Drag Racing Unplugged VIII

With the 2006 season over we are, for the eighth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's Eurodragster.com event coverage - and others we didn't publish at the time.

We open with Roger, Simon and Tog's Quotes of the Year and that of our good friend, Honorary Eurodragster.com staff member and occasional pitside reporter Christer Abrahamson.

Roger's Quote Of The Year

"How did you know it was me?"
-- Tog to Roger - we'll let the picture at right explain

Simon's Quote Of The Year

"I've been talking to my guys about a nitro Funny Car for four or five years. I think that Leif Helander has been showing them recently that it is easy"
-- Patrik Pers, considering a move to Fuel FC, throws down the gauntlet

Tog's Quote Of The Year

"John's waiting to be tugged off"
-- Super Pro ET racer John Everitt broke down on the track, but we're not sure whether track announcer Paul Venners realised what he'd said

Christer's Quote Of The Year

"We went up in smoke due partly to a brain-foot interface problem and buzzed the motor to 10,800 rpm"
-- Disarming honesty from Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson

And the rest of the 2006 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"We take them to races and show them that we're involved, and they keep coming back"
-- Nigel Hoskison of ATI Titanium International keeps his customers happy

"It's a bit like a non-stick frying pan but it doesn't hurt when your old lady whacks you on the head with it!"
-- But how does Fuel FC racer John Spuffard know what that's like?

"After we hit the wall twice at the European Finals we figured that something was wrong"
-- Spuff again, he's probably right

"With forty five minutes to turn round you don't need a bolt sticking!"
-- That's why Kurt Johnson buys his titanium-coated bolts from Andy Bloyce of Balzers

"We don't do things by halves - you introduce your product when you know that it's as good or better than the competition."
-- Sound business sense from Alan Meaker of Toyo Tyres

"If we'd had a Cosworth engine here, no-one would have looked"
-- ...so Paul Knight of Brown and Miller Racing Solutions borrowed Andy Robinson's Pro Mod engine

"Our knees couldn't take it any more"
-- That's why Max Croot and Steve Leedell built a snowmobile instead of continuing with motocross

"The problem is that rather than blowing motors, they tend to bend parts when they crash"
-- Engine builder Jeff Bull looks after circuit racers too, but there's a catch

"The engine now produces 1600 bhp. Before, with 1000 bhp, the car ran a best of 8.5s. What will it run now? You do the maths!"
-- Street Eliminator racer Ian Jackson gives us some homework

"We made the biggest spill plates we could and cut them down to a size that looked reasonable and then added a rear wing between them"
-- Ray White does eyeball aero on his Zephyr Pro Mod

"We went for a bit of a slide"
-- Super Gas racer Conrad Stanley takes a wild ride after a core plug pops

"We have been running too fast and we have had to dial in loads of delay to get close to 9.90"
-- Stuart Morrice goes Super Gas

"Our competitors must have been a bit relieved to see us with problems"
-- Reigning Super Pro ET Champion Ian Tubb breaks at the Easter Thunderball

"A transbrake launch is something else"
-- Pro ET racer Nick Good had only raced bikes up to that point

"My job is a London cab driver. Dave Hughes is also one and I still see him at the Heathrow cab queue where we chat about racing and the other drivers struggle to understand what we are talking about!"
-- I had that Pro ET racer Mark Watts in the back of my notebook once

"I shifted into second and when the wall came into view I corrected it and the car behaved well"
-- Fuel Altered rookie Jim Usher doesn't yet realise that he's meant to see the wall

"It launched perfectly, went straight and gave me a real kick in the back to half track"
-- Håkan Fällström runs Europe's quickest-ever Top Fuel licencing pass

"The officials asked if I have driven a Fueller before - but this is really my first time"
-- Håkan had the race officials impressed, too

"Every gear change, the bike had the wheel in the air and the smaller screen is noticeable when riding it"
-- Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp describes a ride on Sarah Jane Head's Funny Bike

"I ran out of money fairly quickly as I was only about twenty years old then"
-- Steve White of Salon Interactive finds out how to make a small fortune in drag racing

"Then suddenly it became like being on a waltzer with no control and it hit and went round again"
-- It was no fairground ride for Pro ET racer Jack Brewster when he crashed

"We've given everyone else a chance to qualify, and hopefully we'll show them how to do it later!"
-- Reigning Pro ET Champion John Atkinson has a nightmare start

"The crank broke all the bolts off the main bearings. The bits of crank broke the trans off, which tore itself up. The Lenco lever was thrashing around and wrapped itself around Steph's leg but thankfully she's fine"
-- Dave Milam describes how one thing led to another when Steph Milam's Top Methanol FC engine broke

"When the car goes sideways, you've got to react very quickly and can't be gentle"
-- Wendy Baker gets tough with the Time Warp Fuel Altered

"We now use Alky Blue cylinder lubricant in the methanol so that the flames can be seen, which helps in that sort of situation"
-- Super Pro ET racer Derek Flynn's top end fire could probably have been seen from Earth orbit

"We will have to nurse it through the next two meetings and then do a major rebuild"
-- Reigning Super Modified Champion Graham Ellis keeps his fingers crossed...

