National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 machine.  2020 part 2:

I hope everyone is looking after themselves and keeping well during these crazy and unsettling times. I really think it makes you stop and put into perspective just what things mean in life and how important friends, family and the oval racing world are to us all!


I will pick up where I left off and bring you right up to date with what we have been up to. After the crash in the NHRPA championship my car was left pretty sorry for itself. We set about rebuilding it in the garage but it was one of those impacts where the more you look the more you find wrong and we knew it would be tight getting it ready for Buxton. My friend Trevor very generously offered to lend me his Tigra though and even painted it for me!


After a really good round one I was 5th in the points so automatically a red top. Something I was really pleased about but maybe not so ideal seeing as it was a new car and a new track for me. Although we didn’t have the best results it was a day I really enjoyed. The track is great and I’m looking forward to going back again one day. The car was great too and although we had a few problems throughout the day, the potential and speed of the car really shone through and I really appreciate the opportunity I had to use it.


We had my Tigra back together for the next round which was August bank holiday at Ipswich. It was a really hot day and people were queuing up to get in like they do at a Spedeweekend. It really was a great sight to see.  It was a great day for us and really summed up everything Hot Rod racing is and should be about.


Next stop was Aldershot for a very rare qualifying round without my dad. Starting at the back all day on the tight track saw us struggle and we left with no points. I was really frustrated with myself so it was a quiet drive home!


With a gap in the racing for a few weeks, Joanne and I headed off to America for a few weeks on our honeymoon. We flew to Boston, drove all around New England and then got a train to New York. It really was a trip of a lifetime. We managed to visit two race tracks whilst we were there, Beechridge Motor Speedway in rural Maine and Seekonk Raceway on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border. Both were absolutely incredible and I was just left totally in awe with the whole thing. One thing Americans love is sport and short track racing really is no exception!


We flew home on the Saturday and Northampton was scheduled for the Sunday. My Dad and Mork had spent hours in the garage getting the car ready for the shale but the weather had other ideas with the rain stopping play. I can remember having to clean the mud off my minis after a wet meeting as a kid though so I wasn’t heartbroken that I didn’t have to do this to the Hot Rod. I will happily admit to being a fair weather racer these days!


The last few meetings of the year were a struggle for us. I felt we were getting slower but we just couldn’t put our finger on It. We kept plugging away and I was happy going into the winter 11th in the points chart.


We had arranged a weekend away in Yorkshire with the Sibbalds in November that included a day trip to Lochgelly for John to race his last round of the season. As I said earlier I am a fully fledged fair weather racer these days and as much as I love Lochgelly, the icy cold rain that greeted us that evening was more than enough to round off both 2019 and the decade’s racing for me! I have never been so glad to get in a warm van and leave the track before!


Since the season has finished we have been really busy in the workshop but more on that the next time. I can’t see us getting out racing for a while yet and even when we can it will all depend on finances as our business, like so many others, has been hit pretty hard by this hateful virus.


I hope everyone continues to stay safe and follow guidelines so we can get back to doing what we love soon.


Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time,



National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 machine.  2020 part 1:

Welcome Back

It has been over two years since you last heard from me – where has the time gone?  A lot has happened in that time and what initially was going to be a few months off racing after my ban was up, ended up to be 18 months.


We didn’t look at the car for quite a while but once we did we decided to strip it right down, make some changes and give it a really big rebuild.  It took us a lot longer than we expected because, as many of you know, a huge fire almost destroyed our business in June 2018 and pretty much our entire lives were dedicated to sorting that out for a few months.


We got there in the end though and after some initial engine problems whilst testing, we finally got out again at Skegness on Good Friday in 2019. With a rebuilt car, a new colour scheme and a fresh outlook to racing we were ready to go again.


It all started off really well with a fourth in heat 1.  But then it went downhill quickly as we blew a diff on the way to the line in heat 2 which meant we were out for the remainder of the night.  All was good though and the bug was definitely back!


It was only two months until our wedding at this point and no way could we afford either the time or the money to commit to much racing.  But it was in all our minds if we could just do five meetings then we would be able to do the National Championships in August.  The problem was there were only six meetings between Good Friday and the Hednesford Weekender - one of them being the day after the wedding!


The next few meetings were very uneventful for us as we had a few problems with the car and I was being extra careful to avoid damage.  I took whatever points I could and just kept plodding on.  We raced Ipswich on Easter Monday, followed by another Ipswich and Hednesford in May.  This meant if we did round one at Birmingham we would have done five rounds and would be eligible for the National Championship.


The wedding was now upon us after two years of planning.  We had the ceremony in a lovely church in the Village of Leafield and then the reception in a big marquee on the family farm.  The day went perfectly and was without a doubt the best day of my life. I got to marry my best friend Joanne, who looked absolutely beautiful.  All my friends behaved themselves at the bar (although it did run out of drink) and John didn’t embarrass me too much in his speech.  I didn’t race the next day, although I’m sure there were a lot of sorry faces walking around the pits at Aldershot!


We decided after the wedding to go completely against what I said in my last entry and attempt a full season with the view of qualifying for the 2020 World Final.  Dad changed the car again and we booked in for the Thunder 500 at the end of June.  It is a meeting over the years I have had terrible luck at but we decided to give it a go anyway. As soon as I pulled onto the track for practice I was instantly glad we had as the car was absolutely transformed and in my nine years of racing a National I had never driven anything like it! We had a mid-pack draw and finished the heats ninth and eleventh.  This put us tenth on the grid for the final which we finished in tenth.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but after years of starting and finishing championships at the back it was a great result for us!


We decided not to race at Spedeweekend and save the car for round one at Birmingham.  Most of you will know that this has always been my favourite track and I couldn’t wait to get out there racing again.  Heat one was brilliant, the car still felt amazing and I was really pleased with a second place. It all started to go wrong from there though.  We got a ninth in heat 2 but the car was a complete animal to drive, totally unpredictable and just hard work. Dad made some changes and we tried again for the final, but it was even worse.  Somehow, by sheer luck, we finished tenth and I was very glad to be back in the pits in one piece.  Overall it was a good meeting though with some great points to kick start the campaign and third fastest lap of the night was the icing on the cake.


Back in the garage it didn’t take long to find the problem – the rear link bars were bent like bananas.  With those changed it was time to head off to what I think is the best weekend of the year, the National Championships, and after watching it from the sidelines for two years I was really looking forward to getting back out there.


I honestly think it turned into one of the best meetings we have ever had, although it didn’t end very well! A tenth, a second and a tenth in the heats meant we qualified twelfth for the big race.  Once again it doesn’t sound like much, but it was a huge thing for us after all the years of trying to be up in the sharp end and we had finally achieved it.  We finished the race in thirteenth, and considering the quality of the drivers starting in front of us I was very happy with this.


I wish we had just left things there though and not gone back out for the NHRPA Championship.  I drew almost last on the grid and we headed out for the race. I can actually tell you very little about what happened next: the first thing I can remember is Terry Hunn shouting was I ok?  I was parked in the side of his brand new Fiesta in the middle of huge pile up of badly damaged cars.  Looking back, I was actually quite lucky my car was not as badly damaged as others.


I will leave it there for today but will be back before the start of the season to bring you an update with how our first half of the qualifying campaign has gone.


I just want to thank everyone who has helped us over the last two years. I have had the worst and best days of my life and the people around us have been absolutely amazing through both.  The oval racing community is truly something incredible.  Special thanks must also go to my wife- you are stuck with me now!


Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 131, 14/12/17

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


The end of an era


March 2008 saw us jump head first into the world of National Hot Rod racing.  Nine complete seasons later, five World Final starts, a few race wins and hundreds of memories later sees us arrive here at this point.  Although I’ve never been a champion or one of the fast lads, I’m still proud of all I have done and achieved. I’ve made some awesome friends, met my future wife and drunk far too much beer!


I’m not proud of the fact we are presently banned but in my eyes ‘needs must’ sometimes.

I certainly have no argument with the punishment or any sort of problem with the NHRPA -they are just doing their jobs at the end of the day.  This blog has never been about politics, it has always been about my racing, so we can just leave it there and move on from it.


Overall this half of the season has been one to forget for us.  After finding some form at the end of the last qualifying campaign things have gone backwards ever since.   That, mixed with illness, injury and damage have just made it a few months to forget.  I don’t want to dwell on it so won’t go into any more detail and bore you with depressive meeting reports!


Loads of people have been asking me what my plans are now and if I’m honest I really have no idea.  The Tigra A has been sold and will be heading off to its new owner soon but I couldn’t bring myself to part with ‘old faithful Tigra B’, so it will be stripped down and rebuilt gradually, as and when we feel like it.  When it’s back together and the ban is up I might come out for the odd meeting but I can’t imagine me ever having a serious year trying to qualify for the World Final again.  Certainly not until after the wedding in 2019, anyway.


I’m sure this sounds stupid but I’ve felt a kind of relief and new found freedom these last few weeks.  We have lived life round a racing fixture list for so long and now we can go away when we want and not have to give up numerous hours each week in the garage.  Also the money we are going to save means we might actually be able to feed everyone at our wedding!


I don’t think I will ever be able to give up National Hot Rods completely because they have been such a massive part of my life for so long.  I have loved doing this blog and think I will keep it going as and when I have things to talk about . . .  it can be called “tales of an occasional racer”.   Hopefully it will be able to include some stories of travelling and racing just for fun.  There are lots of races every year besides the World Final so hopefully we can get out and experience some of those.


I have fancied trying something new for a while now so I might do my ARDS licence and hire a pickup for a meeting - after years of turning right it would be cool to experience a left turn for a change.  I have never even driven on a circuit before though so I’m sure it will be a huge learning curve!


I don’t plan on even touching the Hot Rod this side of Christmas – it’s still in the lorry looking very sorry for itself after Hednesford.  But we do plan on gutting the workshop and having a mammoth tidy up.   Many years’ worth of treasure has built up round the edges leaving us with a space for the car to sit and not much else.  The amount of stuff we have collected over the years is incredible so if anyone needs any spares, I’m your man!


I really want to thank absolutely everyone for everything they have done for me, not just in my time racing Nationals but throughout my racing career.  Oval racing has been, and always will be, such a large part of my life.  Although it’s currently time to focus on some other things, 2017 has easily been the best year of my life (in the real world) - getting engaged and buying our first home together.


Good luck to everyone racing next year . . . I hope the formula continues to grow and thrive.


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time (whenever that is),



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 130, 20/08/17

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


A hectic summer (part one)


I’m sorry these blogs have been so sporadic over recent months; life is really going at a crazy pace for us at the minute and finding time to do anything has been a struggle.  Racing has certainty been no exception with lots to do and usually absolutely no time to do it!


