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Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2018 | Saturday 22 September

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Saturday 22 September

Photos: Pictures 1 - 11 - Colin Casserley, Pictures 12 - 27 - Dave Bastock
Words: Mark Paulson

 

The Hitman, 84 Tom Harris, produced one of the most dominant recent displays seen in BriSCA Formula One stock cars at King’s Lynn on Saturday night (22 September) as he scorched to a hat-trick of successes in round two of the end-of-season Shootout. Saloon Stock Cars were also in action, contesting the opening round of their inaugural National Series, with local man 641 Willie Skoyles Jr stealing a march on his rivals for the silver roof. 1300cc Stock Cars completed the bill, with 191 Luke Leedell winning the main race.

 

BriSCA Formula One

Following a hectic previous weekend, the second round of the Shootout raised 39 cars, with 10 of the 12 Shootout runners present, as neither 4 Dan Johnson nor 464 Luke Davidson will contest the shale rounds. The two-thirds heat format adopted for the night would ensure plenty of cars in each race and give the ‘Shooters’ no easy rides.

The usual non-points race for white and yellow graded drivers kicked off proceedings with a 16-car grid. White-top 345 Jake Harrhy, starting from the front of the grid for the first time in his fledgling F1 career, set the pace and led until four laps from home when 268 Richard Woods moved ahead. But Harrhy wasn’t to be denied; he stuck with Woods, having a few nibbles at his back bumper, before going in with a last-bend lunge. Both cars ran wide and Harrhy almost spun himself onto the infield exiting the corner, but he managed to straighten the car and just hold on to win from Woods and Cambridgeshire man 415 Russell Cooper.

In heat one proper, Harrhy was at it again. This time his win was more comfortable as he beat 166 Bobby Griffin and top Shootout runner 16 Mat Newson to the flag. Behind them, 526 Finn Sargent headed brothers 212 Danny and 515 Frankie Wainman Jr, who recovered from an early spin. FWJ’s son 555 Frankie Wainman Jr Jr had no such luck, retiring with a blown engine that would keep him out for the rest of the night, while 220 Will Hunter was also a non-finisher.

 “I’m lost for words really,” said Harrhy after his impressive display. “I just got away. I used my head a little bit, took it steady.”

Harris came on track for his first race of the night in heat two, and proceeded to put on a masterclass. He led before half-distance and then pulled away at ease, eventually winning by approaching half a lap from Griffin again and 197 Ryan Harrison, with Newson and new world champion 390 Stuart Smith Jr the leading Shooters in fourth and fifth. The Wainmans’ night wasn’t getting any better as FWJ was a first-lap retirement, after he lost a wheel.

“We’ve been messing about with the set-up,” said Harris afterwards. “It wasn’t as good in the wet [on the freshly-watered track at the start], but it was better in the middle of the race.”

With Harrhy and Harris both undefeated, something had to give in heat three. Young Harrhy again shot into the early lead but ran too deep into the scoreboard bend, clouted the wall and broke his Panhard rod. Considering that, he kept up a reasonable pace for a few laps before calling it a day. Woods inherited the lead, but Harris was scything through once more, and again hit the front before halfway. He went on to win from 217 Lee Fairhurst and 321 Ed Neachell, who was making a rare appearance at the track. 445 Nigel Green added fourth to his seventh in heat two, while Shootout runner 259 Paul Hines was sixth.

“The last couple of laps when I tried to slow down, the car was a lot looser again,” said Harris. “So we’ll go back to where we were [on set-up],” he added, ominously. “I think I’ll have a target on my back after taking two heat races.”

A target he may have had, but he could only be stopped if someone had the pace to catch him. Would that happen in the final? Many of the blue and red tops were delayed early on, but like many a great driver, Harris used his skill and experience to avoid trouble and make excellent progress in the early laps. As 242 Joe Nickolls built a lead out front, Harris had risen to fourth within three laps. He quickly dispatched 463 James Morris and 215 Geoff Nickolls and then relieved Nickolls of the lead well before half-distance. From there, the result appeared inevitable, but Smith wasn’t going to give up. Having to start at the back of the Shootout grade clearly makes it harder to make the rapid early progress that Harris – who has confirmed he won’t be able to contest every round – is able to from the front. So it took Smith a little longer to carve through the field, but he managed to pass Nickolls for second just after halfway, as Frankie Wainman Jr pulled off with a puncture, his silver roof hopes taking a dent.

Smith set about reeling in Harris’s big lead and made significant inroads in the closing laps, but it wasn’t enough as Harris went on to secure his hat-trick, Smith following him home with Green third. Nickolls had driven a terrific race to remain third with only four laps to go, before suffering a puncture and having to manhandle the car home 10th.

“The people who finished in front of me are just faster than me at the moment on shale,” admitted Green, before confirming that work is due to restart on his two new cars that had been mothballed last winter following rule changes. A renewed assault from him next year should produce a heavyweight contest with Smith for supremacy – a mouthwatering prospect.

Smith himself said: “I felt as though I was fastest then. It’s just a bit harder to get through the traffic early on when you’re further back in the Shootout [grade]. We nearly did it – needed another couple of laps, I think.”

Harris admitted: “He was reeling me in. I could see him – nothing I could do about it. My car is suited to when the track’s wet so hopefully they’ll put plenty of water on it [for the grand national].”

