As we build up to the final 2 meetings of 2021, a brief catch up since the British Championship in August and a quick look ahead to the conclusion of the season.
Following Simon Flynn’s win at Yarmouth in the British Championship, the modstox have travelled to Buxton twice and Birmingham once. Unfortunately, in this space of time, 2 meetings have also been cancelled by the promotions. The September trip to the Peak District hills for Buxton saw Adam Perkins (6) take the major honours in the Neil Clayton Memorial Race, taking the chequered flag from the rear of the grid over the scheduled 9 laps. Blue top James Faultless (47) finished second with yellow top Sam Horton (26) completing the podium. Superstar Alex Langdell (19) ended the race with 3 wheels on his car but showed in the subsequent 2 races what he could have done in the Memorial Race by winning them, leading Adam Perkins over the line in both races. Alastair Needham (16) and Dan Billington (111) placed third and fourth respectively in the same races. Only 5 cars lasted the 12 lap distance in the second race with Sam Woods (555) the final car across the line and then in the third race slammed the car in reverse across the line to take 8th following a spin on the last corner from 5th.
Birmingham at the end of September held the opening Shootout round, with 8 out of the 10 qualified red and superstar drivers racing. As it turned out, it was blue top Marcus Worth (10) who stole the show only dropping 2 points all evening and that was in the Final finishing second to new British Champion Simon Flynn (707). Flynn ended up with a heat second as well but a broken half shaft in the second heat stopped him from challenging Worth for the win.
Other superstars to shine were Alex Langdell who picked up 9th and 2nd in the heats and 3rd in the final whilst Adam Perkins picked up 3 top 5 finishes to maintain his original lead of the shootout championship. Already there was a gap forming from the top 3 to the other drivers, with Perkins leading on 38 from Langdell with 34 and Simon Flynn only one point further behind with 33. Jason Scattergood (37) and Alastair Needham complete the top 5 with scores of 16 and 14 respectively.
The Birmingham meeting also saw the fourth and penultimate round of the Northern and Midland Championship, with Adam Perkins all but guaranteeing winning it ahead of second place James Faultless with one round to go and a maximum of 40 points available. The battle for the remaining podium places are on as Faultless, Langdell, Needham and Simon Flynn are separated by 16 points. Marcus Worth sits a further 16 points behind Flynn.
Aldershot on a Sunday afternoon saw the first British 2022 qualifying round and the Champion of Champions title being contested. In the first heat, Marcus Worth proved the long trip hadn’t deterred him as he took the chequered flag from a resurgent Luke Wilson (22), who had put previous engine problems behind him. Wilson would improve his finishing position in the second heat by being the first across the line. Adam Perkins lead the superstars home being runner up to Wilson with British Champion Simon Flynn completing the rostrum. The final went the way of Perkins to give a 36 points haul for the day. Again Flynn followed Perkins home with Wilson finishing his day with a main race third for a personal 35 points total. Worth followed Flynn to cap a good day with Dave Kilby (63) rounding out the top 5. A quick mention for Karl Brazier in the Clare hire car who, in his first oval racing meeting finished with a heat 9th and final 10th, scoring 4 points and booking a place on next seasons British Championship grid!
Last weekend saw Buxton host the second shootout round and the final Northern and Midlands championship round. Northern and Midlands points leader Perkins lead by 39 points so James Faultless (47) in second needed a maximum points score and Perkins not to score. As it turned out he put in a faultless performance taking the 3 wins he required. Unfortunately for him, Perkins finished the first heat in 4th and took the Northern and Midlands Championship as a result. Other notable performances came from newly promoted blue top Sam Horton (26) finished both heats in second behind Faultless and then third in the final to score 34 points. Not to be out done in the blue grade by Faultless and Horton, Ryan Jones (72) concluded his modstox debut in the recently acquired Paul Higgins car with three top 5 places and 27 points. White top Sam Tennant produced a superb drive in the final to finish second to Faultless, even passing him at the beginning of the last lap only to be out dragged going into the final corner. Perkins also wrapped up the grading points title as second place Alastair Needham trails by 86 points with only 80 left available.
The final 2 meetings at Birmingham (potentially the very last meeting at the venue) and Northampton will see the Shootout decided which following Buxton is (seemingly) now a 2 horse race between Perkins and Simon Flynn but Alex Langdell is still lying in wait in third to pounce and make up the small gap to the top 2.
Northampton sees the conclusion of the shaleshifter title with both heats counting towards the closed grid final. The grid based on all shale points scored over the season currently sees Billy Higgins leading the points table from Alastair Needham. With neither Higgins booked in this means that Needham heads Simon Flynn by 13 points with Scattergood 5 points then Adam Flynn and Adam Perkins sit 12 points further back. The remainder of the table is close and 2 good het results could result in a handful of drivers moving themselves up the grid for the final.
The whites and Yellows Championship will also head to the last meeting with the top 3 clear of those chasing. Leader Sam Horton will not score any further points as he was upgraded to blue for the final grading period, leaving Lewis Wilson (23) and Sam Woods (555) to battle to see if they can overhaul Horton at the head of the table. Wilson needs to make up 7 points and Woods a further 7 points. Both drivers should be at the 2 final meetings and most probably starting alongside each other. Who will crack first?