2003 Excitement Nationals
Saturday (qualifying)

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Today's pictures are now available, you can view them via the Event Index page.

That's all for today. We're off for a spot of dinner (in fact this will be your reporter's breakfast) and then we will take a walk around the pits. Tune back in the morning and we'll let you know what we found out. It's a 10:00 am start tomorrow, not 11:00, so don't be late...


Andy Hone completed the first Super Mod qualifier with a 9.740/118.73 which was curtailed somewhat by a huge wheelie off the start line. Fred had to pedal it to get the reins back.

John Ellis put in a checkout pass in his Pro Mod, 10.982/81.52, no gas and off the throttle by 200 feet. Gordon Appleton also put in a checkout pass, 1.14 seconds to sixty feet.

The first session of Pro Stock Bike went as follows: Ray Debben 8.379/153.58, Richard Gipp 7.930/163.64, Martin Newbury 7.977/167.91, Lucy Thorn 10.393/127.12, Martin Bishop 8.910/159.57, Paul Watson 8.018/167.91.

The first session of European Top Gas started with a real stormer from Job Heezen, 8.146/140.19 and he was off the throttle early. Axel Seifert in the other lane clocked a very tidy 8.665/152.03. Harry van Schie clocked 15.308/96.36, Cord Albers 8.765/152.03, Andy Ludwig 12.251/99.56, Carsten Hormann 11.907/122.78, Gerd Caspari 17.322/45.59, Michael Merse 10.544/131.58.

Two Supertwin Top Fuel Bikes made the first session, John Williamson clocking 10.670/131.20 and Chris Stebbings 10.653/133.93.

Funny Bike qualifying had got underway when the rains came. Sarah Jane Head clocked 8.867 and Stu Chamberlain 7.576/174.42, a new PB. Steve French was in the bleach box when it started to rain and Race Director Richard Warburton has just this minute called an end for today.

We're now going to work on today's pictures, stay tuned and we will let you know as soon as those are ready.


We're on a hold for the wet stuff here at SCR. We've had a great day's qualifying so far so let's give you some of the highlights.

Tim Adam leads Super Gas with a 9.918, Malcolm Francis and Martin Curbishley are not far behind with runs in the 9.9s. Martin Curbishley leads Super Comp with an 8.945/145.11. Tim Adam is close behind at 8.945 and also of note is Simon Farmer who got pretty close and we think on a PB of 9.059/141.96.

Custom Car Street Eliminator is led by Jon Webster in John Hales' '56 Chevy with an excellent 8.585/168.54. We don't know if that run is going to stand because Jon and Steve Pateman in the other lane had the wrong tree. Steve came back for a re-run but Jon did not come back. Either way it was a stormer for Jon and he went the long way round. Ian Hook is second with a 9.0-second pass and Andy Frost and Sue Jackson in the 9.2s.

Super Street Bike is led by Graham Dance at 8.829/165.44, with Tony Clark not far off at 8.895/161.29, Karl Larcombe 8.897/165.05, Ivan Birch 8.898/160.14, Grant Perrin 8.934/168.54 and Chris Reed 8.998/150.25. Looks like PBs for Grant and Chris.

Jerry Collier leads Comp Bike at 8.375/157.34 with Klaus Sarembe following up at 8.646, Phil Leamon 8.855/157.34 and Paul Newman 8.956/149.51. TJ O'Brien is way ahead of the field in Supertwin Modified at 10.440/129.31, Simon Hodgson 11.278/126.40 and Les Harris in his first STM outing at 11.324/129.94. George Laycock is continuing his pre-season form leading Supertwin Gas at 9.715/136.36 and Andy Smith into the nines at 9.991/129.81.

Mick Cheley leads Super Pro ET with an 8.651/159.01 on an 8.60 dial-in, Nick Stephenson is second at 8.793/155.71 on an 8.65 dial-in. Steve Johnson had a far from straight run in the Motor Mouse dragster and eventually backed out of it. Ian Tubb put in a storming pass in the EDA dragster but no time was recorded.

Paul Hensher is way out in front of the Outlaw Anglia field at 8.898/153.06, his competitors all in the tens. Just before the rain came, Danny Cockerill and Andy Kirk matched up in Super Mod, Danny pedalling to a 9.518/155.79 and Andy taking it easy with his new combination at 9.546/143.77, disappearing into a cloud of smoke at the top end but we understand it was a minor problem. Andy Hone is sat in the bleach box as you may have seen on the webcam.

Fred Furlong leads 9.90 Bike with a 9.92 and David Warren leads 10.90 Bike with a 10.910.

In the pairing lanes we have John Ellis and Gordon Appleton's Pro Mods, plus Pro Stock and Funny Bikes.

The temperature has dropped to 56.3 F and humidity risen to 73%, pressure steady at 30.06.

Stay tuned and we'll be back as soon as the wet stuff goes.


Good morning and welcome from Shakespeare County Raceway. It's the first round of the Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship, the second round of the UK National Championships, and we're here to bring you the news in association with American Car Imports.

The Webster Race Engineering/Dragrace Drachten webcam is online, you can view it via the Event Index page.

Hello to Gittli Koller and Steve and Jacky Young whom we know are tuned in this morning.

We had a quick turn around the pits this morning, a hive of activity but we managed to stop a few racers beavering away long enough for a quick word.

Dutch European Top Gas racer Job Heezen has put everything back together after a too-successful test outing at Santa Pod Raceway. The rebuilt engine was making too much power for the chassis. "The chassis has been rebuilt and strengthened", said Job. "I'm hoping to run really fast, and I am glad that the Pro cars are here because they can put even more rubber on the track!". When we asked Job if the engine was making big power, he replied "Something's going on in there" and smiled quietly to himself.

Shockwave Fuel FC Crew Chief and co-owner Dave Bryant told us that the team have fixed the damage they suffered at the Easter Thunderball. "It was nothing major", he said. "We blackened three cranks and damaged a block but it's all fixed". Dave said that the aim this weekend was to run consistently rather than try to break records. "It's consistency which wins races after all", he said. "We haven't got the rear end to go quicker than 5.3, and it's eighteen thousand dollars for the rear end we want". Dave agreed that "twelve thousand pounds" sounded a lot less but it's still funds the team don't currently have.

Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost described himself as "Absolutely knackered" after a fortnight's midnight oil repairing damage from the Thunderball. "I broke one piston and damaged another three", said Andy. "I had to baby it at the last race and I hope the same won't happen this time because it's not cheap to fix". Andy said that he took a little turn out in the Vauxhall yesterday to bed in the rebuilt motor. "I drove down the dual carriageway and then onto the M50", he said. "I had lots of people staring!"

Wild Bunch racer Chris Hartnell has dubbed his son and crew chief Lee "my hero" after some very hard work to trace the source of a drop in performance at the APIRA Test and Tune. "It was running like crap" said Chris, "so Lee changed the ignition and it still wasn't right. Then he checked the wiring and we found that it was all black and corroded". Chris did however say that if the Backdraft dragster didn't get back into the nines this weekend then it would be Lee's fault! There are sixteen Wild Bunch cars entered this weekend including some racers on observed runs - a growing class.

A last-minute arrival here at the track is returning racer Gordon Appleton whose new Camaro Pro Mod was finished by Robinson Race Cars last night. "My guys have been working long hours to get it finished", said Andy Robinson. "It's a brand new car from the ground up. It has the latest twin-rail chassis, and a brand new bodyshell - we have set the car up differently and it looks a lot different from Gordon's last car. It certainly looks like a Camaro!". The car was fired up for the first time last night and Andy said that Gordon's grin was a mile wide. We had a quick look at the Camaro in the pits this morning and even without paint it is a very nice piece of work indeed.

Next door in the Pro Mod pits is John Ellis, whose crew chief Ray White was very busy but he stopped just long enough to tell us that he had brought "an even bigger stick" this time. "It's not a stick - it's a pole" added John.

Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables has also had a lot of work on since the Thunderball after pulling a monster wheelie. "It smashed the sump when it came down", said Steve, "but the belly pan held the oil in. We have changed everything on it since the wheelie". Steve explained what happened at the Thunderball. "A nitrous solenoid didn't pulse", he said. "It just jammed open. I thought I was coming off it."

Our weather station tells us that start line conditions are 56.8 F, 69% humidity and dropping, and 30.06 inches air pressure. Unfortunately it has just started to drizzle so we're on hold. Qualifying started with Junior Dragster which is led by Joe Bond at 0.560. JD was followed by the Wild Bunch, Dick Sharp has put in a storming 9.60 in the Dorset Horn altered, Bunt Willcox cleared a yard off the track when the time came up, and then Chev Charman did a great driving job to hold onto the Alkymist rear-engine dragster after it turned hard right at about 100 feet.

Stay tuned and we'll bring you more news when qualifying recommences.

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