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I caught up with Rob Smallworth after his nitrous backfire which has bent all of the butterflies in the carburettor, Barry Grimes told me they have been offered parts and carbs to fix the problem so they can qualify and race.
I spotted Rob Loaring around the “Tiger Tim” Garlick pit, Tim had been absent from both of the Super Modified sessions this morning. In his usual jovial manner Rob joked “We’re waiting to run 7.30’s keeping it just below 200!” Rob stated that at the Easter Thunderball he tuned Tim’s new small block Chevrolet from step 1 straight to 5 and then straight to 9 pushing out a head gasket against Rob Smallworth in the semi final and the other against Andy Kirk in the final. The team tried a new type of gasket but this leaked on start-up so Rob has been back to ICE to get another set of the old type to cure the problem.
Paul Marston is here in the ex-Mick Cheley machine making checkout passes for next weekends Spring Speed Festival. It is running a 555ci engine that Paul had “wedging a door open” The car is expected to go from Shakespeare County to the Paint Shop to The Main Event. With an easy footbrake launch the car ran an 9.23/133.
Wilf Stacey was in attendance today after nitrous burp at Easter which required the top end of the engine working on from sponsor Real Steel. The test session and 4 meetings in 6 weeks is proving quite costly for many of the Street Eliminator teams but Wilf was quick to thank the multitude of people that have helped him achieve the feat. Charles Pinion MD of Real Steel, Peter and Murray from the engine shop and the rest of the Real Steel team which were “handed over” to Wilf for nearly two days in order for him to attend even though they have customers engines to build for a big show net weekend. Wilf would also like to add thanks to crew Richard and Matt, all his family plus new class sponsor Martin from Embroidery Solutions.
Also another non-attendee from the first two Street Eliminator sessions was Jon Webster in the MG. Jon has been busy helping with a multitude of class cars including newcomer Mark Perkins in the ex-Jon Webster Mustang. The car has a 598ci engine with the latest spec Pro Stock heads after previously running a 68 Barracuda at Peak Days. Jon meanwhile is about to run in session 3 (as I am typing this) after carding an 8.94/164 best at Easter, but has been busy in the meantime recording an episode of Scrapheap Challenge building a Land Speed Record car to run on Pendine Sands with Richard Noble and Andy Green as judges, as for the outcome you’ll have to tune in!
After the first session I caught up with VW Sportsman racer Abi Tether who missed the Easter meeting after her new race box wasn't ready in time and refused the chance to gain points in one of her myriad of VW powered vehicles as Abi admits to wanting to complete a year in just one car. Abi's 23 window bus now sports some Compomotive MO wheels and a set of Toyo Tyres. The 2366cc engine is as per last season but with a Cogbox built race transmission. The car has been fully dynoed on the Raceshack rolling road where it ran a 16.7 second timeslip, carding 100bhp at the wheels with 113lbs of torque. Abi hopes to match the 16 second performance on the track.
Peter Christie has made the move up to Pro VW this year with his flamed Karmann Ghia, now sporting a 2.1ltr turbocharged engine, Peter is awarded this events long distance award after flying home from work in Algeria back to his home in Carnoustie on Wednesday only to hook up the race car and tow for 10 hours down to Santa Pod for this weekend.
Laurie Craig is making his first appearance in Alternate Engine VW since last years Bug Jam. The car is sporting what Laurie and Dad Ralph descibe as a "not yet complete" beautiful Candy Apple Red paintscheme applied by Doug Ripley. Also the engine has been changed to a carburetted on methanol 464ci Chevrolet engine which previously saw track action from Tim Muggeridge. The team are hoping for times in the mid 9's.
Real Steel Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost missed the first session but should make session number two, regular Eurodragster readers will know Andy won the Easter Thunderball sporting the BFG Drag Radial tyres. Andy is, as per the European Finals entered for Comp Eliminator for this years Main Event where he will be sporting the Mickey Thompson Drag Radials for his sponsor.
Finally for this update I caught up with Outlaw Anglia racer Mark Pointer after his first run of the weekend which carded him a 7.95/180, Mark was quick to thank Jon Hogarth at Specialist In Design who has been working hard on the car since Easter. Jon has changed the instant centre of the car as well as changing wheelie bars as the old ones were wrecked, new shocks thanks to Steve Kellett and a new torsion bar. The car has been base lined again and is handling much better than before. After the first run Mark suspects a problem with the inlet gasket so the team are busy changing it now ready for the next session this afternoon.
First up this morning we caught up with Paul Herbert who informs us his sole intention this weekend is to get the car to run over 100mph in the quarter. At present Paul is only using a 50 shot of nitrous in the stock 1679cc engine. Eagle eyed readers of the Main Event entry list will have also spied Paul's name down for Sportsman ET action after first trying his hand in the class at the European Finals.
Next up was Phil Norman making what is usually a bi-annual pilgrimage to Santa Pod for the two VW festivals, however Phil tells us that he is not only booked in for the Speed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway next weekend but is looking to enter further events this year. Since we saw him last the car has had slicks added as well as the rear of the car strengthening which he is hoping will propell him into the 12's and into Pro VW.
Matt Attwood is back this weekend after what he described himself as a "Nightmare Easter" After arriving with a new clutch and slicks but still with a standard gearbox he proceeded to break two CV joints and two Porsche 944 halfshafts, after scouring around for replacements they were finally secured in Cambridge. After three easy runs lauching in second gear Matt then broke second gear. To eliminate further gearbox woes Paul from Bears is building Matt a race-prepped gearbox which will hopefully be ready for the Summer Nationals.
After a couple of years sabbatical Jason Aldred is making a welcome return to Pro VW this weekend with a much changed Beach Buggy. In it's previous guise a 2276cc normally aspirated engine powered the car into the 11's, however now the car has been lengthened to 94" by Jon Rathbone after initally being built by Jim Smith at Costweld. A VW bus gearbox helps put the power down from the 2332cc turbo-efi engine which has been dynoed at 465bph with 429lbs of torque. Eventually Jason is hoping for a 9 second timeslip.
Super Modified racer Nigel Payne was pleased with his Easter weekend, especially taking a nitrous car out in round one. With a 7.88 best so far Nigel is taking full advantage of the track time available to him by entering Super Pro ET at the Main Event, plus like all doorslammer fans Nigel likes to put one over on the dragsters in the class! Nigel is hoping to have team principal Gavin Willis from sponsor WEST-TEC here this weekend, WEST-TEC are primarily a circuit racing company with presences in Formula 3, Formula Ford and Ascar. Gavin is an avid drag racing fan having already attended Frank Hawley's racing school in the USA notching a 6.2 second time whilst licensing in Top Alcohol.
Simon Bailey is making a big leap this weekend from his daily driver VW Bora which he usually races in VW Sportsman to the ex-Jackson family seven second dragster. Simon explains the decision as one that was discussed at the VWDRC AGM and decided to do it "to be faster then Jacob" (Simon's brother, also in VW Sportsman - pit note Ed) Simon is in safe hands this weekend with both Paul Jackson and Keith Jackson crewing on the car helping Simon gain his license this weekend and "for as long as it takes" says Paul. Simon is being sponsored by Supremebeing clothing.
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