Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Finals Night, NI Saloons
Tony Heuvel was the only driver who qualified not to appear on finals night and his place was taken by 18m Chris Taylor. That left two more spots up for grabs in the repercharge and with a number of big names from night one not appearing including 1nz, 3nz and 75m, 2nz Brent McClymont looked odds on to qualify despite a grid 6 start position. Unfortunately for him, the track was way too wet and being the first race of the night, passing was near impossible. With only two laps remaining he managed to pass enough cars to be challenging Anita Sloot for the second spot behind 66a Peter Church and a desperate lunge by both cars ended with Church getting a good shove over the line and Sloot and McClymont into the turn one wall. The damage to Sloots car would mean she qualified but missed the first heat ironically. McClymont would end up taking 3 from 3 in the consolation races only.
74a Scott Lansdowne took the early lead from grid two and 46a Nigel Ross was quick to make up a few places before 271m Steve Cowling retired to the infield with what looked like a flaming 'bath towel' removed from under the bonnet! 46a's progress forward was halted when he hit the rear of 14m Brett Kaye and dropped a couple of spots. Yellows were brought on for 11a Lynne Yates with the rear bar dragging on the ground before coming it came off and she restarted off the back of the field. Two laps from completion bad luck for 43h Aaron Tonks with damage to his right rear wheel losing him at least 9 places as he drifted backwards. Lansdowne held the lead for the entire race, 79m Mike Griffiths gaining valuable points with his second placing.
Top 10: 74a, 79m, 14m, 11m, 46a, 274m, 8s, 18m, 272m, 77g
271m was the only car not to front for heat two. Craig Korff would start from grid 2 and despite a couple of yellow lights in this heat, he never looked like losing, almost having a half lap lead at one stage. Not such plain sailing for others though with Kevin Moore first to retire very early on and Aaron Tonks chances finishing overcooking it and spinning to the rear of the field. Lansdowne and Towgood had a great battle early on in this heat but a spin for 46a Nigel Ross involving 16s Thomas Korff ended the stratford driver's race. It was on this restart that a number of drivers championship really ended. 96s Nigel Perrett was in trouble and a 5 or 6 car pile up occurred in turn 2 involving 14m, 43h, 274m, 48a and 46a Ross who ended up planted in the wall. 74a, 14m, 48a and 46a all ending up on the infield. On the restart, a number of drivers who had been well down the pack were suddenly in contention for a good finish including 79m Griffiths and 274m Dan Corrin. 18m Taylor made a late pass on 77g Cook to grab 2nd.
Top 10: 8s, 18m, 77g, 96s, 272m, 21h, 79m, 66a, 274m, 49h
Points after two heats:
8s 34pts, 79m 33pts, 18m 32pts, 77g 29pts, 272m 28pts, 274m 27pts, 21h + 14m 25pts
Deja vu for Phil Towgood after a couple of laps the rear body came off the car while sitting in second behind early leader 274m Corrin. 8s Korff the points leader going into the final heat was off grid 15 and would have an uphill battle trying to make up any positions for the entire race. 21h Williams, 14m Kaye and 272m Cowling were the ones to watch as they all battled to pass 48a Towgood whose car appeared to be shedding panels at will! A spin by 4a Sloot two laps from the end of the race closed things up but places remained static. Corin securing the win and title ahead of 272m Chris Cowling and 79m Mike Griffiths doing enough for a complete Baypark shut out.
Top 10: 274m, 48a, 21h, 272m, 14m, 11a, 66a, 43h, 77g, 79m
Points: 274m 47pts, 272m 45pts, 79m 44pts, 8s 43pts, 21h 43pts, 77g + 18m 41pts