Skegness – July 10th 2010 Meeting Report

Visitors to Skegness Stadium on a very warm and sunny evening were greeted with the sight of a very busy car park, a huge crowd and a pit area absolutely bursting with racing machinery. Great also to see new investment in the Stadium, with the addition of an excellent stepped viewing area under the back straight stand – work still in progess with perhaps three quarters of the steps completed and in use for this weekend.

brisca f1 stock cars action in the turns at Skegness

BriSCA F1 stock cars action in the turns at Skegness. Photo Colin Casserley

With the weekend being billed as the F2 and Saloon ‘UK Open’ meeting, it is perhaps understandable that the F1 entry had the feel of a support formula on this occasion. With 34 cars in the pits, the organisers opted for a 2/3rds meeting format.

Heat 1 gridded 22 cars, including F1 novice and ex Ministox racer Dylan Williams Maynard in an extremely smart new car. With Dylan starting at the rear of the grid, 488 Mike Kingston led the field away, with 141 Carl and 347 Steve Hopkins in hot pursuit. After just a couple of laps, the yellow flags appeared following a spectacular coming together involving 91 Tony Smith, 217 Lee Fairhurst and 2 Paul Harrison, which left the number 2 machine perched on the infield tyres at the exit of turn 4.

European Champ 2009 Lee Fairhurst 217. Photo Colin Casserley

Upon the restart, 347 Hopkins was quickly through into the lead, from 141 Pickering, with 4 Daniel Johnston leading the red top chase. Behind Johnson, a massive hit by 462 Scott Davids on 107 Lee Robinson going into turn 1 ended the 107 challenge with the Robinson car coming to rest on the exit of turn 2 with extensive damage.

Hopkins looked comfortable in the lead and went on to secure victory, with Johnson moving into second spot in the latter stages, from 259 Paul Hines, and 515 Frankie Wainman Jnr, who could make no impression on the tyre testing 259 machine.

Current BriSCA F1 UK Open Champ Steve Thompson 385. Photo Colin Casserley

Twenty one cars for heat 2, with 90 Liam Brown leading the field away. Almost immediately, yellow flags were again needed after a first lap tangle left the 212 Danny Wainman car stranded on the home straight, facing oncoming traffic. The single file restart was led away by 393 Dave Plumbley, from 191 Josh Smith and 214 Adam Slater, with a hard charging 84 Tom Harris up to an amazing 7th place after effectively just one lap of racing.

At half distance, Plumbley still held first spot from 172 Micky Randell, with Harris up to third spot, but was slowly but surely being reeled in by his pursuers. As the lap boards came out Randell had the lead from a flying Harris, with 2 Harrison moving into third spot. Harris duly secured first spot with 2 to go, whilst Harrison decided to liven up the closing stages with a very optimistic, and entertaining, last bend attempt to cannon Randell into Harris. The latter survived to take the flag from Harrison, with the unfortunate Randell losing a few places before recovering to fifth spot.

BriSCA F1's Dan Johnson 4 and Paul Harrison 2. Photo Colin Casserley

Twenty three for the final heat, with an highly impressive 488 Kingston Jnr taking advantage of a clear run with no yellows to take a well measured flag to flag victory. Further back in the pack, 385 Steve Thompson looked by no means out of place racing from red grade, leading the red top charge for a number of laps, before 84 Harris took over, followed by 16 Matt Newson. No one had an answer to the flying Kingston Jnr, though, with 84 and 16 having to settle for second and third. An out of sorts 515 came home in seventh spot, clearly struggling to make progress through the field.

Final time, with 29 car on the grid but only 27 starting the race, with 2 Harrison and 41 Robert Broome both being towed off prior to the rolling lap. At the green flag, 488 Kingston Jnr again made a great start with 393 Plumbley in second spot, but the star men were making rapid progress through the tightly packed field, with 305 Carlos Perez up into 5th spot by lap two, with Harris close behind.

brisca f1 Carlos Perez 305

BriSCA F1 Stock cars Dick Gladden 445 and Carlos Perez 305. Photo Colin Casserley

Into lap four, and yellow flags were needed to deal with the aftermath of an earlier incident on turn 4 which saw the cars of 197 Ryan Harrison, 212 Wainman and 214 Slater damaged and out of the event, with Harrison and Slater needing assistance in leaving the track from dangerous positions. At the same time, tyre tester 259 Hines, retired to the centre having proven that the tyres are not puncture proof.

Kingston Jnr again led the restart – which needed two attempts before the race was underway again – and held onto the lead through halfway before man on a mission 84 Harris hit the front, with a rapid 217 Fairhurst moving into second spot as the lap boards appeared. Behind the leading group, 462 Davids was making life extremely uncomfortable for 515 Wainman, as the two traded blows for lap after lap before Wainman finally gained a little breathing space to come home in fifth spot, just ahead of Davids.

Up front, Harris reeled off the remaining lap with little difficulty, no doubt making the Shipton on Stour star a hot favourite for the forthcoming Euro title, in the eyes of many observers. Current Euro title holder 217 Fairhurst reminded everyone that he also has the pace to compete with the best, holding second spot through to the flag ahead of 4 Johnston.

BriSCA F1 stockcar Tom Harris 84. Photo Colin Casserley

A 22 car GN rounded off proceedings, with 84 Harris taking his enforced handicap to lead the field away. Matt Newson 16 was again on tyre testing duties, and was visibly faster than any other car on track to take a convincing win, from 141 Pickering and 217 Fairhurst, who skilfully dispatched both 259 and 107 with a perfectly executed last bend hit to move two places up the finishing order. Harris, without the help of yellow flags, made it home in 13th spot, whilst supporters of 515 Wainman will have been disappointed to see him clearly off the pace by mid race, before he gave up a losing battle with the car, and retired with four laps to run.

All in all, a meeting which well and truly saw the ‘new order’ of younger drivers to the fore, and convincingly so. The forthcoming Euro Meeting will be one not to miss, as the ‘establishment’ attempt to re-assert their authority.

Chris Turnbull

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