Round 2 of the ACU Championships
story and photos by Steven Moxley
Round 2 of the ACU Championships—the Springspeed Nationals—were held over three blissfully dry days of the spring bank holiday at Shakespeare County Raceway.
It’s been four years since Gary Jones last competed at Shakespeare County. With a new M/T rear tyre (narrower and taller) and a change in the gearing, Jones ended up number one Funnybike qualifier with a 7.230 and a 185.55 mph top speed of the meet. Another rider to fit an M/T rear tyre for the first time was Dave Peters, who ran personal bests of 7.277 at 183.77.
Making his first trip to Shakespeare County to compete in the ACU Championships, Eric Richard had some launch problems off the line and eventually qualified with a 7.660 at 180.22. Dale Leeks had an electrical gremlin and a problem on the nitrous system and ran 7.897 at 164.58.
“Eric Richard had some launch problems off the line”…you might say
Jiri Lukes was another rider competing here for the first time in the ACU Championships, and recorded personal bests figures of 8.289 at 165.31. On the bump spot was Harold Wolfenden, still on a learning curve with his new bike (the ex-Al Young bike). During qualifying, Wolfenden damaged two shift forks and qualified with 8.565 at 160.16.
Best race of the day was in the opening round of the eliminations, with Richard putting a (both-slow) .200 to .474 holeshot on Leeks. At the 150 foot mark, Leeks was close to the centreline. But Richard was charging down the track on the wheelie bars and took the win 7.516 at 183 36 to Leeks’ p/b of 7.533-172.22.
Peters was nearly out of competition with 10 minutes from the call-up sign to the staging lanes. They couldn’t get the bike to fire up due to a fuel issue. The team repaired the fault and Peters led from start to finish against Lukes 7.962 at 134.66 to Lukes’ losing 8.410 –163.56.
Jones had low ET of the meeting with a 7.216 to knock out Wolfenden’s 8.740, then came back around for a troubled semifinal bye run of over ten seconds. Peters had an issue in the burnout box in the other semi, but staged and had an .845 reaction. Richard had a .111 and ran his best of the weekend 7.406 at 184.94 to Peters’ 7.633-176.48.
Richard kept the wheel down long enough to take the win
Jones then had a miss-fire in the final and Richard went on to win his first ever ACU event, stopping the clocks at 7.563-185.40.
Allan Davies’ 7.609 at 175.21 led the Comp Bike field by over a tenth of a second. Phil Crossley’s 7.723-168.72 was second.
Tony Clark who had a nitrous problem, which blew a carb and torched the cylinder head, which put him out of the show after qualifying with a 7.921 at 166.33.
Kevin Osman was tuning the chassis to cure a handling problem he had during qualifying, running 8.504 at 170.78. Dave Batcheler was still having clutch issues and qualified with a 10.184 at 150.55.
Steve Moor is a newcomer to Comp Bike and is riding his wife Fiona’s bike, which she competed on a few years back in Super Street bike. Moor has fitted a five-speed auto box but suffered from a clutch issue after his burnout and didn’t qualify.
With a bye, Davies broke the beam in E1. Crossley beat Batcheler, who ran his best time for while of 8.754-154.00.
Davies met Osman in the semis, who had an E1 bye due to a Clark’s no-show. Osman ran his best figures of the weekend—an 8.257 with a top speed of the meet 179.89—but had no answer for Davies, who took the winlight with 7.611-171.32.
The best race of the day was the final with Crossley, who put a holeshot over Davies. At about mid-track, Crossley was fighting to keep the bike from crossing the centreline and Davies powered by to take the win 7.625 at 175.27 to Crossley’s 7.761-166.35.
Super Street Bike
Super Street Bike newcomer Dave Thomas parted company from the bike just off the start line. Thomas was checked out and was ok.
Graham Balchin was the number one qualifier with a 7.625-186.96. He met Chris Reed in the final and ran best figures of the weekend with a 7.611 at 193.74 to take the win. Reed ran 7.760-184.08.
NAST Round 1
Terry Green suffered shift problems during Gas qualifying for NAST Round 1and still managed to finish on top of the qualifying ladder with a 9.296 at 143.87. Reigning champion Joe Elliott was next with 9.419 at 144.11, and Robbie Dobbie ran a personal best in competition of 10.069 at 137.30.
In a worst case scenario for a bye run, Green couldn’t get the bike to shift gear after the burnout. He had two attempts, and the bike never could get staged.
Elliott knocked out Dobbie 9.411 to 10.254 in round 1 of eliminations, then faced his own shifting problems on his bye run in the final. Elliott left the start line but then at the 100ft mark had gear shift issues and won the opening round of the NAST Series with an 18 second pass. He ran a test pass later in the day and ran his best of the weekend of 9.32 at 145.27.
Reigning NAST ET Champion Peter Harrison started his title defence with style and qualified in the number one spot with 10.954 on a 10.950 dial in. Brett Cordelle just edged Kieren Govender for number two spot. Giselle Moor recorded a personal best of 14.9 seconds but broke out and ended qualifying with 15.335.
Tim Boutle was racing his world record holding Honda CX650 Turbo (11.1 at 135mph). He’d rebuilt the motor with a new piston and rebore, and qualified with a 12.714 using no nitrous.
Cary Wadey led the field in the opening qualifying session with 10.727 (10.60) and finished up in sixth spot. Fiona Moor also ran a personal best of 11.9 seconds and she did what Giselle did—break out. Fiona finished with a time of 12.98 (12.70).
Boutle broke out by the narrowest margin with a 12.891 on a 12.90 dial in against Cordelle in E1.
Fiona Moor (near lane) vs. daughetr Giselle
For the first time (to my knowledge), mother raced against daughter. It was also the best race of the day, with Giselle Moor beating her mum Fiona by a 0.737 margin of victory.
Cary Wadey totes it high
Wadey did a big wheelie off the start line and chased down Govender, but broke out by five hundreds.
Harrison was Govender’s next opponent and the champion redlit. Cordelle broke out in the other semi-final race against Moor, then Govender won his first ever NAST event when Moor broke out in the final.
NAST Round 2
Whitsun Bank Holiday at Shakespeare County Raceway
Tim Boutle was the number one qualifier of the small field with 12.631 on a 12.60 dial in. Peter Harrison ran a personal best of 10.798 in qualifying, and Springspeed Nationals winner Kieren Govender was next with a 13.653 (13.37). Robbie Dobbie normally competes in the Gas class, but or this meeting he ran in ET Bracket and qualified on the bump spot with a 10.602 (10.20).
Dobbie stalled off the start line against Harrison, who had a reaction time of 0.05 and took the winlight in round 1. Govender beat Boutle (who had a problem at mid-track) to reach his second final.
Harrison didn’t redlight this time. instead he had another quick rt of 0.08 and reversed the result over Govender to win his first event of the year with an 11.44 (dial in 10.85) to Govender’s 14.38 (13.40). That result now means Govender has a twenty point over Harrison.