Posted - 20 Sep 2018 : 03:37:01
| Hi everybody!
Here is the brief news from the fantastic 30th ‘Hot Rod Drags’ on 14th – 16th September at Santa Pod.
This was Wild Bunch Series Round 5, Spirit of Nostalgia Series Round 7 and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series Round 3 (Final). The Wild Bunch had a brilliant total of 31 teams running at the event:
• Bob Morgan in ‘B-Sting’ (Bob was ably crewed by Craig Greenfield, as the regular Sting crew were on holiday! He had some great low 10-second runs and was closest of the Bunch on Sunday in Round 1)
• Jim Tanner in ‘Shindigger’ (some really strong runs, plus some out of shape ones! Jim and the crew were having fun as always!! Especially Andy Stones, who had a couple of runs in the car Friday! Nice to see daughter Jessica at the event, enjoying the Wild Bunch atmosphere)
• Pete & Rob Brown in ‘Wrathchild’ (had 4 very consistent runs in Friday testing, but on Saturday suffered a disappointing breakage which put them out for the weekend; as always, they then pitched in and helped and supported others. There are exciting plans for the boys next year!)
• Lee Hartnell in ‘Metal Mistress’ (Lee & Mark had made an enormous effort to get a new block and head and rebuild a motor after the damage sustained at the Redline Rumble event, and finished assembly Friday night; Lee was rewarded with another 10-second pass Saturday and a best speed; Lee & Sarah say many thanks to those that helped sponsor the team through the crowd funding page and in person! Well done to the boys for making the event, and Lee for a great driving job Saturday after a hiccup! Thanks to Mark for helping with the Cracklefest directing #61514;)
• Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’ (an absolutely fantastic weekend for the team!! Several PB’s including stonking 8.23 and 8.22 runs, and the first event win for Mark in this slingshot, plus Driver’s choice to boot!! Both Mark and son Harley took part in the Cracklefest (Harley thanks the Marras for the loan of their tot rod!) Many Congratulations and Well done to all of Team LFR on an amazing event!!)
• Philippa Turton in ‘Bitchcraft’ (Mark once again had a mountain to climb with getting the gearbox worked on, and fitted back in the car for the event; this wasn’t the end of the struggle, as there were problems with a half shaft, the diff and the brake! Mark worked hard on these with the help of friends, and though he made a test run, unfortunately Philippa didn’t get to run due to the problems; huge well done to them on all the effort they made to get to the event and try to overcome obstacles, and still smiling!)(many thanks also to daughter Kassey for helping with Driver’s choice slips and trophy presenting!)
• Bradley Cooper in ‘Back from the Past’ (always great to see Ken leading the team! Unfortunately some problems kept them from running on Sunday; best wishes to all)
• Terry Clifford in ‘Ratcatcher Resurrection’ (was in the long queue on Saturday, and later suffered a prop shaft breakage, but thankfully the guard did its job, and Terry was a-ok; hopefully they can repair in time for the Finals – best of luck!)
• Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’ (the team had cured the transbrake problem from previous events, and Mick went quicker and quicker on the runs and ran a well-earned PB Sunday; though unfortunately some electrical problems occurred later which will hopefully be minor)
• Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’ (great to see Craig back out crewed by Uncle Mark; some fantastic improving runs Sunday including a PB, and took part in the Cracklefest in honour of Dad Tom)
• Phil James in ‘Rampage’ (Phil was on his usual consistent form and had another great Top 4 result; the team were sporting some great new team T-shirts, hats and jackets with pictures of the car on)
• Gary Parkes in ‘Purple Daze’ (great to see Gary back after some gearbox issues on his debut, ably assisted by Rich Walters and his crew; he made good progress on every run and finished with a PB in the low 9’s; the car looked fantastic too, and won a commentator’s award)
• Phil Sweeney in ‘California Dreamin’’ (did some test runs Friday and ran some very promising mid 9-second passes during the weekend; he also enjoyed the Cracklefest; though a gearbox issue cut their weekend short; the car has now been sold to a very good home, so Best Wishes to Phil and the team on their next project)
• Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ (Alan and Ian had done some fine tuning with the car since the last event and were hopeful of getting in to the 7’s after so many years with the car. They were rewarded Saturday with a fantastic 7.87! A PB by well over three tenths! Many Congratulations to them on this great achievement! Unfortunately the gearbox seized solid Sunday morning on launch, but even this didn’t dampen their spirits after realising their dream! With Alan now the quickest in the car, Dad Ian still holds the team’s best speed!)
