TIPPERARY 3/9/16

    The Weston Electrical IRISH GRAND PRIX & Irish Series Round Five.

    The luck of the Irish! The weather was almost a carbon copy of the conditions last year’s Grand Prix was staged in. It incredibly remained sunny and dry when the expectation of the weather forecast had been for anything but! Yet, somehow, the micro climate of the Tipperary mountains allowed for breezy conditions where the sudden shower or the threat of persistent rain was simply blown away. Clearly Mother Nature is a Classic Hot Rod fan!

    And yet the lone traveller from England this year, The Grandaddy of CHR racing himself, Mr Hugh Weaver, was a little disappointed. He was hoping for the appearance of some fellow Englishmen at this event, in a similar manner as they had attended in 2014 and 2015, and also, Weaver was hoping for really heavy rain! “Still to try this car in really wet conditions,” the Hailsham man admitted, “would really like to see how she goes in the wet.” It wasn’t to be for #TheMusicMan, but as it happened, the 210 driver, would still have more than a handful of a car to deal with on the night.

    In the absence of the Sassenachs, the Scots once again put in a good percentage of their drivers with 84 John McFarlane accompanying regular Irish visitor 12 #TravellingTrevTheRev Trevor Harris. Harris has really settled down into the friendly social aspect to racing on CHR scene becoming a close friend of Classic Hot Rod pioneer Gerry Rothwell. Aside from his regular trips to England, Trevor was making this his third visit to the Emerald Isle, and enjoys it all the more every time he visits. McFarlane in contrast, having recently purchased the Chevette racer from Graham McCabe and ruefully nicknamed #JockMcFastlane (or even #McBuslane depending on just how quick he goes!) was making not only his Irish debut but he competitive racing debut, thus repeating what 162 Keith Chesher did last year. Both McCabe and Chesher were present also but in a supporting and indeed what proved to be a crucial mechanising capacity throughout the evening.

    Coming down from Northern Ireland came the strongest challenge of all from the raiding Ulstermen of 981 Jeff #JR Richardson, 925 #TheYellowPeril Gary O’Neill and #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly. Dilly, the season long leader of the 2016 Irish Points Series, was the clear pre-meeting favourite, especially with the surprise non appearance of National Champion 981 Clive Richardson. Jeff’s elder brother had booked in, but at the eleventh hour was called away on crucial business abroad. Jeff himself was coming on in performance after a number of outing in his former Dave Owen / Jackie Harris Mk2, but the Northern Irishman with the bright yellow Anglia, 925 Gary O’Neill had been very quick last time out at Aghadowey…

    The regulars from the Republic were present headed by last year’s Points Champion #TheIrishThoroughBred 25 Trevor Cusack. #TheIrishWolfhound 175 Andy O’Donnell would always be a threat and 10 #GoDaddy Podge McQuaid had also been quick at his home track. It was good to see #TheShamrock 100 Kevin Feeney make his first appearance of the year, and with #TheOmen 43 Damien Corrigan in his Petty homage Mk1 and novice #MrMint 195 Adrian Boyle in his Kermit Green Anglia, the scene was set for an excellent twelve car championship meeting.

    Despite the attendance being down on would could have been expected, the new for 2016 Promotion at Tipperary, Oval Motorsport International, headed by former racer Damien Brennan, was far from disappointed. Indeed, Brennan, an enthusiastic ‘people person’ at the best of times, was literally brimming with joy at this his first running of this now established popular championship meeting in Ireland. Personally taking time to meet and greet all drivers as they attended, Brennan could be seen literally everywhere throughout the course of the meeting, multi tasking and co-ordinating – the essence of hands on promoting. Tipperary Raceway looked spic and span ready for the CHR GP. The grass was cut, the race wall painted, and the staff, Trevor McNamara, Paraic McCormack and a whole host of others, were ready to put on a slickly run meeting.
    Naturally all twelve racers were out of heat one in bright late afternoon sunshine. Damien Corrigan had only just got into his racing stride from his pole position start when the race was brought rapidly to a halt. At the tail of the field, 966 Thomas Dilly and 210 Hugh Weaver had made accidental contact in their eagerness to get an early break. Dilly made contact with Weaver’s rear quarter panel causing #TheMusicMan to vear fence ward on the back straight and ride the fence quite dramatically! Weaver spun to a sudden halt with clear suspension and steering damage and as his stricken Escort was removed to the infield a complete restart was declared.

    Despite damage to his near side front wing, Dilly was ready for the re-start which Corrigan lead confidently away with Scotland’s Trevor Harris in close attendance. Corrigan held sway in the early laps ahead of Harris, Richardson, McQuaid and O’Neill, but #TheYellowPeril looked strong and with his Anglia having the speed and handling he swept down the outside of 981 and inside of 10. Still Corrigan led but was immediately under pressure from Jeff Richardson with Gary O’Neill now right behind them in third place. The driver of the Richard Petty homage racer in 43 had to give way to Jeff Richardson and two laps later it was all change again as the leaders came to lap the novice backmarkers 195 Adrian Boyle and 84 John McFarlane. O’Neill seized his opportunity as Richardson was momentarily bulked by the slower cars and shot by on the outside. Gary O’Neill now led ahead of Jeff Richardson and the fast closing star man Thomas Dilly. Drama ensued again as 966 battled with 981, and in what could be best described as a 50/50 incident, Dilly went for an inside gap which he thought was there and Richardson clearly thought wasn’t! The slightest contact at such speed resulted in Richardson spinning and taken around by Dilly. The race continued regardless with 925 now clear from a recovering 966 ahead of 25, 175, 10 and 43. In the remaining laps things changed again with Damien Corrigan cooking his engine and parking up in a cloud of steam on turn four. The race suspension allowed #TheOmen to be extracated but on the final re-start any thoughts Dilly may have had of stealing the win from O’Neill were soon quashed by the pace of #TheYellowPeril. O’Neill had done all the right things to take the first win of the night.

    925, 966, 25, 175, 10, 12, 981, 195, 84, NOF

    The time gap between the heats allowed all hands on deck to repair the Escort of 210 Hugh Weaver. Mechanics and fellow drivers came to Weavers aid in a spirit of camaraderie, to repair the steering and suspension. Volumes of duck tape was required in emergency repair for the offside front wing, and in the nick of time, the sole English traveller to this year’s event was ready for heat two. With Corrigan the one absentee from this race, is was #TrevTheRev’s sole responsibility to lead the field away, and this the Scotsman did with aplomb, but Weaver’s efforts came to naught on the opening lap and the emergency repaired wing literally fell off and was dragged around by the speeding 210 car before Hughie realised what was amiss and retired to the infield! Harris continued to lead but Gary O’Neill from his ‘B’ grade start was soon eating away into the Scotsman’s advantage. It was 12 from 925, 981, 10, then 100 Kevin Feeney putting in a good account of himself after retiring from heat one with a snapped throttle cable. Following #TheShamrock came 25 Trevor Cusack then 175 #TheIrishWolfHound and 966 #TheDungannonCannon having a really good battle where they were neck and neck lap after lap. The tail end star grade battle denied their futher progress up the field and O’Neill enjoyed a free run passing Harris with an outside/inside switch as both came to lap #McBuslane in 84. Richardson and McQuaid soon followed in passing Harris and the Scotsman began to slip down the places after a good drive in the early laps. He was still ahead of the the battling star men however as Dilly went all out to try and pass O’Donnell on the outside of turns one and two. At the limit of grip 966 went light as he looked to get out of turn two ahead of 175. Turning in a fraction too soon was all it look for the Southern Irishman to accidentally spin out his Northern counterpart! Up ahead, O’Neill raced on confidently untroubled clear of a good battle for second place between Richardson and McQuaid. O’Donnell went to the infield and suddenly Richardson’s challenge ended similarly as the engine went sick allowing McQuaid to earn a valuable second place which would place him well on the Grand Prix Final grid.

    925, 10, 25, 100, 12, 195, 966, 84, NOF

    Adhering to the sense of occasion, the OMI promotion, taking advantage of their slick running of the evening’s twenty race programme, instructed the CHR Irish Grand Prix finalists to undertake a parade lap prior to the start of the race. Smiling and waving to the sizeable Tipperary crowd, the driving sat proudly on the bonnets of their cars as they were driven round by a mechanic.

    With the points calculated from the heats, the grid for the GP Final looked like this:

    INSIDE. 925. 10. 12. 175. 210. 84

    OUTSIDE. 25. 966. 100. 981. 195.

