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By BSCDA, Jul 18 2017 12:41PM

Nigel Green left his rivals reeling in the European Championship at Northampton on Sunday as F1 stock car racing’s man of the moment won his first major title in the sport.


It was also Green’s seventh final victory of the season. Once he rode out and removed the initial threat of Frankie Wainman Jnr and Dan Johnson in the early stages, Green dictated the pace from the front and won in emphatic style.


Try as he might, former European Champion Ryan Harrison – who came from the tenth row of the grid to take up the fight for the victory – could do nothing to close the gap on the leader and was resigned to finishing second. Shaun Webster, who drove well all weekend, scored his first podium finish in the major F1 title race, with a well-deserved third place.


The day began with two-thirds heat format, with points added with the results from the evening before towards the European grid line-up. A large field of 29 cars lined up for heat one, in which Stuart Smith Jnr and Mat Newson tangled coming out of turn four after a lap. Alex Wass took the lead in the early stages and was never headed., while further up the grid Todd Jones charged through the pack and was closing rapidly on Wass at the flag. Joff Gibson was third, with Green, Tom Harris and Luke Davidson rounding out the top six.


In the 23-car second heat the previous night’s final winner and runner-up Scott Davids and Dean Whitwell tangled early on entering the back straight, while Webster got a great start and was past early leader Richard Woods by halfway.


Green came through a battle with Wainman Jnr and Johnson to take up the chase in the closing chases, but Webster was far enough ahead to score his first win of the weekend, with Chris Cowley hanging on to third place ahead of Wainman Jnr, Johnson and Harrison.


Roger Bromiley led for the majority of the 27-car third heat ahead of Wass and Jacklyn Ellis, while Jones charged through the lower graders to take up the chase. With three to go Jones pushed Bromiley wide to take the lead, with Wass slipping through to second. Jones took the flag ahead of Wass and Bromiley. Davids came through to finish fourth, ahead of Johnson and Ben Riley.


The European Championship grid line-up put Davids on pole with Green alongside, both having scored 60 points over the two days, but with Davids taking two victories. Johnson and Wainman Jnr lined up on row two, with lone Dutch driver Wesley Schaap slotted in on the inside of row three alongside Wass. Webster took up the fourth row inside slot, with Riley next. Bromiley and Jones shared row five, with Gibson and Smith Jnr on row six. Of the other leading lights, Davidson was on the outside of row seven, Harris the outside of row eight, Harrison on the inside of row ten and Lee Fairhurst on the inside of row 13. Mat Newson did not start.


Davids led a very slow rolling lap and took Green unawares at the green flag to take the lead on the opening lap, while Green was left vulnerable to attack from Johnson at the first corner. Green headed fenceward, but came out of turn two still in front but now had Wainman Jnr behind him as they headed down the back straight.


Into turn three Wainman Jnr shoved Green wide to momentarily take second place, but by also drifting wide he opened the door for Johnson to go through into second spot. A lap later and Wainman Jnr forced Johnson wide to regain the position.


Into the next lap and as the battling trio entered turn one Green made a decisive move by catapulting Johnson into Wainman Jnr. The world champion clattered the fence and limped off the track, while Johnson dropped to sixth place.


Behind this battle, Bromiley had made a great start and forced his way by Webster to go third. Green closed up behind leader Davids and was about to take the lead just as the yellow flags came out.


For the restart Davids still led, from Green, Bromiley and Webster. Behind these Smith Jnr was up to fifth, Johnson was next, followed by Harrison, who had cut through the field with some forceful driving to be up to seventh place, ahead of Jones, Harris and Davidson.


As the race went green Davids again got a flying start to lead from Green. Webster passed Bromiley to go third, while behind these Johnson pulled off as Harrison swept by Smith Jnr to take fourth spot.


On lap five Green caught Davids and took the lead out of turn two when the yellows came out once more after Dean Whitwell, Steve Whittle and Frankie Wainman Jnr Jr tangled in turn four.


