NORTHAMPTON 01 05 2016-2016

CLASSIC HOT ROD REPORT ENGLISH SERIES 2016 ROUND FOUR NORTHAMPTON 1/5/16 A dozen Classic Hot Rods came to compete in the fourth round of the 2016 English Series at Northampton International Raceway under bright and breezy Spring skies on Sunday the first of May. In spite of numbers being a little short on what would be ideal for the 2016 running of the Midland Championship, it was still sufficient to provide some entertaining racing and some close quarter battles. It was heartening to see how the meeting still attached competitors from all corners of the island with #TheFamilyGuy 419 Dave Murphy present to represent on of the now famous ‘Three Amegos of the Southern Posse’. With the other two drivers of the trio Ray Harding and Steve Kite unable to compete today, Dave was determined to hold up the honour of the South and had family and friends in support. Undertaking another ‘road trip’ and travelling all on his todd, was Scotland’s #TrevTheRev 12 Trevor Harris. Having spent an very enjoyable weekend in the company of the Irish Classic Hot Rod drivers when he raced at Tipperary just last weekend, Harris was looking forward to a potential further step in progress today in this his first English meeting at the front of the grid. As affable and light hearted as ever, Harris is the epitome of all that is positive about those who compete in Classic Hot Rods. He revels in simply taking part, enjoying competing in great looking cars regardless of the result. He did however complain about having to pay the M6 toll again!! #TheSilverFox 20 Dave Fry was making his return to racing for the first time in 2016. The 67 year old veteran of a life time in hot rod racing was back competing in his faithful Mk1 Escort as his much mooted Talbot Sunbeam build is quite a way off completion. Interestingly, Dave would not be included in today’s results irrespective of where he finished. The reason was he had been special sanction to be permitted an experimental engine set up for the day’s racing to evaluate performance. Fry revealed he was using twin 50 carbs on a Connaught Crossflow unit to ascertain its ability to compete with the race developed Pintos. It will be interesting to see if any conclusions were drawn. The opening twenty lap heat one saw 12 Trevor Harris open up an encouraging four car length lead ahead of B graders Schembri, Murphy and Boyd senior. In the early laps drama ensued as 445 Graham #TheCowboy Boyd locked wheel arches with #TheFamilyGuy 419 Dave Murphy. As both grappled to unlock, #TheWrightStuff 924 Stu Wright shot through on the inside. #TheMusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver abruptly retired with a flat tyre. “Well, it was five years old almost down to the canvass.” Hughie admitted to me later. On with the race and both 72 Gary Goodswen and 198 Andy Steward caught 911 Harry #Harold Steward napping and shot through to continue their chart topping battle. Schembri cleanly took the Scotsman Harris for the lead as Wright pursued both of them in third place. Harris gave way to Wright and the Boyd senior quite quickly. Trevor slowly pulled to a halt. The reason? An exploded clutch plate and bell housing which terminated the travellers efforts for the day all too prematurely. As 419 Dave Murphy also retired, up ahead 924 challenged 121 for the lead as Craig Boyd reeled in his dad in the battle for third. In a spectacular and clean effort Wright worked the outside line to challenge for the lead. Schembri fought hard to hold back both Wright and Craig Boyd as things began to crack off immediately behind as #Donut and #Harold, having dealt with #TheNorfolkBoy Gary Goodswen, bore down on Graham Boyd in a determined effort to make up for lost time. In the ebb and flow of attack and defence and the resultant contact saw 445 spin and the impeded 198 get underway again with a bent track rod. Back at ‘point’ and Wright grabbed the lead but it was oh so short lived with Boyd lunging to the inside and snatching the pinnacle place off Wright at the death. For a twelve car race, it certainly was an exciting event! HEAT ONE RESULT : 45, 924, 121, 911, 72, 198, 4, 445, 44 Heat two saw an explosive start with the three B grader all jostling for the lead into the opening bend in the absence of Trevor Harris. 419 Dave Murphy was most certainly the loser of the jostle as he grazed arches with Schembri and then was tagged by Graham Boyd. Murphy’s unbalanced Anglia swung out wide and David did well to prevent the spin. He did however retire to the infield clearly not impressed. Boyd got up the inside of Schembri to lead but was immediately under pressure from a hard charging #Harold in 911 who had made a very fast start from the ‘A’ grade with Stu Wright trying hard to hang on to Steward junior’s shirt tails. Harry was in the groove and in a heart beat swept up the inside of 445 into turn three and heat two had a new leader. From there Harry was on his way to victory in a race he utterly stamped his authority on. But the real thrill was the five way battle for second. Stu Wright raced out of his skin to try and make the outside line stick as he challenged Boyd, and as the blue flag was issued to Boyd he had to hold the inside line. But hold the line he did and Wright just couldn’t quite get the grip to pass. On came Weaver on the inside with #Donut and #TheKartingKid Craig Boyd for company….and Wright was just squeezed out and as a distant Harry Steward took the flag, Stu has to be content with fifth place after a valiant attempt. HEAT TWO RESULT : 911, 445, 210, 198, 924, 45, 72, 121, 4, 44 The Midland Championship Final was arranged in normal graded order as is always the case for this event. In a clean start, Schembri led Boyd senior and Murphy. The fast charging A graders of Stewart in 911 and Wright in 924 came down like a ton of bricks on the lead trio. Dave Murphy raced with sense and courtesy, realising that the Red Devil Anglia and the silver and black machine of the Cheshire man were more than on the pace, he clearly moved to the inside on the home straight and allowed Steward and Wright to pass cleanly. As Boyd challenged Schembri for the lead, the battle allowed Steward and Wright to close in. Boyd attempted the outside move. It wouldn’t stick. #Harold charged the inside, unsettled Charlie, made the gap on the approach to turn three and nabbed the lead. In a repeat of heat two flash Harry was away. Graham Boyd resorted to defending second. Wright tried but his challenge was soon superseded by that of #TheMusicMan Hughie Weaver and #TheKartingKid Craig Boyd. In a move Hughie clearly revels in, he dived tight to the inside, made it stick and simply powered out the bend with car that looked powerful and balanced. Craig followed through past Graham and in doing so shirked off a challenge from Andy Steward. In the final laps 445 #TheCowboy Graham Boyd had nothing to show for his defensive drive as he retired from the race allowing daughter #PenelopePitstop 44 Kara Boyd to unlap herself. By then young Harry was long gone and the sixteen year old embryonic star stormed to his very first championship victory by a third of a lap clear of Weaver and Craig Boyd. MIDLAND CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RESULT : 911, 210, 45, 198, 924, 72, 121, 419, 4, 44 Rob Hughes CHR PR



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