Another Santa Pod Championship!
Well, another season is over and I’m pleased to say Scott is the 2016 Santa Pod Super Pro Champion.
Nothing was easy though, another tough year in the most competitive class, sometimes with over 40 cars entered for the 32 car fields. In fact, going into the National Finals last weekend, we were more than 2 rounds behind the leader, but we managed to turn it around.
The season started at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod over the Easter weekend. The weather was always threatening and the track temperature cold but we managed to qualify in 2nd position and beat previous champion Barry Giles in the 1st round before the rain came and ruined the day.
The next round of the Championship was at Avon Park Raceway in Stratford upon Avon. The entire first day was rained out, but when we resumed we again took 2nd spot. A disappointing red light in round 1 meant we were going home early though.
At the end of May we were back at Santa Pod at the international Main Event. With an overfull entry list and plenty of qualifying passes it was inevitable that some impressive runs would happen. We were only +0.002 secs off perfect and we ended up 7th! Crazy. Still, we got to the semis before losing to eventual winner Billy Gane.
Next race was the Summernationals in June. Despite only getting 2 qualifying runs, we excelled ourselves by running +0.005 on our 1st pass then +0.003 on the second! We progressed onto the 3rd round before a -0.011 red light ended the day and we were beginning to trail in the points.
Things didn’t improve at the Open Sport Nationals at Avon Park in August. Despite another good qualifying effort at +0.004, good for 2nd spot, yet another red light put us out in round 1.
On to the Euro Finals at Santa Pod in early September. With another massive field of cars, and an awesome track, again the qualifying sessions were insane. 13 cars managed to get under +0.010 secs, 3 cars went perfect +0.000, we went +0.001 and we were 4th! In eliminations we went 3 rounds before getting beaten by an almost perfect holeshot. Better to get beaten this way than a red light, but it’s still a loss. However, with a full field of cars and a good qualifying position, we managed to get some points back and suddenly there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
And so onto the National Finals. We ran +0.005 off the trailer which stood as pole until almost the last car in the last session just pipped us into 2nd. That drew us against championship leader Billy Gane in the 1st round, so this was make or break. Scott put him away convincingly which threw open the championship and also earned us a bye run in the 2nd round. After that, we faced up with Rick Cooke in his Hauser built car. Scott got a better light and won by a nose. Both cars broke out, but we did it worse, so that was that.
If we had won that round we would have also taken the National Championship (for the 3rd time) but instead we will have to settle for just the Santa Pod Championship.
We still finished the season on a high though, and it’s frustrating that we have to wait until next year before we can race again. We’ll give the car a good freshen up during the winter, ready to do battle again in 2017.