Scott Davids romped to his first final win for six years and added the BSCDA Trust Fund race to his race win tally at Northampton on Saturday evening.
Davids, from Manchester, returned to the sport this season after being banned for a year and drives one of Mat Newson’s hire cars on Tarmac.
The BSCDA Trust Fund race was the first F1 race on the card. Joff Gibson led the 24-car field from the green flag ahead of Chris Cowley, Davids and Shaun Webster in fourth. Further back Frankie Wainman Jnr made a good start and led the pack of superstars.
Cowley forced his way into the lead after a couple of laps, before Gibson moved him wide into turn two, allowing Davids through to take a lead he would not relinquish. Webster followed him through to go second out of turn four, with Will Hunter moving into third.
With a clear track ahead of him Davids began to stretch his lead, while Hunter moved past Webster and into second place. By halfway, the train of stars and superstars had caught up with fourth-placed Cowley with Luke Davidson and then Wainman Jnr forcing their way by.
Further back Tom Harris, Nigel Green and Stuart Smith Jnr were in a heated battle which eventually resulted in Green pulling away.
As the lap boards came out Davids maintained his lead in front of Hunter and Webster, with Davidson close up. Green had caught and passed Wainman Jnr to go fifth.
Davids took the flag in a controlled drive, with Hunter a strong second, just keeping his nose in front of the flying Green in third. Davidson was fourth, with Wainman Jnr and Webster rounding out the top six.
Heat two featured 23 cars, with Samuel Wass leading brother Alex until a stoppage shortly after halfway. Samuel Wass was forced to pull off before the restart with a flat tyre, which allowed Alex Wass to lead and take the flag for his first win of the season, with Stuart Shevill Jnr second and Jacklyn Ellis an commendable third.
The 25-car consolation was led by Neil Hooper from Samuel Wass and Michael Scriven, until a stoppage in the second half of the race. Hooper maintained his lead on the restart to win from Ben Riley, Scriven and Mat Newson.
The 28-car final for the Allan Barker Memorial Trophy was led in the early stages by Dean Whitwell ahead of Jacklyn Ellis, with a gap back to Roger Bromley and a charging Davids. Behind these Steve Whittle was being closed down by Hunter, with Dan Johnson next.
Up front Whitwell maintained his lead at halfway, as Ellis pulled off, with Davids now second. Whittle was next as Johnson moved up to fourth ahead of Hunter and Davidson.
As the laps boards came out Davids began to close the gap on Whitwell, with these two well clear of Johnson and Green, who was making made rapid late progress.
Davids caught and passed Whitwell with three laps to go and went on to take the flag and a notable heat and final double. Whitwell finished an excellent second ahead of a rapidly closing Johnson. Green was fourth, ahead of Whittle, Wainman Jnr, Smith Jnr and Harris.
Davids was full of praise for car owner Newson. “If he didn’t do this, hiring out cars, I wouldn’t race,” said Davids. “I haven’t got time in my life to run my own car, but I’ve got a lot of my own stuff I use on the car. I put my own rubber on it, all the consumable parts.
“Mat has made the difference. I’ve always run my own cars but Mat knows what to do. He raced that car last week, I don’t have the knowledge he has, and he thought “I can make this better.”
I didn’t do anything different in the final. I just kept my head – I didn’t do anything stupid – and paced myself and it ended up being my day
“And I got here late and got in it and out on track and immediately noticed the difference. You can’t fault the man, can you? And his team have been great.
“I didn’t do anything different in the final. I just kept my head – I didn’t do anything stupid – and paced myself and it ended up being my day.”
The points amassed on Saturday went towards the grid positions for the European Championship the following afternoon, and Davids was realistic about his chances.
“If I achieve being on the front row that will be amazing,” he said. “There’s a big difference between being on the front row and actually winning the European. I’ve got a chance but I’m not an idiot – I’m a realist.
“I’ve been getting a good start from blue, whereas the likes of Nigel Green and Dan Johnson will be starting next to me. We’ll just see how it goes. I’d need a lot of luck.”
The 31-car Grand National for the Richie Ahern Memorial Trophy was the most entertaining race of the night. The race was stopped after three laps after Rich Pacey came to grief in turn three, while Ryan Harrison, Lee Fairhurst and Ben Hurdman tangled coming out of turn four.
Danny Colliver led the restart from Bromley and Webster, until Johnson charged his way through the pack to lead by halfway, ahead of Webster and Bromley. Then with seven laps to go Dutch driver Wesley Schaap drilled Cowley into the fence into turn one resulting in Cowley tipping over, bringing out the red flags.
On the restart Johnson cruised to victory, with Smith Jnr coming through to second, ahead of Wainman Jnr, Green, Riley and Scriven. Davids ended a very successful evening finishing ninth from the one-lap handicap.
Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley