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31st July: Derek Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV has announced that the Go Gold team are to celebrate their tenth year in drag racing and Gold RV's thirtieth year by returning to Super Pro ET with one of their previous dragsters. The Netherlands' Lisa Selles, who was last seen in a Junior Dragster sponsored by Gold RV who was a European series winner, will be in the driving seat once en engine and drivetrain have been sourced.
"We have some great memories with this car", says Derek. "Even though it is now ten years old the chassis has made very few runs and most of those by me. It looks just as it did when Gary Jenkins drove it last at the Flame and Thunder RWYB in 2006, and it has not been run since.
"Lisa was a natural choice as the Selles Family are my extended Dutch family and Lisa has proven herself as very competent racer. She can be a match for any of the boys, but not only did Lisa drive but she was also responsible for servicing and the turn rounds between rounds. As with nearly all the Junior drivers she can be lightning on the Tree, but she will have to get used to the extra horsepower. Obviously the licence runs will only be made after I have personally checked the car out, just to make sure it is all OK for Lisa."
"Derek visited us two weeks ago and we spoke about racing again as a team with his Dutch family", Lisa told Eurodragster.com. "Then he called me up and said "I have a dragster, would you like to licence?". I thought "That was quick"! I am so excited, it's like a dream. Hopefully we can test before the European Finals, if not then the UK National Finals. I am very grateful to Derek and Fiona."
If licencing should go ahead before the European Finals then VW Action could be a busy weekend for the Go Gold team as Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters plans to complete his Top Methanol Dragster licencing in Dave Wilson's A/Fuel dragster, again with backing from Gold RV.
Bengtsson enters the fray.
31st July: This coming weekend Swedish Supertwin racer Per Bengtsson and the Beast team will make their season premiere in the EDRS Nordic Pro Championship at Norway's Gardermoen Raceway.
"We're all looking forward to a good race which seems to have attracted a strong entry", says Per. "The start of the series in Finland may not been as predicted as regards both the track and the results. Now the Series goes on to Norway we'll hope for an exciting race weekend and some good numbers on the track. I've always felt comfortable at Gardermoen and many of my Personal Bests were set there. We have been testing some new parts at Malmö Raceway, a new management system for the ignition and clutch with more tuning possibilities to make it easier to fine-tune.
Our competitors have already a couple of races under their belts so it will be a tough game. Hans-Olav Olstad seems to have found a good tune-up. Vidar Ravnsborg is always quick at Gardermoen and it will be exciting to see what Svein-Olav Rolfstad's new engine can produce. Since the Nordic Pro Championship Series has among other factors been created to develop Scandinavian Supertwin Racing it's very good to see that we have a new rider from Sweden, Anders Hörnström, who will make his competition debut on an ex-Jay Turner bike. We hope that he will quickly feel comfortable on-track. The bike has made 6.6-second runs in the US but Anders aims to put down some low seven-second runs to start with.
The Beast team has loaded up with new T-shirts and we hope you'll stop by our pit area this weekend! We look forward to to meeting all of our supporters and competitors again.
We have been told by Johnny Vickers that our longtime German friend Acka Riemer recently had a stroke but that he will hopefully make a full recovery. Best wishes to Acka from the whole Beast team.
A big Thank You to all our partners who makes it possible to race: Red Line Oil, Persåkers Speed Shop, Liqui Moly, Gates / Lönne, Swedcut, Ulvsgården Ab, MMR, Autoexperten Växjö, Fanhultstvätten &Aunl;lmhult, Bilservice i Åseda Ab, Larssons Bilverkstad Lenhovda, Kalvsviks Bilverkstad, Rävemåla Bilservice, Flexoart and Bentec Engineering. For more information please visit our web site at www.bentec.net.
The drags return to Silverstone.
31st July: Bob Roberts of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars writes that whilst the super-successful Mopar EuroNats was taking place at Santa Pod there was another minor event at a small facility on the other side of Northamptonshire:
Well, actually, it's the biggest historic racing event in the UK with over seven hundred race cars and several thousand classic cars in static displays. This time the event included a celebration of fifty years of the Mustang so there were many of these to be seen on track and in the Club displays.
Once again this year UK Street Machines were able to claim a part of the circuit which is no longer used to run a Street Car Shoot-out. Although the track looked to be cleaner than in previous years it still didn't provide enough grip to allow the sort of racing you can see at Santa Pod or Shakey. It did allow for plenty of tyre smoke to wow the punters and there was always a good crowd gathered whenever the cars ran.
Given the development of Nostalgia drag racing in recent years it seems a pity that we don't see more of these cars at this event, the track has a very full program of practice and racing but there must be space somewhere which could be used; after all several Nostalgia cars are based just round the corner from the track.
One thing on which the Silverstone Classic prides itself is accessibility. The public can get closer to the cars than is usual at major circuit racing events, in fact just about anywhere except on the track itself. As I walked around the Mopars over the weekend I realised that we have that access at every drag race: what Silverstone see as a unique advantage is something we enjoy all the time.
Still, any event where there's a blown'n'black'n'flamed Willys Coupe is pretty good in my book.
Update from Estonia.
31st July: Thanks to our good buddy Kristjan Veedler of the Estonian Drag Racing Association for sending us the results of EDRA Round 3:
1. Dan Siimson (VW Golf)
2. Marcel David Tõeleid (BMW 320)
1. Erko Poska (BMW S1000 RR)
2. Kaisa Tõniste (Suzuki GSXR600)
1. Erki Anto (BMW S1000RR)
2. Nils Laur (Kawasaki ZX12R)
1. Tarvo Järv (Mitsubishi EVO 10)
2. Raigo Lepp (BMW 328i)
1. Kaido Reisser (Audi S4)
2. Toomas Tuuling (Audi S4)
Sportsman ET / Pro ET
1. Kristo Tihvan (Pontiac Firebird) 2. Delvis Siimson (VW Corrado)
1. Lauri Soots (BMW 323)
2. Kristo Luhaäär (Pontiac Firebird)
1. Reino Poom (Outlaw Dragster)
2. Veljo Einberg (Buick Grand National)
Kristjan adds that the Estonian Drag Racing Association has announced the title sponsor of the Championship Finals event. "The event is named after our good friend and sponsor Glassdrive", he says. "The Glassdrive Finals will be held at Kiltsi Airfield, Haapsalu on 23rd August. The event information page can be found at www.edra.ee/glassdrive-finals."
Wow and Ow.
31st July: UK Super Pro ET racer Simon Gough attended his third Mopar EuroNats and says that it was a perfect weekend:
Top Sportsman was bang-on, Pual Marston Racing did a fantastic job of running it (Hear, hear - Ed). The track crew were worked to the maximum and yet again delivered (Hear, hear - Ed). The Medical Centre helped me out Saturday evening and took care of a trapped nerve in my neck. So to everyone above, Wow! Now back to the racing part.
On the first free run in Top Sportsman I was up against Belinda Bull in her awesome Pro Stock Truck. Then in the first round I was up against Rob Smallworth in the '55 Bel Air and won, second round I went up against John Dewey's '57 Bel Air and won. Third round was against Mr Consistent Brian Pateman, double break-out and I took the win, then up against Jon Turner in Greenfish, he tripped the lights. The final was against the Morrice dancers, a tight race and I lost by 0.0150. It was a pleasure to race each and every one of them. We were running very tight on our times: 8.54, 8.54, 8.54, 8.50, 8.56 and 8.58.
Due to my neck injury we couldn't go out for Sunday but we had a driver come in for a demo run, Mr Tony Betts who ran an 8.62 first time out in the car. His words were "It's like putting on a slipper, nice and comfortable and a pleasure to drive".
So overall our Mopars event was yet again perfect. We're now getting the car ready for the NitrOlympX. Big thanks to all my crew as without them it wouldn't happen; thanks also our sponsors LAS Motorhomes Servicing and Repairs (nine miles from Santa Pod), Opie Oils, K &N Filters, NGK Spark Plugs, the Awning Company, Miller Oils (tech advice), Jeff Bull Race Engines and Parts, and our new sponsors John F Hunt Group (power services, demolition plant hire, concrete cutting, asbestos removal and remediation).
31st July: Sweden's Kenneth Feldthusen says that his iconic six-second altered is up for sale as a rolling chassis, which means pretty much except the motor, and that a two-stage Lenco and 9½ Chrisman rear end are also available as is the plug for the body. If you are interested then you can get in touch with Kenneth via his web site at www.northrace.com or the Team Northrace Facebook page.
UK Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield got in touch to ask us to say a big Thank You to Santa Pod Raceway's safety crews for their response to Andy Wright's fire in the MSA Pro Modified last weekend. "This should be a wake up call for other racers who only buy the minimum specified by the rules", says Bert. "You can never have enough safety equipment". To illustrate the point, in-car footage of Andy's fire can be viewed on the BA Racing Facebook page.
We have been advised that the local police will be making a special effort with speed and vehicle checks around Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. We know that Eurodragster.com readers all drive sensibly and don't make dangerous modifications to their cars, but if you know anyone who does then now would be a good time for a word in their shell-like.
...now for UK Top Sportsman II.
31st July: With the AntiGravity Batteries / wemoveyourcar.com UK Top Sportsman event in the history books, entry is now open for Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman which takes place at VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st August (race days 30th-31st). Paul Marston writes:
If you missed the first one then here is your chance to participate and compete against the very best Sportsman doorslammer racers in the country. Version 1 of the entry list will be posted before the end of this week as the entries are already coming in. There is also a very, very attractive ticket deal for all participating UK Top Sportsman teams; details on application. UK Top Sportsman is open to any doorslammer and other than safety there are no rules.
The format at VW Action is a little different and easier on those with Monday - Friday jobs (Phew! - ed). Friday is arrivals only, there is no racing. Racing starts with the Time Trial at 10:00 on Saturday then straight into first round of the Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman Fast Bracket. This will run to conclusion on Saturday; there is plenty of track time as the VW Action guys have bought the track for the weekend! There will be a one-shot qualifier session for the second race, the sixteen-car Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman Heads Up Eliminator, on Saturday evening then eliminations will commence on Sunday morning and run to conclusion.
Yes it will be televised, yes the full sponsor list will be published later, yes it's gonna be the best racing you will witness for Sportsman doorslammers this year, yes it's the richest Sportsman doorslammer cash payout: we pay from third round loser in the Fast Bracket and everyone who qualifies for the sixteen-car heads-up eliminator. And yes Eurodragster.com will be reporting live and webcasting the event. It's the toughest, no-holds-barred, most exciting Sportsman doorslammer series to hit Santa Pod Raceway.
Don't forget that VW Action takes place on the weekend prior to the European Finals so there are logistical and transportation savings to be made, as well as getting your doorslammer set up for the biggest race of the year, the FIA European Championship Finals.
For details of the rules check out www.topsportsman.co.uk, and for the latest news Like the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page. If you can't get an entry form then E-Mail email@example.com or call 07831 650230.
Web site updates.
31st July: Our good buddy, photo-journalist Steve Moxley has been busy recently with an SPRC Summernationals bike report on the ACU on-line newsletter at www.acu.org.uk, and a report of FIM European Championship Round 1 on the Eat my Ink site at www.eatmyink.com.
First up with a Mopar EuroNats photo update is Colin Donisthorpe whose excellent shots you can check out at www.flickr.com/photos/colin_donisthorpe.
Also posting from the Mopar EuroNats is another good buddy, Alan Currans, and you can take a look at his pictures via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
NitrOlympX ticket give-away.
29th July: As promised yesterday we have a second NitrOlympX prize to offer. Together with Hockenheim-ring Gmbh we are giving away a pair of tickets to next week's race at Hockenheim including access to the Quartermile Club VIP area.
This contest is a straight give-away: to be in with a chance of winning the NitrOlympX tickets and Quartermile Club access simply E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, home address, and daytime phone number. Entry closes 23:59 UK this Sunday, 3rd August. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received.
Conditions of entry
Hockenheim track update.
29th July: Geoff Myers of Track Group Europe writes that, under the personnel-sharing arrangement from which all TGE member tracks benefit, members of Santa Pod Raceway's track prep crew have been on site at Hockenheim since the day after the Formula 1 race working on the track surface alongside the Hockenheimring's own track team to prepare for next week's NitrOlympX:
Being very much aware of the damage done to their racing surface in 2012 the Hockenheimring management have worked very closely with Charley Whiting of the FIA to ensure that that requirements of this year's F1 event were met without damaging the racing surface of the drag strip. The Hockenheimring would like to reassure teams that, contrary to ill-informed rumours which have been circulating, no pressure jetting or wire brushing operations have been performed on the racing surface this year and thus that the integrity of the racing surface has not been damaged in any way.
Additional TGE Santa Pod staff arrived on site yesterday to to increase the number of track preparation specialists. They will remain to prepare the track until the NitrOlympX commence and will of course maintain it during the event. As you can see work is well under way!
The TGE Hockenheimring / Santa Pod crew have at their disposal a highly impressive list of equipment and materials:
NitrOlympX free webcast.
29th July: Trakbak Racing Ltd in association with the Hockenheimring and Track Group Europe will be broadcasting the 2014 NitrOlympX live on the internet.
Greenlight TV, the official TV production partner of Trakbak Racing and Track Group Europe, will be producing a TV show live from next week's race at the Hockenheimring. As is traditional at this event the video will be fed live to giant screens on site for the crowd to enjoy.
However, even if you are unable to get to the Hockenheimring for the race, you need not miss Saturday's and Sunday's action as you will be able to watch the race as it happens on the internet. And the best part is that it's free to view!
You will be able to watch the Web TV show at www.santapod.tv, www.nitrolympx.de and www.tgeurope.eu, provisionally between 08:00 UK / 09:00 European and 18:00 UK / 19:00 European on the Saturday (9th), and between 08:00 UK / 09:00 European and 16:00 UK / 17:00 European on the Sunday.
Event entry update.
29th July: Entry is still open for the second annual Junior Drag Racing Fun Day which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Wednesday 20th August. Presented in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor Alamo Rent-A-Car, the Fun Day will raise funds for Wellingborough-based charity Niamh's Next Step and is supported by the Northamptonshire Telegraph. The drag strip is open to Junior Dragster, Junior Funny Car and Junior Drag Bike racers from Europe and race entry is free with informal competitions for racers ranging from eight to seventeen years old. To enter the Junior Dragster / Funny Car or Junior Drag Bike competition, or to enter the Run What You Brung, download the entry form (PDF format) at www.eurodragster.com/juniorfunday. Each entrant will get an allocation of four tickets once an entry form is received. If any more tickets are required then they can be booked also free of charge at www.santapod.co.uk/e_junior_day.php.
Entry is also still open for the Open Sport Nationals, a full UK National and ACU UK Drag Bike Championship round, as well as rounds for a number of other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 23rd-25th August. You can download entry forms from the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
The closing date is fast approaching for the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 4th-7th September. Entry closes on 8th August after which a Late Entry penalty will be payable, if entry is accepted. You can download entry forms for all classes from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 3 of the Championship Finals entry list by clicking here.
Your chance to shoot trackside!
28th July: Achtung Fahrerlager - Eurodragster.com is again offering one lucky reader the chance to become a Nitrographer on race day at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. Together with Hockenheim-ring Gmbh we are giving you the opportunity to show your skills at the guardrail alongside the Pro photographers.
This is your ultimate opportunity to catch the 8,000 hp lens-filling stomach-shivering Top Fuel mnonsters. With a media pass for the NitrOlympX nothing will be between you and the shockwave of a launching Fuel car than a concrete barrier. You can catch the money shot or an empty track.
The prize is:
Send your best drag racing photograph to email@example.com together with your name, home address, daytime phone number, and a few words about why you consider the picture your best. The picture does not have to be on-track action: equally welcome are pitside shots, vehicle detail, and so on. We are looking for pictures which best catch the spirit of drag racing.
Conditions of entry
Tune back tomorrow for a second NitrOlympX goodie, a give-away of a pair of weekend tickets with Quartermile Club access.
Mopar Euronats results.
28th July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway:
MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson 6.2047/233.76 def. Andy Wright 6.6962/212.09
AntiGravity Batteries / wemoveyourcar.com UK Top Sportsman
Bracket: Collin Morrice (8.61) 8.6574/154.69 def. Simon Gough (8.53) 8.5651/160.20
Heads-up: Dave Townsend 7.3038/188.08 def. Stu Williams 7.9331/178.55
Click here to check out our Mopar EuroNats reports and pictures, or click on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Apologies for the few short breaks in the webcast which appeared to be due to a loose network connection. After an on-the-fly repatch of cables yesterday afternoon the service was uninterrupted until the event ended. Facebook experts might in future prefer to keep their opinions to themselves.
28th July: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first came with the words "It's back!"...
...whilst the second came with the words "It's going to be flaming impressive on the night!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join us in saying a big Happy Birthday to Pit Reporter and Blog Editor Simon. Have a great day buddy.
Summer Nationals webcast.
27th July: Our good buddies at Smart TV will be webcasting this weekend's Summer Nationals from Sweden's Tierp Arena. The webcast will be free despite frequent use of the letters PPV but viewers must register at www.smarttv.se.
Results can be found via the Resultat link on the Nitroz web site at www.nitroz.se.
Lars Pettersson (left in picture) tells us that the sun is shining on the Swedish Championship and the EDRS series plus Pro racers making test passes. "We are happy that we have started to race at Tierp Arena again", says Lars. "We all need this track on the European drag racing scene. This weekend we have 232 teams from six different countries: Sweden, the USA, Finland, Greece, Germany and Norway."
Cemoni Olsson (right in picture), the new owner of Tierp Arena, says that he is very happy right now and that work is currently underway on the main building to make it ready for the Turtle Wax International, the FIA European Drag Racing Championship round on 21st-24th August.
The Beach Bomb drops in.
27th July: Ian Turburville has been in touch to unveil Bloodlines Racing's beautiful new slingshot, the Beach Bomb. Turbo says that the car, which is for sale, is the latest step in Bloodlines' programme geared towards nostalgia racing:
Julie Braskett joined the group, and her roots were firmly planted in the golden years of drag racing in Southern California with a father who was legendary in that scene for building and racing some iconic Funny Cars and dragsters. My daughter Laura's drive, the beautiful Young Blood Junior Fueller, was sold to Russ Heaven who is getting to grips with it nicely and having the time of his life! Laura desperately wanted a drive in the UK Super Pro ET Championship this year and so it was decided that she could drive the famous True Blood blown slingshot. The car was not ideally suited to bracket racing but Laura has done very well and reset the car PBs several times, knocking on the door of the sevens several times.
I meanwhile had some time on my hands and the devil hates that, so a plan was hatched! Bloodlines gave their blessing to a new project and the parts were quickly assembled for a new build with the sole intention of selling the car straight away to further the team's future racing efforts in Super Pro ET. I have become more and more engrossed with the 1960s style of slingshot dragster and my favourite car of all time, the Surfers car of Jobe, Skinner and Sorokin - the car which turned the world of drag racing upside down between 1963 and 1966. If you haven't read the Cole Coonce piece on the Surfers then we suggest that you do, it is an epic tale.
