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Robert Joosten.
8th October: We were very sorry to hear of the death of Dutch Pro Modified racer Robert Joosten, taken from us far too young and very quickly by cancer.

Robert first raced in a Street class in 1996 then moved into Super Gas in 1999 with his Bad Nova. He won his first Dutch Championship in 2000. In 2004 he campaigned an ex-Pro Stock Truck in Super Comp and Super Gas. The move to Pro Modified took place in 2006 with a 2001 C5 Corvette acquired from Jim Oddy. He quickly made his mark by finishing third in the 2007 MSA British Drag Racing Championship. His best finish in the FIA European Pro Mod Championship was runner-up in 2008. After dealing with various issues with a 1970½ Camaro Robert acquired a 1971 Cuda with which things were coming together nicely this season. He is one of fourteen five-second European Pro Mod racers with a best of 5.990 set at the 2013 Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena.

A longtime supporter, Robert happily submitted to one of our Features in 2006 and you can check that out by
clicking here. He was a frequent contributor to the News page and we were made very welcome in his pit where he was always cheerful and informative and a willing Simon Victim.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Robert's family and friends.

Many thanks to our good friend Remco Scheelings who sent us an English-language version of his tribute written for the and FIA European Championships web sites:

It's hard to believe and hard to accept. On August 22nd and 23rd Robert Joosten was competing at the Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena, Sweden. Ready to travel to Santa Pod for the last round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, after a short visit to his family doctor, he unexpectedly ended up in hospital. The diagnosis was as shocking as unexpected: cancer, and in one of the most aggressive forms. Further investigations made clear that treatment was not possible and that there was no chance of recovery. On the morning of 8th October, Robert passed away at home, at only forty six years of age. Unbelievable for a person who was so full of energy only six weeks ago, had so many plans for the future, was leading several companies, running Pro Dutch Racing, competed in drag races, but above all a husband and father. As a reporter and photographer I had the honor to work with Robert over the last twenty years, and he will be sadly missed in drag racing for many years to come. But my loss is insignificant compared to the loss for his wife Patricia and their son Jerry. My deepest condolences go out to Patricia, Jerry, family and friends, and I hope they will find the strength to overcome this terrible loss.

Robert's track record makes him to one of the most important Dutch drag racers of the last twenty years. But maybe even more important was his innovative and professional approach to the sport, a sport he loved so much and that he wanted to take to the next level.

Robert started his career in a street legal American muscle car and was a regular competitor in Street machines between 1985 and 1998. But from the very first start, Robert had a plan that should bring him to the top of the drag racing ladder. Cars were chosen for their performance and the possibility to step up to the next level. Special attention was paid to the appearance of the car and team, something completely new in Dutch drag racing.

And that was also one of the reasons Robert bought his first real drag race car in Sweden, a Chevrolet Nova '62, and went to the States to buy the next one, a Chevrolet S10 Pro Stock Truck. Between 1999 and 2005 Robert was extremely successful with these cars in Super Gas and Super Comp, and won Championships and runner-up positions in the DHRA / Explosion Championship, Dutch Championship, KNAF and Dutch Open Championship. Robert was also the driving force behind the Dutch Open Super Gas Championship, and under his guidance it became an internationals series with more than twenty competitors.

But after his successful years in Super Comp, Robert was ready to step up, to the class he wanted to be part of from the beginning - Pro Modified, the fastest doorslammers on earth. Because he knew that was the next step, the team name was already changed to Pro Dutch Racing and a state-of-the-art truck and trailer were purchased.

In 2006 Robert made his debut in Pro Modified with a Corvette C5, and again, was successful from the beginning. He won at Hockenheim, and in 2008, at Mantorp Park, he was the first Dutch drag racer to win a race in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship, and with a runner-up position was the best ever Dutch drag racer in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. The same year he won the Nordic Drag Racing Series, was Swedish champion and Dutch national record holder.

In 2010 the Corvette was replaced by a brand new '70 Chevrolet Camaro, built in the States. Although Robert didn't win races with this car, the Camaro brought him his moment of glory when he made his first ever five-second run with a 5.990 at Tierp Arena 2013. That same year he was fourth in the FIA European Championship.

Early in 2015, Robert bought a unique and state-of-the-art '71 Plymouth Barracuda from the States. In June, at Tierp Arena, the Cuda made its first runs and went quicker and faster almost every run. With the improvements they made in the next races, the team were convinced that they had the right car to go for their first FIA European Pro Modified title in 2016.

Robert had new and innovative ideas about running his team and a professional approach of the sport. The race car, trailer and team always looked clean, fresh and state-of-the-art, and he was the first Dutch drag racer to publish press releases and newsletters, and to arrange press presentations for media, sponsors and fans when there was a new race car.

For the next few years to come, there was one important goal to achieve in the sport for Robert, the title in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. We now know that that will not come true. But even without this title, Robert Joosten's name, and the influence he had on Dutch drag racing, will never be forgotten.

If you would like to send a tribute to Robert then please send an E-Mail to and we will post it here.

2016 SPRC Dinner Dance.
6th October: Santa Pod Racers Club are pleased to announce their 2016 Dinner Dance and Trophy Evening which takes place at 6:00 pm on Saturday 6th February 2016 at a new venue,
De Vere Staverton Park Hotel in Daventry Road, Staverton, Daventry, NN11 6JT (map). This event will present Champions and runners-up in the 2015 UK National Drag Racing Championships, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod Racers Club Championships and SPRC Perpetual Award winners.

The arrangements for the SPRC Dinner Dance are as follow:
  • Pre-dinner drinks will be available in the bar from 5:30 pm.

  • Proceedings will start prompt at 6:00 pm with trophy presentations to the 2015 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions and runners-up. For this reason it is important that everyone is in their seats in the function room at 6:00 pm as the presentation will not be held up for latecomers. If you miss your presentation then we will not be going back!

  • Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm.

  • After dinner, the 2015 UK National Champions and runners-up will be presented with their trophies, then the top three in the 2015 MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and finally the 2015 SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
Tickets to the Dinner Dance are £35 per adult and £20 for under-twelves which includes three-course meal plus tea / coffee and mints. An additional £1 per ticket should be added if paying by credit card. The main meal for children will be chicken nuggets and chips, but please choose a starter and dessert for your child and also specify on the booking form that they are for a child.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please inform Yvonne Tramm at and she will include them on the menu selection list for the hotel.

SPRC have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel. These are priced at £85 for a single room and £95 for double or twin rooms, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the hotel on 0871 222 4816 quoting reference SANT060216. Please do not try to book your room on-line as the electronic reservations system has been told that the entire hotel booked for that evening, so your attempt at reservation will fail.

You can download the Dinner Dance booking form (PDF format) by clicking here. A Word format form will be available on the Entry Forms section of the SPRC web site at Please note that booking forms should be sent to Yvonne Tramm at the address specified on the form and not to the SPRC office.

If you have any queries about the Dinner Dance then please contact Yvonne Tramm, not the SPRC office, at

2014 Perpetual Award winners please note that trophies should be be returned to SPRC as soon as possible. To make arrangements for trophy return please contact Ian Marshall at or call 01933 313625.

A rebuild for Santa Pod.
6th October: For almost fifty years, Santa Pod Raceway has reigned supreme as the home of British and European drag racing. Now, as the venue's 2016 Golden Anniversary approaches, a second Santa Pod has sprung to life on UK soil. Millions will know the location. The clue lies in its construction materials: not exactly bricks-and-mortar – just bricks. Lego® bricks.

Welcome to Santa Pod Raceway at the Legoland® Windsor Resort.

The Legoland Windsor Resort first unveiled a model drag strip in the world-famous Miniland in 2001, just five years after the Resort opened. This month the modelling team completed a newly-refashioned model, as a faithful replica of the legendary British quarter-mile racing venue. It took 84,780 Lego bricks to re-create the Santa Pod Raceway - 19,800 of them to make the grandstand and its crowds of spectators alone. The seven-strong team of skilled Lego model-makers invested a whopping 744 hours in creating the amazing model which also includes incredible animation.

Guests at the Legoland Windsor Resort can actually race the Santa Pod dragsters down the track. The dragster animation is controlled in its entirety by a central Programmable Logic Controller housed within the animation plant room. At the press of a button, a car in each lane edges forward into stage on the start line. The starting system and the audio are triggered and, as the green light flashes, the guests flick levers to send their cars rocketing side-by-side down the strip to the finish. A further sensor brings the cars to a halt and returns them to their positions at the head of the pairing lanes, ready to explode into action once again.

The Legoland Windsor Resort's 2015 season ends on 2nd November and Santa Pod Raceway's racing season ends with the spectacular Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday 31st October. Perhaps Legoland guests' experience of the Santa Pod-in-miniature might inspire them to try the real thing, while there is all the more reason for Santa Pod racegoers to enjoy a full family day out at Legoland.

Dakota's Autumn promise.
4th October: Lee Child of sponsor
LA Racing Parts writes that Dakota Raceway in Smeatharpe, Devon, opens its gates at 08:00 next Saturday (10th) for the third Drag and Drift day of the 2015 season:

The quarter mile drag strip is open to any type of vehicle for test and tune whether street-legal or pure race. Next Saturday, for example, the participants will range from daily drivers to NFAA Team Freddy's Revenge . Dave Grabham, a solid supporter of Dakota Raceway from the beginning, will be making a couple of test passes.

At Dakota Raceway we have our own points series which runs with the Test and Tune. Man of the moment in the street-legal categories is loyal Dakota Raceway supporter Jason Bowden in his GTR35. The Nissan's best at this moment in time is a 10.50 ET with regular street tyres and no prep on the track. Jason drives the GTR35 up from Torquay, blasts out consistent ten-second passes, then then drives home after collecting his trophies. Also running good numbers on street tyres at Dakota are the bikes; we see mid-nines from some of them.

On Saturday we will apply a little traction compound to the start line area. Adding to the event, we will also be allowing passengers on the drag strip but only in cars, not on motorcycles. Trophies will be awarded for the quickest ET by category and there will be trophies for the Show and Shine and Club stands. We should see up to 150 cars on static display in the show area.

For regular updates check out our Facebook page Dakota Raceway Southwest.

Swift snippets.
4th October: reader John Hughes tells us that he is looking for pictures or clippings about the Spiderman 23T altered, which he owns but which was previously owned by Roy and Julian Webb. John has divined as much information as he has from Nostalgia web sites but would be grateful if anyone has anything further. If you can help then please drop us a line at and we'll put you in touch.

Editor's note: Points standings, screenshots, Facebook, copyright... you know how the rest of it goes and you will be hearing from us.

Bloodlines 2015.
4th October: The UK's Bloodlines Racing have been fielding a number of cars over the past few years, during which circumstances have changed along with plans but that was always the scenario. Ian Turburville writes:

"Race, have fun, and take it as it comes, when you can" was the mantra. After all, this is a hobby, a passion, but on a very limited budget with almost no reward apart from the glory and the sense of achievement. The True Blood nostalgia dragster had been campaigned with Laura Turburville in the driving seat, for a couple of years in the fantastic Super Pro ET class but the slingshot was not likely to win any Championships as it is almost impossible to dial in a car like that. No limiters, no transbrake, no launch control, manual shift, wheels-up, against a giant field of cars all running deadly consistent times. Even so, Laura did fantastically always qualifying in the top part of the field and going a round or two, which is no mean feat!

At the Main Event in May, on her twentieth birthday, Laura again did well and ran the car to its first seven second run, but the car was getting tired after all that bracket racing. Ian looked the car over and nothing was broken, but all of the valve springs needed replacing along with the bearings and other usual service items but it was decided that another approach was warranted. Laura wanted a car of her own to race, one which could compete and so Bloodlines agreed with Oomen Racing to buy the dragster which Shari used to drive. It was a bit dated in style but a good, solid American-built car with a very good Reher Morrison 555 ci Super motor and a proper race trans. It had not had much track time in its life so was in great condition and just needed a bit of a re-pop to bring it up to date. The plan was for Bloodlines to re-coup their money by selling the Beach Bomb slingshot which they commissioned last winter, another beautiful 555 ci powered slingshot.

Ian took the Dutch car back to the Turboville Racing workshop and proceeded with the makeover. The car was treated to a whole host of improvements from the wheels to the wing, and all the bling in between. It was also cut and joined in the middle to make it easier to transport, common practice in the UK with its tiny, congested roads not suited to giant American race trailers. This was performed at John Spuffard's and Kevin Kent's workshop much to their bewilderment - they decided Ian was certifiable! Parts were gathered, plans were hatched, beer was sipped and work commenced.

Meanwhile, Ian took the Beach Bomb along to Dragstalgia to do some test runs and set it up. Kenny and Asa Gomez travelled down from Scotland to crew as Laura and Chris were off in Switzerland with Marcus Hilt and Trouble Racing, our twinned Pro Mod team. Ian made a few nice wheels-up launches in the Beach Bomb and went a bit sideways on the last run as the car before had exploded its transmission all over the start area. The ATF must have soaked into the track as it was like ice; the next car after him suffered the same fate but went straight into the wall so Ian decided not to risk the car any further that weekend. The car was all good and fine tuned for its next owner. It is still up for sale, ready to run sevens, and offers will be considered through Ian.

Someone who has featured on all the Bloodlines cars is the great pinstriping artist Simon 'Nefarious' Pollock, so we made a date for him to style the new car which had just been painted satin black by Curbishly Automotive who paint all the team cars. We met at Santa Pod on VW Action weekend and Simon did his thing in the live music tent the night before the crowds arrived, thanks to Brian Burrows and his team. It turned out spectacularly well and has that 1950's Bonneville look about it now. The car was christened Bad Blood which seemed fitting after True Blood and Young Blood. Laura's official race number 717 was painted large on the side and then distressed. On the Saturday the fresh car was put on the track for its first runs, with Ian Marshall looking on in bewilderment as he couldn't keep up with what Laura was driving from meet to meet!

The car went well but got massive tyre shake, and we mean massive! It broke the trans cooler and the MSD ignition box and left a trail of Dzus fasteners down the track. Ian took the car home, checked the chassis over and fitted a new cooler etc. but he didn't have a new ignition for the European Finals. Luckily our great family of racers came to the rescue. Cristiann Carlo of NG Motorsport helped sort all the sparks out and fitted a new MSD from Dave Cherrett, so we were back in the game. Laura, Chris and Ian then set about learning to dial in the new car. A series of fantastic close races followed against some brilliant racers such as Voodoo Hemi Superbird, Scott Hauser, Peter Lane, and best of all Jayne Kay. Having not raced a fellow female competitor before, Laura had always wanted to race Jayne but hadn't had the opportunity until then. Both girls gave it everything and it was quite something to watch. Laura blasted the car to a 7.7 run, a new PB leading to much start line dancing by dad and a nod of approval from Dom Lagana! Back in the pits however it was discovered that the tyre shake from VWA, since cured, had broken the weld on the oil pump pick-up, starving the motor. Ian, Chris and Declan quickly sourced some new rod bearings from Gary Kay, a tig welder from the Harrisons, bits from the Przybyls and Richard Walters, then fitted them in time for her first round against Brad Jackson. Interestingly Laura and Brad raced each other in their very first drag race in Junior Dragsters six years ago! The elimination run was epic, with a lot on the line for Brad in the Championship, but Laura was not going to do him any favours. They both cut incredible lights and were neck to neck all the way down the track, the race was definitely on. At the stripe it was Brad by just 0.012 of a second, a brilliant drag race, no one minds losing when it's that good! Wayne Jackson looked mightily relieved!

The car came from the Netherlands running Ethanol so that is what we ran that weekend but Ian decided that it would be better on Methanol as E85 is very expensive and hard to get in the UK, so they spent the rest of the day making the switch. They started it up and it instantly sounded happier and stronger so everything is set for next season. Unfortunately, as the Beach Bomb had not sold, funds were not available to compete at the UK National Finals and the 2016 season hangs in the balance. Once the blue slingshot sells then Bloodlines have some new, exciting plans for 2016 but some new sponsors will need to step up if they are to do a full season.

Interestingly, while waiting in the pairing lanes at the European Finals, surrounded by dragsters, door cars, Pro Mods, Funny Cars, alcohol dragsters, altereds etc. Keith Bartlett strolled up the line and wished Laura good luck and said he loved the new car, he then turned to Ian and said "You know, I really do think Super Pro is the best class in drag racing", we had to agree! A big shout out goes to Rick, Pete and Julie Walters for their hard work in promoting this great class.

Bloodlines must give thanks to all the people who helped get the new Bad Blood car to the track this year: Turboville Racing, Bloodlines Racing, Kleen Freaks, Central College Nottingham, USAutomotive, Nefarious, Chromeworx / Ultracars, Trouble Racing, Racecraft, Pete Whitmore, Paul Bland, AC Custom Coatings, Northants 81, Patvan Racing, Dan Giles, Paul Brown, Julie Braskett, the Harrisons, Andy Raw, Nick Good, Chris Carlo, Dave Cherrett, Robin Orthodoxou, Chris Allen, Johan Oomen, Willem VDB, Martin Curbishly, Pete Kellett, Matt the Stitch, the Chesworths,, all the photographers and the track crew at Santa Pod Raceway.

Team shirts, T-shirts, Caps, coffee mugs and Kleen Freaks detailing products are all available at /

Watch out for the finale of the great mini-series This is England '90 on Channel 4 tonight Sunday. Some of the graphics and props in the film are by Laura who did an internship with the production company as part of her University course.

Sponsors return to BDRHoF Gala.
4th October: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has announced that two more of its 2014 Gala Awards Dinner sponsors have returned to back the 2015 event which is being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 21st November 21st.

The first is the Flint Insurance Group who are sponsoring the table wine as they did in 2014. Flint is an independent broker offering a wide range of high quality, affordable insurance products. The Group specialises in all aspects of commercial business insurance, motor fleet and motor trade in addition to being able to look after any personal insurance requirements such as car, van, home and travel. Their client base is varied, but all enjoy a professional and personal service. For more details visit their web site at

Directors Darren and David Taylor (right and left, John Price centre) along with longtime Flint Consultant and drag racing commentator John Price confirmed their support early in September. David will be attending the event with his wife Carolyn and John will be playing an increased role on stage this year. David Taylor said, "I'm looking forward to attending this event again. Last year's Gala Awards Dinner was special and we are happy to support it once more. Many guests will be our customers so it's great to socialise with them at such a prestigious evening and it's good to see John so involved."

The second returning backer – with a substantial four figure sum - is the National Street Rod Association who once again will be sponsoring the Audio Visual support for the event provided by AMP Audio Solutions. The NSRA is the UK's Premier Hot Rod Association for owners of pre-1972 Hot Rods, Street Rods and Customs. Nick Brooke-Langham, the Editor of its house magazine Street Gasser, was the winner of one of the BDRHoF Sydney Allard Media Awards last year.

Each year the NSRA organizes two of the UK's largest hot rod show weekends, plus two major auto parts swap meets. Furthermore, in conjunction with Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway, the NSRA is involved with three nostalgia drag racing event weekends. For more details visit their web site at

NSRA Chair Jason Hollamby (right) said "We are pleased to be supporting the BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner again. The event is a welcome addition to the social side of things. As an organizer of several events I know just how much hard work goes into getting such a show together and the BDRHoF Management Board do a great job. The NSRA Committee thinks long and hard about which events to support. Drag Racing and Hot Rodding were promoted by the same group of people in the early years so it is natural for us to celebrate the sport's pioneers in this way. They were our pioneers too."

BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said "A big thank you to both the Flint Insurance Group and the National Street Rod Association. Although it is fabulous to welcome new sponsors, in a way it is even more satisfying to welcome back the repeat sponsors because it must mean we are doing something right. Putting on this Gala Awards Dinner is a team effort and our sponsors are very much a part of that team."

Web site updates.
4th October: The latest update to The Mad Welshman's Flickr site features albums from VW Action and the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day, both of which took place at Santa Pod Raceway in August. You can check it out at

IDRHoF confirm 2016 intake.
4th October: Thanks to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury for forwarding the official press release from the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame confirming this year's inductees:

Comprising Class of 2016 are six of the sport's most accomplished Top Fuel and / or Funny Car pilots, one of which is one of Great Britain's most prolific names, and a successful New England drag racer who became a track manager. The 2016 Founder's Award goes to a highly successful track operator, who helped create the model for media relations, not only for drag racing, but for motorsports as a whole.

