Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2013 | Saturday 21st September 2013

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Saturday 21st September 2013

Report by Mark Paulson

“The Hitman”, 84 Tom Harris, walked away with the biggest prize in short oval contact motorsport at the Norfolk Arena, King’s Lynn, on Saturday night, 21 September. Having already won the Formula One Stock Car World Cup at Venray in Holland, the national points champion can now also call himself the World Champion. The Oxfordshire man didn’t put a wheel wrong on the way to his first world title, finishing comfortably clear of pre-race favourite 55 Craig Finnikin. Front row starter 197 Ryan Harrison completed the top three. Also in supporting action were the 2-Litre Saloon Stock Cars where 499 David Aldous put on a masterclass on his way to hat trick of wins, including the inaugural Driver of the Year championship.

Racing commenced for the F1s with their World Consolation Semi-Final (which also served as heat one for the meeting proper), from which two places were up for grabs in the main race. Lined up in graded order, it was always going to be difficult for the likes of local superstar 16 Mat Newson and former multi-World Champion 53 John Lund to sneak onto the World Final grid. So it proved, as although making rapid progress through the field, Newson was forced to slow up and pull off with mechanical gremlins. Early leader 189 George Heppenstall was passed first by 415 Russell Cooper, a Lynn regular, and then Stoke’s 276 Mark Poole. The latter then chose the correct side to round a backmarker and enable him to relieve Cooper of the lead, which he would not relinquish. Blue-top 22 Will Yarrow also found a way past Cooper to take second and claim the last qualifying place up for grabs. The unlucky Cooper was thus the first to miss out, while speedy Dutchman H217 Ron Kroonder could also count himself a touch unfortunate, making it up to fourth from the very back of the grid.

Heat two, for those who had neither qualified for the World Final, nor were eligible for the last chance consolation semi, was next up, with over 30 cars on track. With several in the fence and a pile-up on bend four, yellow flags were called, with white-top 330 Graham Wagstaff heading the field from Warrington’s 463 James Morris. Morris then hit the front and pulled out a gap. Meanwhile H47 Danny van Wamelen was charging through the pack and looked the fastest car out there, but ran out of time to catch Morris, instead having to be content with second, while Wagstaff held onto third.

And so onto the main event. The twenty British qualifiers were joined by the two last-chancers and 11 overseas entrants. The latter group had been on track earlier in the day, contesting time trials to determine their grid positions. After NZ282 Phillip Ogle had been quickest in the first run, he was demoted to fourth when all had had their second attempts, in what was a very close contest. USA12 Josh Pelkey earned fifth on the grid by going quickest in the Danny Wainman machine after his own (hire-car) had played up. Starting alongside him would be H61 Koen Maris, while H148 Danny Smidt was third fastest.

After a big build-up, defending champion 1 Lee Fairhurst and 197 Ryan Harrison led the field away for two rolling laps under the floodlights, in front of the huge and vocal crowd. When the green flag flew the first two rows got away relatively cleanly, with outside men Harrison and 84 Tom Harris jumping ahead and no big first bend hits really materialising. But behind them, Pelkey, not used to contact racing, found himself turned into the home straight fence with 150 Mick Sworder caught behind. A lap later, Fairhurst was also turned around on the straight, and although he got going again after a delay, Pelkey and Sworder couldn’t untangle themselves and the yellow flags came out. The pair were dragged to the infield and one of the pre-race favourites was out.

On the restart, Harrison led from Harris, inside second row starter 259 Paul Hines, 55 Craig Finnikin (up from row five), Maris and 212 Danny Wainman. Behind them, 94 John Dowson Jr, 2 Paul Harrison, 515 Frankie Wainman Jr and 4 Dan Johnson completed the early top ten. Harris found a way through within a lap and proceeded to pull out a gap from where he could control the race. Hines appeared to lack pace in his car and was a sitting duck for those behind, quickly dropping down the order. Harrison held onto second for some time, but Finnkin gradually reeled him in and moved ahead. And that was how things stayed as each of the top three drove tidy races to steer clear of trouble. A clearly delighted Harris crossed the line to take a popular first World title – likely to be the first of many. Meanwhile Finnikin and Murray Harrison also recorded their best ever finishes in the big race as they completed the podium. FWJ fought his way through to fourth, just missing out on a record-equalling 11th podium finish. 2011 champion Paul Harrison came home fifth, while defending title holder Fairhurst recovered to sixth, ahead of 318 Rob Speak, Danny Wainman – his first World Final finish – and last chance-qualifier Yarrow. Rounding out the top ten was Dowson, on debut. Leading Dutch finisher, thus claiming the Piet Keijzer Memorial Trophy, was Maris.

There were two consolation races to follow. The first was led almost the whole way by H195 Harmen Zwerver. 21 Mark Gilbank and 16 Mat Newson worked their way through the field but couldn’t get on terms with the leading Dutchman until he clipped a parked car on the final bend. That allowed Gilbank to get a nose inside but he couldn’t quite complete the move, missing out by half a car’s length.

The second consolation saw 107 Lee Robinson relieve early leader 351 John Frost before yellow flags came out for an incident that, typically, had just managed to clear itself. The impressive Ogle then fought his way past to take the win. Robinson held on for second ahead of Johnson.