I am also an afficionado of the modern nostalgia scene and I have been rather taken with the A-Fuel car style which has been growing in numbers at Bakersfield over the past couple of years. I decided to build a car for Bloodlines which would encompass the traditional lines of those early, skeletal cars, with a modern take on the motor etc. A beautiful 158" tagged chromoly chassis of exactly the right proportions became available at the time. It was built by Roy Wilding for Sid Slattery, who put a Jaguar motor in it and then sold it on to Andy Fadster. This car was purchased and a new Mike's Transmissions Ultimate Shorty Powerglide was bought from Ed Yates. The Netherlands' Step-a-Side racing decided to go the Hemi route with their Funny Car and had some big block chevy parts available, including a mint condition genuine Bowtie block and alloy heads. This was built up into a nice, high-compression 510 ci motor suitable for normally aspirated fuel injection. Mike at Alkydiggers in Tennesee put together a beatiful set-up with a brand new Hilborn four-port injector on a tunnel ram manifold. I topped it off with a Mike Sorkin tribute scoop as a nod to my favourite team and also fabricated a dual-element alloy front wing which AC Coatings of North Lincolnshire hydro-dipped and laquered to imitate the walnut wing on the original Surfer car.
The car was not meant to be a replica of the Surfers car but just to have a few styling points to pay tribute. The motor was set back as far as possible and given five degrees of dump for that So-Cal look and the body modified to suit. Everyone liked the American Racing Blue paint that which Sid used and it matched the fabulous metalflake naugahyde upholstery so I came up with an awesome candy royal and metalflake paint design to complement them. This was applied in masterly fashion by Martin at Curbishley Automotive who has painted all the Bloodlines cars; he is a drag racer and understands race paint.
The car was built in four months and turned out even better than expected, an 800 hp looker! The car has two sets of rear wheels: a set of slots with whitewall pie crusts for show, and a set of Rocket mags with 12" Hoosiers for go! Full tech details of the car are available along with a complete build diary of photographs. The car is for sale now, unless a lotto win happens, in which case we will keep it!
The name? Well to encompass the spirit of the Surfers car and its main rival of the day, the Brissette Bomb, and as a nod to the 92nd Bombardment Group who flew from Santa Pod Raceway, I decided that it should be christened the Beach Bomb.
Thanks to Sid Slattery, Andy Fadster, Mike Chilando, Rich Guasco, Ron and Brian Hope, Martin Curbishley, Andy Corry, Northants Tyres, DS Racewear, Jeyes and Son, Chris Wilson, Torques, Karl Harrison, Carlton Sheet Metal, Tom van der Wijden, Garry Kay, Rene van den Berg, Kenny Gomez, Ron Haslett, Tom Jobe and all those brave young men that gave their lives on the drag strips of America to bring us this wonderful sport.
Why be boring...
26th July: UK Pro Modified racers Bert Englefield and Andy Wright have been in touch to let us know that Wednesday's spy picture showed the body shell of the new blown-alcohol Pro Mod to be built by BA Racing. Bert writes:
The bodyshell is a 1959 Chrysler Saratoga in lightweight carbon fibre. It is the same body used by Pete Kapiris in Australian Top Doorslammer, and he has run 5.781 seconds at 258.42 mph so it is well proven to be very aerodynamic for an older style bodyshell. We first saw the car on the internet and said that if we ever built another car this would be the one. Then we forgot all about it. In early 2013 the Saratoga came up in an article about the wildest doorslammer ever, so we started to make enquiries to discover who had the moulds and whether we could buy one. With the help of Andy Robinson we tracked it down and found that they would sell us one. The price was more than we expected, so we could have joined the rest and built a Camaro or Firebird but we don't do boring. Over the next six months we kept looking at photos and eventually the temptation was too great so we paid the deposit and that was it - no turning back.
The car will be built in-house and will feature a lot of billet and one-off fabricated parts. We will continue to race the '38 Ford and the Saratoga will be built when time permits. No corners will be cut. The powerplant will still be supercharged unless or until they allow A/Fuel in Pro Mod. We plan to race it at least once alongside the '38.
We would like to thank Andy Robinson for all his help. We have raced alongside him in Pro Mod since 1988 and we still remain friends, that must be a one-off! There have been a few ups and downs, we will have to write a book together on how to survive in Pro Mod for over twenty five years! We would also to thank Lee Childs of LA Racing Parts for shipping the bodyshell in for us.
Bikes invited to North Weald.
26th July: Damian Burke writes that Bikefest takes place at North Weald Airfield tomorrow (Sunday) and that all bikes built before 1989 are welcome:
The normal Test and Tune for bikes will take turns with classic bike parades as all sorts of 1950s and 1960s TT ,Clubman and GP machinery is put through its paces doing laps around the runway,which is a sight and sound to behold. Undoubtedly the star turn this year will be Mike Hailwood's 1967 Grand Prix Honda which will be ridden by his son Dave Hailwood. Dave who will also be displaying memorabilia of the great man.
As at last year's event there is an Ultimate Streetbike Reunion in which some of the old faces from the Superbike-sponsored series which started in 1983 get back in touch to relive some great times. Many are still active today after first dipping their toes into drag racing all those years ago.
Away from the track there is the usual array of food vendors, bar, trade stands and a bike jumble for those hard-to-get parts.
Admission to the track is just £10 and under 14s go free. Entry for Test and Tune is £25 and after scrutineering you will be given as much track time as possible. North Weald is just off the A414 near Junction 7 of the M11 and is clearly signposted. The postcode is CM16 6HR.
Euro Series Top Gas Round 4.
26th July: Herman Jolink writes that the latest round of Euro Serie Top Gas took place at a well-prepared Malmö Raceway last weekend in good weather and in front of a big crowd:
We were able to make seven qualifying runs and qualifying was as follows:
Eliminations went as follow:
Round 1: Schack 5.196/223 beat Andersen 6.837-164, Jensen 6.064/182 bye run as Niklas' sprocket carrier was broken, Malmberg 5.453/197 bye run as Menzi's engine was broken, Bruhn 6.687/175 beat Karlsson red light because of problems with his slider clutch.
Semi finals: Schack 5.585/204 beat Jensen 6.049/180, Malmberg 5.217/214 beat Bruhn 6.687/175. Malmberg's motor stopped after the burnoutl; under Top Gas rules it is not permitted to restart the engine, but under SVEMO rules it is permitted so Malmberg restarted his engine.
The Top Gas final was delayed by two hours after a Pro Mod damaged the guardrail.
Final: Frederik Schack DK bye. Fredrik left the line under power then shut off to save the motor. Jan Malmberg S did not start because a push rod came out in his semi final.
Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Championship after four rounds:
Event entry update.
25th July: Entry is still open for the Open Sport Nationals, a full UK National and ACU UK Drag Bike Championship round, as well as rounds for a number of other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 23rd-25th August. You can download entry forms from the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com
The closing date is fast approaching for the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 4th-7th September. Entry closes on 8th August after which a Late Entry penalty will be payable, if entry is accepted. You can download entry forms for all classes from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 2 of the Championship Finals entey list by clicking here.
UK Top Sportsman I is go.
25th July: Paul Marston writes that AntiGravity Batteries / wemoveyourcar.com UK Top Sportsman at this weekend's Mopar EuroNats is looking like the best yet: more entries, some blisteringly fast Sportsman doorslammers in attendance and good weather. The current official car count is a mind boggling thirty one of the best doorslammer teams in Europe and the icing on the cake is that it takes place at the mighty Mopar EuroNats, the biggest American muscle car event of the year.
It's great to see so many new faces in UK Top Sportsman with at least two new European entries, and remember that you can still enter UK Top Sportsman on the day if you wish but please let us know that you are coming: E-Mail email@example.com, call 07831 650230, or visit the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page.
In the first race, the Fast Bracket which commences at 13:00 today, there really is no way of picking a favourite. Last year's winner Nick Curtis is having a year out to concentrate on his new business venture, and there are just so many really good teams with talented drivers and the best equipment that it's wide open. The second race is a heads-up sixteen-car qualified field, qualifying takes place at 6:00 pm tomorrow and eliminations start on Sunday morning. The winner could be any one of probably half a dozen teams. Consistency will play a major part, as it did last year when Paul Letchford displayed some of the best driving of his career by winning the heads-up race and taking runner-up in the fast bracket.
You can keep up to date with all the action and see history being made by simply coming along. Alternately you can keep updated via Eurodragster.com's comprehensive event coverage and webcast.
On behalf of everyone in the AntiGravity Batteries / wemoveyourcar.com UK Top Sportsman organisation we would like to thank all the Paul Marston Racing crew who will be running the races, the Mopar Euronationals for hosting us, Santa Pod Raceway for all their help in organising, the Eurodragster.com staff for a job always well done (Thanks! You're welcome - Ed), and last but not least all the UK Top Sportsman competitors who will make the show what it is: the very best display of Sportsman doorslammer racing this year.
Don't forget that courtesy of VW Action there is this year a second UK Top Sportsman event at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st August. This will be the inaugural Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman at VW Action. More details next week.
Bug Jam Street Eliminator review.
25th July: After a disappointing SPRC Summernationals it was on to Bug Jam and Round 5 of the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship at Santa Pod Raceway. Street Eliminator Chair Matt Atkinson writes:
Everybody was looking forward to making the most of the extra track time with the RWYB on the Friday and Saturday before six qualifying passes starting on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately no Mark Todd or Steve Neimantas this weekend as Mark was in attendance at Dragstalgia and Steve is going to be running in Top Sportsman this weekend, sporting slicks and wheelie bars on his Bentley and chasing down a six-second pass! We did however welcome back Steve Pateman in the multi-Championship winning Calibra and it was also great to see David Murdoch entered in his Willys with the new twin-turbo combination.
Unfortunately, following a dramatic week during which pretty much anything which could go wrong did go wrong, David had to withdraw from the meeting on the Friday morning. The calamity started the weekend before when Davey and the guys set off only for the clutch to break on the tow truck. Following a quick call with Mats Andersson and a recovery Davey and the team arrived a day late at Clive Bond's Ultimate Race Cars workshop with plenty of work still to be done. Despite best efforts the alternator decided to pack up on the Willys, and as Davey could not source a replacement the team reluctantly had to withdraw. It was great to see the car back out with the new combination and we can't wait for the European Finals to see Davey back in action. Sadly Matt Smith in the Team Extreme Escort also had to withdraw after some road testing on the day prior to the event resulted in a broken turbo and not enough time to prepare the Mustang.
Several drivers took advantage of the RWYB session on Friday afternoon with Andy Bond in the Mustang benefiting the most, making five runs in all and certainly starting to get a handle on the car as it started to hook away from the line. Onto Saturday and Damian Halliwell, who was looking to continue his good early season form, was racing in Martin Green's Ford Consul as the '63 Chevrolet Biscayne is in the process of having new rear end gears fitted. This was also an ideal opportunity for Martin to promote the Consul as he continues to advertise it for sale! A few sighting runs for Damian and he was good to go.
Onto Round 1 of qualifying and unfortunately problems for Martin Smith in the Team Extreme GTR. The guys had worked tirelessly to get the engine back together following damage at the Summernationals, and despite two runs on Friday timing problems were playing havoc so they didn't manage to get a in qualifying all day. Al Williamson, defending Bug Jam Champion, opened up the qualifying with a stout 8.516/159 new PB to take the number one spot much to the delight for the crew. Stu Williams in his match up with Jon Webster left before the tree ran so unfortunately no time on the board as Jon struggled with a 9.264/145 as the Comet hit the boost limit and went into limp mode. Alex Mcintosh in the Mustang was looking to recapture his form from the FIA Round 1 and ran through with a 8.532/163 to make it top and second qualifiers for Prochargers! Steve Pateman in the other lane was struggling with a misfire and ran through with an 8.604/157. Damian in his first competitive run in the Consul ran a 10.724/126 whilst Andy continued to chip away in the Mustang recording a 9.334/156.
With quick turnaround times it was challenging to cool the cars down in between rounds with Jon also having the added pressure of running the Two Seat Dragster. That didn't stop him in Q2 though as the Comet left the line well, a quick pedal after it went towards the wall, but an improvement to 8.729/162 to take fourth spot. Stu Williams in the Supra this time seeing the green and despite problems still went through with a 9.643/122 whilst both Damian and Andy improved with a 10.584/130 and 9.190/155 respectively. Next pair up and Steve Pateman in the Calibra was still suffering with a misfire so no improvement, whilst Al Williamson in the truck pulled to one side as the boost pipe blew off in trying to improve on his number one spot.
With the air cooling it was prime time come Q3 and Alex Mcintosh in the first pair took full advantage running through with a 8.130/167 to take number one spot whilst Steve Pateman appeared to have got a handle on the Calibra as it pulled a huge wheelie around a hundred feet out, Steve had to pedal to an 8.314/172. Next pair up and it was another improvement for Jon Webster in the Comet running 8.184/171 to take number two spot as Stu Williams finally looked to get a handle on the Supra with a 8.210/175. Last pair of the day and Al managed to get the boost pipe fixed and back round to run yet another PB of 8.496/163 good enough for #5 as Andy Bond in the opposing lane improved to a 9.121/158.
Sunday morning, after everyone had indulged in the exploits of the fun fair, it was back to qualifying and Jon Webster paired up with Steve Pateman. Jon flew away from the line with Steve in hot pursuit, the Calibra again lifting the wheels around a hundred feet out, this time extremely well controlled as Steve ran through with an 8.078/173 to Jon's quicker 7.996/172, the first seven second pass of the weekend. Next pair and Stu Williams took the number two spot with a 8.015/177 whilst Damian improved to a 10.554/130 for a new PB. Last pair out and Martin and the team hoped to have solved the problems as the GTR run through with a 8.172/167 to take number five spot with Al Williamson in the opposing lane again improving that PB down to an 8.455/161. The penultimate qualifying session had little to report as Steve was still struggling with the misfire and the only improvement was Stu Williams in the Supra improving to an 8.002/177, still only good for number two. In Q6, with things pretty tight and less than 0.2 seconds between number one and four in qualifying it was all to play for and Stu Williams again took his chance to pip Jon Webster to the post with a 7.995/177, just a thousandth quicker than Jon meaning that Stu ended up top of the pile.
After a short break for lunch it was on to eliminations and unfortunately Championship leader Martin Smith encountered gearbox issues so the GTR couldn't compete, handing the win to Alex Mcintosh. Martin did however stage for points as Alex ran through with a 8.414/169 and proceeded to the semi finals. Al Williamson and Steve Pateman up next, Al was looking to continue his run of PBs to try and take out the red Calibra, Steve marginally away first and taking the win with an 8.087/171 to Al's 8.703/159. Number one qualifier up next, Stu Williams with the orange Supra against Damian Haliwell in the borrowed Ford Consul. Damian left the line first but Stu took the win with an 8.030/177 to Damian's 10.501/129 another PB. Last pair was Jon Webster in the Comet paired with Andy Bond in the Mustang. Andy knew he had to cut a light and get ahead, unfortunately for him Jon had other ideas as he left first and dispatched Andy to the trailer with a 7.985/165 to Andy's 9.144/159 although a good weekend for Andy and certainly a step in the right direction.
Semi-final time and two interesting match-ups with Jon Webster and Steve Pateman rekindling their rivalry whilst Stu Williams and Alex Mcintosh paired up. Steve and Jon up first and Steve was looking to get a handle on the car following the misfire problem which had troubled him all weekend whilst Jon was just looking to continue his bracket-style 7.9's and 8.0's. Jon was away first pulling a 0.052 light to Steve's 0.154 and Jon didn't look back as he ran 8.015/171 to Steve's slowing 9.821/104. Stu and Alex followed and Alex showed his intent as he left on Stu, the Mustang hazed the tyres and Alex had to pedal allowing Stu back into the race. Stu went through 8.006/177 to Alex's 8.765/166.
The last run of the weekend and the two most consistent cars of the event, number one and two qualifiers as Stu Williams in the Supra took on Jon Webster in the Comet. With both cars running pretty much identical ETs all weekend it was critical to get away from the line first and Jon did just that, as Stu played catch-up he slowed up just before half-track, as it later transpired the boost pipe had blown off. Jon took the win with an 8.182/149 meaning all change at the top of the Championship with Stu Williams taking the lead, Jon up to second, and Martin down to third with three races remaining.
A huge Thank You to everyone at Santa Pod Raceway for allowing us to put on such a good show. A few weeks' break and we are off to Shakespeare County Raceway for the Open Sport Nationals on August Bank Holiday weekend. Hopefully we'll see you all there!
On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive sponsoring the class for their fifth consecutive year, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography and Eurodragster.com, all of whom can be found on our web site at www.streeteliminator.com.
More shows on SantaPodTV.
25th July: DJ of Santa Pod Raceway tells us that new new TV shows, WebTV shows and highlight videos are being added to SantaPodTV at a rapid rate. Recent additions include:
Estonian Finals on the move.
24th July: Our good buddy Kristjan Veedler of the Estonian Drag Racing Association tells us that the Estonian Championship Finals, which was scheduled to take place at Raadi Airfield in Tartu on 23rd August, is to move to Kiltsi Airfield in Haapsalu.
The move is due to poor track conditions at Tartu. Although the race date will remain the same the race distance has been changed from an eighth mile to a quarter mile with the exception of the Junior Bracket. "EDRA's track crew will do its best to improve traction even more and get the new Estonian record at our event", says Kristjan. "Most likely some rubber laying and trackbite spraying will be in order. More information will soon be available on our web site at www.edra.ee and on our Facebook page."
A new Estonian National record of 7.771 seconds at 270 kmh was set by Reino Poom in his Outlaw Dragster last Sunday at the American Beauty Car Show, an annual car show and swap meet which has taken place at Haapsalu since 2001. The event is not a Championship race but usually ends with an American cars-only drag race at Kiltsi Airfield. The race was contested in Street and Special classes and the results were as follow:
1. Ake Svens (Fin); Plymouth Duster
2. Jukka Erkki Hyvärinen (Fin); Chevrolet Malibu
3. Kimmo Nevalainen (Fin); Chevrolet Corvette
1. Reino Poom (Est); Dragster
2. Juhani Kautto (Fin); Oldsmobile Cutlass
3.Veljo Einberg (Est); Buick Grand National
The Super Final was won by Janne Nykänen with his Dodge Swingeriga. Janne collected the prize money of $4000.
You can see a video of Reino's record run at www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKVvqg2fYdw.
The Estonian Championship series will continue this weekend at Pärnu Airfield with the Speedest Glassdrive Nightrace organised by www.speedest.ee.
The Millar's tale.
24th July: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar says that it has been a tough four weekends out of five for the Flyin' Fyfers, and that it's not over yet:
On Wednesday 6th August we leave sunny Scotland for Hockenheim and the fantastic NitrOlympX venue. I would like to thank a few friendly people who have helped Mark Todd and I to set out on what can only be described as the adventure of our lives. It's only my second visit and it will be Mark's first experience of the splendour and excitement which comes with this special event. Mark will be joined by Paul Houston, Brian Whitfield and Ian Tubbs, the Flyin Fyfers have Scott Crookston, Lynn Crookston, Nicole Wardrobe and Jedd Guy who, even though he is on the wrong side of the border, will have to wear the obligatory kilt and of course be a true Scotsman, I bet he can't wait! We will naturally have all the pictures for future blackmail.
Race Director Jerry Lackey is in constant communication and has made the path nice and easy so thanks to Jerry for that. Thanks also to Andy Willsheer for putting us in contact with DFDS from whom we have had fantastic support with special packages for Mark and I to travel from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the overnight ferry which is a first class experience; we would like to thank Catherine Jowett and Zoe Maylan from DFDS who have been so helpful in the whole process.
We will have a five-hour journey when we get over there but it will feel like two hours as we will be that excited. I wish everyone who is going a safe journey and I look forward to meeting old friends whom we already knew, the friends we made last year, and the friends whom we will meet this year. Such a great bunch of people who have one thing in common: drag racing!
York's fourth Reunion.
