Three rounds of qualifying sessions were completed on Saturday. There was a minute silence for former Santa Pod track crew- member Ben Butler who passed away recently. Rain fell at mid day and racing then continued until an incident in a car class, brought racing to an early close, due to the time to recover the vehicle and clean up. The racing had reached the semi-finals stage when the race was called.
Top Fuel Bike.
This was the second round of three for Top Fuel Bike. Al Smith was due to ride on the new Phil Baimbridge bike, but he was unable due to hurting his back. Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt was testing fuel and clutch set ups for European Finals in the coming months. Woollatt clicked off early with a best time of 6.531-189.63. Neil Midgley is still getting use to the blown V Twin and ran a best to date of 7.026 at 141.66. Team had belt issues during qualifying.
Round one of the eliminations and both riders had byes Woollatt 6.958. Midgley ran 7.301-140. The final didn’t take place due to car incident.
Eric Richard continued his good form and topped the field with a superb 7.143-184.37. Allan Davies was back to his form and ran 7.279-179.28. Dave Peters hurt the clutch in qualifying fitted a new one and ran 7.645. Pete Le Gros also ran a seven-second pass (7.943). Richard had a bye run in round one of the eliminations 7.216-at a personal best speed of 187.36. Le Gros knocked out Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Phil Crossley. Davies beat a troubled Lorcan Parnell. and Thomas Joswig broke against Peters.
It has been few years since we have had a sixteen-bike eliminator. Three of the top four qualifiers ran personal bests. Sean Mills ran a jaw dropping 7.522-189.80 p/b figures to top the field. Tony Clark also ran a p/b with 7.615 at 179.24. Scott Collier ran 7.810 for third spot, but hurt some parts, which put him out of competition. Newcomer to the class Sigmaro Profas from Holland ran personal best figures of 7.930-182.82. There were also p/bs for Dave Batcheler 8.056 and Newcomer Daniel Bergelin 8.211-157.93.
In round two Mills broke on the start line against Martin Walker who ran back to back 7.9secs in the eliminations. Ian Burns broke against Reigning ACU Comp Bike Champion Eddy Smiley. Clark had a bye run. Mick Winyard beat Margot Schmidt 8.255 to 8.600.
Super Street bike.
Pete Field just edged Reigning European FIM Super Street Bike Champion Garry Bowe 7.182 to Bowe 7.189 for number one qualifier. Richard Stubbins was third with 7.217. Rudolfo Maduro ran personal best figures of 7.278-191.43. It was an all seven-second field, with Dave Thomas on the bump spot with 7.831. Mark Wells broke a conrod in the opening session and was out of the show.
In round two Field beat Graham Dance 7.211 to Dance personal best with this combination 7.330-198.05. Reigning ACU Super Street Champion Steve Venables beat Reigning Pro Stock Bike Champion Alex Hope riding the ex Danny Cockerill bike 7.396 to Hope 7.847. Bowe beat Graham Balchin and Franklyn Borg ran 7.172-203.22 to knock out Stubbins 7.291.
Report by Steven Moxley.