ACU Championships Round 3, Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway
Santa Pod Raceway, UK
Santa Pod Summernationals
story and photos by Steven Moxley
Did Lorcan Parnell's new system sump was the only dry thing at the track
Rain once again came to Santa Pod Raceway and cut short the Summernationals with only qualifying being completed. There were three qualifying sessions planned for Saturday, but only one session was completed. So there was another session Sunday morning, and as that was finished rain came back and in the late afternoon the meeting was called. So here’s what went down before that.
There was a big field (15 bikes) for Funnybike. It’s been a long time since we have had such a big entry and half were from Europe.
Lorcan Parnell was the number one qualifier with personal best figures of 7.105 at 197.97 mph. The bike now has a dry sump system.
Dale Leeks' latenight rebuild paid off
Dale Leeks found a hairline crack in his cases and rebuilt the motor, finishing it at 3:00am Saturday morning. The result of his hard working crew was a personal best of 7.282 at 167.91.
Points Leader Gary Jones was looking for a set up on his Gen 2 clutch over the weekend and ran 7.499 at 182.88.
Springspeed Nationals winner Eric Richard suffered a rear tyre problem, which was causing some handling issues. An M/T tyre was fitted for the second session and he ran 7.800 at 160.75.
Dave Peters suffered a nitrous backfire, damaging the flange on the inlet manifold in the first session. He qualified later with 7.905 at 123.89 but hurt a turbocharger.
Marc Van Den Boer upped his game
Marc Van Den Boer ran a p/b 8.159 on his blown V-twin (nitro motor running on methanol) on his first visit to Santa Pod. Bob Brookes had a fuel problem and managed a best of 8.418 at 151.63. Harold Wolfenden ran a p/b 8.38 on his new bike in testing on Friday, then qualified with an 8.431 at 166.07 but damaged a clutch.
Another first time racer to the Pod was Luc Raeymaekers, who had a nitrous problem and ran 8.434 at 160.22. Jiri Lukes tried a new nitrous set-up and had a fire at the 50ft mark. He was OK and so was the bike. In the next session he went back to old combo and qualified with an 8.613 at 159.04.
Thomas Joswig had a misfire (spark plug) and ran 8.622 at 156.82. Stuart Crane finished building his motor on Thursday night and did a shakedown pass at 9.793, but the motor didn’t sound right so he pulled it out of competition. Stefan Schmidt fitted a spare cylinder head and piston from the damage at the Easter meeting and qualified without nitrous at 10.028. Viep Bloemen who had an inner bearing seize in his transmission, which put him out of the show.
Dave Buttery's 9 year old crank got cranky in his new bike
Dave Buttery was still having new bike blues. Having broken his 9 year old crankshaft in testing the week before, Dave Branch constructed a new crank in two days and Buttery finished building the motor on Thursday. He damaged the clutch in qualifying while looking for a baseline for the bike.
Pro Stock Bike
Len Paget's well-chisled bodywork carried him to #1 Pro Stock qualifier
Alex Hope ran his first 7
Len Paget built a motor for this event and was the number one Pro Stock qualifier with a 7.687 at 169.18. Alex Hope ran his first seven-second pass in Friday’s test session 7.91, and with only had five gears instead of six ran a 7.770 p/b at 161.33 for number two spot. Reigning champion Mark Smith blew up his motor at the 1000ft mark and was out of the show.
Phil Crossley's dialed in like a bracket bike
Phil Crossley ran back-to-back 7.58s in both sessions with a best of 7.582 at 168.55 to lead the field. Points Leader Allan Davies was next with a 7.641 at 173.68. Speed King Kevin Osman once again had top speed of the meet with an 8.055 at 178.53 (third time).
Tony Clark had his cylinder head repaired but was down on power in the second eighth. He changed the ignition timing, coils, and carb needles and ran a best of 8.121 at 162.55.
Dave Batcheler is starting to get a handle on his clutch and ran a best to date on this combo of 8.568 at 159.08. Paul Hambridge has moved over from Super Street Bike to Comp Bike and had problems, running 10.161. Steve Moor had an electrical problem and struggled to 14.587.
Super Street Bike
Garry Bowe recorded his first 200 mph lap
European FIM Cup champion Garry Bowe recorded his first 200 mph speed with a 201.67 in a time of 7.270, just edging Steve Venables’ 7.274 (best to date for him on E85 fuel) at 193.05 for the Super Street Bike number one qualifier. ACU champion Graham Balchin was third with a 7.363 at 195.56.
Richard Hann getting a handle on his Gann clutch
Luke Farrugia had a huge wheelie at the 150ft mark, but managed to control the bike and qualified with 7.413-192.23 in the first session. Richard Hann has gone back to a Gann clutch and had handling problems over the weekend, running 7.530-190.51. Jemma Venables recorded her p/b competition time of 7.546 at 194.63.
Jemma Venables getting quicker and quicker
Graham Dance has had a poor start to 2014 with motor and transmission breakages, so with his fingers crossed it all came good and he qualified for the event with a 7.622, just beating Nigel Barker’s 7.632 for number seven spot. Peter Grancia won his first Super Street bike event two weeks before the Summernationals and was looking forward to this event, only to suffer from a lose plenum chamber and ran 7.834-169.83.
Sam Sykes and Ethan Barkley line up their 1000s
Mark Wells had a new rear shock set-up and was happy with 7.884, just edging newcomer Sam Sykes. Sykes has moved up from 8.50 bike with help from 8.50 champion Mick Winyard, who has built the bike with a new swingarm and chassis mods, a Motec, and Gen 2 clutch. Sykes ran a p/b in testing of 7.96 at 170, and qualified 7.888-177.19 with help from Ethan Barkley.
Steve Wood has altered his riding style and was on the bump
Danny Cockerill was close with a 7.889 at 193.79. Chris Reed broke cases and was out with an 8.134. Canadian Barkley was riding Rudolfo Maduro’s bike, trying to find a combo for the weekend (chassis, clutch and mapping) and ran 8.187-166.07. Another rider looking for a baseline was Dave Thomas, who found 8.334-175.76. Steve Wood has altered his riding style and was on the bump with an 8.588.
European Top Gas Series
Fast Freddie Schack
2014 saw the inclusion of Santa Pod to a round of the European Top Gas Series. Reigning Champion Fredrick Schack led the field and ran a personal best speed of 165.47, and was close to his best ET (7.73) with 7.753.
Richard Gadson might like to lap Herman Jolink's Ducati
Herman Jolink got caught out with the grippy track, but in the second qualifier he ran 8.413 at 152.10. Christian Bruhn was next with a 9.056 at 149.07, but had an engine issue.
Peter Niklas' new self-built bike
Olaf Menzi has bought Ulf Ogge’s Pro Stock Buell and is on a steep learning curve. He ran his best to-date of 10.303, but had an oil leak missing the second session. Peter Niklas debuted his new self-built bike and had transmission issues, running 14.568 at 136.04.
NAST Round 3
Midsummer Madness at Shakespeare County Raceway
Springspeed Nationals winner Kieren Govender led the field with Reigning champion Peter Harrison close behind. Semifinals saw Harrison just beat Brett Cordelle, who had a better reaction time. Govender had a bye run.
Both Harrison and Govender were staged on the tree when rain fell and brought the event to a close. The final of Gas class was supposed to be between Joe Elliott and Robbie Dobbie, but rain stopped it.
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