24th July: The UK's York Raceway hosts its fourth National Hot Rod Reunion on 24th-25th August:
In four years this has grown to be the largest and most popular event on the York Raceway calendar, and this year is looking to be even bigger and better. On Sunday we have the rejuvenated Street Racer Championship which is in its thirty seventh year, quite possibly the longest running street car race in the world. Thanks to our sponsors Blue Bar Caterers, Power Race Graphics, LA Racing Parts, PDRC and Performance Unlimited we have put up £1000 prize money. The Street Racer Championship is open to any street-legal car, if you think you have a fast car then get it entered for your chance to win £1000. More details to follow.
We have two rounds of American Super Stock, Europe's largest all-American drag racing series so if you're a Mopar nut this is perfect for you. We will also have a selection of some of the UK's nostalgia race cars taking to the strip, more details to follow.
On Sunday we will have our exclusive Show and Shine. The owners of some of the finest hot rods, customs and classics from all over the UK have been hand picked to present their vehicle. This event has over a hundred vehicles entered. On Sunday evening we will hold our annual Cacklefest, in which the race cars park up on the track and give us ten seconds of noise. The sound of over fifty V8s revving their engines at once is truly awesome. Continuing the entertainment into the Sunday night, we have excellent live music from The Karma Hearts.
New for 2014, we will have static displays from some of the UK's Nostalgia Stock Cars. These wild, colourful, battered and bruised hot rods complement the hot rods which race. We will have a static display of some of the UK's finest huge American trucks, many covered in chrome and sporting long pointed noses. We will have Voodoo Tuesday putting on a burlesque show in the evening and walking about the facility throughout the Sunday accompanied by one of our photographers. An excellent chance to get a professional photo of yourself with Voodoo Tuesday or of Voodoo Tuesday posing with your vehicle.
Finally there will be Run What You Brung both days, so no matter what your vehicle you can stick it on the track and see what it does!
You can find out more at www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
24th July: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-Bug Jam points standings in the 2014 UK National Drag Racing Championships and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the UK National and SPRC points 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 Eurodragster.com page. The post-Ladies that Launch 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike points are currently being ratified.
The UK's Andy Raw is urgently seeking a set of pistons for the motor of his VW Beetle Funny Car so that he can appear at the NitrOlympX. Andy says that he needs a good set of 4.500" pistons, flat top with single valve relief, compression distance 1.648", pin diameter 0.990", compression ratio not critical. If you can help then please call Andy on 07778 805244.
Sweden's Adam Flamholc made it four wins in four outings at Malmö at the weekend having qualified #1 at 3.84 at an Outlaw record 207.50 mph. "We have won the Pro Extreme series with one race to go!", says Adam. "I'm so happy for the guys in my team who work hard and never see problems, just opportunities! I'm so fortunate to have a family who understand and support my racing, and I am grateful to the companies who support us - please support them! You are all a part of our success, thank you all! We are heading to Tierp Arena for one of the biggest events of the year and we will do our very best to keep the momentum going!"
Thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for UK Top Sportsman, which takes place at this weekend's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Stay tuned for some late news about UK Top Sportsman.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the official timing data from Bug Jam. You can check out the Bug Jam timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We have no less than three birthdays today. First up is a very Happy Birthday to Heaven & Hell Pro ET team member, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member and Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf. Have a lovely day Grace. By one of those nice coincidences which you get all too seldom it is also the birthday of Grace's mum Mary Roaf. Happy Birthday and hope you have a lovely day too Mary. Finally another big Happy Birthday to our good friend Lotta Andersson. Have a lovely day Lotta.
And Havoc makes three.
24th July: UK Fuel Altered racer Nick Davies had a very busy weekend at Dragstalgia, driving both the Chaos and Havoc altereds and working on the Apache Nostalgia Funny Car, but all of the hard work was worth it when the weekend had the best possible finale:
The closed season is always a busy time for rumour and counter-rumour, so it was with some scepticism that we treated the news that two of the most famous Fuel Altereds were coming to Dragstalgia in 2014, when first heard at the start of the year. Would we bring the Havoc Bantam back out if it were proven to be true? It was never going to take long to answer that one! The months rolled forward and the rumours gained momentum. With commitments to both the Apache Funny Car and Chaos Fuel Altered, this was never likely to be a simple exercise. Blessing from respective team owners Tim Garlick and Lawrie Gatehouse made one aspect simple and a couple of phone calls pulled a one-off super crew together.
A few weeks before the meeting the dust covers were pulled off Havoc and a re-commissioning exercise undertaken. With ticks in all the right boxes, it was agreed to run the Bantam just once a day, in order to give priority to the Nitro cars as agreed. The Santa Pod organisers were good enough to not only allow us to run on the back of Rat Trap and Pure Hell, but also to provide transport to allow me to get from the top end back to the staging lanes to drive Havoc after running Chaos. Thanks guys.
Saturdays test run proved to be a re-familiarisation exercise but was almost like riding a bike. A brief mid-track pedal resulted in a 7.0-second pass at 206 mph, the end off one plug and clouds of smoke in the shutdown area providing evidence of an overfilled blower gear case. Having decided to sit out the first session on Sunday, all efforts being put into the Apache v Chaos match race, Havoc was ready for the second session.
An unfortunate breakage to Rat Trap provided the opportunity the crew had been hoping for - a match race with Pure Hell was on! Exactly fifty years after Dragfest, we pulled the cars around behind the tower and waited for the signal. A Who's Who of drag racing past and present gathered around the start line as the two cars burned out and reversed. Havoc pulled into pre-stage and waited. Brian Hope pulled Pure Hell forward into pre-stage and then into stage. The tree ran and both cars left. We are lucky if we get one decent run out of every two with Havoc and the guys running Pure Hell were working towards getting a good handle on the track all weekend so expectations really weren't too high. I think we were both surprised! Havoc stood itself on its wheelie bars through first gear, as it does, and accelerated alongside Pure Hell. Punching second gear, the front end didn't come down but the car was straight so I stayed with it and Brian had now gone out of my peripheral vision. The front wheels came down as I punched third and Brian was back. The last third was all America and Guasco Nitro power as he drove away, running nearly twenty miles per hour faster by the lights. No disgrace and a fantastic race, but it's pretty obvious what we need to do for next year if they come back and give us another go. There really isnt any substitute for Nitro...
Massive thanks go to the American teams of Ron Hope's Rat Trap and Rich Guasco's Pure Hell for making Dragstalgia 2014 the amazing event that it was, in partnership with US Automotive, and to Santa Pod for staging the event. Thanks also to the Havoc crew of Thomases Barnes and Rayner, Nigel King, Martin Baldwin and Scott Barnes and to the crews of the Apache and Chaos fuel teams.
The new ICE Automotive web site has been written and is being piloted at www.iceautomotive.co.uk. Please bear with it while we iron out the bugs, but let us know what you think either via the site or via our Facebook page.
Altereds for the Allard.
24th July: British artist Paul Whitehouse has been a longtime supporter of the Allard Chrysler Dragster restoration project, donating several original paintings for auction. When he heard that that the Allard Chrysler Action Group needed to obtain additional parts plus the services of other facilities for an engine rebuild he picked up the phone and donated this fabulous painting of Rat Trap and Pure Hell at Dragstalgia to be auctioned to raise funds. ACAG Chair Brian Taylor writes:
Signed by Ron Hope, Brian Hope and Rich Guasco, what a great souvenir it is of a truly amazing event. The painting is Gouache on artboard and measures 510 mm x 380 mm (20" x 15" in old money). The signatures are on the mount which also carries a pencil title Rat Trap and Pure Hell Dragstalgia 2014. It is not glazed or framed but this can be arranged. Some folks prefer to do that themselves.
Once again the Allard Chrysler Action Group would like to thank Paul for his generosity. Those interested should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01395 579733. I will keep the auction open until midnight BST on Sunday 10th August and I will keep participants informed of the current top bid. Judging by the performance of previous Paul Whitehouse original paintings I would suggest that £200 or more could be a good starting point.
Having a Gas at Dragstalgia.
24th July: Never before, in the realms of Gasser racing in the UK, have eighteen Gassers turned up to race. Nervous Nick writes that Dragstalgia was truly an awesome place to be if you wanted to get your fill of nose-high racing:
The Gasser Circus has been steadily increasing the size of its Driver Club, and with some cars still in build, it looks that the eighteen-car field could well be eclipsed if not later this year, then probably next. This was going to be a truly memorable weekend as amongst the eighteen entries were two very special cars and visitors. Laurent Levi had brought over his 1964 Comet from France and Dale Snoke had shipped his Comet, The Rocket, over from California. Now that is true dedication to the Gasser cause! It did not take either Laurent or Dale long to adjust to racing in another country, with strong arrow-straight passes from both.
With only three qualifying runs available on Saturday the Gasser Circus were, at the request of Santa Pod, in the fire-up lanes and ready to race well before the 10:00 am start. As each pair burnt out and brought their Gassers to the line we were about to embark on what could only be described as a crazy round of eliminations. A total of six Gassers planted a cherry on the tree, with only one green light round amongst them!
In a weekend littered with firsts for the Gasser Circus, the big one was kept back for the final as it was going to be a shoot-out between two brothers: Brian Gibson in his Identity Crisis Dodge, and his older brother John in his '55 Chevy Crowd Pleaser. I have been around drag racing a long time and I cannot remember ever seeing that before, and what a final it turned out to be with Brian just taking the win and the trophy at the top end with an 11.65.
Other trophies were awarded to Laurent Levi, courtesy of the NSRA, for Best Turned Out Team, and Miles at Jack Hammer gave a superb trophy to Dale for The Spirit of the Circus. The Mechanix Limited prize money for the perfect dial in, carries over to Round 4 at VW Action.
Dale, Laurent and all the Gasser Circus guys and girls had a memorable weekend and the feedback from fans in the stands was fantastic. Roll on the next round!
Number one on the runway.
24th July: Last weekend ex-pat UK Fuel racer Smax Smith and the Ant Hill Mob took the Leverich family Top Fuel Dragster the seven hours' drive north to Elliott Lake in Canada, where the city has put on a drag racing event at the local airport for the last fifteen years. Smax writes:
We were surprised how little traction there was and we thought there would be no way we could detune enough to launch, never mind run! Then I remembered my old mate and top tuner Al Jackson at Hockenheim back in 2003, Al told me to hold the brake on after the launch which worked and got me qualified!
So in the first run I was match racing Rick Kopp's beautiful Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car. I launched hard and kept the brake on for one and a half seconds, started smoking the tyres and had a rooster tail of smoke almost thirty feet high, but the RPMs never went over 8200 so I stayed with it for the win. This was old school nitro racing - our car owner Bob Leverich was doing the same through the 1950s and 1960s with hard tyres and 100% nitro. Jake and Aidee did the bottom end and clutch in record time while new guys Dan and Cody did the rest. Then it was time to party until the wee hours.
The next day our top tuner Gary Leverich took more timing out and I held the brake for two and a half seconds before it smoked, but still ran 4.11 to the eighth at only 176 mph for the track record! Amazing, the crowd went nuts. Us Brits old enough to ride steam trains would have loved watching K C Jones with his pair of jets made to look like steam trains, the bang-bang startline show was amazing like trains pulling into a station!
Back to Grand Bend in two weeks to race Aidan's new alky Funny Car maybe with our new Fiat hot rod body, and the Top Fueller for fun.
You can see videos of Smax's two runs by clicking here and clicking here.
Victorious King gets a dunking.
24th July: Ian King and the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Buel Bike team headed to the second race 2014 FIM European Drag Bike Championship calendar with a slim Championship lead and with the comfort of an unusually optimistic weather forecast. The Nitro Nationals were hosted as usual on the multipurpose Alastaro circuit around 150 miles Northwest of the beautiful city of Helsinki.
However, the team and their peers were faced with a very tricky track, in a precarious green state with its asphalt surface having been re-laid twice before the meeting (courtesy of an innovative racer funded project by the people at Drag Race Finland). The second instance was forced shortly before this weekend after the original composition was found to be out of specification. Rain over the preceding days meant that optimal track preparation was all but impossible and although there were signs that the track was improving by the end of the event, most of the cars and motorcycles struggled to get down the track without smoking their tyres for part, if not all of their runs. However, the new super smooth surface bodes well for the future, and helps consolidate its position as one of the Gulf Oil teams favourite venues.
While the track was some way off holding five-second passes, rider Ian King produced a series of numbers that often exceeded those he set last year and a 6.164 was on track record pace to head qualifying. Kings first round victory over Jan Sturla Hegre saw both bikes in the sixes with King prevailing in the all Puma match up with a 6.159 to further surpass his own track record. Against Rikard Gustafsson's Puma Pro1 Funny Bike the Gulf Oil / GPO team looked to improve on the first round numbers but the top end performance fell away to a 6.261 whilst Gustafsson was caught out by the auto start when trying to hit the sweet spot during staging.
A new track record on a difficult track and the event win to further increase their lead in the Championship was a satisfying end to an enjoyable weekend for the team, but a customary wet end for the class winners.
The team move on to Hockenheim, Germany for the NitrOlympX on 8th-10th August, the penultimate round of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship.
For more information on Gulf Oil Dragracing go to www.gulfoildragracing.com.
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 winning the 2013 European Championship and in their 2014 endeavours:
APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Action Cameras - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Blackcat Motorsports - The leading V Rod Harley race team
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
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 HarleyDrags.com
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
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Mopar Euronats Perfect Award.
24th July: The MSA Pro Modified round at this weekend's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2014 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £50 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Sportsman ET racer Craig Wright at Bug Jam. The money will be paid in cash to the first Pro Modified driver this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available in 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 Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only). Ed O'Connell memorial decals will also be available this weekend from the Eurodragster.com staff.
WASP under new ownership.
24th July: After fourteen years of running WASP Speed Shop, Chris Goodale has decided to take up the opportunity of a fresh challenge and a new job and is moving onto something completely different. However this will not be the end of WASP as Mark Wallington is the new owner.
All business will carry on as usual; WASP is able supply all and everything you need for your pride and joy, the only difference is that Mark will be on the end of the phone instead of Chris. Many of you will know Mark as the owner / organiser of the Outlaw Street Drag Race Series and regular magazine contributor. Mark is no stranger to American vehicles having spent his entire life around them, starting life by coming home from the maternity unit in a 1969 4-4-2 Hurst Oldsmobile, which must have had a positive impact as some forty years later he takes on the ownership of WASP.
Chris will be finishing at the end of July and Mark will be up and running at the start of September so there will only be a matter of a few weeks' gap whilst everything is set up. The WASP premises will be staying local to Wisbech, simply relocating a few miles down the road; all contact details will be updated in due course but you will still be able to call the same number 01945 588091. You can find the WASP web site at www.waspspeedshop.com.
Chris would like to say a huge Thank You to all the customers whom he has met and worked with over the last fourteen years, and he wishes everyone the best for the future.
FIA Commission talk 2015.
23rd July: Lars Pettersson writes that the latest meeting of the FIA Drag Racing Commission took place at the FIA's new Logistic and Technical Centre in Valleiry, France, on 9th-11th July:
On the first day we talked about the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. On the secons day we worked on rules from ET Bracket to Top Fuel and the Sporting Regulations for 2015. On the last day we spoke about drag racing around the world. The Commission's members included representatives from Germany, Qatar, Great Britain, Australia, France, India, Finland, Sweden, USA and Bahrain, and administrative personnel from the FIA office in Geneva.
We decided that all five classes in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships will have an FIA European Champion in 2015, as we elected to remove rule 4.2 which states that "Any category in which competitors earning points goes below six during any Championship event will no longer be eligible for the Championship from the following year".
We had a good meeting. A number of issues arose which can benefit European drag racing, but it is also very important that we discussed drag racing right around the world and share influence and ideas with other countries and fedeations.
Invitations to racers.
23rd July: The organisers of the NitrOlympX, which takes place at Hockenheim on 8th-10th August, are still seeking used slicks to help in the preparation of the track. A team pass worth €60 is on offer for each slick donated. For more details contact the organisers via the NitrOlympX web site at www.nitrolympx.de.
Racers in Competition, Super Street Bike, ModiTwin and Retro Drag are invited to the European Drag Challenge at Kunmadaras in Hungary on 19th-20th August. Kunmadaras is all concrete and fully prepped, and prize and travel money is available. You can check out the invitation and entry form (PDF format) by clicking here or for more information check out www.kunmadarsmotorsport.hu. Entry closes on 11th August.
Brian Burrows has been in touch to remind all entrants for this year's FIA / FIM European Championship Finals that a prepped track will be available for testing on the Saturday (including evening session) and Sunday of VW Action, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway the weekend before the Finals, 29th-31st August.
"VW Action is a really great family event in its own right and is the longest running VW Show in the world, and has in one form or another been the true Jewel in the Crown, of UK VW events - embraced by all who have attended previous events", say the organisers. "2014's event is set to be better than ever with its 'Zombie Fright Night' theme, RWYB / Test and Tune including night racing, massive Show and Shine events on both Saturday and Sunday with more than seventy trophies and £1500 prize money, free stuff for the kids including a face painter and bouncy castle which will cost parents nothing, free autojumble plots, traders, charity auction, top DJs and live bands, free camping weekend tickets and loads, loads, loads more. VW Action really is the best place for a true VW enthusiast. Discounted advance tickets and full details of this comprehensive event can be found at www.vwaction.com/vwaction.
SCR bike results.
23rd July: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing on results of the Championship rounds held during For Ladies That Launch weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway. Congratulations to:
Number one qualifier: Kevin Osman 8.658
Final result: Eddy Smiley 10.160/129.22 bye, Dave Thomas no show
Number one qualifier: Mark Hope 9.533
Final result: Fred Furlong 9.607/132.22 def. Melvin Morris 9.568/142.23
NAST Supertwin Gas
Number one qualifier: Joe Elliott 9.350
Final result: Joe Elliott 10.122/140.37 def. Robbie Dobbie 11.058/114.35
NAST Supertwin ET
Number one qualifier: Kieran Govenver +0.189 13.549
Final result: Kieran Govender (13.36) 13.721 def Simon Clamp (11.00) 11.490
Congratulations also to Jodie Cotton of Pebworth who won the Eurodragster.com Keep calm and burn nitro T-Shirt in the raffle.
23rd July: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with no words at all...
...whilst the second (above right) came with the words "Flaming road trip planning". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Web site updates.
23rd July: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon brings us up to date with events since his move to the USA. You can catch up with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Editor's note: Whilst we were laying around shagged out from two busy weekends in a row, quite a backlog of news has built up. We will clear the backlog this evening but we still have room for more so please keep the news updates coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bug Jam results.
21st July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway:
Sportsman ET: Ricky Hale (15.15) 15.1259/92.55 def. Craig Wright (16.68) 16.6071/82.11 on lesser breakout
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Jon Webster 8.1823/149.62. def. Stuart Williams 10.1639/92.18
VW Pro: James Hodson (10.95) 11.0885/121.20 def. Nigel Green (11.30) 11.2743/114.94 DQ breakout
VW Sportsman: Tom Herbert (16.60) 16.7010/72.72 def. Polly Judge (15.85) 15.8666/90.64
Outlaw Anglia: Phil Middleton 9.0203/148.09 def. Rob Stone 9.2427/142.54
Congratulations also to Sportsman ET racer Craig Wright who took the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.000 Reaction Time in eliminations. In fact Craig overdid it, recording zeroes to the fourth decimal place. The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for next week's MSA Pro Modified round at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. The Eurodragster.com / Gold RV Perfect ET Award was not won and so has been increased to £75 for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in August.