The meeting final, for the Harry Smith Memorial Trophy, featured another packed field of 31 cars. A fire onboard the stranded machine of 267 Graeme Robson eventually led to a caution, with Wagstaff again leading at the time. Newson had already made excellent progress to third place and went on to hit the front before the half-way mark. From there he would dominate, winning by virtually half a lap. Johnson overhauled Gilbank as the pair completed the top three. Outgoing World Champion Fairhurst, now reverted to car number 217, was fourth, ahead of Finnikin and Kroonder.

The meeting-closing Grand National was punctuated by multiple cautions, with Sworder hitting the front before Fairhurst’s still-gold roof went out on a high by coming through to win. Newson again showed what might have been in the big race by claiming his third top-three of the night in second, with Yarrow third.

A restricted entry for the big 2-Litre Saloon Stock Cars meant only the leading 38 qualifiers for the newly inaugurated Driver of the Year title were granted bookings. With 389 Ryan Santry on the end of plenty of bad luck with engines recently, he pulled out, allowing 637 Mick Bulldeath into the meeting. Before the title race, the meeting began with a white and yellow grade event, which came to a dramatic conclusion on the run to the flag. 22 Karl Petters and 74 Tam Tweedie had battled throughout. Catching them on the last lap, 220 Casey Englestone went for the big last bender, spinning Petters in the process. Tweedie then appeared to spin in sympathy, possibly with a nudge to help, and the trio approached the line in a tangled heap. Petters and Englestone made it over the stripe in that order but poor Tweedie was left stranded, yards away.

The Driver of the Year race was next up, with 130 Joe Gladden not making it, to leave a 37-car grid. The multiplier scoring system left a star front row of 306 Daniel Parker and 499 David Aldous, followed by the blue-graded 538 Jake Swann and yellow 214 Tom Yould on row two. Aldous immediately hit the front, while further back a massive pile-up saw 192 Robert Heanes ride high up over 217 Sid Madgwick and land on 391 Jake Banwell’s bonnet, bringing out the yellow flags. It was already shaping into a titanic battle between the big-name shale experts as Aldous led the restart from Parker and the Sampson brothers, 149 Jamie and 428 Lee. Another caution was called when 106 Jamie Stafford found himself stranded facing the oncoming traffic, with the order at the front unchanged. Aldous then proceeded to just drive away from his pursuers, roaring to the win. It was a fitting result for the undisputed King of Lynn who has found himself out of luck in the big title races this year. Behind him, Parker drove strongly for second, while there was a good scrap for third. The Sampsons passed and repassed each other before 152 Chris Fountain half spun Lee, allowing Jamie to break free. 18 Jamie Clayton was able to move ahead of Fountain as they came fourth and fifth respectively. Sixth went the way of 116 Diggy Smith after a cracking charge from the very back row of the grid, while Lee Sampson was seventh and 402 Shaun Webster eighth.

The Saloons’ next race was for the Jack Dain Trophy. 32 cars provided plenty of spins and action, with the inevitable yellow flags following. 360 Carl Waterfield, finally eligible for a drop to blue grade, having now not been World Champion for more than four years, took full advantage, scything his way to the front. But Aldous was also on a charge and hit the front on the penultimate lap. Waterfield cleverly hung back, in an attempt to manoeuvre inside the 499-car and spin it, but it didn’t quite come off, as Aldous held on. The star names once again excelled in front of the massive crowd, with Parker, 156 Darren Goudy, 570 Simon Venni, Smith and Jamie Sampson next home.

An allcomers completed the action for the saloon stox. A big roll for Stafford led to red flags and a complete restart. 128 Craig Banwell soon hit the front but Aldous was once again flying, moving rapidly into second place. He soon moved ahead but Banwell did well to hang on before Jamie Sampson did him at the death to claim second. The action wasn’t over even after the chequered flag had flown, as 6 Simon Welton put Diggy in hard, ending up on top of the latter. It was a fitting way to end a spectacular night.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Consolation Semi Final 276 22 415 H217 51 321 191 434 335 H240
Heat 2 463 H47 330 267 306 H399 H484 H36 H51 H392
World Final 84 55 197 515 2 1 318 212 22 94
Consolation 1 H195 21 16 388 446 45 53 12 496 H38
Consolation 2 NZ282 107 4 34 H77 351 H646 H231 H148 386
Final 16 4 21 1 (217) 55 H217 212 191 388 H240
Grand National 1 (217) 16 22 150 446 H217 280 58 H36 H99
2L Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
White and Yellows 22 220 115 257 637 214 218 391 404 nof
Driver of the Year 499 306 149 18 152 116 428 402 6 570
Jack Dain Trophy 499 360 306 156 570 116 149 216 128 404
All Comers 499 149 128 18 306 6 116 22 730 26
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img1From the pure adrenaline and Unlimited Power of the F1 Stock Cars to the destruction and crazy antics of the Bangers - you can see it all at the Norfolk Arena! With up to fifty cars in every race, action is guaranteed and here at the Norfolk Arena we encourage “full contact” where spinning and hitting other cars is all part of the racing!

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