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Added: 12 Feb 2013 Category: Older Oval Racing
And The Year Was..... 2008
After my eviction from Nutts Corner Raceway in 2007 and NIF2 becoming pretty much dormant, I initially just closed the site at the beginning of 2008 and then a few weeks later decided to turn it back into a website for my photos, and so the new NIF2 was born, featuring little more than a few galleries and the odd link.

2008 was a big year with both Ballymena and Nuttscorner Oval playing host to world championships, for the Stock Rods and 2 Litres respectively. It was a year which brought a number of titles to the province, and the sport seemed to find it’s way to the public domain a little more than in past years.

The Reliant Robins got some coverage in a 6 part motoring series called “Petrolheads” on BBC NI, which was mostly filmed during the first meeting in March. Each of the programmes featured some action from the Robins, with one of the programmes nearly entirely dedicated to oval racing.

Later in the year and there was an array of oval racing machinery on display at a charity event at Shakelton, which featured a stages rally, supermoto, motocross, Autograss and a static display which included several oval racing machines including Leight Nicholl, Thomas Greer, Davy Gurney and Gary O’Neill.

A new start/ finish and race control was constructed at Nuttscorner Oval, on the pit side of the track. The highlight of the early season action at Nuttscorner Oval was Shamwreck, which included the Stinkbridge team, who certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to getting stuck in.

With Nuttscorner Oval hosting the 2 Litre Hot Rod world final, there was a number of drivers came into the class, including Shane Murray doing his first full season as well as racing a Stock Rod as well as Adam Hylands and Derek Martin fresh out of Junior Productions.
The world weekend in July was graced with two days of fantastic weather and a number of visiting drivers including defending world champion Mark Paffey, Kyn Weaver, Chris Harvey, Jason Kew, Mark Cooper and Malcolm Blackman. On the day it was Wayne Woolsey who was the man on top of the podium, taking his first 2 Litre Hot Rod world title, just a few weeks after securing the British title at the Ipswich Spedeweekend.
Sticking with the 2 Litres, later in year Glenn McDowell won the Irish Championship in his Starlet.

2008 seen a brief run in National Hot Rods for William Buller who contested some of the later rounds of the qualifying series, before moving on to focus on his circuit career and selling the car to Clive Richardson. The Nuttscorner Oval Speedweekend also seen the debut of Glenn Bell in the nationals.
In September Gary Woolsey won the British Championship at Ballymena, with John Christie taking the Irish championship the following day at Nuttscorner Oval. Amongst the visitors for the weekend was Shane Murphy, Dick Hillard, Gavin Murray, Des Cooney and Carl Boardley.

2008 seen the Stock Rod world final hosted at Ballymena Raceway and from what I remember in wet conditions, Glenn Bell retained his Stock Rod world crown, then went on to race the National Hot Rod for the remainder of the meeting.
In the F2’s, Ian Thompson was crowned World Champion at Britsol having finished second on track to Gordon Moodie. Moodie’s car failed post race scrutineering, giving the win to Thompson, and making him only the second Northern Ireland driver after Jimmy Murray to win the world.
Earlier in the season Thompson had won the challenge trophy at Nutts Corner and Gordon Moodie had won the Irish open at Ballymena.

Stock Rods Line up on the backstraight at Ballymena

Stinkbridge came to Shamwreck

Andrew Murray had a season in F2

Ian Thompson won the World final at Bristol in the tilted RCE

BBC NI recorded and aired Petrolheads which featured the Reliant Robins

Gary Woolsey won the National Hot Rod British at Ballymena Raceway

World Champion Carl Boardley lines up at Nuttscorner Oval

Drivers took it upon themselves to but on a fine representation at a static display at the Eglinton Festival of speed

Wayne Woolsey won the 2 Litre World at Nuttscorner Oval

Stephen Emerson with the gold roof on his Lightning Rod as 2007 World Champion

Jonny Murdock attempted to join the crowd in the National Bangers

Another National Banger aftermath

Glenn Bell won the Stock Rod world final at Ballymena Raceway

Action from the Group 2's at Ballymena

F2's line up at Ballymena
More Photos from 2008 on Flickr

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