Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Gra­ham Brown Photos:

Or­gan­iser: Spede­worth When: May 30 Where: Fox­hall Race­way, Ip­swich Starters: 27

Danny Fiske may have bounced back from a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion to win the fi­nal and Colin Gomm might have won both heats, but the in­ter­est at Fox­hall cen­tred on the bat­tles for the mi­nor places be­tween Shane Bland and Carl Waller-bar­rett, as the pair slugged out this year’s Hot Rod points cham­pi­onship.

It all came down to a drag race on the last lap of the last race of the sea­son to de­cide it, with Waller-bar­rett get­ting the nod.

Gomm had plonked his Mercedes on the front of the grid and ripped away at the off in heat one, build­ing a big gap.

Lee Pep­per over­hauled Ivan Grayson for sec­ond while in the pack, Waller-bar­rett over­took Bland to claw his way to­wards a vi­tal few points. But they were all in­ter­rupted by a yel­low flag seven laps from home when Colin Smith hit the wall, an in­ci­dent that led to Fiske get­ting dis­qual­i­fied.

The hia­tus didn’t bother Gomm, who cleared off to win at the restart. But in terms of the cru­cial points places, Waller-bar­rett took 13th with Bland two places be­hind in 15th. Tak­ing dropped scores taken into ac­count, it put the pair dead level.

Heat two fol­lowed a sim­i­lar pat­tern with Gomm march­ing away. It came down to Grayson and Pep­per to dispute sec­ond, their dice end­ing when they clashed. Grayson spun and was then handed a penalty for caus­ing the fra­cas.

Gomm was left to take the win, this time with a quar­ter­lap mar­gin over Pep­per. Both Bland and Waller-bar­rett fin­ished out of the points­pay­ing places.

Pep­per un­der­lined in the fi­nal what Gomm had proved in the heats: the out­side pole slot was giv­ing a bet­ter launch into the first cor­ner. Pep­per’s 206cc hacked into turn one first with Gomm, Jack Blood and Aaron Dew jostling be­hind.

Fur­ther back, Waller-bar­rett had started well, only to get over­taken by Bland as they bat­tled the traf­fic around 15th and 16th spots.

Up front, Blood launched a spir­ited at­tack on Pep­per’s lead be­fore go­ing ahead for good ex­it­ing turn two. Pep­per then got em­broiled in a scrap with Aaron Dew and Fiske, who swiftly got the bet­ter of it to go af­ter the leader.

With the fin­ish com­ing up, Blood started carv­ing through the back­mark­ers with Fiske now right be­hind and pil­ing on the pres­sure.

It told when leader Blood banged one of the back­mark­ers wide at turn three, an im­pact which would get him de­moted down the places to give Fiske the win.

All eyes then switched back to the other place­men charg­ing through the fin­ish…and then came Bland and Waller-bar­ret blast­ing out of the fi­nal bend side by side to cross the line in a vir­tual dead heat.

Adding to the drama, Waller-Bar­rett’s transpon­der failed on the last lap, leav­ing it down to the scorer to judge who’d got over the line first. They were unan­i­mous in declar­ing Waller-bar­rett ninth and thus cham­pion by a sin­gle point from Bland.

The de­cid­ing mo­ment of the sea­son – Waller-bar­rett (162) pips Bland to the fin­ish line Fiske won the fi­nal af­ter penal­ties were ap­plied

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