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.
Photo Gallery © Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes:
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.
Photo gallery copyright Blackett Photography:
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.
Pics from Kermit.
With the Festival of Power at Easter being rained off the Main Event was the first chance for many teams, including us, to try their machines and dial in any changes made over the off season. It would also be our first runs on the all-new concrete surface laid by Santa pod over the winter.
Changes for us included the longtail seat (suggested by UWTSD as an interim measure while they work on the scans they took of the bike in the winter) and new high-friction clutch plates. A Thursday test run showed we weren’t too far off:
A 60′ test later on Thursday gave a better 1.17, but Friday was rained out, giving us a chance to test the new parachute system on Storm, the results of which were inconclusive 😉
Saturday qualifying gave us a 10.4 and a 7.4, only good enough for 9th spot. Meanwhile, Fast Fil stunned everyone with his first passes on what was Ian King’s bike – 6.0 and 5.7 @ 236mph! This was on a “soft” setup with less nitro and ignition to let Fil get a grip on his new ride. He certainly did that, congrats Fil!!
For reasons I can’t remember we didn’t make first session on Sunday, which left the final session at 6.30pm. As Eurodragster put it “Lorcan in the Last Chance Saloon stood up and started shooting the glasses behind the bar”, as we ran 6.85 @ 205mph to qualify 5th. We were back in the game!
Round 1 and Glenn Borg didn’t make it to the line with an engine issue, which was lucky for us as he had run 6.57 in qualifying. Storm moved towards the centre line for a poor 8.02 but was through to the next round against #1 qualifier Fil.
Fil left late, 0.37 to 0.14 but by 330′ he was past us and there would be no doubt about the winner from then on. We put on a good show though, running a PB 6.74 @218mph. Fil went on to win the event against Rikard in an epic battle, 6.01 to 6.02.
Photos from Callum Pudge:
Photos from Krissy:
Photos from Nitro Shutter:
Over the winter the team completely stripped the bike, repaired any damaged or stripped threads etc, repaired the cylinder head (welded up and machined flat) and made a new billet cylinder block with a conventional copper head gasket / stainless wire combination in place of the power rings. A camchain guide was added inside the cam cover making it impossible for the cam chain to jump teeth, and the seat unit was extended approximately 16″ – a suggestion from UWTSD as an interim measure while they work on the computer model. The gearing was also lowered approx 7% with a new rear sprocket.
The bike was then treated to a new paint scheme in yellow and metallic black by ace painter “Frizzle”, and new decals by Mr Sticker in Saltash were added.
Photos from Kermit.
After missing the National finals the team worked hard to make new primary drive gears and get us to the Straightliners event in mid-October 2017. The effort was rewarded with a PB 6.74 @ 210mph, and then the bike immediately torched the head on the next run when one of the power rings let go. Even so, it was a good note to end the year on and we had 5 months or so to come up with a new plan.
Photos from Blackett Photography:
Over the summer break we realised that the clutch pressure sensors had been calibrated wrongly and set about putting them right. This meant abandoning the settings we had previously used to score our best 60′ time of 1.08 and starting again with the settings. We tried some tests remotely before the event and all looked good. However, the weather had other plans for us….
While we were waiting though this gentleman swung by and introduced himself as David Cooper from UWTSD (University of Wales Trinity St David). More on this later.
So after 48 hours of intermittent rain and heroic efforts by the Santa Pod crew in trying to dry the track we finally made it to the burnout box on the Saturday afternoon only for Eric Richard to fall off in front of us, followed within 5 minutes by another downpour. Thankfully Eric was fine and his bike sustained little damage. The crew were a little shaken but thankfully everyone was ok. Those sixes will have to wait til next year Eric! All the best from us, we hope we see you again soon.
When business resumed a couple of hours later we managed a decent burnout on the second attempt only for the bike to run weak and stall on the line. On investigation the drive belt off which drives the fuel pump and oil pump had given up under the strain. Graham noticed that one of the primary drive gears was cracked too, so that put us out of the event as we couldn’t risk using it and didn’t have a spare.
Congrats to Dale Leeks for his first event win, Stu Crane for an impressive 6.81 – unfortunately with a catastrophic looking fireball, great runs from Fast Fil and the SSB boys put on a great show as always.
We’re going to be out of action for the National Finals in 2 weeks but hope to make the bike event in October with new oil pumps and drive gears.
The Summernats was a short one for us, the clutch was slipping no matter how much air pressure we put on it, and then the meeting was cancelled due to rain.
No photos this time, sorry!