With last season ending so well we headed into the world final really happy, we gave the car its usual rebuild, a coat of paint and Jason did some new stickers.  I had been so happy with it at the last round that we were absolutely adamant that we would leave the suspension alone and hope it went round Ipswich just as well.  It didn’t!  It had so much push in the hot laps that the track was barely wide enough for me.  It was as bad in the big race too and after a few laps I decided to call time and pull off there was no point risking getting in the way risking damage and ruining someone else’s race.  It’s always a disappointment pulling off in the world final but this year was so frustrating after thinking we had the car going so well.  It just goes to show how complicated Hot Rods are these days - just because it worked at one place doesn’t mean it will at another.


Dad changed some things for the reverse grid race and the car felt loads better.  The race was going well when every racer’s worst nightmare happened, the oil light flashed on coming out of the corner.  Not wanting to risk it we decided that was game over for the weekend and put the car back in the lorry.  The highlight of the weekend for us was winning The Orange Army’s award for the best presented car and team.  Everyone had worked so hard getting the car ready, and with everyone else’s cars looking so good, it was great to win it.  Joanne has claimed the trophy and it is pride of place in the living room.  It should really be us presenting them with the award though, as without all the hard work and dedication from them we wouldn’t be able to race at all!


Although we didn’t think there was much wrong with the engine we decided it would be for the best to get it checked out so it was removed and sent back to Cannock for a once over.  Whilst this was going on we decided to put the A back together and give that a run at Aldershot.  I had an engine sitting in the shed from John Sibbald and we borrowed lots of bits off team Kew, as usual it was a total last minute rush but we got in finished and headed off to get the new season underway. 


As soon as we pulled onto the track in practice I knew something was up, the car was misfiring and wouldn’t pull out the bends at all.  Back in the pits and with bits being changed everywhere we hoped to have cured it and I headed out for race one.  It was however just as bad, and after the first lap I found myself parked in the middle.  We missed heat 2 after a rush to change more bits and get onto the track; it died in the pits and wouldn’t go again.  Obviously we qualified dead last for the final but it didn’t matter because again, after just a few laps, we found ourselves a spectator from the infield.  A misfire you can’t cure is probably the most annoying thing in the world of racing cars.  The car runs lovely in the garage and the pits but as soon as you put it under load on the track it starts missing.


Not the best start to the season for us but just one of those things.  There are still plenty of meetings to go yet!  I think the National Championship deserves a blog in its own right, so I’ll be back soon to bring you right up to date with that one!


Thanks as ever for reading - until next time...



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 129, 03/06/17

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


The Shortest Retirement


2017 didn’t begin well for us . . . and it certainly didn’t improve on Good Friday at Northampton.  The lorry had an incident with a gate post the night before and the day turned into a complete disaster from start to finish.  I left with the feeling that I didn’t want to race any more.  I made up my mind and said I was going to have a break.  I still loved National Hot Rods but things were on the rocks!


I cancelled my booking for Ipswich on the Monday and left the car feeling sorry for itself in the garage.  I’d been putting myself under so much pressure to do well that I’d forgotten why I was doing it in the first place.  And by not going, it helped me realise how much I really enjoy it and helped clear my head and gave me an entirely new outlook on it:  race when I want, where I want, and enjoy it.


With that said, the car was repaired and we booked in to race the next meeting at Hednesford.  Dad had made lots of adjustments and we thought it was a perfect opportunity to try it before Rob Austin races the car there in August.  Straight away in practice the car felt great and with a starting position near the front of the grid I was hoping to have a good day.  Sure enough, luck was on my side and I had a second and third in the two heats which qualified me outside front row for the final.  After a few silly mistakes I finished the race seventh.  All in all, it was a really good day and I had re-found my love for it.


I really didn’t intend to do Aldershot but as it got closer and the car was ready I decided to book in and go along, and after leaving late we arrived just in time for practice!  I know lots of people moan about it but I don’t dislike the track and again found myself pleased with the car.  Starting further back in the blues I wasn’t expecting any miracles but an eleventh and twelfth in the heats and a ninth in the final meant points in every race.


Now this left me in a bit of a situation - it was looking like qualifying for the World Final was a real possibility and although the last meeting at Northampton was still fresh in my head we decided to book in, still sticking with the no pressure approach.  If I got in, great . . . it would be a bonus but if I didn’t, then, oh well! 


All the way to the track the weather was lovely but just as I sat waiting to go out for a practice there was a torrential downpour.  The pits were flooded within minutes and everyone was feeling pretty miserable.  I’m the first to admit that I’m hopeless in the wet and I was really unsure how the first race would go.  Once again dad had made some changes to the car and I was starting in the middle of the blue tops.


The car felt absolutely amazing, the best it has ever been to drive.  Normally in the wet it does everything it can to try and kill me but it was doing exactly what I wanted it to and I managed to overtake a few cars and finish sixth.  I was absolutely over the moon and it felt just as good, if not better, than any race win.


The track had dried for heat two so it was back onto slicks for the rest of the night.   The car felt just as good in the dry and I managed to finish the race in third.  This qualified me on the outside front row for the final.  I’ve said it before but starting the final on the front row is so nerve-racking with nothing in front of you but clear track.  I can only imaging what it must be like sitting there for a World Final!


I made a bit of a mess of the first lap and quickly lost a few places but over the next few laps managed to gain a couple back again.  The car was feeling great and to be able to keep up with the top runners was the best feeling ever.  To finish the race fourth and end the season on such a high was amazing.  My dad and Mork spend so long on the car and for it to come together and go as well as it did was such a great feeling for them as well as me.


I can’t believe another season is over.  I know I have contradicted myself in a big way these last few weeks by racing, but I honestly didn’t plan to qualify for this year’s World Final.  It’s just a bonus that I have.  I’ve enjoyed the last few meetings more than any racing for years and I really plan to just take the “racing for fun” forward into next year and see how it goes.  We have so much going on in our lives right now that I just want to enjoy my hobby!


Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and support recently, the racing family really are the best people in the world.  Also, thanks to everyone who makes my racing possible - and to those who put up with me when I had my big strop!


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 128, 14/04/17

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings. This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


A Terrible Start


Sorry you haven’t heard from me for a while but in truth there just hasn’t been anything worth writing about.  So far the 2017 racing season has been a complete disaster!


On the Wednesday night before the first meeting at Birmingham we decided very last minute to throw the car in the lorry and head up and do some testing . . . just to make sure all the changes we’d made over the winter felt ok.  We were very late leaving and the weather was evil all the way to the track.  Even though the rain had stopped by the time we arrived and although the track was very slippery, it wasn’t wet enough to run wet tyres so we changed it back onto slicks and I headed out to try the car.


Straight away the car felt fantastic, responding to every move I made and staying exactly where I placed it.  I pushed it more each lap but as we exited turn 2 and passed under the big Birmingham sign the engine decided enough was enough and gave up!  Obviously this was game over for not only the evening, but seeing as we don’t have a spare engine and the other car is stripped down, for the meeting on the Saturday night too!


I want to take this opportunity to thank Team Kew for the generous offer to use their new car.  It was very much appreciated, but one poorly car was enough without risking damaging another!


We decided not to even bother watching at Birmingham.  Standing on the sidelines and watching places in the points chart escape from me wasn’t my idea of a fun Saturday so we stayed at home in the warm instead.  The engine was taken straight out and we decided to get it repaired and try and make it back out in time for Wimbledon.


The guys at John Toovey Race Engines did a great job in getting the engine repaired and back to us in record time, so once again, we put everything back together and headed back up to Birmingham for another practice.  The weather was still terrible but this time it decided not to stop raining as early.  It left us with a greasy track that was neither dry enough for slicks but without the standing water needed for wets.  We left slicks on for the first run and just couldn’t find any grip anywhere, so put wets on and headed out again.  Although the car felt good it really wasn’t a fair test as in real race conditions you would never have been running the wets.  Slightly frustrated we headed home happy with the car, and excited for a trip into the capital.


Having been racing since I was ten years old this would be my one and only time racing at Wimbledon Stadium (and only about my fourth ever visit to the place).  I knew what great memories it had for people and of all the great races over the years, so I was excited to go and say that I had chance to race at its last ever meeting.


One downside was we aren’t able to take our lorry into London so the car was loaded onto the trailer, and five of us and the spares all squeezed into my dad’s car.  We set off on the 70 mile trip into London - a trip that should have taken us just over an hour but ended up taking three.  It was, however, a beautiful sunny Sunday and promised to be a great night of racing.


We headed out to practice and I got to drive through the famous tunnel for the first time, giving the car a rev and listening to it echoing . . . it really is a great way to enter the stadium.  The track was smaller than I expected and the post and wire around the edge made you respect it.  Although a little bumpy, the track was good and the car felt great. Heading back to the pits it was another rev through the tunnel and a good feeling that everything was going to plan.


Before the meeting started there was the Grand Parade - something you don’t really see any more but has been part of Wimbledon’s history for many years.   Joanne drove me round, and looking out from the middle into the packed stands made you realise just how many people loved the place and had come to see it out in style.  It felt more like the funeral of a celebrity than a race meeting!


The first race got under way okay but I couldn’t find the rhythm with the car.  Everything I did it seemed to oppose and I felt like I was fighting it round the track rather than us working together.  I was glad to see the chequered flag and head back into the pits, disappointed with not scoring any points.


We made some changes to the car and headed out for the second race.  The car felt just as bad though and seemed to get worse after every lap, until coming past the start line I felt something break and the car go low on one side.  I pulled off knowing that the race was over for me.


We soon found the problem, the driver’s side rear link bar was bent and not having the lorry and such a small spares package with us meant we couldn’t change it,  so it was game over and the car was loaded onto the trailer.


It was a great experience and at least I can always say I had the chance to race there.  However, it was another complete disaster and has left our chances of qualifying for this year’s World Final in doubt.  But we have lots of other things going on at the moment, so if racing has to take a back seat, then so be it.  The World Final is still the ultimate goal but we will just see how it goes.  (Written on 14th April)


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time.



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 127, 09/03/17

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


She said Yes!


It’s certainly been a busy few months for us!  Since the last meeting the car has been stripped down and put on a major diet (the same can’t be said for the driver though!).  Every spare bracket has been cut off and every component has been made as light as possible in the hunt to get the car as close to the magic 700kg as possible.  I thought the car was slow at the last meeting and the engine was taken out and sent back to try and gain a bit more power.  It turned out that the problem was with the ignition pack - something inside the electrical box had given up causing the car to lose around 40bhp.  This is all sorted now, and combined with a new exhaust system from Edwards Motorsport, the car should have more power than ever before.


Dad had some ideas he has wanted to try with the suspension on the car for a while now, so over the winter he has been busy with the grinder and the welder.  I’m happy driving the car but he is at his happiest when he is in the garage working on it, looking for anything to make it that little bit better.


Having used both cars a bit last year, we decided to stick with the old faithful Tigra B for now.  We know it like the back of our hand and have had it so long it’s like a part of the family.  Plus the fact we have an entire garage full of parts to fix it with when something goes wrong!


