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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 3:  Santa Pod Raceway – Summer Nationals - 25-26 June 2011

Graham Ellis scored the second victory of his Pro Modified career at Santa Pod Raceway’s Summer Nationals to propel himself into the lead of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship. In an all-Ellis Motorsport final, the Essex racer defeated team-mate Nick Davies at the wheel of Ellis’s turbocharged development car.

Testing an experimental clutch during qualifying, Ellis had struggled to hook his supercharged Plymouth Barracuda’s power to the track, but switching to a more familiar unit before the start of Sunday’s eliminations set him on course for the trophy. Ellis achieved the event’s quickest elapsed time, 6.448 seconds, beating Wayne Nicholson in the opening round. In the final, Ellis was plainly on a stormer, but the car’s weaving trajectory towards the finish line persuaded him to shut off early to a still-respectable 6.567 at only 166mph.

Graham spacer Steve spacer Wayne

For Wayne Nicholson and his Lucky Devil Corvette, it was a sweet and sour race. The Yorkshireman was the event’s low qualifier – his first pole position in Pro Mod – and twice improved his career-best elapsed times and terminal speeds. Unfortunately, the second of those achievements came in the defeat against Ellis, though Nicholson’s speed, 214.82mph, remained the event’s fastest.

A similar misfortune befell Andy Wright. Still learning the driving ropes in BA Racing’s ’38 Ford, usually handled by ‘Bert’ Englefield, Wright stepped comfortably into the 6-second zone for the first time in the second round, just fractionally short of 200mph, only to lose the encounter to a slower Nick Davies.

The previous points leader, Roger Moore, qualified second but engine damage forced his withdrawal.

Action resumes in the 2011 MSA British Drag Racing Championship when Round 4 takes place during the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway from 8-11 September.

Andy Wright spacer Mick Payne spacer Roger

Qualifiers:

Po. Driver Country Time Speed
1 Wayne Nicholson Ossett, Yorks. 6.672 211.08
2 Roger Moore Chelmsford, Essex  6.982 203.36
3 Mick Payne West Malling, Kent 7.544 175.76
4 Nick Davies Newington, Oxon. 7.620 182.90
5 Andy Wright Chessington, Surrey 7.831 135.23
6 Graham Ellis Westcliff, Essex  9.004 147.61
Non-Qualifiers:
- Steve Hall (observed runs) Dartford, Kent 8.744 169.16

Eliminations:
Round 1:
Nick Davies 7.748sec. / 179.96mph  def.  Mick Payne 7.495 / 182.82
Andy Wright 7.750 / 185.88  def.  Roger Moore DNS (broke)
Graham Ellis 6.448 / 206.26  def.  Wayne Nicholson 6.589 / 214.82

Semi-final:
Nick Davies 7.065 / 191.33  def.  Andy Wright 6.756 / 199.88
Graham Ellis 8.960 / 96.68  bye

Final:
Graham Ellis 6.567 / 166.07  def.  Nick Davies 10.069 / 85.22

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.448sec. – Graham Ellis
Top Speed of the Event:  214.82mph – Wayne Nicholson

Career-best performances set during event:
Steve Hall 7.909s 191.33mph
Wayne Nicholson 6.589s 214.82mph
Andy Wright 6.756s 199.88mph

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

Photos by Ian Blackett and available from www.blackettphotography.com.