Carl's driving ambition

SUFFOLK driver Carl Boardley expects to become world hot rod champion over the weekend.Boardley, from Ipswich, is one of the favourites in the annual event held at Foxhall Stadium and is hoping to win the ultimate prize in this sport at only his third attempt.

SUFFOLK driver Carl Boardley expects to become world hot rod champion over the weekend.

Boardley, from Ipswich, is one of the favourites in the annual event held at Foxhall stadium and is hoping to win the ultimate prize in this sport at only his third attempt.

He finished fourth in this race two years ago and came fifth, despite suffering a puncture, last year. He is confident this could be his year despite no one from the Ipswich area ever winning the race.

"We are a little surprised at how quickly we have progressed," said Boardley. "We surpassed all our hopes in the first year and last year was a bit of a disappointment coming fifth, but that was down to other circumstances really. We have put in a bit of investment in this year so I think our expectations are to win it.

"Three of four years ago I wouldn't have thought I would have been driving these cars let alone racing in a world race. As you get there and make progress you look for further aims and that is definitely one we have got. Hopefully I am going to realize my ambition on Sunday afternoon."

Boardley has qualified for the event in third place and due to the grouping system this means he is guaranteed a place in one of the first three rows each containing two cars.

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He said: "I think we have as good a chance as anybody. We are starting fairly near the front and hopefully I can put the car on the front row. It is a long way, 75 laps, but you never know, the car has done 75 laps for me before and won for me so hopefully we will do it again. The car I have got underneath me is better than last year and it was only about four months old then.

Since last year's event Boardley has won the National Championship at Hednesford and feels his car is better equipped this time around.

"We have got a few more laps under the car now and changed things so it is as I want it and hopefully it will do the business. At the end of last year the car wasn't over special so over the winter we took it apart and chopped bits off here, there and everywhere and started again."

Carl says he was lucky to finish the race last year after suffering a puncture and last year's winner John Steward sees Boardley as one of the main threats to his title.

"Carl is a quick driver and if he gets his car to do a full 75 laps as well as he starts the race then he will definitely be there at the end," said Steward. "I'm not saying he will definitely beat me but he will be there or there abouts."

Boardley stood on the Foxhall terraces as a youngster and is ready to take on a starring role instead of watching from the sides.

"My dad used to bring me up to Foxhall to watch motor racing about ten to 15 years ago. It's one of those dreams you have when you are younger that you could do that when you are older. Well we finally got the money together to do it, went for it and here we are. Hot rod racing seems to be getting better and better all the time with more people coming to watch, race and be involved in the sport.

"Ten years ago I suppose everyone was frightened off by the price of the formula. Certainly they are not cheap to run now (he predicts it costs about £12,000 to £15,000 to run for one season) but I haven't found it as bad as what everybody told it would be.

One factor that could deny Boardley victory on Sunday is the weather after he admitted that the car 'was not overly clever' in wet conditions.

He said: "In the rain you have to have your wits about you as to what lines to go for. Here the only real line to go for in the wet is right round the outside where in the dry you are looking for the complete opposite."

" Hot rod racing is good fun and an enjoyable day out. It takes away the pressures of work sometimes, there is a definite reward and there is no other feeling than being out there."

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