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We're all finished here at Santa Pod. The Wildside Inc Top Fueller was fired up in the pits but never made it down to the start line.
So there you have it, the first Speedfreaks Ball, and we're sure it won't be the last one. Organiser Martin Hill was quoted on the PA a short while ago as saying there will be another such event in 2003.
Thanks for tuning in over the weekend, and thanks for your patience earlier on this morning when the site was down because our ISP's whole operation was out of action.
Thanks for their help this weekend to organisers Martin Hill and Paul Bailey; Darren Prentice; Steve Horn, Martin Wallis and Andy Marrs of TSI Timers; Ian Marshall and the start line crew; Bob Day and the safety crew; track announcers Martin Bennett, Mike Kason and Paul Venners; Kjell Pettersson; Antony Billinton; Sue Morris; Bill Sly; Spencer Tramm; and Ivan Sansom. Thanks for hospitality to Team Pants and the Junior Drag Racers, and thanks to Darren Turner for the use of his caravan.
Our next event coverage will be from the pre-Main Event private test and Run What You Brung on 25th-26th May.
This weekend's coverage was brought to you in association with American Car Imports.
Sammy Miller made it to Santa Pod in time and has just put in a pass of 6.258/182.52. The Vanishing Point team did a great job on the repair of the car, where there were holes in front of the body last night is now clean paintwork with no sign of a join. Sammy's incrementals were as follow:
60 foot: 10.52
330 foot: 2.706
1000 foot: 5.060
Terminal Speed: 182.52
Just before Sammy ran, Martin Hill and Tony Baker raced the Fireforce Jet FCs. A superb synchronised flame and thunder show was followed by an easy win for Martin although Tony left first, Martin recording 6.06/254.70 to Tony's 8.52/218.32.
Ton Pels took the final of the Top Fuel Bike v Supertwin Top Fuel Bike shootout, Ton clicking a great, straight 6.99/198.40 to Steve Woollatt's 11.29/94.09, Steve smoking the tyre off the line and that was that. Ian King followed up with an 11.87/76.37 with one cylinder out, on and off the throttle.
Mark Fisher won the Super Street Bike shootout with a great 8.83/163.74 to Pete Bellinie's 9.17/155.51.
Today's pictures are now available from the event update index page.
Stay tuned as we are still expecting Darryl Bradford's first licencing pass in the Wildside Inc Top Fueller.
We're on a lunch break at the moment, just before the break Martin Hill put in a 5.982/255.63 pass in the Fireforce 2 Jet FC. Martin was off it early and dropped the chutes in the traps so there is more to come yet. Earlier on, Tony Baker clocked 7.053/229.84 in Fireforce 1. Again your reporter was given the opportunity to run the Tree for both cars, thanks to the start line crew for that.
Sammy Miller is not on site but is expected soon. Lisa Smart tells us that the Vanishing Point team had an early night to get a good night's sleep and then were up early this morning to start work on the car. The crew are confident of making it this afternoon and there are another three hours to go before the track closes.
The second round of the Super Street Bike shootout went as follows:
Pete Bellinie 9.36/151.19 def. Karl Larcombe 9.92/156.60
Mark Fisher 8.98/163.21 def. Matt Nixon 8.98/155.22
The latest round in the Top Fuel Bike/Supertwin Top Fuel Bike shootout went as follows:
Steve Woollatt 6.64/205.63
Joey Bon 9.28/103.16
Ton Pels 7.07/199.21
ian King 12.12/88.83
Steve Woollatt told us last night that the bike had a 6.6 in it and he wasn't kidding! Joey Bon's time betrays a massive tankslapper at half-track, an excellent riding job from Joey.
Other racers putting in passes today have been as follow:
Andy Smith (Supertwin Gas) 10.37/114.27, Ric Naylor (STG) 11.27/121.67, Barrie Gregory (STG) 11.38/113.28, Les Harris 11.10 (Supertwin Street) 11.10, Wayne Guerrero 12.41/113, Dave Bartz (Supertwin Modified) 10.10/125.27, Al Cook (Pro Stock Bike) 7.99/159.59, Sarah Jane Head (Comp Bike) 8.76/155.88, Ian Burns (Pro Stock Bike) 8.33/160.07, Paul King (Pro Stock Bike) 9.40/108.02, Neil Midgley (Funny Bike), 9.19/99.16, Lucy Thorn (Comp Bike) 9.52/144.03.