We headed off to spend Christmas in Florida; having 2 weeks in the sun when it was cold and horrible here was amazing.  I learnt the Americans like three things:  beer, food and race cars, so I loved it.  We went on a tour of the track at Daytona and it absolutely blew my mind - the sheer size of the place is breath taking!  When the Daytona 500 is on, the track has nearly 200,000 people inside, 100,000 of them in the stand.  Going to watch a race there is something I definitely want to do . . .


It was really weird not racing in the Live Action Arena this year.  Wandering round the Autosport show on the Sunday seemed very strange without having to run back out every hour to do a show.  It was good to catch up with lots of people though and hopefully the powers that be will invite us back to race in there again in 2018.


As many of you know the wonderful Joanne came into my life 18 months ago, calming me down and turning me into a civilised person (almost). We have lived together for over a year now and whilst walking on Benone Beach in Northern Ireland on Valentine’s Day I plucked up the courage and asked her to marry me!  Luckily she said yes!  I can honestly say it was the most nerve racking few minutes of my life.  It made any race seem like a drive to the supermarket!


Joanne is now busy looking at cakes and flowers and all the other things that go with a wedding.  And, yes lads, that does mean a stag do!  But please be nice to me - I am a changed man after all!


Some other big news is that Touring Car star Rob Austin will take the wheel of my car again this year, competing in the National Championship weekend at Hednesford.  I’m looking forward to seeing Rob back out in the car and I’m sure he will do a much better job than me driving it!


Back in the garage and the first meeting of the year is only days away.  As usual we are completely unprepared and will have a couple of very late nights ahead of us getting ready.  The car is being re-stickered for Wimbledon so for now it’s just a matter of getting it back to being usable then we can tidy it up next week.  Some practice beforehand would be nice but at the minute I think it’s asking a bit much!


I’m really looking forward to this season!


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time,



BTCC Star Rob Austin to race

National Championship in the

#27 National Hot Rod

Touring Car racer Rob Austin will enter the Hot Rod National Championship event at Hednesford Hills Raceway in August.


The two-time BTCC racer winner, who will handle a Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis in this season’s tin-top contest, has been offered the outing in Mikey Godfrey’s Vauxhall Tigra. The race meeting takes place on August 5/6.


The Hednesford Hills event is a one-off meeting for hot rods, with the winner being crowned as the National champion. Adam Hylands won it in 2016.


Austin said: “The National Hot Rod races are like BTCC races but without left-handers.


“They are close and action packed but most of all they are great fun so I’m really pleased to be invited back for another go and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”


Austin drove Godfrey’s car in the Motorsport News Trophy in 2015, a one-off event organised by MN that pitched six BTCC drivers against each other in a 10-lap dash.


Following that run, which was the curtain-raiser to the Thunder 500 Trophy race, Godfrey lent Austin his car for the rest of the meeting and he joined in with category regulars.


Godfrey said: “Rob loved his run in my car before and this was a chance to let him have another go. The Nationals is a strong event and he will be up against some top drivers, but he knows the cars and the formula now so I think he will have a great time.


“It will be rather odd watching from the sidelines and seeing someone go round in ‘my’ car though.”


Godfrey has a number of other initiatives planned throughout the year in his T and B Motors Tigra. Watch this space for more details.  Thanks to Motorsport News and Matt James.

Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 126, 21/12/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


Another Year Over


Time is one thing that scares me.  The speed at which this season has passed is utterly unbelievable.  It only seems like yesterday we were loading the car ready for the first meeting and now here we are in the winter break again.


What a season it has been, with the usual crazy rollercoaster of ups and downs, the last two meetings showing just what contrasts you can have in racing and how it can go from great to terrible in a matter of seconds.


Heading to Ipswich for round 6 I had a good feeling about it, the car had been great the last time we were there and since then my dad has been busy making a few more changes to it.   The terrible results from the previous few meetings meant I was starting near the front and I was keen to make the most of it and score a few points.


Straight away in practice the car felt great so I headed out for the first race feeling confident.   Luckily, for once, everything went my way and I got into the lead and managed to hold on to it and win the race.  The car performed perfectly and is a credit to all my dad’s hard work.  Over the years the trusty old Tigra B and me have been through a lot together and after the disastrous few months we’ve had it was brilliant to have it going so well and be able to get a win.


Luck stayed with me for the second heat too and after almost a race long battle with Danny Hunn in the Mazda I crossed the line second, even though I was under a great deal of pressure from a very fast moving Bradley Dynes in the Ginetta during the closing laps.


The two heats had given me enough points to start on pole for the final.  Ipswich under the lights to me has always summed up what Hot Rod racing is about, and to be lined up in front of 30 cars waiting for the flag to drop is both a brilliant and truly terrifying feeling.  The final turned into one of my favourite races to date and although I lost the lead to Bradley Dynes early on and lost places to Adam Maxwell and Chris Haird during the race it was great being back up to speed and on the pace with the quick cars.  I crossed the line fourth but after a penalty in the top 3, and Adam not racing for points, I got the points for second - rounding off the night wonderfully and putting me back in the top ten going into the last round of the year at Hednesford.


After such a great meeting at Ipswich we didn’t touch anything on the car, just checked it all over and headed to Hednesford hoping for it to go as well.  It just shows how unpredictable things can be in Hot Rod racing because the car was absolutely terrible all day.  I’m sure some of it was down to me but I couldn’t seem to get the car going right and felt like I was leagues behind everyone else.


The first race was a complete disaster resulting in a black flag, not one I agree with but this isn’t the place for politics and I’m not going to go into it now.  I will respect the Steward for making a decision and sticking with it and move on.  The weather in the first heat had been terrible and the car was a complete animal, spinning the wheels with even the smallest touch of the throttle.  Dad made some changes for heat 2, improving it greatly but I was still slow and unable to put up much of a fight and I slipped back finishing the race in thirteenth place and just in the points.


This left me starting at the back in the final on a now dry track.  Out of all the races I’ve done I can say there has never been one like this!  I have never seen so many restarts and cars retiring over 35 laps.   I was struggling for speed and plodding round at the back and still finished eleventh.  When the chequered flag came out there were lots more cars on the infield than were left racing on the track!


Not a good day by any stretch but the car was complete and I had a few points which leaves me going in to the winter break tenth in the points.  We have a busy winter ahead looking to lose some weight out of the Tigra B and finding out why we were struggling at the last meeting.  The Tigra A is sitting in the workshop patiently waiting for surgery to fit the Duratech.  I think we’re going to strip it right down and rebuild it, a bit more of a long term project but I’m hoping it will be ready to hit the track around May time.


I just want to stop and say thank you to everyone for their continued support - it is always very much appreciated!  The chance to race National Hot Rods is amazing but it’s the people that make it brilliant!


I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.  I wish everyone all the best for 2017 and I look forward to catching up with you all at a track soon.   But for now we have a plane to catch as we are heading to Florida to enjoy Christmas in the sun.


Until next time.


Thanks as ever for reading



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 125, 16/12/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


Facts and Figures


As I write this, today is my birthday - 27 is a good number!   Next season will be my 18th season of racing and my 9th in a National Hot Rod.  I’m just guessing now, but that’s around 1100 National Hot Rod races, 27,500 laps, 6875 miles of racetrack, countless front bumpers, and literally thousands of hours in the garage . . . oh, and 6 million tantrums!


Over the years I have raced at 22 tracks in 5 countries and I’ve owned 5 Minis and 3 Hot Rods.  Although I’ve never won anything major, I’ve been lucky enough to win a few races and have gained an entire lifetime worth of memories along the way.


I’ve never stopped and broken it down into numbers before but for something different I’m going to give it a go.  They are all just estimates and very rough so please don’t take them as facts, but over the 8 full seasons completed in Hot Rods (2008-2016), I think on average we have used 130 new slicks (most of which are now abandoned at various points around my long-suffering mother’s garden), 5200 litres of Shell Optimax petrol, 1632 teabags, travelled over 30,000 miles, and I have drunk my body weight in beer (that one might be a slight exaggeration).


In that time, I have stayed at John Sibbald’s house over 100 times, and outstayed my welcome 99 of them, suffered numerous hangovers, been to countless parties and nearly sunk their boat.  We’ve walked 100 miles in 5 days and I lost a pair of glasses on the side of the M6 motorway.  Thanks for those memories John.


I have been lucky to have such supportive parents ever since I started racing and over the years they have given up so much to enable me to race every weekend.  Now I am lucky again that Joanne and her parents are fully behind it as well.   It really is a family commitment and even though you don’t intend it to, it completely takes over your life!  As a friend said to me last week, “When it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood, you can’t get it out and just have to go with it.”


Compared to some of the other racers I’m still a relative newcomer to the sport but have seen lots of drivers, cars, officials and tracks come and go.  Lots of things have changed and are continuing to change.  Is the new Ginetta about to bring the Tigra’s reign of domination to an end?  Will everyone decide the Ford Duratech is the engine of choice rather than the old Vauxhall Red Top?  Will fuel injection be allowed?  Will someone make a big breakthrough in suspension and turn the entire sport on its head?  Will Chris Haird have won 10 world finals by 2030?  Or will the Irish still be the dominant force they have been in recent years?  Will Deane Wood have built a UK super track that puts Daytona to shame?   So many questions. . .


Although some days Hot Rods drive me to the brink of insanity, I love them, and I sure as hell know I’ll be hanging around to find out all the answers to the above questions.


. . .  so here’s to the next 8 years!


Until next time.


Thanks as ever for reading



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 124, 08/11/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


The Return


The plan had always been to rebuild the Tigra A over the winter before we started to use it, and with a month between qualifying rounds and the Duratech engine freshly rebuilt at Toovey Race Engines, we decided to park the A up until the break and dig the trusty old B back out.   After its big smash at the Thunder 500 it was completely rebuilt for the World Final and with a new engine in, it was pretty much like having a brand new car.   Some ideas from the A were taken over and after many long nights in the garage the old girl was ready to go again.   I’ve had that car since 2010 and we’ve been through lots together so it was nice to see her all back in one piece and getting loaded in the lorry ready to go again.


Ipswich on a Saturday night sums up everything I think Hot Rods should be.  The stadium itself is so impressive when it gets dark and I think it just brings out how good all the cars at the minute look.  All the work in the garage seemed to have paid off because in practice the car felt the best it ever has.  I went out for the first race feeling excited and looking forward to seeing how the car would get on.  It quickly turned into a disaster though and after I fell asleep on the start and lost a few places I found myself on the outside trying to get back past the cars who had beaten me away from the grid.  The car was feeling awesome and for the first time I felt I could attack on the outside and go forward.  It wasn’t to be though and I got pushed going into the corner, resulting in a kiss with the Foxhall Armco, a bitten tongue and once again a rather unhealthy Tigra B.


I think I must be cursed at Ipswich because I haven’t been able to do more than 15 laps there for months, and although the damage wasn’t major it was enough to see the car loaded into the lorry.  The new front was all smashed and all the crash structures were bent.   It was a disaster of a night but at least we had made progress and the car was brilliant when it was going and we did get to enjoy the rest of the races with a beer up in the Spedeworth box with ‘Mr Motorsport News’ Matt James and his partner Nadine.


