• Tipperary 10 06 2018-2018

    Tipperary 10th June 2018

    The classic hot rod scene in the Emerald Isle is still in its early stages of development. Unlike here in England they are up against a strong alternative of retro rally escorts ( mainly running alternative motor units).

    Recent rule changes for the use of ford zetec engines will take hold of the sport has it has done with Brisca formula 2 and Lightning rods , the cost of which is considerably different.

    When I look back to the early days of the formula numbers were steady and have been up and down in recent years , the main thing being each fresh car means more drivers.

    The turnout of a steady regular base of drivers is the main importance, the appearance of cars the sound of retro racing.

    Four drivers 671 Alan Leonard ( opel ascona 2dr ford powered) , 25 Trevor Cussack mk2 escort, 464 Mike Meade mk2 escort and 19 Anthony Morgan mk2 escort.

    Heat one was led away by the opel of Leonard a few laps in the fast moving mk2’s moved in with 19 of Morgan hitting the front and taking the maiden win of the day.

    Heat two pretty much the same set off this time 464 Meade went through first chased hard by Morgan to the flag , making a first win at Tipperary for 464 of Meade.

    Unfortunately no Opel Ascona for the final, so just three mk2 Escorts to do battle.

    A few instillation laps for a bit of tyre warmth, the cars given some gap on each other before the drop of the green flag. Anthony Morgan 19 was first away and pulled a gap up on Meade 464 ahead of Trevor Cussack 25 .

    Apart from a slip at half way when the back end came around turn 2 a little loose Morgan held the lead to the flag. Meanwhile in his rear view Meade and Cussack where doing a fair old foxtrot but unable to catch him.

    Heat and final win for 19 Morgan.

    With the peak of the classic season coming The Bill Morris trophy and Spedeweekend we hope to see some of the drivers hit the ferry.

    Report Andy Hankin

    thanks to Monaghan Motorsports for footage and notes.

  • Lochgelly 9 6 2018-2018

    Hardie Race Promotions Lochgelly , the oval race circuit well worth a visit, I will make mine one day. Absolutely a well prepared oval with cracking race lines will always provide fast superb racing.

    With a steady development of classic hot rods in the area , two local John Mcfarlane and 247 have sold their cars on whilst they build fresh stock which will push the local turnout into double figures .

    Practice sessions pre meeting often produce a few issues , for

    58 Mike McCain a head gasket issue and 158 Alec Wilson a differential problem.

    Heat one a dry track and a fair ensemble of fine tuned classic hot rods, a few instillation laps and a loss of 523 Matt Mcpherson form the line up. A rolling start and a good start for 756 Spence in the Talbot sunbeam , 116 Adrian Taber gave chase but soon dropped back down the field.

    26 Jock Campbell moved up into the second spot and hunted down the lead car.

    A battle was developing at the rear with 232 Brett Sneddon who was fending off a charging 17 Kenny Purdie ( who had put a lot of time in to get the car back on track). Trevor Harris went down after a few laps in the recently acquired Angle box.

    Jock Campbell 26 Wound the mk2 Escort up and found a way around the 756 of Spence , the Talbot of Spence seemed to puff a fair bit of smoke . Jock went on to take the chequered flag .

    Results ht 1 26 756 232 17 871 116 nof

    Heat number 2 and 523 McPherson makes the line up , Marc Spence in the ex McCade Talbot from the front makes the first move . Adrian Taber 116 has been busy in the pits and the car is much quicker and smoother . A few laps in an Purdie 17 has split from Sneddon and driving the car to its full potential ,

    Passing high side has he narrows down the lead car . 871 Grahame Callender has become Brett232 Sneddons sparring partner this time has they dance corner to comer on the slick tyres.523 McPherson retires into the safe area , Jock 26 , is trying to get there for a second win . We are half way and again there’s smoke signals from the leader .It looks like when the car gets warm its either over fuelling or there is a leak of oil down onto the exhaust . Either way the power is still on , its not causing any issues . Marc Spence is maintaining his lead , a quick check in the mirror and 17 Purdie has found a way around Jock . Just in time before the pressure rises the flag drops and Marc Spence takes victory in heat 2.

    Results756 17 26 232 871 116 12 nof

    Final time for Lochgelly , this a double header weekend for the stadium , we have had the pleasure of joining them on this reasonably fair weathered Saturday night. The classic hot rods although few are getting there , the racing is tight and the roar of the 2lt engines a sound of absolute delight .

    58 Alec Wilson joins the field of cars the differential issues looks to be sorted .

    Marc Spence again is first away and the chase begins , 116 Adrian Taber starts to drop back a little , there are two major battles now emerging . All eyes are at the rear of the field , side by side lap by lap 282 Brett Sneddon and the king of Carlude 17 Kenny Purdie on the outside. These two are at it hammer and tongue the crowd are cheering them on , paint is being exchanged , Sneddon catches hold on Purdie and they both hold on . Meanwhile its chuvitt v Escort at the front on the tail of the Talbot , which again is puffing out smoke signals and sounding like a valve is not quite sitting well.

    Three car battle now at the front they are on Spence’s tail down into turn two the straight ahead and the chuvitt of Wilson pulls in on Jock in 26 who catches the rear quarter and fires him up and over turn three curb the yellows are out .

    Earlier stages have seen 971 Callender retire with engine issues and 523 McPherson had to pull up again , we hope he can get those issues sorted with his car before the next meeting and 12 Trevor Harris out on the opening laps.

    A 2 lap dash to the line remains , Marc Spence 756 holds on to the lead and takes the flag , Sneddon and Purdie duel away . Spence makes heat and final.

    Result 756 26 232 17 116 not .

    Thanks to Laura  McIntosh for the footage , Craig Duncan for photos and notes on the day and all the drivers with their pit crews for some superb racing.

