The SummerNationals were blessed with something that is not a given at Santa Pod in the summer—hot sunny weather over the two days, with temperatures ranging between 85-90 degrees. Summer-like.
New records were set once again and many racers ran personal bests. There was a test day, the day before the event started.
Top Fuel Bike
Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt has had various issues so far this season. Still having a clutch problem, Woollatt managed to qualify in number one spot with a 6.563 at 204.25 mph.
Al Smith (featured photo at the top of the article) tested on Friday with a new magneto and was number two at 6.722-178.54.
Festival of Power winner Neil Midgley struggled. In the first qualifier he had low oil pressure, then ignition problem traced to a weak coil, and eventually ran 6.795-101.
Woollatt had a bye to the final. Midgley broke after his burnout, leaving Smith to solo to the final.
Coming into staging, a belt broke on Woollatt’s bike and Smith took the win with a 6.942. His last ACU Top Fuel Bike win was at the 1996 Easter Thunderball meeting.
Stuart Crane once again dominated Funnybike at the event ran and 6.470-207.99 out of the trailer, which were career personal bests and unofficial records. In the second session, Crane took ignition timing and clutch out and ran 6.500-207.02 to set new ACU ET and speed records.
Lorcan Parnell ran 6.674-210.9 on test day, but had handling issue and ran 7.228-144.87 best in qualifying. In the last session he glanced the wall at 1000 feet. Parnell was OK with minor damage to the bike.
Tony Clark had a great weekend, recording four personal best ETs, starting with a 7.30 and finishing 7.190 during eliminations. Tony qualified with a 7.256-184.30.
Dave Peters had turbo issues and ran a best of 7.567-164.26. Jiri Lukes was changing ignition timing and jets and ran 8.470-159.08.
Kevin Osman was struggling to get off the start line to the 60 foot. The team thinks it was an electrical glitch, but the top end power was there, running around 180 mph. Osman ran 8.602-180.69.
Mark Smith had an ECU problem and ran 17.749.
Crane had a bye to the semis. Lukes put a .049 to .107 holeshot on Peters but lost a close race, with Peters winning with a 7.794 to Lukes’ 8.398. Clark ran 7.190 to beat Osman’s 10.287. Smith was on a bye and a gear broke just off the start line, putting a hole in the motor.
Peters gambled on the tree in the first semi and pulled a -.007 redlight against Cran,e who ran 6.477-207.22. Clark had a bye in the other semi.
Clark strapped a huge .063 to .409 holeshot off the start line, but Crane powered around to take his second win of the season 6.517 at 207.01 to Clark’s 7.268-182.87.
Louis Davies topped the Comp Bike field with a 7.134 at 184.37. Sean Mills was second with a 7.333-194.71. Chris Neary was next 7.818 at a personal best speed of 182.87. Paul Hambridge had clutch plate issues and ran 8.507-140.71. Jordan Kenway was on the bump spot with a personal best of 8.661-156.87.
Davies had a bye to the semis. With Mills a no-show Kenway had byes to the final. So the only race in round one saw Neary run a personal best of 7.738 to beat Hambridge 9.681.
There was a shock in the semi-final when Davies went before the tree. The bolts had come loose in the clutch basket and the clutch dragged Davies through the beams. Meanwhile Neary ran another p/b 7.718.
Both finalists were in their first ACU final. Neary continued his good form taking the win 7.748 to Kenway’s 10.336.
Super Street Bike
Reigning ACU Super Street Bike Champion Steve Venables was on record pace during qualifying with a speed of 217.17 as he topped the field with a 6.988 in qualifying. Mark Hope was his nearest challenger at 7.150-205.32.
Mark Dainty did some testing and damaged his motor and transmission, so he worked till midnight fitting a spare motor/trans ready for qualifying. He then ran a personal best of 7.174, just edging Stephen Mead’s 7.186-206.27.
Alan Morrison Jr. had an air clutch system fitted for this event, but had a niggly air leak, which resulted in a best of 7.311-194.54. Alex Hope was next at 7.371-199.89 followed by Ross Morrison with personal best figures of 7.513-189.81. Jake Mechaell was on the bump spot 7.577-187.44.
