Last Sunday M & M Motorsport headed to Northampton Shaleway for Round 4 of the 2019 World Qualifying Series. This was the first time the National Hot Rods have raced on shale since 1991 and the first time Gavin has ever raced on the dirt surface.
Due to the team's inexperience of the dirt surface, we decided to go for a wet tarmac setup and make adjustments during the meeting. Most of our preparation time since Round 3 was spend creating shields to enclose the engine bay and other apertures where the dirt could collect and cause potential problems.
When the promoters decided to schedule a World Qualifying Round on the shale it certainly created a talking point with many stating that it wouldn't be a good idea to race these thoroughbred tarmac race cars on the dirt surface. We looked forward to the prospect along with 7 other drivers who booked in for this event, which was sadly the lowest turn out of hot rods for many years.
Arriving at the track, we walked around the 1⁄4 mile dirt oval to see what the surface was like. The track staff had done an excellent job preparing the track and it looked as smooth as tarmac. After great points finishes in the last 2 qualifying rounds Gavin was hoping to build on this further and continue climbing the points table. Gavin started the meeting in 11th place in the points standings.
As is the norm at shale tracks there is no pre-meeting practice so the first opportunity of putting the #95 machine through its paces was race one where Gavin would like up last in 8th place. Making steady progress during the race after a gingerly start Gavin found his way up to 3rd before losing the spot 5 laps from the end and crossed the line 4th.
Race 2 Gavin lined up 6th and by now had familiarised himself with the surface and took to the outside to find some grip. Although only 8 cars were present the racing was brilliant the watch with lots of overtaking. Going one better in this heat Gavin finished 3rd.
Before the 35 lap final the track was watered to keep the dust down but it didn't appear to affect our setup too much. Starting 3rd Gavin soon set to work and was battling for 2nd place. A battle that would last for 10 laps. With this was going on the leader was able to get his head down and grow a considerable lead. Once Gavin established 2nd place he set about closing in on the leader. Getting to the leader was one thing, getting past was another, especially because Dick Hillard was the only driver in the field that raced at the last shale meeting in 1991. Gavin tried the inside and the outside lines but couldn't make it work so crossed the line in 2nd.
All in all a great day for the team, getting the fastest lap of the day, a good points haul and also the entertainment factor, shale is something we would love to do again and we hope more drivers will join us too.
The official points standings after Round 4 hasn't been released but we expect to have jumped 9 places to 2nd ahead of Round 5 at Hednesford Hills Raceway on 14th October.
25th June 2018
The 2017/18 English World Series Qualifying Campaign rounded out at Aldershot Raceway on 10th June. M & M Motorsport decided not to make the trip down south for the final meeting due to a large amount of preparation needed in order to make a serious challenge in the Championship Of The World on 8th July. But missing the final qualifying round didn't affect our position within the points standings and we are pleased to say we finished the season in 4th place.
First on the list was some engine development, which needed to be finalized in time for last Saturday's “Warm up to the World” Thunder 500. The team have had a reoccurring issue with the exhaust manifold since the beginning of the year and decided to upgrade to the latest specification Simpson Exhausts manifold. After much discussion, it was decided we would upgrade some of the engine internals at the same time as the new exhaust and fine tune the set up on a rolling road.
Sadly, the upgrades didn't produce more power, in fact quite the opposite making some 10bhp less. Time was now of the essence with the Thunder 500 looming we had to run with what we had.
We made our way to Foxhall Stadium and the team knew we would be on the back foot, not really knowing what the car would be like in terms of power, but practice looked good from the terraces, however inside the cockpit was a different story. Disaster had struck and the gear stick had snapped clean off. Upon Gavin's return to the pits, the team put in a valiant effort to get the gearbox repaired in time for the first race where Gavin was set to start at the back of the grid. It wasn't to be and we had to miss heat 1. With the reverse grid format and the gearbox now repaired, Gavin started heat 2 from 2nd position. With the bit between his teeth, Gavin took the lead before the first corner and remained at the front for the duration of the 25 lap race.
The Thunder 500 grid was determined by points scored in the heats and with only one result from the two heats, Gavin started 12th on the grid. Making good progress early on and picking off a few places as the 40 lap feature final progressed, Gavin brought the #95 machine home in 7th place.
With lots of work to do and little time to do it in ( The World Final is under 2 weeks away!), we will revisit the rolling road again and endeavor to get the power we need for the big race. The team will then go through every nut and bolt on the car, checking and replacing where necessary. New body panels will be fitted and the #95 will have some paint and new stickers ready for the main event.