Green led the restart, with Webster taking second place ahead of Davids out turn four a couple of laps later. Harrison swiftly passed Bromley, and then Davids – who was kept out wide into turn three – to go third. Bromiley followed Harrison to go fourth as the pack behind bunched up, led by Harris, who was now fifth, Smith Jnr and Jones.


Another yellow flag stoppage closed the grid up once again before halfway, with Green leading from Webster, Harrison, Bromiley, Harris, Smith Jnr, Jones and Fairhurst.


For Webster to have any chance of glory he needed a good restart, but he didn’t get one, lighting the rear tyres at the wave of the green flag. It meant Green was able to pull away and also Harrison could dive through to take second place entering turn one.


Behind these Bromiley had Harris, Smith Jnr, Jones and Fairhurst for company and soon dropped down the field. Jones then shoved his way past Smith Jnr and Harris, but had the compliment returned by Smith Jnr into turn one. Harris then led the pack in a great battle for position but Jones was not done yet and planted Smith Jnr into Harris into turn one to take back the place.


As Smith Jnr slowed and eventually pulled off, Harris tried to get back on the racing line with Davidson, Gibson and Fairhurst breathing down his neck, but spun out of contention in a cloud of tyre smoke.


Meanwhile up at the front, Green was controlling the pace and the race as Harrison, now on his own in second place, did all he could to try and close the gap – which was half the length of the straight.


But there was no stopping Green, who extended his lead and reeled off the remaining laps to become European Champion. Webster finished third, with Jones an excellent fourth, ahead of Gibson in a notable fifth and Fairhurst, who came from the 13th row to finish in sixth place. Harrison celebrated the result by using Green’s front bumper as a fence post to do a burnout on the start/finish line.


For Green the race came to a straightforward and successful conclusion but the start was anything but.


“The first few laps were quite tricky,” said Green. “The start was a complete mess form me with how Scott managed it. I wasn’t even in gear, I had my foot on the clutch at the time but it dropped in gear, which was fortunate.


“And then I got attention from Dan at the first corner, which I expected. They knew they had to sort me out if they were going to win that race. But I had a big enough gap so he couldn’t get a proper hit on me. He gave me what he could and put me to the fence, but fortunately I came out back in front of him but that put Frankie, who was next in line, to have a go at the next corner.


“That left me behind them but I waited until they were in lined up right for me and then cleared them up, and from then on it was easier for me. Once I was in front it was a case of nursing the tyres, I knew I had good pace, and driving it sensibly to make it to the flag.”


Harrison had to be aggressive and used up his tyres to get in a decent position. “The problem with these new tyres is you can’t attack anyone otherwise you end up going in with them,” he said. “But I was happy with that. It was a long way back to start. I said beforehand I would be happy with a top six.


“Nigel was just too quick. When he gets to the end of the race, while we’re all struggling, he stays at the same pace – there’s no drop off.”


With Green taking the one-lap handicap, 19 cars lined up for the last F1 race of the weekend, the Internations Cup Grand National. Bromiley took up the running when the yellows came out on lap five, with Woods, Wass and Jones next.


Jones took little time to pick off the leaders and took a lead that he extended with every lap to go on and win the race by half a lap. Smith Jnr had his best result of the day to finish a strong second, with Wainman Jnr third, ahead of Green, who made up chunks of ground to finish fourth from the one-lap handicap, Davids and Bromiley.


(Photos 1 & 2 - Colin Casserley / Photos 3 & 4 - Neil Randon)

By BSCDA, Jul 18 2017 09:21AM

Scott Davids romped to his first final win for six years and added the BSCDA Trust Fund race to his race win tally at Northampton on Saturday evening.


Davids, from Manchester, returned to the sport this season after being banned for a year and drives one of Mat Newson’s hire cars on Tarmac.


