Rounds three and four of the ACU Championships were part of a doubleheader over the weekend with the Redline Rumble at Santa Pod Raceway.
On Saturday it was round three and Sunday was round four, with qualifying sessions in the morning and then in the afternoon the eliminations.
Only Funny Bike and Comp Bike classes were competing over the weekend. Super Street Bike had a non-points race because a lot of riders were competing at Hockenheim in the European FIM Championships the same weekend.
There was a stiff headwind on Saturday morning and overcast for round three of the Championships. In the afternoon, the sun came out and times and speeds improved.
Lorcan Parnell led the small Funny Bike field in qualifying with a 7.411, just ahead of Dave Peters’ 7.517-169. Dave Buttery had clutch and transmission issues over the two days.
Phil Crossley had built a bigger motor: 1640cc with a two-valve Vance /Hines cylinder head from Pro Stock Bike rider Steve Johnson. Phil had various issues and didn’t make a pass.
Parnell had a bye to the final and ran a personal best of 6.567, and Peters beat Buttery in the other semifinal.
Parnell had another bye run when Peters didn’t show at the staging lanes due to a short turn round and having a problem with his clutch and ran out of time.
Erik Jennes ran personal best figures of 7.709 at 188.20 to top the Comp Bike field.
Former champion Kevin Osman made his first appearance of the season with a 7.783-187.35. Dave Batcheler was next with a 7.953-159, followed by Martin Walker’s 7.983-177.78 and Sam Sykes’ 7.988-177.13.
Margot Schmidt led the next group of riders with an 8.012 at 180.67, followed by Sigmaro Profas who had boost control issues and ran 8.033-177.85. Mick Winyard was next with an 8.186-177.83, then Scott Collier, who damaged some selectors in his transmission and ran 8.412-110.45. Paul Hambridge ran 8.720-163.75.
John McLean Sr. debuted his new bike, which has taken three years to build with help from Warpspeed. McLean qualified with an 8.752-150.12 at the expense of a dropped valve and was out of the show.
Daniel Bergelin had gear-shift problems and ran 9.360. Championship contender Sean Mills was on the bump spot with an 11.783 due to an electrical issue. Ian Burns dropped two valves during his burnout and was out of competition.
Jennes ran a personal best 7.639-192.95 on a bye run in round one of the eliminations. Profas slowed at ¾ track and Winyard took the win 8.222 to 8.614. Mills won a close race over Osman 7.928 to 8.025. Bergelin broke against Batcheler. Schmidt, Walker and Hambridge all went into round two.
Jennes went quicker in E2 with a 7.548 to beat Winyard’s 7.961. Hambridge slowed against Walker and Mills had a bye run. chmidt ran p/b figures of 7.788-181.42 to beat Batcheler 7.913-156.31.
It was a good semifinal race between Jennes and Walker, with Erik’s 7.777 taking the win against Walker’s 7.895. In the other semi Schmidt, ran another p/b 7.718-182.08 to beat Mills’ troubled 13.026.
It was an all-Dutch final, and the first time both riders have been in an ACU final. Jennes turned the wick up and ran a p/b of 7.493-193.05 vs. Schmidt’s 8.093-179.21 to win his first ACU event
Super Street Bike
Pete Field led the small Super Street Bike contingent doing some testing in preparation for the European Finals.
Graham Dance had a new motor/transmission and Warpspeed had repaired the frame of the bike.
Dance beat Mark Dainty and then lost to Field in the semifinal 7.494 to 7.692. Bowe broke a chain in the other semi and Field did a solo pass in the final.
Reigning Champion Jake Mechaell was the number one 8.50 qualifier with an 8.514, followed by Ian Chrichlow’s 8.537, Jay Roe’s 8.574 and newcomer Thortsen Appel’s 8.866.
Mechaell won 8.554 to Chrichlow’s 8.564.
Reigning 9.50 champion Richard Sawatzki led the field with a 9.515 just ahead of David Bowe’s 9.517.
Bowe faced number five qualifier Brett Cordelle in the final and won his third event with 9.590 to Cordelle’s quicker but losing 9.567.
Last year’s ET number two plate Gary Hester was the number one qualifier (10.65 dial in) with a 10.653. Reigning champion Phil Pratt was next just ahead of Giselle Moor.
Pratt won the event, beating Hester in the final.
Allan Davies was testing the V-Twin Puma after changing the rear gearing, which resulted in a best to date for the bike of 7.465. The team changed the front gearing and Davies ran a career personal best of 7.166.
Al Smith was also testing Phil Baimbridge’s Top Fuel Bike and damaged the clutch assembly very badly.
In the penultimate round of the Gasser Circus Championship, B&G Racing were the number one qualifiers of the invitational field in the Redline Rumble event. Steve Matthews ran a personal best in qualifying.
Joel Kerr led the championship coming into this event and ran 7.641-179.96 low ET and top speed of the event.
Aaron Windridge ran the first seven- second pass in Team Thing, 7.873-167.
Paul Dale had handling issues and ran 9.1.
Sam Freeman, Paul Shaw and Lindsey Walsh have been working on a three-year project building a slingshot dragster, with a homemade chassis and transmission, and the team built an engine from scratch. They debut the car at the Dragstalgia event and were using the Redline Rumble event as a test session.
Reigning Outlaw Anglia champion and points leader Colin Millar led the field with a 7.430-181. Scott Crookston and Jed Guy were Millar’s main threat to winning the event, and Simon Barlow was slowly making improvements with his Fordson.
story and photos by Steven Moxley