No contact but hot rods burn up track
MOTOR SPORT: Motor sport at Foxhall Stadium is not just about a lot of bashing and crashing around.This year has seen an increasing number of non-contact meetings, all of which have been well supported by drivers and crowd.
MOTOR sport at Foxhall Stadium is not just about a lot of bashing and crashing around.
This year has seen an increasing number of non-contact meetings, all of which have been well supported by drivers and crowd.
The latest offering was another of those speed specials, and for those who prefer this type of racing, it produced 11 evenly contested races with three of the closest finals seen anywhere this year.
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The National Hot Rods were top of the bill, setting out on round two of the 2003 World Championship Qualifying Series. The event attracted 33 of the high-priced, high-performance cars.
Scotland's James Jamieson had his first ever win in heat one with his second following shortly after when he also won his second heat, while King's Lynn star John Engledow won both his heats as well.
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Something had to give in the final, and it was Jamieson who did, going from first to last of the 30 cars within a few laps while, up front, Engledow began building another big lead.
However, this got whittled down to hardly anything over the second half of the race, but he held on to take the win from Framlingham's Keith Woods and the Portsmouth driver Mark Paffey.
All the races, but particularly the final, were run at great speed, with lap times way in excess of last month's World Championship race, but amazingly, there were no major incidents other than the odd collision.
Although somewhat slower, the two litre hot rods were also getting round at a very respectable speed for round six of their Masters Series. This formula is always going to be overshadowed by the National Class but their final was the one that really got the crowd buzzing and produced a standing ovation for the top three.
Young Sammy Shuddall took an early lead but the big names from the back of the grid were closing in as the race reached half distance.
Former world champion Dave Longhurst took to the outside of Shuddall while the next three tucked in behind the pair of them. Amazingly, it stayed like this for the entire second half of the race – Longhurst couldn't get past the new boy who was still inches ahead of him as they crossed the line side by side after 35 laps with the next three still on their back bumpers.
The Legends, based on classic American cars of the 1930s and '40s, created such a good impression on their first visit to Foxhall that the promoters are anxiously scanning the fixture lists to see if another date can be found.
Seventeen of them was a very reasonable turnout with all three races changing hands on the last lap. Former Ministox racer Daniel Rutterford from Wisbech was the star of the night, his win in the final being no more than he deserved after two spirited drives in the heats where he made second and fourth.
It looked as if the final might get away as well as he was only third as they started the last lap, but one big effort saw him take the flag in another race where the top four were separated by only a matter of inches.
Results from Foxhall
National Hot Rods
Heat One: 1 James Jamieson (Scotland), 2 Keith Woods (Framlingham), 3 Nigel Pike (Somerset).
Heat Two: 1 John Engledow (King's Lynn), 2 Dick Hillard (Wisbech), 3 Billy Bonnar (Scotland).
Heat Three: 1 Engledow, 2 Pike, 3 Jock Burgoyne (Scotland).
Heat Four: 1 Jamieson, 2 Mark Paffey (Portsmouth), 3 Bonnar.
Final: 1 Engledow, 2 Woods, 3 Paffey.
2 Litre Hot Rods
Heat One: 1 Andy Sturt (Leatherhead), 2 Sammy Shuddall (Hayes), 3 Alan Burksfield (Hayes).
Heat Two: 1 Stuart McLaird (St Albans), 2 Burksfield, 3 Shuddall.
Final: 1 Shuddall, 2 Dave Longhurst (Worthing), 3 Sturt.
Heat One: 1 Steve Dakin (Blackpool), 2 Daniel Rutterford (Wisbech), 3 Ian Hales (Thetford).
Heat Two: 1 Brian Barlow (Nottingham), 2 Dakin, 3 Craig Phillips (Birmingham).
Final: 1 Rutterford, 2 Hales, Dakin.