There were some new faces making the headlines at the National Finals. With good weather and many riders setting personal bests and new championship records being set.
Top Fuel Bike.
Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt led the small field with 6.307-193.02, but on one of the qualifying runs he hurt his rib cage. Nick Milburn had traction issues for the first 200feet and ran a best of 7.023-191.28. Rene Van Den Berg qualified with a 7.757-126.61 at the expense of a damaged crankshaft and he was out of the competition.
Woollatt had a bye run to the final and so did Milburn who was to race Berg and ran his first six-second pass of 6.819.
In the final Woollatt put a holeshot on (rt098 to 416) Milburn on the start line, but then at the 200ft mark the rear tyre stepped out and Woollatt managed to control the bike and not cross the centre line. He could only watch Milburn pass him and take his first ACU event win 8.262 to Woollatt 9.969. Milburn finished second in the championship to Rene Van Den Berg who collected his second ACU Top Fuel Bike Championship.
Lorcan Parnell tested on the Friday (day before the event) and ran 7.05 and 6.89 (first six-second pass) and qualified in number one spot 6.892 at 203.49mph and set an ACU Championship speed record of 200.50mph.. Filippos Papafilippou had a weekend he will never forget. He started racing he new Funny Bike but had transmission issues and hopped on his other bike and qualified 6.973 at a slow 161mph. Stuart Crane recorded his first six-second pass 6.996. There were also personal bests for Dave Peters 7.137 and Phil Crossley (new bike) 7.697. Championship contender Bob Brooks had his engine sump split and was out of the show.
Thomas Joswig celebrated 20 years when he first raced at Santa Pod (1995 World Finals) and the first rider he raced was Dave Peters. Joswig was first alternate and faced Peters in round one. The result went Peters way 7.256 to Joswig 8.033. Parnell had a fairing fitted to the bike for the eliminations and drifted to the wall at 1000ft mark glancing the wall with a small amount of damage to the bike and recorded a time of 6.845 against Crossley p/b of 7.549. Crossley reached the final by beating Peters in the semi-finals and Allan Davies missed his chance to close up on Peters when he red lit against Stefan Hagenstein. 12 months ago Hagenstein won this event, but this year he broke off the start line and Crossley won his first ACU event 7.608.
Pro Stock Bike.
This was the first event in 2015 for Pro Stock Bike in the ACU Championship. Reigning Champion Alex Hope ran a personal best of 7.210. Len Paget damaged his 1640cc four-valve motor and put his two-valve motor in the frame for the eliminations. Paget beat Mark Smith in the semis and then red lit in the final against Hope.
Kevin Osman was the number one qualifier 7.769 followed closely by Paul Hambridge (ran p/b 7.7 in testing) 7.848, Eddy Smiley 7.943 p/b and Dave Smart 7.961. Osman ran a jaw dropping bye run 7.649 p/b (ran 7.645-191.39mph p/b in testing) in round one. Smiley beat Hambridge in the semi-final on a holeshot 8.005 to Hambridge 7.904 and faced Osman who knocked Smart.
Smiley got out the gate first, but Osman just beat him to the finish line 7.950 to 8.099 to extend his points lead in Comp Bike.
Super Street Bike.
Richard Stubbins set an ACU ET record during qualifying 7.092, but points leader Garry Bowe reset it 7.073. During the eliminations European riders ran their personal bests. Holland’s Rudolfo Maduro 7.539 is Europe’s fastest GX1000cc powered Super Street Bike with a speed of 183.63. Fellow Dutchman Charley Anasagasti ran p/b 7.487-182.84 and Daniel Lencses from Hungary 7.223-196.39.
Best race of the day was the semi-final of Bowe against Steve Venables with Bowe getting the win light 7.128 to Venables 7.130.
The final was decided when Bowe pulled a wheelie at the 50ft mark and Stubbins took the win light 7.101.
The final round of the Championship will be at Santa Pod.
Report by Steven Moxley.