Click here to check out our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Bug Jam reports and galleries, or click on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
21st July: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Monday) to our good buddy His Worshipful Flatulence The Very Reverend Sir Neville Mottershead ODE. Have a great day Nev.
Arthur, king for a day.
20th July: The Detroit Spinner Racing Team have asked us to wish a big Happy 73rd Birthday to builder, crew man and driver Arthur 'Big Daddy' Bonner.
The Detroit Spinner Ford Prefect has been resurrected by its current owner Nigel Taylor over the last year after it had been sat in a garage for eighteen years. It made its first appearance at this year's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals followed by Dragstalgia at both of which Arthur took the wheel. The Prefect is now back down to 12.1 at 112 mph with its wheels in the air which is impressice for a 1.5 ton race car running what the team thinks is the only Fairbanks gearbox in the world. It has been a great year for Arthur and his close competition, team-mate Paul Dale who shares driving duties and has so far recorded a best of 12.4. Arthur has met old friends and made new friends as a result of the car's revival and, at the age of 73, he will be back at NSRA Hot Rod Drags on the hunt for that eleven-second pass.
Detroit Spinner Racing and Arthur Bonner would like to thank sponsors Nigel Taylor and family, Jeff Goddard, Graham True, Neil Gibbs, Tom Mitty, Mick Patey, Nick Dunford, Richard Hicks, Kelvin Helsdown, Steve and Paul Dale, Adam Gough, Harwood Ink, Clacy's Garage, Faraday Building Contractors, Joust Performance, Justin Horne, Andover Trailers and Too Fast-Too filling.
Web site updates.
20th July: John Przybyl has updated his Zenfolio site with pictures from last weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out John's shots at multicapturephotography.zenfolio.com.
SPRC office unmanned.
19th July: Ian Marshall has been in touch to inform racers that the Santa Pod Racers Club office will be unmanned for a short period.
"The SPRC office will be unmanned for three weeks from next Tuesday (21st) whilst I am away in Hockenheim", says Ian. "However there will still be updates to the European Finals entry list on a regular basis as I will still have access to post, E-Mail and fax for the first two weeks. If anyone needs to contact me as a matter of urgency, but please only in an emergency, then please call 07971 031898. I can also be E-Mailed at my regular address email@example.com."
You can check out Version 1 of the official FIA / FIM European Finals entry list by clicking here.
Allard needs engine builder.
19th July: Brian Taylor writes that the Allard Chrysler Action Group are seeking the services of an engine builder to help to rebuild the motor of the historic dragster.
"We can get the bits but we need the extra expertise and facilities of an engine builder who knows Chrysler Hemi engines", says Brian. "Anyone who wants to help to keep drag racing history alive please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01395 579733."
Quartermile organisation returns.
19th July: Margot Schmidt writes on behalf of Emrys Blomont that The Netherlands' Quartermile organisation has been reconstituted.
"We are organising a Pro drag race at Drachten Drag Strip on 22nd-24th August", says Margot. "You can find our web site at www.quartermile.nl or if you have any questions then please E-Mail email@example.com or call Emrys on +31 68 43 31 255."
A weekend to remember.
19th July: Sue Morris writes that after many years of wanting to carry a special scheme to pay tribute to the 92nd Bombardment Group, who were based at Station 109 (now Santa Pod Raceway), it is unbelievable to 9.50 Bike racer Phil Pratt and herself that they have not only brought Satan's Lady back to life but also had the opportunity to present her to some of the family members of those whom being honoured:
It's been a full twelve months since we found the perfect artist to take on the task and began the long, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding, job of researching B-17G 44-6101. Once we started delving back into the history of the 92nd BG, it became more and more important to us to ensure that the memory of those who flew from Station 109, and indeed those who kept them in the air, should never be forgotten.
Whilst David Earl was hard at work with air and paint brushes, I was busy creating the information boards, leaflets, flyers, badges which are always available to pick up from our pits - which you really can't miss with its genuine Army camouflage netting and 8th Air Force flag flying high above.
At last weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod we were thrilled to have Satan's Lady on display in the Historic Marquee. This did admittedly prompt a couple of questions why our 2003 bike would be on display there! But we had the honour of presenting her to some of the sons, daughters and grandchildren of those who served at USAF Poington more than seventy years ago. Meeting and talking with them, and hearing some amazing stories, was an incredibly proud, humbling, and emotional experience for us both. These lovely people have truly taken Satan's Lady, and us, to their hearts and we cannot thank them enough for their kind words.
Of course there are so many people who have helped us bring Satan's Lady back to the runways from which her B-17 namesake flew seventy years ago; among them David Earl for the superb paint scheme, Janet Del at the 92nd USAAF-USAF Memorial Association, and the incredibly knowledgeable people of the Fame's Favored Few Facebook group who have never ceased to amaze us with the information they both came up with and continue to come up with.
We would also like to say a very big Thank You to James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway for giving us the opportunity to introduce our new American friends to our tribute to their forefathers - although had I known how emotional it would be at times, I would certainly have brought a considerably larger box of tissues along. And as for the display from Sally B - just breathtaking.
If you would like to know more about the 92nd Bombardment Group please come and chat with us in our pits. We must never let them be forgotten.
Erbacher comes up short.
19th July: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher has been in touch with a report of his weekend at the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro:
The weather was super great, but the track guys told me that it had rained almost every day in the four weeks before the race so they really could not prep the track in advance. But I think with a bit more work that's going to be a bad-ass track.
I was happy my new team of Lukas and Marc clutch, Richard and Harry bottom end, Linus 1 and Linus 2 engine left and right, Rene 1 head, Rene 2 blower and racks, Roger tyres, Marco and Alex bottom end, Neil and Dan clutch, and my old-timers Robin, Monika, Dario, Roy, truck driver Adrian and cook Claudia did a great job. We serviced the cars in only sixty minutes like the US professionals.
Between Noah's car and mine we made a total of ten runs and didn't break one part. But to tune the for the track wasn't so easy however in the end we qualified well.
In the first round against Anita I knew they had bad-ass Dom Lagana with them and he is a great tuner. So we put in the same set-up as before but took more ignition out at the end and let the clutch come in later, in an attempt to stop the tyres spinning at the top end. I knew I could beat Anita at the lights so I deep staged a little. But in the end my better reaction time and ET were not enough and I lost against Anita by 0.02 seconds. How bad was that for me, just needed to go 0.03 seconds earlier and the win light would have been mine.
But everything is still open and we are already prepping the cars for Hockenheim.
Micallef's season so far.
19th July: Having learned some valuable lessons at some tough events in 2013, Maltese Top Fuel Dragster racer Duncan Micallef decided to contest the entire FIA European Championship tour in 2014:
We really needed to make some changes. Although we had a good Maltese crew last year, we wanted to take no chances so we opted for a British crew as experience is a key factor in Top Fuel. This will be my first full Championship for me and as it is in Top Fuel we really wanted to be one hundred per cent. I met Rune Fjeld several times in the off-season and we spoke about various issues. We made many changes to the car from last season and our first tests were good, although weather conditions didn't help at the Festival of Power.
FIA Championship Round 1 was also hammered by the weather but we still managed impressive sixty foot times of 0.94 and 0.93 on just two attempts. The car felt really fast but we still needed improvements after the eighth. We managed a 4.16 with a loss of power before the eighth so we were pleased with that.
We were planning some test runs at Alastaro but it wasn't possible. A new surface, a new track for me as I never raced here; track conditions were tricky but I still managed to clinch fifth place in the points out of eleven competitors! I must say that I really enjoyed the atmosphere and liked the people although Lady Luck doesn't seem to like us at present. But we stay positive!
Top Fuel is tough, hard work and a lot of it is a must but we look forward to brighter days and surely we will have some fun in the end. I would like to thank all of the crew - Gary, Laurie, Paul, Mark D, Mark F and Melvin - for their great efforts. I simply cannot explain the dedication which Rune Fjeld and Lindsey put into the car and I would like to thank them a lot for that. I would also like to thank my sponsors Unique, J Portelli Projects, Totalnet and PFDR for assisting me this season. Finally a very big Thank You to our families and fans for their great support. See you at Hockenheim, don't forget to pop by and say Hello.
I saw nothing at 330 feet.
19th July: Ex-pat UK injected-nitro dragster racer Smax Smith has been in touch with a report of his last two outings:
We returned to a new track in North Bay, Ontario run by Clark North and his gang. We took the Leverich's new car Living the Dream to try to better our eighth-mile best of 3.4/230. We had hoped to take Aidan's sexy new Funny Car with us, but after a game effort to get another block ready we ran out of time! For the first run everything was sounding and feeling amazing but the track looked a little down on grip as we watched the Supercharged Outlaws and Top Fuel Bikes struggle. We rocketed off the line to a 0.920 sixty and 2.4 to 330 feet then it all went black! My helmet lifted over my eyes... yo'd think that in my fortieth year I would at least have got that bit right. It was a handful getting stopped as my helmet kept bouncing over my head, but we still ran 3.9 seconds lifting off at 330 feet. We turned car around, absolutely no damage - every bearing and plug went back in to the motor. Amazing!
For the second run I blasted off a 3.6 but the speed was down. Aidee thought I had lifted early as our ten-foot header flames died down before 400 feet. The data revealed I ran it wide open for 3.4 seconds so we figured we ran low on fuel, as the RPM and flow both dropped or maybe clutch had dragged the motor down. We checked our timers and timing etc and decided to try again. We ran a 3.7, again no damage but no final answer. Everyone loved the runs and we did put on a good show.
After the weekend we stripped everything down and found that the last three fingers had indeed all come in together so it did drag the motor down
Last weekend we went to the Nitro Nationals at Cayuga, Ontario, only an hour's drive. We joined the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Series with Aidee's 2002 Mustang-bodied hemi-powered sleek machine. We had had a lot of work to do all week csetting the clearances on our Keith Black hemi for Brad Fatheads and we arrived Friday with a long To Do list and still not fired up!
The place was rocking with Top Fuel Dragsters and Fuel Funny Cars. In the first session we opted just to make a 330-foot squirt but when Aidee hit the throttle it spluttered so we pushed him off. Well disappointed. We found the coil wire for the MSD 20 mag had shorted to ground, so easy to fix and back out for the second session. The motor sounded lots better so Aidee did great burnout then cut a 0.080 light and went to 330 feet but enough to qualify. The huge crowd loved it, and we threw T-Shirts to them as we came down the return road.
Back in the pits a detailed inspection found that we had heated a couple of bearings and had a few leaks to contend with so wey decided to call it a day and go over the motor closely this week. Nothing major and the car looks great!
This weekend we are going to an airfield for a big show in Elliott Lake... approximately seven hours' drive, but we will see what transpires.
19th July: Many thanks to Ed O'Connell's wife Kathy for sending us a link to a gallery of shots of the Memorial Paddle held for Ed by his fellow surfers last weekend. You can check out the Ed Memorial Paddle gallery by clicking here.
The Institute of the Motor Industry is inviting racers or team members to help promote a career in motorsport by making a selfie video on their mobile phones: ten to twenty seconds of positive comment about working in the motorsport industry and finish by saying "Hashtag motorcareers". Videos should be E-Mailed to Emily Hakansson at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be included in a compilation.
Many thanks to David Anniwell of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the official timing data from Dragstalgia. You can check out the Dragstalgia timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The UK's Orange Pop Outlaw Anglia team have asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to driver Simon Barlow. Our pleasure guys, have a great day Simon.
19th July: Dragstalgia Superstock organiser Peter Walton says that it is almost impossible to add to what has already been said about last weekend's event, but that it was certainly an intense personal experience for him:
I was a child when my father took me see Don Garlits at the Pod back in the day and that one weekend shaped my whole life. I think I have waited all this time to feel as I did that day all those years ago and Dragstalgia 2014 was the day it all came back. James Forster took a chance on the Superstock class three years ago and I hope that this time in our small way we added something to what was possibly the best event ever staged at the Pod (I'd say you did - Ed). Thanks to James and all the Pod staff for getting this one together.
Now let's talk Superstock. Twenty cars and our first overseas racer who had a real nice Pinto which he put in the top spot after Q1. Then in Q2 Jim Chandler knocked him off by running an almost perfect run, dialling in 10.45 and running 10.45 and some small change. It was tough going with some big names falling foul of the red, but after several rounds the semis came down to Harrison Brown and Dan Williams, and Stuart Thompson and Tig Napier. Dan had been chopping the tree down all weekend but this time he hit the red. Stuart aka Kiwi and Tig next and it was Kiwi who stayed cool to end Tig's weekend.
The final was about as close as you could get without being a dead heat but Kiwi got the win light. Of course, its nice to see a Mopar finally win it but well done to Harrison for making him earn it.
Finally I have to thank our sponsors Andy Robinson Race Cars and WASP, also Mike Lacey who not only put up a prize for closest to dial in but also for steering me in the right direction a few times. All of the prize fund was given to Rob Tyrell who suffered every racer's nightmare by wrecking his engine. Finally thanks to the Superstock racers - I know the effort it takes to get to the track. With trailers, money, time and parts it's not easy but you all got there and in my opinion you did yourselves and Superstock proud.The future of the class looks bright so thank you.
The blast from the past.
19th July: Steve Ashdown of Comanche Race Cars has been in touch to thank those who helped to get his blast-from-the-past Corvette ready for static display at Dragstalgia:
Firstly and mainly a big thank you to Dave Bateman and his family for all their help. It's a bit of history as Dave built the car first time round for Jon Claydon thirty four years ago. The car was my first Saturday job as a fourteen-year-old cleaning it after racing, and now our fourteen year old kids helped with the rebuild! Very surreal to say the least. Thank you also to Pike from the NSRA for inviting me and putting on a great display; my car was parked next to Henry Hirise, my schoolboy icon, made a great photo. Also a big thank you to Jamie Wilders at Angels Garage, Swanscombe (01322 382299), for all the lubricants etc for the car. Thanks to my son Tyler for his hard work, and finally a big Thank You to al the staff at Santa Pod Raceway for a great show and for all their hard work. We had an absolutely great weekend.
Steve also tells us that the spy picture of 28th June showed his new chassis mocked up with with Wayne Nicholson's Checy Pro Mod motor with two new turbos plus a gearbox by Andy Frost. "The chassis is now stripped and off to add some colour then back for final fit up", says Steve. "Meanwhile the body is being lightened and prepared for paint and then a rather loud vinyl wrap! We are on track to be out some time next year.
"I think I have already said but I will say it again: thanks to Wayne Nicholson, Andy Frost, Amanda Cox, Jamie at Topspeed Automotive and Mark Todd for all of their help and advice. Without these people I wouldn't be doing any of the above."
PMR win it all.
19th July: Paul Marston Racing once again walked away from the London Volksfest at North Weald Airfield with a dominant performance which won them the Quick 8 Heads-Up competition Trophy and the VW v non-VW Quick 8 run-off for King of the Hill when, despite giving the Outlaw Flat Four VW Beetle a sixty foot head start Paul Marston caught it in the lights. Paul writes:ll the organisers for putting on such a great event. The weather played ball too. VW events are always laid back, relaxed but well organised affairs. A lot of behind the scenes effort go into running a show like this and I appreciate all their hard work.
We spent a lot of time and money working on the Whoopass Monza's rear suspension set-up to make it more competitive at North Weald. The track time was invaluable and has given us a clear direction in which to head. Plus of course the driver got a good workout wrestling the Monza to keep it pointed in the right direction. Yep the more horsepressure you bring to North Weald Drag Strip the harder it is, but that's all part of the charm and is a leveller for everybody and makes for some real close racing.
Racing my mate Darren Claggett in the King of the Hill run-off there was a great display of sportsmanship by Darren which reminded us all that we all do this for fun. Darren asked jokingly for a head start and I said "Sure no problem", it only seemed fair to me! I let Darren go and when I figured I had given him enough I was off in chase mode. I don't know how much he could see of me chasing him down but I nearly had the Monza sideways in a powerslide halfway through second gear. I did think "I am never going to catch him" but I managed to get straight enough to squeeze the loud pedal down again and just caught him in the lights. Darren and I congratulated one another on the return road, it hopefully looked great race and was hilarious fun to take part in.
The final North Weald Dragstrip event for cars and bikes is 15th August, although there is a bike-only event later this month.
This Sunday (20th) Paul Marston Racing will be attending the Damn Yankees American Car Club show, the Summer Slam, again at North Weald. We hope to be showing the PT Bruiser in its latest specification. For more information please check out the Club's web site at www.damnyankees.uk.com.
Street Eliminator Round 4.
19th July: Round 4 of the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship took place at the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway. Street Eliminator Chair Matt Atkinson writes that with a strong contingent of ten entries, and the Championship extremely tight, everyone was hoping for a competitive weekend.
Matt Smith had returned in the Team Extreme Escort following a brief outing in the back-up Mustang (ex-Phil Peck car) which was still able to record some stout numbers for an extremely heavy car. Big thanks from Matt to everyone involved in getting the Escort back together. The engine now sported a new camshaft amongst other upgrades and sounded a lot meaner! Al Williamson had also managed to fix the Howling Hawler Chevy truck and after an outing at the Nostalgia Nationals was looking forward to finding some of last year's form which has eluded him so far. Out for his first event of the year was Mark Todd in the GTO sporting his new engine and turbo combination looking to build on his performances last year and grab that ET record.
Unfortunately the weather didnt particularly work in our favour on the Saturday of the event. We first got ready mid morning and trundled down to the start line only for the rain to come down. We did however manage to get out for a qualifying run just after 5:00 pm and knowing there was a possibility of one-shot qualifying everyone was on edge, nevertheless what a session it turned out to be.
First pair out saw the much talked about Bentley of Steve Neimantas paired against Mr Consistent Stu Williams in the Supra. Stu away first and quicker to sixty feet but no hesitation from the Bentley as it steered clear with the power pouring in the second half of the track straight into the sevens with a 7.587 / 188 to take number one spot and just a tenth off of the class ET record on its first full pass. Stu in the other lane laying down a 7.967/180 good for number four spot. Next up was Jon Webster of Webster Race Engineering in the beautiful Comet paired with Andy Bond in the Mustang, Andy has been struggling for traction all year with the car despite making a number of adjustments. Again Andy struggled off the line with the tyres spinning around sixty feet out resulting in a 9.857/157, Jon on the other hand straight into the sevens with a 7.906/176 and finally the improvements from ICE Automotive's work over the winter was evident with a big mph improvement. Jon's quickest run of the year and straight into number three.
Next up was Alex Mcintosh in his silver Mustang against Al Williamson in the truck, Alex still smiling from his first ever seven-second pass at FIA Round 1 and looking to back this up. Unfortunately the tyres lit up and the boost pipe blew off under the pressure leaving Alex slowing to an 11.059/127 for number nine spot. Al on the other hand finally seemed to have cured the gremlins as he found his feet again and was back into the eights with an 8.990/161 for number six, well done team. The returning Mark Todd was up next and still looking for baseline runs with the new combination, the GTO was away well with a 1.273 sixty foot and slowing over the line to a 8.875/108 but a promising sign of what's to come from the stunning GTO. Damian Haliwell in the other lane with the Biscayne was again aiming to chip away at his PB running through with a 10.770/126 just a fraction away from his PB of 10.765.
Last up were the Team Extreme brothers Martin Smith in the GTR and Matt Smith in the Escort. Unfortunately a leak from one of Matt's turbos denied him the chance to qualify but Martin ran straight through in the GTR with a 7.589/186 new PB for the GTR and great effort. This did however come at a cost as when back in the pits further inspection revealed some damage to the engine but thankfully nothing unfixable meaning that the GTR will be back out for this weekend's Bug Jam.
