event: 2016 ACU Championships Round 2, Springspeed Nationals
where: Shakespeare County Raceway, UK

Springspeed Nationals at Shakey

story by Steven Moxley photos by Julie and Steven Moxley


Rain and a couple of race incidents disrupted the running of the Bank Holiday Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Only two qualifying sessions out of the planned six (six!—Hailey) sessions over Saturday and Sunday were completed. Monday saw only the first round of eliminations completed when the rain fell during the afternoon and the race was called.


Phil Crossley

Phil Crossley ran a personal best of 7.328 at 180.53 mph to top the Funnybike field in qualifying. Eric Richard had clutch problems in the opening session and on his next pass ran 7.500 at 177.23. 


Eric Richard

Allan and Clair Davies

Allan Davies has fitted his big 1500cc motor into the frame and has also a new clutch and carbs. He recorded a 7.659 at 177.94 for third spot. 


Pete Le Gros

Pete Le Gros has been doing some fuel flow tests at Top Alcohol Dragster driver Dave Wilson’s workshop. Le Gros has now increased the fuel pressure and fitted smaller jets. He has also modified his clutch plates. Le Gros missed the first session due to an oil leak and a battery failure, but qualified with a 8.696 at a personal best speed of 173.34. 

Jiri Lukes

Making a welcome return to racing, Jiri Lukes has rebuilt his engine—fitting new pistons, rings conrods, and cylinder head. After a slow check-out pass, Lukes qualified with a 10.047 at 138.13. 

Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Dave Peters had a weekend to forget. His first pass saw the new rear beadlock wheel bolts shear on the rear sprocket at the 60 foot mark, and he recorded a 22 second pass. The next pass he could not get the bike into gear for the burnout, victime of a fork selector issue. 


Another rider having problems was Dave Buttery. First the motor cut out in the burnout box, and the next the bike broke off the start line.  Buttery did get down the track (out of session) with a 9 second pass.

Crossley turned the wick up a bit more for eliminations and ran another p/b 7.281-181.04 against Peters, who was side-by-side with Crossley at mid-track when his burst panel blew (ignition problem). 

Davies toting the wheel

Le Gros almost didn’t make the call (fuel issue) against Davies, but it was Davies who led from start to finish with a 7.576 and personal best speed of 179.43 to Le Gros’ best ever 8.05-175. Richard ran his best of the weekend, 7.454-180.35, to beat Lukes’ best pass of 8.54-159.77.

Comp Bike

Mark Hope

Mark Hope was the number one Comp Bike qualifier with an 8.108 at 175.50 mph. This was first time Hope has been a number one qualifier. 

Kevin Osman

Mick Winyard

Mick Winyard was next with an 8.238 at 181.63, just ahead of Eddy Smiley’s 8.278-165.83. Reigning ACU Comp Bike Champion Kevin Osman had fitted a billet gearbox for this meeting and had a soft set up for qualifying, running 8.389-173.15. Dave Thomas sorted his power loss from the opening round of the championship and ran 8.517-175.08. Next was Phil Leamon with an 8.584-156.55.

John McLean Jr

This was John McLean Jr’s first race at Shakespeare County. He has changed his fuel pump to help the nitrous system and ran 8.887-153.28.  On the bump spot was Martin Walker with an 8.922-157.52. 


Paul Hambridge had problems during qualifying and posted a 16.282. 

Tanya Hardy before launching....

....and mid-launch

Tanya Hardy parted company from her bike when she did a huge wheelie at 100 feet. Hardy broke her wrist and went to hospital. 

Dave Batcheler had a problem on the number three cylinder of his engine and didn’t make a pass in qualifying.

Eddy Smiley ran low ET of eliminations

The top four qualifiers all went through into the second round of eliminations, with Smiley running low ET of 7.912 against Leamon. Winyard got top speed of the meeting at 182.92 when he beat McLean. Both Hope and Osman improved on their times and speeds.

Super Street Bike

Steve Venables on his DME 'Busa

Steve Venables just edged Nigel Barker for the number one Super Street Bike spot in qualifying, running 7.9202 to Barker’s 7.9209. Chris Reed was next with an 8.264 with Graham Balchin just behind with an 8.316. Alex Hope had traction problems and ran 9.559.

Chris Reed's daughter Stacey sporting the family tutu. She parted ways with the bike a short time later


Nigel Barker

Venables had a bye run to open eliminations and ran a 7.624 low ET.  Balchin made some adjustments to his clutch and ran 7.766 to knock out Reed. Barker ran his best time to date with his new combination—7.810—and top speed of the meet at 188.93 to beat a tyre spinning Hope.


Andy Haley was the number one qualifier in 8.50 bike

Andy Haley was the number one qualifier in 8.50 bike and was to face Daniel Bergelin in the final. 9.50 bike champion Richard Sawatzki was the number one qualifier and reached the semifinals with Jonathan Kasziba and Brett Cordelle.

Richard Sawatzki
Outlaw Anglias

Outlaw Anglia champion Cliff Griffin

Multi-time and reigning Outlaw Anglia champion Cliff Griffin led the field in qualifying with a 7.862 at 181.38, with last year’s number two plate Matt Cooper in number two spot—8.308-161.67. 

Phil Middleton

Both Griffin (7.768-185.48 low ET and top speed) and Cooper won their first round eliminators, as did Phil Middleton and Scott Crookston, who ran a p/b 8.480.