What was happening a year ago with classic hot rods and where are the drivers and cars that have mysteriously disappeared into dust filled workshops ? Classic Hot rods intends to investigate and ask can we get them back out on track ?
It would be great to see a thirty strong field of cars at one meeting in 2020 wouldn’t it ?
the following article is from last year.
Welcome to the classic hot rods oval round up, the season has got of to a slow start in the terms of meetings being spread out more than in recent years. It has been a great winter though with time for rebuilds and fresh builds, it seems the option of the Ford zetec power unit maybe encouraging a few to build. It is in the long run a cheaper option the flip side is that this engine may get harder to find in time.
Also the amount of talent that is now lining up at the rear of the field for their first three meetings is also very impressive with drivers changing formula for a choice of classic hot rods.
The increase has been the best one in recent years and this was displayed by this years visit to Aldershot raceway, we will come back to that later ; firstly we will take a look at the Invasion that was made on Scotland during the multi championship weekend at HRP Lochgelly.
The first part of the weekend was a very wet meeting and a change to wet grip tyres for those who had them on board , the downside some had to run one wet tyre the next day in the dry due to tyre regulations across the weekend.
During a pit walk at a domestic meeting I met up with 24 Stuart Wright now the proud pilot of his dads mk1 which he has pimped out; Stuart still beaming from this weekend and how well the car went. The car was well on pace with the newly fitted zetec power unit and full Simpson exhaust and to add Stuarts first set of NEW tyres Having run many seasons in his Angle box on old tyres . I know Stuart well and his main love has always been the stock rod but there is a change forming in there somewhere , hopefully we will see more of the mk1 Escort than the Corsa.
Craig Boyd was setting the pace in the wet in both heat races in the A40 ( which was on show at Peterborough back in February) and looking favourite for the win in the first night for the Scottish championship. Andy Steward 198 the current title holder out after a operation on his back.
Boyd took heat one in style but the steward was unsure although the win was later awarded ; heat two the Scots fought back hard with 26 Jock Campbell taking victory over Boyd. It was by now raining heavily , vision was down to how much the drivers could see from the spray off other cars , getting out in front a real benefit.
Come championship time it was Boyd on pole position and a faultless drive for the win ; 976 Clive Richardson made the trip from Ireland worth it by coming home second and part reason of the beaming smile 24 Stuart Wright third .
The 2019 Scottish champion 45 Craig Boyd a worthy win for the Cambridge based driver after the long haul journey.
Moving on to day two and a much dryer day a few cars down for those who had took a soaking the previous night and decided their weekend should be cut short.
Today’s meeting the Malcolm Chesher memorial and its celebration to one of Scotland’s finest hot rod drivers , if you have seen the bonnet of his sons Keith’s Mk2 you will have noted the mural in dedication.
A second day of being on the pace for Stuart Wright , a better days racing for the English points champion 555 Gavin Taber a regular visitor to Scotland but a Belter of a day for 45 Craig Boyd.
Boyd opened the account with a heat win chased by Taber ; the second heat Taber turned up the oven and cooked a great win form Wright who was pushing all the way at the heels of the Angle box of Taber .
It was without a doubt though that Craig Boyd was going to bag a second final win of the weekend and no surprise for many he should lift the memorial trophy; Taber in second and Wright third ; a English 1,2,3 . Scotland conquered off home to prepare for English round two at Aldershot.
News comes of fresh builds in Scotland from Graham Mc Cabe , a Toyota Corolla for Ian Bell the former stock rod champion now in his early seventies and wanting one more go.
The classic hot rod seen in Scotland a little quieter than last year so far , although the early part of the year can be a busy work time for many in that part of the country.
Maybe we will see 17 Kenny Purdie back out in order to defend the national championship later in the year ?
Aldershot has never produce great numbers for the classic hot rods with the majority living east or north of the country in previous years . Now whether it be a boom in driver numbers or the want to race for the first time we have reached good double figures of 16 cars booked into race . Amongst those 169 Ben Hardy for his first meeting in the formula, Jason Busby (ex flt hot rod champion) joining us after purchase of the Charlie Schembri Angle box and a return of 42 Dean kitchen after needing engine repairs following a failure at the National championships.
The track at Aldershot has plenty of room down the straights and the bends wide enough for two and a bit . The weather absolutely perfect for hot rod racing , the sun out and a good crowd.
Warm up laps ,the music a change for whistling bill smith ? Who knows its a Southern thing maybe ? I always use Spanish Flea up here in T’North.
Gary Goodswen 72 the newly crowned International champion in his very much improved Mk2 sport ex pack and now in a deep metallic blue joined us for the first time this year , work commitments on the recovery side has been busy for the Norfolk based driver.
The drivers lined up with 353 Steve Spooner leading them away and making a good start , 421 Chris Aldridge now from the front end of the pack was soon on his heels taking over the lead to the flag , with Goodswen popping home third ahead of 445 Graham Boyd. Graham back in his own A40 after a spell in the Wolsley whilst Ryan Polley who ran the A40 in 2018 has returned to the circuits in the Renault Clio series for this season.
Aldridge was suffering issues on the gearing and during the delay between races , the promoters Son hot rod world champion Billy Wood was on hand to nip down to the Spedeworth Motorsport shop and grab some spare kit . The commitment of a racing family is always great in the sport and the promoters not only sort out the tracks, they help with car builds , spare supply and still manage to race as well. Topping all that off with promoting a track over in South Africa , the Wood family live for the sport.
Heat two a little further back for Aldridge on this start gave 353 Spooner a better start; not long before the ex-lightning rod driver 421 Aldridge was on his tail , dancing around the outside and into the lead to take a second win of the day .
Final time and of course a little more distance this time , a chance for those further back to get close enough for a podium finish maybe?
353 Spooner was first away on the flag drop Aldridge was giving good chase; 72 Goodswen turned up the power and found his way through the busy pack ; 42 Dean Kitchen had now got the Angle box on song ( a change of livery too a style of the rising sun graphics in red ) maybe its bringing him look? The car was performing well has he chased after the leaders ; Spooner dropped back has kitchen hit the front , Goodswen went round Spooner and co to give chase but only a second place has the flag dropped on Kitchen .
A great return after such a bad season in 2018 and to top it all off it was Deans Birthday as well , well done team 42 !
Our next classic hot rod meeting is at Hednesford Hills Raceway in Staffordshire on Bank holiday Monday the 27th May start time 1.30pm.
Thanks to regular photo suppliers mkpics.net , Keith Duke, Jason Larner and Craig Duncan.
Till next time Rod On Andy Hankin.