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Sharkman has returned from the CCSE cruise and it's going to take a week to get the smile off his face. "A big thanks to the Fat Boys for the opportunity to go out on the cruise in an eight-second street car", he said. We only had one DNQ in the cruise tonight; Sue Jackson, on her very welcome return to competition, had her engine overheat and unfortunately didn't make it back to base in time.
Sharkman's pictures from the cruise and some pitside pictures have now been posted. You can get to them from the race update page.
We'll be back in the morning. Unusually for a Sunday it's a 10:30 start for eliminations, we'll take a turn around the pits and let you know what has been happening overnight.
See you then!
The rain came back and hammered down for a few hours and qualifying was called at 2:45. We are therefore on emergency qualifying for tomorrow's eliminations which - depending upon class - is done by out-of-the-hat draws or goes on qualifying performance at previous events.
Whilst the rain was throwing down it was not easy to find racers to talk to; they were all sensibly esconced in their trailers or caravans. But here's what we found.
9.90 Bike racer Paul Watson has a new clutch on his Suzuki. "I had problems at the Main Event when I was waiting for my first round race against Steve Ashby", said Paul. "We bodged the clutch. It was half Suzki and half aftermarket - the lesson is to use the proper stuff! I want to put Nitrous on the bike, it would be nice to go out and run a low nine in qualifying! I went from first to second in the Championship after the Main Event, but that was all my fault. I've got to catch Jamie Sneddon now, and he is very good."
Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones is probably getting sick of people telling him that his awning is inside out. Martyn bought his trailer from Nick Davies at the start of the season and this is the first time that the awning has been put up. "I know it's inside out, and it's staying that way!" said Crunch, Martyn's Crew Chief. "I can't do anything about it without a fork lift truck."
Next door in the Super Pro pits, our good friends at Talbot Racing have had another unaccustomed thrash after a secondary rocker shaft stud stripped. This was on top of a lot of work during the week. "Our new head gaskets only turned up yesterday", said driver Pat Talbot. "So we had a very late night and a very early morning". When the problem was found with the stud, Martyn Jones volunteered to drive in to Warwick to find the pieces to sort it out. Martyn ended up at Partco, who sent a driver to Coventry to pick up the parts, and who told him that if racers call them first thing in the morning then they will deliver parts to the track. Partco's web site is at www.partcogroup.co.uk if you want to find out more.
The stud has been repaired and the engine started, and all of the Talbot Racing team looked quite happy. In fact Stephen was last seen laying down on the tailgate of his trailer so we guess that they're back in their usual "no-thrash" mode.
Adam Gleadow's Junior Dragster Time Machine 8 is now sporting new graphics by Windsor Signs. The car also has new parts in its clutch, and a new exhaust system is on its way. "We've been through everything on it today because we're bored!" said Adam's elder brother Martin. Nearby in the Junior Dragster pits, Tom Watts' Junior Stock dragster has new paint courtesy of Bob Gleadow, a deep shade of blue which Bob tells us is Ford State Blue.
Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook and his team spent fourteen hours yesterday working on the engine of the FB Racing Ford. "We had the engine in and out twice because it wouldn't mate with the new converter", said Ian. My crewman Steve, who isn't even here today, left work early yesterday to come and help. And in the middle of it all I had to go home to deal with a water leak!". The engine is a hybrid item after damage at the Main Event. The proper incumbent won't be ready until Super Series 4 in August so Ian is hoping that the stand-in stays together. "It's got stock rods and crank, low compression, iron heads - we just don't know what it will run. Our problems have taught us that you have to check everything". Ian just knows his luck. "The thing about out-of-the-hat qualifying is that we could get Steve Pateman in the first round", he said. The FB Racing team are selling t-shirts commemorating Ian's eight-second pass at the Main Event, at £8 a time they're a bargain and will of course help to keep Ian on the track.
The CCSE contestants left on their cruise a short while ago, with our very own Sharkman in the passenger seat of the FB Racing Ford. He will be reporting back shortly and has promised some pictures to add to "shots of cars and bikes under tarpaulins". Tune back in a little while and we'll have those for you.
A big Happy Birthday to regular reader Steve Young who we know is tuned in. Hope you're having a great day and we hope that there'll be something for you to read about soon!
Good morning and welcome from Shakespeare County Raceway. Unfortunately it is not a very good morning weatherwise, we've had heavy rain overnight and the track is in a bad way. The track crew are currently hard at work drying the track under threatening skies.
The pits were a little slow to fill up yesterday evening, we think many racers choosing to let the bad weather pass through before setting off, so we weren't able to speak to too many people. One person already here though was Doug Ripley who is looking to complete his licensing runs in the Top Methanol Funny Car. We had a chat with Crew Chief Ray White to find out how things had progressed since the problems with the lenco which brought a premature halt to the licensing attempt at the beginning of the season. Ray revealed that there have been many changes to the car since its first outing, not least of which is a whole new engine and transmission. The engine is a virtually brand new Keith Black motor, purchased from the Showtime Fuel Funny Car team. To back that up they also have a new two speed transmission, also originally from a nitro funnycar. "Theres no way that should break. Ideally we could use a third gear but while we are still learning with the car and Doug is getting comfortable in it it should be fine." said Ray.
A very welcome but surprising entrant this weekend is Sue Jackson with the Custom Car Street Eliminator Corvette. As you may remember, it was only 4 weeks ago at Super Series 2 that Sue and the Vette took a very wild ride that culminated in the car sliding for several hundred feet on its roof. The last we saw of the car it was looking a bit sorry for itself to say the least. To look at it now, the only sign at all that the car has recently had a prang is the unpainted hood-scoop, the rest of the car looking as pristine as ever. Ian Jackson revealed that he had been "working on the car until the early hours and then getting up to go to work at 5:30am" all week in order to get the car ready. Sue is keen to get back in the seat and there are no plans to take any power out of the car although Ian did say they would not be using the transbrake off the start line and that the suspension had been softened up slighty.
Unfortunately we have been hit by a few racers cancelling this weekend, worst affected at the moment looks to be Super Pro ET where we understand that Fay Fischer, Nick Stephenson, Mick Cheley and Wendy Baker have all cancelled. There was certainly no sign of any of those racers in the pits this morning, we'll keep you posted if any of them turn up during the day's qualifying.
We're off for a walk around the pits now so tune back later on and we'll either bring you news from the pits or more hopefully news from qualifying.