The 2021 British Championship Final is being held on the East Coast at Great Yarmouth - a track with a reputation for an unforgiving rope and post fence.
Qualification ended after the Aldershot meeting in July and Jason Scattergood (37) topped the list of all point scorers to secure himself pole position. Long time oval racer Paul Heath (343) lines up on the outside of Jason, hoping there isn't a big push from the front few inside rows. Row 2 contains the current grading points leader (and modstox Chairman) Adam Perkins (6) who has hit a rich vein of form heading into the British Final. A driver who openly admits preferring the shale to tarmac, Adam has proven he has the pace to win and behold anybody in his way! 2021 rookie Alastair Needham (16) will grid alongside Adam, in his first visit to Yarmouth in his modstox. Will that count against him or will Alastair be able to break through the front row and win on his British Final debut?
Rows 3 and 4 contain some fast drivers, with Billy Higgins (129) and Jonathon Clare (294) completing row 3. Billy has proven he is quick and a race winner although recent engine problems have seen him disappear from the raceways over the last month. Jonathon Clare is the current shootout champion but has only appeared 3 times this season due to family and his job. Stating that he likes tarmac to shale, Jonathon might be hoping the first couple of rows trip themselves up which will give him a chance to hit the front and add the gold roof to his present silver one. Sitting behind Billy and Jonathon are Simon Flynn (707) and Dan Billington (111). Simon is another driver who has limited his appearances this season but has maintained a superstar grade throughout 2021. An extremely fast driver and the only person to have scored a maximum pints haul (at the first Birmingham in May), Simon will be one to watch, whether he decides to give those in front of him a helping hand on the first corner or bides his time, he will be there or thereabouts at the end. Dan Billington has shown he can consistently score points, over the last month doing so in his borrowed sister's car. Dan might be considered an outsider for the top spot at the end of the race but a podium is certainly not outside of his potential.
James Faultless (47) will line up inside of row 5, another driver who prefers the hard tarmac to loose shale surfaces, James has demonstrated this year some speed that has led to race wins including at the recent Aldershot meeting on his girlfriends birthday. Outside of James is Adam Flynn (70) another longer term driver in the formula and finishes in the top 10 more often than not. Whether James and Adam will be targeting a first bend push to aid their chances of a podium or top 5 place or let the race settle and take their chances from then only they know.
Inside row 6 will see Dave Kilby (63), the old man from Nottingham, who had a couple of low scores which led to his lower qualification place although he is another driver that could well be in the top 5 places come the end of the race. Behind Dave on row 7 is the 2021 grading points champion Alex Langdell (19). Alex is reputed to be one of the quickest drivers in the formula over the last couple of years. A low grid position for him as he missed a few qualifiers but has the ability to get through the field quicker than most. Outside of row 7 is long distance traveller Marcus Worth (10) who regularly travels to Birmingham and Northampton so has missed out on a few qualifier meetings on route to Yarmouth. Never afraid to put the bumper in, Marcus will be out to enjoy the seaside air and climb through the pack.
The outside row 6 and inside of row 8 see brothers Luke (22) and Lewis (23) Wilson. Sharing a car in the first half of the season, saw Luke move from white to blue grade before Lewis borrowed the car for the Birmingham/Northampton weekend. Getting to grips with the car in the heats, Lewis then surpassed Luke's best result with victory in the final of his debut meeting before finding out how hard impacts with fences are the next day at Northampton. Dad, Andy will be hoping they don't take each other out and cause too much damage in their first race against each other.
The outside of row 8 is taken up by Chris Clare (394), having mainly been mechanic to numbers 63, 294, 377 and 37, Chris found time to fit in a few qualifiers and score points to make the grid albeit towards the rear. As said already, Chris is another fast driver and will be looking to be in the top 5 towards the end of the race although Chris races mainly for enjoyment this season. The final row of the grid sees Pete Walford (205) on the inside, after missing last years final after blowing his engine 4 days before whilst practising. Another shale preference driver, Pete will just be hoping to finish and avoid the fence. The final driver on the grid is the returning Jon Cooper (159), who after a season or two away has come back to the modstox formula and is getting to grips with his current car.
Only a fool would predict the result of this race with a large number of drivers who have proven race winning qualities and/or speed. Whether there will be the big first bend push from a few rows back or not could determine if any of the first few rows make a break or if someone further back is able to pick up the pieces. The last thing to say is congratulations to all drivers for qualifying, good luck and here's to a hard but fair race.
British Grid here
Great Yarmouth Stadium
Sunday 22nd August, 2pm.