Waller-barrett takes the glory from Smith
Organiser: Auto speed When: March 25 Where: Northampton International Raceway Starters: 21.
Colin Smith looked to have done everything right at Northampton, holding off a fierce challenge from Carl Waller-barrett throughout the final. But some early-race contact with double heat winner Danny Hunn, which sent him into a spin, would ultimately lead to Smith’s disqualification.
Dave Garrett took an early lead in the first heat but it wasn’t long before Hunn was on him, the Mazda RX-8 driver swiftly taking a lead he was not to lose. As the leader extended his advantage, Garrett fell back into the clutches of Layton Milsom and Steve Dudman. But the latter pair were two of several cars that crashed on turn one after Aaron Dew dumped his coolant in the braking area.
The resulting caution put Waller-barrett and Smith right behind Garrett, enabling them to relegate him to fourth by flag fall, but Hunn was still clear.
Heat two followed a similar pattern, although Garrett managed to stay out front for longer before Hunn went by.
The places battle this time featured Milsom, Smith, Dew, Dudman and Waller-barrett, with Smith the man who broke through to chase after Hunn. He had narrowed the gap by the end but the winner held firm.
As usual, the final grid placed Hunn in a lot more danger of being caught, with Smith starting right alongside him and the likes of Waller-barrett, Jason Kew and Kym Weaver not far behind.
Hunn knew what he had to do and made a blistering start, but it still wasn’t enough to leave ‘Smiffy’ behind. The two were soon squaring up; a brief confrontation that ended with Hunn spinning between turns three and four. Smith was also delayed by the impact, allowing Waller-barrett to launch a challenge that was to last the rest of the way. Indeed, their fight for the lead was the feature of the race, with Waller-barrett actually alongside at one point as they tore through the traffic, and Kew nipping at their heels.
They crossed the line still in the same order but Smith’s penalty was then announced.
Heat one: 1 Danny Hunn (Mazda RX-8); 2 Carl Waller-barrett (Vauxhall Tigra); 3 Colin Smith (Tigra); 4 Dave Garrett (Tigra); 5 Mark Edwards (Tigra); 6 Ivan Grayson (Tigra); 7 Jason Kew (Tigra); 8 Chris Haird (Tigra). Heat two: 1 Hunn; 2 Smith; 3 Aaron Dew (Tigra); 4 Garrett; 5 Steve Dudman (Tigra); 6 Waller-barrett; 7 Layton Milsom (Tigra); 8 Edwards. Final: 1 Waller-barrett; 2 Kew; 3 Kym Weaver (Tigra); 4 Haird; 5 Shane Bland (Tigra); 6 Dew; 7 Rob Mcdonald (Tigra); 8 Garrett; 9 Dudman; 10 Brett Walter (Peugeot 206cc).
Waller-barrett (162) won