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Well we managed nearly a full dates running here today, events were brought to a halt about 45 minutes earlier than scheduled when Vince Andrew's Ford Customline went through the top end trailing a cloud of smoke and an inspection of the track realised everybodies worst fears as a trail of oil was found, stretching from the 60 foot mark to the finish line. The discission was taken to end racing then to allow the crew time to get the track back into pristine condition ready for tomorrow morning.
Before the halt was called we got plenty of runs in with the blown cars coming to the fore with Derek Annable launching the Shell Oils Dragster harder than previously and getting being rewarded with a 9.49 second timing slip. Frank Griffin brought his awesome looking blown Outlaw Anglia down to the line but was unfortunately shutdown with a fuel leak. I look forward to seeing that car out again tomorrow. Still with the Supercharged Outlaws Neil Townson put in one pass that saw the tyres go up in smoke at the hit of the throttle, Neil recovering to a 10.05. Frank Bennett had better luck with his altered as it launched very hard before Frank clicked it off at about half track but despite this he still stopped the clocks at 8.40, with his speed at only 109mph.
Junior Dragster saw a surprise driver at the wheel of Holly Glassup's car as Holly stepped aside and let her mum have a go! Mum did very well with a 0.74 reaction time and a run of 9.59 at 67mph, enjoying it so much that she came round for a second go, this time running nearly as fast as her daughter with an 8.83 pass. I understand that there are plans for another "Guest Driver" to take the wheel tomorrow as well! The other junior modified, that of Ricky Emms, has been giving his dad problems all day as try as he might, he can't slow the car down! With Ricky still working towards his modified license they don't want the car to be too quick to start with, but despite dads efforts Ricky still ran an 8.63 in the afternoon session.
Mark Pointer has continued his improvement on the Super Street Bike, running a 9.11 and following that up with a 9.015 and a 9.07. Mark is really looking for that first 8 second pass from the bike and if the weather plays ball tomorrow I wouldn't bet against him doing it. Jerry Collier has been busy, first putting in 3 or 4 runs on his Supertwin Top Gas bike, running consistent mid 9.70's on each pass, before hoping onto the modified bike intended for Sharron to put in a check out pass on it. In one of the more spectacular check out passes we have seen Jerry got the bike about 10 feet off the startline before the front end shot skywards. Everybody held their breath as it just kept coming up but in a great piece of riding Jerry managed to get the bike back onto two wheels safely, despite having the bike almost vertical at one point.
Back onto four wheels and Ian Marshall put in two strong passes in the Highlander Camaro, both runs flat out with no throttle stop and resulting in timing slips of 9.14 and 9.11, not quite the 8 second pass Ian was looking for, but as with Mark Pointer, those 8's can't be far away. Chris Hartnell put in several more runs in the Backdraft slingshot with a best ET of 9.46 seconds. Nick Stephenson has also arrived with his fearsome Super Pro ET Corvette and after a conservative 10.98, 143mph pass he came back round later and let it fly to an 8.66 second run.
Finally for today are the drivers normally associated with Super Class racing. Firstly Wayne Nicholson brought the BMW out for another run and after a stronger burnout he launched it harder and was rewarded with an 11.31 second timing slip. Once racing was halted I saw Wayne take the BMW down to the far end of the track for a photo shoot so watch for it appearing in one of the magazines in the coming months. The Super Street Car class is quite well represented here with Bob Lees and Dave Cherrett now joined by Neil Grant as well. Dave has been going quicker on every pass, much to the delight of his crew, firstly running a 10.76 before returning just before the track closed to round his day off with a 10.72 pass. Finally on to the Bristol Doorslammers. In the best side by side pair of the day Bob Lees and Neil Grant faced off, Neil getting the nod with a 10.75 over Bob's 10.82. Bob went on to run a 10.87, getting very close to the Super Street index of 10.90.
Apologies for the delay in posting the final update from today but there has been some "technical difficulties" with the phone line. This unfortunately means we have been unable to upload todays photos, hopefully we should be able to upload them first thing tomorrow.
Well we've had an eventful morning here at Shakespeare County with plenty of cars and bikes putting in passes and a couple of breaks to allow planes to take off and land on the shutdown area!
Wayne Nicholson eased his way into things with a fairly gentle 12.35 from the new BMW 3 series, everything appearing to go to plan so far for Wayne. Another man that I would think is happy with things so far is Bob Lees. Bob opened his account today with an 11.21 pass before stepping on it a bit more and carding a 10.8 second pass, everything looking good for Bob when he returns to the 10.90 indexed Super Street class.
