NATIONAL HOT RODS Weaver beats the pack – and the scrutineers – for victory
Organiser: Incarace When: March 5 Championships: National Hot Rod Series Starters: 27
Reigning points champion Kym Weaver put himself firmly in contention for another title as the Nationals resumed World Series racing in Birmingham last Saturday but only took the final honours after having to battle against a disqualification over a scrutineering problem.
The first encounter kicked off with Russ Wilcox leading, tracked by Martin Heath, Ken Marriott and Danny Hunn. Wilcox continued to lead but eventually came under pressure from Marriott, who overtook. But Marriott was being chased by Rob Mcdonald, the Scot hassling the new leader the rest of the way. The experienced front man never left an opening, however, and held on to win.
Heat two followed a similar pattern. Wilcox led more briefly, Marriott and Steve Dudman overtaking just before the yellows flew due to a loose wheel on the track from Billy Wood’s car. Marriott made a fast getaway when racing resumed but Dudman was hard after him and went past in determined fashion, remaining in the lead for the duration.
The third heat proved to be the race of the night. Dudman was the frontrunner from the off and looked like an easy winner for a while. But, emerging from the early-laps midfield scrum came Dudman’s long-time friend, Colin Smith. It wasn’t long before ‘Smiffy’ had worked through to second, reducing the gap to the leader as well. The pair were running nose-to-tail with three laps to run. It looked for a couple of tours as though Smith wasn’t going to challenge his pal and sometime sponsor but, with only about half a lap to go, he went outside to snatch the win by inches.
Dudman went straight into the final lead but after the opening gambits had played out, it was Weaver who burst through to second place.
For a time the gap between them stayed static but eventually Weaver began eating up the leader’s advantage. Weaver’s first attempt at a pass coming off turn four was thwarted by a spun car partly blocking the track. But he made no mistake a lap later, taking over at the front and pulling rapidly away.
Dudman was steadily forced backwards as Smith, Chris Haird, Jason Kew and Mcdonald forged towards the front, but the places remained unchanged in the final third of the race.
After the finish it was reported to race control that Weaver and Haird had failed to attend a post-race weight check. Both were initially disqualified but were adamant they had not been told to go to the scales, and it was the following day before the result was confirmed.