The 2016 inductees are (in alphabetical order): Preston Davis (Bartlett, Tenn.), Jack Doyle (Wakefield, N.H.), the late Marvin Miller (Bakersfield, Calif.), Mark Oswald (Houma, La.), Dennis Priddle (Yeovil, Somerset, U.K.) and Gas Ronda (Palm Desert, Calif.). Steve Earwood (Rockingham, N.C.) has been named to receive the 2016 Founder's Award.

Preston Davis drove the famed "Tennessee Bo-Weevil" Top Fuel and Funny Cars for master tuner Ray Godman (International Drag Racing Hall of Fame member – 1991) out of Godman's shop in Memphis, and their successes helped build the sport in the Southeastern U.S. and the lower Mississippi Valley. Davis and the Godman-tune up made for a formidable pair, and for years, the team was a threat in both classes, either in NHRA sanctioned events or match racing in the Mid-South.

Jack Doyle was a successful New England racer who fielded gas coupes, comp coupes, and top gas dragsters, and competed on the East Coast during the 1950s and 1960s. He was a driving force of the New England Hot Rod Council in the 1950s, which was a major factor in popularizing the sport throughout New England. After he retired from the driver's seat, he became the Track Manager, and later, the General Manager of the famed New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

The late Marvin Miller was one of the three partners of the famed red and white Coburn-Warren-Miller "Ridge Route Terrors" Top Fuel cars with tuner Roger Coburn and driver James Warren, argued by many as the most successful Top Fuel team in the era of the 1960s. Miller, who owned the Rain for Rent business in Bakersfield, supplied financial backing for the team, and the later rear-engined dragsters which carried his business name on the sides.

Mark Oswald was one of the sport's most successful drivers in both top fuel and Funny Cars. He teamed with fellow Cincinnati, Oh. racers Tom Kattleman and Ross Thomas with the Thomas-Oswald-Kattleman Top Fuel car. His driving successes took him to the famed Candies & Hughes Top Fuel and then Funny Car team, where he won the 1984 Funny Car World Championship, and then drove successfully in the In-N-Out Burger Funny Car before retiring from the seat. Today, he is the co-Crew Chief of Antron Brown's Matco Tools Top Fuel car at Don Schumacher Racing.

Dennis Priddle has been referred to as Britain's Don Garlits, as one of the prolific pioneering legends of British and European drag racing in the 1960s and 1970s, and is a member of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. He campaigned a series of Top Fuel and Funny Cars, and was the first driver into the six-second range outside of North America with a 6.995-second pass at the famed British Santa Pod drag strip in 1972. This earned him his "Mr. Six" nickname. And, during his career, he and Clive Skilton, another noted British drag racer, engaged in quarter mile battles across Britain and Europe, helping build drag racing across the Atlantic.

Gas Ronda ("Gas" is a nickname for his given name, Gaspar) was one of the favorite West Coast Funny Car drivers in the 1960s. His career started with Stock and Super Stock cars, and was a member of the famed Ford "Thunderbolts," and their factory-backed 427 Ford powered Fairlanes. He partnered with famed engine builder Les Ritchey and moved to the emerging Funny Car class in 1966, with a stretched bodied Mustang sponsored by Russ Davis Ford. His last, and most potent ride was a 1969 Mustang-bodied Logghe chassis car, but a serious fire burned Ronda in 1970, and forced an end to his racing career.

Steve Earwood the recipient of the 2016 Founders Award. While never a racer, he was raised in a motorsports-oriented family. Drag racing attracted him while a student at West Georgia University (Carrollton, Ga.). After working at Gainesville (Fla.) Dragway, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) hired him as the National Media Relations Director where he teamed with 2015's Pioneer Award recipient, Dave Densmore, to create a comprehensive programme of cultivating the major market media around National events. Earwood and Densmore formed Denswood Sports Marketing after leaving the NHRA, representing major drag racing teams and race tracks. Yearwood also managed the Texas Motorplex, Atlanta Dragway and then purchased "The Rock" – Rockingham Dragway (Rockingham, N.C.), which he operates today.

The honorees are selected by a committee of veteran drag racing and performance industry figures. The selection committee consists of Steve Gibbs (Retired Vice President, NHRA), Harry Hibler (President, UNI-Marketing, LLC), Ted Jones (Masters Entertainment, Retired President, IHRA) and Greg Sharp (Curator, Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum).

Second a first for Lindau.
2nd October: Congratulations to Germany's Sebastian Lindau who took runner-up spot with his bike at the recent Sand Drags in Akureyri, Iceland, becoming the first non-Icelandic trophy winner at that track.

"It was a perfect day with perfect weather", says Sebastian. "Unlike last year my bike worked perfectly that weekend and was very reliable. I'm very satisfied with this result and want to say a big thanks to my sponsors
Eimskip, SGFKC, United Arts, PM and Projektart, and of course thanks to the Billaklubbur Akureyrar.

"Congratulations to the deserving winner Olafur Arason. With his nitrous charged ZX 10 he was just unbeatable that weekend and also became 2015 Icelandic Champion.

"You can see some raceday pictures by clicking here and a video summary by clicking here. You can find further information on my web site at"

Holmberg's season.
2nd October: Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg and the Swecomposite Racing team chose to prioritise the FIM European Championship in 2015 and if time and finances permitted to participate in the EDRS Pro Series. As it turned out Kenneth was able to participate in every round.

Kenneth set four Personal Bests this season attaining 7.11 seconds and 306 kmh. The team fell behind at the start of the season with a couple of inglorious red lights but had a semi-final finish at the FIA / FIM European Finals ultimately finishing in sixth place in the FIM European Championship - three points separated fourth and sixth places. Kenneth finished fifth place in the EDRS Pro Series.

Kenneth says that he had the best possible team members Gabriella 'Gabbi' Nikolovska and Kent 'Kenta' Carlsson taking the lead with Leif Grundén and Lars Möller assisting at individual events. Kenneth also had one hundred per cent support from his sponsors Erik Larsson at ProService (engine tuning), Texstar (team clothing), Bilglasdesign (vinyls and signs), Backman Info (printing services), Johan 'Findus' Blomqvist of EG Nord AB (sponsorship and support) and of course Swecomposite who also made it possible. Especially exciting was that the team's newest latest sponsor Texstar of Norrtälje, their promotional clothing supplier, helped them to win Best Appearing Team at Alastaro.

The team will now attend various events promoting their marketing partners and discussing with potential new partners. They will also make changes to the bike's frame and motors during the winter. Finally Kenneth says that the whole team is already looking forward to 2016.

Small hopes, big win.
2nd October: Going into the UK National Finals, UK Pro ET racer Steve Hudson of sponsor Hillingdon Speed and Spares had done the maths and was aware that a good performance could win him runner-up spot in the Santa Pod Racers Club Championship. Team Dark Horse had all but sealed the UK National and SPRC Championships so runner-up was the best for which Steve could hope:

Following a couple of poor qualifiers - I had a fuel blockage in the first and a fuel leak at the top end in the second - we went into the third and final run with only a small hope of qualifying well. How wrong I was! 0.007 off dial in and we jumped to second. One of our main rivals in the chase for runner-up was Paul Jackson in his Camaro. He ran alongside us in the third qualifying session and went into #3 spot. Bizarrely we both suffered the same problem shortly after the finish: both of us had oil pick ups fail!

Back in the pits the thrash began to get repairs done. Sump off, pick-up down to Andy Robinson for one of his best welding jobs (thanks Andy) then back together. Unfortunately we could not run the car due to the noise curfew so were just hoping that we had no leaks when we fired up on eliminations day. Warm up showed no leaks so it was on with round one. First up was Liz Malcolm. A good light and I was past Liz at about 1200 feet and coasted for the win. Then a worrying run against Tig Napier who was having troubles of his own so had dialled 11.99. I desperately did not want to pull a red so was a little slow on the tree. Tig almost coasted down the track but I did manage to catch him just before the line and won by 0.05. The third round was a bye courtesy of my #2 qualifying spot and that was the first chance of the day to run flat-out. Dialled 9.18, ran 9.20, that'll do!

By now Paul Jackson had been eliminated and people were telling me that if I won the meeting then I would pip him to runner-up in the UK National Championship. No added pressure there! Next up was Nic Williams in the semi-final, a great close race at the top end with Nic breaking out by a couple of thou. Onto the final against my good mate Gino Bernadine who was back at the track for the first time since killing his crank and rods earlier this year. He was on his game and would not be easy. Near identical reaction times  meant it was a race on dial in. Luckily Gino was a couple of hundredths off and I took the win. 

Going into the event I was hoping for very little, but I came out of it with more than I could ever have expected. Now let's get ready for next season. Have a good winter!

Bayntons' bests.
2nd October: UK Pro ET racer Paul Baynton says that the 2015 season will go down as one of his favourites:

Although I've had some successful seasons, to finally see my daughter Laura behind the wheel of the Capri will definitely be one to remember. Easter was a nerve-wracking time as it was her first time out but she got licenced and got to the second round. On to Shakespeare County Raceway at the beginning of May and it was my turn. I qualified OK and got to the semi-finals where I lost to an on form Tim Stanbury. We then headed to Santa Pod at the end of May for the Main Event. Laura qualified fourth and again went to the second round. The next event was the SPRC Summernationals. Laura qualified nineteenth at this event and again got through to the second round. On returning from this event the motorhome failed its MoT due to a rear axle oil seal leak, but this was sorted at short notice by American Autoparts.

August Bank Holiday and we headed off to Shakey and it was my turn behind the wheel again. The Capri was running well with three back to back 10.36s. I was feeling confident for race day. Alas the weather put paid to that and I left with a third place in the APIRA Championship. We then headed over to Santa Pod for the European Finals and Laura was back driving again. At the end of qualifying Laura was sixteenth which put her up against Mark Bailey in the first round. It was a good race with Laura's 0.04 light just beaten by Mark's 0.03. Laura got to the stripe first but broke out by a long way. A new PB for her and the Capri of 10.162 at 132.51 mph, but on a 10.26 dial in. Mark took the win with a lesser break out. On that run Laura experienced brake fade and ended up sideways, almost in the field, having apparently had the car hopping on two wheels before coming to a stop. Fortunately Laura and the car were safe and Keith Herbert's crew of Jim Massey and Dan Devlin came to the rescue and towed the car back. Thanks guys.

The following weekend we replaced the brake fluid and adjusted the rear brakes and all seemed fine. So next we set off to the UK National Finals at 10:30 am on the Friday and things started to go wrong right from the off. A queue of traffic on the M23 and then the same on the M25, fairly normal for us of late. During our crawl in the traffic we heard a noise from the engine which went away as quickly as it came and we thought no more about it. Just as we got to Heathrow the radio cut out and the all the lights, indicators etc went off. At that point I realised we had lost the alternator belt. I managed to pull over on the hard shoulder by Junction 15 and call for rescue. A low loader was expected but three hours later a van turned up. "Are you here to fit the belt?", I said. "What belt?" was the reply. Great! Well finally he did fit a belt and gave us a jump start and we were off again finally arriving at the track at 7:00 pm. Qualifying went OK and Laura was thirteenth. She was nervous before the first round and unfortunately snoozed on the line and the race was over.

The results for us this year were tenth in the UK National and SPRC Championships and third in the APIRA Championship. This was well above my expectations for the year. Laura has grown up with the car and so for me it was satisfying to see her finally behind the wheel and taking to it so well. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported Laura this year. Thanks also to the staff and crews at both tracks and to for keeping us up to speed on all things drag racing (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). Roll on 2016.

Web site updates.
2nd October: Our good buddy Alan Currans has been busy with two web site updates. The first is a ninth page of Alan's own historical Doorslammer pictures on his excellent Acceleration Archive site at; you can take a look via the What's New link.

Alan's second update is a UK National Finals review on the official web site of the Chaos Fuel Altered which you can check out at The update includes a link to a YouTube video from the event.

Swift snippets.
1st October: Good luck and stay safe to Smax Smith (Top Fuel Dragster) and Jonnie Lindberg (Top Alcohol FC) who are contesting this weekend's NHRA Keystone Nationals in Reading. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at

On that subject the traditional end-season European NHRA invasion is starting to come together with usual suspects Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences, Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders joined by Manty Bugeja, Rob Turner and of course Colin Millar variously in Dallas, Las Vegas, Pomona or all of the above. Colin will also be running at the California Hot Rod Reunion together with Steve Neimantas and Tony Betts. More to be added so keep an eye on

Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for passing us the final car and latest bike points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any page.

Lindelöw deputises.
30th September: Further to yesterday's (Tuesday's) news that
Speedgroup CEO Micke Gullqvist is to stand down tomorrow,Pelle Lindelöw has been in touch to announce that he will deputise in the interregnum. Pelle writes:

On Monday I received a message from Micke Gullqvist containing his resignation as CEO of Speedgroup. The reason for this is that his other commitments are taking more and more time and that, along with Micke's own racing operation, simply means that time is not enough.

During Micke's time as CEO, Speedgroup evolved to play a central role in European drag racing. I respect Micke's decision and wish to take this opportunity to thank him for his contributions to Speedgroup and to European drag racing during his eight years as CEO.

As Chairman of Speedgroup I will take on the rôle of acting CEO. The process of recruiting a new CEO has just started and we are working hard to find a replacement as quickly as possible. Our primary thought is not to seek someone with their own history in drag racing, but instead a person with experience of working within an international environment and with international companies.

I will come back with updates as soon as something occurs in the recruitment process.

Swift snippets.
30th September: Thanks to Dave Riswick of sponsor John Woolfe Racing for passing on the names of Dennis Priddle's fellow inductees to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame: Preston Davies (Fuel car racer), Jack Doyle (New England Dragway owner and owner of several supercharged gas burners), Mike Miller (Funny Car racer), Mark Oswald (Funny Car racer now Antron Brown's co-Crew Chief at Don Schumacher Racing), and Gas Ronda (Factory FX and Funny Car racer). All will be inducted at the ceremony in Gainesville, Florida next March.

Five out of six ain't bad.
30th September: It has been a great year for the UK's 00 Heaven - Doignie / Lane race team taking both UK National Championships and SPRC Championships in Super Comp and Super Gas as well as the APIRA Championship in Super Gas and runner-up in Super Comp. Stuart writes:

We started 2015 with the team objective of picking up a single piece of silverware at the annual Dinner and Dance. At this stage we had no idea how successful the season was going to be for us. As most will know the 2014 season ended on a low for us when the engine let go in spectacular fashion ending our Championship hopes in Super Gas (despite being points leader at that time). We had entered Super Comp at a few rounds to get seat time as the car wasn't quick enough to be competitive and our plan for 2016 was to come back bigger and faster with a car which could compete in both Super Gas and Super Comp.

After stripping the motor at the end of last season, the only bottom end part we could salvage and repair was the block so we contacted sponsor Jeff Bull about sourcing a new rotating assembly. Jeff supplied us with an in-house precision-balanced assembly which turned out to serve us so well this year (thanks again Jeff!).

Come March we were ready and all assembled with the motor in the car with the aim of improved ETs and more speed at the finish line. We didn't get a chance to test the car before the Festival Of Power was upon us. Despite having an annoying oil pan leak we managed to make it through eliminations and took the win in Super Comp and runner-up in Super Gas. From this point we never looked back and managed to collect nine trophies in eleven completed rounds of competition (five wins and five runners-up). On top of this success we had also achieved our speed goals with the car reaching 156 mph in Super Gas and 159 mph in Super Comp, making our good friend Jon Giles a little jealous (smile).

As the season unfolded it was far from easy hot lapping the car and as well as tough races we had our fair share of challenges. The biggest was nearly putting the car in the wall at the Main Event after the steering arm broke mid launch and took out the radiator putting water on the back tyres!. We made the repairs at the track with the help of friend John Boy and Chief Starter Ian Marshall who had exactly the same radiator sitting in his workshop! I remember taking Ian's advice on radiator choice back in 2002 when I built our BMW race car and decided to use the same again in the Victor. It was advice which ended up benefitting me in the future (thanks again Ian!). All of the repairs were worthwhile when we went on to take the double win at the meeting. Given the quality of racing and competitiveness in both classes throughout the year, especially Super Comp with the big fields of racers, we are really over the moon with our performance. Both classes are full of quality racers and great friends and we have had so much fun and close races in the past year.

When we were racing this year I had a couple of people ask me about just how many races we had lost since débuting the car at the 2013 FIA Main Event in 2013. I managed to work it out the other day and in Super Gas we have raced thirty one elimination rounds and won twenty nine! This year in Super Comp we have raced twenty three times and won nineteen races (with three red lights). Given how competitive the classes are getting, I doubt that I will be able to maintain this kind of win percentage but we will certainly have fun trying.

I would like to say thanks to my dad Bob without whose hard work and dedication we would not be where we are now. Thanks also to my wife Jody for being very understanding and supportive. We hope all the racers and fans have a great winter and we will see you at Easter.

Boxes ticked for 2015.
30th September: The UK National Finals was the last event of the year for UK Super Comp racer Tom Margesson in Andy Williams' Wild Child dragster. Tom got in touch to let us know how it went from his point of view:

We had had a lot of breakouts in qualifying this year as data for the car wasn't the best: we started the year with a total new set-up after just getting to grips with the old stuff. I had also been getting quite a reputation for red lights (You want to meet my cousin Cherry - Ed).

In qualifying I had three green lights and three runs the right side of 8.90 with the best an 8.92 landing number six qualifier by the end of the day. We were happy as the car ran the right side and there wasn't a red in sight!

Sunday was a little different. We had drawn Richie Webb, my second race against Rich and my first race in round one of the Festival of Power was the same! So we had our normal chat,shook hands and got strapped in. Then what a disaster. Came into stage and don't know what happened really, momentary lapse of concentration? Something distracted me? Who knows but it wasn't meant to be, the routine went out the window and I rolled through the beams. Richie launched, blew the tyres away and pulled over we both cruised at about 80 mph to exit at the first turn. We said that we knew it was bad when both Comp cars are off at the first exit! Bummer, but least it was a different kind of red!

Not to dwell on the bad bits at all though, this year has been fabulous. My tick list was to licence at Easter and to win a race this year, both done. A dream come true to run in a Super Comp dragster with a fabulous crew around me, with massive support from them and every racer and crew in the class... and other classes actually!

A Thank You to Andy and Maggie Williams, my dad Pete, Sandy (all the way from Scotland) and Amy for the experience and help this year. Thank you isn't really enough as they are all brilliant! Now it's the long winter we all talk about, but when you've got a list of things to do and buy it flys past too quick! Lots on the list for next year now, time to crack on!

The last hurrah.
30th September: Chaos Fuel Altered owner Lawrie Gatehouse says that his last event with the world's quickest Donovan-powerd altered, last week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, threw up an unexpected challenge:

Our first qualifier yielded an off-the pace 6.487/175.06, driver Nick Davies lifted early as something felt amiss relating to the rear axle which was making grinding sounds. Taking the cover off the top loader revealed that virtually every tooth had sheared, something that none of us had ever seen before. Luckily the axle casing only had minimal damage, which surprised us given the debris which was inside. We still had the 3.92:1 rear ring and pinion which we had used two years ago, so we needed to change out these for the damaged pieces.

Setting up a ring and pinion is a difficult, precision task, so we rang Roy Phelps for help as he had experience in this type of work. Roy was in London but curtailed his visit to get back to the track to help us, arriving in the early evening - a splendid effort. Needless to say we missed the second qualifier, but Roy and Bill worked until the wee small hours setting up the parts, so that the rest on the crew could refit the axle to the chassis for us to make the semi-finals. We ran an apprehensive easy pass as Dave Grabham couldn't get his car to make power so was pushed back.

We knew that the gearing was now too high, so for the final against Apache we did not expect to be able to live with Tim's now customary 5.9-second runs. It is said that anything can happen in drag racing and so it turned out. On the green both cars left almost together, but Apache overpowered the track and smoked the slicks, leaving Chaos to card a winning 6.601 to Tim's 8.302.

What a way to go out for the final run of Chaos, better than we could have hoped for twenty four hours earlier!

To you all, thanks for your support over the last ten years. It has been a memorable journey.

Gullqvist: Time to move on.
29th September: FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullqvist has announced that he is stepping down as CEO of
Speedgroup. Micke writes:

I have been active within Speedgroup as CEO since 2008 and it sure has been an exciting journey. My work with Speedgroup has always been on a pro-bono basis meaning that I got my daily bread from other businesses, and combined with my own racing the time available is just not enough to do a great job with everything. I always intended to leave the position of Speedgroup CEO whenever we could find another solution. The board told me they had discussed another solution and because of this I will take the opportunity to leave my assignments with Speedgroup effective 1st October.

