event: 2015 ACU Championships Round 6—Extreme Performance Bike Weekend
where: Santa Pod Raceway, UK
Santa Pod's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend
story and photos by Steven Moxley
Funny Bike champ Dave Peters
The 2015 ACU Championships were decided by the weather on raceday, after four qualifying sessions were completed on Saturday. Light rain delayed the start of the eliminations to 2:30, and half an hour later the rain returned and the meeting was called.
Funny Bike number one qualifier Stuart Crane
Former champion Stuart Crane had a new exhaust system fitted for this event and ran 7.010 with a personal best speed of 186.61 right out of the trailer for Funny Bike number one qualifier. The new exhaust had a 12 inch split after the run, so the team cut the exhaust to the elbow and on the next pass ran 7.045-185.91.
Reigning Pro Stock bike champion Alex Hope
With only two riders entered for the Pro Stock bike class, those riders entered Funny Bike and reigning Pro Stock bike champion Alex Hope qualified in number two spot with a 7.262 at 182.81.
National Finals winner Phil Crossley ran a p/b of 7.509 at 172.41 on his new bike. Eric Richard was next with a 7.567-179.94.
Nick Daniels had some parts delayed and they only arrived on the Tuesday before this event. The team didn’t have time to test the new parts, put a set-up in it and ran a jaw-dropping career best of 7.663 at 174.41.
Championship points leader Dave Peters was having clutch issues and damaged three clutches in qualifying, running a best of 7.732 at 178.48. Title challenger Allan Davies ran 7.899 at 174.40, but melted two spark plugs and had to repair the valves and seats.
Lorcan Parnell dropping his skirt...."The flaps ahead of the rear tyre on our bike fold down once the bike is moving to divert air around the tyre instead of under it. They were not responsible for our traction problems."
Lorcan Parnell had traction and handling problems, going 8.238-141.14. Dale Leeks was next with an 8.360-151.16, followed by teammate Pro Stock rider Mark Smith’s 8.835-159.10.
Filippos Papafilippou had boost problems and had a hairy ride to the 150ft mark in the opening session, running a best of 9.459-125.49.
Dave Buttery had clutch issues and had one run ruled out due to a blue line violation by his crewman. Buttery got in the show with a last ditch effort of 9.574-117.92.
Title contender Bob Brooks had a head gasket blow in the second session and qualified with a 13.745.
Crane broke the beam for the start of eliminations and Davies had a bye when Parnell was a no-show. The weld broke on Daniels’ gear lever when his crewman tried to put it in gear for the burnout, giving Smith a bye run into round two.
Papafilippou got shutdown by the track crew when fluid leaked as he came in to stage. His opponent Richard ran a personal best of 7.346-185.82.
Hope put a .172 to .234 holeshot on Brooks, who powered around when Hope slowed at ¾ track—7.212-185.13 to 9.145-96.04. Crossley fitted bigger nitrous solenoids for eliminations and ran a jaw-dropping 7.346-177.83 personal best to knock out Buttery’s best of the weekend 8.999-100.09.
Peters faced Leeks and had to win to keep his title hopes alive. Leeks had a clutch problem which dragged him though the lights, giving the win and the 2015 ACU Funny Bike Championship to Peters. This was Peters’ first major title in 21 years of drag racing.
Comp Bike #1 qualifier Paul Hambridge
Paul Hambridge just edged Comp Bike title contender Eddy Smiley for the number one spot with a 7.828 at 166.66 to Smiley’s personal best of 7.836-178.48.
Another rider running a p/b was Mick Winyard with a 7.929 at 180.65. Newcomer Mark Hope was next with an 8.161-176.45, followed by Dave Thomas’ 8.408-176.44.
John Mclean Jr.
John Mclean Jr. had a new Warpspeed slider clutch fitted for this event and ran a best of 9.123 at 156.82. Dave Smart had a weekend to forget when his chain adjuster failed not once but twice during qualifying, running a best of 9.378-104.70.
Kevin and Sarah Osman and the bike borrowed from Dave Batcheler
Championship points leader Kevin Osman had the number three cylinder fail during his burnout. Dave Batcheler had an electrical problem and missed the first session. So when he heard about Osman’s problem he offered his bike for the rest of the weekend. Two weeks before this event, Batcheler was at Shakespeare County and did some damage. Osman gave him a cylinder head and a few other parts then, so as a return Osman hopped on Batcheler’s bike and ran 9.835-148.58 to keep his title hopes alive.
Osman got out the gate first in eliminations but broke just after the start line and Hambridge ran 7.927-171.75 for the win.
Hope came from behind to beat Thomas 8.159-177.82 to 8.818-174.34. Smiley broke the beam and Winyard pulled a big wheelie against Mclean Jr, who took his first win in Comp Bike with an 8.401-169.82 to Winyard’s 9.027-174.40.
The rain came down after the first round was completed and Osman was crowned the 2015 ACU Comp Bike Champion—his first major title.
Super Street Bike
ACU Super Street Bike Champion Garry Bowe
Garry Bowe qualified in number one spot for Super Street Bike with a 7.148 and a personal best speed of 207.12, which he needed to back up for a speed record. That run gave him the 2015 ACU Super Street Bike Championship.
Steve Venables ran 7.3 on his first pass but had low oil pressure, so he fitted another motor and qualified with 7.178-203.48. Pete Field ran a personal best of 7.181 at 203.48 (and ran 204.20 with a slower ET). Daniel Lencses was next with a 7.380-187.45, followed by Richard Hann’s 7.505-194.71.
Mark Wells has had his small 1300cc motor wrapped in bubble wrap in the back of his van for three years. He ran close to his p/b with 7.577-195.55.
Stephen Mead was next with a 7.732-177.11, and on the bump spot was Chris Reed’s 7.740-189.00.
On the outside looking in were: Jemma Venables, who was ill all weekend and ran 7.817-185.92; Sam Sykes 8.000-174.40; Richard Stubbins couldn’t find a set up to suit the track and ran 8.261-167.29; and finally, Steve Wood lost a boost pipe on the first pass, did the repair, and ran a best of the season (but not good enough) 8.309-168.51.
Chris Reed (in the pink tutu) and Gary Bowe
Bowe and Reed came to the burnout boxes with numbers one and two on their backs (next years race numbers). Bowe was late on the lights and stormed down the track to take the win with a 7.233 at 206.98 to set a new ACU speed of 207.12. Reed ran 7.635 at 192.13.
Sykes was first alternate for Lencses and broke against Hann, who ran 7.471-192.15. Stubbins was second alternate for Wells and lost to Field 7.223-203.28 to 9.507-118.88.
Mead came in to stage and the rain started to fall. He broke the beam to claim the points. That was the last race of the 2015 drag racing season.
Shaun Branch had his new Funny Bike (very nice paintjob) and was testing the EFI motor with a Motec system, running 7.454-179.22.
Patrick Kras debuted his ex-George Bryce Buell Pro Stock bike, which has been in a shed in Holland for six years. Kras had a different motor in the frame than the one Bryce had in it and ran a SuperTwins Top Gas ET record of 8.128.
Hey Crazy 8s racers! Dave Holland rode a production Ducati and apparently ran 8.88 at 140 mph....but it turn out the starter left his foot in the beams for around 2 seconds to play a joke.... seems the 60ft was 0.somthing....
Congratulations to the following ACU Champions:
Top Fuel bike—Rene Van Den Berg
Funny Bike—Dave Peters
Comp Bike—Kevin Osman
Super Street Bike—Garry Bowe
Note: Pro Stock Bike raced only one event in 2015, which Alex Hope won and a championship has to have a minimum of two rounds.
Congratulations to the following SPRC Champions (club):
Funny Bike—Bob Brooks
Comp Bike—Eddy Smiley
Super Street Bike—Garry Bowe
Check this beauty out: Shaun Branch
Another shot of Branch's 'Busa bodied bike. "I am running supercharged methanol with a HPS 1.3 litre blower. I have made my own heavy duty Suzuki-based crank cases and run a Robinson 3 speed trans. I only have half a dozen runs on this bike, the front and back end and motor are from the old bike the rest is new.
I have had a long layoff for quite some years. I have run the ACU championship in the past finishing 3rd and the FIM championship finishing 5th in the past.
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