WOOD GETS THE SHOW BACK ON THE ROAD

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Gra­ham Brown

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.

Re­sults

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.

Wood had to bat­tle for his Alder­shot vic­tory Billy Wood claimed the fi­nal win

Pho­tos: mkpics.net, Sharon Woolm­ing­ton

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