Wednesday August 1, 2018 at 9:05am
The Summernationals lived up to its name with hot, sunny and high humidity over the weekend. There were many personal bests set and also some new et and speed records set. Top Fuel Bike. It was an emotional weekend for the Multi-time and Reigning Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt, his brother Gary died a week before the event and was Steve’s first crewman when Steve began drag racing. Woolatt topped the three-bike field in qualifying with 6.354-192.23. Allan Davies has fitted a three plate clutch for the event and ran best figures to date of the V Twin Puma of 7.713-187.37 (career p/b speed). Then in a fourth session on Sunday Davies ran quicker with 7.694-186.59. Al Smith was riding Phil Baimbridge fuel bike and broke a conrod during qualifying and was out of the show. Woollatt led from start to finish in the final 6.373-215.16 to Davies 7.755-166.68. Funny Bike. Lorcan Parnell has fitted a Hayabusa front end onto the bike to help stabilise during the second 1/8 of the track, which resulted in best ever figures of 6.676-218.24 (under Neil Midgley 6.703 record). Eric Richard continued his good form with 6.968-193.50 with Dale Leeks 7.073 in third. Parnell set a new ACU et and speed records with a 6.705-206.93 to beat Thomas Joswig in round one of the eliminations. Parnell is now the new record holder with 6.676-206.93. Leeks ran a p/b 6.974 and Reigning ACU Pro Stock Bike Champion Len Paget was racing in Funny Bike due to a low turnout in Pro Stock Bike and had a bye when Stuart Crane broke. Parnell dropped a valve in round one, Paget had another bye to the final and Leeks beat Richard in the other semi-final. Paget red lit against Leeks in the final and Leeks won his first ACU Funny Bike event. Comp Bike. Sixteen bikes qualified for the eliminations and Scott Collier ran a personal best of 7.376-182.88 for number one spot. Sean Mills ran 196.39 to improve his ACU speed record, which he backed up with a too faster speed of 198.91. There were seven riders from Holland competing in the class with Top rider being Jeroen Van Den Belt with a p/b of 7.652-185.80. Half the field recorded personal bests in either et or speed. Collier ran another p/b in round one of 7.320-184.24 to eliminate Ben Antonia who ran a p/b of 7.992-175.69. Other riders who ran p/bs were Dave Batcheler 7.765-164, Martin Walker 7.761-185.08 and Sigmaro Profas 7.606-193.88. The final was decided when Collier pulled a red light against Van Den Belt who ran another p/b of 7.518-187.42 to win his first ever ACU event. Super Street Bike. Half the field ran personal bests and there was new ACU et and speed record set over the weekend. Garry Bowe went back to last years set up and ran 7.028-207.02 to top the field. Richard Stubbins was the nearest challenger 7.060-204.25. Graham Balchin was next 7.131, then Daniel Lencses 7.148, Rudolfo Maduro p/b of 7.173-195 and Stephan Mead 7.189 at 202.57 his second 200mph pass of the weekend. Steve Venables set a new ACU speed record of 207.24. Venables then reset the speed record round one 209.06 and in round two 211.10. In the semi-finals Venables set the ACU et record to 6.925 at a personal best of 215.12 against Lencses who ran a p/b of 7.044. In the other semi-final Balchin ran a p/b of 7.048-205.32 to beat Stubbins 7.062-206.02 in a close race. Maduro ran another p/b 7.149-198.12 in round one of the eliminations against Jemma Venables. It was another red light to decide the final when Venables left too early against Balchin who won his first event of the year. Report by Steven Moxley.