Some of the highlights during my time with Speedgroup include undertaking the administration of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship and work with quality assurance guidelines for events. In addition to the administration of the FIA Championship, we also provided major services for marketing of the Championship, its events and teams. With the EDRS we developed the biggest Championship for Sportsman drag racing in Europe, which in the last years also included EDRS Pro for Motorcycles. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of room for improvement.

It has not always been an easy journey, but overall I think it has been very interesting. Finally, I would like to thank the great and dedicated Speedgroup crew who has been spending so much of their private time to work on this under great leadership of Åsa Kinnemar, along with all the great partners and organisers with whom I had the honour to work closely over the years.

Weekend bike results.
29th September: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing on the results of the UK National 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike and NAST Supertwin Championship rounds held at the weekend's Late Summer Madness Public Track Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway:

8.50 Bike:Jake Mechaell 8.591/149.64 def Martin Walker 8.638/161.79
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.534/142.32 def Arron Sparks 9.475/136.02 DQ breakout
NAST Supertwin Gas: Robbie Dobbie 10.163/133.46 def Chris Mott 11.419/122.90
NAST Supertwin ET: Peter Harrison (10.90) 11.085/108.95 def Kieran Govender (13.40) 13.653/93.52 DQ red light

Swift snippets.
29th September: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding the final version of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 17th-18th October. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Editor's note: We've had to rush today's update due to other calls on our time but tune back tomorrow for the latest Sand Drags news from Sebastian Lindau, reviews from double UK National Champion Stu Doignie and Super Comp racer Tom Margesson, the identities of Dennis Priddle's fellow IDRHoF inductees and more. Please keep the news coming to

2015 Allard Award winners.
26th September: This year sponsored by MQQNEYES, the Sydney Allard Media Awards celebrate the importance of the media in promoting drag racing along with the crucial role played by the late Sydney Allard as the Father of British Drag Racing. They will be presented at the forthcoming British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 21st November.

There were more than eighty entries from eighteen photographers for the Photo Journalism Award. Independent judges were Octane magazine designer Robert Hefferon, Octane Editorial Director David Lillywhite and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. Photos by Jeni Long, Julian Hunt and Callum Pudge made the top three. The outright winner was Jeni Long of Yawning Cat Photography with her fire burnout photo of Bob Hawkins taken at Shakespeare County Raceway entitled Sharing a Toast. It was taken using a Nikon camera and published in American Car Magazine in November 2014.

There was a broad spread of entries for the Written Journalism Award ranging from published articles to blogs, on-line race reports and books. It made judging particularly difficult this year and Head Judge Guy Loveridge, Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers spent several weeks going through them.

A Mike Collins series of colour features, sponsored by American Autoparts, was highly commended. He has put together work which shows great skill in choosing and captioning each image used, so as to tell a carefully thought out story. 

But the winner of the Sydney Allard Media Award for Written Journalism is Rodger Attaway, one of the organisers of the legendary Belle Vue Rod and Custom Shows of the 1970s and 1980s, now living in Spain. His limited edition self-published book Street Rod and Custom Showtime takes a concentrated look at the evolution of the indoor drag and custom shows in Britain: from their beginnings in the early 1960s, through the explosive growth of the 1970s and into the 1980s.

It impressed the judge because it condenses an entire "scene" into a book, which is no small task! It took him back to reading Custom Car and Street Machine whilst at school and dreaming of the events he could not go to, but one day would, and the cars he could not drive but wished he could! He thought it a well-researched and -presented take on a side of the sport which arguably brought in more people than any five-second quarter ever did. More details at

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame would like to thank all those who entered this year, and a big thank you to MQQNEYES for sponsoring the crystal trophies.

Millar's dream takes shape.
26th September: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar tells us that his Flyin' Fyfer is as far away from Fife as it could possibly be:

The car landed in Long Beach, Califonia, on Wednesday and was unpacked on Thursday. We managed to keep it away from the Mexicans who Ian Turboville kept telling me would drag race it up and down the harbour port. I didn't believe a word of it Ian, phew!

So the "Possible trip" is starting to feel like a reality. Lynn and I are so excited! We fly two weeks on Wednesday and all the major items are booked - the RV and enclosed trailer are going to be there when we arrive. The car is sitting in a warehouse in Long Beach and we will head there after an overnight sleep and load everything up and head straight up to Bakersfield for our first event, ANRA on 16th-18th October. We hope to find our feet and try and put on a good show for the Brits at this event with a view to try and dial the car into run an 8.95. I have the privilege of help in the form of The Guv, aka Paul Wright to keep me on the straight and narrow with discussions already on a few changes to the car to allow us a more stable consistent performance.

We will run in B/Gas which has a dial in of 8.60 seconds. A few months ago I read the NHRA rulebook and also the NHRA Nostalgia rulebook and to my horror it said "No Nitrous Oxide allowed" - and it applied to four out of our five events! Mind you it may help us in the long run on the reliability front. We will be right back in it again for the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion on 23rd-25th October for which my Crew Chief Scott and his girlfriend Nicole fly out to join us. We will be running in the Exhibition class as there is not a B/Gas class available at this event, only A/Gas, so again we will try to hone our skills in Bakersfield to run 8.95. There is a lot of support flying out and we will hopefully meet up with all the Brits travelling there as well as racing alongside Steve Neimantas in his drop dead gorgeous front-engined dragster and Tony Betts in his Running Wild Nostalgia Funny Car.

Then we head away for the next event at Las Vegas, the NHRA Mellow Yellow Toyota Nationals on 29th Octiber-1st November where we run Super Comp. Due to the elevation of 2300 feet the corrected time is 9.05, and we hope the dial in at Bakersfield will allow us to make few or no alterations to run the numbers, fingers crossed. It has taken me seven months of communication to try to enter my car into the Mellow Yellow Series, with the help of Mike Rice the Pacific Coast NHRA Race Director I was allowed in (thank you Mike). I think I just wore him down in the end and he just gave in! I've already had a call from John Force asking me if it would be OK to pop in for a wee whisky on Saturday night. I've not replied yet, thought it better to keep him in suspense now?

We stay on in Vegas and of course we will have lots of fun in between races with lots planned, but we go into the Lucas Oil Divisional Series race on 6th-8th November where I will be running in Top Sportsman and officially allowed to go as fast as I can. With the help of a number of people, namely Danny Topol of Heads up Motorsport, Kym and Jim Fissell and David Comstock for helping out with much-needed Nitrous bottles as I was not allowed to ship them with the car, we will see what the car can do even at 2300 feet above sea level as the Nitrous will at least cool the air. 7.8 will do me.

Then we're on the move again, last but not least we move onto Pomona for the NHRA Mellow Yellow Finals and again back to sea level and Super Comp running 8.900. By this time I will have cracked it and I will win the event and get my Wally (oops, sorry dreaming again). Then that is it, at an end, we drop the car off and jump on a plane and head back to sunny Scotland.

Whatever happens we will have lived the dream, ticked the box and will have some great memories and met some fantastic people old and new. I will keep you up to speed when I'm there by whatever means I can, and do the same on my return.

Swift snippets.
26th September: Thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know that his report on the concluding round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship is now available to view on the Series' web site at

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Starter, and without doubt one of the most respected individuals in European drag racing, Ian Marshall. Have a great day Ian.

Package delivered!
26th September: After making six runs in testing the day before the event, 2015 UK National Super Pro ET Champion Simon Gough went into the UK National Finals with his eyes set only on the Santa Pod Racers Club Championship:

As Brad Jackson was so close to us in the National Championship we thought he would go past us in eliminations, so our only goal was the SPRC Championship. Our first qualifier was meant to be in the right lane, we were happy with it as we had tested the day previously and had enough data to pull out a good number. We dialled in an 8.45 but as we went to go into the burnout I was stopped and asked to move into the left lane. I moved over without a thought about our dial-in, but with morning runs the sun comes up on the right lane which heats up quicker than the left (giving us more grip to sixty feet) so we always dial 0.01 slower in the left lane. By the time I realised, it was too late. I had committed to the dial-in when I pre-staged. On we went with the run 8.4624, 0.0124 off dial-in. Had we been in the left lane from the start we would have put a 8.46 on the board. Oh well, shit happens.

We had two more runs at it but the track was changing so much up and down we couldn't get on the number. We qualified eighth in the end, our worst of the year. In the first round we were paired up against Steve Ashdown. So I checked what he had done that day and formed a plan, tree him then dump him on the line. So off we went, launched her out the hole and no more was needed, I was in front all the way and dropped it on the line. Round 2, Brian Pateman the destroyer. This was going to be my biggest test of the year. Got myself into stage and within half a second it was over. Brian pulled no doubt his biggest red light ever. He had been producing 00 greens all weekend hence the reason I was scared of racing him. But we were through, and so was Scott Hauser. We had Daniel Giles in the third round, again no easy target. I thought I had pulled a good light but a thousand feet up the track Daniel was going past me. I kept my foot in all the way and braked at about 1250 feet, I was on a flyer and I thought Daniel would break out as he had passed me and I thought I had pulled a light. What didn't enter my head was that Daniel's light might have been better. No light in my lane so it was over. All I could hope for was that Scott went out in this round. Then it came over the radio, Scott had been knocked out by Billy Gane and we couldn't stop jumping up and down. We had just won both Championships.

We had done what no-one else had done, won the National Championship without doing the events at Shakespeare County Raceway, so no bonus points. Five solid qualifiers and five solid events at Santa Pod. We have so many people to thank and so many supporters and sponsors: LA Motorhomes, K&N Filters, NGK Plugs, Opie Oils, Jeff Bull Race Engines, Tony Morris (BLP), Dick Koster (Racepak), the Garrett boys for the four-link set up, Woody Mayes, Keith Herbert, Lee Huxley, Jon Giles, Dan Devlin, Jim Massey, Gary Campion, Duggie, Nic and Dan Williams, and my main supporter / Crew Chief / cook / coffee maker / my everything Sharron: love you as always for letting me do this and for putting everything on hold for six months every year. Thank you to everyone at Santa pod Raceway for putting the best track in Europe in our reach.

A win for Paula.
26th September: UK Super Comp racer Paul Watson had a bad start to the season when he suffered a back injury and attended A&E rather than the Festival of Power but the season turned out well with victory at the SPRC Summernationals and UK National Finals:

I took my time recovering so that I could attend the Main Event. We had changed a few things on the car since last season so we used the Main Event to find out where we were, which took most of the event. On to the SPRC Summernationals starting with 9.0s, not where I wanted to be and only quailfied ninth but then seemed to do no wrong and went on to win the meeting beating Pete Creswell with a 0.002 light. I missed Top Sportsman at the Mopar EuroNats with the back, not as bad as before thank goodness. The European Finals was a great event but I lost to Billy Gane in the second round after I misjudged the track.

On to the National Finals and my plan was just to have a good time so I invited Nick and Nicky Frost as they were not racing. After running 8.95 then 8.94 we were pleased to qualify second with an 8.908, man it's tough in Super Comp. The first round was against Collin Morrice, little bro who got me back into cars. Collin is always tough to beat on the lights but luckily my 00 light got me the win. Next was Dan Page and he was so on the pace, another tough one, we had identical lights and wow was it close at the top end. Next was a bye run so we set the car close and ran 8.895 which gave us a great baseline for the final.

And oh what a final, Stu Doignie had already cleaned up in both Super Comp and Super Gas and was on a mission. His team is 00 Heaven but I was having the best weekend so win or lose I was happy. Pixie and I agreed on the setting and I knew I had to smash the tree, OMG 0.0012 light, double breakout and I took the win, absolutely fantastic. I would like to dedicate my win to the memory of Paula Marshall whose car the Camaro originally was.

Ifs and buts, if I could have contested the whole season then who knows but I've had a blast. As most people know the car is up for sale, thanks to everyone who harrassed me all weekend not to sell it, you're the best. None of this would have been possible without the support I've had from Image Worx, Farm Fresh Speed Shop, Gary Springford at DRE who believed both in the car and I from the beginning and who has helped above and beyond, and finally my partner Kim (Pixie) best Crew Chief ever from 9.90 Bike, 8.50 Bike, Super Street Bike and Pro Stock Bike to Super Comp, from doing every job on the car to helping me to get back on my feet. To those interested in the car it's on the Swap Meet, if it doesn't sell then watch this space.

Deep-fried YMR.
26th September: UK Funny Bike racer Bob Brooks has been in touch to apologise for the downtime after the Yellow Metal Racing bike oiled the track on what was quite a sturdy run despite a sump explosion:

My sincerest apologies for holding up the racing. I have never been covered in so much oil (around four litres). Thanks to my crew for mopping up the horrible mess with a laugh and a smile. Can I please also express my gratitude to the SPRC track crew who cleaned up after me, and to the top end marshals who were so concerned about my well-being. You're all stars and deserve so much more recognition (Hear, hear - Ed).

I'll tear the engine down this weekend and try to find out why the sump exploded but right now I'm sick of the sight of oil.

Although we were out of the running we had a great weekend. The fact that so many of our friends ran Personal Bests made my little breakage almost insignificant. Well done to Stu Crane (into the sixes), the Storm team (into the sixes, and the wall), Phil Crossley (stunning new bike making rapid progress), Nick Milburn (into the sixes), and Dave Peters (knocking on the door of the sixes). Sorry if I've forgotten anybody. To those that had problems you'll all get it sorted, hopefully sooner rather than later.

European Top Gas Round 7 review.
26th September: Herman Jolink writes that the seventh and final round of the 2015 European Top Gas Series took place last weekend over the eighth-mile at Malmö Raceway:

The grandstands were full and the track was very well-prepared with a lot of traction so there were some Personal Bests. After our first qualifier on Friday evening a fast car had tyre shake but the driver didn't get off the throttle and the car smashed into the guardrail. The track crew needed to repair the guardrail which was badly damaged which took until 23:00.

On Saturday there were three more qualifying sessions in between oildowns from cars and some time to clean the track. After four runs qualifying was as follows:
  1. Fredrik Schack DK on 2622 V-Twin 4.654/238 kmh, first run on Saturday was 4.666, very consistent.
  2. Jan Malmberg S on 2400 two blower V-Twin 4.872/224. Jan had some problems with a slipping blower belt but after sorting out this problem the 4.872 came on the clock, after a 6.603, 6.356 and 5.162.
  3. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 5.235/211. The second run was 5.275 and the third 5.408, the traction waas so good that the Ducati was dragged down a little at the start, for the fourth qualifying run Herman laucnhed on higher revs but it was not enough and the motor cut out. The traction this time was a lot better than in June.
  4. Anders Jensen DK on 2000 mechanical Turbo V-Twin 5.603/203 and a 5.703. Some problems finding the right set-up for the clutch.
  5. Lars Andersen DK on 2622 V-Twin 5.936/183. After badly damaging engine at Mosten almost a complete new engine was built in ten days, just the old cylinder heads were used. The rev limiter was set lower than before and Lars had problems getting used to it.
  6. Jorg Lymant D on 1900 home made blower V-Twin 10.357/11 with a broken exhaust valve.
Frank Peisker D on V-Twin had engine problems and didn't run.

There were rain showers the whole day on Sunday. Nobody expected a dry track. First the organisers decided on a rain-out at 13:00 then at between 14:00 and 15:00 they ran their track dryer, a small thing with some gas burners to dry the track. Most of the Top Gas riders went home. At 18:20 there were just two Top Gas racers left and they ran the final, Frederik Schack DK 4.594/240 beat Anders Jensen DK 5.556/199. Fredrik set a new Top Gas eighth-mile record of 4.654 seconds backed up by the 4.594 beating Jesper Thiel's old record of 4.687 seconds on the same bike.

The final standings in the 2015 Top Gas Championship:
  1. Schack DK 3420
  2. Jolink NL 2445
  3. Andersen DK 1730
  4. van Schie NL 1440
  5. Menzi CH 1330
  6. Malmberg S 1190
  7. Albers D 1170
  8. Jensen DK 1080
  9. van Nimmen B 800
  10. Bruhn D 620 and Heitmann D 620
  11. Bernd Foit D 540
  12. Niklas D 530
  13. Caspari D 470
  14. Larsson S 400
The organisers at Malmö Raceway do their best to make everything safe and they put a lot of attention into the track preparation, the opinion from your writher is that the shutdown area is also very important and it is not so long at Malmö. It is important that it is possible to brake strongly.

Champion on a breakout.
26th September: The final round of this year's Gasser Circus Showdown, which took place at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway, was again the Championship decider and the race was between Sean Milsom in his Morris Z van Ain't Misbehavin or Katie Booth in The Mighty Mouse Ford Pop. Sean Milsom describes how his weekend went:

After the disappointment of the weather at the Mopar EuroNats in July, we were looking forward to an opportunity for a full weekend of racing. I usually spend the week after an event doing a nut and bolt check and after round four this revealed a couple of small leaks from my radiator core; it seemed most likely that it was too solidly mounted and with the higher horsepower was being twisted a little which it clearly didn't like! Fortunately, the guys at Serck Motorsports were able to carry out some modifications to provide for a more flexible mounting arrangement and the repaired radiator was fitted on the Thursday before the event. I was back in business.

A look at the points table showed that thanks to my wins in rounds one and two I was at the top, 240 points ahead of Brian Gibson in Identity Crisis who in turn was ten points ahead of Katie-Jane Booth in the Mighty Mouse Ford Pop. Brian, along with a few other regular competitors had elected to attend the Goodwood Revival meeting so we now had a two-horse race for the Championship. I hadn't studied the ramifications of this, preferring not to know but was told that Katie-Jane needed to go one round further than me in eliminations to clinch the title; this would be close.

We loaded up Friday morning and arrived at the track mid-afternoon along with eleven other racers and the rest of the day was spent setting up our pit area and then socialising as we had not been together for some six weeks or so. To mark this end of season event, Chris and Beverley Hill had generously brought forty Cornish pasties with them all the way from Cornwall and these were quickly polished off; I don't know what it is but proper Cornish pasties are just so much better than anything you get in the Midlands! Much to everyone's frustration rather than surprise, it started to rain later Friday evening and continued through to early Saturday morning. The forecast suggested a possibility of showers later too so we were keen to get ready to race as soon as possible. Whilst prepping his car, Nervous Nick found a problem with his gearbox and decided to pull out of the event rather than risk further damage or an oil-down, so Nogbad The Bad was out.

We were eventually called at about 1:00 pm and following a discussion with my team I decided to change my dial-in from 10.10 seconds to 9.95 to ensure I would get a valid run rather than risk breaking out. After a rather poor burnout, I clocked a 10.15 second run at 132.77 mph which was good for number three qualifier. Back in the pits and half an hour later it started to rain again and so once again we would go to eliminations on Sunday with just one qualifying run under our belt. I would be racing Merv Barnett in his beautiful Psychedelic Relic Ford Pop and Katie-Jane would be racing the Denning & Pike Honkey Tonkin' 2 '64 Nova. This was not good news for me as I'd never raced Merv before so didn't have any idea how it might go; I was soon to find out!

Sunday morning was warm and sunny and we checked the van over, warmed her up and waited for our call which came at 11:00. We decided to change the dial-in to 10.05 seconds and then drove down to the staging lanes and got ready to race. Merv had dialled-in at 11.10 seconds so he would get a one second head start. A much better burnout this time and into stage and then I just went to sleep on the line; the old adage "He who snoozes, loses" is still very true (in drag racing at least!). Merv cut a great 0.05 second reaction time compared to my 0.32; my worst all year. I chased him hard and actually ran a new PB of 10.03 seconds but he beat me to the line which meant I lost twice in effect; firstly he beat me and secondly I broke out.

Back in the pits, I was convinced I'd handed the Championship to Katie-Jane; a great achievement in her rookie year. As the other race cars returned to the pits, Nervous Nick walked up to me to shake my hand and congratulate me which was a little confusing. It turned out that in the race immediately after mine with Merv, Katie-Jane also broke out meaning I could now not be beaten to the Championship. I have to say I was pretty overwhelmed; I was really pleased for my team given all the effort they put in and there was a fair bit of whooping and hollering for a few minutes.

Two further rounds determined that the final would be between Merv Barnett in Psychedelic Relic and Ray Irish in his Gas Junkie Willys pick up; neither had previously made it through to the final so this would a first for them and the Gasser Circus. Unfortunately for Ray, his battery had died and he had to use a starter pack to get the pick-up going; this is against our rules so he knew in doing so he was giving the event victory to Merv but wanted to put on a show for the spectators.

