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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 5: Santa Pod Raceway – National Finals - 24th to 25th September

Graham Ellis is 2011’s MSA British Drag Racing Champion. The Westcliff-on-Sea Pro Modified star secured the crown with victory at Santa Pod Raceway’s VP Racing Fuels National Finals on Sunday. The all-Essex battle for the title ended when Chelmsford rival Roger Moore slipped to semi-final defeat in the quickest, closest match of the day against Yorkshire’s Wayne Nicholson.

Ellis never ran quicker than 7 seconds nor faster than 200mph all weekend, but managed to cross the finish line ahead of his opponents in all three elimination rounds, beating Nicholson in the final. It was Ellis’s second race win this year.

Mick spacer Jean spacer Andy Wright

Two-car team owner Ellis is extending the restaurant chain he owns in Essex and will sell the supercharged purple Plymouth Barracuda that carried him to the championship. In 2012 he will take the wheel of the fastest Pro Mod car in Britain.

Last winter Ellis sent his lime green Plymouth Superbird to Silverstone for engineering company ICE Automotive to install and develop a turbocharged engine. Like most turbo cars, the Superbird proved sluggish off the start line but terrifingly fast over the latter part of the quarter-mile. ICE’s development driver, Nick Davies, hit 235.30mph during Saturday’s qualifying, narrowly the fastest speed achieved in competition by a British Pro Mod. In a test session on Friday, Davies had clocked 6.29sec/239mph.

Steve spacer Roger spacer Nick

For Roger Moore, it was a disappointing end to a dramatic weekend. En route to Santa Pod, the Chelmsford racer was involved as an innocent party in a pile-up on the A14 which wrecked his transporter but left both driver and racecar luckily unscathed.

Undaunted, Moore secured low qualifier spot (pole position) with the event’s quickest elapsed time, 6.742 seconds, before meeting semi-final defeat against Yorkshireman Nicholson in the event’s closest race. Nicholson’s 6.969sec edged out Moore’s losing 6.998.

Wayne spacer Graham spacer Trophy

RESULTS:

Qualifiers:

Po. Driver Country Time Speed
1 Roger Moore Chelmsford, Essex 6.742 205.32
2 Graham Ellis Westcliff, Essex 7.080 152.59
3 Nick Davies Newington, Oxon. 7.113 235.30
4 Wayne Nicholson Ossett, Yorks. 7.190 205.20 
5 Andy Wright Chessington, Surrey 7.214 178.54
6 Steve Hall Burmarsh, Kent 7.399 195.96
7 Jean Dulamon Tarnos, France 7.474 179.23
8 Mick Payne West Malling, Kent 7.510 171.11

Eliminations:
Round 1:
Wayne Nicholson 12.607sec. / 80.38mph  def.  Andy Wright no time
Graham Ellis 7.117 / 196.33  def.  Jean Dulamon 7.890 / 182.13
Nick Davies 7.384 / 221.10  def.  Steve Hall 8.379 / 192.13 DQ R/L
Roger Moore 6.960 / 187.31  def.  Mick Payne 7.229 / 185.13

Semi-final:
Wayne Nicholson 6.969 / 175.08  def.  Roger Moore 6.998 / 192.93
Graham Ellis 7.573 / 194.57  def.  Nick Davies 21.070 / 38.28

Final:
Graham Ellis 7.592 / 114.96  def.  Wayne Nicholson 14.261 / 56.74

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.742sec. – Roger Moore
Top Speed of the Event:  235.30mph – Nick Davies

Career-best performances set during event:
Nick Davies 235.30
Steve Hall 7.399, 195.56
Mick Payne 7.229, 185.13
Andy Wright 207.89

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