Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway - ACU Drag Racing Championships Round 1

Monday May 8, 2017 at 11:24am
Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway - ACU Drag Racing Championships Round 1
The riders had a strong headwind on the opening day of qualifying and over the next two days a stiff crosswind.  There was a brief shower on race day, but the event was completed.


Top Fuel Bike


Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt led the small field with a stunning run of 6.782-155.22mph.  Neil Midgley is riding Chris Hannam’s blown V Twin and was getting used to riding the bike with check out passes and ran 8.282-100.55mph for number two spot.  Former ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Rene Van Den Berg was over powering the track and ran a best of 8.348-100.84mph.


Woollatt ran solo in the semi-finals and recorded low et of 6.264 at 206.04mph.  In the other semi both riders clicked off early Berg drifted to the wall and took the win light 7.322-133mph to Midgley 8.329-111mph.  The final was decided at the 100 ft mark when Berg smoked the rear tyre and watched Woollatt take the win light 6.360 with a top speed of the meet 215.89mph.


Funny Bike


2/100ths separated the top three qualifiers.  Allan Davies ran a personal best of 7.311 at 176mph to pip reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Phil Crossley 7.321-179mph for number one spot.  Just behind these two riders was former champion Dave Peters 7.330-173mph.  Eric Richard was in fourth spot 7.556 and Jiri Lukes was next 8.763.


Davies ran another p/b 7.212 in the first round of the eliminations.  Crossley also ran a p/b 7.181 when he beat Lorcan Parnell.


Semi-finals and Davies knocked out Richard and Peters broke on the start line against Crossley.


Best race of the day and it was last year’s top two riders in the final.   Crossley put a holeshot (rt152 to 190) over Davies and held on to take the win 7.205-181.40mph to Davies p/b and quicker but losing 7.199 at178.51mph.


Pro Stock Bike


Former ACU Pro Stock Bike Champion Len Paget was the number one qualifier 7.582-171.10mph but damaged transmission on four valve motor and changed and fitted two valve motor for the eliminations.  Making a welcome return after several years Ian Burns had his new self made chassis and has fitted a vac pump and datalogger.  Had transmission issue during qualifying and ran a best of 8.746.   Reigning ACU Pro Stock Bike Champion Alex Hope has bought the ex Dave Beck championship winning rolling chassis but had handling problem and resulted with a bent gear shifter and was out of the show.

It was a bizarre final when both Paget and Burns broke off the start line.  So a re-run was called and Burns broke in the burnout box (transmission) leaving Paget a bye run to the winner’s circle 7.837.


Comp Bike


Sean Mills cured his handling problem during qualifying and led the field with 7.827-176.46mph.  Tony Clark missed last season and return with a new top end on his motor.  After a clutch basket broke a spare Stuart Crane basket was fitted and Clark ran 7.860-179.96mph to pip Paul Hambridge 7.868-149.56mph for number two spot.  Reigning ACU Comp Bike Champion Eddy Smiley was re-mapping his motor and ran a best of 7.913-168.54mph.


Smiley won a close race against Mick Winyard and then beat Mills 7.922 to 8.004 in the semi-final.  The other side of the ladder saw Martin Walker reaching the final.  The race was decided at the 100ft mark when Walker pulled a wheelie and Smiley powered to the finish line.


Super Street Bike


With both the ACU Champion Steve Venables and the European FIM Champion Garry Bowe, developing new equipment this season.  Richard Stubbins took his chance for getting a good start to the new season, with a number one qualifying spot 7.128-28mph.  Bowe was next with 7.207 both damaged two motors, one in testing the other in qualifying session.  Bowe had to build one motor out of two for the eliminations.  Pete Field over powered the track and eventually ran 7.208 just ahead of Venables 7.318.  Peter Granica debut his new self made bike and ran a career best of 7.655 at 175.74mph.


There were plenty of shocks during the eliminations.  First was Bowe loosing to Steve Wood who then had a bye to the semi-finals this was turning into his best ever meeting.  Shock number two was Venables lost to Daniel Lencses 7.370-182.15mph to 7.458-202.45mph in round two.  Stubbins ran low et 7.071 against Graham Balchin in round two and faced Field in the final who had run low 7.2secs in the previous rounds.  Stubbins got out the gate first but pulled a wheelie at mid-track and Field powered past to take the win light 7.251 to 7.793.


Report by Steven Moxley

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