neachell and Rob Cowley 73. Photo Colin Casserley

As the lap boards came out, Danny Wainman (212) was all over Newson’s back bumper. Newson was struggling with an obviously ill-handling car, but try as he might, Wainman could not get past and followed Newson over the finish line for fifth place. James Neachell (322) took ninth place from Ford on the last lap.

Sheffield semi-final winner 2010 Frankie Wainman Jnr 515. Photo Colin Casserley

Not by any means a classic race, but with a place in the World Final at stake, it is understandable that so many drivers chose to play it safe rather than try any risky overtaking manoeuvres.

Carl Hesketh

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