National Street Car Challenge (UK)

2013 Rounds 1 and 2

NSCC Rounds One and Two

March 31st and April 1st, 2013

While we were all enjoying Easter in Siberia, the idea of spending a weekend freezing our collective jacksies off at York dragstrip may not have held much appeal for many NSCCers, but there was a faithful hardcore of the usual suspects there to keep the flag flying. We rocked up late on Saturday evening to find Steve Gilmour's car but no sign of Steve, and Mark and Scott Presland several sheets to the wind in a bar bathed in darkness. Apparently, Mark had spent all day rebuilding the distributor on his 100E only to have rough running all the way, then, upon stopping at a nearby pub for a swift half, found a collapsed engine mounting. They limped into the strip and proceeded to get bladdered. Then the power went out, so they were sat in a bar illuminated only by the head torches of the bar staff, and they were the only two buggers in there. Mr Gilmour had (possibly with some input from Mrs Gilmour) had the sense to stay at a local B&B.

It looked like being a bit quiet on the old NSCC front, but then James Murray turned up late, by way of a change. By the following morning, we had Derek Beck (another clever sod who'd stayed at a B&B) and John Peace (who'd even more cleverly stayed at home), plus Rick and Dawn who'd turned up without the Viva just to show some solidarity in the face of a bitter wind.

Dave only just made qualifying, the onset of British Summer Time (hah!) added to his natural bone-idleness combining to mean he missed the first round. James led the way with a 12.81 into a stiff headwind, with Derek a whisker behind on a 12.97. John Peace was showing good form in the Fox notch with a 14.59, Steve Gilmour again only a whisker behind on 14.68, then Dave on a 15.5 and Scott on 18.96.

James handily beat Scott 13.7 to 19.1, Derek battered dave 12.7 to 15.4, while Steve squeaked ahead of John 14.4 to 14.5 with a reaction time bonus. James got the bye into the final but still belted out a 12.8, with Derek pulling a 12.2 against another 14.4 from Steve to set up the final. In the end, it was a bit of an anti-climax, with Derek suffering clutch linkage failure after the burnout and not being able to stage. James was called to stage and ran a 12.4 at 112 to take the round win.

Come 6pm, amid monkeys roaming the pits asking if anyone had brazing equipment, the pub and a hot dinner was calling. Everyone made the cruise, the Gilmours promptly pushing off to the comfort of a centrally-heated B&B and John Peace to a centrally heated home, while everyone else tucked into a damn good scran. The bar that evening was a lot more lively than the previous evening, the new bench seating getting a good polishing from racers' arses, but it wasn't a late one as everyone sought the insides of their sleeping bags to escape the cold.

Monday morning, and there was no April fooling. Derek led qualifying in the TVR with a storming 11.67 at 122mph – tut, tut, too fast for your tag – with James behind on 13.45. John Peace had stepped up a notch with a 14.18, likewise Steve with 14.37, then Dave on 15.21 and Scott on 19.19. Steve stepped it up again in the first round to beat John 14.2 to 14.5, James nailed Dave 13.7 to 15.20, and Derek ran another 11 against Scott's 19.0.

In the semis, James' 13.4 was enough to see off Steve's 14.2, while Derek ran a 13.5 bye to set himself and James up in another final. Would fortunes be reversed? No, as it happens, as Derek smoked the clutch at half track, allowing James the win 13.1 to 13.5. Fortunately, there was no major damage as Derek had to drive 270 miles that evening to Portsmouth...

Oh well, there was plenty to celebrate in other classes with Scott and Steve cleaning up in Sportsman ET and John Peace proving to be something of a giant-killer in American Super Stock. With any luck, the snow and cold will be gone in time for Rounds 3 and 4 on Spring Bank Holiday in early May, and maybe we'll see some more competitors. We can but hope...

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