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APIRA Open Sport Nationals 27-29 August

Saturday

With a promising weather forecast it was a surprise to be at a cool and cloudy track at 8 o’clock and even more surprising (not really this year) for a shower of rain before the strip was open for business at 10.00. However this only held up proceedings for half an hour before the tarmac was being hammered by a variety of race machines. ETB/NAST was slightly down on numbers as were many of the car and ‘bike classes? Chris Mott was missing due to a house move so no 8sec. runs from him and in Gas Cary Wadey had family commitments and Robbie Dobbie was on holiday? leaving Alfie Udall to fly the flag which was quickly transferred to ETB/NAST as he was the only entry. ETB/NAST were not expecting a qualifying run until after midday so it gave time to iron out some gremlins. Gary Hester was having air-shifter problems and Wayne Bradley had a computer malfunction on the BMW which saw him swapping parts from his spare ‘bike and missing the only qualifying session for the day.

The only hold-up on track was due to a junior dragster rolling? at the top end of the strip but thankfully the young lady driver was only bruised with little damage to the car. For the first ETB/NAST qualifying session most completed with few problems except for Dave ‘the hat’ Smart who left the line on the back wheel but the engine cut out which on landing fired up and left Dave hanging on side saddle to complete the run. Back in the pits our old friend Clampy had arrived for a visit from his new residence in the South of France where rain is just a distant memory but unfortunately he was reminded of what to expect on an English bank holiday when, after a few rumbles and an odd flash at 2.15 we were subjected to an hour and a half of torrential rain and thunder to outdo the jet Funny car ‘Firestorm’.

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Sunday

4 Qualifying sessions were completed safely with Fiona Moor in number 1 spot with a perfect run at 12.000! dial-in of 12.00.

Monday

First round eliminations saw Peter Harrison into the next round when Siobhan Moor was a no-show, likewise Wayne Bradley when Giselle Moor was also missing? Alfie Udall took out Dave Smart and Joe Elliot did the same to Leo Lester as did Peter Austin to Gary Hester. Fiona Moor broke out but Mike Nelthorpe broke out more so she moved to the next round with £50 in her pocket from the perfect dial-in in qualifying.

Wayne Bradley, Peter Austin and Fiona Moor carried on their winning ways in round 2. Wayne and Fiona survived round 3 to meet in the final where Wayne defeated Fiona and also became runner-up in the 2016 APIRA Ultimate Drag Racing Championship which was narrowly won by Joe Elliott – well done in this the inaugural year of ETB/NAST.

Now on to Santa Pod for the National Finals 24th, 25th September.

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