Brad and Wayne drove to Santa Pod when Brad had finished work on Thursday evening and arrived at Santa Pod at 11pm, the plan was to have a lie in so we could relax before the crew arrived to set up the pits.
Once we set up the pits and prepared the cars we went and got Brad’s car scrutineered without any drama’s, Brad had a relaxing day and was relishing the challenge of the weekend, Brad was leading the championship but only by 160 points and mathematically anyone down to 6th place could win the championship, qualifying points would be a factor in the championship, this is our 5th year in Super Pro and Brad has been in contention every year finishing 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 2nd, and finally winning the championship this year !
Saturday brought light rain but it was enough to prevent any racing and eventually the day was abandoned, this brought a new twist to the weekend because nobody had any qualifying points so this championship looked like it could go down to the wire! Brad just had to stay in front of his rivals, Paul Przybyl, Scott Hauser, Nick Good, Joe Kellett and Laura Turboville.
The rules went to emergency qualifying which is names drawn out of a hat, we drew Paul Przybyl who was 2nd in the championship, Paul was having difficulty getting his car to the track due to a gearbox failure on his truck and the qualifying ladder showed Brad to have a bye against Paul, what a cruel blow to such a nice family team.
We then heard that the ladder had been revised and we now were drawn against Dave Fulton, an unknown racer to us because he usually raced in the Super Gas class, this was going to be an interesting start to the day!
In eliminations 1 Brad pulled a 0.05 (5 hundredths of a second) reaction time and Dave pulled a very slow 0.2 ( 2 tenths of a second) reaction time, in Super pro you need a better reaction time than this to have any chance of a win and Brad took the victory.
The rivals had a bad day, Scott Hauser and Nick Good both fouled with red lights, Paul didn’t make the field, Joe and Laura went through to the next round.
Eliminations 2 Brad was paired against Elodie Dubois from France, Elodie is an ex junior dragster driver and was now driving a very competitive dragster, both drivers pulled almost identical reaction times and Brad had a real tough race on his hands, both drivers ran too quick and broke out (fouled) but Brad had the lesser breakout of 400 hundredths of a second to Elodie’s 12 hundredths of a second and Brad took the win.
Laura lost her race to Billy Gane , both drivers were bang on their dial in, Laura ran 7.982 on a 7.98 dial in and Billy ran 8.475 on a 8.47 dial in, the closest race of the day, Billy’s better reaction time gave him the victory, this just left Joe Kellett with a chance to overhaul Brad for the championship, Joe and Brad have raced each other for the last 9 years in both Junior Dragster and Super Pro, this was now becoming a real nail biter, Brad stayed his usual cool self whilst Wayne was anything but !
Eliminations 3 Brad was 370 points in front of Joe with 400 points available, if Brad lost this race Joe could win the title by going all the way to the final and winning the event! Billy Gane had a bye, Joe was against Brian Pateman a multiple Super Pro and Super Gas champion and Brad had a really tough competitor in Dan Giles, Brad remained calm and pulled an 0.04 light to Dan’s 0.06 light so Brad had a slight advantage, Brad was 0.0685 over his index and Dan was 0.0689 over his index giving Brad the narrowest win and the championship! Joe red lit (fouled) in his race.
Elimination 4 Brad was against Billy Gane, Brad made an extremely rare error and red lit by 2 hundredths of a second so was out, Wayne thinks the adrenaline from winning the championship was a factor in Brad’s red light.
Billy Gane faced Brian Pateman in the final and Billy took the win, the points giving Billy 4th place in the European series.
So Brad finally did it, Brad has had many successes in his career but winning the UK national championship in what is regarded as the most competive class in Europe is the pinnacle of his career to date, with this championship Brad is also the Santa Pod Racers Club Super Pro Championship winner, Brad has had a really strong finish to the year being runner up at the Summer nationals, winning the European Finals meeting and getting to the Semi Finals at the National finals meeting! What a year!