Skegness, 15th May 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

Sunday’s events started at high noon and fans arrived en masse ready for on-track duels. While the racing did not quite reach the 10/10 heights of Saturday, there was still more than sufficient action and entertainment to keep the terraces buzzing. The weather was also being a little kinder than Saturday, with no wind and intermittent sunshine allowing most punters to dispense with a few layers of clothing.

With only 42 cars surviving from Saturday, a two thirds format preceded the UK Open Final. 25 cars for Heat One. Up front, 19 Jon Horne put in some excellent fast laps doing his utmost to stay clear of a rapid Neil Scriven (11). 318 Speak attacked any car in the vicinity, while Danny Wainman (212) and Ryan Harrison (197) had a private joust. Speak and then Newson 16 joined the Wainman-Harrison skirmish doing more than enough to keep the punters enthralled.

Of course all this scrapping for places did nothing to help the star men close down on Scriven, who took the 11 car to its first win of the day. Danny 212 did manage a moderate last bend lunge at Ryan and just scraped past the 197 car in a drag race to the line.

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Neil Scriven takes his first win of the afternoon in Heat 1.

More of the same in Heat Two with lower graders Horne, Moore (127) and Carter (300) running away at the front while further back the big boys bashed and crashed on every bend. Carter took the lead but all came to halt as yellow flags were needed to rescue F2 star Ashley England (346) from the turn four fence. Carter held on for the win while Cowley (37) and 512 Steward went to war over second place. The star men carried on hitting each other, seemingly oblivious to the need for the points required to improve their grid position for the big trophy final.

Heat Three was a little bit quieter but still no win for the stars, as 186 Todd Jones won an early battle with Dave Willis (337) and then stayed clear from a charging Speak (318), whose second place was his best result of the whole weekend. Willis hung on for fifth place; an excellent result in an ancient car without the big budget of many others.

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The World Champion had no answer for the lower graders, settling for 4th and 2nd in his heats.

Final time and a packed field made a clean start but the stars and superstars soon set about each other with Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) getting a severe pasting in turn two. Up front, Horne in the 19 car put in more quality laps having by far his best meeting to date but the greater experience of Scriven and Carter saw Horne relegated to third. 197 Ryan Harrison then parked his ailing car on the exit of turn two, but he was then mounted by an errant Tom Boyer and yellow flags were required to remove bent cars and shaken drivers.

Scriven led Carter on the restart with Davidson third. The 464 car should have been chasing down the leaders but could not shake of the attentions of Todd Jones, who got the better of Luke and Paul Harrison to secure a solid second place. Plenty more fun on track as, while Scriven sailed serenely on, Harrison (2), Newson and a rejuvenated Stuart Smith Jnr scrapped over third. Further back, Johnson (4), Wainman (515) and Golden Boy Speak argued over the minor places. Plenty of action all the way to the flag but no problems for Scriven or Jones who crossed the line well clear of first superstar home – Mat ‘Mad Dog’ Newson in third.

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Neil Scriven wins the UK Open Championship.

Just 17 for the Grand National and no doubt with many drivers already nursing some hefty bruises from previous events, the level of action was somewhat lower. An easy win for Ben Riley (422), from Davidson (464), who clearly should be starting with the superstars on tarmac. Entertainment after halfway came in the shape of that comedy double act Newson and Wainman, who got all hot and bothered fighting over tenth place. As the laps ticked down, the hits became more intense with Newson dishing out the final one dispatching the 515 car to the fence.

All in all, a top quality weekend of entertainment and an excellent appetiser for the upcoming British Championship at Skegness in June. The last time the British ventured to Skegness in 2010, it was quite easily the best meeting of the season, so one can only hope that both fans and drivers return in June in good numbers for a repeat performance.

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Grand National winner: Ben Riley

Words: Damian Noblett
Photos: Colin Casserley

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