NATIONAL HOT RODS YORK’S MARKER
Organiser: Incarace When: August 29 Starters: 28
In the best day of his National Hot Rod career, Dave York put together a well taken heat and final double in front of a huge bank holiday crowd at Northampton, only just failing to complete a hat-trick with second in his other race.
Andy Lee set the pace in the first heat, pursued by Andy Mclaird, who got under Lee going into turn one. It wasn’t long before Danny Hunn had followed suit although Lee continued holding his own despite trailing a thin plume of smoke.
York was next to relegate Lee, going on to pass Hunn for second after a lap side by side. But Mclaird was too far away for York to do anything about. The pair finished in that order.
Heat two turned out to be something of a lively encounter and not always for the right reasons. Lee was again the pacesetter and stayed in charge for a lot longer this time. Steve Dudman relieved Ivan Grayson of second spot early on, leaving Grayson to fall back into the clutches of York and Mikey Godfrey.
An incident involving Paul Gomm and Mark Edwards sparked off a further collision which sent Layton Milsom spinning and also put Jason Kew out with a flat tyre. Milsom managed to get going again and followed the leader round but without being able to unlap himself, thus acting as a buffer to keep Lee’s pursuers from mounting a challenge for a while.
When Milsom suddenly pulled off, York’s way was left clear to close in on the leader, and he darted past along the inside of the back straight two laps from home.
It was only when all the cars had stopped that it became obvious that Edwards and Gomm weren’t happy with each other, the two indulging in a bit of impromptu banger racing, which was going to see them take no further part in the event. Indeed, both have subsequently been banned for three meetings.
Paul Frost seized the initiative in the third outing, quickly creating daylight between himself and Dudman, while Grayson and Mclaird settled into disputing third, ahead of Dave Garrett and Godfrey.
But the man to watch was Dick Hillard. He put Shaun Taylor behind him before getting together with Godfrey, Colin Smith and Grayson in the tightest racing of the afternoon.
In the end, Hillard bested all of them, although the Dudman-mclaird dice for second was too far ahead for him to catch by flag fall, and Frost’s win was assured by then too.
The charge to turn one in the final was one of those that could have ended in tears. Most survived the inevitable series of collisions but Mclaird was forced into the wall on the back straight as the rest raced on.
It was York who’d not only snatched the lead but was soon busy making good his escape, helped along by Dudman getting loose and sliding wide to let Gavin Murray, Kym Weaver and Hillard through.
Weaver looked especially racy, ducking under Murray to take up second, but he wasn’t closing York down, the leader maintaining his advantage.
As the race went beyond mid-distance and York started to encounter backmarkers, Weaver did start to bring down the gap. But the leader was actually extending his edge again by the end, taking the chequers still well clear of Weaver, who had a similar distance between himself and Murray.