2011 Extreme Performance Bike Weekend

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Latest update: Sunday 09:50

Funny Bike racer Alan Young is pleased with his new candy apple red machine. He said "It is running better, we are finding things and getting them sorted. It is a big difference going from a Richard Gipp nitrous bike to this turbo one." The new bike has a Stuart Crane-constructed frame with a similar engine setup to Rick Stubbins' Super Street Bike (Rick is here advising the team) and a larger Garrett turbo. Alan said "The bike has a lever-operated Hays slider six arm clutch with a two step. So it is more difficult to work off the line compared to the nitrous bike which was button operated." On the list for winter is a new gearbox to replace the current stock item.

8.50 Bike racers Mick Winyard (pictured left) and Peter Austin are championship contenders with Mick on top of the standings by a narrow margin. Peter said "It's a great class and has brought riders in from other areas of the sport such as run what ya brung and Straightliners, which Mick has raced in." Both have won events this year, Mick at Shakespeare County and Peter at Santa Pod. Peter also commented that for many of the bikes 8.50 is a stretch to achieve meaning that few have the budget to run easily under the index which helps keep the competition fresh.

9.50 Bike racer Jake Mechaell is leading the championship with Eurodragster.com Fred Furlong close behind. Jake said "It is good to be doing a whole season against Fred who has such a great history in bike brackets. We will see what happens and I expect the racing between us to be close." Jake will be moving up to 8.50 Bike next year, citing the common reason: the desire to go quicker. "Even with a stock engine I am needing to short shift and sit up to avoid breaking out. It is also difficult to slow the bike down mechanically. I will put a turbo on over the winter to get the bike into the eights. The boost controller and clutch are good ways to tune the bike for conditions and to learn more about the technology. So 8.50 is a great stepping stone between 9.50 and Super Street Bike.

The 9.50 Bikes of Stewart Ashby, Mark Hales and Steve Ashby are all Suzukis. Stewart's is 1000cc GSXR, Mark's a 1216cc GSXR and Steve's a 1216cc GSX. All three have new paint for this season.

Stewart Ashby's Bike is called Smiler but appears to be suffering some hearing/listening issues.

Super Street Bike racer Graham Dance had some feverish activity in his trailer after a serious air leak was found in the staging lane. Taking advantage of a period of downtime, the team brought the bike back to the pits and co-opted Steve French to investigate. G said "We thought a weld had cracked in the swing arm but when we pumped air into the bottle it leaked out. We suspect it may be the regulator to the boost control and will try to fix it before the session restarts. The weekend has been a bit of a catalogue of disasters and I haven't made one good run. As the rider I am just chilling out and the guys are chasing the problem."

Straightliners racer Daniel Maddox runs this immaculately prepared Suzuki GSXR1100 with a bored 1260cc engine and nitrous with support from Relentless. He said "My first race was last year's Extreme Bike weekend and I have come to run what ya brungs this year. The best time so far is 8.9 and I have built the bike myself - the paint job is a bit of an accident!"

Straightliners racer John McLean is preparing to join the ranks of 8.50 Bike racers next year. He said "I have had the bike for four and a half years and brought it to the track as soon as I first got it. I have done every run what ya brung this year. I will put more nitrous into it to get the times down, and change the swing arm linkage and fit new bodywork."

8.50 Bike racer Dave Thomas rides this 1200cc Kawasaki under the appropriate title 'Lean Mean and Green'.

Straightliners racer Phil Wood suffered a back injury earlier in the year and has set the bike as soft as possible so that he does not re-injure it. The bike responded by running an 8.0 which is about four tenths off where Phil would usually run. Phil's bike has a Gen2 clutch which can be set up softer than a multi-stage to give less shock on the run. Phil said "It is a Big CC bike, not as up to date as the latest Super Street runners but can still run a 1.14 60 ft time."

Straightliners racer Stuart Donald ran a 9.20/155 in the second session on his Suzuki Turbo GSXR1000 supported by Protek Engineering. The bike has raced at the Brighton Speed Trials.

Straightliners racer Bob Cornforth is here with this Triumph Bonneville 856cc prepared and raced under the BC Classic Speed Banner. Bob's company does enhancements for classic motorcycles and can be contacted on 07583 362721.

