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Packed meeting produces excitement

PUBLISHED: 23:17 01 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2010

MOTOR SPORT: Although an All Rod meeting, there was certainly no shortage of incidents, or cars, at Foxhall Stadium Motorsport meeting on Saturday. Oval racing top saloon car formula, the National Hot Rods, were here for round 13 of the World Championship qualifying series, bringing around 30 of the countries leading names to Foxhall for some superb high speed racing in their state of the art cars, which can cost anything up to £20,000 each.

ALTHOUGH an All Rod meeting, there was certainly no shortage of incidents, or cars, at Foxhall Stadium Motorsport meeting on Saturday. Oval racing top saloon car formula, the National Hot Rods, were here for round 13 of the World Championship qualifying series, bringing around 30 of the countries leading names to Foxhall for some superb high speed racing in their state of the art cars, which can cost anything up to £20,000 each. World Champion John Steward from Kent was the star of the night with two very good heat results in his Vauxhall Corsa, despite having to start at the back of the grid, and might well have finished higher than seventh in the Final is the race hadn't been cut short to help Colin Smith from his car when he hit the safety wall very hard after a collision with Colin Gomm. Gomm would almost certainly have won the race, being the only driver out there to take a gamble on a mix of wet and slick tyres, the slight drizzle at the start of the race soon turning into rather heavier rain which made the going very slippery indeed for the rest of them. Ipswich star Carl Boardley, who started the night sixth in the World Series, really needed to score well to get himself back in the elite top four – second in his first heat was a good start, and he was on course for at least as good again in his second heat but blew a diff on his Peugeot 206 going into the final bend, thus ruining all his hard work over the preceding 25 laps.

Their less powerful (and less expensive) cousins, the two litre Hot Rods, also fielded 30 cars, and turned in one of their best ever Foxhall displays. Hampshire's Steven Spiers, who had a win at Wimbledon the previous week in his well turned out Clio, followed that up with his first Ipswich win in their opening heat, and then had heat two as well, although this was a bit closer than the first one, as the top four crossed the line virtually side by side. Andy Sturt, whose new and rather radical Renault has taken the formula by storm this year, winning three finals in the last five, eventually took over from Spiers to lead this final as well, and although he could never break clear of the chasing pack, always looked as though he had things under control until he collided with Neil Dunne as he went to lap him during the later stages of the race. European champion Mark Boulden took up the running, but World Champion Dave Longhurst hounded him all the way, eventually getting past with about five laps to go. Boulden kept him in his sight for the remainder of the race but then found himself having to fend off young Steve Thompson who finished very strongly in his Fiesta.

The 1400cc Stock Rods completed the bill, the 41 car entry being the biggest seen at any track anywhere in the country so far this year. Newcomer Mark Steele was the star of the show, winning both his heats and the Final for a very impressive debut meeting. The Final was easily his best win, as there were a couple of stoppages to retrieve crashed cars, all of which could easily have upset his rhythm and concentration. There wasn't too much local success on the night, but Bury's Rob Sore had a race win, while Andy Jones did well to make second in that very competitive final.

Results

National Hot Rods

Heat 1: 1 Mick Robertson (Slough), 2 Steve Skitmore (Attleborough), 3 John Steward (Paddock Wood).

Heat 2: 1 Mark Paffey (Portsmouth), 2 Carl Boardley (Ipswich), 3 Malcolm Blackman (Bucks).

Heat 3: 1 Adam Scott (Paddock Wood), 2 Colin Smith (Southend), 3 Blackman.

Heat 4: 1 Steward, 2 Colin Comm (Chesham) 3 Dave Longhurst (Worthing).

Final: 1 Paffey, 2 Chris Kew (Oxford) 3 Gomm.

Two Litre Hot Rods

Heat 1: 1 Steve Spiers (Yateley), 2 Andy Sturt (Leatherhead), 3 Steve Thompson (Scunthorpe).

Heat 2: 1 Spiers, Mark Boulden (Aldershot), 3 Sturt.

Final: 1 Dave Longhurst (Worthing), 2 Boulden, 3 Thompson.

Stock Rods

Heat 1: 1 Mark Steele (March), 2 Andy Jones (Bury St Edmunds), 3 Jon Evans (Saffron Walden).

Heat 2: 1 Rob Sore (Bury St Edmunds), 2 Brian Smith (Hayes), 3 Graham Moreton (Farnborough).

Heat 3: 1 Steele, 2 Evans, 3 Moreton.

Final: 1 Steele, 2 Jones, 3 Moreton.


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