    Report compiled by Andy Hankin CHR PR.

  • Weekend 9 .10 .06 .18-18

    This coming weekend Classic Hot rods will be in action at Lochgellly The home of Hardie Race Promotions.
    We will be racing on the Saturday only , a full weekend schedule of racing though .With 1300 stock cars British and open Scottich championships, Rebels for a 2 day Scottish Championship, Stock rods European and Scottish championships plus Ministox Fife championship . It will be a full on weekend for the Petrol heads. We will have reports , results etc from the classics on Saturday.

    On Sunday over in Ireland Tipperary will be holding a meeting featuring classic hot rods , last time 57 Mike Oliver made the trip. Despite picking up some damage and missing the final for the boat home he didn’t have too bad a meeting.

    Also on Sunday the I Factor moves to Hednesford for the 2nd time this year , it is rumoured at least 3 cars will be running in with the slick car formula.


    http://tipperaryracewaysora.com/ for details on Tipperary’s meeting



  • Mildenhall 26th May 2018-2018

    The sun adorned the lane down to the pits at Mildenhall Stadium , Classics hot rods were already rolling in .
    Eleven drivers scheduled to race on the short shale topped oval , fresh prepared by David Coventry ( who had spent most of the week laying a new track at Northampton).
    Drivers had gone for various set ups , some gearing for more grunt out of the turn overs trying the other end in order to get grip. All had a selection of tyres with them to change as needed . With no practice heat one would be a chance to test out their theories.
    For Gavin Taber the wait for his engine to be ready had expired , the solution a borrow of his fathers car with little more then the seat being adjusted.
    With sometime on my hands a chat with drivers which may result in a podcast later in the week and a catch up with David Owen who was looking reasonably well .
    Jock Mc Fastlane appeared and we set about who was doing what from the promo side on the night . John filmed live whilst I filmed for the first time in my life for later use. Something which may prove not so easy with me being the commentator at most live meetings.
    The drivers came out and lined up for heat one , it was decided to give them 3 warm up laps . Unfortunately 72 Gary Goodwin ended out wide in the wet stuff and was recovered by the fork lift , retiring him from the race.
    With no white grades 257 Andrew Willis in the pocket rocket lined up alongside the Welsh wizard in his Talbot Sunbeam to lead the field away , a rolling start was decided to be for the best on the loose surface.
    57 Mike Oliver took the early lead with Willis not far behind the rest fell in and tried to find their grip , 210 Weaver was first to drop back . 555 Taber broke formation and found grip around the outside of 271 JJ.
    The short wheel base of the A40 driven by Craig Boyd was proving to be useful has he and 198 Donut drove round JJ under forced the Pocket rocket out on a wider line. It was nose to tail the mk2 hunting down the A40 has they split from the pack to hunt down Taber and the Welsh Wizard.
    45 Craig broke away from donut and attacked Taber lap by lap forcing a inside line . Has he passed his door came open . The defending from Taber had cost both Donut was now on song and breathing down their necks . Donut passed down the back straight , Boyd and Taber fought back Donut back to fourth. Has Boyd hit the front Donut was back up to 3rd , the last lap board came out ! Donut locked wheels with the Talbot of Oliver and they slid towards the infield . Boyd completed the lap to a chequered flag to take the first classic hot rod win on shale.
    Heat 1 Winner 45 Craig Boyd
    45 555 8 445 210 27 257 271

    Pit time and a few adjustments for some , refuel, check cars over and back out in 2 races time for heat number 2.
    Mike Oliver in the Talbot made the opening move and sped away at the front chased down by Willis, the hunting party was soon in his mirror headed up by the meeting sponsor 8 Dan Owen. Owen had raced on tarmac the week before in his refurbished mk2 , he had kept up with the ex national hot rods in the slick cars around Hednesford.
    Soon Owen’s grip was lost when Weaver , Donut and a pair of Boyd’s went through on the inside of turn 2 . Going out in the loose stuff relegated him down the field.
    At half way of the 20 lap race The Wizard had done a dissappearing act , half a lap up on Weaver in 2nd. The Cowboy 445 Boyd SNR was riding high holding off Craig 45 , both stopping progress of the Donut who was just having fun racing on shale.
    Gary Goodswin had the Angle box back out and was staying out of the loose stuff.
    Just under 2 laps to go and a punt into turn 3 from Weaver , Oliver held on . Taber did a 360 in front of the start line and 45 Craig moved past the Cowboy to challenge . The Welsh Wizard held on to take the win.
    Heat 2 winner 57 Mike Oliver
    result 57 , 45 ,210 ,445 ,198 , 27 ,72 ,8 ,257 ,271 nof

    Final time up next and noticeably 27 Dave York from novice at the rear making fair results in both heats . Mike Oliver would now require to start rear of his grade for the heat win.
    Gavin Taber 555 unfortunately didn’t make it out for the final .
    First away was 271 JJ with the pocket rocket , Oliver and Owen in hot pursuit. Johnson ran into mechanical issues handing the lead over to Oliver , Owen had gone wide on turn 2 again letting the train up the inside. The pocket rocket dropped down the pack as well , 210 Weaver battled away with Oliver . The Boyd’s has a donut sandwich going on , Craig caught Weaver up and opened the inside line up going through to 2nd place. He slid through on turn 4 , Oliver returned and rubbed him around 1 and 2 regaining the lead.
    Weaver had gone in on the entrance to turn 1 has the flag was pulled 45 Boyd who had dived in front spun around on turn ¾. On the restart Boyd was put back in by the steward with a few laps remaining .
    Oliver was all out of shape on the restart , donut catching him and taking him round out of turn 2 .
    Craig Boyd took the flag , Donut second on the line but excluded for contact on 57. This not even blemishing the smile of enjoyment the big fella had got for the fun he had enjoyed on the shale.
    A dramatic end for Gary Goodswin who blew the engine has he crossed the line but was promoted to third place . The Cowboy went up from 3rd to Second .
    A Boyd 1,2 both the shorter wheel base A40’s on the mildenhall shale.
    Young James Owen was on hand to present the trophies for the Shale Shifter Supreme race , before going home to load up his micro f2 for Buxton.
    A great nights racing fun and smiles all round for those who took part , the question on many lips . Can we race on the Northampton Shale?
    Report Andy Hankin , Live streams Jock Mc Fastlane and Jason Larner. Photographs and results Jason Larner , Jaeden Larner.

