Boardley makes it three wins in a row

IPSWICH'S Carl Boardley made it a record equalling three wins in a row when he retained the National Hot Rod Championship of the World in an eventful race at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Sunday afternoon.

IPSWICH'S Carl Boardley made it a record equalling three wins in a row when he retained the National Hot Rod Championship of the World in an eventful race at the Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Sunday afternoon.

Once again, he had topped the points from the English qualifying series, so he knew that he was in the big race, and knew that he would be starting it anywhere from grid one to grid six, his actual staring position being determined by Saturday morning's lap times.

However due to the intermittent rain of Saturday these were null and void and a public draw for positions, within each group, was held. Carl was the last to draw, positions six to five had already been drawn, so he had pole position.

Thirty-two cars came to grid on Sunday with Boardley storming into an early lead. Andy Holtby was alongside but the race had hardly started when a four-car pile up at the back of the grid brought them back for a restart. Irishman Des Cooney, who had been the quickest at press day, together with Wisbech's Dick Hillard, failed to make the restart, so west countryman Ralph Sanders came in as the official reserve.


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Off they went again, but once again not for very long. Scotsman John Sibbald blew his engine on lap 10 which left the track covered in oil just as the leaders approached. Boardley did well to keep control, although some of the chasing pack spun. A brief stoppage allowed the oil to be cleared, the track cleaned and cars to rejoin before they set off again for what turned out to be the rest of the race.

As it happened, this was Boardley's most worrying moment of the race, as he quickly began to pull further and further clear. Matt Simpson was heading a train of cars fighting over second place, and while that group included Malcolm Blackman for a long time, the 2005 Champion eventually pulled out.

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With five of the 75 laps left, Boardley could afford to relax a little, the race was as good as won, and a car showing signs of sickness needed to be nursed through to the end. He still won comfortably enough, Simpson held on to second after a race-long battle with Irishman Mike Riordan who was third.

Scunthorpe's Steve Thompson, who many considered as the serious dark horse among the top English qualifiers, crossed the line in fourth place but was penalised two positions for an incident with Chris Haird, which promoted Haird, from Newmarket, up to that fourth place.

There was a minor worry for Boardley at post race scrutineering, but this was fairly quickly resolved, and with it came confirmation of his victory which equals Colin White's three in a row achieved in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Carl says that he will be back for next year's race but first of all it's a couple of weeks off, then back on the road again to start the qualifying series for that 2009 race - the defending champion does not get automatic entry.

And what of his problems in the final? “I couldn't rev to more than 6000 for the last five laps which might have been awkward if the pack had been any closer.”

And the post race scrutineering? “Nothing serious, the rules are quite strict on ride height, but we all get as near as we can to it. We are talking about a difference of one 16th of an inch between being right and being wrong but we got through ok. I knew we would, it's the same car we've used for each of the last two Worlds.”

He went on to thank his small team of helpers, who, with Carl, spend a couple of hours virtually every night in the garage working on the car. He has a new car, which he intends to develop further for the remainder of this year, although it may still be “old faithful” when he bids to make history around this time of year in 2009.

As well as his Vauxhall Tigra National Hot Rod, he also finds time to race in the American style SCSA Series and while that is having fixture difficulties this season, he still plans to get out there on the bigger circuits, without ever losing any sort of touch with his short circuit roots.

Other items of note from the big race was the customary late charge through the field by Phil Spinks who finished eighth having started 19th on the grid, and the relatively poor showings of Irish stars Gary Woolsey (11th) and John Christie (13th) who were strongly fancied to do well after their one two at the Thunder 500 meeting here a fortnight ago.

Twenty one cars finished, including the reserve Sanders who actually performed very creditably. Suffolk's other two challengers both did well considering it was their World Final debuts, Gavin Murray from Southwold finished 12th and Jamie Austin from Ipswich was 17th. Both will go forward from here with justifiably high hopes of being a little closer to Boardley next year.

The Supporting Programme

THE Two Litre Hot Rod British Championship was the second most important race of the weekend, although unlike the National Hot Rod World Final, qualifying for this race was by virtue of the heats on Saturday afternoon, followed by the Championship on Saturday evening, with the highest scorer from the heats in pole position.

As it turned out, this was a much closer race than the National Hot Rods one, with absolutely nothing between the top three from beginning to end. Wayne Woolsey from Nothern Ireland had pole, and although Malcolm Blackman and Paul Wright did everything they could to get past, they just couldn't make it stick. They both got level wity him on a couple of occasion, and even ran side by side for lap after lap before dropping back, and even though they both gave it one last go on the final lap Woolsey was still just inches ahead as the three of them flashed across the line in the tightest finish of all of the weekend's 37 races.

THE Lightning Rod European Championship was as eventful as ever - there's never a dull moment whenever the big Sierras have a major title to race for. A couple of the favourites in Colin Moss and Jason Jackson crashed out together, defending champion Stephen Emerson from Nothern Ireland (who is also the reigning World Champion) retired at around half distance when eighth and closing in on the leaders, while David Burton got disqualified for jumping one of the restarts of the race, at a time when he was fourth.

