Northampton International Raceway - Good Friday 25th March 2016

On a pleasantly sunny Spring afternoon, Autospeed’s traditional Good Friday meeting at Northampton International Raceway once again produced the goods in terms of car numbers, with the pit area busy for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, Saloon Stock Cars and National Hot Rods joined for the first time at this meeting, and indeed ever at the track by the BriSCA Micro F2’s.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars entry was 47 cars, the highest tarmac total of 2016 so far and as is the tradition included drivers from all four corners of the nation and just about all points in-between.  Prior to racing most of those eligible and present for the Young Guns and Teen Sensations championships gathered for the photo call, for the launch of the 2016 campaign that will culminate at in the feature races at Smeatharpe on June 18 and 19.  The first heat saw two yellow flag periods erode 303 Chris Horwell’s lead and it was 127 Matt Stoneman who came through for the victory whilst heat two was more straight forward with 913 Pete Bartram just holding off 7 Gordon Moodie for the win.  24 Jon Palmer came through to take the consolation.  The Tommy Pitcher Trophy Final saw the full grid of 30 cars and was led off by 966 Dan Howell until there was an early yellow flag with World and European Champion 101 Kelvyn Marshall spun on the racing line on the exit of turn two.  Impressively Howell and fellow white graded drivers 689 Joe Marquand and 418 Ben Borthwick opened out a gap on the rest after the re-start as many of the star graded drivers embroiled themselves in a fierce battle for supremacy with hard hits going in, but naturally this hindered their actual progress forward.  647 Chris Burgoyne emerged as the pick of them, but he was tagged into a spin in the second half of the race after 801 Jack Cave challenged Marquand.  Moodie had to an extent “let them get on with it” with regard to the star battles and this approach paid dividends as he looked to be in a position to challenge as the race entered its final quarter.  At this point, Howell was still leading, but was passed a lap later by 59 Lee Dimmick who already had Moodie looming large behind him, and then on the next lap #7 pounced to move to the front.  Dimmick did try to defend, but Moodie had it covered and went on to take the win – his first Good Friday at Northampton victory since 2008.  Dimmick made second and 560 Luke Wrench third.   Even though several set off on their journey to Skegness for the evening meeting, the Grand National was anything but sedate and featured two large crashes.  The first saw Burgoyne’s car end up perched high on the plating on turns three and four after a clash with 111 Lewis Geach, which had been triggered by 24 Palmer.  The second crash was a huge one, and resulted from 174 Richard Pursey spinning on the home straight, where he was then collected by the pack which triggered off a massive melee involving 563 Keith Waldin, 907 Josie Dawe and 242 Ben Bate.  Wrench was the leader at the time of the last re-start, but his engine went sick and it was Palmer who moved past to lead, and he just held off Marshall to win for the second time on the day.

Saloon Stock Cars

Yes, the Saloon Stock Car entry at 30 cars was lower than in previous years at this meeting, and lower than had been anticipated, but with all cars in all races there were no fewer on the actual track and they put on a trio of highly entertaining races, showcasing the formula at their very best on tarmac.  The drivers once again came from all four corners of mainland Britain and there wound up being three different winners.   The first heat featured an incident which the day will be remembered for, with a scary fire in the car of 677 Eddie Darby.  Mercifully he was able to get the car to the infield and exit safely and without injury before the blazing fire was extinguished.  350 Tommy Parrin was the leader at the time of the yellow flag for this and the re-start featured a big battle between he, 218 Jacob Downey and 600 Barry Russell until Downey was able to open up a gap to the rest to win, but he did have 158 Shane Davies closing fast towards the end.    The second heat looked like going the way of 214 Tom Yould, but he was baulked by back marking traffic in the closing stages and it allowed by Downey and Russell to pounce, and it was to be the latter who came through to take the victory.  The Final saw plenty of heavy hits and action, with spin outs galore.  However, with all this came yellow flag periods and it was a stop and start affair, but this potentially added to the action rather than detracted from it.  After 448 Martin Kibble was the initial leader until passed by 386 Daniel Petters, this was until the first yellow flag with 22 Karl Petters heavily against the turn four plating.  The resumption featured a big moment for World Champion 6 Simon Welton who hit and rode high on the turn one plating before there was another yellow flag for 570 Simon Venni stranded and then another, this time it was the previous leader Petters who came to a stop in the same place as his dad had a few laps earlier.  The race settled down at the last re-start, if that is the correct term given the swapping and changing of places and countless spins that were going on all around the track.  Yould held sway at the front until two laps from home when 730 Deane Mayes spun him away to take over at the front and he went on to win with Darby – none the worse for his earlier fire – just holding off Davies for second place.