  • Tipperary 13 05 18-18

    A fine sunny Sunday afternoon in Tipperary . A dry track and eight classic hot rods . Time for a ice cream sit back and let your ears get pounded by those purring fords.
    Drivers on attendance 19 Anthony Morgan , 25 Trevor Cussack ,57 Mike Oliver ,97 Joel Richardson ,99 Liam Bushe ,175 Andy O’Donnell ,195 Adrian Boyle and 464 Mike Meade.

    Heat one was underway 99 Bushe led briefly before 464 Meade passed on the dry outside line followed by 19 Morgan and 175 O’Donnell . the later two exchanging blows before 175 catching hold of 19 rear quarter and taking him for a spin on turn one. With 175 facing the wrong way , 57 Mike Oliver had no where to go other than head on , this took out the radiator on the 57 car retiring him to the infield along with 175.
    464 Meade led up to have way 19 Morgan managed to get through chased by 97 Richardson who looked to be struggling with a loose back end was unable to get any closer the win going to 19 Anthony Morgan.

    results heat 1 19 97 464 195 25 99 .

    Heat 2 again Bushe got off to a good start before the domination of 464 Meade and the pack hunted him down . Meade took to the fore and led until a handful of laps Richardson pulled up along on the outside . Meade battled back but Richardson drove clear to take the win . 19 Morgan and 175 O’Donnell went for a photo finish for third , Morgan getting it by a wing tip.

    Results Heat 2 97 ,464 ,19 ,175 , 57 , 25 ,195 ,99

    Final Time (clutch start)

    No mike Oliver and O’Donnell retiring before the drop of the green , left 7 drivers to entertain the crowd. 99 Bushe dropped back has 464 Meade came to the front . 19 Morgan wound up his mk2 taking up the lead . Meade battled back bouncing off the wall before loosing the rear tyre on turn 4.
    Morgan was out in front 97 Richardson came up to 2nd before developing a miss fire and retiring . A fairly straight finish to the end race win to 19 Anthony Morgan , making it a heat and final.

    Results Final 19, 25 ,195 ,99.

    Race report by Andy Hankin .

  • Cowdy 12 05 18-18

    COWDENBEATH 12/5/18
    A triumph of matter of substance? The opening round of the Scottish Series could have been threatened with viability just days running up to the date of the meeting, but with drivers working hard and showing commitment above and beyond the level many could have expected, this Saturday night session, bathed in that unfamiliar thing – Scottish sunshine, proved to be pretty satisfying.
    With Alex Wilson, Matt MacPerson, Wullie Millar, Graham McCabe and John McFarlane still chasing all manner of practical things: time, logistics, costs, to enable the completion of their Classic Hot Rod builds and rebuilds, Kenny Purdie indisposed and Graeme Callender and Mike McKain on holiday, the Scottish CHR membership available took a real hit in advance of the Cowdenbeath meeting. Norfolk’s Gavin Taber, an arch fan of racing in Scotland, had said he was really looking forward to race. Despite the desperately long journey endured, Gavin has always found the welcome in Scotland to be warm, and he really enjoys racing round the super-fast Cowdenbeath oval. However, despite a journey of 500 mile in pursuit of replacement parts to give his Pinto a fighting chance of repair after it threw a wobbler at Aldershot, Taber found that time would still defeat the opportunity to fit it all back together and test it prior to the long journey. Gavin was understandably dejected, but the plan had always been for Gavin’s father Adrian to race as well! Taber Senior has enjoyed a roller coaster ride of his first season in Classic Hot Rods and the majority of his races had seen smooth accomplished racing gently accumulate early season points. A disastrous crash at Hednesford had required many man hours of work to put right, but after a quietly successful Aldershot, the 116 Zetec powered 105E Anglia was dialled in ready. So, #TeamTaber was still up for coming to Cowdenbeath! They may have been a car down, but they were still coming! North of the Border, Trevor Forrester and Brett Sneddon responded to the call. Trevor, nominally looking to put this season more on the back burner as he concentrates on business issues and home building, loaded his car and care of a stop off to Brett Sneddon’s place, the pair made their way to Cowdenbeath for a specially commissioned practice session on Friday afternoon to see if Trevor’s engine mis-fire could be cured, and Brett could dial in his Escort of a track he rarely races at. After an hour’s practice, and even more ‘trial and error’ electrical solutions sought at Brett’s garage later in the day, Forrester’s issue was still not fully cured – but he was still coming! Sneddon prefers Lochgelly, but for this meeting, he was still coming too! Adding their support, Keith Chesher, the first to book in, in the weeks prior, was really looking forward to racing at his favourite track and really opening up his newly competitive Pinto. Marc Spence was coming too, all the way down from Inverness to race his Pinto powered Talbot Sunbeam, and Jock Campbell too, his Mk2 Escort looking resplendent, was looking for to his first meeting of the year.
    So, six cars were present for the opening meeting. Two heats and a final under super springtime sunshine. The cars had been allowed to bunch perhaps a little more than they should as the CHRS settled into the rolling lap for the opening heat of the night, and when the green flag dropped it was always going to be a question of whether Sneddon caught Chesher. Keith, so long a driver beset with misfortune, mechanically or incident wise in his previous two seasons racing in Classics, now, finally, looked in his element. In other words he was flying, and in the bright evening sunshine his speed was a pleasure to watch for his great many fans who hold a strong affection for Keith having followed both his legendary late father, and then Keith himself for many years. Keith held the lead to half way, but at they point Brett caught him and through ‘Scotch Corner’ made a successful dive on the inside to cleanly take the lead. Keith was far from finished though and throughout the second half of the race tracked Brett’s every move and into the final lap made quite a stab of it to pinch the lead back! Brett was not to be denied though and the two tone blue 232 machine to its first win at Cowdenbeath.
    232, 162, 26, 756, 222, 116
    With the correct graded starting positions more firmly reinforced for Heat Two, Keith’s White Grade advantage was affirmed over Brett’s half lap chase from Red grade. Despite slicing through those ahead of him, including Jock Campbell, who is certainly no slouch, Sneddon found Chesher’s advantage in Heat two too great and Keith’s win was a dominant one. The post race smile on Keith’s face certainly confirmed why he is known as #TheChesherKat! Down the places, Adrian Taber was getting to grips with the peculiar racing line at the Racewall, and was pleased with his fifth place. Forrester however was indeed struggling with s misfire that was getting progressively worse with every lap.
    162, 232, 26, 756, 116, 222
    The Scottish Thistle was something Keith Chesher was in no way reluctant to grasp! He stole the meeting Final with another dominant display from the front! This however would be the final time that Keith would enjoy such and advantage. Next time out at a graded meeting, the 162 car will be starting in the Blue grade!
    162, 232, 26, 116. NOF
    In conclusion, a quiet affair true, but a triumphant night for Chesher – and for a change of fortune to be so forcibly displayed, he certainly deserved it. Stick with us Scottish fans, the numbers will be up next time out!


