Northampton International Raceway - Good Friday 14th April 2017

Autospeed’s traditional Good Friday meeting reached its eleventh staging at Northampton International Raceway and once again it was a very full pit area and associated full programme of racing.  The meeting represents the only occasion where three of the main national formulae in small oval racing; BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, National Hot Rods and the Saloon Stock Cars come together on the same bill.  It was also very pleasing to note that car counts were up in all three classes against the corresponding 2016 meeting.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

For the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, all four corners of the United Kingdom were once again represented in the 56-car entry, which was the highest on a tarmac track so far in the 2017 season.  In heat onc, the current leader in the Novice of the Year standings 142 Jonathan Hadfield simply couldn’t be caught before heat two saw 647 Chris Burgoyne come through from the back of the grid to the front to take the victory.  The consolation featured the requirement for two yellow flags, the first after a pile up on the exit of turn four which left the racing line obstructed and then the second after a nasty crash when 706 Brent Russell’s stranded car was collected heavily by several cars after the bumpers charged in.  Thankfully Brent could exit his badly damaged car by his own means.  These caution periods assisted the star graded drivers’ route to the front and it was the National Points Champion 7 Gordon Moodie who went on to win, his first tarmac victory of the season so far.  The Tommy Pitcher Trophy Final saw an early yellow flag after a tangle at the back of the pack left 560 Luke Wrench stranded on the racing line.  The re-start did not go for too much further as this time it was 127 Matt Stoneman and 464 Matt Linfield who crashed on the back straight and were unable to get going.  Hadfield was the leader at the time and continued to do so at the re-start and impressively re-opened his gap to the rest.  As the laps ticked off Burgoyne was the one coming through the traffic to be his most likely challenger.   Even at the three-quarter race distance, as the reigning British and European Champion took the 647 car into second place it didn’t look likely he would catch the rapid white top.  But, he did, and was within striking distance on starting the last lap and to add to it, Moodie had closed in on both too.  Burgoyne went in with a textbook last bend lunge, which sent Hadfield broadside but the drama wasn’t over as 661 Mike Heath was spun in the turn and this almost allowed Moodie up the inside.  But it was Burgoyne that held on in a close and spectacular conclusion with Moodie second and Hadfield, learning the ways and means of F2 all the time third.  The Grand National saw Heath take some catching at the front, but it was 578 Mark Gibbs who did so to take the win.

Saloon Stock Cars

The classic north, south, east and west combination came together in the Saloon Stock Cars with drivers present in the 39-car entry from as far apart as Cornwall and Scotland.  The opening heat saw a great battle at the front with 360 Carl Waterfield holding sway until a yellow flag for 199 Phil Powell stranded.  This changed the whole outcome of the race as the leaders were all shifted aside at the re-start and ultimately it was English Champion 217 Sid Madgwick who went on to win by a distance.  The second heat came down to a big last bend lunge from National Champion 428 Lee Sampson on long time leader 538 Jake Swann.  The bold move almost came off, but Swann just held on at the line.  If Sampson’s lunge had been considered as such in heat two, heat three reached an even more spectacular conclusion as 591 Aaron Morris waded in both 171 Adam O’Dell and leader 157 Max Stott.  All three went spinning in synchronised fashion and it almost looked like 158 Shane Davies was going to turn fourth into a surprise win.  However, in a quick piece of thinking Stott put his car into reverse and took the chequered flag whilst crossing the line backwards!  The Final saw 270 Matt Fuller as the early leader until 350 Tommy Parrin took over and what developed was a superb race between Parrin, 399 Cole Atkins, Waterfield, O’Dell, 218 Jacob Downey and 591 Aaron Morris with the lead changing hand countless times.  In theory, any one of them could have won, it looked like it would be Downey as he had the lead on starting the last lap but it was Morris who went in with the decisive move to appear to outfox ‘Cracker’ on the last lap to take an excellent win.  Downey made second and the Atkins third.  Words cannot do justice to this race, without doubt a contender for race of the year.

National Hot Rods

The National Hot Rods reached round 10 of their English World Championship qualifying series and the 26-car total was placed all cars in all races, a decision reached by the NHRPA.  Considered under-graded in the white grade, sometime racer 92 Jack Blood swiftly turned his front of the pack starting position into a big lead in heat one.  A yellow flag period after several came to grief on the back straight didn’t thwart this and he went on to win.  Heat two followed the same pattern with Blood leading off, looking relatively unchallenged.  However, when second placed runner 316 Paul Frost’s bonnet parted company with the car on the home straight to necessitate a caution period this changed everything.  Blood was disqualified from the re-start when it was considered he had failed to adhere to official instructions (every driver in National Hot Rods has a Raceiever and thus has contact with the NHRPA Steward) and Frost was also taken from the race as his car no longer had a bonnet.  Therefore, it was 23 Aaron Dew who headed off the re-start and he went on to take the win.  The 35 lap Final, where the points scored in the two heats determine the grid line up, required a complete re-run after several crashed on the first corner, all fighting over the same piece of track.  At the second time of asking 209 Kym Weaver converted his outside front row start into the lead with fellow front row man 333 Paul Gomm settling into second.  As Weaver pulled clear at the front with 491 Colin Smith moving into second, the one making the most moves was European Champion 162 Carl Waller-Barrett.  He moved ahead of Smith towards the closing stages, but Weaver was too far gone and went on to take the victory.  Waller-Barrett was second and Smith third.

BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars

The BriSCA Micro F2 Stock Cars saw an entry of 21 cars for the 7-11 year olds, with drivers from across the country too, keeping up with the same theme as the adult classes on the programme.  They staged three races at the beginning (pre-meeting), middle and end of the meeting. 783 Fin Carter was the winner of the first two but he was moved back for the third which was led until the last lap by 607 Christina Sillifant until she was passed by 246 Oliver Smith.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 142 127 560 352 606 101 328 175 319 801
Heat 2 647 578 629 581 747 38 618 41 455 464
Consolation 7 700 854 16 77 960 111 979 719 661
Final 647 7 142 38 16 101 854 618 455 319
Grand National 578 661 560 581 468 455 647 606 41 328
Grade Awards W 142 Y 352 B 319
Saloon Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 A&B 217 570 157 538 128 671 177 730 777 360
Heat 2 B&C 538 428 360 214 218 27 217 684 171 199
Heat 3 C&A 157 158 190 428 27 220 570 670 6 641
Final 591 218 399 350 171 641 220 730 360 800
National Hot Rods 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 92 316 339 152 162 333 48 209 491 95
Heat 2 23 209 333 3 491 152 117 964 95 27
Final 209 162 491 95 115 92 964 23 22 31
Micro F2s 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 783 425 293 25 154 335 2 155 607 355
Heat 2 783 607 293 246 154 25 335 2 807 375
Final 246 25 2 293 607 375 154 533 66 783
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  • 627A2191
  • 627A2199
  • 627A2242

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