Saturday, April 6, 2013

Back to the future!

I must confess to being one of the world’s biggest idiots.  Early this week I set my alarm nice and early so I could make a start on this before I went to work.   When I woke up late it was obvious that the clock was in fact an hour slow and I had to rush to get to work on time let alone get my blog started!

I’d like to look back in time today after finding various old photographs whilst sorting out paperwork in the office.  They span a great many years, all of which were long before I was even thought of and contain all sorts of classics from Dad’s Escort rally cars in the 1980’s to some really early black and white photos of my Grandfather racing a Stock Car at Brafield in the late 1950’s.  I’m sure they’re of no real interest to anyone else but they fascinate me, and even though no-one in my family had raced Hot Rods before me, racing - and cars - has always been in our blood and it was seemingly inevitable that I would end up racing too.

Racing can even be thanked for the job we do now, as the only reason my Grandfather got into scrap was him being told to get rid of all the old dead Stock Cars he had strewn around the farm at the time.  The same farm that was used in the 80’s and 90’s to build rally cars is still our scrap yard to this day.  You don’t have to dig too deep to find reminders of the old days though, with bits of Escort and rally stickers still found on the walls of all the old sheds and Dad’s old Escort can still be found hidden in the corner ready for a come-back one day (who will be driving it will no doubt be something we argue about when the time comes!).

Lots of people have asked me over the years why I didn’t have a rally car and the simple answer is you had to be 17 to go rallying, whereas I could race a grass track Mini when I was 10.  By the time I reached 17 I had a Hot Rod and oval racing had me hooked.  As much as I do love rallying I don’t think you’ll find me heading in that direction for a while yet!

I’ve included a couple of photos but you must excuse the quality as they are photos of photos taken with my phone!


Back in the present and we have plenty going on here.   For some reason we seemed to have a last minute rush before the Good Friday meeting and found ourselves finishing the car late Thursday night and then loading it on the Friday morning and heading straight for the track.  It was all pretty routine stuff we had to do, and even though we had the engine to fit I don’t really know why it took us so long to do it!

When we got to the track it was bitterly cold and although snow threatened a few times we actually had a dry day’s racing.  The car was much faster after its tweaks and although I’m not quite on the pace of the front-runners yet, that’s mainly down to me rather than the car!  The first race was a bit of a disaster and I can safely say for once that it wasn’t actually my fault . . . I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got tangled up in someone else’s collision.   I got off lightly though with no damage and made up for it with a third in the second heat - the best result for the Duratech yet!  The final wasn’t quite such a good race and after a few silly errors on my part I crossed the line in tenth after a good race to the flag with Robert.

So another meeting over and one closer to the goal of starting the world final; not the best of meetings but the car survived and I got a few valuable points.  The car is getting better with each race and I am now starting to say with some confidence that the Duratech will be the engine to have when it’s all sorted.

Now as I’m sure you all know I love a road trip and I went straight from the meeting up to
Scotland with Robert.  It was my first trip since New Year and I couldn’t wait to see everyone.  Saturday saw the Hot Rods make their first trip of the year to Cowdenbeath and I can safely say it was the coldest I have ever been in my life!  I couldn’t wait to get in the ambulance and head back to John’s house - yes you read that right - it’s a long story but I found myself driving the track ambulance to and from the track!

Now this is just my opinion before everyone shoots me down in flames but I think Hot Rods in
Scotland have such potential.  They have some really dedicated guys and some great tracks and it would be good to see the numbers increase on a regular basis. So if you’re reading this and have a car tucked away in the garage, dig it out and go for a spin - you know you want to!

As well as the racing it was great to see everyone and the weekend flew by.  I always love my time in
Scotland and thanks as ever to John and Robert for letting me stay with them.

A couple more things before I go.   I would like to welcome my friend and long term rival Jason to the world of blogging.  We have known each other for longer than I can remember and have a fair few stories to tell so I hope he has as much fun doing his blog as I have doing mine and that you all enjoy reading it.  Try not to let his head get too big though - he’s not as quick as Hairdy yet!

Finally, I just want to say a huge “well done” to my little pal Sean Naismith for a brilliant first meeting in his Ministox at Barford on Sunday.   Three 2nd places and a win in the grand national are not bad for a ten year old.   We are all very proud of you.  Just make sure you keep getting T&B Motors in the victory pictures!

That’s it for another week, we have a few jobs to do before
Aldershot and we would like to get the old lorry finished to sell.  There is also a go karting trip planned for Saturday which will no doubt end in tears for either Kewy or me - possibly both if things get too out of hand!

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


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