So, for me at least a great way to finish a great year of racing with another PB and more importantly winning the Championship; only eight months before we start all over again. I'd just like to say thanks to my crew Steffi, Simon, Drew, to Tony Pearson for his help with fabrication and chassis work, to Graham Smith and his team at Serck Motorsports for sorting my radiator out, and especially to John Wright for building me an excellent race engine. Last but not least our sponsors Speedking, NSRA and Mechanix Limited for wanting to be associated with the Gasser Circus; a great bunch of people having a great time. I can't wait for next year!

King's ninth crown.
26th September: As has become customary for the competitive FIM European Drag Bike Championship, racers headed to the final round at the UK's Santa Pod Raceway with class champions yet to be decided. Ian King and the Gulf Oil – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel Bike team had a seemingly simple and yet onerous task – to finish the event at least one elimination round and qualifying position ahead of the championship points leader, the Swedish RG Engineering team of rider Rikard Gustafsson.

Despite their previous event win at Hockenheim, and their record of setting number one qualifying position in every round to date, team rider Ian King was still suffering the result of a rear sprocket failure at the season opening event which Gustafsson went on to win.

For the first three qualifying rounds, the team were looking nervously at the qualifying ladder when an immediate loss of traction just after leaving the line resulted in a lowly seventh position compared to Rikard's second and the team searching for an optimal clutch setting by reducing power by way of clutch and ignition timing changes. Earlier, the team had considered the exceptionally cold track conditions to be the cause but the consistency of the problem and failure of the reduction in power applied to the track issue pointed towards a more fundamental mechanical problem. For the fourth and last qualifying session the experienced team of Michael Beaumont, Marius van der Zijden, Martin Brookman, Nick Pepper and rider Ian King put their heads together over the computer data and concluded that air inclusion in the secondary clutch circuit could be to blame. The question was whether to disarm the clutch system to permit a softer but more controlled launch to improve the qualifying position (but leaving the team unsure whether air in the system was to blame when heading into first round of eliminations) or dismantle the system, bleed the system through but risk missing the final qualifier and the chance to improve final position. It was left to team rider Ian King to make the final decision, and the team feverishly dismantled the clutch control system prior to conducting the tricky bleeding procedure.

The ever efficient team conducted the task in time to make the final qualifier but elected to leave the soft clutch and ignition settings in place. They watched Ian launch with some trepidation – was the problem fixed? Indeed it was, and some! Ian blasted straight into the number one position with a storming 5.90 second pass at a stunning 242.77 mph – the fastest speed ever outside of the USA and comfortably one half of a new European record. The team were ecstatic: their hard work had paid off and they were back on track in their chase for a ninth championship crown and a possible new European record to add to their British records.

Elimination day dawned bright and warmer than the day before, and due to exclusion of other class riders for failure to run the mandated sub seven-second pass requirement, Ian enjoyed a bye run in his first round. The team are not known for taking an easy green light stage win and elected to entertain the huge home crowd with another five second pass, a 5.944/236.21, again with the soft settings. Although slower than the previous run, the speed was fast enough to be backed up by the 242.77 mph run in eliminations for a new European record. Happy with the track conditions the team decided to put some power back in the bike for the semi-final against the Dutchman Rene van den Berg. However, the race was nail-biting right until the finish line. Ian launched harder and faster and quickly pulled a lead only to lose traction mid track as he overpowered the track. Ian feathered the throttle in an attempt to hook the huge rear slick tyre up but in doing so saw Rene move ahead. Ian cracked open the throttle hard again and started to catch up again only for the bike to make a move towards the centre line. Ian feathered again, straightened up and nailed the throttle in an attempt to catch Rene. At the last Ian just edged in front to take the win by just 0.106 seconds.

On the other side of the elimination ladder Rikard had made his usual relentless and consistent progress to the final. Despite the additional points awarded for Ian's number one qualifying position and his new European record the winner of the final would be the new FIM Champion. Not wishing to repeat the tyre-smoking event of the previous run the team erred on the side of caution and took some power away from the Gulf Oil machine for this tough final. It proved once again to be the right call when Ian overcame the usual fast-leaving RG Engineering machine before the eighth mile mark and powered on to take the event win with a 6.058 second, 231.57 mph pass.

A stunning finale to the season, the Gulf Oil – Grand Prix Originals team qualified in number one position at every Championship event, won the European Finals, set a new European record and won their ninth FIM European Championship title in doing so!

The live web coverage from the race day is archived and can be viewed at; you can see Ian King in action around the 1:29:50, 3:35:30, 5:10:40 and 5:57:15 marks.

At the European Championship Awards Ceremony Ian King said "I am extremely honoured to be a part of the success of Gulf Oil and Grand Prix Originals and all of our blue chip product sponsors who have come together to make this another record breaking season. Once again our bike has been unbelievably reliable, testament to the quality of the world leading parts supplied by our fantastic team of technical partners and successfully implemented by my talented and hard-working technical team of Michael, Marius, Martin and Nick, once again proving their class in securing this ninth Championship.

"I am particularly thankful for the wonderful support and products provided by Gulf Oil and Grand Prix Originals. Frank and Caroline at Gulf, Stefan and Marco at GPO and Simon at Chicane are key to this extended team effort. I'd like to thank my family - Debbie, Georgina and Alex - for their hard work and sacrifices and our fabulous fans from around the globe who support us and provide the motivation to repeat our success at the highest level.

"Thanks to the Federations of the respective countries, the FIM-E officials, the staff of commercial rights holder Trakbak Racing, the organising clubs and their unsung heroes – the hardworking administration and technical staff, track preparation and safety crews.

"Last but certainly not least, the sublime event coverage, race reports and pictures from Ivan Sansom, Rose Hughes, Stefan Boman and the staff of, and the superb track announcers who build the excitement and provide a valued and informative perspective for the fans. Thank you all!"

The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in setting a new European record and winning their ninth European Championship:

APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Drift Innovation - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
Hotrod Hangar– Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
King Racing - The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European drag racing history
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC Engineering - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
RSG Customize - The UK's most creative website designers and vinyl artists
Supertough - Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
Spies Hecker - The world's leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing
Tryka LED - The UK's cutting edge LED lighting manufacturer
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
Vanson Leathers - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
Web Camshafts Inc - Simply the company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
Worldwide Bearings - The world's leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts

Fun with the Junior Bikes.
26th September: Thanks to Brett Cordelle for forwarding us the pre-National Finals catch-ups from the UK's Junior Drag Bike racers:

Jasmine Cordelle: The racing began at Santa Pod for the Fun Day which was an excellent day as usual. Thank you Andy Wheeler for all the organisation. Because of the weather we had to run the final with a practice tree. Blade Dummer and I made it to the final and we had best out of three. This was going to be fun seeing as we don't run on Reaction Times. Somehow I was pulling good lights so I won the final somehow! We noticed the engine develop a top end rattle at the Fun Day and after investigation we found one of the exhaust valves had excess clearance. As we couldn't find out why we decided to take out the engine and replace it with dad's road bike engine which is the same capacity. This was completed at 2:00 am on Saturday morning - thank you Dad and sorry about nicking your engine, it's mine now!

We had a rush to get to Q1 at the Open Sport Nationals but we made it. I was told to take it easy on my first run just to make sure the engine is OK, I forgot about that and ran a 8.60 on a 8.90. It's not normal to go slow! Q2: I ran a 8.55 on a 8.40. Q3: I ran 8.36 on a 8.30. Q4: I ran 8.33 on a 8.30. Unfortunately it was a wash out on Sunday and Monday so there was no racing and the meeting was called early Monday on morning. At the end of the meeting I was number two qualifier. Well done to Jordan Kenway for taking number one qualifier and also a big thank you to Dave Brader for the qualifying trophies! Big thank you to dad for making it possible for me to race that weekend! Also thank you to Brett for keeping the Club together over the last few months and I would like to welcome Jerry Collier back in as our Chair!

Louis Davies: We arrived at a very wet Santa Pod for the Fun Day but it didn't seem to affect the spectators as there were a lot of people there and a lot of people interested in all of the race vehicles. Thankfully the rain passed by the afternoon and we could all start racing.  We had one qualifying run which put me against Alfie Udall in the first eliminations. Alfie got nearest his time so I was out on the first race.  Well done Alfie. Unfortunately the rain stopped racing before the finals could be run so the final took place between Jasmine and Blade on a Porta Tree. Congratulations to Jasmine for the win on the Porta Tree and to Blade for coming second. A big thank you to Andy Wheeler for another great Junior Day and to Santa Pod for all their hard work in drying the track so that we could all race.  

After problems at Santa Pod at the Fun Day we changed the manifold back to the original for the Open Sport Nationals and in the first qualifier we dialled in a 9.20 and ran 9.29 after running high nines at the Fun Day which qualified me second. For the second pass we kept the dial in the same and ran a 9.34 which left me in second. In the third round I changed the dial in to 9.25 and then ran a 9.41. On the last run of the day I raised the dial in to a 9.30 and after bogging until almost sixty feet ran a 10.5, after the run checked through the clutch and it looked OK so we changed the jet back to the 180 rather than the 170. After Saturday it rained so we did not get to run and then Sunday and Monday got rained off. Thank you to the track crew for trying to get the track dry. Thanks to Caveman Creations for sponsoring Junior Drag Bike and thanks to Rene Van Den Berg for sponsoring me.

Blade Dummer: After a wet start at the Junior Fun Day the bike ran well and made it to the finals against Jas but then it rained again so that ended the day. To decide a winner we used a Porta Tree with best of three the winner. I had a red light of 0.003 which that meant Jas won 2-1 but I had the best reaction of 0.008 so was pleased with that. We then headed to Shakey on Friday.

Saturday's qualifying was so close for the Juniors, they all ran great. On my first run I went red, too eager, on the second broke out but back in the 9.1s. On the third run too big a burnout and bogged on the line a bit. Fourth run dialled a 9.10 and run a 9.30, two tenths off and that was only good enough for number seven qualifier, that's how well everyone was running. But that was our weekend finished as the rain came in and that was all of our racing done. Thanks to the track crews at Santa Pod and Shakey for all the effort and time they put in to keep the tracks in good condition when there's rain. Thanks to my dad for all the running round, Rukus Customs, FBM turbos #hermfab Jamie and the lads at Goss Moto X, Ron, Magic Bullet, Beckwith Motorsports and HEL Performance.

Charlotte Hales: We arrived at the Junior Fun Day at Santa Pod and got set up and signed on just as it started to rain. We ended up racing at about 3:00, however I still managed to get four or five food runs in, with a best of 8.8. Before we went home we watched the awards being given out a little early as it started to rain again, well done to Blade Dummer for coming second and to Jasmine Cordelle for coming first! Thanks to my dad for taking me up to the Pod for a fun day of racing.

Liam Holgate: The Junior Fun Day was one qualifying run and straight into eliminations. In the first round of eliminations was I against Jake but I lost. I was not worried because I did the RWYB. I had a great time and cannot wait until next year.

We went straight from Santa Pod to Shakey on Friday. The first round of qualifying was against Blade, set my ET to 9.4 but missed a gear and ran a 10.4. The second round was against Stacey Reed, set my ET to 9.6 ran a 9.35 and broke out. The third round was against Will Pickering, set an ET of 9.3 and ran a 9.6. I was miles away from my ET and I will try harder to be more consistent. In the fourth round I was against Blade again and set my ET to 9.4, ran a 9.352 and broke out (only just). On Sunday we were called to the fire up lane and it started spitting with rain. We went back to the pits then the organisers called it a day. On Monday it rained all day, by 12:00 it had been called off so that was the end of racing.

Jordan Kenway: The Fun Day was a great day and want to say a huge thanks to the Wheeler family for organising it again this year. Unfortunately, things didn't go to plan for us and we took an early exit in round one to Megan Talbot, well done Meg. Also, a big well done to Jas for going on to win the day. After three amazing days with friends and family at Santa Pod it was time to convoy our way to Shakey for round four. We arrived about lunch time set up and got everything ready for Saturday qualifying. Q1: We woke up Saturday morning to a overcast of cloud. Not knowing what to dial in I went for a safe 8.60, I'm so glad I chose it because I ran basically a perfect ET of 8.602/75. Q2: We had an issue of the bike rolling out of stage meaning I didn't record a time. Q3: Still an 8.60 dial in and ran an 8.63 still bang on that dial in, however on this run we decided to turn on the two-step which had just been rewired by Simon Holgate and had been given a new micro switch by Richard Shook, so thanks for that Simon and Richard, and it worked a treat! Q4: We kept the 8.60 dial in but went a tad too quick running a 8.59 sooooooo close to that Perfect ET again! Unfortunately rain stopped play on Sunday but I was number one qualifier. Monday morning we woke to more rain which resulted in the meeting being called. I want to say a huge well done to a good friend Jack Shook who later got crowned APIRA Champion and also to Jerry Collier who had been re-elected Chairman. Also, I would like to thank my crew for being top lads and a lass, Simon and Richard for their help, Brett Cordelle for his hard work recently and finally Warpspeed Racing for their continued support.

Will Pickering: I got four runs in at Shakespeare County Raceway and was pleased with my results. I've been running without a shift light and no shift change. Hopefully it will be done for Extreme Bike. Thanks to tink my big friend.

Stacey Reed: Eurgh I hate the rain! In Q1 on Saturday at the Open Sport Nationals I started off with a 9.58 on a 9.40 which got me third. Next run was a 9.59 on a 9.48 which kept me in third place. This was looking way too consistent for my bike so in qualifier three it caught me off guard... I then ran a 9.70 on a 9.55 and was also knocked down to fifth place. I'm blaming my odd dial in time for this one, I've never liked odd numbers! For qualifying round four I went back to an even dial-in of 9.56 hoping for a better run however it got worse and I ended up running a 9.8 something which was rubbish! Still fifth place though so not too shabby. Well done to Jordan for number one qualifier with a practically perfect run. And to Jas for second, girl did good. Unfortunately that was it for the racing because the rain decided to spoil our fun on the track! A big well done to Jack for winning the APIRA Championship, and also to whoever came second as I haven't found out yet. Thank you to all of the Club's sponsors for your continued support and also thank you to Jerry Collier and Brett Cordelle for running the Club, it's much appreciated.

Jack Shook: We entered the Junior Fun Day feeling cautious as we didn't know what the bike was going to do after it played up at the previous event. The first run was OK but far off our dial in. I didn't know what my reaction time was until I looked at the timing slip which I ran a perfect light, 0.0008! I was unfortunately knocked out by Jasmine who later went on to win the Fun Day! I would like to say a huge thank you to the Wheeler family for putting on such an amazing event for charity.

We arrived on the Friday of Open Sport Nationals confident as we had won the last event at Shakespeare County Raceway. In Q1 we ran a 10.17 on a 9.84 dial in and were fourth. Q2: We unfortunately broke out by 0.05 as we ran a 9.92 on a 9.97 dial in. I was bumped to fifth. Q3: We decided to put a new plug in the bike as it seamed to bog during high revs. We dialled in a 9.84 and ran a 9.94 which moved me to third. Q4: We decided to launch more aggressively which resulted in the bike wanting to go up not forwards. We qualified fourth. The event was later rained off which resulted in my winning the APIRA Championship with my good buddy Jordan Kenway getting number one qualifier running a near perfect ET! It was also great news to hear that Jerry Collier had been re-elected head of the Club with Brett Cordelle Vice Chairman keeping up his amazing work for the Club!

Alfie Udall: The week started off on Wednesday at Santa Pod Raceway where it was the Junior Fun Day! The bike was running consistent 8.7 runs to the eighth all day long. Unfortunately I got knocked out in the second round as the clutch was dragging. At the end of the day my dad fiddled with the bike a little ready for the Championship round at Shakespeare County Raceway the follwing weekend. The rest of the week we stayed at Santa Pod and had a great time! On Friday we had a convoy of trucks going from Santa Pod to Shakespeare County Raceway. Once we arrived we set up the awning and waited for the scrutineer to come and check the bike, we passed then signed on ready for qualifying on the Saturday.

On Saturday I noticed the bike had no power as the power valve was adjusted when we tinkered with the bike. After two runs of 9.3 and one run at 11.4 we sorted the problem and I ran an 8.9 but with a bog off the line. When I got back to the pits we turned the launch revs on the two step up to 11,000 ready to test the following day but unfortunately it was raining for the rest of the weekend so we couldn't race. I managed to qualify fifth which wasn't too bad considering that the bike wasn't running at its best. I'd like to say well done to Jack Shook for winning the APIRA Championship and we'll done to Jordan and Jasmine for first and second qualifiers. I'd also like to thank my dad for taking me racing and paying for everything and also a big thank you to the Colliers for sponsoring the RD for me to race in Junior Drag Bike and for all the help they have given us.

The Junior Drag Bike racers now have their own YouTube channel which you can check out by clicking here.

Priddle's Hall of Fame invitation.
25th September: Thanks to Dave Riswick of sponsor
John Woolfe Racing for passing on the news that UK legend, Europe's first six-second driver and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Dennis Priddle has been invited to join the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Dennis was contacted by Don Garlits on Wednesday with the invitation to join the prestigious list of all-time greats as one of the 2016 honorees. Dennis joins Sydney Allard in representing the UK in the IDRHoF.

The ceremony takes place in Gainesville, Florida next March. Dennis does not yet know the identities of his fellow honorees but has promised further updates.

Event entry update.
24th September: Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch to inform 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and NAST racers contesting this weekend's Championship round that tickets and event details will be available for collection on the gate. Pitting will be as per the May Yanks event: bikes will be pitted in what are normally the Street Eliminator and VWDRC pit areas. Saturday's Running Order will be available from Signing On on Saturday morning. A pit plan and entry list will be available to view on the Shakespeare County Raceway and APIRA Facebook pages in due course.

Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 17th-18th October. You can check out the entry list by
clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page. Entry at standard price closes tomorrow (Friday); You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at

Swift snippets.
24th September: Santa Pod Racers Club Race Director Carole Ismail (right) of sponsors CEJ Training Services and Phoenix Personnel asked us to say a big Thank You to all of the SPRC marshals, car and bike scrutineers and tech crew for their support and hard work for this season. 

Thanks to Ian King for letting us know that the post-UK National Finals points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at

Thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know that The Sunday Times online has been updated with a story about electric racer Jonny Smith's participation in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator at the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can check it out by clicking here.

Best wishes to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Peter Crane who is at home recovering from bowel cancer surgery. "Please let everyone know how much their good wishes and support mean to me", says Peter, "and especially a big Thank You to Stu and Bev  Bradbury for all their support. I am awaiting the results of the biopsies before I really know what the future holds. I'm not ready for the finish line yet!".

No news update yesterday (Wednesday) which robbed us of the chance to say a big Happy Birthday to Honorary Staff Member, timing guru and all-round good guy Andy Marrs. Hope you had a good day Andy. Jon Crawford asked us to say Happy Birthday for today to APIRA marshal Sherron Guise. Our pleasure Jon, have a great day Sherron.

Web site updates.
24th September: Our good buddy Steve Moxley has had his FIA / FIM European Finals bike review publihged in the latest edition of the ACU on-line newsletter. You can check out Moxey's work at

Colin Donisthorpe has updated his Flickr site with pictures from various events this season. You can take a look at

The latest update to The Mad Welshman's Flickr site features two large albums from the August Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway in August including the on-track action and the NSRA Cruise from Old Warden to Santa Pod that day. You can check it out at

Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can take a look at Dick's pictures at

Editor's note.
24th September: We have built up a backlog of news as your News Editor is currently unwell. We should certainly be able to clear the backlog at the weekend if not before. Please keep the news coming to, though, and we shall be sure to include it as soon as we can.

Event entry update.
22nd September: This Friday (25th) is the official closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 17th-18th October and which is the final round of the 2015 ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and the 2015 UK National Drag Racing Championships for bike classes. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at

Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

If you have any queries about Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry then please contact Ian on or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).

Swift snippets.
22nd September: Thanks to Andy Marrs for forwarding us a new table of UK Bests now including the records set at the weekend's UK National Finals. You can check out the records sheet by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any page.

We have five birthdays today. Happy Birthday to Sharon Norris of Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew, to Santa Pod Racers Club officials Emma Wray and Becky Bashford, to former Junior Dragster racer Belle Wheeler, and to Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar. Have a great day all.

Web site updates.
22nd September: News Editor Tog has updated his SmugMug gallery with a gallery from last Friday's Peak Performance Test and Tune Day at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Tog's pictures at

UK Tech Committee meeting.
21st September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm for letting us know that a meeting of the UK Tech Committee has been arranged at 8:00 pm prompt on Wednesday 30th September at the Holiday Inn, Borehamwood. The main topic for discussion will be the Rule Book for 2016.

