Gil­bank goes into the F1 record books

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

Or­gan­iser: Coven­try Rac­ing Club Ltd When: April 2 Where: Coven­try Sta­dium, Lin­colnshire Starters: 67.

Mark Gil­bank is some­thing of a Coven­try track spe­cial­ist: last Satur­day he chalked up his ninth fi­nal win at the Mid­land cir­cuit. It moves him in to eighth place in the all-time win­ners list at the track that has hosted 498 meet­ings since its first event back in 1954.

Gil­bank is tied on nine wins with fel­low Rother­ham driv­ers Wil­lie Har­ri­son and Peter Fald­ing. The leg­endary Stu­art Smith Sr tops the list with 40 wins.

Thomas Stephen­son bat­tled with Dutch­man Ar­jan Ligth­art be­fore Ge­off Nick­olls barged his way into the lead. Fur­ther back, Gil­bank had bro­ken free from the pack and hunted down Nick­olls, tak­ing the lead just af­ter the half­way point.

Gil­bank ex­tended his lead to al­most half a lap be­fore a yel­low flag bunched the pack up. With Mat New­son, Dan John­son and Frankie Wain­man Jr on his tail, Gil­bank was able to pull away from his pur­suers as they bat­tled with each other.

Af­ter ex­chang­ing places seem­ingly on each bend, John­son was able to snatch sec­ond with in-form man Wain­man Jr round­ing out the podium places.

“It feels good to win at Coven­try,” said Gil­bank. “I made the right tyre choice for the fi­nal. My car was ter­ri­ble in my heat race and I just couldn’t get any for­ward bite.

“I went and bought a new tyre for the fi­nal and it worked. I had a great start and things went my way a bit. Some gaps opened up and I was able to get a half-lap in front. I backed off a bit, try­ing to keep it safe. I didn’t need that yel­low flag to­wards the end of the race. I looked in my mir­ror and saw who was be­hind me and knew I needed a good restart, which I got.”

Wain­man said: “I thought it was go­ing to rain harder and made the wrong tyre choice. As the track dried I just didn’t have the grip. On the restart New­son, John­son and my­self were slowed down a bit as we bat­tled with each other but I didn’t want to hit the other two hard as it could have taken us all out.”

Wain­man main­tains his lead in the stand­ings by al­most 100 marks over John­son go­ing into the next meet­ing at Sh­effield on Sun­day.

Gil­bank raced clear as the oth­ers fought with each other be­hind BRISCA F1

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