Off to a good start!

Well 2016 has been and gone and 2017 is now here!

 

Over the winter we refreshed the motor and had a good think about the tuning and handling of the car. After finding a small part of the chassis that has been causing all of our handling problems since the car was built it is now set to go arrow straight! Now… we just need to get a handle on the power.

With our Primary sponsor of EMACS coming back on for a third year, Big thank you to them!, we where set for a good year!

Festival of Power

With it being the first event of the year you can expect a couple of teething problems with a refreshed motor and a cold track.

Well neither of these where the problem for us, We had a small gremlin that had followed us from last year! This gremlin was the Gearbox Gremlin and we just couldn’t shake it. We had the Gear box out 4 times in one day and we could put a F1 pit crew to Shame with our wheel removal speeds! but we still couldn’t squash the bug!, After finally finding it we had 2 passes to make to Qualify on the Sunday try and get down the track. On the start line the burn out felt great and there was a sigh of relief!. Unfortunately this was short lived as the marshals signalled us to cut the engine and push back!…. there was a leak… and yep… you guess it… Trans fluid!  …S#$T! Getting it back to the pits our team got on to finding where the leak came from while the driver and Crew Chief sat down to discuss their options. After a bad couple of years of racing the stress and ups and down had taken its toll on the driver/owner and he gave the command to pack up and Leave…. So that sums up Easter.  Re grouping and discussing the problems faced and planning a return we awaited for the Main Event!.

Main Event (and test and tune)

Before the main event our Driver decided he wanted to enter the Test and Tune the weekend before just to get some track time. After some prep work we got to the start line and ran a nice fast, but safe 6.72!. With the popularity of the event we didn’t have enough time to turn the car round and get down to the start line again. But with this number we had a Stepping stone to work from and the driver and tuner could put their heads together to work out a game plan for the main event!

Main event weekend and we had the weather on our side! The driver had stayed down at the track for a week or ‘Relaxation’. Turning up on the Thursday morning we was able to get a Test runs in with a pretty good time and some good data to work from! 

Now the game plan was set!, we would slowly chip away at our ET bit by bit over the weekend and that’s exactly what we did!

Saturday 27th – We ran our first run and it was perfect! 6.5220 198.01!… but the Top end speed was a little down…. hmmm after looking at the data and noticing the burst plate had gone just after 1000ft we could see the fuel shut of had moved through the run and in theory the Engine had leaned out. After finding this we decided to Skip Q2 and check over the engine. We found we had nipped a ring in cylinder 5 so a Piston swap was needed, whilst out we ran general maintenance.

May 28th – after a quick repair and a piston swap we are back to run again! Q3  was a great run! and you can tell just by the reaction of the crew (One member in particular) We have a video below check it out!

May 29th – Eliminations day!, so we made it! we are in the Eliminations and we drew a short straw.ly.. Andy Wright & BA Racing ‘The Hot Rod’, he finished 2nd last year overall in the MSA championship!. As we have encounted him before we know he likes to play games on the tree. So before we went down we decided to do our own thing and just run it as a solo run as we didnt expect to beat him. But fate has a way of working and with the new automatic time out on the tree Andy timed out on the tree and gave an automatic win to us!

Round 2 of the eliminations and we paired with David Vegter….damn… another quick car…. unfortunately David had broke and was out… or so we thought… with the bad weather coming through on and off rain pushed back to the Round of Eliminations until 5pm. we kept our fingers crossed that it would dry up in time so we could do our Solo run. But as soon as the rain had broke and the track dried we heard the all familiar sound of a golf buggy pushing a race car. Down the pairing lanes came David he had managed to fix the car in the time it took to dry the track and the rain to stop. So round to the start line and ready to go,  it was a pedal fest for us with Tyre shake on the launch and a quick driving job by the driver and back on the throttle to run a 7,1172 at 207mph but it wasn’t enough to beat David’s 6.13 236mph epic come back!.

That was it we was out in round 2 but it was a welcome change to the last few years!

We would like to say a big thank you to our Sponsors and Crew (we will be updating the crew page shortly with some information about the guys and girls)

Thank you to our amazing fans who have supported us all the way through good and bad times!

European finals wrap up

The European finals have all ways been a favourite of the team, where else do you see this many teams from so many different countries? This year Was just as great if not better!.

As you all know we have had a trying two years with the car but have kept at it and stuck in there. This event really has helped lift the spirits of the team and really shows how much support we have out there from you guys!. First of all id like to thank our crew, These guys are really worth their weight in gold! they keep going and get stuck in when the times are hard. I promise we will have a smoother year next year. And also a great Big thank you to the guys and girls who keep Santapod running like clock work, it cant be an easy job but you guys pull it off!
But to say this weekend has been un-eventful would be a lie, first of all The driver’s birthday normally falls on the same weekend as this event, this year being no exception. To celebrate your birthday at the track is a great experience, Drag racing is almost as if you have an extended family! everyone who knows you wishes you happy birthday through out the weekend and you even get it announced over the loud speakers. Most of all you get to spend it with those closest to you, family and crew. oh and did i mention there is cake. But not any normal cake, we didnt pack any candles so NGK spark plugs had to be substituted.
As for the racing this weekend we really have progressed and even managed to over come a small issue within the car at the end of the weekend. As much as we would like to get back to where we was straight away, we are closer than ever and next event should allow us to get there. We would like to also congratulate all those who ran new PBs over the course of the weekend, there is just too many to mention names but congratulations to you all, there was some great racing over the weekend from everyone.
We would also like to extend our thanks to 2 of our sponsors who managed to make the trip down to support the team Both EMACS and Martin’s auto centre came down over the weekend to support the team and see us run. Thank you guys for making the trip and we hope to be working with you both in the 2016 season.

