Sensational stock car racer Kenny Purdie wowed around 8000 race fans in Ipswich to take home the prestigious National Classic Hot Rod Championships crown.
And Carluke ace Kenny (54) dedicated the win – his fourth major honour within the past year – to his late dad Jim who died less than a year ago after suffering a major heart attack.
“It was a brilliant race and it means the world to me to win,” Kenny told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.
“It was quite an emotional victory.
“I wanted to win it for my dad, who died in September, on the day I won the Irish Championships.
“I said I wanted to bring this one home and I did which I’m delighted with.
“There was a lot of excitement among the crowd, who gave me lots of cheers. It was a big venue.
“My dad is in my thoughts all the time.
“We’ll have a memorial race in his memory back in Ireland on September 22 and 23, and we plan to keep holding it at the Tillerowan Oval every year.”
Kenny’s latest success came despite a bizarre incident right at the start of last weekend’s race at Foxhall Stadium, when he lost pole position almost straight away after his car momentarily ‘twitched’ off the start grid.
“I started revving up and I thought I would be first off the line,” Kenny said.
“I thought the starter was about to raise his green flag so I moved my car forward an inch, only for the guy to stop doing what he was doing with the flag.
“I dipped my clutch to get the revs back on and it was only at that point that the starter dipped his flag, so I missed the start.”
Kenny’s misfortune allowed rival driver Graham Callander – a fellow Scot – to take the lead in the 30-lap race and he still held the advantage with only five laps remaining.
“I followed Graham for 25 laps,” Kenny said.
“I was all over the top of him, waiting on him making a mistake.
“But then I got a break when another motor got spun in the middle of the track.
“Graham went high into the corner to pass it and I went low. This allowed me to pass Graham and I managed to stay ahead for the next five laps.
“He made a massive mistake by opening a gap and I managed to squeeze through and get past him.”
Graham’s error allowed Kenny to add to his recent winning spree which – in addition to the Ireland and Ipswich triumphs – has also included victories at the Scottish Championships and National Points events.