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The Main Event

Santa Pod Raceway
  Well the Sun finally arrived at Santa Pod for the Main Event 2009, and didn’t leave until the First Round of the European Championship was totally over. I have been told that this is the first time since May 2006, that not one of the four days had been interrupted by rain.

Friday was Sportsman day and with 7 qualifying rounds on that day, everyone was busy and had a chance to dial their cars in. Saturday out came the Pro Classes, (Top Fuel, Pro Mod, Pro Stock, Top Methanol Dragster, Top Methanol Funny car etc..) and did not disappoint. Top Fuel had a string of 4 second passes at over 300mph. In Pro Stock Car Jimmy Alunnd set the European record with a 6.69 second pass @ 206 mph. In Pro Mod Andy Robinson also set the ET record for that class 6.102 and in Top Methanol Dragster the European record changed hands so many times between Timo and the UK’s Dave Wilson it was amazing, the last I saw Dave Wilson had the record with a 6.30 ET @ 269mph. Even the Funny cars set a new European record, with John Spuffard running 5.0 sec @ 309 mph (so close to that 4 second pass!!). With lots of racing to do and watch, the Bristol Doorslammers were out in force in the sportsman ranks - here are some of the highs and lows of their weekend.

Super Street 10.90 index. We had all four Bristol cars back in the class, after missing Bob Lees at the Springspeed National. Chris Kenny ran a best of 10.902 @ 120mph to get the number 2 qualifying spot for the weekend, and was quite consistent until a cracked head on Saturday evening put a stop to his racing weekend. Chris heard a noise after the burnout and clicked it off, before running the car down the track hopefully saving any further damage in the motor.
    Bob Lees was back with a freshly built 520cin Ford engine, after demolishing the 476 ford motor at the Easter Thunderball. He ran a couple of shake down passes, just to run the new motor in, and on the first real pass he broke the pinion shaft in the third member, but luckily Brian Huxley (Team Top Banana Too) had a spare third member, and Bob with the help of the Bristol crew, got the Bristol Transmissions sponsored Mustang back together again and ran a best of 10.96 @ 109 mph to qualify in the number 10 spot.
    Neil Grant had a great weekend ending up number 4 Qualifier with a 10.904 @ 133mph, but did run a 9.76 @ 136 mph pass when the throttle stop failed to come in on one of his passes.
    John Grant had a busy weekend as he was running Super Gas as well as Super Street weekend, and he got the Eurodragster perfect light in qualifying by getting a 0.000 light. (We are all quite competitive but even more so when we race each other, and I was in the other lane and I saw my 0.008 light and was feeling pretty happy with myself until I looked over, I promise Hoch, I didn’t swear!! well not too much anyway – Ed) John Ended up number 6 with a 10.92 @ 135mph.
Monday was eliminations day, Bob had a deep stage red light (it’s a foul to turn the pre stage bulb out in index racing) against Dave Cherrett in the First round, but Bob was just happy to have his car running properly again. Neil and John went through the first two rounds, to meet each other in the semi finals, John came out on top, as he had a slightly better reaction time, and was able to get across the finish line first, even though both cars were backing off at the topend (so they didn’t breakout). John was then in the final against Leigh Morris with the green Jag, Leigh had problems, and shut the car of at the startline, although John’s reaction time of 0.002 would have been hard to match, and John took the win with a 11.76 @ 93 mph easing off lots at the topend to make sure he didn’t breakout and lose.
Super Gas 9.90 index. Conrad Stanley with the Team Panther Racing Pontiac qualified number 4 with a 9.904 @ 155 mph, and John Grant Qualified number 12 with a 10.09 @162 mph (the MPH might be a bit wrong). In the first round John had a bye run, and ran a 9.786 @137mph, in the second round he face Jon Evans from Team Tokyo Toy in the Camaro, unfortunately the rounds between Super Street and Super Gas were a bit too close and John decide that Super Street was his main priority and didn’t show for the race.

Conrad Stanley beat Billy Gane in the first round, Stuart Doigne in the second, and the iconic Al O’connor in Al’s gasser in the semi finials when Al red light by the smallest of margins. Then Conrad would face our good friend Jon Morton in the final, this was a close final, with Jon winning with a 9.938 @138mph to Conrad’s losing 9.937 @ 154mph. On the final day reports on, Tog reported that there were only 2.44 inches between Conrad and Jon at the finish line, now that’s close racing!!
Junior Dragster Dial in. Anna Stanley took the number 1 qualifying spot in the class recording a 0.001 reaction time and running 8.078 @ 81mph, which gave her a bye in the first round. She lost on a breakout in the second round, but carried on crewing for her dad afterwards.
  Pro ET 9.00 – 11.99 Dial In. Pete Ed Yates who normally runs with the Wild Bunch, contested in the tough pro et class this weekend, and with 40 cars in the class only 32 go through into the first round. However he qualified number 28 with a 9.44 @140mph and went through the first round of competition, but lost a close race to Mark Bailey in the second round.
Just a quick note to thank all of the crew on the cars, as they don’t get mentioned very often, within racing reports, but with all the runs (and fun) the drivers had, they were very busy running up and down the track all weekend. So in alphabetical order, Aidan, Gerry, Jan, John, Julie, Lee, Linda, Mike, Paul, Rachael, Rob, Trevor, and Wendy, thanks, Oh and Mike I would get Hoch to get you a bike for the next time he does double duty as you looked very tired on Friday evening.

Chris Kenny
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