DOW­SON HAS THE CHRIST­MAS PRES­ENCE

Bellevue Christ­mas Cracker

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Colin Casser­ley Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Star­trax When: De­cem­ber 28 Where: Belle Vue, Manch­ester Starters: 15

John Dow­son Jr missed much of the tail end of the 2015 sea­son through ill­ness, but he more than made up for it at the Belle Vue Christ­mas Cracker meet­ing by win­ning both heats and the fi­nal in dom­i­nant fash­ion. Dow­son al­most made it a clean sweep but fell just shy of win­ning the Grand Na­tional, fin­ish­ing third de­spite a lap hand­i­cap.

Vet­eran driver Tim War­wick and new­comer Thomas Stephen­son bat­tled for the lead in the early go­ing in the fi­nal un­til the duo tan­gled on lap four. This al­lowed Dow­son to close in and pass War­wick for the lead a lap later. Dow­son was able to hold onto the lead, lap­ping all but even­tual se­cond place man Mike Hay­ward.

War­wick slipped to sev­enth mid-way through the race but fought his was back to third. At­tri­tion was high and only six cars were run­ning at the con­clu­sion of the event.

Dow­son said: “It’s been a good day’s rac­ing at Belle Vue. I got a chance to test out some new things on the car and nice pot of prize money as well. I know that most of the top driv­ers were miss­ing to­day, but you still have to go out there and drive as hard as you can, no one will let you win.”

It was Dow­son’s first fi­nal win in F1 and he is the first driver from the North East to win an F1 fi­nal since Michael Smith won at Skeg­ness back in Oc­to­ber 1996.

Third man War­wick has been rac­ing since 1980 but has only once be­fore achieved a podium place in a fi­nal, and that was at Coven­try Sta­dium on Box­ing Day 2012. “With­out the top driv­ers be­ing here it gives us lower graders a chance to get some laps in,” he said. “There is noth­ing worse than hav­ing a few good laps then be­ing punted into the fence by one of the stars.”

Dow­son was the star at Belle Vue’s Christ­mas meet­ing

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