Top Fuel Bike
Multi-time and Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt (featured photo above) had a slim 20 point lead coming into the National Finals at Santa Pod, just ahead of Al Smith. Neil Midgley had a mathematical chance if Woollatt and Smith had problems. This was the closest the class was for a championship in a very long time, and it would go down to the final race to be decided.
Woollatt opened the session with 6.150 at 221.17 miles per hour. Smith had tested the day before the event and bent a con-rod. The team did the repairs and Smith ran a jaw dropping career personal best of 6.012 at 228.94 mph, which was quicker than the ACU ET record and faster than ACU Speed record. Smith needed to run quicker than 6.07 and 226 mph plus to set the records and more importantly, extra points for the championship. His second run was 6.096-225.89.
Midgley had an engine problem off the start line in Q1, and in the next session ran 6.435-200.58. At the end of qualifying, Smith had the lead in the points with low ET and speed, and number one qualifier.
Midgley put a holeshot (rt .169 to .263) over Woollatt, but slowed at mid-track and Woollatt took the win 6.288-219 to 7.897-106. Smith had a bye to the final and did a launch only.
The final was set anyone and could take the championship. The title was decided on the start line when Smith left on the stage light and Woollatt won his nineteenth(!) ACU Top Fuel Bike Championship.
Stuart Crane had the ACU Funny Bike Championship won and this meeting he was going to test a new billet cylinder head during the eliminations. Crane ran 6.627-196.19 out of the trailer and the next pass a clutch gear broke and parts hit Crane’s body. He was ok.
Crane’s teammate Mark Smith ran 7.129-178.52 and then in session two, broke all the selector forks. So the Warpspeed team decided to fit the new billet cylinder head on Smith’s bike for eliminations and finished at 4.00 am.
Phil Crossley worked his socks off to get the engine repaired—making a crankshaft in his shed, machining cases, fitting a spare cylinder head and barrels for Tony Clark to compete. Clark missed the opening qualifying session while still rebuilding the bike and later ran 7.392-179.97.
Kevin Osman had repaired his forks and still had some launch issues off the start line and ran 8.284-182.78. Dave Peters had a nitrous issue, causing a mis-fire in qualifying and ran 8.296-165.46.
Jiri Lukes had his chain break in the shutdown area. He was ok and ran 8.767-148. Roger Moore had a primary drive assembly break (snout broke), so Bob Brookes went back to his garage and machined a new part. Five hours later he was back at the track.
Peters won a close race against Osman in round 1, 8.507 to 8.697 and had a bye to the final. Moore put a holeshot (rt .290 to .520) over Smith, who powered around to take the winlight 7.451 to 7.820. Clark beat Lukes.
Smith’s motor cut out while staging against Clark in the semi-final. Peters led from start to finish in the final 7.445 to Clark’s 7.725.
Super Street Bike
Steve Venables only had to qualify number one spot to claim another ACU Super Street Bike Championship, which he did 6.909-218.04. Alan Morrison Jr was back on form with a 6.981 with a personal best speed of 212.80. Alex Hope had a fuel pump shaft break and then ran a p/b 7.011. Garry Bowe was next at 7.027, followed by Jake Mechaell’s 7.036-206.16 with a different rear sprocket. Mark Hope was sixth at 7.186-205.09. Mark Dainty was also back on form at 7.199 with a p/b speed of 205.11. Stephen Mead was on the bump spot at 7.301. Dave Smith ran his best with his new combination 7.407. Ross Morrison had ECU issues and ran 7.664 with a p/b speed of 191.44.
Steve Wood has had clutch problem for most of the season and fitted a AMS2000 system and finally it all came good. He ran 8.002 at 178.51 personal best figures in the second session and then his first seven-second pass—a 7.977 to the delight of the other teams. This is the first time all the competitors, more than eight bikes, have run a seven second pass in qualifying in an ACU championship event.
