Dave Casey from Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford overcame some very stiff competition to win the British Championship for National Hot Rods earlier this month, held at Aghadowey Raceway, near Coleraine in Northern Ireland
National Hot Rods are a scaled down version of NASCAR and are the fastest class to race on quarter mile (400m) ovals, the sleek bodywork covers highly tuned engines, usually developing around 250bhp and high levels of aerodynamics and braking allowing for speeds approaching 100mph (160km/h) on the short straights and 60mph (100km/h) around the corners. The Formula has been described as ‘Jet Fighters in a Gymnasium’.
The Elite of Britain and Irelands National Hot Rod Drivers were present, including all of the current major title holders – 2015 World Champion #970 Shane Murphy from Cork, 2015 European Champion #54 Adam Hylands from Portadown and 2015 National Champion #940 Gary Woolsey from Portadown along with defending British Champion #9 Glenn Bell – also from Portadown, an area which is a hotbed of National Hot Rod Racing talent.
Qualifying for the championship race consisted of 2 qualifying races with the results determining the grid for the big race. Dave was fortunate to draw pole position from the hat, which determined starting positions and he was pushed very hard by defending champion Bell all the way. Dave held on for the win after a destructive race saw a few cars eliminated through accident damage. An 8th place in the second qualifying race was also impressive as there was carnage throughout the race, the worst of which claimed #970 Shane Murphy, the World Champions car being damaged beyond repair. This 8th place and some impressive laptimes gave Dave a front row grid position alongside English visitor #305 Billy Wood for the British Championship race.
Right from the off, Dave led, but with 2nd row starter #76 Adam Maxwell from Nutts Corner piling the pressure right on quickly disposing of Wood and staying stuck to Caseys bumper the entire way. Glenn Bell had also made a fast start and was soon into 3rd position and pushing for 2nd position. The race stayed very close until the end with Dave holding on for the entire 50 laps but with #54 Adam Hylands also joining the battle, eventually dispensing with both Bell and Wood to record 3rd place in the final.
Final Result: 1st 261 Dave Casey, 2nd 76 Adam Maxwell, 3rd 54 Adam Hylands.
This was Daves 1st major championship win and he follows in his father Tom’s steps, Tom having won the same title in 2012. He now returns to his home track of Tipperary Raceway, Rosegreen, Co Tipperary to continue the qualifying rounds for the World Championship in Ipswich in 2016.
Words & Images- Ed Fahey
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