Frankie Wainman Jnr is the new BriSCA F1 National Points champion. Wainman Jnr secured the title at the National Points Championship Shootout Finale, sponsored by Richard Baldwin Motorhomes, at Belle Vue last Sunday by finishing sixth in the meeting final.
By winning the silver roof for the 14th time in his career, Wainman Jnr also broke the record he held jointly with the late Stuart Smith for National Points Championship title victories.
Wainman Jnr went into the Finale with a 34-point lead over his brother Danny, with Mat Newson in third place a further six points behind. Both Wainman and Newson needed to outscore Wainman Jnr in both heat, final and Grand National to have any hope of taking the title.
Newson competed in the same heat as Wainman Jnr, and having been passed by the Shootout leader at the start, Newson planted Wainman Jnr in the fence. After the restart Wainman Jnr returned the compliment before retiring with a flat tyre, while Newson finished down the field and out of the points. Lee Fairhurst, who began the day 108 points behind in fifth place, won the heat.
Danny Wainman finished third behind Tom Harris and Will Hunter in heat two, while Wainman Jnr recouped his lost points by winning the consolation event. Newson was unable take part in the race or the rest of the meeting due to engine issues – and so his challenge for the silver roof came to an end.
This left just Wainman and Fairhurst the only possible challengers to Wainman Jnr, but Fairhurst needed to win the final and finish second in the National, with Wainman Jnr and his brother failing to score any points to snatch victory.
In the final, however, after Harris was forced to pull off with gearbox problems, Jake Harrhy romped to victory ahead of Hunter, with Fairhurst third. Wainman Jnr finished sixth – enough to take the silver roof.
A memorable Shootout series was concluded with the Grand National and last race of the season. It was won by Bobby Griffin, with Fairhurst fourth, Wainman Jnr sixth and Wainman eighth.
After 10 tough rounds of competition, Wainman Jnr won the National Points title by 48 points ahead of brother Danny, with Fairhurst – who was the highest points scorer on the night – a further 36 points back in third place.
"I really wanted to win the Shootout this season and so it is a fantastic way to finish the year for me, and to break the record is the icing on the cake," said Wainman Jnr.
"I feel for Stuart (Smith Jnr). I know he must be gutted he couldn't defend his title – it would have been a close battle between us and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.
"It has been a long season and I couldn't keep up the level of competition without the help of my team, and in particular Norm, who has been with me for more than 20 years, Binns, Matt, Russ, Lee, Ashley, Gareth, Razz and last but no means least, my wife Sam."
It was a night of double celebration for the Wainman family as daughter Phoebe, in her first full season of competition, won the BriSCA F1 One-Car Series Championship, to become the first-ever woman driver to win a championship event in the sport.
Wainman needed five points to take the title leading up to Belle Vue and she secured the title in her heat by scoring ten points.
"I was feeling really nervous beforehand, so it meant I could relax for the rest of the meeting," she said. "It feels amazing. I really wanted to win it and it has been my target all season."