Bike ace ‘Wolfie Smith’ overcomes adversity to race for South against North at East Kirkby

Mark Wolfie Smith in action at the South versus North meeting at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire

Mark Wolfie Smith in action at the South versus North meeting at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire - Credit: Archant

East Devon drag racing ace Mark Smith had to overcome significant hurdles to be part of a special event last weekend.

East Devon drag racing ace Mark Smith had to overcome significant hurdles to be part of a special event last weekend.

‘Wolfie’, as he is more affectionately known, both to family and friends and the sport, was part of the South team that travelled to Lincolnshire to take on the North in a challenge match.

However, the journey north bound on Friday – the day before the weekend meeting – was struck with disaster when his beloved camper van unit, a vehicle that has been part of his ‘team’ for longer than he cares to remember, broke down with a water pump issue.

Rather than accept defeat and be returned to his East Devon home, ‘Wolfie’ soldiered on to the event, being relayed along the way by a recovery truck.


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Once at the meeting at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, he was offered all manner of assistance – as is the way with the close-knit family of drag racers.

After a night of little sleep, he was on the track on the Saturday morning and, for the entire early part of the schedule it was Wolfie who led the way in his lass.

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In the afternoon he was nudged down to fourth in the ranking as he succumbed to defeat to the more powerful machines of Scotsman Jimmy Fern and Maxine Taylor.

The second day of action saw Wolfie exact sweet revenge on both Fern and Taylor, beating the latter by one-hundredth of a second to get through to the elimination stage where he was drawn once more to face Fern.

However, the Scotsman was disqualified for ‘jumping the gun’ and Wolfie found himself in the semi-final drawn to race Will Smith (no, not the Hollywood star!). Once again disaster struck the East Devon speedster as he lost traction on the start line. He made a valiant attempt to drag the flying Smith back, but to no avail and Smith went on to win the overall event.

Wolfie though thoroughly enjoyed the racing. He said: “It was ultra competitive, but all, as ever, really good natured. The heat was a key factor and, with the surface quite literally melting, I was racing with just 5psi in the back tyre to get a better foot print off the start line!

“What’s more the winning time in the final was identical to my own current personal best time of 9.38, so that underlines that, on my day; I am up there with the fastest.”

He continued: “The biggest thing for me over the weekend was that I managed a new PB in terms of my best terminal speed as I clocked 155mph.”

As for the overall experience, including his thoughts on a ‘horror’ trip home that involved no fewer than five relays from East Kirkby to East Devon, with the journey home taking over 12 hours, Wolfie says: “A cracking weekend, as they always are. I met some great folk and want to thank the Straightliner’s family for the way everyone chipped I to help with my troublesome van.”

Said van is now a ‘patient’ at Big Pauls of Cotford, the Sidbury garage. Wolfie says: “It’s now a case of ‘over to you Paul’ – such a terrific sponsor, and friend – to hopefully get the old lady back on the road so we can plan the next journey to a Straightliner event.”

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