All are welcome but if you plan to attend, or if you have any items for the agenda, then please E-Mail Yvonne at by Monday 28th September.

2015 UK National Champions.
21st September: Subject to final ratification congratulations to the 2015 UK National Champions for car classes and ACU Top Fuel Bike:

MSA Pro Modified: Kev Slyfield
Super Pro ET: Simon Gough
Pro ET: Team Dark Horse (Brian and Lee Huxley)
Sportsman ET: Craig Wright
Super Comp: Stuart Doignie
Super Gas: Stuart Dognie
Super Street: Karen Stevens
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Charlotte Bradford
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Mark Todd

VW Pro: James Hodson
VW Sportsman: Paul Herbert
Wild Bunch Series: Keith Crampton
Wild Bunch MSA Springbridge Series: Phil James
Wild Bunch Roy Wilding Race Cars Series: Keith Crampton
Wild Bunch Spirit of Nostalgia Series: Phil James
Outlaw Anglia: Cliff Griffin

ACU UK Top Fuel Bike: Rene van den Berg

8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike have two rounds left, at next weekend's Public Test Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway and at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway on 17th-18th October whilst ACU classes with the exception of Top Fuel Bike have one round left, at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway.

UK National Finals results.
21st September: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson 6.1507/230.19 def. Roger Moore 6.8644/203.47 DQ red light
Nostalgia Fuel Car Challenge: Nick Davies 6.6011/214.09 def. Tim Garlick 8.3027/117.76
Comp Eliminator: Rob Smallworth (8.00) 7.7907/177.06 def. Belinda Bull (7.53) 7.4770/189.77
Super Pro ET: Daniel Giles (7.43) 7.5309/154.66 def. Rick Cooke (8.40) 8.5561/139.86
Pro ET: Steve Hudson (9.21) 9.2372/134.84 def. Gino Bernadine (9.60) 9.6618/138.16
Sportsman ET: Jemma Hale (15.70) 15.8629/82.56 def. Andy Dibley (16.32) 16.3504/86.82
Super Comp: Paul Watson 8.8855/158.48 def. Stu Doignie 8.8701/157.96
Super Gas: Stu Doignie 9.9608/139.39 def. Jon Giles 9.8817/142.54 DQ breakout
Super Street: Leigh Morris 10.9208/119.32 def. Dave Cherrett 10.7750/86.53 breakout
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Billy Everitt (8.04) 8.0890/78.55 def. Charlotte Bradford (9.35) 9.4378/66.81
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Jon Webster 11.3202/75.03 def. Mark Todd 7.5459/198.78 DQ red light
VW Pro: James Hodson (10.35) 10.3580/130.64 def. Sam Young (9.80) 9.8455/144.75
VW Sportsman: Paul Herbert (13.30) 13.2626/95.66 def. Holly Sanders (14.99) 143.7285/94.22 DQ breakout
Wild Bunch: Keith Crampton (11.04) 10.9638/116.25 def. Phil James (9.33) 11.7665/75.29 DQ red light

Top Fuel Bike: Nick Millburn 8.2622/125.60 def. Steve Woollatt 9.9677/87.03
Pro Stock Bike Alex Hope 7.3768/179.21 def. Len Paget 7.6374/167.29 DQ red light
Funny Bike: Phil Crossley 7.6084/162.49 def. Stefan Hagenstein no time broke
Super Street Bike: Rick Stubbins 7.1019/200.78 def. Garry Bowe 21.4054/24.61
Comp Bike: Kevin Osman 7.9505/185.73 def. Eddy Smiley 8.0992/164.84
9.50 Bike: Lewis Burgess 9.5425/138.58 def. Wayne Bradley 9.4978/131.42 DQ breakout
8.50 Bike: Jake Mechaell 8.5279/159.09 def. Phil Bloomfield 8.3442/158.49 DQ breakout
Supertwin Top Gas: Chris Mott 9.3848/136.14 def. Les Harris 9.7388/134.82
Supertwin ET: Fiona Moor (12.10) 12.3509/107.91 def. Siobhan Moor (15.35) 15.4284/80.79
Junior Drag Bike: Liam Holgate (9.52) 9.5457/63.77 def. Louis Davies (9.52) 9.5623/67.52

Subject to ratification the following records were set:

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator ET: 7.242 seconds, Mark Todd
Funny Bike speed: 200.50 mph, Lorcan Parnell
Super Street Bike ET: 7.073 seconds, Garry Bowe

Congratulations also to Billy Everitt (Junior Dragster) and Lee Huxley (Pro ET) who won the Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and / Gold RV Perfect ET Award respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway in mid-October.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsired reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Planning to Bomb the Highlanders.
17th September: Carole Ismail and Emma Wray of sponsors
CEJ Training Services and Phoenix Personnel have been in touch with an update on the Santa Pod Raceway / Santa Pod Racers Club team for the charity football match in memory of Paula Marshall which takes place at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday evening:

We are pleased to announce that the team name is Bloodwise Bombers. We may have lost last year but it won't be happening for a second year so watch out Highlander United, the Bloodwise Bombers are coming to get you.

The Bloodwise Bombers squad is as follows:

Manager: HM Carole Queenie Ismail
Assistant Manager: HRH Princess Emma Wray

Playing squad: Darren Prentice, Michael Dixon, Dan Smith, Will Thompson, Kyle Beales, Charlie Frankham, Alex Stringer, James Forster, Phil Bennett, Rik Mills, Ricky Loughborough, Jake Wray, Sam Jones, Kieran Letts, James Buckley, John O'Shea, David Warren, Gordon Northway, Jason Stevenson, Dan Spencer, Neale Saunders, Adam Bentley, Jorge Wray

A special surprise VIP will also be taking part in the game. We look forward to seeing you all at this fantastic fund raising event.

All are welcome; if you can't get to Santa Pod this weekend then don't forget that you can donate via the Just Giving page which you can find at

National Finals Wild Bunch preview.
17th September: Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes that the Nostalgia racers are looking forward to this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway where nine of their cars will be competing:

This weekend the prize money is sponsored by Team Limited Funz and the event trophies are sponsored by Ratcatcher Racing. Many thanks to all of them for their support!

This event will be the finale of the Wild Bunch Series. Keith Crampton in the Soul Town Shaker slingshot is currently leading the Series over Bob Morgan and Andrew Murphy who are sharing the driving in the B'Sting altered, and both have one round to drop. These two teams are now assured of first and second places, but it could go either way with a couple of round wins. Tom Larman in The Ferret altered is in third place, and he is now guaranteed to finish in this position even though he is not entered. Gina Rumble in the Tiki Munki slingshot coupe is fourth but is also not entered, so a number of racers have a chance to take fourth with a good result this weekend: Alan Loten in the Paranoia altered, Bob Hawkins in the Time Traveller II slingshot, Sarah Howells (and Steve Field) in the Black Pig Too slingshot, Phil James in the Rampage Funny Car and Darryl Howells in the Chemical Reaction slingshot.

The event is also the ninth and final round of the Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Series which takes place over five MSA events and 4 RWYB events. Phil James in the Rampage Funny Car is currently leading the Challenge by a couple of rounds over second-placed Keith Crampton, who in turn is a couple of rounds ahead of Team B'Sting with Terry Clifford's Ratcatcher Resurrection one round further back. The top four all have a mathematical chance of winning, and sixth through eighth places Alan Loten, Bob Hawkins and Darryl Howells could still make it into the top four.

The Club's five-round Springbridge MSA Challenge Series concludes this weekend. The possibilities were highlighted on earlier this week (thanks Simon!). The Challenge is currently also led by Phil James, with several rounds' lead over Terry Clifford who in turn has a few rounds' lead over third-placed Darryl Howells, who is only one round and six qualifying places ahead of Alan Loten. Only Phil or Terry can take the win in the Challenge. The Series winner earns the Springbridge MSA Challenge Cup and one free MSA event entry for 2016.

Many Congratulations to Darryl Howells who has won the APIRA Series (his first Series win since 2007) and to Phil James who is runner-up (his first ever Series trophy with the Wild Bunch). Congratulations also to Keith Crampton who has won the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series, and to runner-up Dick Sharp with his iconic Dorset Horn.

The competition this coming weekend should see some more close racing in the Bunch. Can quickest Wild Buncher Bob Hawkins set more WB records in his flaming Time Traveller II slingshot and win a round or more? Will Bob Morgan overhaul the current points leader and earn a WB title win for the B'Sting team? Can current Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing Shield holder Keith Crampton hold on to top spot in his Soul Town Shaker slingshot and earn his first ever Wild Bunch Series win? Will Terry Clifford improve on his newly refound form and move up and take one or more titles in his Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot? Can Phil James make it five out of five #1 qualifier Spots this year, and earn his first ever Series win in the Rampage funny car? Will Darryl Howells get back on top form and add to his win with some more top four trophies in his Chemical Reaction slingshot? Can Alan Loten run even more PBs and win a few Series trophies with his Paranoia altered? Will Sarah Howells repeat the teams eighth-second form and earn some round wins in the Fields' Black Pig Too slingshot moving up into the top ten in the Wild Bunch Series? Can Steve East go rounds in his Ellie's In Trouble Now slingshot and move up into the top ten as well? We can't wait for Sunday, Sunday, Sunday to find out! Best of luck to all the teams!

Huge thanks to all the marshals, officials and track and safety crews at Santa Pod Raceway for all their hard work over the coming weekend and indeed all year long. Big thanks to the team for the always excellent event coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). In addition, the Wild Bunch would like to wish a huge congratulations and best of luck to Little Big Horn pilot Dan Sharp and his beautiful fiancée Sammy Bowell, who are due to be married on 26th September.We wish them all the very best.

Results and news from previous WB events can be found on the club's web site at

Job done for Dan.
17th September: UK Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam says that the She Devil team went to the FIA / FIM European Finals on a mission for clutch technician Dan Young:

After all the damage at Dragstalgia, where we ran a PB for the car in altered format of 234.97 mph which was also a European record, we ended up removing the motor and fitting a new liner, eight new pistons and rebuilding ready for the European Finals.

Unfortunately for us crew member Dan had been taken ill and was in hospital, but he requested that we still go to the race and that I should run a 5.8-second pass. Arrived at track on Wednesday to the usual Pod weather, pouring rain, but it improved and we pitted up in the dry. Thursday was spent readying the car for qualifying, knowing that we would be a further two crew members short due to work commitments that day.

The first pass was a checkout to ensure that all was OK with the motor. On the second pass we used normal launch revs and the transmission ratio which we had tried out at the FIA Main Event. The rest is history: 5.8348 seconds at 238.90 mph, with a great sixty foot of 0.9661.

Job done for Dan.

We serviced the car but found that we still had issues in the valvetrain, so we had to change some parts. We only made one run on Saturday, 5.9575/231.68 and then decided only to run in Sunday's finals as we had changed even more parts in the valvetrain.

So there we were in our second European event final in thirteen years, this time against Leif Andréasson. He cut a killer light of 0.0757, left on me and I tried hard to catch him. But when the crew pitched up to collect me we all couldn't believe the speed the car had just run: 246.75 mph, another personal best.

We might have lost the race but we had run a string of fives! Thanks to the crew and especially to our sponsors NGK Spark Plugs, VP Racing Fuels, Torco Oil and Nimbus Motorsport.

See you next year.

UK National Finals racer update.
16th September: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding details of the arrangements for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Friday 18th
08:00 Gates open for the weekend
11:00 Signing On office opens (earlier for racers entered in the Peak Performance Day)
11:00 Car scrutineering commences, no set order - if possible please get signed on and scrutineered on Friday
16:30 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order - if possible please get signed on and scrutineered on Friday

Saturday 19th
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences
Car scrutineering order
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences Bike scrutineering order
09:30 Track open for qualifying

Sunday 20th
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering opens
09:30 Track open for qualifying / eliminations

Provisional running orders are now available for all four days of the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page. Please note that as ever these running orders are provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

Please remember the curfew: no race vehicle motors are to be started before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day. Breach of curfew can result (has resulted) in exclusion from the meeting. If going to Scrutineering before 09:00 then please push or tow race vehicles, do not drive.

SPRC would appreciate it if UK Sportsman racers have their bank sort code and account number with them so that winnings can be paid directly into their accounts by Bacs the day after the event. Cheques will still be available to those who would prefer them, however SPRC would prefer to use Bacs as bank charges are lower and racers will receive their money sooner.

The two prizes of Sportsman ET.
16th September: Connor Holt writes that although the 2015 UK National Sportsman ET Championship has been won by Craig Wright before this weekend's UK National Finals, runner-up place is still up for grabs as well as a special prize:

Rick Hale, Gillian Medley, Stephen Cherrett, Felicity Gibbs and Jon Crawford are all in with a chance of finishing in the runner-up spot. This weekend also has added competition as Andy Dibley (left) hosts the 50 Shades Of Green / V8 UK Reaction Time Award during qualifying. Racers wishing to take part each put up £5 on top of a starting pot of £50. The driver with the lowest combined Reaction Time takes it all.

This weekend could be the last in which you see Champion Craig Wright in his Honda Civic as the car is up for sale. Craig is licencing in Joe Kellett's Super Pro ET dragster at Friday's Peak Performance Day.

With thirteen cars entered it is shaping up to be yet another great weekend to wrap up what has already been a great year of racing.

Jessel rocker urgently sought.
15th September: Matthew Wright of sponsor is seeking the help of readers with an urgently-needed part.

"We urgently need a Jessel Rocker as pictured for a Big Block Chevy Dart Big Chief Cylinder head number one cylinder inlet rocker", says Matthew. "These are the offset type and it's the larger one! 1.75 ratio. We are desperate to source this part for this Friday (18th) as we have a sponsorship commitment. We have tried Jessel in the USA for a week with no joy."

If you can help then please call Matthew on 07980 211869 or 01277 366584. Matthew says he will pay and will travel.

UK Championship outcomes.
15th September: Many thanks to our own Simon who has penned a summary of possible outcomes in those UK National Championship classes which are decided at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Fortunately all races apart from one have been completed this year. Bikes have one or two more races, 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike being contested at Shakespeare County Raceway on 26th-27th September and then all classes apart from Top Fuel Bike running at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway on 17th-18th October.

The 2015 MSA British Drag Racing Championship for Pro Modified is being led by Kev Slyfield with Roger Moore moving up to second after winning two rounds at the FIA / FIM European Finals. There is a 59 point gap and 103 points are available; Kev needs to win two rounds to be sure of the Championship.

Super Pro ET is led by Simon Gough but with a margin of only 20 points over Brad Jackson after Brad's 200-point all-rounds bonus is included. 270 points further back is 2014 Champion Scott Hauser, and Ian Powell only another 30 points behind him. With twenty seven cars entered, there are 1,010 points available. If Simon and Brad qualify well and go deep into eliminations, whichever of them goes further can gain the title. But if Simon and Brad go out in the first two rounds of eliminations, Scott or Ian will have the door opened for them. In Pro ET, Team Dark Horse (Brian and Lee Huxley) have a margin of 800 points over Paul Jackson who only has a slim mathematical chance. Tim Stanbury is not entered as he is attending the Hot Rod Drag Week (which is taking place on 13th-19th September; you can catch coverage and live streams at Mike Lacey, 130 points further back, could be in with a shout of runner up if he qualifies more than three places above Paul and goes one round further. Congratulations to Craig Wright who actually wrapped up the Sportsman ET Championship by Bug Jam with a huge margin of 1510 points. Runner-up is being contested by Ricky Hale, Stephen Cherrett (470 points back from Ricky), Gillian Medley (10 points further back including bonus), Felicity Gibb (100 points further back) and Jon Crawford (100 points further back). With thirteen cars entered, the 770 points will be hard-fought by these racers.

Congratulations to Super Comp Champion Stuart Doignie who cannot be caught. Martin Curbishley has a margin of 230 points (including bonus) over Pete Creswell who will need to qualify at least three points better and go a couple of rounds ahead of Martin, or win the event to gain runner-up honours. Stuart Doignie has also won Super Gas, well done to Stuart on the double. Collin Morrice cannot catch Stuart and his second position is under threat from Jon Giles, 150 points back, who had one of the most brief years off on record and made a strong showing at the European Finals. Super Street is led by 2014 Champion Karen Stevens with a lead over Dave Cherrett of 290 points. With 590 points available, Karen will need to win two rounds to be assured of a second title.

In Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, Paige Wheeler has a margin, inclding bonus, of 360 points over Charlotte Bradford. Twenty three cars are entered meaning 970 points are available, however competitors have to drop their worst SPR round. This will benefit Charlotte who did not attend Big Bang, whereas Paige's worst score so far is 190. So Paige's true margin is 170 and if Charlotte qualifies better than Paige and go two rounds further in eliminations, she will gain the Championship.

Congratulations to Mark Todd who has won the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship. sponsor Jon Webster is assured of runner-up spot too as third-placed Stuart Williams is out with mechanical issues.

The Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Points Challenge is led by Phil James and he is challenged by Terry Clifford who is 430 points in arrears. With 730 points available Terry could challenge Phil if he goes a couple of rounds further and qualifies well. VW Pro is led by 2014 Champion James Hodson over Sam Young by only 100 points. Competitors have to drop their worst round which reduces this margin to 90. Sam needs to qualify better than James and go one round further to gain the Championship for his electrically powered Beetle. Congratulations to Paul Herbert who is the VW Sportsman Champion. Dave Lea in second place and Ross Chisholm-Brown in third currently will start the National Finals with Ross ahead by 50 points after deduction of the worst round, so second place will likely go down to the wire.

ACU Top Fuel Bike is being contested by four nitro-burning machines with Rene van den Berg leading many-time Champion Steve Woollatt by 230 points and Nick Milburn 10 points further back. Ian King is also entered and, if records come into play, then there are a potential 590 points to be earned in total.

Good luck to all racers for this weekend. We will publish an analysis of bike classes in the week before the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The post-European Finals UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championship points standings are available on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

UK National Finals Perfect Awards.
26th August: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in this season's Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Mark Bailey at the FIA / FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

This weekend's RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Simon Innes at the FIA / FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Supertwin ET and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide see Derek Flynn or visit

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office.

Web site updates.
15th September: Our good buddy Steve Moxley has had his Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals bike review published in the latest edition of the ACU on-line newsletter. You can check out Moxey's work at

The latest update to Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive features galleries from the Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals and the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. As ever you can check out the latest updates via the What's New link at

Pro Mod: A daughter's perspective.
14th September: At sixteen and a half Lucy Moore has long been helping proud dad Roger and uncle Dave with their Viper Pro Modified and can't wait until next season when she will be of an age to join the team on the start line. Lucy, whose duties currently include parachute packing, datalogger and EFI software support, gave us her view of the Shakespeare Engineering, Challenger Solutions and Generator Power Systems-sponsored team's successful FIA / FIM European Finals:

A brilliant weekend was had by all the crew with a little help from some friends to turn the car around between rounds. I don't think anyone expected us to be in the final at a European event! We had limited crew and had limited spares so repairing any damage would be challenging.

I arrived on the Friday night ready for a weekend of racing to find that Dad had made the decision to change four of the pistons as we have had some persistent problems with damage on one side. The engine hadn't been on top form for a while so it would be a great achievement to even qualify in the top ten.

Qualifying session 1 was a good pass of 6.52/214.11 which put us in seventh place. The decision was made to miss the second qualifying session and change the pistons on one side in the hope it would solve some ongoing issues. There was no improvement on our time in Q3/Q4 but we finished qualifying in eighth place.

I didn't have high expectations for eliminations but was looking forward to the first round against Andy Robinson because he always makes for a good race! It was a great feeling to get through the first round, even if we didn't do it with a great time. When we went to pick Dad and the car up from the top end we discovered we had a puncture in the driver's side slick. This meant that with an already short crew it was going to be tough to get the car turned around for the next round. However we had some much-needed help from several of Kev Slyfield's crew and Andy Robinson to change the slicks over to our spares ready for the next round against Roger Johansson.

A great Reaction Time by Dad meant that we were first away from the tree and to our amazement we won! It felt like we finally had some luck on our side! However we all knew the next round against Bruno Bader was going to be a tough one. Again we had some much needed help from Kev Slyfield's crew to get ready for the next round. It was clear on the start line there was something not quite right with Bruno's car but we also knew our car was having troubles and we were just praying it pulled through. When Bruno was shut off there was a sense of happiness but also slightly disappointed there wasn't going to be a proper race. The car then gave everyone a shock when the engine cut out. This just made me even more on edge than I already was! Luckily Dad managed to get it started up again and keep it running long enough to stage and get down the track to get through to the final.

