Ok here goes……
Usually, it’s my job to ride the bike and leave Lizzy to the PR and write the race reports, but I thought I would give it a go.
Due to real life and having to go to work, I couldn’t make it to the Track until Thursday evening. By the time I got to Santa Pod, the pit was set up. The girls had done a great job setting up the pit space and the caravans! (Thanks Nipper for the tow) Just a small hiccup with fuel in the generator (yes as it’s not an ACU race meeting, there was no electricity supplied by Santa Pod 🙁 )This was soon sorted out, and I made up for being late, by buying the Team a Chinese takeaway, we know how to live it up!
Friday morning we had a look over the bike and fitted the wheelie bars, we then gave the bike a warm-up, and did a leak down test to get a starting point to work from while monitoring the engine condition, after the valve issues at the last test day.
Down to the start line and the bike did not want to start, so back to the pits to investigate. We found the plugs were fouled and it was suggested that the ignition may not like the resistor plugs, so we raided Kev’s spare parts and a set of non-resistor plugs were gapped and fitted. This appeared to solve the problem. Back to the pairing lanes and set up for another run. Lizzy managed a burnout and up to the start line, where Chris was.
We lined her up straight, and the phenomenal grip on the new track caught us out! The bike bogged, almost to the point of stalling at the hit then recovered and took off like a banshee from 60 foot, resulting in a messy 11.8 at 148mph! (well ridden Lizzy!)
Fetched her from the top end, and back to the pits, where it was decided to raise the RPM a little and take some base pressure off the clutch. Sadly we missed the cut off for any more testing.
Saturday morning we were called down for the first qualifier of Nostalgia Pro Stock bike. With the reduced base pressure on the clutch and the slightly higher launch RPM; we hoped this would be ok to get a decent qualifier. I put Lizzy into the bleach box and intentionally left the tire on the edge of the water, as she has a bit of trouble keeping two fingers on the brake and cracking the throttle open in one swift movement.
(These man size brutes are not designed for lady-sized hands! – We will search out an adjustable lever)
Chris kept Lizzy in the burnout a little longer than usual, until he saw some smoke off the tire. Up to the start line straightened, and when she put the bike onto the 2-step it looked like it was trying to drag her through, but she managed to hold onto it, and took off to a cleaner 9.45 @ 149mph, giving her number 2 qualifier.
Back to the pits, we went through the run with Lizzy and discovered that the shift light wasn’t working. Even though it lit when the ignition was turned on, it wasn’t lighting up when the shift RPM was reached, this was traced with help from Steve French and Dave Woodard, to faulty wiring at the ignition coils. We tried to find a solution to get the light back in action, but some diodes had been damaged, so the next pass, she would have no shift light. (I have had this myself as a rider, and this does mess with your head)
We talked about different ways of making the burnout cleaner and waited for a call for qualifier two. The call came; we headed down to the pairing lanes. Did the burnout with the tire slightly off the water, the burnout looked a little hesitant, either due to not enough engine RPM or not dropping the clutch lever fast enough. Up to the start line, when Lizzy brought the RPM up onto the 2-step the clutch dragged her through the start line before the tree had dropped. No time was recorded, no improvement this qualifier, and bumped down to fourth.
At the top end we had a bit of fun – As well as managing to push back Lizzy as normal with my right foot on the wheelie bar, we helped Nick Pepper pushing him back with my left foot on his wheelie bar, one either side of the moped, quite impressive! But for two drag racers, they wouldn’t stay in a straight line, and nearly split my difference a couple of times!
Back in the pits, we knew we had to make some changes to the clutch. We needed a bigger air gap, so had to reduce the clutch pack height. Back to raiding Kev’s spares…… Chris and myself with advise from Allan Davies and Dave Buttery (I don’t do lock-ups, sliders are the way to go!) We managed to find a new pack of used plates, by measuring ever plate in the spares box. We got within 0.2mm of where it needed to be.
To make sure we got a good burnout for the last shot, we decided a nostalgia burnout against the tower would be our best chance (thanks Gipp) Qualifier number 3 was dropped, so no last shot at qualifying. We were still in 4th place out of 10 bikes. Tomorrow we would be straight into eliminations against Richard Peachy.
Sunday Eliminations, we were called down for the first elimination run, the burnout against the tower worked pretty well! The clutch was not dragging this time. I put Lizzy into first gear, and as she pushed into stage, her head shook – when we checked the throttle it was stuck closed. We took solace that the throttle had stuck shut on the start line, rather than open at the finish line at 150mph. That was us out.
The bike has a few teething issues to iron out, and I’m sure it will be a contender and should be well into the 8-second zone.
Thanks to Claire Rule for the bike and all that helped us out over this testing but enjoyable weekend.