Skegness – October 9th 2010 British Championship Heats Report

Despite lower than average car numbers, the BriSCA F1 British Championship coupled with the spice of a Shoot out round, created the best tarmac meeting of the 2010 season. The format was for five heats with each driver racing three times, with points scored creating the final’s grid.

Paul Hines had made it to the meeting after his bus breaking down en route and came out for Heat one along with twenty three other drivers, with the half a dozen shootout drivers lining up at the back. At the green, Richard Bryan (238) tore into the lead until overcome by Lee Fairhurst (217) but all eyes were soon focused on the back of the pack where the Shooutout competitors were going at it hammer and tongs. Andy Smith (1) obviously wishing to retain his title, laid into Paul Hines but Hines, driving with much more aggression of late was straight back into him. Up ahead, Dylan Williams Maynard (51) got it all out of shape and the following Yellow graders, including Dave Willis (337) and Steve Hopkins (347) piled in.

BriSCA F1 Dave Willis 337 t-bones Dylan Williams Maynard 51. Photo Colin Casserley

BriSCA F1 stockcars Chris Cowley 37, Will Yarrow 22 and Lee Robinson 107 battle for position. Photo Paul Tully

At the rear, Tom Harris (84) had gone off like a shot, pushing his way through the field with Stu Smith jnr (390) and Will Yarrow (22) just behind, as they all roared into turn three together, fighting for the same bit of track. Hines, Smith and Frankie Wainman jnr (515) were still slugging it out while Lee Robinson (107) from red, had broken free and was pushing forwards with haste, and was soon up into third with Harris bearing down. Iain Holden (85) who had been holding his own in second, found himself relegated down the order as first Robinson, then Harris flew passed persuing long time leader Lee Fairhurst.

BriSCA F1 stock cars Lee Robinson 107 and Tom Harris 84 vying for position. Photo Paul Tully

Fairhurst had driven a composed race to get to the front and had set about putting distance between himself and the following field, going on to take the chequered unimpeded. Robinson entered the last lap just ahead of Harris, with Harris going in with the bumper on the last bend, sending Robinson wide, as they both drag raced to the line. Chris Cowley (37) went for a last bend lunge on Paul Hines, missed, sending himself crashing into the armco, causing front end damage.
217 – 84 – 107 – 85 – 390 – 141 – 16 – 515 – 259 – 1

BriSCA F1 Lee Fairhurst 217 bypassing Richard Bryan 238 to take the lead. Photo Colin Casserley

Twenty two cars came out for heat two with Tom Harris working underneath his car before the start. Marc Radforth (149) was present for only his second appearance in the majorly refurbished ex-Lenny Smith car as was Iain Stirk (65) in the last Chris Elwell (ex-501) machine, unfortunately having to pull off before the start.

BriSCA F1 stock car Shootout drivers lining up for heat two. Photo Paul Tully

The race showed that heat one was not a one off as the cars, including the eight Shootout drivers tore into action. Yellow graders Adam Slater (214), Iain Holden and Rob Cowley (73) were battling amongst themselves until Cowley connected hard with the turn two armco. James Lund (153), always quick on tarmac, was up on Slater, giving him a touch of the bumper before moving on. Andy Smith whose first heat had not been up to the usual standard, gave Danny Wainman (212) a hit to get ahead as just beyond, Tom Harris was barging his way to the front. Danny Wainman was soon back in it, and as Smith went in on Yarrow and Harris, Danny went in on Smith, piling them all into turn four with Harris ending his race squashed up against the armco. As Smith went out, becoming hooked up on the front end of Holden, a homestraight cheer went up. Scott Davids (462), Luke Davidson (464) and Ivan Pritchard (434) having their own little battle, piled into turn four themselves as the cars already lodged there, were in the process of sorting themselves out. Smith, having got himself back in the race after working his way free, gave Dylan Williams Maynard (51) a punt, sending him wide into Michael Scriven (12) who scraped the armco and on coming back out to the racing line, clattered into the side of Rob Cowley. James Lund had worked his way clear, going onto to take a nice victory, while Harris was tractored off back to the pits.
153 – 488 – 149 – 2 – 393 – 212 – 214 – 11 – 191 – 22

BriSCA F1 stock car British Championship Heat winner James Lund 153. Photo Colin Casserley

Twenty four cars came out for heat three, with Marc Radforth leading them away as Dan Johnson (4) got straight down to business, sending Matt Newson (16) into John Lund (53) spinning Lund out, with Lund and Newson becoming locked together with Richard Bryan (238) ploughing into Newson for the first of the night’s yellow flags being shown. At the green, Craig Finnikin (55) went flying into turn three, trying to get ahead, as Robinson used the caution to improve his already high position by passing Dean Whitwell (195) and Colin Goodswen (372). Lee Fairhurst was closing in on Goodswen, and gave him a thump going into turn one. Goodswen, half spun, leaving Fairhurst nowhere to go but to fly over Goodswen’s front end before coming to rest in the turn two armco.

BriSCA F1 stock cars Lee Fairhurst 217 going over Colin Goodswen 372. Photo Paul Tully

Frankie Wainman jnr and Dan Johnson were jostling for position with Wainman getting behind Johnson and firing him into the stationary Fairhurst. Johnson was not having this, got himself back in the race behind Wainman and gave him a hefty lap down hit in return. The incident completely mangled Fairhurst’s nerf and the team worked hard to successfully replace the metalwork and get Lee back out on track, in time for the British.

