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Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2012 | Saturday 22nd September 2012

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Saturday 22nd September 2012

Report by Mark Paulson

MITCHELL ROBS WORLD OF SHALE

Nelson’s Rob Mitchell overcame the odds to secure his first World of Shale title success in the Brisca Formula Two stock cars at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn on Saturday night, 22 September. The driver of the 905 machine chose the right tactics to defeat pre-race favourites 886 Chris Bradbury and defending champion 606 Andrew Palmer. The night also featured the mighty 2-litre saloon stock cars in qualifying for their European Championship. Reigning champion 499 David Aldous secured himself pole position for the following day’s title race.

A pre-meeting grand parade took place for the 38 World of Shale qualifiers, while the big race itself was fourth on the card. For most observers, there was no need to look beyond the front row to pick a winner as 886 Chris Bradbury lined up outside 606 Andrew Palmer. Palmer had taken the title in four of the last five years – only an engine failure while leading in 2010 preventing five in a row – while Bradbury held a massive lead in this year’s King’s Lynn track championship. But 905 Rob Mitchell had other ideas. Freely admitting in his post-race interview that he felt Palmer and Bradbury would be quicker, his tactic was to remove them as soon as possible. And it worked to perfection.

Palmer was slightly slow away from pole, allowing Bradbury to hit the front going down the home straight. But as they entered the first bend, Mitchell made his move, launching himself at Bradbury, having started directly behind him. Bradbury went straight into the fence and was turned round to face the oncoming traffic, causing an almighty pile-up. At that stage the Berkshire man must have known his only hope was for a race stoppage and a complete restart. But somehow the melee eventually cleared itself, allowing the race to continue with Mitchell already in a commanding lead.

Yellow flags eventually came out for a spinner on bend four, allowing everyone to catch their breath. Behind Mitchell came fellow second row starter 377 Daz Shaw plus a couple of the seeded Dutch entrants and, amazingly, all the way from the last three rows of the grid, Lincolnshire’s 103 Carl Issit and new World Champion 968 Micky Brennan. Palmer was towards the back of the field which had been almost halved in size by the frenetic action in the first few laps.

Mitchell drove a fast and controlled race from the restart and was never headed on his way to the flag and a pair of gold stripes for his roof. Behind him, Brennan passed Shaw and was looking ominously quick. He was just lining up a challenge for the lead on bend two of the final lap when baulked by a spinning backmarker. If he had pulled it off, it would have been an unprecedented  double World triumph for the gold top. Instead, that moment effectively clinched it for Mitchell who celebrated with some high speed donuts on the slow down lap before clambering on to his aerofoil in victory lane.

Shaw was unlucky to miss out on a podium spot, his engine going sick with a few laps to go. He hauled the car to the finish but 10th was a poor reward for a good showing. In his place, 823 Sam Wagner completed the top three, ahead of 615 Josh Coleman, 226 Billy Webster and top Dutchman H39 Marten van der Wal.

Earlier, 291 Craig Tomblin was crowned the 2012 King’s Lynn white & yellow grade champion.  The white & yellow series final opened proceedings and doubled up as heat one in the meeting format. 448 John Wright and 696 Paul Lemons completed the top three, ahead of early leader 449 Mark Dorrill. Action magnet 597 Barry Clow managed not to roll, but still suffered a heavy collision when he t-boned a spun 710 Brett Townsend at high speed.

The other F2 heat was for those drivers not involved in either of the finals which meant it was largely populated by the less accomplished – or at least less frequent – shale drivers. A 20-car race was dominated by 788 Stephen Mallinson who hit the front early on and won by a big margin from Dutch drivers H232 Marco Smit and H116 Barry Bauer.

Another massive field of 38 cars took part in the consolation and surprisingly managed to complete the race without any stoppages or suspensions. Palmer was one of many big names out for a second bite of the cherry after the destructive WoS final. This time we reverted to the formbook as the Peterborough man fought his way past over 30 cars to take the win. But things didn’t go so well for two of the other star names: 2011 World Champion 871 Mark Simpson tipped Bradbury across the front of his car and, as they were recovering, did it again – this time they hooked up and both their races were run. Finishing second was 881 Graham Morrison who had removed 498 Derek Cayzer from the lead with just four laps to go.

