Bert Finnikin (#55)

Bert (55) with the Gold roof chasing down John Lund (53). Photograph courtesy of Thomas Ackroyd

Bert (55) with the Gold roof chasing down John Lund (53). Photograph courtesy of Thomas Ackroyd

Racing alongside his father Charlie (55), Bert came into the sport in the early 1970s, carrying the number 28 cautiously around the tracks. His measured rise through the grades heralded Charlie’s retirement at the end of 1973 and with it, the transfer of the famous number 55 to Bert.

Sadly, Charlie wasn’t to see Bert’s rise to the very top of the sport, following his untimely death following year. An understandably half-hearted season followed and it was 1976 when Bert returned with firm resolve, in his famous Tarmac-liveried car. 1977 was his breakthrough year, with a handful of finals and a first red roof, followed up by an even better 1978, with a move to Superstar.

After a relatively fallow period, the acquisition of a Clive Lintern machine in 1982 saw Bert once again a member of the flashing lights brigade and the following year, with a huge and sustained effort, he rose to the top of the points chart for his first major title. In the years that followed, Bert reined back his involvement, restricting his appearances to concentrate on the major titles, yet he still managed a second placed points finish (in 1985) and third place finish (in 1987, when the points list was based on meeting average).

Two third place finishes were all Bert had to show in World Finals throughout his otherwise outstanding career, but he put that right in 1990 with a storming drive to win the Title at Bradford. He almost repeated the feat the following year, leading with half a lap to go, before the Peter Falding bumper took him into the fence and handed the win to John Lund. Now still tearing up the tracks in his evocative F2 machinery, the man from Leek retired from the big league as long ago as 1994, as one of the elite few to have won 100 finals.

Mark Knowles

Further Photographs of Bert Finnikin can be found on Brian Watson’s excellent website Ovalaction.com – Click HERE to be taken direct to Bert Finnikin’s page


Final Wins


Final wins provided by BSCDA Historian Nigel Anderson

WIN # YEAR DATE VENUE SURFACE
1 1977 Jul 23rd Long Eaton Shale
2 1977 Jul 24th Rochdale Shale
3 1977 Aug 20th White City Tarmac
4 1977 Aug 27th Long Eaton Shale
5 1977 Aug 29th Belle Vue Shale
6 1977 Sep 3rd Coventry Shale
7 1977 Sep 17th Leicester Shale
8 1977 Sep 25th Northampton Tarmac
9 1977 Oct 9th Skegness Tarmac
10 1978 Jun 11th Hartlepool Tarmac
11 1978 Jun 17th Leicester Shale
12 1978 Jun 18th Northampton Tarmac
13 1978 Jul 8th Long Eaton Shale
14 1978 Aug 11th Bradford Shale
15 1979 May 27th Northampton Tarmac
16 1979 Jul 28th Belle Vue Shale
17 1979 Jul 29th Northampton Tarmac
18 1979 Oct 13th Long Eaton Shale
19 1979 Oct 21th Skegness Tarmac
20 1979 Nov 4th Northampton Tarmac
21 1980 May 31st Long Eaton Shale
22 1980 Jun 7th Coventry Shale
23 1980 Jun 14th Northampton Tarmac
24 1980 Jun 15th Northampton Tarmac
25 1980 Jun 20th Bradford Shale
26 1980 Aug 8th Bradford Shale
27 1980 Aug 15th White City Tarmac
28 1980 Aug 30th Belle Vue Shale
29 1980 Sep 6th Coventry Shale
30 1980 Sep 13th Long Eaton Shale
31 1980 Sep 19th Bradford Shale
32 1980 Nov 1st Coventry Shale
33 1981 May 4th Ringwood Tarmac
34 1981 May 10th Northampton Tarmac
35 1981 Sep 13th Northampton Tarmac
36 1982 Apr 11th Northampton Tarmac
37 1982 Apr 17th Crewe Shale
38 1982 Apr 30th Bradford Shale
39 1982 May 1st Coventry Shale
40 1982 May 9th Northampton Tarmac
41 1982 Jun 18th Bradford Shale
42 1982 Jul 4th Northampton Tarmac
43 1982 Aug 13th Bradford Shale
44 1982 Aug 26th Northampton Tarmac
45 1982 Oct 3rd Skegness Tarmac
46 1982 Oct 17th Northampton Tarmac
47 1982 Oct 31st Bradford Shale
48 1983 Mar 26th Crewe Shale
49 1983 Apr 1st Bradford Tarmac
50 1983 May 8th Northampton Tarmac
51 1983 May 16th Sheffield Shale
52 1983 Jun 11th Long Eaton Shale
53 1983 Jun 18th Leicester Shale
54 1983 Jul 3rd Northampton Tarmac
55 1983 Jul 10th Long Eaton Shale
56 1983 Jul 17th Hartlepool Tarmac
57 1983 Aug 13th Long Eaton Shale
58 1983 Aug 28th Northampton Tarmac
59 1983 Sep 4th Rochdale Shale
60 1983 Sep 18th Northampton Tarmac
61 1983 Oct 16th Northampton Tarmac
62 1984 Apr 29th Northampton Tarmac
63 1984 Jul 9th Sheffield Shale
64 1984 Sep 23rd Northampton Tarmac
65 1985 Mar 16th Long Eaton Shale
66 1985 May 26th Northampton Tarmac
67 1985 Jun 29th Belle Vue Shale
68 1986 Mar 30th Northampton Tarmac
69 1986 Jul 19th Crewe Shale
70 1986 Sep 20th Crewe Shale
71 1986 Sep 27th Belle Vue Shale
72 1986 Oct 27th Sheffield Shale
73 1986 Dec 7th Belle Vue Shale
74 1987 Jan 1st Long Eaton Shale
75 1987 May 23rd Kings Lynn Shale
76 1987 Jun 13th Long Eaton Shale
77 1988 Mar 19th Scunthorpe Shale
78 1988 Apr 9th Long Eaton Shale
79 1988 Jul 20th Skegness Tarmac
80 1988 Jul 30th Scunthorpe Shale
81 1988 Aug 20th Crewe Shale
82 1988 Sep 3rd Coventry Shale
83 1989 Oct 21st Crewe Shale
84 1989 Dec 26th Long eaton Shale
85 1990 Apr 21st Crewe Shale
86 1990 Apr 22nd Buxton Tarmac
87 1990 Jun 8th Birmingham Tarmac
88 1990 Jun 9th Long Eaton Shale
89 1990 Jun 23rd Scunthorpe Shale
90 1990 Aug 11th Long Eaton Shale
91 1990 Aug 12th Skegness Tarmac
92 1990 Sep 29th Scunthorpe Shale
93 1990 Sep 30th Buxton Tarmac
94 1991 Nov 13th Northampton Tarmac
95 1992 Jan 1st Birmingham Tarmac
96 1992 Jun 21st Northampton Tarmac
97 1992 Sep 12th Long Eaton Shale
98 1992 Oct 10th Long Eaton Shale
99 1992 Nov 14th Long Eaton Shale
100 1993 Jan 2nd Long Eaton Shale
101 1993 May 23rd Buxton Tarmac

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