F1 stock car Dan Johnson 4 makes heavy contact with Lee Fairhurst 217. Photo Paul Tully

BriSCA F1 stock car Lee Fairhurst's 217 inside nerf rail after the incident. Photo Colin Casserley

The Shoot out competitors continued their war with Johnson, Wainman and Hines trading blows and track position until Dave Plumbley (393) went in with the bumper on Iain Stirk with the Yellow tops getting themselves all out of shape on the pitgate bend, as Frankie Wainman went in with a last bender on Hines, with Ivan Pritchard also getting involved. Wainman went up and over the front end of Plumbley, spinning round before getting moving and reversing over the finish line to come home eleventh. Stirk and Carl Pickering (141) ended up perched on the infield marker tyres in the confusion as the rest of the field bypassed them in their race to the flag. Robinson, who had long since taken the lead, went on to take the chequered with no problems.
107 – 37 – 195 – 259 – 390 – 434 – 214 – 12 – 55 – 91

With the damage count continuing to be high, just under twenty cars made it out for heat four with no white graders being present. At the green, the blues and Rob Cowley all piled into turns one and two with Rob getting it out of shape down the backstraight, and with seven Shootout drivers bearing down the backstraight at speed, something had to give. Cars dived to either side to avoid Cowley with Tom Harris being left with nowhere to go, catching Rob, then the infield marker tyres, flying high and hard straight up in the air, coming back to earth in a vast cloud of dust, colliding with the by now stationary Cowley. Both drivers emerged from their cars to applause, but both had sustained damage, with both cars doing their job in protecting the driver. The red flags were shown for a complete restart with Scott Davids running across the infield to get water for his radiator but by the time he returned, his car had been tractored off and it was a rush to get sorted in time for the commencement of the rolling lap.

BriSCA F1 British Championship Heat winner Mike Kingston jnr 488 alongside Rob Cowley 73. Photo Paul Tully

Mike Kingston jnr (488) tore off into the lead, with Luke Davidson (464) dropping back to the rear of the field. The bumpers flew thick and fast, with Danny Wainman firing straight into Lee Robinson before moving onto Dylan Williams Maynard. As Williams and Wainman tustled, they encountered Davidson and as Wainman cleared them both, Davidson went in on Wainman, hard across turn two. Frankie Wainman jnr had Smith bearing down before giving him the bumper and the two exchanged hits, with Paul Harrison (2) getting in on the act as well. Luke Davidson, on damaging his car when he went in on Danny Wainman, came out of the bend and threw sparks into the air as he crabbed down the backstraight. Unfortunately, he seemed to come off the armco just as James Lund was coming by, leaving James with nowhere to go, and he flew over the top of Davidson’s car in a move very reminiscent of the great Phil Haigh’s leap at Buxton.

Up front, Lee Robinson was reeling in leader Kingston jnr with Neil Scriven (11) thumping Carl Pickering aside. Paul Harrison had ruined his tyre but kept slowly circling the track, hugging the armco as with the rate of attrition, it looked likely he would still get a place. Robinson moved Kingston jnr aside, with Kingston racing hard against Robinson coming out of the turn but being unable to match Robinson’s pace. Lee Robinson’s joy on winning, soon turned to dismay as he was docked two places for jumping the start, letting Kingston jnr take a deserving win.
488 – 11 – 107 – 141 – 55 – 1 – 515 – 22 – 85 – 191

As the cars came out for the final heat, and the final chance to improve grid position for the British Championship, Stu Smith jnr’s race was over before it even began. On pulling onto the track, his wheel fell off and he was tractored back to the pits with what turned out to be a broken stub axle.

BriSCA F1 stock car Stuart Smith jnr 390 suffers a broken stub axle. Photo Colin Casserley

Marc Radforth (149) led them away with Dan Johnson getting straight into Matt Newson, while Chris Cowley slowed up and pulled to the infield. Paul Hines got straight into the thick of it, sending the duelling Johnson into Newson while he sailed past. James Lund and Ivan Pritchard, on jostling, sent a shower of sparks skywards as first Johnson thumped Paul Harrison, followed by Scott Davids giving him a punt but being sent wide himself by Adam Slater getting in on the action. Hines was making quick, concise progress through the field as an out of shape Simon Panton (288) managed to save himself going into three.

BriSCA F1 stock Mike Kingston jnr 488 overhauls Marc Radforth 149. Photo Colin Casserley

Quick yellow grader Kingston jnr, now had Radforth in his sights as the blue graders jostled with each other until James Lund pulled ahead, sticking the bumper into father John Lund (53). Hines bypassed Dean Whitwell (195) to take third, with Kingston bumpering Radforth for the lead. Hines was soon reeling in Kingston and on the last lap was right on his tail, sending him wide on the last bend to take the victory.
259 – 488 – 149 – 195 – 2 – 372 – 4 – 434 – 16 – 12

An impressive set of heats, with the first four being outstanding entertainment for the big crowd and definitely the best tarmac races of 2010.

Ailsa Haigh

See British Championship Race Report and post race Interview with Paul Hines (259) HERE.

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