HARRIS RULES AT HIGH EDGE TO TAKE FIRST FINAL WIN OF THE YEAR

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Tom Harris passes Frankie Wainman Jnr at Buxton

Tom Harris celebrated his first final win of the season at Buxton on Sunday afternoon having spent the previous evening at the wedding of Team boss Jamie Davidson’s son Lee.

Enjoying the wedding festivities meant the team arrived late at Buxton and missed practice. Harris also had new brake pads in the car after Team Davidson’s trip to Holland earlier in the week.

With 21 cars, the meeting featured two heats with all cars in each race, plus a Grand Final and Grand National.

In a dry opening heat Mat Newson took the lead from Steve Webster and went on to win ahead of Luke Davidson, Frankie Wainman Jnr with Harris fourth.

The feature of the race was a pile up in turns three and four, which involved Ben Riley and Paul Hines, with the Hines car suffering structural damage including to the chassis. The car was loaded up and went back with car builder Newson to be repaired for the next weekend.

The car was good but I taught Luke too well in his wet race craft and I couldn’t get near him and had to settle for second

The rain arrived before the 20-car heat two, which was delayed to allow drivers to change to wet-weather tyres. It was Davidson who adapted best, taking the lead before halfway and romping home to victory ahead of Harris and Newson. Webster was a fine fourth, ahead of Craig Finnikin and Wainman Jnr.

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Luke Davidson won heat two

“In the first race I had new pads in so had no brakes,” said Harris. “In the second race it rained. The car was good but I taught Luke too well in his wet race craft and I couldn’t get near him and had to settle for second.”

In the 20-car final, Harris was quick out of the blocks early on and led by halfway, ahead of Wainman Jnr and Finnikin. By this time the rain had returned to make the conditions challenging for the leaders.

In the Grand National it was the best the car had been all day and it was really quick. I was really happy with it

Wainman Jnr, a wet-weather specialist, did his best to close on Harris but the leader always had the race under control and the positions stayed the same to the flag. Davidson finished fourth, ahead of Bradley Harrison and Danny Wainman.

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Tom Harris, centre, with Craig Finnikin, left, and Frankie Wainman Jnr

“In the final, with some of the work I did early on I got to the front and it started to rain again,” said Harris. “I didn’t make any mistakes and had enough of a gap on Frankie to stay in front. So I just kept my head and slowed down and it was good.

“In the Grand National it was the best the car had been all day and it was really quick. I was really happy with it.”

Starting from the one-lap handicap Harris had 13 cars in front of him, after Finnikin pulled off before the start.

It didn’t take long before Davidson was in the lead and by halfway was already in command of the race, ahead of early leader Webster, Stuart Shevill Jnr and Newson.

By the flag, Davidson took his second win of the afternoon, with Newson second, Danny Wainman third, ahead of brother Wainman Jnr, Webster and Riley. Harris closed on the main group and finished ninth.

“Within another lap I would have been up with the pack, so at Buxton to get ninth from a lap down, I was really pleased,” said Harris. “I know there weren’t a massive amount of cars there, but that makes it harder in my eyes, because there isn’t any traffic to hold anyone up.

“That result just tops it off. Luke is going well, the team is going well and while we had a bad start to the year we’re finding our feet now.”


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