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Added: 24 Mar 2016 Category: 2016 Oval Racing
10 Things I’m looking forward to in 2016
Having spent the last lot of weeks recapping on previous years and looking back, I thought it was time to look forward to the season ahead and the 10 events I'm most looking forward to in 2016.

1. BriSCA F1 World Final - Coventry 3rd September
I’m not sure how I missed out on going to the F1 World for so many years, but having finally made it to my first one in 2014 it’s now one of my must see meetings of the season. There is a great atmosphere at Coventry and it could be the last staging of the F1 world there, to me that makes it unmissable.

2. F2 British Championship - Nutts Corner Raceway 11/12th June
It’s been over 20 years since Northern Ireland staged a major championship for the F2’s when Bert Finniken won the British title at Nutts Corner back in 1995. The F2 Northern Ireland trip is always one of the highlights of the local racing season and hopefully this year with the British Championship being included it will encourage even more drivers to travel and I expect it’ll be one of the highlights of the local season.

3. Superstox British Championship Weekend - Tullyroan Oval 17/18th September
The Superstox World final was one of the highlights of the 2015 season, a full grid of Superstox and one of the better championship races I’ve seen. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the trip and word has spread of the NI hospitality and we’ll get another decent grid of cars. It’s also the only weekend of the season which is all staged at Tullyroan and as a plus the National Hot Rods also have their British that weekend.

4. ProStock World Final - Aghadowey Oval 15th October
Northern Ireland stages the ProStocks World final for the first time in 2013 as part of the Tullyroan World weekender when it joined the Lightning Rods World on the bill. The atmosphere was electric on the Saturday night for the world final, one of the best I’ve experienced in NI. The numbers in the class have dropped a bit since then, but I’m sure it’ll still be a full grid of cars and I’d say the atmosphere in the shed at Aghadowey on World final night will be something else.

5 .Shamwreck - Tullyroan Oval - 3rd April
Shamwreck is and has been a core fixture to my “Things I’m looking forward to” piece each year. The big bash for the big unlimited bangers is always a highlight of the season, one of only a few banger meetings throughout the season that you can be sure there’ll be a decent turn out, some well presented cars and some great action.

6. Down Autograss All Ireland Round 1 - 4/5th June
This is something a bit different for me to add as this is something I’ll actually compete in. I haven’t as much as seen an All Ireland Autograss series round before but people talk about it as though it’s as big as the sport gets in Ireland. The opening round is at Down on 4/5th June which unfortunately means I’ll miss the Stock Rod World, but I’m looking forward to competing in this more. The fixtures for round 2 and round 3 are also a bit awkward with round 2 clashing with the Aghadowey Speedweekend in July and round 3 clashing with the Superstox world, both meetings I’d have liked to have gone to, but we’ll see how NIOvalTV sales pan out running up to the July weekend and how missable or unmissable round 1 is.

7. Murray and Hylands re-united in the National Hot Rods
Shane Murray and Adam Hylands had some superb battles in the 2.0 Hot Rods in recent years and with Shane joining Adam on the big stage this season it’ll be interesting to see if those battles pick up where they left off.

8. F1’s return to Scotland - Cowdenbeath & Lochgelly 25/26 June
The last time the F1’s went to Scotland there was an NIOvalTV series round the night they were at Cowdenbeath, but I flew over to see them at Lochgelly. this year I’ll forgo the local meeting and go and see both days. I’m sure it’ll be a decent weekend of racing.

9. The Return of Sign Writer Gary Jackson
I’d imagine a lot of people are going “what?”, having been out of the country for a while Gary Jackson has now returned and being busy sign writing cars, while there is plenty of sign writers that can turn out a well stickered car Bangers tend to end up air brushed or on occasions just brushed and I’d expect Gary Jackson’s return will mean some tidy looking sign jobs in the bangers.

10. NIOvalTV 2016 Series
2015 was a tough year for NIOvalTV and the sales of the Superstox World final was probably all that stood between us and throwing in the towel, as a result we had to reign in our sponsorship activities a bit and the Superstox series is now over 3 rounds instead of 4 and we had to turn down the opportunity to sponsor a points title as well.
The series is a chance to put something back into the sport and it’s nice to stand back and just savour that. Hopefully the car numbers pick up a little on last season though, it’s hard to justify forking out for tyres without seeing it’s making a difference to car numbers at those meetings.

Things I’d liked to have got to….
Unfortunately with Autograss commitments as well as local racing commitments there is meetings I’d liked to have gone to that clash with other meetings and places I need to be.
The announcement of the Stock Rod World at Tipperary was one that I immediately penciled down as something I was looking forward to going to, but the Autograss All Ireland Series is at Down that weekend and I’ll be at it.
The Superstox World at HRP falls foul of a similar victim of circumstance, the third and final round of the Autograss All Ireland series is that weekend and if I don’t race at it there is still a DMC meeting at home, and even if I don’t do that then the Superstox World is only a week or two before the F1 world, it’s a lot of trips away in close proximity.
The F2 World on Shale is in the same boat as the above, an Autograss meeting, a DMC meeting and week away from the F1 world, only it’s a week after. Unfortunately you can’t be everywhere at once.

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