The team is grateful for all the support of their sponsors and Gavin will do everything he can to bring home the silverware when it counts.
13th February 2018
Its been a busy winter for M & M Motorsport and the beginning of the 2nd half of the 2018 World Championship qualifying campaign is upon us.
The team have made some modifications to the chassis during the winter break as well as a full strip down, check and rebuild of every component of the #95 machine, with reliability very much in mind.
There have been a few rule changes to the series for 2018, most noteworthy is tyre regulations. To aid stability of the tyres during the races, the team used to fill the tyres with Nitrogen instead of air. In addition to nitrogen we also used blow off valves to maintain tyre pressures. Both of these have been outlawed for 2018. This will be a bit of a learning curve with the team taking as many readings from the tyres as possible for the first handful of meetings to get to the optimal tyre temperature and pressure.
For a while now many teams within the series have been campaigning for a more grippier tyre to increase the quality of the racing. The directors of the series have listened and we are set to run a new style of Hoosier Racing Tyre from July onwards.
This year, the aim is to build on our performance of last year where we managed an average finishing position in the heats of 10th and an average of 5th place in the meeting finals. Of course we would also like to gain some more silverware. Gavin managed 2 race wins in the qualifying campaign during 2017, no mean feat when you look at the competition.
We also have various other championships to look forward to during 2018. As well as the World Championship in July, we will also be competing at the European and National championships with British and Irish Championships also an option which take place in Northern & Republic of Ireland respectively.
Before any Championships take place we have the Qualifying series to get back to, starting at Round 8 of 14 on 3rd March at Birmingham Wheels Raceway. We come back to the second half of the qualifying series refreshed, in 8th place. Each driver must drop their 2 worst scores of the year. With the dropped scores deducted Gavin really sits in 6th place only 32 points off the points leader, still very much in contention of the English Points Championship
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our sponsors for their support throughout 2017 and we are proud to say that we have maintained the backing of all of our sponsors for 2018. We hope to give you all the recognition you deserve though our performance on track where we have our sights firmly set the top step of the podium come the World Championships in July.
6th October 2017
It has been a busy few weeks for M & M Motorsport, with World Qualifying Round 3 taking place at Birmingham Wheels on 23rd September and one week later for WQR4 at Northampton International Raceway.
Not our finest event at Wheels after getting on the podium on our last visit to the track, Gavin unfortunately didn't finish the meeting final this time. This was mainly due to finishing further down the grid in the qualifying heats than normal.
Race one of the evening and Gavin lined up 14th on the grid. Making steady progress around the tight track Gavin had a coming together mid race causing him to drop back and eventually finish the 25 lap race in 11th.
Gavin lined up for Race 2 in 10th and the car was handling bad. It was the first time in a long time that Gavin finished the race further back than he started, crossing the line in 11th. Post race checks by the team discovered some bent steering components from the race one altercation.
This was adjusted and the car was in good shape once again for the final. Making the most of the two heats really does improve the chances of visiting the podium in the final. Gavin lined up 17th for the meeting final and made a good start, Getting up to 13th in the early stages. As the race unfolded it was clear to see that because of the events in the earlier races we were not on top of the changing track conditions and Gavin was fighting an ill handling car. He made the decision to retire from the race.
With only 5 days to prepare the car for the next meeting at NIR, all necessary checks and adjustments were made and we headed off to race under the flood lights Black clouds were hovering and they looked threatening We managed to get a dry practice run and during pre meeting practice Gavin logged the fastest lap time.
Full of confidence Gavin lined up 17th from 24 starters and lead the red grade away. Finding the outside line and working his way through the field Gavin got boxed in and found himself getting shuffled back down the order. Getting his head down he gathered up a few lost positions but too little too late we finished outside the points in 16th.
Heat 2 was a wet race and the #95 machine started further back in 23rd. A fantastic drive in the rain secured Gavin 11th in this heat.
Although the rain had stopped by the meeting final, the track was still very wet. Gavin lined up 15th for the meeting final and made a lightning start working his way up to 9th by the second lap. Picking off places as the race went on, the handling did dip away before coming back again, Gavin crossed the line on the track in 7th. After a steward inquiry and post race checks Gavin was promoted to 5th place.
A good points haul at Northampton saw M & M Motorsport climb 3 places in the standings. No rest for the team as they will be back on track on 15th October at Hednesford Hills Raceway for Round 5 of the qualifying campaign.
29th August 2017
M & M Motorsport's Gavin Murray didn't let the heat get to him at his local track on Bank Holiday Monday.
