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Wild Bunch Results
American Car Nationals

13th May - 14th May

Points awarded for the Wild Bunch Series Round 1 and Real Steel Series Round 3

This event was the first Wild Bunch Series Round of the season, the �American Car World Nationals�, and it was also Real Steel Series Round 3. There was a field of 19 Wild Bunch cars competing, the biggest of the year so far: 8 Altereds, 9 Slingshots and 2 Rear-engine dragsters
Event Participants
Position WB Driver Car Points
1 4 Chris Hartnell Backdraft 9
- 44 Sarah Howells Destinys Angel 9
3 100 Roy Wilding Chariot of Fire 6
4 63 Joe Stevens Back In Black 5
5 2 Tony Smith The Cunning Plan 4
- 3 Helen Smythe Hell�s Belle 4
- 20 Mark Coulsell Limited Funz 4
- 23 Les Stephenson & Gareth Kent Top Cat 4
- 40 Darren Law Wicked Lady 4
- 43 Martin Holgate Paranoia 4
- 54 Phil Sweeney Antisocial 4
- 57 Neil Ward Andromeda 4
- 81 Steve Taylor Claustrophobic 4
- 109 Bob Morgan & Paul Croston B-Sting 4
15 34 Alec Coe & Kev Mortimer Shy Talker 3
16 1 Mike Cresswell Living the Dream 2
- 9 Ray Ford RamRaider 2
18 16 Mark Hartnell Awesome 4-Some 1
- 147 Sid Slattery Destiny 1

Spot Prizes
Best BurnoutTony Smith2The Cunning Plan 
Best ReactionPhil Sweeney54Antisocial.011
Best AlteredHelen Smythe3Hell�s Belle 
Best SlingshotNeil Ward57Andromeda 
Best Radical/DragsterSteve Taylor81Claustrophobic 
Best Appearing TeamThe Wicked Lady Team40The Wicked Lady 

Special Spot Prizes
This event was the third of the year where we were awarding three special Spot Prize trophies, in the shape of Mr Bolt, fabricated by Elaine Southworth, wife of long-time Wild Bunch member �Daddy Cool� Sag. Elaine very kindly donated to the Wild Bunch 3 dozen of the little fellows for trophies throughout the year. They are made from head bolts, bent valves (not Sag�s!!) and other engine parts, coated silver, and posed in different positions, and have already become a great talking point, and hotly sought after! At this event they were being awarded for the Best Altered, Best Slingshot and Best Radical/Dragster, and very keenly contested!

This was a practice and test n� tune day and many drivers got in 3 or 4 rounds. There had been torrential rain, thunder and lightning on Friday night but Saturday started off cloudy and dry and remained that way for most of the day, until around 4:30pm when there was another torrential downpour with hail added for good measure. Sarah Howells of D.A.S.H. Racing had organised a group Wild Bunch barbecue for the Saturday night, complete with another great film show from her and Darryl, but due to the stormy weather, this turned into individual BBQ�s in people�s awnings, but everyone still had a great time!

Sunday (Series Points Day)
It had rained early in the morning and the day dawned cloudy and cool. The early rain meant the start got delayed half an hour, despite the best efforts of the track crew, who were up early and had the track looking great by about 9am, just needing a bit of extra drying out time, which was not surprising given how much rain had fallen on Saturday afternoon and evening!!

WB 1 was the first appearance of the year with the Wild Bunch for 2005 Champion Mike Cresswell in the Living the Dream slingshot. He had been to a recent RWYB event and run promising low 11�s so was looking forward to getting back out with the Bunch and putting his mark on another season! He made 4 passes on Saturday, which ranged from a couple of 12.6�s through a 15 and a 24-second pass at 118.35 mph (not representative as he had faltered off the line). For Sunday�s rounds he dialled in at 11.35, but had a problem in the first round where he had been shut down with some fluid on the track, which turned out to not be from his car. In the second round he ran a 17.584 @ 80 mph, with gearbox problems which sidelined him for the rest of the day. Hope he can get that fixed soon and be back out with the Bunch!
WB 2 was also the first Wild Bunch appearance of the year for Tony Smith in The Cunning Plan minivan altered. He too had been doing some test n� tunes and running pretty consistently with his freshened motor. He ran a few passes on Saturday, including an 11.605 @ 112.34 mph and a good 11.476 @ 112.95 mph. Tony dialled in at 11.55 for Sunday and opened his account with an 11.671 @111.46 mph in the first round. He then went on to run a strong 11.481 in the second round followed by an 11.505 in the third, to finish in 6th place overall. Tony had been doing some stonking smoky burnout during the weekend, and was described as �whiting out the startline like a jet car�, so it was no wonder he was awarded the Best Burnout trophy for the weekend!
WB 3 was Helen Smythe in her fourth outing of 2006 in the Hell�s Belle altered. She made a total of 5 passes on the Saturday, ranging from 9.824 @ 135.74 mph to an experimental 10.53, with 9.89, 9.93 and 10.01 passes along the way, all at around the 135 mph mark. Team Twisted dialled in at 9.85 for Sunday, and Helen started off with a 9.962 in round one. She continued with even better runs of 9.776 and 9.889, and finished in 5th place overall. The team were awarded the Best Altered Spot Prize, and Helen and Dean were particularly thrilled to be going home with a �Mr Bolt� of their own!
WB 4 �Crazy� Chris Hartnell was also on his fourth event of the year with the Backdraft slingshot. He had fixed the male pinion coupler broken at the Shakespeare Nationals and was back out doing some testing of the fuel system on the car, to try to get it running back into the 8�s again. He made three runs on Saturday, all against son Mark in the Awesome 4-Some slingshot. He started off with a 9.975 @ 134.59 mph, changed the settings, and came back out with a much improved 9.030@ 146.08 mph. And then on the third run of the day, that magical 8 appeared for the first time this season, in the shape of a big wheelie and an 8.990 @ 145 mph! Chris was really chuffed with this Dialled in at 8.99 for Sunday�s rounds. In the first round, he ran a close 8.974 @ 147.77 mph, his fastest speed of the weekend. He followed this with an 8.941 and another consistent 9.009 in the second and third rounds. To his amazement, he finished in equal first place, as he had exactly the same average difference to Dial-in as another racer!! Congratulations to Chris on his first event win for some time!
WB 9 saw Ray Ford having his first turn of the season in the RamRaider slingshot of Team Dog�s B�s, fresh from a recent test day where he had put in passes of 10.7 and 10.1 on his first ever time in the car. Ray had been the only member of Team DB to run a 9-second pass in the original RamRaider slingshot, and he was eager to break into the 9�s with the new car! On the first run Saturday, Ray recorded an excellent 9.684 @ 140.53 mph! His and the car�s quickest and fastest times to date, and the first time over the 140mph mark!! He then proceeded to lower his Personal Best E.T. even further, to a brilliant 9.503, at another new best speed of 142.36 mph, whilst on his third run of the day, he recorded another strong 9.600 @ 140mph. The team dialled him in at 9.60 for Sunday, and Ray went well in the first round, posting a solid 9.636 @ 140.39 mph. What no-one realised at the time, was that this run resulted in a couple of bent valves and some other damage. A great shame as both Ray and the car had performed exceptionally well. Hope the team can get it fixed and be back out for the next event!!
WB 16 was young Mark Hartnell�s first appearance of the season with the Wild Bunch with his Awesome 4-Some slingshot, although he had been out mid-March for the test n� tune. He was hoping to test out the tuning he had done when he had taken the car to his college workshop for a practical lesson! On Saturday, he paired up with Dad Chris on all three runs, and started off with an 18.579 @ only 71 mph. Things got worse during the day, as he later ran struggling passes of 20.5 and 22.4 seconds. On further investigation that evening, he discovered a blown head gasket, and soon got to work fixing this and putting the head back together for a few hours sheltering under his awning throughout the storms! He fired the car up and it sounded much improved, so he dialled in at 13.50 for Sunday�s rounds. Once again in the first round, he matched up with Chris, but after the burnout, he had to be pushed back, as he had then broken his gearbox! Rotten luck, but Mark hopes to take advantage of the 4-week gap in events to find another box and rework the head, so hope he can get the car fixed!
