Annual Spedeworth Motorsports SpedeWeekend, featuring Hot Rod World Champs, returns to Ipswich’s Foxhall Stadium

Ready for the start: The cars lined up in front of a large crowd ahead of the National Hot Rod World

Ready for the start: The cars lined up in front of a large crowd ahead of the National Hot Rod World Championship race at the 44th Annual SpedeWeekend at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 28 June 2015. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The draw of high action, high speed motorsport will be bringing fans of oval motorsport to Foxhall Stadium this weekend for the 45th annual SpedeWeekend.

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which wil

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which will be held at the stadium. - Credit: Archant

And the showpiece of the occasion is, as always, the running of the National Hot Rods World Championship.

With 34 drivers ready to battle it out over 75 laps, one more wildcard entry to come and action from other formula also on the bill, the excitement had already started to build when Spedeworth Motorsports held its press day on June 17.

Entries from across Britain and Ireland, along with Germany and the Netherlands, will take to the track for the National Hot Rod showpiece – including some of Suffolk’s home grown talent.

As part of the day reporter Edmund Crosthwaite was given a blast round the track in a race-ready hot rod with a professional driver.

Unfortunately a sudden thunderstorm saw speeds reduced and both driver and passenger soaked – see the video below.

Aaron Dew grew up in Needham Market and has just finished his first full season in the sport.

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“I’ve been doing it for about 16 months now,” he said in between taking to the track on the press day. “My dad used to race about 10 years ago. Before that I used to do karting.

“After about six years of that I came out of that and fancied having a go at what my dad used to do.”

The 24-year-old finished 12th after the 14 rounds of the English World Series and comes into the SpedeWeekend buoyed by a good run-in.

“The end of the year went a lot better, I had a bit of trouble half-way through the year. But by the end of the year the car was going really well.

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which wil

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which will be held at the stadium. Local driver Aaron Dew. - Credit: Archant

“It’s hard coming from karting into this, it’s totally different. But we made a change to the car over winter and that suited me a lot better as well. Since then we’ve really pushed on.”

A top 10 finish is the aim for Dew (besides finishing, he added), who is looking forward to taking advantage of the large Foxhall track

“The good thing here is when the track’s clean and not dusty there’s an outside line and you can really race,” he said. “It makes it a lot better and there’s a lot more racing.”

Also gearing up to race at his home track is Shaun Taylor. The 36-year-old is from Peasenhall and has been racing for 15 years, the last five-and-a-half of which have been in National Hot Rods.

“This is the best track we go to, and being local as well it’s my favourite track,” he enthused. “This is definitely the best track for overtaking and to see them at their best.

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which wil

Press day at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, to launch the National Hot Rod World Championship which will be held at the stadium. Shaun Taylor from Peasenhall. - Credit: Archant

“Hot rods are the pinnacle of what we do here on the short ovals. When we’re here we get lots of family and friends come to watch. You raise your game when it’s local.”

Taylor finished the season in 16th, citing a gearbox problem and having to miss out a round as factors in this having been in the top 10 earlier in the season.

But he added the World Championships require a different mentality to the main season.

“You have to prepare for it in a different way because the race is a lot longer than we’re used to.

“You have to look at things in a different way, different set up, and it’s a 75 lap race instead of 25, so you have to set your mindset, the way you race, differently because you can’t win it in the first couple of laps.

“If you go hell for leather the whole race you’ll soon wear your tyres out. You have to be a bit tactical about it.

“You can certainly lose it in the first couple of laps.”

The National Hot Rods are not the only attraction during the weekend, with two full days of racing lined up for spectators.

Lightning Rods, National Micro Bangers, Classic Hot Rods and Ninja Karts are also on the bill, the wide variety of cars and racing hoping to attract visitors of all ages.

Dean Cox, who is in charge of publicity for Spedeworth, said attracting the family market was key for Foxhall, with big events like the SpedeWeekend helping to create a new generation of oval motorsport fans.

“We put a great deal of effort into entertaining family,” he explained. “We make sure we entertain families when they come here for our regular Saturday night race meetings. We’re finding we’re getting more and more new people coming all the time.”

About the National Hot Rod World Championships he added: “It’s our 44th running of the event. It gets bigger and bigger every year.

“I would say this is probably one of the most competitive and wide open World Championships ever this year.

“The English series alone went to 14 rounds up and down the country and it was decided at the very last round here at Ipswich, in the last race, on the last lap, and it was won by one inch, so that just goes to show how competitive the sport is right now and we’re very proud to have the World Championships back here.

“It’s our jewel in the crown. It’s a major international event.”

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