After a few meetings on the loose stuff, we all headed down to Lincolnshire for the first Skegness ‘Weekender’ of the year, which included the UK Open Championship on the Sunday. Only one Wainman has ever won this championship, Frankie on 5 occasions (2001, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2015).
We took 6 cars for the weekend, Frankie, Danny, Phoebe, Frankie JJJ, Lewis Galer and a hire car for Bryn Thomas (400).
Saturday 7 May
Just Danny was out in the first race of the day and he lined up at the back alongside Ryan Harrison (197), but it was a straightforward win for pole sitter Russell Cooper (415) who won from white, with Danny finishing 10th.
Frankie JJ, Phoebe and Lewis took to the track for heat 2, and after a couple of stoppages it was former National Ministox driver, Callum Thornton (368) who took the chequered flag in his first pouting using the car Catherine Harris (8) has been using, his first win in a BriSCA F1, well done Callum, surely one to watch for the future. Frankie JJ finished the race in 12th.
Heat 3 saw out final car on track (Bryn Thomas deciding he needed some more practice before competing) with Frankie taking his place at the back of the pack as the only superstar.
The race was fast, and with no yellow flags Frankie did well but was unable to catch the leading pack as Jon Horne (19) took the win with Joe Nickolls (242) 3rd and Frankie coming over the line in 4th.
With only Frankie qualifying for the final via the heats, Danny, Phoebe, JJ and Lewis all had to take to the track for the consolation, and the race was won by Ryan Harrison (197), with Danny qualifying for the final in 6th.
Our only two cars in the final were Frankie and Danny, and both lined up at the back of the pack with the other superstars.
After a steady start there was a big incident on the back straight involving Austin Moore (127) and Jason Wilkinson (87), which also collected the flying Ryan Harrison, with all 3 retiring from the race.
Frankie had to retire from the race about half distance with a right rear puncture, and Danny also failing to finish the race, it was heat 2 winner Callum Thornton who took the chequered flag for a heat and final double in his first meeting.
We had 4 cars out for the national, with Frankie JJ not making the grid, and the race was another action packed one, with an initial stoppage for a huge roll by Casey Englestone (120) on the back straight, then another for a coming together between Eddie Collins (147) and Richard Dickerson (443). After the restart there was no catching Ant Lee (339) as he took another tarmac win, with Frankie finishing a worthy 2nd.
Sunday 8 May
Sunday was the day of the UK Open Championship, and with defending champion, Shaun Webster (48) in attendance, there was sure to be some top competition for the title.
The format of the championship was that each car takes part in to of the 4 heats and then a points within grades determines the grid for the final
Heat 1 was a stop start race with the winner initially being declared at Luke Davidson (464) however on countback it was found he was a lap down and the winner was Tom Harris (1), with Frankie finishing 2nd. Frankie JJ finished the race in 15th.
Heat 2 was won by Jordan Falding (36) who won after a few yellow flags, with Danny coming home in 5th.
Heat 3 started in dramatic fashion with Casey Englestone (120) repeating his feat from the previous evening and barrel rolling into turn 1, thankfully he was OK. Lewis Galer (78) lead the race from the restart but was passed as the top 3 went for the points. Frankie won the race after holding off a spirited drive from Courtney Finnikin (551) who finished 2nd with Danny 4th and Frankie JJ 5th. Lewis finished 15th.
Heat 4 was pretty tame compared to heat 3, and after a period of waved yellows for the stranded car of Louis Goodwin (295) Tom Harris recorded his 2nd heat win of the afternoon with Phoebe coming home in 15th.
Final (UK Open Championship)
The UK Open Championship was a closed grid and based on points scored in the 4 heats with the drives in points order within grades.
The race ran smoothly until an incident on turns 3 & 4 where defending champion Shaun Webster went out, with former champions Neil Scriven (11) and Kyle Gray (124) also involved and exiting the race.
From the resumption Tom Harris took the lead and with Frankie in chase those two crossed the line 1st and 2nd with Dutch driver Wim Peeters (H124) taking 3rd.
The grand national started at a fairly sedate pace until just before halfway a big crash on the back straight saw John Fortune’s (164) car straddling the ropes atop the fence after an incident with Jason Cull and Tom Harris.
After the resumption, Frankie took the lead and lead to the end to take his 2nd win of the meeting, to cap off a great weekend for the man from Silsden!
Photo’s ©Ian Bannister/Sam Wainman & Paul Tully