    It was a clean fast exciting final with speed looking exaggerated under the atmospheric Tipperary floodlights. The confident and in form #YellowPeril 925 Gary O’Neill broke clear from the off with 25 Trevor Cusack doing his utmost to snap at his heals. One of the most improved Irish drivers of the year, 10 Podge #GoDaddy McQuaid, was right there in third place with the expectant Dilly breathing down his exhaust pipe. All four pace men immediately broke clear from the remainder: 100, 175, 210, 981 and 12 with novices 195 and 84 once again enjoying their own private battle. O’Neill was soon lapping McFarlane with Cusack soon following suit round the outside. Dilly was coming on like a train, and having passed McQuaid was soon tackling Cusack. He was going to have to make a move fast if he was going to have any sort of chance of reeling in O’Neill. Putting in a spirited drive, Dilly cleanly swept passed Cusack on the outside and beyond half way in this 25 lap race it was now 925 from 966, 25, 10, with a gap to 210, 981, 175 and 100. In the dying laps O’Donnell retired as Dilly seeing his chances begin to diminish, really began to accelerate into overdrive in a desperate bid to catch #TheYellowPeril. With the blue flash of unburnt fuel emitting from the exhaust of Dilly’s screaming Spanker, 966 began to do what just a few laps earlier seemed inconceivable and ate away the gap between himself and 925. Two laps to go, and it was all or nothing for Dilly, but O’Neill played it remarkably cool, and though he could see Dilly looming large in his mirrors, he held on in his Anglia to take the flag and win his first Championship in his so far short Classic Hot Rod career.

    925, 966, 25, 10, 210, 100, 12, 195, 84, NOF

    Gary O’Neill was clearly a delighted man to receive his sizeable trophy from Brian Weston of Championship sponsor Weston Electrical of Clonmel who have supported the event since its inception in 2014. All top four drivers received their trophies, and for the first time since the Classics started at Tipperary, it was an all Irish affair in the trophy places.

    With smiles on their faces the drivers left the track and many went on to continue socialising throughout the remainder of the evening as it is remembered that for all the effort that goes into racing a Classic Hot Rod, only around forty minutes of your racing day takes place on track. The rest of it, you are in the company of fellow drivers, mechanics, officials, sponsors, promoters and fans… In other words like minded people. It’s best to enjoy as much of your time off the track as you do on it…..and the Irish, and indeed the Scottish, certainly know how to do that!

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

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  • BIRMINGHAM 20/8/16-20816


    BIRMINGHAM 20/8/16

    Against a back drop of late Summer potential of unseasonably inclement weather, just seven Classic Hot Rods attended the eleventh round of the English National Series of 2016 to contest the Second City Stakes.

    Fortunately, in spite of the doom laden for cast for the weekend in England, the heavy rains of the afternoon had passed by the time the evening session of racing got underway in Birmingham.
    In support of the National Hot Rods in their World Championship qualifying round, the Classics were numerically dwarfed by the ultimate evolution of the hot rod division, but nevertheless, with almost a family atmosphere amongst them, the CHR drivers were looking forward to putting in a good account of themselves.

    The rolling lap of the sixteen lap heat one saw an expected clean start and it was Scotland’s #TrevTheRev 12 Trevor Harris who set the pace at the wheel of Crossflow powered cherry and cream Anglia. Impressively, 257 Andrew Willis, in his A30 #PocketRocket, pulled out all the stops to give chase and in the early laps the three low graders held sway. A terrific battle developed between Willis and #TheGoodGuy 31 Steve Gooding for second place as Harris continued to set the early pace. Shortly the pace of the higher grade drivers began to show with #TheWycombeWanderer 101 Jon Bowring taking the high line to challenge Gooding. As the field closed places quickly changed for as fast as Bowring took Gooding on the outside, Jon himself was paced in similar fashion by #TheKartingKid 45 Craig Boyd. Boyd, again using his dad Graham Boyd’s car, was displaying the same determination that took him to three straight wins last time out at Birmingham, and it looked that Boyd has all the intention to repeat the feat this evening! As we approached halfway 12 Trevor Harris still led but came immediately under pressure from Boyd as 911 Harry #Harold Steward followed through in #TheRedDevil. With impressive speed, Craig repeated the high line move on the Scotsman to take the lead. The second half of the race saw 45 increase his lead and with 911 moving in to second and chasing hard. After a valiant drive 257 Andrew Willis slipped down the places, giving best to Bowring and #TheNorfolkBoy 72 Gary Goodswen.

    45, 911, 101, 72, 12, 257, 31

    Heat two saw the field reduced to six cars with 12 Trevor Harris the non starter. Willis made a confidently fast start from the front to keep ahead of Gooding, but drama ensued on the home straight right in front of race control as star grader 72 Gary Goodswen and 911 Harry Steward came together. Both accelerated hard for the first turn, Goodswen on the outside of Steward, but both went for the same piece of track resulting in 911 spinning out 72! Steward carried on and Goodswen returned to racing before the leaders came through. Judged a 50/50 by the meeting steward, racing continued. There was a good battle for the lead between the doughty Willis in his tiny Austin A30 and what appeared to be a Goliath of a car in the form of Gooding’s four door Avenger. This battle however allowed #TheKartingKid to close in rapidly and pass them both in a sweeping manoeuvre round the outside. At the half way stage it was 45 from 257, 31, 911, 101 and 72, with Goodswen working overtime to make up his handicap. With five to go Steward repeated his outside sweep to move into second but by then Craig’s leads was a huge one. Only one further change occurred before the flag with Bowring in a last lap desperate battle with Willis, and with tremendous skill, Jon just managed to squeeze through on the inside with no contact. With engine problems Goodswen retired to the infield on the final lap.

    45, 911, 101, 257, 31, NOF

    The clutch start final saw the field down to a miserable five cars, but there were some interesting features in this final race of the night; one being the undoubtable drive from #PocketRocket 257 Andrew Willis, utterly inspired by his and his car’s performance this night, and the second being the final arrival of the rain! All on slicks, it didn’t seem to slow the pace of Boyd that much, who seemed to be as indomitable as Birmingham as Usain Bolt at the 100 metres! #Harold trIed his best to chase and in the final laps appeared to do so, but by then Boyd was cruising. Bowring retired from this race in the latter half giving us four finishers.

    45, 911, 257, 31, NOF

    So a great night for individual drivers with Boyd taking a record six out of six races over two Birmingham meetings, Steward putting in a solid performance on what now appears to be his way to the 2016 Silver Roof, and Willis on his best nights racing so far in his short CHR career. However with only seven cars present, not a good night for the health of CHR. A position from which I can hope we can put behind us as now we look towards the latter part of the season. The Irish Grand Prix is our next big meeting at Tipperary on 3rd September, a country where the positivity is riding high. Let’s hope the English can put their downers behind them and some make the trip to enjoy one of the social and racing highlights of the year.

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

  • LEGENDS DAY, COWDENBEATH 14/8/16-14816


    COWDENBEATH 14/8/16

    Classic Hot Rods we’re delighted to once again be part of the annual Legends Day celebrations that are held annually in Scotland. It’s a well organised event were the great and the good of all things on the Scottish oval racing scene congregate to not only meet up and reminisce about old times. Oh no, the old boys jump in race cars again and do some racing!

    The legends of Scottish racing, where they originally raced hot rods of stock cars in their younger years donned their helmets and overalls once again to indulge, competing in teams in racing MOT failure production super mini’s painted up in their old colour schemes. And boy did they enjoy it!

    Interspersed with these wee fun races were demonstration events put on by three superstox and of course by the embryonic core of Scottish drivers who will in 2017, commence in the inaugural series of the Scottish National Classic Hot Rod Series!

    As we declared earlier this season, we at Classic Hot Rods were delighted to announce that after a number of behind the scenes discussions, Spedeworth, HRP and GMP had agreed to support the CHR’s launch north of the border, thus matching the successful commencement of the coolest cars on the ovals in the North and the South of Ireland.

    Between April and November in 2017, the Classics will compete over six rounds in Scotland for the points championship, thus matching the number of rounds staged in Ireland. Three rounds will be at HRP Lochgelly, and three with be at GMP Racewall Cowdenbeath. On top of the National Series, competing for the Silver stripes with Blue boarder, there will also be the feature meeting of the Scottish Open where drivers from England, Scotland and Ireland will come together to compete for the right of don the Saltire on the roof of their race car. The first staging of this championship took place at Lochgelly in April this year. The meeting was a tremendous success with England’s Daz Owen being the winner of the title.

