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Added: 09 Sep 2014 Category: 2014 Oval Racing
Double success for Bell and National Championship for Roots
The second day of the DMC Speedweekend seen the staging of the National Hot Rod British Championship, the first running of the Leslie Dallas Memorial Trophy and the Superstox National Championship.

Starting with the National Hot Rod British, the previous night’s heats had put Glenn Bell on pole with McDonald alongside, Adam Maxwell was inside second row with Derek Martin alongside.
From the off Bell got away from McDonald who dropped down the order as he struggled to get to the inside of the group. As a contest for the win went that was really about as close as it got in terms of a challenge and Bell took a comfortable win to retain the British Championship, Stewart Doak came through to take second with John Christie third.
The second race of the day for the Nationals was the Leslie Dallas memorial trophy and what a superb looking trophy it is. Wayne Woolsey was an addition to the grid and had the bonnet of the Merc he was racing signed in a Leslie Dallas tribute while the back of the car display “Leslie Dallas Motors”. The public draw for the grid put Shane Bland on pole with Shane Murphy alongside. Bland held the lead in the opening laps with Christie coming through to be the first to mount a serious challenge on the outside, but he struggled to make it stick and later it was Bell who pulled off the outside pass to go around Bland and take the lead. Keith Martin had a big impact with the wall on the entrance to the home straight which ripped a wheel out of the car and brought out the yellows and later in the race John Sibbald ended up in the wall in turn three which again brought out the yellows. At the end of the race it was Bell who took the win with Billy Wood second and Andrew Murray third.

The Superstox National Championship was the first major for the class to be staged in NI since their return to action last season. For me the National Championship is border line on whether you’d class it as a major championship or not and when you look down the prestigious history of the event to see it hasn’t been run since 2010 then it becomes even more questionable, all the same it gets drivers across the water to race for it, so that’ll do for me. For the record my definition of major is anything you paint your whole roof for.
Gilchrist drew pole for the opening heat which made the outcome a bit predictable, but he didn’t get the win unchallenged as Gary Grattan put several hits in on “The Tartan Tornado”. With a reverse grid for heat two it was fellow Scottish star David Frame who took the win followed home by Denver Grattan while Gary Grattan this time got the better of Gilchrist further down the order.
Gilchrist and Gary Grattan filled the front row of the grid for the final and Gilchrist led into turn one with Grattan slotting in behind and soon on the attack, eventually firing Gilchrist wide, taking the lead and getting a few car lengths way. A stoppage for Kyle Beattie who was stranded on the back straight became the beginning of the end for Grattan’s challenge as Gilchrist fired him into the wall on turn one with Grattan retiring with damage to the infield. The hit on Grattan dropped Gilchrist to third, promoting Barry Stephen to the lead and Chris Roots to second. A few laps later and it was Roots turn to mount a challenge on the lead as he pushed Stephen wide it allowed Gilchrist up the inside of Roots and the two of them drove around side by side for a lap, with the pack closing in Gilchrist edged ahead into turn three and was fired wide by Roots, while Barry Stephen put in a hit on Nick Roots for third which spun the pair allowing Carberry through into third.

Roots went on the take the win with Gilchrist second and Carberry came through to third.

In the other classes there was a final win in the 2 Litres for Adam Hylands. Jonny Cardwell won the Superstox, Dean Fleming took the ProStock final and Shane McMillan took the Juniors Golden helmet, a win that was perhaps overdue given his recent run of poor luck.

All in all it was a good weekend of racing, I think the Superstox stole the show a little, the Leslie Dallas Memorial was probably the highlight of the Hot Rods for me, Stephen Emerson took his first 2 Litre title and Stevie McNeice won an eventful Stock Rod European and for a rare weekend this season…. it stayed dry!

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