Santa Pod Raceway 26th – 29th May 2017
FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway 26th – 29th May 2017
FIA / FIM Main Event
We arrived on Thursday to set up for the weekend, we were full of anticipation for a great weekend and with Brad currently leading the UK championship the team were in a buoyant mood.
Friday morning was a beautiful sunny day and we went down for our first qualifying run, Wayne dialled a 7.74 based on the previous meetings data at Shakespeare County Raceway, we ran a 7.79 seconds run and this was good enough for 4th place, this got us very firmly into the 32 car field.
There were 40 cars from many European countries and 8 teams were going to be disappointed and not make the field, the level of competition was extremely high.
On our second run Wayne dialled a 7.73 but we ran too quickly and broke out on a 7.69 run (fouled).
On our third run we found some inconsistency with the car and traced this to a fuel injection issue, Cristiann and Nick worked hard all event to cure the issue but to no avail. When we say an issue we are talking about a 1 tenth of a second issue but with the bump spot likely to be around 400th’s of a second a tenth of a second is an age in the Super Pro Class. Brad and the crew worked hard all weekend but by the time the end of qualifying came on Sunday we had run 8 times but never improved on our first run and ended up 25th in the 32 car field
In our first round of Eliminations we met Gordon Northway, Gordon is very competent and this was a tough race, Brad won the race by just 200’ths of a second, this was a great relief to the team because 16 cars were eliminated and we were now in the second round and had recovered the poor qualifying position.
In the second round we raced Mick Howling and Brad cut a great light (reaction time ) 0f 0.07 of a second to Mick’s 0.138 reaction and Brad had the upper hand, unfortunately Brad broke out ( fouled ) and our weekend was over.
We packed away and stayed the night in the RV before heading home on Monday morning. We woke to find there had been some rain overnight and the weather forecast was poor for the rest of the day, we do not wish to be bad sportsmen but the rain could save our weekend.
We drove home continually looking at the event on Eurodragster.com and the Super Pro class didn’t run again, this saved our troublesome weekend because the points accrued at the point of the meeting being abandoned stand.
So we came away from a bad weekend only dropping to second spot in the championship 120 points behind Scott Hauser, this could have been a much more damaging weekend and there is a rumour that Wayne’s rain dance help to contribute to the downpour !
We have sent the data from the car to the injection company in the USA and can hopefully resolve the issue before the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod on the 24th-25th June!
We head to Santa Pod today for the Main Event, this is an FIA event for the European series, Brad currently leads the UK Championship by 220 points and the team are eager to maintain this lead.
There is an entry of 40 cars that will be qualifying for a 32 car field, with a strong European entry there are drivers from France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland it will be a competitive qualifying with 10 sessions over Friday and Saturday and eliminations on Sunday and Monday.
Last year the bump spot was 400 hundredths of a second so the team will have to be on their game just to make the field, there will be 8 disappointed drivers that won’t get into the event?
There is a live video and audio available on Eurodragster.com, click on the John Woolfe Racing events link;-
We will also be live updating Brads qualifying and eliminations sessions live on Facebook and Twitter, both feeds will be on the front page on Brad’s website;-
We wish Brad a safe, consistant and fast weekend, a race report will follow after the weekend !
We arrived at the track with a level of anticipation, Brad has been the Apira ( Avon Park International Racing Association ) Super Pro Champion for the last 2 years , a great achievement but we are determined to make it 3 in a row !
The weather forecast was fine for the next 2 day’s but Bank Holiday Monday didn’t look too good so it could be an event where the qualifying points would be crucial.
In Q1 Brad got off to a great start with a 0.042 reaction time but Wayne got the dial in slightly wrong and had dialled 7.81 but Brad ran 7.799 and broke out by just over a hundredth of a second.
Q2 Brad very nearly got the perfect ET award but red lit by 0.001 ( 1 thousandths of a second ) but Wayne’s dial in was 7.75 and Brad ran 7.77 good enough for No 1 for a while until Chri Parker in the other Nick Good Motorsport car took it at the end of the session.
