Hot Rods (oval racing)

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Hot Rods or simply Rods refer to a number of British oval racing formula (not to be confused with hot rods, which are generally road-going modified vintage cars). Hot Rods were introduced at Hednesford Hills Raceway in the early 1960s as a British counterpart to NASCAR-style production car racing. The term 'stock car' was not adopted because it was already in use for a form of oval racing in Britain that had evolved in a very different way than American stock cars. In south west England, hot rod racing evolved from a class known as sports and production car racing, introduced at tracks such as Plymouth and St Austell in the 1950s. Hot Rod racing rules vary depending on promoters, of which there are many, but almost all are based on European or Japanese hot hatches and race on tarmac 1/4 mile ovals with deliberate contact banned, although accidents are common due to the large number of cars within a tight environment. The fastest and most expensive Rod formula are the National Hot Rods (not to be confused with the National Hot Rod Association) which utilise tube chassis, kevlar bodies and highly tuned 2 litre straight-4 engines. Hot Rod formulas also race in Ireland, continental Europe and South Africa. They have similarities with some of the more sophisticated mini-stock divisions in the USA. The World Championship for the National Hot Rods is staged at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich in the first weekend of July each year. The 2 Litre Hot Rods are the next class down; their World Championship is held at various tracks in England, every third year at the Nutts Corner track in Northern Ireland.

World Championship[edit]

First raced at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich in 1972 where the championship has remained ever since. The title befitted the event for much of its early life as drivers from across the globe were invited to take part. Later years have seen the event take on a more domestic look although it includes some European and occasional South African representation.

Year Venue Winner
1981 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Toyota Starlet (Ford)
1980 Ipswich England 19 Mick Collard Ford Escort mk2
1979 Ipswich England 356 Gordon Bland Ford Escort mk2
1978 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk2
1977 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk2
1976 Ipswich England 306 George Polley Ford Anglia
1975 Ipswich England 304 Derek Fiske Ford Escort mk1
1974 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk1
1973 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk1
1972 Ipswich England 108 Bob Howe Ford Escort mk1

Numbering System[edit]

As the sport developed across the country in the 1970s there was some confusion as drivers from different regions and promoters found themselves racing with the same numbers. The National Hot Rod Promoters Association (NHRPA) decided to introduce a national numbering system to help stop confusion, this format was used up until 1989.

  • Midlands 1-299
  • Spedeworth 300-599
  • PRI 600-699
  • West Country (Autospeed) 700-799
  • Scotland 800-899
  • Northern Ireland 900-999

See also[edit]

External links[edit]