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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Records Shattered at Santa Pod

By Andy Marrs

I think Tog summed it up perfectly when he said "After every FIA event we all tell ourselves "It can't get any better than this," and every time we're rapidly proven wrong."

First up, Top Fuel. Imagine the scene, the second round of qualifying and two British drivers are sat on the line in the middle of the Queen's Golden Jubilee weekend, one is the former FIA European Top Fuel Champion of 1998 Barry Sheavills, the other is the reigning Champion Andy Carter. Half a second after both cars entered stage Ian Marshall started the tree on a run that can only be described as historic. 

Barry left first with a .398 red light with Andy waiting just 2 tenths longer, just under 5 seconds later the roar of nitro engines was replaced with the roar of thousands of thrilled spectators as the numbers appeared on the scoreboards. Barry had become the first driver in Europe to pass 300 mph with a stunning 4.970 304.71 mph blast. Amazingly Andy became the second driver past this landmark just .211 of a second later with a 4.897 303.07. So how many firsts was that then? By my count at least 5!

The first 300 in Europe
The first 4.8 in Europe
The first side by side 4's outside of the USA
The first side by side 300's outside of the USA
The first official 300+ mph record outside of the USA

The next day Barry was unfortunate not to backup the first run by just 0.01 mph with a 301.65, though the faster run backed up the slower to set a new European record. Andy did manage to backup the 4.897 with a 4.922.

As well as Andy becoming a member of the 4 second club Kim Reymond gained full membership with a 4.994 whilst beating Andy in the final.

So could anyone in Top Methanol put on a show like his or her big cousins? Yet another Brit, Dave Wilson, had a shot at it! A 5.656 was backed up by a too quick 5.565 and a 252.84 was backed up by a 252.58 to smash his own European records.

Any more highlights? You bet. How about the highest terminal speed for a fuel Funny Car outside of the USA? John Spuffard (who else) put a 286.05 on what must have been the best-prepared track Europe has seen.

Henri Joosten in his Pro Mod dipped into the 6's for the first time and liked it so much he stayed there pretty much for the whole weekend! He enjoyed himself so much he decided to join the 200 mph club too! A 6.850 at 202.00 made him a very happy man indeed.

The list goes on and on.

A full report can be viewed on Eurodragster:

http://www.eurodragster.com/santapod/live/2002fiamainevent/default.htm

I'm off to find a darkened room to lie down in for a while...

Andy Marrs
TSI Timers (Europe)
andrew.marrs@bedhos.anglox.nhs.uk

 

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