    Following the success of four Classics being involved with Legends Day last year, the involvement of seven drivers this year was an eagerly anticipated step up and would act as an excellent launch pad to further publicise the 2017 Scottish CHR series.

    Those present were Graham McCabe, who although yet to complete is own new race car an eagerly anticipated all new Talbot Sunbeam, had brought the Chevette to the meeting. This lovely looking race car was now resplendent in the colours of its new owner 84 John McFarlane.

    Now nicknamed #McFastlane, John has been involved with Classic Hot Rods for years and was a lynch pin in the behind the scenes discussions that made the Scottish Series a reality. A former banger and Mascar driver, it has always been a dream of John’s to have and race his own ‘proper’ hot rod and this day was the day he was able to finally get behind the wheel and make dreams come true!

    Another driver making his dreams come true was Graeme Allister. Allister had commenced racing last season at the wheel of the former Polley Anglia racing under #3, but a brand new mk2 Escort build was commissioned from the McCabe stable over the winter and she was here at Racewall to break cover. Graeme had decided on the colour scheme of his favour Scottish hot rod driver from back in the day, Graham Waite, and a new number #251. The car’s appearance made the impact the Dunfermline man was looking for and fans at the track, and following here on the CHR page were impressed by its stunning looks.

    Yet another new face to the Classic Hot Rod scene in Scotland was an ex-patriot Englishman’s. Born in Carlisle, raised in Newcastle, and now living in Glasgow, Trevor Forrester, is a man of considerable racing experience with many years racing Stock Rods. A close friend of Brett Sneddon, Trevor had finally succumbed to Brett’s ‘pestering’ to join the formula. Having purchased the Anglia of former racer Gary Andrews, just two days after that purchase, the Mk2 Escort of Shane Taylor came up for sale. Never one to do things by half measures, Trevor but that too, and is was this car, still sporting its bright yellow paint work with black wheel arches, that #ThePowerMan Forrester brought to Racewall for the opportunity of further practice and set up.

    Joining these new faces was the afore mentioned Sneddon with his two tone blue Escort. Brett has seriously impressed his rivals in this his debut year in CHRs having won a brace of victories at Ipswich and Hednesford. He seems destined to be the potential top Scottish driver unless one of the new guys upsets the apple cart!

    Capturing the heart of many a Scottish Hot Rod fan, the popular Keith Chesher #TheChesherKat was again present at legends day in the 162 Escort, liveried to match the famous machine his dad Malcolm used in the seventies. The presence of the Escort, yet another race machine from the McCabe workshops, was an instant hit with the fans last year, and there was no exception this year either. It was certainly a family day out for the Chesher crew and Keith was especially proud to have his mum in attendance, matching the pride Graeme Allister had to have his mum there. When it came to getting out on track, the 162 car was showing the best pace it had ever done.

    #TrevTheRev, 12 Trevor Harris, completed the impressive contingent of Classic Hot Rod drivers at Racewall for Legends Day. The jovial Harris, already winner of the Traveller of the Year in Classic Hot Rods having competed regularly not only in England but in Ireland as well at the wheel of the former Polley/ Allister Anglia, was ready to put the laps in again at his most local of tracks. Ironically, Racewall is not a favoured place for Trevor to race, “Too fast.” He says, “I like the smaller tracks of Lochgelly and Birmingham better.” But be assured, Trevor will be supporting all the Scottish rounds next season.

    All seven drivers enjoyed the six lap demo test sessions that Legends Day afforded them. Yes, seven drivers, as Graham McCabe took out both the Chevette and the Escort that he had built as his greater racing and building experience would give him a better feel for how the cars were going before handing them over to their new owners.

    Everyone driving put in a good account of themselves and their cars, and they certainly sounded music to the ears as they rounded Scotch Corner and blasted turn four and into the home straight to allow their two litre dull roar and pitched sing of the Crossflow reverberate in the famous Racewall grandstand.

    It will be easy to see how the Classics will be a success north of the boarder. At Racewall they have the speed of the track and the perfect atmospheric amphitheatre in front of Scots fans who rarely hold back in voicing their appreciation of racing. In contrast their is the challenge of the smaller and irregular shape of Lochelly, just a staggering three miles up the A92. Maybe #TrevTheRev will take some catching their, but certainly #OorBrett Sneddon will relish the challenge!

    More drivers have registered their interest in CHRs now that a Scottish Series has been confirmed, arguably, one of the most significant, certainly as far as older generation race fans are concerned is Kenny Ireland. Kenny took on the best year after year in the glory years of hot rods in the seventies at the wheel of the 196 Escort, and this avuncular witty sexergenairian looked very keen on getting behind the wheel again……so watch this space!

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

  • AGHADOWEY 13/8/16-13816


    AGHADOWEY 13/8/16

    Seven drivers Mage the trip to the far north track of Aghadowey on Saturday 13th August for the fourth round of the Irish Series for the Classic Hot Rods. A slightly disappointing turn out but the quality of the racing certainly made up for the lack of quantity.

    The grading looked oddly imbalanced too. #TheLeopard 671 Alan Leonard from Co. Meath in the Republic was the lone white grade representative in his Pinto powered Kadett. The rest of the field was made up of Blue and Red grade drivers of a very high calibre.

    National Champion #TheDiggerMan 671 Clive Richardson was one of the more local men to this northern outpost oval, and lining up alongside him in a Blue Grade was 19 Anthony Morgan. Both men were buoyed by recent success, Richardson with his Championship win at Ipswich and Morgan with his heat and final double at Tipperary. Both men were keen to try and erode the points lead the 966 Thomas Dilly currently had in the Irish series, and Dilly himself was starting this race immediately behind them.

    The drop of the green on this opening sixteen lap event predictably saw Leonard into the lead, a lead from his half lap handicap advantage, he enjoyed for half of the race. Having got the from on his Southern rival Morgan into lap lap one, it was all about Richardson’s high speed pursuit of Leonard with Morgan and Dilly in close attendance, followed by #TheIrishThoroughbred 25 Trevor Cusack, the 2015 points champion who had travelled the length of Ireland to compete, and Clive’s brother, #JR Jeff, piloting car 981. 925 Gary O’Neil, racing his bright yellow Anglia brought up the rear, but was by no means off the pace.
    Behind Clive Richardson’s chase of Alan Leonard, there were some changes, with Dilly skill fully getting past Morgan and O’Neill out foxing Cusack but the fireworks really erupted when the 976 Escort finally caught up with the 671 Kadett. Choosing the outside line to out race Leonard into turn one, both champion and white grader powered into the corner as fast as they’d dare, and rubbed door handle to door hand through the apex. Richardson on the outside looked to power out the bend first, however, whether it was down to his pace unbalancing his Kadett, or down to his long established banger racing instincts, but Leonard spun Richardson out midway through the straight! Clive was incredibly lucky not to be collected by Dilly and house following, but in the seconds that followed, the meeting steward had no hesitation in issuing the black flag to the Meath man. It may well have been a perfectly executed move in banger racing, but has no place in Classic Hot Rods!
    The race proceeded as Leonard retired to the infield with the recovering Richardson rejoining the back of the high speed procession.
    The second half of the race saw a fantastic battle for the lead between Morgan and Dilly, with the 19 pilot vigorously defending lead from the points leader’s attack at the wheel of his Crossflow powered #Spanker. Despite Morgan’s power sliding defence, Dilly successfully won the number one slot and in the final laps it was a closely matched chase from Dilly, Morgan, Jeff Richardson, O’Neill, Clive Richardson and Cusack, and that’s how they crossed the line.

    966, 19, 981, 976, 925, 25

    Heat two saw the absence of the Opel Kadett of 671 Alan Leonard but the remaining six drivers still put on a good show. From the start the national Champion took the lead and once again Morgan put up an exciting defensive battle against Dilly until the Ulsterman finally got through. 925 Gary O’Neill was soon to retire from this one and a high speed chase to the flag coloured the race to its completion.

