National Street Car Challenge (UK)

2016 Round 6

Round six of NSCC is a bit of an odd one – it's a weekend event, but the classes are only run on the Saturday; the Sunday is reserved for the Street Racer eliminator and a Big Bracket.

Arriving early – well, early for me – on Saturday morning, I was pleased to see that there were 15 NSCCers ready to qualify. Well, almost ready. Jamie and crew were sitting in the gravel swapping differentials by the time first qualifier was called. Some of the usual suspects were clearly keeping their powder dry for Dragstalgia, but a 15 car field was actually the largest class fielded that day. Simon Boot was on pole position with a 10.4 at 135. Ian Walley had pulled several all-nighters to get the Cortina ready for this event, but was rewarded with second spot on 11.022, but Russ Pursley was hotter on his heels than Tabasco stilettos with an 11.023. Derek was charging hard on 12.11, still without nitrous, but Jamie had the Land Rover re-diffed and ready for second qualifying, laying down a 12.15.

James Murray followed on 12.6, Pete in the late model GT500 on 13.1, then Gilly in the MkI on 13.5. Tom Barker grabbed ninth with a 13.91 at a whopping 112mph, which hints at things to come, but Lee Opey was right behind on 13.92.

Andy Errington's Mustang slotted in in 11th with 14.4 – a long way off his recent best – then a big jump to Rick in 12th on a 15.9.

Dave's Lexus, Scott's Pop and Mark's Prefect filled out the rest of the ladder. With a cool day and a mighty following wind, new PBs should have been on the cards, and although the threat of rain was never far away, we hardly saw a drop.

Round one of eliminations opened with Simon taking it easy on a 13.2 second bye, with a terminal of 131mph. Eh? There'd be plenty of odd results like that, as the timing computers had clearly been on the mushrooms and would spend the afternoon freaking out occasionally. Next was the mid-table match-up of Gilly and Tom; Tom ran 13.5 and Gilly 13.7, but the win light came on for Gilly thanks to much sharper reactions. Next, Dave's Lexus went out to Derek's TVR, 12.1 to 15.8. This was a new PB for the Lexus, and the high point in a day where the usually consistent and reliable Lexus's times were all over the place like a madwoman's shite.

Another close race followed when James met Andy. It shouldn't have been that close, but James managed the trifecta of a crap reaction, a missed shift and the sudden realisation that he'd forgotten to turn the nitrous on, which handed the win to Andy's Mustang. Russ took it quite easy but still beat Scott; likewise Ian versus Mark. Jamie's Land Rover went out and ran a mighty 11.98 against Rick's 16.0, then Pete ran an equally impressive 12.8 against Opey's 14.1.

Right, into the quarter finals, which began with Simon ripping off another 10.2 to put Gilly back on the trailer, followed by Pete cutting a 0.50 light and running 12.3 against... nobody. Once again, Ian's bottom end had let him down, and zero oil pressure meant that the Cortina was abandoned in the pits. Again. Honestly, Ian's luck is so bad that if he fell into a bucket of tits he'd come out sucking his thumb.

Another close race followed, with Derek and Jamie facing off. Derek got the drop on the lights, and peeled off an 11.94 – still without the gas, which means he's knocking on the door of that TVR NA record. Jamie was just two tenths behind, too. I did love Jamie's air filter. He has a turbo the size of John Merrick's head feeding another turbo of similar size, so what does he have to stop them sucking in things like leaves, gravel and light aircraft? A sieve, cable-tied in place. I don't think Jamie goes to the motor factors, the scrapyard or the hardware shop like the rest of us; he just raids the kitchen.

To round out the quarter finals, Andrew not only cracked the 13s but bitch-slapped them and kicked their back doors in – a good dose of gas gave him a 13.7 at 106 for a NPB. It didn't help, though, as Russ in the next lane ran a 9.89...

Soon it was time for the semis, which opened with Russ running a 10.1 to end Pete's run of luck. Then Simon ripped off a 10.1 of his own at a heady 142mph, which put Derek out, but he was happy with an 11.91. This set up a final to look forward to, Simon having run consistent low 10s, but Russ having shown nine-second form once already. The two lined up and made mighty burnouts – Simon's burnouts had been the talking point of the day so far – then moved into stage. This would be a real nailbiter... or not, as the case may be. The lights ran down and Simon left a cherry on the tree, leaving Russ to cruise to an 11.4-second win and full points. Simon at least ran a 10.2 to compensate. 

So, another excellent day's racing from NSCC, and time to pack up and go home. As I was packing up, I noticed Russ's wheel-arch extensions, cunningly fashioned from cardboard and duct tape. None of this “You can't enter Street Racer because your tyres stick out of your arches” baloney that we had last year. Alongside the car were small mounds that looked like molehills, but they tutned out to be clumps of rubber dust that he'd dug out of his arches! In fact, Russ would go on to the semis of Street Racer on the Sunday, but Simon would have his revenge, winning the title and the pot.

Incidentally, Ian had been all the way home in the van on Saturday afternoon to pick up some new bearing shells and a firkin of oil, came back to the track and spent the night rebuilding his bottom end. Now that's dedication, and it took him to the Street Racer final where he finished runner-up to Simon. Three NSCCers in the top four – I think that speaks a volume about where the real street racers live, doesn't it?

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