ALDERSHOT 12 06 2016-2016

CLASSIC HOT ROD RACE REPORT ALDERSHOT 12/6/16 ENGLISH SERIES ROUND SEVEN 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

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