For me the most eagerly anticipated drag race of the season is the Main Event. This is the first round of the European FIA FIM championships and all the big boys (and girls) will be out to try and get some points on the board. Held over the four days of the Whit bank holiday, due to work, I can only get to the Sunday Qualifying round. This is ok as it’s usually the best day with all the teams aiming to be number one heading into Monday’s eliminations, plus you get the chance to see all the cars/bikes twice or so you hope…..
Tickets were booked weeks ago so I could get my favourite grandstand seat as this meeting attracts many thousands of spectators. After a restless nights sleep we were away early for the two and a half hour drive (Tina always drives there, I have the homeward journey) to arrive before they start at 9am. The weather forecast was not good. It was warm and partly sunny on arrival but with a strong head wind straight down the strip and by 10.30 ominous grey clouds were beginning to move in just as the top Pro classes were starting their qualifying.
Sure enough the first heavy shower fell when forecast! In drag racing the cars cannot run if there is any liquid at all on the track. The strip is prepped prior to the event by dragging rubber over the surface of the concrete this is then sprayed with a traction compound we call glue. Any liquid will sit on top of this like little ball bearings. A race vehicle hitting that at speed on slick tyres is in big trouble! The team worked like Trojans drying the track and after forty five minutes they were ready to go again. During this time we had walked back to the car park so came back and viewed from the bank near the finish line.
Four pairs of cars ran and the 300mph Top Fuellers were lining up and it rained again! An hour later just as the crew were finishing off drying up another shower. By now I was very tired due to lack of sleep and the strong wind so we headed for home. They did get qualifying finished by 9pm and before work on the Monday I watched some of the eliminations on the internet.