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Thunder 500 2019 – Preview

By Jordan Hollands


This Saturday see’s the National Hot Rods compete in their annual Thunder 500 event – the official warm up to Spedeweekend and the 2019 World Final.

gridding for the Thunder 500

Whilst there are no points up for grabs, the meeting is still of high significance with track time and set up the name of the game - especially for those drivers who’ve qualified for that 75-lap Championship of the World.

The new English points Champion and last years Thunder 500 winner 115 Chris Haird heads the entry whilst Rob McDonald plans to attend all the way from Scotland having finished second in the English points to Haird this season.

94 Steven Armit is another driver who plans to travel down from native Scotland having finished second in the Scottish points to 844 Billy Bonnar. Former 2LTR Hot Rod World Champion Gordon Alexander is set to make an appearance as he seeks valuable track time before the Wildcard races at Spedeweekend in just over two weeks’ time.

Brendan O’Connell is set to be the loan Southern Irish driver at Ipswich this Saturday. O’Connell only just missed out on qualifying for the World Final from the Irish points chart with only 261 David Casey and 925 Jeff Riordan beating him, arguably two of Southern Ireland’s quickest Hot Rod drivers.

Number 70 Shane Murray and 75 Carl Sloan are set to make the long haul over from Northern Ireland for this Saturday’s racing. These two finished sixth and seventh in a highly competitive Northern Irish points series this year and are two seriously quick drivers.

Murray himself is another former 2LTR Hot Rod World Champion whilst Sloan finished second in last year’s Thunder 500 Final.

66 John Van Den Bosch and 467 Winnie Holtmanns are set to add some international flavour to our line up as they travel from Holland and Germany. Both drivers have been around for a while but are still very quick and more than capable of bagging a surprise result.

World Champion 305 Billy Wood could be set to make one of his final appearances with the gold roof - although he hopes it won’t be – as he’ll eagerly look for the perfect set up ahead of the defence of his title in just over two weeks’ time.

The new European Champion 174 Jason Kew is set to try a few different things this Saturday as he tries to shake his Ipswich misfortune and bag the big one.

209 Kym Weaver, 23 Aaron Dew, 162 Carl Waller-Barrett, 524 Perry Cooke, 491 Colin Smith and 991 Scott Bourne will all be ones to watch for as well.

Of course, we also can’t forget who this meeting is truly for Angie Rowe who done so much for the National Hot Rods and will always be remembered.

The BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars will compete in their final 2019 tarmac World Qualifier, a week after an entertaining British Championship at the Hednesford Hills Raceway won by 84 Tom Harris. Harris has been in exceptional form so far in 2019 and will be looking to maintain that good form this Saturday.

197 Ryan Harrison is set to appear with his beautiful new tarmac car, he won the Final at this meeting last year so will be one to watch out for.

The BriSCA National Ministox also make their annual pilgrimage to the Foxhall Heath Stadium and will contest their 2019 Golden Helmet which will also double up as a National Championship qualifying round.

It’s sure to be another fantastic meeting as we continue to gear up towards Spedeweekend and the 2019 National Hot Rod Championship of the World.

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