A STOCK car driver has set his sights on a worldwide competition after competing against the country’s best racers.
Chris Chance may have returned from the National Championships Weekend without a trophy, but the 27-year-old is setting his sights on something bigger and better.
Chris, of Crawley Avenue, Hebburn, was proud to be the only North-East driver competing in the championships at Hednesford Hills Raceway in Cannock, Staffordshire, at the weekend.
He said: “Qualifying for the nationals was incredible and a huge achievement in itself. I was just a bit unlucky when I was there.
“These aren’t amateur drivers, they’re the best of the best. So to compete against them was brilliant.
“I’ll definitely be going for it again next year and I’m going to try to qualify for the World Championships as well.”
Chris, who works for the Legal Services Commission, drives a Vauxhall Nova, which he has modified with the help of his dad, Dave, who used to race stock cars in the 1970s.
Dave, a mechanic, was himself born into the hobby after watching his late father, Stephen, race motorbikes.
Chris was one of 10 drivers who travelled down from the track he races on in Cowdenbeath, Scotland.
Chris, who took up stock car racing at the age of 10, said: “I went down on the Friday to get set up and practice and the weather was quite intermittent.
“The car was driving brilliantly on the wet track and it was really flying, so I felt good about it.
“Some cars crashed out during the practice but I managed to get through the day in one piece – writing your car off before you’ve even started racing is never a good thing.”
He added: “It was really sunny on Saturday so I had to alter the car to drive in dry conditions.
“In the first race, there were a couple of incidents up ahead that slowed me down and a car went into me and pushed me into a fence.
“I only had 20 minutes to repair the car before the next race.
“It was going well at first, but then two cars had a crash and one of them hit me and spun me out, so I didn’t get any points.
“The next race was sort of all or nothing after everything that had happened.
“It was going OK, then two cars crashed ahead of me and I had a mechanical failure and that was it unfortunately.
“That first race knocked my chances. I didn’t have enough time to repair the car, but it was an absolutely brilliant experience.
“I could have raced in the final on Sunday but I decided not to.
“I’m racing again this weekend at Cowdenbeath on Saturday and Lochgelly on Sunday, so I’m concentrating on making sure the car is ready to go.
“Getting to the Nationals when I’m not even anywhere near a racetrack is a big achievement, and hopefully next year it’ll go even better.”
Chris would like to thank his sponsors Nerco Tyre Management, in Gateshead, South Shields-based Churchside Motors and Scotland’s KG Stewart Plant Hire.