The Aldershot Shoot-out
Whistlin' Jack Smith >> Blog >> The Aldershot Shoot-out
The final round for many years used to be Round 16 but recently this has become Round 12 and the powers that be have decided the shortest track to be the one where the English Champion is decided.
Last year Rob McDonald made history by becoming the first Scot to lift the English points by virtue of scoring heavily at Aldershot whilst being blue graded and coming into the final round outside of the top block. This year expect more of the same.
Shane Bland has surprised many by leading the points on several occasions but leading into Aldershot isn’t going to advantageous as he’ll start at the back of 20+ car grid. Those who’ll benefit will be the likes of Jack Blood, Bradley Dynes and Chris Haird who should be starting in the blues due the fact there’s 4 more above them in the points plus Danny Fiske and Rob McDonald have better averages (and missed meetings so are further down the points).
Of those three Blood is in great form after taking all three races at Northampton, Dynes was setting fastest laps at the corresponding fixture last year (albeit in a 2L Hot Rod) and Haird is a five times points champion as well as being the current World Champion. For one of those to take the title they will need to overturn a thirty point deficit, and when overtaking is most difficult at Aldershot it is very likely there’ll be another blue top English Champion, something a lot of drivers have been saying all season. The phrase ‘blue top champion’ is based upon a driver claiming the points title at the final round whilst being graded as blue, he could and most likely raced the rest of the season as a red top.
Is there an issue with a driver arriving to Aldershot as a blue top and winning the points? Not really as the English Champion will have to score more points than any other driver over the course of the year, it shouldn’t matter where their grid position is for the final round. However it does confuse a lot of people who assume the guys at the back are the best and top of the points yet it is based upon averages instead.
This may be based on an educated guess and the meeting has yet to be run but it does question of current system being used in English National Hot Rods for grading, scoring and suitable track for the final round, using Aldershot creates a massive benefit to those starting nearer the front that far outweighs any other current circuit. Does the best driver win the point’s title, the one that gets the best grid position for Aldershot or is there a case for changing how qualifying takes place in England?
Text: Paul Ballard (19.05.15)|
Photo: Martyn Robinson
Layout: Paul Ballard