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As told exclusively to
Thanks to our major sponsor Gold RV whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk. If you have a question for Derek or the team or if you would like to send a message of support then please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday 1st February 2019: Toothache to terminal.
In the space of ten weeks I went from toothache to terminal cancer. I went to the dentist and he found something which wasn't right. There was a tumour below one of my teeth. The dentist sent me to a specialist who after a procedure on New Year's Eve told me the that tumour was cancerous. They removed half of the tumour and then did a bone marrow biopsy. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is incurable but can be treatable with chemo and a cocktail of various drugs which have proven successful at putting this rather nasty cancer into remission. After eighth months of chemo I can undergo stem cell transplant. I know I'm going to die, I just don't know when.
Treatment started this week with chemo, which precedes the stem cell therapy which has the potential to prolong my life by some years. I will be treated with my own stem cells, but cell donation is one of a number of practical ways in which Eurodragster.com readers could help. I don't want sympathy and I don't want endless virtue signalling on Facebook. I want you to give blood, or to donate stem cells. Please consider going on the register. You sit in hospital for six hours whilst they harvest the cells. If you donate stem cells then those six hours of your time could save four lives.
If you are too squeamish to give blood or to donate stem cells then please consider donating to Bloodwise.
Gold RV and Bloodwise will be at the track this year to spread the word and to encourage blood and stem cell donation. You can find out more on Bloodwise's web site at www.bloodwise.org.uk, donate at www.bloodwise.org.uk/donate, or follow the Bloodwise link on the Gold RV site at www.goldrv.co.uk.
Tuesday 10th April 2018: Stickergate - the final words.
Well, we were not going to say anything more about this, but it is now out on various racers sites and personal Face Book Pages. So we feel the need to defend our decision to withdraw the Gold RV sponsorship of the Eurodragster Perfect ET award and the fact that the other party is misleading people as to what occurred and why we are upset.
First, this is a Eurodragster award sponsored by Gold RV. The rules as such are clearly put out by Eurodragster before every event as they have been for the thirteen years we have sponsored it, the last three years in aid of charities with no Gold RV logo at all. Eurodragster staff were on site and easily available at the event, especially considering the conditions with no racing going on and should have been contacted rather than the sponsor directly.
Eurodragster clearly states decals are to be found in the signing on office. Did racers who were not happy with the size of these decals ask at the signing on office are there any smaller ones available? I doubt it, if they had they would have been advised these are the only decals. Well, that is that then as per the explanation of what is required if you choose to enter the Perfect ET.
So if you are not happy with the size of the sticker, or the rules, then first call should be to Eurodragster and not the sponsor. No one is forcing anyone to enter or to wear the stickers however if you want the money then they are the rules, simple, you would have thought?
So in thirteen years can you guess how many racers publicly thanked us for sponsoring the Perfect ET until this? Well we can tell you none, although we must say after the decision was made to withdraw our sponsorship was made public, we received many thanks from numerous racers and teams, thank you that was appreciated.
It has been put about that I received a polite request for smaller stickers, well if you consider being told after thirteen years that 'Oh no your stickers are too big' as a polite request then yes that is what happened.
I truly believe that if Fiona and I had been at the race track then none of this would have happened, after explaining to the team member (whom at that point we considered a friend) via a private message that the reason we were not in attendance is that Fiona was not well, you would have thought that would be reason enough to drop it right then, wish Fiona well and drop it, this was the first race in fourteen years we have ever cancelled our entry.
Currently people are still being advised anyone who wants to see the whole private messages between us are more than welcome, well perhaps Fiona would not have like that shared to whom ever they wish but has that being considered by the other party? No... So now it is public, this says more about the other party than us, personally I would never share a private message publically, guess that is just my morals.
Fiona was involved in all dealings with regard to this despite being unwell and this whole situation has left us both very deflated and upset, we named no one publically. We did respond to the complaint our stickers were too big and according to the team concerned others had said so too.. As I have already said, this should have been raised with Eurodragster and not directly with the sponsor. Racers may bear this in mind in the future before upsetting another sponsor directly.
So in thirteen years as a sponsor, this is the first complaint we have received and to top it all from a class that we had personally offered double money, something we had never done before. What should have remained a private spat was made very public by the other party, also to be told our private messages including comments about Fiona's health will also be shared publically was upsetting. Fiona and I jointly decided that after receiving grief over the Easter weekend, we would write to Eurodragster and withdraw our sponsorship, which we did.
Eurodragster chose to write what they wrote, we had only explained after much consideration and after the grief received at the weekend we wished to cancel our sponsorship of this award and apologised for the short notice. However we have even received complaints about the article released by Eurodragster, which again is unfair, these complaints should have been directed to Eurodragster and not us personally or as the sponsor.
We had not named any names nor had we publicly criticized the other party involved and purely responded on a limited forum ETB (the class we had doubled the money for) that it was quite alright to cut out the key part of the sticker (making it approx 30% smaller, which some other racers had already sussed from the years before) and apply that, with the approval of both Gold RV and Eurodragster, after it was reported by the other party that other bikers also thought the sticker too big. I explained on the ETB forum how it could be cut out, however I did explain it was not ok to cut it to pieces so it was unrecognisable from the design approved. In the end the truth came out from the racer himself that he did not want to put any stickers on his airbrushed paintwork, which is fine, don't put it on, or think that a chopped up unrecognisable version will count, but then don't moan if you pull the 1st perfect et of the event and you don't get the money.
