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By BSCDA, Mar 27 2017 12:34PM

It was a ‘Mr Box Office’ double bill on Saturday evening as former BriSCA F1 European Champion Mick Sworder completed a consolation-and-final double at King’s Lynn.

The King’s Lynn event was Sworder’s first outing this season, apart from an eventful non-points meeting at Wimbledon at the beginning of the month, having missed the opening meeting at Belle Vue, Manchester last weekend.

Sworder began the night initially failing to qualify for the final in his heat. “We had trouble in the heat,” said Sworder. “I heard a bit of a noise so I slowed down and didn’t qualify.

“Andrew Smith, my team and one or two other lads all just mucked in. It still wasn’t right in the consolation event, but we cured the problem we had in the heat and it was a lot better.”

On a perfect evening for racing on shale, with clear skies as the sun set over the Fens, the night began with a White and Yellow Grade Final, in which Mark Sargent won comfortably from Nigel Harrhy and Luke Dennis.

History repeated itself in the next heat with Wainman Jnr scoring the victory, as he did 12 months ago, taking the lead with three laps to go from Bobby Griffin. A fast-finishing Dan Johnson came through to finish second ahead of Mark Woodhull, Griffin, Tom Harris, in the revamped Jamie Davidson shale car, and Nigel Green.

Mat Newson was next, racing the much-discussed Billy Tom O’Connell shale car for the first time. The car proved to be competitive all night, with a top-five finish on the cards in the final prior to a mid-race tangle that resulted in a flat tyre.

After Sworder had little trouble winning the consolation ahead of Finnikin and Paul Hines, further adjustments were made to the Molesworth-based driver’s shale car prior to the 32-car final.

Starting at the back of the star-graders, Sworder powered through the field and was already up to fifth place when the yellow flags came out for a race stoppage on lap six.

On the first lap of the restart, Sworder was quickly into his stride and took the lead out of turn four.

From then on the 40-year-old never looked back and won by more than half a lap from BriSCA F1 world champion Frankie Wainman Jnr, with former world champion Craig Finnikin in third. Hines made up ground from a slow start to finish fourth, with white-grader Chris Farnell an excellent fifth ahead of Woodhull.

“The car was absolutely flying,” said Sworder. “Frankie (Wainman Jnr) made me laugh after the race. He said, “I don’t mind coming second when I can see first place. But when I can’t see the winner it’s pretty embarrassing for a world champion!”

“I said sorry mate. He had no idea who was winning. Frank said “the starter kept signalling me I was second but I couldn’t see who was winning. It wasn’t until the last lap that I looked across and saw you and thought he can’t be still winning can he?”

Woodhull ended a successful night with a win in the Grand National, although only after leader Wainman Jnr slowed to a halt on the last lap with a broken differential with the race at his mercy. Johnson was second, with the improving Harris third.

By BSCDA, Mar 24 2017 10:10PM

The big guns of BriSCA F1 will be out in force at the Adrian Flux Arena at King’s Lynn tomorrow night as many star names take to the track for the first time this season.

With 46 cars booked in, and plenty of new cars and paint jobs on show, the results during the night will shed light on who has the best shale car set-up straight out of the box.

At last year’s King’s Lynn opener it was Frankie Wainman Jnr who put down a marker that he was going to be the man to beat during the season with an emphatic heat and final victory, and a third place from the one-lap handicap in the Grand National. Nigel Green, winner of the final last weekend at Belle Vue and second in the National Points Shootout at the end of last year, followed him home in both heat and final 12 months ago.

European Champion Dan Johnson and “Mr Box Office” Mick Sworder make their season debuts tomorrow, although Sworder took part in the destructive final meeting at Wimbledon earlier in the month. Two of the heroes from the British Lions team who finished runner-up in the NZ Teams Championships last month, Ben Hurdman and Bobby Griffin, are also in the line-up.

Much of the focus, however, will be on former World Champion Tom Harris, who drives last year’s National Points Shootout Championship-winning shale and Tarmac cars for Jamie Davidson.

Harris, who won the World Final at King’s Lynn in 2013, began the year in dramatic style competing against the best Midget racers in the United States at the Chilli Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa in January. The 28-year-old gained the respect of his fellow competitors by qualifying his Midget for the ‘B’ Final on Finals night. A flat tyre halted the potential prospect of an ‘A’ Final slot.

The Banbury star has a daunting schedule in front of him. As well as clashing bumpers and nerf rails with his main rivals throughout the season in BriSCA F1, he is also planning a full-on campaign in the States, including competing in a number of USAC events as well as a full season in BriSCA F1 both here and in Holland.

“At the moment, we’ve got 85 meetings we’re doing!” says Harris. “The first few weeks of the season is just about getting everything organised because after that it is going to be a very busy time for me.

“I will be flying to America on Sundays, racing Monday through to Thursday and flying back Friday and racing BriSCA F1 on the Saturday…”

In the meantime, Harris has spent the close season building stock cars and preparing the Davidson machines – raced successfully by Rob Speak for the past three years – for the new season. The shale car has been completely stripped back down to a bare chassis and rebuilt from the ground up.

Harris worked alongside car builder Stephen ‘Cecil’ Sayers to get the car ready for King’s Lynn. The finishing touches were added while Sayers was away on holiday in America for a couple of weeks.

“We’ve totally revamped it,” says Harris. “We’ve put different suspension on it, a fresh engine and we’re all geared up ready to go. It’s been stripped down to absolutely nothing. New axles – basically there are more new bits than old bits. The rear suspension is radically different.

