National Hot Rods: Hednesford
Organiser: Incarace When: November 5 Where: Hednesford Hills Raceway Starters: 28 Chris Haird dominated the feature race to take the top honours, repeating his victory at the same track just three weeks earlier. The world champion was able to swiftly subdue some early opposition, with even a mid-race caution failing to derail his charge.
The opening heat kicked off in frenetic fashion with returnee Jason Cooper tangling with Shaun Taylor, while Carl Waller-barrett and Billy Wood performed synchronised spins at the West Bend.
It was Nigel Beardsmore who grabbed the lead, hotly pursued by Colin Hitch and Steve Dudman. Dudman moved up to second and started closing on the leader, who showed that there wasn’t a lot of grip on offer when he exited the East Bend completely sideways at one point.
Once Dudman got on terms the pair commenced an entertaining dice for the lead, with Dudman zooming repeatedly up the outside without being able to make a pass stick. This ended with Beardsmore getting punted into a spin. Dudman pressed on to the flag but was disqualified, handing the win to the fast-finishing Bradley Dynes in his Ginetta.
Hitch got a great heat two start, blitzing through from the second rank into the lead. Front row man Ken Marriott was soon into his stride though and went ahead as Hitch fell back to dice with Beardsmore and Lee Pepper. That continued until Hitch clattered the wall and slid to a stop, but this relatively minor incident faded into insignificance when Mikey Godfrey went spinning, sparking off a nine-car shunt which saw Aaron Dew’s Ginetta airborne before it landed on the back of Colin Smith’s car.
Following a clear up, Marriott resumed leading but with Beardsmore and Rich Adams keeping close company. With the finish coming up, Adams, moved up to second and began pressing the leader hard. The pair traded places twice in the last lap and a half but it was Adams who was ahead when they took the flag.
Marriott and Dynes ended up sharing the front row for the final but with Haird and Jason Kew on row two, nobody was betting against another Haird final. Well, except possibly Kew, who pulled off a demon start to cut ahead of Haird and immediately attack Dynes’ lead, Marriott having been swamped the moment the green flag came out.
Dynes did his best to stem the tide but Haird and Kew eventually went past one on either side, with Haird the one to hit the front and immediately commence pulling clear. Then the leader lost a bit of time with some backmarkers, enabling Kew to get back within touching distance just before Taylor and Beardsmore ended up in the wall, prompting a yellow flag.
Haird was immediately off and running again once the track went green, leaving Kew and Dynes trailing once more, while an interesting battle formed up for the minor places between Billy Bonnar, Jack Blood, Northern Irish interloper Adam Maxwell and Gavin Murray. This lasted until four laps from the scheduled finish when Blood’s motor appeared to let go in the East Bend. With the track plastered in oil and water, several cars having already spun and the curfew fast approaching, the stewards were left with no option but to put out the red flags and end the race.