• Maurice Takoor in ‘Spirit’ (Maurice had an extended journey just to get to the track this weekend when there were towing issues; after getting to the track without the car, he made a mammoth effort to make a round trip back to get it when the problem was fixed; he ran on Saturday but then had a gearbox problem and couldn’t run Sunday; well done on all the effort Maurice!)
• Chris Manning in ‘The Villain’ (Chris and the team had a fantastic weekend, running several straight 7’s, including a PB deep into the 7’s with a best speed; they took part in the Cracklefest too; checkout that fabulous ringshot chute pic on the net! The engine has now been retired, with the team having plans for an upgrade for next year!! Wow!)
• Steve Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’ (Steve’s second full event driving resulted in some great runs, including his first ever 8, a PB by over three tenths! Russ was delighted to see his son achieve this, and thinks the car is in very good hands to pass on to, as he and wife Lorni are shortly moving to Spain! All the best!)
• JJ Johnson in ‘Cheap Thrills’ (after his excellent winning performance last event, JJ was elected by the team to drive again this weekend; more good runs resulted in another PB, and another great show from the team! Skippy’s son Ford took part in the Cracklefest in his tot rod and had fun, as did the whole team!)
• Darryl Howells in ‘Chemical Reaction’ (more great runs in the 8’s from Darryl in the slingshot; he and Sarah really enjoyed their weekend with Sarah being a stunning backup girl as always; they are looking forward to running in the Finals!)
• Mick Gleadow in ‘Jurassic Parts II’ (Mick and team were hopeful of some more strong runs in the low 9’s and worked hard all weekend; Mick ran well all weekend and improved on his last run Sunday, so they were pleased with having made consistently strong passes, which was very promising)
• Alan Loten in ‘Paranoia’ (Alan and Steve were back and hopeful of having cured all the issues from the last event; Alan made an non-nitrous checkout pass Saturday and then a promising nitrous assisted 9.5 second run; unfortunately there was another problem and this resulted in the loss of a piston and other damage; such a huge shame for the team who have tried so hard for the last year and more to get the car back up and running; all the very best to them!)
• Keith Crampton in ‘Soul Town Shaker’ (Keith was ably backed up by the lovely Hayley, with assistance by the Marras; he enjoyed the Cracklefest and made some really good runs over the weekend, and put in a great pass, deep in the 10’s in the last round, finishing just outside the points)
• Bob Hawkins in ‘Time Traveller II’ (Bob was back after his fantastic performance over in Hockenheim with probably his best fire burnout to date! He had a fantastic run on Saturday, his second best ever, deep in the 6’s and backing up his 211mph pass earlier in the year; he took part in the Cracklefest Saturday, adding some Nitro to the proceedings! Sadly though, he did some more major damage on the burnout in the first round Sunday – huge commiserations on this and best of luck for the rebuild)
• Pete Huckle in ‘The Jagster’ (Pete and the team were back out and enjoying their racing with their cool tractor tow vehicle, now even more modified; Pete once again added Jag power to the Cracklefest; he had some consistent runs Sunday, and was very pleased to finish the year with a Top 4 result, just like his debut! Well done!)
• Dave Gibbons in ‘Rough Diamond’ (great to see Dave and the team back out and running some great mid 8-second passes; he was keen to set up match races with others and enjoyed his racing)
• Robert White in ‘Happy Daze’ (Robert and the team were thrilled with the trophy earned at the last event and ready and raring to go on each run; Robert had a couple of improved runs near his Dial-in Sunday and the car was again chosen for a commentator’s award)
• Steven East in ‘Ellie’s in Trouble Now’ (Steven had some new keen and willing crew for the weekend, as son Joshua and daughter Ellie had to work; Steven was working through several issues during the event and just made a couple of passes but once again really enjoyed being part of the show!)
