Here is the brief news from our ‘Fall Nationals’ at the National Finals at Santa Pod, last weekend, 24th & 25th September. This was Wild Bunch Series Round 5 (Final), Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Round 8 (Final), Springbridge MSUK Series Round 4 (Final) and the SPRC Championship for Wild Bunch Round 4 (Final). The Wild Bunch had a field of 6 great teams competing at the event:
• Rob Brown in ‘Rebel’
• Phil James in ‘Rampage’
• Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’
• Keith Crampton in ‘Soultown Shaker’
• Bob Hawkins in ‘Time Traveller II’
• Bob Morgan in ‘B-Sting’
The weather forecast was good, so we were all looking forward to a great event for the season finale! Saturday’s weather started fine but cloudy and racing started right on time. The day stayed dry mostly and was running exactly on time until just about 4pm when a short unpredicted shower turned into prolonged light rain! We had run 2 qualifiers by then at 11am and 3:30pm, and all 6 cars had qualified. Bob Hawkins just made the one run, with horrendous tyre shake on launch! This did some damage including substantial breakage to the mag, which the team spent the afternoon and early evening sorting. Bob Morgan was #1 qualifier after his first round run at just .002 off his Dial with a 10.212 on a 10.21! Well done Bob! Mark was 2nd qualifier with a great 8.146 @ 160mph on an 8.12. With the persistent rain not showing signs of stopping the officials were forced to call off racing for the day at about 5pm.
Although the track crew worked during the evening and early Sunday morning, it was still very wet in the shutdown area, and this delayed proceedings on race day. Luckily it was dry, and partly cloudy. They needed to complete the 4 classes who did not get their second qualifier, and also ran the Juniors early, but eliminations for other classes did not start until about 12:15pm! There were a few oil downs and incidents and the day progressed slowly. So after all these delays, and as we were not due out til later on due to the size of our field, our first round, the Quarterfinals was at about 6:15pm!! And then we just managed to squeeze in our Semi-finals, just 4 minutes before the 8pm curfew!!! Phew! Only around half of the classes had reached this far, with only a couple of finals being run. It was a great shame we didn’t get to run our Final, but we were grateful to get those couple of rounds completed!!
In the first round, our quarterfinals, there was a fantastic race between Rob B and Phil, with their reactions similar and both not too far from their Dials. Rob recorded 8.571 on an 8.50 to Phil’s 9.567 on a 9.50, and Rob took the slight holeshot win by just .005!! So close!! This turned out to be the decider for the Spirit of Nostalgia Series! Keith ended up with a Bye when Bob Morgan and Barry Bohannon had to leave mid-afternoon. He took a slow steady 14-second run to advance to the Semis. There was another great race between Mark and Bob Hawkins. Mark recorded an 8.341 on an 8.10 and Bob had the WB Best Reaction of the day, and was slightly closer to his Dial, with a 6.846 on a 6.68, pulling the chute before the line to avoid breaking out, and taking the win.
In the Semi-finals, run just in the nick of time in the dark on a cooling track, there was another great race. This was between Rob and Bob, with Rob taking the win at just .020 off Dial, with an 8.520 on an 8.50 dial to a breaking out Bob, who had dialled 6.68 and recorded a spectacular 6.609 @ 186mph, just backing off at the end of the run and posting one of his best ever ET’s in Wild Bunch competition!! Keith had the Bye in this round and again took it easy with another 14-second pass, to ensure safely completing the run to advance to the Final. What a shame there wasn’t one, but still it was great racing throughout those two rounds!!
The winners were:-
1st Place: Rob Brown in ‘Rebel’ (a great time to record the team’s first win of the year!)
2nd Place: Keith Crampton in ‘Soultown Shaker’ (another fantastic Top 4 for Keith!)
3rd Place: Bob Hawkins in ‘Time Traveller II’ (a fantastic effort after qualifying to go back into the 6’s!)
4th Place: Phil James in ‘Rampage’ (a great showing, narrowly missing out by just .005 in the quarters)
Here are the Spot Prizes that were awarded:-
#1 Qualifier: Bob Morgan in ‘B-Sting’ .002 off (on the very first qualifier!)
Best Reaction in eliminations: Bob Hawkins in ‘Time Traveller II’ .108
Best Appearing Car & Team: Bob Hawkins and Team ‘Time Traveller II’ (fantastic 6.609/186 in the dark!)
Keith Crampton in 'Soultown Shaker' 144.77 mph
Well done also to Harley Coulsell and Ada Cassisi of Team Limited Funz Racing for each winning 3 rounds in Junior Dragster!! They had then been due to meet each other in the Semi-finals but time ran out!!
Many thanks to our event Prize money sponsors, Mark & Lynne Coulsell and Team Limited Funz! Greatly appreciated! Thanks again also to our Springbridge MSUK and SPRC Title sponsor Bob Hawkins of Springbridge Direct! Very much appreciated as always!!
Highlights of the weekend were getting a couple of rounds completed against the odds, the small but excellent field of Wild Bunch, the final Series results going right down to the wire at this event and the usual supportive friendly rivalry amongst all of the Bunch! An excellent way to finish the season!
Huge thanks to all the Santa Pod marshals and officials, track and safety crews and organisers for all their hard work as always!! They really excelled themselves again, in the face of challenging circumstances this weekend! It was thanks to their hard work that as much qualifying and racing took place as it did!! Well done to all of the Wild Bunch on another fantastic show!!
The results this weekend mean that Rob & Pete have won the 2022 Wild Bunch Series and the Spirit of Nostalgia Series!! Congratulations and very well done to Pete & Rob and Hayley & Natalie and George & Julie on more great Series wins!! Also, Keith Crampton has won the Springbridge MSUK Challenge Series and the SPRC Championship in Wild Bunch!! Fantastic results for both teams!! Congratulations!!
All the best, Claire
PS. Full final points will be updated as soon as I can!
PPS. It is now about 2 months until our fab Annual Prize Presentation and Dinner Dance on 26th November at Drayton Manor, Tamworth. Ticket forms and info will be going out in the post in a few weeks for this brilliant evening! Hope to see you all there!!