"I want my son Gareth Ellis, who crews for Danny Cockerill, back over here - Danny, keep your hands off!"
-- ...what exactly are you saying, Graham?

"We've dropped the wheelie bars down to get flatter launches so sorry guys, that's the end of the wheelie photos"
-- Havoc blown-alcohol altered Crew Chief Rob Loaring, Mister Killjoy

"When the clutch goes you can see the fire in the motor bay window in the cockpit. It lit up like a roman candle"
-- Spuff rides out a fire

"We agreed that if it felt right, we would stay on it and it felt right to Broadway!"
-- Robert Joosten licences for Pro Mod

"The car is very stable at 185 mph but we don't really want to run much faster than this"
-- We never did ask Nick Davies how he justified a subsequent 200+ mph run in Havoc

"The car accelerated really hard and it was really thrilling"
-- Håkan Nilsson makes his final Top Fuel licencing pass and feels the clutch lock up

"I have run them on my cars since 1987, besides which they enjoy the rain!"
-- Super Pro ET racer Ashley Bell explains the three rubber ducks attached to his roll cage

"I've plenty of irons in the fire and love the smell of nitro!"
-- Funny Bike racer Chris 'Cannon' Hannam: not exactly close-mouthed, but not exactly blabbing either

"We bent the old one at the Easter Thunderball and repaired it, but it bent again at the Shakespeare Nationals"
-- ...so Len Paget had three weeks to build himself a new Pro Stock Bike

"I can't tell you how much throttle stop we are putting on it, but it's over four seconds"
-- We think that Jeff Bull should stop messing about and move wife Belinda from Super Comp to Pro Mod

"I am getting tired of running 199 mph, that's the fourth one in a row"
-- Super Pro ET racer and ingrate Derek Flynn

"It was too much expense and fuss to run with nitrous"
-- But we bet Super Pro ET racer Steve Johnson would do it again tomorrow if he could

"Driving it is like being in a narrow tunnel that gets more and more narrow as you go down the track."
-- Håkan Nilsson describes the joys of Top Fuel Dragster...

"I have borrowed a kidney belt from Lorenz Stauble to help keep them in place"
-- ...but there's also a down side

"There is no such thing as an easy first round in this class, so we will try to be ready"
-- Gordon Appleton in a tough Pro Mod field

"The car is not hurt, only my feelings"
-- The 'chutes deploy at 330 feet on Dan Larsen's Top Methanol FC

"On the first run we had some trouble with the shocks, which bottomed out. But Michael Malmgren was getting close so I kept in it, shifted up and avoided trouble"
-- Richard Sundblom's Cobalt Pro Stock was new but that was no reason to be gentle with it

"It was meant to be a half pass but it felt so good, we kept in it"
-- Pro Mod racer Marc Meihuizen applies for Maltese citizenship

"We invested a lot of time and no little money to plan the deal, as it takes money to get money"
-- Leif Andréasson reveals the secret to the new sponsorship on his Top Methanol FC

"I short-shifted, took it easy and drove like an old woman!"
-- It was Dave Wilson's day for disarming honesty

"We're so happy this operation has come together so well; three months ago we didn't even have an air hose"
-- Everything about Karsten and Per Andersen's Top Fuel operation is high-speed

"We would have been here earlier but we went looking for you in Paediatrics"
-- Andy Marrs of Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew visits Tog in hospital

"I want the team to relax between these rounds and I have sent them to TGI Friday to have lunch"
-- Don't you wish you worked for Andréasson Motorsports? We do

"The car works very well and I just do the driving"
-- You would not think that Janne Ahonen had won the NDRS Comp Eliminator Championship

"It means there are tricks you need to know both in the pits and on the track"
-- The secret to Comp Eliminator success by Per Erik Lindgren

"It's my first European Race and I'm impressed how much like NHRA competition the sportsman racing is here"
-- US Comp Eliminator racer Kevin Houghtaling visits Mantorp Park