    Posted on by admin

    TIPPERARY 24/4/16

    The red carpet treatment was truly rolled out for the Classic Hot Rods at Tipperary on the 24th for the opening round of the Irish Series for 2016. The division was left in no doubt as to what high esteem it was held in by Damien Brennan, the man at the helm of the new promoting organisation for the fastest oval raceway in the Isles – Oval Racing International.

    Eleven Classics enrolled for the opening meeting which was held under favourable Irish Spring skies. The seven drivers from the Republic were joined by three from the Province and one from Scotland. Trevor Harris, the veteran racer who concerted from a long service career in BriSCA F2 who was famous for his travelling exploits, clearly intended to continue in the same vain upon joining the Classics. Truly enamoured by the speed of friendship he made with the visiting Irish contingent when they visited Lochgelly for the Scottish Open, #TrevTheRev made the arrangements to travel over to Ireland and meet up with Gerry Rothwell and crew for the journey down to Tipperary. He didn’t care that ‘it was a long way!’

    One Irish driver very disappointed on the morning of race day was 671 Alan #Leopard Leonard. Alan has built the most gorgeous of race cars in the form of an Opel Kadett but the his two litre pinto cried foul at the last minute and reluctantly the driver whose car had caused a flurry of interest on the Classic Hot Rod Facebook Page had to pull out.

    Alan was one of many new Irish faces joining CHR in 2016. Several, like Podge McQuaid and Damien Corrigan had already made their debuts in Scotland but delightfully there were still more breaking cover for the first time. Ulstermen 925 Gary O’Neill and 976 Clive Richardson arrived at Tipperary with stunning machinery. Richardson would be competing in the former Mike Oliver Mk2 Escort now sporting an RS2000 droop snoot and O’Neill was in the former Holden/Marriott Anglia which was now sporting Gary’s trade mark bright yellow livery. From Southern Ireland came 19 Anthony Morgan, with a Mk2 that looked like a beautiful Irish version of Andy Steward’s SHP car.

    The atmosphere in the pits was almost converging on one of a party prior to racing as the OMI supremo Brennan made himself busy personally welcoming every driver and Gerry’s wife Ann was busy in the Rothwell truck ensuring that many drivers were enjoying the comprehensive picnic she had laid on!

    The drivers were organised by former driver Paraic McCormack who laid on a clear prep talk prior to racing getting underway so everyone understood the respect that was to be expected out on the raceway. Following this was the grand parade with the drivers being introduced to the crowd, a crowd which appeared sizeably appreciable.

    All eleven were out for the twenty lap opening heat and after the installation laps the drop of the green saw Scottish visitor 12 Trevor Harris scream his Crossflow pleasingly and set off in the lead several car lengths ahead of 156 #Rocker Rothwell, who was driving the Kevin Feeney Escort, and #TheWhiteKnight 362 Austin Wilkinson. #TrevTheRev may well have been singing sweet, but the loudest music was coming from the Anderson built #Spanker in the engine bay of Thomas Dilly’s all red racer. Dilly, a returnee to CHR after several years in Nationals, had made his return with no half measures thanks to the purchase of Tim Foxlow’s famous Mk2, and now, following a triumphant third place in the Scottish open, here he was on the big fast Tipperary oval, spanking hard! Flying the outside line with aplomb, #TheDungannonCannon shot past FItzgerald and Rothwell and ate into Harris’s lead. As Morgan, Richardson and McQuaid duelled cleanly in their own private battle in the pack, 175 Andy O’Donnell sought gamely to chase the flying Dilly as the Ulsterman overhauled the Scotsman. Next up, defending Irish Points Champion 25 Trevor Cusack was giving it his all in an experimentally geared car… In an experiment which was clearly feeling not satisfactory! With the retirement of O’Neill and Rothwell and the spinning of Corrigan all on his own, Dilly extended his lead as Harris and Fitzgerald slipped down the field. In spite of a split second distraction which caused Dilly to ride the Tipperary wall when adjusting the brake bias, he was lucky to get away with it and take a clear and confident victory.