And finally we would like to thank everyone in the racing community for their great donations. So far we have raised £576.45 for the charities and we plan on making more for them! if you wish to donate you still can, just head over to our just giving page by clicking the image below!

Thank you guys for support and as all ways See you at the track!

Main Event Wrap up

A Bank holiday weekend with sun?…. Sounds too good to be true but that’s what we had! A great weekend at Santa pod Amazing Weather, Great Friends and Awesome Drag Racing.

With the Main Event being a big event in the calendar for us, especially after the Incident that we had at the Festival of power we began to prep early and that we did.

Wayne & Gareth both set off down to Track on Tuesday night after leaving the Truck at the Track the weekend before. On the way they made a quick stop at Heathrow airport to collect an additional member of the Crew who was landing Wednesday morning.

Flying in from America was Camp Stanley from Stanley and Weiss Racing Who was here to help the Lucky Devil team get to grips with there new found power and help with the tuning process since we had additional systems on the car. If you don’t know about Camp (Would be surprised if you didn’t) then just give his name a google or ask any Drag Racer if they know who Camp Stanley is. Everyone has a story to tell about this guy! he is one of a kind and a fountain on knowledge.
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WEDNESDAY
20th May 2015

After picking up Camp from the Airport we headed towards Santa pod to start a ‘Long’ weekend of drag racing!, stopping along the way for some food in a sleepy little village (That’s a whole other story though, check out Camp’s tale of events Here). Getting to the track the truck was already there and Richard Harker (Chief) met us there and we began to unload the car and the rest of the trucks contents. Since the Devil was in the accident at the last event and this was the first time it had been back on all fours with everything back in its right place and the wiring pretty much back in place, We had to tow it round to webster’s for base lining, which luckily is just on the entrance to the track.

All base lined and Ready to rock we brought the car back round to the pits and set up the rest of the pit, tools out flooring down and awning up!. Since we wouldn’t be racing until Thursday at the latest this gave us time to get used to the new software and hardware on the car and what it can do for us.

Thursday
21st May 2015

Sun?! That can’t be right….. are we even at Santapod? Surprisingly true, Thursday was a day for tinkering and fine tuning with the help of legend him self camp Stanley, He was even nice enough to leave us with a nice memento of his visit.
Friday
22nd May 2015

With Friday being a dead day for racing with the pro-mod teams we had extra time to learn about our system and even enjoy abit of socializing with Trouble Racing Who had welcomed us round to their Pit that they were sharing with Turboville Racing Andy one of the team members of Trouble racing had cooked up and amazing Pulled pork meal that had been cooking slowly from midnight the night before, Complements to the chef! With the rest of the night filled with laughter and piss taking we retired to our pits ready for the racing ahead of us on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Saturday – Monday
23rd – 25th May 2015

With the car all in one shape since the crash and the problems from last years season out of the way we was back at square one with trying to get the power on to the track and learn about how the new tyres will put up with the power. The Driver (Wayne Nicholson) did a great job with getting the car down the track to get the all important valuable information that we need to help tune the car and get it down to the low sixes where we should be.

All in all the weekend of racing was a great success, we didn’t qualify but the team was happy the driver was happy the car was back in one piece and working as it should. all that is left to do now is to work on improving the performance and getting up there with the big dogs and racing in the low sixes.

Thank you once again to everyone of our crew for their hard work over the weekend and for their effort they put in on and off the track!
Thank you to Camp Stanley for taking the time out of his busy schedule to take us under his wing and teach us some valuable car lessons and life lessons
and most of all thank you to our sponsors and fans without you guys none of this is possible!

 

 

An Unfortunate start (Festival Of Power 2015)

Well what a weekend it has been!


It’s Fair to say that we will not be wanting to have one like that again any time soon!.
To break down what happened; Over the winter there have been a few changes to our set up, these changes in turn have given us extra power which will help us compete with everyone in the class. With the Festival Of Power being the first and earliest event this year the weather conditions have been far from perfect.
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Friday (1st full day) was meant to be the first round of Qualifying but due to adverse weather conditions (Rain, Rain & more Rain) this didn’t happen. Fortunately this gave us time to run the car up and test the new installs that had been done over the winter.