The next weekend saw us heading to Brands Hatch to watch the Touring Cars.  Matt had very kindly got us some passes so we could wander freely through the pits and Ken could get out onto the track with his camera and take photos.   With it being the last round of the season the races were action packed and it was great to see Rob Austin having such a good weekend and getting himself on the podium.  Once again it was great to see how the teams work and just how professional it all is . . . they are just like expensive Hot Rods really and they have about the same level of contact in most races!  It was really good of Matt to give us the passes and I really can’t thank him and Nadine enough for all the things that they do for us.  It was a great experience and one I know we won’t forget in a hurry.  If I didn’t race for the next twenty seasons I might be able to afford to do one round in a Touring Car!


Back in the garage and the car was in bits again and we were lucky really because the damage wasn’t as bad as we first thought.  After some welding, filling, painting and plenty of swearing it was back together and ready to go again, and we headed off to Hednesford hoping the car would feel as good as it did at Ipswich.  Luckily it did and in practice I found myself getting more comfortable with it every lap I did.  It has been a credit to my dad and even with very limited feedback from me he has persevered and kept plodding away and improving it over the years.  I’m pretty sure if you put a decent driver behind the wheel it would be a really competitive car!


After another sleepy start from me the first race got underway.   It didn’t end well though and after just a few laps I got spun, leaving me in the middle.  The second race was better and I finished in sixth place.  I qualified in the middle for the final and in my opinion it was one of the most enjoyable races I have ever had.  The car felt great and I was going forward up the grid - I even managed a better start and was overjoyed to finish in twelfth place.   The car still had four wheels and I’d scored a few points too!


Matt “3 cans” James and Nadine had invited Rob Austin and his wife to come along and watch and it’s been decided that Rob will be out in my car again soon so keep watching this space.


Although things haven’t really gone my way this year I’m still enjoying it as much as ever. The car is great and I’m looking forward to the last two meetings of 2016.  I’m sad that Hot Rods won’t be in the Live Action Arena at the NEC next year but it gives us chance to get stuck in and get the A rebuilt.


I’ll be back soon to bring you up to date with how the year ends for us and answer the question everyone keeps asking me; “What’s better - the Tigra A or Tigra B?”


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time.



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 123, 25/10/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


A break from brakes 

After a hectic few months Joanne and I decided to take a weekend off and head north to stay with John and Kylie for a few days.   We got a flight at some unsociable hour in the morning and found ourselves having breakfast in John’s house for 9am.   Every time we go Iona seems to have doubled in size, and it’s only five years until she can get a Ninja Kart! 

We all planned to have a day off and go into Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival.  We went on the train so we could have a few drinks.   It was nice to have a day without a car in sight, although John did manage to choose maybe the strangest show ever for us to watch!  The next day was back to normal though with Touring Cars racing at Knockhill.   John had invited some of his customers for the day and had a hospitality unit (complete with beer) on the side of the track.  He very kindly gave us a couple of tickets.   It was a good spot just a short walk from the paddock and thanks to some passes from Matt James at Motorsport News we got into the pits and amongst all the action.    I was completely blown away with how professional it is and also just how much it costs . . . I think you could run a Hot Rod for twenty years for what a season in Touring Cars costs! 

Although we had been away for a few days this hadn’t slowed down Dad and Mork.  In the garage the Tigra A was once again in bits and being modified; the shock absorbers were borrowed from the Tigra B and the front brake pipes and master cylinders changed.  We had bitten off a little more than we could chew really and for a while it was looking doubtful that we would be at Birmingham but after a few late nights the car was ready and we headed off to what is my favourite track in the UK to race at.  

With all the terrible results I’ve been having I found myself starting in the front group of cars.  The first race got off to a good start and I got into the lead.   However, bad luck wanted to strike one final time and after getting caught up behind a back marker I ended up being spun coming out of turn four and getting beached up onto the rumble strips.  This was the end of the race for me which was frustrating because at last the car had brakes and things were heading in the right direction.

The second race was to be better and after getting clear at the start I managed to stay in the lead and win the race.   Any race win feels amazing but to get one in a new car after so much bad luck felt brilliant.   It made all the effort everyone puts in so worth while and it also meant I had the added bonus of enough prize money to pay for a feast at Big John’s on the way home!

With a non-finish and a win it put me right in the middle of the pack for the final and although I didn’t create any miracles it was a race I really enjoyed.  For the first time the car felt on the pace and I spent the entire 35 laps trading places around the mid-pack.   The brakes had lasted all night without a problem, the car wasn’t damaged and I’d scored a few points, so all in all a very good night.

The next meeting was Northampton on Bank Holiday Monday and although nothing serious happened it just wasn’t one of those meetings to write home about.   I got spun out of heat one, didn’t really do anything in heat two and found myself starting and finishing at the back in the final.   The biggest issue of the day was the driver rather than the car and for some reason or another my heart wasn’t really in it and I think it showed. The car picked up a few war wounds during the day and I was glad to head home knowing we had a month’s break until the next meeting.

We had already decided not to race the British this year but Joanne and I headed over to stay with her parents and watch it.   It would have been great to be out there racing but in reality the plan at the minute is to get back up to speed here before going out and doing international meetings where even the smallest slip-up can end in disaster.   I have found in my years of Hot Rod racing the easiest way to have a crash is by being off the pace, so with the cars safely in England we headed to Tullyroan to do some spectating on the Saturday night.   The racing was good and I enjoyed watching for a change.   I’ll openly admit that I’m strictly a fair weather spectator though and waking up and seeing the rain beating down next morning was enough for us to stay in the house watching the F1 and Touring Cars on TV before getting our flight home that evening.   Ken braved the weather and went along with his camera though! 

As a kid all my weekends were taken up with racing my Minis, they completely took over our lives and along with my very devoted Mum and Dad we travelling the country every single weekend for six years with a Mini in the trailer behind the trusty van.  This was without doubt the most successful period of my racing and we were lucky enough to make some truly great friends and win some championships along the way (a blog for the winter when things aren’t quite so hectic).   When the car that my Dad built in 2002 - and won me the British Junior Championship in 2005 - popped up for sale on eBay I just had to buy it!   Dad was on holiday at the time so it seemed the perfect surprise for him to come home to.   I think it was the last thing in the world he expected to find under a sheet when he got back.   I have no plans to do anything with it but it’s cool to have it back after all these years!    Maybe we could start a museum with that and my Dad’s rally car in it! 

These last few months have been crazy and things haven’t really calmed down yet.   I will bring you up to date in the next blog where we see the return of my trusty old friend.

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 122, 04/09/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.

New season, same luck!
With the cars back in the garage we had to decide what the plan was going to be and what we were going to do.  The original plan had been to use the Tigra B for the qualifying, use the A for the National Championship, then do some testing with it ready for next season.  It obviously wasn’t going to work out like that though so we got the trusty engine out of the B and sent it back to get it rebuilt.  The A development programme would need to be put on hold and we would just have to get stuck in and race it.  Dad took off all the brakes and began trying to get them sorted, we also decided to fit the sequential gearbox out of the other car and change a few more bits just to make it feel a bit more comfortable. 

With it all done we decided to go and practice at Aldershot - it feels so different to drive and I just wanted some seat time - we also had to bed the brakes in as the pads were all new.  Apart from the horrible smell of diff oil all day the car felt good going round on our own. Back in the workshop and we found the diff was knackered so a quick change and we were ready for round one the next day.

Starting from the middle of the blue grade we were never expecting miracles but the first disaster struck as we lined up to start heat one: the clutch didn’t clear properly and I couldn’t hold the car still on the line.  I had to start rolling and luckily the stewards realised what I was doing and dropped the flag as I caught up with the back of the pack.  The car felt good but after a few laps it started to lock the driver’s side front brake; no matter how much I adjusted it to the back it kept doing it.  I finished the race at the back, and back in the pits Dad adjusted the clutch to give it more clearance and scratched his head a bit about the brakes. . . 

The second heat was a bit better; I stayed in the pack and finished the race in ninth, not a miracle but points in the new car.  The brakes were still playing up though, making it hard to carry any speed into the corner.  We found ourselves starting at the back in the final and with the brakes seeming to be worse we weren’t going anywhere very fast.  The race ended early for us after I left half a gap and ended up being spun onto the infield.  Not a disaster of a day but one that left us with lots to think about.

In the garage once again and by now Dad was starting to get a little frustrated with the brakes.  They were all off again, everything checked, adjusted, refitted, bled, bled again, then bled a third time just for luck!  We got everything sorted then headed off to the National Championship, the meeting that most class as the best of the year.

For us however it was going to be the most frustrating.  The brakes played up from start to finish leaving us all ready to despair by Sunday evening.  The first race was cut short with a fuel supply issue - apparently the fuel stick for the other car won’t work for this one - and we ran out of petrol!  Something I’ll put my hand up to and say was something I should have known better about. . .   From then on in brakes were to be the big thing though, and despite everyone’s best efforts we couldn’t get it to keep the brake pedal for the entire race.  The car would start off well, then after about 15 laps begin to lose the pedal until it was gone completely.  Let me tell you now: Hednesford raceway with no brakes is a very, very scary place to be!

Obviously we didn’t qualify for the National Championship but with the arrival of Dad on Sunday and some more changes to try and make it stop, we decided to go out for the NHRPA Championship in the afternoon.  Normally if we had drawn for grid position we would have got a middle to back draw but no, not today.  The one day I would have been happy to start at the back Joanne goes and pulls number 2!  Starting outside front row with a car your not sure will stop with all the fastest cars in National Hot Rods on track with you is pretty nerve wracking!  It all turned out to be a storm in a tea cup though as the brakes were terrible and I soon found myself just plodding away at the back.

Overall a very frustrating weekend on track chasing a problem we couldn’t find.  So many people came over and helped and had a look though, and I want to say thanks to everyone.  Off the track it was great as usual, helping it live up to the expectations of the best weekend of the year.

Things do pick up and get a bit more cheerful next time I promise!

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 121, 25/08/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


One thing after another - part 2
Between the Thunder 500 and the World Final we spent literally every spare second out in the garage working on the car.  It was given near enough a complete rebuild and although the chassis wasn’t damaged, literally everything that bolted onto the front end was completely scrap.  The more we got into it the more things we found bent; looking back now it’s a wonder we ever got it finished!  Its pink and white panel kit was destroyed and due to the work involved doing it, there just wasn’t enough time so we decided to paint it to match the new car.  Jay designed, printed and sent up the stickers, then Jason came on the Thursday night and stuck them on.  We finally finished the car and loaded it at 10pm Friday night ready to leave for the World Final at 4am the next morning.

