KEW WINS THE INAUGURAL ANGIE ROWE MEMORIAL SHOW DOWN
National Hot Rods: Hednesford Hill By Graham Brown Organiser: Incarace When: November 4 Where: Hednesford Hills Raceway Starters: 33.
Jason Kew swept to victory in the last World Series round of the year as well as lifting the magnificent new Angie Rowe Memorial Trophy to adorn his mantelpiece for a year.
Gavin Murray and Shane Bland followed Kew home in the final, while heat honours fell to Jack Blood and Ralph Sanders.
A packed grid took to the track for the opening heat, the entry swollen by a number of visitors. A steady drizzle made sure the wet track stayed that way, and most cars were on a mixture of slicks and wets.
Shaun Taylor was the first to show with Russ Wilcox, Alistair Lowe and Ivan Grayson all in the vanguard, but there were battles going on throughout the order with a 13-car pack scrapping over the minor places at one point. It was Blood who broke free of the rest to chase down the leaders, and the fired-up Vauxhall man barrelled around the outside to take Wilcox and then Taylor half a lap later.
With the leader pulling clear interest centred on the fight for second. Although well back in the mix, Rob Mcdonald and Billy Wood were both charging up the order. With the passing of half distance, Mcdonald had made it through to sixth and just kept on going, eventually taking the flag second albeit a long way back from Blood, while Colin Smith took third about half a car length up on Andy Lane.
Heat two was just as crowded and equally frantic. Grayson got away first this time and quickly left the early opposition behind. But with the surface still treacherous, experience began to count and there aren’t many Hot Rod drivers with more of that than Sanders. The West Countryman held off the other placemen to go second, and then carved into Grayson’s lead before going ahead at the East bend.
There was a good deal of threewide racing going on further back but it was Smith’s BMW that broke away from the rest to chase the leader down. In fact, Smith is one of the few who rival Sanders in the experience stakes and he spent the rest of the race whittling down the gap. He was almost on terms starting the last lap but never got any nearer than that, the pair crossing the line well clear of third man Blood.
With Blood having garnered pole for the final, few were betting against him making it a brace of wins and sure enough he shot away at the green flag, leaving Smith, Mcdonald, Sanders, Kew and Murray to decide who had correctly guessed the best set-up for the still grip-less and slimy track surface. Wood was going in the right direction for a while until his run stalled and he began to lose places again. Instead it was Kew who doggedly kept the pressure on Smith until he was rewarded with second.
Blood was still romping away at the front, picking off backmarkers easily and generally looking pretty secure. However, Kew inexorably began to close down the leader’s advantage until he settled onto Blood’s tail shortly before middistance. Kew continued his policy of steadily pressurising the opposition until he was finally able to slip down Blood’s inside along the back straight.
The new leader had just started to pull away when he was interrupted by the only yellow flag of the whole meeting, Sanders having come to a stop in a very dodgy spot. The closed up order for the restart allowed Murray to get an immediate jump on Blood to snatch second, and had also now brought Bland into the mix, the track conditions seemingly coming to him as the laps ran out, with Smith, Mcdonald and Blood all falling victim to Bland’s late charge.