Stoke – March 30th 2013 Meeting Report

The first of 2 meetings this year at the potteries in Stoke and WCQR No5 brought a healthy grid and even healthier crowd to what is fast becoming a Shale favourite with F1 fans.

In the pits the new Tom Harris 84 car was out for the first time, a stunning new car with a slight cab tilt to it and a lot of new kit fitted. At the other end of the pits was Shale man 34 Mal Brown with last years car and last years bent rails and bumpers. Late arrival 53 John Lund was a welcome sight, the car being re-bumpered and nerfed but Team Lund seem to have run out of Green Paint, the news bits being in primer

135 James Bailey was first out on track to do his 5 practice laps and then it was onto the main proceedings.

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Heat 1 brought a healthy grid of 22 cars with 6 white tops. 51 Dylan Maynard made a fast start but was black flagged later in a new 2013 ruling on jump starts. 215 Geoff Nickolls made an early departure on the first bend with Harris also spinning and 463 James Morris departing early. 245 Carl Swift took an early lead but was soon overhauled by 335 Woodhall and 462 Scott Davids. At half way it was 335, 21, 462, 55 and 1 the lead cars and with 5 to go 55 made his way past 462. The yellows came out with 3 to go as white top 243 Martyn Walton rolling over on the pit bend. With 3 to go 21 overhauled 335 for the lead place whist Scott Davids ended up out on the pit bend and out of the results.

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Heat 2 saw newcomer 303 Karl Mosley starting at the front of the whites in his 2nd meeting only. At the start it was not long before Mosley and 448 Jason Eaton locked together taking themselves fence wards with 169 Billy Johson putting 198 Nigel Whalley into the 2 stricken cars. 252 Paul Redfurn was now leading from 91 Smith and 11 Scriven, 91 soon tangling with 307 a couple of laps later. By halfway stage 515 Frankie Wainman had charged into the lead followed by 22, 11, 321 and 12. With 3 to go 11 took out took out both 22 and 169 with 22 recovering while 12 and 321 scrapped for 2nd and 3rd. 515 ended up the winner in the nick of time before the osr tyre gave way.

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The consolation brought out a good grid with 51 Maynard and 462 Davids the top men not yet in the final. 303 Mosley made a rapid start and took up the lead from 91 and 276, 94 John Dowson span and stalled in the middle of the pit bend and stayed here for the remainder of the race. The following lap Mosley overcooked it going round the back of the stranded 94 car letting through 91 Smith and 276 Mark Poole but Mosley soon bumpered 276 aside for 2nd and was catching 91 Smith in the lead . 463 James Morris was fast catching the pair and on the last bend pushed Smith forcing him wide for the chequered flag with Mosley sneaking up the inside of Smith for 2nd.

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The final brought out 23 cars and it was again 303 Mosley who stormed into the lead when the green flag dropped. A pile up on the first bend saw 45 Harrhy out and the early leaders were again Mosley, 91 Smith and 276 Poole as per the consolation. Further back 22 spun 84 Harris on the pit bend and 463 Morris also spinning. At the halfway stage Mosley had a very healthy lead from 169 Johnson followed by 21 Gilbank from 335 Woodhall, 55 Finnikin and 1 Lee Fairhurst who were moving quickly. Unfortunately for Mosley the diff then gave way and he departed to the centre green leaving 169 Johnson with a healthy lead over Gilbank, further back 12 Scriven and 53 hooked up on the main straight but Gilbank was on a charge and with 2 to go bumpered Johnson aside for the lead to the flag for victory.

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The Grand National saw Gilbank take the handicap whilst 55 Finnikin was locked out at the gate, the car not ready in time. 207 Ben Hurdman took the lead from Poole and it was not long before it was these two followed by 463, 446, 335, 1, 462, 515 and 84. The yellows were soon out as 463 went into the pit bend fence and rolled the car, Harris was despatched fence wards by 462 Davids, the Harris car spitting flames. On the re-start Harris went to the infield, 1 Fairhurst pushing Hurdman and Poole aside with Wainman and 446 Booth in pursuit. Wainman caught the Fairhurst car with 5 to go and with 3 to slipped up the inside of Fairhurst to take the chequered flag.

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A great nights racing and roll on the next Stoke meeting on September 28th.

Andy Armer

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