race reports

Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, England

Andy Robinson 


After a long winter layoff the UK National Championship series got under way at the traditional Easter weekend opener in cool conditions but mercifully avoiding the rain (except for a brief shower) that swept through the area on the afternoon of eliminations day.


MSA Pro Modified

The opening round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship didn’t appear to be destined for greatness with a struggle to dial-in to the track throughout qualifying with cool air producing significant amounts of horsepower balanced against the similarly cool track con-ditions. The field was also reduced from eight to six with breakage prior to entering eliminations, but the surviving sextet managed to deliver on race day with low qualifier Andy Robinson making the most of the air with a 6.1004/238.62 to sit on top.


First round of eliminations had Kev Slyfield smashing his pb (person-al best) with a 6.1953 at only 199mph with the chutes out early on a competition single, Bobby Wallace progressing in an all nitrous Willys match up with Rick Garrett (a 6.3053/219.04 slaughtering Wal-lace’s pb marks), Andy Wright in the newly flamed ’38 Ford in the race of the round with 6.7s a pair for Wright and his opponent Jean Dulamon, and Robinson clicking off early with a 6.7 to complete the semifinal quartet.


The semis had Robinson comfortably ahead of Wright with a 6.0202/237.47 to the BA Racing’s shaking 7.0125, whilst shake also slowed Slyfield’s Thunderbird to a 6.4151/225.52 with Wallace driving around him with a consistent 6.3151/218.23. Final time and Robinson’s NGK-backed Anger Management Camaro left the line first and motored to a 6.0650/226.80 to leave Wallace trailing in his wake but delighted with a 6.2929/218.22 to lower his ET pb and set a best mark for a UK nitrous car into the process.


Robinson promises a new wrap for the start of the European season at the end of May although we aren’t too sure how many FIA rounds the team intend to make, but the early season form looks good for a sixth MSA title.


Heads up on four wheels

Mark Todd 


Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator was a surprisingly depleted af-fair with six qualifiers whittled down to five before the start of eliminations. A dash for the trophy between the two low qualifiers seemed to be on the cards, but Alex Mcintosh posted a cherry on his side of the tree with his seven-second Mustang in the semifinals against Stuart Williams whilst low qualifier Mark Todd was a hun-dredth behind his best mark of the weekend with a 7.5218/194.60 in a solo at the same stage. The final head to head placed Williams in his eleven second Mitsubishi Evo (waiting on some engine work for his seven-second Toyota Supra) against Todd’s GTO. Again this was one that went the way of the form book with Todd taking the win with an early shut-off 8.2.

VOLUME XIX,  NUMBER 4 - April  2017

Competition Eliminator

Comp was thinner than expected, with only Kev Perkins in his storied Olds and a returning Andy Hone available for the single round of eliminations. Hone’s Ford Scorpio hadn’t been playing ball all week-end so it wasn’t too surprising that he took a shot at the tree (and missed) handing the win to reigning national class champion Perkins who carded a 7.5299. 


Super classes

The Super Comp class went to Collin Morrice in his 69 Camaro in a 8.9069 to 8.9131 match up with Conrad Stanley’s dragster. Super Gas had reigning S/C and S/G champion Stuart Doignie besting Jon Giles’s Willys with a 9.9235 from his Vauxhall VX4/90 to Giles’s 9.9636. Leigh Morris’s E-Type rounded out the .90 classes victory roster with a 10.9568 taking the Super Street trophy over Dave Cherrett.


DYO brackets

John Gerritsen’s weekend was one of extremes with the Dutch team’s first outing in the ex-Charles Carpenter based 55 Chevy (the chassis last seen at Santa Pod as part of a large conflagration that ended Henri Joosten’s Pro Mod career). From swiping the wall in qualifying to the top step on the trophy podium in Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET is the perhaps the non-standard way to debut a new ride, dumping the laundry at 1100 feet whilst ultimately recording a breakout 6.8784/167.27 (on a 6.88 dial-in) to defeat Brad Jackson’s 7.8164 (on a 7.84) was the icing on the cake.


The route that Mike Lacey took to victory in Modurstang Pro ET was less circuitous, with the Metamorphosis first gen Camaro leaping to a 9.3607 (on a 9.32) over Paul Brown’s breakout from his nine second RED. Breakouts were also the defining feature of the Sportsman ET fi-nal with Stephen West’s electric Nissan Leaf going 0.0051s under his 17.72 dial-in but opponent Gill Medley was further under with a -0.0435s on a 13.13.


If entries were a bit thin elsewhere, the Lucas Oil Junior Dragster pits had 27 on the ground with Billy Everitt’s Alien emerging on top of the heap over Aaron Fensome.


The Wild Bunch nostalgia eliminator ended up with a family finale, Tom Hawkins in the newly supercharged Time Traveller I slingshot besting his father Bob in the Time Traveller II with a 7.5543 on a 7.55 dial-in.


James Gould (VW Pro) and Nathan Cozens (VW Sportsman) took the hon-ours in VWDRC competition.

On Two Wheels

The venerable Steve Woollatt took the opening round of the ACU Top Fuel Bike championship with the PBR Puma motivated Dealer hitting a 6.2648/206.04 in the opening round of eliminations and a 6.3602/215.89 in the final against Rene van den Berg.


ACU Funny Bike ended up with last year’s one and two in the points in the final and the order remained with Phil Crossley’s 7.2055/181.40 keeping the Bopchop Suzuki just ahead of Allan Davies’ 7.1999/178.51; the latter was far from downcast as it was a weekend of blitzing his PB on the Gipp Racing GSX with the 7.19 being the best in the improv-ing series of tickets.


The two ACU Pro Stock Bike finalists had two goes at taking the green after both bikes failed the first time round, Len Paget adding to his substantial trophy cabinet when opponent Ian Burns was unable to make the call the second time around.


The no bar ACU Super Street Bike field (like many of the bike teams) were casting slightly nervous glances at the stiff crosswind that set in throughout qualifying, with Richard Stubbins emerging as the quickest with a 7.1283 best. Stubbins set low ET of each round of eliminations (including a 7.0711 for low ET of the weekend), but fell to Pete Field’s 7.2519/200.77 in the final, Field having recorded 7.2s through the four rounds of competition.


ACU Comp Bike went to Eddy Smiley over Martin Walker, whilst the in-dex classes saw Jake Mechaell defeat Jay Roe who ran quicker than the 8.50 cutoff and Richard Sawatzki was a cough away from perfection in the 9.50 class, forcing opponent Adam Burns to breakout. The d-y-o eliminations had Phil Pratt running an impressive series of low 9.0 passes to earn the event win with a 9.0486 (on a 9.03 dial) from the Satan’s Lady Suzuki with Gary Hester runner up, and Liam Holgate ben-efitted from Blade Dummer’s breakout in the Junior Drag Bike final.


A little four wheeled nitro action

Outside of the class eliminations, there were a smattering of nitro fueled teams getting ready for the season ahead, with FIA Top Fuel contenders Liam Jones and Duncan Micallef putting in some exhibition efforts in their RF Motorsport steeds, Jones eventually clicking off a high four after being shaken to the core in the Arxell entry.


Norwegian Birgitte Bremnes was cross-licensing in the FGR Motorsports Gladiator Mustang as she transitions from Top Fuel to the Nitro Funny Car ranks for 2017. Also in the flopper ranks, but of an older vin-tage, Tim Garlick in the Apache Nostalgia Trans Am and Tony Betts in the ex-Richard Hartman Venom Camaro fogged out the startline in a number of side-by-side passes over the course of the weekend.




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