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Cary in Westonzoyland and Through to the Canvas Pass

Oh my ears and whiskers, imagine my surprise when who should park next to me was our old friend and ex NAST chairman, Cary Wadey. After a very early start for a run down the M5 to Somerset on May 12th I had only just rolled the ‘bike out for scrutineering when the familiar stone mason’s van appeared. He had been ordered to have some fun in the sunshine after many sleepless nights with new baby Willow. Andy Ball was also attending his first sprint, but almost didn’t, as he had pulled into what he thought were the pits on Friday night but had stumbled on a gypsy camp!

Despite being overcast the weather was dry and warm (at least during the day) and this had brought out many NSA racers for the few meetings available to them now that Shakespeare County Raceway had been forced to close its gates permanently. However, not only were there many familiar faces riding ‘bikes but several of Shakey’s staff were there to show anyone willing to volunteer!!! how to use the more complicated but informative timing equipment.

A leisurely morning, several coffees and equipment inspection with no fewer than 3 scrutineers available to speed things along and it was almost ready for the first runs at midday. Cary and myself were in the red group so had to wait a little longer to sample the rarely used runway. (For those not aware of the NSA queueing system, 3 coloured flags are used. When signing on you are given a scrutineering sticker the colour of one of the flags. The flags are displayed on the timing van and when your colour is shown you can take your place in the queue.)

First run of the day and Cary had not lost any of his banzai riding style and over the weekend he managed to gain some PBs the first of which was a 60ft time in the high 1.5s. This was remarkable considering the lack of grip. My first runs were an experiment in that I elected to leave in 2nd gear as I was used to spinning off the line in 1st. This was a mistake, as the lock-up clutch (which wasn’t fitted on the last outing at Westonzoyland) did a good impression of a twist and go scooter on a shopping trip. Plan B for run number 3 then.

IMG_6768With the 3rd run imminent before the lunch break Cary discovered IMG_6769that the worn slick I gave him several years ago had finally given up and was showing canvas in 2 places!!

Not wanting to miss a run while he changed wheels for a Shinko shod rim he decided to go out but with a limited burnout? I was having fun on the startline with a snaking, wheel spinning launch but handling issues forcing me to shut off 3/4 track.

IMG_6770During lunch Cary whipped off the wheelie bars and changed the wheel of the Suzuki in a time that would have impressed a Formula 1 team. In the Honda camp there was less physical activity but mental gymnastics on why the usually stable SP1 was misbehaving at speed? (On a previous occasion poor handling had been blamed on a rather large number board that I had attached to the wheelie bars which was acting as a wing and lifting the back of the ‘bike – very quickly removed, problem solved).

After lunch Cary was back doing what he does best – mono wheeling off the start line, frightening the onlookers and sometimes himself. While waiting to run I was still thinkingIMG_6793 about the handling issue when I realised that the front forks were strapped down which is the norm for a smooth dragstrip. More suspension travel may be of benefit on this surface so off came the strap. Still no grip on launch but the checker boards were now appearing more quickly in a straight line so there was only the problem of stopping before running out of airfield and riding on a public road!

Jo and Dave Smart had dropped by to spectate before a quiet break in the Isle of Man at the end of May and early June. Jerry Cookson had also decided to get a closer look as he vacated the timing van and took over startline duties.

After our allotted 6 runs Cary and myself made use of the track a few more times before the curfew and with encouragement from him I was riding through the full 1/4 but not attaining times the ‘bike is capable of as a result of gear change problems.

A bite to eat and a natter over a couple of beers and both Cary and myself were shattered. His excuse, being a new dad – mine was getting up at silly o’clock and old-age! An early night, but despite the very warm day, a cold one. Luckily I had packed a duvet and slept like a log but Cary was not as warm and had as disturbed a night as if he had been at home.

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Sunday arrived without a cloud in the sky with temperatures to match the May Bank holiday highs the previous week. The pits had thinned out at the end of Saturday and only a few had arrived as replacements. With plenty of time to think through some of the issues with the Honda an extra 10ms was added to the air-shifter delay which solved the gear-change problem. Midday start and Cary was leaping all over the place but I was concentrating on getting grip for forward motion which we succeeded in doing with a series of 10s with the best saved to the last run of the day -10.2.

