Skegness, August 31st Meeting Report

Top three in the Final:- Luke Davidson (runner up), Tom Harris (third place), and race winner James Lund (RS)

Top three in the Final:- Luke Davidson (runner up), Tom Harris (third place), and race winner James Lund (RS)

Skegness 31st August saw the first round of the Shootout series; 27 cars including all 12 of the Shootout Series contenders attended, meaning a 2/3rds format in store.

Heat 1 took to the track with 17 cars; notable surprise entrant John Riley (323) made an unannounced return to racing, and Alex Wass (283) was also out in his second meeting starting from the back of the grid. Richard Masterson (103) started pole and led the field round. Tom Harris (84) made an early impression by pushing Craig Finnikin (55) and Mick Sworder (150) out wide with a heavy shunt. Sworder quickly returned the favour into the next bend.

John Riley returned to the tracks with an extensively refurbished car. (RS)

John Riley returned to the tracks with an extensively refurbished car. (RS)

Matt Newson (16) and Paul Hines (259) were soon embroiled into the forefront of the battle. Tom Harris (84) and Ryan Harrison (197) were the first of the shootout drivers to get the early break, leaving the rest to tussle for position. Masterson who had led much of the early part of the race found himself soon overhauled when Harrison caught up. Harrison quickly found a way past and was into the lead. The shootout drivers continued to test each other right down to the flag; Mike Kingston had done well to keep most of the shootout contingent behind him, but he soon come to pressure from Sworder into the last bend. Harrison took a comfortable win ahead of Harris in second and Luke Davidson (464) in third.

Result: 197, 84, 464, 16, 150, 488, 212, 55, 434, 259

Heat 2 gridded with 18 cars with Sean Wills (287) on pole. At the green flag James Lund (153) lunged at Jamie Jackson (377) into the first turn, the shootout drivers also wasting no time in bumpering each other. A train of Shootout contenders into the first turn saw Paul Harrison (2) catch the worst of it thundering into the Armco around the turn. Mike Kingston (488) unaware of the battling behind further down the grid set the early race pace. The Shootout battle raged on with each of the drivers swapping places in turn.

Lund was still in position advancing rapidly, making a move on white grader Willis, who in turn lost control and spun around mid corner. Lund was quickly into the lead and taking charge of the field. Mick Sworder (150) was certainly in no mood for messing and attacked the back of Matt Newson (16) into turn 1, Newson held position and then received the same treatment again the next turn, Harrsion (2) caught the worst of it and was sent wide once again.

Londoner Dan Laughlin back racing, now using a car from the Tony Smith team. (CB)

Londoner Dan Laughlin back racing, now using a car from the Tony Smith team. (CB)

Harrison clearly getting frustrated being knocked about so much, forcefully thundered into Sworder the following turn. Sworder was having none of this and snookered Newson into Harrison once again. Craig Finnikin (55) joint the battling trio and Harrison snookered Finnikin into Sworder. The rapid Lund had been closed down by hard charging World Champion Lee Fairhurst (1), Fairhurst punted Lund wide to take over the running. Ryan Harrison (197), who was having a quiet run, had also caught Lundand passed the 153 machine quickly in turn 3.

At the last bend Dan Johnson (4) who was getting quicker towards the end of the race attacked Lund on the last bend taking position from the Clitheroe youngster.

Result: 1, 197, 153, 4, 464, 300, 515, 12, 2, 488

Third place in both the Final and the Grand National for Tom Harris. (RS)

Third place in both the Final and the Grand National for Tom Harris. (RS)

Heat 3 saw 18 cars once again take to the track. The first two heats felt comparatively flat against heat 3 where the Shootout well and truly came alive. There was literally too much happening to make notes on. Turn after turn, lap after lap. The drivers of the shootout once again battled hard in an effort to not let one driver gain an advantage over the other. Lee Fairhurst (1), Paul Harrison (2), Dan Johnson (4), Tom Harris (84) and Frankie Wainman (515) were main culprits and all were knocking seven bells out of one another for much of the race.

Just after the halfway stage Wainman succumbed to race damage and retired from the race. The lower graders took full advantage of the Shootout drivers battles and took control of the race. Alex Wass (283) in only his second meeting held on for a great fourth place finish, whilst Paul Carter (300) drove a fantastic race for the win, followed home by Sean Willis (287) in second place.