    976, 966, 19, 981, 25

    The twenty lap clutch start final was smoothly and quickly taken up with Morgan this time getting the drop on Richardson, but the man with the Irish tricolour on the roof his car had his glory short lived with Richardson firmly making the mov through on lap two. With Morgan’s balance and momentum unsettled into the outside line, Dilly wasted no opportunity in copying the move and Morgan was soon demoted to third.
    Immediately behind the top three, the latter three were having their own finely balanced battle with #TheYellowPedril 925 Gary O’Neill in his Anglia looking particularly impressive. Charging up to fourth place, the local man from Limavady, made use of his home track knowledge to strongly challenge 19 #CaptainMorgan. Calamity struck however as Morgan typically powerslid to the wall out of turn turn two and O’Neill saw an opportunity to dive on the inside. Morgan tried to shut the door at turn three only to be tagged by O’Neill and getting spun out. Far from deliberate, O’Neill was still to retire within a lap with steering damage. The yellow flags allowed O’Neill to remove his car from the racing line and the restart saw Richardson from Dilly. Jeff Richardson was now in third ahead of Cusack and the recovering Morgan.
    This was how they were to the flag, with the National Champion taking a some what overdue first final victory on home soil.

    976, 966, 981, 25, 19

    Our next meeting in Ireland will be the feature Irish meeting of the year, the Irish Grand Prix on Saturday 3rd September at Tipperary, where we expect the biggest ever field in Irish Classic Hot Rod history with visitors from England and Scotland coming to take on the Irish at home. Don’t miss it!

    • Rob Hughes
      CHR PR

  • BIRMINGHAM 23/7/16-23716


    BIRMINGHAM 23/7/16
    English Series Round Ten
    The Birmingham Trophy

    We were delighted to see sixteen drivers arrive at Birmingham to compete on a sultry summer Saturday night in England’s second city. Many drivers had put in hours and hours of hard work repaying their machines after a particularly damage strewn National Championship meeting at Ipswich just three weeks earlier.

    Defending English Series Points Champion 198 Andy Steward and his team had worked especially hard on his Mk2 Escort repairing the wings, front and valance. Equally, Harry Steward and father Tick and team had virtually rebuilt the #RedDevil Anglia and so too had 101 John Bowring with his blue Anglia. 257 #ThePocketRocket Andrew Willis unveiled a pleasing surprise when he opened the bonnet on his diminutive yellow A30. Andrew had a new race cam in his 2 litre pinto but in keeping with the BMC theme of his popular race machine, he had painted the rocker cover British Racing Green and has put the Austin badges on it. It certainly looked the part! It was great to see the return of Southampton’s 419 Dave Murphy, and from Scotland, already assured the title in CHR of ‘Traveller of the Year,’ and fresh from a good performance at Tipperary just the previous week, travelling #TrevTheRev 12 Trevor Harris was down with his spanner wing men John MacFarlane and Graham McCabe. Along with our usual committed suspects like #TheItalianStallion 121 Charlie Schembri, 2 Colin Chambers was making only his second appearance of the year in his all white Escort with son Scott taking one of his irregular outings in his dad’s Anglia, this year registered under number 21. #Chambo was certainly to have a pronounced impact on the nights proceedings.

    21 Scott #TheManc Chambers retired even before the rolling lap for the first race of the night got underway but when it did, 257 Andrew Willis led them away for the first of the two twenty lap heats, and for two laps #ThePocketRocket Austin A30 led! Andrew found himself under immediate pressure from Colin Chambers and #TrevTheRev, who Crossflow powered Anglia was screaming it’s nuts off delightfully. Spinning out, 121 Charlie Schembri was the first to retire as Chambers stormed up the inside of the Austin to take the lead. As expected the higher graded drivers were fighting out out amongst themselves, but #TheKartingKid was making the break and beginning to slice through the pack. A fascinatingly close battle was being fought over the low places by the three striking Anglias of #FamilyGuy Murphy, #Harold and 101 Bowring with 72 #NorfolkBoy Goodswen also in the mix. Up ahead 4 Karl #Dudley Jones was nursing a flappingly loose wing after running well in third place after running side by side with #GoodGuy Gooding. After his early laps heroic lead, #ThePocketRocket dived to the infield with problems with Chambers at this point leading strongly from Gooding, Jones, Boyd and #TheGent 166 Dave Stevens. Craig made short work of passing #Dudley and #TheGoodGuy but as #Donut began a late charge through the field, 45 sought to tackle the leader. As #Dudley retired, with a suberbly handling Austin A40 under him and supreme confidence in his own ability, Craig took the high line on Chambers, only for the power sliding all white Escort in front of him to block his path. For several laps the lead duo, clear of the field, battled supreme and when Chambers went loose and wild again, the super smooth Boyd took the high line once more and out raced 2 to turn three, and finally, #TheKarting Kid was through. In the remaining laps as Craig went through for a deserved victory, Andy Steward locked horns with Chambers, who looked to defend his second place with as much determination and gusto as he did the lead. With a deadly flamboyance, 2 successfully denied an aggressive #Donut, but in the penultimate lap, a power slide too much was all the 198 needed and #Chambo was demoted to third. It was certainly an exciting first race of the night.

    45, 198, 2, 166, 101, 911, 72, 419, 31, 44

    Heat two continued in much the same vein with 257 transformed, at least in the early laps, by setting the pace. It was certainly wonderful to watch the little #PocketRocket play his part in a very ‘David v Goliath’ role! Andrew was hotly pursued by 2, 12, 31 and 44 #PenelopePitstop Kara Boyd. It is of note just how transformed #LittleMissBoydy was performing this night at Birmingham. Maybe the bash she received at Ipswich was the jolt she needed as her pace was immeasurably better at this meeting. At the back 198 Andy Steward, 72 Gary Goodswen and 911 Harry Steward all proceeded to trip each other up and in tagging one another snaked dangerously onto the infield and were lucky to escape serious damage. Goodswen and Steward senior at worst lost time and made their way back onto the racing line just ahead of the leading pack. There was a change up front and #TheTravellingScotsman #TrevTheRev Harris in the cherry and cream Anglia hit the lead and was racing the best he had done so far in his CHR career. Behind, 2 Colin Chambers was jousting side by side with 31 Steve #TheGoodGuy Gooding and 166 #TheGent Dave Stevens making another charge from the B Grade. After a few laps Chambers powered up the inside of Harris’s Crossflow powered car followed by 31, 166, 44, 4, 101 and 419. Overall the low graders were enjoying s great run in this second heat but they only needed to look in their mirrors to see that, once again, #TheKartingKid was on a charge! Behind, Uncle and Nephew clashed again as wheels jarred with arches and the youngster went into a spin. The next minute Trevor Harris swore he spotted a haggis on the infield and dived up the banking to investigate! Chambers still led with 166 Stevens now breathing his exhaust fumes at the half way stage and in next to no time Boyd joined to make it a three way fight. It was terrifically close with Boyd bouncing the apron and Stevens riding the cushion in their endeavour to get passed. #Chambo succumbed after three laps of nail biting action and Boyd just scrapped through to take the lead followed by #TheGent. The next moment 121 Charlie Schembri and 219 Dave Stevens tagged in their haste to pass 31 Steve Gooding. In an almighty crash, Schembri’s 2016 blues continued, and not for the first time in his Birmingham experiences, #TheItalianStallion was in the plating, this time backwards! There was an unsatisfactory delay before the yellow flags were thrown to extrapolate the heavily damaged 121 Mk1. Murphy also retired to the infield. Just two laps remained on the re-start and from the drop of the green Boyd made certain his victory ahead of Stevens. There was a drag to the line for third and all credit to 101 #TheWycombeWanderer John Bowring who held out #Donut. 4 Karl #Dudley Jones achieved a creditable fifth and Kara Boyd took her Woolsley 44 to an equally creditable eighth.

