ON FORM WAINMAN JNR LANDS KING’S LYNN FINAL
By BSCDA, Sep 8 2017 07:53AM
It may have been a “domestic” meeting with no major championships attached to it and just 30 cars in attendance, but King’s Lynn served up another excellent night’s racing on Saturday night with world champion Frankie Wainman Jnr showing that he is coming to form at the right time.
Wainman Jnr spent the first half of the meeting fixing mechanical gremlins, failing to finish either of the heats, but came good in the final to take his second final victory of the season.
Martin Spiers won the 14-car Whites and Yellows race from flag to flag, but was subsequently disqualified after failing scrutineering. This handed the race to Rob Cowley, who at 66 is the oldest driver to win a race in modern day BriSCA F1.
Aaron Cozens was promoted to second, with Mick Rogers third. This race also included New Zealand racer Jordan Dare, who was using the Ben Hurdman shale car and the Kiwi finished a commendable fifth.
Spiers led the 24-car second heat, until the yellows came out after Ben Riley tipped over in turn three.
Wainman Jnr soon took over before halfway and led by the length of the straight but was forced to retire with gearbox problems with five laps to go. This left Stuart Smith Jnr to give chase after Spiers, who suffered a puncture on the last lap, and take the chequered flag. Rogers came through for second place, ahead of Geoff Nickolls and Richard Woods. Will Yarrow and Paul Harrison rounded out the top six.
In the 24-car third heat Wainman again hit problems, when caught up in a melee with Mat Newson and Nigel Green resulted in a broken shock absorber. Cowley led until Paul Harrison took over with three laps to go, and then Harrison had to defend a last-bend attack from Craig Finnikin before taking the victory. Cowley finished third, ahead of Stuart Smith Jnr, Ben Riley and Nigel Harrhy.
The final fielded 28 cars, and was stopped when Geoff Nickolls needed attention after heading for the infield he was struck by race leader Spiers. Harrison then took over the lead from Finnikin and Wainman, with Spiers in fourth place.
After the restart on a watered track Finnikin forced Harrison wide into turn three and Wainman Jnr immediately seized his chance and shovelled both into the fence. As the cars virtually ground to a halt, the world champion then powered away.
While Harrison and Finnikin were left stranded, Green came through to second and did his best the close down Wainman Jnr, but the leader had sufficient gap to take the victory. James Morris came through to finish an excellent third, ahead of Mark Woodhall, Danny Wainman and Bradley Harrison.
“Both my cars are going well at the moment,” said Wainman Jnr. “But these days it really depends where you start in a race. The shale car was going round on rails tonight. It was really quick.”
Harrison, however, was less than happy, and launched a scathing attack on the King’s Lynn management for watering the track after the stoppage. King’s Lynn insist on watering the track after a race stoppage to dampen down dust at the behest of the surrounding haulage companies.
Wainman Jnr, however, is more philosophical about the practise. “At the end of the day, it is known now that at King’s Lynn, if there is a yellow flag, they water it,” he said. “That’s how it is. There’s no argument about that, you know they are going to water it if there is a yellow, which there usually is, and it is the same for everybody.
"We all set our cars up for the dry, but you have to alter your car and your driving style and just get on with it.”
The 17-car Grand National was stopped on lap two after Paul Hopkins smacked the fence along with Cowley, and it was New Zealander Dare, who had been getting quicker and more competitive with every race, who led the restart from Harrhy, Woodhall and Harrison, while further back Smith Jnr retired with a flat tyre.
Dare maintained the lead until three laps to go, when Harrison took the lead. The New Zealander resolutely held off the challenges of Finnikin and Green, until forced into the fence by Finnikin, allowing Green also to slip through.
Harrison maintained his lead to take his second win of the night, with Finnikin second and Green third. Newson took fourth place ahead of the excellent Dare, who recovered well to take fifth spot, with Woodhall and Wainman next. Wainman Jnr finished eighth from the one-lap handicap.