I couldn't really accept being in the final because I was still in shock and quite speechless that we had made it this far in the European event! We all knew our chances were slim in the final but even when we lost to Micke Gullqvist it couldn't taint our pride in pulling the car through that far. I had such an overwhelming feeling of pride and happiness.

After such an exhilarating weekend it was even more of a shock to discover we finished tenth in the FIA Championship, the best-placed Brit for four years, and that we still have a chance for a top three finish in the National Championship. It would be a huge sense of accomplishment to finish in the top three with all the problems we have encountered over the year from lack of crew to engine damage. The excitement is building for the National Finals and I'm sure it will be a brilliant weekend no matter what the outcome.

Thanks to our sponsors, Shakespeare Engineering, Challenger Solutions and Generator Power Systems; Kev Slyfield and his crew James and Clive; and Andy Robinson.

Roger adds: thanks to all the crew especially first-timer Anita and second-timer Kane who have learnt what a full day's work really means; my partner Jane who had to celebrate her birthday at the track again on Sunday; and my brother Dave who keeps it all together and cooks some amazing meals in between filling nitrous bottles, although the gravy can be a bit effervescent at times.

MSA Championship PR Robin Jackson's report on Pro Mod at the FIA / FIM European Finals can now be found on the MSA British Drag Racing Championship web site at

A tourist in Super Gas.
14th September: Carla Pittau and Rick McCann's biggest project yet got underway this year as the Heaven & Hell team moved lock, stock and barrel to Sweden. The move was motivated mainly by the love of drag racing, and by the love of a particular class not available in Britain: Super Stock. Carla writes:

In Sweden the class runs as a combo together with Stock and the system works well, with extremely well turned out cars with very competitive performance, the top qualifiers managing to run under their index by more than a second, which is very respectable in the US too.

Our journey started back in 2010, when we finally acquired a legal engine for the GT/CA subclass and ventured to Mantorp for our first race in Stock / Super Stock. The experience was fantastic, despite the bad weather and we were hooked forever, the racers were as welcoming and friendly and helpful as they are in our own Pro ET community, and the challenge of chasing performance staying within the very strict NHRA rules was exciting. Racing in Stock / Super Stock was a real buzz. We returned to Sweden in 2011 for the first Tierp meeting, and then in 2012 and 2013, working hard to learn the ropes on a very small budget, and we also raced at Alastaro in Finland in 2012 and 2013, loving the experience and the people. It was probably in 2012 that we first thought that perhaps we could move to Sweden, selling our house in London to acquire a place in the countryside in the vicinity of Tierp Arena and using the surplus to finance our racing after retirement.

We were lucky enough to find a suitable place and we have now almost completed our move, although it was more or less interrupted by the race season. Our first meeting at the Tierp Internationals, at Tierp Arena in June, started five days after we finally arrived in our new home with our four cats and the race cars although not all of the furniture!

Cylinder heads legal for the class have to be the originals which would have been available for the particular engine combination in the model year of your car (or the year of your engine in the case of the GT class, which allows the use of an engine from a different year to the car body) and these are becoming increasingly rare and they are very old and porous and have often been carved to a millimetre of the water jacket. Ours are no exception, and we had to patch them up every season as the repairs to exhaust ports do not last, so we slapped some more epoxy resin on the cracks and the pinholes, working on the kitchen table, two days before the event. Once more the repairs worked wonders, and at the Tierp Internationals we ran our then-best time, a 9.88 on a 10.40 index, a respectable achievement considering our low budget and the fact that we do the work ourselves, although it was only good enough to qualify twenty first. This was of course with Rick's car: my car is not legal for the class and sadly the ET classes do not run at the international meetings at Tierp Arena, so we concentrated on running just one. Cruel fate paired Rick with Nic Williams at the wheel of his gorgeous Stocker '69 Camaro in the first round and Nic's lightning reaction put an end to our quest. The meeting was then rained off and unfortunately nobody progressed past the first round.

The following meeting was at Sundsvall at the beginning of July. The track is at about eight hundred feet of altitude and it's about six hours away from our home, driving north on the E4, with the last few miles on steep dirt roads which have allegedly killed many a transmission of various towing vehicles, but just as you start thinking you must be lost and nothing other than goats could possibly get up this hill you suddenly come to straight, level and well maintained paved roads with signs to the race track. At our surprise about this strange location somebody explained that Sundsvall used to be a secret Swedish Air Force base during the Cold War, when the danger of a Russian invasion was no joke, and that the remote location and the unmade roads helped keep the base hidden. The Sundsvall Racers Association ganged up and bought the airstrip lock stock and barrel and as it is a non profit organisation it runs the meetings and invests the income back in the track, making for very pleasant and well maintained facilities. The altitude together with the very hot weather proved conducive to sluggish performance for all race cars, and we found ourselves qualified thirteenth despite the slower 9.97 time. The track, however, prepared by Brit Lee Child, was awesome and Rick kept launching with wheels way up in the air, which always gives us a smile. We ran 9.93 and 9.94 in competition but the smile did not survive Rick's red light in the second round against Anders Eriksson in the C-Stock Nova... bad luck but a good weekend and new experience gained.

Next we faced the Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp and the whole Heaven & Hell crew were going to join us for the race, and we somehow felt that it wouldn't be the same if we didn't run the two cars. But no Pro ET, so...? The only class I could contemplate seemed to be Super Gas, even if I knew I couldn't really be greatly competitive I could at least run the times... well, quicker than the times, which did of course give us the problem of having to slow the car down, which is pretty much against my religion (Religion, Carla? - Ed). However we either did that or I couldn't run, so it was a no brainer, Super Gas it was going to be.

Colin, Grace, Dave and Chris flew in from England to be with us and it was wonderful to have the whole team together again, so we faced the new challenge with enthusiasm. We managed a new best time for Rick's car, a 9.85 which was only good for number twenty eight, but made us hope the repairs would last the whole season. Unfortunately Rick was out in the first round against Örjan Hällström. As for my Super Gas adventure, after adding about 120 lbs in weight to the front and the back of my car and short shifting and lifting at the top end, as well as following Colin's suggestion which will remain our little Super Gas secret, we managed to run 9.92, 9.92, 9.96 in qualifying, good enough for eighth, pulling great wheelies and cutting the sixty foot beam with my rear wheels on almost every run. I enjoyed running at that great track immensely, enough to bear going slower! Unfortunately the car is too heavy to cut a light with a 0.400 Pro Tree, with the added weight it was about 3250 lbs, and as I launch with a footbrake I found I couldn't cut a zero light no matter what. I improved in the third round of qualifying but only managed 0.14, 0.14, then 0.12 in the first round, when I ran 9.902 against a 9.96 with a 0.06 reaction, the margin of victory being a few thousandths of a second. Good race, but lost on the Tree. Well, I was a tourist in Super Gas after all, and the next race, at Alastaro, Finland, would finally give me the opportunity of racing in my true class, Pro ET!

We took the cars home on the Sunday, the team flew back to England on Monday, and we left for Finland on Wednesday morning. Alastaro is a great track where the drag racing community, as elsewhere, is welcoming and friendly and great fun. Two cars and no crew is difficult, but we were in luck as Mira and Tuomas, friends of our great Finnish neighbours Timo and Anne Kokkonen, came to help. Pro ET qualifies on reaction time, not ET, much like Junior Dragster does in England, and I was looking forward to the freedom from dialling and concentrating just on the fun of driving and trying to chop the Tree down. At least I had a chance with a 0.50 tree! I only had two runs but qualified second with a 0.01, which kind of vindicated me a bit after the frustration of the 0.400 Pro Tree. I then looked forward to trying to improve on the Saturday, but things were not well with the blue car. Rick's runs had been about two tenths down and we feared we knew what was going on, so we took the plugs out and turned the engine over. Sure enough, water trickled out of number four cylinder. The repair was kaput, and we now faced a difficult situation, as the plan was to leave Alastaro on Monday morning and travel straight to Santa Pod for the European Finals. How could we travel all that way with a dead car?

The alternatives were clear: either cut the race short, go home and swap engines in the blue '84 and then go to England with two cars, or stay and continue the race with my car and cancel the European Finals. We would not see our friends, our team, the marshals, the fans... but the customer services office at Finnlines was closed, we didn't know how to change our ferry tickets, we didn't know what to do. Our good luck once again stepped in as Mira Siltanen, of our impromptu Finnish crew, knows one of the ferry captains and was able to get numbers to contact, made a few phone calls and sorted everything out, so we made the traditional Heaven & Hell trip home to swap engines, and at least it wasn't overnight. We left Alastaro at 06:00 on Saturday, got home at 21:00, swapped engines on Sunday and left on Monday morning, drove to Helsingborg and got the ferry to Denmark, drove to Rødby and got the ferry to Puttgarden, then drove to Hoek van Holland and got the ferry to Harwich, arriving in England on Wednesday night and finally to the Pod on Thursday at 01:00. Knackered, but we made it!

On Thursday, the first day of qualifying, we only had Grace Roaf as crew, but oh boy did she do a wonderful job! The cars were refuelled and the tyres checked and topped up as needed as soon as we came back from a run. She managed the two cars in the fire up road, effortlessly going from one to the other, discussing the dial-ins with both of us, checking the wind speed and direction, operating the weather station, guiding us in the burnout and videoing both cars! We thought she must have a secret twin or two to manage all that! She handled the job with confidence and amazing efficiency; she is only twenty but can already claim at least eight years' experience in the team and was perfectly at home with all of the tasks, we couldn't have been happier. With the engine swap and all, Rick ran within 0.004 of dial-in off the trailer, which was nice, and even repeated the dead on, this time within 0.003 thousandths, good enough for number four qualifier. I didn't fare as well, chasing the ET around but never quite catching it and ending up twenty first. Dave Buckland joined the team on the Friday and took the pressure off Grace, and we all enjoyed being at our home away from home once again, racing with our friends.

Eliminations weren't too good for us; Rick had a bye in the first round as Geoff Cowley unfortunately broke, but then had a water leak just before his second round race with Dan Williams and was pushed back. I won the first round in a good race with Glenn Pallant, then had a red light duel with Tony Harter, new racer in Pro ET but a real charmer, and finally met Leigh Morris in the third round, where sadly my 0.09 light didn't cut it against his 0.03 and lost.

That was the end of our racing for this year, and the start of the last leg of our move, so we made our way to London to clear our house and finally settle down in the new Heaven & Hell HQ at Östervåla. We'll be back racing in Sweden and Finland in 2016, and sure enough at Santa Pod too. We would like to thank the following wonderful people for their help and support this season: Grace Roaf - the best Crew Chief ever, Colin Roaf, Dave and Christine Buckland, Timo and Anne Kokkonen, Mira Siltanen and partner Tuomas, Björn Bondesson, Göran Larsson, Thomas and Lena Sundström and last but by no means least Mike Lacey. Thank you also to the team, we feel lost whenever we race somewhere which doesn't enjoy their excellent coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).

VWDRC half-done.
14th September: Luke Stevenson writes that it's that time again fo rthe racers of the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club: one last polish, one last check over, pack your game face and head to Santa Pod for the UK National Finals:

Paul Herbert has already wrapped up the VW Sportsman Championship so our eyes turn to the runner-up spot for which Dave Lea, Ross Brown and Tom Herbert will do battle. In VW Pro we have one of the most exciting finals for years. Reigning Champion James Hodson arrives in the lead but has four fellow racers who can take his place if he slips up.

We are finishing off the season with double figures in both classes, some very exciting cars and even a European entry with Europe's Fastest FWD car coming for the great facilities and maybe to cause an upset. Which way will it go? Will it be 2-0 to the waterpumpers or will the Aircooled mafia take one home for the team.

Good luck to all our racers. Whoever wins, the main winner will be the VWDRC as it goes from strength to strength with new cars coming out, more new racers joining and seasoned racers coming back after time out. Watch this space, the VWDRC are taking over!

You can follow VWDRC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As always we thank all of our sponsors who make this all happen and we look forward to welcoming them all to Santa Pod for the UK National Finals: DC Customs, Sonovate, Kleanfreaks, WRP Paint and Restoration, Herbies Autos, Trackstuff Racing Fuels and Yyres, Reichspeed Aircooled, Brickfield Autos, James Hodson, Vanology and Bears Motorsport Transmissions.

One VWDRC racer who unfortunately won't be on track next weekend will be Dean Clatworthy who has decided to stop racing for the time being and who put his VW Sportsman Beetle up for sale after suffering one breakage too many at the Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals - albeit on a run which won him the / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award. Dean writes:

Back in 2008 I bought a standard car for £700 with the goal of seeing how quick I could push it on the quarter mile with a modest budget and keeping it in street trim. It's fair to say I have learnt the hard way, and that's the best way right? In the end I got the car into the twelves with a small cc engine, no gas or turbo and on street tyres. There's no doubt that racing is in my blood, and I want to continue supporting the tracks and importantly my fellow racers in the VWDRC. So I'm looking forward to being on the start line again in 2016, but this time I'll be the one doing the fist pumps, crewing for Russ Weir as Shiftin' Ghia makes a much-awaited return (watch this space).

The car and engine are up for sale. If you are interested then please contact me at

Joswig's anniversary.
14th September: German Funny Bike racer Thomas Joswig will be celebrating an anniversary at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

This race will be the twentieth anniversary of my first race at Santa Pod: my team and I went to Santa Pod for the first time in September 1995. The event was named the World Finals. If I remember rightly we did not make it on to the race track because of the weather conditions. We were called once on Saturday evening, sat in the pairing lanes for a while and were then sent back because the dew point had suddenly descended and made the track slippery.

I also remember the warm welcome from other riders and the spectators who appreciated a new face showing up at the Pod. This experience is still alive and I still feel at home when passing through the gates at Santa Pod. I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing and hope to see you all there.

Remembering the 92nd.
14th September: Sue Morris and Phil Pratt of UK 8.50 Bike team PBM Racing are offering racers the chance to carry stickers in tribute to the 92nd Bombardment Group USAAF at next week's UK National Finals, to join those already carrying the decals. Sue writes:

With the land surrounding the actual drag strip constantly changing and becoming unrecognisable as Station 109, the USAAF base of seventy years ago, it is now more important than ever to remember the brave service personnel who flew their mighty B-17 Flying Fortresses from the very runway on which we race.

Last season, when we relaunched our Suzuki GSXR in the guise of Satan's Lady, a B-17 which flew from Station 109, we were humbled by the reaction of those connected with the 92nd Bombardment Group. At Dragstalgia last year were honoured to have Satan's Lady on display for some of the family members who had made the trip over from the USA to see where there their fathers, uncles and grandfathers had served. It was so emotional hearing the incredible tales of their bravery, and made us more determined to help keep their memory alive.  Station 109 was an extremely important base for the 8th Air Force during WWII, with its history well-documented; however there are still many people who do not know of the sacrifices they made for our freedom.

We have a number of special tribute stickers to give away to racers who would like to carry one on their race vehicle, tow vehicle, trailer or caravan, to commemorate the 92nd and their time here.  The stickers are a simple design featuring the iconic Santa Pod gantry, but with the lettering of Station 109. The fading image of a B-17 and the 92nd BG emblem signify that, although their memory is fading at the place we love, we can play a small part to ensure they are not forgotten.

If you would like one of these free 92nd Bombardment Group Tribute stickers, or would like to know more about the 92nd and their time at Station 109, please pop and see us in the Satan's Lady bike pits. As always, you'll find us underneath the 8th Air Force and USA flags.

First outing for Ashdown Sr.
14th September: Having licenced in Paul Marston Racing's dragster at Mini in the Park, the UK's Steve Ashdown was nervous as Sportsman qualifying day of the FIA / FIM European Finals approached:

To say the least I was anxious and to top it all off I had to run Tyler in his Junior too. We scrutineered both cars, and both passed apart from my crash helmet so I had to share Tyler's! Thursday and Friday were qualifying runs and out of eight runs I redlit on seven, but somehow I managed to qualify fourteenth in Super Pro ET - a total shock. In the first round I faced Paul Pryzbyl with his beautiful dragster. I was expecting to lose, especially against Paul. We lined up, staged, green light and I pulled a 0.03 green. God knows how but I ended up winning although I didn't know I had won until Paul's dad Andy came to pick him up! Thanks to Paul and Andy for being so supportive and nice.

I had damaged couple of rollers and the oil pump, Paul had spare rollers and thanks to my good friend John Everitt we had a new oil pump too. In round two I faced Brad Jackson and my nerves seemed worse this time. But I pulled a 0.016 green light and I was off... or so I thought. I somehow managed to catch the transbrake with the top of my thumb which shook both the car and I badly. I still managed to make a full pass at 158 mph but I lost the race, well done Brad and thanks to you and your dad for kind words and support.

I was knackered especially as Tyler and I were like a tag team with the crash helmet! I can honestly say that I had an amazing weekend. If you are ever thinking of trying this sport, give Paul Marston a call as his experience and knowledge are overwhelming. I can't thank Paul and the whole team enough for the whole weekend, a great time with great people. Thanks my Crew Chief Dave Bateman, to Tyler for helping me to get in the car and for his surreal words of advice and support. And of course the rest of my poor family who put up with Tyler's and my obsession. I will be racing at the National Finals and it's looking very promising that I will be there in 2016 with my new fuel-injected, blown-alcohol dragster.

Finally thanks to all the staff and crew at Santa Pod who make it all possible. You don't get enough credit, thank you each and every one of you.

Exciting to the end.
14th September: The 2015 season started with a bang for the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing Team and their Summit Racing Camaro. History was made at the first race of the season at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK where Jimmy was the number one qualifier, quickest and fastest in each qualifying session, and quickest and fastest in each round of eliminations. He capped it off with an event win, two new European records and the first European 6.4-second Pro Stock pass.

Jimmy kept the pace up in the second race of the season, the Tierp Internationals in Sweden. He set the stage in Q1 by running quicker than his new Elapsed Time record with a fantastic 6.498. The KB Racing power kept banging the drum for stout numbers and in Q2 Jimmy blew away his old speed record with a massive speed of 346.15 kmh (215.09 mph). Only four racers in the world have run over 215 mph with an NHRA-legal Pro Stock car. Unfortunately rain and gale force winds put a halt to the proceedings. Jimmy won the first race of eliminations but the event was called after that.

The third event of the season took place at Alastaro Motopark in Finland, where the streak of consistent high performance ended. Qualifying was less than optimum and Jimmy went into eliminations as the #4 qualifier. The woes continued on the Sunday as tyre shake put Jimmy on the trailer in the first round of eliminations and paved the way for the competition to gain valuable points in the bid for the Championship.

Back to Sweden and Tierp Arena for Championship race number four. Things looked good when after three rounds of qualifying Jimmy had the Summit Racing Camaro at the top of the list but misfortune struck in Q4 when an engine problem which couldn't be fixed in time for Sunday morning eliminations necessitated putting an engine in the car which had never been there before. Jimmy and the team did all there was to do but to no avail and he was put on the trailer. Another very costly first round loss led to a difficult points situation going into the last event of the season.

This made for an exciting season ending event at the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Jimmy went in to the Finals in second place in the Championship, forty six points behind. The Summit Racing Camaro dominated the track in qualifying. Jimmy was quickest and fastest in all four rounds, making up some of the points deficit. There was still a theoretical chance for Jimmy to get his tenth European Championship. "We gave it all we had and we had four perfect qualifying rounds", said Jimmy. "KB Racing came through with an engine which delivered what we needed. This is a tough field and we're really satisfied to get all of the available qualifying points."

In Sunday's eliminations the Summit Racing Camaro was in good hands and went through eliminations with very solid performances. Unfortunately the door to the Championship was closed to Jimmy in the semi-finals when points leader Thomas Lindström won his round and garnered the points necessary to win the Championship. However the event trophy was still up for grabs. In the final run of the season, against Thomas, Jimmy made another monster run, taking the event win with an elapsed time of 6.54 seconds against a losing 6.67 and capping it off with the fastest speed of the event, 342.79 kmh (213.07 mph).

"A great weekend, mostly", said Jimmy. "The Championship was tight, less than one round win separated us after a whole season of racing. The Summit Racing Camaro did exactly what we wanted and the KB Racing power under the hood was the best we've had so far which says a lot. It has been a very tough season, nothing can be taken for granted with the teams racing for this Championship. Big congratulations to Thomas Lindström, he and his team did their job. But I've been here before and see this event as the beginning of the next season". Watch out.

Jimmy would like to express his gratitude to his sponsors Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Exclusive Cars, Sjölunds Transport, Enskede Bilexpress, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, P.O:s Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Autoshop, Speed Dawg, Stigs Axle and Parts, AD Bildelar, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuel, and X Parts.