Q3 Brad cut another great light at 0.065 but once again Wayne got it slightly wrong dialling 7.76 and Brad running a 7.755 breakout by 5 thousands of a second, this dropped Brad to 4th.
Q4 Brad cut another great light 0.025 reaction time but Wayne’s dial in of 7.75 and running 7.79 didn’t improve our position.
Q5 Brad’s reaction was 0.102 but Wayne stuck with the 7.75 because the track appeared to improve but we ran 7.79 again so no improvement.
Q6 Wayne was convinced the data showed the car would run a 7.78, Wayne dialled 7.78, Brad cut another great 0.072 light but Chris Parker in the sister car ran 7.80, Wayne changed Brad’s dial to 7.80, big mistake ! the car ran 7.788 which would have put us second to Scott Hauser, however 4th was still a great result especially as this put Brad on the bye run side of the ladder, if Brad won a couple of rounds we would have a bye run into the semi finals, with hindsight ( a great thing ) Wayne tried a little too hard to get the number 1 spot over the event but Wayne knew with the rain coming on Monday the extra points could be valuable in this championship.
We woke on Sunday to the predicted rain, this was a real shame, the crew had prepared a great track all weekend and had put on a great event, the rain was only light and stopped, the crew dried the track only for it to rain slightly and spoil the efforts of the track crew, this also happened on a second occasion but the crew continued to battle the weather and eventually they were rewarded with a track we could race on at 4pm.
Brad still had his competitive edge beating Wayne 3-2 at connect 4 in the RV !
In elimination’s round 1 Brad cut another great 0.075 reaction time to take the win against Ron Bartlett, this unfortunately as far as we got, there is a noise curfew at 5pm on holiday Monday’s and unfortunately time ran out so that was the end of the meeting. This result means that Brad is still leading the UK championship and we look forward to the next event which is the Main Event at Santa Pod 26th – 29th May, the entry for Brad’s class is currently 40 of the very best Super Pro drivers from various European countries so this will be a great event !
There is a lot of speculation that this could be the last year we race at Shakespeare County Raceway, it looks like a new town with 4000 houses and the full infrastructure are going to be built on this site, this will be a great shame, it is a great venue with a really hard working team, let’s hope the planners do not get there way !
2017 by Simon Groves @ APIRA and Yvonne Tramm @ SPRC
Due to work commitments Brad was extremely busy at work so once home from work we headed for Santa Pod and arrived at the track at 1130pm, our fantastic crew and team mates had already prepared the pit area and also built Brad’s car for us, great teamwork thank you !
We rose at 6.15 to prepare the car for scrutineering at 7am and Brad went and signed on, the car passed tech and we went back to our pit to prepare the car for qualifying, we hadn’t had time to test the car prior to the event so we planned a “half pass ” to ensure that everything checked out ok.
Q1 the car launched well but a cold track with poor grip resulted in Brad being 7 tenths of a second off our dial in, other drivers had the same issues and we still ended up in 7th position from 18 cars.
Everything was fine on the car, we just had a little bit of oil going into the catch can, this is normal following and engine rebuild until the piston rings bed in.
Q2 saw 21 cars make the field and by the time Brad made his run we had slipped to 13th place, a good solid second run at 1 tenth of a second of dial in saw Brad back in 7th place from the 21 cars that qualified, that was is for today so 2 more runs and the first round of eliminations tomorrow.
Q3 didn’t see any improvement so our Q2 time still stood and we now dropped to 11th place, this was not an ideal place meaning if nothing changed we would be facing the No1 qualifier in the first round.
Q4 brought another car into the field, Brad’s Nick good Motorsport team mate Chris Parker went to No1 with a time 3 thousandths of a second off his dial in, we had tried a little bit too hard, we dialled a time of 7.83 and ran 7.824 breaking out by 6 thousands of a second leaving Brad in 12th place and facing our team mate Chris Parker in round 1.
This is always a difficult situation for the team, we always prepare the cars identically and we also share a huge amount of data between the 2 cars, it was going to be an interesting 1st round, Chris has the No 1 on his car as the reigning Super Pro champion, Brad would need to be at the very top of his game.
