Skegness – May 12th 2012 Meeting Report

The May Speedweekend at Skegness is the first chance for F1 Drivers to land a title in the racing season, and Saturday night’s session was not only a ideal opportunity for car set up to be perfected for the UK Open Championship meeting the following day – but also to claim some valuable qualifying points towards the World Championship which is being held at the East Coast tarmac strip in September. On a pleasantly sunny and dry evening, around 50 cars arrived to do battle including 8 visitors from The Netherlands who were given a short time to practice prior to racing commencing.

Danny Smidt H148 in his Tom Harris Motorsport F1 Stockcar. Photo Paul Tully

Jessy de Bruyn H399. Photo Colin Casserley

Harmen Zwerver H195. Photo Paul Tully

Marcel Jansen 46 in the ex-Tom Harris 84 F1 Stockcar. Photo Colin Casserley

25 cars filled the track for the opening heat, including Dave Schaap (H007), Jessy De Bruin (H399), Harmen Zwerver (H195) and Gary Castell (H247) as overseas entries along with F2 star man Daz Kitson (532) in the ex Paul Kiff (211) machine. Sean Willis (287) headed the field away from the white grade as new star grader Steve Reedman (361) got turned around on turn two and collected Neil Scriven (11) and John Weldon (235).

Heat 1 action. Photo Colin Casserley

The waved yellows were called as Kitson and Geoff Nickolls (215) joined the scrum. Willis lead the restart from Rob Cowley (73) and Dave Plumbley (393), and Cowley soon slipped into top spot inside three laps. Mat Newson (16) was on a charge from the superstar grade and had carved through the field to place second by halfway. Schaap and Danny Wainman (212) were enjoying a good tussle, but as the boards were shown, Cowley’s lead was being evaporated by the flying 16 car, however Newson simply ran out of laps to land a decisive thump on the 73 rear end, the first three crossing the line bumper to bumper, 73-16 and 2.

Rob Cowley 73 leading Mat Newson 16. Photo Colin Casserley

The second heat saw 23 runners and another four overseas visitors in the shape of Joep Hendriks (H365), Danny Smidt (H148), Ron Kroonder (H217) and Marcel Jansen (46). Rich Masterson (103) and Richard Earl (285) argued over the lead until the 103 machine broke clear at the head of affairs. This was a lead he held until halfway with Hendriks and Dave Riley (422) the podium placemen. Further back a battle was emerging between Dan Johnson (4) and Tom Harris (84) both using liberal helpings of front bumper on the other for several laps.

a battling Dan Johnson 4 and Tom Harris 84 . Photo Colin Casserley

Tom Harris 84 landing a decisive hit on Dan Johnson 4. Photo Colin Casserley

Harris landed a decisive hit on Johnson heading into the pit turn which saw the number 4 car t-bone Riley into the wall hard, which brought about the second stoppage of the evening to assist the 422 pilot. On the restart it was Hendriks who lead from Stuart Smith Jnr (390) and Harris the top three. Harris went barging into the lead on the final lap and Smith tried valiantly to effect a last bend removal of the 84 car it didn’t quite happen so Harris held on from Smith and Mick Sworder (150) crossing the line third.

Stu Smith jnr 390 and Tom Harris 84. Photo Paul Tully

The consolation had 23 entrants and more tales of woe for Nigel Harrhy (45) who was squeezed into the wall before even reaching the start line as the green flag was shown. No such problems befell Richard Earl (285) who burst into the lead before Dean Whitwell (195) dashed by on lap 5. Whitwell was showing up well in the former Luke Davidson machine, and despite a fast closing Chris Cowley (37) casting an ominous looking shadow over his shoulder, held on to take the chequered flag from Cowley and Robert Broome (41) who swept into third place.

a chaotic final saw sparks fly for Scott Davids 462. Photo Colin Casserley

The 30 car final really ought to have been preceeded by a message warning the spectators of what was about to happen as the racing under the lights can only be described as mental! The chaos began early on as Craig Finnikin (55) performed a 360 or two along the home straight being whacked several times by the passing hordes who tried to take avoiding action. One who wasn’t so lucky was Rob Cowley (73) who connected with the infield marker tyres and rolled bringing out the waved yellows followed by the red flags so a complete restart was called from race control. The 55 car was dragged onto the centre looking decidedly sorry for itself and the 73 machine was recovered with a mashed wing, not the first time that the Nuneaton based hairdresser has fallen foul of the infield tyres at Skegness.

Rob Cowley 73 falling foul of the Skegness infield marker tyres. Photo Colin Casserley

Rich Masterson 103 in action. Photo Paul Tully

At the second time of asking, Rich Masterson (103) made an absolute barnstorming start as the race unfolded at what seemed an incredible pace, bordering on the insane! Mike Kingston Jnr (488) and Robert Broome (41) made up the top three as the star men went about abusing each other as much as possible in a 20 lap race! Messers Wainman (515), Harris (84), Sworder (150) and Kroonder (H217) all got acquainted with some fearful hits being handed out down field. Fairhurst showing his recent great form on tarmac is no flash in the pan took up the lead just before the lap boards were shown, the unlucky Masterson being robbed of a strong position by a blown back outside Goodyear.

Daniel Wainman 212 gets involved with Mick Sworder 150 and Ron Kroonder H217. Photo Colin Casserley

Ron Kroonder H217 and Mick Sworder 150 get acquainted. Photo Colin Casserley

Mat Newson 16 and Frankie Wainman jnr 515 fight it out. Photo Paul Tully

Frankie Wainman jnr 515. Photo Paul Tully

Ron Kroonder H217 in amongst the parked cars. Photo Paul Tully

Stuart Smith Jnr (390) and Dave Schaap (H007) were both flying and made it into the top three as the chequered flag fell, some last bend sorting out saw Sworder (150) despatch Kroonder (H217) and Zwerver (H195) despatch Cowley (37) into a bunch of dead cars on the final turn in a frantic finish to an often brutal looking race. Richard Kaleta was heard to mention on the PA post race that it was probably race of the year so far from the F1’s and it is difficult to disagree.

Lee Fairhurst 217 took the lead before the lapboards were shown. Photo Colin Casserley

Lee Fairhurst 217 winner of the Mo Jones Memorial trophy for a second time. Photo Paul Tully

33 warriors chanced their arm at the GN and another hard hitting race ensued. Masterson (103) and Harrhy (45) taking turns to lead before Micky Randell (172) went through just before half distance. Mick Sworder (150) got involved with Danny Smidt (H148) on the pit turn before the yellows were called for the stranded Derek Fairhurst (218). Sworder was also on the receiving end of a hefty punt from Tom Harris (84) which saw the 150 machine have a look at the fence on the seaside turn. Randell lead away the restart with a fast paced Luke Davidson (464) in attendance. Stuart Smith Jnr (390) who had performed well all evening had another head of steam up and powered into second spot in the closing stages. With the 390 car looking unstoppable, Smith perfected a classic last bend lunge on the 172 car to go through for the win, the unlucky Randell scoring a dnf after a visit to the armco via the Smith front bumper. Messers Wainman (515) and De Bruin (H399) also continued their sparring during this race which just whetted the appetite for Sunday’s meeting and the 2012 UK Open Championship.

Andre Zang

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