With Covid-19 curtailing most of our on-track fun this year Santa Pod managed somehow to put together a mish-mash National/Euro weekend featuring Top Fuel cars, a historic vs. contemporary Funny Car showdown, an electric dragbike world record attempt and all the usual bike classes.
As far as the Storm team were concerned though, we’ve had better weekends.
A depleted team of Lorcan, Mick H and Fredy set up on Friday morning with Kermit and Sarah unable to make it due to work commitments and newbie Mik B quarantined like a rabid dog by his employer…
On start up the bike sucked one of the half-moon rubber cam cover bungs inwards, ejecting oil into the blow-off valve and from there down into the large turbo compressor housing. This caused us to miss the first qualifying session. With the bung replaced and the oil cleaned up, the bike was pushed out of the awning but felt like it had run over something. We didn’t realise the significance of the this at the time, but at the burnout the clutch had no drive. We later found that a loose airline had got mangled by the drive chain, ripping a fitting out of the pressure regulator.
Team Warpspeed pitted next door came to the rescue with a replacement fitting (thanks Stu!) so we reset for the next try. The next run we managed a burnout, but immediately shut off on the run as the CO2 hose to the clutch had also come loose, again resulting in no drive.
Meanwhile, Stu was having his own problems…
Further inspection also showed a broken bolt on the alternator idler gear mount so the primary drive assembly was stripped down to replace the bolt.
We then noticed a crack around the weld around the clutch cover, so Mick took it away and welded it in the evening.
With Kermit and Sarah joining us for Saturday morning we tried again, running a 10.2 with spring pressure boost only. A switch under the seat, installed to allow programming of the AMS1000 boost controller, had inadvertently been switched off. We were qualified 4th, out of 4, at this point.
The next run launched ok, but the engine hit the turbo speed limiter at the end of 1st and 2nd gear, then the additional fuel rail supplying injectors 9-12 came loose at half track, spitting out an o-ring and spraying a fountain of methanol fuel out the right side of the bike. A time of 8.08 would be the best we would manage all weekend.
With the o-ring replaced and fuel rail secured by a jubilee clip from the Pod Shop, we faced #1 qualifier Mark “Smithy” Smith in round 1 of eliminations.
At the hit the clutch slipped, allowing the engine to rev to the moon and Smithy to get ahead, but he headed for the wall. The resulting crawl to the finish line by both bikes saw times in the 12s, with Mark crossing the line first to proceed into the final against Louis Davies.
Thanks to all the long suffering Storm team for all their efforts this weekend – we did try, but it was not to be this time. Congratulations to Louis Davies for the event win and a great riding job that did not go unnoticed! We’re finished with events this year but will run a test day soon.