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Added: 03 Dec 2013 Category: 2013 Oval Racing
10 Things I’m looking Forward to in 2013 - Revisited
Back at the start of the season I wrote a piece on the 10 Things I was looking forward to in 2013 (see link at the bottom of the page), this is simply a look back in reflection of how they went.

1. The Lightning Rod and ProStock World Weekender
I think you’d have asked any fan at the start of the season how this weekend was going to turn out, you’d have got a response that they expected it to be a good weekend, and some would probably have been concerned about the weather at the end of September, but I don’t think many would have predicted just how good a weekend it turned out to be. Big grids in every race kept race fans entertained as the pits were packed throughout the weekend. The weather held, the two Championship races were great races and the Support classes put on a great show as well. The weather held and the atmosphere was electric on the Saturday evening under the lights. A real bar raiser of a weekend.

2. The F2 World at Taunton
My second F2 world final at Taunton and once again it didn’t disappoint. A race that had just about everything, a none starter on the front row, a Speak and Moodie battle mid race and just when it looked done and dusted to be George MacMillan’s title he tripped over a backmarker and opened the doors to one of the most exciting last laps I’ve seen in F2 racing, with Burgoyne and Hooper crossing swords before Jame Rygor came from seemingly no where to win it on the line.

3. The National Hot Rod European at Lochgelly
The Nationals made the trip to Scotland for their first big meeting at Lochgelly, and NI sent a great representation of National, 2 Litres and even Ninja Karts and two Saloon Stock Cars. Most people, including myself were taken back by the standard that Lochgelly has risen to, the tarmac pits and ultra kitted out race control set a new benchmark for oval racing. On track Chris Haird won breezed to the European title with Keith Martin and Adam Maxwell both having good weekends. Our cars also dominated the 2 Litres and we’d even a few winners in the Ninja Karts, a great weekend of racing.

4. Regular Open Wheeled racing at Tullyroan
The introduction of Superstox and Ninja Karts brought regular open wheeled action to Tullyroan. The Superstox have grown in numbers and popularity as the season has gone on, but it is a pity it has taken cars away from F2, it would have been nice if they could co-exist with decent numbers. While the numbers have constantly been on the rise, there has been some good dices between the Grattan Brothers and Kyle Beattie. There has also been a good turnout of visitors, with visiting drivers I think at 5 non championship meetings.
Ninja Karts brought the second open wheeled class to Tullyroan and they’ve put on some good racing. The grids have been in the high teens and occasionally the low twenties for the entire season, it would just be nice if they didn’t take as long to line up after every stoppage. It’s still a great class for getting kids into the sport and I look forward to seeing how those kids go when they move up into Juniors and Senior classes down the line.

5. Big Fields of National Hot Rods
Over the winter leading up to the 2013 season there was rumours and whispers of lots of additional drivers coming into the National Hot Rods, and I’m pleased to say it came into fruition and the final round of the year at Ballymena had sixteen cars out (I think from memory). It’s been great to see such big grids of cars, hopefully it continues to grow. Sadly with it we got more World Final places, which I think will take the excitement out of the final few rounds of qualifying.

6. Stephen Emerson and Davy Morrison in 2 Litres
At the start of the season I was looking forward to seeing how Stephen Emerson and Davy Morrison would settle into the 2 Litres. I think in Summary Emerson has been there abouts for most of the year, picking up placings in most of the Tullyroan Championships. Morrison perhaps has had a more torrid time and simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time on a few occasions, but hopefully he’ll stick at it and we’ll see him back on track next season.

7. Shamwreck at Tullyroan Oval
2013 seen the first Shamwreck at Tullyroan, unfortunately due to other commitments it didn’t include “The Bears” and while no meeting is all about one team or one driver, it was noticeable that a focal point was missing. Never the less Shamwreck offered big cars, big grids, big action and all the things we’ve grown to love about it.

8. F2 Challenge Trophy at Ballymena
Of all the things I was looking forward to this season, this is probably the only one which I personally found disappointing. I imagine when most people think ahead of the key meetings in the season, you’d envisage it stood or sat in your normal spot in bright sunlight, or at very least in dry conditions. On the week of the Challenge Trophy I had an eye infection and could just about make out blurred cars for the eye drops I had in, and for the same reason it would have been unsafe for me to be on the infield, so I was quite disappointed by that too. The heavens opened on Championship night and a wet and miserable night followed. From a racing point of view, the racing was bad, there was a good turnout of visitors, but on a personal level it seemed like a none event to me, as I just couldn’t enjoy it the way I normally would have.

9. A new 2 Litre Hot Rod World Champion
I said in my write up at the beginning of the year that Murray and Hylands would probably have been good enough to finish 1-2 had their been a 2 litre hot rod world in 2012, and loan behold in 2013, that was exactly what they did. They also went on to dominate the class picking up nearly every honor between them.

In 2013 I made only my second trip to the Ipswich Speedweekend and this one was my first standing watching and taking photos from the outside of the fence. It was great to have a focal point to watch in the Superstox, and for that matter the 1300’s which also weren’t an NI class the last time I was over, but also in the Bangers and 2L Stock Cars the stars of the recently aired “Banger Boys” become something to look out for. Returning to the Supers though, the Grattan brothers were there abouts for most of the weekend, with Gary eventually picking up second in the meeting final.
See the Original Piece Here

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