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Summer Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway Report

Friday July 1, 2016 at 11:38am
Summer Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway Report
With the opening two rounds of the ACU Championships not completed due to the weather.  The Summer Nationals was blessed with dry and warm weather on race day.  One qualifying session was lost due to rain on the Saturday.  A new speed record was set in Top Fuel Bike.  On race day just before the bike eliminations there was a one-minute silence for Sarah Jane Head who passed away. 


Top Fuel Bike.

Top Fuel Bike made a welcome return to the Summer Nationals after a few years in which the class has not raced at this event.

Multi-time ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt ran two early click off passes, with a best of 6.368-179.92. But at the expense of a damaged piston, which the team repaired the motor ready for the eliminations.  Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Rene Van Den Berg ran 6.572 at 224.75.   Chris Hannam was out on his V Twin and still had some little handling issues, recording a best of 7.622-167.31.

Woollatt had a bye run into the final, while Berg ran personal best figures of 6.367 and reset the championship speed record to 226.74 to beat Hannam 7.710-153.63.

There was drama in the final, when but bikes had completed their burnouts, there was a delay in the shutdown area and the riders were told to shut the motors off.  After refuelling Woollatt put a holeshot on Berg who chased after Woollatt, but crossed the centre line at the speed traps.  Woollatt took the win light 6.240-217.19.


Funny Bike.

Filippos Papafilippou qualified with a superb run of 6.716-200.63.

Slightly faster speed than the championship record of 200.53.  Points leader Phil Crossley was the next rider 7.296.  Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Dave Peters was in third spot 7.624-176.45.  Making a welcome return to competing in the ACU Championships was Shaun Branch.  The last time he competed in the championship was in 2007. 

Dave Buttery put a huge holeshot on Papafilippou (rt315 to 733) and took the win light after Papafilippou slowed with a problem at mid-track.  Crossley ran a p/b 7.278 to beat Dale Leeks who was testing his bike for Hockenheim.  In the semis Buttery broke off the start line against Eric Richard who would face Crossley in the final. Who had knocked out Allan Davies in the other semi-final.

Both riders drifted out of their grooves in the second eighth of the track.  Crossley kept it together to win and increase his points lead with a 7.290 to Richard losing 7.495.


Pro Stock Bike.

This was the first round of the 2016 ACU Pro Stock Bike Championship.  Reigning Champion Alex Hope was doing some chassis tuning over the weekend and ran a best of 7.411-179.95 just ahead of Len Paget who was testing some different set ups 7.417-175.06.  Patrick Kras riding his Buell ran a best of 8.134-161.92 close to his personal best (8.12)

Hope had a bye run to the final to meet Paget.  The final was a good race with Paget putting a holeshot (rt056 to 139) over Hope who powered around to win the event 7.341-179.97 to 7.443-170.44.


Comp Bike.

Sean Mills has had Brad O’Connor testing his bike and recorded a 7.3sec pass.  Mills ran a best of 7.687-189.91 ahead of Kevin Osman 7.822-189.00.  Championship points leader Eddy Smiley was next 7.834-177.12.  Second place riders in the points, Mark Hope 8.237 and Mick Winyard 8.241 were next.

Smiley ran a personal best et of 7.767 in round one to knock out Martin Walker.  The shock of the round was Osman red light against Phil Leamon.

In the final Mills got out the gate first, but drifted to the centre line as Smiley powered past to take the win light and extend his points lead.


Super Street Bike.

Reigning ACU Super Street Bike Champion Garry Bowe found a set up for the track on Saturday and was the number one qualifier 7.198-203.40.  Former champion Graham Balchin is making steady progress with his set up and ran a best to date of 7.214.  Richard Hann is on top form at the moment and ran 7.338 just ahead of Steve Venables 7.395.  Mark Wells spun a shell and was out of the show.  So second in the points table Nigel Barker came in as first alternate.  Shock of the round saw Bowe wheelie off the start line to the 100ft mark against Rudi Zordi who also had a wheelie, but went through into the semi-finals.  Points leader Venables beat second place in the table Barker to extend his lead.  Balchin went quicker again 7.206 when he beat Rudolfo Maduro.  Venables eased pass Zordi to the final.  Balchin wasted a personal best ever 7.135 when he red lit against Hann

Both riders left the start line almost together, but at mid-track Hann was fish tailing down the track (water from the radiator, leaking onto the rear tyre) as Venables lit the win light board 7.177 to 7.965.


Report by Steven Moxley.

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