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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 6:  Santa Pod Raceway – National Finals - 19th to 20th September 2015

Round 6 WebTV Show

Round 6 Report

Andy Robinson won the race. Kev Slyfield won the Championship.

Slyfield had headed the points table from the start of the season. His victory at Easter’s Festival Of Power was fortuitous indeed – he only scraped on to the bump spot, then took three singles against broken opponentss for the trophy – but thereafter his progress was fuss-free. He won the Summer Nationals in style and qualified comfortably in the international hotbed of the two FIA/MSA events, taking a round-win at The Main Event.

Qualifying second here at the National Finals virtually assured Slyfield of the title. Had he lost the opening round and Roger Moore won the race, the pair would have finished equal on points, with Slyfield’s two previous victories giving him the verdict. Had Moore also set Low ET of the Meet, it would have secured him the crown, but that was never likely to happen – by his own admission, Moore was nursing his tired Viper from round to round while Andy Robinson’s return to rampant form had made high-end performance figures his personal domain.

Slyfield’s decision at the start of 2014 to swap his popular but unruly Willys Sedan for a sleek, new ’57 Ford Thunderbird – both products of Andy Robinson Race Cars – has proved its worth. The team was always considered to be mechanically sound, but the Willys’ colourful unpredictability held them back. The T-bird runs straight and true (at least by Pro Mod standards) and steadily improved Slyfield’s personal bests, including a 6.349sec elapsed time PB this weekend to accompany the 223.30mph mark set at July’s rained-off Mopar Nationals. Now Kev’s and Elaine’s impending task is to look out the finery for their January date in London at the MSA Night Of Champions.

Wayne spacer Andy spacer Jean

The MSA series went Pro Mod in 2007 and Slyfield joins a roster of title holders that includes ‘Bert’ Englefield, Graham Ellis, Roger Moore, Bruno Bader and four-time winner Andy Robinson.

This was Robinson’s tenth MSA race win in that time. His closest challengers on that count – Bader, Ellis, Slyfield and Michael Gullqvist – have just three wins apiece. Recurring engine damage had soured the 2015 season, but it all came good here at the National Finals. Robinson didn’t threaten his 5.968sec/239.05mph personal bests but a pair of 6.2’s in qualifying and three 6.1’s in eliminations set him well clear of the field. His semi-final 6.130/233.69 was the event’s quickest, fastest pass. The win lifted Robinson into second place in the championship ahead of final-round opponent Roger Moore.

Moore’s Dodge Viper had been spewing death-smoke from its pipes on each of its visits to the line but refused to die, instead clocking thoroughly respectable times and speeds to overcome its opponents. Moore beat Slyfield in the semi-final when an electrical problem slowed the champion-elect.

A rare re-run took place in the opening round. Jean Dulamon had suffered a flash-fire in the hood scoop as he started the engine to meet Paula Atkin. After a short delay, Dulamon managed to re-start. Atkin, meanwhile, had waited patiently behind the water-box until summoned forward for a solo pass just as Dulamon re-fired. Dulamon was instructed to shut off but subsequently complained that the order had been premature. A re-run was granted. Atkin, however, had already damaged the engine on her solo and was a no-show when Dulamon appeared for the re-run. Dulamon simply broke the start-line beam to take the green light and returned to the pits to await his semi-final against Robinson.

Kev spacer Andy spacer Kev , Roger

Sooner or later, Chris Isaacs will set an official personal best in competition to match his off-the-record achievements in testing. The Isaacs & Tramm Plymouth Duster’s elapsed-time PB of 6.600sec was established at June’s Summer Nationals, but the car had already clocked a 6.59 while testing last year. Here, during Friday’s pre-race test session, Isaacs improved to a 6.54, but could only muster an 8.079 in qualifying and a 6.846 in a first-round loss to Moore. Returning to the track during gaps in the schedule as the programme ran ahead of time, Isaacs drilled out a further pair of test passes: 6.466/225.49 and 6.387/226.78, both terminal speeds bettering the car’s official, 222mph best which also lingers on from last year. Sad to say, neither of these clockings will show up in the event’s official timing records, and Isaacs & Tramm must now wait till next Easter to start reproducing such performances in competition. When they do, they will be tough opponents.

Wayne Nicholson qualified on the bump spot in the short, seven-strong field but withdrew from competition before his first-round match with Slyfield. The Philip ‘Bert’ Englefield/Andy Wright, BA Racing combo had sustained engine damage two weeks previously at the European Finals and withdrew Englefield’s entry prior to this event. With Rick Garrett eliminated from championship contention by his inadmission to July’s Mopar Nationals, son Ryan had planned to seek his Pro Mod licence this weekend, but a frustratingly untraceable oil leak into an engine cylinder stymied the plan. Mick Payne did not attend the event.

Qualifying

RESULTS:

QUALIFYING: 

Po. Driver Country Time Speed
1 Andy Robinson GBR  6.216 230.40   
2 Kevin Slyfield    GBR  6.349 223.23
3 Roger Moore     GBR 6.464 213.09
4 Jean Dulamon  FRA 6.824 221.09
5 Paula Atkin  GBR 6.923  194.69 
6 Chris Isaacs  GBR  8.079  205.33
7 Wayne Nicholson  GBR 8.223 173.71 
  Withdrawn entries:      
  Philip Englefield   GBR    
  Ryan Garrett  GBR    
  Mick Payne   GBR    

ELIMINATIONS:
Round 1:
Paula Atkin 7.381, 148.15 def. Jean Dulamon shut off
Kevin Slyfield 6.391, 222.52 def. Wayne Nicholson DNS
Roger Moore 6.630, 209.06 def. Chris Isaacs 6.846, 219.20
Andy Robinson 6.155, 231.38 BYE
RE-RUN: Jean Dulamon took green def. Paula Atkin DNS

Semi-Final:
Andy Robinson 6.130, 233.69 def. Jean Dulamon 6.889, 202.56
Roger Moore 6.636, 209.13 def. Kevin Slyfield 16.602, 46.17

Final:
Andy Robinson 6.150, 230.19 def. Roger Moore 6.864, 203.47 DQ R/L

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  6.130sec. – Andy Robinson (E2)
Top Speed of the Event:  233.69mph – Andy Robinson (E2)

Personal-best performances set during event:

Paula Atkin 6.923 194.69
Kevin Slyfield 6.349

The 2015 points table is on the Rounds & Points page.