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Added: 16 Dec 2014 Category: 2014 Oval Racing
Things I'm looking forward to in 2014 - Revistied
As with last season I set out my stall early on of the things I was most looking forward to throughout the season and just like last season I didnít quite make it to all of them.

1. 2 Litre World at Tullyroan
Top of my pile for 2014 was the 2 Litre World at Tullyroan. As the season progressed as expected with Shane Murray and Adam Hylands dominating the class it looked written in stone that this was going to be the big showdown for them, it didnít quite live up to that billing. Hylands had two qualifying heats to forget while Murray put his car on pole just edging out Stephen Emerson. A heavy downpour ahead of the final dampened spirits a little and Shane Murray drove off into the distance to take one of the most dominating world wins Iíve witnessed. There was a decent scrap for second late on, but itís not the same as a race long battle for the win.

2. The Big Classes returning to Aghadowey
The return of the big classes to Aghadowey was a bit of a roller coaster throughout the season, the Nationals returned on the re-opening of the track at Easter on probably the nicest day of the season weather wise, which was contrasted by the wettest day of the season in mid August, before a dry one for the British Championship heats and then another wet one at the end of the year.
The Superstox had a similar fate, good weather then bad, then good, then an Irish Championship in horrendous conditions.
For the most part I enjoyed the racing at Aghadowey, not just in the big classes but the Thunder Rods which were an unknown at the start of the season had some good hard racing, sometimes too hard some would say.

3. F2 World at Cowdie
By September Moodie had just about won everything there had been to win in F2ís in 2014, it seemed like a full gone conclusion that heíd lift the world as well at Cowdie. It seemed a bit of a pointless trip to me, so I went to the F1 world instead, it was superb and I think will be a pre-written trip away on many a calendar to come.

4. Shamwreck
By National Banger standards it was a poor season, too many meetings, too many promotions and not enough cars at most of them, but Shamwreck doesnít disappoint. The Bears returned Stevo McGrath had a big Yank, Jonny Murdock had a weird Russian thing and the big tin was in town, as were the Bears, who took the title again.

5. F2 Irish Open
I had been looking forward to the F2 Irish at Ballymena, but an incident a few weeks earlier with the saloons and the wall meant it was switched to Nutts Corner, the switch my return to Nutts Corner in the first time for a few years and was a pleasant change of scenery.

6. Saloon Irish Open
When it came to Saloon Irish weekend I arrived at a bit of a cross roads, either go to the racing or take a welcome Saturday night off and have a BBQÖ.. having a BBQ won which is probably just as well as a Saloon damaging the wall ended the night at Ballymena early.

7. Lochgelly European Double Header
The Lochgelly European double header was a bit of an odd one for me, Hot Rod fans were generally running about over the moon at how great the Nationals had been and how clean the racing had been, but for me the Saturday night racing missed the Superstox, Nationals Saloons and even the Ninja Karts that had supported them the previous year, it lacked local interest in the support races. Liverpool also threw away the Premier League title which may just have soured the Sunday afternoon a bit too.

8. The Superstox NIOvalTV Series
I use to enjoy the formula seriesí when there was only one or two, but now with so many formula and so many seriesí nearly every meeting you go to has a series round for something and it all looks a bit samey. Since we sponsor the Superstox series it makes it stand out from the crowd for us. It had come a long way from the first round in 2013 when the class was in or around just breaking into double figures. Weíd some good racing in the series, a good mix of winners and one of the wettest nights in Oval racing at Aghadowey. There was a bit of everything, but there was plenty to keep you entertained.

9. Going to Wimbledon
Iím running out of excuses and probably running out of time to get to Wimbledon, when I should really have gone to the Best in Britain, I ended up looking into late trips to the Sun, made a hash of making plans for either and still havenít made it to Wimbledon. I did however make it to Coventry and Arena this year, so thatís two more tracks off the ďto visitĒ list.

10. Drivers Switching Classes
With the 2 Litre world in NI I would have expected more drivers to switch class to 2 Litres, but it didnít really happen.
I was right that Steven Emerson whoíd been knocking on the door of a title clinched his first 2 litre title by winning the Irish Open. Joel Richardson took the Irish Closed within his first full year in the class.
Making the switch into Nationals Derek Martin has been on the pace all season, Jamie McCurdy only moved into the class from the summer and has a few race wins under his belt, but the test will certainly come when he goes back down the grid, and Carl Sloan and Ben McKee have only done a few rounds, but will be worth keeping an eye on.
Gavin Fegan did briefly have a go at Superstox before selling the car on to Billy Finnegan who himself was a welcome newcomer to the class and added another experienced hard hitting driver to the class.

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