Wainman Jr inches closer to Coventry raceway record
Organiser: Coventry Motor Club When: Starters: 62 July 2
Frankie Wainman Jr became the fourth different final winner at Coventry Stadium this year when he won on Saturday night.
It was Wainman’s 22nd final win at the Midlands track, and it puts him fourth on the all-time list of winners.
The final had many similarities to last month’s race. It was a war of attrition with several race stoppages and, for the second month in a row, Joe Booth rolled his machine during the event.
Dave Willis took the early advantage with James Morris on his tail. Willis had held onto the lead after the first race stoppage, which was caused when Mick Rogers overturned his machine. But soon after the leader had to pull off with overheating problems when the yellow flags bunched up the field for the second time.
Morris inherited the lead which he held until Wainman Jr barged his way to the front with five laps remaining.
Craig Finnikin began to close in on the leader as the laps wound down, but with just over a lap to go the yellow flags were shown to recover the upturned car of Booth.
This created a one-lap shootout. Wainman Jr timed the start to perfection and opened up enough of a gap to prevent Finnikin from launching an assault on the final bend, while Tom Harris managed to sneak through to claim second on the last turn.
Afterwards Wainman explained things had been far from easy: “I tangled with Finnikin early in the race and lost a rear shock absorber and I was just hanging on to the car for the last few laps. I knew I needed a good restart at the end, and I got it. I said to myself I just have to go for it and hope it works. I went as deep as I could through the last corner in case Finnikin was close enough to have a go.”
A disappointed Finnikin said: “Frankie went earlier than I expected on the restart, I lost a bit of ground and I needed another lap to get my car wound up, but that is racing I guess.”
ADAM MAXWELL The 2016 Hot Rodworld Final winner
“I was pretty happy after that. I knew that the car was OK and that the tyres would last, so I was looking forward to it, but I also knew that Shane Murphy [starting on the second row] would be fast and I thought he had plenty in hand. I was pleased to finish the first lap in front.” “It was partly my fault, because I had run wide on the corner before and that gave him the run on me coming out of the turn. I was up against the wall, he was inside me and there was a backmarker on the inside of the circuit. He had to move out to avoid the backmarker and came across into me. It wasn’t a deliberate thing, he was just trying to get out of the way.” “I gave the car a bit of a wiggle to make sure it was OK, and there didn’t seem to be any lasting damage. I had quite a big lead by that stage, so I was able to take things a bit easier over the closing stages to just bring it home.”
Where does this rank among your wins?
“Nothing can compare to it. The World Final is the one everyone wants, and the best drivers are here. I had won the Northern Ireland points championship but this is another level.”
What will you do next season? Any plans yet?
“I will keep plugging away, and I hope that I can come and do some more mainland big events.”