Onto the cruise and unfortunately with Martin broken, Matt not qualifying, and Al Williamson deciding against the Cruise we only had seven. It was a lovely evening for it though as we pootled through the local village to the petrol station and then on to the hot start. No dramas thankfully and then back to the track.
Onto Sunday and eliminations, unfortunately this just wasn't to be as we finally made an appearance in the pairing lanes the heavens opened and the meeting was called off leaving everything extremely tight in the Championship. A great effort by the Santa Pod track crew all weekend and we look forward to the round five at Bug Jam!
On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive sponsoring the class for their fifth consecutive year, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography and Eurodragster.com, all of whom can be found on our web site at www.streeteliminator.com.
Web site updates.
19th July: Richard Smith has updated his Zenfolio site with an excellent gallery from Dragstalgia. You can take a look at rdsmith.zenfolio.com/dragstalgia-2014.
Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the 2008 UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Dick's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
The Demonic Doorslammer emerges.
17th July: We were very pleased to hear from His Darkness Vince Gibbs that the door to the crypt has been opened and that we will be seeing the Nosferatu Super Pro ET Firebird at next week's Mopar EuroNats:
At the end of 2013, a season in which we earned our best ever Championship placing of fifth after competing at every event, a plan was hatched to refresh and improve our motor. During 2013 we reduced the blower boost to reduce the risk of damage, as we had competed in two full seasons on the same Brodix aluminium rods and Eagle crank. We also decided that if we ever wanted to step up to another class (bet you can guess which one) then at 572 cubic inches our motor was too big.
The team removed and stripped the motor at the workshop of our main sponsor Nick Bolton of Auto Colour Match in Banbury, then we started to decide what needed replacing, repairing and refreshed. With the help from Nick and Rob from ICE Automotive, who were a great help in specifying parts, we had a plan but then tragedy struck. On 28th February my daughter Tanita (aka Wednesday) was involved in a very serious car accident when travelling back from work. She was seriously injured, requiring ten hours in the operating theatre, a further week in hospital and then at least three months of care before she had some independence back. It goes without saying that all thoughts related to racing and Nosferatu vanished from my mind and I had only one focus. The good news is that Tanita is now pretty much back to her old self, although she will carry with her a reminder of that day forever (All our love, Wednesday - Ed).
In May I was able to turn some of my thoughts back to our refresh and upgrades. We machined and fitted a new billet steel rear main cap, new stronger Callis crank, new modern design MGP custom aluminium con rods and new pistons. The whole assembly was mocked up by ICE to check clearances and the block honed. The new combination is 523 cubic inches with a higher compression ratio than previously. The motor was assembled by Igor, Elvira, Vlad and myself and dropped back into the chassis a few weeks ago. We have oil, fuel and are ready to test. We have chosen the Mopars as it is an excellent event and this year has a Pro Mod round, so the track should be in extra superb condition (as it always is).
Depending upon how testing goes we will also have a different driver in the seat for a few gentle passes in the form of Pugsley - aka Seb, aka my on. It will be a little step up from his 70 horse power Mini to the 1400 horse power beast. We will get him used to the car in the same way people have to licence - start with a launch, then eighth, then 1000 feet with 'chutes before a full pass. I hope that Pugsley enjoys it and that the spectators do too.
Other news is that Fester (aka Stuart) has left the team to join one of the UK Pro Mod teams. The whole of the Nosferatu family wish him luck in the challenge and hope that spannering on our blown-alky big block machine had helped in his step up to the big boys. That leaves us with a vacancy on our team for the 2015 season, so if there is anyone out there who would like to try their hand in taming our demonic six-second doorslammer then please get in touch at email@example.com. Being close to Brackley would be an advantage but not critical.
See you at the Mopars!
The phone call you dream of...
17th July: 2014 was not going to plan for UK Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Pete Walters and the Team Reloaded / Walters Motorsport team, with engine troubles at the start of the season resulting in poor qualifying and first round exits. Pete's season did however get a lot better when he receiced a phone call from longtime supporter Derek Flynn of fellow Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV:
Derek said "Hey Pete, fancy getting your Top Methanol Dragster licence?". Derek knew it had always been a dream of mine to drive a TMD, especially an A/Fueler. After I got over the shock of the call, I didnt hesitate to say yes! Derek and Gold RV have been longtime supporters of drag racing and have had a really positive influence in my racing career through Juniors, Super Pro ET and now Top Methanol. Thanks Derek - Fiona, Gary and yourself have become great family friends and it is a pleasure to have Gold RV on board, especially when I think of what Gold RV have achieved in Super Pro ET and Top Methanol Dragster in the UK, Europe and even Top Alcohol Dragster in the USA.
The licensing runs went really well. The first run wasn't perfect, as I had to get used to 3500 hp, a totally new car and start line routine, although I must say I felt surprisingly relaxed throughout the process. I believe that this is one of my strengths as a driver and with Derek and Dave Wilson I was being carefully tutored by two of Britain's TMD racing legends who between them have made some of the quickest and fastest TMD runs in Europe. We had a few delays on the day, but the excellent Santa Pod crew sorted it between showers and finally I made it down for the half pass.
The second run went a whole lot smoother, as at least I knew what to expect this time. The burnout was the hardest part, having to warm the carbon brakes whilst at the same time keep the revs under control. The second time staging went perfectly, onto the high-side (full fuel) which is one of the most awesome feelings ever: on full fuel and the clutch out and holding it on the brake the engine gets really angry and rattles the whole car about quite violently even on idle and you hear major cackles and banging going on behind you. It's just brilliant!
The lights ran and I was under instruction to nail the throttle for exactly four seconds unless I felt there was a problem, but I went straight down the middle, no problems, crossing half track at around 180 mph and despite lifting that early and pulling the chutes I crossed the finish line in 7.04 seconds smashing my Personal Best to date. The car had been detuned to allow me to get used to it and we even dropped cylinders on that run but it was an absolutely amazing experience.
Unfortunately rain stopped play, meaning that we could not make the full passes required to gain my licence. Derek, dad and Dave quickly sorted that out though and the remaining full passes to get my licence will be done prior to the European Finals, which will hopefully also help Dave and the team with some more run data after a few recent updates. I wish Dave Wilson and the Silverline team all the best for the European Finals... go Grumpy, A/Fuel it for England.
Thanks to Derek, Dave Wilson, dad and everyone who helped on the day. Everyone seemed very happy with the progress we made, it was an awesome experience and I cannot wait to do it again. I am not sure whose smile was bigger after each of the runs - mine, my dad's or Dereks. Derek has been unwell recently so it was great to see him back at Santa Pod and happy, get well soon mate.
Many of our friends in Super Pro ET have asked "Are you leaving us?". I would like to say that we are and always will be committed to Super Pro ET, which we believe is one of the best Sportsmans classes in British drag racing. And now that we have sorted a competitive tune-up on our spare engine look out Super Pro ET, we are back. I wonder if you can, or if anyone has ever, double enter for both Super Pro ET and Top Methanol? Wow, that would be an amazing weekend, but you never know what may happen in the future, especially when you have Derek, Gold RV, RW and Dave Wilson Racing in your corner.
I can't thank Derek Flynn and Gold RV enough for supporting me. Gold RV Sales and Service Ltd celebrate thirty years in business this year and they are one of the best in the RV business. I love going to their RV Shop as they work on some awesome RVs as well as selling RVs for their customers, and they always seem to have something really interesting around the shop. Contact Derek, Gary or Fiona for anything RV! Old or new, big or small so long as it is American or Canadian, they can fix or get them all. Their web site is at www.goldrv.co.uk.
I also need to thank my dad, Richard; his love and support of my drag racing career is just the best and I feel really blessed for all the support I get from mum Julie, sister Holley and partner Jayne. Thanks to my long-standing crew Mick Slocombe and Tom Watts who also enjoyed the whole experience too, and my good friend Matt Cox who documented the day in photos.
Thanks to Dave Wilson for allowing me to drive his Nitro Beast, I just loved it! And thanks to all the crew on the day, Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson, David Wilson, Ricki Packham, James Blackman, Alistair 'Mole' Cole and Fiona Flynn.
Two goals I set myself when I started drag racing in Juniors were to win a Super Pro ET National Championship and to drive a Top Methanol Dragster, so I am half way there! We are working on the other half...
Double Perfect Awards weekend.
17th June: The Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme is available at two events this coming weekend. £150 is on offer for perfect performance at Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway and at the Ladies That Launch / Public Test Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £100 after it went unclaimed at Dragstalgia. The money will be paid to the first racer at each of this weekend's events to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all Championship classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of each event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the MSA Pro Modified round at next week's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Mopar EuroNats. 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 Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in the Signing On office at both tracks and also from the Eurodragster.com staff.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Junior Dragster racer Saskia Jell at the SPRC Summernationals. The money will be paid to the first racer at each of this weekend's events 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 VW Pro, VW Sportsman and Sportsman ET at Bug Jam, and during qualifying or eliminations in 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and Supertwin ET at For Ladies That Launch, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of each event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Midsummer Open Sport Nationals. 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 www.goldrv.co.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry the Eurodragster.com / Gold RV 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 at both tracks and also from the Eurodragster.com staff.
17th July: Many thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for UK Top Sportsman I, which takes place at next week's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
17th July: Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with pictures from the weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. As ever you can check out the latest updates via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Also posting pictures from Dragstalgia is Colin Donisthorpe whose shots you can find at www.flickr.com/photos/colin_donisthorpe.
Another good buddy, bike photo-journalist Steve Moxley, has an illustrated report of the Springspeed Nationals bike action showing on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.
The latest edition of the Speedgroup Newsletter is now available and features a review of the FHRA Nitro Nationals, race calendar, features and more. Check it out at club.speedgroup.eu. There will be another Eurodragster.com Editor's Diary in the next edition.
Marcus Sjödin of Sweden's Sjödin Motorsport / ÅBM Racing is currently holding third spot in the Top Doorslammer Championship and has posted video reports from Sundsvall Raceway at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUQVhCC-FGo and from Pite Dragway at www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXfaSo1kDd8
Eurodragster.com Contributing Photographer Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site and Facebook pages with pictures Pistonhead Open 3 at Kjula Dragway and the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. You have the choice between www.racebilder.nu and www.facebook.com/Racebilder.
Dick Parnham has updated his Flick site with pictures from the 2008 Springspeed Festival and Open Sport Nationals, both at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Dick's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
Editor's note: We have built up quite a large news backlog whilst recovering from Dragstalgia. The backlog will be cleared on the next news update which will include updates from Urs Erbacher, Smax Smith, Comanche Race Cars, Satan's Lady, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator, Super Stock at Dragstalgia, Paul Marston Racing and more, and please keep the news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event entry update.
15th July: Jerry Cookson has been in touch from Shakespeare County Raceway to advise 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and NAST racers that their tickets for this weekend's Ladies that Launch will be available on the gate.
Many thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for UK Top Sportsman I, which takes place at next week's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Ian Marshall has been in touch to ask us to remind racers that the closing date is approaching for the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 4th-7th September. Entry closes on 8th August after which a Late Entry penalty will be payable, if entry is accepted. You can download entry forms for all classes from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Mopar EuroNats Pro Mod update.
15th July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding details of the arrangements for the MSA Pro Modified round at next week's Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway.
Top Sportsman racers please note that the scrutineering arrangements below apply to Pro Modified only; Top Sportsman has its own tech arrangements which will be advised by the organisers.
Santa Pod Raceway's gates will be open between 08:00 and midnight on Friday 25th.
Friday 25th July
Signing On office opens 11:00
Track opens for RWYB 12:00; DVLA licence required
Saturday 26th July
Signing On office opens 08:00
Scrutineering comences 08:00
Track opens 10:00; Competition licence required
Sunday 27th July
Signing On office opens 07:30
Scrutineering commences 08:00
Track opens 10:00
The proposed schedule for the weekend is as follows. Please note that these times are as ever subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Pro Modified qualifying on Saturday at 11:00, 13:30, 16:00 and 19:00
Pro Modified eliminations on Sunday at 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00
Please remember the strict curfew: motors should not be started before 09:00 or after 20:00. Firing up motors out of hours can and will result in exclusion from the event.
Ladies that Launch update.
15th July: Ladies that Launch organisers Angie Woods and Jerry Cookson are pleased to announce that the Guest of Honour at this weekend's event at Shakespeare County Raceway will be 1980s Funny Car racer Lesley Prior. Lesley will best be remembered for her racing days in her father Dave's Solarport Sunroofs Kwik Kat Chevy Vega which later became a Fuel Altered. Lesley also has a famous drag racing mum, Fast Lady Roz Prior who in the 1970s drove the Revell Slingshot Pro Fuel Dragster at various NDRC on Tour meets and then the Maneater rear engined Pro Fuel Dragster at Santa Pod Raceway.
"Lesley has very kindly accepted the invitation to present the annual LTL Bracket prizes courtesy of our sponsors and supporters Claron Graphics as well as the Little Ladies Junior Shootout awards", says Jerry. "It's going to be a great weekend. So I'll see you on the starting line on Sunday, ladies!"
Wheeler Motorsports will be sponsoring both the dragster and bike trophies for the Little Ladies Junior Shootout at this weekend's event. "We are all delighted to be sponsoring this event for the Juniors whilst also helping to support the track, women in Motorsport and the great causes supported by this event", says Andy Wheeler. "Todays Juniors are the future of our sport".
Sign Up forms (PDF format) can be downloaded via the Downloads link of SCR's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk and then either scanned and returned to email@example.com or brought to the track at the weekend. The usual Raceway admission will apply (under-16s get in free) as will Junior track fees. A donation towards Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance would be appreciated.
Chris Hope, former Pro Stock Bike racer and now Team Principal of Pro Stock Bike and 9.50 Bike team Hope Racing, has very kindly donated £100 towards this weekend's event. £50 has been donated to Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and £50 will be awarded as a cash prize in the LTL raffle. LTL organisers would like to say a big thank you to Chris and all at Hope Racing for their generosity which is very much appreciated.
You can find out more about this weekend's event on its official Facebook page.
15th July: James Forster has been in touch from Santa Pod Raceway to say a huge Thank You to everyone for doing their bit at Dragstalgia:
Ian, Emma and the whole SPRC team did an impeccable job as always, and although it was difficult at times with a bit of rain and a few oildowns the crew soon got the track up and running again and we just about got everything done. Massive thanks to all of the class organisers, RWYBers and racers themselves for all of your support with the event. It's a privilege to be a part of it and the racing I did see was amazing.
I can't thank USAutomotive, Ron Hope and the rest of the teams enough for bringing Rat Trap and Pure Hell to Santa Pod and putting it all together and also Nick Davies and the Havoc team for standing in for Rat Trap at the last minute – that was some race! I must also give a special mention to Bob Hawkins and Marius Blackburn for trusting me to set them alight and also of course Rob Loaring for showing me the ropes. And Wendy Baker, you simply put the icing on the cake with the drive in movie.
Thanks to Brian Taylor, Stu Bradbury and Keith Lee for their never ending support and guidance with the whole thing and finally Jon Spoard at ukdrn.co.uk, the Eurodragster.com team, and everyone else who helped to spread the word. The feedback so far has been incredible, the biggest problem we have right now is figuring out how to top it next year!
We're sure that everyone will join us in congratulating and thanking James and the team at Santa Pod Raceway for putting on such an incredible event.
12th July: We're in place at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you all the action from Dragstalgia in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car.
Our coverage will consist of pit notes, end-day galleries, and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast with commentary / Nitro FM audio so long as the track is open each day. Thanks to Doyousee.me for the provision of streaming services.
Click here to check out our Dragstalgia event index, or click on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame 2014.
12th July: The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame in association with US Automotive continues into its ninth successful year and is pleased to announce the 2014 intake. Nominees are eligible by dint of having raced, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing in any capacity, having been involved for at least twenty years, or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport.
The 2014 inductees, in alphabetical order, are:
Gerry Belton (UK): The name Gerry Belton will be familiar to anyone who went along to the original DragFests of 1964 and 1965. Gerry's was one of the voices heard commentating at the meetings and the one on the Dragfest LP subsequently released.
He really was in the thick of the action from the beginning, being the Allard Motor Company PRO. At the outset Sydney Allard handed Gerry the job of organising the 1963 International Drag Racing Challenge that featured Dante Duce in Mooneyes and Mickey Thompson in his Harvey Aluminum Special. This series of events was instrumental in anchoring the sport of drag racing in the UK.
He then went on to organise the British International Drag Racing Festivals in 1964 and 1965, acting as Secretary to the British Drag Racing Association as well as General Manager of the events. This was no small task given the American entries arriving and the complications raised by setting up six meetings to be held at different airfields with different organising bodies over three back-to-back weekends. Given the perfect weather throughout, not credited to Gerry, some 120,000 spectators enjoyed the meetings, still said by some as never to be forgotten. Gerry was also involved in organising World Record meetings in the UK and Europe.
His off track activities were matched by some personal success on track, as he has the distinction of winning Top Eliminator at the first ever British Hot Rod Association 'Big Go' meeting. He was at the wheel of a Ford powered Allard Dragon dragster designed by the company to be sold as kits to expand participation in the then fledgling sport. He was also part of the consortium that purchased Bob Keith's 1964 Dos Palmas dragster which he drove in 1965. He drove his own '65 Cobra 289 at Santa Pod in the late ‘60s. In fact he set the CC/SP Class Quarter Mile Record at 13.582 seconds and 104.60 mph – pretty small beer by today's standards but very quick back in the day.
It is for his work with Sydney Allard organising these European motor sport ground changing events during 1963, 1964 and 1965 that Gerry is being inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Russ Carpenter (UK): Russ Carpenter is from Guildford, Surrey and started out in Drag Racing when he worked for a company fabricating and manufacturing diesel pile drivers. Russ's first racing experience was helping Tony Anderson with his Ford V6 engined dragster named 'Trouble' in 1969. But it was the Daimler Hemi where Russ' mechanical skills flourished and it is for his racing development of this engine and influencing others to go the same route for which Russ is being inducted into the BDRHoF.
The Daimler was the only British V8 Hemi engine. To check out its suitability for drag racing Russ contacted British Leyland and told them he had calculated that the team could get about 400hp out of it compared with 140hp standard. Leyland wrote back and said they had tuned the engine and after 200hp it became very unreliable and they didn't feel it was a very practical engine for racing. However a friend of Russ' at Shell tested the strength of the materials and found all the major components were made of high quality materials. So Russ and Tony stuck with the Daimler, which would eventually have been outputting well over 1000hp.
In developing the car the team built one of the first rear engined dragster chassis in the UK and eventually the car was on track in March 1972, named 'More Trouble'. Developing a British engined car for drag racing meant making your own parts or adapting others and so Russ used a friend's machine shop in the evenings and acquired aluminium from a friend to fabricate parts. The entire fuel system was made this way, topped by an adapted hood scoop, an adaptation for the Daimler engine of the design used widely on Top Fuel Dragsters.
Russ fabricated a slider clutch because a full size one would not fit the car and it was not possible to buy one the correct size. He achieved this by looking closely at the parts for a Top Fuel Dragster and re-engineering it himself for his smaller car. A few years later he adapted a racing B&J transmission for the car, making new parts as no spares were available, and uprating its hydraulics to make it activate quicker.
