Brilliant Billy whizzes his way to National Hot Rod glory at Foxhall
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Billy Wood drove a composed and dominant few laps to take home the National Hot Rod World title at a baking Foxhall Stadium at the weekend.
The Englishman took advantage of Glenn Bell’s spin out to take the chequered flag, John Christie was second, while defending champion and Newmarket-based Chris Haird was third.
It was a terrific race in the sun and after the lap times of the previous day both P1 and P2 grid positions were occupied by Northern Ireland’s Bell and Scotland’s Rob McDonald, Wood was P4.
At the drop of the green flag, clashes appeared almost everywhere down the grid as drivers fought for position in the 75-lap final.
It came to a head on the back straight early on as the struggling Terry Hunn tried to reach the safety area but in doing so had a huge field of cars bearing down on him.
The inevitable happened and Ulster’s Gary Wolsey slammed into the rear of the Hunn car which saw half the grid with damage and the race stopped for the agreed damage repair time before a complete restart.
Upon that restart, pole sitter Bell stormed into a lead that got bigger as Wood settled into second and Christie third while Haird hunted down the leaders from his row six start.
By the two-third distance, Bell had well and truly stamped his authority on the race while Christie appeared to be preparing to make one of his classic outside passes to get past Wood when suddenly Bell slowed and then appeared to have handling issues as he fought with all he had to stay in the lead.
With what was later diagnosed as a broken throttle cable, saw Bell lose control, spinning out the lead.
But as Wood drove the last few laps to take the 2018 National Hot Rod World Title from Christie, Haird and Derek Martin, in front of thousands of cheering fans.
The weekend’s programme of racing opened at midday on Saturday with qualifying for all competing Formulas in readiness for the championships over the weekend.
The first of the large silverware to be taken was the Superstox Eaton Family Trophy, in memorial to the Spedeworth founders, with a win for Colchester’s Brett Wesbroom.
The Classic Hot Rods competed in qualifying races with their headline event the 2018 National Championship.
It was to be one of the races of the day with the return of former 70s and 80s Hot Rod superstar, Martlesham’s Nigel Murphy, returning to racing after many years away. At the flag, Scotland’s Kenny Purdie took the win in convincing style.
The National Hot Rods ‘Wildcard Final’ saw another tough race, but at the end of it, 2016 World Champ, Adam Maxwell came through to take the win and book his place at the rear of the grid for the Hot Rod final itself.
On Saturday, the 2018 2.0Ltr Hot Rod European Championship was staged under the floodlights with the win going to Northern Ireland’s Adam Hylands.
One of the most anticipated races of the weekend was the 1300 Stock Car Supreme Championship which lived up to its reputation of being a ‘barnstormer’ of a race to entertain the large crowd before it was declared that Woodbridge’s Simon Berry had taken the win in his brand-new racer.
The Championships kept coming with the Stock Rods East Anglian title going across seas to Ulster with Shane McMillan taking the win after a fast and frantic race, Lee Skoyles the Lightning Rod British. while the National Hot Rod Nick Thomas Memorial yet again proved to be one of the races of the weekend with Adam Hylands taking the coveted trophy back to Ulster.
To complete the weekend’s action, the Superstox National Championship saw a dominant win for Nick Roots, the Surry man having quite a liking for Ipswich having recently got engaged to Ipswich girl Emma Bigmore to bring down the curtain on another well attended and exciting Oval Motorsport spectacular at Foxhall.
All the results from the Spedeweekend
National Hot Rod World Championship: 1 305 Billy Wood, 2 962 John Christie, 3 115 Chris Haird
Superstox Eaton Family Trophy: 1 540 Brett Wesbroom, 2 776 Dan Roots, 3 77 Nick Roots
Superstox National Championship: 1, 77 Nick Roots, 2 566 Declan Salmon, 3 354 Jake Sturt
Lightning Rod British Championship: 1 636 Lee Skoyles, 2, 920 Tim Hazlett, 3 57 Barry Limer
Classic Hot Rods National Championship: 1, 17 Kenny Purdie, 2, 871 Graeme Callendar, 3, 72 Gary Goodswen
Stock Rod East Anglian Championship: 1 911 Shane McMillan, 2 171 Dean O’Dell, 3 25 Siobhan Martin
1300 Stock Car Supreme Championship: 1 442 Simon Berry, 2 323 Sam Rigby, 3 88 Jason Scopes
2.0 Ltr Hot Rod European Championship: 1 54 Adam Hylands, 2 43 Paul Wright.
National Hot Rods Nick Thomas Memorial: 1, 54 Adam Hylands, 2, 305 Billy Wood , 3, 199 Jamie McCurdy.