BriSCA F1 National Series
Not to be confused with the National Points Championship, the National Series has been contested using various formats each year since its inception in 2002. Prior to this date, the highly coveted Silver roof had been awarded to the National Points Champion, but in an attempt to open up the competition for the silver roof, the National Series was created, with the silver roof now passing to the winner of the new series.
It ought to have been a simple premise to run the two competitions successfully together, but unfortunate name changes have resulted in confusion over the historical records that rightfully are testimony to those who (from 1956 to the present day) have scored most points over a whole season campaign, thus becoming National Points Champion for that season.
To date, there have been three versions of the National Series, as detailed below:
National Series 2002 - 2008
During this period, the National Series (NS) was based on the points scored over 35 meetings (30 in 2005) throughout the year which were designated "National Series" rounds. Each driver's points total for the year was calculated after taking account of the following:
- Each driver could count their 30 best scores - any drivers competing in more than 30 meetings would therefore drop their lowest scores. In 2005 only, each driver could drop their two lowest scores on each surface.
- Each driver had a 'joker' for each surface (tarmac and shale) which would allow them to score double points at one meeting of their choice on each surface, excluding the Finale meeting. Jokers were traditionally used towards the end of the season but latterly the main contenders tended to play one of their jokers at their respective World Championship Semi-final meetings - because Semi final races are raced as heats in the meeting, but score points as Finals.
- The "National Series Finale" meeting, the last round, scored double points for all drivers - a bonus which usually had little effect on the winner but which in 2006 allowed Andy Smith to take the National Series title in the last race of the Series.
In reality, the new National Series did little to open up the race for the Silver roof to new drivers, being dominated by just three since its inception: six time winner Frankie Wainman Jnr, Andy Smith and Stu Smith Jnr. It did however provide memorable competition between the three on several occasions, not least 2006 and 2007 when the title went down to the last race of the last meeting in the Series.
National Series Shootout 2009
The 2009 season brought a further twist to the National Series format, aimed again at opening up the competition for the Silver roof, but also to create a new late-season competition to maintain both driver and spectator support in the traditionally quieter period between the September World Final and the end of the season.
Once again, 35 meetings from the fixture list were designated as National Series rounds. However, the first 25 of these were effectively qualification rounds for the final stage of the competition, with only the top 10 points scorers after round 25 being eligible to go through into the final 10 round Shootout. Jokers could still be played during the first 25 rounds only, although many didn't feel a need to do so, having either secured a place in the top ten, or having accepted that they were never going to make the top ten.
It was also around this time that a new, but unexpected and unintended, phenomenon appeared - that of the so called nothing meeting - being a meeting that was not part of any other Championship, but which was not designated as a National Series round either. Both driver and spectator attendances appeared to suffer when a nothing meeting arose in the Fixture list.
Point scores were zeroed for the shootout, with only a small 'attendance bonus' being carried forward from the qualifying rounds; in effect, all ten drivers started from scratch. No jokers or dropped scores would apply, with the final round again being double points. Points for Shootout contenders were awarded as per normal grading point rules - there would be no separate races.
Once again, and predictably, the same three players dominated the shootout, with Stuart Smith Jnr taking the 2009 title after some epic battles along the way. In terms of delivering end of season excitement, the format was an overwhelming success, although many observers still questioned whether the Silver roof should be the reward for what is effectively a 10 round competition.
National Series Shootout 2010 - 2016
The Shootout format continued for 2010 - albeit apparently, and confusingly, renamed* and with a number of minor, but welcome, modifications, as follows:
- No designated qualification rounds - all meetings up until a mid-season cut off were counted, thus removing the infamous nothing meetings from the early season calendar.
- No jokers
- Top 12 points scorers go through to the Shootout (2009 - 10 drivers)
- Two bonus points for each qualifying round attended (2009 - 1 point)
- One bonus point for each qualifying round final win (2009 - 0 points)
The NS Shootout in 2011 followed a similar format to that used in 2010, although confusion over the name of the Series remained as evident as ever.
The Shootout format was further tweaked for the 2012 season, with the bottom six points scorers of the twelve qualifiers being dropped after 5 of the 10 Shootout rounds. Thus the race for the Silver roof became a 5 meeting/6 driver dash - a change which is regarded by many as a retrograde step, with the benefit of hindsight.
From 2013 onwards, the Shootout returned to the 12 driver format with additional funding for all participants, to help offset the costs of repairs resulting from the very competitive Shootout meetings.
Overall, the Shootout has continued to be an unqualified success in terms of adding much excitement to the late season meetings.
|2002||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Andy Smith||Paul Harrison|
|2003||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Peter Falding||Gary Castell|
|2004||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Andy Smith||Paul Harrison|
|2005||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Mark Gilbank||Paul Harrison|
|2006||Andy Smith||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Paul Harrison|
|2007||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Andy Smith||Stuart Smith Jnr|
|2008||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Stuart Smith Jnr||Andy Smith|
|2009||Stuart Smith Jnr||Andy Smith||Frankie Wainman Jnr|
|2010||Andrew Smith||Craig Finnikin||Paul Hines|
|2011||Craig Finnikin||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Dan Johnson|
|2012||Tom Harris||Frankie Wainman Jnr||Craig Finnikin|
|2013||Ryan Harrison||Lee Fairhurst||Dan Johnson|
|2014||Rob Speak||Tom Harris||Matt Newson|
|2015||Dan Johnson||Rob Speak||Matt Newson|
|2016||Rob Speak||Nigel Green||Dan Johnson|
Many F1 fans do not accept that the National Series, in any format or under any name, has or should replace the original National Points Championship. In order to maintain historical accuracy, this website regards the two as separate entities, both of current and historical importance, and will continue to record them as such. The driver scoring the most points over a full season will appear on the National Points Championship historical record (1956 to present day), and the driver winning the other points based title (2002 to present day), regardless of its name, will be recorded on this National Series page.
Hopefully, one day common sense will prevail, and there will be acceptance that the National Points and the National Series are not one and the same thing, and that the winner of each deserves recognition, and a place in the history of the sport.
*The Shootout series has been variously described as the National Series, the National Series Shootout, the National Series Championship, the National Points Shoot Out, the National Series Points Championship and the National Points Championship Shoot Out.