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Unfortunately I will have to miss the next 2 events in Somerset but Cary should be keeping everyone entertained before a trip to Pendine to satisfy his passion for land speed events.


Race Report – Round 1 – 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup

After a slow drive on a very busy M6 due to 50 mph average speed checks the A14 looked quite inviting for a change. Already a dry and warm Friday we had a taste of how the weather was going to be for the May Bank holiday. Arriving at a quiet Santa Pod shortly after 4pm I finally put a face to the man who I had been emailing to make all this happen.

When I contacted Ian Marshall to see if it was possible to stage the NAST “Challenge Cup” he put me in touch with James Forster who some may remember invited the SuperTwins to the very first Dragstalgia event. With his guidance and bouncing a few dates around we eventually settled on May, September and October “Saturday Specials RWYB”. He also put me in touch with timekeepers David & Kieran who sorted out the elimination ladders on the day – A big thank you to all concerned including the pairing-lane marshals.

Back to Friday night and rolling up to pit near to the jet funny car “Fireforce” I was met by Peter Harrison and Ian Chrichlow who were already settled in but had given the ticket staff a headache. Ian had bemused the staff by providing his tickets on his phone but the necessary scanners were only available on Saturday! Peter went one better and dodged the gate staff but he was eventually found out and handed over the necessary cash. (Just so we get it right for next time, if arriving on Friday – before 5 or the gates are locked – you will need to pre-book entrance tickets for each individual in your party. This can be done by post or printed download but not on your phone and they are to be shown at Reception by the main gate).

Not a lot of people about, which was probably unsurprising being the night before a RWYB, but track preparation was in progress with squealing passes from the contra-rotator scrubbing in rubber until early evening.

To also break the silence was an impromptu display of a naked Fireforce just yards from where we were enjoying a cold beer.IMG_6691IMG_6698IMG_6693IMG_6703MVI_6696

While unloading the van so I had somewhere to sleep Peter spotted my leathers hanging up and suddenly realised that his were also hanging up, unfortunately well over a hundred miles away at his house! While he went to find a cat to kick I had a word with Ian who arranged his spare set of leathers to be brought to the track in the morning and Andy Ball had phoned so he too would bring his. Not the only one to forget his leathers Leo Lester had the same problem on Saturday but remembered on route and returned home to collect them adding a considerable extra mileage to his journey.

The view from my bedroom – IMG_6704

Saturday arrived very bright and early with the pits filling quickly with a large number of cars and ‘bikes. Plan was to get in the pairing lanes for 9.30 but even before signing-on there was a long line of impatient cars queueing for their first run.

Most of our 16 riders had arrived so we made our way for the first qualifying session with the hope of a further 3 – time permitting.

By 9.50 14 ‘bikes had qualified with Joe Elliott recording the best reaction time of 0.41 (oddly we all commented on our poor reactions?), Paul Adams recording best ET of 9.34 and Mick Winyard fastest at 147.26 MPH (for him a slow speed). Gary Hester was top of the qualifiers with 0.20 off his posted ET with Chris Mott in second – but first on a Twin – with 0.21.

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For the second qualifier we had our full 16 when Leo Lester finally arrived and Chris Neary joined us. The queue was now well past the Pod shop and unfortunately did not move for some time as oil had been dropped for the full quarter which took a while to clean up. By 12.30 we had our 2nd run which, with a lunch break at 1.00, meant it was our last qualifier before eliminations. Chris Mott swapped places with Gary Hester as number 1 with a 0.033 off his dial-in to Gary’s 0.093 with Dave Grundy in 3rd with a 0.095. The first 9 places being within 0.6s of their dial-ins, there was a promise of some close racing.


Eliminations round 1 was completed just before 2.00 with Chris Mott- Harley, sideways off the line being taken out by fellow Twin racer Robbie Dobbie – Honda SP1 who would lose to Twin racer Peter Harrison – Ducati ST2 in the next round. Ian Chrichlow – Honda CB250 K4, Andy Ball – Yamaha TZR250, Gary Hester – Suzuki Katana 1170cc, Dave Grundy – Triumph Tiger Explorer, Paul Adams – Suzuki GSXR1000 and Joe Elliott – Italjet Dragster 180 made it to Round 2 by eliminating Duncan Barron – Kawasaki ZX9R, Mick Winyard – Suzuki, Fiona Moor – Yamaha TRX850, Leo Lester – Turbo Hayabusa, Chris Neary – Turbo Hayabusa, Steve Moor – Buell 1100 and Mike Nelthorpe – Polaris RMK900 who didn’t compete not wanting to damage his machine.

