Skegness, 25 March 2016 – Meeting Report and Photo Gallery

The F1s journeyed to the East Coast for the traditional Good Friday session. Usually greeted with snow, rain and cold, the track was ablaze with Spring sunshine; a welcome change that enticed more drivers and more fans – with 32 cars, the best attendance in recent times, which meant a split two-thirds format was needed.

21 cars entered the arena for Heat 1 and the start of the 2016 tarmac season. Richard Davies (325) started pole position and led them off. Joe Booth (446) was quickly on the attack and took Austin Moore (127) out wide in to turn 3, allowing Todd Jones (186) and Steve Whittle (183) to sneak under.

Paul Harrison (2) was on a charge and quickly moved Colin Goodswen (372) and Nigel Harrhy (45) in one shunt. Nigel Green (445) slowed and retired to the middle with mechanical gremlins. Rob Speak (318) shunted Ed Neachell (321) wide in turn 3 just as the halfway stage was signaled.

Jones was the new race leader, followed by Whittle in second and then Harrison in third. Speak was still progressing, shunting Goodswen out wide into turn 1. The lap boards were soon out for Jones who was maintaining a few car lengths gap over second place. Harrison made his move on second-place Whittle, desperately trying to bumper the yellow grader aside into turn 1 and then again in turn 3. This slowed the pair down enough to allow Booth back in on the action, Booth wasted no time and lunged in the back of Whittle and Harrison. Harrison, holding position, charged off after Jones. The laps wound down but Harrison couldn’t catch up and Jones took the win, in the last bend William Hunter (220) lunged in on Craig Finnikin (55) and Goodswen, no change in position after a drag race to the line.

Result: 186 2 446 183 318 212 H231 16 372 55 220 300

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Todd Jones took the first tarmac win of 2016.

Heat 2 saw 21 cars back on track, with Frankie Wainman JNR JNR (555) in a borrowed car from Derek Brown (229) and also the return of Graham Moulds (56) at the wheel of the World Final-winning Paul Harrison machine. Sean Willis (287) led the field off for the start of the second race. Nigel Harrhy (45) was soon having troubles and retired to the infield. Jordan Falding (36) was making a rapid charge though the order and lunged Jon Horne (19) out wide in to turn 3 to go second and then made a move on Willis for the lead.

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The youngest Wainman on track in a car borrowed from Derek Brown.

Rob Speak (318) and Frankie Wainman JNR (515) were exchanging bumper work further down the order. Luke Davidson (464) attacked Wainman (555) in to turn 1 just before halfway. The leading trio at this stage were Falding, Bradley Harrison (25) and Todd Jones (186). William Hunter (220) nudged Paul Hines (259) as Lee Fairhurst (217) offered the same to Wainman (515) at the opposite side of the track. Newcomer Aaron Leech (70) at the wheel of the ex-Rory Foster machine lunged at the back of the Jones machine, before taking himself to the fence in turn 3. The laps wound down, Harrison was unable to reel in Falding. Falding remained unchallenged to the flag, taking the win. Harrison second and Jones in third.

Result: 36 25 186 172 318 217 515 464 220 259 287 55

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Jordan Falding celebrating his Heat win

The final heat of the evening drew 24 cars out on track, led off by Sean Willis (287) who quickly settled in to a rhythm leading the field in the early stages. Steve Whittle (183) was the first casualty, retiring to the infield. Paul Carter (300) and Paul Hines (259) got better acquainted on the exit to turn 2 when the pair collided and hooked up on one another, meaning the field had to take quick avoiding action.

Mathew Newson (16) took a lunge at Craig Finnikin (55) into turn 3. Lee Fairhurst (217) and Frankie Wainman JNR (515) would then join in, bumpering each other into turn 1. The following lap and Fairhurst would then try a bigger lunge on Newson, taking the 16 machine out wide towards the Armco. Paul Harrison (2) had been struggling most of the race and in the second half retired to the middle. Mickey Randell (172) came under attack from Aaron Leech (70) and the 172 machine duly rattled the turn 1 Armco.

The lap boards signalled the close of the race and long term race leader Joe Booth (446) held the number 1 position over Willis in second and Nigel Green (445) in third. Danny Wainman (212) bumpered James Neachell (322) wide to take 9th position just a handful of laps from the end. The last bend saw a chaotic scene ensue with initially Fairhurst lunging in on Colin Goodswen (372) and Bradley Harrison (25), Harrison sent into a half spin was collected by Goodswen and Fairhurst. The 217 machine sent ricocheting into the marker tyres, bouncing into the air, just as this commotion unfurled Newson and Wainman arrived on the scene in their own last bend squabble; drag raced to the line. Booth the clear winner followed by Willis and Green.