Only 32 of the 38 qualifiers managed to take the flag for the meeting final. Morrison again drove very well and having led early on, reassumed the lead when 13 Andy Ford clipped a parked car and ground to a halt. However, Morrison himself would then go on to clip the stationary 13 car with just two laps remaining, allowing Smit and Issit to close what had looked an unassailable lead. Going into the final bend Smit went for the last bend lunge but only managed to take both cars wide. Issit gratefully slipped through on the inside to claim his second Lynn final win of the season in a grandstand finish.

Another field of over 30 cars took to the track in the Grand National curtain call, where Lemons raced to the win from 77 John Davies and 995 Michael Lund.

For the saloon stock cars, the meeting was all about securing a place on the grid for the following day’s European Championship race. A massive 59 cars were in the pits for the biggest turnout at any track in 2012. Each raced in three out of the five heats so that only one race featured fewer than 30 cars – and that had 29!

Before all that, a white and yellows race kicked things off and went the way of 350 Thomas Parrin who surely won’t be graded white for much longer. 22 Karl Petters, 417 Fred Powell and 232 Gavin Anderson all spun themselves out of the lead at some point in a race that it seemed no-one wanted to win!

The lower grade wins didn’t stop there though as 306 Daniel Parker scored his first ever victory in the first heat proper. His margin of victory over 130 Joe Gladden was impressive, while 131 Timmy Barnes was some way further back. Many of the star graded drivers had tangled over themselves in such a big field. Pick of the incidents was 360 Carl Waterfield lifting 402 Shaun Webster on to his bonnet and almost over the back straight fence.

The stars fared a little better in heat two where World Champion 1 Eddie Darby was making good progress through the field on a track he loves to hate, until turned into the fence by 428 Lee Sampson, who was to endure a miserable weekend marred by mechanical woes. 192 Robert Heanes impressively led much of a race punctuated by two caution periods but it was the stars who eventually prevailed. 641 Willie Skoyles Jr and 499 David Aldous passed and repassed each other before Aldous spun Skoyles going down the back straight in what appeared a decisive move. But as Aldous raced clear the red flags came out and the result was taken from the last completed lap, handing Skoyles a lucky reprieve.

An all-action third heat saw 298 Ian Elms keep his nose clean and build up a decent lead before being scuppered by yellow flags for Shaun Webster, this time on his side against the fence. Sod’s law dictated it wasn’t to be for Elms who was spun on the restart by the lively Powell. Timmy Barnes took up the running but got caught out and spun within yards of the line, handing victory to 184 Marty Colliver from 6 Simon Welton and 120 Shane Brown.

The fourth heat was won with a masterful display by 156 Darren Goudy who was then presented his trophy by father Ray. Goudy Sr was one of a number of sponsors for the weekend who had combined to provide a healthy purse for the races, and he was keen to see his son claim one of the major titles that he hadn’t managed to do so in his own career.

The final heat went to defending champion Aldous, claiming himself pole position for his title defence in the process. 56 George Boult Jr secured a place on the grid with second, while Gladden’s third place was enough to put him alongside Aldous on the front row – an excellent effort from the yellow top.

With 28 drivers having clinched their starting slots for the Euro, there were a number of big names still on the outside looking in. They included former champion 512 Darren Barnett, plus 219 Luke Grief, 428 Lee Sampson, 570 Simon Venni, National Champion 71 Gordon Alexander and former World Champions 360 Carl Waterfield and 402 Shaun Webster. They would have to chance their arms in the last chance qualifier which would kick off the following day’s proceedings.

2L Stock Car Euro Qualifying 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellows 350 128 306 192 232 538 404 777 G303 417
Heat 1 306 130 131 156 591 120 511 420 149 618
Heat 2 641 499 30 75 607 460 103 153 115 618
Heat 3 184 6 120 420 417 18 401 130 499 538
Heat 4 156 401 1 607 618 698 18 184 30 131
Heat 5 499 56 130 417 511 306 607 1 298 360
F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White & Yellow Final 291 448 696 449 77 495 995 742 H305 379
Heat 2 788 H232 H116 49 124 454 H231 H24 90 298
World of Shale Final 905 968 823 615 226 H39 597 362 103 377
Consolation 606 881 13 136 219 186 994 H30 70 634
Final 103 881 H232 77 186 362 H231 219 226 49
Grand National 696 77 995 219 H116 186 H39 968 630 49
 

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