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Round 3, which was run at about 4 o’clock, saw Andy Ball, Joe Elliott and Gary Hester removed from the competition and the semi-finals then saw Peter Harrison narrowly lose to Dave Grundy. Ian Crichlow on the 250 Honda beat Paul Adams on his very tidy Suzuki GSXR1000 after Paul sat for what seemed like an eternity before the amber lights on the tree finally came on in his lane.

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Into the final at gone 7.00pm, and despite both riders breaking out, Dave Grundy on the Triumph was given the win over Ian Chrichlow on his Honda CB250.


With trophies presented together with a share of the £260 prize fund we look forward to Round 2 with a surprised Ian Crichlow leading the SuperTwins Challenge. Regular racer Peter Harrison a very close second, and no doubt glad he didn’t return home after forgetting his leathers, and Andy Ball in 3rd with only 30 points separating the top 3 runners the next round is going to be very interesting.

Also seen at the event but only to start the engine without annoying their neighbours was Terry & Diana with the new Harley minus bodywork.

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Next round, 22nd September – although we cannot promise record temperatures there will be close racing and lots of fun!


Possibly Final Instructions 5th May

Remember – if you are coming tomorrow (Friday) you needed to pre-book sun
(you should be able to go online and print tickets if you haven’t already).
When you arrive – before 5pm – you need to go into the office at the entrance where your tickets will be checked and shown where to pit. For those arriving on Saturday follow your nose and look for the opposition (I will try to update this post Friday evening with more details if I can get internet access). I do know we are not pitted near the start line as in the past.

Not quite – Final Instructions May 5

I am awaiting instructions from James Forster at Pod as to where we will pit. I have been advised that for first qualifier we should be in lanes when track opens – 9.30 and depending on number of RWYBers etc. we will do a further 2 qualifiers about 11, 12. Don’t forget you can use the track at any time but must be in our group to qualify. Eliminations to begin early afternoon and probablyy finish before 5.00 so you can go home and mow the lawn (or carry on playing until 8.00).

‘SuperTwins 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup’.

5th  May, 22nd September, 20th October

‘SuperTwins Challenge Cup’ will be held this year at Santa Pod during Saturday RWYB events. The format will be the same as 2017 with £10 in the pot from each entry with NAST adding £100 and trophies for Winner and Runner-up on the day. This is open to any motorcycle regardless of number of cylinders. However, points at each event for Twin cylinder entries will be carried to the final where, in addition to trophies and additional cash for that day, there will be an overall Winner, Runner-up trophy and an additional prize fund for TWIN CYLINDER ‘BIKES ONLY of £500 Winner and £250 for the Runner-up (and current NAST member – £10 fee, unless you were a member in 2017 then your membership carries over into 2018). As it is the 25th year for N.A.S.T. the event will now be known for 2018 as the ‘SuperTwins 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup’. NOTE: this is open to ANY motorcycle irrespective of number of cylinders etc. and run as ET Bike (but NO ACU licence required as these are RWYB events). The only thing different from 2017 is that we require a name and ‘bike number, (some details for possible commentary) 10 days before the event – details to Robbie Dobbie robbie_superpenguin@hotmail.com  (does not commit you to appear on the day but it is a condition we have to comply with). Entry Form here As it is a RWYB you are free to use the track at any time but must complete at least one qualifier with NAST before you can run in the eliminations. Dates, 5 May, 22 September, 20 October. Overnight camping available if you pre-book (advisable as limited number available at RWYB) and arrive before 5.00 pm Friday (Note: no facilities available so bring sandwiches!) and as all dates are ‘Saturday Night Specials’ (Gates open 8.00, track open 9.30 – 8.00) camping may be available Saturday but you must have a weekend ticket if staying over.  

NOTE: We plan to have eliminations completed by the afternoon, as on a normal race day, so you can make it a one day event.

AGM News & SuperTwins Challenge Cup 2018

AGM News

The present committee were all prepared to stand and this was accepted.

