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By BSCDA, Jun 22 2019 11:27AM

Tom Harris snatched a sought after BriSCA F1 British Championship after late drama at Hednesford Raceway. Entering the final lap in third place, Harris was on hand to profit after long-time race leader Matt Newson, and Lee Fairhurst clashed on the last bend.


With two-time former British Champion Fairhurst unwilling to settle for second place, the race reached a blistering conclusion with the 217-car launching a desperate attack on Newson’s rear bumper, as the front two entered the East-bend for the final time. The force of the 217-bumper sent both cars spinning towards the armco, allowing Harris to slip up the inside, as the momentum propelled the16-car into the about to be lapped Karl Hawkins.


As both lead cars bouncing off the armco, Harris lit up the rear wheels of the J Davidson machine, to cross the finish line and claim the title, ahead of Frankie Wainman Jnr, who also took advantage as both Newson and Fairhurst attempted to recover.


For Harris it was jubilation at landing the last of the major BriSCA F1 titles, and one which had previously evaded the former World Champion. Whereas, for Newson, it was further despair after once again coming agonisingly close to a first British title, only to see his hopes ended for a second successive year, with the finish line in sight.


Whilst everything dropped into place for Harris, it was a case of so near yet so far for Newson, and yet another hard luck story.


“I’m just gutted,” reflected a disappointed Newson.


“I lost [the race] on the last corner last year and I genuinely didn’t think that I’d ever get closer then, but today I think I got just as close again!”


“I’ve lost two British finals on the last corner, and I’ve probably led enough laps to win both.”


“I set off at the start and I wanted to get away. It was no good being in the middle of the pack, so I used up my tyres thinking it would be okay.”


Newson was quick to reflect on the move that prevented him righting the story from last year’s race, and also quick to heap praise on Fairhurst for his all-or-nothing mentality.


“Credit to Lee, you’ve got to have a go for it and I’d have been the same. You don’t want to lose a Britsh title final without having a go, so it has to happen.”


For Harris, as the new champion, unsurprisingly it was an entirely different set of emotions.


“I can’t believe it,” said a delighted Harris.


“It’s the only [title] that has eluded me. No-one in this stadium would know how desperate I was to win that race.”


Harris accepted that the win looked less likely as the laps counted down, yet summed up perfectly the unpredictable nature of BriSCA F1.


“Matt had it won, that was a third-placed finish, but that’s stock car racing!”


“Me and Lee were gaining on Matt and I thought if I could get to him sooner, I could deal with both of them.”


“With the lap-boards, I just ran out of time.”


Runner-up Wainman likewise accepted that in Fairhurst’s position, he would have tried the same.


“Lee had to go for Matt on the last bend, he just had to do it,” said the current National Points Shootout Champion.


“I just wasn’t close enough to get onto Tom at the end.”


Despite being a prominent front-runner early on and looking like Newson’s main threat, the record nine-times British Champion, soon found himself overhauled by eventual winner Harris and the fast-moving 217-car.


“I suffered with brakes fading towards the end and Lee and Tom, who were both on it, came flying past me.”


“I’ve had a good day, the car has been well on the pace all day and with second in the British Championship, I’m really pleased.”


Newson, in a repeat of last-year’s title race, seemed on course for a flag to flag victory, only to lose the title metres from the chequered flag, in a near exact repeat of the 2018 race.


The 16-car appeared to be moving closer towards the title after twice gaining the advantage from the chasing pack. After an incisive break-away at the drop of the green, Newson again took the initiative on the restart following an early caution.


As first Wainman and then Fairhurst tried in vain to reel in the 16-car, Newson this time appeared to have done enough to secure the title, before Fairhurst was finally in range to attempt deny his fellow Super Star.


The 16-car had earlier looked in imperious form after securing pole-position for the title race, following two wins in the qualifying heats. In the six heat format there were also wins for Ryan Harrison and the impressive Joe Nickolls from yellow grade. They were joined on the honours board by Danny Wainman in the dual-surface 212-car and Ashley England, who kept his cool to claim Heat Three ahead of Kelvin Hassell.


Report by Simon Hughes

Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley

By BSCDA, Jun 17 2019 03:31PM

Yesterday saw the BriSCA F1 drivers make the trip to Hednesford Hills Raceway for the British Drivers Championship and we would like to start by saying a massive thank you to all of the drivers who supported this prestigious championship and for supporting their association.


We witnessed the very best of stock car racing on the hard stuff as the day built up to a spectacular British Championship where the last lap of the race ended in dramatic fashion resembling the end of the 1991 World Championship at the same venue.


A big thank you to all the staff and all those involved with the running of the event and especially to all of the fans who came along and supported the event as all of the above contributed to making this British Championship a great event.


Congratulations to Danny Wainman (212), Ashley England (346), Ryan Harrison (197) and Joe Nickolls (242) for their Heat wins and to Mat Newson (16) for his brace of Heat wins.


Congratulations to Tom Harris (84), your 2019 British Champion. Tom has finally obtained every major championship in the sport after yesterday's victory.