Outside the show was Graham Dance, who damaged his cases and was out of competition. Also Len Paget, who made his Super Street debut (on a bike that used to belong to a guy whose old turbo system company still owes the owner of this website money) with a 9.615-146. And Steve Wood had clutch issues and ran 9.896.
Round one saw Venables set a new ACU speed record of 218.24 when he defeated Mechaell. It was a close race between Morrsion Jr.’s 7.111-203.46 to Mead’s consistent-but-losing 7.199-203.21. Mark Hope beat third alternate Wood (Ross Morrsion had a broken cam bearing). Alex Hope put a huge .131 to .381 holeshot over Dainty, but Hope slowed at ¾ track and Dainty took the winlight.
First semi and Morrison Jr. wasted a 7.074 when he redlit against a tyre-spinning Venables. In the other semi, Dainty won on a holeshot against Mark Hope’s 7.457 to a quicker-but-losing 7.401.
Best race of the day saw Venables take the win 7.241 to Dainty’s 7.245.
Alan Morrison was the number one qualifier 8.527 just ahead of Chris Reed’s 8.539.
Reigning champion Jay Roe beat Morrison in round one. Reed redlit against Patrick Rawnsley.
Joe Elliott ran back-to-back 8.74s to beat Jasmine Cordelle and Rawnsley to face Roe in the final. Roe took the winlight in the final 8.644 to 8.720.
Philip Harrison was the number one qualifier with a 9.552, knocking Martin Hallett’s 9.595 off the top spot.
The final saw reigning champion Richard Sawatzki beat Dave Hall 10.040 to10.440.
Peter Harrison was the surprise number one after qualifying with a 10.802 on a 10.80 dial-in. Justin Malton was next with an 11.244 on a 11.24.
Robbie Dobbie did some testing and ran three 9.93 passes. Jayne Kay ran a personal best of 8.88. Blade King had a lucky break when smoke poured out at the top end.
Louis Davies’ team found only ½ litre of oil in the motor, so dad Ollie went and got his Snap-On tool box and rode his moped up to the Davies camp, tool box resting between his legs (good bit of riding).
Harrison lost to reigning champion Phil Pratt in their semi-final. In the other semi, Dobbie beat Dave Grundy.
Pratt won the event when Dobbie broke out.
What a debut meeting for Annie Wallace. She completed her Pro Mod license run in the first qualifying session 6.876-208.94 personal best figures and getting quicker and faster every pass, finally qualifying in number three spot with a 6.240-224.46.
Kevin Slyfield and Nick Davies swapped places during qualifying for the top spot. Slyfield ran 6.049-238.73 personal best speed and eventually ran 6.017-237.31 for number one spot. Davies ran 6.034-243.76. Jon Webster also ran a personal best speed 239.96.
Round one and Webster broke against Wallace with another p/b 6.233-226.72. Davies beat Wayne Nicholson.
Semi-finals Wallace beat a slowing Slyfield 6.179-229.03 p/b.
The final turned into a solo for Wallace after Davies’ fuel pump broke. Wallace turned the wick up and won her first Pro Mod UK event 6.133-239.31.
Jedd Guy has been the Outlaw Anglia man to beat recently with his current form, and at the SummerNationals he was top again with a 7.049.
Colin Millar was back and ran 7.229-192.25, and then 7.115 at 190. Mick Taylor was third 8.129-171.
Ben Kennedy broke a rod the previous weekend at Dragstalgia and had a new motor for this event. First pass he had a huge wheelie off the start line, then ran a personal best of 10.052-133.66.
Semi-final and Millar led from start to finish against Taylor 7.122 to 8.384. Kennedy was shutdown in staging for a fluid leak.
Guy faced Millar and spectators were hoping for a great final, but Guy broke after his burnout so Millar soloed to the winners circle.
Phil James was the Wild Bunch number one qualifier followed by Pete Brown. Andy Clifford ran a personal best of 8.944.
Bob Hawkins was still having engine problems after fitting another magneto, but ran after the first round of eliminations with a great 6.622-202.
Brown won the event 8.556 (8.51) against James’ 9.627 (9.39).
Special note: Martin Hill ran two 300 mph passes in his jet car.
story and photos by Steven Moxley