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Added: 26 Mar 2013 Category: 2013 Oval Racing
10 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2013
By my own admission it would be a long winded and probably quite negative piece that would make me more enemies than friends if I was to sit down and write a preview of the upcoming season and splits in classes, clashing meetings, etc and while that would probably make for much more interesting reading, it’s probably best I stick with trying to show the sport in a positive light and continue being allowed into the venues.
So here it is, the 10 things I’m most looking forward to in 2013.

1. The Lightning Rod and ProStock World Weekender
Having missed the Lightning Rod world the last time it was in the province, this one feels like unfinished business for me. The Lightning Rod World final and the ProStock World Cup are two major championships I haven’t attended before, it’ll be great to see them and great to be able to take them in on home soil. It has the makings of a cracking weekend, hopefully we’ll get a good squad of visitors.

2. The F2 World at Taunton
For those who haven’t been Taunton can simply be described as one of the best Stock Car tracks there is, a nowhere to hide, proper push to pass Stock car track. I’ve now been to Taunton half a dozen times and I’ve come away sunburnt and soaked, but never disappointed. The 2003 world was a great race, most memorable for a first corner pile up that wasn’t.

3. The National Hot Rod European at Lochgelly
Like the F2 European the National Hot Rod European had become somewhat stuck at the same venue for a long period of time, where it used to be a good weekend, when it was a weekend. In recent years it has come up for quite a bit of criticism, so it’s nice to see action being taken to bring it back to the level that a European Championship should be at.
I quite like Lochgelly’s setup, it’ll be great to see a good field of Nationals on track at it and hopefully it’ll give the formula a shot in the arm in Scotland.

4. Regular Open Wheeled racing at Tullyroan
If you’d have asked me for one wish for 2013 at the end of last season it would have been to have the F2s and Saloons in regular action at Tullyroan in 2013. Sadly at that point the wheels were already in the process of falling off the promotions working together for the good of the sport thing and the Saloons and F2’s won’t be at Tullyroan Oval.
If we can’t have F2’s then, Superstox are the next closest thing, and while I’m not a fan of having loads of similar classes when you could create one good one instead, I’ll look forward to seeing the Superstox at Tullyroan in regular action, and hopefully we’ll get drivers in who wouldn’t have raced and F2 and F2 racing won’t suffer for it.
The Ninja karts are the second open wheeled addition to Tullyroan, to be honest if I’d have written this piece a few weeks ago they wouldn’t even have got a mention, but having seen them in practice I’m really looking forward to seeing them racing.

5. Big Fields of National Hot Rods
If the numbers of licence holders is anything to go by then we are set for a bumper year in the National Hot Rods, with the possibility of car numbers reaching into the 20s. Hopefully it happens and hopefully it provides us with some great race action throughout the year.

6. Stephen Emerson and Davy Morrison in 2 Litres
Stephen Emerson has very much dominated Lightning Rods in recent years and from the reports I’d heard was unlucky not to be the reigning world champion in the class. His move into 2 Litres comes as a bit of a surprise in the year the Lightning Rod world is at Tullyroan, but his progress will be worth monitoring and it’ll be good to see how he adapts.
As with Emerson, Davy Morrison comes to the 2 Litres as a multiple champion, albeit from a different class. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the non contact style of racing and how he goes in the 2 Litres.

7. Shamwreck at Tullyroan Oval
Having been opened just after the 2012 event, Shamwreck remains the only Jewel in the Crown event from Nuttscorner Oval which hasn’t yet been held at Tullyroan Oval. The big bangers and the biggest local stage for their biggest local event should be a fantastic sight to behold and hopefully Tullyroan will continue to attract top teams across the water.

8. F2 Challenge Trophy at Ballymena
It wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t mention the F2 Northern Ireland trip in some shape or form. Since I don’t go to Nutts Corner, then the pinnacle of the local F2 season for me in 2013 is the Challenge Trophy at the beginning of June. F2 numbers seem to be suffering at the minute on the mainland, but hopefully we’ll still attract a few top names for the NI Trip.

9. A new 2 Litre Hot Rod World Champion
2012 had no “big day out” for the 2 Litre’s in my opinion, and at a time when Shane Murray and Adam Hylands looked on the sort of form that they could finish 1-2 in every event they entered, then it was almost a missed opportunity for NI to have had a third world champion in 2012.
It’ll be great therefore to have the big day out for the 2 Litre’s this year and hopefully bring some silverware back from the Ipswich Spedeweekend.

10. NI Superstox at Ipswich Spedeweekend
This might be a bit of a niche thing to be looking forward to, since I’ve only been to the Spedeweekend once, but when I went I thought there was a lot of races we’d no real local interest in, and as a life long F2 fan, it’s odd to not have a car to follow when there is open wheeled racing on track. Hopefully with the Supers coming to NI we’ll have someone to cheer on in the Superstox.

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