National Street Car Challenge (UK)

2014 Rounds 6 and 7

Yes, with rounds 8 and 9 having happened just over a week ago, I suppose I'd better fill in the race report for rounds 6 and 7 that happened way back in July.


It was, unfortunately, the weekend of July 12th and 13th, which happened to coincide with Dragstalgia down at Santa Pod, an event that called plenty of the usual suspects away. And who could blame them - Dragstalgia featured some real crowd-pullers, not least a pair of old-school Fuel Altereds and a Gasser all the way from the States. By all accounts, it was a blinder of a weekend and NSCC lunatic Andy Hadfield managed to run his first seven in the road-legal Twister T, so buns all round.


This did leave a rather depleted field up at York, of course, with all classes running a skeleton crew. NSCC managed a scant seven qualifiers on the Saturday, headed by Simon 'Bootlegger' Boot on a 10.8 at 128mph, followed by James Murray on 12.7 at 111. John Peace wrung a 13.3 out of the blown Fox, with Knobby Colquhoun a shade behind on 13.5, then Paul Davis in the four-eye Fox Mustang (a car which I'm sure appeared in NSCC in different hands many years ago) on 14.4, Steve Gilmour on 14.7, and newcomer Tom Barker in an Astra on 17.4.


So, a pair of GMs bookending a field of Fords. With only seven players, round one of eliminations was also the quarter finals so plenty of points and more buns all round. Simon ran an 11.1 on a bye run, and why not, while James took Tom out 13.8 to 17.6. Knobby knocked Paul out 13.4 to 14.8 and John got a mighty holeshot on Gilly to make sure of his place in the semis. Although Gilly got a 90.0000mph terminal, possibly the most OCD terminal ever witnessed.


In the semis, Simon ran a relatively sedate 11.9 to finish Knobby's day, while John pulled a cherry trying to repeat his holeshot against James. In the final, Simon handed James three tenths on the line but then got his own back by winning with a second and a half in hand. And that was it. The day was over, done and dusted before 4pm, leaving everybody chance to sit around scratching their suntans and topping up their knackers for a couple of hours before we all went out on a cruise. Possibly. I can't remember. I expect there was a large dinner involved, and possibly a couple of beers upon our return, but I'm not going to swear to anything. I can't remember what happened this morning, never mind two months ago.


Sunday, and we woke up to another gorgeous morning and a couple of extra cars to swell the ranks. Firstly, the "if shit was lucky I'd be constipated" award goes to Stuart Harrison, who brought his super-duper Supra all the way down from Darlington only to shear all the propshaft bolts in the burnout before qualifying.


It sadly wasn't done in time for second qualifiers, so he came a long way to be a spectator... Nevertheless, we still ended up with 10 qualifiers. The top of the ladder looked similar, topped by Simon on 11.0 but now chased by Ian Walley on 11.1, James on 12.7 and Knobby on 13.8. Everybody else seemed to be struggling for form, though, with Shaun Cockcroft's Crossflow MkII Escort nipping into fifth with a 15.02 ahead of Paul's 15.08, John languishing at 15.4, and Lee Openshaw's Punto's 15.50 nudging Gilly's 15.57 down into ninth with Tom shoring up the field on a 17.3.


In round one, Simon dispatched Tom by a clear five and a half seconds, though Simon's 94mph terminal didn't bode well. In the Cortina match-up, Ian pulled a 10.8 out of his bottom to shut down Gilly's 15.4 while Knobby redlit his chances away against John. Paul was gifted a win when Shaun's Escort plummeted to 17.0, then James's no-gas 13.7 was enough to see off Lee's Fiat and set up the quarter finals.


In the quarters, John suddenly found 13-second form again but it wasn't enough to beat James's 12.9 despite his dozy reactions. Simon, on a bye, just broke the beams then backed up to wait for the semis, not wanting to chance anything on such a baking hot day, then Ian ended Paul's run of luck with another 10.8 to Paul's 14.7.


So, Simon was sat at the startline waiting for James to come around and run the semis. He as ready, too, and clicked off a stout 11.3 to James's 13.1 to take his place in the finals. Ian, meanwhile, just had to break the beams on his bye, then back up and wait.


Which is what he did. In the end, Simon left like a man possessed with a 0.52 light and ran an 11.4 at 121mph. Ian, meanwhile, left the line 0.4 seconds later but got to the line just shy of 0.5 seconds quicker on a 10.9 at 126. It must have been as tight as a mermaid's minge at the top end, but the win light came on in Ian's lane and Sunday's trophy went back to Darlington. Simon had a damn good time and took home a trophy and 3900 points from the weekend. Everyone else went home covered in grit and sweat having had a really good, sunny weekend despite the lower-than-we're used to turnout. And, who knows, before the final we might even have the write-up for the August meet!

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