event: 2016 ACU Championships Round 4, Open Sports Nationals
where: Shakespeare County Raceway, UK

Open Sports Nationals at Shakey

story by Steven Moxley photos by Julie and Steven Moxley


Editor's Note: It must be noted that Eatmyink British correspondent Steven Moxley and I are equally slow. It was in October that Moxley sent me his coverage of Shakespeare County's Open Sports Nationals, and it is on Boxing Day that I present it to you. Late, but thorough. Enjoy.

Only two qualifying sessions for the Open Sports Nationals were completed on Saturday due to a torrential downpour, which flooded the Shakespeare County Raceway start area and the pits.  Weather was warm and sunny for the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Funny Bike

Phil Crossley

Phil Crossley continues to dominate Funny Bike and was the number one qualifier with a 7.288 and a personal best speed of 186.64 mph.  Allan Davies was his nearest challenger with a 7.641 at 176.60. 

Pete Le Gros

Dave Buttery was having turbocharger issues and ran a best of 7.799-168.75. Pete Le Gros fitted new clutch plates and ran his first seven-second pass, a 7.827 at 174.34. Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Dave Peters had teeth break off on his crankshaft. He ran 8.334-163.76 but was out of the competition.

Allan Davies

Crossley and Davies both had byes to the next round of eliminations. 

Buttery had problems starting his bike and Le Gros waited for him. When they did stage, both riders left at almost the same time. Buttery took the winlight 7.383-174.75 to Le Gros’ 7.911-174.78, but his engine was smoking at the finishline.

Dave Buttery

Buttery was a no-show in the semis, so Crossley ran another bye and recorded a p/b of 7.265 at 180.09. Davies broke the beam on yet another bye run.

Davies took a shot at the tree in the final and pulled a redlight, so Crossley increased his lead in the championship.

Comp Bike

Eddy Smiley

Reigning ACU Comp Bike Champion Kevin Osman edged championship points leader Eddy Smiley for the number one spot in the final qualifying session with a 7.935-189.23 (top speed of the meet) to Smiley’s 7.971-173.55.

Sean Mills was next with an 8.037-180.97. Martin Walker ran a personal best 8.251 at 177.49 to lead the field after the first day of qualifying and finish in fourth spot. 

Mick Winyard

Mick Winyard hurt his transmission in the opening session and used his spare bike for the remainder of the event, running a personal best for the bike of 8.399 at 171.42. 

Dave Batcheler

Another rider having a great meeting was Dave Batcheler, who recorded his best pass to date on the ex-Phil Crossley bike—8.512-150.42.

Phil Leamon

Both Phil Leamon and Paul Hambridge had problems during qualifying and did not compete in eliminations.

Osman, Smiley and Batcheler all had bye runs to the semis. Walker ran another p/b to knock out Winyard with an 8.088-180.84 to Winyard’s 8.520-175.56.

Martin Walker

In the first semi, Walker ran another p/b 8.036-182.76 against Osman, who smoked the rear tyre at 200 feet and couldn’t catch Walker. In the other semi, Batcheler put a .099 to .177 holeshot on Smiley, but Smiley powered around at ¾ track to win 7.918-174.70 to Batcheler’s best ever 8.381-154.06.

The final was the best race of the day, with Walker in his first ACU final. He put an .058 to .131 holeshot over Smiley, who stormed down the track and ran low ET of the meet 7.889-176.71 to beat Walker’s 8.076 with a p/b speed of 183.46.

Super Street Bike

Steve Venables

Steve Venables turned the wick up in the final qualifying session and took number one spot with a 7.512-187.30. 

Teammate Graham Balchin was in second spot with a 7.664-190.51, just ahead of Chris Reed’s 7.694-192.53. Graham Dance was testing for the European Finals and ran 7.842-188.54. Nigel Barker was fifth with a 7.998-180.97 and Dave Thomas was on the bump spot with an 8.479-173.94, suffering from an electrical issue.

Graham Dance

In round 1 of eliminations, Dance led from start to finish over Reed 7.821 at 164 to 8.161-172.

There was nearly a shock result. Venables led from the start and then at mid-track had a problem and Thomas was catching him, Venables held on to take a close 8.247 to 8.373 win. 

Nigel Barker

Barker put a .138 to .457 holeshot over Balchin and had a big lead until he got to 300 feet and had a gear shift issue and lost to Balchin 7.696 to 8.591.  

Graham Balchin

Balchin ran low ET in the semifinal to put Dance back on the trailer 7.364 to 7.968. Venables had a bye and sorted his problem with the bike running 7.423-193.44.  

The final was all Venables from start to finish, 7.397 to Balchin’s 7.447 with a top speed of the meet 193.90.

8.50 Bike

Jay Roe was the number one 8.50 qualifier  with an 8.556, just ahead of Andy Haley’s 8.586 and Augy Harrison at 8.598.

Augy Harrison

Harrison took his first win of the season when Roe broke out with an 8.463.

9.50 Bike

Jonathan Kasziba (near lane) vs Stacey Reed in the 9.50 final

Brett Cordelle ran a 9.507 to lead qualifying for the 9.50 field, but the final was between two newcomers to the class this season. Jonathan Kasziba won on a holeshot 10.007 to Stacey Reed’s 9.970.

ET Bike

Fiona Moor

Wayne Bradley

Fiona Moor ran a perfect dial in of 12.000 to be number one ET Bike qualifier. She made to the final and lost to Wayne Bradley’s 9.467 (9.00) to Moor’s 11.925 (11.45).

Outlaw Anglia

Reigning Outlaw Anglia Champion Cliff Griffin was the only driver to record a seven-second pass in qualifying with a 7.943.

Jed Guy

But against Jed Guy in the semifinals, Griffin smoked his rear tyres at 30 feet, leaving Guy to take the winlight with a 7.907.

Phil Middleton

Guy took his second win on the trot beating Phil Middleton in the final 8.225 to 8.539.

Wild Bunch

Bob Hawkins

Star of the weekend was Bob Hawkins, who dialed in 6.81 for his slingshot dragster in the semi-finals and ran 6.837. 

Facing Alan Loten in the final, Hawkins again dialed in 6.81 and won the event with a 6.810 to set a Wild Bunch ET record.