A special mention must go out to Mat Newson and Lee Fairhurst (217) for making the British Championship a memorable one due to the last bend of the race but our commiserations to them both.


By BSCDA, Jun 14 2019 08:33AM

The first meeting of the year at Buxton and it was an important one, as the world championship points scored would count for double. This could really shake up the table and change the standings in the Road to Gold. In the pits and Lee Fairhurst (217) returned his world winning car into action having been on loan to Bolton University since the beginning of the year. 35 cars were in attendance after the previous evenings racing at Birmingham had meant a few hadn’t made it. Sam Jacklin (137) a late arrival and only making it out for the consolation. That was far better than Drew Lammas (543) who had gearbox issues meaning he was in attendance but never made it out on track.


Heat 1 gridded up with 16 cars. Nigel Green (445) initially the biggest mover from the back but a few laps in he started to head backwards. Tom Harris (84) took up the charge to the front. In the early running Lee Fairhurst (217) would pull off with technical issues. Further back Adam Bamford’s day started badly (it wouldn’t get much better) when he was put into the fence at turn 1, damaging his car. Up front Luke Davidson (464) takes the win untroubled with Harris a fair amount back.


Heat 2 next up with 17 cars on track. Ashley England (346) missing his heat having spent a large amount of time with the car on the jacks trying to resolve a drive train related issue. Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) leading the charge from the back, Dan Johnson (4) unusually slow in this heat, looking far from comfortable, he would eventually retire. Work in the pits seemed to centre on the brakes. Up front Sean Willis (287) returning to tarmac and racing for the first time since the Good Friday Skegness, he would complete a flag to flag victory in a car still for sale, George Elwell (501) continuing his strong weekend in 2nd.


Consolation and with very little damage in the heats 19 cars made it back out. First time visits to the race track for Sam Jacklin (137) and Ashley England (346). Fairhurst and Johnson also needing to qualify for the feature final, Bamford also making it back out after his earlier damage. Courtney Witts (180) took up the early running in the consolation from England. Into the final lap as the leader had taken the chequered flag behind, Terry Hawkins (275) put a big hit on Bamford into turn 1 to put Adam in the fence hard. Driver all ok, the car not so much and they chose to call it a day. England would make his first race of the day count by winning, holding off Fairhurst who was slowly catching. Johnson’s day didn’t get much better with only 10th to show for his consolation.


The Al Henderson Memorial Final with 28 cars on track. Double points ensuring there was 50 on offer. An early caution called for Courtney Witts (180) who was in the fence at turn 4, all ok but the car was not in a great position. Sean Willis (287) continuing his great form leading to the restart. Before the caution Nigel Green (445) who wasn’t having a great day pulled off with a rear puncture. We didn’t get very far into the restart as a big crash on the home straight brought the yellows out again. Micky Randell (172) found himself hitting the home straight fence and parking his car on the home straight just before turn 1. The pack behind scattering as best they could, but Karl Hawkins (175) and Paul Harrison (2) got caught out and Hawkins took a very hard hit to the turn 1 fence. Thankfully all ok after feeling very winded following the accident but cleared by the medical staff. All 3 drivers receiving large amounts of damage and calling it a day. The fence requiring a little attention before we came back to green. Upon the restart Joe Nickolls (242) in his dual surface car lead away with George Elwell (501) in hot pursuit but never really getting close enough to mount a hit. In the latter stages he had to contend with Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) who had taken 2nd from Elwell and continued to show good speed. Into the latter few laps Nickolls was driving like a pro, hitting every braking spot, hitting every turn and generally driving like someone with far more experience. This style was rewarded with his first ever Grand Final win and thoroughly deserved after keeping Frankie behind, Elwell taking a fine 3rd place.


Grand National and the last double point race of the meeting, Joe Nickolls (242) taking the half lap handicap starting behind the superstars. An early yellow flag called for Paul Hopkins (278) and Frankie Wainman Jnr Jnr (555) who had both found the fence at the exit of turn 4. The cars requiring separating before the race got back underway. Sean Willis (287) had took up the early lead but further back Luke Davidson (464) had made the biggest start from the back, two positions ahead of Mat Newson (16) and many ahead of the rest of the reds and superstars. Coming into the final parts of the race and the heavens opened making conditions very tricky for all the drivers as it began to get wetter. The fans all jumping for cover. Davidson managed to book end the meeting winning the first and last races at Buxton, Newson hanging on for 2nd and Ashley England (346) taking another podium in 3rd.


Report by Daniel Smith

Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley

By BSCDA, Jun 3 2019 12:53PM

The final stop of the bank holiday weekend saw a trip to the Belle Vue stadium in Manchester. John Lund (53) made another appearance and maintained his 100% attendance record at Belle Vue. Michael Whiteman (233) made his debut on the shale driving the same car he has been using on the tarmac. Tom Harris (84) in excellent form was looking for his 3rd shale final in a row having won the finals at Northampton the previous week and King's Lynn only two days earlier.