    HEAT ONE RESULT : 966, 175, 25, 10, 19, 976, 362, 12, 43

    Heat two followed a similar speedy patten to heat one but for a remarkable performance by #GoDaddy 10 Podge McQuaid. McQuaid, in only his second meeting in Classic Hot Rods was racing like he had lived in his green and black Escort for years. Coming from the back, he scalped fellow ‘novices’ O’Neill and Morgan and then incredibly got the better of the Points Champion Cusack. Admittedly, Cusack was struggling with the wrong gears, but nevertheless Podge was driving like he stole it, taking his nearest challenger #TheDiggerMan 976 Clive Richardson with him. The challenge from the all orange machine was strong but not only did the 10 pilot fend it, he even drove away in the latter part of the race. Dilly won a quarter lap clear of O’Donnell but there was McQuaid enjoying the highs of racing with a superb third!

    HEAT TWO RESULT : 966, 175, 10, 976, 25, 925, 19, 12, 362, 156, 43

    Good fortune deserted Podge McQuaid in the Final as engine problems caused his retirement in the early laps. As per the heats, the Scotsman Harris set the early pace, but impressively, Gerry Rothwell came back at Trevor and by lap eight the 156 car swept up the inside of 12 and the backbone of the Irish scene was now at the head of affairs. Gerry’s lead however was momentary as on came Thomas Dilly in the screaming #Spanker. Again the Northern Irishman was dominating but the challenge this time was closer by the local hero #TheIrishWolfhound O’Donnell in 175. As Rothwell as Harris again began to give way to the chasing field, Morgan and O’Neill continued the battle they had had all meeting, but this time the big battle involved 25 Trevor Cusack and 976 Clive Richardson. Their battle was especially close, side by side. It came to a climax in the final laps as the passed Rothwell. Through turn three and out of four, #TheDiggerman went for the outside, #TheIrishThoroughbred the inside. Gerry was squoze and had no option but to take the centre line as all three made a ‘three wide’ onto the home straight. The blue and orange machines clashed arches and Clive backed off. Cusack was through but a blue and grey plume was ominously escaping the black 25 and with the engine failure, Trevor dived for the infield. The final laps were fortunately without further incident and a delighted Thomas Dilly celebrated his triple with donuts!

    FINAL RESULT : 966, 175, 976, 925, 19, 362, 43, NOF

    The opening meeting of the Irish Series was deemed by all to have been a tremendous success, not least by the promotion itself. The overall meeting had been slick, well organised and well presented and Classic Hot Rods are already looking forward to our return in July!

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR




    LOCHGELLY 9/4/16 & 10/4/16


    What a welcome the Classic Hot Rods received when they travelled from near and very far indeed for the inaugural CHR Scottish Open. The weather was kind when everyone was expecting a deluge, the fans were delighted and the promotion was the slickest the Classic racers had ever encountered. All this made the key components of what was going to be an epic weekend.

    Many had undertaken their journey as early as Thursday. Charlie and his from Buckinghamshire got their heads down half way through their 400 mile journey north in Carlisle before continuing early Friday morning. Irish Points Champion Trevor Cusack did similar, having to travel the entire length of Ireland from Co Cork to Belfast to firstly make the ferry, then travel across the width of Scotland to arrive in the Kingdom of Fife with is usual Irish jocularity un diminished!

    A spectacularly impressive 22 teams arrived to compete at Lochgelly. Four came from Scotland, with Graham McCabe, so long the only Scottish competitor, revelling in the fact that he only had twenty miles to travel, whereas usually it is hundreds! An achingly delightful eight racers came from Ireland, with Gerry Rothwell particularly instrumental in being the powerhouse of car building in Co.Meath over the winter and arranging the Irish convoy. Of course the reminder were the English competitors, with #Deadly Daz Owen leaving it till Saturday morning to make is way north from his Midlands base.

    Never before had CHR had such a solid representation of Nationalities congregate of a meeting and it spoke volumes from the superb progress the class is making all over the Anglo-Celtic Isles.

    The drivers were naturally in the Lochgelly pits in plenty of good time for competition on the Saturday with all making very positive comments on how much they were impressed by the tarmaced paddock area and they indoor scrutineering bay. Everything about Lochgelly looked so professional and organised and, indeed, tidy. There were plenty of staff and officials, all in staff coats and uniforms, there was the building were entry tickets were purchased which compared to what many fans were used to, looked like the entry to a cinema, and their was even an employee collecting litter during the meeting! Everything about Lochgelly looked the part and all drivers were saying so.

    The challenge though was getting used to the track. In hot rod terms, this shorter oval with irregular bends was challenging and it was going to take the quick and the brave to establish whether they had chosen the best gearing ratios for the unfamiliar oval, and learn the fastest way round and discover if there was also a workable outside line.

    Practice was fully utilised by the visiting CHR drivers on both Friday and Saturday, and although some racers like Schembri and Scotsman Keith Chesher would have been very happy if their rain dance had worked, the majority had their setting right, in bright and dry conditions, for the first of four qualifying heats on Saturday evening.

    Naturally, all twenty two competitors took to the oval for heat one, and what a full field it looked! The installation laps, where cars show they are ready for racing and take the opportunity to inject some heat in their Avon Tyres proved all too brief and inconsequential as so many cars on such a short track really denied any opportunity to but any power down.