I was eager to get out and do the practice on Saturday morning, and to begin with the car felt absolutely fine - right up unit the point they dropped the red flag when I heard the dreaded noise of something going wrong with the engine.  Sure enough back in the pits and a big hole had appeared in the sump.  Something had obviously bent or moved in the crash causing the normally bomb-proof Duratech to shout “enough” and let go.  To say it was heartbreaking was an understatement, game over after all the hard work in just a handful of laps.

After a meeting with the NHRPA and twenty five phone calls to my Dad it was decided we could race the new car in the World Final but obviously had to start at the back.  Brake trouble had already reared its head in the press day so Dad set about sorting it in the garage on his own.  After a long evening he got it finished and onto the trailer, luck wasn’t quite due to change just yet though and 6 miles from his house the next morning my Discovery - which he was towing with - decided to break down again.  After a quick change round with my Mum’s car he was on the road again for a hasty trip to Foxhall, arriving just as I was going in for drivers briefing.

It was a mad panic to get everything ready but we did it, and despite everything that had happened we lined up on the grid for the World Final.  The parade to me is the highlight of the season, and made all the hard work worthwhile.  I can tell you now though that when you start dead last on the grid, it’s a long way to the front!  All you can see in front of you is a seemingly never-ending line of cars.

The two rolling laps behind the pace car is the best feeling and not something you can really put into words – it’s so many emotions rolled into one along with the excitement to get going.  When they did drop the flag things all got off to a great start, with the car feeling really good.  It was all going well and I had made up around ten places in the first few laps.  I was getting settled into the race when I went to brake and my foot went straight down to the floor!  Never a good thing but I hoped just a one off!  But no, something was obviously wrong as it did exactly the same at the next corner, and the one after that.  This was obviously game over for us and I pulled off into the middle.

We decided to call it a day after the World Final; it had been enough disasters for one weekend, and loaded the car back into the lorry.

I want to say well done to Adam Maxwell for a great drive - he’s a worthy champion and will do the gold roof proud over the next 12 months.   I also want to say thanks to everyone who helped me get ready for the World Final:  Mork for all the time he gives up to help, my Mum and Jo for their patience when they don’t see us for weeks, Ken and Caroline for all their support, Jay for the stickers and Jason for sticking them on, everyone who sponsored me and supplied parts in a hurry, it’s all very much appreciated.  And finally my Dad for his total dedication and commitment that means I get to race Hot Rods at all.  I don’t agree with lots of his ideas but even when I’m ready to give up he’s there working on the car, getting it ready and trying to develop it.  Without him I wouldn’t be able to race at all, let alone qualify for world finals.

Already the World Final seems a distant memory, and lots has happened since.  I’ll be sure to fill you all in on the details soon.

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 120, 24/07/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


One thing after another - part 1

When it comes to racing, I just want to forget the last month ever happened, it seemed to bring one disaster after another with lots of money and time completely wasted!  I know it’s a risk every time I get in the car but I hope I’ve had all my bad luck for a little while at least.

With the Tigra B ready to go to the Thunder 500 we decided to get the seat and things moved in the new car so that I could drive it and give it a run out at the Press Day.  We’d been to see Coldplay at Wembley on the Thursday night and headed off to Ipswich after having what felt like ten minutes of sleep!  Rather than take the lorry I decided to take the car and trailer . . . a decision I was soon going to regret for several reasons.  It showed promise of being a dry day but as I strapped myself into the car to go out on track the heavens opened.  Not just a small shower either but a torrential downpour that left the track and pits completely swamped with water within a matter of seconds.  With no lorry to take cover in it was a case of just getting soaked.  It ended the chance of practice for a while too as a boat would have been more suitable than a Hot Rod.

After a while courage was plucked up and I headed out cautiously to try the new car.  The track conditions were awful but the car was brilliant.  It’s so easy to drive and had so much grip out on the wet track.  It did exactly what I wanted and I felt confident.  The only problem I had was the more laps I did, the less brakes I got - until during the second run the pedal went altogether, so then I decided to call it a day.  We all dried off as best we could, put the car on the trailer and headed for home.

Just a few miles from the track our journey was slowed down considerably when the Discovery went into limp mode and refused to go over 50mph.  We pulled into the services and phoned Land Rover who came out and looked at it.  After deciding it was an airflow meter they said we could either drive it home in limp mode or wait for a recovery truck - we decided to drive it and Mork set off on the long trip home stuck at 50.

I was really happy with the new car but Dad had changed a few bits on the original car and we opted to race that at the Thunder 500.  I drew a spot in the middle to start the first race and finished in exactly the same place that I started.  I had another mid-pack start for the second race and Dad’s changes to the car were working and it felt the best it has at Ipswich for a long time.  The race was just getting going when we came onto the start/finish straight to find a back marker moving across the track and into the pack.  I drew the short straw at this point and found myself heading across the speedway track flat out towards the tractor tyres.  You might think tyres are soft, but when you hit them that fast and they are full of water they don’t give much!

I’ve had a few crashes over the years but that one hurt the most!  I must have slid forward in the seat causing myself some discomfort down where it hurts!  I bit my tongue which was sore and swollen for a few days and I felt like I’d been beaten up.  The car was less than healthy too and it was obviously game over for the night.  The car looked a mess but we didn’t realise how bad it was until we got it back into the garage.  After a fight to get it in and then out of the lorry again we got it onto the ramp and started to strip it.  The more we took off, the more bent and broken bits we found!

This left us with a lot of work and not much time to do it.   We had the new car here but decided it was best to stick with what we know and began the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding ‘Old Faithful’ in time for the World Final.

The next couple of weeks were absolutely manic and I’ll fill you in on all the details next time.  Just be warned, it doesn’t get any more cheerful . . . 

Thanks as ever for reading. 

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - part 119, 27/06/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.

A New Arrival . . .

As I type this I’m sat in a hotel room in Dartmouth looking out over the river watching the boats sail by.  Not a race car or any scrap metal in sight.  We have just had a wonderful holiday in a cottage in Cornwall before treating ourselves to a night in a hotel on the way home.  After the chaos of life it’s been great to have a break.  In reality though, it’s all going to come crashing down tomorrow - the next few weeks will be hectic and we have a LOT to do! 

That’s it, the qualifying is over for another year and after a brilliant Aldershot it didn’t end quite how I would have liked at Ipswich.  I was looking safe to qualify for the big race but it would have been great to have a good meeting and a finish towards the top of the chart.  It just wasn’t to be though and after a very uneventful day we ended up with no damage but no points either!  The car just didn’t feel great; I couldn’t get it to hold tight in the corners.  It can quickly prove to be a big issue as you only need to leave the smallest of gap up the inside to find a car in it. The major issue is it’s normally more than one car in the train and you can quickly lose lots of places when you’re “hung out to dry”.

With it all finished and done it’s been a very mixed year.  Four race wins, some podiums and lots of top tens, mixed in with some disasters and meetings with no points.  After not scoring a point for three consecutive meetings at the start of the year I was doubting we could qualify at all.  But I’m really happy to have finished tenth!  It’s our highest position we have finished in all the years we have been trying, and although this will be my fourth world final, it’s actually the first time we have qualified for it back to back.

The build up to the world final is chaotic enough but this year we have decided to make it even more interesting and bought another car!  We have had my car a long time and have done lots of racing in lots of places with it.  We currently have no intention to stop using it or sell it but I have had the idea in my head about changing for a while.  I have looked at all options and priced things up and when the deal to buy Ian McGuigan’s car and spares came up we decided to go for it.

It all just worked out perfectly for us as my friend Richard was coming down to Coventry and, after borrowing a trailer off John, brought the car down for us - this left me and Mork to pop up in the van and get all the spares.  With it all home and unloaded it really is a fabulous car with really nice bits on it.   Seeing as we are so short on time we are going to check it over remove the stickers and give it a run at the press day.  We currently don’t plan on racing it in the world but hope to have it out at National Weekend.

Since starting to type this we have had a completely disastrous Thunder 500, leaving us with a very unhappy Tigra B and a very big list of things to do before the world final!  At the moment it’s looking like a pretty impossible task but I’m sure we can get there.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and will update you on the big race and the road to get there once it has all calmed down and got back to reality.

Thanks to everyone who makes my racing a reality and for the endless hours spent in the garage, and thanks as ever for reading

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 118, 01/06/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.
Lots to catch up on – part 2
With just over a week between Northampton and Hednesford it meant there were going to a few busy nights in the garage getting the car ready.  Dad wanted to make a few changes to the car and the brakes needed some attention as the pads were overheating and falling to bits. It was all sorted though and on the Saturday morning Joanne and I headed back up to Scotland the visit the Sibbalds for Iona’s first birthday. Life is easy to take for granted and you don’t realise just how fast paced it is - it only seems like days ago John was on the phone telling me she was on her way, let alone being a year old.  It was a great weekend but the only downside was the 5am start Monday morning to drive to Hednesford. Hats off to the lads who do it every meeting; you’re more committed than me!  To make it just a little less enjoyable was the weather.  It rained torrentially constantly from the minute we left John's until we arrived at the track.

 Although for a while it seemed like it was going to dry out it wasn’t to be and just before the first race the heavens opened almost turning the track back into a reservoir!  For the last few years my car has been hateful in the wet wanting to spin or just attempt to kill me and everyone around at every chance it got.  After lots of work from dad it really is lots better now and willing to cooperate when the wet stuff falls from the sky.  It just wasn’t to be our day though.  Maybe my head wasn’t in it, but it didn’t come together at all.  No points in the two wet heats saw me starting last row for the now bone-dry final.  After some changes the car felt pretty good although I was never going to go anywhere from the last car.  We went home with no damage and no real problems - but no points either.

