NORTHAMPTON, EAST MIDLANDS – Finn Robinson started 16th in the main event of the Spring Nationals at Northampton Shaleway on March 19th and battled through motor issues the entire race to a solid 8th place finish in his opening run of the 2022 Rebels Racing Series season. Robinson, who has been victorious on dirt in the past, was excited going into the weekend after much offseason work on his machine, but unfortunately the motor turned from friend to foe on the day.
Here’s a recap of the day as told by Finn himself.
I went to pull onto track and my engine started spluttering and dying and would not refire, so I was unable to start the race.
In heat two we managed to get the car going but it was still sounding rough. I took the green flag and found I still had engine issues which felt like a rev limiter that topped out halfway down the straightaway. I avoided a huge crash which included six cars, three of which were barrel rolling right next to me as I narrowly avoided the crash. Can you imagine that? Three cars barrel rolling at once right alongside you. That was…interesting! I was third for the restart. Unfortunately, due to my engine issues I lost a few spots, but I managed to pull together an eighth-place finish in that race out of 32 cars that started which I was really happy about considering how bad my engine performance was.
Main Event: 15 laps
I started 16th. It was a fairly calm race for me. We had gotten rid of that rev limiter type feeling, but in doing so developed a misfire so bad I was only running on two out of the four cylinders. Despite this I managed to change my driving style to push a lot harder in the corners to carry as much momentum down the straightaways as I could and even out the time loss as much as possible. I had a good battle with the #80 of Keith Murphy and I was eventually able to squeeze by the veteran racer. He’s been racing that series for over ten years! I spent the remainder of the race chasing down the #131 of Nicole Emmett to the end. Unfortunately, as I was lining up for a last lap pass on Nicole my throttle pedal snapped. Thankfully it didn’t stick the throttle – it just meant I had no throttle – so I had to coast the last lap and once again fell to an eventual eighth place finish. Honestly, I was very happy with that finish considering that my engine was worse in the main event than in the heats. I really can’t complain about the position I finished with and the caliber of drivers I was up against.
I have mixed feelings about the day overall. I was happy to finish in the positions I did considering the problems we were fighting but knowing that if the engine was running flawless our potential was much higher makes it a hard day to accept. I would just like to personally thank my team, team Houghton, my sponsors Shebdon Crane Hire, Houghton JCB and Page Motorsport, and also the series officials Kathy and Hans for working tirelessly to try and diagnose the issue and get me back out running competitively again.
April 3rd at Buxton Raceway again in the “Rebels Racing” series for the Pauline Jones Memorial race.