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Added: 29 Apr 2014 Category: 2014 Oval Racing
Ulster Drivers Dominate Euro Weekend
Lochgelly staged the Hot Rod European Championship double header at the weekend and it was our local drivers who took the silverware in three of the big four races.

The weekend didnít start particularly well for some of our cars, with Adam Maxwell and Mark Madill blowing engines in practice. Adam Maxwell was able to borrow Tommy Maxwellís Tigra for the evening, with Tommy racing it on the Sunday, but Madillís weekend was over.

In the Europeanís the Nationals raced a two thirds format, with Jason Kew, Andrew Murray and Robert McDonald taking the heat wins before John Christie took a hard fought European Championship as he fended off pressure right up to the last lap from Robert McDonald who went out with wheel damage on the last lap having clipped the pit gate, McDonalds departure promoted Kew to second and Murray to third.

The 2 Litre European was run in 2 all in heats. Coming from an F2 background Iíll be the first to put my hand up and say that I donít get the whole restricted bookings for the European Championship thing, Iíd much rather seeing booking left open and 60 cars turn up and the additional drama of drivers having to qualify for the final and perhaps some big names wouldnít make it, but I think it adds a lot to the theatre of the whole thing.

Aside from my moans about the format of hot rod majors, they still put on a good show. Paul Wright took the opening heat win with Adam Hylands the top NI car home in second and Shane Murray and next in sixth. It was another English winner in heat two with Charlie Jowers taking the flag, Adam Heatrick was the top NI driver home, taking second place with Shane Murray sixth again and Hylands in eighth. The result gave an all NI front row with Hylands on pole and Murray in second. Hylands got the early lead and never looked back while Murray jostled with Paul Wright for a few laps before pulling off, I think with a puncture. Hylands took the win leading home Paul Wright and Dan Smith who was docked to fifth which promoted Chris Crane to third.

On the Sunday both classes raced for their Scottish Open Championship. The Nationals ran all in with Andrew Murray taking the opening heat win, but a non finish in heat two seen him well down the grid for the final. Heat two went to the newly crowned European Champion John Christie, but it was clear from the heats that Robert McDonald was going to be the man to beat and a second and third place in the heats put him on pole for the final.
McDonald took a fairly comfortable win in the final, with Dave Casey second and the drive of the race came from Andrew Murray who came through from well down to take third.
In the 2 Litres Adam Hylands took the opening heat win, with Shane Murray the next NI car home well down in eighth having come from the back of the grid. Former world Champion Mark Paffey took the second heat which included a great dice for second between Shane Murray and Gordon Alexander, Alexander getting the better of Murray to grab second.
Murray and Alexander filled the front row in the final, with Murray never really getting away from the Scottish star, but staying far enough ahead to avoid a challenge. Alexander took second with Adam Heatrick third and Adam Hylands fourth.

Iíd love to tell you more about the Saloons, but Iíve no idea who anyone is in the class, so Iíll leave it as saying they were action packed for two days. In the ProStocks Jazz Moore needs no introduction to local fans, he won the final.

It's hard not to draw comparisons with last years event and personally I thought the meeting was missing something from last year, I donít think it was the Ninja Karts, but possibly the Superstox on the Saturday and the National Saloons on the Sunday, but if the Euros kept going to Lochgelly every year I think there is huge potential for it to become the hot rod equivalent of what the Northampton weekend is to BriSCA fans, and I think it would get bigger and better year on year.

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