MSA Drag Racing

Round 3 2018

Round 3 WebTV Show

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Round 3 Race Report

Santa Pod Raceway – Summer Nationals - 30th June – 1st July 2018

Five of this event’s seven qualifiers set new personal bests during qualifying. Of the two who didn’t, Jean Dulamon was having convertor difficulties but still clocked a respectable pair of 6.7’s at 214mph.

The other one, Michel Tooren, went on to win the race.

In 2016, new driver Tooren and his experienced, ex-Robert Joosten crew had enjoyed an impressive first season together, twice achieving MSA runner-up finishes and setting 6.005sec/240.17mph PBs in the blown Barracuda. In 2017 the team went off the boil, struggling to integrate a new engine setup, until a 6.08/237 first-round loss at the European Finals hinted that they were bubbling again.

2018 began abysmally. First, Easter’s MSA Round 1 washout prevented any running at all. Then a dink with the track wall at the Doorslammers event forced substantial repairs and withdrawal a week later from The Main Event’s MSA Rnd.2. Cue a welcome return to action at the Summer Nationals which ended in joy unconfined.

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Having qualified third at a stout 6.089, Tooren clocked 6.1’s to defeat three opponents who had all set fresh PBs over the weekend: Wayne Nicholson, Kev Slyfield and Bobby Wallace, who, like Tooren, was also bidding to win his first final. With a maiden victory now under his belt, Tooren’s next target will likely be a first trip into the 5sec zone, an achievement that looks well within the team’s reach.

Perhaps they can take encouragement from Andy Robinson. Until the semi-final, this event had been the Robinson show. The Anger Management team opened Saturday’s qualifying with a 5.958/243.75, then took pole position in Q3 with the first 5.8sec pass by a UK racer (5.867), allied to a fastest-ever UK speed of 246.37mph. (Ironically, the Camaro’s reign as the quickest Andy Robinson Race Cars-built car lasted only a day – at Alastaro’s FIA race in Finland, David Vegter began Sunday’s eliminations with a 5.856 in his own ARRC Camaro, although he triggered a red light in the process.)

Robinson delivered another belter of a pass on his first-round bye (5.889/245.16), only for a popped supercharger burst panel to halt his progress in the semi-final. Winning opponent Bobby Wallace had set his own personal-best ET (6.189) defeating Philip Englefield in the first round, and followed with a speed PB (227.76) while losing the final to Tooren.

The UK’s next 5sec candidate must surely be Kevin Slyfield. All he needs is to lop another twentieth of a second off his PB, as he managed this weekend, and he’ll be there. Easy, eh? Against that, of course, the Dorset team is faced with the law of diminishing returns: the quicker it gets, the harder it gets to get quicker. Slyfield might also profit if he can cure this season’s spate of elimination glitches. At The Main Event, the T-bird’s engine wouldn’t start before round one, while here the car hopped forward out of stage before the lights ran in the semi-final against Tooren. Another (fifth) victory will bring Slyfield level with Michael Gullqvist as the MSA Championship’s second most prolific race-winner, though it will take a startling run of success before he can approach Robinson’s tally of 14.

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Robinson now leads Wallace in the points by less than a round of racing, with Tooren and Slyfield in close attendance. Next up, MSA Rnd.3 at the Mopar Euro Nationals, 28th and 29th July. Can Robinson extend his lead? Not if the others have their way.

RESULTS:

QUALIFYING:
Best
ET        MPH        MPH
1.      Andy Robinson             GBR         5.867     246.37              
2.      Kevin Slyfield                GBR         6.045     234.07              
3.      Michel Tooren               NED         6.089     235.30    236.09
4.      Philip Englefield            GBR         6.191     226.77              
5.      Bobby Wallace              GBR         6.209     226.66              
6.      Wayne Nicholson          GBR         6.296     224.51              
7.      Jean Dulamon              FRA          6.713     214.11              
Withdrawn entry:
Nick Davies                  GBR

ELIMINATIONS:
Round 1:
Michel Tooren 6.160, 235.28 def. Wayne Nicholson 6.312, 224.51
Bobby Wallace 6.189, 223.65 def. Philip Englefield 6.331, 227.89
Kevin Slyfield 6.255, 229.31 def. Jean Dulamon 6.783, 211.91
Andy Robinson 5.889, 245.16 bye

Semi-Final:
Michel Tooren 6.147, 236.41 def. Kevin Slyfield no time – left before lights
Bobby Wallace 6.246, 221.44 def. Andy Robinson 6.516, 137.38

Final:
Michel Tooren 6.109, 237.76 def. Bobby Wallace 6.226, 227.76

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  5.867sec. – Andy Robinson (Q3)
Top Speed of the Event:  246.37mph – Andy Robinson (Q3)

Personal-best performances set during event:

                                            ET           MPH
Philip Englefield                6.191                 -
Wayne Nicholson              6.296       224.51
Andy Robinson                 5.867       246.37
Kevin Slyfield                   6.045       234.07
Bobby Wallace                 6.189       227.76

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