WOOD GETS THE SHOW BACK ON THE ROAD
Organiser: Spedeworth Where: Aldershot When: July 24 Starters: 20
Billy Wood came away with the final honours as the National Hot Rod campaign got back on the World Series trail that will lead to next year’s big one at Ipswich.
Wood executed a great pass on double world champion Chris Haird to take the feature win, while it was Paul ‘Ratty’ Gomm who made off with both heat victories.
Although the entry wasn’t huge – probably not helped by some of the controversy surrounding the previous Aldershot meeting – there was still quite enough cars to ensure the track looked busy for most of the afternoon’s action.
Gomm had pole for the opening race and made a quick getaway too. But Alistair Lowe soon got the best of his early scrap for second spot with Dave Garrett and then Lowe shut down the leader’s advantage.
The gap between them see-sawed for the rest of the race until Gomm looked like he finally had it sorted by placing a backmarker between them six laps from home. Lowe came back at him yet again, though, and was still right there at the finish ensuring that while Gomm may have led from flag to flag, he’d never had it too easy.
Garrett came home third ahead of Haird, who survived a last-lap clash with Dave York during their places dice.
The second heat looked initially like it might follow the same pattern with Gomm powering away from pole to lead and Lowe passing Garrett early on to assume second, albeit at the expense of a black cross.
This time, though, Layton Milsom also relegated Garrett and then Lowe as well to set off after the leader. He never really got within striking distance however, despite Gomm catching backmarkers in the last couple of tours. Haird recorded another fourth spot to give himself every chance in the final from nearer the front of the grid.
Gomm still had his pole start for the final, but with men like Haird, Wood and Jason Kew all close behind, a hat-trick was never going to be easy.
A bit of argy-bargy behind him in the first couple of laps gave Gomm the chance to get into the lead once more but, after they’d dealt with Lowe and Garrett, it was Haird and Wood who were in hot pursuit.
When Haird caught the leader, he made a feint to the outside along the back straight, followed by a sharp cut-back that had the desired effect at turn three, Wood shadowing him through the gap.
Now the fight for the lead was really on but Wood’s car seemed able to stay very tight to the inside line and when Haird showed him a touch too much daylight at turn three, it seemed to be all over as Wood darted past.
Haird stuck to him like glue though and, as they encountered traffic in the last couple of laps, looked to have been rewarded when Wood went to pass a lapped car down the outside and found he couldn’t, letting Haird back under him. Left with no choice but to stay out wide and try to make it work for himself, Wood eventually completed the pass to take a worthy victory, helped by the backmarker making life no easier for Haird.
Nearing the finish, travelling Scot Rob Mcdonald claimed third place from Gomm as some reward for his long trip south.
Heat one: 1 Paul Gomm (Vauxhall Tigra); 2 Alistair Lowe (Vauxhall Tigra); 3 Dave Garrett (Vauxhall Tigra); 4 Chris Haird (Vauxhall Tigra); 5 Danny Hunn (Mazda RX-8); 6 Dick Hillard (Vauxhall Tigra); 7 Jason Kew (Vauxhall Tigra); 8 Billy Wood (Vauxhall Tigra). Heat two: 1 Gomm; 2 Layton Milsom (Vauxhall Tigra); 3 Lowe; 4 Haird; 5 Garrett; 6 David York (Vauxhall Tigra); 7 Kew; 8 Mikey Godfrey (Vauxhall Tigra). Final: 1 Wood; 2 Haird; 3 Rob Mcdonald (Vauxhall Tigra); 4 Gomm; 5 Kew; 6 Kym Weaver (Vauxhall Tigra); 7 York; 8 Bradley Dynes (Vauxhall Tigra); 9 Aaron Dew (Vauxhall Tigra); 10 Colin Smith (Vauxhall Tigra).
Points (after round 1/15): 1 Gomm 64pts; 2 Haird 56; 3 Lowe 47; 4 Wood 45; 5 Kew 40; 6 Garrett and Mcdonald 38.