From the full-lap handicap, and with no stoppages, Harris could manage only eighth – still very creditable – in the grand national, where Smith again demonstrated his own pace, passing fellow Shootout runner Newson for the win. Griffin completed an excellent night with third, while Wainman salvaged something from what had been a wretched meeting with fourth. But he still lost his lead in the Shootout points – brother Danny now holds a two-point lead from Smith, with FWJ a further six back, as the Shootout heads onto tarmac.

 

Saloon Stock Cars

A hectic racing period and some very unfortunate injuries took their toll on the Saloon Stock Car entry, which nonetheless still topped 30 cars, including all 10 of the runners in the augural National Series. They included three Scotsmen, with 600 Barry Russell incredibly making his 11th appearance at the track this year, despite a journey of over 400 miles each way.

First up was a non-points race for the Driver of the Year title. With the grid formed by seasonal points scored weighted by grade, Russell was joined on the front row by 172 Jack Rust, with 888 Shane Emerson and 570 Simon Venni on row two. Russell jumped into the early lead before Emerson moved ahead as third row man 306 Daniel Parker clipped a marker tyre and spun, and 399 Cole Atkins was collected heavily in the confusion.

Russell was spun from second by 217 Sid Madgwick on lap two, with the lead also changing shortly afterwards. 26 Tommy Barnes had dropped to the back of the field and was lapping among the frontrunners, albeit a lap down. From there he delayed Emerson and allowed brother-in-law 116 Diggy Smith to take up the running. But Smith was soon re-passed by Emerson, with 525 Wes Starmer following through. Starmer moved into the lead as Emerson started to slip backwards before a stoppage was required to assist world champion 157 Max Stott after he had gone heavily into the fence with 730 Deane Mayes. Stott exited his car OK but it would be the end of his night – no National Series points for him.

On the resumption, Smith moved into the lead as he, Starmer and 428 Lee Sampson moved clear of the field. Sampson moved inside Starmer for second with two laps to go but Starmer got him back with a last-bend lunge. Smith had already won when the placemen produced a spectacular finish, Starmer’s back bumper getting hooked on the front of Sampson’s car as they exited the final bend and tipping him into a roll as they crossed the line.

The first heat proper produced a win for 214 Tom Yould from 217 Sid Madgwick, with 641 Willie Skoyles Jr opening his National Series account strongly in third. He was in fact the only National Series scorer, as Parker and Russell joined Stott on the sidelines, and Smith suffered a blow-up during the race.

Yould again ran strongly in heat two, finishing second to 733 Kyle Picton after 316 Danny McCluskey had led for a long time, before eventually dropping out of the picture. Skoyles was again the leading National Series man in third as it was 670 Ross Watters’ turn to take a heavy fencing with Mayes this time.

Russell and Sampson, who had missed heat two, both performed engine changes to make the grid in the final, but neither would be rewarded for their efforts, Sampson spinning and getting clobbered early on. McCluskey and 350 Tommy Parrin had spells in front, before 120 Luke Dorling put Parrin into the fence and 247 Lee Clarke – the Banger World of Shale champion having an outing in the injured Michael Allard’s car – took the lead. Clarke would eventually finish fifth, impressive nonetheless, as Skoyles completed an excellent start to his quest for the silver roof with a win. Madgwick had initially been awarded the win, but queried the result himself, and was found to be a lap down. Picton was second, with Mayes salvaging a respectable opening round score in third.

“It’s more luck than anything,” said Skoyles modestly. “That’s how it is round here.” He admitted that strategy would play its part over the remaining five rounds. “I’ve got to think about the points. Taunton next time, so we’ll see what happens,” he added, not sounding overly confident, despite that being the venue of his 2016 European Championship title.

1300cc Stock Cars

A strong field of the smaller stock cars was also in action, with 55 Ricky Ivatt leading from start to finish to take a comfortable win in the white and yellow grade opener. He led much of the way in heat one proper too, before a mistake on the back straight of the penultimate lap handed the lead to 191 Luke Leedell who then lost out on the final bend to 142 Jack Lower, with season dominator 129 Will Morphey completing the top three.

After winning the Steve Newman Memorial in a Morphey hire car, 303 Jacob Bromley was debuting his own new car. He had done a few laps testing at Swaffham but was struggling to get the fuel flow right. But it all came good in heat two, which he won from Leedell and 400 Kevin Shinn.

Leedell finally got his win in the final after Ivatt had again set the early pace. Morphey deposed Bromley from second on the final lap, with that trio all scoring big points on the night.

 

Mylaps link: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1595771

F1 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W & Y 345 268 415 76 313 215 526 H447 H112 93
Heat 1 345 166 16 526 212 515 175 25 215 94
Heat 2 84 166 197 16 390 217 445 215 463 212
Heat 3 84 217 321 445 463 259 335 25 268 526
Final 84 390 445 212 463 175 166 H447 25 211
Grand National 390 16 166 515 445 212 321 84 175 259
2 Litre Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Driver of the Year 116 525 428 217 570 888 214 730 733 131
Heat 1 214 217 641 552 120 316 570 733 247 26
Heat 2 733 214 641 217 26 247 570 525 409 552
Final 641 733 730 888 247 570 131 217 399 529
1300cc Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W & Y 55 561 191 241 303 101 232 42 162 690
Heat 1 142 191 129 216 241 400 760 422 317 473
Heat 2 303 191 400 142 55 473 246 450 317 216
Final 191 129 303 400 142 55 422 388 241 216
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