Hot Rods refers to a number of British oval racing formula (not to be confused with hot rods, which are generally road-going modified vintage cars). Hot Rod racing was introduced at Hednesford Hills Raceway in the early 1960s as a British counterpart to NASCAR-style production car racing. The term 'stock car' was not adopted because it was already in use for a form of oval racing in Britain that had evolved in a very different way than American stock cars.

In south west England, hot rod racing evolved from a class known as sports and production car racing, which began at to be held at tracks in Plymouth and St Austell in the 1950s.

The rules of Hot Rod racing vary depending on promoters, of which there are many, most vehicles are based on European or Japanese hot hatches such as the Vauxhall Tigra and races are conducted on tarmac ovals 1/4 mile in length. Despite deliberate contact between cars being banned accidents are common due to the large number of cars (30+) within a tight environment.

The fastest and most expensive Rod formula are the National Hot Rods (not to be confused with the American based National Hot Rod Association) which use tube chassis, kevlar bodies and highly tuned 2 litre straight-4 engines. This formula also races in Ireland, continental Europe and South Africa. They have similarities with some of the more sophisticated mini-stock divisions in the USA. The World Championship race for the National Hot Rods is staged at the annual spedeweekend at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, which is traditionally held during the first weekend of July each year.

A smaller class known as 2 Litre Hot Rods are the next class down and are usually considered a stepping stone to the National class. Using smaller Hatchback style cars such as the Citroën Saxo. Their annual World Championship race is held at various tracks in England and Scotland, With every third running being staged at either of the two Spedeworth-sanctioned tracks (Tullyroan Oval or Aghadowey Oval) in Northern Ireland.

World Championship

First held in 1972, The World Championship Race for the National Hot Rods is considered the biggest and most important race of the year.

In it's early years the title befitted from the invitation of drivers from across the globe. Later years have seen the event take on a more domestic focus, although frequently featuring European and South African representation where the formula also race.

Year Venue Winner Car Model
1972 Ipswich England 108 Bob Howe Ford Escort mk1
1973 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk1
1974 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk1
1975 Ipswich England 304 Derek Fiske Ford Escort mk1
1976 Ipswich England 306 George Polley Ford Anglia
1977 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk2
1978 Ipswich England 351 Barry Lee Ford Escort mk2
1979 Ipswich England 356 Gordon Bland Ford Escort mk2
1980 Ipswich England 19 Mick Collard Ford Escort mk2
1981 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Toyota Starlet
1982 Ipswich Northern Ireland 932 Davy Evans Vauxhall Chevette
1983 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Toyota Starlet
1984 Ipswich England 88 Peter Grimer Toyota Starlet
1985 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Toyota Starlet
1986 Ipswich Northern Ireland 950 Norman Woolsey Toyota Starlet
1987 Ipswich England 306 George Polley Toyota Starlet
1988 Ipswich England 63 Phil White Toyota Starlet
1989 Ipswich Northern Ireland 950 Norman Woolsey Peugeot 205
1990 Ipswich Northern Ireland 942 Davy McCall Peugeot 205
1991 Ipswich England 413 Roger Peck Toyota Starlet
1992 Ipswich England 63 Phil White Vauxhall Nova
1993 Ipswich Northern Ireland 950 Norman Woolsey Peugeot 205
1994 Ipswich England 639 Ricky Hunn Peugeot 205
1995 Ipswich England 96 Ian McKellar Peugeot 205
1996 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Ford Fiesta mk3
1997 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 Ormond Christie Ford Fiesta mk3
1998 Ipswich England 718 Colin White Ford Fiesta mk3
1999 Ipswich England 718 Colin White Volkswagen Corrado
2000 Ipswich England 718 Colin White Volkswagen Corrado
2001 Ipswich England 175 John Steward Vauxhall Corsa B
2002 Ipswich Northern Ireland 942 Davy McCall Peugeot 206
2003 Ipswich England 230 Dave Longhurst Mitsubishi Colt
2004 Ipswich England 911 Malcolm Blackman Peugeot 206
2005 Ipswich Northern Ireland 994 Keith Martin Peugeot 206
2006 Ipswich England 41 Carl Boardley Vauxhall Tigra A
2007 Ipswich England 41 Carl Boardley Vauxhall Tigra A
2008 Ipswich England 41 Carl Boardley Vauxhall Tigra A
2009 Ipswich England 41 Carl Boardley Vauxhall Tigra A
2010 Ipswich England 115 Chris Haird Vauxhall Tigra B
2011 Ipswich England 911 Malcolm Blackman Peugeot 206 CC
2012 Ipswich Northern Ireland 9 Glenn Bell Vauxhall Tigra A
2013 Ipswich Northern Ireland 962 John Christie Vauxhall Tigra A
2014 Ipswich England 115 Chris Haird Vauxhall Tigra B
2015 Ipswich Republic of Ireland 970 Shane Murphy Vauxhall Tigra A
2016 Ipswich Northern Ireland 76 Adam Maxwell Vauxhall Tigra B
2017 Ipswich England 115 Chris Haird Vauxhall Tigra B
2018 Ipswich England 305 Billy Wood Vauxhall Tigra A
2019 Ipswich Scotland 17 Robert McDonald Vauxhall Tigra A
2020 Not held due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Ipswich Scotland 17 Robert McDonald Vauxhall Tigra A
2022 Ipswich Scotland 17 Robert McDonald Vauxhall Tigra A

Numbering System

As the sport developed across the country in the 1970s there was some confusion as drivers from different regions and promoters found themselves racing with the same numbers. The National Hot Rod Promoters Association (NHRPA) decided to introduce a national numbering system to help stop confusion, this format was used up until 1989.

  • Incarace 1-299
  • Spedeworth 300-599
  • PRI 600-699
  • West Country (Autospeed) 700-799
  • Scotland 800-899
  • Northern Ireland 900-999

See also

External links