After Russ took over the driving in 1975 he won many Championships and events in the Senior Dragster ranks. He was introduced to AE Autoparts (Hepolite Glacier) by some friends in 1979 and from then on the car was renamed the Glacier Grenade. He continued to use stock engine parts including Triumph TR6 pistons even with the engine using increasing nitro percentages. With the support of AE Autoparts, Russ driving the Glacier Grenade in July 1980 broke two World Records becoming the first British engined car and the first car anywhere in the world under five litres to make a quarter mile pass in less than eight seconds. The car eventually achieved a speed of 180 mph in 7.2 seconds.
His performances were such that competitors were starting to complain that the rules favoured Russ and wanted to penalise him for weight. After the rule changes came in, Russ' response was to fit a heavier but stronger and more efficient Ford nine inch rear axle, which made the car even quicker and his competitors asking for the weight break change to be revoked.
Russ took the dragster to Europe to compete. At Mantorp Park, Swedish competitors, to the consternation of the event organisers, protested he was allocated to the wrong class as the weight on the entry form did not include Russ's own, not insubstantial, weight. Put into a less advantageous class, Russ proceeded to beat all Swedish competitors being pipped in the final by rival John Whitmore who was in the lower class.
At Le Mans in 1983 Russ was again protested, this time by Swedish Top Fuel racers when he was included in that class to make the numbers up. Dennis Priddle pointed out to them that they were only protesting because they couldn't even run the same times as Russ.
Russ won the Euro Series Championship twice in the 1980s and had a rivalry with the Daimler V8 engined dragster of Robin Read until in 1989 small nitro fuelled cars were outlawed for the Euro Series. He nevertheless kept the car and has exhibited it regularly for over twenty years.
Dennis Norman (UK): One of the true characters of drag bike racing, Dennis originally started sprinting back at the start of the 1960s, before moving on to the new world of drag racing.
Being older than most of his fellow competitors, Dennis' natural riding skills were put to good use at the end of WW2 as a despatch rider instructor. His teaching methods were interesting, to say the least, and quickly taught riders that staying on board was vital- especially when leading them through minefields that were still being cleared!
After the war Dennis settled in Hemel Hempstead and opened a motor cycle shop. Though toying with Speedway in the late fifties his interest turned to sprinting in the early 1960s with an Ariel Square Four before moving on to the new sport of Drag Racing. With the opening of Santa Pod Raceway. Dennis was one of the regular Friday volunteers helping the SPR management set up the track for the weekend racing in those early days.
He was one of the top runners in the late 1960s, and into the early 1970s, on his twin-engined Triumph, which was one of the early nine second bikes. One of the first visitors to Sweden and Holland, the smoky passes from the 1300cc Norman's Conquest were always a crowd favourite. His off-track mischievous sense of humour was legendary in the pits.
His proudest achievement was being one of the first two bike racers to travel over to America to compete, backed by Bob Phelps. In 1970, Dennis qualified on his first pass for what was the first ever Top Fuel Bike eliminator at the premier NHRA Nationals event at Indy, and he ran under ten seconds to impress the American racers at Indy. Learning some new tricks while there, he performed the first bike burnout over here on his return.
A blown double-engined Norton was built as a replacement bike in 1974. His son Gary was also entered into the competition bike ranks.
Many years later, Dennis rebuilt his double Triumph and performed demonstration runs at various venues. He was even to be seen in his mid-eighties riding the bike at a Santa Pod RWYB in 2010 to keep the spirit of 1960s bike racing alive. His grandson Matthew has kept that spirit alive through the generations by bringing the bike out on to the track for Dragstalgia; although the super sticky track of today is not so easy for the wheelspinners of old!
John Whitmore (UK): John Whitmore was born in Leicester. He started his career as an electrician by getting a Silver Medal from the Electrical Contractors' Association for coming in the top three in the UK in his exams. Work for industry gave John experience of constructing electrical systems using conduit, which would soon prove useful in racing. In 1967, on a visit to Santa Pod John saw Bud Barnes from the US run a full track length smoker. It converted John to the sport and on seeing Harold Bull's Stripduster it inspired John himself to build a front engine dragster powered by the four cylinders BMC A series engine.
John's first car ran at the start of 1968 and its chassis was made out of the thin yet incredibly light electrical conduit. A new mild steel tube chassis that could take rather more power was brought out in 1969 and in 1970 the car was named Drag-n-Fly. Many parts on Drag-n-Fly were homemade including a fuel injection system with an oil pump from the ubiquitous BMC A series engine converted into a fuel pump. The gearbox was based on an overdrive from an Austin A35 although with all the power John made out of the engine it developed a habit of knocking gear teeth off after two or three runs.
A three-speed Borg Warner 35 auto gear box was modified and shortened, a manual three position control valve was used to change the gears: this replaced the A35 gear box. A 7½" friction clutch replaced the torque converter.
One advantage of using British parts is that spares were relatively easy to come by. Even the supercharger on John's engine was able to be replaced by another unit previously in a machine used for melting the road surface which was manufactured by Nobby Hills' company. A visit to BMC Special Tuning Abingdon resulted in more race-ready parts being acquired that could withstand nitro loads of up to 65%. Times fell and speeds increased; in 1973 he ran over 150 mph for the first time and dominated the Middle Dragster class with low nine second passes.
The constant quest for quarter mile performances from the venerable A series engine that would have astounded its original designers led John to build a rear engine chassis for 1974 and he again, later converted a Borg Warner automatic transmission (this time a larger one) to a three speed clutch operated racing gearbox. This helped take the car deep into the eights with many wins in 1975 and 1976, times which will probably never be beaten.
As well as running all the meetings that took place in the UK in the 1970s, John went to Sweden in 1976 to 1978, won or came runner up in each of these events, and later visited Zandvoort in Holland. He also had sponsorship from British Leyland in 1977 following an introduction from Brian Taylor.
In 1980 John took a different path with a new Daimler powered dragster. He had got support from Jaguar spares dealer G H Nolan who supplied him with the mechanical parts for the car. John used all his mechanical ingenuity on the new car which went well from the start and in 1981 ran his first seven second time.
A career in designing automotive test systems, particularly rolling roads, with rollers up to six feet in diameter, and wind tunnels, one up to twenty feet in diameter, with a 3½ megawatt fan motor, was taking up more of John's time in the 1980s and 1990s and he travelled the world to help install them.
In a racing career spanning almost twenty years and many wins, John never redlit. But it is for his mechanical skills in developing cars using British parts where possible, and achieving outstanding performances, that John is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Don Garlits (Overseas): Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits is the greatest and most successful drag racer by most measures and has introduced many technological changes that have had a game-changing influence on the overall direction of the sport. His sheer hard work and determination has set him apart. He was part of the wildly successful US team to visit Britain for the 1964 Dragfest and subsequently raced in the UK in 1976 and 1977. These appearances were crucial to the success of the sport in the UK.
Born in Florida, Don possessed natural flair for both constructing racecars and competing in the sport at a level that has been an inspiration to countless others. After starting racing in 1950 he built his first of thirty seven Swamp Rat dragsters in 1955. He raced around the US and modified the car so that by the time he retired it in 1959, he had already become the first racer over 170 mph in 1957 and over 180 mph in 1958. He also suffered a serious fire but his car continued to compete with long-time crewman Art Malone in the driver's seat.
During the NHRA ban on nitromethane from 1959 to 1963, Don continued to match race nationally. It was at the 1963 Winternationals, for which the ban was temporarily lifted, that he scored his first NHRA Championship win with the first Top Fuel Dragster to have a wing mounted on it. When nitromethane was finally allowed at all NHRA events in 1964, he ran the first backed-up 200 mph speed.
In September and October of 1964 the First British International Drag Festival took place organised by BDRA's Sidney Allard and the NHRA's Wally Parks. In a series of six events, Don match raced Tommy Ivo and won The People Challenge Trophy for the best aggregate performance by any car, running a string of low eights at over 190 mph in front of huge crowds at Blackbushe and a series of RAF airfields.
With further success in the US, Don's terminal speeds climbed to over 240 mph. But an exploding transmission on the startline at Lions Drag Strip in 1970 cut his car in half and badly injured his right foot, leading to a layoff for the year. During this time away from the pressures of competition, he worked on the rear engine dragster design which others had tried unsuccessfully. His engineering skills came to the fore as he identified and solved the issues that prevented the design from working and on his return won the 1971 NHRA Winternationals and a string of races that year which resulted in the old slingshot style of dragsters becoming obsolete in the next couple of years.
The 1970s were highly successful for Don in racing. In that decade he won eleven Championships in different sanctioning bodies, including 16 NHRA event wins, and in 1975 set a record for Top Fuel Dragsters of 5.637 and 250.69 mph, which stood as records for more than seven years. In 1976 he visited Santa Pod for its tenth anniversary, driving Swamp Rat 21, and inspired Peter Crane to run the first five second pass outside the US. Don returned the following year and won at the July International before returning his car, which in the meantime had been raced by Dennis Priddle, to the US for eventual display at the Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida. After his visits, Don's fellow racers could be easily enticed to race in the UK, furthering the boom in the sport in Britain in the late 1970s.
Don's innovative skills came to the fore again in the 1980s, experimenting with different configurations of rear engine dragsters before reaching success with Swamp Rat 30, a streamlined car which brought him a third NHRA Championship in 1986. A spectacular blowover in 1986 was followed by a second such incident in 1987, leading to an enforced retirement. In every appearance he has made since then, whether it has been running his own or borrowed cars he has been treated with adoration by thousands of drag racing fans.
2014 has been a year very mixed emotions for Don. He has succeeded in running over 180 mph in the electric powered dragster Swamp Rat 37 which he has said is a clean, less-expensive-to-operate, sustainable and environmentally sound technology for the sport in the future. But he lost Pat, his wife of over sixty years and a constant companion of his at the track during his racing career, after caring for her in her final illnesses.
Overall Don's success can be measured in 144 National Event wins and 17 Championships in his career. The innovation he has brought to drag racing is immense. But even more than these achievements, his influence on the sport has been inestimable and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to be able to induct him in person this year.
Members of the Hall of Fame receive a 'Bootsie', a trophy encapsulating an image of the late Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge, a man who put so much into British drag racing, together with an exclusive commemorative pin. They join the élite list of inductees from previous years and will be listed on the official British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the British Hall of Fame link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The Hall of Fame trophies will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 22nd November.
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is sponsored by USAutomotive, Beech Underwriting, Lucas Oil Products, Santa Pod Racers Club, Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, Pennine Drag Racing Club/York Raceway, Avon Park International Racers Association, Power Race Graphics and Eurodragster.com.
Trophy picture courtesy and ©Ian Messenger
London Volksfest beckons.
12th July: After two years' absence, the London Volksfest returns to North Weald Airfield tomorrow (Sunday 13th). Damian Burke writes:
The action on the the dragstrip is the usual Run What You Brung format which is open to any car so there will be plenty of VW Against The World action. For a £25 signing on fee, you will be make to do as many runs as possible. Just bring your driving licence and, if possible, a helmet although we do have some available for free loan.
As usual there will be a Fast 8 eliminator for the quicker cars and a Sportsman eliminator for normally-aspirated cars on regular street tyres, and, if there's enough interest, a VW eliminator.
Away from the track there will be plenty to see and do including a Show and Shine for both Water Cooled and Air Cooled featuring a Top Ten in both and a Best of Show in both of the categories.
There is a licensed bar and also a food area as well as traders and an autojumble for those hard-to-find parts. There will also be an area for cars for sale. As usual there will be areas set aside for Club displays and each Club is invited to take part in the traditional Bug Push.
Entry is on the day and costs just £10 under-14s being admitted for free. North Weald is located just off the A44 and signposted from junction 7 of the M11. The postcode for SatNav users is CM16 6HR.
Bug Jam racer update.
11th July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for next week's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway.
Santa Pod's gates will be open between 10:00 and 21:00 on Thursday 17th, and will then open for the duration at 09:00 on Friday 18th.
Friday 18th July
Run What You Brung 14:00 - 20:00 (DVLC licences only)
Scrutineering commences 14:00* (Competition licences required)
Saturday 19th July
Signing On office open from 08:30
Scrutineering commences 08:30, no specific order
Run What You Brung 09:30 - 15:00 (DVLC licences only)
Track open for qualifying 16:00 - 20:00
Sunday 20th July
Signing on office open from 08:30
Scrutineering commences 08:30
Track opens for qualifying and eliminations 10:00
*Please note that Friday's scrutineering start time has changed from that given on the Final Instructions.
Please remember the strict curfew: motors should not be started before 09:00 or after 20:00. If going to scrutineering on Saturday or Sunday mornings then please tow or push your vehicle. Firing up motors out of hours can and will result in exclusion from the event.
Both Saturday's and Sunday's provisional running orders are available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note that 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.
You started it, H.
11th July: Jerry Cookson writes that the ReadSpeed racing Top Fuel Dragster team are supporting Shakespeare County Raceway with new headsets:
Following a recent visit to England on family matters Heather Read, wife and Crew Chief for Pommie Steve Read's ReadSpeed Racing Top Fuel operation on the Australian ANDRA Drag Racing Series, made a day's scheduled stop at Shakespeare County Raceway's Yanks Weekend. Sadly the day was rather wet so Heather, otherwise affectionately known as H, didn't get to see any racing but she did enjoy catching up with everyone from her days working as an APIRA marshal at Avon Park. H became Europe'' first female Chief Starter at the Raceway in the 1990s.
"I made a six-day flying visit back to England in May and decided to spend a day at Shakey to catch up with some of my old colleagues and watch a bit of racing", said H. "I was surprised to see that so many of our crew were still there and still had the same urge to get the weekend started, just like the good old days. The enemy of our beautiful sport, the weather, had different ideas and it poured down all day which for me was ok as we had plenty of time to catch up and compare notes.”"
As a way of saying thank you to all of her friends at the Raceway Heather and RSR have very kindly sponsored some new radio communication headsets for the marshals who work in and around the start line area. "Whilst there I became aware that there was a shortage of radio headsets so I offered to sponsor a few to help the guys out", said H. "I know how much this means to the crew having been with them at the coalface, so to speak, and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to give back."
"It was a real treat to meet Heather again after all these years", said Jerry. "H has certainly picked up that Aussie twang in her short time down under! It was just a shame that the weather put paid to any racing that day and for Heather to reacquaint her self with the role of starter now that she's wielding the spanners on Steve's Top Fuel Dragster."
H added "I have been on Steve's case to bring our fuel car over to England and do a couple of meetings and he has agreed to this if we can draw in some marketing partner to help with the costs involved, and I would have no hesitation bringing it to Avon Park for a couple of laps too."
SCR and APIRA would like to thank H and Steve for their very kind support with the headsets and RSR prizes for the Ladies That Launch raffle next weekend.
11th July: UK Super Pro ET racer Simon Gough tells is that former Fuel Altered racer Tony Betts will be handling his package at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th July. Tony will drive the no-nonsense Camaro in UK Top Sportsman.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join Tog, Simon and Julian in wishing ace lenswoman Kirstie Tramm a very Happy Birthday.
Make yourselves at home...
10th July: A few short weeks after the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, a signature event for the UK's Wild Bunch, the nostalgia racers are now looking forward to this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway where they will again be in their element. Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes:
There are no less than thirty seven teams registered. This is a record entry for the class, which will feature both regulars and a few newcomers joining together in a celebration of all things nostalgic. Expect to see slingshots, altered, dragsters and Funny Cars, backup girls, push cars, wheelies, the Cacklefest and some fire burnouts... plus a whole lot of exciting racing!
This event will be Wild Bunch Series Round 4, Real Steel Series Round 7 and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Round 2. The Wild Bunch Series is currently led by the consistent Andrew Murphy in the B-Sting Topolino, followed by joint second placed Bob Hawkins in the Time Traveller II blown slingshot (new Wild Bunch ET and speed record holder at 7.347/192.08) and current title holder Adam Price in the Go Hard or Go Home!!! Topolino. In joint fourth place are Keith Crampton in the resplendent Soul Town Shaker slingshot and Alan Loten in the well-known Jag-powered Paranoia altered. The Real Steel Series has Bob Hawkins heading up the table closely followed by Keith Crampton, then Adam Price and Andrew Murphy. The Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series is also led by Andrew, with Adam in second place, Keith in third, and Scot Durrant in the cool Tiki Munki Competition Coupe in fourth place. The competition is likely to be hot this weekend and we can't wait for Sunday, Sunday, Sunday to find out the winners!
At Dragstalgia the Wild Bunch are being sponsored by Ian Blackett, Santa Pod's Resident RWYB photographer, and Scot Durrant of Scottie's Car Transportation. Both are kindly contributing prize money so many thanks to them.
Further information can be found on our web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk or see our Facebook group. And check out that entry list on the Santa Pod's Dragstalgia at www.santapod.co.uk/e_entrylist_dragstalgia14.php. See you at the drags!
Dragstalgia Perfect Award.
10th July: This weekend's Dragstalgia is the latest event in the 2014 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. Courtesy of Cath and Tig Napier of UK Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing, the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £75 is on offer at a non-Championship event.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the SPRC Summernationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first driver or rider this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to everyone whether running a car or bike in an organised class, RWYB or exhibition, but it will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the National Bike Championship rounds at Ladies That Launch weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Ladies that Launch weekend.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
10th July: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the official MSA Pro Modified entry list for the round at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th July. You can check out the Mopars Pro Mod entry by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Late Eurodragster.com staff member Ed O'Connell's wife Kathy has been in touch to let us know that another tribute to Ed has been published, this time in local on-line magazine Sea Coast Online. You can check out the tribute to Ed, which concentrates on the surfing part of his life, at www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140708-NEWS-407080341.
Also on the subject of Ed, his memorial decals have been printed by Eurodragster.com sponsor Paul Foote Ink, are on their way to Santa Pod Raceway, and will be available at Dragstalgia. The decals are free and can be acquired on request from the Eurodragster.com staff. Again thanks to Darren West of Eurodragster.com sponsor Power Race Graphics and to Paul Foote Ink for rapid design and printing.
Mission Impossible achieved!
10th July: FHRA Nitro Nationals Pro Stock winner, Sweden's Michael Malmgren, says that he had a fantastic weekend:
We managed to tune our new Jerry Haas Hot Rod to the very trick track conditions with very poor traction. We pedalled in Q1 as most cars had to and ran a 7.44 which was good enough for fourth. Jimmy Ålund was second at 7.14 and Simon Gustavsson was top with a good 6.95, they were the only team who a decent run in Q1. Well done! We decided to sit out Q2 as we couldn't see any improvements on the track and it turned out to be the right call as every driver had to pedal, and that is bad for the engines and hurts parts. However Jimmy made a good run of 6.77 and seemed to have it all figured out. In Q3 on Saturday we had just a touch too much clutch and the tyres spun hard so I lifted. In Q4 we improved a lot, the car made a straight run, no hopping or spinning, right down the groove and the clocks stopped at 6.91. The rest of the cars again problems, even Mr Ålund couldn't get down. Tomas Lindström could only get a 7.04 best from his new Allen Johnson motor.
So now we felt we had a good set-up and made a move on the tuning that the rest hadn't figured out. In Q4 we even improved more with a stout 6.85 and now we were putting some pressure on Jimmy. I ended up qualified second and again in this sesson neiher Jimmy nor Thomas could get down the track.
In E1 we had the toughest race off all against Sampsa Palos who broke his new engine in qualifying and had to borrow an engine which seemed to work well for the track conditions. He ran a 7.00 and had a killer light, luckily I was right there with a decent light which is tough to do with no clutch and very low starting rpm. But I guess Sampsa knew he had to take a chance on the Tree. We had him covered with a 6.93 after a tough run during which the car went towards the right wall and I had to lift and correct. In E2 we ran against Christian Sagelv in the Ford and made no mistake, a better light and a new good ET of 6.85. Now we were putting good pressure on Jimmy who slowed down to 6.80, although he got lane choice which seems critical on this track.
