2014 British Championship – September 6th/7th. Heats Aghadowey Oval, Final Tullyroan Oval
Portadown’s Glenn Bell was the toast of Tullyroan Oval on Sunday afternoon, when he successfully retained his National Hot Rods British Championship crown in front of a huge Speedweekend crowd.
One of the biggest fields of the elite National Hot Rods assembled in the province for many years contested the British Championship qualifiers at Aghadowey Oval, with the drivers each racing in two of the three heats. The opener saw a great battle between Scotsman Robert McDonald and European Champion John Christie. They were completely embroiled in backmarking traffic right to the flag, with McDonald just taking the win over Christie with Waterford’s David Casey in third.
Portadown’s Stewart Doak has twice been British Champion in his career, and he did his hopes of a hat-trick no harm at all with an easy win from the front of heat two. Defending Champion Glenn Bell was his runner up in this one, with Ian McReynolds a creditable third.
England’s Shane Bland, son of 70’s and 80’s supremo Gordon, led from the off in the final heat, and held on all the way to the end to record the second victory of the evening for the visiting drivers. Crumlin’s Adam Maxwell was an impressive runner up, ahead of World Champion Chris Haird from Cambridgeshire.
Following qualifying heats at Aghadowey the previous evening, Bell lined up on pole position at Tullyroan Oval for his British Championship defence, with Scotland’s Robert McDonald alongside on the front row. McDonald dropped off the pace early on, as Bell stretched clear over Adam Maxwell, John Christie and Stewart Doak. Doak got under Christie for third, before a caution period just before the halfway mark for stricken cars on the raceway.
On the resumption of hostilities, Bell again edged clear as the battle raged for second. Doak got the better of it in the end, but he had no answer to Bell’s clear lead by this stage. Having taken the National title just a month ago, Bell basked in the glory of his second major win of the season. Fellow Portadown racer Doak was a deserved second, ahead of Christie and Maxwell.
The National Hot Rods also raced for the Leslie Dallas Memorial Trophy, being staged for the first time some twenty five years after the death of the legend of the sport. Shane Bland from England led the early exchanges, fending off advances from Cork’s Shane Murphy and Christie. They just couldn’t make their attempts for the lead stick, and the next man to try was British Champion Bell. In a masterful display of driving, Glenn dragged his car right around the outside of Bland for a tremendous win over England’s Billy Wood and Andrew Murray.