The first Skegness weekender of the season ends with the UK Open Championship tomorrow, will Tom retain the title he won in 2022 or will there be a new name on the trophy. We headed down to Lincolnshire with # cars, Frankie, Danny (using Karl’s tarmac car), Phoebe, Frankie JJ and Karl (in the Carl Pickering car) and also a hire car for Richard Peeters (H330) to use today and Roland Lamb (505) to use tomorrow.
With 56 cars it was a ‘normal’ meeting format, with 3 heats, consolation, final and grand national and valuable WCQ points on offer too.
Just Frankie went out for heat 1 on a very greasy track due to the afternoon showers we had, but nothing like what was forecast thankfully.
At the front Simon Binder led the field away and by half way Bradley Harrison took the lead, with Frankie making good progress through from the back>
After a mid race stoppage for the removal of Daz Kitson, Rick Lenssen and Courtney Finnikin cars, it was Brad who went on to take the flag with Frankie 2nd and Mat Newson 3rd.
Heat 2 saw Frankie JJ and Karl take to the track with Richard Peeters off the back in the hire car, with Finn Sargent out for the first time in his new self-built car.
Finn hit the front by lap 3, and despite several periods of yellows for stranded cars, stayed there to take a well deserves maiden win on debut for his new car. Karl finished 3rd behind Shaun Webster and Frankie JJ 6th and Richard 12th.
So it was left to Danny and Phoebe to take to the track for heat 3, both lining up with the reds.
It wasn’t the best of starts for Phoebe as she pulled into the middle on the rolling lap with a gear selection issue, and from there it was a familiar pattern, and the 84 car of Tom Harris tore through the field and was 3rd by half distance. Tom passes the remaining cars, including the rapid Wim Peeters, who was leading, with 5 to go staying there to take his 14th race win of the season. Danny finished the heat in 6th, looking quick in the 175 car.
Phoebe and Richard head out for the consolation, and with the track now completely dry it was a great race, with Chris Worral in his lovely new car making the early headway with Rick Lenssen making good progress along with fellow Dutchman Colin Schutter. It was the latter who pushed Phoebe wide into turn 3 losing her a few places when she was looking good for a top 3 finish.
In the end it was Paul Carter who came through to take the win with Charlie Sworder 2nd and Chris Worrall 3rd, Phoebe finished 6th.
The final was a fantastic race under the lights at Skegness, and a fitting race for the Andrew Battye Memorial trophy too.
We had Frankie, Danny and Frankie JJ out for this race, and it was an explosive start, with first Paul Hines careering down the back straight after a collision with Mat Newson, then a stoppage to recover the stranded car of James Hall Morton., It was James Hall Morton who lead and then there was another stoppage to recover the 84 car which came to a halt on turn 1 with just 3 wheels as his o/s read detached after a clash with sister Catherine Harris.
Louis Goodwin leads them off again after the restart, but behind his Wim Peters and Charlie Sworder are charging through the field with Frankie on their tails.
With 5 to go, and with big hits happening all over the track it was Wim Peeters who took the lead after passing Louis Goodwin with a big push, with Frankie now in 2nd but too far back to challenge for the win. Bradley Harrison capped off a great meeting with 3rd. Danny finished 8th with another great drive and Karl was 12th.
The grand national was another great race, and we had Frankie, Danny, Phoebe, Frankie JJ, Karl and Richard in this one, and just as the green flag dropped it started to drizzle and that made for a very interesting race indeed.
By half distance we had had 2 stoppages for rollovers, first it was Louis Goodwin who rolled the 295 car on the home straight, and a few laps later Josh Smith did the same on turn 4.
by 3/4 distance it was Tom Harris who was moving through the field but battling with Bobby Griffin and Kyle Gray for the front spot, first it was Tom, then Kyle and Bobby trying to outwit them both, and on the final lap it was Kyle who fired Kyle in on turn 3 but Bobby did the same to Tom and it was Danny who came through to take the win in what was the race of the night.
Frankie finished 3rd.
Back here tomorrow for the 2023 UK Open Championship.
Photo’s ©Ian Bannister