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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 4:  Santa Pod Raceway – Mopar Euro Nationals - 26 to 27 July 2014

Round 4 WebTV Show

Round 4 Report

Hang out the flags! We have a completed race at last. Round 4 of 2014’s MSA British Drag Racing Championship may have taken place in occasionally oppressive heat, but it stayed dry throughout and, for the first time this year, the race ran to a finish. The promoters of the Mopar Euro Nationals are to be thanked not merely for agreeing to host this additional Championship round, but for using their evident contacts in high places to keep at bay the heavy rain showers which fell on other parts of the country.

Chris spacer Rick spacer Bobby

Andy Robinson led the way from the outset. The triple MSA Champion posted low qualifier (6.230sec) in the first of four qualifying sessions squeezed into Saturday’s programme and continued in the same vein through to a victorious final round on Sunday. Apart from a shake-ridden 10sec pass in the second session, Robinson’s slowest shot was a 6.770 at 224.66mph. Otherwise he stayed firmly in the 6.2’s, or better, at 230mph-plus. His opening eliminations win, over a red-lighting Wayne Nicholson, produced the new Camaro’s quickest ET to date, 6.150, good for Low ET of the Meet, and his second-round 236.16mph was Top Speed.

Kev spacer Andy Frost spacer Rick

Andy Wright’s weekend will likely be etched in his memory for some time. Qualified only seventh, though with a 219.20mph personal-best speed, the Surrey racer managed to slip past Rick Garrett and Kevin Slyfield, when both quicker opponents redlit, to attain his first final round since taking the wheel of the BA Racing ’38 Ford Coupe at 2010’s National Finals. Wright delivered his quickest run of the event – 6.696, at 212.09 – to push Robinson all the way, then suffered a flash fire at the finish line. The car executed a sharp right turn out of its left lane, coming to a halt, nose-on, just inches from the right-side wall and level with the first exit and the waiting fire crew. If not a fine piece of driving, it was for sure a fine piece of luck.

Wright and BA Racing partner ‘Bert’ Englefield made a surprise announcement just before the event that they will build a new car – a rare, ‘59 Chrysler Saratoga, no less – to run in tandem, for a while at least, with the Ford. They don’t intend to rush the job, however, so anticipation can take its time to develop.

Rick spacer Andy Wright spacer Andy

Continuing the ‘Andy’ theme, fourth qualifier Andy Frost beat Chris Isaacs in an opening-round battle of the turbo cars only to have his win revoked for a technical infringement relating to his Electrimotion Shut-Off device. Isaacs was reinstated and produced fresh personal bests (6.696/212.08) in a semi-final defeat to fellow racecar constructor Robinson.

Pro Mod welcomed a youthful newcomer to the class, Bobby Wallace. Driving a colourful, Jerry Bickel-built ’41 Willys Coupe imported from America, Wallace clocked 7.133/192.22 to secure his licence and qualify sixth in the process, but elected not to chance the motor so soon in his career when oil-system ‘uncertainties’ were detected before eliminations began. Fellow Willys racer Rick Garrett now has a challenger in the bright-paintwork stakes. Furious with himself after his first-round red light, Garrett clipped his personal-best ET by .005sec on a test pass (6.482) later in the afternoon and will doubtless hope to improve on it officially when the MSA Championship resumes with Round 5 at September’s FIA European Finals.

RESULTS:

Qualifiers:

Po. Driver Home Town / Country Time MPH Best MPH
2 Andy Robinson GBR 6.230 234.90  
3 Rick Garrett GBR 6.494 212.85  
4 Kevin Slyfield GBR 6.597 210.82  
5 Andy Frost GBR 6.796 218.96  
6 Chris Isaacs GBR 6.863 208.17 211.83
7 Bobby Wallace GBR 7.133 192.22  
8 Andy Wright GBR 7.157 219.20  
9 Wayne Nicholson GBR 13.324 62.13   

ELIMINATIONS:
Round 1:
Andy Frost 6.821sec, 216.95mph def. Chris Isaacs 9.357, 128.30
Frost DQ’d post-match: tech infringement. Isaacs reinstated.
Kevin Slyfield 7.095, 149.56 def. Bobby Wallace no show
Andy Wright 9.522, 83.80 def. Rick Garrett 7.333, 151.66 DQ R/L
Andy Robinson 6.150, 231.34 def. Wayne Nicholson 10.103, 88.39 DQ R/L

Semi-Final:
Andy Robinson 6.232, 236.16 def. Chris Isaacs 6.696, 212.08
Andy Wright 8.709, 128.31 def. Kevin Slyfield 8.331, 115.08 DQ R/L

Final:
Andy Robinson 6.204, 233.76 def. Andy Wright 6.696, 212.09

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.150sec. – Andy Robinson (E1)
Top Speed of the Event:  236.16mph – Andy Robinson (semi-final)

Personal-best performances set during event:
Chris Isaacs 6.696 212.08
Bobby Wallace 7.133 192.22
Andy Wright 219.20

The 2014 points table is on the Rounds & Points page.

Mopar photos courtsey Kirstie Tramm and Grace Roaf, Eurodragster.com