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Super Rods

Whistlin' Jack Smith >> Formulas >> Super Rods

National Super Rods is an independent formula sanctioned by the Oval Racing Council International (ORCi). It is promoted by National Super Rod Racing UK, ran with the help of drivers. The object of the National Super Rod formula is to give good, fast, non contact racing at a minimal cost.

The formula was developed in the late 1970's and used a wide variety of cars, both Spedeworth and Incarace ran two similar classes which merged to become Super Rods. Incarace first called the formula 'modern stock cars' which allowed for semi-contact, these 1700cc + machines became non-contact and called 'Speed Cars'. The Spedeworth version had a minimum 2.4 litre engine. By the early 80's the two promoters ran the class under the same specification and called them Super Rods. In the 1980's the cars were mainly Ford Capri and they evolved to the Ford Sierra.

In the late 1980's Phil White become the only driver to win both the National Hot Rod and National Super Rod World title in the same year. Gordon Bland is the only other driver to win world titles in both classes. Other star hot rod drivers like Peter Winstone and Jon Brookes became very successful in the class while Dick Hillard started in Super Rods before moving to National Hot Rods.

The formula had been successfully ran in Northern Ireland with Wilson Hamilton coming across the sea to regulary beat the English drivers and winning the World title three times in a row. Although the Irish were performing well numbers were struggling, from the end of 1991 the class raced with the National Hot Rods as numbers were seriously low. The Lightning Rods were brought into the province in 1994 and the following year was the final for the Super Rods.

In 1993 Eurocar was brought in have a new big hot rod type formula that would run on both ovals and circuits, after two meetings it became exculsively ran on the circuits. At that time Super Rods became independently ran through the drivers, Eurocar had it's success on the long circuits has now disappeared, some of the cars have been converted to Super Rods. Incarace tried to start a new V6 formula with Grand National Coupe's but it failed and the cars have morphed into the VSR (class B) series that caters for old Eurocar's as well.

The current cars are saloon based rear wheel drive cars powered by 2.8, 2.9 or 3.0 Ford V6 engines on 10 inch wide Avon tyres (A10/7168), the Ford Sierra Cosworth is still competitive but gradually being fazed out by Mondeo's. The only title that had been annually was the World title up until 2008. The European, British, etc have gradually been phrased out, they were irregularly held since 80's. The class has had international competitors in the past but now all the racing is conducted in England.

In 2005 Hoss Parry was crowned world champion for the third time but he suddenly died at the end of the year it was a huge shock for the whole oval racing scene. He was one of the many successful and respected drivers that has competed in the class.

Recent years
2009 saw the formula take a change in direction with promoters. The only way the cars could race were with the open 'slick car' events that started at Aldershot, meetings also took place at Birmingham. On the back of that the 2010 season has more meetings like that with the return of stand-alone fixtures as well. 2011 started with the ORCi promoters dropping the class meaning all meetings took place at the Rolling Thunder Show at Arena Essex. Although Spedeworth and Incarce do not want the Super Rods racing as a class on their tracks they are happy for drivers to race at the open Slick Car meeting to boost numbers.

In 2012 racing will return to Buxton and Swaffham alongside the RTS Arena Essex fixtures, with points scored going towards their English and British Championships.

The Future
There is a serious chance that this class will disappear, the only reason it has survived the last few years are the determination of a few drivers and the people behind the class. With numbers so low at meetings promoters don't want the class as the fans don't like the racing. With nowhere to race the formula will stop.

If more drivers raced regulary then the formula has the ingredients to be successful, the cars might be big but run on wide 10 inch slicks (like Nationals and Outlaws) and have bigger engines. They are quicker than 2 litre hot rods and at least half the cost.

Drivers
7 Paul Bullard Vauxhall Caviler Royston, Herts
12 Rob Tinto Ford Mondeo mk2 Corby, Northants
41 Graeme Osborn Ford Sierra Stowmarket, Suffolk
43 Elliot Parr BMW E36
46 John Wicks Ford Sierra Colchester, Essex
50 Geoff Dixon Ford Sierra Halesowen, W Midlands
56 Dave Leek Ford Sierra
57 Dave Willis Ford Mondeo mk2 Birmingham
76 Del Featherstone Ford Capri Brentwood, Essex
157 Jonathan Willis Ford Sierra Birmingham
341 Jason Osborn Ford Sierra Stowmarket, Suffolk

National Super Rods by Webmaster Paul Ballard added 6th March 2012


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