    45, 166, 101, 198, 4, 2, 31, 44, 72, 911

    The twelve car final proved to be very controversial. #Chambo Chambers wasted no time in taking the lead and indeed built up quite a healthy cushion. Harris, Gooding and Jones gamely chased but it looked like the all white Mk2 could be on his way to his first final victory. Once again, the low graders impressed with their pace but Boyd was on a flyer. Craig got in close as those ahead went three wide and made up more ground as 4 tagged with 31 and 166 and spun on the City bend. Half a lap later and Stevens, damaged, went over the turn three rumble strips. As Boyd passed the valiant Harris to take second place, Gooding inexplicably ran Goodswen wide on turn three and Gary was fortunate to be on such a wide track which only just saved him from hitting the fence. Craig was in the groove but still had to pull out all the stops to catch Chambers. #Donut and#Harold got by Harris, followed by Bowring but it was still all about the top too, and what a battle for the lead we were treated too. Chambers was on the ragged edge as he attempted to thwart Boyd’s advance, and once again he threw the tail out wide in almost reckless abandon. Keeping cool, Boyd waited his chance, knowing that a car going sideways is not a car going forwards, and taking the high line, he worked it and worked it again, and finally out dragged the Chambers Escort into turn three. Boyd was on his way to a fantastic triple! However fireworks of a far more unsavoury nature followed in the dying laps as Andy Steward sought to beat Chambers to second place. Never one to pussy foot around, #Donut looked to force his favoured inside line by unsettling Chambers. However Colin took clear exception to Steward’s ‘manoeuvring’ and deliberately slowed through the City bend, forcing #Donut, and #Harold at the same time, to go to the outside to pass. Then, down the back straight, car 2 clearly accelerated, latched onto 198 and into turn four, deliberately spun the Silver roofed car. Within a lap Chambers was naturally black flagged and one lap later Craig Boyd took his first final of the year. Harry Steward beat John Bowring to second place but the action continued into the lower places and it was exciting to see Trevor Harris again impress with his fifth place and Andrew Willis race to the line with Kara Boyd, with CHR’s girl racer just beating the lad with the yellow overalls that match his car!

    45, 911, 101, 72, 12, 31, 198, 44, 257, NOF

    With Chambers summoned to race control post race, it is clear that if the fine balance required to race historic oval cars is a fine one, but if the trust the drivers have in the officials and each other is not to break down, then poor driving will have to be called in and addressed harder than previously thought necessary.

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

  • TIPPERARY 16/7/16-16716


    TIPPERARY 16/7/16
    The 35th Anniversary Meeting

    The weather was kind for the Third Round of the Classic Hot Rod Irish Series of 2016 and we were delighted to break all previous domestic meeting records for what is still a formulae still essentially in its infancy in Ireland, when twelve cars attended the fastest quarter mile oval in the Isles, now being promoted to great effect by Damien Brennan’s Oval Motorsport International.

    We were delighted to get such strong representation from the North once again with 981 #JR Jeff Richardson joining his brother Clive #TheDiggerMan Richardson, the National Champion of 2016. Joining the Ulster brothers came #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly, whose car was freshly repaired from his misfortune at Ipswich. Making an even further journey, it was pleasing to see Scotland’s #TrevTheRev Harris, driving his cherry and olde English while Anglia 12. Harris was so delighted with the cameraderie and welcome he enjoyed from the Irish drivers and the OMI Promotion that he had immediately promised to come back when he last raced here in April – and here he was! From the nearer locality of Co.Meath was was fantastic to see the eagerly anticipated debut of #MrMint 195 Adrian Boyle who was introducing to the raceway the first Anglia 105E from the Republic of Ireland to compete in CHR. And what a car had been built for Adrian, courtesy of T.O.P – Total Oval Preperation – the near one man CHR production line in CHR of Mr Gerry Rothwell, who now finds himself so busy building race cars, he no longer has time to compete himself! Resplendent in vibrant green with black highlights, set off with vivid Orange signwork, #MrMint’s race car was indeed Mint!!

    Despite the clear respect given out on track in tonight’s three races, it was unfortunately still an evening of retirements largely due to mechanical or engine failure. First to fall by the way side was indeed the new comer #JR Jeff Richardson who seized his engine in practice.

    Nevertheless, the remaining eleven drivers were soon ready for heat one, which was to be held over sixteen laps with a rolling start.

    It was a race that proved to be a great maiden win in heat one tonight for #CaptainMorgan 19 Anthony Morgan, but he will consider himself fortunate when leader #GoDaddy 10 Podge McQuaid spun when lapping novice #MrMint 195 Adrian Boyle. Later in the race, National Champion 976 #TheDiggerMan Clive Richardon, clearly the fastest man on the track, put himself in the wall on turn one either due to break failure or throttle cable jamming, just as he was to challenge Morgan for the lead. Current 2016 Irish points lead #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly earned a solid second place.

    Heat 1 19,966,175,25,937,12,43,671,195 NOF

    Another maiden victory tonight came in heat two for #GoDaddy 10 Podge McQuaid, who, in a very smooth drive, led from the from to head just ahead of the constant pressure from #CaptainMorgan 19 Anthony Morgan. It was a very clean race with all drivers reading the track well and holding their lines yo total credit. 966 #TheDungannonCannon Thomas Dilly made the most of Clive Richardsons absence in heat two and came in a confortable third after overcoming 937 #KingKenny Wilson who was making his season debut in a completely re-panelled car.

    Heat 2 10,19,966,25,175,937,12,671,195

    The Grand Final for the Classics at Tipperary tonight saw unfortunately a reduced field thanks to the significant damage the the National Champion Richardson had incurred, and the engine problems that both #TheOmen 43 Damien Corrigan and 937 #KingKenny Wilson. Also, Scottish visitor #TrevTheRev Harris has called it a night after thoroughly enjoying his racing in his heats. It is perhaps ironic that with the benefit of hindsight, Harris had not registered for the Irish Series this year as he has scored all his points so far overseas! Nevertheless the meeting Final featured an epic battle of cat and mouse between the nights two fastest drivers. From the from the mouse 19 Anthony Morgan was clean away and at one point looked doubtful to be caught, but #TheDungannoncannon worked hard to reduce the gap, especially when the two lapped back markers #MrMint in 195 and Alan #TheLeopard Leonard in 671. What followed was a superb race with the two going side by side. Dilly went all out or the win on the last lap only to trip the 19 car up on the back straight and dive to the infield with s broken track rod, leaving #CaptainMorgan to add a maiden Final victory to add to his heat win.


    So, all in all, a nice evening of racing in the Emerald Isle which provided a perfect balance of exciting racing and respect. The Irish Series next moves back to Northern Ireland as we look forward to the DMC promoted Aghadowey Raceway in the far north on Saturday 13th August.

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR



    IPSWICH 2/7/16

    The biggest meeting of the year rained in at Ipswich year with tidal wave of entries from England, Scotland and Ireland to entertain the huge crowd at the principle Speedweekend in the Spedeworth Calendar. The racing weekend which gives the greatest field of multi formulae perusing their respective championships (in excess of four hundred and fifty cars) certainly attracted contrasting weather too! This was in particular evidence on Saturday, the racing day for the CHRs, as bright skies and brilliant sunshine was suddenly interrupted by dark clouds and torrential outbursts. Indeed, there were ‘outbursts’ a plenty involving the Classic Hot Rods, and the pursuit of the Gold Stripe created controversy a plenty!

    Twenty eight Classic Hot Rod drivers fielded for the 2016 National Championship, just two down on the numbers that had originally booked. 721 Steve Kite and 419 Dave Murphy were unable to attend, however, the twenty eight that were present created the biggest field of CHRs for the history of the formula. Not since the Golden Era of the Seventies had so many Escorts and Anglias (not forgetting the BMCs and Hillman!) been seen gracing an oval.

    We were delighted to have #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly and #TheDiggerMan 976 Clive Richardson over from Northern Ireland, and representing the Republic of Ireland came the Irish Points Champion of 2015, #TheIrishThoroughbred 25 Trevor Cusack, along with Meath’s duo #TheLeopard 671 Alan Leonard and #CaptainMorgan 19 Anthony Morgan. Three drivers came down from Scotland, #TrevTheRev 12 Trevor Harris, #TheChesherKat 162 Keith Chesher, and #OorBrett 232 Brett Sneddon.

    From the English contingent came the pre-race favourites of #Donut 198 Andy Steward, #TheMusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver and #Harold 911 Harry Steward racing his famous Anglia #TheRedDevil! We also welcomed some returnees for this season, #TheBlueBomber 58 Steve Lumley and 88 #Dangerous Dave Owen who was racing his brother Darren’s all conquering Mk2 #TheDeadlyWarhorse! In contrast to the battered War Horse, #TheAquaFreshman, 144 Tim Foxlow, still classed as a returnee having only commenced his 2016 CHR campaign at Hednesford the previous weekend, was again presenting his immaculate patriotic themed Escort, #TheBelter.

