will go to the British Heart Foundation and Lymphoma Research Trust,
in memory of Barry.
donations by cheque can be sent to: In memory of Barry Eastman, Lodge
Brothers, 7 Green Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8DP, and there will be a
collection box on the day should anyone prefer to donate then.
The Storm team are broken-hearted to announce the loss of team co-owner, Barry Eastman, who passed away in hospital Tuesday afternoon, aged 68. Barry’s friendship with Mick Hand extends back over 50 years to when they completed their apprenticeships at the same company and started going sprinting. After racing their own bikes, Mick helped Barry with his Honda CBX funnybike, “Tokyo Express”, through the 80s and 90s before building Storm together.
Now though our thoughts are with Barry’s family, especially wife Deb and daughter Sarah. Barry met Deb through drag racing and we are sure that the drag racing community will want to join us in sending our love and sincere condolences.
As we did in 2017, we attended this late in the year meeting to get some much-needed track time before the winter lay-off. Unfortunately though, we suffered an incident which did some damage to Storm and me (Lorcan). Both are repairable but will take a little time.
While tuning the turbo speeds a burst panel in the inlet manifold let go at around the eighth mile mark (165mph), sending flame under the seat and into the area that houses most of the wiring, the batteries, sensors and boost controller.
I don’t think I saw the fire immediately but as soon as I saw it on my right side I hit the brakes and scrubbed off as much speed as possible before the fire got too intense and I bailed out on the left side, hitting the ground at a speed we will find out later from the datalog.
My left shoulder blade is broken and there is a small burn on my right leg. My leathers were cut off by the ambulance crew and crash helmet will also be binned.
Storm continued upright after the bailout, clipping the wall on the right side. It has fire damage to the wiring loom and sensors, batteries and boost controller.
I’d like to say a big thank you to the Santa Pod medical team for looking after me so well and getting me to Bedford hospital so efficiently, to the Straightliners crew, the Storm team and especially Sarah for looking after me, running around with cars etc. to enable us to get home last night. You are all awesome! Thanks also to my boss, Chris, for his patience and understanding when it comes to his least risk-averse employee!
Here are some pics from Sarah and Kermit, and a little video. Time for a regroup and repair over the winter and we’ll be back stronger and faster next year.
Having secured the national championship at the Redline Rumble double-header event in August we went to the finals with hopes of improving our PBs and going some rounds, but it was not to be.
Rain all day on the Saturday meant a one-shot qualifier on the Sunday morning, but our ice tank leaked on the line, putting us out.
Congrats to Kars Van Den Belt on the Funnybike class win and for running an oh-so-close 7.005 in the semi-final! That little Blackbird will be in the 6s next time! Congrats too to Steve Woollatt on a PB 6.14.
Highlight of the event for us was seeing Storm on the cups in the Santa Pod bar!
The biggest meeting of the year, and the Friday qualifying sessions didn’t go well for us, or for some others in the class. On our first qualifier the bike didn’t burnout (rider error) and then hit the turbo speed limiter on the launch. After a 7 hour wait our next qualifier was at nearly 9pm, with immediate tyre shake.
We reverted back to our 6.56 settings for boost and clutch but the weather forecast for Saturday was not good.
At close of play Friday we were qualified 6th with Steve Woollatt in #1, Fast Fil struggling and Rene had grenaded his motor. Eric Richard was also struggling a bit, so it was all to play for if we could get a decent run in Saturday.
Saturday brought just one daytime qualifier due to rain, 6.94 @ 201 which put is in third place. The bike double-shifted from first to third gear, and cracked the exhaust headers on the run. We could weld those up in the morning and see where the pairings take us. Fast Fil went into the field at the end of the track on his run – he was ok but there was some damage to the bike. Meanwhile, Rene had rebuilt his engine and was back in the game! We elected not to run the second night time qualifier as it was run very late.
The team tried to patch up the exhaust on Saturday morning but it was impossible to weld without taking it apart and the patch didn’t hold, allowing our nemesis Dale Leeks to take the win in round 1 with a 0.05 margin 7.15 against our 7.25.
