The 2022 Festival of Power will go into the history books as one of the best. With three days of summer temperatures and a well prepared track, crowds witness record setting performances in the four classes of the championships. The event saw high attrition in all classes.
Top Fuel Bike.
Neil Midgley has bought Filippos Papafilippou Top Fuel bike and made his debut at the event. In the second qualifying session Midgley ran a personal best of 6.237 clicking off early. In the fourth session Midgley ran the first 5sec pass for an ACU championship event. 5.865-200.63 with 60ft of -965 and 1/8mile figures of 3.753-211.54 (Larry McBride 3.757-212). But then Midgley glanced the wall in the shutdown area and brought the bike safely to a stop. The team decided to withdraw from the event to check the bike over. Al Smith was testing new components and ran a best of 6.129-222.53. Rene Van Den Berg had a new cylinder head fitted and ran a best of 6.235-224-52. He later ran 6.329 at 228.05 which was faster than the speed record he holds. Berg found low oil pressure at the end of the run and he was out of the show. Reigning champion Steve Woollatt has taken off the Opcon blower he has used for 30 years and has fitted a HPS 2.1 blower so the team were looking for a baseline and ran 6.796-156.86.
Both Woollatt and Smith had bye runs to the final and they ran mid-sixes. Smith broke a fuel pump drive and was a no show for the final. Woollatt ran his best of the w/end 6.446-192.11 in the final.
Reigning Funny Bike champion Stuart Crane dominated the event, testing some lighter components and the old cylinder head ran 6.550-207.12. 6.486-208.01 a new ACU Speed Record. His final run was personal best figures of 6.401-212.08. Teammate Mark Smith was in second spot 7.246-185.09 but damaged his transmission and was out of the show. Reigning Comp Bike champion Louis Davies has moved to Funny Bike and ran 7.253-177.53 but damaged the block when the head gasket blew and spent all Saturday fitting spare block, new crankshaft and pistons. Roger Moore has been doing mods on his cylinder head 7.718-162.50. Dave Peters damaged a valve in testing. In qualifying he damaged another valve and selector in the transmission. He fitted his bigger spare motor 1428cc and ran 7.924-145.69. Lorcan Parnell was hoping for a better season, but was on the bump spot 8.090-132.06.
Parnell was a no show in round one, so Crane had two bye runs to the final. Peters had bye to the semis. Davies led from start to finish over Moore 7.436 to 13.212. Davies damaged a piston in his win over Peters and could not make the final. Crane turned the wick up for the final and ran a jaw dropping 6.325 the quickest Funny Bike in the UK and Europe at a new ACU speed record of 213.77. The 6.325 was to quick, but it backed up 6.401 for a new ACU ET record.
Shawn Buttigieg of Malta brought his self built bike to the Pod and ran 6.765 at 214.95 during testing (Thursday). Becoming the first Comp Bike to run in the sixes and over 200mph. In the first session of qualifying Buttigieg ran 6.801-210.94 and later went even quicker 6.709-215.12 p/b to set a new ACU ET and Speed records of 6.801-210.94. Graham Dance has moved from Super Street Bike to Comp Bike for 2022 and qualified in No 2 spot 7.544-194.50. Another rider changing classes was Len Paget on his Pro Stock bike 7.669-167.92. Last years number two plate Chris Neary is on Methanol and was looking for a baseline 7.816-179.25. Mick Winyard made a welcome return after being away for three years 8.019-178.52. Jordan Kenway has been busy over the winter break, new front end and outrigger plate 8.409-166.68. Newcomer Leo Lester 8.420-173.74 recording a p/b speed during qualifying. Aswin Le Noble was on the bump spot 9.537. Dave Thomas was on the outside of the show.
Buttigieg had transmission problems over his win against Noble. Neary put a holeshot over Winyard and held on for the win 8.030 to a quicker but losing 7.999. Dance led from start to finish against Lester. Paget broke in the burnout box, leaving Kenway a bye run. Neary beat Buttigieg 7.649 to 7.999. in the first semi and Kenway had another bye when Dance was a no show. Kenway got a slight holeshot off the start line in the final over Neary, but Neary powered around to take a close win 8.032 to Kenway best of the w/end 8.275.
Super Street Bike.
The Festival of Power meet saw the first 6.7sec pass and 220mph plus in Super Street Bike. Daniel Lencses brought his new DME built bike, which he had run 6.8secs in the USA. In the second session of qualifying he ran the first 220mph plus 6.859-220.04 personal best figures. The next session 6.776-220.37 the first 6.7sec and a new ACU Speed record. Lencses ran 6.783 in the final session to set an ACU ET record 6.776. Reigning champion Steve Venables was Lencses nearest challenger 6.984-216.99. But he was having wastegate problem and was adjusting the ignition to get the best performance. Jake Mechaell ran 7.004-204.39 but had an engine issue, which turned out to be an injector, which damaged a valve and put him out of the show. Alan Morrison Jr had a new frame and rear suspension to cure handling problems of 2021. 7.106-206.14. Mark Dainty ran 7.137 p/b but had a wheelie mid-track that damaged the frame and was out of the show. Dave Smith is getting a handle on his ecu system and ran 7.277-201.51. Ross Morrison has rewired the bike over the winter and ran a p/b 7.282 at 187. Stephen Mead was on the bump spot 7.888. Steve Wood and Margot Schmidt who is running methanol were alternates.
Lencses and Smith had byes to the semis and Ross Morrison broke against Venables who a bye run and ran a jaw dropping 222.31 mph to become the fastest UK and Europe Super Street Bike. There was a shock in round one when Morrison Jr pulled a wheelie and Wood took the win. Semis saw Lencses beat Wood and Venables beat Smith who ran a p/b speed of 203.48. The crowd were hoping to see the first side by side 220mph in the final. But Lencses pulled a red lit with a 0003rt handing Venables the win light.
Report by Steven Moxley