The BSCDA Trust Fund race was the first F1 race on the card. Joff Gibson led the 24-car field from the green flag ahead of Chris Cowley, Davids and Shaun Webster in fourth. Further back Frankie Wainman Jnr made a good start and led the pack of superstars.


Cowley forced his way into the lead after a couple of laps, before Gibson moved him wide into turn two, allowing Davids through to take a lead he would not relinquish. Webster followed him through to go second out of turn four, with Will Hunter moving into third.


With a clear track ahead of him Davids began to stretch his lead, while Hunter moved past Webster and into second place. By halfway, the train of stars and superstars had caught up with fourth-placed Cowley with Luke Davidson and then Wainman Jnr forcing their way by.

Further back Tom Harris, Nigel Green and Stuart Smith Jnr were in a heated battle which eventually resulted in Green pulling away.


As the lap boards came out Davids maintained his lead in front of Hunter and Webster, with Davidson close up. Green had caught and passed Wainman Jnr to go fifth.


Davids took the flag in a controlled drive, with Hunter a strong second, just keeping his nose in front of the flying Green in third. Davidson was fourth, with Wainman Jnr and Webster rounding out the top six.


Heat two featured 23 cars, with Samuel Wass leading brother Alex until a stoppage shortly after halfway. Samuel Wass was forced to pull off before the restart with a flat tyre, which allowed Alex Wass to lead and take the flag for his first win of the season, with Stuart Shevill Jnr second and Jacklyn Ellis an commendable third.


The 25-car consolation was led by Neil Hooper from Samuel Wass and Michael Scriven, until a stoppage in the second half of the race. Hooper maintained his lead on the restart to win from Ben Riley, Scriven and Mat Newson.


The 28-car final for the Allan Barker Memorial Trophy was led in the early stages by Dean Whitwell ahead of Jacklyn Ellis, with a gap back to Roger Bromley and a charging Davids. Behind these Steve Whittle was being closed down by Hunter, with Dan Johnson next.


Up front Whitwell maintained his lead at halfway, as Ellis pulled off, with Davids now second. Whittle was next as Johnson moved up to fourth ahead of Hunter and Davidson.


As the laps boards came out Davids began to close the gap on Whitwell, with these two well clear of Johnson and Green, who was making made rapid late progress. Davids caught and passed Whitwell with three laps to go and went on to take the flag and a notable heat and final double. Whitwell finished an excellent second ahead of a rapidly closing Johnson. Green was fourth, ahead of Whittle, Wainman Jnr, Smith Jnr and Harris.


Davids was full of praise for car owner Newson. “If he didn’t do this, hiring out cars, I wouldn’t race,” said Davids. “I haven’t got time in my life to run my own car, but I’ve got a lot of my own stuff I use on the car. I put my own rubber on it, all the consumable parts.


“Mat has made the difference. I’ve always run my own cars but Mat knows what to do. He raced that car last week, I don’t have the knowledge he has, and he thought “I can make this better.”

“And I got here late and got in it and out on track and immediately noticed the difference. You can’t fault the man, can you? And his team have been great.


“I didn’t do anything different in the final. I just kept my head – I didn’t do anything stupid – and paced myself and it ended up being my day.”


The points amassed on Saturday went towards the grid positions for the European Championship the following afternoon, and Davids was realistic about his chances.


“If I achieve being on the front row that will be amazing,” he said. “There’s a big difference between being on the front row and actually winning the European. I’ve got a chance but I’m not an idiot – I’m a realist.


“I’ve been getting a good start from blue, whereas the likes of Nigel Green and Dan Johnson will be starting next to me. We’ll just see how it goes. I’d need a lot of luck.”


The 31-car Grand National for the Richie Ahern Memorial Trophy was the most entertaining race of the night. The race was stopped after three laps after Rich Pacey came to grief in turn three, while Ryan Harrison, Lee Fairhurst and Ben Hurdman tangled coming out of turn four.


