Competition Clutch Santa Pod FWD Drag Series
Race Report. Round 1. The Fast Show, Sunday 23rd March
The FWD Drag Series season starter at Santa Pod got off to a solid start at the inaugural round of the 2014 season. Held during the Fast Show event, the enthusiastic crowd packed into the grandstands were keen to see how quick the cars could run in this very first round.. and they weren’t to be disappointed.
Although a healthy field of entries had been submitted for this first round, sadly, there were to be a few no-shows as the racing started. Yasir Dar’s long-awaited return to FWD drag racing was unfortunately thwarted thanks to a significant set-back during his pre-meeting testing. While dynoing his race-spec Honda Civic on the dyno, the car managed to crack its own engine block! A healthy sign of the power that it was making, for sure, but not good news for Yasir’s Sunday race hopes. With no time to repair the engine, sadly he had to sit this first meeting out.
As is often the case with the first meeting of the season, late arrival of parts also put paid to a couple of other contender’s chances of lining up on Santa Pod’s hallowed quarter mile, but the field that remained were clearly intent on putting on a show, and it was clear that some of the drivers and technicians had been making very effective use of the off-season!
Richard Batty’s formidable looking Mitsubishi FTO had been a real superstar of the 2013 season, and it was clear that he wasn’t looking to take any prisoners this year. Batty had a run of mixed fortunes in the few days before the event that might have tested a lesser man, but he still managed to turn up with the goods in spite of everything!
The Saturday night before the race saw him finally fitting his engine into the car, before recording a mind-blowing 1051bhp and 840 ftlbs of torque on the dyno at 3 bar boost, but he then suffered a break-in on his trailer and a minor crash whilst towing! Despite these trials and tribulations, Batty made it to the track, where he blasted off an unassailable 9.44 straight off the trailer in the first qualifying session. If anything was going to help him lift his spirits.. that ought to have done it!
Amy Bradley was another notable entrant, starting off the season in style by running her ‘proper’ Civic Type R racecar, instead of her stand-in Civic that ran the quarter mile so often last season. A superb qually performance saw her running just a whisker away from the crowd-pleasing ‘10s’ with an impressive 11.02 pass.
Fresh blood is always good in the series, and newcomer Dan Frost, in his red Honda Civic, showed great promise at an 11.27 ticket at some 131.02 mph. James Lord and Robert Johnston were also impressive in their first meeting.
Round 1 saw Batty through on a ‘bye’ run, Frost in his EP3 paired with Bradley in the EG Civic and Lord against Johnston. Frost then ended up running in a tightly fought semi-final against the more-powerful FTO of Batty, with Johnston going through on another ‘bye’ run.
Ultimately, it was to by Batty’s day, clocking an astounding 9.1659 pass at 164.88 mph to lift the crown, proving that these FWD cars really can put in some astounding times that belie their supposed lack of traction!
With many more cars expected for the next round at The Festival of Power, held between the 18th-20th April, we’re looking forward to seeing what all the drivers have up their sleeves for the next race!
For more info see the FWD Drag Series