As you would expect from these 2 high calibre contenders it was a very close race with Brad taking the win by 2 hundredths of a second.
Because Brad had beaten the No1 qualifier Brad had a bye run in round 2 so we were pleased to have an easy but well earned bye run.
Round 3 of eliminations Brad was drawn against an extremely competitive Gordon Northway who had been running bang on his times all weekend, once again Brad needed a flawless performance if he was to take the win, Brad cut an 0.0414 light to Gordon’s 0.0793 so it was going to be close, Brad ran a 7.862 0n a 7.85 dial in to Gordon’s 8.521 on a 8.51 dial in, giving Brad the victory by 3 hundredths of a second.
In the semi final Brad again ran very close to his dial in and beat Alan Didwell to see Brad in the final of the first meeting of the year, facing a strong contender from the Netherlands , John Gerritsen in a brand new 55 Chevy running in the 6 second bracket.
In the final Brad cut a great 0.071 light to John’s .165 so Brad had the lead, but with a car almost 2 seconds quicker than Brad’s it would be all on the dial in’s !
Both car’s broke out but Brad’s was the larger breakout at just over 2 hundredths of a second to John’s 2 thousandths of a second, giving the victory to the Dutchman, his journey back to Holland would be a far happier long drive !
Well done to John and a fantastic job of driving a car that was out of shape, he pulled his parachutes to keep the car straight and kept his foot on the gas to pip Brad at the stripe, great piece of driving and a well deserved victory.
We had a great first meeting and bagged a valuable haul of championship points finishing the weekend as the runner up, we do it all again in 2 weeks time at Shakespeare County Raceway where Brad is the current APIRA Super Pro Champion and is looking forward to defend his title, it is also Brad’s 21st Birthday that weekend so let’s hope it will be a very Happy Birthday !
It was great to see the new Lucas Oil backed driver Aaron Fensome take the runner up spot in the Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Championship, Aaron felt great in the car in his new bespoke HRX suit from www.racewearonline.com
I would like to say a big thank you to all our sponsors, Lucas Oil both in the UK and the USA, Pentagon Corporate Fleet, D & S signs, Martin Williams Hull, HRX ,Racewearonline, our associates Pete Walters race design last but not least Six B Apparel in the USA.
We would like to thank all our sponsors and crew because without everyone’s support we couldn’t achieve this level of competition and success, thank you to everyone for being involved in this team
Some of the Images used with the kind permission of the original photographer tog@Eurodragster.com unless stated, Thank you.
We arrived at Santa Pod on Friday and set up the pit and awning, we scrutineerd the car and then had a relaxing time before the event started with 3 qualifying runs on Saturday.
The UK Championship was very close with any one of the first 5 competitors in with a chance of taking the UK National Championship crown; Brad was lying in 2nd place and we were hopeful of a great event.
The first round I dialled a 7.76 and Brad ran a 7.80, 4 hundredths of a second off the dial in, this time placed Brad in 5th position so was a great start to the day.
The second round I dialled a 7.79 and Brad ran a 7.82, 3 hundredths of a second off the dial in, although this was a slight improvement due to the others improving this dropped us to 7th.
The third and final qualifier was crucial especially for the qualifying points, I dialled a 7.81 to try and get us nearer the top.
Brad came round and did a burnout, I felt the sun had been on the track and my instinct told me we were going to run quicker so just before I took Brad to the line I changed our dial in to 7.79, Brad ran 7.795 a great result, 5 thousandths of a second over the dial in put us in 3rd place. The car and Brad were performing well so we looked forward to the eliminations on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning brought a little rain shower so the start was delayed by about an hour. The first round of eliminations made interesting reading, Billy Gane (No 1 in the championship ) against Scott Hauser (No 3 in the championship) and Brad ( No 2 in the championship ) against Ian Powell ( no 4 in the championship) if you were a betting man then you would have got some very long odds against that happening ! Chris Parker (No 5 in the championship) had a bye run due to being No1 qualifier.