I told my guys that lane choice didn't matter as we had a set up which would work in both lanes, so I felt it was a 50-50 shot! Jimmy picked the right lane and many thought we had no chance. He got me on the Tree by three hundredths but then it was all my race. Jimmy had to pedal twice when he lost traction, but we went straight down even though we spun tires bad in low gear, 6.94 to Jimmy's 7.4.
What a good team effort! We all talked through what to do and we made no mistakes. I must say I am real proud for my guys Bjarne Cox, Kent Eriksson, David Xen and stand in mechanic this weekend Tord Sjöström, who will probably join the team for the rest of the season.
I am very proud for all the USA manufacturers with whom we work and who support my team with the best products possible. We wouldn't be racing this year without that support. Thanks to Victory Performance, MSD Ignition, Speed Pro, Fel Pro, Champion, Motive, Braswell Carburettors, PAC Springs, Strange Engineering, GRP Rods, Auto Verdi Oil Pumps, MBE , Trend Performance, Diamond Pistons, Pro Fabrication Headers, Polydyn, Dynotech Driveshafts, Winberger Cranks and VP Racing Fuel. And of course Oakley who supply the team with all the cool gear, Europa Flyer for handling our travel, and Nordströms for delivering good food all the time.
God it feels good to be back on top of the points page, even if I am realistic and know that Jimmy will fight hard to get number one position back next race. But I can asure you all he will have to fight real hard!
FIM Europe Round 2 review.
10th July: Many thanks to Geoff Myers of Track Group Europe for passing on PR PiPPi's report of the second round of the FIM European Drag Bike Championships which took place at the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro:
The track has gone through a recent resurfacing making for a very smooth race surface. Unfortunately, due to abnormally wet spring weather it was not possible to fully follow through on the schedule for the final track preparation. It made for a tricky weekend for the teams, chassis and clutch tuning being the order of the day although the combined Track Group Europe crews of FHRA and Santa Pod Raceway worked very hard together. The three classes contending this round were Pro Stock Bike, Super Twin and Top Fuel Bike. The FIM Super Street Bike Cup will be back in action at the next FIM race, the NitrOlympx in Hockenheim, Germany on 8th-10th August.
FIM Pro Stock Bike: Current points leader Fredrik Fredlund of Finland continued running strong. Fredrik and his team had the quickest and fastest bike in all four qualifying runs with Gert-Jan laseur from the Netherlands in the second qualifying position followed by Timo Savolainen in third place with a new Personal Best Elapsed Time.
Fredlund was well dialled in at his home track. He ran the quickest and fastest numbers in each round of eliminations. In the final he went up against a hard working Gert-Jan Laseur who set a new Personal Best ET in the semi-finals although that didn't help: Fredrik won the final round as well and extended his points lead going into the next race.
FIM Super Twin Top Fuel Bike: Alastaro is the home track for the biggest number of active nitro-twins from a single nation except the USA. But when qualifying was over, the top three positions were held by non-Finnish racers. The Dutch-Norwegian Zodiac Racing Team blasted their way to the top of the qualifying list in Q1, rider Ronny Aasen setting a new Personal Best ET of 6.50 seconds. Christian Jäger from Germany was in second place and Martijn de Haas from the Netherlands in third place, Martijn continuing with runs deep in the six-second region.
Ronny's top qualifying run was not without issues as the engine was hurt. The team came back to win the quarter finals but with more damage and that was the end of their weekend. Meanwhile Christian and #5 qualifier Samu Kemppainen from Finland won their respective quarter- and semi-finals and went on to meet in the finals. Christian won the race with a 6.89 while Samu's tyre went up in smoke.
FIM Top Fuel Bike: Ian King continues his quest for an eighth European FIM Top Fuel Bike championship but it was Otto Knebl from the Czech Republic who made waves in the first day of qualifying by being on top with a 6.51, also a new Personal Best time. Ian stepped it up on day two and took over the #1 spot with an excellent time of 6.16, a new track record.
Otto suffered a motor failure during qualifying and could not enter Sunday's eliminations. Filippos Papafilippou from Greece came in as an alternate but lost against Rikard Gustavsson from Sweden. Ian won his semi-final against Norwegian Jan Sturla Hegre, Ian lowering the track record again to 6.159. Ian against Rikard in the final, Ian took the gold with a 6.26 and won yet another race at Alastaro, one of his favorite race tracks.
For more information, please visit www.tgeurope.eu.
Thanks to Palle Lind for sending us the post-FHRA Nitro Nationals points standings in the 2014 FIM European Drag Bike Championships. You can check out the FIM points 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 Eurodragster.com page.
Ladies that Launch raffle.
10th July: Ladies That Launch organisers Angie Woods and Jerry Cookson have been in touch to brung us up to date on fund-raising plans for the Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance at next weekend's Public Track Day including For Ladies That Launch, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 19th-20th July:
Every year we try to raise funds for different charities within the Ladies That Launch festivities. This year's choice of charity wasn't a difficult decision to make especially when incidents and accidents happen so close to our drag racing family. So far, Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Fundraising Co-ordinator Stephanie Butlin has been impressed with what we have achieved in such a short space of time by grabbing people's attention about the Air Ambulance cause. We're hoping that Stephanie and members of her team will be able to attend next Sunday's festivities at Shakespeare County Raceway, along with a famous name from the history of British drag racing, to present the prizes and to award this year's car and bike bracket race winners in association with longtime track supporters Claron Graphics.
So far we have the following list of prizes for this years raffle:
Framed Print courtesy of Jeni Long / Yawningcatphotography
VP Racing Fuel Jugs courtesy of Lee Child & LA Racing Parts
£30 Food Voucher courtesy of Trish's American Diner and Sarah Howells
Two engravings courtesy of Dawn Watson
RSR USB Wristbands courtesy of Readspeed Racing and Steve and Heather Read
Magazine Subscription and two Model Kits courtesy of American Car Magazine and Dave Smith
Power Tour UK T-Shirts and Stickers courtesy of Power Tour UK and Ralph Bates
Assorted Drag Racing Photos courtesy of Drakies American and Martin Drake
Bottle of Red Line Oil, T-Shirt and Lanyard courtesy of Red Line Oil
Big Breakfast courtesy of SCR Burger Babes and Emily Hodges
Local award winning Pork Pie courtesy of Kenny's Bar and Kenny Aston
Drive in a Junior Dragster courtesy of SCR Junior Dragster Experience and Firefighter Racing Juniors
Photoshoot with the lucky winner's car taken at Shakespeare County Raceway courtesy of Jenny Wren Photography
Cookie Monster Dust Caps & Jewellery courtesy of Team Bonkers Drag Racing and Del and Zoe Sanderson
Cuddly 'Love You Lots' Teddy Bear
Adult pair of RJS Racing Arm Restraints
Sealey aluminium Torch
Nascar Seat Cushion
Keep Calm and Burn Nitro T-Shirt courtesy of Eurodragster.com
There is still room for more! If you have something to donate - and it doesn't have to be directly connected with drag racing or motorsport - then please get in touch by calling the Raceway office on 01789 720180 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The more prizes we get the more funds we can raise for Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. Tickets will be available at £1 a strip from Sue's Signing-On Office all weekend. Dig deep people – a life could depend upon it!
UK Top Sportsman sponsors.
10th July: The organisers of the UK Top Sportsman events at the Mopar EuroNats and VW Action are humbled by the strength of support shown to by the sponsors who have faith in what Top Sportsman is trying to do: to give doorslammer racers unique events in which to compete during the summer break.
Main Title Sponsor: wemoveyourcar.com.
wemoveyourcar.com is a bespoke service for transporting anything from a race car to your new car anywhere you need it to be. They understand the challenges which moving race cars of any formula can present and meet that need at a very cost effective price. Director of the company Matt Wright has been a strong supporter of UK Top Sportsman right from the start and we are very grateful to him and his company for stepping up to the plate. Matt also understands the exposure and media effectiveness which television along with trackside awareness and coverage, provide and he feels that this offers excellent value for money. Please support the people who support our sport of drag racing. If you need a car moved please try out wemoveyourcar.com. Click on the banner on Eurodragster.com and mention Top Sportsman when you ask for a quote.
Winner Heads Up: Jeff Bull Racing Engines
Proprietor Jeff Bull needs no introduction. Jeff has more top drag race teams running his motors than any other company in UK drag racing which alone is testament to the esteem in which Jeff and his company are held. Jeff has always been one for supporting the people who support this great sport and we are honoured to have Jeff Bull Racing Engines as one of our associates. Anything you need racewise can be sourced by Jeff Bull Racing Engines who have a good inventory of Chevrolet performance and race parts. For parts or a turn-key motor give them a call through www.jeffbullraceengines.co.uk .
Winner Fast Bracket Race: wemoveyourcar.com.
These are people who understand the meaning of personal service, give them a try.
Runner-up Top Sportsman Bracket and Heads Up Engine Data Analysis
Kenny Coleman has been a supporter of drag racing for longer than he cares to remember. Kenny's company EDA is the go-to for having your engine dyno'd. Specialising in American V8s for circle, track and drag racing, supplying you with the best advise and getting the best from your engine in a safe enviorment at his state of the art dyno facilities. Many many race teams rely on EDA when setting up their engines; Kenny is the benchmark. For further information contact Kenny via www.engine-data.co.uk.
Damn Yankees American Car Club: Gary Hall
UK Top Sportsman organiser Paul Marston is an ex-committee member of the Damn Yankees and they can be relied on to put on one of the best American Car Shows in the country. The show is at North Weald Airport Sunday 20th featuring everything good about owning an American car. Commentary supplied by the Rough Diamond Racing new boy, none other than John Price. For more details try www.damnyankees.uk.com.
Rough Diamond Racing Fabrication and Machine
Many of you will know Dave Gibbons and his immaculately built Super Pro Rough Diamond Altered. Dave is an engineer and fabricator by trade and can quite literally build or modify / upgrade anything you have which requires engineering from a one off part for a Junior Dragster to a complete turn-key seven-second race car. A good example of Dave's work can be seen in his son Scott Gibbons' brand new Junior Dragster. You can contact Dave via www.roughdiamondracing.wordpress.com.
Hauser Racing: Geof Hauser
Hauser Racing have been one of the most prolific and premier manufacturers of quality race cars over the past twenty years having built such cars as Paul Marstons PT Bruiser and more recently Scott Hauser's stunning four-Link Super Pro ET dragster. A great source for axle parts, any fabrication work, small to full turn-key race cars. These are the people to talk to, contact Ian via www.hauserracing.com.
Drag Race Engineering: Gary Springford
There is still time to enter UK Top Sportsman. Don't delay, enter today - E-Mail email@example.com for your entry form or for the answers to any questions.
Interview: Ron Hope.
9th July: In the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, Eurodragster.com spoke to Ron Hope who owns and who will be driving the classic Rat Trap Fuel Altered at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway.
We asked Ron about his racing history, his involvement with the Rat Trap team, his Land Speed Racing exploits, his opponent in Pure Hell and more.
You can check out our interview with Ron Hope by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
NitrOlympX seeks slicks.
9th July: NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey has been in touch with an update from the Hockenheimring including a plea for slicks, for which the organisation will give racers a tangible reward:
Despite the rumours about our track before and after the Formula 1 race, our track was not scraped, sandblasted or bombed. The same firm which laid the €360,000 new asphalt last year did a perfect job of satisfying FIA requirements that no glue remains on the track. A good amount of rubber is still in the pores of the entire track and after a recent visit from Ian Marshall of SPRC and Darren Prentice of Santa Pod, the plan for prepping the track has been set. €67,000 in materials from the USA and Denmark are on hand and ready for use. With guidance from Ian, Darren and David Warren we are convinced that for our race on 8th-10th August we will get our quarter mile back in the same shape as, or even better than it was, in 2013.
Although we have already received three hundred slicks from Hoosier USA, we still need softer used slicks from racers here in Europe. We will, as in previous years, give one Team Ticket worth €60 in exchange for each used slick which racers bring to the NitrOlympX.
Entry deadline at reduced entry fee closes next Monday, 14th July, and the entry remains open at an increased entry fee until Monday 21st July. More information on the Racers' Page at www.nitrolympx.de.
Junior event entry update.
9th July: Further to our story of 30th June, sign-up forms are now available for the Little Ladies' Eliminator Junior Shootout which takes place during Ladies That Launch weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway on 19th-20th July. To download your form follow the Downloads link at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com then return it by E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to:
Shakespeare County Raceway
Long Marston Airfield
More updates soon.
Entry is still open for the second annual Junior Drag Racing Fun Day which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Wednesday 20th August. Presented in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor Alamo Rent-A-Car, the Fun Day will raise funds for Wellingborough-based charity Niamh's Next Step and is supported by the Northamptonshire Telegraph.
The drag strip is open to Junior Dragster, Junior Funny Car and Junior Drag Bike racers from Europe and race entry is free with informal competitions for racers ranging from eight to seventeen years old. To enter the Junior Dragster / Funny Car or Junior Drag Bike competition, or to enter the Run What You Brung, download the entry form (PDF format) at www.eurodragster.com/juniorfunday. Each entrant will get an allocation of four tickets once an entry form is received. If any more tickets are required then they can be booked also free of charge at www.santapod.co.uk/e_junior_day.php.
Off-track, this year's Fun Day will also embrace other forms of Junior motorsport. Static displays are promised by a range of racing disciplines focused on the younger generation. There'll be Lightning McQueen Disney-style cars on show too, alongside Santa Pod's own, very grown-up FireForce Jet Funny Car. Mighty Monster Truck Podzilla will roar and leap into car-crushing action in the Live Action Arena while its fellow giant Red Dragon provides passenger rides in its own inimitable style. Other family activities on the programme include dodgems, trampolines, face-painting and a bouncy castle. Go Motorsport, the Motor Sports Association's entry-level initiative, will offer Auto-Solo passenger rides in its own, separate zone in the paddock. Lee Bowers Motorcycle Stunt Rider will also be performing some daredevil tricks.
Public admission to the Fun Day is free - summer-holiday family entertainment is the prescription, with the accent firmly on youth. Last year's inaugural Junior Drag Racing Fun Day attracted more than two thousand visitors to the famous racing venue and organisers anticipate many more for this year's second edition. The event will run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and the programme is expected to expand substantially as the time draws near.
Voluntary donations to Niamh's Next Step will be greatly appreciated. The charity was founded in memory of Niamh Curry, who passed away aged five in 2012, and is dedicated to fighting the childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma, and to supporting children and families afflicted with the disease. For more information, please visit www.niamhsnextstep.org.
Dragstalgia bike preview.
9th July: This weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway is promising to be the best-ever for nostalgia drag racing action on both two and four wheels. Keith Lee has kindly provided us with the latest bike news:
For the first time in many years, among the bike entries there will be no fewer than five double-engined drag bikes in action on the track, plus another three on show in the historic marquee, in what will be the biggest gathering of these crowd pleasing machines in a very, very long time. The doubles will be among a real variety of machines taking part in the National Sprint Association Bike Shoot-out at the event. There will be qualifying sessions throughout Saturday and Sunday, with the quickest two riders facing-off in the final race for victory.
Making a welcome return to Santa Pod for Dragstalgia, after an absence of more than thirty years, will be the very successful Super Cyclops supercharged double Norton, which was originally built and campaigned by Mick Butler. Well known Jet Car exponent Colin Fallows will be on board the neat 1000 cc entry. His inclusion on two wheels at the event may come as a surprise to many, but Colin is a regular bike sprinter these days, and will be busy getting to grips with the recently restored machine, which recently made a couple of shakedown runs at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Jeff Byne will be one of the most welcome entries, as the quickest of these double-engined machines returns to action for the first time. He has worked hard to rebuild the 1500 cc Morgo Triumph, and has already had it fired-up in readiness for the weekend.
It is fifty years since the Drag Festivals kick-started the sport into life in this country, and one of the well known bikes of that era will be making a second visit to Dragstalgia. Maurice Brierley rode his supercharged 998cc Vincent sidecar outfit to good effect back in 1964. Chris Illman, with passenger Colin Jefferies, will be putting the lovingly restored combination through it's paces on a rare outing.
A number of legendary names in the straight-line sport will be out on track, taking part in the NSA Bike Shoot-out. Looking back forty years, you would see John Hobbs and Dave Clee battling for Top Bike honours at Santa Pod. Both riders will be in action over the weekend. Sadly the Hobbit will only be on show due to a broken crank, as John rides Olympus. The mix of bikes is more than a little diverse, and includes Bernie White out on his 1928 600 cc Douglas. It may be eighty five years old, but the Flat Twin has run times in the mid twelves. Bernie was one of the quick 500 blown Triumph racers in the early seventies. Talking of Triumphs last year's winner, Martin Willmott, will be looking to repeat his win on Capella, which was the first 500 Triumph in the world to hit the eight second zone.
Representing the latter part of the era will be the two newly-restored Kawasaki powered bikes previously raced by the late Steve Tong. Pip Higham will be riding the turbo Orient Express bike, now owned by Steve Watson, in match races against Nick Pepper on the Pro Stock Bike.
All in all, a great cross section of machinery on two (and three) wheels to look out for. And don't forget to visit the historic marquee during the event, where a rare mix of two wheeled machinery will be on show. As well as the already mentioned doubles, there will be a 1960s blown Rudge, a triple Kawasaki two-stroke, plus US racer John Sands' highly successful Honda from the 1990s, which is now owned by Ian King.
Stone's retirement sale.
9th July: The UK's Dave Stone has decided to close the garage doors of his workshop in Dagenham after fifty years of trading.
Many who know Dave and Daddy Stone will know that the workshop was the birthplace of the infamous Hemi-Hunter and Tee-Rat among others. The workshop is an Aladdin's Cave of drag racing memorabilia and Dave is hoping to sell as much as possible to fund his retirement.
Dave has a lot of dragster parts which may be useful for the current Nostalgia racing classes. If anyone is interested in contacting Dave, he will be at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday (19th) and can be reached on the day on 07885 807979. Alternately you can E-Mail Dave's daughter Vickie Stone at email@example.com.
Built on sand.
9th July: Sebastian Lindau has been in touch to reveal that last Wednesday's spy picture is his new drag bike. This isn't just any drag bike, though, as Sebastain explains:
What you see in these pictures is Europe's first - non-Icelandic - Sand Drag Bike. I've worked on this project for a long time and now it is finally race ready.
The bike is a 'slightly' modified Yamaha FZR 1000. The engine is stock so far and I have mounted an air shifter on the gearbox. The bike is lowered a lot and the swing arm is extended by ten inches. There are a lot of other modfications but too many to list. A documentary about the building process and all the other modifications can be found at www.dragracing.de/showthread.php?10233-Yamaha-Sand-Drag-Projekt (German) or at www.sanddragcentral.net/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3154 (English).
In September I will make a trip to Iceland to compete in the final race of the season. It's a dream come true for me and I'm as excited as a little kid at Christmas.
I'm still searching for fellow racers to build up a Sand Drag scene here in Central Europe. If anyone is interested then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9th July: As is traditional the new inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced here on Eurodragster.com. Continuing the new arrangement introduced last year the inductees will be announced during Dragstalgia; the announcement will be posted here on Eurodragster.com News at midnight UK on Friday (01:00 Saturday European).
If anyone has space in their transporter to take a Junior Dragster to Hockenheim in August then please drop Dayle Frederick an E-Mail at email@example.com.
