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Added: 04 Dec 2016 Category: 2016 Oval Racing
Things I'm Looking forward to in 2016 - Revistied
Between Stockcar fixtures and Autograss fixtures as well as running a grass car, or at least driving it back and forward to Gary Grattan’s between fixtures, I had decided at the start of the year I’d cut back on writing meeting reports to save myself some work on normal fixtures, the problem being it’s the bigger meetings that I was going to continue to write about that bring me the most work and it all quickly resulted in me writing pretty much nothing from around June, bar the odd piece for the DMC programmes.

So belatedly here is a look back on the things I had highlighted at the start of the season as meetings I was looking forward to.

1 – The F1 World
Coventry hosted the F1 world for what will likely be the last time, the weather was grim, the racing wasn’t won so much as it was lost over and over again by drivers getting caught up with backmarkers and the support for the F1’s on the Friday night was off the scale piss poor, but it’s the F1 world and the atmosphere was electric. FWJ took the win with Speaky runner up.

2 – The F2 British
Nutts Corner staged the F2 British at the start of June with a good field of local cars and visiting drivers. Of all the championships in oval racing the format of the F2 British is one of my favourites with 5 qualifying heats meaning you see plenty of pre championship final action. Willy Murray took the pole with Chris Burgoyne alongside, Murray led early on but it was eventually Burgoyne who hit the front and took the black and white chequered roof back to Cowdie.

3 – The Superstox British
There will always be comparisons between F2’s and Superstox and comparing British Championship with British Championship the F2’s blew the Superstox away, while the F2’s offer plenty of heat action the Supers are grid by public draw and straight into the championship. Jason Cooper hit the front early on and that was that. By contrast the Irish Open was a much better race, won by Nick Roots.

4 – The ProStock World Cup
Other than a few scuffles earlier in the season the ProStocks had been quiet by their usual standards and didn’t really get the numbers they’d had for the previous staging of the World Cup in NI. Come championship time the ProStocks rarely disappoint and the World Cup was no exception. Leonard Dunn took the gold top completing a clean sweep of championships for local racers.

5 – Shamwreck
I think I missed more National Banger meetings at DMC tracks than I actually seen in 2016, but Shamwreck is the big one and as ever was a cracking meeting with the Bears Keiron Fry taking the title.

6 – All Ireland Autograss Round 1 @ Down Autograss
While everyone else in the Oval community was either at Tipperary or I think Glenn Bell’s wedding was the same weekend, I was getting my first taste of All Ireland Autograss action. As a spectacle it was great to see such a good field of cars, from a photography point of view I had more time to wonder round taking photos between my races but from my racers perspective we didn’t get anymore cars in our class than a normal club meeting and I was having a shocker having tightened my front arms too tight making the suspension almost solid and the car hard to drive. At the end of August I did round 3 in West Waterford and finished second in the class for the series.

7 – Murray and Hylands re-united in the Hot Rods
In the 2 Litres Shane Murray and Adam Hylands had become the best of rivals for quite some time and really spiced the class up while pushing each other on. I was hoping this would be continued in the Nationals, but if it was then it was at meetings I missed or perhaps they've just been lost a bit in the bigger pond.

8 – The F1’s in Scotland
It’s a long time since I’d seen the F1’s around Cowdie, maybe 10 years, so it was great to see them this year. The weather was quite changeable all weekend but they served up some great action at Cowdie and Lochgelly, the stand out dice being between Wainman and Speak at Cowdie.

9 – The Return of Gary Jackson
The return home of Gary Jackson brought with it some splendidly finished airbrushed signage on cars, always good to see his work on track.

10 – The NIOvalTV series
It’s our series, it’s not a lie that I look forward to the putting back into the sport side of things, but as a series I think we’d less drivers compete in it than competed in 2013 when the Superstox were just starting out and there was a lot of stand out moments, which was quite disappointing when your pumping money into something. I think the days of the mini series are numbered they just aren’t drawing cars anymore than a normal meeting would, or at best they need the format re-thought or even smaller prizes more evenly spread out.

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