“Cecil has got his own ideas and it has his input. We’ve worked together on the car but he has done all the work to be fair. He’s been away in America for the past couple of weeks but now the crew chief is back!”

As for this season he sees the same names featuring for the big races. “It should be the usual suspects really,” says Harris. “Frank, Nigel Green, Dan Johnson, Lee Fairhurst, Mick Sworder. Stuart Smith Jnr didn’t make the Shootout last year so he will be gunning for it. He is obviously keen having done Belle Vue last week.

“Of the younger guys, I think Bradley Harrison could be a front-runner. He’s driving his dad’s Tarmac car this year, so if he does the meetings and puts the effort in, he’s got the equipment now to run at the top.

“Ben Riley is coming on. He’s got good equipment now. He’s got the best you can get both on shale and Tarmac! They’ve got the finance to carry it on through the year.”

As for targets during the season Harris has the big events firmly in his sights. “Obviously Jamie has been kind enough to ask me to race in Speaky’s stuff this year,” he says. “So I’m going to do my absolute best for the team. Whenever I go out on the track I race to win.”

By BSCDA, Mar 20 2017 11:44AM

Nigel Green won the first final of the 2017 season at Belle Vue on Sunday with a last-bend attack on leader Stuart Smith Jr.

The weather played its part, making the track treacherous for the first half of the meeting at the Manchester track, in which Smith Jr set the pace to win the first heat of the new season, ahead of Danny Wainman and Craig Finnikin.

Yellow-grader Karl Roberts, who finished fourth in heat one, took the lead early on in heat two and was never headed.

Superstar Green, from Leicestershire, had a quiet start to the meeting, failing to finish the opening heat, and followed up with a fourth-placed finish in heat two.

In the final, Roberts led until the yellow flags came out during the last quarter of the race. It wasn't long before Smith Jr took the lead, but a puncture to his outside rear tyre slowed his progress in the closing stages and Green seized his chance on the final lap, pushing his rival wide on the final bend to take the win.

"I managed to get underneath Stuart mid-corner and nerf him wide and on to the wet stuff," said Green.

Smith Jr managed to recover to finish second, with Roberts third. "The puncture happened with three laps to go," said Smith Jr. "It was just bad luck. Again."

Roberts finished off a successful evening with a second win on the night in the Grand National, ahead of Finnikin and Smith Jr.

World champion Frankie Wainman Jr had a meeting he'd rather forget. Having hot-footed it from Buxton, where daughter Phoebe had been racing her V8 Hotstox during the afternoon, he arrived in time to finish fifth in his first heat.

“I went to Buxton because Phoebe was racing her Hotstox with a new engine," Wainman Jr said. "I’d rather be there to oversee that before heading to Belle Vue."

Third in the second heat, Wainman Jr half spun during the early stages of the final and was turned round by race winner Green. By the time of the yellow flag, Wainman Jr was already a lap down to leader Roberts, He finished the night with a ninth-place finish in the Grand National.


Heat One: 390, 212, 55, 313, 1, 249, 169, 183, 238, 555

Heat Two: 313, 249, 1, 445, 192, 216, 238, 169, 183, nof

Grand Final: 445, 390, 313, 212, 55, 249, 422, 238, 220, 169

Grand National: 313, 55, 390, 212, 238, 445, 192, 249, 1, 169

By BSCDA, Mar 18 2017 08:52AM

The waiting is over. The 2017 BriSCA F1 season begins in earnest at Belle Vue on Sunday and with it another action-packed year of shale and Tarmac racing.

World champion Frankie Wainman Jnr heads the star billing this weekend, and superstar Nigel Green is also in the line-up.

The Leicestershire driver will be hoping to erase the memory of the last time he raced at the Kirkmanshulme Lane track last October.

It was at the Vue’s final meeting of the 2016 season, the Shootout finale, last October where Green intended to complete a remarkable season and with it the coveted silver roof.

Having led going into the final round from Rob Speak, Green came unstuck in the final. The shale car that had performed admirably throughout the year suddenly let Green down. The prop shaft broke.

“The mechanical failure couldn’t have happened at a worse time, when double points for the final were on offer,” said Green.

“I was going OK in the race. I was where I needed to be, driving conservatively..

“It was about lap six or seven and I was just going down the back straight when it just went with a big bang, with obviously a big vibration, and that was that really.”

He had one more chance in the Grand National, his aim being to remove Speak from the race, but having successfully fenced his rival in the opening laps, Green ended up in the fence behind him. And because of the prop shaft issue, the gear linkages had to be locked in second gear prior to the race.

“So I’m in the fence, my car is still perfectly straight but I can’t select a reverse gear to back out to carry on,” Green said. “If I could have backed up, everything would have been fine.”

Unfortunately for Green, Speak was able to continue and the silver roof was his.

This season, however, there is no Rob Speak on the grid, and Green is more determined than ever to get the job done.

“My whole season is focused around winning the silver roof,” he said. “To my mind the Shootout is the most important title to win, because you have to be good enough to finish in the top 12 in the points to get in.

“And if you manage to score the most points after ten rounds against the best drivers it is a massive achievement.”

Those out on the track trying to finish in front of Green on Sunday include former World and National Points champion Stuart Smith Jnr and the 2014 world champion Craig Finnikin.

Also lining up at the Vue will be two new names to BriSCA F1. The BSCDA welcomes Robert Plant, from Milnrow and Chris Alderson, from Barrow-in-Furness, to the BriSCA f1 fold. Dan Clifford, from Skelmersdale, starts his second meeting, his first having been on Boxing Day at the Vue in December.

The meeting starts at 4pm