Super Series 4
Saturday (qualifying)

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Due to breaks in both phone lines here in race control, today's service is going to be very limited. APIRA's tech crew are working very hard to sort things out and as soon as everything is back together the usual frequent service will resume.

18:30

Hello there and thanks for coming back. We've still got problems with phone lines so this is going to be a very abbreviated report, but we'll bring you the highlights and we'll tell you more and bring you today's photographs when we get our regular phone line back, which will hopefully be tomorrow. We are indebted to Simon of APIRA's tech crew for trying to get the lines working again and for finding us a line to post this summary.

Helen Curran ran into the sevens on Paul Rose's Comp Bike at Hockenheim last week, and today she repeated the geat with a 7.988/164 to consolidate her lead in qualifying. Graham Dance ran 8.332/177.17 on his Super Street Bike which was quite some feat in today's temperatures, it has been very hot and humid all day. Without our regular web access we can't say for sure but we think that Graham's terminal speed may be good for a new ACU record if he backs it up. Tony Clark has moved into number two qualifying spot with an 8.697/171.76.

Ken Cooper has taken over the lead in Funny Bike at 7.315/178.57, although a lot of blue smoke at the top end might indicate trouble. Dave Beck improved to 7.616 in Pro Stock Bike whilst Chris Hope got over his Shakespeare County Raceway hoodoo and took second spot at 7.769.

John Sleath has taken second spot in Custom Car Street Eliminator at 9.469/155.17. Neither Steve Pateman nor Jeff Meads appeared in the second session, no news why.

Danny Cockerill has taken the lead in Super Modified with a great pass of 8.292/170.45, no sign of this morning's problems, a nice straight run.

In MSA Top Methanol, Rob Turner didn't put a foot wrong in the second session of qualifying, which was his first appearance on track this weekend. A very nice burnout was followed by a storming 5.771/245.90, no sign of tyre shake or any other problems. That's the track record wiped out. Dave Wilson is second with a 5.869/238.10, again nice and straight, no sign of shake, a solid pass. Doug Bond is third at 6.646/203.6 whilst Lyndsay Deuchar appeared to roll through stage and so didn't get a time - it looked like a five, too.

All four of the Fuel FCs turned out for the second round of qualifying and we saw some great performances, although Smax Smith had clutch problems so staged and idled down the track to record a time and ensure qualification. John Spuffard and Gordon Smith matched up, and this was a great side-by-side run. Spuff pedalled briefly at half-track but still got there first 5.664/254.24 to Gordon's 5.872/227.27. Your reporter was about 100 feet out at the side of the track as Spuff came past and the car felt very strong indeed, the ground thumping and the header blast felt strong enough to bow the guardrail.

Norm Wilding put in his mandatory familiarisation pass in the North Herts Engineering Fuel FC, and one got the idea that he wanted to make a point. He burnt out to half-track to the crowd's delight, and then eschewed the planned half-pass for a three-quarter pass with the car weaving all over the place, clocking 6.772/172.41.

We're starting at 10:30 tomorrow and we understand that at least some classes may have their first round of eliminations in the afternoon; we will confirm that on tomorrow morning's update.

On the update front, we will let you know how things stand tomorrow as soon as we know. It may be that we will only be able to bring you start- and end-day reports again, but you will be the first to know. See you then!

14:30

The first round of MSA Top Methanol qualifying was contested by two dragsters, and the FCs of Doug Ripley and Steph Milam on observed runs.

Darryl Bradford and Doug Bond contested qualifying. Darryl pulled an excellent burnout whilst Doug took it more conservatively although there were some pleasingly high engine revs! On the green Darryl got a huge holeshot on Doug, trying to drive through tyre shake and going way out shape, but eventually getting off it to clock 7.450/124.31 to Doug's quicker and also early shut off 6.827/144.69.

Doug Ripley pulled a very solid burnout and then put in a competent half pass of 11.083/67.47, whilst Steph pulled an out-of-shape burnout and then put in a half pass of 10.971/79.37 with the chutes out way before the finish line.

Gordon Smith was the only contestant in the first round of Fuel FC qualifying. The usual great burnout was followed by a very shaky and early shut-off 7.192/135.54.

14:00

You will have read by now that we have no phone lines today, both the race control and the press office lines are out of action leaving us up a certain creek without a certain implement. But here are some of today's highlights so far, after one complete cycle of qualifying.

Graham Dance leads Super Street Bike at 8.216, Helen Curran leads Comp Bike at 8.016. Dave Beck leads Pro Stock Bike at 7.718/171.76, whilst Chris Hall leads Funny Bike at 7.334, the 155.71 terminal speed indicating problems towards the top end.

Custom Car Street Eliminator...have a wild stab in the dark. Yes, it's Steve Pateman in the lad at 9.162/166.77 ahead of Dale Reardon at 9.680/144.23. John Sleath had a wicked twitch at half-track, he probably had it well under control but it looked very hairy from trackside.

The Super Modified demo has already produced some exciting action with Nigel Payne heading the field at 8.413/160.71 and Jon Hogarth just behind at 8.453/160.14. Danny Cockerill had a wild ride, heading for the guardrail with the car twisted up on three wheels, every time he hit the throttle the car headed for the barrier.

