CLASSIC HOT ROD MEETING REPORT
COWDENBEATH 29th October 2017
THE COCK O’THE NORTH TROPHY
A meeting born of the unexpected events in Ireland, the Cowdenbeath Cock o’ the North Trophy meeting seemed to take of even more significance as Tipperary unexpectedly came back on the racing agenda. Many travelling Englishmen like 210 Hugh Weaver and the #PolleySportBoydMotorsport team who would have otherwise have been likely candidates to be on the entry list for the Irish GP, had cancelled their hotel bookings when Tipperary was initially left promotionless. They had instead turned their attention to the additional Scottish meeting, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to experience a new track late season. As it was the meeting featured an excellent entry of thirteen cars with Scotland solidly represented. 50 Mike McKain was absent, but this was more than offset by a new Scottish addition in the shape of former two litre hot rod racer 158 Alec Wilson having purchased the Chevette from John McFarlane only days before.
Having come all this way, #TheDriverJnr 236 Ryan Polley soon got down to business in Heat One taking full advantage of his temporary downgrading to C grade to sweep past his #RaceSister 44 Kara Boyd. #LittleMissBoydy, openly admitting to be so what intimidated of racing at the Racewall, drove with a cautious style and allowed the field to quickly pass her. one of those moving in the opposite direction was 162.#TheChesherKat Keith Chesher. The local man was taking full advantage of his track knowledge, built up of many years racing at Cowdenbeath. Brimming with a confidence not usually exhumed at away tracks, Chesher, at the wheel of his marvellously smart Escort, built to replicate that of his late father, soon all over the back of Polley and pressuring to take the lead. As the star men of 8 #Deadly Darren Owen, 555 #TheVanMan Gavin Taber and sleep deprived Silver Roof pursuer 17 #TheKingOfCarluke Kenny Purdie all vied with each other for supremacy, A grader 247 #TheProclaimer Graham McCabe was also making use of home ground to make an impression. Leaving CHR debutant 158 Alec Wilson to settle into his drive in the Chevette, a car the McCabe built, Graham made short work of closing down the battling top two in 236 and 162. As the leaders came to lap Kara Boyd for the first time, McCabe switched to the attack on the outside line just as National Champion #TheKartingKid 45 Craig Boyd arrived on the scene. Arguably the formula’s most naturally gifted driver, Craig looked like he had raced at Cowdenbeath for years and as McCabe worked overtime to challenge and pass Polley on the outside, Boyd waited on the inside for the moment to pass. It looked incredibly precarious for a moment up the home straight as McCabe went side by side with Polley and Boyd was on the inside of Chesher. Fortunately, they all came out the other side and Boyd displayed incredible balance and technique in squeezing the nose of his A40 in front of McCabe’s Sunbeam. Boyd his the front and looked comfortable there, even though Graham McCabe was never very far behind. As Chesher began to slip back, the star grade battle continued as Purdie boisterously passed both Taber and then Owen to make his way up vital points gaining positions and as 555 and 8 continued to joust, the wheel arch rubbed on Daz’s tyre throwing out an abundance of blue smoke. Boyd, continued unmolested to the flag for the first time that sunny afternoon and fifth place finisher Alec Wilson must also be commended in this his debut CHR race.
