Suffolk’s Chris Haird wins third world hot rods title at a thrilling Spedeweekend
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Suffolk’s Chris Haird made it a hat-trick of world hot rod titles as Foxhall Stadium hosted a memorable Spedeweekend.
From the lap times, both top grid positions for the 45th National Hot Rods Championship of the World were occupied by Newmarket’s Haird and Scotland’s Rob McDonald respectively with the first few rows occupied by European champion Carl Waller–Barrett and defending world champion Ulster’s Adam Maxwell, making it a cosmopolitan look at the head of the grid.
Surprisingly the anticipated clash never came and eyebrows were raised on the warm up laps initially when McDonald fell way back down the grid.
This was later diagnosed as a goggles problem but almost immediately from the start, Haird was able to stamp his authority on the race with little resistance from the usually very quick McDonald.
Norfolk’s Waller–Barrett settled in third but soon looked to not have the speed to catch the two leaders either whilst Southern Ireland’s David Casey appeared to be the strongest from the front rows to make an impression on the leaders. By mid-race, Haird had well and truly stamped his authority, whilst McDonald fell further and further back as did Waller–Barrett with only Casey really making a fight of things.
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The inevitable charge from Casey finally bared fruit as he rounded Waller–Barrett and then finally McDonald who could offer no resistance.
Haird continued on his way and although Casey began to close a little, the result was never in doubt as Haird crossed under the chequered flags to take a popular victory and the world championship for a third time in his racing career.
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With the grid established on Saturday, the programme of racing opened at midday with qualifying for all competing Formulas in readiness for further 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. It was a surprise victory to Holland’s Joep Brewers who hadn’t raced at Foxhall since the early 1990’s and led home Ben Marjoram and Sam Reed respectively.
The Bangers North v South Team Event had two rounds and a Grand Final and many battles throughout the day but at the close, it was the popular Southern Team who went on to take the result.
The Classic Hot Rods competed in qualifying races with their headline event the 2017 National Championship. It was to be one of the races of the day with a lot of action with Craig Boyd eventually taking the win from Gary Goodswen and Tick Steward.
The National Hot Rods Wildcard Final saw another tough fought race, but at the end of it, Northern Ireland’s Adam Hylands came through to take the win and book his place at the rear of the grid for the big race.
To bring to a close Saturday’s championships, the 2017 Lightning Rod World Championship was staged with the win going to Aaron Stewart, from Euro Champ Roger Dormer and Ben Murray.
One of the most anticipated races of Spedeweekend was the 1300 Stock Car Supreme Championship which proved to be a barnstormer of a race to entertain the large crowd before Ben White took the win from Norfolk’s Diggy Smith and Steven Carter third.
The 2.0Ltr Hot Rods were competing in their 2017 National Championship and this was a fantastic action-packed race with Scotland’s Willie Hardy taking a the win from Northern Ireland’s Adam Best and current world champion Dan Smith third.
The Championships kept coming with the Stock Rods European with Scotland’s Chris Lattka leading from the off to win from fellow Scot Jonathan Lattka and Northern Ireland’s Bobby Johnston.
The National Hot Rod Nick Thomas Memorial had to be the race of the weekend with winner John Christie, in the oldest car on the grid rounding everyone on the outside to take a very popular win from Southwold’s Gavin Murray and new champ Haird.
To complete the weekend’s action, the Superstox National Championship saw a dominant win from Randall Lynn from Nick Roots and Ben Marjoram to bring down the curtain on one of the most exciting Spedeweekends in the modern era.