    Nevertheless, all cars were ready and the first qualifying heat, racing over twenty laps burst into life. Ireland’s 156 Gerry Rothwell, piloting is distinctive Aqua green 100E Anglia, the oldest style of car racing in CHRs, broke into an impressive early lead. Fellow row one starter 31 Steve Gooding was soon swallowed up by the rest of the field which was headed by Ulsterman 966 Thomas Dilly, at the wheel of the former Tim Foxlow ‘Spanker’ and local man 247 Graham McCabe. Whilst the Irishman and the Scotsman ballot led closely all through the race, 911 Harry Steward was the prime mover, and once past the battling Celts, the youngest driver in CHRs led the race. With Darren Owen, Andy Steward and Hughie Weaver engaged in their own mid race battle, it looked like Harry was on his way to his first ever win in Classics. His undoing however was an errant spin of back marker 24 Roger Wright. Harry crossed the line first but was penalised for contact by the steward of the meeting. The win therefore went to Scotsman Graham McCabe who in the last lap had got the better of #The DungannonCannon Dilly, by powering around the outside of the red Mk2, and to natural appreciation of the big crowd at Lochgelly, a delightful #Proclaimer look his lap of honour, grinning all the way!

    247, 198, 966, 72, 210, 8, 445, 924, 175, 232

    The damaged Roger Wright was absent from heat two, but his nemesis, young #Harold Harry Steward was out once again amongst the ‘A’ grade starters to prove, that his time, imbued with the confidence in his own ability and the power of an all new Toovey race engine provided by former National Hot Rod World Champion Malcolm Blackman, that he had what it takes to this time make it count. It was a very exciting race with Rothwell once again leading Gooding from the off and McCabe and Dilly resuming the battle they had in heat one. It proved to be a brief contest however on this occasion as Dilly, the only Crossflow powered car present, suddenly died on the back straight baulking McCabe who was hot on his tail. This allowed a train of top grade racers to pass in predominantly their red coloured race cars, headed by Steward junior. As Weaver, Goodswen and Owen battled for mid pack dominance, #Harold in 911, swept up the leader #Rocker Rothwell and from there he was away, engine singing sweetly, and he began to extend his lead. This momentum was suddenly terminated thanks to a crash in the chasing pack. The Red train of 72, 210 and 8 had successfully got by the Avenger of #TheGoodGuy 31 Steve Gooding but was caught off balance as he sought to return to the inside line of the back straight and was caught by Irishman 175 Andy O’Donnell. The 31 car swung fence-ward and proceeded to slide down the plating with a sickening crunch. The yellow flags came out and the stricken Avenger was returned to the pits looking very sorry for itself. The restart saw the all red train resume and as Weaver, Goodswen and Owen returned to battle, this allowed Harry to get away. An interesting counterpoint was the battle in the remaining laps between 247 Graham McCabe, 198 Andy Steward, 924 Stu Wright and 232 Brett Sneddon. Graham just sat there making those around him really work for it. If they wanted to pass they would have to take the outside line! A frustrated Steward looked far from his normally invincible self in this race and was in turn under intense pressure from #TheWrightStuff and new boy 232 Brett Sneddon joining the fray. Sneddon, in the former Lee Holden Mk2, first time in CHR competition, looked very impressive, using his extensive Lochgelly track knowledge and previous Stock Rod experience to the full. The chequered dropped to Steward who won his first ever race, this time cleanly trouncing the opposition.

    911, 210, 8, 72, 445, 198, 247, 924, 232, 25

    The third and final heat of the Saturday evening proceedings saw an absence of C grade competitors and consequently Graham McCabe and Thomas Dilly headed the line up. Upon the drop of the green the Ulsterman got the drop on the Scot and the shrill scream of the Anderson Crossflow could be heard as it headed the field. Yellows came out within two laps to come of the assistance of the beleaguered #RogerTheDodger 24 Roger Wright who had crashed across the infield curbs on turn one, losing a rear wheel in the process and caused Points Champions #Donut 198 Andy Steward and #TheIrishThoroughbred 25 Trevor Cusack to take avoiding action. As the yellow Mk1 of Wright was recovered to the pits, Steward also returned to the paddock with panel damage and handling issues. Cusack was ready for the re-start which saw DIlly lead McCabe and the fastest man on the track 911 Harry Steward. #Harold worked the outside line brilliantly and shot past McCabe making the Scotsman look pedestrian and then driver of the Red Devil Anglia set about the #DungannonCannon in 966. For two laps they raced side by side, with neither prepared to give way to the other. They momentum was unbalanced in lapping #PenelopePitsop Kara Boyd in 44, forcing Harry to turn across Dilly’s path. They both snaked down the back straight and Steward desperately sought to put the battle to bed and take the lead diving across the path of Dilly who promptly T-boned him. Fortunately, both drivers quickly recovered as McCabe and Goodswen shot through but Dilly was quick to retire with tracking problems. In the pack #TheMusicMan 210 Hughie Weaver clashed with the now ragged Steward junior causing damage to both whilst #TheCowboy 445 Graham Boyd, under attack from 8 #Deadly Daz Owen, chased hard after Goodswen and McCabe. Once again the Classics proved that with Avon Tyres there certainly is an outside line at Lochgelly, as Goodswn did the trick on McCabe and look the lead. Behind, Boyd seemingly took exception to the manner of the challenge Owen was putting in and anchored up to howls of shock and delight from the crowd. Incredibly a major crash was avoided and both 445 and 8 continued. By now #TheNorfolkBoy 72 Gary Goodswen was away and became the third different winner ahead of McCabe and 924 Stuart Wright. In a race of attrition it was heartening to see 44 Kara Boyd and #TheOmen 43 Damien Corrigan record their first CHR points of their careers.

    72, 247, 924, 8, 25, 43, 44, NOF

    After a very enjoyable social evening when many of the drivers congregated together to drink and joke the night away, Championship day arrived with grey and threatening skies. After a hearty breakfast the competitors arrived in good time at the track for final adjustments and practice. Even Kara Boyd was ready, make up still on face, after partying in Dunfirmline until five in the morning!