Result: 446 287 445 H21 372 16 515 25 212 322 464 217

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Superstars, Wainman and Fairhurst in Heat 3.

The first tarmac feature Final of the season gridded with 30 cars on track; Aaron Leech (70) leading the field around. The Blue graders shunted each other in a train at the green. The race was bought to a swift halt when Jon Horne (19) was left stranded broadside across the track on the home straight. A red flag situation was called for and a complete restart gridded whilst Horne was helped by the track side staff.

28 cars took the restart. The green flag saw Joe Booth (446) launch a train of yellow graders into turn 3 as the Superstars exchanged bumpers amongst themselves at the start. Sean Willis (287) headed up the field in the lead with Daniel van Spijker (231) in second and Steve Whittle (183) in third. Nigel Green (445) was making head way and lunged into Steve Webster (401) into turn 3. Paul Carter (300) lunged in Green in to turn 3, Carter receiving a return hit with interest.

The lower graders dominating the early race holding the top 6 positions. Todd Jones (186) engaged in a battle with Jordan Falding (36) into turn 3 and the pair started to exchange places each corner. The lap boards were out and Spijker had took over the running from Booth, just as Falding was rattled into the turn 3 armco by Jones. Rob Speak (318) pulled off at this point as Green and Jones almost tripped over one another in the back straight. Ed Neachell (321) was spun around to the middle in the back straight as flames bellowed out the side as it was trying to fire back in to life. Mickey Randell (172) lost out in the last bend and was spun around dropping out of the top ten. van Spijker took a well deserved win – his first UK final win – ahead of Booth in second and Green in third.

Result: H231 446 445 515 186 322 464 55 217 16 300 212

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Daniel van Spijker after claiming his first UK Final win.

The Grand National drew 26 cars back out for action with Daniel van Spijker taking the obligatory lap handicap. Richard Davies (325) took the lead position at the drop of the green. Luke Davidson (464) lunged in on Nigel Green (445) in the first turn, taking the former F2 racer to the fence. Sean Willis (287) spun around in turn 1; Steve Whittle (183) and Colin Goodswen (372) having to take swift avoiding action.

Joe Booth (446) took up the early running ahead of Nigel Harrhy (45) in second and Jordan Falding (36) in third. Rob Speak (318) and Frankie Wainman JNR (515) carried on battling into turn 1 and turn 3 again. Danny Wainman (212) rattled Lee Fairhurst (217) wide in to turn 1, Fairhurst just narrowly missing the FWJ machine in front. James Tucker (369) was stranded in the home straight at this point prompting a waved yellow period. Booth held the lead on the restart followed by back markers ahead of Nigel Harrhy (45) in second and Jordan Falding (36) in third. Falding pulled off to the middle before the green promoting Craig Finnikin (55) in to third.

The restart saw Mat Newson (16) lunge at Danny Wainman (212) and Frankie Wainman JNR (515) into turn 1. Finnikin made a move for second but hooked up with Harrhy in the process spinning the former World Champion out. Finnikin was then collected by Steve Whittle (183) and Danny Wainman just as the yellow flags came out.

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Finnikin and Whittle tangle in the Grand National, bringing out the yellow flags

The restart again saw Booth lead the field ahead of Paul Harrison (2) with Rob Speak (318) in third and FWJ in fourth. Harrison naturally made an attempt at the lead in to the first corner unsuccessfully, he tried again in to the next bend which moved Booth wide enough to allow the number 2 machine through in to the lead. Booth though retaliated and took Harrison out wide in to turn 1, letting Booth back through. Rob Speak (318) was soon on the scene and was quick to join in, bundling into the leading duo, the battling trio were then joined by FWJ who also was quick to put the bumper in.

Austin Moore (127) lost his outside rear in turn 3 which then presented a problem to the battling quartet and sure enough the top four thundered each other in to the turn all having to go out wide to avoid the stricken Moore machine, Booth and Harrison coming off worse as they rattled the Armco. The yellow flags were called for; in the commotion Newson (16) was able to sneak under and in to the lead and in position to lead off the restart. Booth left to retire to the middle and Harrison dropped down the order saw FWJ up in to second position ahead of Wainman (212). The restart would be a one lap shootout to the checkered flag. Newson got the better of FWJ on the restart and both were safe in first and second. However, Fairhurst tried a last bend assault on Speak and Danny Wainman for third, in a drag race to the line Speak raced to third ahead of Wainman and then Fairhurst, rounding off a great opening tarmac meeting and a fantastic Grand National.

Result: 16 515 318 212 217 220 445 2 300 45 401 555 325

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Mat Newson (16) making his way to the front of the field in the Grand National

Words: Keith Organ
Photos: Colin Casserley

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