On Saturday 6th April, Santa Pod Raceway held a brand new event, a RWYB Dial In Day for beginners with great success.
The Sunny Saturday saw 23 budding racers turn up in cars that were mostly driven to the track, some of which had never been up the quarter mile before.
It all began with a briefing & tutorial session in the bankside VIP suite led by Ian Marshall with help from experienced racers Paul Marston, Mick Howling and Craig Wright (Big Thanks to them for giving up their time and coming along to help out). We covered everything from staging, dial in times, how to race depending on your transmission type and more with the overall aim to get as close as your dial in as possible.
Next up was 3 rounds of qualifying which saw a range of dial-ins. Rob Creswell landed on top of the pile in his Fiesta ST with a pretty impressive 16.53 on a 16.50 dial in, a qualifier that any good sportsman racer would be proud of resulting a bye run in round 1. The eliminations continued until there were only 2 left and 2 of the quicker cars at that, Richard Whelan in his 11 second Celica and Matt Moxon in his 13 second Mustang which meant that Matt left 1st. It was a fantastic race from these 2 ET rookies and it was settled on a holeshot. Matt was closer to his ET by less than .03 but it was no good as Richard had gained over a tenth on the startline meaning that Richard was the overall winner of race 1.
So after a quick trip back to the classroom for some further advice, this time focusing on reaction times, it was all in again for the 2nd attempt of qualifying. This time the number 1 spot went to Taylor Letchford in his E30 BMW 318 with a stunning 18.3702 on an 18.37 dial in (a feat which he would then repeat in a subsequent round of eliminations!) closely followed by Sam Norris in his Audi A3 with a 15.01 on a 15.00 dial in. Again we ran through the eliminations resulting in some fantastic racing from everyone. This time into the final was Richard Whelan once again but this time he was joined by none other than our very own track commentator Colin Theobald – could this be his moment of glory? The answer was no, Richard took the win once again with the narrowest of advantages on the startline (6 hundreths – both drivers cutting good lights) and then running less than .002 away from his dial in. Colin was not far off in the other lane either with a 16.31 on a 16.25 dial in.
Back to the classroom once again for one last prep talk before our final round. Due to time rapidly running away from us, the final round was ran on 1 shot qualifying which resulted in another new number 1 qualifier. This time it was Matt Moxon who reached the final in the first session with a solid 13.47 run on a 13.44 dial in. No byes for anyone in round 1 this time due to a diminished field but Matt proceeded to the semi final where he was eliminated by that man again Richard Whelan in his Celica. It’s also worth noting that out of 10 pairs in round 1 we saw 5 breakouts and 1 red light – a sign of how hard everyone was trying to be spot on their dial in’s by this point! So again we ran through the eliminations and in the final once again was Richard Whelan in his 11 second Celica who had been phenomenally consistent all day long – surely he couldn’t make it a whitewash. The answer was no he couldn’t as a charging Perry Stephenson (better known for his MGB V8) in his Isuzu 4 x 4 came through in the other lane to take the final victory.
By the end of the day, you would have never believed that this was a beginners day with many races being settled by hundreths of a second and so many 0.0 lights, we had even began to see a few brake lights before the finish line. A points system was devised awarding points for qualifying and then each round win and it’s no surprise that the overall winner of the day was Richard Whelan with Matt Moxon in 2nd place who had been running consistently all day, going far in eliminations and also qualifying well in each round.
We can only hope that a few of those who took part have now been bitten by the bug and will head off into the National Drag Racing ranks.
The final points standings:
||Ford Fiesta ST
||Mercedes 230 CLK
||Clio 182 Cup
||MG T F
Dial In Day Gallery 2013