Web site updates.
14th September: Richard Smith has updated his Zenfolio site with excellent galleries from York Raceway's rain-ruined National Hot Rod Reunion and the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can take a look at News Editor Tog has updated his SmugMug gallery with galleries from the Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals and the pre-FIA / FIM European Finals Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day. You can check out Tog's pictures at

HoF Gala guest list grows.
14th September: More VIP guests will be celebrating the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame pioneers being inducted at the Gala Awards Dinner held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 21st November. Racers and fans are being joined by senior figures in motorsport management, the business world and the media at European drag racing's most prestigious social occasion.

Traci Hrudka is Chair of the Quarter Mile Foundation and heads their Project 1320 programme, which is recording the history of North American drag racing and the performance parts aftermarket on film. Using interviews of those who were there, plus footage taken back in the day, it will be introduced as a network televised documentary. She is the daughter and niece of Tom and Joe Hrudka, founders of Mr Gasket and at one time, along with several other hats, she managed all the Group's customer service and racing contracts. For her work she was presented with the coveted Performance Warehouse Person of the year award at the 1993 SEMA induction banquet. Traci is a workaholic in her task and the BDRHoF feels honoured that she is flying in from Cleveland, Ohio to be one of its VIP guests. As the Allard Chrysler Action Group's American Patron, she has been building awareness with many American suppliers who have been vital partners during the dragster's restoration. It is hoped to carry out some filming during her trip that will form part of the Quarter Mile Foundation project and include interviews with some European racers and performance parts importers. Details are still being finalised but watch out for announcements about a possible additional special event at the Savill Court Hotel sponsored by US Automotive and Julie Braskett.

Eileen Daniels is a Consultant to the NHRA producing car shows and assisting at the Holley Hot Rod Reunion. Eileen and her late husband Bob Daniels were both keen drag racers and back in 1957 Bob was asked by Wally Parks to become a voluntary Regional Advisor, tasked with forming car clubs and getting the kids off the street and on to drag strips. In 1959 he was made full time NHRA Divisional Director for the six Midwestern States and adjacent Canadian Provinces. He served in this role for two decades, assisting with the design and construction of more than twenty racing facilities. Eileen assisted Bob in the office and at the drag strips. As well as his regional duties Bob was in charge of the NHRA Points Races and they travelled the United States to all of the National Events where Eileen was in charge of the racer credentials and Bob was Staging Director. Bob was instrumental in influencing the NHRA to consider Indianapolis Raceway Park as the permanent home of the US Nationals and after its acquisition in 1979 he was appointed its General Manager with Eileen becoming Executive Assistant. He was so successful that he was named 1988 Auto Racing Promoter of the Year by a vote of his fellow promoters taken through Racing Promotion Monthly magazine. After his retirement in 1992 he and Eileen assisted in the development of the Wally Parks Museum in Pomona and the Hot Rod Reunions. Bob passed on in 2007 but Eileen continues his work today.

Many European racing legends are joining the previously announced American drag racing stars Don Garlits, Funny Car Champion Bruce Larson, Freight Train's Bob Muravez, Larry 'Spiderman' McBride, Rat Trap's Ron Hope and Blue Max tuner 'Waterbed' Fred Miller. All three 2015 BDRHoF Inductees – Ken Cooper, Yvonne Tramm and John Clift, who is travelling from his home in France to receive his award. Also already booked are many European stars and BDRHoF Members. They include drag bike racers John Hobbs, Ian King, Frank Brachtvogel, Ian Messenger, Derek Chinn and Ton Pels from Holland. Former FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champions Barry Sheavills and Andy Carter plan to be there, along with Gary Page, Kevin Pilling, Colin Mullan, Geof Hauser, John Whitmore, John Wright, Russ Carpenter, Nick Davies and Robin Read. Roy and Jason Phelps will be with us again and many more will join this list as ticket requests are confirmed.

There will also be a Sundance Kid Reunion with three key people in Norwegian drag racing getting together at the Savill Court – the first meeting between them for well over twenty five years. Those three pioneers are Fred Larsen, Jan Odd Jakobsen and Ludvig Bjørnstad. Fred Larsen was the driver and co-owner of Norway's first dragster Sundance Kid. During several trips to the UK in the mid-1970s he paved the way for other Norwegians to get involved. With a body taken from the Commuter dragster mould it was one of the most beautiful slingshots around. Fred now operates Nordic Export Inc and is travelling from his home in Florida with his wife Astrid to reunite with his team. Jan Odd Jakobsen was Fred Larsen's partner in the Sundance Kid. He is a founder of American Cars of Southern Norway in 1973 and as a member of that board in 1975 they formed the American Car Club of Norway merging with American Car Club Trondheim. Today this is the main car organisation for owners of American Cars in Norway with more than one hundred associated clubs and eighteen thousand members. He was a member of the Drag Race Committee behind the first drag race in Norway held at Fyresdal in 1978.

Ludvig Bjørnstad and Fred Larsen were the first two Norwegians to drag race in Sweden. Ludvig was a member of Fred Larsen's Sundance Kid team at Snetterton in 1975 and purchased Shutdown after the race (he called it Headache in Norway). He later ran a Top Fuel Dragster in Norway, Sweden and the UK and became known as the Big Daddy of Norwegian drag racing. His partner Hilde Skogseth has been active in many different aspects of drag racing. Her first visit to Santa Pod was in 1974 just to see the track. At a later meet they arranged for some runs with Inge Bugge's Camaro returning in 1976 as crew for Inge Bugge's Pro Comp dragster. She was also at Mantorp Park when Ludvig first ran Headache. Her good friend British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Rune Fjeld was helping out as a mechanic on the Headache team. Hilde was a judge at Mantorp Park and Gardermoen during the 1980s and she was at Santa Pod when Ludvig put down the first five-second run by a Norwegian driving his Top Fuel dragster in 1987.

The business sector is well represented. Doug Hill is Museum Manager and Chief Engineer for the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and he is joining us again as is Chief Financial Officer of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing Donna Garlits. Les Downey, Managing Director and Director of European Operations for Lucas Oil Products UK will be greeting guests with a welcome drink and US Automotive CEO Stewart Bassett and his team will also be amongst the guests enjoying the occasion – both great supporters of the BDRHoF. David Taylor of Flint Insurance will be with us again this year. Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO, Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care FCA, CEO Components FCA - Global plans to be there joined by Tricia Hecker, Head of Marketing Mopar Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. They will be flying in from Detroit to receive the BDRHoF Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award for the role played by the HEMI V8 in drag racing since it was first introduced on production cars sixty five years ago. This award has created quite a stir in the USA with many people asking "Why didn't we think of that?". Motor Sports Association CEO Rob Jones is attending this year as is Phil Evans, member of the FIA Drag Racing Commission and Chair of the MSA Drag Racing Committee. Graeme Atkinson, founder of product placement business the Big Film Group is also joining us. From the media we have Guild of Motoring Writers Chairman Guy Loveridge and American TV Network broadcaster Jack Korpela along with Damien Smith, Editor of Motorsport magazine, David Lillywhite, Editorial Director of Octane magazine, regular Custom Car Magazine scribe Keith Lee and Andy 'Tog' Rogers, Simon Groves and Kirstie Tramm of the team. Julian Parsons and the Nitro FM gang will be very much involved in the Audio Visual aspects of the evening. Two familiar drag racing photographers hanging around will be Andy Willsheer and Roger Gorringe.

From the UK tracks we will welcome CEO Keith Bartlett and his Santa Pod team including Commercial Manager Caroline Holden and Event Coordinator James Forster. From Shakespeare County we have Marketing, Promotions and Club Liaison Officer, Jerry Cookson and from York Raceway and the International Organisation of Professional Drivers we have Steve Murty and his team including Richard and Marjorie Lyons of the Pennine Drag Racing Club. Santa Pod Raceway Chief Starter Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club will also be joining the throng.

Pink Floyd drummer and classic car collector / racer Nick Mason along with the judges at Octane magazine and the Guild of Motoring Writers are hard at work deciding which of the ninety five entries will receive the Sydney Allard Media Awards sponsored this year by MQQNEYES. The winners will receive their awards at the Gala Awards Dinner. Watch for announcements about the winners.

Ticket prices for the Gala Dinner will remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. Room prices also remain as last year, £99 for double and £79 for single including breakfast. Complimentary use of swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and free car parking are also part of the package. For advance booking of Gala Dinner tickets contact or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102. No deposits will be required until the summer but when other plans come together this will again be an early sell-out event.

For room bookings call the Savill Court Hotel on 01784 472000 quoting Hall of Fame dinner 21st November.

Finals fundraising.
13th September: Donna Giles say that the second annual Racers v Santa Pod / Santa Pod Racers Club staff charity football match in memory of Paula Marshall, which takes place at next weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, will be overseen by a very special guest. "The referee will be David Avent who is a Championship referee, and he will also bring two Championship linesmen", says Donna. "David loves a charity event, and this will be his first time at Santa Pod. You can help us to raise money for this great cause by donating directly to the fundraising page at JustGiving sends your donation straight to Bloodwise and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more."

Also in support of Leukaemia and Lymphoma research five Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racers are offering the chance to ride in one of Europe's quickest and fastest street-legal cars on next weekend's Cruise. An auction is being held for a passenger seat with Mark Todd (1965 Pontiac GTO), Jon Webster (1964 Ford Mercury Comet), Martin Smith (Nissan GTR-R35), Alan Williamson (Chevrolet 3100 pick-up) or Nick Hale (Chevrolet C30 pick-up). Matt Atkinson says: "The rules are simple: the highest bidder wins! To submit your bid, E-Mail me at with your requested car and auction amount. Opening bids are £10 for each ride. Daily updates will be provided on Facebook as well as updates thoughout Saturday via the Track Announcers. Should you be really interested in a ride but unable to make the Cruise next week then please do still get in contact and we can attempt to arrange an alternative event, especially for sizeable bids! All money raised will go towards Leukaemia and Lymphoma research so please bid generously! If you have any questions then please contact me on the above E-Mail address."

Swift snippets.
13th September: Phil Bennett writes that cars are invited to make demonstration passes at the BMW Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 27th September. Sub twelve-second vehicles are sought. If you would like to appear at the BMW Show then E-Mail or call 01234 782828.

Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for passing us the post-FIA / FIM European Finals points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any page.

Editor's note: Illness threw a spanner into the works of yesterday's planned mammoth news update. All is OK now and coding up is underway for tomorrow's update. Please keep the news coming to

Furlong's seaside success.
10th September: While Santa Pod Raceway was resounding to a very successful European Finals, Saturday 5th September was also the date for this year's running of the oldest straightline motorsport event in the UK. Keith Lee writes:

Organised as usual by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club, with the bikes run by the VMCC Sprint Section, the Brighton Speed Trials proved to be a great day of competition for the large entry of machinery. sponsor Furlong Tyres had a successful trip down to Brighton, where 8.50 Bike racer Paul Furlong competed on his nitrous boosted Suzuki GSXR under the watchful eyes of his 9.50 Bike father, Fred. Despite being up against some1300cc turbo Hayabusas for top honours, Paul was determined to have a shot at the overall bike win. Following some heavy drizzle in the morning, it was a hard decision as to which of the Shinko tyres to use on the tricky Brighton surface for the single practice run. Plumping for the conventional road profile Shinko Hookup rather than the Reactor 2 drag slick which has proved very successful for him on the drag strip, the stock motor 1000cc machine set the quickest practice time, at 9.24/149.

During the two official timed sessions, Paul collected the 1000 class win with a run of 9.32/149, which was only 0.12s behind the quickest time of the day. This put him into the run-off for the quickest six riders. Paul's final launch returned the best sixty four foot time of the meeting, but a loss of power at the top end ended his challenge with his slowest run of the day - 9.71/139. Brighton regular Craig Mallebone would have been difficult to beat, as he rode his turbo 'Busa to the best time of the day at 9.06, with a massive terminal of 172 mph on the seafront track.

"It was a tall order to try and beat Craig, so congratulations to him on another good win", said a happy Paul as he picked up the award for second quickest time of the event. "The Shinko tyre gave me the best sixty four foot times of all the bikes, so I can't be too disappointed."

The quick bikes outran the cars, as is usual at this popular event. Winner on four wheels was a car make familiar to drag fans, as Jim Tiller guided his monstrous seven-litre bright orange 1950s Allard to a popular win with a low ten-second blast.

Rawlings books 2016 date.
10th September: The UK's next Pro Modified racer Steve Rawlings says that it has been a long time coming but that after a successful dyno session his Corvette will attend the first MSA Pro Modified round in 2016:

The whole project has had many twist and turns over the years. Blower motor initially, then changed to more familiar territory with a big nitrous motor, then to the current combination - an even bigger nitrous motor, built by Clive Bond at Ultimate Race Cars, we are over 800 ci now!

Andy Hone and myself, Peter, Clive and Jamie installed the motor on the dyno at Knight Racing Services. It looked bloody big sitting in the dyno room! We were there about a month ago but had an oil pump issue, we thought it was resolved but after initial fire up this time it was still there. So we switched to Plan B, the borrowed pump, installed it, fired up and no problems. Ran the motor up and it sounded awesome. The initial pull suggested bigger jets required in the carbs, but we had used the biggest we had. Luckily Stan Atkin, who lives nearby, arrived from work mid-morning and kindly ran home for his biggest jets... thanks Stan and well to Paula and yourself on the weekend's result.

Jets installed, but still not big enough! But half a dozen pulls later we had a good amount of data with which to work, found the happy spot in the timing. It made a lot of torque and some decent HP numbers. We used unleaded fuel, a requirement of the class for Nitrous cars: this was a new fuel from Fuse supplied in the UK by Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport. We hope to do comparison tests with other fuels in the future but the Fuse fuel seems very good.

So now what? Wiring to finish, all those little bits and pieces which will go into the winer and hopefully we'll be there! I am not holding my breath though, people not involved with these cars cannot imagine how much work goes into building them and the work goes on. Thanks to Andy Robinson for an awesome chassis, Richard Walters for the amazing paint and to Clive Bond for this seriously impressive engine. There is clearly a mountain to climb developing this combination but there is a wealth of experience and knowledge within the team and with a lot of hard work we are confident of eventual good results. 

Unfortunately we won't make an appearance this year but we will be testing before Easter 2016 and we will be at the track for the first round of MSA Pro Modified. See you there!

Bellio's 3000 hp dyno.
10th September: Well-known Top Methanol Funny Car racer Danny Bellio has recently added a brand new engine dyno facility to his Belgian workshop. The first ever European Superflow Black Widow is scheduled to be up and running in a few weeks. Danny tells us that the dyno can take on engines producing over 3000 horsepower, making it the right choice for drag racing teams who want to test their engines in a controlled environment:

Major engine tuning can be carried out before the season starts, mostly eliminating the risk of breaking parts on the first runs. The dyno can be used for normally-aspirated, turbo and blown engines ranging from a few hundred to 3000+ horsepower, and features state-of-the-art testing software and hardware.

The Dyno Unlimited facility is conveniently located near Hasselt in Belgium, which is central in Europe, and accommodation for overnight stays and / or trailer space are nearby. For more information and bookings, contact Danny at or call +32 11 573838.

Gassers close the book on 2015.
10th September: This weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway will once again feature the the final round of the Gasser Circus Showdown, but more importantly it will decide to which part of the country the Championship trophy goes. Nervous Nick writes:

This year it's a three-way battle with 2013 Champion Sean Milsom in his Ain't Misbehavin' Morris Van, sitting on top of the leader board with 1480 points. 240 points separate Sean from second place Brian Gibson in his Identity Crisis Dodge. A mere ten points behind Brian is Katie Booth in her rookie season behind the wheel of the Mighty Mouse Ford Pop.

The weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway is going to be tense yet exhilarating and with another twelve Gassers expected on the plot, all intent on snatching their own piece of glory, we should see plenty of wheels-up action and oh so close racing.

With Rounds 3 and 4 being rain effected and not run to a conclusion, we all hope that the final round is run to the finish and that it is as thrilling for the crowds as it is for all of us who race in the Gasser Circus (Guaranteed a "Yes" - Ed). We would like to thank our sponsors the NSRA, Mechanix Limited and Speedking.

Cross-continent Outlaws.
10th September: Also holding their final round at this weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags are the Supercharged Outlaws sponsored by Good Vibrations Motorsports. Dave McKenzie writes:

Prize money available at this event includes the Good Vibrations $100 Quick Reaction Time prize for the quickest RT of the weekend. Good Vibrations also put up $100 for the Supercharged Outlaw team of the weekend, and a new sponsor is Ian Kerr Motors with cash prize and a trophy for the best sixty foot time.

It has been another great season for the Outlaws with new cars and plenty of action. Highlights include a German team winning a UK round at Dragstalgia when Karl Heinz Kleider won in his Funny Car, then a UK team went over to Hockenheim and won in Germany, Andy Hadfield coming away with the trophy. Also appearing from the UK was Lee Gallimore with the Red Mist altered, and he and Andy put on a good show. Maybe a European series is not that far away.

Meanwhile Paul Watts continued to amass points at home by winning three consecutive rounds, and by the end of the last round which took place at VW Action at Santa Pod Paul had built up enough of a lead to win the 2015 Championship. Paul says that he is going to turn the wick up and go for a seven-second pass at the Hot Rod Drags. Also returning to the Hot Rod Drags will be the Bond, Hannis and Osborne slingshot after blower damage at Dragstalgia. Team Thing will also be back at the Hot Rod Drags with a newly-rebuilt engine. The team purchased a new block through Performance Unlimited: Dave at Performance Unlimited managed to get us the engine block and machine it to our spec in three weeks, thanks Dave. Johnny Hall of Stamford Speed Shop supplied the team with con rods and pistons from his nitro slingshot, many thanks Johnny, and with donations from teams at Dragstalgia and spectators at the Bulldog Bash Team Thing pulled out all the stops and managed to fire the car up last Saturday afternoon. The car is now loaded in the truck ready for the Hot Rod Drags.

Making his début at the Hot Rod Drags will be Andrew Gallimore with the LA Commercials Funny Car. Andy will be settling himself in the car with the Supercharged Outlaws and hoping to finish on Sunday against his brother Lee in the Red Mist Altered. With fourteen teams booked in it is shaping up to be a great weekend. Don't forget the cacklefest on Saturday night, there will be a few Outlaws participating I'm sure. See you all at the track.

Aiming for the eights.
10th September: One of this weekend's Supercharged Outlaws will be Duncan Scott's wild 100E which Duncan tells us will be in the hands of Steve Harrison as he has proven "A far better driver than the last idiot":

We are hoping to run into the nines again and maybe go a bit quicker than our best of 9.88/142. The car will then be off to the workshops of the Draper Brothers for some aero updates such as a wing for the roof and spill plates etc. We may even stretch to a new coat of paint but the rough abused look does appeal to me as I no longer have to clean the thing!

I'd like to say a big Thank You Steve Harrison and the whole team at Draper Brothers Racing for the continued support both on and off track. We as a team work so hard to keep racing with no financial support in the way of sponsors etc and the recent hot rods which have come out of the old shed in Essex have been stunning prizewinners.

This is my last race this year, I hope that next year we will see the little 100e into the eights - I hope it happens soon because I can't take anymore verbal abuse from Charlie Draper. He's a hard task master!

Target exceeded.
10th September: Gareth Nicholson writes that the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway has always been the favourite race of UK Pro Modified racer Wayne Nicholson and the Lucky Devil team, and that this year's race was no different:

As you all know we have had a trying two years with the car but we have kept at it and stuck in there. This event really has helped lift the spirits of the team and really shows how much support we have out there from you guys!. First of all I'd like to thank our crew, These guys are really worth their weight in gold! They keep going and get stuck in when the times are hard. I promise we will have a smoother year next year. And also a great big thank you to the guys and girls who keep Santa Pod running like clockwork, it can't be an easy job but you guys pull it off!

As for the racing we really have progressed and even managed to overcome a small issue within the car towards the end of the weekend. As much as we would like to get back to where we were straight away, we are closer than ever and next event should allow us to get there. We would like to congratulate all those who ran new PBs over the course of the weekend; there are just too many to mention but congratulations to you all. There was some great racing from everyone over the weekend.

As well as a great weekend racing, Wayne's birthday falls over the same weekend most years, and where better to celebrate it than at the drag strip. We wont tell you how old Wayne is, but let's just say he has been around a while.

A quick announcement about the fundraising which we have been carrying out for the Air Ambulancec. So far we have raised  £576.45, well done guys it's thanks to you that we have raised so much! But let's see if we can increase that figure, head over to We may have hit the target on the Just Giving page but we can still help improve the service given to those people who need it most. Thank you for all your support so far!

