Kev Stuchbury won his 5 th V8 Hotstox World Championship in the 2022 MJS Recovery World Final at Buxton Raceway on September 18 th in what will be remembered as one of the greatest World Final races that the formula has seen. In classic stock car racing style, the race was decided on the last bend of the last lap as Stuchbury delivered the decisive blow to the 2021 World Champion Steve Thompson.
Thompson had led from the opening lap after a superb start but Stuchbury was able to catch up as the race went on. A fascinating dog fight broke out between rivals Stuchbury and Thompson as the race neared its finish. At one point, both drivers were nearly stationary as they exited turn 3 with neither driver wanting to take the lead. While the games were being played by Thomson and Stuchbury, Jon Brown was able to catch up in the final stages.
Stuchbury attacked Thompson going in to the final bend and was able to cross the line to take the chequered flag. Brown then tangled with Thompson in an attempt to claim second place, leaving both drivers in the barrier. Craig Thompson and Matt Barnard were able to claim the final places on the podium.
Stuchbury: “Up until now I have always said that winning your first World Final is the best feeling but I think this one is level with it. After the start, Steve had managed to get a good enough gap on me and I didn’t seem to be able to gain anything on him. Then I gained on him quickly. The problem in a V8 Hotstox is that if you’ve got two cars on the same pace it’s hard to get rid of them and get away. We had a good battle for the lead for a few laps but while we were battling with each other we had allowed Jon brown to catch up so if I wasn’t careful I was going to be battling for the lead with two drivers! I decided to sit behind Steve and pull a gap again. Before I knew it the 2 lap board was out and knew the only way to win now was the last bend. Sometimes it’s a gamble but this time it paid off. Steve slowed up going into the last bend and I just never shut off, I managed to push him wide and cross the line to take the gold roof.”
Earlier this season Stuchbury had announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Following his 5 th World Title win there have been many questions asked about his future. Stuchbury has however confirmed that he still plans to retire at the end of 2022.
With Stuchbury hanging up his racing boots, the race to be number 1 in the Hotstox formula will begin as soon as the 2023 season starts. Steve Thompson is likely to be the man to beat with Stuchbury stepping aside. Other superstars such as Stephen Young and Jon Brown will be looking to make strong starts to the 2023 season and show that they are looking to contend at the top of the
The 2022 season is not over yet with some exciting fixtures still ahead of the Hotstox drivers. Stuchbury will no doubt enjoy his final few meetings and will proudly display the gold roof for the 5th time in his career.
Pictures taken by James Bowles