We had a lot of confidence entering this event. A total of eleven drivers had entered and we felt sure what was learnt at the last event would serve us well. One of the parts “upgraded” between events was the flexplate. This was the fly in the ointment for us…. to cut a very long story short, the new flexplate wasn’t even round!!!! Brand new race quality parts, not even fit for purpose!!!!
We wasted all our time on Saturday fixing things….. but sadly missed all 3 qualifying sessions, so we were out before we even started.
This weekend, the 22nd and 23rd June, we will be competing at Santa Pod’s Summernationals. If you can’t make it to the track you can follow developments of the whole event and watch the live webcam at Eurodragster.com.
“The Main Event at Santa Pod is always one of the truly great events of the year and this year did not disappoint. The weather forecast was spot on, with the rain out of the way we were off and running in the first round of the FIA European Championship. We qualified very well, being the quickest British car, in at number 6 qualifier with a new PB of 6.45 seconds!
Earlier in qualifying we had run 6.50 at 220mph!! That was 5mph more than we had gone before and 8 hundredths quicker on the ET. To say everyone was pleased was an understatement!
Here’s on-board footage of the 6.5 @ 220mph run:
The 6.45 was our last qualifier, at a speed of 219mph. Looking at the data logger afterwards, it showed that I lifted slightly at the end of the run….. so there was certainly a little bit more to be gained on that tune up.
We have now invested in a GoPro Hero 3 so look out for more footage, in HD, after future events. Be sure to subscribe to the Lucky Devil channel on YouTube.
So, on to eliminations. We had Norbert Kuno in the first round who had qualified number 11. I went into the burnout as usual but then I saw the blower belt break… which is the very tough toothed drive belt that is driven by the engine, turning the supercharger…… so that was that, I had to be towed off the track by the safety marshals, thanks for the assistance guys.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement… after the great work we had all done, it left us all feeling a bit dejected. A supercharger belt can break at any time but to try and prevent this we would have to change the belt after every 3 or 4 passes….. unfortunately our funds don’t really allow that.
So, after proving ourselves, the car going arrow straight and quicker, we had to lick our wounds… repair the damage the belt had done and prepare for the Summernationals a few weeks later.
After a number of requests for Lucky Devil t-shirts, we are pleased to announce an order has been placed and the first batch will be available to buy at Santa Pod’s The Main Event for £15 each. Be sure to visit us in the pits to grab yours!
“Well, the start to the drag racing season couldn’t have been more mixed… In the weeks before our first event, the weather was absolutely atrocious. As cold as you could expect and SNOW… lots of it! My sanity was questioned on more than one occasion… “Wayne are you sure we should be going racing?” We had spent a lot of time on the car over the Winter – repairing the damage we had at the last event of 2012, checking the motor and giving it a freshen up, checking all the shocks and springs, rebuilding the Lenco and Bruno, checking and altering the Torque Converter, fitting a new Racepak data logger… so I was itching to try it all out.
Loading the car in to the truck the week before Easter was almost like an expedition, we had to dig the truck out of two foot of snow, and tow the race car out of the garage, usually we can just push it, but even though we had cleared as much snow as we could, we couldn’t get a firm grip on the drive to just push it.
So, with my sanity constantly checked throughout the following few days, I set off to Jon Webster’s on the Thursday morning with Joe. Jon was his usual very helpful self and we set about setting the car up after its full overhaul during the winter… which it still felt like… freezing! Jon and I discussed a few things and finished setting the car to our liking. After loading the car back in the truck, Joe and I went for a meal locally, and then got an early night.
Friday morning we headed to Santa Pod, ready for the weekend ahead and the brand new track. A few teams had decided not to show, supposedly due to the cold weather and the new virgin track surface. However, everyone in Pro-Mod showed up, all six teams.
All our crew duly arrived (thanks guys) and we got everything ready and set up, got the car scrutineered and finished programming the new Racepak.
Qualifying the next day was taken easy due to the FREEZING COLD conditions but we found ourselves number one qualifier with a 7.62 at 210mph… I guess everyone else was trying too hard. Andy Robinson then put a fine 6.9 on the board for the new number 1 in his brand new ’69 Camaro and then promptly sat the rest of qualifying out.
Light flurries of snow were experienced on a few occasions during the day and another bitterly cold night was experienced by us all… we had two out of our three heaters fail and our toaster! A prompt visit to Machine Mart in Peterborough was needed for some new heaters, only for one of them to fail too… We were all struggling to keep warm and keep the motor warm in the race car too, because a warm motor works far better.
Sunday came and we tried another approach to the track and conditions. The new racing surface is great and a true credit to everyone at Santa Pod. We just need some of the “newness” wearing off of it and some warmth in the track. Our first attempt on Sunday saw us with massive “tyre shake” but some good data anyway.
It was our very last qualifier that saw everything come together, even with a track temp of only 41°F and the temp in the water box of ZERO!!! The car hooked up real good with a 1.04 sixty foot, short shifting through both shifts, a dead straight run… crossing the line with a 6.69 at 214.85mph!!!! Your new number one qualifier and a New Personal Best speed. Oh, did I mention we had soft snow flakes falling in the pairing lanes too?!! And still everyone else was struggling. You can see from the photos how cold it was.
This is a clip of the in-car footage on the number one qualifying run.
To say we were pleased was an understatement… the long hours over the winter and the determination to attend in the bitter cold weather conditions were working.
Race day at The Festival Of Power. We had a bye run in the first round due to the uneven amount of cars and us being number one. We decided to repeat everything from the previous day, just to see if the conditions would be the same… tyre shake was the answer but we were on a solo pass anyway.
For round two we were paired against Rick Garrett in his swoopy ’41 Willys. Going into stage on the lights was probably the very worst time for the air bottle to give up!!! Basically we have solenoids on our transmission and these need to be activated on the start line, only we didn’t have enough air… so a big fat RED LIGHT was duly shown on my side of the tree!!! Frustrating isn’t the word… Rick went on to win the event against Andy Robinson in the final… and we had to console ourselves.
If you had told me the week before we would be number one qualifier, with a new PB for speed and come home with some great data, and having experienced a great new track I wouldn’t have believed you, due to all the poor weather. Not too shabby at all 🙂
Thanks as ever to our great sponsors and crew, without whom all this would not be possible.
Our next outing is The Main Event at the end of May… I can’t wait.”
We are delighted to announce that yet another sponsor will be supporting the Lucky Devil team this season… Custom Coach Trimming.
Custom Coach Trimming provide full custom re-trims and minor repairs, as well as supplying and installing audio and visual systems. They have great experience with classics, hot rods, muscle cars, VWs, motor homes and of course race cars… pretty much anything that needs fantastic quality work. Head over to their website and check out the showroom to see for yourself. So if you need a re-trim, look no further!