Buxton Meeting Report - 9th June 2019
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