Stoke – September 22nd 2012 Meeting Report

After the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the opening Stoke meeting the previous month, there was high hopes for the September session, and once again the most demanding of tracks on the BriSCA calendar delivered some top quality stock car action.

Heat 1 started with Will Yarrow (22) being dumped in the fence as soon as the green dropped, with the star grade drivers then charging down the home straight. Mick Sworder (150) was at the front of the train and shunted into a pile up.

star graders charge into action. Photo Colin Casserley

Mick Sworder 150 and Paul Harrison 2. Photo Colin Casserley

Nigel Harrhy 45, Martin Southwell 277 and Ian Higgins 29 come to grief. Photo Colin Casserley

It wasn’t long before Mark Gilbank (21) hit the front, and by the halfway Frankie Wainman (515) was a distant second. Gilbank charged around the track, liberally shoving backmarkers aside, while Craig Finnikin (55) gradually reeled in Wainman. A big last bend lunge put the 515 car wide and Finnikin took second place behind runaway winner Gilbank.

Mark Gilbank 21 alongside Steve Charles 410. Photo Colin Casserley

Heat 2 was reduced to a big turn three pileup early on, which claimed Shoot-Out hopeful Danny Wainman, amongst others. Joe Booth (446) made a rapid start after the waved yellows, but he couldn’t contain Tom Harris (84), who eased past and went on to victory.

Lee Warner 290 finds the fence during Heat 2. Photo Colin Casserley

Ryan Harrison 197 tackles Joe Booth 446 but has to settle for third. Photo Colin Casserley

The Consolation race fielded four of the Shoot-Out drivers, and again the demanding track caught a few drivers unawares, with mass carnage in turn two. A couple of the large marker tyres were shoved onto the circuit, and the unfortunate Lee Smith (76) was pushed backwards around the turn and halfway down the back straight, which led to another massive pile up.

Mick Sworder 150 tangles with Johnny Hughes 255. Photo Colin Casserley

Sworder moved into the lead, but it lasted less than a lap as he span out after tangling with backmarker Johnny Hughes (255). Danny Wainman (212) then led the second half of the race to the chequered, but Sworder’s forceful drive back through the field was spectacular, and eventually netted him third place.

Daniel Wainman 212 on his way to the Consolation win. Photo Colin Casserley

The final had impressive white top Steve Malkin (308) lead them off before Booth went past. The waved yellows came out when Mick Rogers (244) was dumped into a couple of cars in the turn one fence, and was then clattered by Harris. A big hit from Gilbank put Malkin out wide for second place, while Luke Dennis (192) hit the turn one fence head on, and came to rest across the track.

Luke Dennis 192 tangles with Paul Harrison 2 up the homestraight. Photo Colin Casserley

Harris bumpered Lund wide around the pit turn, Lund repaid the compliment with interest on the next bend, thundering the 84 car straight into the stricken 192 machine. The Harris car went skywards and Dennis’ car flipped over onto its side.

On the restart, Booth was still leading but Gilbank was now right behind him, with Malkin, Dan Johnson (4), and Lund next in line. Malkin failed to go the full distance but it was still a superb performance from the white top. Gilbank edged past Booth as the lap boards came out, with Lund shoving Johnson aside for third place before the flag.

John Lund 53 eases by Dan Johnson 4. Photo Colin Casserley

The GN had Ben Hurdman (207), Murray Harrison (97), and Ryan Harrison (197) all take turns at leading, before Johnson went past and pulled away. Johnson looked to have it all sewn up, only for the number 4 to die with a couple of laps to run, gifting the win to Harrison (197).

Carl Hesketh

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