Skegness, 12th October 2013 – meeting report

Carl Pickering was the man to beat in the torrential conditions at Skegness.

Carl Pickering was the man to beat in the torrential conditions at Skegness.

Round 6 of the National series shootout took place at a rather damp Skegness Stadium. Conditions on track and in the stadium were far from ideal for either fans or drivers with persistent heavy rain for most of the evening.

All 12 shootout drivers arrived to continue the hunt for points. While round 6 did not quite amount to “squeaky bum” time it was not the right time to have an off night but only two of the shootout runners 1 Tom Harris and Ryan Harrison 197 managed a satisfactory points haul.

18 cars emerged to contest heat one. With the track vey wet it was surprising just how fast the cars managed to circulate but with drivers fighting to stay in control of their cars they had little time to fight each other and the race progressed with minimal deliberate contact.

Dutchman Daniel van Spijker once again made the trek from the Netherlands to race in England. Unfortunately he had no points to show for his long distance visit to Skegness.

Dutchman Daniel van Spijker once again made the trek from the Netherlands to race in England. Unfortunately he had no points to show for his long distance visit to Skegness.

Carl Pickering 141 made his way to the front on lap two and was never challenged for the remaining laps taking a comfortable win. Ryan Harrison 197 was easily the quickest of the shootout drivers taking only 3 or 4 laps to break clear of his rivals and was in third by halfway and second with five to go but remained several car lengths behind 141 when the chequered flag was shown.

Even more rain for heat two. Mike Kingston jnr in the 488 car led the moderately paced charge with 172 Mickey Randell leaving the rest of the blue grade to flounder in the wet as he set about chasing down the 488 car. Harrison 197 again showed a higher level of pace but on this occasion found a sterner challenge from World Champion Tom Harris. Harris attacked but received a robust response from Ryan who began to pull away. Harris gathered himself found a little more performance and punched 197 wide, Harris then sailed onwards to the front taking the lead from 318 Speak with five to go.

Newcomer Alex Wass continues to impress.

Newcomer Alex Wass continues to impress.

18 again for Heat three and more rain. 283 Alex Wass showed exceptional pace for considering his limited experience but he soon had to give way to Pickering 141 and the 172 car of Mickey Randell. These two battled for a few laps before 141 pulled away looking all set to double his evenings trophy haul. Speak 318 and 1 Harris came through the pack into 4th and 5th while Lee Fairhurst 217 and Dan Johnson 4 did their best to keep the crowd interested as they exchanged a few hits.

Three laps to go and it all went wrong for 141 as a comfortable lead from Harris 1 evaporated when he tangled with the 55 car of Craig Finnikin on the back straight. This mobile chicane scuttled down the back straight Armco and as several cars all tried to use the narrower track at once 2 Paul Harrison was squeezed into the infield marker tyres and was then hit by several more cars including 217 and 172. With Paul Harrison needing attention from the medics and only two laps to go the race was red flagged handing the win to Tom Harris.

The top two in the National Points Shoot Out were the two top point scorers on the night.

The top two in the National Points Shoot Out were the two top point scorers on the night.

The rain had relented prior to the Final but the track was still very greasy and difficult to drive. 488 Kingston jnr lead them away but lost the lead on lap 3 to Carl Pickering 141 who had Alex Wass 283 riding shotgun. Rob Speak left the star grade behind and soon disposed of the blues to take up third. Back in the pack 150 Mick Sworder did nothing to improve on 515 Frankie Wainman jnr,s evening as he sent him to the fence in turn four.

Once again 1 and 197 were considerably quicker than the rest of the shootout drivers and by hallway were in third and fifth. Harris managed to slip passed Wass 283 for second place while Harrison took fourth from Speak 318 but all of them were still well adrift of a jubilant Carl Pickering when the flag came down.

19 persevered with the Grand National heat and the still greasy track produced another quiet and rather processional race. The 197 car was again pick of the field, Lee Fairhurst 217 did offer some resistance but received a solid hit in turn two. As most of the blue grade threw themselves at the turn four fence 197 had little to impede his progress to the front. With two laps to go he caught leader Alex Wass 283 and took the lead, leaving Wass to come home second completing an exceptional set of results for a driver of so little experience.

Words: Damian Noblett
Photos: Colin Casserley

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