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Trackstar Racing | Info | Results | 2018 | Saturday 4 August

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Saturday 4 August

Words: Mark Paulson

Photos: Colin Casserley

2007 world champion 390 Stuart Smith Jr did exactly what he set out to do and dominated the first BriSCA Formula One World Championship semi-final at King’s Lynn on Saturday (4 August). In doing so, he clinched a front-row start for the World Final at Skegness next month. There was a consummate performance from 84 Tom Harris to win the meeting final, ending 515 Frankie Wainman Jr’s hopes of clinching a £1000 bonus in the process. The night’s other main event winners were 217 Sid Madgwick (Two-Litre Saloon Stock Cars) and 298 Jake Walker (BriSCA Formula Two)

 

BriSCA Formula One

The much-anticipated world semi-final doubled-up as heat two of the meeting proper, which as a whole raised 52 cars, although sadly 48 Shaun Webster’s usual tarmac car failed to run in anger. When the green flag dropped, Smith’s fellow front row starter 16 Mat Newson got a slight jump, but not enough to overcome Smith’s inside line advantage. Newson bounced off the fence but managed to continue behind the Rochdale man, and ahead of 21 Mark Gilbank, 84 Tom Harris and 197 Ryan Harrison, who was then passed on lap two by 220 Will Hunter. Second row men 212 Danny Wainman and 326 Mark Sargent both lost out in the early skirmishes and were then caught up in a pile-up on the scoreboard bend. That required yellow flags to assist 346 Ashley England (who, like 186 Todd Jones, was in a Mat Newson hire car for a rare foray onto shale), ending his hopes. Wainman, Sargent and 2 Paul Harrison were also eliminated, left to ponder their chances of securing one of the two World Final places on offer via the Consolation Semi-Final.

Smith led away the restart, with Hunter immediately spinning into retirement – another whose hopes were dashed. Harris managed to demote Newson to third, then 446 Joe Booth was spun out of a qualifying position by 555 Frankie Wainman Jr Jr. With Jones and 335 Mark Woodhull both forced out by punctures it was starting to look as though a driver might only need to finish to claim a World Final spot.

By this stage, around half-distance, the race started to settle down with most of the remaining runners happy to settle for what they had rather than risk losing out. But there was heartbreak for Newson, who gradually dropped further back from Harris before pulling off into retirement. Gilbank inherited third, and that’s how it finished, with Smith heading Harris home. Ryan Harrison, 175 Karl Hawkins, 166 Bobby Griffin, 372 Colin Goodswen, FWJJ, 12 Michael Scriven and 502 Ricky Wilson completed the qualifiers, as the only other finishers.

 “Mat tried to squeeze me from the start but I made my intentions clear,” said Smith afterwards. “I wanted to win that. I saw Tom coming [mid-race] so I changed my driving style. The car wasn’t brilliant but it was good enough.”

On his chances in the World Final Smith added: “I think we’re all going to be looking where Nigel [Green] finishes [the second semi-final]. If he’s anywhere near the front, we’re going to have to stick him away.” Having shown prodigious speed at Skegness this year, it’s clear that the defending world champion’s rivals think he is the man to beat at the Lincolnshire track.

Harris explained his car suited the wetter conditions early on and suffered from oversteer in the closing stages. “My car was really good at the start,” he said. “I thought I had the legs on Stuart [mid-race]. When it went slick I was just a passenger, just holding onto my position.

“Sorry I couldn’t make it a good race,” he told the crowd. “[The car was] too loose. We’re going to make a lot of changes for the [meeting] final.”

The meeting had started with the usual race for white and yellow grade (and Dutch) drivers, which produced a win for double Formula Two world champion 532 Daz Kitson from H410 Jelle Tesselaar after the pair had clashed earlier in the race. Kitson then went on to take heat one proper too. 515 Frankie Wainman Jr was catching him towards the end but not fast enough. 94 John Dowson Jr, who was running third, slowed over the last few laps and then retired with a lap to go, allowing 169 Billy Johnson to re-inherit the place.

Attrition in the heats resulted in a high-calibre consolation featuring eight red tops and six blues. In an action-packed race, 137 Sam Jacklin raced clear and held the lead until retiring after half-distance. With 76 Aaron Cozens also dropping out, 242 Joe Nickolls moved in front and managed to stay clear of the chasing stars to take a win in only his third F1 meeting. Woodhull and a charging Danny Wainman completed the top three as in the end 192 Luke Dennis was the only red-top to miss out.

Nickolls led away the meeting final, but it was Wilson who was in front at the time of yellow flags after plenty of hard-hitting action. Some of the stars had made the most of the early exchanges, with 259 Paul Hines, Dowson and Harris filling places five to seven in the queue for the restart. Many onlookers had been carefully monitoring the progress of Frankie Wainman Jr, who was on for a £1000 bonus if he could become the first man ever to win three successive finals at King’s Lynn. He survived those early exchanges and was just outside the top 10 at the time of the stoppage.

On the resumption, Harris charged straight into second, then took the lead when Wilson half-spun a little later. By the time of the next caution, Gilbank was second and Smith third, having passed FWJ cleanly, resisting the temptation to end his bonus hopes by putting him in the wall. He had earlier quipped: “I think all the drivers are going to be tossing coins to see who’s going to take him out!”

Smith and Wainman both passed Gilbank on the restart, and FWJ briefly got back ahead of Smith but soon lost out again. As Gilbank tried to pass he got turned across the front of the Wainman machine, delaying both. Wainman recovered relatively quickly but lost several places. He worked his way back through, passing Dowson for third with three to go. But by that time Harris and Smith had disappeared. Harris took a comfortable win, with Smith second and Wainman third. Booth, Dowson and Paul Harrison completed the top six.

The grand national was led pretty much from start to finish by Jacklin. Smith couldn’t close him down fast enough in the closing stages, while Griffin completed the top three. Harris could only manage 12th from the full lap handicap in a race that went uninterrupted flag to flag.

 

Two-Litre Saloon Stock Cars

In their last meeting at King’s Lynn before the World Final at the same venue on 18 August, the 36-car field of Saloons included some visitors looking to get some practice on the track. English champion 27 Kieren Bradford and fellow West Country driver 276 Ben King were both making their shale debuts. Bradford in particular looked like he was getting to grips with the surface, but neither managed to score any top-10 finishes on the night.

After the opening white and yellow grade race, won by 120 Luke Dorling, an all-in format was used, making for a very busy track. In heat one proper, 270 Matt Fuller and 537 Tom Alsop battled over the lead for several laps, but quickly found themselves having to deal with (star grade) backmarkers, which made life difficult. From the back half of the grid, 217 Sid Madgwick and 641 Willie Skoyles Jr were making rapid progress, and joined the lead group by the time of a second caution period. After that, Skoyles quickly passed Madgwick then took the lead, with Madgwick following through. The youngster struggled to keep pace with the leader and although he attempted a last-bend lunge, he wasn’t close enough. Skoyles held on to win from Madgwick and 116 Diggy Smith, with 733 Kyle Picton just in front of a big last-bend squabble instigated by 26 Tommy Barnes, who also came out in front.

Madgwick’s good form continued in heat two. He made it into second with four laps to go, but was unable to chase down long-time leader 312 Neil Payne who held on to win. Alsop completed the top three with the stars headed by 218 Jacob Downey in fourth. Many had been involved in the hard-hitting action that had gone on throughout.

The final was another very lively race, and Madgwick was again the man to steer clear of trouble as he carved through the field at lightning pace. He was third within a few laps and demoted Picton from the lead before half-distance. A roll for 192 Robert Heanes led to red flags which might have given the stars hope of catching Madgwick, but it wasn’t to be. World champion 306 Daniel Parker proved he’s in good form ahead of the defence of his title with second, but he couldn’t catch Madgwick. Third looked set to be 360 Carl Waterfield but he was spun out on the final bend by 116 Diggy Smith, who had hung back to exact revenge for being spun himself earlier on. 570 Simon Venni inherited the place, with 220 Casey Englestone, Downey and 888 Shane Emerson completing the top six.

 

BriSCA Formula Two

Completing the bill on a big night for the other formulas meant only a restricted entry of BriSCA F2s could be accepted. The 31-car field nonetheless included a number of drivers who were set to race in the following afternoon’s World semi-finals at Barford.

In the heat, 321 Marcus Skeels spun from the lead, then 724 Tom Pell and 630 Justin Parker crashed while battling for the lead, allowing 715 Scott Aldridge to take up the running. He was nudged wide by 12 Daniel Ford just before half-distance, and the Yorkshireman pulled clear for a comfortable win, with Aldridge holding onto second. 995 Michael Lund was third. New European champion 788 Stephen Mallinson was third after successfully fighting back against 7 Gordon Moodie, who dropped to seventh as a result.

All but one returned for the final. Aldridge hit the front again but Lund was flying and had risen to second by halfway. He used his bumper to take the lead on the road bend with six laps to go, while 298 Jake Walker got into second a couple of laps later. It looked like Lund had done enough, but Walker closed the gap in the closing stages and was just within range for a last-bend lunge. The bumper went in, and Walker prevailed in a drag race to the line. Lund was second from 276 Chris Sutton third, with Aldridge, Moodie and 377 Daz Shaw completing the top six.

The grand national’s early skirmishes delayed several stars as 277 Billy Banwell led, with blue-graders 55 Courtney Finnikin and Lund quickly up to second and third. Finnikin moved ahead after a caution period until Lund bumped her wide to take the lead before half-way. Finnikin then withstood relentless pressure from Moodie for several laps before he edged inside and she was then shoved into the fence from third with just two laps to go. Moodie caught and passed Lund for the win, with 527 James Riggall third.

 

Mylaps Link: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1571556

 

BriSCA F1 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W & Y 532 H410 215 242 57 278 32 137 268 93
Heat 1 532 515 169 445 463 32 259 H410 211 127
Semi Final 390 84 21 197 175 166 372 555 12 502
Consolation 242 335 212 244 220 326 45 2 446 94
Final 84 390 515 446 94 2 166 H410 555 127
Grand National 137 390 166 21 515 16 259 445 446 555
2 Litre Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
W & Y 120 502 425 537 312 470 248 552 192 NoF
Heat 1 641 217 116 733 26 570 218 360 399 888
Heat 2 312 217 537 218 306 171 570 733 360 220
Final 217 306 570 220 218 888 525 399 116 552
F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 12 715 995 788 276 527 7 78 377 682
Final 298 995 276 715 7 377 78 277 225 212
Grand National 7 995 527 12 377 212 55 142 103 277
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