National Hot Rod Racing
Whilst other forms of motorsport claim to be “hot rod” racing, the genuine formula with history and pedigree, is that administered by the NHRPA and called National Hot Rod Racing.
THE HISTORY. What is now known as National Hot Rod racing began in the Midlands of England over 50 years ago at the still used Hednesford Hills Raceway. As full-contact Stock Car racing had been developing since the early 1950’s, promoter Bill Morris saw a niche in the racing for a non-contact speed class, US-NASCAR style, for saloon cars on his 1/4 mile oval, and Hot Rod racing was born. Other promoters all over the UK soon followed suit, and variations were launched all over Europe. In the 1970’s the promoters formed a committee to unify the formula’s rules and championships, nationally and internationally. The National Hot Rod Promoters Association became the sport’s governing body, and continues in a similar form to this day.
THE CARS. Today’s National Hot Rods, whilst outwardly resembling contemporary “hot hatch” road cars, are in fact purpose-built racing machines. More akin to Touring Cars in construction than road cars, they consist of a full tubular steel spaceframe on which are mounted tough kevlar panels in an exaggerated, lowered-and-widened customised style. Featuring full spoilers and other aerodynamic aids, some of the most popular styles of body are based on Vauxhall/Opel, BMW, Mercedes and Peugeot road cars. Naturally they run full race-specification suspension and shocks on fat, slick, control US Hoosier tyres, and designated wet weather rubber. Whilst any 2.0l 8V engine can be developed for use in Nationals, the popular engines of choice are the newer 16V GM, Ford Zetec, VW and Peugeot blocks. A comprehensive rule book governs these 240+BHP beasts.
THE TRACKS. Although there are many oval tracks, NHRPA National Hot Rods can only be seen at the very best of them. Nationals, with their full race set-ups, tyres and massive power outputs, demand the very best surfaces combined with long wide straights and bends. The formula travels in each sanctioned nation as a “circus”, headlining fixtures at premier tracks. The season-long World Qualifying Series takes in these venues in each nation, plus there are international championship events and big Rod weekenders. National Hot Rod racing is presently sanctioned in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and affiliated in Belgium and Holland. See top of page for upcoming events.
THE SPECTACLE. Nationals - the fastest, most awesome oval motorsport spectacle our side of the Atlantic. A grid full of 240+BHP race beasts in a thundering 1/4 mile arena. How is so much power so skillfully controlled in racing combat in so tight a confine? Unbelievable! Come and see it - you’ll wonder why you haven’t already been, and return for more!...