Scott beat Billy and Ian beat Brad, this now meant that Scott only had to go 2 rounds of eliminations to be champion for the 3rd time.
Ian Powell dialled 8.13 and ran 8.131, with a reaction time of 0.04 was a clear winner, it is a little strange when we talk in these numbers that Brad’s package was 0.0241, 2 hundredths of a second off our prediction and Ian’s package was 0.0017, 17 thousandths of a second of his prediction that we say Ian had an easy win by 0.1465 of a second.
Scott, Ian and Chris all went through the next round so one more round and Scott would be champion, in the next round Scott unfortunately broke out by 5 thousandths of a second so now the first 3 coming into the event had all been eliminated !
Ian and Chris both went all the way and met in the final, the maths were simple, win the meeting, win the UK Championship, who would it be?
The winner was Chris Parker! Ian unfortunately red lit and cost himself a chance of the being the champion!
Congratulations to Chris on taking the championship, Chris drives another of our teams dragsters so well done Nick good Motorsport!
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.
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 !
After the long summer break Alison and I set off for Stratford in the RV and Brad was coming down later due to College commitments in Milton Keynes, Brad loves driving his pride & joy , his classic MX5, so was quite happy to join us later.
Last year Brad had won the APIRA championship but we were a lowly 6th in the championship and needed some of the contenders above us to exit early and Brad to win the meeting to have any chance of retaining his title.
The crew had worked on the car during the break and had changed the torque convertor in an effort to increase the cars consistency so we were eagerly waiting to see how the car would perform. We had also fitted a cross brace in the chassis to improve the car’s stability so the teams expectations’ were high.
Our first qualifying session went well and Brad was in 7th position, unfortunately it then rained and we didn’t get any further runs in on the day. We had the company of Lucas Oil UK’s MD Les Downey and his wife Mo with us for the weekend and Les kept us laughing (as always) with his wit and anecdotes
After studying the data we changed the launch chip and looked forward to Sunday, Sunday was a great day with really good weather, we had 5 qualifying runs, and Brad reported that the car was running “strong & straight”, we had a great day and Brad finished the day in 11th place.
Monday was again a great day with the weather being hot and sunny,
In the 1st round we were drawn against Jack Brewster, an ex Super Pro champion, Jack red lit and gifted us an easy win on what would have been a tough race, Jack was also one of the competitors in front of Brad and also Ian Powell went out in round 1, another competitor in front of Brad in the championship, so this helped Brad’s cause.
Round 2 we were drawn against Pete Walters but unfortunately Pete had holed a piston so was a no show, we had an easy round, but hey, you have to take them especially after the bad luck the team has had this year!
The championship now looked a real possibility with Chris Parker leading and Rick Cook in front of Brad on points, Brad drew Rick Cook in the semi finals, Chris Parker was racing Bob Doyle.
In the semi’s Brad beat Rick Cook and Chris Parker red lit leaving the final between Brad and Bob Doyle, a quick calculation showed if Brad won the meeting he would also be the APIRA champion for the second time, if Bob won then Chris Parker would take the championship and Brad would be runner up!
Brad and I had a discussion and we decided on our dial in together. Brad cut a great 0.04 light to Bob’s 0.13 so Brad had the edge and drove a great race to take the win!
The calculations show that Brad winning the event had taken the championship by just 80 point’s, less than a round win!
So Brad Jackson Racing love “Shakey” with 2014 runner up spot in the championship and 2015 & 2016 winning the championship, this is now a track the team really have a handle on !
We had a great weekend with Les and Mo, and it was great to see them both enjoy a race meeting in a quieter venue where Les was able to relax and just be part of the team for the weekend.
We would like to thank Nick Good and Cristiann Carlo for their dedication in preparing a great car for Brad, and of course a big thank you to all our sponsors, we couldn’t do it without your support!
This picture shows the champion leaving the track in his pride and joy heading for College Milton Keynes for the rest of the week!
We are now looking forward to the European Finals at Santa Pod in 2 weeks time!