Comp Bike racer Paul Wing suffered traction problems, lighting the tyres up on the first two runs and running a best of 9.52 to be in the number nine spot with one more session to go, tomorrow morning. Paul said "I have had the bike for twelve years and have run it in 9.50 and Super Street Bike and then put a turbo on it. Best numbers are 8.2/172.

Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith of Eurodragster.com sponsors Draper has been suffering gearbox issues the whole season and is now on his third. He said "We have repaired it now. On the first run it was good to 330ft and then the front end came up in fourth and it went close to the wall. On the second, there were shifting problems and several parts broke." For 2012 Mark is planning a new Stuart Crane frame with modern 1755cc engine and new crank and a further gearbox.

Comp Bike racer Phil Crossley looks pleased at his timing ticket after an 8.4s pass in tricky conditions. "I have run a best of 8.0 and am looking to run a seven this weekend." Phil has had this bike for two seasons having built it himself with some additional help from Roger Upperton. "It broke at Easter and Summer Nationals but this is my third meeting without breakages."

8.50 Bike racer Sam Sykes runs a Suzuki GSXR1000 and is supported by Skinshokz tattoo and body piercing studio based in Bradford on 01274 676914.

The race number on the bike is SSB33 but Gary Drury is riding his Suzuki Turbo 1300cc in Straightliners Top Bike. Gary's first run was 8.65/164 to go no.2.

SuperTwin Fuel racer and crew member with Rene van den Berg John Hunt is running in Straightliners this weekend. John said "We will be experimenting with gear ratios and the fuel system to get some passes in before winter." The bike usually runs around 97% nitro load.

Lizz McCarthy is running this Comp Bike in Straightliners Competition class. She said before "We have changed the head and the gear selector." After the 9.89 pass she said "I'm pleased to have gone up the track although my riding wasn't perfect."

SuperTwin ET racer Tara 'Slim' Harris runs a Honda CB500. Husband Les said "They are commonly used as courier bikes and often cover 125,000 miles and are not expensive. Slim rode the bike for a year and then she decided to enter SuperTwin ET. So we stripped the bike and sold the parts on Ebay - the seat unit, indicators, side panel and fairing. The money we got has helped us to run the bike in competition. Mike Nelthorpe of HQ Fibre made and donated the seat unit and made this nose fairing in carbon fibre from a design by Mike and myself." Plans for next year include air shifter and pro light.

SuperTwin Gas racer Nigel Batsford and wife and ET racer Bev are helping to run the class by providing the canopy and Bev is also running for the committee post of Chairman at the forthcoming AGM. Nigel said "I had a Fireblade swing arm which I bought as standard and stretched by 18 inches. Then when I got the Buell bike for SuperTwin Gas I needed a swing arm in a hurry so I made a new front part and welded it on to match the Buell motor. I did some of the engine mapping for Joe Elliott's Buell and he has covered about 1700 track miles with his.

SuperTwin Gas racer Chris Mott said "I have been trying extra injectors this year. I have gone from using two to four to get more fuel in the engine. But they have been putting too much fuel in so I have been changing the engine mapping. It is going in the right direction and although I bogged on the line, it felt good going down the track."

Funny Bike racer Maarten Zijlstra is here for the second time this year after a troubled Thunderball. He said "The engine was running too rich at the Thunderball so we leaned it out and it started to run good. We ran the events at Drachten but there was a lot of ran on eliminations days. We changed from a lockup clutch to a slider and also put a new Goodyear slick on. On the first run after that the launch was so good it went on the wheelie bar suddenly and lifted the rear tyre off the track. Today I almost stalled through lack of concentration." Maarten's bike is a Suzuki GSX on nitrous.

Funny Bike racer Viep Bloeman has had his bike for three years and this is his second time at SPR.The bike's frame was built by UK dragbike legend John Clift and the powertrain is a Kawasaki 1327cc with turbo and on methanol and three speed gearbox. Viep, who has been racing for 11 or 12 years built the body himself. The bike has run a best of 9.2/166 and he said that riding it is "for relaxation" after his usual race role of being a crew member for Super Twin racer Martijn de Haas.

