Wolfie Smith closing in on a fourth successive championship title
- Credit: Archant
Otterton drag racing ace Mark ‘Wolfie’ Smith was in action at the latest Straightliners meeting held at the Dakota raceway, Smeatharpe, East Devon on a wet and windy first Saturday of October.
Conditions were, in a single word, ‘appalling’, and best summed up by Smith, who said: “It was grim. There was torrential rain and very high cross winds which, when mixed together, are a motorcycle drag racer’s worst fear!
However, we battled on with scrutinizing everybody’s machines and I then took the decision that bad weather or not, I was still going to give it my all.”
Smith did just that and, on his first run, despite not having the benefit of any traction whatsoever, managed to get up to a speed of 87mph for his first run. He increased that 120mph, but at that stage he felt with conditions as they were the most prudent approach would be to get the bike into the pits and out of the elements until mid afternoon when the elements eased sufficiently for Wolfie’s good friend and engineering support Mark ‘Skinny’ Patman from DAA Racing to give the bike a once-over, and he then took Wolfie’s bike onto the track – and he outdid the Otterton speedster – and on his bike too!
Wolfie takes up the story: “Well, given that Skinny wiped my best of the day out – and on my machine – that was a case of the ‘gloves being off’! I was straight back out and did a run without nitrous before a brace of runs with nitrous! Both the latter runs were in the high nines with 147mph, but it was a tad terrifying as, at that speed, the winds left me riding at a near 35 degree angle and pushed rider and bike to within millimetres of the finish line timing beam stands – had there been impact then the outcome would have been very expensive! Indeed, Wolfie did get so close that his draught did cause a problem or two, but it was hastily sorted by track side officials and racing quickly resumed.”
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Wolfie was not the only local drag racing star on show at Smeatharpe.
Also, there was young Baxter Williams, of whom Wolfie said: “Even in those dreadful conditions that young man is quick – very quick. Indeed, with his passion for the sport and undoubted talent, he’s going to be one to watch in the future.”
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All eyes now are targeted toward the final meeting of the year on November 10 when Wolfie hopes to claim his fourth successive championship title!