161 DAN HOLDEN-2

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25 year old Dan started racing at the tender age of 12 in the Mini-Stox class. In his racing career, spanning 11 years so far, Dan has competed in Minis, were he won the Points Title, and Superstox where he won the National Championship in his first season. In 2005 Dan switched to motorcycle engined high speed non contact UK Oval Legends Series. Last season in these screaming projectiles, he won the British and National Championship amongst a plethora of other feature races, to cap off his most successful race season yet.

Dan’s introduction to Classic Hot Rod racing came courtesy of #22 Rob Montagner. The veteran Hot Rod driver, who works for Dan’s family firm, Holden Plant Hire, encouraged Dan to get involved in the Classic Hot Rod class, Rob himself having been involved as a long standing driver since the formula’s inception in 2005.

Dan acquired the Ford Anglia Classic Hot Rod which he is now racing at the end of 2011. He didn’t do too much too it as he was concentrating his main efforts on his Legends season in 2021. However he came out in the car, beautifully presented in the blue and gold livery at Northampton on 6th October 2012, and over the close season has paid attention to detail with the car’s presentation and set up, and hopes that 2013 will be as successful for him in Classic Hot Rods as 2012 was for him in Legends. Having said that, Dan still managed to win the inaugural Bill Morris Memorial trophy in the Classics at the August National Weekend at Hednesford!

 

At 25, Dan is the youngest driver to be racing in the Classic Hot Rods. He believes that they are now definitely the formula to be in. The cars look cool, and they are interesting to work on, having helped ‘Monty’ this last couple of seasons. With the drive in publicity the class in now enjoying, being featured in Retro Ford magazine and Motoring News, Dan hopes that more drivers of his age – and even younger – will also make the switch and join the Classic Hot Rod ranks. He acknowledges that there does seem to be a buzz on the terraces for the formula and in making the switch from Legends he has even brought his own fan base across with him!

Dan believes that the high standard of presentation in Classic Hot Rods in an integral part of the class. Race fans love the look of them, and drivers have to put a lot of work in maintaining that high standard. If anything this stands the class above the shoulders of other formula. Even to look better than the National Hot Rods themselves (which the Classics once were). Some formula, in Dan’s eyes, leave something to be desired in their standard of presentation. Lightning Rods in his opinion are only one step up from Bangers!

Dan’s beautifully prepared Anglia is powered by a 2 litre Pinto. He believes that the rules in place in the class make the difference between the Pinto and the Crossflow to be as small as possible, and at the end of the day the choice of power unit is down to driver choice, driving style, engine availability and cost! He feels that the most effective way of policing the engines would be restricted chokes on the carburettors.

As for the contrast between driving a classic and a Legend, Dan considers on balance the Classic to be more enjoyable. The race tyres matched with the limited slip diff does make the Hot Rod more drivable. Racing the Legend is trickier. The power from a 1250 cc motorbike engine is unbelievably instant but it kicks through a locked diff and narrower tyres.

Dan comes from a racing family, all of whom race the Classics. Dad Dave races #61, an orange Mk 1 Escort, and brother Lee #266, who is taking a racing sabbatical at the moment, has a green MKII. Dan raced his brother’s car last season on occasion whilst preparing his own Anglia……

 

As far as the race tracks are concerned, Dan prefers the bigger ones like Hednesford and Ipswich. The smaller tracks are ok he says, but you do have to trust the other drivers in keeping their racing line in order to avoid unnecessary damage!

Having said that Dan still had a good nights racing at the opening night of the season at the tight and tricky Wimbledon on 17th February.

In 2103 Dan took the silver roof and national points title.



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