My parents were going away on holiday so everything was pretty manic at work whilst they were away.  The car spent a week unloved in the garage until they were back and then it was a mad panic the Friday night getting it ready.  We decided to get it all done and head to Aldershot on the Saturday, practice and play with a few things.  I still wasn’t overly confident with the brakes and it was a good opportunity to test them out.  Mork and I loaded the car in the lorry and headed off whilst dad enjoyed his first day back at work!
Over the next few hours I did lots of laps of the Hampshire circuit, changing things and playing around with settings.  Although I felt we were getting quicker I still felt we had lots we could improve on.  Billy Wood was also there testing and came over and gave me a few pointer;; after he had changed a few things I went back out and the car felt loads better.  We headed home again with a list of things to change ready to return in the morning and do battle for some points.
Although it’s not my favourite track I don’t have any major complaints about the place, we are National Hot Rods after all - not Ipswich and Hednesford Rods - we should be racing at lots of tracks and they should all be different.  It’s what makes it exciting and means that more people get to see just how good a formula it is.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you what a great meeting it was and how great a show everyone put on, but for me it turned into a really good day.  I think lots of people lost their heads and made some pretty silly moves, but luck was just on my side and everything worked out perfectly for us.  The first heat got off well and after a few laps I found myself up into third place.  The leader was long gone and Shaun Taylor and me had a good battle in the closing stages for second.  It was good race and I was more than happy with the points. The second heat was a bit more hectic and after several restarts and yellow flags I found myself leading sitting behind the Pace Car waiting for the green flag.  No matter what race it is, sitting lead car waiting for the green flag to drop is utterly terrifying.  You feel like you have the entire world watching you and the entire field of cars just waiting for you to make a mistake so they can strike.  Luckily it all went okay and as the chaos unfolded behind me I was able to hold on to my lead to the end of the race. 
The results from the heats saw me on pole to start the final but with some quick cars around me.  Being realistic I know I’m not the fastest car on the track and the only way I would win is by holding a tight line and not making a mistake.  I don’t think I have ever concentrated as much as I did over the next 35 laps, making sure I came line-tight to the corner and not leaving any gaps up the inside.  Behind me I think it was another action packed race but I just stayed looking forward and counting down the laps.  In the closing stages Carl Waller-Barrett was right on me moving to the outside and trying to go the long way round. I just held on and hoped luck was on my side.  As we took the last lap board he was right up level but I held on, beating him over the line at the end by millimetres.  I think it was a brilliant race and credit to Carl for trying the outside.  It was good clean Hot Rod racing!
Although lots of other things were going on I was over the moon with the day.  It was great to get some wins after a few poor meetings and the points were a great bonus as well.  The icing on the cake was enough prize money to buy a roast dinner on the way home and a new barbeque for our garden!  I just want to take the opportunity to say thanks to everyone who makes my racing possible and all the friends I have made along the way.
With one round to go until the world final it’s looking to be an action packed end to the season.
Thanks as ever for reading.
Until next time

Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 117, 27/05/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


Lots to catch up on – part 1

Since you last heard from me we’ve had five race meetings and things have been as hectic as ever.   Since we moved in to our house I think we’ve only spent two full weekends sleeping there!   It’s great to be as busy as we both are but sometimes you do wonder what a normal racing-free life would be like!


As usual with the crazy world of National Hot Rods it’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. One thing that never changes is the buzz you get from it though; it doesn’t matter if you’re first or getting lapped, the sensation of driving a Hot Rod is always incredible.


Let’s pick things up from the Easter weekend where we had a double header, Northampton on Friday followed by Ipswich on Monday.  It all got off to a bad start when I clipped the kerb and got a puncture in heat one.   Luckily it didn’t do any other damage and after a quick wheel change I was good to go again.   Northampton has always been the track I struggle with most and I had a terrible second race, finishing outside of the points.  Now I really like the new grid system where the results from the heats determine your starting position for the final but I much prefer it when you have a good day and are starting near the front.   I lined up for the final in last place and although we’d made lots of changes and the car felt better I didn’t perform any miracles and finished 16th.   A meeting with no points but no damage and lots of head scratching to do before Ipswich.


Luckily Ipswich turned out to be a much better meeting. The car was great and I picked up a 5th and a 4th in the heats, qualifying me in the front group for the final.   I got railroaded after running wide and lost a few places early in the race but finished 14th so gained a couple more valuable points to add to the table.    Although it’s not my favourite track to race on Ipswich is such an impressive venue now, it’s a credit to everyone who has put in so much hard work.


With so many other things going on I decided not to race at the European, but not having visited Bonny Scotland since New Year I was having major withdrawal symptoms so we decided to head up to visit John and watch the racing.   We left Friday night after work and drove up.  Ken (Joanne’s dad) flew over from Ireland and met us in Edinburgh on Saturday morning and after spending some time at the Sibbald empire we headed over to watch the racing.   It was a really good night of racing and I preferred watching from the bar rather than being out on track.  Due to the nature of our business it’s not really possible for both dad and me to be off work at the same time and with me not really sure of the difference between a spanner and a screwdriver, things can get messy when I do them myself!   This means that sometimes leaving the car at home and taking to the bar is a cheaper and much safer option!


There was quite a long break then until the next meeting at Northampton.   It’s nice to have time off sometimes though and get on with other real life things that get forgotten when racing takes over and becomes a “full time hobby”.  It’s not a meeting I want to dwell on and talk about, although I will honestly say it’s the only one in all the years of racing Hot Rods that I have honestly considered hanging up the helmet and calling it a day.  Overall the results were ok; 8th and 7th in the heats which saw me in the front group for the final - a race where I found myself struggling with the car.  After a Steward's Decision that I am totally against I was docked to 14th and went home with a very bitter taste in my mouth.


Now I just want to add that the above paragraph is just my opinion and some of you will probably disagree.  I’m just going to move on from it . . . quitting would achieve nothing and I’m not prepared to give up doing what I love because I didn’t agree with one decision.   I always have and always will hate racing politics.  I just want to go and enjoy my racing and do as well as I can.  Unfortunately, sometimes the politics drag you in whether you like it or not. 


Seeing as so much has happened since you last heard from me, rather than bog you down with my rantings, I’ll leave this here and bring you right up to date in a follow-on blog shortly.  


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 116, 29/03/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of the #27 National Hot Rod.


Growing up

The last few months have flown by and it seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were heading off to the NEC.  In reality though, it’s been nearer ten weeks and they have been some of the busiest of my life!


We decided not to change much after the show so the car was pushed into the garage and virtually forgotten about for a while.  We spent a few nights fiddling around and checking things over but nothing major.  We’d planned to do the Ipswich practice night but it didn’t work out as we’d hoped.  The car had been making a horrible noise from the gearbox when I pulled away at the NEC so we removed the box to find out what was causing it.   The spigot bearing had broken up and was missing completely and the clutch plates had seen better days, so it seemed like a good time to replace those too.  With everything back together we didn’t think the clutch felt great but thought it was all working ok – however, I was to be proved wrong, and when I tried to drive the car out of the garage the clutch cylinder blew its seal and emptied all its fluid onto the drive.   I very rarely start the car at home but thankfully that day I did and found the problem before we made the 3 hour journey to Ipswich only to find I couldn’t even do one lap!


Back in the garage we had a busy few nights getting it sorted and back together so we could go and do a few laps round Birmingham to make sure everything was ok.  We managed to pick the coldest, wettest night imaginable to go and do this!   Although the idea of getting soaked didn’t fill me with excitement the little car felt great.   It has been a complete animal in the wet before so it was enjoyable to drive it and have it behave as it should.  We left feeling we had at least achieved something and headed off for the first Big John’s of the year on the way home.


This left us two days to check everything over for the first meeting; Joanne’s parents were coming over for the weekend and just to make things exciting we were moving into our first house together too.   We found a nice house to rent a short drive from my work yard and   Joanne has a new job which she is able to drive to and not rely on trains into London.  It’s great having our own space, although it’s very weird not being able to walk out of the back door of the house into the garage and find the Hot Rod sitting there.   Unfortunately for Mum and Dad it means they haven’t got rid of me entirely as I’m still going over a few evenings a week to work on it!


Over the course of five days we had four trips to Birmingham, be it the track or the airport.  I think that both the lorry and my Land Rover could find their own way there now.   We got the car and the move all finished and went to pick up Joanne’s parents.  When we left Oxfordshire it was a sunny Friday afternoon but by the time we left the airport things had changed dramatically and it was snowing.  After stopping for food it was worse and as we got nearer home there were several inches covering the ground.   Luckily by the morning it was gone, which pleased me as I didn’t much fancy racing in the snow! 


The weather turned out to be kind to us on the first meeting although at times it looked like it might do otherwise.  After all the weeks of madness it felt good to be at the track and racing again.  The car felt good in practice and I was looking forward to the first race.  Starting from the blues I wasn’t expecting miracles but hoping for some points.  I got off to a good start but made a mistake on the first corner - I over-braked, went wide and let most of the pack through up the inside!   Great way to start the year.  The car felt fine afterwards and I got going again to finish twelfth.  Unluckily for me though, the tracks lap-scoring system was playing up and placed me at the back!  This was soon sorted on the Monday and the relevant points added on.  Looking back now it would have affected my final starting position too but never mind, it was just one of those things that can’t be helped!


The next heat was much better, with the car once again flying.   I got up into fourth place, chasing the leaders but was unable to hold off a fast moving Kym Weaver, who slid past me at the line putting me back to fifth.  I was still happy with that result though.  I started at the back of the second group for the final and again everything was going well and I was gradually moving up the places.  I could give you all sorts of excuses about what happened next but there’s no point - I just made a mistake.   It wasn’t on purpose, I just messed up.  I was behind Brett Walter coming into the corner, I went for a gap that wasn’t there and spun him out.  Luckily he got going and didn’t pick up any damage but it still managed to wreck his race.  I was black flagged for it and there was no point arguing.  I hold my hands up and apologise . . . it was just one of those things.


Not the best of nights but the car went well; I scored a few points and didn’t get any major damage.   With the points all worked out I’d dropped a few places to ninth.  With only a week until the next round at Hednesford it left us with plenty to be getting on with.  My friend Ross was visiting the area for a few days so came with us, so along with Mork we headed off eager for the action to get going again.   We even managed to finally get some stickers on the lorry after three years of meaning to, although I don’t think dad was very impressed with me telling him it was only a small sticker on each side when in truth they turned out to be the best part of 5ft long!  It was also treated to a new floor in the living area at the front, courtesy of my long standing sponsor All Floors.  It has really tidied it up so thanks a lot for that, guys. 


There were to be no questions about the weather at Hednesford - for once it was a glorious day.  I was still starting off the blues so guaranteed to be in the thick of the action.  The car felt good again in practice and I was up for it.  The first race didn’t go exactly to plan though and after a terrible start I found myself at the back of the grade with the reds breathing all over me into the first corner.  Luckily the car was flying though and managed to go forward over the laps finishing the race in twelfth.


The second race was a lot more successful, with a better start and managing to stay in front of the other blue tops.  It was actually a really good race.  Hednesford in the dry is so fast! After another dash for the line with Kym I finished the race in sixth which meant some more valuable points in the bag.


Points in the two heats saw me line up seventh on the grid for the final with some seriously quick cars around me.  I got an okay start and set about heading forward.  I got a little over-enthusiastic on the outside though and managed to go backwards pretty rapidly.   Midway into the race I ended up getting spun but re-joined, albeit at the back.   Annoyingly the car felt brilliant after this and I managed to catch up to the rear of the pack.   I finished the race but just outside the points.


All things considered it was a good day though.  I scored a few points and managed to move up the chart a place into eighth.  Luckily with so much going on we haven’t had to give up every second to the car which is nice.


I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the help both with the house and getting the car ready.  Joanne and I both really appreciate it.  It’s safe to say I’m a proper grown-up now with things like bills to pay and food shopping to do!


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 115, 25/01/16

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his #27 National Hot Rod.


A changed man . . .

I can’t believe that there’s only a week left in January!  I say it every time but the days and months just seem to fly by.  World Final seems just weeks ago rather than seven months!