WB 20 saw the welcome return of Mark Coulsell and his Limited Funz slingshot, after a year out last season, whilst he became a father to Harley, now 7 months! There is also special cause for Mark to celebrate this year as his car was originally built way back in 1966, and this is his tenth season of racing! He made a couple of passes on Saturday and was really chuffed to be back out racing with the Wild Bunch! He dialled in at 10.60 for Sunday, and ran a good first round of 10.667 @ 124.22 mph, with a good reaction of .040, straight back on form already! For the second and third rounds, he recorded a 10.799 and an 11.292 and finished in 10th place overall for the weekend. Welcome back, Mark, it�s great to see you back!
WB 23 was the debut outing for Les Stephenson with his Mini-bodied Top Cat altered, although good friend Gareth Kent had given it some shake-down runs at last year�s Mini Nationals. Les made a couple of passes Saturday, starting with a 21.890 @ 48 mph. He dialled in at 14.40 for the rounds, and recorded runs of 15.985, 14.578 @ 85 mph and 14.696, starting to get a handle on the altered, and finishing in 11th place on his first competitive event. Welcome to the Wild Bunch, Les!
WB 34 saw the return of the Mad R�s Shy Talker slingshot which had seen some new valves and springs installed after the damage at the Easter Thunderball. The team spent part of the day Saturday fixing some pulled head studs, but Alec Coe was able to make a great checkout pass of 8.8 during the afternoon. For Sunday�s rounds, son Tommy �the Gun� took over the hotseat and the team dialled him in blind at 8.60, which proved to be an unbelievably good Dial-in, as Tom ran an incredible 8.601 @ 163.31 mph in the first round!! Especially amazing since it was Tom�s first full pass in the car this year and also the first full pass for the car since the repairs!! Fair play Tom! If only we�d had a closest to Dial-in trophy this weekend! His maintained this consistency with another strong 8.605 @ 165.60 mph in the second round, but unfortunately, extra maintenance meant the team could not get out in time for the third round, and were also thwarted trying to make a late test run, due to an oildown and the curfew. But it promises well for the team for the June Test n� Tune Shootout!
WB 40 Darren Law was eager to repeat the consistency that gave him a win at the Thunderball with The Wicked Lady rear-engine dragster [even though the semis and the finals had not been run, he took the victory in Wild Bunch as he had been the closest to Dial-in of the four Semi-finalists]. Darren made a few passes on Saturday, and the team dialled in at 11.10 for Sunday. In the first round, Darren put in an 11.633 @ 118.20 mph, followed by an 11.672 and a 12.756 in the second and third rounds, to finish in 12th place for the weekend. The team were sporting their new smart teamwear with white shirts with an embroidered logo of the Wicked Lady on the back and this really stood out, as the team were awarded Best Appearing Team by the commentators.
WB 43 saw another welcome return in the form of Martin Holgate and his Paranoia altered which had recently received a chassis upgrade, along with a host of new parts and a great paint job, which meant the car really was looking stunning. Martin also had amongst his crew former comp-altered racer Herb Andrews, and they were looking forward to putting in some test runs, to get a handle on the new set-up. Martin ran a couple of passes Saturday, including a 13.5 and a 15.0, and dialled in at an optimistic10.50 for Sunday. He started off with a 14.691 @ 117.74 mph in the first round, followed by a 14.294 in the second. He then improved to an 11.769 @ 115 mph in the third round and finished in 13th place overall. We hope Martin and Herb can continue the good progress to develop the car�s potential over the season. Welcome back, Martin, it�s great to have you back!
WB 44 Sarah Howells was back in Bernie�s Destiny�s Angel altered of team Evolution Racing, and she made three passes on Saturday including a 9.684 @ 143 mph and a 9.696, already consistent. Bernie dialled her in at 9.65 for Sunday and she started off well with a 9.697 in the first round. She then went closer in the second round with a 9.677, running against Helen and the �Belle� for a good close matchup, which both girls really enjoyed. Sarah then ran even closer in the third round, with a 9.640, just one hundredth off her Dial. With this consistency, Sarah took the joint win for the weekend, as she had run exactly the same average difference to Dial-in as �Crazy� Chris, .028!! And incredibly the first time this has ever happened with the new �D.R.A.G.� format! Congratulations, Sarah!
