Outlaw Hot Rods

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Euro Rods

Junior Hot Rods

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Ninja Sprints


Rolling Thunder Show

A stormy night for the 2016 “Ice Breaker Cup” which in theory was the first event of the regular RTS “summer” season! The evening started with the presentation of trophies from the Winter series, which had ended a fortnight earlier. Without the unlimited pre-meeting practice which is normally a feature of RTS meetings, it was straight into an early start for racing, in an attempt to get a few races run before the weather arrived that was obviously on its way. “Storm Katie”, the very threat of which had been enough to cancel most of the Easter Autograss calendar, arrived in Essex during the first heats and really got her teeth into the first Stock Rod race, which was run in some of the heaviest rain we’ve seen this side of the Irish Sea, at least since the infamous 1987 storm in the south of England (which we witnessed from Aldershot Stadium, resulting in the last ever win for a Mini in National Hot Rods!)


The NINJA SPRINTS kicked off the action, with the 19 runners having travelled from all points from Scotland to Devon. This year the Ninjas are back to a two-heats-and-final format with 12-lap heats and a 14-lap final giving them more laps than the previous four-race format. Billy Sandford had a good run through the field in heat one but had lost a lap somewhere so World Cup winner Riley Marsh and Scotland’s Scott Allerdyce finished 1-2. Heat two was run at the height of the storm, on a flooded track, with karts inevitably spinning everywhere, earning four restarts. As far as we could see through the wall of water, Jack Collins came home the winner, but the big story was that nobody drowned! The rain had eased by final time, when after a couple of stoppages the race was ended early by the red flag, with Kasey Jones in front from Adam Langridge, Max Eaton, Riley Marsh, Jack Collin, David Weaver, Tate Allington and Ben Witherall.


Five OUTLAW HOT RODS turned up but Graeme Cole was the only one to survive the conditions, with his Saxo-shape car winning a heat and the final after Sammy Shudall’s tidy Vauxhall-powered 205 won the first heat. Mick Day’s Fiesta also succumbed to the weather while Dan and Phil Guidotti dropped out after the first heat.


With only three cars appearing for the SUPER RODS’ 2016 debut, they ran simultaneously with the Outlaws. Jim Wicks won the first heat and despite a trip into the armco while trying a last-corner pass on heat two winner Peter Ash, Jim was back for the final where he just failed to pass Dave Leeks’ Sierra for the win.


The JUNIOR HOT RODS had a few incidents through the night and saw some new names emerge to challenge the leaders. The Micras are coming as Bradley Peters, who started his career late last season at Tongham, won the first heat (the first Micra win we can remember in the RTS?) although in the soaking wet second heat Bailey Austin’s AX hung on at the head of a six car queue. Bradley Peters led the final away but red grader Austen Hayes got into trouble, bringing out the reds and Bradley found himself excluded for not reacting to the flags quickly enough. That left another promising newcomer, Ninja Sprint ace Albert Webster, in front in his Citroen C2, but after another couple of restarts, and Albert getting spun out, Steven Chandler emerged the winner with Brian Stanney coming through well for second. Sid Burton was docked a couple of places putting Chloe Wood up to third from Ben MacGregor. The only other survivors were Ninja graduate Jack Simmons and the ever-improving Grayci-Lou Burbidge.


A big entry of 33 EURO RODS required split heats before 26 of them lined up for the all-in final. After a few promising outings it all came together for Dan Leatham, who won both his heats to earn an instant upgrade to a yellow roof, and then kept the pressure on white grader Ted Rowley in the final until Ted slipped up and bounced off the armco, bringing out the yellows. From the restart Dan led all the way as Matt Street in the ex-Ken Woolston Corsa held off Anthony Woodhams for second  with Terry McHaffie, Billy Stickley, Gary Thomas, Mark Amos, Rob West, John Morris and Matt Payne completing the top ten.  The other heat winners were Anthony Woodhams and Steve Smith’s Tigra, passing Matt Street in the closing stages of the race.


The storm was really picking up when the SUPERSTOX came out for their first heat, which produced a runaway win for Neil Moss. Winter series champ Ray Holloway led for ages in heat two before Nick Smith took over to win. After all eleven starters finished both heats it wasn’t to last in the final, with Neil Moss and Andrew Enright buried in the armco early on. Chris Langridge and Dan Roots almost followed suit on the restart but as Nick Smith took a dominant win, Chris charged through to second ahead of John Enright with Ray Holloway fourth from Bill Edwards, newcomer Aaron Smart and Dan Hinton.


We hope all the recent discussion of rules wasn’t the reason we only had seven STREET STOX, although they included a very smart new Corsa for Winter Series winner Dan Rowson. They were all well behaved on track with Trev Drayner winning the first heat and looking set to repeat in the second until he took the long way round a backmarker and lost out to Steve Austin and Dave Measday. With only four cars in the final, Trev tried to liven it up by spinning Dave Measday out of the lead, but then had more excitement than he wanted, just getting his heavily smoking car to the line before it blew up. Steve Austin, Dave Measday and Shane Sandy followed in Trev’s smoke.


The STOCK RODS completed the bill with a seven car grid. The torrential rain meant nobody saw much of the first heat but it didn’t seem to slow young Maison Waugh, who came through to pass former Standlake racers Les Hatch and Justin Winfield. The Buckinghamshire pair again led the second heat and again had no answer to Maison’s pace. Justin held on in front for ten laps in the final, but Maison was eventually through and pulling away, while Ricky Walker came through to second from Justin, Les, Tony Rolfe and Arena newcomer Georgie Biggs.

The next RTS meeting, on 9 April, will be an even busier one, featuring the second SEGTO Championship round in addition to the regular programme.