GALLERY: Irish eyes are smiling at Foxhall Stadium’s Hot Rod World Final and Spede weekend
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Irish eyes were positively beaming as the bridesmaid finally took centre stage in an incident-packed 75-lap drama, at the National Hot Rod World Final and Spede weekend, held at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich.
Shane Murphy was the man in question, tasting an emotional victory yesterday.
Meanwhile, Suffolk hopes of retaining the title were shattered as early as turn two. Defending champion, Chris Haird, was launched up and out on the inner kerb, and Danny Fiske, of Diss, was later squeezed terminally into the back straight armco.
Debutant Paul Frost (Woodbridge) retired early on, so that left Shaun Taylor, of Leiston, to fight a lone battle.
Frost proudly finished 16th – his best yet – despite a four-abreast squeeze that put him on the shale.
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There was plenty to thrill a large crowd as drama unfolded right from the off with Billy Wood spinning on the opening lap to signal the first of three restarts.
Pole sitter Murphy – three times runner-up no less – looked likely to command the race throughout until yet another race stoppage.
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Thankfully a fire in the engine for Dutchman John van der Bosch looked worse than it was.
Before the cars got away again, former champion John Christie pulled up, while Bradley Dynes showed his displeasure in no uncertain terms for a deliberate contact incident.
With light rain falling, Murphy led them away very tentatively whereas Bell grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck. He took the outside line and was away within just over a lap.
At this point, Murphy seemed destined again for another consolation bouquet.
With the threat of further rain seemingly passed, the Southern Irish driver rapidly reeled Bell in and by half-way was right on his tail.
Moments earlier, English points winner Kym Weaver pulled up in a cloud of smoke, going the same way as the chances of his fellow countryman.
Seizing a small inside gap, Murphy was through and he never looked back. He quickly pulled away from Bell, the 2012 champion.
With six laps to go, Andrew Murray muscled past Bell with another driver from across the water, Adam Maxwell, making it a clean sweep for the delighted visitors.
Commenting on his hugely popular win, the likeable and modest Murphy was still trying to take it all in: “It’s absolutely unreal. I wasn’t prepared to be second again this year though!” said Murphy.
In another Irish masterclass, Scott Cochrane totally dominated the Lightning Rod World title race, having secured pole after two reverse grid qualifying heats.
Thrills and spills abounded throughout a thrilling 35-race weekend.
With a number of breath-taking finishes, one of the races of the weekend saw Adam Hylands controversially denied a place on the Hot Rod world grid.
His daring tussle with Mark Heatrick and subsequent outside pass in the Wild Card race seemed to have just been enough, but not according to officials.
Locally, Terry Lawrence, of Stowmarket, won the Superstox Eaton Family Trophy and was looking good in the National title race too, until being spun.
Alex Meadows, from Woodbridge, finished third, while Darryl Gilder (Ipswich) took second in the Historic Stock Cars final.
Will Morphey (Peasenhall) and his Uncle, Luke, had a great scrap with Curtis Tebbenham in the entertaining 1300cc Stock Cars. Morphey had the last laugh by taking third in the Supreme title race.