The National Hot Rods returned to Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich for World Qualifying Round 2 of the 2017/18 season. With 26 cars booked in and a bumper crowd they were sure to put on a good show in what was gloroius
weather for a BH weekend.
Still in search of better balance in the race car the team had set about changing the rear brakes prior to this race meeting. Following the practice session at the head of the meeting the team had one happy driver.
As per last season, Gavin's consistently good results and his high average points score meant that he started at the back of the grid again. With no pressure as the only way was forward, Gavin carved his way through this action packed, stoppage filled race and cross the line in 2nd.
The format for lining up for the second heat has been updated for this year, where by the position that you start within your set grade is reversed from heat one to heat 2. We lined up off the front of the red grade in heat 2 in about 18th position.
Although you can rarely have a plan in Hot Rod racing, after a messy heat one and some good points in the bag, the team decided that it would be wise to not make any risky moves and endeavour to stay out of trouble. The plan paid off, picking off a few cars along the way, collecting a few points and keeping his nose clean Gavin crossed the line 7th.
Much to our amazement the heat 1 result was amended after the 2nd heat and Gavin was docked two places for “avoidable contact”. This was a harsh decision against us and sometimes the stewards do get it wrong.
Still the team held their heads high and despite the docking Gavin lined up for the final in 2nd position. After sitting in second for the first 5 laps, Gavin soon found his way to the front and kept the whole field in his mirrors for the remaining 30 laps.
A great win for the team and Gavin was also top points scorer for the day. We will carry this momentum forward onto WQR3 at Birmingham Internaional Raceway in 4 weeks time where at the last event at this track Gavin secured 3rd in the final.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every sponsor that supports our racing.
Murray & Meede Motorsport
17th May 2017
Saturday 14th May marked Gavin's return to Aldershot Raceway for the first time in 4 years and also the penultimate round in the 2016/17 World Qualifying Series.
The team had worked hard on the #95 charger after the previous meeting at Hednesford to restore some balance in the setup and it appeared to pay off.
Aldershot is the shortest track on the National Hot Rod calender. Its a narrow track which produces very little overtaking opportunities and often results in lots of accidents. Fortunately we finished the meeting in good shape and picked up a good haul of points along the way, however the team did have to deal with a couple of mechanical gremlins.
Due to the size of the track the races were split into 3 heats of 2/3rds cars, meaning Gavin started 14th. A fairly uneventful race for Gavin, picking off a few places along the way and crossing the line 9th.
The team done their usual checks between the races before sending Gavin on his way to the grid for race 2. Disaster struck and the #95 machine would not fire up. It was soon diagnosed as a fault with the starter motor and we organised a bump start to get Gavin going. Another race where Gavin kept his nose clean and bought the car home in 9th place.
Upon returning to the pits it became apparent that that we had developed an issue with the left rear wheel. The driveshaft was leaking oil onto the tyre and affecting the handling. A sterling effort by the team saw the axle get stripped down, new seals installed and re-assembled all in super quick time ready for the final.
Gavin got another bump start to get going for the final and lined up on the grid 15th. After getting off to a flying start it was a chaotic race with Gavin making up a few positions and also a few drivers dropping out. A mid race caution amongst the drama surprised the team when Gavin lined up 4th for the restart. The order remained the same for the top 5 over the final 10 laps where Gavin had a couple of moves against 3rd place but couldn’t make anything stick, eventually rounding out the day with a 4th place finish.
The team are now looking forward to the final world qualifying round on Saturday 20th May at Northampton International Raceway. The points standings see Gavin sitting 5th however after the dropped rounds which are to be deducted after the weekend, Gavin is lying 3rd.
Murray & Meede Motorsport
7th April 2017
On the weekend of the 1st & 2nd April, Murray & Meede Motorsport took the long journey north into Scotland to compete in the European Championship at Lochgelly Raceway.
Lochgelly is a fantastic venue with great facilities with a unique track and it was the track that turned out to be Gavin's main rival over the weekend.
The team arrived early and took the advantage of free practice on the Friday. Lochgelly is a track that Gavin has only competed at once in the past so it was an opportunity to re-familiarise himself with the track. Its a track unlike many other tracks that are on the National Hot Rod calender with 2 very different bends. Turns one and two are fast and very flowing where as turns three and four are tighter and slower. Many tweaks to the set-up were made during the practice session and we finished up where we thought we needed to be in readiness for the racing on Saturday.
As with most championships, the qualifying heats were drawn out of the hat and due to the large field of cars it was decided to run the 2/3rds format meaning each driver would race in 2 out of 3 qualifying heats. Gavins grid slot was B5 so he started 10th in heat one and 15th in heat 2.
