Hello from the V8 Hotstox team! Some of you might not have seen or heard of us before, while (we hope) most of you will have heard of us, seen us and enjoyed watching us racing. Some of you may even remember us being known as V8 Stock cars and were there to witness our first ever race in 1984.
To those new to the party, the V8 Hotstox is a very similar stock car formula to that of the Formula 1, Formula 2 and other oval racing Formulas. We race oval circuits the same as the others, such as Hednesford, Kings Lynn, Skegness, Buxton and Bradford (to name a few). The Formula started off on the back of Formula 1 stock cars and was designed to be a more budget friendly version. There are more restrictions for the Formula, but don't let this fool you, there is certainly no restrictions on the wow factor and spectacular show they can put on! With less meetings per year as well (usually around 25) then this definitely helps the strain on the drivers pocket. With some tracks the V8 Hotstox can be around a second or two slower than the Formula 1's, so with plenty of bang for your buck, they are a great Formula to race in and be part of.
The cars themselves are very similar in size and stature to a Formula 1. However, there are a few noticeable differences that set these cars apart.
The cars - overall the cars are very similar in structure to a Formula 1 stock car, and in the early days some cars took some work but swapped formula. They are all purpose built single seaters, with steelwork all around, including rollcage, nurf bars (complete with wheel guards) and those all important bumpers.
The engines - the V8 Hotstox run Rover V8 engines, typically 3.5l or 4.2l which again have limits on how much can be done to them which limits their power output and keeps everyone on a level playing field
The tyres - a very noticeable difference is the tyres and the sizes. The V8's run skinnier tyres which again limits the amount of power that can be put down and the grip they can achieve.
Suspension - the suspension on a V8 hotstox keeps things simple and cost effective too, with the joint use of leaf springs and basic shock absorbers.
One of the major selling points within the V8's is the family ties, with siblings as well as parent and child combo's across the field. Currently there are around 11 or 12 of such combos, so family rivalry and good hearted banter comes in bag loads. With such a family based atmosphere, the entire community feels like one big family, helping each other out along the way.
Over the years some of the great names of other Formula have moved into, and moved out of the V8 Hotstox, with some of the big names such as Andrew Smith, Stuart Smith Jnr, Paul Hines, , Frankie Wainman Snr, Catherine Harris, Karl Hawkins and Phoebe Wainman to name a few. All of which used the V8's as a spring board into the F1's to boost their careers.
Most recently the standout drivers have been Kevin Stuchbury, Adam Joyce and Olly Spencer. With these drivers now no longer in the sport, the stage is set ready for the new and emerging talent to dominate the sport!
Moving onto the current drivers, and you cannot talk about V8 Hotstox without Bryan Andrew (355) being mentioned. A driver who has raced in every season since its conception, who has been on the podium for the big titles a number of times, but it has always escaped him. Could today be his day?
As earlier mentioned, a number of families compete against each other, and a very noticable duo this year is the Bullock brothers. Both starting in the minis, and with older brother Gilen (10) being in the scene for a few years now, his younger brother Evan (201) has already made a name for himself as a very quick and competent driver who has a number of heat and final wins to his name, despite is being his rooky year.
Another rooky who has taken the top step a number of times recently is Emma Ford (130). Using Fiancé Jon Brown's (288) shale car for a bit of fun, she has taken to it really well and some are calling for Jon to hand over the car on a full time basis! However, Jon himself is no slouch, and the former superstar driver has been on the podium of some of the big races in past years.
Stephen Young (176) is another driver who has been consistently good on both surfaces, taking and maintaining superstar grade for a number of grading periods now, and will most likely want to add the British Championship title to his Scottish Championship title too. Older brother Matthew (376) is also on the grid, and some good results on previous outings at Hednesford, and a Final win earlier in the season could make him a dark horse for the win.
Camey Dorrell (262) is a name which many people know of, not only due to being born into a family or racers including overseas, the cousin of the Wainman's sure does know how to mix it and again has a number of wins already this season. Can she make it happen in the big race?
We could go on and on with this section, as there are so many talented drivers on the grid, and each can turn the dial to 11 when the timing is right. Some of those not previously mentioned are still ones to watch and as always in stock cars, it can be anybodies race.
For more information on our drivers, keep an eye out on the social media pages for some driver profiles, such as the ones following.
Nobody on the grid this year has held the British title before, so with everyone hungry for the title win, it should be a very interesting race!
If you want to know more, to follow the sport, or maybe even to become part of it then you can find us on the usual social networking platforms and we have our own website too.
Some drivers have their own teamware which they sell, but also every driver would be appreciative of a sponser on their car or indeed a meeting! If this is something you are interested in the speak to the driver in question, or ask for the information of the BoC to organise sponsoring a meeting or two
Either way, don't be a stranger! We are all a friendly bunch who love to talk all things stock cars, so come give us a shout, get photos and get in the mix!
Main thumbnail image by Colin Casserley