Here is the news from the ‘Springspeed Nationals’ event last weekend 22nd & 23rd May. This event was ‘Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge’ Series Round 1 and ‘Springbridge Motorsport UK Challenge’ Round 1, as well as the 1st round of the second ever Santa Pod Racers Club Championship for the Wild Bunch! Many thanks to Bob Hawkins of Springbridge Direct Ltd for being the Springbridge Series sponsor and the SPRC Championship Wild Bunch Class Title sponsor! Much appreciated! There was a good field of 8 teams entered at the event. Unfortunately Bobby Wright could not make it with his altered though.
The weather forecast had not been all that good, but after a wet and windy Friday, things looked a little better Saturday morning. The track crew worked hard and got the racing going at about 11:30am. There were a couple of delays for down time and a few periods of brief drizzle, so we didn’t get our first round of qualifying until 4pm! Only 4 teams made the round, and all safely qualified. We were lucky with that too, as only about 10 minutes later it rained! This persisted so the officials were forced to call it off for the rest of the day. Sunday dawned about the same, and racing started a bit earlier. The plan was to finish the first cycle of qualifying and then complete a full second cycle before going in to eliminations. We eventually got our second qualifier at around 12:45pm. One more team qualified, but sadly Darryl was unable to start ‘Chemical Reaction’ and Andy was unable to start ‘Snake Eyes’ so sadly they were not qualified. Our first round of eliminations was then due in a couple of hours’ time. They completed all qualifying, and were assembling the first class of eliminations when there was some more rain! The track crew worked hard to dry the track and racing resumed at 3pm! Sadly this was short lived, with only 3 more pairs running before more rain fell! With more rain on the radar, officials were forced to call an early halt to the event! Such a shame! Thanks to all of them for all of their hard work to try to get as much racing in as possible!!
The full field of cars was:
Phil James in “Rampage” – Phil was back in style and on his usual form, taking the #1 spot on the final qualifier! Great consistency to start the season! He made passes of 9.555/137 and 9.523/137
Rob Brown in “Rebel” – great to see Rob out after a refresh of the motor by Steve Cassisi, the team were really enjoying being back out racing even if the runs didn’t quite go to plan; his best was 9.308/148
Mark Coulsell in “Ballbreaker” – fantastic to see Mark back out and running in the mid 8’s: 8.431/154 & 8.454/153
Darryl Howells in “Chemical Reaction” - sadly Darryl could not make any runs due to starter problems, but it was great to see him back out!
Steve Field in “Black Pig Too” – Steve just made the one run, in spectacular style as always, to a 9.260/153! Great to see him and Lesley back out racing
Andy Clifford in “Snake Eyes” – unfortunately Andy had intermittent problems firing the car, and could not make a run, but the team ironed out some problems so were pleased with the progress
Bob Hawkins in “Time Traveller II” – fantastic to see Bob back testing his new combination which sounded awesome!!! Great to see him progressing back towards those 6’s! His 2nd pass was 7.184/179
Phil James in “Rampage” .023 off
Bob Hawkins in “Time Traveller II” 7.184
Great to also see the LFR kids back out racing in Junior Dragster! Ada Cassisi did well in her ‘Cherry Bomb’ car recording a close .008 red light on her second qualifier! Harley was enjoying having his new ‘Bandit 1’ car out in a beautiful new livery with bandit-like designs. Hope to see the 2 of them paired up at an event soon!
The most poignant part of the weekend came when Santa Pod held a minute’s silence on the startline in tribute to Dave Rowlands who we so sadly lost suddenly a few weeks ago. Many of the teams sported silver ribbons on their cars in memory of Dave. The Ballbreaker and Chemical Reaction teams had pushed their cars round under the gantry and some crews, the whole track crew who he worked so closely with, and several others gathered round, along with partner Angie and son Warren and his daughter. Colin Theobald said some very moving words which expressed what we were all feeling. It was a fitting tribute to a wonderful man. He will always be remembered for his cheerfulness, helpfulness. passion for drag racing and everlasting hard work. Race in Peace Dave.
Although there wasn’t much track time for the Bunch, they all gave a great account of themselves and did themselves proud! Hoping the next time it is much drier! Huge thanks to all the track and safety crews, marshals and officials for working so hard as always! It was great to be back at Santa Pod and seeing everyone!!
Looking forward to our next event, the ‘Spring Nationals’ at the VW Breakout event next weekend!! Should be a great field for that event, so hope the weather’s good!!
All the best