BSCDA British Championship
WAINMAN JNR AIMING FOR TEN IN THE BSCDA BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP AT BELLE VUE
Frankie Wainman Jnr heads to the 61st running of the BSCDA British Championship at Belle Vue on Sunday aiming to defend his British title and take an unprecedented 10th victory in the race.
Wainman Jnr’s record in the most prestigious championship race outside of the World Final is unsurpassed with nine victories and seven podiums. His nearest challenger for the most wins is John Lund on six, and of the current drivers Paul Harrison has four wins and Lee Fairhurst two.
The first of Wainman Jnr’s nine came in 1992 at Coventry, with his second seven years later, also at Brandon Stadium. His third, again at Coventry, was in 2001. He then went on a run of four successive titles between 2003-2006, including at Belle Vue (2003).
There was then a gap of ten years before taking the title at Skegness in 2016, and then retaining the British Championship last year at Sheffield.
“I don’t know why I do so well in this race, as it’s not always at the same track,” said Wainman Jnr. “I simply never give up. I just seem to get my car set up well throughout a meeting and have it spot on for the final.
The Silsden superstar won a dramatic race at Sheffield last year, despite having no clutch pedal early on in a race that was yellow-flagged with Tom Harris leading and Wainman Jnr in second place.
“Last year at Sheffield I was a bit lucky,” said Wainman Jnr. “I had no clutch pedal and had to take the restart in first gear. Had Tom known, all he would have had to do was hit the brakes going into the corner and I would have stalled it.”
After the restart Harris got slightly impeded up by Mark Gilbank on the start/finish straight, which gave Wainman Jnr the chance to pounce.
“Mark Gilbank had got damage and came across from the fence and hit the kerb,” said Wainman Jnr. “He lost it a bit and Tom just clipped Gilbank’s bumper, and it held him up for that split second.
“I knew at that point it was now or never.”
Wainman Jnr launched at Harris, sending the Banbury star into the fence.
“Luckily, I held it and I just missed him when he bounced out,” Wainman Jnr said.
Wainman Jnr went on to win the race, with Stuart Smith Jnr in second place. Both Wainman Jnr and Smith Jnr go head-to-head once again at Belle Vue and are on top form on shale, with three shale final wins apiece this season.
Wainman Jnr scored one of his finals at Belle Vue in May and is happy to see the race at the Manchester track.
“I’m going pretty well at Belle Vue,” Wainman Jnr said. “I won the final on May bank holiday and the car was flying that day.”
While Wainman Jnr has high hopes, there are plenty of other big names hungry for success.
Harris, Dan Johnson and world champion Nigel Green, who makes his shale debut this season on Sunday, all have yet to win the British Championship during their illustrious careers.
Harris, for one, will be eager to seek revenge on his closest rivals and adversaries, Wainman Jnr and Johnson. Johnson controversially blocked Harris in last year’s race when a lap down prior to Wainman Jnr’s decisive move.
Harris won his first shale final since 2015 at the last meeting at Belle Vue and went on to finish third from the one-lap handicap in the Grand National and is one of the favourites to take over the honour of wearing the chequered flag roof for the next 12 months.
But Wainman Jnr is a man on a mission. “I’m going for three British title on the trot,” he said. “I’ve done it before and will be trying hard to do it again.”
The meeting starts at 3.30pm, and also features the National Ministox British Championship