Heat 1 on track with 17 cars out on, Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) and Mat Newson (16) coming from the back. A clean start with Karl Hawkins (175) leading the charge from the back with a 3 car hit into turn 1. Further back Newson and Jack France (216) along with Luke Dennis (192) get caught together at turn 1 and delayed. Up front Dave Willis (337) had established a lead. Hawkins now unable to make further progress as Mal Brown (34) was putting up quite a fight when Hawkins was up the inside Brown would power around the outside to keep the spot. This brought Bobby Griffin (166) and Wainman Jnr onto the back. One more attempt to get past and Hawkins ran wide allowing Griffin and Wainman Jnr passed. But 1 lap later Hawkins finally gets the move done on Brown into turn 1. Austin Moore (127) racing the ex Ben Hurdman car had established a lead. Coming into the latter parts of the race, Newson had recovered well into the top 10. Coming onto the final lap with a huge lead, Moore would pick up a rear puncture. Powering through with the foot planted to try and get as much traction as possible and Wainman Jnr taking massive chunks of time, Moore just about made it across the finish line before Wainman Jnr managed to catch.


Heat one 127, 515, 276, 175, 220, 16, 423, 34, 166, 192, 268, 216


Heat 2 on track again with 17 cars. Tom Harris and John Lund made their first appearances of the afternoon. Jake Harrhy (345) went for a spin at turn 1 on the first lap loosing loads of time. From the back Harris manages to get ahead of the reds and superstars and sets off for the front with Newson not far behind. Lund again having a great race already up to 3rd and getting 2nd a few laps later before going off after leader Karl Roberts (313). As Lund makes it to Roberts both are demoted by Harris who has caught and passed them both and goes off and wins the race. Last bend and Newson wants 2nd from Roberts but a slight error sees both tangle together and Lund picks the right side and sweeps around the outside down the home straight taking 2nd.


Heat two 84, 53, 313, 16, 423, 212, 555, 463, 93, 34, 192, 345


Heat 3 with 17 cars again on track. Harris and Lund unable to make the race. Harris having some kind of oil leak and Lund retiring from the meeting with a gearbox issue. At the start Sam Makim (93) heads to the turn 1 wires as Gary Jackson (423) and Sam Jacklin (137) both parked at the exit of turn 1. A few others joining the turn 1 parking lot with Karl Hawkins (175) unable to get going and would be the cause of the first caution stuck in the middle of turn 1. Karl Roberts (313) up front. At the restart and Rob Jacklin (136) goes for a monumental hit on Phoebe Wainman (211), both cars into the fence. Jacklin wouldn't go any further. Wainman rolling and coming to a stop just past the starters rostrum. Yellows called for due to the position of Phoebe's car. Coming to the restart Roberts still leading but now had Frankie Wainman Jnr (515) all over his back bumper and it didn't take long before Wainman Jnr was up the inside and off into the distance taking the win. Roberts fell back at the latter part of the race, with Danny Wainman (212) coming through for 2nd


Heat three 515, 212, 220, 166, 555, 337, 127, 216, 495, NOF


Final time and the heavens had opened with the track now very wet, but manageable with no standing water. With the chance of 3 finals in a row Harris was back out, car repaired and slotted into the last spot on the 19 car grid. The start provided a fair amount of action as multiple cars went around at turn 4 with Luke Dennis (192) heading for the sky climbing the turn 4 inner tyres. Yellows called for to remove Luke's car from its new perch. At the restart Gary Jackson (423) and Dave Willis (337) both found the fence as Will Hunter (220) took the lead. Wainman Jnr diced with the fence only just surviving without collecting it. Up front Mal Brown (34) takes the lead as Hunter goes wide. But the danger man Harris is coming fast now up into 2nd. Hunter's bad luck of the last few meetings bit again as he slowed up. Harris now taking the lead into the 2nd half of the race. With the track tricky and very wet around the outside. Harris struggled to get passed back markers and Newson was coming fast. With the bumper finally in site. Newson went for a hit, with not too much force meaning Harris ended up just a touch off line but not slowing him up too much and slotted right back into the wheel tracks of Newson. Two laps later and at the same turn 3 corner. Harris went for a far bigger hit and was enough to put Newson wide hitting a marker tyre which had found its way onto the track. That hit put Harris half a lap up the road and Newson would never catch back up. Harris completed his hattrick of final wins. Newson surviving for 2nd and James Morris a welcomed 3rd place in the Newson hire car.


Grand Final 84, 16, 463, 220, 34, 166, 515, 175, 212, 93, 337, 555


Grand National time and thankfully the rain had subsided and the track now far dryer than the final with 14 cars making it back out. Harris in his now familiar half lap handicap position. From the start Karl Roberts (313) was very slow away falling right back. Newson taking up the lead position from the back passing Wainman Jnr. Harris not making too much of an impression from the back but was catching the train. Around half way Sam Makim (93) had established a lead. Harris now starting to pick them off having caught the back. Makim though would go on to register his first ever BriSCA F1 race win in fine style far ahead of the rest of the pack. The race would go from start to finish without any yellow flags


Grand National 93, 337, 166, 220, 175, 84, 16, 515, 313, 192, 555, 34


Report by Daniel Smith

Photo by Colin Casserley

Graphic by Jack Coleman