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 !
New Lucas Oil Driver
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.