Boston Bowl Rocker Cover Racing - First Event

Published on 11 November 2023 at 09:52

Before I get in to this I think a few words of explanation are required. It all started when Malcolm and Paulo took the Metro 6R4 rally car over to Denmark and saw rocker cover racing for the first time. It was at the 50th year celebration of the Danish MG Owner's Club. The idea is simple - get a rocker / valve cover from an old car, stick some wheels on it and race it down a slope with some other like minded idiots. Sorry, people. I meant people. Anyway, the  cars must not have any power of any form, the first part of the course is sloped, a simple mechanism ensures both cars are released at the same moment. There are few rules - the cars have to have 4 wheels, they can be no more than 150mm diameter, they have to stay in their lane, any that stray outside of the prescribed area are disqualified.

So we had 6 cars for our first event, all very different, some beautifully prepared, my one was there as well. The photo at the top of this article shows the vehicles lined up prior to the race, in the finest tradition of professional racing we put them on top of the ice cream fridge.  While the rules were few but well understood the running order was less well understood as we had decided the "lets wait and see" method would be best. It was organised so every car raced every other car and then we whittled it down so the fastest ones raced the other fastest ones until an outright winner was found.

I, as adjudicator, had decreed that we would adopt a scenario based regulation adjustment procedure. Some cynics suggested this was so that I could freely change the rules in some sort of pathetic attempt to give myself some sort of unfair advantage. Honestly, some people.

It was clear from the outset that my car was the fastest. It was also clear that it was suffering from what I would call a moderate directional control deficiency brought about by a temperal distortion of gravity. In truth I had built it so badly that it just wouldn't run straight. On one particularly disastrous run one of the chairs got in the way and bent my front axle rendering any further runs futile. It was at that point I disqualified myself.

There was some serious disquiet amongst certain competitors when Rob's Vauxhall / skateboard derived machine took to the track. It was a fine looking thing with LED lighting and a cam cover signed by none other than Adrian Newey - f1 engineering legend and currently head of engineering at the Red Bull F 1 team. It seemed to work because it was the most consistent performer, it was quite quick too. Some said as it was a cam cover and not a rocker cover that it should have been banned, as the professional I am I told them to sod off. Discussions have been had post race, rules have been clarified and next time things will be clearer. Some doubts were even cast upon the veracity of the Adrian Newey signature but as Rob operates one of the telehandlers at f1 racing circuits and therefore has interacted with everybody who is anybody in the racing world I am saying it's genuine. He's also a lot bigger than me and I don't want him smashing my stupid little face in.

Malcolm's car did rather well, I have a strong suspicion that some illegal pre race testing may have happened. I shall speak to Fiona and the CCTV will be viewed, he may have points deducted. Actually as we don't have any points, that's not my best idea, never mind, forget that.

Best paintwork undoubtedly has to to to a young man, whose name I believe is Jack, his red glossy cover was a thing of beauty, a mighty fine piece of work that performed rather well too.

I think my favourite was the Mini rocker driven by Tom out of Tom and Jerry, it was just really cool. I hope that comes back next time with better wheels on it, the ones it had weren't running too freely.

Paulo's Alliance Transport Company skateboard special went well all evening, his kids will be livid when they go to use their skateboard and find some miscreant has pinched the wheels off it.

The final and grand master winner was Rob, whose Newey inspired but now illegal car performed flawlessly all evening. His prize was the coveted serviette with the number 1 written on it in biro. I was saddened to see that he forgot to take it with him when he left and that somehow it had accidentally found it's way to the waste paper bin. Well don't worry Rob, I spotted it and have retrieved it so I can reunite you with it next time.

I think it's fair to say we all had great fun, one has to remember that growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional. There were kids there aged from 8 to 80, some really good fun creations and a lot of fun was had. I am sorry that one of my sparklers fell out and burnt one of the lino tiles, I don't think anybody saw it and I'm keeping quiet about it. Fiona runs the place and I'm scared of her so if she spots it I shall deny any knowledge of it or blame somebody else.

The rules will be clarified for next time to allow us to raise some money for the Lincs and Notts air Ambulance.

Many thanks to Paul Dix for his time and effort organising stuff and operating the release mechanism, to Russell Thompson for his work making the track, to all the staff and management at Boston Bowl, especially Malcolm for having the idea and Fiona for letting us get on with it.  Finally, many thanks to all the competitors and spectators who made it such a fun filled and slightly silly evening. Long may it continue.


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Harry devoy
7 months ago

I'd like to say a massive thank you for a good evening, as the creator of the time and jerry cover I appreciate your comments, very pleased to have met a great bunch of people and your wording of the event had me in stitches so I thank you for that too, excited for the next one !