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Straightliners 2010 – Round 2: Elvington

May 6th, 2010

When it comes to straightlining there’s no better place to get your fix of speed legally than on the drag strip where you can thrash your scooter till your heart’s content (or until your engine blows).

On 18 April, Round 2 of the 2010 Straightliners series took place at Elvington air field in North Yorkshire, a much loved venue for its grippy surface, great for sprinting especially when the wind’s blowing in the right direction. That said, the locals haven’t found this particularly amusing, noise levels and all that…

Currently running under the wing of Straightliners is a sprint series designed specifically for scooters organised by – “The Ultimate High Performance Scooter Club” according to Pete Newbold, the club’s instigator. What’s impressive to note is the number of scooters that have achieved that magic 100mph, which is even more impressive when achieved over a distance of a quarter of a mile (from a standing start of course). For the record, I’m only 4mph off, 96mph being my own quarter mile personal best back in those days of X-Race… Ahhhh, I look back with rose tinted glasses. I must get back on the drag strip, records are to be broken. I thought supercharged might have been the way to go but that wasn’t to be, well not yet anyway. TDR have done very well with nitrous but good old normally aspirated still deserves respect when you’re doing a ton like some of the riders have done in the past.

Anyway, the second round was reasonably well attended looking at the stats with a few regular faces clocking up some fast quarter mile times. Richard Baker being one such rider still thrashing the Frightened Chicken up the strip – there’s life in the old dog yet! 13.46 at 95mph was Richard’s best run of the day on his trusty Lambretta. Hot on the heels of the funky chicken was loon racer Pete Newbold and so close he was too with a 13.55 but 20mph slower than Richard, a fast start up the track for Pete until technical problems kicked in. Pete’s son Jamie appeared to be having problems too, so all in all a disappointing round for the Newbolds, better luck next time guys.

In the Street Scooter (up to 210cc) class Russell Milnes managed to set a new record with a 16.38 which beats his previous best in this class by half a second. Shaun Fairhead racing in the Street Scooter (up to 260cc) class managed set a new track record too with a 14.96 @ 83mph which only just beats Peter Bourne’s previous record in this class at Elvington of 15.03.

The auto attendance left a lot to be desired, just two riders competed in the Street Scooter Auto (up to 190cc) class. One of these riders was Adrenalin Pedstop chief Chris Halliday who managed to get a run up the strip in between looking after Pedstop riders Josh Brown and Sam Edwards who could be found thrashing the Zips up the strip. So how did Chris fare? A 16.38 was the best he could muster, as for his top speed we’ll never know as the timing equipment seemed to have malfunctioned, computer says no. Racing with Chris (and flying the flag for Italjet) in this class on a 172cc Italjet Dragster was Lewis Ashforth from Italjet UK Spares. A 16.47 @ 72mph leaves room for improvement, you only have to look at the X-Race records from the past to see what was being achieved during the boom years of auto scooter sprinting. But good on Lewis for supporting the cause and giving it a go.

Meanwhile in the Juniors, Josh Brown managed to clock a 15.34 at 79mph which is a good 20mph improvement in top speed compared to six months ago when he cruised across the finish line after a heat seize. You could say that the very latest Polini Evolution 3 engine helped matters a bit! Adrenalin spare no expense when it comes to their scoots when only the very best will do. This improvement in straight line speed should help Josh in the next round of the BSSO series with a welcome boost down the straights. It always impresses me to see a youngster blasting up the drag strip for the simple reason that it puts a lot of adults to shame! Like 11 year old Sam Edwards for example who could be found riding one of Adrenalin Pedstop’s Zips. Sam’s instructions were clear and simple “just give it everything you’ve got lad, full throttle!”. It didn’t matter if the engine blew as it was due to be replaced with a Polini Evolution engine before the next BSSO race meeting. A 16.04 quarter mile run terminating at 67mph is a respectable result and quicker than some of the lads with bigger engines.

Round 3 sees riders back at Elvington for another session of fast lane speed on 23 May. Be there…

Words: Paul Robinson
Photos: Puspa Halliday


Top Scooter

Richard Baker – Lambretta 238cc (Frightened Chicken) – 13.46 @ 95mph
Pete Newbold – Italjet Dragster 172cc (Loon Racing) – 13.55 @ 75mph
Darreyl Ward – Lambretta 238cc – 14.62 @ 90mph

Competition Scooter

Stephen Wright – Lambretta 250cc (AF Rayspeed) – 14.04 @ 89mph
Adam Utley – Vespa 50 Special 152cc – 16.14 @ ??mph
Jamie Newbold – Italjet Dragster 125cc (Lil Loon Racing) – 21.67 @ 64mph

Street Scooter (up to 210cc)

Russell Milnes – Lambretta LI 200cc – 16.38 @ 78mph
Tony Cummings – Vespa PX Quattrini 172cc (Lumpy Custard Racing) – 17.03 @ 76mph
Robert Czech – Lambretta 200cc – 18.42 @ 68mph

Street Scooter (up to 260cc)

Shaun Fairhead – Lambretta GP 238cc (Lumpy Custard Racing) -14.96 @ 83mph
Peter Bourn – Lambretta GP 225cc (Team Nippa) -15.12 @ 84mph
Tim Elkes – Lambretta 225cc (JB Tuning) – 15.26 @ 83mph
Keith Hudson – Lambretta GP 225cc -15.69 @ 82mph

Street Scooter Auto (up to 190cc)

Chris Halliday – Gilera Runner 180cc – 16.38 @ ??mph
Lewis Ashforth – Italjet Dragster 172cc – 16.47 @ 72mph


Josh Brown – Piaggio Zio 70cc – 15.34 @ 79mph
Sam Edwards – Piaggio Zip 70cc – 16.04 @ 67mph