One of the best BriSCA F2 meetings seen in Birmingham for a long time was the highlight of the track’s session on May 28th, with the battle for World Qualifying points really intensifying the action.
The first heat got under way at the second attempt and saw early leader Matt Hocking spin handing young sensation Oli Skeels the lead, but Drew Lammas took up the lead soon after with Lee Dimmick closing fast. The two past Ministox stars were together going into the final bend, Lammas riding out a lunge from Dimmick to take the win.
Liam Bentham passed Ryan Cattell for the lead of the second heat as Brett Townsend crashed heavily into the wall among several spinners. Bentham took the flag but was docked places for jumping the start on a night when a few drivers proved undisciplined on the rolling laps, handing James Thackra the win.
An incredible finish to the consolation saw Andrew Palmer take Phil Williams for the lead with a handful of laps to go only to fall over backmarker Shaun Blakemore on the very last bend. Nigel Green made to go up the inside but collided with Palmer’s steeringless car and Kelvyn Whalley nipped through to steal the win.
If that race had been good, the final was nothing short of epic. The caution was out a few laps in after Tom Smart and Jack Aldridge had tangled and Williams and Dean Mason crashed into them, a delay ensuing while the cars were separated. On the restart the leading pair of Dimmick and Skeels tangled creating a brief blockage but Chris Bradbury stuck to the inside and gained about ten places in one move to take the lead! The restart was just incredible, the red tops slamming into each other as hard as they could on every turn with Daz Kitson, Barry Goldin and Steve Green Jnr among those at the forefront of some unreal hits. In front of the mayhem Bradbury raced away to win it from Thackra with Green Jnr emerging from the maelstrom in third.
The stunning action continued in the Grand National, Skeels passing Cattell to win it but all eyes were on the red tops as Goldin, Aldridge, Rob Speak and Thackra staged another superb battle, Bradbury joining in from the lap handicap on a night of proper full-bore stock car racing.
The Rebels returned to Birmingham for the first time in over a month and heat one saw early leader David Moss spin handing Ben Thatcher the lead and he held off the closing Lyndon Rushby to take his first win of the year.
White top Rob Jones led for most of the way in heat two until Thatcher took over once again with Tim Neat chasing, but on the last lap backmarker Dave Morley clipped the latter sending him spinning. This delayed the pursuing Nick Taylor and Jones leaving Thatcher to take his second win.
The pack bunched heading into turn one of the Feature from the clutch start, Jones and Anthony Masters slamming hard into the wall to wreck the front of the former’s car and force a complete restart with eight cars out of the race. Rushby had leapt into the lead from row two and proceeded to do likewise at the second attempt while poleman Thatcher was very slow away. Rushby led all the way as the pack scrapped behind him only to be docked two places for a jump start giving Adam Joyce the win to extend his National Points lead with Stuart Mackinnon second.
The Grand National was the race of the night by some margin with everyone in contention at some point. Circuit racing convert James Tucker passed Steve Pimbley for the early lead and held on for several laps before Paul Jones took over, but Will Brown and Stuart Moss then found their way to the front and enjoyed an excellent battle with the latter eventually taking the win. Behind them Ann Bingley ran well up the order until spinning, while Tim Leeton put a period of bad luck behind him to take fourth.
The opening Hot Ford heat saw Paul Lockett lead for much of the way until Rob Tye took over and went on to take his first win since New Year’s Day, and the Ministox graduate enjoyed it so much he did exactly the same in heat two as further back Paul Byles clipped David Baker sending the latter’s Orion spinning, Stuart Thomas and Neil Hayes collecting him.
Baker’s luck would change for the better in the Final as he followed Paul Dutton over the line, but Dutton was docked places for earlier contact with Lockett as he took the lead. This gave Baker his first win for a long time, and the first for an Orion in the formula for many years on a night when the higher graders seemed content just to scrap among themselves towards the back of the pack. Tye meanwhile struggled in the Final, finishing out of the top ten.
Well done to all drivers who took part in this incredible meeting with all three formulas giving the crowd something to talk about for a long time. Top class!