Mead broke and was out, so Dave Smith came in, but could not start his bike. So second alternate Ross Morrison lined up against Venables and was ahead of Venables at the 1/8th mile. Venables powered past to take a close win with a 7.399-to Morrison’s p/b 7.469.
Mechaell put his old combination in and beat Bowe with a 6.967 and a p/b speed of 207.21. Dainty put a holeshot on Morrison Jr. (.083 to .159) but Morrison took a close win 7.104 to 7.214. Alex Hope redlit against his brother Mark.
First semi and Mechaell redlit against Venables. Second semi and it was a great race with Morrison Jr. 7.311 to Hope’s 7.376.
Venables wrapped up the season with a win, 7.127 to Morrison Jr’s 7.157.
Louis Davies had sown up the ACU Comp Bike Championship and focussed on being the first Comp Bike rider to run a six-second pass. He qualified with a 7.056-185.13.
Chris Neary ran a personal best of 7.550-185.06. Last rider was Jordan Kenway who broke all his outrigger bolts and was out of competition. Davies ran 7.124 in the semi, but at the expense of a piston and other damage to his motor. So that left Neary a solo pass in the final 7.581-182.06.
Jay Roe is the 2021 8.50 Bike champion, but it was Alan Morrison who topped the table in qualifying with an 8.520. Roe was next at 8.549 followed by Patrick Rawnsley’s 8.664.
There was a battle for second place in the championship between Morrison and Joe Elliott. They met in round one and Elliott redlit, leaving Morrison a bye to the final. The other side of the ladder, Roe beat Jasmine Cordelle and Rawnsley lost to a returning Ian Chrichlow—making his first appearance.
Chrichlow beat Roe to reach the final, then won the event with an 8.503 to Morrsion’s breakout 8.496.
The 9.50 Bike title was still up for grabs coming into this event. Martin Hallett was the number one qualifier with a 9.503, followed by Brad Head at 9.519, Craig Wright’s 9.520 and Richard Sawatzki’s 9.537.
Hallett ended Wright’s championship with a holeshot win in the semi-finals. Sawatzki beat Hallett in the final to win the championship.
Leo Lester was the ET Bike number one qualifier with a 10.623 on a 10.60 dial-in. Michael Gooding was next 9.128 (9.10).
Lester lost to Paul Adams in round one. Gooding lost in the semi-final to champion Phil Pratt.
The final was last year’s number one Pratt and number two Adams. It was Adams who went on to win the event.
Pro Mod Car
The Pro Mod Car championship was between Kevin Slyfield and Nick Davies. In qualifying, Slyfield came out on top 5.992-237.52 with Davies in the number two spot at 6.001-244.21.
Jean Dulamon was next at 6.027-231.27, then Bobby Wallace 6.034-241.46 p/b speed. Andy Robinson ran 6.125-224.52 in his new car.
In the semis, Slyfield beat Wallace 6.000 to 6.350. In the other semi Davies lost to Dulamon 6.035 to 6.293 with a top speed of the event 245.40. Slyfield ran 5.975 to win the event and the championship.
Pete Brown led the small Wild Bunch field with an 8.548 on an 8.54 dial-in, with Mark Coulsell’s 8.161 (8.15) second. Bob Hawkins broke two conrods during qualifying.
Brown beat Philip James in the semis. Coulsell had a bye run in the other semi, but had a trans brake problem, which made him jump forward on the start line and disqualifying him.
Brown had a solo run in the final and won the Wild Bunch championship for 2021.
Congratulations to the following ACU Champions:
Steve Woollatt Top Fuel Bike, Stuart Crane Funny Bike, Louis Davies Comp Bike, Steve Venables Super Street Bike.
Congratulations to the following National Champions:
8.50 Bike Jay Roe, 9.50 Bike Richard Sawatzki, ET Bike Phil Pratt, Pro Mod Car Kevin Slyfield, Outlaw Anglia Jedd Guy, Gasser Circus Nick Barnett, Wild Bunch. Pete/Rob Brown.
story and photos by Steven Moxley