WB 54 Phil Sweeney was in his third event of the year in his Antisocial slingshot. He put in four passes on Saturday, with a best of 12.397, and recorded his best speed ever of 110.23 mph, on his 12.424 pass. He also recorded and excellent reaction of .009 on his fourth pass of the day. He dialled in at 12.35 for the rounds and opened his account with an off-pace 13.043. On this pass, he had unfortunately pulled a red light of only .003, putting him out of contention for the Top 4 for the weekend. In the second and third rounds he posted times of 12.569 and 12.334, his best pass of the weekend, and on this run also recorded Best Reaction of the day for Wild Bunch, with a great .011.
WB 57 Neil Ward was in his second event of 2006 with the Andromeda slingshot. Neil and the whole team were still looking for that first 8-second pass!! Neil made a tuning run early on the Saturday, and then on the second pass came the moment they had all been waiting for, an amazing 8.996 @ 148.54 mph!! Fair play, and many congratulations to Neil and the whole team on their achievement!! The last run Saturday also netted Neil�s best speed ever, a 9.052 pass with a strong 148.69 mph. They dialled in at 8.90 for Sunday�s rounds and Neil started well, with another 8-second run, an 8.985, another new Personal Best E.T.! He then matched up with �Crazy� Chris for the second round and recorded a 9.156. They paired up again in the third round, and Neil posted a 9.071 @ 148.04 mph, with a better reaction than Chris, who had run 9.009. In fact, if this had been a race, Chris would have �won� by just one thousandth of a second! And both drivers really enjoyed the matchup!! Neil finished in 8th place overall, and the whole team were thrilled to be awarded a �Mr Bolt� for Best Slingshot by the commentary team, after such a great weekend. Congratulations to them all!
WB 63 saw Joe Stevens with his first appearance of the season in Wild Bunch with his Back in Black altered. Since we last saw Joe, he had been getting a handle on his blower and had run a Personal Best E.T. of 9.17 @ 144 mph! He made several tuning passes on Saturday, and dialled in at 9.17 Sunday, hoping to beat his PB. In the first round he ran 9.242 @ 141.23 mph, followed with a 9.277 in the second round. He put in his best pass of the day for the third, with a strong 9.205 @ 143.22 mph, to finish in 4th place overall. Good to see him back and straight into the Top four!
WB 81 was also the first Wild Bunch outing of the season for Steve �Jacko� Taylor with his Claustrophobic rear-engined dragster. He made a few runs Saturday, including a 13.276 @ 100.38 mph. Steve dialled in at 13.10 and ran 13.419 in the first round to open his account for the year. In the second and third rounds he posted 13.383 and 13.298, and finished in 9th place for the event. Jacko was really thrilled to be awarded the �Mr Bolt� for Best Dragster/Radical for the weekend!
WB 100 saw Roy Wilding taking the hotseat of the Chariot of Fire altered once again, and he was making further progress with the tuning setup. He made several runs on Saturday, including a new Personal Best E.T. of 11.245, taking two-tenths off his previous best. He dialled in at 11.40 for the rounds on Sunday and started off with a fantastic 11.406 @ 117.77 mph. He then ran an 11.478 in the second round and another close 11.380 at a new Personal Best Speed of 121.92 mph in the third round, and finished in 3rd place overall, with an average of .0347. Roy was very pleased with this performance over the weekend.
WB 109 saw the B-Sting boys back for their first Wild Bunch event of the year, although they had been doing some testing and tuning already this spring. On Saturday, Bob Morgan took the helm and started the day with a pass of 12.440, just getting himself back into it. He then went on to record a 10.632 and a new Personal Best E.T. of 10.387 @ 127.67 mph, also new bests for the car! On Sunday, Paul Croston took the reins and dialled in at 10.30, hoping to start where Bob had left off! He opened the day with a 10.645 in round one, and followed this with a great new Personal Best E.T. of 10.293 @ 127.60, a new Personal best speed, and just seven thousandths off the blind Dial-in! He then carded another strong 10.358 @ 127 mph in the third round and finished in 7th place overall. Great to have the boys in yellow and black back with the Bunch!!
WB 147 was Sid Slattery�s first appearance in Wild Bunch this season with his Destiny slingshot, and he was really chuffed to be one of three Jag-powered racecars in the pits at this event, and to top it all, to have the car�s original owner, Richard Dawson, crewing with the team! Sid made a couple of checkout passes on the Saturday and dialled in at 10.89 for Sunday. Unfortunately, Sid encountered a few problems, including a stripped spark plug, and could not take part in the rounds. Just minor problems, so Sid is sure to have them ironed out for the next event!

This had been a really good event where we had been very lucky with the weather! Thanks very much to all the very hard working marshals and officials and track crew for their efforts and a well-prepped track. Well done to them all! And many congratulations to all the Wild Bunch racers who put on a great show! We are now looking forward to the next Wild Bunch Series round of 2006, at the June Shootout at Shakey on 10th & 11th June. There should be another big field of Wild Bunch for that one!