    The final qualifying heat was the first race of the day with the racers taking to a damp and greasy track which was beginning to dry as the grey clouds and rain headed out to sea. The different track conditions clearly suited some drivers more than others. Rothwell led them away and led for laps until Thomas Dilly took over, looking very comfortable. Weaver was the man in the groove and the oldest man on the raceway made short shrift of passing the youngest, Harry Steward, whose car looked far from happy in the damp. As Weaver set about chasing down Dilly, #Harold succumbed to the dual Escort challenge of Daz Owen and uncle Andy in 198. All three passed McCabe with outside passes as Weaver challenged Dilly in a similar move. In the final laps some fantastic side by action took place as the battle was on for the lead, but on the final lap it it all came unstuck for #TheDungannonCannon as the battling duo sought to pass the now lap down #Rocker Rothwell in the perilously tight exit to turn two. Weaver had no choice but to squeeze on Dilly as they dived for space on the inside of 156 only for the two Irishmen to make contact and Dilly went skating over the infield kerb and spun out of the race! Weaver was now the fourth different winner of the weekend.

    210, 8, 198, 911, 72, 445, 924, 247, 100, 232

    Such a degree of variance in race results made for a fascinating points order line up in the inaugural Scottish Open Championship Final for the Classic Hot Rods.

    INSIDE. 72. 247. 445. 924. 25. 121. 44. 162. 10
    OUTSIDE. 8. 911. 210. 198. 966.100. 232. 43

    Goodswen earned poll thanks to a heat win and a consistent performance, Owen on his outside even without a win, but high places in all heats. McCabe was delighted to be boxing above his weight with an inside row two start whereas pre-meeting favourite Andy Steward was languishing on row four.

    In a superb clean and fast race, #Deadly Darren Owen wound up car 8 to get the drop on 72 Gary Goodswen as the green was shown and powered the outside line to take the lead. The train proceeded in the early laps with 911 Steward challenging Goodswen and McCabe racing on the limit. As 911 past 72 , 210 Hughie Weaver was coming like a train from the second block of starters with #Donut hanging on to the old man’s shirt tails. Beyond the mid way point in the race, as Goodswen was slipping down the field and Dilly was on his way forward, Weaver managed to ‘rub’ McCabe wide but as Steward Senior tried to follow, his ‘rub’ caused the 198 car to veer fencewards. Evasive action unbalanced the SHP built machine and as Stu Wright went for the gap on the apex of turn one and two he spun the hapless #Donut. With the exit of uncle Andy, nephew Harry went on the attack for the lead and racing out of his skin caught the Owen juggernaut. But just as the challenge was starting to go in, out came he yellows for Stu Wright who had crashed the plating on the home straight! The drivers were able to gather their thoughts as the 924 car was returned to the paddock. The re-start was all about whether Harry had it in him to out race the experienced Owen to the flag. Well, for a lap he tried, but the engine went ‘tight’ and with 911 retiring to the infield the race was over and Owen was off the hook and clear to the flag. The last time he raced Owen took a championship, and on his return his Deadly Warhorse had taken him to another. It was a red car white wash with 210 Hughie Weaver second and Ulster’s 966 Thomas Dilly delighted with third.

    8, 210, 966, 72, 247, 445, 121, 43, NOF

    The weekends superb racing was rounded off in the All Comers Finale in an almost poetic balance with 247 Graham McCabe taking a flag to flag victory to plenty of cheers from the Scottish fans. Darren Owen capped a top weekend for him with a closely paced second with 100 Kevin Feeney recording his best ever race abroad with third. But the story of the race was new driver 232 Brett Sneddon. In a race from the tail of the grid the CHR ‘novice’ scalped Boyd and Goodswen on his way to an incredible fourth.

    247, 8, 100, 232, 72, 445, 25, 175, 43, 44

    The drivers made it clear that they loved the weekends racing at Lochgelly, and such was the impression the Hottest Stars in the Coolest Cars made on the race fans and the promotion that the green light was given to commence a six round Scottish series in 2017.

    Good news begets good news!

    Let’s keep it going!

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR

  • NORTHAMPTON 19/3/16-19316



    NORTHAMPTON 19/3/16

    A cold and crisp early spring night welcomed thirteen CHR competitors to the East Midlands venue of Northampton as part of the ‘Turning Back The Clock’ meeting which also featured the Heritage F2 Stockcars and the Historic Saloon Stockcars.

    An attractive nights racing was put on in dry conditions were the speed of these smartly turned out race cars only had their speed and classy appeal accentuated by the brightness of the stadium floodlights.

    Every driver had there reason to be featured. Double National Series Champion 198 Andy #Donut Steward was debuting his immaculate state of the art race car built by Sonny Howard Preparations. Andy immediately demonstrated in practice that the car was already dialled in demonstrating incredible speed particularly through the corners. As the cars slowed at the end of practice the #Donut machine received an accidental clout from another competitor (fortunately to very little damage) but Steward was both jocular and philosophical. “Won’t be the first and it won’t be the last!” he declared.

    The other driver to receive the most attention from fans in pit lane was a CHR debutant. Team Boyd had a new addition to the Classic Hot Rod team in the form of Graham’s daughter and Craig’s sister, the diminutive, breezy and feisty Kara Boyd. Already an experienced racer care of junior rods and Lightning Rods, Kara, racing under the number 44, enters CHRs in 2016 in her eighth season of racing at the age of twenty! Her car had been the talk of the formula. A pinto powered BMC Woolsley built by Pollysport, this race car shaped and period painted to perfection is a real peach and arguably the car of the Autosports Show at the NEC in January where the car first broke cover. It was only on the Wednesday before the meeting that Kara took the car to Northampton for practice and following an impressive turn of speed with the pinto sounding sweet, team Boyd then took the car to Birmingham Wheels and Kara was swiftly signed off in her assessment after eight swift laps! “I’m so pleased with the car.” Kara said. “The grip the tyres give me is amazing compared to what I have been used to in Lightning Rods.”