"This is the first race for me this year and the 6.99 run was only on half throttle"
-- An impressive start for Per Bengtsson's Supertwin

"We have broken a valve and damaged the head and now only have three and a half cylinders!"
-- We can see how that might affect Luigi Ferretti's Top Fuel Bike

"I got the chute out at the right time and didn't need to use the brake to stop - that gave me more confidence for when we run faster terminals later"
-- Håkan Nilsson plays Gravel Trap Chicken during Top Fuel qualifying at Mantorp Park

"It was not a bad run considering we were guessing at the track conditions and the air not being so good"
-- ...but Jimmy Ålund still qualified #1 in Pro Stock

"We did use a two-step, but it bit us. The tyres spun and we shifted into second at 10,000 rpm and the car then hooked and went right. So we have gone back to launching conventionally"
-- Micke Lindahl explains a Pro Mod Chevy/guardrail interface

"Tommy only came over the centre line by a few inches and in any case we were running on seven cylinders on that run so there wasn't going to be a problem"
-- Kenneth Söderström shares his lane during Pro Stock qualifying

"We are doing the can-can, but that doesn't win races!"
-- Arvid Grødem is happy with his return to Top Methanol FC competition

"I can use full throttle now. I wasn't quite able to get the pedal all the way down last year and the team were threatening to cut my leg off!"
-- Jörgen Jonsson finally finds the stop on his Top Methanol FC

"I am very impressed with the quality of the racing here and believe that Europe has moved ahead of Australia in the number of cars racing"
-- We always did like Urs Erbacher's tuner Glenn Mikres

"In a way you're racing the track rather than your competitor"
-- Glenn explains the difference between racing in the USA and in Europe

"Anything that is red has been changed, and I hope that will sort the problem out"
-- Andy Robinson has a mysterious problem during Pro Mod qualifying

"We are a young team - it's only Jörgen who's Over The Hill!"
-- Jörgen Jonsson's team member Martin Olsson tries his luck

"The tyre collapsed and the bike went down on the frame and I had to lift. It was an interesting ride"
-- ...but we'll bet that Rickard Gustafsson doesn't want Funny Bike to get that interesting too often

"I wish I had a radio because I didn't know I had won until Micke came up to congratulate me"
-- Håkan Nilsson doesn't like mysteries...

"I thought it had broken something, I walked round to the kill switch but it was already off!"
-- ...but a mystery is solved for Super Pro ET racer Pat Talbot

"The car was moving all around the lane and I didn't know on the run whether to continue or back off"
-- Pro Mod racer Mats Eriksson has a decision to make but not much time to make it

"When we saw the run we were jumping up and down like he won the event!"
-- Pro ET racer Carla Pittau trusts Tog with her and Rick McCann's Camaro

"The shift light came on and it was like a surprise, like oh, what's that?"
-- Tog confides in Nev Mottershead why the limiter could be heard by everyone between Santa Pod and Germany on his second run in Heaven and Hell

"Racing is like a big family and I feel as if I have lost a family member - you can't describe it any other way"
-- Hans Olav Olstad remembers late Supertwin colleague Svein Gottenberg

"It aged Phil about five years!"
-- An exploding battery box during Super Pro ET qualifying gave Phil Hartley a shock

"Apart from a broken cam that we had a spare for, we had no breakages and lots of fun!"
-- Nev Mottershead and Team Valvoline on a European tour any rock group would be proud of

"We ordered a pallet of Red Line Oil for the European Finals, and we got a consignment of wellington boots, and it's not even raining!"
-- But if it does rain then Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragster team could make a mint selling them

"Do you travel naked to the UK?"
-- Rickard Gustafsson has spares

"The clutch exploding is a worst-case scenario for the mechanics because it is so immediate you just cannot catch it"
-- Smax Smith lights up the finish line during Top Fuel Dragster qualifying

"Ton Pels is my best friend, so there was no hesitation in making the decision"
-- Roel Koedam moves from Top Fuel Bike to Supertwin

"I feel there's more in there still"
-- Tom Tinndahn goes 7.228 in Pro Stock Bike qualifying but still isn't satisfied

"I've lost the tuning window"
-- Anders Abrahamsson speaking after he clinched the 2006 European Pro Stock Bike Championship and ran 7.382

"I'm unhappy with my riding and need to increase my concentration to improve the performance"
-- Anders Jakobsson goes for the Disarming Honesty title for a Pro Stock Bike racer

"In this sport you have to accept losing a race but it's really frustrating thing being unable to start"
-- Maybe Andy Robinson should change anything blue this time

