The 2006 Summer Nationals
from Santa Pod Raceway, Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June 2006
Report and pictures by Richard Stirling © 2006
I was really looking forward to getting to the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod. Already it seems an age since the Main Event and furthermore, the big difference with this weekend was the weather. At last, no predictions of any sort of dribbliness. It's been a while since we can say that about drag racing in England! Actually, Saturday turned out to be a real roaster. I soon had sore feet chasing around trying to get to see as much of the action as possible.
It was so hot on Saturday, I was struggling just to keep cool, let alone feel comfortable. Eurodragster photographer Sharkman was feeling unwell from the heat in the afternoon and sensibly sat out a session - an unheard-of phenomenon. In amongst the full programme of racing were Super Gas, Super Street Eliminator, Pro-Mod and, of course, the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association with their Altereds. It was good to see Steve Green out again in his outrageous Rover powered Ford Cortina. When I was a youngster, I can remember the previous incarnation of this vehicle, which impressed me at that age, because I'd never heard a V8 engine sound like that! When Street Eliminator was running, I couldn't help noticing that Colin Lazenby in the 56 Chevy was having a few problems and seemed to be missing a bit. On Sunday, I was astonished that he didn't make the first round of eliminations, either. A nightmare for the team, I guess. I'm sure he'll get those sorted out in time to meet for a grudge match with a Tornado fighter at the weekend. All in all, the rounds of racing were largely uninterrupted and continued that way for the rest of the day.
Having returned home Saturday night to Derby, I was up with the larks to get back to the track as early as possible, Sunday morning. The day turned out to be packed again with racing and with no interruptions from the weather, thank goodness. Thankfully, the day was a little cooler as well, so it was a little more comfortable hovering around track side and in the pits. Highlights of the day for me where the NFAA altereds and their sizzling performances. 6 second, 200mph runs are now being achieved. I love these cars! The burnouts alone are worth the entry fee. Other highlights include the great improvements from the Shockwave Funny Car and the huge efforts put in by the team to develop their tune-up. The track was 125 degrees on Saturday (over 105 degrees and the oil in the tarmac seeps to the surface and the track becomes slippy) and their first test run got no more than 60 inches. By the second run on Sunday, it was magnificent! Gordon launched and ran a planned half track and that baby moved! The .87 zone 60 feet times and incrementals are as good as you need to run low 5, high 4 second runs. I would be delighted to see Dave and Gordon run all the way down track in those sort of time zones. In Pro Mod; I'm sure John O'Sullivan made an impression on the officials waiting to sign off his Pro-mod license when he made a run that was literally, completely all over the place. I think a leak had something to do with it. In the pits I was really pleased to bump into Clive Mechaell again. His big, bad altered, The California Kid, needs some work to bring it back into spec., but he is hopeful of making an appearance in the NFAA series next year. He will be out at the Bulldog Bash in August of this year. Ian 'Turbo' Turburville was out running in Top Fuel bike this weekend, to get some more runs on his Nitro Spokehead Harley machine. It seemed that every run was a new personal best time and speed and he ended up running 8.4 seconds at nearly 170mph - yet it looked straight and lazy! Time to open her up to half-throttle, Turbo!
I've now finished uploading the galleries and there's over 760 pictures in there for you to have a look at, so please do have a peek and see what you think. There's something in there for everyone - look out for David Warren getting weightless on his Krazy Kat SSB and also for "Mr Rubber Chicken Man" toasting his chicken in the Fireforce 3 jet wash!
Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for all their courtesies and to the SPRC for organising another excellent event. Again, many thanks to all at eurodragster.com: for all of the efforts of our recovering hero Tog in assisting Graham Beckwith with the commentary and finally a big thank you to Simon and Sharkman in getting the news, gossip and pictures to all of us. Finally, thank you for taking the time to visit www.topnitro.co.uk
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