HEAT ONE RESULTS
45, 247, 17, 236, 158, 555, 8, 162, 210, 63
Ryan took the field away again with ever increasing confidence in heat two. With flashes of brilliance originally witnessed at Tullyroan in September, it was a combination of reliability and consistency failure that only resulted in Polley’s low average and resultant under-grading. And yet here he was in heat two really now bringing to the fore what he was truly made of. Casting aside his fellow white tops he once again was initially pursued by Keith Chesher starting from the yellow grade. However is wasn’t long before Craig Boyd began to show. The two A40’s looked perfectly suited to the Racewall and very quickly Craig left Hughie Weaver and shot inside 247 Graham McCabe. With incredible pace, Craig made short work of passing Chesher, taking McCabe with him. Behind, the star men began a battle that was to last the full length of the race. 555 Gavin Taber, an Englishman who seems to have embraced the Scottish racing scene, was chasing hard to close down 210 Hugh Weaver, however looking in his mirror he saw his nemesis 17 Kenny Purdie looming large with 26 Jock Campbell riding shot gun. The dice between them became a focal point of the race. As McCabe and Boyd proceeded to close down Polley as they lapped the back markers, the scrap between Taber and Purdie became increasingly fractious and from Kenny’s point of view almost desperate. Kenny looked for every possibility to pass, but the harder he tried, the harder Taber defended with the front and rear of the protagonists taking the wear and tear. Up front the weight of Boyd’s momentum told and both he and McCabe got on the inside of Polley and demoted 236 to third. Weaver continued his lonely race in forth and then came the grudge match. With Purdie’s pressure finally telling, following a recovery from a wild ride towards the wall with Campbell on his heals, he finally got on the outside of Taber to pass. It was storming race, and one from which many in the crowd drew a collective breath that all the Classics had crossed the line in one piece, with Craig Boyd picking up his second victory of the day.
HEAT TWO RESULT
45, 247, 236, 210, 17, 555, 26, 8,158, 63
The Cock o’ the North Trophy Final proved to be equally frenetic. The clutch start initially prevented Polley’s immediate pace to pace his white top rivals and momentarily, 63 #BigJohn Watkins and #RaceSister Kara held him up, but half a lap later he was through before Chesher had chance to close in. However once passed, the slower white tops held up Chesher and for a moment the field dangerously concertinered with McCabe and Boyd finding the gaps blocked. A split second later, the gaps opened up again but Polley had advanced his position. A lap later and both 247 and 45 swept 162 and typical to the previous races, resumed the script of chasing #PrettyPolley! Behind #TheKingOfCarluke was having a clearer run – #TheVanMan Taber having decided that the effects of Heat Two were more than enough for one day! The only fly in Kenny’s ointment was Weaver who was chasing the Scotsman hard. Half a lap ahead the triangle of power that was Polley, McCabe and Boyd was again beginning to chime, however this time Graham decided not to surrender so meekly to Craig Boyd’s advances. The #BoydMotorsport A40 was handling superbly and Craig was able to turn inside and maintain the speed at will, however McCabe was determined to hold the Englishman out. Tarrying once, tarrying twice, McCabe had the straight line speed, but Craig was resolute in his desire to push his nose in. The were both on the limit, it was incredibly close but when the tussle wrought its way up the back straight, Craig dived in, Graham tried to close the door and the margins of Hot Rod racing as fine as it is, contact was made. The tag was minor but cataclysmic, as #TheMoonbeam went into a high speed spin. both Boyd and the following Purdie took to the high side to sweep past but 158 Alec Wilson went low. McCabe’s spinning hatchback careered towards the kerb and Wilson’s Chevette was insnared. Ricocheting off, the hapless Wilson spun backwards into the infamously huge infield maker tyres impacting with a sickening crunch. The race continued unabated with McCabe rejoining a lap down right behind Boyd and looked no worse off pace wise for the experience. #theKartingKid continued clear from Kenny Purdie and concentrated on whittling away Ryan Polley’s lead. This proved ultimately successful and Craig was on his way to another hat trick of wins – one of only a few drivers to achieved this in CHR. Behind, Hugh Weaver, having finally got the measure of this unfamiliar track, was giving Purdie a good run, and managed to get alongside at one stage to mount a challenge only for the Carluke based Coach Operative to pull away again. The remaining laps saw an interesting battle between Daz Owen and Keith Chesher for the minor places, but up ahead Boyd was already on the cool down lap and dusting himself off to mount the podium.
COCK O’ THE NORTH TROPHY FINAL RESULT
45, 236, 17, 210, 8, 162, 247, 63, 44
It has to be said that the whole meeting was a fantastic success, putting CHR more firmly on the map than ever in Scotland. The Scottish Fans seem to have taken to the formula to their hearts and in the two years the class has expanded north of the border, they could no longer imagine their racing diet to be without the Coolest Cars on their Oval plate!
With more planning and the unusual unexpected situation we experienced this year with the meeting clashing with Tipperary to be avoided, the CON meeting could well become an established feature of the concluding season in Scotland.