BRISCA F1 WORLD FINAL FRANKIE WAINMAN JR IS BACK ON TOP OF THE WORLD AFTER A DECADE
Organiser: Coventry Racing Club When: Starters: 143 September 3
It’s been over 10 years since Frankie Wainman Junior last won the BRISCA F1 championship of the world. On Saturday night at Coventry Stadium he reclaimed the title he last won at Northampton in 2005.
Polesitter Nigel Green led the field into turn one but he was barged wide and that allowed Mat Newson to take up the running followed by Wainman Jr.
Behind them New Zealander Peter Bengsten tangled with Dutchman John Catsberg. That caused several of the favourites for the title to lose ground.
Leader Newson was soon dealing with backmarkers but he tangled with Neil Scriven as he was about to put a lap on him. Wainman took avoiding action and moved into the lead.
A lap later the yellow flags waved when the broken cars of Tom Harris and Michael Steward came to rest on the racing line.
On the restart, Wainman held onto his lead but Dan Johnson began to close in with Mick Sworder in third. Sworder quickly muscled his way into second place.
There was drama further ahead as Wainman collided with the spinning car of Chris Cowley.
Sworder swerved to avoid the incident and briefly gained the lead, but in doing so he lost momentum and that allowed Johnson to gain control of the race with Wainman soon moving back into to second.
The positions then remained static for many laps and, as the five lap to go signal was given, Wainman was beginning to eat into Johnson’s lead.
Just ahead of the leaders Ryan Harrison slowed with a right-rear flat tyre. Dutchman Bas Peetoom slowed to avoid Harrison but Johnson just tagged the Dutchman’s rear bumper which ripped Johnson’s tyre and put him out of the race.
Wainman assumed the lead with defending champion Rob Speak moving into second with Lee Fairhurst fighting his way through the traffic for third.
A delighted winner said: “The car was superb all the way through the race, and it was getting better as the race went on and the track dried out.
“The yellow flag did me no favours. When Cowley spun in front of me I just tried pushing him out the way rather than trying and avoiding him and risking catching his car and popping a tyre. At that point in the race, Johnson was quicker than me, but I knew my car would come good at the end and I just bided my time.
“Johnson was unlucky to clip the backmarker though: it’s the sort of luck I normally have in a World Final. It’s just been a great season for me. People were writing me off, but to win the World Final and the British title in one season is a great feeling.”
Understandably Johnson was extremely disappointed to have lost out on the biggest prize in the sport. “I must have used my luck up in the European title race earlier in the year,” he shrugged. “I’ll keep trying to get faster.”
Third placed man Fairhurst was driving a car for the first time.
“Daniel van Spijker offered me his car for the race,” he explained. “It’s one I’d built but I hadn’t driven it before.
“I hit the fence on the first lap avoiding Bengsten when he spun and I lost a lot of ground, but as the raced went on and I got more familiar with the car I picked up a lot of places. I just needed a few more laps to have made a real impact at the front.”