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Old 24 Mar 2003, 09:18   #1
Hog
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Hog should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Ipswich Stock Rod / Stock Hatch Challenge

Well Saturday night saw the return leg of the challenge, and I was lucky enough to grab a lift with a mate of mine, Stuart Emery car 638.

Congratulations to Rod and Sue Birley for their efforts in organising this event,

But......

What a complete and utter waste of an event thanks to the biased views of Spedeworth. Not only do we have to reshell the car in time for Lydden, but no action was taken against the drivers.

Let me explain.

Heat 1 - First corner, 3 cars spin and my mate loses a front wing. Fair enough - **** happens.

On the restart, Stuart gets a good run on the leading Stock Rod into the second corner. Leading Stock Rod driver loses control and starts spinning towards the infield. Stuart goes to his left to go round the back of the leader, and the Rod driver in 3rd place takes this opportunity to spear Stuart straight into the wall where he gets pummelled by the pack. Thankfully no-one was hurt, but we got the car dragged back to the pits where thanks to a demon effort by Stuart, his brother Andy (and a little help from me), we got the rad changed, all the beaten panels clear of the wheels, and refettled in time for his second heat.

Heat 2 - By the time Stuart had been spun out for the second time, I made my way to race control to remonstrate with the race director. We both looked at the video footage - and I left by telling him that he must have been watching a different f***ing race if he thought the Stock Rod drivers weren't deliberately hooking out the Stock Hatches. "He left a gap and then tried to close it" "No you moron. He got hit on the right rear wheel and was turned sharp right by the impact".

Okay - we knew that there was a risk of damage on the oval - and God knows Stuart wasn't the only one to suffer. But the complete and utter biased views form Spedeworth we a joke. When I was up in the race box we watched footage of another driver being spun out by a Rod. The penalty? Docked 1 place - what a joke. And what about the commentators? How biased were they? All night long all we heard was how the Rods were wiping the floor with the Hatches. Not once was any mention made of the first leg at Lydden where the Rods got shown the way home. And what about the starts? Perhaps jump start beams should be utilised to stop the Rod drivers cheating by creeping round the track before the lights have gone green.

Sorry Rod and Sue if you think I'm slating the event and your efforts. I'm not. I'm just ****ed off at the lack of action by Spedeworth to penalise the poor driving (of their own Rods).

2 final footnotes before I go and have a lie down.

If anyone knows where we can pick up a cheap 205 bodyshell in the South East area, please email me at dandrews@mjallen.co.uk.
Secondly - well done to Jim Cooke for not letting one particular rod driver get to him, and giving a bit back in the process.

Last edited by Hog; 24 Mar 2003 at 09:20.
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Old 24 Mar 2003, 14:33   #2
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BertMk2 has a real shot at the podium!BertMk2 has a real shot at the podium!BertMk2 has a real shot at the podium!BertMk2 has a real shot at the podium!
I saw the first leg at Lydden and I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with the driving standards of the stock rod drivers at that event. It seems that contact is seen as acceptable (and even necessary) whereas I was under the impression that it was supposed to be non-contact (I realise that contact is often unavoidable but it seemed that at times no effort was being made to avoid contact occuring).

Not only is it poor from a sporting point of view but I would imagine that several of the stock hatch drivers have suffered damage that will be expensive to repair and this is supposed to be the 'budget' end of the sport.

