Hot Rods


Production A

1600 Production


Novice Juniors

Drift Rods



Superstox Practice

Juniors Practice
Standlake Arena

The friendly Oxfordshire oval at Standlake opened the 2016 season with a good turn out for a 25 race programme on a dry, if rather chilly, Valentine’s Day. The best racing came from the Superstox with an excellent three-way battle in the closing laps for their final, in which there was close battling all the way down the field, with only one car lapped at the end – very good to watch with a number of very well turned out one-off cars adding to the appeal.  Star driver of the day though was Michael Hayes in the Hot Rods with his production-spec Nova running rings round the mixed field of Outlaw-type Hot Rods and Stock Rods. The Hot Rod class seems to be on the up now that more drivers are realising that the short and wide Standlake oval can produce evenly matched racing for a wide variety of cars.


The Juniors, as usual at Standlake’s early season meetings, were split into two groups, for graded drivers and novices. There was an encouraging number of newcomers, justifying Standlake’s decision to stick with probably the only remaining non-contact Junior class to be 100% Minis. Lewis Saunders, son of Mini 7 preparation ace Ralph, took an impressive win the first heat, although as the outside line became more slippery later in the day he got hung out to dry in the next race which was won from the front by Harley Bricknell. Harley also held on well to win his first final, chased by Bristol-based newcomer Daniel Kent while the best of the star graders, Elliott Wise, broke clear of Luke Holdsworth, Lewis Saunders, Jack Bunyan, Chloe Bricknell and Zak Moores (nephew of Mighty Mini racer and former grasser Greg Jenkins). Zak had recovered from a nasty head-on shunt in the second heat that eliminated the unlucky Louise Ankerson.


The novice races made it quite clear that William Breakspear won’t be racing as a novice for long; he dominated the first heat and, when put to the back of the grid in heat two, took less than a lap to hit the front. In the final Charlotte Surman gave him more of a race but William ended up a clear winner from Charlotte and Lucas Oxlade. Other newcomers included Zak Moores’ brother Jay.


Production A fielded 11 cars; well down on last year’s average but several of the regulars should be back in action soon. Adam Galliford’s Nova took both the heats but a slow start saw him get into some fraught action in the final. Newcomer Chris Smith was impressive in his anonymous black Mini as he led the final for much of the way, but the star graders eventually reeled him in and Bristol driver Kyle Williams, first time out of Juniors, took a close win in his smart Nova, with the Mini hanging on for second in front of Robert Wakelin’s Nova.


The 1600 Production class that last year replaced the 1450 Prod Rods and Saloon Rods only brought out six cars (75 drivers appeared in the class last year) but produced plenty of action as the field battled to pass the enthusiastically driven Rover of former Banger man Nick Monger. Paul Hicks’ Saxo escaped to win the two heats but in the final Paul took longer to get past the Rover which helped Craigy Pullen in his Saxo to close in and snatch the win.


The 14-car field of Superstox provided an excellent spectacle, although Andy Pritchett’s ex-Neil Soule car got away to win the first two heats. Simon Edwards led the final until the closing stages when Andy Pritchett and Neil Soule hit the front; after a frantic final couple of laps Neil just beat his old car for the win, while the rest of the tightly bunched pack caught Simon with Ricky Jacobs emerging in third from Simon, Harley Cornock, Andy Webb, Gary Jacobs, Jay Lamb, Gary Webb, Ben Farebrother, Benji Thatcher and Carl Lewis.


The most intriguing entry in the Hot Rods, Michael Bass’ Suzuki-powered Riley Elf, failed to make the track,  but the Outlaw Hot Rods of Ian Tatchell, John Hawkins, Rich Barton and Naomi Harvey battled with the Stock Rod Novas of Pete and Andy King and Justin Winfield, and Liam Hanley’s AX.  Michael Hayes’ 1600 Nova was given a bigger handicap for each race but he hurled the car round flat out on a brave outside line that brought him from the back to a hat-trick of wins, with Pete and Andy King taking the other trophies in the final after leading until the last couple of laps.


We were never able to decide last year whether the new Drift Rod class was a serious racing class or non-contact Bangers; whichever, it proved a huge success with the crowds and attracted 69 drivers with an average grid of over 18 in the first year.  16 cars turned out for the 2016 opener and proved the class’s racing credentials with three good races, although after the initial varied fields  it’s become BMW dominated  with just one Lexus and one Jag providing the variety. Comeback driver Carly Hart ran away with both heats but was upgraded for the final, in which former Junior Mini racer George Moore won from the front, chased home by Dave Coombes and 2015 champ Steven Hart.


Rookie Bangers (or “Street Bangers” in Standlake’s terminology) completed the line-up with a 38-car field of which 26 were still running in the final allcomers’ race despite very lively heats and final. The final win went to Jake McCarthy from Darrell Wilkins and Guy Wise, although the Focus of Michael Bunyan ran up front all day, and kept out of trouble some of the time, winning the first heat and the allcomers, while Adam Ward took the DD.