    Really entering into the spirit of the #HashtagNickNames for the CHR drivers this season, #TheLittleGreenMonster 265 Ray Harding, not only had his beautiful green and white Anglia bedecked with a cartoon green monster on its roof but both Ray and his team were sporting #LittleGreenMonster sweat shirts! Little Miss Boydy, Kara Boyd, the driver of the wonderful Woolsley 1500, also has her #PenelopePitstop nickname emblazoned on her team sweatshirt. Overall it was a wonderful acknowledgement of the character side of the sport and the CHR ‘racing family’ engaging in the personality side of things.

    The atmosphere in the pits pre-meeting was jovial and relaxed on the surface. Cars looked polished and BBQs were being readied for later. However, defending champion #ThePrinceOfPop 333 Lee Wood, standing next to his immaculate HB Viva, admitted nerves. “Nerves are good,” Lee said, “it means you are feeling your adrenaline and it heightens your reactions. You feel more alive. Barry Lee told me he was always nervous before racing, and even back in 2013, when he raced my Mk2 replica of his 1980 car, he was brimming with nerves!” Wood was up for the occasion, and indeed despite below par performances since his return in his newly rebuilt race car, was quietly confident that he had got the car right to give a good account of himself. Lee was hoping for the conditions to stay dry as he had set the Viva up for racing his favoured outside line.

    Different drivers favour different conditions. Some see rain as a frustrating speed inhibitor, others see it as an equaliser! Indeed, both #TheItlaianStallion 121 Charlie Schembri and #TheMusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver were considering combining their ‘powers’ and doing a rain dance together! In contrast #Harold 911 Harry Steward and 271 #JJ Jamie Johnson were definitely in the ‘dry’ camp.

    So, it bright warm and sunny conditions all twenty eight competitors brought their historic steeds on to the hallowed Ipswich aphsalt witnessed by the packed crowd. It was a slow rolling lap that commenced proceedings, but at the drop of the green, C grade starter 44 Kara Boyd bogged down in the wrong gear as fellow low graders Gooding, Harris and Willis charged away. Impressively, #TrevTheRev wound up the screaming Crossflow in his cherry black Anglia and hit the front with #TheGoodGuy in pursuit. 232 Brett Sneddon made a good start from the the B grade. However a huge incident occurred in those early laps as Kara Boyd got swamped from all sides. A grade starter 121 Charlie Schembri sought to take her from the high side and 101 John Bowring up the inside. In a three way sandwich through turn three, the 44 Woolsley was erroneously tank slapped one side then the other and helplessly, the stunning machine went ‘light’ and Kara, in her efforts to control the car, over corrected and spun – full in the face of the on coming traffic! Some went high, and some went low in their efforts to avoid Boyd, but of all the drivers to hit her full on, it was 198 Andy #Donut Steward! In a sickening crunch, Kara’s rear took the full force of Andy’s front end and as 198 followed through, his SHP Escort was hit up the back by 966 Thomas Dilly, with #TheDungannonCannon escorting Steward into the door of #TheSilverFox 20 Dave Fry!

    With the yellows hastily brought out, 198, 966 and 44 went to the infield to join 271 Jamie Johnson who had retired on lap one. On the re-start it was 12 from 31, 232, 265, and 88. Harris made a superb start once again and Harding a was certainly on the pace too but it was suddenly to change again with #TheLittleGreenMonster getting it wrong attempting to take the wide line on Sneddon and clattered the wall. As the laps passed both Brett and 88 #Dangerous Dave Owen got in to the groove, passing Gooding and Harris and a fascinating battle between the blue and red Mk2s took place for the lead spot. As 232 and 88 battled lap after lap, 166 #TheGent Dave Stevens was putting in a very impressive drive in his maroon Mk1. Indeed he closed in significantly on the top two in the latter stages of the race. Behind, #TheBlueBomber 58 Steve Lumley was involved with a close race with Ulstermen 976 Clive Richardson followed by Goodswen and #Harold Steward. In exciting tussle, Owen finally got up the inside of Sneddon to take the lead and on the dying laps 911 tried to take the high side on 72 only to anchor up significantly as 162 #TheChesherKat Keith Chesher suddenly halted with a blown engine. Dave Owen crossed the line first but was demoted two places have been adjudicated to have jumped the re-start and consequently a delighted Scotsman Brett Sneddon took his second CHR victory in the space of six days.

    HEAT ONE RESULT: 232, 166, 88, 58, 976, 72, 210, 911, 445, 144

    The competitors may have had two hours to prepare for their second heat, but it was still nevertheless heartening to see so many repaired and fit to race again. Ray Harding received super assistance from the Irish drivers in the form of an electric welder and a man to do the welding in the form of fellow driver Charlie Schembri! With such excellent assistance Harding was able to repair the damage and relocate the rear axle. A few yards away team #Donut was performing miracles in rebuilding the 198 car which was little red with damage all round. Team Boyd were successful in repairing #PenelopePitstop’s Woolsley with the half shaft replaced and the rear wing pulled back into shape. The only drivers who took early retirement from the day’s proceedings were Thomas Dilly and Keith Chesher with engine damage.

    Under changeable skies the rain was trying to fall as the cars rolled for heat two. Dave Fry quickly retired to the infield before the drop of the green, but with the actual commencement of racing Gooding lead the way from Harris, Willis and Boyd. The charge from the B grade was fraught however as Kara in 44 impeded their progress quicker than expected. Harding suddenly found he had nowhere to go at the end of the back straight and with a reflex turn of the wheel to avoid rear ending the Woolsley, he clipped the heat one winner Brett Sneddon. The slightest of contact was enough at speed to lift the rear of 232 and the Scot spun at velocity into the fence with a clatter! With the two tone blue Escort off the racing line, the race continued unhindered with leader Gooding challenged by the impressive #Gent Stevens. Harding, who had come away from his earlier contact with Sneddon unscathed, was flying, passing #TrevTheRev Harris on the outside hotly pursued by 271 #JJ Johnson. They were suddenly catapulted into the lead when the spinning #Cowboy Boyd in 445 caught out Gooding and Stevens. Thundering down the back straight, 88 Dave Owen shot through the melee of cars in third ahead of #TheDiggerMan Richardson in 976. The race ‘settled down’ into a high speed chase. If the empty card board boxes were thrown, we would easily be witnessing a re-enactment of Starsky and Hutch! #TheLittleGreenMonster was racing on the raged edge, desperate to keep ahead of Johnson, Owen and Richardson and repeat the Heat two win he enjoyed at Speedweekend last year. Further back #TheAquaFreshMan 144 Tim Foxlow was having a fascinating battle with both Stewards and got by both of them. #Donut’s car was looking for all the world like a high speed wreck but up ahead, heat two was building to its climax as the top four descended as one on the back markers in the field. Again young Kara Boyd played her roll in proceedings as she was lapped. Johnson and Richardson made it three wide with Boyd into turn one and wheel arches clashed, and coming out the other side the Ulsterman was struggling with the rear side arch rubbing his tyre. Coming out the other side of Boyd it was 265 from 976, 88 and 271 with blue tyre smoke coming from the Irishman’s car with the late Leslie Dallas homage livery. In the final laps, the crowd were on their feet again as 671 #TheLeopard Alan Leonard impeded Richardson just as #TheDiggerMan looked for the gap on the inside of Harding and then, half a lap later, Clive was scrapping away, close to the turn two fence as he evaded the spinning #MusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver. This gave Harding the space he needed into the final lap and Brighton man crossed the line first! But in a huge twist of irony, it was Ray this time who had been judged to have jumped the start. 265 was docked the two standard places and the man who crossed the line first in heat one and not given the win, 88 Dave Owen, this time was given the win, having not crossed the line first!!

    HEAT TWO RESULT: 88, 271, 265, 121, 976, 911, 58, 198, 333, 72

    The intermission from the afternoon to the evening meeting had seen torrential rain, yet a greasy but drying track saw the drivers line up, in points order, scored from the heats, for the 2016 running of the Classic Hot Rod national Championship.