Saturday 4th April 2015

With the Santapod Crew hard at work from the early morning drying the track from the Day before the clouds where still grey and looming over the pod. But the first round of Qualifying was soon to be underway. With being the 5th class out but the one with the most power, the track itself wasn’t too sticky, The Start line appeared to be cold and there was still a damp in the air. Wayne pulled up to water spun the wheels like he normally does and rolled forward towards the start line before jumping back on the throttle and producing a nice straight burn out. Once he was backed up and pre-flight checks had been carried out, Wayne was rolled forward in to Pre-stage and then in to stage waiting for Bobby to drop into stage also. The light burned down and the green light lit up, Bobby reacted straight away with a unfortunate outcome of tyre shake. Whilst Wayne Launched hard with a short delay, Fairly straight and strong pull a 1.0133 sixty foot.
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Once getting up to speed 2nd gear was pulled and that’s when the Rear end of the car began to slide away, due to the amount of Power that was being transferred on to such a cold surface the wheels span sending the back of the car towards the right hand wall. Being so close to the right wall the wheelie bars clipped the wall bending them up and pushing the car across the track towards the left hand lane and left hand wall. Crossing the centre line paint the car seems to speed up colliding head on with the left wall ( As you will see in the video) . on the impact the Oil tank was split wide open and the fuel feed hose from the bottom of the fuel cell ripped clean off spilling a mixture of fuel and oil (The Blue Stuff) on to the track as the car carried on sliding up the wall. The Santapod Crew Reacted as quick as ever with both start line and finish line safety crew reached the car within a matter of seconds. Wayne managed to pull himself out of the car with no injuries and is fine, unfortunately the same can not be said about the car.

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A big thank you to all of our Sponsors who without none of this would be possible.

Eurodragster have been nice enough to supply the video from their webcam in the tower giving a birds eye view of what went on down on the track.

 

 

 

Mopar Nationals

A big thank you to Kirstie Tramm for this amazing photo!!!

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Santa Pod ‘Summer’ Nationals Part1

Well the ‘Summer’ Nationals are here again and after a bit of time in the garage the Lucky Devil is ready to go again!.

Threatening skies
Good old British weather!
Well England never seems to let us down, after setting up the awning in a small thunder storm and heading up for scrutineering…

This is the sky that greeted us along with many other races…..and then the heavens opened!! Taking shelter under the scrutineering shelter for over an hour we managed to squeeze the car in and passed the inspection!

 

READY TO RACE

Saturday is now here and waking up to slightly blue sky and the heat of the sun is enough to put a smile on any pod-go-er’s face.

British SummertimeFirst pair out and ready to go, warm up done, car fuelled, crew ready and driver… erm… well I suppose that is debatable. But yet again mother nature has not let us down and we are back in the pits before we could even start the car! Now we take shelter in the awning and watch and wait!

 

Check back later on this weekend and see how we get on!!

Unlucky Devil

“The FIA European Finals at Santa Pod is the best way to spend your birthday. One of the reasons I enjoy this event so much is that it usually falls around my birthday….. 39 again!

We started our race weekend with quite an unexpected problem…. we had issues with our Bruno Drive and a torque converter. This meant a drive to Essex to get replacements! This racing is easy right?

Once we had built a new converter out of the two, that matched our spec, everything was back together. We had another little issue with starting and the idling of the engine… Anyway our first qualifier saw us lose the blower belt in the burnout, I kept the car idling down the track just reaching the first turn off.

Photo courtesy & © Julian Hunt
Julian Hunt perfectly captured the moment the belt ripped free! On its exit it damaged the belt guard, throttle cable and the bonnet so the evening was spent repairing and replacing those parts….

Wing damageThe next day, still with starting/ idling problems, we managed our second ever quickest run, a 6.50! However, the previously repaired bonnet came apart through the finish line and took part of the right hand front wing with it…. but we had qualified! So, another evening was spent repairing more fibreglass!

Our first round of eliminations was against David Vegter…. a tough pairing but not impossible. Unfortunately it was not to be…. keeping the car running after the burnout was the problem so our day was done.

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The weekend was really trying for the whole team…. and the wallet!


On to the National Finals. Would you believe we still had a chance of winning the Championship!!! Our performance and reliability had to be first class, and I know that the performance is there (plus more)! It’s the reliability that has caused us headaches though and, true to form, our gremlins were still present. The first and second qualifying sessions were missed and we only just made the final session with literally minutes to spare… all due to the ongoing starting and idling problem. We made a decision to literally just drive down the track to post a time and qualify.

The evening was spent discussing what we should do and concluded the correct answer to our problems was to sit out the next days eliminations. The car isn’t broken, it just isn’t running right. I know it can be rectified. So the winter will see the problems sorted and spares sourced…. the trouble is we have too long to wait to get back out there. The encouraging part is the data we have PROVES we have more performance available and the car is a blast to drive!

Would you believe we finished 4th in the MSA British Championship…? If only we could have kept the early season performance going!

THANK YOU to the crew this year, it has been hard fought. Gareth, Joe, Andy, Lee, Tony and Adam. Belinda, you get the biggest thanks for supporting me and putting up with us all. Our sponsors…  Lucas OilNGK, AllyFabDentRepairsCustom Coach Trimming and Originals Hot Rod Supply Co... are without doubt, the absolute best… I have said it before but I am truly grateful.

So, look out for the updates during the winter…. I know we will have a few things to share!”

Cheers,

Wayne