• Matt Fuller in ‘Oblivion’ (Matt and the team were glad to be back out racing and put in a couple runs in the 10.00’s Saturday, hoping for another 9; disappointingly, low oil pressure and a broken pump put them out but hopefully Matt can run another 9 next season before this great car is sold on; all the best!)
• Paul Bambrick in ‘American Pie’ (the team were back out hoping for more 8-second passes, but had some niggly problems during the event; hope they can get back in the mid 8’s next time, best of luck!)
• James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ (James enjoyed his racing as always, and was pleased to be in his 5th event of the year with the Wild Bunch; he also enjoyed the Cracklefest; after a full season of trying, and being close, he was finally rewarded with a great Top 4 finish and well chuffed with that! Well done!)
• Des Taylor in ‘Thundergod’ (brilliant to see Des and the team back out and making an early appearance Friday; they worked hard all weekend, and the engine sounded so strong; a run in the high 9’s Sunday morning was promising, so hopefully this bodes well for their next event)
Friday was a pure Run-What-You-Brung day and many teams took advantage of the track time that day. Saturday was a mixture of RWYB and scheduled classes, and unfortunately the queue was exceptionally long in the morning! Though better in the afternoon. There was the inaugural Santa Pod / NSRA ‘Cracklefest’ on the evening, and 10 Wild Bunch teams took part with spectacular fireworks to follow! There was only a short stoppage for some spots of rain Sunday morning, and some windy conditions at times throughout the weekend, but overall the weather was good. We started our first round quite early on the Sunday, and managed to get all 4 rounds of racing in, just before the end.
Here are the Top 4:
1st Place: Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’ .0713 (his first ever Wild Bunch win with the ‘Ballbreaker’!!!!)
2nd Place: James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ .0834 (his first ever Top 4 placing after a year of trying hard!!)
3rd Place: Phil James in ‘Rampage’ .0961 (another great Top 4 result!)
4th Place: Pete Huckle in ‘The Jagster’ .1121 (finishing his season as he started with another great 4th place!)
Here are the Spot Prizes that were awarded:-
Closest to Dial-in (Race-day): Bob Morgan in ‘B-Sting’ .004 off
Best Reaction (Race-day): James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ .032
Best Burnout: Phil Sweeney in ‘California Dreamin’
Most Improved E.T.: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ .36 second improvement
Best Altered: Gary Parkes in ‘Purple Daze’
Best Slingshot: Robert White in ‘Happy Daze’
Best Appearing Team: Des Taylor and team with ‘Thundergod’
Driver’s Choice: Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’
Lee Hartnell in ‘Metal Mistress’ 122.07 mph
Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’ 8.22 / 157
Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’ 9.254
Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’ 10.548
Gary Parkes in ‘Purple Daze’ 9.250 / 139.40
Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ 7.87 (his first and the car’s first ever 7-second pass!! Congratulations!)
Chris Manning in ‘The Villain’ 7.712 / 176.44
Steve Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’ 8.728 / 152.08
JJ Johnson in ‘Cheap Thrills’ 9.81
Please shout out if I have missed any!
Many Congratulations to all those who ran PB’s at the weekend, especially Alan with Gonzo’s first 7-second run and Steve with his first 8. Big Congratulations to Bob Hawkins too, who won the NSRA award for the Quickest Wild Bunch car with his amazing 6.624 at 210.90mph pass on Saturday!!
Commiserations to all those who suffered breakages! Such a shame to see all of these after a great season! Best of luck to everyone in repairing the damage and coming back stronger!
Highlights of the weekend include the large and fantastic field of Wild Bunch, the Cracklefest, the weather being almost entirely dry all 3 days, completing all 4 rounds, and of course the brilliant group of cars and people!
Huge thanks to all the Santa Pod marshals and officials, track and safety crews and organisers and all at the NSRA for all their hard work. Fair play to you all! Real nice to see Chris Schreier running the startline Friday! Well done! And Dave Rowlands working so hard as always! Thanks everyone! Many thanks to Andy and Cathrine of Sutton Soda Blasting for sponsoring the trophies and to Steve & Lesley Field of Fieldcraft Fabrication for sponsoring the prize money on behalf of themselves and DASH Racing. And a huge well done to all of the Wild Bunch for an amazing show as always!! You all did yourselves proud!!