Top Fuel Bike racer Kev Charman is entered into Competition this weekend with Rene van den Berg's bike. The bike sounded very strong and Kev made a strong launch in the first session, coming off it at 1000ft as the front end started to wash. "I haven't had a lot of track time this year and wanted to try new gearbox parts and fuel settings. So it seemed good to come here, have some fun and race the boys. I wasn't thinking about the record." Kev broke the long standing Comp Bike ET record of 7.049 held by Phil Brachtvogel on his first pass with a 6.911. However in the second pass, a strong wheel-up launch went wrong halfway down the track as the bike went over to the left and seemingly pitched Kev off while doing 150mph at half track. Kev was ok and the bike not too badly damaged bearing in mind the speed of the accident and it sliding down the track for about a quarter of a mile.

Super Street Bike racers Wayne Saunders (pictured left) and Pete Bellenie compared notes after the first qualifying session. Pete is waiting for a new swing arm and ran a 8.52/171 compared with Wayne's 8.04/177. Wayne said "I was unsure of the setup to use and wasn't really concentrating. The track is tricky and I'm not convinced it's going to get better as it is cold and a lot of the bikes here are using street tyres. The wind is blowing bikes in the right hand lane over to the centre and I was fighting the bike and had to back off."

Super Street Bike racer Stephen Mead is running in Straightliners session with a Hayabusa that has a Hays clutch and lengthened swing arm but totally stock engine without gas or turbo. The bike ran a 9.25/145 in the first session. He said "I am doing this to see how quick we can get a stock Hayabusa engine to go. My objective is to get it into the eights this weekend." Stephen, supported by Lucas Oils, said he was 'not quite on the pace in my Super Street Bike season. I am looking at my riding style and am looking to come back refreshed for next season."

Super Street Bike racer Thomas Granica's brother Peter is crew chief for Thomas and also rides his own bike in Straightliners. He said "In the first run the bike spun the tyre, wheelied and then Thomas rolled off the throttle. We had made a lot of changes since we hurt two engines at the Euro Finals. We put a Gan slider clutch in and changed gearing. Brad O'Connor couldn't believe we made it to the National Finals after all that work." The slider clutch is operated by a hand lever and has helped the 60ft times reduce by a tenth of a second and ETs in the 7.8s area, but not yet down to the 7.5s which Thomas ran at Easter. The team have been at SPR seven times this year and live an hour the other side of Hockenheim.

Bike owner Richard Gipp is joined by Klaus Brinkmann this event. Klaus also raced on one of Richard's bikes at the National Finals but the head gasket went. The solution was simply to bring another of Richard's three funny bikes to this event as there was no time to change it. Richard said "We can run up to three bikes at a meeting although we need enough crew to work with my main crewman Nigel to do that. Next year we will put Brendan Young on one of the bikes to run 8.50 Bike and Klaus will run one of the others until his new bike he is running with Klaus Sarembe is completed."

Funny Bike racer Steve French has to go one round of eliminations to clinch the championship. This would have come earlier if he had not red lit away a 7.15 in round 2 at the National Finals. He said "That was our first red light in racing since 2000. We started well here by running a 7.15 but that was taking the long way round. It's the tyre as much as the track. We will sit out the second session and get a new tyre before next year's season starts."

Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget has already clinched his 2011 championship. He said "My bike is starting to come good. It was a new frame this year with the four link suspension and I have reached the stage when it is working well. My four link has different behaviour to that on a car and it has been difficult to tune it. But the principle works just as well and we now have to get the clutch to match the rest of the setup. We will also do a new body for next year." Len mentioned a couple of new entries into the class for 2012.

Comp Bike racer Stuart Crane is just 20 points ahead of Harold Wolfenden. He had a traction-free start to the event: "I blew the tyre away on the launch. But you can't blame the track - it is good for some. We have just changed the ignition and the timing to lower the power. We don't want to change too much though so I am leaving the slider clutch alone. Overall I am happy with the year - it has gone according to plan and having a Roger Upperton engine in my self-built 2009 bike is very handy." Stuart's site is at www.warpspeedracing.co.uk.

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