The National Finals 2005 Report
Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd October
National Finals 2005 - Cars Report
For those that did not make the journey past freshly ploughed fields, hedgerows of berries and the gentle overall changes to autumnal colours - you missed one hell of an event! There were all the normal Sportsman classes plus VW's, Supertwin Bikes, Pro Mod, Funny Car and Top Fuel with the latter three just a taste, performing last of the year testing. The National Championship eliminations were all held under fine autumn skies, a far cry from the last few damp events but all Championships were completed leaving some in absolute elation and others in quite contemplation. Mention of the big cars is brief as Sportsman are the headliners - Darryl Bradford's Top Fuel ride unfortunately fire-balled another motor off the startline - the third this season, Gordon Smith's 'Shockwave' Funny Car launched well then overpowered the track whilst Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod put down a stout best of 6.35/221.
Photos: Santa Pod
The MSA Top Methanol Championship went to England 's Rob Turner who also had managed number two in the FIA European TMD Championship. Turner drove through tyre shake to record a fine 5.53/252 first round win over Stephanie Milam's all over her lane 8.66/95 then, overcame Trevor Capewell's holeshot in round two with a 5.76/233 to a 6.14/229. Capewell's flopper turned in a 6.15/228 to defeat the 6.93/204 from Lindsay Deauchar rail in round one. FIA Top Methanol Dragster Champ and number one qualifier Dave Wilson lucked out in round one when the supercharger stripped all its bolts on the launch in a complaining metallic and rubber whine giving the win to class rookie John Parkinson, it also helped Turner's cause in the points chase. Parkinson continued his lucky break with a bye run to the final. It was no match really on the money run as John Parkinson stuttered to a 10.23/81 as Rob Turner powered to a fine 5.57/248 final round win.
The Super Modified class saw Graham Ellis not only take pole position and the event win but add the Championship to the team honours. Ellis took a bye in round one then ran a stunning 7.638/178 to oust Craig Gibbs' 7.92/166 in two to enter the final. Tim Garlick defeated Rob Millward in one 7.80/171 win to 7.82/171 then dealt out Andy Kirk in two with a 7.71/175 to the losing 7.77/171 Gibbs had earlier holeshot and outrun Andy Hone whilst Kirk had outgunned Simon Farmer. The final had Graham Ellis's Old's Cutlass leave a tad before Tim Garlick's Cortina and record the win with a better 7.634/179 to the slowing 7.85/149.
In the Super Comp field Pete Cresswell held onto the top qualifier with a fine 8.907/151, then went all the way to the semi finals taking out Belinda Bull in one a bye in two then broke in the semi against Jon Morton. Morton had made his way by beating Paul Knight in one then Malcolm Francis in two, Francis in his first round got the win as Brian Patemman broke out. Chris Isaacs was running his own race with his clean Standard Vanguard Estate his fist victim was Andy Williams then the new 2005 Champion Chris Johnson in two, 8.97/136 to 9.01/150. Johnson earlier had pushed his MG2Z to the win as Martin Curbishley's breakout 8.87/146 was beaten with the legal 8.98/151. Isaacs then took an easy bye to the final as Morton also ran an unopposed number to meet him. The red and silver Camaro of Jon Morton faced the Vanguard of Isaacs with the latter gaining a good leave but Morton managed the win, driving past with a 9.04/133 to the losing 9.42/146.
Conrad Stanley scored the pole position in Super Gas with a 9.923/133 but then fell in round one in a breakout battle with Frank Mason, 9.871/138 win to the 9.793/124 lose. Mason then fought his way past Pete Cresswell in two, 9.945/137 win to 9.860/133 then a losing 9.978/134 got him the 2005 Championship as Spencer Tramm overcame the holeshot and clinched the win with a 9.958/112 to reach the final. Tramm had blasted his way through against the new machine driven by Stuart Morrice then the wheel standing Graham Allen. Coming up the other side of the sixteen car ladder was Brendan Clancy in his big black Chevy Nova who took wins from Jon Morton, 9.836/117 least breakout to the 9.810/146, then Jon Evans in round two a holeshot 9.918/120 win to a 9.942/146 lose, round three had Nev Mottershead's Supra produce a breakout 9.884/133 allowing Clancy's 9.996/111 to gain the final. A devastating 0.007 light by Brendan Clancy in the final coupled with a 96.929/108 left Spencer Tramm's VW Corrado bodied machine to follow with a losing 9.952/112.