9:30

Good morning and welcome from Shakespeare County Raceway on day one of this year's biggest Super Series event, Super Series 4. There's a light mist which the sun is already burning off - it's going to be a scorcher so get your shorts and your sun cream and get on down here if you can!

You find your reporter in somewhat piquey mood this morning having suffered the attentions of a misguided soul who considered that the rest of the large camping field would be interested in hearing their taste in music until approximately 3:00 am. The SCR race crew will be keeping an eye on me in case I drop off at my laptop, but with all the action we have lined up today there's not much chance of that.

That we have a race at all today is in part down to Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget, who came to the rescue of Geoff Martin of the tech crew whose van broke down on the way to the track. "Please say a big thanks to Len", said Mark Norton of the tech crew.

Before we start, the first of the traditional greetings. Today's hello is to Bob Meyer in the USA, and comes from Turner Racing Crew Chief Steve Turner.

Turner Racing are on the verge of securing another MSA British Top Methanol Championship; putting in a qualifying pass today will ensure that Rob Turner carries the number one MSA plate again next season. The NetCall-sponsored TMD has had its engine taken apart and rebuilt after the recent FIA round at Gardermoen, although it was only routine maintenance. "When Rob ran his personal best of 5.73 in Norway, we looked at the engine and the bearings hadn't been touched, all we had to do was to replace a valve spring", said Steve Turner. Readers may have seen the excellent picture on Svensk Dragracing of the Turner team in mid-air after Rob's pass with the exception of Steve who was on the radio to Rob. "As soon as he went through the finish line, he got onthe radio and asked what the run was", said Steve. "I told him a seventy-three. He came back on the radio and said 'Did you say seventy-three?', I told him yes and he just held the button open on the microphone and cheered all the way down the shutdown area!". Steve also told us that the timing system at Gardermoen features a 330-foot speed trap. "The dragster ran 300 feet in 2.51 seconds at 153 miles per hour", said Steve. Not bad for a hundred yards!

Fellow TMD racer Lyndsay Deuchar's secret weapon is a special tune-up, to which he refers as his "swamp everything with fuel" set-up. "We just want to keep everything together!", said Lyndsay, who has had more than his fair share of breakages over the last couple of seasons. Prominent in the trailer was a new pair of Hoosier tyres - "less burnout, more grip" said Lyndsay. The team suffered an off-track breakage yesterday when an engine crane, which they use to get the dragster out of the trailer, broke; luckily the Nemesis team in the next pit along were able to provide the loan of another crane. Lyndsay and the guys were last seen working out how to mount their new awning which replaces the one blown off the trailer at the Cannonball.

TMFC racer Doug Ripley went to North Weald last weekend and had a few seconds' more luck than the PT Bruiser, which also attended. "We did a burnout!", says Crew Chief Ray White. Ray tells us that they have made no changes to the car since its last outing.

The Showtime Fuel FC is as promised sporting a Dodge Avenger body in blue and red, bearing the Snap-On Tools logo and name in silver. It looks just great. Crew Chief Bob Jarrett expressed his disappointment at the cancellation of the final round of the Fuel FC Championship, which would have taken place at the European Finals in a few weeks' time. "Two pounds on the entry at the gate would have paid for the Funny Cars", he said. "We had the top guys from Snap-On coming, Smax had sponsors coming, the Shockwave team had sponsors coming". Back on the track, Bob has a new piece of equipment. "I have a stopwatch in my shirt pocket", he said. "I worked out that the optiumum engine temperature is reached at one minute and forty-fove seconds. So now when the engine lights, I start the watch, and I want John to have done his burnout, reversed, and put on the pre-stage light in a minute and three quarters. If you noticed that the burnouts were shorter this year, that's why!".

Jet Funny Car racer Roger Goring is making good progress with the tune-up of Firestorm's engine. You may remember that Roger had a turbine blade failure a little while ago, but a new turbine was quickly located and fitted and Roger was at the Ultimate Street Car event at Santa Pod to start work on the new tune-up. "Our sixty-foor and half track times were bang on", said Roger, "and that was into a stiff headwind! We are still working on the tune-up because a new turbine to all intents and purposes means a new engine. We're hoping to sneak in two runs today".

Super Comp racer John McIntyre is at his penultimate race before selling the Mac's Rat altered and putting the engine into another race car. "I'm selling everything except the engine", said John. "I'm already down to the car, trailer and tent. I can't bring the caravan because I sold the lorry which towed it!". If you fancy taking up racing then go and see John and make him an offer.

Super Street Bike racer and renowned Big Chief Hooligan Mark Pointer is selling Hooligan jackets, sweatshirts and caps from his trailer. He very kindly gave your reporters a jacket, cap, t-shirt and sweatshirt each for which we are very grateful. If you fancy yourself as a Hooligan then jackets can be had for 30, sweatshirts for 10, and t-shirts for 3 or two for a fiver. Mark tells us that he has been working on the clutch and advised your reporter to have his camera ready in qualifying!

Qualifying is about to start, so stay tuned and we'll be back later on with the latest news.


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