The wildbunch have certainly been making te most of the available track time with most of the cars getting in at least one run and many of them getting in several. As I type Roy Wilding has just put in his first pass of the day in Hemi Hunter, a very strong burnout was followed by an early shutoff 10.11, obviously plenty more to come from that car through the weekend. Another wildbunch standout has been Chris Hartnell who laid down an effortless 9.78, 133mph pass in the Backdraft slingshot
The juniors have also been busy with Ricky Emms putting in a 60 foot check out pass before returning later to put in a full pass and stop the clocks at 8.59, not bad for his first full run in the car. Joining him in the 8's is Holly Glassup and her modified junior car, with a time of 8.87 on her second run, her first run netting her a 9.05
On two wheels its been exciting for one reason or another, We've had Mark Pointer suffer from an exploding battery on his starter as they went to fire the bike up, Andy Haley went for a good look at the christmas tree before getting it striaghtened up and running a 10.44 at 134mph and Jerry Collier had a slight mechanical problem which prevented the bike firing up. Once this was corrected the run resulted in a 9.754, despite losing his race number off the side of the bike at mid track!
We have still got people arriving, since the last update we have been joined by Tim Jackson with the Sportsman ET Mustang has made the long trip up from Devon and been rewarded with an 11.94 pass. We have also been joined by Derek Annable who is putting in licensing runs in the Shell Oils Methanol Dragster, his first pass being a no burnout and a gentle ease away from the line before gradually bringing up the rpm's through the run to stop the clocks at 10.11 seconds. We also understand that Ian Marshall is here with the Highlander Camaro normally campaigned by his wife Paula, Ian taking the rare opportunity to get some seat time in. I'll be back later with details of how Ian and everybody else get on this afternoon and with todays pictures.
Good morning from what is a glorious day here at Shakespeare County Raceway, there is barely a cloud in the sky and the sun is already putting some heat into the track. As I type the track crew are out with the glue trailer putting final preparations in place.
The pits are quite busy with a fair number of racers braving the overnight temperature of -2 to arrive and set up Friday night. A big thank you from this reporter to Mark Pointer and Sharon for the excellent meal last night. More racers are arriving this morning and it looks like being a busy day here at the APIRA test and tune weekend.
Already set up and ready to go are a large number of Wildbunch cars here, including 'Crazy' Chris Hartnell and Paul Croston and several supercharged outlaw cars with Neil Townson's 7 second Northern Spirit altered and Roy Wilding's oh so sweet looking Hemi Hunter slingshot. We also have several super class racers in attendance, Bob Lees has brought the Mustang up from Bristol to get some testing in and Andy Williams is here with the "8 Miss Behaving" roadster. Also ready to go is Dave Cherrett with the "Dark Revenger" panel van. Dave failed to make the field at last weekends Thunderball after they spent all day Friday and Saturday putting the car back together and by the time they were ready to go Sunday the weather had put paid to qualifying. The car has had a lot of work done on it over the winter with a new short motor and carbs under the hood along with all new brakes and tyres and a complete rewire as well! All the work started to come together for them on some practise runs they managed to put in during raceday at the Thunderball, the runs netting best ever 60 and 330 foot times for the car and also a new fastest mph as well.
A new car to me in the pits is the BMW 3 series coupe of Wayne Nicholson. The chassis is that from the old police rover race car from a few years ago with a new body on it and is currently packing a small block Chevy under the hood. This is Wayne's first time out with the car so he is going to be taking it nice and easy to start with. Wayne hopes to eventually campaign the car in Supergas, although whether that will be with the smallblock, or with a new motor is yet to be decided.
Its not just the big guys that are here, we have a couple of Junior cars here as well, Johnny Walker is here with his stock junior dragster and Ricky Emms and Team Cool Green racing are here with their all new modified car. The car is a brand new 1/2 scale dragster built specifically for them out in the USA. The car is sporting a brand new McGee motor and the team are sporting new uniforms and Ricky himself has a new firesuit and a fresh paintjob for his crash helmet as well. The plan for this weekend for the team is to try and get Ricky's observed runs in the new car out the way, ready to debut the car in competition at the Cannonball.
Finally onto two wheels and we have a small selection of bikes here, headed up by the Superstreet bikes of Paul Wing and Mark Pointer, Mark looking to continue the setting up of the bike which he started at the Thunderball. Also on two wheels we have a full complement of Jade Racing in attendance, with two top gas bikes and two modified bikes here. At the moment Jerry Collier is still putting the finishing touches to his bike in the pits but we expect to see all of Jade Racing out on the track soon, including a return to the track for Sharron Collier on a Supertwin modified.
Well thats about it for now, the first cars are now heading down the pairing lanes so I'm off to trackside to get some pictures for you all, I'll be back with another report and the pictures for you later on.