Birmingham 22nd August 2015
32 cars ventured to Birmingham Wheels Raceway Saturday 22nd August; the final World Qualifying Round and the Jon Maw Memorial trophy also up for grabs, with thanks to Bulk Group, Metal and Waste Recyclers for sponsoring the event. Unfortunately 2 cars suffered problems in practise and were unable to take part. The weather did it’s best to dampen the evening, to no avail and we were treated to some first class V8 Hotstox Stock Car action.
28 cars for heat 1 and as the pit gate shut, right on cue; the heavens opened. Most drivers prepared for a dry race on dry tyres, struggled in the early part of proceedings. James Cobley (309) led the field upto a caution yellow flag period; yellows flags had robbed Cobley numerous times in 2015, but this time he made sure he took the chequered flag ahead of a rapidly closing Kevin Stuchbury (1) in second, to kick off, potentially, his last meeting as World Champion.
Result: 309 1 137 157 139 275 414 423 64 211
Heat 2 lined up with 27 cars including two extras in the form of Stephen Young (176) and Matthew Young (376) who broke down en route to the track. The heat kicked off with the now usual Superstar tussle between Kevin Stuchbury (1) and Simon Sykes (64) just as Sam Wainwright (227) and Martin Fletcher (482) collided in the back straight. A fast paced race soon settled down as the star drivers struggled to make an impression on the quick lower graders; Darren Cottrill (575) came under attack from Stuchbury, who then shortly after lunged an attack on Hayley Williams (26) and Tom Spencer (298). The halfway stage was signalled to leader Nick Blach (160) as Stuchbury moved another car aside in the shape of Carl Radforth (159). Stuchbury was again making headway bundling Shaun Bowman (324) and Sam Roper (333) out wide together in turn 1. The lap boards were now out and Blach held a good lead over heat 1 winner James Cobley (309) in second and Sam Jacklin (137) in third. Williams spun around Phoebe Wainman (211) in turn 1 in the closing stages. Stuchbury unable to charge higher than sixth, left the white graders to take the podium; Blach taking a flag to flag victory, Cobley second and Jacklin third.
Result: 160 309 137 275 288 1 139 324 64 138
28 cars returned for the Jon Maw Memorial Final sponsored by Bulk Group, Metal and Waste Recyclers. Early doors saw the two leading tarmac drivers clash in turn 3; Simon Sykes (64) lunged at Kevin Stuchbury (1); in the damp conditions Stuchbury was half spun and was duly collected by Sykes, the pair tangled on the racing line, meaning the chasing pack with no where to go, collected the stranded duo and with a skirmish involving a handful of cars, a yellow flag caution was quickly called for. Sam Jacklin (137) the race leader, Matthew Young (376) in second and Shaun Bowman (324) third. The restart saw Jon Brown (288) and Adam Joyce (157) enjoying a battle just as Jacklin made a move for second moving Cobley aside. Halfway stage and the race come alive, as many as 8 different drivers were in contention for the lead; Sam Jacklin (137), Adam Joyce (157), Nick Blach (160), Terry Hawkins (275), Jon Brown (288), James Cobley (309), Shaun Bowman (324) and Bryan Andrew (355); all took it in turns to fight for position and bumpering each other wide in an attempt to fight for the lead; the laps wound down and the hits got harder. Bowman got to the front at the lap boards and managed to hold position whilst the battle raged behind; Joyce lost out in a spin after Jacklin lunged in on Hawkins and Joyce. Brown not within striking distance allowed Bowman his first ever Final win, Brown second and Sam Wainwright (227) – a shale specialist – to pick up his first ever tarmac podium.
Jon Maw Memorial Final Result: 324 288 227 309 298 355 575 98 159 275
24 cars took to the track for the Grand National; Shaun Bowman (324) taking the half lap mandatory handicap; Nick Blach (160) starting pole; the Superstars felt the force of the Stuchbury front bumper in to the first turn; Phoebe Wainman (211) soon after also felt the full force into the first turn. Wainman and Carl Critchlow (373) clashed in the back straight as Adam Joyce (157) came under fire from Stuchbury. George Shone (414) shunted Sam Roper (333) aside in turn 1. Roper was again in trouble when he was snookered out wide by the raging Stuchbury and Joyce battle into turn 3. The halfway stage was signalled; Blach out in front. Joyce then bumpered Shone out the way as the rest settled in to a rhythm. The lap boards were soon out and Stuchbury caught back up to Joyce; Joyce was then duly launched in to the first turn narrowly avoiding the armco. Stuchbury worked his way up in to third in the last lap behind Jon Brown (288) in second and Blach who led flag to flag. Joyce came under fire from Shone in the last bend, but Joyce rode the hit to remain in the top 5.
Result: 160 288 1 309 157 414 26 211 64 275
A big thank you to Bulk Group Metal and Waste Recyclers for their sponsorship of the evenings racing.