The UK National Drag Racing Championships came to a cruel end for Linton’s Collin Morrice, as he false-started in the final race.
The 27-year-old was mere seconds away from claiming a maiden title but ‘red lighted’ to be disqualified and hand the championship away in the Super Comp category at Santa Pod race track.
It had been the perfect weekend as Morrice — who went into the last day of the championship in second — lined up for the final against Stuart Doignie, having beaten his other main rivals to reach that stage.
But it all went wrong in the last round, as Morrice set off too quickly and was disqualified, gaining no points from the race and having to sit back and watch Doignie grasp gold.
He said: “It’s been playing on my mind ever since. I keep going through the race in my mind and thinking about how it could have gone differently.
“It’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, to get pipped to the post is absolutely gutting.
“I really wanted to win the championship this year, and I was so close, but second is still really good for us.
“Right now it just feels like a gutting experience, I had done the hard work and it’s so frustrating to have made an error right at the end.”
The UK National Drag Racing Championship is an annual tournament that takes place at the Santa Pod Raceway and the Avon Park Raceway — although some of the drivers, including Morrice, do not compete at the latter.
There are seven races, made up of qualifying, semis and a final — five held at Santa Pod and two at Avon Park — with points awarded to the drivers for each stage.
Drag racing cannot take place in rain for safety reasons and so weather is an important factor — a race called off for rain does not get re-arranged and the standings, at the stage they have paused, become final.
Morrice said it had been a particularly bad season with the weather.
“That’s hurt my chances,” he said. “I often don’t do that well in qualifying and have to make up the points.
“So it’s something we will definitely be working on to boost those chances and avoid this happening again.
“It’s a long and cold break, we’re not back until Easter but there’s plenty to do still.
“We’ll refresh and rebuild the engine, with a plan to go for it again next year.”
He also competed in the Super Gas category but his target for the season was to secure victory in the Super Comp.
He believes he may have ‘nicked’ second place in that also, but the results have not yet been confirmed.
“That’s just a nice bonus,” he said. “But it’s the Super Comp I want.
“Next up for me is part of the European Championships next year — it will be four days of racing, and a great opportunity.
“And it will be great preparation for next season.”