Redline Rumble is a new bike-only event for 2018 at Santa Pod, possibly to capitalise on the demise of the Bulldog Bash but also to provide an event for those not wanting to go to the Hockenheim Nitrolympx which takes place the same weekend.
The format is effectively two one-day events with qualifying and eliminations both days and ACU championship points also awarded on each day. With many of our Funnybike friends at Hockenheim it was an ideal opportunity for us to get some track time and possibly extend our lead in the championship.
Q1 on Saturday we had some issues this morning firstly with the rider getting it wrong, then a crank/cam sync sensor error made the engine cut out at the end of first gear. 1.113 to 60′ was encouraging though. Q2 was a 7.41 @ 151mph shutoff. The front tyre was contacting the fairing landing from the first gear wheelie, pulling the front wheel to one side and causing the front end washout. Barry trimmed the bodywork to resolve it. In the meantime, we were qualified #1 for eliminations in the afternoon.
With only three riders qualified we had a bye run in the semi-finals and posted a PB 6.56 @ 208mph clicking off a little early into the 15-17mph headwind.
In the final Dave Peters was a no-show so we had another bye which got a bit out of shape and was shut off early, but this gave us our first ever event win.
Overnight we found that the steering pivot mount had cracked, so Mick brought his gas welding gear in Sunday morning to repair it. We missed the first qualifying session due to this.
Another out of shape Q2 meant we actually had to beat someone in the other lane to reach the final. Dave Buttery was having battery problems, but a 0.05 RT and a 6.75 ET made sure of the win.
In the final Dave Peters was also having problems, easing our path to a second win in two days.
Q1, a broken wire stops us from running. Q2, the small turbo is hitting the speed limiter and the bike moves towards the centre line, but a 7.01 makes us #1 qualifier. Q3, we run 6.67 @ 218.24mph but hit the turbo speed limiter again (which cuts the ignition) 3 times in 1st gear. Overnight we diagnose the turbo speed issue as a split diaphragm in the wastegate, so replace it. E1 we lose traction at the end of first gear and the bike gets sideways, then tries to tuck the front under. Getting back on it just before the finish nets a 6.70 @ 206mph. Before E2 though, we find cylinder #4 is down on compression and so elect to retire. After the event we discover that the cam chain has jumped a tooth. No damage, and an easy fix.
We were very happy though to increase our funnybike record speed, and break the ET record which had been held at 6.70 seconds for 10 years by Neil Midgley. Congrats to Funnybike class winner Dale and all the other class winners, thanks to our sponsors Owen Developments, UWTSD, PR Fleet, Mr Sticker, and to the whole team and our fellow competitors for a hard, hot, but enjoyable weekend.
We were invited by the VMCC Sprint Section to show Storm at the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park 7th and 8th July. In between “parade” laps of historic racing machinery on the Sunday we were to take part in a demonstration of sprinting on the straightest part of the track.
To enable the sprint bikes to return to the paddock without completing a whole lap of the circuit though, this meant racing the “wrong” way to the usual direction.
We tried a launch in 1st gear, which immediately went up in smoke, followed by a launch in 2nd gear, which did exactly the same.
We’re not entirely sure what the crowd made of the bike in amongst some very vintage rides, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves in the sunshine and for us it made a nice change of scenery, even if we couldn’t demonstrate what Storm really is capable of.
Thanks to Mallory Park, the VMCC Sprint section, Dave Woodard and all involved for inviting us.
After 10 years of valiant service from the Aprilia 250 (or was it 125?) front end it has been retired in favour of the ubiquitous Hayabusa setup, much to the pleasure, I am sure, of Steve Mead and others from the old 200mph club.
The Aprilia front, despite having almost identical dimensions to the Suzuki setup lacked any kind of damping adjustment and with speeds increasing was unable to deal with the bumps under braking in the shutdown area at Santa Pod.
Mick made a new top yoke for our unique steering system and with stronger springs from Small Order Springs in Uxbridge it was on in no time.