Brad Wins Again
FIA / FIM European Championships Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
8th – 11th September 2016
“Brad wins again”
We arrived at Santa Pod late on Wednesday night due to Brad’s work commitments so it was an early start on Thursday morning with Qualifying 1 due at 0930. Brad and Wayne were up at 6.30 to get signed on and the car scrutineered and back in the pits to get the car ready for Q1.
There were 39 cars entered for a 32 car field and this event attracts the best racers from many European countries so we were aware of how close qualifying would be. We started with a solid tenth of a second of dial in and this got us into the field at no 12, the next round we didn’t improve and had slipped to 20th and were conscious this was going to be a tough day.
The 3rd session Wayne dialed a 7.78 and we ran a 7.7867, 6 thousands of a second off the dial in put us in the field at number 7, over the next 4 sessions through Thursday and Friday we came close to improving, 7 thousands over and 3 thousands under the dial in but 6 thousands found us in 8th place, we were very happy with this position.
Incredibly a new record was set for the class with the first 13 places under 1 hundredth of a second, the previous best had been 8 !!
Saturday brought heavy rain and even though the track crew tried to dry the track after the rain had ceased by the afternoon, they couldn’t dry the shut down area so the track crew call the meeting for the day.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day (all day) we went straight into eliminations, this was going to be a little tricky with not running the car for 2 days, but all the other teams were in the same situation. Our first round opponent was Mo Blackburn, a very experienced Super Pro racer, Wayne dialled a 7.75 and the car ran 7.77, Brad’s 0.02 of a second reaction time was a big factor in Brad taking the win.
In round 2 Brad was drawn against Bernard Saz , Bernard’s team are from Andorra and put a huge effort into coming from the mountains between Spain and France to race at Santa Pod. Bernard has finally got his car running low 7 seconds and consistent, Brad cut another 0.02 light to Bernard’s 0.29 light so Brad took the win.
The next round Brad was facing Scott Hauser, Scott is currently the most successful driver in Super Pro with 2 championships in the last 3 years and multiple event wins, Scott’s father Geof Hauser is also one of the UK’s drag racing pioneers and has been in the sport since its inception in the 1960’s. Hauser race cars also build some of the very best cars in Europe.
The last time Brad and Scott met Brad red lit gifting the race to Scott, Brad was determined not to go red again! Brad pulled a 0.009 light to Scott’s 0.1014 light so the chasing Scott never caught Brad and also broke out in his effort to catch Brad, Brad loved this win and found it very satisfying after the pressure he had been under before this match up.
So we were in the semi-finals! Brad’s next race was with Pete Walters, another ex Junior Dragster Driver, and both Pete and Brad had been waiting for this match for a while! Brad once again took the advantage with a 0.0861 reaction to Pete’s 0.1363 but Pete’s car threw a con rod just before the stripe and Brad was in the Final!
The final was against Tom Atkinson, another very good and very clever racer, Brad and Wayne discussed at length what tactic to use with the dial in and a plan was in place, Brad cut another fantastic light, 0.044 to Tom’s 0.178 so Brad just had to make sure he didn’t breakout, Brad didn’t and now had won the event!
The win was sweet; Brad had won the most prestigious event we race at! Brad had also won the previous meeting, The Open Sports National, so two wins in a row has put Brad in a position where he can win the UK National championship at Santa Pod in 2 weeks time, the anticipation is already beginning to build with 5 drivers mathematically in with a chance of winning the championship, we are waiting for the results to be ratified but the Euro’s win has elevated Brad into second place in the championship so it’s going to be a really exciting weekend at the National Finals.
Brad also had a surprise on Friday when Liz, Brads girlfriend, had arranged for her and 4 of Brads friends to come to Santa Pod for their first look at Drag Racing, needless to say they had a fantastic weekend and really felt involved in the event and felt the excitement that our “winner and loser” every round sport delivers !