MSA Drag Racing

Round 6 2018

Round 6 WebTV Show

Round 6 Race Report

Santa Pod Raceway – National Finals - 6th – 7th October 2018

According to the Pro Modified notes in the National Finals programme, it would take ‘a disastrous weekend’ to deny Andy Robinson his seventh MSA British Drag Racing Championship. No such thing happened. Robinson qualified low in the one-off Sunday morning session occasioned by Saturday’s total rain-off, then sailed past Wayne Nicholson in the opening round to secure the title beyond doubt, followed by a semi-final win over a stuttering Jon Webster. At 7.15pm, under Santa Pod’s meagre track lights, Robinson rolled into the right lane ready to conclude yet another magisterial masterclass in Pro Mod racing with his 15th career MSA race victory in the very last competitive match of 2018’s drag racing season.

What could possibly go wrong?

Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod

A scuff against the track wall is the answer: a scuff which jammed the front wheel, sending the Camaro veering sharply left, up on two wheels, then airborne across the finish line – vertically, nose-down – before twisting and crashing back to earth far into the shutdown area in an explosion of sparks and debris. The chassis and body are a write-off but, miraculously for such a wreck, the engine and drivetrain are reported as possibly ‘salvageable’. More miraculously still, Robinson climbed out and walked to the arriving ambulance under his own steam. If nothing else, the catastrophe provided a tribute to the construction qualities of Andy Robinson Race Cars’ products and the SFI Foundation safety standards that underpin them, plus a marvellous, if unwanted, advert to all those circuit racers who rely on the roll cages and other chassis components which ARRC installs for them. There will be an added poignancy when Robinson is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame at next month’s Gala and the SFI Foundation is presented with the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award.

Robinson’s Anger Management team intends to build a new car next year and return to action in 2020. “Dad’s not done yet,” says Luke Robinson.

Apart from the obvious, it is also a shame that Robinson’s calamity overshadowed what was happening in the left lane, where Chris Isaacs was notching a clutch of firsts for the Isaacs & Tramm team – a career-first Pro Mod round-win followed by career-first semi-final and final wins, plus (one for the historians) a first MSA race victory by a turbocharged car. Moreover, the sixth-qualified Isaacs’ beaten opponents were not only the top three qualifiers, but the top three championship finishers too. Kev Slyfield blew away a quicker pass with a fractional red light and Bobby Wallace suffered gearbox problems during the run. While Robinson was going haywire in the final, Isaacs clocked an official personal-best ET (6.579sec) on the way to victory (though the time still lags behind his 2015 test best of 6.387). If Isaacs’ opponents all had their problems, that is immaterial. Getting to the finish line first is what counts in heads-up drag racing, and Isaacs & Tramm accomplished that essential goal with distinction.

Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod

2015 MSA champion Kev Slyfield’s first-round loss lifted Bobby Wallace into second championship place for the second year in a row. Repeating his European Finals appearance in sister Annie’s nitrous Mustang, Wallace clocked a new speed PB (228.94mph) in the Sunday morning qualifying session. The event’s other PB fell to Jon Webster (6.850) as he begins to wind up the power in his new turbo Mustang while Nick Davies also stepped up the pace (6.823/209.12) in the ICE Automotive turbo Barracuda. Davies’s 2019 sights will be set on the 6.39sec/239mph figures he achieved while testing Graham Ellis’s ICE-engineered Superbird in 2011.

2019 will therefore crown a different MSA champion after three Robinson seasons. Might past champions Slyfield (2015) or ‘Bert’ Englefield (2008) repeat the feat, or will it open the door to a fresh winner? Come next April when the new season begins at Easter’s Festival Of Power, the UK will (in theory at least) have left the European Union. How will that affect the eligibility of overseas entrants for the championship, which has hitherto required a driver’s competition licence to bear the image of an EU flag? The MSA’s consideration of the matter is awaited with interest.

Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod
Pro Mod

RESULTS:

QUALIFYING:
Best
ET        MPH        MPH
1.      Andy Robinson             GBR         6.225     242.50              
2.      Bobby Wallace              GBR         6.227     228.94              
3.      Kevin Slyfield                GBR         6.510     219.33              
4.      Jean Dulamon              FRA          6.677     215.11              
5.      Jon Webster                 GBR         6.850     200.80              
6.      Chris Isaacs                 GBR         7.274     204.26              
7.      Nick Davies                  GBR         8.180     120.43              
8.      Wayne Nicholson          GBR       16.082      47.09                                   
Not qualified:
Mick Payne                   GBR     No Time              -

ELIMINATIONS:

Round 1:
Jon Webster 6.907, 206.28 def. Jean Dulamon 6.977, 158.52
Chris Isaacs 6.666, 210.11 def. Kev Slyfield 6.390, 229.05 DQ R/L
Bobby Wallace 6.236, 226.62 def. Nick Davies 6.823, 209.12
Andy Robinson 6.127, 237.32 def. Wayne Nicholson 7.556, 140.31

Semi-Final:
Andy Robinson 6.492, 237.31 def. Jon Webster 19.367, 58.13
Chris Isaacs 7.172, 195.54 def. Bobby Wallace 7.681, 125.91

Final:
Chris Isaacs 6.579, 222.56 def. Andy Robinson DQ

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.127sec. – Andy Robinson (E1)
Top Speed of the Event:  242.50mph – Andy Robinson (Q)

Personal-best performances set during event:

                                            ET           MPH
Chris Isaacs                     6.579                 -
Bobby Wallace                         -       228.94
Jon Webster                     6.850                 -

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