Nigel Green took final number six of the season at Skegness on Saturday, July 8, cementing his position as the front-runner for championship honours during the second half of the year.
Green’s win, like many of his victories was well executed, with a measured last-bend move of world champion Frankie Wainman Jnr to take the flag.
The F1s were part of a three-way bill alongside the BriSCA F2s and National Saloon stock cars at the two-day Skegness UK Speedweekend.
Featured prior to the meeting was the annual Teng Tools Champions Challenge, in which the three world champions present at the meeting, Wainman Jnr in F1, Wim Peeters in F2 and Simon Welton in National Saloons, took part in five-lap time trials driving their own and each other’s cars. The winner, with the fastest overall time driving the three disciplines, was Wainman Jnr.
The opening heat on Saturday evening featured 21 cars, including British Touring Car driver Ant-Whorton-Eales, competing in his second meeting in the F1s driving a Ryan Harrison car, having won the Under-25s Championship at the Birmingham Gala meeting last November.
And it was Whorton-Eales, who made the most of his C-grade starting position, who led the race from flag to flag, although new star grade driver Murray Jones, also driving a former Harrison Tarmac car, was closing fast and would have been in contention within another lap. An excellent third was Phoebe Wainman, driving the Dean Whitwell Tarmac car.
There were 25 cars in heat two, which was stopped before halfway after Todd Jones, Richard Dickerson and Ronald Ferguson tangled in the home straight. with former two-litre Saloon stock car driver Joe Gladden leading from Jacklyn Ellis, Danny Wainman and Karl Hawkins. Wainman went on to win the race, ahead of Luke Davidson, Hawkins and Ryan Harrison, but was disqualified later after failing post-race scrutineering due to the car being underweight, handing the win to Davidson.
Gladden won the 24-car consolation, after oil was deposited on the track and he was able to move leader Colin Goodswin aside on the last bend to take the win. Danny Wainman was third, ahead of Daz Kitson, Richard Howarth and Aaron Leach.
The Dee’s Pitstop Café-sponsored final featured 30 cars, until Joff Gibson pulled off on the rolling lap, with Whorton-Eales setting the pace until the race was stopped on lap two when a massive pile-up on the back straight wiped out a number of contenders including Stuart Smith Jnr and Frankie Wainman Jnr Jr.
“I’ve now got a decent balance in the car at Skegness. I was able to drive the car consistently, which I think was the key, really, without working the tyres too hard
Whorton-Eales led the restart through halfway, ahead of Stauat Shevill Jnr and a flying Wainman Jnr. The world champion soon took the lead and held it until the final lap when Green, who had gradually closed the gap, took Wainman Jnr to the fence on the last bend and managed to win the drag race to the chequered flag.
Ryan Harrison came through to finish third ahead of cousin Whorton-Eales, Lee Fairhurst and Mat Newson.
“I’ve now got a decent balance in the car, at Skegness,” said Green. “I was able to drive the car consistently, which I think was the key, really, without working the tyres too hard.
“Frankie had managed to get away early in the race, but I kept my head down and managed to get to him by the end of the race.
“There was a bit of oil down and he seemed to make a mistake going into the penultimate corner. I almost thought he was holding back really, to let me go in front but I think it was just the oil.
It was a good finish for the crowd and a good, clean bit of racing between us. Obviously, I had to hit him wide, but did that without putting him out of the race
“So he closed me off coming off the corner to try and slow me down, but fortunately I was still in range and managed to get a hit on him and put him to the fence. I was then on the cleaner bit of Tarmac and out-dragged him to the line.
“It was a good finish for the crowd and a good, clean bit of racing between us. Obviously, I had to hit him wide, but did that without putting him out of the race.”
The Grand National featured the biggest field of the night with 36 cars and was led by Gladden from Whorton-Eales until the race was stopped after three laps when Bradley Harrison stalled on the racing line.
Fastest man on the track was Smith Jnr who took up the lead after halfway and look set for victory. However, on the penultimate lap he collected Paul Carter, who had spun the lap before into turn four and then restarted his car and moved off into the path of the leader, handing the victory to Ben Riley. Danny Wainman finished second ahead of Wainman Jnr, Newson, Davidson and Whorton-Eales.
Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley