The STP Green Light Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway were a double header for the bike classes. Round 4 was on Saturday with qualifying in the morning and eliminations in the afternoon. Same format for round 5 on Sunday, which will be covered in a separate article here on Eatmyink.
Riders had to face a stiff headwind over the entire weekend.
Funny Bike points leader Kars Van Den Belt (in featured photo above) was the number one qualifier for round 4 with a 7.394 at 191.40 mph. Dave Batcheler was next with a 7.417-166.66, followed by Phil Crossley’s 7.764-170.47.
Dave Peters had built one out of two motors for this event, adjusted the nitrous system and ran 7.877-159.64. Former ACU Comp Bike champion Kevin Osman made his debut with his comp bike, which has been modified to compete in Funny Bike. Crossley did the work and resulted in 8.306-179.26.
Belt and Peters had bye runs in round 1. Batcheler led from start to finish against Osman 7.386 to 9.159 and had a bye to the final. Belt then won a close semifinal race against Peters with a 7.717 to Peters’ 7.918.
The final was the best race of the day, with Belt winning his first of 2019 with a 7.340 to Batcheler’s 7.347 to extend his championship points lead.
Chris Reed entered his Super Street Bike in Comp Bike to do some testing on his air clutch and qualified with a 7.555-188.14 to top the field.
Points leader Louis Davies has shred 15 kilos off the bike and ran 7.602-163.08, just ahead of Paul Hambridge’s 7.604-187.37. Sam Sykes had a new fuel set-up, was looking for a baseline, and ran 8.060-181.38. Valentijn Sandtke was next with an 8.280-174.80. Chris Neary ran 8.403-160.83 but had damaged a piston and was out of the show. John McLean Jr. ran a troubled 12.569.
Reed and Hambridge had byes to the semis. Sykes ran 7.659-182.07 to knock out Sandtke. Davies beat McLean 7.553 to 10.235.
Sykes then redlit against Reed, and Hambridge ran 7.551 to beat Davies’ 8.011 after Louis got out of the groove due to the headwind.
Reed put a holeshot on Hambridge who powered around with a low ET of 7.524 to Reed’s 7.903.
Ross Morrison ran a superb 8.509 to top the field in 8.50 Bike qualifying. Jay Roe’s 8.546 just edged Alan Morrison’s 8.548 for number two spot.
Ross Morrison lost to Ian Chrichlow in round one. Roe won on a holeshot against Alan Morrison in the semi-final with an 8.560 to a losing 8.539. In the final, Chrichlow got out the gate first but Roe took the winlight 8.514 to 8.650.
Alan Morrison Jr. was the number one 9.50 Bike qualifier, but lost to 9.50 champion Richard Sawatzki in round two.
Adam Burns knocked out Sawatzki in the semi-final. Craig Wright eliminated Ian Shipton and Martin Hallett to reach the final.
In the final. Burns nailed a .013 light to Wright’s .115, but Burns had a huge wheelie at 100 feet, which allowed Wright to get the winlight.
Steve Ashby topped the fifteen-bike ET Bike field in qualifying ahead of Justin Malton and Gary Hester.
Reigning champion Phil Pratt beat Ashby in round 2 and then beat Jordan Kenway to reach the final.
On the other side of the ladder, Paul Adams beat Jasmine Cordelle, Andy Ball, and Robbie Dobbie to face Pratt in the final. Pratt won the event and now leads the championship.
Mike Nelthorpe led the small Super Twin Gas field on his Polaris.
Ian Turburville debuted his old bike, which he brought back earlier in the year. He last competed on the bike in 1999 and had his crew-chief Martin Blackwell helping him again.
Reigning champion Michael Gooding wasn’t happy after his burnout in the semi-final and lost to Turburville, 11.706 to 12.539. Ian then won the event on a holeshot with an 11.346 to Nelthorpe’s 11.328.
Paul Harris was doing licence runs at the event in the Chi-Town Hustler Funny Car and ran 6.93 at 182 mph to complete his licence runs on Saturday.
story and photos by Steven Moxley