    — 44. 12. 19. 4. 25. 210. 265. 144. — 72. 911. 976 —> OUTSIDE
    671. 257. 20. — 198. 445. 101. 333. 271. 166. 121. 58. 88 —> INSIDE

    The rolling laps start was elected over the clutch for the prestigious twenty five event in view of the greasy track surface but the drop of the green saw a clean start which was a relief after the incident packed early laps of the preceding heats. It was the Ulsterman who got the bite and from the outside lane slipped effortlessly into the lead on the first turn. #Dangerous Dave in 88 fought hard to defend second from a flying #Harold in #TheRedDevil. The first incident in the high speed high stakes race occurred on lap three with 271 Jamie Johnson T-boning 265 Ray Harding. As Harding crashed into the turn two barrier he was collected by 210 Hughie Weaver resulting in #TheLittleGreenMonster looking in a very sorry state. #JJ was able to continue having lost several places, and was now out of contention. Up ahead #TheDiggerMan 976 Clive Richardson was pulling out all the stops to establish a solid lead in his quest to become the first Irishman to win the National Title. He was chased by Owen, seemingly struggling for grip, then Harry Steward and #TheNorfolkBoy 72 Gary Goodswen. #Harold was on the move and was soon up the inside of 88 and he was quickly followed through by Goodswen, and the question on many lips was “could Harry have it in him to catch Richardson?” It was at this point that the slower back markers again had a hand to play in events. Leader Clive Richardson was able to quickly pass 445 Graham Boyd but the Cambridgeshire man was soon back in his racing rhythm when Harry came to pass. Steward’s approach to line up Boyd for the pass was offset by the need to also pass 671 Alan Leonard and resultantly, he made contact with Boyd, putting the British Racing Green Austin A40 into a spin. The unsettled 911 pilot was immediately under pressure from Gary Goodswen, and has the Essex lad defended, the Ulsterman Richardson again increased his lead. At this point Leonard crashed out with #TheBlueBomber 58 Steve Lumley and on the opposite corner #TheWycombeWarnderer 101 John Bowring spun into the fence. This brought out the yellow flags to remove the stricken cars of Bowring and belatedly, Harding. The restart saw Harry Steward’s immediate attack on Richardson’s lead blocked by back markers Graham Boyd and the recovered Lumley. Harry could not afford to hang about as he had 72 and 88 all over his tail and he looked to have Boyd out of his way post haste! Pressuring the back marker Boyd through turns three and four, down the home straight, with Goodswen and Owen in tow, Steward switched to the outside. Both braked late into turn one and with the red Mk2s of 72 and 88 bearing down, 445 tagged 911 on his outside and both spun with Harry hitting the fence with the rear quarter of his car. Goodswen and Owen just squoze through but the youngster’s quest for Gold was gone. The final laps saw the late charge of uncle Andy Steward, who having passed the fading Owen, challenged then undertook Goodswen. It appeared he was gaining in Richardson but the Irishman had cannily eased off and on the last lap 976 cantered to the flag. After #TheDiggerMan ‘out donutted’ #Donut in the post race celebrations, it was declared the Andy’s late charge was diminished by the decision that he had jumped the restart and therefore had to be content with fourth. On the parade lap, Irish eyes were certainly smiling though as a delighted Clive Richardson became the first Irishman to win a CHR Major. Gary Goodswen was equally pleased with second and third place went to defending champion #ThePrinceOfPop 333 Lee Wood who had seemingly ghosted up the placing in a superbly handling Viva.

    976 Clive Richardson, 72 Gary Goodswen, 333 Lee Wood, 198, 144, 25, 20, 58, 4, 12

    So concluded an exciting, controversial and unfortunately, somewhat damage strewn National Championship. Yes, the racing could have been tighter, and some damage could be argued to have been needless. But these drivers are racing drivers, racing to win, and respect, although expected out on track, is something that is earnt, not something necessarily automatically given. Lessons learnt then, but overall the racing was still exciting and appreciated by the Speedweekend crowd.

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

  • HEDNESFORD 26/6. The Bill Morris Memorial English Open



    HEDNESFORD 26/6/16
    English Series Round Eight
    The Bill Morris Memorial English Open Championship

    With the pinnacle meeting of the year, the National Championship and the chase for the Gold, just a week away, we were delighted to achieve an excellent field of twenty one cars at Hednesford to compete for the meeting in second only to the Status of the National Championship itself – The Bill Morris Memorial English Open.

    The Bill Morris Memorial has been contested by the Classics since the inception of the formula as the drivers who race cars of the golden era of Hot Rod racing race in the memory of the man who not only built Hednesford Hills Raceway, the spiritual home of Hot Rod racing, but created the formula of Hot Rods itself.

    Racing in memory of this fine man for the honour of a highly desired trophy is motivation itself for many a competitor but as the status of CHRs rising year on year and the creation of championships of notable status such as the Scottish Open, it was felt only fitting for England to have the comparable championship in the green and pleasant land – hence the Bill Morris Memorial English Open!

    It was extremely pleasing to see such a quality entry with #TheTheRev 12 Trevor Harris and #OorBrett 232 Brett Sneddon took the four hour trip down from Scotland, once again the southerners impressed with their preparedness to travel too. #Harold and #Donut: Harry and Andy Steward took the long trip from deepest Essex and #TheFamilyGuy 419 Dave Murphy had left incredibly early from Southampton. Travelling even further from Northern Ireland came #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly and #TheDiggerMan 976 Clive Richardson. Both men were looking forward to compete for the status of the English Championship but equally seek to dial in their cars for the big English tracks and tune in to competing in a larger field of cars to be prepared for the National Championship. Both Ulstermen, being former National Hot Rod Stars, have the ability to take on the best and both will be serious Irish contestants for top honours. The most notable entrant of all was one of the more local men, 144 Tim Foxlow, who had unveiled his new race machine in a blaze of publicity. Now owning the SHP Mk2 which has brought Andy Steward so much success in the previous two seasons, Foxlow had brought a fresh newly invigorated image to himself and the race car with a patriotic red white and blue scheme. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Foxlow had earned the tag #TheAquaFreshman!

    Prior to the first race of the day, Scotsman Brett Sneddon played down his chances despite his proven ability in years of racing Stock Rods and his C grade starting slot. However the the twenty lap opening heat saw a terrific race which Brett wasted no time in hitting the front. #TheGoodGuy 31 Steve Gooding impressed with the turn of speed his Hillman Hunter had. Gooding appeared to have quite a renaissance thanks to a new Pinto engine and he game-fully sought to keep close to the leading Scotsman. Fellow White Tops #PenelopePitstop 44 Kara Boyd and 12 Trevor Harris soon found the pace too hot but it was heartening to see Kara going faster than she had done before and hold here racing line on the inside. If drivers were going to pass, they would have to do it on the high side! It was indeed a red top train that developed to make the first heat a fascinating one. Once again #TheCowboy 445 Graham Boyd, in his penultimate meeting before a knee op forces a termination to his racing season, displayed how he is one of the most determined racers on the oval and one of the most difficult to pass. Lap after lap he held his racing line as #TheSilverFox 20 Dave Fry, #Deadly Darren Owen in car 8, 45 #TheKartingKid Craig Boyd, 911 #Harold in the #RedDevil and 198 #Donut queued up behind. Drama ensued as black cross was issued to Craig Boyd due to concern for blue smoke emitting from the 45 car however but something was lost in translation and it was Graham Boyd who swiftly retired to the infield! In the laps the red top train caught the valiant Gooding and there was a real scrum for the line, but it was Sneddon who enjoyed both the 31 pilot and the irascible Boyd senior who had ridden ‘shotgun’ throughout the race. The Scotsman won his first ever Classic Hot Rod race and finally shook off the flu he had been suffering with.

    HEAT ONE RESULT: 232, 20, 8, 31, 911, 210, 976, 333, 144, 198

    Heat two saw the surprising absence of double Points Champion 198 Andy #Donut Steward. Following his enforced absence from our previous meeting at Aldershot thanks to his house flood, Andy’s poor luck continued. A way below par heat one tenth was due to the engine being way down on power with the petrol mix being considered way too ‘lean.’ No wanting to force any further problems from the power house, team Steward elected an early bath to ensure the he car was going to be A1 for Ipswich. Also missing from heat two was 419 Dave Murphy with carburettor linkage issues which was a shame because Dave declared the car seemed to feel pretty good in the early laps of heat one.

    Nonetheless, the eighteen car field provided excellent knife edge racing in heat two. Gooding impressed once again by leading the early laps ahead of Sneddon and late arrival to the meeting 2 Colin Chambers who was racing for the first time in over twelve months. The heat two wild card was 222 Shane Taylor who was racing on the limit and seemed to be prepared to take on the challenge of racing everyone out on track. #TheKartingKid raced hard to take the high line on Taylor and once passed raced flat out to aim on reeling in the 31 and 232 cars. With #TheOutlaw in 222 going high and low, the pack queued up but #TheAquaFreshman 144 Tim Foxlow found his way passed and pleased and perhaps surprised himself in the process. With the valiant Gooding slipping down the field after Sneddon took the lead, Foxlow was up to third chasing Boyd but very shortly came under pressure from #Harold and #Deadly. Changes in position continued right to the flag. Boyd got passed Sneddon as both Steward Junior and Owen got on the inside of Foxlow. Continuing their late charge, 911 and 8 got by 232 but #TheKartingKid 45 Craig Boyd was clear for the win.

