Autosport (UK)

Santa Pod season gets under way


Following round one’s rained-off start in May, round two of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championsh­ip finished unscathed by adverse weather last weekend.

COVID-19 restrictio­ns continue to reduce the entry list, with several European regulars still unable to attend. The race neverthele­ss delivered career-best performanc­es, a little drama and an unexpected finalist.

Pro Modified is the championsh­ip class. Pro Mods are drag racing’s quickest, fastest ‘doorslamme­rs’, a vernacular term encompassi­ng all full-bodied cars with sprung chassis and functionin­g doors. These, however, are pure-bred racing machines clad in lightweigh­t replica bodyshells. Any resemblanc­e to roadgoing vehicles is not even skin-deep.

Five-second elapsed times are Pro Mods’ gold standard, and Nick Davies laid an early marker during Friday qualifying with a career-best 6.001 seconds, before breaking the barrier at 5.973s on Saturday. Davies’ 243.72mph secured Top Speed of the Meet.

The turbocharg­ed Pontiac Firebird fielded by Davies and business partner Rob Loaring from their Silverston­e engineerin­g firm is still a work in progress, despite debuting in 2018. American Pro Mod racers typically make more runs in a single season than their UK counterpar­ts accumulate in three.

Kevin Slyfield’s supercharg­ed Ford Thunderbir­d, 2015’s champion, is favourite again this year. On Friday, an internal engine component reputed never to break, broke. Slyfield spent Saturday at his precision engineerin­g works in Dorset fabricatin­g a replacemen­t and returned to set Low Elapsed Time of the Meet at 5.943s in Sunday’s opening round. Slyfield beat Davies in a semi-final ‘match of the day’ to set up a final-round bout with Yorkshire’s Wayne Nicholson.

A Pro Mod racer since 2008, Nicholson had never reached a final, and squandered a chance of a maiden victory with a red light, earning instant disqualifi­cation, while Slyfield, out of shape, slalomed wildly to a lucky win.

 ??  ?? Ford Thunderbir­d driver Slyfield profited from Nicholson’s final disqualifi­cation
Ford Thunderbir­d driver Slyfield profited from Nicholson’s final disqualifi­cation

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