Danny Colliver led the restart from Bromley and Webster, until Johnson charged his way through the pack to lead by halfway, ahead of Webster and Bromley. Then with seven laps to go Dutch driver Wesley Schaap drilled Cowley into the fence into turn one resulting in Cowley tipping over, bringing out the red flags.


On the restart Johnson cruised to victory, with Smith Jnr coming through to second, ahead of Wainman Jnr, Green, Riley and Scriven. Davids ended a very successful evening finishing ninth from the one-lap handicap.

By BSCDA, Jul 13 2017 12:34PM

Northampton plays host to the European Championship this weekend with Dan Johnson defending the title he won last year.


And while the British Grand Prix is taking place at Silverstone just up the road, with 55 F1 stock cars currently booked in to compete over the weekend, plus the BriSCA F2s and Rebels battling for their European titles, it promises to be a spectacular two days of bumper action.


Favourite for the title is Nigel Green, who has proved the man to beat on Tarmac this season, with five of his six final victories coming on the surface.


Despite his dominance, however, Green has yet to win a major title during his four-year F1 stock car career. He has come close, finishing second in the European last year, as well as finishing runner-up in the National Points Championship Shootout.


With the race format changing this year, the Bruntingthorpe driver will have an outstanding chance of rectifying that omission to his racing CV. In previous years the race was the first event on Sunday’s card with drivers lining up in graded order.


However, this year for the first time, the results from Saturday evening, plus the heats and consolation on Sunday will count towards the 32-car grid, with the driver with the highest points total starting from pole position, with no grades and a closed grid.


The Dutch contingent will automatically qualify for rows three and six, unless their overall points tally determines a higher grid position.


Green believes the change in format is the right way to go. “I think that’s better, personally,” said Green. “I think drivers will be happier with that and the first corner might be a bit more entertaining.


“We’ll see how it goes. It’s a one-off race and anything can happen and I don’t like the roof colour if I’m honest!”


Another driver yet to paint his roof red and yellow is Stuart Smith Jnr. The European is the one of the four major titles he has still to win.


“I’ve come close a few times got second,” said Smith Jnr. “It’s something I want to achieve but if doesn’t happen, I have a few more years to have a go at it.


“In the past it has been a very hard championship to win. I think it needed a revamp to give it a bit more prestige, but I suppose that will only come with time.”


The two-day meeting starts of Saturday at 5pm and includes the BSCDA Trust Fund race open to all star and superstar grade drivers.


In 1976 the Driver's Benevolent Fund was created to help give financial support to drivers who are forced to take time off work through racing injury. This was registered as a Charity in 1984 and became known as the BSCDA Trust Fund. Donations are always welcome to this worthy cause, and can be given at the meeting on Saturday evening during the traditional BSCDA driver’s collection, or directly to the BSCDA via the BSCDA Secretary on admin@bscda.co.uk


On Sunday the meeting starts at 12 noon, so make sure you get there early!

By BSCDA, Jul 12 2017 07:40AM

Todd Jones took full advantage of his A-grade starting position to trounce a top-class field in the final at Skegness on Sunday.


Jones, a regular star-grade driver, drove his Tarmac car to its second Skegness final victory of the season, after Jones’ mechanic, Harry Steward, sensationally won the UK Open in the same car in May.


The afternoon started off with 21 cars in heat one with Joe Gladden, driving a Mat Newson hire car, winning his second race of the weekend. Nigel Green charged through to chase down the C-grader and went for an audacious last-bend attack but missed his target. Jones finished third, ahead of Jacklyn Ellis, Luke Davidson and Daz Kitson.


“I didn’t quite make contact,” said runner-up Green. “Another lap would have been enough but it was good to see him win in a hire car, which proves the Newson cars are competitive enough to win.”


Heat two feature 21 cars, with BTCC racer Ant Whorton-Eales upgraded overnight from C- to B-grade. And it was Whorton-Eales who took up the running for the majority of the race, battling with Drew Lammas, who eventually took the win, with Stuart Smith Jnr getting through late on for second place. Whorton-Eales finished third, ahead of Will Hunter and Murray Jones. Frankie Wainman Jnr was up into fifth place but failed to finish after losing his outside rear wheel.


In the 20-car consolation Steve Whittle survived a last-bend attack from Colin Goodswin and won the sprint to the line, with Mat Newson third, ahead of Wainman Jnr, Lee Fairhurst and Joff Gibson.


The final for the Frank Hughes Trophy lined up with 29 cars. From the green flag Richard Howarth took up the running from Gladden, Ellis and Phoebe Wainman, when the race was stopped after the opening lap. On the restart Howarth led until Gladden took over, with Phoebe Wainman holding off Whorton-Eales for second place before going in too deep into turn one and relinquishing that position after a couple of laps.


As the race developed Gladden held on to his lead from Whorton-Eales, while Jones was making rapid headway and had made it past Whorton-Eales and into second place into turn one. The yellow flags came out before halfway after Ryan Harrison and Stuart Smith jnr tangled in turn two leaving Harrison stranded and on the restart Gladden continued to lead, from Jones, Danny Wainman, Whorton-Eales and Newson.


Gladden pushed on after the restart, but went wide into turn one two laps later allowing Jones to take the lead, with Wainman and Newson also forcing their way through ahead of the feisty white top.


From then on Jones was able to maintain his lead over Wainman and Newson to take the victory. Fairhurst finished fourth ahead of Bradley Harrison and Wainman Jnr.


It was a welcome return to form for Jones, who has not had the best run of luck in recent weeks. “I was off the pace at Ipswich but I thought it was going well at Northampton the next day,” said Jones. “But I only managed to do the heat because we found the diff was leaking. We took it all out and sealed it back up, but the studs had pulled out of the axle and there was no way of fixing it at the track, so that was game over.”


The Farnborough driver then struck problems at Skegness on Saturday evening. “I was going OK in the heat but I came up behind a white top and was undecided whether to hit him or let him decide to move out of the way,” Jones said. “I hit him as he was going sideways and he spun and hit me under the side rail and squashed all the exhaust.


“And it took literally all the way up to the Grand National to fix the exhaust. We had to cut it all open and the weld it all back up again. To be honest, I thought that was going to be the end of the weekend.


“In the National it wasn’t going too bad – and then I got a puncture. I was going to blame it on the car being painted green!”


“Then on Sunday I was third in the heat – not a very good third – the brake bias fell apart on the pedal so the brakes were playing around. So we got that sorted out and obviously it was a lot better for the final.”


“I don’t like starting from blue. I’d rather be at the back and then you feel you’ve earned it.”

The 27-year-old still had to keep Danny Wainman and Newson at bay for two-thirds of the race, which he maintained wasn’t a given, considering his style of driving.


“I have a habit of over-driving the car and wearing the tyres out, if I’m honest,” Jones admitted. “I do that quite a lot. I go mad at the start and then at the end of the race there’s nothing left, but this time I managed to pace myself.”


Green returned to winning ways in the 26-car Grand National, surviving a last-bend bid by Whorton-Eales to take the flag. Davidson finished third, with Gladden rounding off an excellent weekend in fourth place, ahead of Smith Jnr and George Elwell.


“Ant took a bit of getting to,” said Green. “I caught him up with two laps to go and there was a parked car in the middle of the last corner. What I should have done was hit him hard to put him round the back of it, but I was a bit too fair with him really.


“So I left it a lap and into the last-but-one corner I drove underneath him. He lifted off trying to give me room, wanting me to take the lead, but I lifted off as well to sort of let him go.


“So I kept the car up the side of him, so I didn’t overtake until I got into the corner and I drove up on to the kerb so he couldn’t push me into the parked car.”


With no yellow flags during the race, Jones came through from the one-lap handicap to finish in a commendable 12th place.