    HEAT TWO RESULT: 45, 911, 8, 232, 210, 144, 976, 966, 20, 101

    The Bill Morris Memorial English Open Final grid was determined by the points accumulated in the qualifying heats. Thanks to his heat win and fourth in heat two, Scotsman 232 Brett Sneddon earned pole position. Thanks to his consistent performance of two third places, in form but infrequent racer, 8 Darren Owen, the Best in Britain and Scottish Open Champion, lined up on Brett’s outside.

    The Bill Morris Memorial Trophy Grid

    Inside 232 911 210 976 144 333 101 257
    Outside 8 445 45 966 44 222 2

    Non starters 20 419 198

    With rain beginning to fall, the clutch start was dismissed in favour of the rolling and as the pace car started for the infield, the most successful driver in CHRs to have raced at Hednesford over the years, #DeadlyDaz got the drop immediately and smoothly out accelerated Sneddon into the first corner. From there date of the race was sealed. Daz was away and gone never to be challenged. The notable chasers were Harry Steward, Craig Boyd, and Hugh Weaver who battled and changed places among themselves but aside from Owen’s dominance, the most impressive driver out there was Irishman 966 Thomas Dilly. #TheDungannonCannon, racing Foxlow’s previous ride, #TheSpanker, was really in the groove, feathering the screaming Crossflow to great effect. Clearly displaying his preference to the greasy conditions compared to young Harry, #TheSpanker got the inside line on #TheRedDevil. After the blue smoke concerns of the heats, the hard charging Craig Boyd, retired from the final with engine concerns.
    With the chequered flag falling a remarkable replication of the Scottish Open Final occurred with Owen taking the English Open commemorating Bill Morris’s memory ahead of #TheMusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver and #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly.

    8, 210, 966, 911, 976, 232, 445, 101, 333, 222.

    The meeting was a great pre-curser to the National Championship at Ipswich, but whether it highlights the potential winner of the Gold Stripes is open to question. The hot favourite Owen will be absent and #Donut Steward has doubts over his fortune and reliability. Foxlow showed a flash of brilliance for a few laps in heat two and defending National Champion #ThePrinceOfPop 333 Lee Wood appears still yet to show that his rebuilt Viva is dialled in ready to truly mix it. So will the Gold pass to a new driver? Can #Harold have it in him to take #TheRedDevil to the flag? Will 210 Hughie Weaver show he still has the pace and experience to deliver on the day or will Thomas Dilly show that the Irish are as successful in Classics as they have proven to be in Nationals?

    Let’s see shall we???

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PRimageimage

  • ALDERSHOT 12/6/16-12616



    ALDERSHOT 12/6/16


    The Summer Sizzler was threatening to be a damp squib on several levels as the CHR English Series came south in the typically ‘English’ summer. Torrential rain from all parts of the country threatened to encroach on the south, but incredibly, though the atmosphere remained hot and humid, and the threat of rain was a constant, the Aldershot meeting took place in dry conditions, and therefore the meeting truly sizzled!

    Just seven drivers were present at the southern round, due to the proximity of the beckoning big championship meetings and due to a number of unfortunate cancellations. Both Dave Murphy and Steve Kite were unable to attend due to mechanical issues and Charlie Schembri and Jamie Johnson were missing a very significant thing – the engine! The most unfortunate of the absentees was double English Points Champion Andy #Donut Steward, who, thanks to the incredible downpours suffered a flooded home!

    However, in spite of the lowly attendance, the drivers present were in good humour and indeed compared the atmosphere in the pits to that of a family picnic! Dave #TheGent Murphy was praying it would stay dry; he had no wet tyres! Ray Harding brought his #LittleGreenMonster of an Anglia, which was proudly displaying, yes, you’ve guessed it – a little green monster cartoon image on the roof of the car! It topped off the Brighton man’s race car perfectly, a machine which Ray had again upgraded with new shocks and steering. #ThePrinceOfPop Lee Wood brought his recently completely rebuilt famous HB Viva 333 for another shakedown. The car, in spite of its superb looks, still needed plenty of track time before it could be considered properly dialled in for the big meets. Lee would be looking to defend his Gold Roof National Title which he won for the second year on the trot last year at Ipswich. Along with Goodswen, Bowing and Weaver, young #Harold Harry Steward was also at Aldo, looking to take a fistful of points and take advantage of uncle Andy’s absence and really close in on that coveted chase for the Silver Roof.

    Heat one saw all seven take to a greasy track that was fast drying out. Despite 166 Dave Stevens limited tyre choice, he soon found that he had the advantage over #TheWycombeWanderer 101 John Bowring and indeed held the lead for six laps. #TheNorfolkBoy 72 Gary Goodswen has been a regular at Aldershot down the years and indeed was the Two Litre Hot Rod Champion there in 2006. Gary used his track knowledge to quickly settle into a rhythm and successfully took the high side round 265 Ray Harding before honing in on Stevens. #TheGent, unsettled by Goodswen’s pressure, went wide on turn two, enabling the 72 pilot to take the lead. Gary’s expected main rival, 911 Harry Steward, didn’t look quite as settled on the greasy track, and took more time in negotiating Bowring in 101. As the track dried with the retirement of Wood and Harding with ill-handling cars, #Harold increased his pace and began to reel in #TheNorfolkBoy. Goodswen in the remaining laps however did enough to maintain his lead and crossed the line to take his third race victory of the season ahead of Steward, Stevens and a popping and banging Weaver who was down on power thanks to a cracked exhaust pipe near the manifold.

    HEAT ONE RESULT: 72, 911, 166, 210, 101, NOF.

    Still the rain held off and heat two presented a bone dry track. This was to favour a number of drivers. Dave Stevens again led the field at the drop of the green. This time #TheGent was under more immediate pressure from 101 #TheWycombeWanderer John Bowring, but the presence of the local man was all too brief as, in turn under pressure from Harry Steward in his #RedDevil, Bowring suddenly went wide into turn one and allowed the field to pass and promptly retired to the centre. “I thought it was my diff again,” John mused afterwards, “it turned out to be my exhaust had dropped and pulled itself off!” On with the race and young Steward, far happier with the conditions than he was in heat one, wasted no time in diving a feint on Stevens, causing the 166 driver to go wide and dived inside on the back straight away to take the lead hotly pursued by Goodswen. Further back, still popping and banging, Hughie Weaver in 210 had taken his time to find his rhythm in this race, but now was really motoring. As Lee Wood and Ray Harding challenged Steven in the minor places, Weaver really began to put a spurt on. A gap opened up between the top three and the latter three and Weaver closed in on Goodswen and with momentum on his side made a precision move into turn three and the Hailsham man was through to second. In the remaining laps both 210 and 72 raced hard to keep with 911 King #Harold, but could do nothing to prevent the gifted Essex lad from taking his fourth win of the season.

    HEAT TWO RESULTS: 911, 210, 72, 265, 333, 166, NOF

    A seven car meeting. The lowest attendance of the season. But the Summer Sizzler Final was truly a magnificent race! The winner was completely unexpected too! But all credit to 101 John Bowring, who drove an absolute belter of a race to win the clutch start 25 lap event going from flag to flag. The track was dry, the atmosphere was hot and the race was even hotter! It was all about the blinder of a show that Bowring, Goodswen, Steward and Weaver put on lap after lap. At moments in the race you could put a sheet of paper between then they were that close with Bowring sitting tight, one the pace but under incredible pressure, Goodswen all over him like a rash, Weaver hard up the inside, snapping like a terrier and young Steward racing on the ragged edge on the outside line, driving like a demon to try and get around all three! Never Ming the precise detail, it was a magnificent example of top line hot rod racing, and after his indifferent heats, it was an absolute pleasure to see 101 John Bowring take his first ever final victory in Classic Hot Rods.

    SUMMER SIZZLER FINAL : 101, 72, 911, 210, 333, 265, 166

    Aldershot was certainly a meeting that boxed above its weight and was a very enjoyable afternoon. Thanks again to all drivers who took part to make the day the excellent entertainment it was.

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR.