Finals: Wild Bunch Series Final Round.
Real Steel Round
9: 1st-2nd October '05
The final round of the Wild Bunch
had come and twelve intrepid Wild Bunch teams were making their way to Santa
Pod. The Pod is the closest track to Team Twisted and we arrived after about
21/2 hours, just in time to join the queue waiting for the track to open.
Once inside, we setup camp and managed to squeeze in the customary beer and
bench race with the guys and gals. At this point things started to go
downhill as Helen came down with a nasty cold and went early to bed where
she would stay for most of the weekend.
The first pass in the crisp
The weather didn't look too good
for Saturday and it turned out to be true with rain overnight and showers
through the morning. The qualifying rounds were on and off throughout the day
with the hard working track crew getting the track ready. The plan for the
weekend was to see what the car would run without the throttle stop and if
all was okay to go back to launching with the transbrake.
Twisted Crew Christine showing
off the new battery trolley. (no one call her a trolley dolly, ok?)
Twisted Crew Dave and
Crewchief Dean looking a little chilly!
Helen waits to chase down Roy
Snotty Helen spent most of the
weekend like this...
Soon enough the track was dry and
the Wild Bunch set off to do battle! We woke up sleeping beauty and strapped
her in for the ride.
The first qualifying run was just
before midday and we were hoping for a quick time. The pass wasn't quite a
quick as we hoped, netting 9.99 @ 133mph, but this was into a strong
headwind. We headed back to the pits with the knowledge that we had time for
further cleaning and preparations because the weather was going to shower on
and off for the next few hours. The track crew kept on top of it and we were
back out for the second and final qualifier in the dusky light just before
7pm. This time Helen got back into using the transbrake and launched to a
slightly quicker 9.90 @ 134mph.
Sunday morning came and the
weather was much better, still crisp but much brighter.. the day was going
to be sunny and dry. We had qualified 7th out of 12 and were paired against
Roy Wilding in the first round. We dialled in at 9.88, slightly quicker than
we had gone in qualifying and headed down to the track. The start looked
close with both drivers pulling good lights as Helen chased down the track
after Roy, it looked good, but it was not to be as we shot through to record
a 9.78 breakout. The terminal speed was down 8mph showing that Helen had
lifted at the top end, but the Belle had different ideas and had quickened
Helen headed back to bed in the
van to try and sleep off her cold whilst the team multi tasked between
looking after her, watching the racing and packing up.
The next few rounds were close
run with Tony Wynne-Jones and Mikey Creswell, making the semis, whilst Phil
Sweeney survived through to the finals for the second MSA event in a row.
After the dust had settled Phil had another victory under his belt, Tony had
a new personal best, Mikey had amassed enough points to overtake Tony Smith
and win the Wild Bunch series, and Helen had done enough to ensure 3rd place
in the Wild Bunch series, a great racing weekend indeed!
Heart felt congratulations to all
the winners, champions and competitors throughout this fantastic season, and
thank you all for what was in the end a very close run thing.
Next up: we finish the Real Steel