ACU Championships Round1 - Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway

Monday April 11, 2016 at 11:16am
ACU Championships Round1 - Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway
Rain and strong wind disrupted the opening round of the 2016 ACU Championships.  Good Friday was the best day of the three -day event.  Saturday and Sunday saw racers facing strong cross wind and head wind and rain fell late afternoon on Sunday bringing the meeting to an end with only Super Street bike completing their first round of eliminations.


Top Fuel Bike.

Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Rene Van Den Berg has a new and stronger crankshaft fitted for 2016 and was rewarded with back to back 6.5sec runs 6.597-219.30 and a personal best of 6.516 at 217.99. Just edging Steve Woollatt for number one qualifier by two thousands of a second 6.518-182.88.  Woollatt has gone back to his 2014 set up on the clutch and also trying a different fuel set up as well.  Both qualifying runs were for an early shut off (1000ft mark) on Friday.  Nick Milburn had a blower belt break (tooth) on the start line in the opening session.  In the next session Milburn recorded a 7.157-153.17.  Saturday Woollatt and Milburn staged with a strong crosswind, Woollatt left first but shutoff at the 300ft mark when his bike started to drift to the centre line.  Milburn powered down the track with the front wheel up and as he was entering the speed traps the bike drifted to the centre line and Milburn was leaning over to straighten the bike and parted company with the bike.  The bike went across to Woollatt’s lane hitting the wall and the front of the frame broke.  Milburn was ok but had a dislocated shoulder and he went to the hospital and returned to the track later that day.  Woollatt had to dodge bits of carbon fibre hitting his helmet and riding over bits on the track.

After that the other bike riders in Funny Bike, Comp Bike and Super Street Bike decided no to race that day. 


Funny Bike.

Lorcan Parnell had a plug come out and lost some oil at the end of his first qualifying run and ran 7.072-160.74 in the dark on Friday to lead the field.  The Storm team has modified the clutch for this season.  Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Dave Peters ran 7.301-181.36 (top speed) out of the trailer with an old rear tyre.  Phil Crossley could be one of the outsiders for this year’s title.  He qualified 7.535-173.07 just edging Eric Richard 7.546-171.10.   Rain stopped the event before Funny Bike ran the first round of the eliminations.


Comp Bike.

Last year’s number two plate Eddy Smiley was the number one qualifier 7.888-175.08.  Mick Winyard ran a 7.98 two weeks before this event and qualified with an 8.046-175.75 just ahead of Mark Hope 8.142-177.85 (top speed).  Reigning ACU Comp Bike Champion Kevin Osman had a soft set up for his rebuilt motor and ran 8.382-177.10.  Comp Bike didn’t run their eliminations due to rain.


Super Street Bike.

Steve Venables has fitted a new exhaust system and a CO 2 cooler, which resulted a time of 7.183-200.66 to lead the 14 bike field.  Reigning ACU and FIM Super Street Bike Champion Garry Bowe has fitted a McIntosh swingarm and ran a best of 7.384-200.55.  Richard Hann was getting back to the form he had early in 2015 with 7.507-190.52.  Mark Wells ran a personal best of 7.527 at 194.61 just ahead of Richard Stubbins 7.562-161.32.

Three riders got bye runs Venables, Bowe and Alex Hope.  Best race of the day saw Nigel Barker power around Wells to take a close win 8.014 to 8.322.  There were wins for Stubbins, Hann and Chris Reed.  


Report by Steven Moxley.

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