The first round of the Super Street Bike shootout went as follows:
Matt Nixon 8.91/153.06 def. Dave Smith 9.62/154.82
Mark Fisher 8.92/161.27 def. Rachel Pattison 9.10/160.72
Peter Bellinie 9.35/154.97 def. Graham Dance 11.40/78.05
Karl Larcombe 8.71/160.24 def. Paul Watson 9.27/146.15
We've also had some match-ups in Supertwin classes although (sorry guys) we don't know if it was a formal shootout. But they went as follows:
Les Harris 11.22/125.69 def. Wayne Guerrero 114.64
Andy Smith 10.18/119.96 def. Ric Naylor 11.44/123.09
Nick Daniels 10.58/121.72 def. Barrie Gregory 11.63/112.28
STF6 11.94/110.42 def. Alex Widden broke (but came back at end of session and ran 12.49/103.97)
Dave Bartz 10.27/134.58 def. Dave Witts 10.82/124.90
Similarly with Pro Stock Bike, Comp Bike and Funny Bike:
Neil Midgley 7.91/143.22 def. Stu Chamberlain 10.83/103.25
Al Cook 8.16
Ian Burns 8.31/152.52 def. Sarah Jane Head 8.41/154.83
The Junior Modified Dragsters are running heads-up this morning and the three match-ups went as follows:
Joe Bond 9.24/69.47 def. Adam Gleadow 9.39/69.25
Stuart Morrice 9.43/68.68 def. Tom Watts 11.63/55.00
Holley Glassup 8.88/64.53 def. Ricky Emms 9.81/54.66
Stay tuned and we'll be back with news of the Fuel Bikes, Top Fuel Dragster and Sammy Miller.
Good morning and welcome from Santa Pod Raceway on day two of the Speedfreaks Ball. It's a beautiful morning and we're all set to bring you today's highlights in association with American Car Imports. The track crew have done an excellent job as usual especially from twenty to sixty feet in the left hand lane where the jet quad turned the surface to soot in a demo yesterday afternoon.
The usual raceday greetings to our buddies Ed O'Connell and Kathy Hileman in the USA, and indeed a special good morning to all our readers in the USA who are tuning in for news of Sammy Miller.
Not long before we left you last night we told you about Sammy's trip into the field in the Vanishing Point Rocket FC. Sammy, Antony Billinton and the team had a very late night last night putting the damage to rights. The Mustang body was cracked and holed at the front but of more concern was the left front wheel which was far from vertical as a result of the crash. It turns out that Sammy's field trip was a deliberate act on his part to prevent a far nastier accident.
"When the car comes off thrust it is shaking very badly", Sammy told us. "The inside steamed up, I had one chute out, it was shaking and I couldn't see where I was going. I had one hand on the brake and the other on the steering so I couldn't pull the second chute. The hand on the steering was in the wrong place to be heading in the right direction so I spun the car out backwards because a backwards crash is better than a head-on. Whenever I have a problem I'll take the option of a safety crash! I dealt with the situation and made it work."
Also of concern to the Vanishing Point team is a problem with the radial rocket motor. On its two runs yesterday the car trailed steam down the track whilst the rocket was firing - normally this car runs without any vapour trail. "When we tested it two weeks ago we had the car running hard and clean at low fuel pressure", said Sammy. "This weekend we tried a higher pressure and the intent was to come out and run hard and fast". The car was taken to the end of the track last night and the engine was tested at the lower pressure and ran clean. So the plan for today is to run the lower pressure which will slow down the ETs but should increase terminal speeds. "We have all the right parts. We're close with the engine and the fuel is good. It will be the old Vanishing Point again!", said Sammy.
If you were tuned in yesterday you will remember that we wondered whether Steve Woollatt had deliberately pulled what amounted to a half-track burnout when his Top Fuel Bike lit the tyre off the start line. We collared Steve in the catering area last night and he admitted that it was deliberate. "When the tyre spun I had the choice of getting off it, then on it again and still not running very well, or putting on a show", said Steve. "So I put on a show!"
We also popped in to visit Ton Pels and Ian King last night to find out what happened on their last qualifying passes yesterday. Ton broke off the line and Ian broke in the burnout. Ton's crew chief and son Vincent told us over coffee and Kahlua that the slider head had come off the clutch, and that it was very easily mended. "We would have to have taken the clutch apart anyway", he said. Ian King told us that his problem was with the fuel system.
In the Super Street Bike pits we have some very happy racers this morning, with Paul Watson (8.86), Matt Nixon (8.91) and Richard Stubbins (8.95) all into the eights on their last passes of the day.
Top Methanol Dragster driver Doug Bond achieved the notable feat of smoking the tyres of a Junior Dragster when he took the wheel of son Joe's Junior Modified car yesterday. "When I got to the finish line I went for the clutch pedal out of habit and of course hit the brake pedal", said Doug. "It smoked the tyres!". A photograph taken yesterday of Doug passing the Tree shows Holley Glassup with half a car length on him out of the hole, but we promised that we wouldn't let on.
We're just about good to go here, the plan for today's reports is as yesterday, occasional updates with highlights. We will be keeping an eye on the Top Fuel v Supertwin, Super Street Bike and Junior Dragster shootouts plus Sammy Miller and of course Darryl Bradford in the Wildside Inc Top Fueller. Tune back in a couple of hours and we'll let you know how things are going.