Lochgelly is a narrow track and over taking round the outside is tricky. Gavin finished his heats in 8th and 9th. Ongoing adjustments were being made throughout the night in the search of a better balanced race car but we were struggling to find the pace we have been used to. Two average finishes in the heats put Gavin 11th on the grid for the European Championship and by now struggling with the set-up only managed to bag a 9th place finish.
Sunday was a new day and another chance to have a crack at another championship. This time is was the Scottish Open Championship. The team had carried out a major transmission change over night in an attempt to lower Gavin's lap times. As with Saturdays races the grids were drawn at random and Gavin would line up 22nd in heat 1 and 3rd in heat 3. It was a bit too little to late with the gear change as Gavin had used up the best of his tyres on Saturday trying to over drive the #95 machine. Gavin managed an 11th and 4th in his heats respectively The Scottish Open Championship saw Gavin line up 10th and dropping back in the early stages just had nothing left to give lapping the track on tyres with no life left in them. This resulted in Gavin pulling off the circuit and recording a DNF.
The team will learn from the experience and come back fighting for the European Championship next year.
Easter weekend will be a busy one for Murray & Meede Motorsport with 2 race meetings in 4 days. Its a double header with WQR10 at Northamption International Raceway on Good Friday and WQR11 at our home track of Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich on Bank Holiday Monday where we will be looking to close in on our competitors and climb the points table some more. Gavin currently sits 6th in the World Championship Qualifying Series.
Murray & Meede Motorsport
23rd November 2016
It was a late decision by the team to enter the Best In Britain Championship held at Plough Lane, Wimbledon on 20th November for what will probably be the last time the championship will be held at its spiritual home in the Capital due to plans to demolish the stadium later next year.
Its also worth noting that on Sunday morning it was announced that the very first winner of the Best In Britain Championship held at Wimbledon in 1980, Mick “Duffy” Collard sadly passed away during the night. A one minute silence was observed prior to the start of the meeting as a mark of respect to a man who was a legend of National Hot Rod racing.
The grid for championship meetings are drawn out of the hat and Gavin started race 1 in P7 on a cold and slightly damp track. Gavin made a
great start and within half a lap was up to 5th place. By mid race Gavin had settled down into 3rd place, eventually crossing the line in 3rd. Investigations post race saw 2nd place finisher Rob McDonald get disqualified for contact, thus promoting Gavin to 2nd.
For race 2 Gavin started P9. He got off to a steady start but it was a hard fought race with everyone appearing to be very evenly matched. Gavin was picking cars off lap by lap but got into a bit of bother in the closing stages of the race where Gavin was mounting a pass on the 209 machine of Kym Weaver for 4th place.
Weaver was defending hard and Gavin worked his way up the inside. Weaver understandably wouldn't give up easy but got sideways trying the defend his position unfortunately resulting in Weaver spinning and Gavin getting removed from the results having crossed the line 4th.
The Best In Britain Championship grid was determined on points scored in the qualifying heats. With a 2nd and a DQ we started well down the order in 14th for the big race. Undeterred, Gavin knew what he had to do and got his head down from the start, carving his way through the field in an incident filled race. Keeping out f trouble Gavin brought the car home in 5th place.
The results were pending a stewards inquiry after the race and there was a lengthy break before the top 3 were announced. Much to our surprise Gavin was promoted to race winner due to penalties applied to all 4 drivers in front of him on the road. After passing post race scrutineering Murray Motorsport were crowned Best In Britain Champion 2016.
Following a complete review of all video footage on Tuesday morning, it was deemed that some of the penalties applied were to be rescinded and Gavin win was removed and he was awarded 3rd.
Not ones to dwell, we took many positives from the meeting. We had a fast race car all night and set the fastest lap of the race in 2 of the 3 races we competed in.
The team are now hard at work, stripping the #95 machine down for its winter rebuild. Keep checking our facebook page for updates, we will be back on track in February for a test session before the World Qualifying Series gets underway in March.
12th November 2016
Murray Motorsport headed north last weekend and rounded off the last world qualifying round of the year in style.
It was a cold and damp start for World Qualifying Round 7 at Hednesford Hills Raceway. With a large grid of 32 cars, the grids were split into 2/3rds cars per race.
Gavin lined up in 16th for a wet race 1, making steady progress from the off, working his way through the field lap by lap. In tricky conditions, Gavin brought the car home in 7th place.
Changing weather conditions put a spin on the preparations for race 2. It was a last minute decision by team boss, Mark Peck to change to slick tyres. The decision paid off and Gavin drove his way up to 4th place from 16th, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way with a 14.343 second lap.