The Super Pro ET class was led in qualifying by Nick Spence's dragster with an 8.21/165 who then made it to the semi final before losing to John Everitt. Everitt's altered made it to the finals by beating a red lighting Paul Davies then nipping in ahead of Martyn Jones before felling Spence. Vince Gibbs was wheel standing his way past rivals such as Ian Hook, Ashley Bell and Barry Giles. The Leaping Toyota Celica wrapped up the event win with an 8.837/149 and a better leave than Everitt whose 7.943/166 failed to make it. Ian Tubb and his dragster again took the Championship despite red lighting his way out in round one.
The diminutive Ford 100E of John Grant once again sewed up the Super Street Championship and also wound up the event winner to boot though Dave Cherrett sat on pole position with a 10.911/98 leaving Grant in fourth. Paul Spiers was number two qualifier and drove his Camaro to wins over Michael Howling, Mark Watkins and had a bye into the final. Grant meanwhile took the win over a red light from Dave Catton then beat Cherrett in round two. Brian Huxley was his third victim placing Grant against Spiers in the trophy run off. A better light by John Grant was seemingly all it took and an 11.052/119 got the light leaving Paul Spiers to runner up at 11.047/110.
Pro ET's massive entry saw Antony Wilkins '55 Chevy sit atop the pile with an 11.400/113. In the final however, it was Lee Huxley in his '32 Ford that clinched the win despite an under index time of 10.474/126 as opponent Malcolm Motler's immaculate Morris Minor pickup red lit away his chances. John Atkinson managed to hold on and take the Championship with his Cortina Estate.
Sportsman ET was another of the take it all winners as Rick Denny dazzled by taking top qualifier, winning the event and taking the Championship. The Firebird managed to wipe out the aspirations of Paul Webster and David Nelson after a round one bye. Nick Gay the number thirteen qualifier who sat on the bump spot clawed his way past the likes of Tanya Partridge in one, Martin Lewis in two and Nicola La Grue in three to face Denny. The little Metro of Nick Gay was just not tough enough on the day as his 14.60/78 was beaten by the 13.02/101 from Rick Denny.
Junior Dragster saw Zak Johnson in pole with a 0.009 r.t on a 14.90/40 pass but it was Jay Hauser who amassed enough points at the end of the day to be declared the 2005 Champion. In the money run for this popular class for youngsters was an all female final and it was Jayne Kay managed the win with a 12.55/50 as Holly Mitchell lost on the startline with a red light.
Other winners on four wheels were:
Street Eliminator: Steve Nash win 8.317/175. R/U Andy Frost (broke - fluid leak).
VW Sportsman: Paul Herbert win 15.03/69. R/U Abigail Tether.
VW Pro: Glynn Morgan win 11.70/111. R/U Simon Longman.
VW Alt. Eng: Spencer Tramm win 9.93/109. R/U Simon Williams.
Wild Bunch : Phil Sweeney 13.47/86. R/U Tony Wynne-Jones.
Report by Roger Gorringe ©2005
Photos: Sharkman ©2005
National Finals 2005 - Bikes Report
With most of the Championship Finals decided before the finals themselves it just confirms that action was hot from the beginning with new records and personal best performances being re-written time after time despite the wet weather.
Rain stopped the racing twice on the first day but qualifying was still completed in time for a bright and clear day on the Sunday for the Eliminations.
In Top Fuel Bike Steve Woollatt had been setting new markers throughout the season with a personal best of 6.42 sec/219.17mph and had already won the 2005 Championship on points.he confirmed he would not be attending the finals as he said " I am busy working on the bike and its still in pieces".
With Ian King having problems at the track with the new Billet Head he was unable to put in a qualifier, which meant Steve Carey, took No2 spot in the Championship in his first full season.
In his run against Roel Koedam, Carey had problems as the Purple Princess Top Fuel Bike after launching and in heading left and at about 200 yards got hooked into the V between the track and the wall and shut off as the bike fell. Fortunately Steve was not hurt with the bike suffering only minor damage.
