Matt Barnard #69 at Wimbledon

The V8 Hotstox were recently invited down to compete at a – one off – last time burn out around the soon to close Wimbledon stadium. #69 Matt Barnard took the challenge and ventured South on the 22nd January.

A rushed affair ensued where after a quick pit stop to a family christening and then a dash to London, it was going to be a close call to arrive in time. A few miles from the stadium and disaster in that the London traffic brings them to a halt. A quick call to the track and they change the running order to allow him to get to track in time.

With practice missed it was a case of drive it from the trailer straight onto the track to the awaiting crowd and other competitors. No track experience or set up and Matt returns a credible 7th place.

Matt says “the difference in cars is quite something with bigger engines, lower weight limit, racing tyres and independent suspension, but the power & weight does seem to create them a problem in stopping for the bends”

A bit of time to change the car and the second heat he scores a 6th place. So a few more changes and a bit of track knowledge and Matt goes out for the final which is the ‘London Championship’ and comes home 2nd to #32 Darryl Harris.

Matt adds: “It was an incredible race opportunity and experience. The sound as you go through the tunnel onto the track is so cool. I would like to say a big thank you to the drivers and officials for making us feel so welcome . I know it was a one off and our cars are too different to run together, but I’m just glad I had to chance to race at this fantastic venue before its imminent closure, another sad loss to our sport”.

Chris Berry Photo