At the halfway stage of 2021 ACU Championships, the Summer Nationals lived up to its title with glorious weather and temperatures between 85-90 degrees. New records were set and a few personal bests.
Top Fuel Bike.
Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt has not had a good start to the season with various issues, but was back on top with a number one qualifying run of 6.563-204.25. But still had some clutch issue. Al Smith had a new magneto and tested the day before the event and eventually qualified with a 6.722-178.54. Championship points leader Neil Midgley had a tough w/end. The opening session saw low oil pressure after the burnout, then ignition problem was found to be a weak coil. Midgley got in the show with a 6.795.
Woollatt had a bye run to the final. Midgley broke after his burnout, leaving Smith to solo. Smith won the event when a belt broke on Woollatt’s bike, when he was staging. Smith last won an ACU Top Fuel Bike event in 1996.
Stuart Crane once again dominated Funny Bike class with an out the trailer pass of 6.470-207.99 career personal best and under his own et and speed records. Crane then backed up both with 6.500 at 207.02 for new ACU records. Lorcan Parnell did a test pass of 6.674-210. In qualifying he ran 7.228-144.87. But in the last session Parnell glanced the wall at 1000ft. Parnell was ok and small damage to the bike. Tony Clark is really getting a handle on Phil Crossley bike with three personal bests during the three qualifying sessions resulting in 7.256 at 184.30. Dave Peters struggled but eventually ran a good 7.567. Jiri Lukes ran low eights 8.470. Kevin Osman had an electrical problem 8.602-180.69. Mark Smith had an ECU issue. Roger Moore was making his Funny Bike debut, but ran a personal best 7.624 at 150.64 on test day, but at the expense of a torched cylinder head and engine damage.
Crane and Smith had bye to the next round, Smith broke the beam, but put a hole in the motor when a gear broke. Clark ran another p/b of 7.190 to beat Osman. Peters just beat Lukes to face Crane in the semis. Crane ran another jaw dropping 6.477-207.22 against Peters who red lit.
Clark put a holeshot over Crane who powered around to win his second event of the year with 6.517-207 to Clark 7.268-182.87.
Louis Davies once again topped the table in qualifying 7.134-184.37. Sean Mills was in number two spot 7.333—194.71. Chris Neary ran 7.818 with a personal best speed of 182.87. Paul Hambridge had a clutch plate issue 8.507-140.71. Jordan Kenway ran a stunning personal best figures of 8.661-156.87.
Mills was a no show, so both Davies and Kenway had byes to the semis. Neary ran another p/b of 7.738 to beat a troubled Hambridge 9.681. A shock in the first semi-final when Davies clutch dragged him through the beams and Neary ran another p/b 7.718 to reach his first ACU final. Both finalists were in their first ACU Final and it was Neary who took the win light 7.748 to Kenway 10.336.
Super Street Bike.
Reigning ACU Super Street Bike Champion Steve Venables was on record setting pace at the SummerNationals. Venables ran 217.17 in qualifying and in round one set a new ACU speed record of 218.24. Mark Hope was the number two qualifier 7.150-205.32. Mark Dainty damaged his engine and transmission in testing and worked till mid-night fitting a new engine/trans to get the bike ready for qualifying and ran a personal best of 7.174. Stephen Mead was next 7.186-206.27. Alan Morrison Jr had an air clutch fitted for this meet and was looking for a baseline. Ross Morrison ran a p/b 7.513-189.81. Graham Dance damaged his cases and was out of the show. Len Paget made his Super Street debut on the ex Barry Henson bike and did not qualify.
In round one Venables set the ACU speed record of 218.24 when he beat Jake Mechaell who ran his best of the w/end 7.311-193. It was a great race between Mead and Morrison Jr with side by side 203mph and win light in Morrison Jr lane. Mark Hope got close to the centre line in his win against 3rd alternate Steve Wood.
Alex Hope led until the 1000ft mark and then slowed as Dainty took the win.
Morrison Jr wasted 7.074-206.09 when he red lit against Venables. In the other semi, Dainty won on a holeshot 7.457 to a quicker but losing Mark Hope 7.401. The final was the best race of the day with Venables winning a close race 7.241 to Dainty 7.245.
Report by Steven Moxley.