National Street Car Challenge (UK)

2014 Round 10 Finals

It's now October. Boooo. Once again, the season's all but finished and there's bugger-all to look forward to for the rest of the year. 


Anyway, the finals. September 21st was the date, and for the first time in living memory, I actually rocked up not just early but early enough to have to join the queue at the still-closed gates! First in line was John and Chris Osborne, and behind them Andy Hadfield who was already dishing out the JD and Coke to his usual recipe... We'd managed a late-ish booking at the Barnes Wallis to allow everyone to get set up and take a leisurely drive, and enjoyed a right good nosebag and a beer or two. As well as the Osbornes, it was also good to see the return of Nick and Carol Gunby. 


Sunday was cool, clear and dry with a slight cross wind, and there were a few of our star players out to chalk some final big scores on the board before the end of the season. Andy Fadster set his stall out early with an 8.28 at 171mph, taking pole position by in excess of two seconds. In the past few months, Andy has run a seven at Santa Pod and York, and was clearly going for the full set, perhaps becoming the first street car ever to do so. He was also looking for the fastest street car at York title, although nobody seems to know exactly what that record stands at.


Another arrival out looking for a big score was Ian Walley, who had had a high-stall torque converter custom built to short order in the States, sent over double-quick and fitted in rather lively fashion, only to find that it stalled at exactly the same revs as the old one (which he had since sold). Rather than complain, the stiff upper lip prevailed and, by using a monstrous dollop of nitrous and the transbrake, was able to overpower the converter and launch inside the powerband. He tested this a few times ... inside his crowded unit full of customers' cars. Well, what could go wrong? A 10.4 in qualifying showed that there was definitely something in store from Ian. Russ was next on 11.0, then Derek on 11.7, then another big jump to Gilly in the Cortina looking sharp on 13.7. Phil Winstanley in the long-absent Moggy Minor returned to the fold with a 14.4 (and qualifying for the season at the same time).  Next was Tom Barker in the Astra, also qualifying, on 14.5, Andy Errington's TVR on a 15.0, then Gasket in the Mustang on a 15.2. Considering the season so far has been like a meeting of the Mustang Owners' Club (but with more emphasis on Fox and SN95 Mustangs and less emphasis on matching numbers), Gasket's was the only one there and is now up for sale for a very reasonable sum. Nigel's championship-contender Anglia was next on 15.9, then Rick, back out in the Viva, on 17.8, with the dirty dozen rounded out by Nick in the Zephyr that sounded, apparently, just like a BRISCA F2 stock car on its straight-through pipes but thoroughly exceeded Nick's expectations by breaking into the teens on only its second run with a 19.9.


And so, straight into the first round, and that saw the clean and rapid MkI of Gilly showing Andy's TVR how it's done, 13.4 to 15.2. Next came a bit of an upset as Ian Walley was pushed back off the line for fluid leak, leaving Rick to run uncontested into the quarter finals - yet another dose of bad luck for Ian. Next, Phil Winstanley pushed an extra tenth out of the Minor, 14.3 to Tom's 15.1, followed by Russ pulling a 10.1 out of the bag against Nigel's 16.1, thereby ending his hopes of taking the championship top spot - Nigel was assured of second, but now nobody could catch James Murray, our new 2014 NSCC champion. Nick got a stellar view of Faster's parachute end, his 20.1 playing a rather optimistic catch-up to Andy's 8.4, while Derek managed an 11.5 against Gasket's 15.4 to round out the first bout of eliminations and set up the quarters.


The quarters opened with Fadster, still on his mission for a seven, but seemingly with it getting ever further out of reach, ripping off an 8,7 against Phil's 14.1, followed by Derek hitting out a so-close 11.09 at 124mph to Russ's 10.1 at 135, a lightning reaction from Derek meaning that race was probably a lot closer than it looked, but Russ still took the win light. Gilly ended Rick's good luck, 13.9 to 17.7, to set up the semis. 


Gilly's luck ran out straight away in the semis as he met Russ, whose 10.8 rather overshadowed Gilly's excellent 13.4, while Andy just broke the beams in his bye on the other side of the ladder as he was also competing in Super Cup and didn't want to push his luck. Oh, the irony...


Right, to the finals, and it was a bit of an anti-climax. After a full season of hard-fought competition, it came down to Russ and Andy, the latter still trying for that elusive seven. In the end, Andy, shot off prematurely. Very prematurely - he left on the first amber, and later claimed confusion as Super Cup race pro tree and we race sportsman. Whatever, we reckon it was caused by him pressing the cigarette lighter instead of the transbrake button, but either way he ran a whopping 8.48 at 170mph but Russ took the win with his 10.1 at 135mph. 


In other news, Ian was honing his full-boost, nitrous launches and not only managed to pick the front wheels right off the deck he also finally broke into the nines. And not just a bit - he broke right in there with a 9.57 at 133 and backed it up with a 9.64 at 132mph. Much celebration chez Walley, then, and a ling time coming, though I suspect his 0.83 and 0.79 second sixty-foots may have been a little optimistic, surely?


And that's your lot for this year. The final points standings are on www.nscc.info, congratulations to James Murray, our 2014 champion, and well done to all the runners-up. In fact, to everyone who took part - thanks. This year has marked a radical improvement in numbers for NSCC and, more importantly, there's seemed to be a lot more enthusiasm floating about. It's been a lot of fun, so thanks to everyone who has helped make it that way.

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