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20:55 - Qualifying
Here are the top two qualifiers in each class (and all three in TMD).
Top Methanol: 1. Dave Wilson 5.999/234.38, 2. Rob Turner 6.169/180.00, 3. Doug Bond 6.409/196.51
Pro Mod: Nick Davies 7.029/196.51 is unopposed
Super Pro ET (own dial-in): 1. Nick Stephenson +0.004 (8.654/162.45), 2. Steve Green +0.040 (8.690/156.79)
Super Comp (8.90): 1. Paula Atkin 8.914/142.41, 2. Jon Webster 8.915/147.06
Super Gas (9.90): 1. Frank Mason 9.900/139.75, 2. Jon Webster 9.902/145.63
Super Street (10.90): 1. Stuart Peck 10.920/109.22, 2. Martin Green 10.921/121.95
Pro ET (own dial-in): 1. Nigel Payne +0.005 (9.445/140.19), 2. Mark Ramplee +0.010 (11.640/115.98)
Sportsman ET (own dial-in): 1. Paul Hudson +0.012 (12.712/106.64), 2. Robert Main +0.018 (13.468/102.04)
Super Street Rover (11.00): 1. Steve Good 11.338/106.38, 2. Steve Law 11.510/113.07
Junior Dragster (reaction time): 1. Johnny Walker 0.502, 2. Katie Gibbs 0.502
Wild Bunch (own dial-in): 1. Paul Croston +0.006 (13.006/91.65), 2. Ray Ford +0.067 (10.667/120.32)
Outlaw Anglia: 1. Rob Stone 10.202/130.81, 2. Pete Moore 10.753/128.94
Pro Stock Bike: 1. Chris Hope: 7.678/176.47, 2. Richard Gipp 7.866/170.45
Funny Bike: 1. Chris Hall 7.386/180.00, 2. Chris Hannam 7.470/180.72
Super Street Bike: 1. Mark Watkins 8.683/169.17, 2. Tony Clark 8.711/170.45
Comp Bike: 1. Dave Wells 10.835/125.00, 2. Barry Holland 12.308/123.29
9.90 Bike: 1. Geof Connor 9.909/146.10, 2. Wayne Bradley 9.939/141.51
10.90 Bike: 1. Paul Hambridge 10.927/106.64, 2. Sandra Chaplain 10.977/115.98
Super Twin Fuel: 1. Steve Clutterbuck 10.035/119.05, 2. Ian Carruthers 11.438/110.57
Super Twin Modified: 1. Dave Bartz 10.841/126.76, 2. Barrie Gregory 11.685/111.39
Super Twin Gas: 1. John Floyd 9.527/136.78, 2. Jerry Collier 9.978/126.76
Super Twin Street: 1. Steven Piper 10.755/121.95, 2. Nigel Mason 11.509/118.73
We've now posted pictures of today's action. You can get to the pictures from the raceday update index. The crew are still working on ratifying the qualifying standings, stay tuned for these.
It's the end of the day here at Shakespeare County Raceway. The first round of the Funny Car Shootout took place at 4:45 and what a great race it was.
The Showtime crew had a thrash after the first attempt, replacing the clutch in the turnround. "That aborted run probably cost us a grand" said crew member Dave Bavington. Both cars pulled huge burnouts again, this time one after the other. On the green both cars launched very strongly, both making it past the concrete-asphalt transition without any problems. Spuff started to go out of shape in the mid-track speed trap, getting off it and on again as he fought to keep the car straight. In the other lane Gordon Smith shut off towards the end of the track and Spuff got on it just long enough to tweak the win, 6.365/159.57 to Gordon's 6.542/156.79.
In Top Methanol, Rob Turner and Doug Bond came out for the last session. Rob Turner went way out of shape just past half-track, the car swinging left and right. Rob got off the throttle and straightened the car out, recording 6.347/165.44. In the other lane Doug Bond burst a panel at half track and recorded 6.842/158.45. We'll bring you the official qualifying standings later on, but Dave Wilson's 5.999 obviously remains number one.
The timing crew are currently working on the qualifying standings, and we are working on today's photographs, so stay tuned.
We just had today's round of the Funny Car Shootout and you will not believe what happened. We couldn't make something like this up!
John Spuffard and Gordon Smith both pulled huge burnouts, almost to 330 feet. As they pulled into stage and the second fuel pumps went in, the Christmas Tree suddenly started flashing red - something was very wrong. The starters immediately ordered both drivers to shut off.
And what was wrong was that an aircraft was landing on the shutdown area. Huge credit to the vigilant track crews who were watching the track and not the cars on the start line, which what the rest of us were doing. Nice work, guys.
Spuff and Gordon have now pulled back to the pits, they will re-prep their cars and plan to return before day's end.