Whilst the stock rod vs stock hatch thing may seem like a good idea on paper I'm not sure it works on track where there appear to be very differing views on what is acceptable.
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Old 24 Mar 2003, 14:40   #3
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Thanks for your view Bert - it looks like you hold the same opinion as me. I think I've sourced a shell down in Brighton, but it leaves us only 3 weeks of spare time in between jobs and families to get a new car up and running for Lydden. Don't be surprised if car 638 looks a tad rough on April 21st......
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Old 25 Mar 2003, 09:59   #4
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Part of the problem was the grids where the cars were too close together. This was probably my fault. When it became obvious that the hatches were not getting off the line as quick as the rods, then we spaced them out a lot more. I think the finals showed how it could/should have been done.
I spoke to Roy Eaton at some length and he was also concerned about the contact and hoped that the hatch guys would not be put off. He has offered to send some extra prizes to everyone. We have learnt lessons, hopefully not at the expense to too many drivers. Interestingly, Roy Gravestock finished third overall over the two legs and thoroughly enjoyed himself as did Julian Godfrey who almost won the A final. I thought Stuart Emery showed great character and he should have won the B final, but he genuinely won the best stock hatch performance on the night. The crowd on the night was about 3000 and they did give the hatch boys a good reception on the lap of honour...it was a pity Arthur Debenham could not be their to "support" the rallycrossers and give some of his banter.The programme and Short Circuit magazine gave us good publicity and two of the so called lesser formule did get some limelight, as shown in lasts weeks Motorsport News. The whole idea was to promote something different and try to get a new concept going. The mistakes will be discussed and as I said lessons have been learnt. Finally a big thank you to everyone involved especially the drivers and teams. (p.s. at least the entry fee was only 15)
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Old 25 Mar 2003, 10:19   #5
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Well said Rod. I don't like to put a dampener on things normally - but then again I don't like to see these guys on a budget getting pummelled into the wall at every available opportunity. I feel vindicated now that I wasn't the only one concerned with the unneccesary contact - and that my trip to the race control box was justified.

I don't think that the grids were too close together was your fault. It's no-one's fault as such - it's all part of the learning process. We all learn by experience - I hope that lessons were learned and the next time this event is staged systems can be implemented to even out the racing. I look forward genuinely to the next time "something different" can be staged.

Had you considered contacting Incarace so a leg could be held at Hednesford Hills Raceway? I know it's a bit of a slog up North, but it's one quick oval, with banked corners, so the camber issue wouldn't be so great.

Roll on April 21st so we can get back to some clean close fought action.
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Old 26 Mar 2003, 18:54   #6
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chunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I think the words Stock Hatch on a budget are gone mate. I looked into it last year and got very scared just from the costs of the body panels I would have to buy.
Also fair play to the Stock Rod guys. I hail from the world of short oval racing after having been brought up on rallycross at its peak and you have tto remember that stock rods are only 1300 and not at all designed to go round two different types of corner. Ok they are tuned but they pummeled the Stock Hatch guys on their own ground as I thought they would.
Tell you what would be good and that would be to get the 750MC cars along a few times and oour lot have a go at a 750 meet at Lydden
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Old 27 Mar 2003, 08:54   #7
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"Budget" is a loose term - compared to other classes of rallycross they are cheap to run. I thought the rods were 1400cc? I may be wrong. Yes they did pummel the rallycross guys on home turf, but pummeling them into the wall or across the infield just isn't on. And they did get beaten at Lydden, but no mention was made of that fact at Ipswich. I do agree though that the 750MC challenge would be a good idea.
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Old 27 Mar 2003, 09:52   #8
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chunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Hog mate, you have to understand how oval racing works before you criticize too much, expoecially stock rods.
I have driven one and they are beasts to drive, huge neg camber on the outside front and locked diffs, really tricky.
Also coiz they are so close they do nudge a hell of a lot hence their rather untidy appearance. They are probly the closest non contact formula that really need bumpers! Though Nation al Hot Rods run them close aswell, but they have kevlar so can bump a little
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Old 29 Mar 2003, 21:54   #9
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The stock rod engines in Novas/Corsas are 1400, the Starlets are 1300. The problem with a full circuit racing challenge would be the short oval guys would have to take the ARDS course, which would be expensive for a one off event. Then there are the more expensive entry fees etc...
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Old 31 Mar 2003, 13:17   #10
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Chunder - I've been following oval racing and motorsport in general for the best part of 25 years mate. I may not have driven one, and they may well be tricky to drive, but it's amazing how none of the stock rods managed to spin eachother out on the night, only the stock hatch drivers. Funny that eh?
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