It was decided that of the 6 Championship rounds at Santa Pod, because 2 would be on the weekend of the ‘Redline Rumble’ in August, the best results from 4 would count towards the NAST Championship and Fiona would collate the points. To make this easier any member in 2017 would automatically be entered and no membership fee required for 2018. Any new members this year would be required to join as normal.

It was also decided that the AGM would be brought forward and probably held in September this year.

Due to the cancellation of the ‘SpringNationals’ at SCR May Bank Holiday we have recognised that there is a 2 month break between championship rounds for many ‘bike racers. If there are events at Shakey this year with their permission we will run the ‘SuperTwins Challenge Cup’ there on Saturdays with the opportunity of SCR ‘bike Gamblers on Sunday of race weekends.

However, Santa Pod Raceway have very kindly agreed to us running the ‘SuperTwins Challenge Cup’ this year, at their newly resurfaced venue, during Saturday RWYB events. The format will be the same as 2017 with £10 in the pot from each entry with NAST adding £100 and trophies for Winner and Runner-up on the day. The dates and number of rounds has yet to be agreed but points at each event for Twin cylinder entries will be carried to the final where, in addition to trophies and additional cash for that day, there will be an overall Winner, Runner-up trophy and an additional prize fund for TWIN CYLINDER ‘BIKES ONLY (and current NAST member – £10 fee) of £500 Winner and £250 for the Runner-up.

As it is the 25th year for N.A.S.T. the event will now be known for 2018 as the ‘SuperTwins 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup’.

NOTE: this is open to ANY motorcycle irrespective of number of cylinders etc. and run as ET Bike (but NO ACU licence required as these are RWYB events). The only thing different from 2017 is that we require a name and ‘bike number before the event (does not commit you to appear on the day but it is a condition we have to comply with).

As it is a RWYB you are free to use the track at any time but must complete at least one qualifier with NAST before you can run in the eliminations.

STOP PRESS: Provisional dates, 5 May, 22 September, 20 October. Overnight camping available, details soon. No dates for Shakey but may be news in April.

Following on from the AGM was the prize-giving.

NAST winners were:-

ET Winner – Fiona Moor

ET Runner-Up – Giselle Moor

Gas Winner – Alfie Udall

Gas Runner-Up – Robbie Dobbie

FUBAR – Alfie Udall

Rookie of the year – Duncan Barron

Most improved rider – Giselle Moor

Services to NAST – Jo Clarke

Mint Bike – Mike Nelthorpe

Best Supporting Crew – Jo Clarke


Long Marston – Latest

Not good news about the future of our favourite track. It appears that CALA have gone begging to Stratford-on-Avon District Council for money to make the high pressure gas main safe and clear up some of the dodgy substances they have discovered on-site (didn’t affect our barbecues and don’t remember seeing 2-headed sheep!). It will also pay for some of the investment in the road network. Looks like the planning application at the end of May is a rubber stamp exercise and the implication of that, as it stands, is that current access to the strip may be denied as this is ear-marked for a cycle path to the ‘StratfordGreenway’.

We haven’t given up hope of racing at Shakey this year so watch this space and keep everything crossed.

Riders/Drivers Update

A very well attended Riders and Drivers meeting kicked off with news that the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway would not be taking place. However there had not been a decision to abandon (or run) any meetings at the venue. The planning application for 400 houses to be built by Cala Homes (filter Midlands) near the entrance to SCR has been delayed until 30th May (see details in previous post).

Also delayed is the new concrete strip at Santa Pod. After stripping off the tarmac it was decided to dig up the original WWII runway and use it as hardcore before laying the new concrete which should begin this week. This will take some time to cure and it is anticipated that with a lot of 24hr work should be ready for the Straighliners meeting 2 weeks before Festival of Power at Easter!

Santa Pod entry forms are now available and fees remain as last year and a trial for the Easter meeting is on-line application which will involve signing the form at the office when signing-on as normal on the day. Electric has increased by £5 but fixed until 2019.

APIRA membership will be accepted this year but will be reviewed in 2019.

ST Gas will run in 2018 but as there was insufficient entries in 2017 (minimum of 6 per round) there is no free entry to events for the champion (as last year).

No news from York Raceway but they will not run permitted meetings anyway.