SILSDEN'S Frankie Wainman Jnr put in a gallant defence of his BriSCA F1 stock car World Championship title at Ipswich’s Foxhall Stadium when finishing in third place in the 25-lap event.

Wainman Jnr, who won the title from the third time last season at Coventry, started the race on the outside of the fourth row of the grid.

Also lining up in the 34-car entry was Wainman Jnr’s son Frankie Wainman Jnr Jr, who qualified for his first world final after finishing tenth in the Skegness world semi-final in July, and Wainman Jnr’s brother Danny, who lined up one row in front of the 17-year-old on the outside of row 13.

Hot favourite for the race was European champion Nigel Green, who led the race from flag-to-flag despite a race stoppage on lap two.

Wainman Jnr got a blistering start and was up to third place after two laps after outside front row starter Dan Johnson fluffed the start and held up another pre-race fancy, Stuart Smith Jnr, who started on row two.

Wainman Jnr’s race nearly came unstuck, however, when the race was yellow-flagged on lap two following a massive pile-up on the first bend.

As the Silsden superstar backed off due to the yellow flags and waving his hand outside the cab of the car beckoning those behind to slow, Smith Jnr planted him into the melee.

Fortunately, no damage was done and Wainman Jnr was able to rejoin the race for the restart.

“I was unhappy when we were on the yellows for half a lap and Stuart stuck me into a load of parked cars,” Wainman Jnr said. “I was even waving out of the window going down the straight and I only had one hand on the steering wheel when he hit me!”

Smith Jnr had a different view of the incident. “I went down the home straight and caught him up because my car was quicker than his at the start and I put him into the pile up,” Smith Jnr said. “I didn’t know the yellows were out, but as soon as I came out of the corner I saw the yellows flags waving.”

Green always looked comfortable in front and, as the lap boards came out, was still just two to three car lengths in front of Johnson, while Wainman Jnr was under pressure from Ryan Harrison, who went past the world champion to go third.

As Green negotiated the third bend on the last lap, Johnson made an audacious attempt to make contact with Green’s back bumper but he missed his target and clattered the Armco. His race came to an abrupt end just 150 metres from the flag.

Green powered on to victory and the gold roof. Harrison came home in second place ahead of Wainman Jnr, who took the final podium position.

Wainman Jnr had put in a fine drive in defence of his title but always believed Green would be hard to catch on the big Ipswich Tarmac oval, where horsepower is always a factor.

“I got a good start, we couldn’t do more than we did,” he said. “I said beforehand if Nigel got away at the start he’d be gone, and he did.”

While Wainman Jnr’s son Frankie Jr didn’t finish, brother Danny made up the most ground in the field to finish an excellent eighth place, but was hindered by mechanical problems.

“It did the gearbox on about lap four,” said Wainman. “It was vibrating its head off at about 4,500 revs. I wasn’t even braking into the corners, just rolling in and just picking it back up. It was mint. It actually went better than I thought it would being that slow down the straight.”

While disappointed not to retain his world crown, Wainman Jnr finished off the meeting on a high by winning the last race of the night, the Ben Turner Memorial Trophy, in a thrilling finish.

Taking the lead from Lee Fairhurst on the last lap into turn one, Wainman Jnr had to withstand a huge hit on the last bend in return from Fairhurst and just kept his nose in front in a drag race to the line.

Ben Turner passed away two years ago after a long fight with cancer at the age of 16. The Wainman team were a major support to the youngster, who was a big Wainman fan.

“I really wanted to win this one,” said an emotional Wainman Jnr after receiving the trophy alongside Ben’s father Howard and younger sister Milly.