Despite our numerous personal and public requests to just drop it, the other party continued to release articles on other forums and personal face book pages with half truths and false statements. Our requests to keep our private conversation private were ignored and they continued to post a private message, however we were pleased to see this whole post had been taken down by the other party in the morning, especially as it included some pretty nasty and offensive language directed at Eurodragster as well as us. As racers and team members representing racers, we are duty bound to abide by the rules and regulations of both the MSA and ACU with regard our public interaction about our racing etc. on social media, and using foul and abusive language as well as bringing our sport into disrepute, it is not acceptable.
Obviously all this being made public by the other party who could have remained anonymous is totally unacceptable for Fiona, myself and more importantly our company and we formally advise our last support of drag racing will be the financial support of helping Jack Brewster with funds after his crash, Gold RV shall contribute no more, so please don't ask.
Friday 1st August 2016: It's back!
As you read in yesterday's news item, I now have my record breaking six second, Super Pro Dragster back. Thanks to Nigel and Emma Turner for selling and delivering it back to us.
Obviously we know this car very well and know its full history having met the chassis builder and its first owner who put it all together, with some later mods by us to push it that bit further & faster and we have some great memories with this car and even though it is now 10 years old the chassis has done very few runs and most of them made by me, it looks just as it did when Gary Jenkins drove it last at the Flame & Thunder test day in 2006, and it has not been run since, wow where does the time go. It's just a shame we do not still have the engine, gearbox, ignition and fuel system we had then, as it was never appreciated by its next owner and we have had to put up with many negative comments about our old record breaking combo and even about me personally, with always one important part left out, that being as soon as he said he was not happy with our engine etc. which was even before he got the engine to his home, we offered to take it all back and give him his money back or we would even come and collect it all and give him his money back. It is a shame he did not do that, rather than bad mouthing us over a number of years, as I could have just dropped it all straight back in this car as we had it and we could be running mid sixes at 200 plus MPH again.
This year marks the tenth year anniversary of Gold RVs involvement in UK Drag Racing, thanks to Darryl Bradford and the Wildside Team who introduced us to the sport in the UK. And thanks to all you drag racerholics who also support our sport and special thanks to Tog and all at Eurodragster for all they do for European drag racing in assisting us to promote our sport, teams and sponsors. In association with Eurodragster, Gold RV have sponsored the perfect ET awards for seven years now and with Eurodragster we have paid out to many teams over the years well done guys and girls.. It was really neat seeing the reaction of Saskia Jell and her Mum when they won the whopping £150.00 at the Summer Nationals as it had rolled over a few times.
We hope to get this car back on track either later this year or for the start of next year, once we have sourced an engine/drive train combo for it, we are then planning to licence another of our Gold RV Junior Dragster drivers, Lisa Selles in Super Pro, it was a natural choice as the Selles Family are my extended Dutch Family and Lisa has proven herself as very competent racer and won the Dutch and even a European Championship and has shown she can be a match for any of the boys, but not only does Lisa drive she was also responsible for servicing and the turn rounds between rounds, and as with nearly all the junior drivers she can be lightning on the tree, but she will have to get used to the extra horsepower. Obviously the licence runs will be done after I have personally checked the car out, just to make sure it is all ok for her, as am sure you can understand.
Here at Gold RV Sales & Service Ltd. we are also celebrating another anniversary, thirty years ago Gary started Gold Motor Service Company and specialized in USA RVs, later we merged Gold Motor Sales into the one company Gold RV some 11 years ago now. I was a customer of Gary's 17 years ago and after selling up our house in 1999 Fiona & I drove off in our RV for an adventure in Europe and Turkey to see in the new millennium after all doom mongers were telling us the world was going to end after the millennium bug bit. I must say if the world was going to end then we would have been quite happy, we had parked our RV at a campsite on the edge of a lagoon, with a beach to ourselves bathed in lovely sunshine in the middle of winter, so obviously we did not rush back and when we did eventually return to the UK we parked up at Gold and it still feels like we are living our RV'ing adventure now and the rest as they say is history, we all really love RV’ing and get away as much as we can. Drag racing has also been a huge part of our way of life over the last 10 years and we have been RV’ing all over the world, racing or catching up with our many drag race friends. After a few annoying health issues over the last couple of years, I should be fighting fit soon, and I cannot wait to blow out a few cobwebs and exercise my right foot a little. I would also just like to say a huge thanks for all the get well messages etc. It was overwhelming the support I received from all my drag racing friends and family.
It is great fun being involved with Peter Walters in Super Pro and we had a great time licensing Peter in Grumpy's A Fueler too and we cannot wait to complete the job before the Euro Finals.. and who knows where this may lead in the future. We can not wait to have both Peter & Lisa racing in Super Pro as it has always been a class that I love and like to think we even contributed a little in promoting this very successful and entertaining class.
Whilst I do miss the driving, I actually miss the competition, tuning and running a race team more and I just love it when I see the reaction of the many drivers we have supported or assisted over the years as they achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Below is a photo gallery of our first ten years in racing that you can click on the thumbnails for a larger view and scroll through. Thanks to all the photographers, professionals, friends family and race fans for sending me all the photographs, I have many thousands over the last 10 years and it was hard to leave so many out, I was trying to get 10 years in just 10 photographs but it was impossible.
I would also like to say a huge thanks to the Go Gold Crew and all the other crews and teams I have had the pleasure of working with.
Life’s A Trip, Go Gold, Go RV’ing, Go Drag Racing !
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