Result: 300, 287, 12, 283, 4, 1, 2, 434, 84, 212

A heat win each for the Harrison Supplies team. (CB)

A heat win each for the Harrison Supplies team. (CB)

23 cars emerged for the Final. Derek Brown (229) led the grid round including all 12 of the Shootout drivers. Craig Finnikin (55) was first to encounter a problem and missed the start, Finnikin soon managed to get going albeit a little behind the others. Ryan Harrison (197) had got a flyer of a start and was soon making rapid progress through the field. As expected the Shoootout drivers battle raged on and trains of cars were sent flying wide into the turns.

Most notable move of the early race was Tom Harris (84) sending Lee Fairhurst (1) and Frankie Wainman (515) hard into turn 3, Wainman car coming to a stop on the apex of turn 4. Paul Carter (300) couldn’t avoid the stricken 515 car and was sent into Wainman and over the front end. Mike Kingston (488) was again an early race leader. Danny Wainman (212) was keeping with the Paul Harrison (2) machine nibbling at the backend before striking with more force.

Final winner James Lund. (RS)

Final winner James Lund. (RS)

Dan Johnson (4) found some more race pace and was quickly reeling in the Ryan Harrison machine. Harris, Mick Sworder (150) and Paul Hines (259) were all locked in battle, trading bumpers turn after turn. Just before the halfway stage Johnson found a way past the European Champion Harrison (197), top three though was still Kingston leading the way with James Lund (153) in second and Luke Davidson (464) in third. World Champion Lee Fairhurst (1) rattled Sworder into turn 1 just as Harris had got hold of Harrison (197), moving him aside in turn 3. Harrison (2) and Wainman (212) were still attacking one another, Wainman sending Harrison wide to the turn 3 armco.

Johnson soon caught and passed Davidson and set after Lund. Wainman now free of Harrison (2) bumpered past Ivan Pritchard (434) stunning new car. Lund had managed to get himself to the front of the pack, but the rapid Johnson left Lund with no room for error.

Pit lane racing? Paul Hines and Danny Wainman side by side in the pits. (CB)

Pit lane racing? Paul Hines and Danny Wainman side by side in the pits. (CB)

Entering into the last bend and Lund held a narrow gap over Johnson, into the last bend and Johnson attacked, Lund expecting the attack ran wide meaning Johnson taking a deeper line than he anticipated, all this going on had let Harris get within striking distance and as Johnson recovered Harris took the 4 car round into a spin with Johnson collected the stranded 515 car in the process Johnson’s back axle was ripped from it’s mountings. Lund who although the original target rode the hit well and took the outside line around all the carnage and around the stranded Wainman machine and raced off to the chequered flag, Davidson also capitalised on the chaos and sneaked through into second. Harris had been held up considerably in the incident managed to get across the line for third.

Result: 153, 464, 84, 197, 150, 16, 434, 12, 55, 212

20 cars made their way back out for the Grand National and the last night race of the night. James Lund (153) took up the obligatory lap handicap with Richard Masterson (103) on pole leading them off. Both Danny Wainman (212) and Paul Hines (259) got off to slow starts and both retired from the race almost simultaneously. Once again the shootout train kicked off the race with a big lunge from Mick Sworder (150) which saw Tom Harris (84) rattle the fencing but not before another lunge from Sworder saw Ryan Harrison (197) and Frankie Wainman (515) collect the turn 3 fence with Harrison riding up and over the Wainman machine, almost rolling.

Harrison with obvious race damage tried to continue but ended up short way away from the scene down the homestraight. The waved yellows were called for Wainman who was in need of assistance.

Paul Hines at speed around Skegness. (RS)

Paul Hines at speed around Skegness. (RS)

At the restart Masterson still held the lead and took the green flag. Jamie Jackson (377) soon retired with something a miss. Sworder continued his bumper frenzy attacking Michael Scriven (12) and Harris. A flying World Champion Lee Fairhurst (1) had quickly worked his way through the field and soon past the leader Masterson to take over the running. Matt Newson (16) once again showed no signs of moving over for Sworder and the 16 machine stood his line suffering numerous attacks from behind from Sworder.

Paul Redfern looking thoughtful. (RS)

Paul Redfern looking thoughtful. (RS)

Craig Finnikin (55) showed signs of improving tarmac form and the Leek superstar started to catch Harris attacking the 84 car into turn 3. Entering the last bend a collection of Paul Harrison (2), Scriven, Newson, Sworder and Hines thundered into one another and dragged raced to the flag. Fairhurst taking a comfortable win.

Result: 1, 55, 84, 300, 103, 2, 150, 16, 434, 12

Fourth place in Heat 2 was Dan Johnson's best result. (RS)

Fourth place in Heat 2 was Dan Johnson’s best result. (RS)

Words: Keith Organ
Photos: Richard Smith, Chris Breden.

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