This has been a steep learning curve for Steve Carey who has run personal bests in the 6-second bracket and also taken the Santa Pod Racer Club 2005 Championship
Roel Koedam was rapidly having to make adjustments for the cooler weather conditions but followed up his European Finals 6.04sec quickest outside America with a second quickest at 6,072sec/225 mph. This was despite the motor accidentally clicking off early which might well have been that elusive first 5 second pass!
Funny Bike certainly stepped up a gear in 2005 with 2004 Champion Neil Midgley regularly running in the 6 second bracket getting to the UEM Semi Finals on 6.770 sec/188.37mph over Tim Blakemore on 6.821sec/187.42mph. but was unable to repeat this Qualifying with a bump spot 8.719sec/100.65mph.
Top Qualifier in fact went to Tim Blakemore on 7.297sec/168.57mph with the cooler weather meaning no 6-second laps would be made.
No2 Qualifier went to Chris Hall on 7.330sec/173.00mph who on points had now effectively regained the 2005 Funny Bike Championship that he last won in 2000.
Chris had then rebuilt his bike frame with the present lower mounted motor and with development has at last returned to ACU success with Neil Midgley taking the SPRC Championship.
Pro Stock Bike ACU Honours had already gone to Dave Beck who whilst racing in America always misses 2 Rounds including the Final due to the clash of meetings.
Beck basically has won every meeting he has attended and for 2005 he has the accolade of the Record best ET and Speed of 7.168sec/184.27mph.
At these finals Top Qualifier went to Paul Watson on 7.630sec/169.72mph with Richard Gipp at No 2 qualifier on 7.639sec/172.24mph
In the first Round Gipp was to meet Len Paget who has been returning to form with the development of his Suzuki Hyabusa 1644cc but his excellent 7.926sec/133.08mph was just overtaken by Gipp's 7.793sec/166.01mph.
Paul Watson after a bye run on a slow 8.534sec/138.09mph did not improve on his 8.765sec/106.90mph losing to Eric Demengel on 7.999sec/162.59mph.
Richard Gipp was running consistent mid 7-second laps to take out Ray Debben on 8.647sec/141.61mph with the event win going to Gipps 7.688sec/169.20mph over Demengel on 8.061sec/159.48mph.
Richard Gipp was awarded the SPRC 2005 Pro Stock Championship.
Competition Bike went to Top Qualifier Gary Jones on his 7.746sec/170.51mph over Philip Leamon on 8.487sec/151.48mph to take both the ACU and SPRC Championships.
Super Street Bike has been dominated by Steve Venables who rocketed this class into the 7-second zone taking victor round by round by managing the wheelies that occur at this increased level of Turbo performance.
2004 Champion Graham Dance brought out his new bike mid season and is also now running in the 7's with his focus on now on 2006.
Mark Fisher is a strong competitor but his Bikes performance despite a hole shot 0.084sec advantage could not get past Venables 7.925sec/190.66mph on the slower 8.085sec/177.13mph.
The 2005 ACU Championships both went to Steve Venables.
The 2005 9.50 Bike Championship went to Fred Furlong but the event win went to Richard Hann also from Yoevil.
Report & Photos by Dick Parnham ©2005
Bike results at a glance:
Top Fuel Bike: Roel Koedam 6.072/225.08 def. Steve Carey no time
Funny Bike: Shaun Branch 7.643/159.17 def. Tim Blakemore 8.546/115.17
Pro Stock Bike: Richard Gipp 7.688/169.20 def. Philippe Runget 8.061/159.48
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.925/190.66 def. Mark Fisher 8.085/177.13
Comp Bike: Gary Jones 7.746/170.51 def. Phil Leamon 8.487/151.48
9.50 Bike: Richard Hann 9.556/143.75 def. Fred Furlong 9.573/144.67
Supertwin Gas: John Floyd 9.303/139.22 def. George Laycock 9.996/129.36 red
Supertwin Modified: Chris Mott 9.978/137.20 def. John Hackney 10.019/138.43
Supertwin Street: Dave Jones 10.239/128.56 def. Rachael Prevett 10.775/126.70
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