Stock car racing in the United Kingdom
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2014)|
Stock car racing in the United Kingdom covers a number of different oval racing formulas. Unlike the USA, contact is allowed in UK stock car racing, that is, if you are unable to pass an opponent using speed alone, you are allowed to push or hit your opponent in order to pass. The degree of contact allowed varies between categories.
Stock car racing was brought to Britain in 1954. Taking place on existing greyhound or speedway tracks, the cars were mostly road cars from the 1930s with locked rear axle differentials and added armour for contact racing. After the first couple of years custom-built cars began to appear eventually making the 'stock' car name something of a misnomer. Since the early days of stock car racing in Britain the sport has developed into many different classes. In addition, non-contact oval racing became known as Hot Rods, while the original kind of armoured road car used in the 1950s developed into saloon stock cars and unarmoured cars raced in full contact banger racing.
Stock car formulas
Stock car formulas are largely split into two organisations broadly based in the north and south, BriSCA and Spedeworth.
BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars is the most sophisticated stock car formula, with a race-tuned V8 engine developing 650 bhp, quick-change axles and gearboxes and staggered chassis and braking setups for constant left turning. Large bumpers are mandatory and contact is encouraged to remove opponents. Smaller BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars, previously known as 'Junior Stock Cars', is also very popular. A downsized version of the Formula 1 Stock Car, these cars are powered by a 2-litre Ford engine. V8 Hotstox is a third BriSCA formula that uses the Rover V8 engine.
Licensed and promoted by Spedeworth are Spedeworth Superstox. Superstox are similar to BriSCA Formula 2 Stock Cars with the main visual difference being a smaller wing on the roof. These cars are also powered by the 2-litre Ford Pinto engine. Spedeworth V8 Stock Cars are similar to Brisca Hotstox and use small-block 5-litre Chevrolet engines.
Stoxkarts are the smallest and probably the cheapest formula, running 13 hp Honda engines. This formula is one of the only where more than one driver can use the same car in the same meeting.
Also at the budget end of the racing spectrum is the rapidly growing Modstox formula. Visually similar to Formula 2 and Superstox, the formula is limited to the 850cc Reliant engine with other prescribed budget components, making it an ideal starter or "last chance" formula!
Rebels are a one-make purpose built formula also using the 850cc reliant engine in slightly modified form, in steel chassis with "retro" plastic panels designed to give the look of a scaled down post-war Ford Popular.
Another form of UK stock car racing is National Saloon Stock Cars, regulated by the Saloon Stock Car Association. This formula is based on heavily armoured Ford Sierra, Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra cars purposely reconstructed for this full contact class. Other similar formulas are Spedeworth 2 Litre Stock Cars, Spedeworth 1300 Stock Cars and Ministox.
Together with the Ministox, there are several formulae that cater for juniors (under 16 years old) being Junior Stoxkarts, Junior Bangers, Junior Rods, Jascars, Ninja Karts and Micro F2 allow youngsters to compete in a controlled environment (although Stoxkarts can be shared by two drivers at the same meeting with one racing in the juniors the other in the seniors).
Hot Rods are a non-contact formula where the vehicles are based on road cars, or resemble road cars. The concept for the National series is similar to that of NASCAR. The NHRPA cars resemble production cars, but are in fact purpose built space frame chassis with a Kevlar body which mimics a production car. Other Hot Rod categories do make use of standard production body/chassis.
Classes include;- National Hot Rods, 2 litre Hot Rods, Stock Rods, Lightning Rods, Rookie Rods, Junior Rods, MASCAR Other non-contact categories which might be included as Hot Rod classes are Legends, Midgets
Bangers are production cars that are raced with modifications for safety, e.g. drivers doors are reinforced, roll over bars are added, windscreens are removed etc. The racing is full contact and very aggressive with 'wrecking' usually playing a more important role than 'racing'. That said this is not a Destruction Derby, although many banger meetings do end with one.
Classes include;- National Bangers, 2 Litre Bangers, Rookie Bangers