Ashley England secures a heat and Final double at Ipswich

Ashley England secured a terrific heat and Final double at the Foxhall Heath Stadium on Saturday night to recreate the success his grandfather and father had at the East Anglian venue in the past.

It was Kelvin Hassell who got the jump on Casey Englestone and led the pack away at the start before eventually pulling away, looking more than comfortable out in front.

Daz Kitson made his way past Englestone and up to second with England pushing past John Fortune before following Kitson through into third as the pair began to close down the lead gap that Hassell had built up.

Meanwhile, the superstars were starting to carve their way through the order with new British champion Tom Harris making his way up to fourth with Ryan Harrison following him through – still trying to get to grips with his new car.

Ryan Harrison took victory in heat one but couldn’t quite recreate the success of last year’s Final victory.  

England had fought his way past Kitson and began pressuring the leading Hassell, making his move with just a lap to go. Expecting a last bend lunge, England went deep into turn’s three and four allowing Hassell to move up the inside as the pair reached the chequered flag side-by-side.

It was the Brentwood racer who managed to hold off the challenge of Hassell and take the win by half a car length.

After the race, England said: “With five to go I didn’t think I would be able to get second place from Kitson, let alone win it. But in those last few laps my car was handling well and I managed to get past Kitson cleanly and didn’t lose any time.

“I could see Hassell behind me going into the last turn so I went in as hard as hard as I could, but he came up the inside and I was just able to hold him off. It was close, but I knew I was ahead of him when we went over the line.

“Although this is my third Final win, this one means a lot to me as I remember watching my dad win here when I was younger.”

Completing the top three was Hassell and Kitson with Harris unable to fight his way unto the podium places, coming home fourth.

Afterwards, Harris said on Twitter: “Solid night at Ipswich! I’ve finally got good pace with the tarmac car. With the world championship semi-finals coming up it’s good knowing I can compete with the best on either surface!”

Tom Harris has been the man to beat on shale this year and is looking to bring that form over to the tarmac. 

Fifth was Harrison with Fortune close behind in sixth. Frankie Wainman Jnr came home in seventh with Charlie Sworder eighth and improving with every meeting he contests.

Mat Newson came home ninth with Luke Davidson rounding out the top-10.

The heats went the way of Harrison, England and Harris with Englestone winning the Grand National leading from flag-to-flag.

The BriSCA Ministox were also in action and contested their 2019 Golden Helmet which was won by Rebecca Smith who perfected a last bend lunge to take the win from Lewis Evans and Harley Burns. The two heats went the way of the new British champion Callum Thornton.

Rebecca Smith is one of the star’s of the future of Stock Car Racing. 

By Jordan Hollands.

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