Skegness – July 13th/14th 2013 Weekend Report

Ryan Harrison had a good weekend. (CS)

Ryan Harrison had a good weekend. (CS)

The legendary UK Speedweekend attracted 34 F1s to Skegness, including a few visitors from The Netherlands. Five races on the Saturday night saw five different winners. Paul Hines, Ryan Harrison, and Mark Allen took the heats. Lee Fairhurst won the final and followed it up with a stunning drive to fourth from the handicap in the GN, an event won by Paul Harrison.

Skegness Stadium enjoyed a weekend of temperatures more reminiscent of sub Saharan Africa than the east coast of England, on Sunday morning the pits had resembled something like the Jungle with masses of cars creating a forest of metal, some of it in need of repair after Saturday’s events.

The majority of the big beasts in tarmac F1 were in attendance but once the cars emerged from the jungle of the pits onto the dry plains of Skegness tarmac then only one beast made any claim to being top predator. Ryan “rhino” Harrison 197 dominated the days racing with a masterful display which left his competitors in something of a state of shock.

Heat one of a two thirds format had 19 starters including 84 Tom Harris, the 84 car featured an unusual modification for this race having added some protective bubble wrap to the front bumper, this may have been some assistance in preventing his fellow drivers getting overly sensitive about his aggressive driving style.

Saturday GN winner Paul Harrison. (CS)

Saturday GN winner Paul Harrison. (CS)

287 Sean Willis put in some quick laps from pole chased by 300 Paul Carter and 388 Paul Ford, with 464 Luke Davidson and Rhino Harrison 197 also carving through the field. Before halfway proceedings were brought under caution as a big pile up in turn two took out half a dozen cars and there was a short delay while the cars of 300 Carter, 294 Jon Clare and 16 Matt mad dog Newson were untangled. The 197 car was in fourth on the restart and soon made its way into the lead and a comfortable run to the flag. Harris 84, Wainman 212 and Rob Speak 318 enlivened the latter stages of the race with a bumper battle, Harris did not seem to be handicapped by his insulated bumper and came through for third behind 2 Paul Harrison.

Rob Speak under pressure from Tom Harris. (AG)

Rob Speak under pressure from Tom Harris. (AG)

No 197 car in heat two which gave the 19 starters a chance to shine. Gareth O’Beirne 412 took the spotlight early on leading for several laps from 464 Davidson and Scott Davids 462. Back in the pack World Champion 1 Lee Fairhurst and Paul Hines 259 made rapid progress to the front. 464 had managed to take the lead from 412 around the half way stage but had to give best to 259 and then 1 before the flag with Hines taking the trophy.

Great to see Joep Hendriks make the trip over from the Netherlands. (AG)

Great to see Joep Hendriks make the trip over from the Netherlands. (AG)

However most of the crowd missed the flag going down on the 259 car as they were enthralled by a battle between Harris 84, Danny Wainman 212 and big brother Frankie Wainman in the 515 car. Bumpers went in on every corner and after a few laps Harris pulled away from the Wainmans but hostilities continued with the brothers clashing on every turn. On the final bend 515 punted the 212 car fencewards and secured 9th place.

Heat three and the King of the Jungle 197 returned to the track taking up its usual position on the front row of the star grade. 287 Willis lead 17 others for the first few laps but lost out to 300 Paul Carter before halfway. But the 300 car could only hold on for a couple of laps before the 197 car muscled through and continued at a pace no others could match winning a quiet race by a considerable margin. 172 Mickey Randell and 16 Newson did liven up the last few laps with a few aggressive hits. Randell is a driver of some experience and should have been aware that provoking Mad Dog Newson can get you into trouble and on the last lap the 172 car chewed the armco in turn 4 courtesy of the 16 front bumper.

Frankie getting up close and personal with Tom. (AG)

Frankie getting up close and personal with Tom. (AG)

Following some more hard hitting and at times epic racing from the F2 stock cars and Saloon Stock Cars it was always going to be a struggle for the F1 Final to shine and in truth the result was never in doubt. The 197 car did have to start this race from the back of the reds but this made little difference in his rate of progress through the field. Things were delayed in the early laps as yellow flags cam out to rescue H231 Daniel van Spijker from the turn four fence where he had been dumped by Danny Wainman 212.

Paul Carter smokes the tyres. (AG)

Paul Carter smokes the tyres. (AG)

Order on the restart was 287,300,462,41,464 and 197. Ryan soon took the lead and cruised home to receive the applause, and a few boos, from the large crowd. Entertainment could be found further down the field as 84,259 and the Wainman brothers set to, taking it in turns to smack each other around, main victim was Wainman 515 who hit the fence twice propelled firstly by 84 then having got back into the fray received similar treatment from his brother 212. The 515 car reluctantly retired to the infield with front bumper jammed against the front tyre.

16 hardy souls made it out on track for the Grand National. As the race progressed the faster cars led by 212 and 259 gradually over hauled the lower grades and made their way to the front. Stiffest resistance came from blue grader 161 Mark Allen but the 161 car lost out to 212 in the last few laps and had to settle for second in front of 259.

Words: Damian Noblett
Photos: Andy Gaskell & Chris Scarboro

Damage for Mat Newson after a pile-up in turn two. (CD)

Damage for Mat Newson after a pile-up in turn two. (CS)

Sean Blakemore scored only a couple of points all weekend. (CS)

Sean Blakemore scored only a couple of points all weekend. (CS)

Scott Davids tangles with Micky Randell. (AG)

Scott Davids tangles with Micky Randell. (AG)

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