National Hot Rods

The National Hot Rods reached round nine of their World Championship qualifying process, leading up to their big event at Ipswich on July 3.   Unfortunately there were five withdrawals just 24 hours prior to the meeting and on the back of this the NHRPA took the decision to run an ‘all-in’ format.  It made for some busy races, but equally highly competitive races, with those drivers currently towards the top of their points chart having to work hard for more points and/or their grid position in the meeting Final.  There was no stopping 339 Danny Hunn in either of the two heats as he played his ‘Joker’ nicely by taking both wins.  In the first he had to survive a late yellow flag after several crashed on an oil slick created on turn one and then in the second he had to fight back past 44 Dave Garrett and 136 Ivan Grayson.  This earned him pole position for the Final, the grid which is lined up on points scored in the heats.  This put him alongside 491 Colin Smith on the front row and it was Hunn who got away first at the flag, but the defining moment of the race – and probably the whole meeting for the National Hot Rods – came at the end of the first lap, when contact was made between the 491 and 339 cars, and Hunn was tipped into a spin.  The 35 lap affair came down to a battle between Smith, 162 Carl Waller-Barrett and 174 Jason Kew as the trio pulled clear of the rest, and the gaps between them ebbed and flowed as they lapped traffic.  It is how the remained though, and on the face of it Smith appeared to take a good win.  But, that opening lap was to be his undoing and a Steward’s enquiry after the race deemed that the contact made on Hunn was avoidable and he was taken from the result.  This promoted Waller-Barrett to the victory, from Kew and 209 Kym Weaver third.

BriSCA Micro F2s

The 16 car total of Micro F2’s included several debutants for what was their first meeting of the 2016 season, proving just how the class for the 7-11 year olds has mushroomed, particularly in the last six months with many of the traditional “BriSCA” family names to be seen amongst the entry, with it being fabled there are more to follow, showing that in a very short space of time the Micro’s have carved their niche in the market place and to add to that, appearing at a meeting such as this one gave them a further shop window opportunity for many who had not seen them in action before, to do so.   The race results saw 185 Sam Carter score a hat-trick of wins with fellow southwest driver 826 Lewis Martin recording a trio of second places.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 127 315 581 676 768 111 747 542 488 242
Heat 2 913 7 647 801 560 101 527 59 352 854
Consolation 24 606 846 966 689 41 828 468 418 979
Final 7 59 560 966 747 581 768 846 127 542
Grand National 24 101 581 913 676 542 315 352 41 488
Grade Awards W 966 Y 913 B 59
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 218 158 730 661 149 891 199 641 306 214
Heat 2 600 218 214 6 670 306 158 891 591 428
Final 730 677 158 218 619 306 349 538 360 670
National Hot Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 339 162 491 44 45 136 174 115 42 92
Heat 2 339 491 23 44 3 162 209 45 136 48
Final 162 174 209 115 42 23 117 44 3 217
Micro F2's 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 185 826 293 475 335 44 25 51 433 22
Heat 2 185 826 475 783 22 25 51 8 nof
Final 185 826 51 246 783 335 25 22 154 8
  • _IGP3464
  • _IGP3610
  • _IGP3721
  • _IGP3725
  • _IGP3760
  • _IGP3790
  • _IGP3883
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 090
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 101
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 125
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 126
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 127
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 129
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 131
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 143
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 180
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 203
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 244
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 258
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 503
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 513
  • 16 03 25 NIR NHR 533
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