This was the penultimate round of the ACU Championships and there was a good turnout of competitors for the event. Funny Bike and Comp Bike classes have not competed at this event in a very long time. There were a lot of personal bests and a few records were set as well.
Top Fuel Bike.
Reigning Champion Steve Woollatt has had a bad season before this event and team found a bad spark box on the ignition system. But at the end of qualifying, Woollatt led the field 6.280-214.92. Points leader Neil Midgley was next 6.471-187.44. Al Smith struggled with a 7.446 and Allan Davies was sorting out his fuel system 8.130.
Davies red lit against Woollatt. Best race of the day saw Smith 6.331 beat Midgley 6.417. The final turned into a solo for Woollatt as Smith had cylinder head issue. Woollatt ran 6.182-223.41 and now leads the championship going into the last round.
Points leader Stuart Crane damaged his transmission in qualifying went out of competition. Tony Clark ran personal best for both him and Phil Crossley’s bike 7.096 for number one qualifier. Two Pro Stock Bikes of Bertrand Maurice and Martin Bishop competed in the class. Maurice ran 7.243 for number two spot. Dave Peters had changed his engines twice during qualifying and to the delight of the team ran 7.243 for third spot. Crane decided to help Mark Smith with his new engine combination resulting in a great 7.286-183. Crane was on the bump spot 7.837, which is the first time Funny Bike had an all seven second eight bike field. First alternate Dave Batcheler ran 7.972.
There was high attrition rate in the class over the weekend. Clark blew his engine in the shutdown area in round one of the eliminations. Peters also did damage in round one. So Smith and Maurice both had byes in the semi-finals. Smith had another bye in the final, when Maurice was a no show and ran his first six-second pass with personal best figures of 6.971-191.31.
Louis Davies was the number one qualifier 7.164-178.52. Sean Mills 7.375 with a top speed of the meet 193.09. Chris Neary ran a personal best 7.646. John McClean Jr ran back to back p/bs 8.131-167 and his first seven-second pass of 7.820 at 169.24. But on the next pass he destroyed the engine and was out of the show. John McClean Sr got in on the act with a p/b of 8.088.
Jordan Kenway beat Neary in the semi-finals to face Davies in the final. It turned out to be a great race for both riders who recorded personal bests. Davies won the event and the ACU Comp Bike Championship with a teeth clenching 7.001. Almost the first Comp Bike in the six-second bracket. Kenway also ran personal best figures of 8.094-163.10.
Super Street Bike.
Super Street Bike competitors put on a fantastic show in qualifying and reset the bump spot record in the UK and Europe for an eight field. Reigning Champion Steve Venables topped the historic field 6 905-217.20. Jake Mechaell ran his first 200mph in the opening qualifying session 202.40. In a later session Mechaell took power out and changed to a Dunlop tyre ran 6.954 at 209.15 (his first six-second pass). Alan Morrison Jr had qualified 6.980-210.40. but in the four session came off the bike at mid-track he was ok. The turbo was damaged, but his crewman had the same turbo in his van, which was for his race bike. Mathias Bohlin added an international flavour to the field and ran 6.957-208 in testing on Thursday, but only ran a best of 7.045-211.09. Alex Hope was on the record bump spot 7.182. Also worth a mention is seven of the riders ran over 200mph plus, making it the fastest field in the history of the class.
Venables turned the wick up when he faced Garry Bowe in the first semi-finals and ran 6.833 at 218.97 to reset the ACU Speed record. Bowe broke a rod at mid-track. Mechaell knocked out Morrison Jr in the other semi. The final saw win Mechaell win his first ACU final 7.009 to Venables 7.069.
Report by Steven Moxley