We saw all four cars in the first session of Top Methanol Dragster qualifying this morning. Festivities began with a qualifying match-up between Rob Turner and Dave Wilson. Dave Wilson shot down the track to record 5.999/234.38, whilst Rob Turner shut off to a 6.711/151.52. Next up was Doug Bond who hit tyre shake almost immediately off the start line and shut off to a 10.064/75.89.
Andy Frost then put in an observed run in the Canto TMD, recording a 1.06 60-foot time and a run of 12.622/52.75.
John Floyd had another attempt at backing up his new world record, bouncing off the start line to clock 9.900/128.57. But he still has a day and a half to do the business.
It turned out that Nick Davies had broken an input rocker arm on his engine yesterday. The arm has been replaced and Nick is taking things easy today. This morning he put in a 150-foot burnout and then a 330-foot pass, and has just done an equally long burnout and a seven-second half pass.
In Super Street Bike, we have Germany's Klaus Sarembe and Klaus Brinkmann with us again this weekend. We hear that they went home to Germany after the Thunderball and then came all the way back again for this race. The guys have been running mid-to-low nines.
Pete Moore gave us all a fright in his Outlaw Anglia Fordson when he veered to the left across the finish line and disappeared from view. Luckily the track widens right out after the finish line and Pete managed to keep the van off the grass and upright. He came back a couple of hours later and ran a much straighter 10.7.
The Fuel FCs are due back at about 4:00, to be followed by the final round of Top Methanol qualifying. Tune back not long after and we'll let you know how it went.
Good morning from a sunny and warm Shakespeare County Raceway. The weather couldn't be better and we are set for a great day of qualifying. Your reporter is replete after a delicious breakfast provided by the Nemesis Top Methanol Dragster team - thanks very much, guys.
The guys here have been working hard on the track overnight. The track crew spent a couple of hours prepping the track and the timing crew were up until the small hours making sure that everything was OK.
Today of course sees the first runs at this track in some years by Fuel Funny Cars; they are due on at 2:30 this afternoon. Both the Shockwave and Showtime teams are hard at work in the pits, Bob Jarrett tells us that the block in the Showtime FC is his wife Nancy's birthday present as seen in our race coverage last week. Driver John Spuffard has special instructions from his Crew Chief: "If he blows up he's got to stay on it".
In the Super Street Bike pit, Peter Bellinie explained the problem he had on one of his passes yesterday. "I accelerated off the line, the wheel spun, then I ran out of petrol". "I leave you one job..." said his crew. Current number one qualifier in SSB Mark Watkins took us through his pass. "It spun to the eighth", he said, "buth then it hooked up. It was making some real power towards the top end".
Fellow SSB competitor, current UK Champion Graham Dance, has by his standards he has been struggling this weekend. But then he made a change and it all started to come together. "I changed the tyre to a Pirelli", he said, "and picked up seven tenths of a second! They usually take three or four runs to bed in. So I did three runs' worth of burnout! Then Steve French found me the stickiest bit of track to line up on. As soon as I launched, I knew it was a good one. I'm so pleased and relieved!". Graham was also gleeful about the atmosphere in the SSB pits. "Everyone's having so much fun, the atmosphere is tremendous".
Super Pro ET racer 'Cheerful' Mick Cheley had no reason at all to be cheerful late yesterday when he blew a huge hole in the block of his car during a burnout. Mick and his Crew Chief showed us the damage this morning, and to his credit Mick was still smiling! The hole in the block is large enough to put your hand in, the windage tray out of the sump looks as if it has been blasted with a twelve-bore shotgun, and a tray of assorted debris makes horrifying viewing. "We've not been brave enough to take the valve covers off it yet", said Mick. "I've never heard a rod thrown before, but when I heard it I thought it was either a valve or a rod so I shut it straight off. It's not even the rod which broke which came through the block!".
Mick's Crew Chief has a theory about what happened. "I think it spun a bearing and then decided it didn't like that side of the engine any more", he said, "and all the bits went for a walk out through it. But we're enjoying this class too much - we'll be back".
Turner Racing TMD Crew Chief Steve Turner was very pleased with Rob's pass yesterday. "We recorded our second best ever sixty-foot time of 0.942", he said, "and our 330 foot time was better than our 5.78 pass last year. It got a bit loose at half track, but we know what to do about that. We'll change the fuel system and give it some more wing. The track will come around too."
Next door in the Nemesis pit, Crew Chief Barry Redstone explained his late arrival at the track on Friday night. "I fought my way out of London and up the A1", he said. "When I got to the M25 it was solid in both directions, so I pulled into South Mimms Services for a cup of tea. I had my tea and then went back to the car park, and I must have dropped off because the next thing I remember it was four hours later and the M25 was empty".
The staging lanes are packed, we'll be back later on with qualifying highlights.