    Another new driver to welcome to the formula at Northampton was the driver of the yellow and blue Mk2 that had been through the hands of Graham McCabe and Chris Caton: racing under number 4, Karl #Dudley Jones was making his debut. Seasoned in assisting Karl Boardley racing in National Hot Rods and on the big circuits, and crafting his own racing career in seasons past in 1600 and two litre hot rods, Karl was making a return to racing for fun in a very smart repanelled machine and it was clear in practice that he would have no problem settling in.

    Also worthy of note was the revamped a refreshed Anglia of 101 Johna Bowring. The car looked absolutely superb in its new midnight blue and pearlescent grey combination topped off with stunning graphics fro TW Signs.

    So to the racing and with the first regrading of the season, Brighton’s #FamilyGuy 419 Dave Murphy was honoured to the the privilege of pole position for the evening as the meeting’s lone C grader. Dave, so called #TheFamilyGuy due to his prominent tattoos which declare a love and dedication to his family, took his superbly presented Anglia out on track. It had been touch and go if he was able to make the meeting in the days preceding as a hairline crack had been found and repaired in the engine head. Buoyed by the support he has received from John Jackson of BTA Car Sales and Misty Racing, Murphy was hoping for a good night.

    With the drop of the green Murphy headed the field. There was a scary moment when 72 Gary Goodswen accidentally spun 721 Steve Kite. Fortunately the field skilfully avoided the stricken #BlackKnight and the race continued with Kite tagging on at the back of the field. Murphy hung on for an impressive eight laps before Harry Steward forced his way by quickly followed by Andy Steward. Steward senior made short work of passing 911 and #Donut went on to take his fourth victory of the year and the first in his brand new car winning ‘straight out the box.’ Aside from Steward’s victory, the most impressive out there was 924 #TheWrightStuff Stuart Wright. Booted with tyres well beyond their sell by date, Wright had set the car up in a manner that forced him to drive the car hard and get every once of grip out of those tyres in a car perfectly balanced. It was delight to watch Stuart challenge and pass those ahead using the outside line. Boyd, Bowring, Goodswen and Murphy were picked off lap after lap and his third place was considered the drive of the night.

    HEAT ONE RESULT: 198, 911, 924, 72, 445, 101, 419, 4, 721, 44

    Heat two was a race of a similar complexion but with a refreshing result. Confidence further boosted by his early laps success in heat one, but also his annoyance at letting things slip in the final laps, #TheFamilyGuy Dave Murphy cut a fine swathe from the drop of the green. But taking full advantage of the absence of Kite with shock absorber damage as a result of his heat one spin, and Steward junior’s early laps demise thanks to a busted gearbox, #TheNorfolkBoy 72 Gary Goodswen showed greater speed in heat two and cleanly took the lead from Murphy and began to open up a significant gap. #Donut inexplicably took longer to settle into his stride in this race and ahead of him once again the 924 Pilot from Cheshire was once again proving that he was made of #TheWrightStuff! With a sweeping flamboyant style Stuart Wright once again out braked and out paced Graham Boyd and Johna Bowring before taking a sudden sweep to the inside to pass Dave Murphy. Stu’s second place was short lived however as the Double National Champion followed through before blasting past Wright thanks to his powerful Toovey engine, newer rubber, and of course a car set up to take advantage of both attributes. However, such was Goodswen’s lead that even on this occasion, the gap was to great to bridge and Andy had to give second best to a delighted #NorfolkBoy, taking a victory made all the more sweet thanks to Hot Rod Grid Girl Molly Dutton being present to issue the trophies to all CHR victors on this chilly Spring night.

    HEAT TWO RESULT: 72, 198, 924, 419, 101, 445, 121, 4, 31, 44

    Just eleven cars made it out for the 25 lap Final. One who was relieved to make it out was new CHR driver 4 Karl Jones as #Dudley had dropped his exhaust from its mountings in catching it on a pit lane pot hole! With seconds to spare Karl had successfully re-attached the exhaust and made it out just in time! Equally happy to be out was the junior duo of team Boyd. Craig had had a shocking night so far with gremlins resulting in DNFs in both heats. Kara, the #PenelopePitstop of CHR, has suffered with air in her brakes all evening and had nearly frightened herself to death on the opening lap of heat one by just avoiding running up the back of her brother’s race car!

    It was a race that ran to form. #Donut was dominant – ultimately, though he was initially involved in a warm up lap errant contact with 121 Charlie Schembri which unfortunately resulted in #TheItalianStallion retiring with damaged steering. Once racing actually commenced #Donut had to dig deep using all his guile and speed to catch #TheNorfolk Boy Gary Goodswen who had once again overhauled #TheGoodGuy 31 Steve Gooding and then Dave Murphy’s early laps lead and had built himself up quite a cushion at the head of affairs. Finally, Craig Boyd, known as #TheKartingKid due to his career of acting crew chief for career Kartists in the USA, had a ride under him that this time, although nor perfectly handling, was at least behaving. Craig did his level best to stay with #Donut but Andy’s pace was just too strong. Although successful in following Steward past 924, 101 and 419, Boyd could not match Andy’s pace, and thanks to the extra laps in a Final, Steward had to time to reel in Goodswen. Molly Dutton was on hand to present the chequered flag and trophies to three very pleased gentlemen!

    FINAL RESULT: 198, 72, 45, 419, 101, 924, 4, 445, 44

    So ended a tidy little meeting which saw Andy Steward effectively dominate proceedings again, thus benchmarking his favourite status as we go north to Lochgelly Raceway in the Kingdom of Fire in Scotland to the Scottish Open Championship on the 9th and 10th of April. Will anyone be capable of stopping in at CHR’s official Scottish debut? Be sure not to miss being there to find out!

    Rob Hughes
    CHR PR