All this played nicely into the hands of young Harry Skoyles from Heacham who drove smoothly all the way through to stay clear of a thrilling battle for second, which was eventually settled in favour of Irish driver Ricky Shaw, but only by inches from Midlander Dave Leach.

THE Stock Rod European Challenge Cup was to the same format as the Two Litre Hot Rod and Lightning Rod Championships ie grid qualifying heats on Saturday, main race on Sunday.

Once again, the big Northern Ireland contingent in the crowd had much to celebrate, as Shane Murray led all the way to take a fairly comfortable win. As with many of the other races, it was fast, furious and ever changing for second, the big surprise being that England's top two of Andy Sturt and Stuart Smyth were harried out of the places by Midlander Stuart Fox and Scotsman Rob McDonald who had done an engine change overnight after blowing his normal one to pieces on Saturday.

THERE was further joy for the locals in the Superstox, where Ipswich racer Michael Walmsley took a hard fought win in the National Championship. Pip Williams, who now lives in this area after a move from Brighton last year, was a fairly close runner up, with Felsham's Gary Sparkes making third, and showing that he is still one of the best when it comes to big championships.

Not such a good weekend for several other notable names, though, with World Champion Shaun Brooker having a couple of big crashes on Saturday, and then overturning in the Championship Race, while 2006 World Champion Steven Jackson from Harleston also had a poor weekend by his standards.

THE 1300cc Stock Cars were lively all weekend, as they always are. Paul Anscombe set the standard early on Saturday with a triple roll, while subsequent races also saw several more join the “upside down club”.

Ipswich's Kevin Thurlow almost pulled off the surprise of the weekend when he led the Supreme Championships until one lap from the end when Pete Beldon got past, and although Thurlow gave it everything on the last bend, Beldon just about escaped and went on to take the win.

Thurlow's second place was his best ever result, with Eastbourne's Bobby Davis in third just ahead of World Champion Aaron Morris.

DEREHAM'S Diggy Smith won a very active Two Litre Stock Car Golden Helmet Race when he pounced on long-time leader Daniel Langley with just a couple of laps to go. Smith normally has a very busy weekend, usually racing in Lightning Rods, Hot Rods and Stock Cars, but this was his only drive this year, and he was determined that he was going to make it worthwhile. Shane Davies, who also had a good day in the Bangers, was third.

THE Historic Stock Cars rounded off a successful weekend's racing by contesting the Bob Studd Trophy, in memory of a legendary Stock Car driver from the 60's, who continued to work at the stadium for many years after hanging up his racing helmet. The cars are a mix of 60's and 70's Stock Cars, featuring such models as MG Magnetts, Mk1 Cortinas, Triumphs, Anglias, A60s and there is even a big old Vauxhall and the latest addition to the line up a 1960s Ford Classic (very rare).

They race in true Stock Car style, with plenty of pushing and shoving, and much of it was in evidence all over the weekend, particularly in the Trophy Race when only 10 of the 25 starters managed to finish. Chris Olding who has had a very successful comeback to racing took the trophy, but not by much, after a spirited challenge from former Banger racer Mark Glenister fell just a bit short.

Eastbourne's Chris Berry was third while the best that the locals could muster was fifth for Ipswich's Dave Taylor. Nick Dellar, who races an MG Magnett in Bob Studd's colours and carries his famous 499 number, failed to finish. The trophy was presented by Bob's son, Chris, who is the clerk of the course at Foxhall these days.

THE Bangers completed the bill with their best Spedeweekend performance for years. On Saturday the UK team slaughtered the Europeans to the point that our continental friends didn't have a single finisher from any of the three races but, full credit to them they put up some very gallant resistance - and certainly brought some very impressive cars with them.

If size had mattered for anything in this hard-hitting, all action affair, they might well have won some races, but the English array of Jags and Granadas were probably better prepared and better suited for the occasion.

Sunday's Banger racing was for a wild card entry into this year's World Championship, Shane Davies emerging with the prize award after two good results from a couple of races that were every bit as heavy as what had happened on Saturday.

All in all, another very successful weekend. The weather just about held, the crowd was bigger than ever, and the racing, from all the classes, made this probably one of the best weekends of recent times. Lewis Hamilton might have taken the glory at a packed house elsewhere, but this was a timely reminder that there is plenty of other motor sport going on in this country which is enjoyed by thousands - and is accessible to all.

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

National Hot Rods

Support Cars

(not World finalists)

Heat One: Mike Thurley (Thetford), 2 Tommy Maxwell (Antrim, N Ireleand), 3 Andy Steward (Gt Bromley).

Heat Two: Shane Brereton (Glastonbury), 2 James O'Shea (County Dublin), 3 Willie Hardie (Shotts, Scotland).

Heat Three: 1 O'Shea, 2 Jeff Simpson (Langley), 3 Glen Beu (Portadown, N Ireland).

