Motorcycle Drag Racing Team
Two vans locked and loaded for nearly a week at Santa Pod, travelling from different sides of the country!
Both Richard Gipp, myself with Lizzy arrived Thursday, set up ready for Friday evening, where we hoped to test at the Pro Test session, I needed more seat time, and this was the perfect opportunity. We fitted a new exhaust and did a few other little jobs, warmed the bike up and found we had a small leak on the head gasket. That scuppered our plans to test, as we had to fit a new head gasket - but hey, better now that on race day! Saturday due to the on and off weather, our first session got called down at 4 o'clock. I was in the right hand lane, on a bye run. Gipp Chris and crew did a sterling job of getting me settled, and lining me up. Got a good 0.09 reaction - ran 7.87 secs @ 167 mph. We were not too sure if this was going to be enough to qualify. Racing against Europe's best Pro Stock Bike riders, and again another rookie season, I was very happy to have qualified 6th in the first session. Second session - again the rain had held the track up, so it was 8.30pm when we go to race again! Track was going cold, Gipp asked me if I still wanted to take the run, I decided I needed the practice. 7.95 secs @ 153mph, shut off before the 1000 foot, as the bike would not change into top gear because of wheel spin. The result of this was damaging the 5th gear shift fork and shaft. After checking the weather and seeing 100% chance of rain, we decided to repair this when the had more time the following day. Sunday rain totally stopped play. Thanks to Dale Leeks, Alan Young, Klaus Brinkmann and Allan Davies for being the bailing the water out of the awning team, while Gipp, Chris and myself repaired the bike. All done, all happy and praying for good weather Monday. I had Ulf Ogge in the first round. Monday Eliminations was going to be a tough round. Ulf had already run a 7.4 so we had to find 4 tenths from somewhere. It's not like we haven't been the underdog before! Had a .1 reaction to Ulf's .2, that's where the advantage stopped! Ran out best for the weekend with a 7.77 chasing his 7.20 ! Still pleased to be racing the best in Europe and having improved all the way. Not too bad a result for keen amateurs on a practice motor! I don't feel that we embarrassed ourselves at all. Big thanks to Gipp, to my crew Chief Chris, to Nigel, who, although unable to make it this time, sent a marvellous food parcel, Bryony for the biscotti and Lizzy help as her wrists are still healing, Eurodragster for the live reports, as we can never remember what we have done once home ! Plus the support from Richard Stevens from MPM UK , and my sponsors Doug at Ensys and Steve at Motorshack.
Photo Steve Samson