Things have been busy as usual here with Christmas and the run up to the NEC.   I had a very nice Christmas though with lots of travelling.  After spending Christmas day and Boxing day here it was the long drive to Scotland for a very brief night before catching a flight over to Northern Ireland to spend a couple of days with Joanne and her family.   From there we both flew back to Scotland to see the New Year in.   We had rented some lodges in Perthshire as something a bit different and 15 of us made the trek up through the worst rain I have ever seen, to spend a few days chilling out.    Overall it was a very nice few days, made all the better by our friend Joe getting down on one knee and proposing to his (long suffering) partner Lorrin.   Congratulations to you both - I wish you all the best and I’m looking forward to the stag do! 


I’m sure you can imagine what the talk was about over the weekend with three of us currently racing Nationals, one a former racer, one hoping to race (wedding permitting) and one being Kev who knows everything there is to know about the racing world . . .  I’m sure the girls were glad of a chance to escape to the spar for a few hours.   All in all, it was a very good few days and even though I didn’t drink as much as usual it was great to spend time with such an amazing group of people.


Whilst we were away ‘merry making’ lots of work was going on in the unit of TPR Signs in Ipswich to get the car wrapped and stickered ready for the show and this coming season. We left the car there completely painted white and told Jay to ‘go to town.’   I know I’m biased but I always think the car comes out of his workshop looking absolutely stunning and I thought that last year’s design was going to be impossible to beat.   Hats off to the man though, because after hundreds of hours - and lots of coloured wrap - the car is amazing.  The more I look at it, the more bits I notice and you need to really study it all to appreciate the hours of work that has gone into it.   The roof carries a tribute to my late Gramp so obviously that means a lot to both me and my dad. 


Once we had the car home there were a few jobs to do before we could load it and head off to the NEC.    Mork and I left in the lorry on Thursday morning and Joanne drove up in the afternoon.   We collected her parents from the airport and the weekend was ready to begin. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a changed man - normally the NEC weekend is out and out partying, drinking too much and staying out till late but this year was a very civilised affair.  I ate meals and went to sleep at sociable times and avoided any hangovers! 


The arena itself was as good as ever and the buzz you get when you drive out under the lights to the packed stand is absolutely brilliant.   It’s a long day when you’re in there from 8am but come Sunday night I never want the experience to end.  The car felt really good and I would like to think all the cars put on a decent show with good close racing.  There’s a brilliant video online from Stu Stretton’s new 360 degree camera that I think captures the action and atmosphere of the place really well.  I managed to survive without any serious damage, except a bent wishbone from an impact with Winnie Holtmanns.   Just want to say thanks to Paul Gomm for putting the wheel back somewhere near the right place to get me back out on track.   The car was a complete animal afterwards though and almost flatly refused to turn the corners!


All in all, it was an absolutely top class weekend and thanks to everyone who made it happen, especially Mork for all his travelling up and down each day.   It’s always great to spend time with Joanne’s parents too and I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures Ken took from in the arena. 


In truth I’m happy with the car and although it has a few scuffs we don’t plan to do much else with it before the season kicks off.   We will change the bent wishbone, check everything over and do some testing as soon as time allows.


One last thing before I go, I just want to congratulate my friends Besty and Crystal on their recent engagement and wish them all the best for their new life together over in Northern Ireland.    It will be good to see Besty back out on track in his new Stock Rod this year.   We had a great few months working together and I really wish them all the happiness in the world.


Well, thanks as ever for reading.   Although I’m changed there’s some wildness in me yet so I’m sure there will be plenty more stories to tell.


Until next time



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 114, 30/11/15

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his #27 National Hot Rod.


Quality time off 

I really love racing and can’t imagine life without it, but I must admit I’m really enjoying a bit of time away from it and living a more normal life!  However you look at it, racing does take over your life - and even when you think you have very little to do, you can still find yourself in the workshop every spare minute that you have.

I was absolutely over the moon with Birmingham, and the double points managed to boost me up to fifth in the points … the highest I’ve ever been.  I’m not a massive fan of looking at lap times but I found myself desperate for them to come out that week!  Seeing that I’d set fastest laps in the heats and second fastest overall was a really good feeling and a massive confidence booster for me.  I know the new tyres played a big part in me getting such good results but it’s a great feeling nonetheless.

I always enjoy the firework meeting at Hednesford and it was nice this year to be greeted with some dry weather.  Joanne was back from America so it was nice to have her back on the team.  We went to the zoo the day before and then out for dinner before stopping in a Travelodge and then meeting Dad and Mork at the track.  I knew I’d be starting further back on the grid and wasn’t expecting any miracles.  The car was a total contrast to how it had been at Birmingham and was absolutely terrible.  I finished the race in 11th and Dad was straight on the car in the pits making changes to it.  I will just add here I couldn’t set up a wheelbarrow, so without my Dad’s knowledge and the time he spends reading and trying new things with the car, I dread to think just how slow I would be!

The car was much better for the second heat and I actually felt a lot more on the pace.  It wasn’t a great result but I was happy with a 10th and a few more points.  These results qualified me 19th for the grid in the final, the best race of the year in my eyes - Hednesford under lights at 90mph is pretty impressive.  I said I would be happy to just stay out of trouble and take the car home straight for the winter.  The race actually went really well and I managed to move up a few places and finish 11th.  Again, not the best of results but no damage and points was a bonus.  Overall it was a pretty good way to round off the season; three points finishes from the blue grade and going into the winter break 6th in the points.

We had always said Wimbledon wasn’t for us and I could fill a blog with excuses or reasons why, but in truth I just didn’t want to park the car in a post.  It’s a shame that I will probably never get to race there but financially it just wasn’t a gamble I could afford to take at the moment.  Fair play to all the boys who made the effort though, especially from overseas and to John for making the long trek down from Scotland on a Sunday night.  I will actually say I’m glad I didn’t race because the entire meeting was a pleasure to watch.  Andy Steward was first class in the Classic Hot Rods, with probably the most crowd provoking race I have ever seen.  And it was great to finally see Jason win a championship.  The place was packed and the atmosphere buzzing at what I’m sure will be the last ever National Hot Rod meeting there.  Away from the racing, it was lovely to spend the weekend in London with Joanne and get to go on the London Eye - something I have wanted to do for ages, even if it was the wettest day imaginable!

Although we aren’t doing anything major over the winter we’re still giving the car a good clean up and going-over ready for the NEC.  It’s all been stripped and cleaned off; some new panels have been bought and are currently away getting a coat of paint before being fitted and the car heading off to Ipswich to TPR Signs for its winter holiday and annual makeover.

Overall it’s been a very mixed year of racing with several disasters but some pretty good moments too:  a hat-trick at Hednesford back in May, finally finishing a World Final, the great meeting at Birmingham and sitting in the top ten going into the winter break are obvious highlights.  The car numbers are up and the racing for me is brilliant.  The formula is on a definite high at the moment.  I know I’ll upset lots of people with this comment but these, to me, are the golden years of Hot Rod racing! 

This is going to sound a bit cheeky and for that I apologise but I’ve lost a few sponsors for next year so if anyone is interested in having their name on the car please get in touch.  Absolutely anything is a help and greatly appreciated.

I will be back before Christmas to tell you how things are progressing.  As much as I have enjoyed a few lazy evenings recently it’s time to get going and get the old girl back together for what I think will be her sixth time at the NEC and seventh season of racing.

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 113, 23/10/15

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his #27 National Hot Rod.


A well-played Joker 

Firstly, I must apologise for my lack of updates recently - that dreaded thing called work has taken over and left me with a lot less free time on my hands. 

There hasn’t been much to report though with both Hednesford and Ipswich being complete and utter disasters.  I think over the course of six races I managed to score the huge sum of three points!  At Hednesford I struggled with engine problems and then at Ipswich I was miles off the pace but after much head scratching at the track the problem became very apparent as soon as we pushed the car into the garage.  The passenger side bottom wishbone was bent like a banana, hence moving the wheel and completely upsetting the set-up of the car.  The wheel actually jammed up when turned too much so it’s a wonder the car went round the track at all.   Overall they were two terrible meetings and both ones I would happily just forget.

I always said I wouldn’t be racing the British Championship this year but along with my girlfriend Joanne we flew over to watch.  Although she lives and works in London she’s from Northern Ireland and both her and her dad Ken are long time John Christie supporters.  I have to say I’m glad I didn’t race and enjoyed a weekend of sightseeing, eating out and just watching the racing.  It may come as a shock to some of you but I don’t think any more than three beers crossed my lips the entire trip!  Garry Staines did manage to talk me into doing the Periscope coverage on the Saturday and although we got a great view of the racing it was absolutely freezing cold!  All in all though it was great weekend, great company and with the usual top notch hospitality you come to expect from a trip over the water to Ulster.  I also want to say ‘Thanks’ to Ken for the framed photo of my car, it has pride of place on my wall. 

After the disastrous few meetings we decided serious action was needed and set about completely changing the set-up of the car.  The Slick Cars had a meeting at Birmingham on the Saturday so we headed up to give the car a try.  Straight away we made improvements and the car felt a lot more driveable again.  We continued to play with it all evening, making improvements with each race, and eventually left the track happy.  I actually enjoy racing Slick Cars and it’s so chilled out compared to Nationals and actually feels like everyone is there to enjoy themselves.  We stopped at Big John’s on the way home and agreed to head back the following Wednesday evening and try a few more things with the car.

Again, the car felt good but after a few laps dad stopped me and said he wanted to make a change and see what it did . . . it was a very simple change but it completely transformed the car into something that went exactly where we wanted it to.  With time running out we loaded up and headed for yet another Big John’s and decided to return again the following week just to give me some more time behind the wheel.  Amazing what decisions can be made while you’re eating!  Next time we didn’t change the set-up at all, and for the first time in months I actually felt happy that the car would be competitive.

I decided to play my Joker for the next meeting at Birmingham.  The recent bad results saw me starting in the front group so I knew I had to make the most of each race and score as many points as possible.  Even in practice I knew we’d made the right decision because the car felt incredible.  It didn’t help my nerves much though and I headed out to the first race with my head all over the place, but for once everything fell into place and I managed to get into the lead and win the race.  It worked out well in the second race too with me managing to get clear and take my second win of the night.  To win one race is awesome but to repeat it just feels incredible.  This saw me qualify pole for the final with the fast and hard fighting Kym Weaver lining up next to me and a whole group of other red tops filling my mirrors in the first few rows; that’s nerve-wracking to put it mildly - but exciting too!  I couldn’t wait for the green flat to drop and the race get under way.  Kym got ahead of me at the start and kept ahead all the way to the chequered flag.  I managed to keep with him all the way though and I can honestly say I have never enjoyed a race so much in all the years I’ve raced Nationals.

I’m under no illusion that I was faster than usual, the new tyres gave me a huge advantage, but what a great night I had.  I was reminded of all the great things I love about Hot Rods that are so easily forgot when you’ve had a few bad meetings.  I think overall it was a great meeting and in my humble opinion National Hot Rods and BriSCA F1s go really well together and should appear at more meetings together throughout the year.  The double points that go with the Joker were a great help too and will have put me back up into a qualifying spot.  I even won enough prize money for yet another Big John’s and I’m running out of things to try off the menu!