Sixteen years to the Seven.
10th September: There was talk of building a full-sized car to run sevens as far back as 1999 but UK Super Pro ET racer Dave Evans finally achieved his goal at last week's FIA / FIM European Finals. Andy Bennett writes:

With only a couple of passes under its belt, the Jeff Bull 632 ci motor proved itself ultra-repeatable with 8.0 passes over and over, dialling in the hundredths, but that seven-second ticket was a sixteen-year itch which couldn't be scratched.

Saturday was different as during Super Pro ET E1 the seven came, 7.98 at 170 mph. We feel a measure of self-justification for building an eighteen foot long car from the GM Full Size portfolio, the beautiful 1968 Impala style taking precedent over aerodynamic sense. Thanks to everyone who came to chat and congratulate us. To run a car takes a massive effort, so also huge thanks to everyone on the Doomsday crew, our pals, everyone at the Pod, and all the associated people for putting on a kick-ass event.

We're looking for photos and video of the seven-second run if anybody has them (Saturday 5th early on, Super Pro ET E1). You can contact us via our Facebook page.

The photo is a screenshot from a video shot by us during Super Pro ET E2. Two cars both running sevens for the first time, Dave and our pit neighbour buddy Thomas Haas. We both dialled 7.98 for this race to run heads up. What a race, Doomsday ran two hundredths slower, whilst Thomas went one and half hundredths too quick and broke out. Three and a half hundredths of a second in it, what a crazy sport this is where you talk in hundredths of a second and you're happier the quicker it's over!

Swift snippets.
10th September: UK blown-alcohol altered racer Adam Gleadow tells us that the Motorpsycho team require a 1543-13.9 blower belt to be able to contest next week's National Finals. If you can help then please contact Adam at or call Bob on 07765 007702.

Web site updates.
10th September: Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted his usual post-race reports on Netherlands' Autosport web site, in this case from the weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals. As ever the on- and off-track reports are worth a look even if your Dutch is lacking as Remco's pictures are also excellent. You can check out the on-track report by clicking here and the off-track report by clicking here.

Event entry update.
9th September: Tony Smith has been in touch to remind 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike racers that their round which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway's Public Track Weekend on 26th-27th September is a UK National Championship round. This means that the entry fee is £125 which includes one racer and three crew tickets, and that trophies and prize money will be awarded. You can download the official entry form from Shakespeare County Raceway's web site at

Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the UK National Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 19th-20th September. You can check out the UK National Finals entry by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

All racers are invited to the Quartermile Weekend of Champions at The Netherlands' Drachten Airfield on 2nd-4th October. The event features Pro Race, Street Legal Race and American Sunday. Entry fee for Pros is €150 (special 2015 price) which includes registration, five crew passes, parking, showers, toilets, electricity and camp site on location. Entry for Juniors is free and includes registration, one crew pass, parking, showers, toilets, electricity and campsite on location. You can download the Pro entry form by clicking here and the Street Legal entry form by clicking here. You can find more information about the event at

Flame and Thunder demos invited.
9th September: James Forster says that cars and bikes are invited to make demonstration passes at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 31st October.

"We are looking for sub twelve-second cars and sub ten-second bikes to come along and put on a show", says James. "The quirkier the vehicle, the longer the burnouts and the higher the wheelstands the better! There are a limited number of slots available for each class and they will be issued on a first come first served basis, they will go fast so if you'd like to take part then please get in touch with me as soon as possible at or call 01234 782828."

Swift snippets.
9th September: Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar and Peder Eneroth for passing us the official final points standings in the 2015 FIA European Drag Racing Championships and the 2015 FIM European Drag Bike Championships. You can check out the European points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any page.

Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for passing us an updated sheet of European Bests including the records set at the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can check out the new records by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any page.

With apologies for the short notice we have had to remove this weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags from our John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage roster. This is for personal reasons which despite the current fad for doing so we feel no real need to splash all over or Facebook. If you can possibly get to Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend then do so as the NSRA Hot Rod Drags is an event which we can highly recommend.

Editor's note: Due to an IT failure at HQ we have had to resort to an abbreviated news update today, but we have a large and very interesting backlog which will be posted this evening. Please keep the news coming to

2015 European Champions.
7th September: Congratulations to the winners of this year's FIA and FIM European Championships, most of which were decided at the weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Micke Kågered
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Dennis Habermann
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Leif Andréasson
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist
FIA Pro Stock: Thomas Lindström
European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Ian King
FIM Europe Supertwin: Martijn de Haas
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund
FIA European Super Street Bike Cup: Garry Bowe

FIA/FIM European Finals results.
7th September: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Jari Halinen 4.4473/193.72 def. Micke Kågered 4.6402/167.83
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Dennis Habermann 5.3670/269.85 def. Jonny Lagg 5.5163/262.68
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Leif Andréasson 5.8548/242.50 def. Steph Milam 5.9098/246.75
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist 5.9795/245.40 def. Roger Moore 6.5106/210.92
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.5433/213.07 def. Thomas Lindström 6.6770/203.34
European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent 8.4906/87.69 def. John Spuffard 11.4193/82.44

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Ian King 6.0583/231.57 def. Rikard Gustafsson 7.3643/163.12
FIM Europe Supertwin: Roman Sixta 9.9062/91.59 bye, Ronny Aasen no show
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Anders Larsson 7.1861/181.40 def. Fredrik Fredlund 7.4600/141.26
FIM European Super Street Bike Cup: Steve Venables 7.0463/205.99 def. Garry Bowe 7.1301/199.87

Super Pro ET: Scott Hauser (7.51) 7.4988/176.42 def. Barry Giles (7.48) 7.4168/176.35 DQ red light
Pro ET: Lee Huxley (9.50) 9.9300/134.00 def. Paul Jackson (9.85) 9.8454/136.91 DQ red light
Super Comp: Ronald Huis 9.0022/149.06 def. Stu Doignie 8.9430/154.73 DQ red light
Super Gas: Jon Giles 9.9996/138.25 def. Malcolm Motler 9.9350/104.81
Super Street: Matthew Seamarks 12.3705/68.70 def. Karen Stevens staged
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Paige Wheeler (8.02) 8.0305/79.95 def. Lottie Bradford (9.28) 9.3531/67.71
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Mark Todd 7.3680/no speed def. Steve Neimantas 7.3960/206.25
Comp Eliminator: Kev Perkins (8.00) 7.5310/179.94 bye, Robin Orthodoxou no show

Subject to ratification the following European records were set:

Top Fuel Bike speed: 236.21 mph, Ian King
Pro Stock Bike speed: 190.45 mph, Fredrik Fredlund
Super Street Bike ET: 6.950 seconds, Steve Venables
Super Street Bike speed: 209.95 mph, Steve Venables

Congratulations to Pro ET racers Mark Bailey and Simon Innes who won the / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the /
Gold RV Perfect ET Award respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for next week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

FIA/FIM European Finals webcasts.
4th September: Regular readers will know that broadcasts of this weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals will be provided firstly by's free
Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam and then from this evening by Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe's excellent free Web TV. Below is your ready reckoner for the current schedule for the webcasts and Web TV:

Today 09:15-18:00 Webster Race
/ Nimbus Motorsport webcam
Today 18:00-20:00   Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe Web TV
Tomorrow 09:30-20:00   Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe Web TV
Sunday 09:30-20:00   Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe Web TV

Santa Pod Raceway say "Don't forget to tell your sponsors, friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and all those people you have been telling to come to a race for years (we all have at least one!) that they can enjoy all the action in live in HD free of charge at and"

NB This evening's start time of the TrakBak Racing / Track Group Europe Web TV may be subject to change so keep an eye on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored race reports for updates about webcast scheduling.

Gordon Smith's funeral.
4th September: UK Funny Bike racer Steve French tells us that the funeral of his friend and crewman Gordon Smith will take place at 13:15 on Wednesday 16th September at:

Norwich St Faith's Crematorium
75 Manor Rd
Horsham St Faiths
Norfolk NR10 3LF

Then afterwards at:

The Gordon Pub
88 Gordon Avenue
Thorpe St Andrew
Norfolk NR7 0DR

All are welcome.

European Top Gas Round 6 review.
4th September: Herman Jolink writes that the sixth round of this year's European Top Gas Series took place at the Mosten Race Days single-lane eighth-mile sprint at Orsted in Denmark:

This was the twenty second year that the Mosten MC had organised the Mosten Race Days. There were 150 competitors in cars and on bikes but mostly on bikes and the track was very well prepared by Holger Dueholm and his team. There were 8000 spectators.

We had three qualifiers, two on Friday and one on Saturday morning and then on Saturday afternoon the eight quickest riders ran a quarter final then a semi and a final, with the riders with the quickest times going through. Qualifying finished as follows:
  1. Fredrik Schack DK on 2622 V-Twin: 4.729/233 kmh, the first run a 4.848 then a 4.790 and then the 4.729 run
  2. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 5.262/210 the first two runs 5.368 and a 5.310
  3. Jan Malmberg S on two Blower 2400 V-Twin 5.368/208, Jan had had some problems with the bike but it was now running again
  4. Anders Jensen DK home made 2000 mechanical Turbo V-Twin 5.470/205 kmh with clutch problems on the other runs
  5. Conny Karlsson S 5.479/203, in the second qualifier Conny badly damaged his push rods but repaired the bike with some fresh rods from Jan Malmberg
  6. Harry van Schie NL on 1966 Blower V-Twin 5.530/203
  7. Lars Andersen DK on 2622 V-Twin 5.592/194 shortly after the start in the first run Lars broke his chain
  8. Bernd Foit D on 2870 V-Twin 5.721/170 with a broken valve spring
  9. Olaf Menzi CH on 2622 V-Twin 5.960/183
  10. Chris van Nimmen B on 2600 V-Twin 6.028/190 broke his primary belt and probably damaged the gearbox
  11. Christian Bruhn D on 1000 SP Turbo Honda 6.489/178, on the first run the back sprocket broke and then in the next run the head gaskey blew out
  12. John Hansen D on 2400 V-Twin 6.526/176
  13. Jorg Lymant D on 1800 V-Twin 6.872/157
  14. Mats Larsson S on 2580 V-Twin 11.264/55
  15. Frank Peisker D on V-Twin 13.939/70, back on the track after some years out of racing
Quarter finals:
  1. Jolink 5.270/210
  2. van Schie 5.443/201
  3. Andersen 5.501/192
  4. Malmberg 5.622/213
  5. Menzi 6.042/161
  6. Jensen 6.664/194
  7. Lymant 7.899/164
Fredrik Schack's engine stopped at the start line.

  1. Jolink 5.255/213
  2. van Schie 5.464/203
Jan Malmberg had a fuel leak on the start line, Lars Andersen broke a piston and crankshaft in the quarter finals.

  1. Herman Jolink NL 5.255/210
  2. Harry van Schie NL 5.830/190
Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Championship after six rounds:
  1. Schack DK 3195 points
  2. Jolink NL 2445
  3. Andersen DK 1730
  4. van Schie NL 1440
  5. Menzi CH 1330
  6. Albers D 1170
  7. Malmberg S 1020
  8. van Nimmen B 800
  9. Jensen DK 730
  10. Bruhn 620
  11. Heitmann D 620
  12. Foit 540
  13. Niklas D 530
  14. Caspari D 470
  15. Larsson S 400
The seventh and final Top Gas round takes place at the Winternationals at Malmö in Sweden on 11th-13th September.

SPR racer grandstand ticket offer.
2nd September: Donna Finnegan of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to remind racers that they can purchase half price grandstand tickets for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week's FIA / FIM European Finals.

"This is strictly for teams entered at the Finals", says Donna. "Tickets can be purchased by crew members at the grandstand kiosk at the event. Each crew member must show their green racer admission ticket, not the start line crew pass, at the time of purchase. All seats will be subject to availability at the time of purchase, and disputes will not be entered into."

Swift snippets.
2nd September: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 4 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 19th-20th September. You can check out the UK National Finals entry by
clicking here.

Further to last week's news item, Santa Pod Raceway now have the entire range of VP Racing Fuels in stock. They can be purchased on site from The Garage at the Pod Shop or on-line for collection at the track from

European Finals Perfect Awards.
26th August: This weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in this season's Perfect Awards Scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by VW Sportsman racer Dean Clatworthy at the Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

This weekend's RV Perfect ET Award has been increased to £100 after it went unclaimed at the Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide see Derek Flynn or visit

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office.

Of Juniors and goody bags.
2nd September: US Automotive, Santa Pod Racers Club, Lucas Oil Products UK Limited and Phil Evans' company Atlantic Fluid Tech will jointly sponsor two corporate tables at the 2015 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel on 21st November. These tables will be reserved for the top three Junior Dragster racers and the top three Junior Drag Bike racers in the National Championship, and their parents. The Juniors and their parents will be VIP Guests and will have their photos taken with this year's inductees and the Gala's star visitors.

The Juniors will receive special gifts from the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing and Blue Max Racing. These will include a DG Museum T-shirt, an autographed photo, a DG Golden Rat Museum decal and Swamp Rat 1Taggz. The Championship winners will receive a die-cast model of the 1971 Blue Max Funny Car. These are the only two models which remain with the team and so are very special.

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chairman Stu Bradbury said "The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame already contributes to the Junior Drag Racing Championship prize funds and will continue to do so. Of course, our main focus will always be to highlight the role played by the pioneers of our sport but this year, thanks to sponsorship from US Automotive, Santa Pod Racers Club, Atlantic Fluid Tech and Lucas Oil Products UK Limited we thought it right to celebrate the pioneers of the future by inviting the top Juniors to the Gala Awards Dinner as VIP Guests. They will meet those who have helped create the sport they enjoy today and hopefully it will encourage them to help grow the sport over future years. I'm sure they will have a great evening."

Wayne Jackson and Brad Jackson have been involved with the Junior Drag Racing scene for many years. Wayne said "We find it very heartwarming that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has recognised the value of the Junior classes by offering this truly fantastic prize to the top three competitors in each Junior Championship in 2015. With some of the most famous names in drag racing from both the USA and Europe attending the Gala Awards Dinner, it will provide a unique opportunity to meet drag racing legends and will be an evening that the Junior racers and their parents will remember for the rest of their lives!"

Lizz McCarthy, outgoing Chair of the Junior Drag Bike Racing Club echoed Wayne's thoughts and said "What a fantastic opportunity. On behalf of the Junior Drag Bike Club, I would like to thank the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame for this amazing gesture to promote the Junior racers - the future of our incredible sport."

All those attending the 2015 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner will receive extra special Goody Bags. Sponsored by the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Lucas Oil Products UK, Blue Max Racing, Summit Racing and Mac Tools the goody bags will include a DG Museum tin sign, a Private DG Museum tour certificate for two people, two T-shirt certificates, two 8" x 10" autographed photos, two passes to the DG Museum, two tickets to the International Drag Racing HOF dinner in Gainesville, a DG Museum brochure, an International Drag Racing Hall of Fame brochure, a Don Garlits Mopar design Hero Card, a DG Museum magnet, a Summit Racing cap, Mac Tools cap, BDRHoF Mouse Mat and pen. No cuddly toy. Lucas Oil will also be sponsoring the table gifts, as they did last year. On their own the goody bags and table gifts must be worth more than the price of the BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner ticket. In fact the goody bags are now so big that they can't be left on the seats in the dining area and will need to be collected by guests as they leave the Great Hall after the dinner.

Ticket prices for the Gala Dinner will remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. Room prices also remain as last year, £99 for double and £79 for single including breakfast. Complimentary use of swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and free car parking are also part of the package. For advance booking of Gala Dinner tickets contact or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102. No deposits will be required until the summer but when other plans come together this will again be an early sell-out event.

For room bookings call the Savill Court Hotel on 01784 472000 quoting Hall of Fame dinner 21st November.

Wheeldon unveils Nostalgia FC.
1st September: The Nostalgia Funny Car featured in the spy picture on 26th August turns out to belong to the UK's Norm Wheeldon.

Norm has decided to throw his helmet into the ring and has announced that the new Nostalgia Funny Car is being built in his mid-Wales workshop. The FC has a brand new Victory Race Cars NFC chassis from California, and a 1971 Mexican Mustang body. The car is being built to run in the new UK Nostalgia Funny Car class but will also double as a Fuel Altered with a T body. The car will be called Plan X but as yet no driver has been named.

Stay tuned to for updates.

Four for four.
1st September: Following their shock first round loss at the previous FIM European Championship round it was important for the the UK's Ian King and the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel Bike team to make a good showing at the Thirtieth Anniversary NitrOlympX at the Hockenheim-Ring in Germany.

Subsequent to the problems experienced last year after the FIA mandated thorough cleaning of the rubber from the Rico Anthes Quartermile, the condition of the track surface was of concern to a number of racers leading up to the event. However, a combination of the controversial cancellation of a German Formula 1 race and the superb efforts of the ace Anglo-German track preparation allayed those fears. However, despite the optimal track surface the adverse weather conditions proved a huge impediment for the track and teams who struggled to find a tune for the stifling 40+C heat.

The team opted to calm the power delivery of the 1500 hp Puma machine for the first qualifying round but a delay whilst waiting to run in the blazing sun due to an oildown and a subsequent local bye-law mandated break in racing conspired against the Top Fuel Bike class runners. An out of character error by the team resulted in a failure to enact the timer system controlling clutch, fuel and ignition functions and Ian ran the track with a minimum of engine control leading to a modest (by their standards) 7.234/147.04 but good enough for #2 qualifying position after Ian clicked off early to prevent any damage.

The second round of qualifying was a different matter despite the extremely hot conditions when Ian carded an impressive 6.14/201.4 whilst struggling to keep in his lane on the loose track surface, once again clicking off early after the bike made a move towards the wall at the top end. With the #1 qualifying position safely under his belt Ian and the team elected to sit out the next round in readiness for his appearance under the lights at the world renowned Night Show in front of a huge crowd of more than 70,000 excited spectators.

Ian's run was widely anticipated as the track and air conditions cooled, and following the 6.14 under adverse conditions a five second pass was on the cards. However, disaster struck when a bolt holding the supercharger drive sheared at the launch dislodging the pulley and Ian slowed to a halt a few metres out in front of the disappointed but hugely appreciative crowd.

Race day dawned with slightly cooler conditions and the vagaries of the elimination ladder after the withdrawal due to breakage of Dutch rider Rene van den Berg meant that Ian had the benefit of an unopposed bye run into the semi-finals. In a soft pass Ian ran an early click off 6.30/192.2 good enough to take lane choice in the next round.

In the semi-final saw Ian was paired against Czech rider Otto Knebl on his ex- Brian Johnson Imperial Wizard Puma Yamaha. Despite Otto's best efforts he was no match for Ian's consistent low six second performance as he recorded a 6.35/207.4 despite rolling off the throttle at the top end.

In the final Ian was paired against current Championship points leader and Funny Bike world record holder Rikard Gustafsson of Sweden. The Swedish ace was characteristically fast from the line on the lighter and hence quicker reacting turbo methanol powered Pro1 Puma but Ian overhauled him by mid track to take the win light with a 6.37/203.2 blast to take the event win.

This was the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel team's fourth consecutive win in as many years at Europe's biggest drag race and was all the more sweeter for being achieved at the Thirtieth Anniversary event whilst closing the points gap on the Championship points leader.

The team now travel to the final round of the prestigious FIM European Drag Bike Championship at their home track of Santa Pod in England. Once again an exciting climax to the season awaits as their second position in the Championship requires that they must win one more elimination round than their nearest opponent to clinch their ninth FIM European Championship.

The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in their quest for a ninth European Championship:

APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Drift Innovation - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
Hotrod Hangar– Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
King Racing - The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European drag racing history
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC Engineering - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
RSG Customize - The UK's most creative website designers and vinyl artists
Supertough - Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
Spies Hecker - The world's leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing
Tryka LED - The UK's cutting edge LED lighting manufacturer
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
Vanson Leathers - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
Web Camshafts Inc - Simply the company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
Worldwide Bearings - The world's leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts

Pro Peak Performance Day coverage.
1st September: An advance party of the team will be at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow (Wednesday) to bring you the action from the pre-European Finals Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day in association with John Woolfe Racing.

We plan to post an end-day gallery, and the Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be on-line broadcasting live video and trackside audio so long as the track is open.

We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage as soon as it commences tomorrow but in the meantime you can check out our FIA / FIM European Finals coverage index, which includes links to the official entry list and provisional running orders, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Earlier news