National Street Car Challenge (UK)

2021 Round 1 Report
Round 1 - Melbourne Raceway 22nd May

Much excitement about our first official round of NSCC, back on home territory, in many a year. Despite the weather being wetter than an otter's pocket on Friday there was still a very promising turn out of the party faithful - the most valiant effort being that of Ian Walley who had turned his car from little more than a shell back into a fully functioning race car in less than a week. Ian is of course aided by the fact that on his planet there are obviously 72 hours in a day.

Despite damp conditions Saturday saw the track open and the NSCC contingent out, eager to get to grips with the eighth-mile. Whilst the heavy hitters were cautious about the sketchy and still cold surface, the rest of us were keen to find out how much power we could get down off the line. Scott Presland in the Toyota Hilux (302 Ford V8 power) was one of the first out and straight into the nines with the little blue truck. Mark Presland's patina'd 100E has grown a Rover V8 powerplant since its last outing with NSCC and he was able to put in some good stout runs in the mid-ten second region.

Steve Simmonds spent the morning getting to grips with the fine balance of power and traction in his 68 Camaro, the addition of a nitrous kit just adding to the confusion. A few runs posted and he had the measure of it, another man into the nines.

Sandra Lee Wood returned to the track after a lengthy absence, and although her big block Ford motivated 100E looked a long way from being street legal at this meet she was allowed to run and quickly put the car down into the mid-eights once some rear axle tweaking had been made.

The morning served as an open-qualifying session, capped at 1pm with very late qualifying passes from Russ Pursley in the Dutton and Ian Walley in the Cortina, ousting Derek Beck's TVR from pole.

Intermitent rain kept everyone on their toes. Russ scored himself a competition bye in the first round but still squirrelled off a 7.30 @ 104mph. Wayne Courtenay (Escort Van/Dormobile/Block of Flats) squared up with Scott's pickup but could offer little challenge, four seconds adrift of a 9.79 win. Mark Presland found himself up against Shaun Wilson's little MX5-powered MG but taking a nap on the start line gave Shaun a 10.37 win.

Dave Mears red TransAm saw off Rick Swaine's Mustang GT, a 9.93 taking victory by over a second. Ford Hughes in the utterly balmy LandRover had the misfortune to meet Ian Walley and despite attempting to obscure the track with a black fog, the wile boy scout knew how to find his way to the win light with a 7.25 against an 8.94.

Derek Beck's turbo'd TVR laid down a very strong 8.02 to eliminate Sandra's Ford, despite a very creditable 8.48. The final pairing saw Steve Simmonds chase down the rapid little Civic of Craig Brown and squeak past him just before the line.

The rain failed to ease off as the afternoon wore on and as a result the second round of racing had to wait until the Sunday. Fortunately Sunday brought a drier track and some creditable organisation by the Straight Liners crew saw us able to get the remaining competitors out quickly.

Dave Mears had a good battle on his hands with Scott's Pickup but Scott put up an uncharacteristically slow performance to exit with a 10.62 to the TransAm's 9.94. Steve's 68 Camaro got on the bottle once again, but no match for Ian's yellow Cortina which was sounding so on-song with its new motor. Shaun's MG was no threat to Russ Pursley and exited stage left - leaving Derek to complete this round with a competition bye.

There was little time for cooling engines as the organisers had to push on with the semi finals and they would see the two boys in yellow really turning up the wick - Russ' Dutton taking out the TransAm with a 7.24 and Ian's Cortina putting the TVR out with a 7.49 win.

The finals were a battle we have seen many times before, though never with a certain outcome; Russ with the nitrous'd Chevy V8 in the little Dutton and Ian with the turbo'd Ford V8 in the Mk2 Cortina. Strong burnouts from both drivers and two belting reaction times saw the Cortina at the sixty foot in just 1.97 seconds, Russ only lagging by three hundredths! The Dutton was just too loose though and was shaking its ass like a cheap hooker a hundred yards out forcing Russ to to pedal the throttle - and despite being straight back on the gas that was all that Ian needed to pile on the power with a straight 6.89 @ 115mph victory against a chasing 7.01 @ 116mph.

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