There’s very little to do before the next round at Hednesford in two weeks which is great as Joanne has been in America for three weeks so it will be nice to spend some time with her and not have to worry about repairing a load of damage.  I suppose after that it will be chaos again getting the car stripped and rebuilt before the NEC is here again . . . time does indeed fly when you’re having fun!

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 112, 29/08/15

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his #27 National Hot Rod.


The return of the kettle . . .  

I don’t like the fact that summer is nearly over.  The two biggest race weekends have been and gone and the season is well underway again.  It’s been a mixed start to the year and the last few weeks certainly haven’t been short of action.


Ipswich played host to the first qualifying round and it was a lovely dry and bright midsummer’s evening . . . perfect for some Hot Rod racing at Foxhall.  It turned into one of those meetings where everything seemed to work out for me and the car felt brilliant right from the first practice.  I was back to a yellow grade for this meeting so starting near the front was a bonus and I picked up some good points with 8th and 5th place finishes.  It was almost a disaster though after I ran wide on the first lap of the first race, half spinning on the loose stuff and just catching the car before it spun completely.   Luckily there was no harm done and my good finishes in the heats meant I started the final 8th on the grid.


I know a lot of drivers are moaning about the new grids but I think here in England they work really well and add a little extra excitement to the racing.  The final started out really well with me heading towards the front of the grid but a few silly mistakes on my part saw me fall back slightly and I finished the race in 11th place.  Overall it was a great start to the year and I was over the moon to leave the stadium having scored points in every race.


Now I’ll be the first person to admit that will-power isn’t one of my strong points and although I initially said ‘No’ when Derek McMillan invited me to Northern Ireland for the annual DMC Speed Weekend, within ten minutes I had been talked into it and flights had been booked.  Little did I know at this time just what chaos was going to unfold.  My flight landed in Belfast at 9am where I was picked up by retired Hot Rod man and general pest Corrie Beggs.  We wasted no time in heading to Asda and picking up some essential supplies - enough alcohol to kept the entire population of County Antrim well hydrated . . . and a kettle to drink it from!  If I’m honest, things went downhill rapidly from this point and I wouldn’t rely on me for an accurate account of the racing!  I did manage a ride on the pace car and offered Darren Black my services as a steward . . . hardly surprisingly he declined.  Corrie also managed an afternoon nap and the planned night out to Portrush was cancelled, the next day I had a bad hangover, it rained a lot and my flight home was delayed by four hours!  All in all though it was a top weekend and I think all parties involved have almost recovered now.


Once back home and in the real world again it was time to get my car ready for my old friend and Pickup Truck racer Gavin Murray to race in the National Championship.  I love the atmosphere of National Weekend and was happy to let Gavin race a Hot Rod again.  Although originally both my car and Gavin’s old car were the same they have both evolved so much over the years into completely different animals.  Considering the only experience he had of the car was ten laps at Tipperary about 4 years ago he got straight into it and was on the pace.  All of Friday was spent making tweaks and changes to get the car set up and suited to his driving style ready for the racing to begin on Saturday.


The Friday night of National Weekend is always pretty intense and once again this year was no different, the only problem was that I forgot to actually go to sleep, leaving me pretty tired for the rest of the weekend.  After making a few more changes to the car Gavin got stuck in and picked up a 16th and 6th in the first two heats.   Just as we were getting ready for the third race the heavens opened leaving everyone with that horrible ‘what do we do?’ tyre choice.  The decision was made to run four wets.  I’m not normally very good in the wet but Gavin had the car flying and finished 10th.


With three finishes over the day it was enough to get him a place on the grid for the National Championship on Sunday.  I wasn’t feeling on top form for the Saturday night antics but managed to soldier on and see the night out and even managed three hours sleep!  The next morning was a much nicer day, meaning it would be dry for the big race.  What a race it turned out to be.  I have never seen a race with so much action or as many leaders!  I’m glad I wasn’t racing myself just so that I could watch it.  It wasn’t to work out for Gavin though.  He got involved in an accident early on and ended up with a bit of damage, nothing major but enough to end the race for him.  Back in the pits it was all hands on deck to get it repaired and back out for the NHRPA Championship.  It was another great race and Gavin’s best of the weekend - he was flying and finished in 5th place with the car still intact.  We all had a great weekend and it was brilliant seeing Gavin back in a Hot Rod . . . hopefully it will convince him to get one of his own again.


I’m sure some of you watched my Periscope filming over the weekend - I really enjoyed doing it and it gave me a different perspective on the racing.  It was hard to film every car and not just focus on John and Gavin.  It’s almost impossible not to swear as well!  I don’t think I’m going to hang up my overalls and take up filming just yet though!


I decided to leave the car exactly as Gavin had it and try it at Northampton.  Although the car felt alright it was a complete disaster of a day from start to finish.  I had a misfire as soon as I pulled onto the track in practice and although it was easily sorted with a new set of plugs it was just setting the scene for the rest of the day.  The first heat was a disaster with me getting taken out five laps from the end.  No major damage was done, just a bent wishbone to change and I was ready for the next heat.  I managed to finish this one but after getting rail-roaded back numerous places trying to go round the outside I ended up way back in 14th.


With the new grids this left me starting the final almost last.   Even though my dad had made several changes to the car and it felt better I was under no illusions that I’d be finishing near the front and I finished 16th in the end, having gained a few places but sadly just outside the points.  It didn’t get any better when we got home either finding an oil leak coming from the back of the engine!


Luckily we have a few weeks off now before the next meeting at Hednesford so the engine is back at Toovey’s having a bit of a service.  I’m not racing the British but I’m going to watch.  Work is really chaotic and taking up a lot of my time so I don’t have a plan regarding racing at the moment.  If the car is ready I shall race it, if not I’ll be there watching!


Thanks as ever for reading.


Until next time.



Racers Blogs:  #27 Mikey Godfrey - Part 111, 23/07/15

National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his #27 National Hot Rod.


World Final 2015

With only two weeks between the Thunder 500 and Spedeweekend we had to get a move on to make sure the car was ready.  For once in our lives we were pretty organised though and everything seemed to come together really well.  I decided to put the pink and white panel kit back on the car so dug them out of hibernation and set about getting them repaired and tidied up.  The chassis got treated to its yearly wash and the wheels were stripped down and repainted.  It’s not just about making the car look nice, all the mechanical bits have to be checked, oils changed and every setting and measurement checked and adjusted until it’s perfect.  75 laps is a long race and can be very demanding on the car. 


Even with all this to do I still managed to sneak in a weekend trip to Scotland for the Highland Show, officially the chance for us to celebrate the birth of John (Sibbald) and Kylie’s little girl Iona - and wet her head.  The day was just as you would expect, although it was almost cut short by a wheelchair crash and a dead pigeon… the least said the better!  Whilst all this was going on Dad was at home working on the car, so thanks very much for that.


I always enjoy the build up to the World Final and it seemed to come around very quickly this year.  Lee and I left work at lunch time on Friday to load the car before heading off to Ipswich.  We had several stops to make en route, firstly to pick Crystal up from the motorway services, followed by Norden and Macker from Chelmsford; a quick stop at TPR Signs for some stickers and then to get some shopping before heading off to find our caravan in Felixstowe.  I will just add that earlier in the week, me being super clumsy, I’d managed to slip off the roof of a van at work and hurt my shoulder but had convinced myself that I’d be fine and racing wouldn’t be a problem at all!  


As much as I really like it and it’s a great chance to catch up with everyone, Spedeweekend Saturday is one of the longest days in history, starting with an alarm call at 5am in order to arrive at the track for 7am.  The first few hours are pretty busy getting the car and everything ready before practice and then it’s time to head out for the hot laps.  I’d drawn 6th so was one of the first cars to take to the tarmac.  Hot laps have never really been my thing - it’s actually quite daunting knowing that every set of eyes in the stadium is on you!  It went pretty well this year though with me clocking a 15.01 as my lap time, a long way off Shane Murphy’s 14.6 but I’m happy enough with it.


After the hot laps that’s my driving over for the day and it’s a chance to relax and see everyone and the ‘meet and greet’ in the comfort break is always a laugh… some of the things people ask you to sign…


I’m not really one to watch much racing but I did get to watch a few during the day, obviously heading up to cheer John on in the support races and the wildcard final.  It was great to see him take a very well deserved win in heat two and place himself on pole for the final.   Not really sure what went on there but the outcome certainly wasn’t the decision I would have made!  


As with everything recently, it looked like the weather was going to be unkind to us and plenty of black clouds gathered overhead as we lined up to head out on the parade lap.  It’s hard to describe just how good the parade and the start of the World Final is, the buzz is amazing and it makes all the ups and downs of the year seem worth it.  You actually get shivers down your spine when you hear the magic words “start your engines” and the excitement as you roll up the back straight waiting for the green flag is really intense. 


The race was pretty exciting with all sorts of chaos happening round and about but the most excitement came, when after a yellow flag, 1st and 2nd were in front of me with 3rd place right on my bumper.  I think it’s fair to say that was the fastest restart I have ever done and as scary as it was, it looks good in photos!  If anyone asks, I had just passed Murray for third place and wasn’t a lap down!


You imagine 75 laps will go very slowly but in truth it flies by because there’s so much going on all the time and the car is constantly changing.  The biggest problem I was having was that my shoulder wasn’t as good as I hoped and with each lap it was getting worse.  I kept going though and finally after 8 years in National Hot Rods and three World Final starts, I completed the 75 laps and finished the race - way down in 17th place but to me that was irrelevant - I’d done what I set out to achieve and that alone felt like a victory to me!


Unfortunately my shoulder was very painful and enough to put me out of action for the rest of the day.  It had been a superb race though and well done to Shane on a faultless drive - a very deserving and long overdue World Champion.  Also, well done to my mate Chris Lehec … we were having a great race at the back minding our own business!  


I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made the World Final possible, especially my Dad for all the time and effort he puts in, my ever patient Mum who graciously endures all the endless hours we spend in the garage and for fulfilling our meal requests, often at unsociable times; to Lee and Crystal for their help and John and Kylie for their generous hospitality.  Also, thanks to all my sponsors and friends who make it a pleasure to be involved in National Hot Rod racing.


We’re now busy getting the car ready for round one and we have some big news coming soon regarding National Weekend.  If you get chance please have a look at - and ’like’ - my new Facebook page: mikeygodfreynhr27 to keep up with all the latest news and gossip.


Thanks as ever for reading. 


Until next time.



National Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey campaigns the T & B Motors Ltd. Vauxhall Tigra B in English and international meetings.  This is his exclusive blog about his real life, and life living the dream behind the wheel of his National Hot Rod.  This week's picture:  Mikey and the British Touring Car racer Rob Austin who recently raced Mikey's Rod at the Motorsport News Thunder 500 at Ipswich.

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