2.0 Hot Rods

Heat One: 1 Micky Pagden (Lancin), 2 Gary Goodswen (Harleston), 3 Glen McDowell (N Ireland).

Heat Two: 1 Wayne Woolsey (Portadown), 2 Malcolm Blackman (Slough), 3 Davy Clarke (Portadown).

Final - British Championship: 1 Woolsey, 2 Blackman, 3 Paul Wright (Greenford).

Stock Rods

Heat One: 1 Carl Waller-Barratt (Stratton Strawless), 2 Mike Hibberd (Taunton), 3 Shane Murray (Portadown).

Heat Two: 1 Patrick Smith Jnr (High Wycombe), 2 Rob McDonald (Cowdenbeath), 3 Stuart Smyth (Umbridge).

Lightning Rods

Heat One: Dave Leach (Birmingham), 2 Mick Walker (Peterborough), 3 Harry Skoyles (Heacham).

Heat Two: 1 Terry Shelvey (Romford), 2 Jason Jackson (Dartford), 3 Ricky Shaw (Portadown).

Superstock

Heat One: 1 Jonathan Field (Peterborough), 2 Duncan Adams (Wisbech), 3 Luke Hamilton (Reading).

Heat Two: Pip Williams (Norwich), 2 Mike Walmsley (Ipswich), 3 Jason Cooper (Thetford).

1300cc Stock Cars

Heat One: 1 Pete Beldon (Floods Ferry), 2 Darren McAlpine (Kelty, Scotland), 3 Joey Collins (Portsmouth).

Heat Two: 1 Jody Bryant (Bristol), 2 Carl Annison (Norwich), 3 Collins.

Heat Three: McAlpine, 2 Mark Johnson (Burgess Hill), 3 Freddie Kinsella (Chertsey).

2.0 Stock Cars

Heat One: 1 Freddie Kinsella (Chertsey), 2 Daniel Langley (Sutton), 3 Shane Davies (Northfleet).

Heat Two: Scott Henby (Horley), 2 George Draper (Brighton), 3 Davies.

Historic Stock Cars

Heat One: 1 Chris Berry (Eastbourne), 2 Chris Olding (Hayes), 3 Mark Glenister (Halesham).

Heat Two: 1 Lee Martin (Eastbourne), 2 Olding, 3 Bob Davis (Eastbourne).

National Bangers

Heat One: 1 Matty Threlkald (Cowdenbeath, Scotland), 2 Lee Hughes (Ashford), 3 Jason Jackson (Dartford).

Heat Two: 1 Threlkeld, 2 Jackson, 3 Shaun Rushton (Birmingham).

Final: 1 Steve Nelson (Birmingham), 2 Threlkeld, 3 Jimmy Randall (Romford).

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

National Hot Rods World Championship

Final: 1 Carl Boardley (Ipswich), 2 Matt Simpson (Langley), 3 Mike Riordan (County Cork), 4 Chris Haird (Newmarket), 5 Andy Holtby (Lincoln), 6 Steve Thompson (Scunthorpe).

National Hot Rods Support Cars

Final: 1 Neil Stimson (Peterborough), 2 Jeff Simpson (Langley), 3 Shane Brereton (Glastonbury).

Allcomers: 1 Glen Bell (Portadown), 2 Ian Grayson (Stoke), 3 Richard Smith (Billericay).

Two Litre Hot Rods

British Final Revenge: 1 Kym Weaver (Halesham), 2 Jason Kew (Oxford), 3 Scott Bourne (Worthing).

Stock Rods

Final - European Challenge Cup: 1 Shane Murray (Randalstown, N Ireland), 2 Stuart Fox (Birmingham), 3 Rob McDonald (Cowdenbeath).

Lightning Rods

Final - European Championship: 1 Harry Skoyles (Heacham), 2 Ricky Shaw (Portadown), 3 Dave Leach (Birmingham).

Superstox

Heat Three: 1 Ryan Eaton (Reading), 2 Stephen Jackson (Harleston), 3 John Saunders (Reading).

Final - National Championship: 1 Mike Walmsley (Ipswich), 2 Pip Williams (Norwich), 3 Gary Sparkes (Felsham).

1300cc Stock Cars

Final - Supreme Championship: 1 Pete Beldom (Floods Ferry), 2 Kevin Thurlow (Ipswich), 3 Bobby Davis (Eastbourne).

Two Litre Stock Cars

Final - Golden Helmet Race: 1 Diggy Smith (Dereham), 2 Daniel Langley (Sutton), 3 Shane Davies (Northfleet).

Historic Stock Cars

Final - Bob Studd Trophy: 1 Chris Olding (Hayes), 2 Mark Glenister (Halesham), 3 Chris Berry (Eastbourne).

National Bangers

World Championship Wild Card

Race One: 1 Carl Gould (Norwich), 2 Shane Davies (Northfleet), 3 Alan Hunt (Reading).

Race Two: 1 Andy Davies (Northfleet), 2 Shane Davies, 3 Hunt.

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