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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 1:  Santa Pod Raceway – Auto Trader Easter Thunderball - 22-25 April 2011

Chelmsford’s Roger Moore achieved his maiden Pro Modified victory in a race that proved attritional even by Pro Mod standards.  Nine entered, five qualified, just two made it beyond the first round and only Moore was left standing come the final.  In a contest unbalanced by more than the usual number of early-season mechanical glitches, Moore was the class of the field, three times improving his personal-best elapsed time and twice bettering his terminal speed mark en route to the trophy.

In the first pairing of eliminations, Moore beat France’s Jean Dulamon with a bumper holeshot in an all-nitrous match, with Dulamon’s new personal-best speed providing no assistance to the Frenchman.  This turned out to be the one and only heads-up race of the day.  Moore clocked his best-ever figures on a solo run in the semi-final, then soloed again to victory on a motor-preserving half-pass in the final.

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Reigning MSA champion Andy Robinson qualified on pole at 6.157sec/229.05mph but main bearing damage necessitated replacement of the engine. Leaking oil from a faulty connection caused him to be shut off on the start line in Monday’s first round of eliminations. Robinson delivered a 6.109/233.63 checkout pass at the end of the day before departing for the following weekend’s exhibition runs in Hungary.

Second qualifier Graham Ellis appeared to be getting to grips with the Plymouth Barracuda he imported from America late last year.  Ellis soloed into the semi-final after an electrical malfunction stopped first-round opponent Wayne Nicholson after his burnout, but the ‘Cuda dribbled oil on the start line as it readied for the semi and was shut off.  Ellis’s familiar Plymouth Superbird, now in the hands of Silverstone’s ICE Automotive for a turbocharged makeover, only arrived at the track late on Sunday, allowing driver Nick Davies just two brief checkout launches.  If the sound the car makes at the hit of the throttle is anything to go by, it has a popular – and conceivably very rapid – future in its new format.

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2008 MSA champion ‘Bert’ Englefield gave up his driving seat to BA Racing team partner and crew chief Andy Wright, who completed the licensing procedure he had begun last year with a stout 7.12/195, but too late to qualify for the race.

For two experienced Kent racers, their first MSA Championship weekend turned out short and expensive. Mick Payne and Steve Hall both sustained terminal engine damage on their first passes down the track.  Both now hope to return to action at June’s Summer Nationals, MSA Round 3.

For the other British entrants, the stakes will rise at the end of May when MSA Round 2 combines with the opening round of the FIA European Championship to bring all the top Continental Pro Mod stars to Santa Pod.

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1. Andy Robinson - TurgisGreen, UK - 6.157 - 229.05
2. Graham Ellis - Westcliff, UK - 6.472 - 197.89            
3. Roger Moore - Chelmsford, UK - 6.762 - 205.32  [206.04]
4. Jean Dulamon - Tarnos, France - 6.770 - 208.01            
5. Wayne Nicholson - Ossett, UK - 7.212  - 196.29  [200.78]

Other best performances (non-qualifying):
Andy Wright - Chessington, UK - 7.122 - 195.36
Mick Payne - West Malling, UK - 7.989 - 171.09
Nick Davies - Newington, UK - 12.350 - 71.17    [81.98]
Steve Hall - Dartford, UK - no time

Round 1:
Roger Moore 6.886sec. / 203.50mph  def.  Jean Dulamon 6.702 / 219.00
Graham Ellis 6.272 / 221.10  def.  Wayne Nicholson broke
Andy Robinson broke bye

Roger Moore 6.732 / 207.05  bye
Graham Ellis broke  bye

Roger Moore 10.927 / 79.81  bye

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.157sec. – Andy Robinson
Top Speed of the Event:  229.05mph – Andy Robinson

[ Non-competition exhibition: 6.109 / 233.63 – Andy Robinson ]

Career-best performances set during event:
Jean Dulamon - 219.00
Roger Moore - 6.732 - 207.05

The 2011 points table is on the Rounds & Points page.