Coventry 2nd April 2016

Chris Webster Photo

Saturday 2nd April saw the V8 Hotstox descend on the Coventry Stadium; a big night of action expected with high car numbers in attendance across all formulas. 33 V8 Hotstox in attendance meant a two thirds heat split; racing for valuable World Qualifying points in round 4 of the road to gold, plus the John Cottrill memorial trophy also raced for on the feature final.

Heat 1 saw 22 cars venture on track including ex-StoxKarts racer Ashley Geary (82) making his debut. Simon Hughes (550) led the field off at the drop of the green, but Hughes was quickly under fire from tarmac regular Nick Blach (160), allowing Blach to take up the running. Further down the order Jon Brown (288) was feeling the front bumper of Adam Joyce (157) into turn 1; Brown half spun and was collected by Joyce, the pair momentarily hooking up lost ground and dropped back. Martin Fletcher (482) made a challenge for the lead in to turn 3, Fletcher’s turn in front was short lived as he was offered the same compliment by Rob Scriven (117) in to turn 1. Scriven now the front runner just as the halfway flag was shown, Fletcher holding second position ahead of Lee Summers (281) in third. Tom Spencer (298) and Joyce were making rapid progress up the order in to the second half, Spencers run was cut short after he was sent into a spin in turn 3 by Joyce. The lap boards were soon out for Scriven who held a good advantage over Luke Maw (409) who had now worked his up the order to second position with Summers still in third. Joyce moved his way in to third position; in to the penultimate lap and Brown had clawed his way back up the order and was now hot on the heels of Joyce. Brown lunged in on Joyce in to turn 3, moving the 157 machine wide. Scriven taking a well-deserved win; Maw holding on to second and Brown finishing third.

Result: 117 409 288 157 281 1 137 575 550 101

A very swift one race turnaround saw heat 2 on track with 18 cars, a couple of drivers missing out due to damage in the first. Guy Jolly (222) making his first appearance of the night with the Double Points Joker flag waving from the back of his machine, will Jolly be able to capitalize on his early season good fortunes, or would the Joker make him a target? Dave Cheetham (182) set the early pace; Adam Joyce (157) was once again quick to attack sending Michael Boswell (328) and Phoebe Wainman (211) in to a half spin in turn 3 just as Kevin Stuchbury (1) retired to the infield. Marc Radforth (149) launched at the back of the 222 machine; who in turn was snookered in to the back of Jay Kellett (439). Kellett was in bother again when him and Sam Mee (450) collided in the back straight; momentarily hooking up on each other. Cheetham and Matthew Young (376) spun together in the middle of turn 1; Tom Spencer (298) and Marc Radforth (149) were unable to take avoiding action and both ploughed in to the stricken white graders. The race settled down in to the second half with Jolly out in front, clear of second place Rob Scriven (117) and Joyce in third. By the time the lap boards were out the Jolly car was smoking heavily and Joyce now up in to second was closing in. The laps wound down and the smoke got heavier, but Jolly maintained just enough of a gap to keep Joyce in second, just that too far back to mount a challenge. Mee made a late charge and took over third place before the chequered.

Result: 222 157 450 211 234 117 328 377 149 298

Heat 3 and 24 cars lined up on the circuit.  Nick Blach (160) sitting on pole lead them off, Simon Hughes (550) spun around early on in turn 1; just as Lucy Olorenshaw (245); off the front of the grid for the first time, climbed up and over the Dave Cheetham (182) machine, almost rolling. Sam Jacklin (137) and Luke Maw (409) collided in turn 3; a yellow flag caution needed. Blach led off the restart, Martin Fletcher (482) in second and Matthew Young (376) in third. On the restart Cheetham spun around in the home straight, left broadside across the track. Guy Jolly (222) was once again under fire from Marc Radforth (149) in turn 3, Phoebe Wainman (211) soon got in on the action and lunged in on Radforth the next turn. Jolly was still feeling the bumper of Radforth.  Young launched himself at Tristan Jackson (101) in turn 3, both drivers spinning in the process in turn 3. Radforth collecting the spun Young car as Jackson quickly recovered. Sam Mee (450) lunged at Darren Cottrill (575) in to turn 3 as the laps wound down. Blach still holding on to the number 1 position was being reeled in by Phoebe Wainman (211); but Wainman spun herself in turn 3; Wainman making a quick recovery, slammed the throttle, not loosing too much time, the spin promoted Jolly into second, but just too far away from Blach to mount a challenge. Into the final laps and Wainman shunted Mee aside as Lee Summers (281) did the same to Radforth. Radforth returned the compliment in the final bend, the pair half spinning were collected by the chasing pack creating a momentary pile up; the quarter of cars scrambled their way to the finish line; with 5th to 8th drag racing in a group to the finish. Blach left in front for the win, his first ever shale victory.

Result: 160 222 211 450 149 26 575 281 288 101

The John Cottrill Memorial Final was up next. John, the father of racer Darren Cottrill (575), passed away suddenly just before Christmas in 2014. He was a well-known and well loved member of the V8 Hotstox pits, always helping on Darren’s car and well involved with his racing since he was 16. John was an ever present spectator at Coventry; spectating at every F1 meeting here for over 30 years; it was so fitting to have his race here. John, this was for you. R.I.P.

31 cars gridded for the feature race just as the rain began to fall. Lucy Olorenshaw (245) led the field off from pole position, the race quickly developed into a chaotic scene with cars spinning all around the circuit. Adam Joyce (157) made sure Jon Brown (288) and Tom Spencer (298) were out the way, when the pair were bundled at speed in to the first turn. After suffering the front bumper of Marc Radforth (149) in the earlier races Guy Jolly (222) got the first attack in on Radforth. Carnage continued to ensue all around; Matthew Young (376) had spun and was then collected by the hard charging pack, Sam Jacklin (137) and Tristan Jackson (101) were similarly collected when the pair spun in turn 3; doing significant damage to the 137 machine, a waved yellow caution was called for. Martin Fletcher (482) led them off on the restart, Guy Jolly (222) in second and Dave Cheetham (182) third. At the green flag Jedd Stirk (465) planted Jackson and Scott Bodilly (500) in to turn 3 as Darren Cottrill (575) shunted Michael Boswell (328) wide in turn 1. Jolly found his way by leader Fletcher, only for Fletcher to repay the compliment with a lunge in to the first turn. Brown spun around in turn 1 as Cheetham collected the marker tyres in to the third bend. Cottrill and Joyce were scrapping further down the order, exchanging bumpers and places each lap just before the halfway stage, Phoebe Wainman (211) was now upto third making inroads to second place Fletcher. The battling Joyce and Cottrill raged on; allowing Kevin Stuchbury (1) to close in on the pair. Fletcher spun around just before the lap boards, promoting Wainman up in to second. Joyce almost spun in the third turn only for Stuchbury to help him round, Joyce struggling for grip pirouetted around. Jolly steadily saw the laps out, almost half a lap in front of Wainman in second, Cottrill finishing third.
John Cottrill Memorial Final result: 222 211 575 1 298 26 117 328 450 288

Jolly having a near perfect Joker, will catapult in to the top points position; with a 60 point lead.

Next meeting; Stoke Saturday 30th April @ 4:30pm


Chris Webster Photos