"He's been doing this for twenty five years and I think he's onto something now"
-- Backhanded compliment to Per Bengtsson from fellow Supertwin racer Ronny Aasen

"We took a look at the SPRC points and to our horror, Rob Smallworth is currently leading that Championship"
-- Kev Perkins is so used to the Ellis Racing Super Modified team winning everything

"After the SCR crash a few years ago we bought more and more pieces from Krypton and now have the clutch, gearbox, axle, wheels and tyres as well as the motor. So now the drivetrain is reunited"
-- John Parkinson plays Happy Families with his Top Methanol Dragster

"I've been lucky that the drag racing rounds haven't coincided with rally events this year"
-- Not Eddie Corr speaking but VW Alternate Engine racer Matt Finney, who works for Prodrive

"I went to see Brian Huxley and there was this 1978 Camaro sitting there, it was poetic justice really"
-- Sportsman ET racer Geoff Cowley explains how he got into competition

"I am really over the moon as the car has cost us so little to run over two years"
-- Clayton Round, the envy of blown-alcohol altered racers everywhere

"Can you grab my sack?"
-- David Anniwell asks Santa Pod timing crew colleague Sam (She's Lovely) Stretton to retrieve something from his caravan, forgetting that he is in a room full of double-entendre spotters

"I've got more chance of being handcuffed to a ghost!"
-- Fuel legend Gary Page gauges probabilities

"Everyone in Bahrain is very nice and they have been taking good care of me. And the food is very good!"
-- Siw Nystad, a girl after our own heart

"Nothing has really changed except that I don't feel quite as comfortable as I did"
-- Harlan Thompson hasn't driven a Fuel car in several years

"A lot of people talk, but I want to do it"
-- Patrik Pers has heard it all before about racers running Fuel FCs...

"Maybe she wants the insurance money, I don't know!"
-- ...Patrik reveals that his wife Annika quite likes the idea, too

"For myself, Top Fuel is relatively boring. You get used to the speed and acceleration"
-- Let's have an orderly queue, please, for Thomas Nataas' seat in the Batmobil

"Harlan, well, it's a bit like putting on an old pair of slippers and it looks like he is still wearing them!"
-- Gary Page appraises his Top Fuel Exhibition colleagues in Bahrain

"In time I will get used to it, but it was a big kick in the back"
-- Ali Aryan makes his first Top Fuel pass

"I will not be driving a nitro Funny Car"
-- Just Micke Kågered, then, judging by the news items we have run recently

"The trick is to look up at the lights"
-- Thomas Nataas reveals the secret to orientation during night racing

"There is a reason for that - all the way down to the start line I was on a bye!"
-- Why Barry Sheavills got a calendar instead of a reaction time in a race with Gary Page

"I got back to the pits in my car and when I jumped out Kenneth said to me "You're driving again, get your gear back on"!"
-- Gary Page in a Buy One Get One Free deal

"Well, so far we've only had a launch but it sounds different and it certainly is making the power"
-- Fuel tuner Alan Jackson's first time out with a setback blower

"I was checking the fuel lever and I saw this massive white cloud and thought what's going on?"
-- There's a fire burning a few feet away from AJ's head, and the fire crew are in there with the extinguishers before he knows anything about it

-- Alan's fellow Fuel tuner Rune Fjeld explains how to make the tuning calls on a new track...

"I hate smoking the tyres! Absolutely hate it!"
-- ...leaves us in no doubt what he thinks about overpowering the track...

"It has no function, and I just don't like it"
-- ...and we finally get Rune to tell us just what it is he's got against pedalling

"Hey, I'm falling asleep at the wheel - you drive"
"But I'm not insured to drive this vehicle"
"Well, don't hit anything then"
-- Photo-journalist Andy Willsheer and Roger share a hire car in the USA

"I'd like to introduce Andy Willsheer, a top journalist and good friend from England, and this is Roger Gorringe, he's nobody"
-- US Main Event video producer/director and film director Dean Papadeas hadn't yet heard that Roger had joined the Eurodragster.com staff

"I'm looking forward to bouncing it off both guardrails"
-- We'd better not name this racer talking about their 2007 ride

"What is the cable like? Is it like a network cable or a phone cable?"
"It's blue"
-- Tog's friend Lynda: she might be a non-expert user but, strictly, not an incorrect answer

"Repeat after me: Richard Hammond was not drag racing...Richard Hammond was not drag racing...I will publish a correction in the next issue...I will publish a correction in the next issue"
-- We tried everything else with the mainstream media so the only recourse is hypnosis by text

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