We arrived at Santa Pod with a high expectations of a brilliant weekend, the weather was absolutely fantastic and no rain whatsoever in the forecast.
This was just a weekend meeting so we had only 3 scheduled qualifying runs on Saturday and the straight into eliminations on Sunday.
Wayne looked at the data and his weather station and though the car should run 7.76 but the new track looked in great shape and with the heat from the glorious sunshine we dialled a 7.72, we have been having trouble getting the car dialled into the new track and the car was pulling left in both lanes, Brad left with a good start reaction time of 0.06 but the car ran arrow straight and a very quick 7.66 at 174mph ! so we broke out.
This left Brad in 20th place, not where we wanted to be, after much deliberation the crew decided the car should have a dial in of 7.62, all the calculations were correct and Brad ran 7.622, 2 thousandths of a second over dial in and put him in the number one spot with 1 session to go, taking this place away from team mate Nick Good, which Nick dropped to 2nd.
This looked promising especially when Brad’s arch rival Scott Hauser in an uncharacteristic 21st place, the advantage of being number 1 qualifier was a bye run in the first round of eliminations, Scott was the last car to go in the final qualifying session and dialled 7.56 and ran 7.5602, two 10 thousandths of a second over dialling and took the number 1 spot from Brad !
Sunday brought another glorious day and we had to use the umbrella for the sun which makes a great change from using it for the rain!
Round 1 of eliminations we faced the extremely talented Brian Pateman, Super Comp champion 3 times and 13 event wins to his credit, unfortunately Brian went a little too early and red lit by 1 hundredth of a second gifting the win to Brad, Brad had a 0.04 light and 4 hundredths off the dial proved that Brad was really on top of his game.
Round 2 we faced Rene Jaspert from Germany, a car and driver having their first visit to Santa Pod, Brad pulled a 0.04 light but Rene went slightly better with a 0.03 light but by the time they reached the quarter mile Brad had overcome Rene with a time of 7.63 on a 7.62 dial, unfortunately Rene had a technical issue at the stripe and the car turned hard right into the wall at around 150mph suffering heavy damage to the car but all the safety equipment worked and Rene didn’t have any problems apart from a heavily damaged car, Brad had already overtaken Rene and wasn’t aware of the drama behind him.
In round 3 Brad faced his old rival from Junior Dragster days, Joe Kellet, Brad pulled an 0.02 reaction time to Joe’s ) 0.07 and took the win, this was a really good round to win because Brad now had a bye run in the semi finals.
In the semi final Brad still had to do a full pass to try and get lane choice, Brad had a reaction time of 0.01 and ran 7.63 on a 7.61 dial and this gave him lane choice in the final, the other semi was between Scott Hauser and John Pryzbal, also both ex Junior Dragster drivers too, Scott won the semi, John red lit and gifted the win to Scott.
In the final Brad pulled a 0.001 reaction time and this gave him the advantage over Scott’s 0.07 reaction, Brad had the race in the bag when unfortunately he misjudged the race at the stripe , the car ran a personal best of 7.604 and personal fastest MPH of 176 mph, Brad broke out and this gave the win to Scott, Scott was the perfect gentleman as always and pulled Brad onto the number 1 step on the podium to share the celebration.
We had a fantastic weekend, runner up spot gave Brad lots of points and this puts us back near the top of the leader board and gives Brad a great shot at the title, we eagerly await the European Finals at the beginning of September, we will now have a rest over the summer break.
The points have yet to be ratified but I make it;-
We would like to thank Nick and Cristiann for preparing Brad a great car, Dave Catton for his help as part of the crew for the weekend and a big thank you to all our sponsors for supporting Brad, we wouldn’t be racing without all of your help !!!!!!!