As usual, the grid for the feature final was determined by points scored in the heats. With a 7th and a 4th in the heats, Gavin lined up 5th on the grid.
The final was raced under the floodlights and was a difficult race for Gavin to get into a rhythm with lots of yellow flag caution periods in the opening stages. Lots of cars spinning towards the rear of the field broke up the flow of the 35 lap race. When things settled down, Gavin had worked up to 3rd place with the top 4 some half a lap clear by the halfway point. Another caution and Gavin was lying in 2nd for the restart. One position was lost on the final restart but Gavin got his head down and was gapping the chasing field once again.Gavin crossed the line in 3rd, however the 2nd place man, Shane Bland got docked 2 places for jumping the retsart, thus promoting Gavin to 2nd place.
Its fair to say that Murray Motorsport's return to National Hot Rod racing with the support of Meede Motorsport has been a sucessful one. Of the 15 races we have competed in we have achieved: 3 podiums, 3 top 5's, 4 top 10's a 12th & a 15th, along with 2 DNF's and a DQ. All whilst racing amongst on average 28 cars per race.
We hope to carry this momentum into next year for the remaining 7 rounds of the 2016/2017 World Qualifying series, with our aim to finish in the top 18 of the points in order to compete in the National Hot Rod Championship of the World in July. Rest assured the team will be working as hard as they can to get Gavin towards the top of the points chart.
Both Murray Motorsport & Meede Motorsport would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your help and support throughout the season. Without your help we would be unable to be as competitive as we are.
The winter break will consist of a full rebuild of the car, checking every component for wear and tear in order to provide Gavin with a reliable car in 2017. We will keep you all posted, however please follow our racing pages on Facebook for regular updates.
9th October 2016
A Solid day for the team at Hednesford Hills for Round 5 of the World Qualifying Series.
A sunny but chilly start saw Gavin go out on track with a few changes in the car setup and brake balance.
Practice was used to bed the brakes in and ensure the changes were pointing the team in the right direction. Practice wasn't without its fair share of action with Gavin narrowly avoiding a spinning car who was rolling across the width of the track. Although the car looked quick in practice, not all of the adjustments suited the track conditions and the team got to work again on car and tried a few more tweeks to further fine tune the #95 National Hot Rod.
After gaining a good points haul in the previous 2 meetings, Gavin got shuffled back on the grid and started in the red grade in 21st out of 25 cars on track. Gavin made a strong start and carved his way through the field and eventually crossed the line in 10th place.
Race 2 presented the same grid draw as race one so Gavin left the starting blocks in 21st position again. This time round it appeared to be a little more chaotic on track with Gavin getting held up in a big gaggle of cars. Never really able to stretch his legs and get an open track it was a hard fought drive to bring the car home in 15th.
The skies began to darken and rain threatened to dampen our next race of the day but it did stay away for 35 lap feature final. The grid is decided on the points scored in the heats with the highest points scorer starting pole. Gavin lined up in 11th and with some more work on the setup the team were hopeful that Gavin would have a good run round the banked 1⁄4 mile oval for the last race of the day.
Again Gavin was quick of the line but got boxed in for the first few laps until the race settled down. Gavin got his head down and worked his way through the traffic bringing the car home in 6th place.
Overall the team were pleased with yet more consistent results and no major damage from the extremely close racing the drivers endured over the course of the meeting.
With just under 2 weeks to go before we are back out on track again at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich racing under the floodlights for WQR6, the team have some issues to address with the current brake setup to give Gavin the confidence to drive into the corner as deep as possible in order to carry speed through the middle of the corner and off to ensure a fast lap time.
Thank you to all of our sponsors for the support and please keep checking our social media pages for updates and photos from the race meetings.
Danny started competing in karts in 1997 at the age of 7. At 15, he won the British Open Championship in TKM Intermediates, also managing to finish 3rd overall in the British Championship season.
In 2007, Danny joined the 2 Litre Hot Rod formula with Spedeworth International Motorsport. In the first year of 2 Litre Hot Rods, he finished 3rd overall in the Hoosier Tyre series. In 2011, he managed to snatch the title of English Champion and East Anglian Champion. He then went on to win the National Points Championship in 2012. The 2 Litre was then sold and a National Hot Rod was purchased to compete in the 2012/13 World Championship Qualifying Rounds of which Danny finished 4th in the Points and also 4th in the 2013 World Championship. Danny has just recently finished 4th in the 2013/14 World Championship Qualifying rounds. Let's hope we can improve on last year's World Championship position! We're always looking for new sponsors!