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By BSCDA, Aug 29 2019 09:00AM

This weekend at King’s Lynn sees the annual running of the Trust Fund race which is open to all current red and superstar graded drivers and any drivers who held that grade at any point in 2019.

The Trust Fund was setup in 1976 following the tragic loss of Brian Wallace (119) at White City. Brian, from Farnworth in Lancashire, started racing in 1972 but was tragically killed in a crash at White City, Manchester in June 1976. Racing with a red roof, the throttle of the 119 car jammed open and crashed flat out into and almost through the safety fence. Following the incident many changes were brought into the sport with regard to car construction and safety fences. Brian won 40 races in total during his relatively short racing career including three Grand Finals, two at White City in 1973 and one at Aycliffe in 1974.

The Trust Fund was created to help the drivers and their loved ones in the event of injury or loss of life. The fund has helped a number of drivers and dependants over the years following accidents while racing.

The Trust Fund race started in 1977 and has been run every year since with various tracks playing host to this important race. The 2019 race returns to King’s Lynn for only the 3rd time having last held the race in 2003.

The defending champion of the Trust Fund trophy is Bobby Griffin (166) who took the title at Northampton last year and will be trying to go back to back.

Three other trophies will be raced for on Saturday, the first of these will be based on the following heat and is for the Steve Froggatt trophy which will be given to the first white, yellow or blue top to finish. Steve was from Sheffield and first registered as #510 in 1980 before taking the #240 for 1981. Not a prolific racer, Steve still managed two race wins. Both came in the same week in July 1982 with victories at his local track, Sheffield and at Rochdale. Steve was injured in a crash at Bradford at the end of May 1984. He was in intensive care in Leeds but never regained consciousness before passing away as a result of his injuries a few weeks later. Last year this trophy was won by Rob Plant (364)

The Grand Final will be for the Allan Barker Trophy. Allan racing under number 179 from the stock car breeding ground of Mirfield, West Yorkshire was one of the sport’s larger than life characters. He began racing in 1971 and remained registered until 1990 although his racing had curtailed somewhat by then. Allan was a prolific car builder but, ironically, one of his best seasons was when using the Stuart Smith second car!. Allan won 16 Grand Finals, the first at Aycliffe in 1973 with the last at Northampton in 1979. Allan ‘retired’ from the sport periodically and dropped down the grades accordingly with many of his Grand Final wins coming as a yellow or blue top. Allan was also actively involved behind the scenes in his later years with the BSCDA. Dan Johnson (4) took the trophy in 2018.

The final race of the meeting, the Grand National, will be for The Richard Ahern Trophy. Richie came from a racing family from Romford, Essex and originally raced for the Spedeworth organisation and then the breakaway SCOTA before coming into BriSCA Formula One in 1979. Richie won one Grand Final with SCOTA at Great Yarmouth in 1978 and then four with BriSCA at Northampton, Harringay, Sheffield and Leicester. Richie was injured in a crash at Coventry in 1981 and sadly never recovered from his injuries. The Ahern family continued with stock cars and supported Bobby Burns (471), also from Romford, and later with Darren Ahern also racing the 471 number. Bruce Potveer (H62) took this trophy in 2018.

Good luck to all drivers racing for these prestigious 4 memorial trophies.

During the meeting drivers will come amongst you with their helmets asking for donations, please give what you can to the Trust Fund.

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