After a full day of qualifying for the STP National Finals—ACU Championships Round 6 at Santa Pod Raceway—rain on raceday decided all the outcomes of the championships.
Top Fuel Bike
Coming into this event, reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike champion Steve Woollatt had a 15 point lead over Neil Midgley.
Woollatt ran 6.451-193 for number one qualifier on his I4, Midgley ran 6.654-182 for second on Chris Hannam’s Cannon Engineering V-Twin, and Al Smith was third with a 7.030 on his 3 cylinder bike (featured image at top).
Nick Milburn debuted his new fuel bike, the ex-Eric Teboul I4. The engine sounded crisp and Milburn did a 330 foot launch at the end of qualifying. He had planned a full pass over the weekend, but rain put an end to that.
Sunday morning and Top Fuel Bike was in the staging lanes when rain began to fall. Steve Woollatt had won the 2019 ACU Top Fuel Bike championship.
Kars Van den Belt is the ACU Funny Bike champion and ran 7.157-188.13 in qualifying. Dave Batcheler was in the number two spot with a 7.809-169.82. Kevin Osman ran his best to date—7.833.
Dave Peters ran 7.923 and had his exhaust break, but Al Smith repaired it for raceday. Phil Crossley dipped into the sevens with a 7.953. Thomas Joswig had clutch and gear shift issues with his new bike and ran 8.002.
Paul Hambridge ran personal best figures of 7.360-195.38 to qualify number one in Comp Bike. Margot Schmidt was the number two qualifier with a 7.602-189.80.
2019 ACU Comp Bike champion Louis Davies was testing for next season and damaged his motor, but ran 7.671. Valentijn Sandtke ran 8.067, Ian Burns went 8.255 as the team was looking for a baseline. Phil Leamon ran 8.394.
Super Street Bike
Steve Venables dominated qualifying with a 6.884 at 213.80 mph on his turbo Suzuki Hayabusa to retain the ACU Super Street Bike championship.
Graham Balchin was the only other rider to run six-second pass with a 6.993-204.26 on his amazing Kawasaki ZX12.
Daniel Lencses ran 7.087-205.32. Mark Hope continued his good form with a 7.304-198.12.
Dave Smith ran his best of the season with a 7.403-199.87, followed by Mark Dainty’s 7.425. Chris Reed went 7.509 with Dave Thomas on the bump spot at 7.991.
Garry Bowe was testing new fuel for next season and ran 7.1 seconds on Friday. In qualifying, the input shaft moved and damaged the clutch assembly. Knut Moeller ran 8.589.
Jay Roe just edged (with an 8.515) teammate Ian Chrichlow’s 8.516 for number one spot, and he is the 8.50 bike champion. Alan Morrison ran 8.523 and Josh Stubbins 8.530. They were the top four qualifiers.
It was just as tight in 9.50 Bike. Brett Cordelle was on top of the pile with a 9.512, followed by Craig Wright’s 9.513 and 9.50 champion Richard Sawastzki’s 9.159 and Adam Burns’ 9.520.
Jasmine Cordelle was the number one ET Bike qualifier with a 9.4312 on a 9.43 dial-in, just ahead of Paul Adams’ 8.9018 (8.90). 2019 ET Bike champion Phil Pratt qualified seventh.
SuperTwins Top Gas
It was the best turn out this year for Super Twins Top Gas with six bikes, three from Europe.
Martin Buhler has built and constructed the chassis and copied a Godden motor from billet. This was his first trip to Santa Pod and he was the number one qualifier with an 8.182-175.09.
2019 champion Michael Gooding was the nearest challenger with a 9.675-134.82. Svein-Ole Scleichert ran a personal best 9.757 at 136.18 on his Harley-Davidson V-Rod.
Jens Hoffmeister was riding the ex-Bernd Foit bike, and Foit was part of the crew. They had a clutch issue, were looking for a baseline, and ran 10.301.
Thorsten Appel was riding the ex-Dave Bartz bike. He suffered a fuel problem, but started to get a handle with a best of 10.312. Mike Nelthorpe was on the bump spot with 11.088 and a personal best speed of 134.14.
Marck Harteveld had some handling issues during qualifying, but still managed to run 5.965-239.91 to lead the Pro Mod Car field.
Kevin Slyfield had to repair the rear axle and qualified with a 5.981-237.78. Wayne Nicholson ran personal best figures of 6.278-228.97. Mick Payne also ran a p/b 6.714. Matt Peters was doing licence runs at the event.
Round one and Bobby Wallace had a bye when Nicholson was a no-show. Jean Dulamon crossed into Nick Davies lane. Payne redlit against Slyfield, and Harteveld and John Webster were coming into stage when it started raining.
Harteveld is the 2019 Motorsport UK Pro Modified Champion.
Congratulations to the following:
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt.
Funny Bike: Kars Van Den Belt.
Comp Bike: Louis Davies.
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables.
8.50 Bike: Jay Roe.
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki
ET Bike: Phil Pratt
Super Twins Top Gas: Michael Gooding.
Pro Modified: Marck Harteveld.
story and photos by Steven Moxley