After great success last year UK Super Pro ET racer Billy Gane and family will be hosting the third annual drag racing summer party in Chelmsford, Essex on Saturday 2nd August. There will be a disco, live band, fully stocked bar with various drink deals, evening BBQ, burger van from midnight, bouncy castle, assault course, inflatable gladiator arena and much more. All are welcome including overnight guests as there is plenty of room to bring tents, caravans or motorhomes. Tickets are £10 and will be on sale at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. You can get more details on the event's Facebook page. "Looking forward to seeing you all soon", says Billy.
Unavoidably there was no news update yesterday, for which apologies, so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday for yesterday to UK Super Comp / Super Gas racer Jon Giles and belatedly for Monday to Eire's Top Fuel Dragster racer-in-waiting Gabrielle McDonald. Hope you both had great days.
Anita "Two Fuellers" Mäkelä.
9th July: Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä says that a two-car team - one each for herself and husband Tommi Haapanen - sounded a good idea during the long, dark winter evenings. But the closer last weekend's FHRA Nitro Nationals came, the more realistic Anita became and she started to worry about workload, parts, crew, food, team uniforms and just about everything else. As it turns out, Anita needn't have fretted:
We split the teams and after the weekend I have to give a huge thank to both Crew Chiefs, Sami Lehtimäki and Juha Sulanko, for an excellent job. Tommi didn't qualify in but it only shows how difficult our sport is.
Tommi really enjoyed himself getting back in the car. He said that it was a good rule to have the automatic shut-off system, otherwise he would have returned to the pits with his tyres still burning. But I'm sure that in the bikers' pits, which were next to the finish line, they enjoyed watching Tommi's wild rides. There was no mercy!
My team qualified third and on Sunday I started against Urs Erbacher. After we both did our burnouts, we were told to shut off the cars. That's not good for either the set-ups or the temperature. So launching the car after the second fire up, I lost two right-side cylinders at the hit. That caused my car to make a strong move towards the right guardrail, but I kept the pedal down even though the steering wheel was ninety degrees, all the way to the left. I could hear that Urs was close, but I didn't see him. There wasn't much between us at the finish line between us, but the few inches were for in our favour and we won.
The next round was against Antti Horto and we won in almost the same way, sweeping the guardrail but keeping it running all the way.
Then in the final I met a faster man, Stig Neergaard. The pedal was down all the way, but it didn't help and I saw Stig cross the line ahead of me. But I was happy number two!
I had Tommi's crew helping me on Sunday, too, and I was proud of those guys. We didn't blow engines, there were no fireballs behind our dragsters, and we still made nice runs on that slippery track. Huge thanks also go to our American mechanics Dom Lagana and Jake Sanders.
For the rest of the season we will race only one car, my yellow and white dragster. Writingn this on the Monday after the race, I think it worked out pretty well with two cars. So we'll see what kind of use the blue dragster gets in future.
Ålund's tricky weekend.
9th July: The second round of the 2014 FIA European Pro Stock Championship was held at the Alastaro Motopark whose strip had been resurfaced, making for a very smooth race track. Unfortunately, due to abnormally wet spring weather it was not possible to follow through fully on the schedule for the final track preparation. This made for a tricky weekend as regards to setting up chassis and clutch, but multiple FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund and the J&J Performance Racing Team made a strong showing.
Jimmy qualified number one at 6.85 seconds with the fastest speed of the weekend, 336.83 kmh (209.29 mph). Jimmy improved his ET in round one of eliminations where he took out Jan Palmqvist with the best time of the event, 6.778 at 336.29 kmh (208.96 mph). Round two, a win against Magnus Petersson where Jimmy ran the quickest ET and speed of the round again, 6.800 at 336.68 kmh (209.20 mph) which set up a final against Michael Malmgren. In the final round, the J&J Camaro overpowered the track and spun the tires with Malmgren taking the win.
"Congratulations to Michael and his team, they put in a better tune up than we did", says Jimmy. "The track conditions were as tough as we've seen in a long time. We had a good handle on the clutch and chassis during qualifying and did very well in the first two rounds of eliminations on Sunday. Of course I'm disappointed but we're not even half way into the season and we will be more than ready for the next race."
Jimmy and the team left Alastaro in second place in the FIA Championship but only six points off the lead. The next event for the J&J Performance Racing Team is the third race of the 2014 FIA European Pro Stock Championship, the 2014 NitrOlympX at Hockenheim in Germany. Qualifying starts on Friday morning, 8th August.
For more information including videos please visit www.jimmyalund.com.
Web site updates.
9th July: Photographer Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the 2006 FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, an event which took place in the good weather for which we are still hoping in 2014. You can check out Dick's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
FHRA Nitro Nationals results.
7th July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Stig Neergaard 4.479/410.43 def. Anita Mäkelä 4.649/400.88
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Johan Lindberg 6.138/386.44 def. Johnny Oksa 7.259/318.33
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Manty Bugeja 5.538/422.03 def. Chris Polidano 5.561/429.79
FIA Pro Stock: Michael Malmgren 6.945/315.14 def. Jimmy Ålund 7.570/244.95
FIA Pro Modified: Mattias Wulcan 6.229/368.55 def. Roger Johansson 7.443/218.46
Super Pro Street: Hannu Flink 7.028/321.72 def. Rolf Simonsson 7.018/309.48
Outlaw: Lasse Niskavaara 7.655/245.28 def. Tero Vainio 7.678/288.58
Super Pro ET: Laura Saksa 9.003 (8.91) def. Kari Laitinen 8.998 (8.93)
Stock/Super Stock: Jarmo Markkanen 10.284 (10.28) def. Iiro Mikkola 11.465 (11.40)
Sportsman ET/Pro ET: Petri Parkkinen 11.837 (11.80) def. Iiro Laaksonen 10.410 (10.33)
Top Street: Juho Yijälä-Räty 8.286/277.52 def. Pauli Junttila 8.342/264.83
Real Street: Kenneth Mattfolk 8.699/251.28 def. Toni Peräkasari 9.135/237.28
Junior Dragster: Tiia Rantanen 9.801 (9.95) def. Jenna Kakkonen 8.107 (8.09)
FIM Top Fuel Bike: Ian King 6.261/342.73 def. Rickard Gustavsson Foul No time
FIM Super Twin Top Fuel: Christian Jäger 6.898/278.32 def. Samu Kemppainen 8.122/226.41
FIM Pro Stock Bike Fredrik Fredlund 7.096/302.69 def. Gert-Jan Laseur 7.238/294.87
Funny Bike: Juha Ollikainen 7.165/310.05 def. Sami Kallio 9.377/170.72
Pro HD: Jukka Köykkä 9.295/236.43 def. Kalle Myllylä 9.792/218.92
Super Gas Bike: Janne Koskinen 9.517 def. Timo Pöllä 9.605
Street Bike: Jyrki Sinisalo 9.806 (9.62) def. Kimmo Rantala 10.741 (10.27)
Junior Bike: Tukka Varis 14.179 (14.14) def. Jesse Leino 6.628 (6.75)
You can check out our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored reports and photographs by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. A big Thank You and Well Done to Simon for writing the live race reports under difficult conditions and for posting the daily galleries, and a big Thank You to Eero Saarela and Patrik Jacobsson for photography.
Thanks also to Åsa Kinnemar of Speedgroup for passing us the post-FHRA Nitro Nationals points standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships, on behalf of Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson. You can check out the FIA points 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 Eurodragster.com page.
Sherratt to tame the Beast.
7th July: A couple of days ago we mentioned that UK Fuel Funny Car racer Bill Sherratt is to return in a big-engine, long-wheelbase car in association with FGR Motorsport. With apologies to Top Fuel obsessives, Bill has revealed that his drive is John Dodds' Rolls Royce Merlin-powered Beast which will be appearing at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. Bill explains:
Roy Phelps, former owner of Santa Pod Raceway, contacted John Dodds who owns the twenty seven-litre Beast for which Roy and Bob Phelps of FGR Motorsport built the body. As I have been Roy's assistant over the years I asked him if he could arrange for me to drive it on track at Dragstalgia, and to give me a positive reference about my driving ability.
I am delighted that John, who lives in Spain, agreed for me to drive the Beast as fast as it can go in the circumstances. This is completely different to the cars I have driven before; I won't be the limit as to how fast it can go although I am unsure exactly what to expect!
7th July: A superb tribute to late Eurodragster.com staff member Ed O'Connell has been posted by his surfing buddy Ralph on the Ralph's Pic web site. You can check out Ralph's tribute at www.ralphspic.com/newsletter.html. Thanks to all those who have contributed to our own Ed O'Connell tribute page; if you would like to send a tribute to Ed then please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
7th July: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with a set of shots from the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Mad's shots at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Tazz in a spin.
6th July: The Netherlands' Hans van der Spek had a bad start to his season at Drachten Airfield when his handsome truck, nicknamed Tazz, got out of shape and hit the guardrail. Hans was quite OK and work is already underway to repair the damage. Hans' crew Ramona wrote an account of the day day which Maikel Gloudemans of our streaming service provider Doyousee.me kindly translated into English:
We arrived at Drachten Airbase on Friday and dragged up the big party tent. Then off to scruteneering early Saturday morning. Taz was of course OK and we got the stamp of approval. Finally we would be able to see what the pick-up would do this season. After attending the drivers' meeting at 10:30 the first racers gathered in the startup area.
Our class was due at about 13:00 and we were very eager to have a go on the track. We set our dial-in to 10.35, somewhat on the safe side because the track hadn't warmed up enough yet and with one run per hour scheduled we could always lower it later. With Hans safely secured in Tazz with harness, neck brace, helmet, firesuit and gloves we went into the bleach box. The burnout was superb, a large cloud of smoke and all the spectators disappeared for a while. Hans had made quite a spectacle by doing a rolling burnout past the start line so everyone had a good view.
Anxiously we saw the bulbs of pre-stage light, then stage, the ambers dropped and there was the green light. Go! Great reaction time 0.05! But at the first yellow stripe on the track things went bad.
Tazz slid sideways and Hans wasn't able to save him. First a sharp turn towards the right guardrail, which Hans just avoided, then all of a sudden the pick-up turned round and went for the left guardrail. Hans was just able to steer it but hit the rail hard. The first hit was taken by the right front, afterwards the entire right side took a beating. Peet Bakkeren ran in the other lane and was just able to brake like mad and pass Hans in the right lane. His excellent response ensured that things didn't get any worse than they already were.
Ramona ran as fast as her legs could carry her to see whether Hans was OK. Luckily the car had taken most of the damage and Hans was OK, although we were all upset that the first run of the weekend turned into the last run so quickly. The front end was damaged too badly to run.
Whilst Hans and the guys worked to get the pickup off the track, Ramona chatted with some of the Dutch Hot Rod Association crew who told her that a collection was underway. In Dutch the word we use is spekpot which means "piggy bank" and which is a nice pun on Hans' surname. Since Hans always tries to help others with his time or from his inventory of spare parts, donations were generous. After checking what was needed to fix the truck, several people came forward with parts or help:
Cas van de Mosselaar of Team Orange Country had a hood, grill and bumper
Old School Products sponsored a new radiator and fan
Front and wing were donated by Arjan Franken of American Servicepoint
Reinier Tiesing sponsored the new windshield
RS Metaal Hoofddorp will do the metalwork
Gerrit Visscher will help straightening the chassis
A lot of other people also helped Hans. The spekpot will certainly come to good use for everything which could not be arranged but work is underway on getting things fixed. Hans initially lost faith in everything but after receiving all this help he is very positive and looking forward to rebuilding his Tazz.
Records fall at Kunmadaras.
6th July: Last weekend the Hungarian Drag Arena at Kunmadaras was again full for the second round of the Motul Cup Dragbike National Championship and the Toyota Road Service Drag Racing National Championship.
The organisers prepared the track with a new tractor and different methods and it resulted in a very fast track. Racers from five countries competed in Super Street Bike and there were many seven-second times but Dániel Donát Lencsés' 7.64 ET with a 1.24 sixty foot time was particularly significant. This is a unique performance anywhere in Europe. József Orbán smashed an 8.98 second record in the D1000 category with a Suzuki street bike. In the Competition category racers from four countries fought each other and finally Davide Ricchi won against his Czech and Hungarian rivals with a 7.4.
There was an outstanding field of cars including Polish, Slovenian, Rumanian, Croatian and Hungarian racers. The advantage of a prepared track was also in evidence here as Zoltán Kohári set a 7.01 ET record with his Dragacs Z28 Camaro which has 2600 hp and 3000 nm torque. This ET was coupled with a monstrous sixty foot of 1.04 seconds which is also a huge performance, and if we consider that for the last eighty metres he was off the throttle because of fuel problems and still ran 7.01 then you can see what a huge achievement it was.
On 19th-20th August the organisers look forward to welcoming everyone for the second round of the European Drag Challenge (for Super Street and Competition categories) where we await new records on the prepped track. For this event the organisers are offering foreign entrants a contribution for their travelling expenses.
The wind in your face...
6th July: Since its purchase turn-key from triple NFAA Champion Clayton Round, Jayne Kay's new drive has undergone a new look and had its first outing. Jayne writes:
My first time out at FIA / FIM Round 1 at Santa Pod Raceway was slightly nerve-wracking as it was at this race last year when I had my last race in the Funny Car. I had no idea how the different the altered would handle compared to the Funny, so I chose to amke single passes as we all know the reputation which altereds have! The first time out on the track was exciting. From the burnout alone I knew it was a wild one, as it hooked up and aimed for the Tree (narrowly missing David Warren's toes!). During staging I found it difficult to keep the car from dragging through the lights because the idle RPM was pretty high. I did a hard launch and backed off so that I could go back to the pits with some data and no broken parts. At this point the motor was not tuned for a full pass but I needed the time on track to get a handle on the car.
After Friday's outing we kept it in the pits for the rest of the weekend. We had the fuel system to sort out with the help of Dave Milam and Dave Wilson, who tested the check valves and made sure that the motor wasn't returning too much fuel, which is the reason it sounded boggy on the track. We also had the gearbox out to double check after it made some unusual noises. There were no problems so we assume it just didn't sit in a gear right. We had a few bugs getting the motor to run crisp but with the help of Richard Walters we got the timing right and killed the four-foot flames we had going on in the pits. Pity it wasn't darker out, it would have made a wicked cacklefest!
One question I was frequently asked over the weekend was "How does it compare to the Funny Car"? Well, it's like taking your shades off on a really sunny day. The biggest difference is the starting routine because now I can see everything. I know when I start laying down some quick numbers I will feel the wind in my face!
We have had to withdraw our entry for Dragstalgia and are yet to announce our next appearance with the Pink Lady Model T Altered, however we can promise we will be out testing before the European Finals. This is due to my Dad's recent injury: his leg is in pink plaster after a high side motorbike crash during his race at Three Sisters Race Track - he is currently working on licencing to allow him to race at the TT for 2015/16 (Does he not take a point - Ed). He has a broken ankle, leg and a number of ribs therefore it would be too much to ask to get the car out just three weeks prior to the accident. This didn't stop me catching him putting the gearbox back in the altered whilst balancing on one leg.
We also would like to congratulate Peter Walters for his two awesome licensing passes in Dave Wilson's Silverline A/Fuel dragster. I was lucky enough to get behind the scenes with the team thanks to Derek Flynn of Gold RV.
I'd like to introduce some of our new sponsors for 2014. A big thanks to our newest partner of the Pink Lady Racing team SimpsonLids who provide helmets to the UK and European community at a fair and competitive price. All helmets come with a 10% discount and p+p included! They also supply the new SFI 38. certified Necksgen Rev head/neck restraints. If you find the same deal cheaper they will beat it! "Simpsonlids.co.uk is proud to be sponsoring Jayne Kay and the Pink Lady Racing team", say SimpsonLids. "We met for the first time at Round 1 of the European Drag Championships held at Santa Pod Raceway and we were made to feel very welcome! The Simpson CH3NO2 helmet we supplied, is a great addition to the kit bag and I know it will serve its purpose to the highest level. The car looked awesome in the pink paint job and we wish it and the team every success in the future. Good luck Jayne!"
Another new and exciting new partner for 2014 is Californian handbag company Trophy Queen. Founded in 2000 by Jenny Tanner, Trophy Queen produce high-quality original products including handbags, wallets, luggage and more. They are a trend setter in the fashion, hot rod and kustom kulture scene.
Custom Coach trimming are another new sponsor for us at Pink Lady Racing this year. They have designed and hand made a bespoke seat for the altered which provides comfort and a perfect hot rod theme for the car.
To my sponsors who have been with us over the past few years with the Funny Car, thank you for staying with us at team Pink Lady Racing.
Peter Walters Race Design has been doing all our design work since we raced in Junior Dragster. To match the stunning paint work, our crew have also been equipped with some matching team shirts. Peter has started to supply his own fully printed/sublimated shirts at some great prices, so get in touch via the web site to find out more on how you can get a great look for your race team as well as your car.
A big thanks to RW Custom Paint for providing us with yet another striking paintscheme. Richard Walters has been producing some of the best paint schemes in the business over the years, including Bob Glassup and Joe Bond's altered, Wendy Baker's Time Warp Funny Car and more recently Steve Rawlings' Corvette and Matt Wrights Rolls, to name a few.
We are proud to have WheelWhores.com on board with us for a third year running, we love the team and their high-quality line of merchandise and automotive apparel. They are a brand recognised globally and have official dealers all over the World. They have recently developed a new wheel cleaner, another addictive addition to the Wheel Whores brand. "We're proud to be working with Jayne Kay and the Pink Lady Racing team once again and can't wait to see the new car in action", say WheelWhores.com. "From what we've seen so far it looks like Jayne and the team will be up to speed and taking no prisoners once again very soon!"
A big thanks to all our sponsors WheelWhores.com SimpsonLids, Peter Walters Race Design, Trophy Queen and Custim Coach Trimming. Thanks for their help over the weekend to Richard Walters, Dave and Steph Milam, Dave Wilson and Timo Habermann.
You can keep up to date with Pink Lady Racing via our Facebook page.
6th July: Sponsor Formex Watches is offering a feature-packed limited-edition watch themed for Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer Noah Stutz. For more details on the AS1100 watch click on the image or visit www.formexwatch.com.
Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Elvira Karlsson who qualified #16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. Elvira faces #1 qualifier Eddie Krawiec in today's eliminations and you will be able to stay in touch with her progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
Entry closes on 31st July for the Allard Awards for the best photograph or piece of journalism covering British drag racing. For more details check out the Allard Award entried link at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.
Bob Brooks of UK Funny Bike team Yellow Metal Racing asked us to say a big thank you to everyone at Santa Pod Raceway for their continuous hard work preparing the track at the SPRC Summernationals. "The fact that we even managed to get one run on each day is surprising considering the weather conditions", says Bob. "Ian even brought the sweeper through the bike pits a few times to make our life more comfortable. Thanks again to all."
Eurodragster.com sponsor Webster Race Engineering have now completed the move to their new workshop on Airfield Road next to Santa Pod Raceway and Jeanette Webster tells us that normal service has now resumed. The new web site is under construction , but the Facebook page of course remains the same. WRE's new phone number is 01234 918301.
European Top Gas review.
6th July: Herman Jolink writes that the SPRC Summernationals, which hosted a round of the European Serie Supertwin Top Gas, was incorrectly named:
A better name was the Rain Nationals, an English rider said that this is a real English summer! Qualifying after Saturday and Sunday morning:
Summernats Junior Bike review.
6th July: Thanks to Lizz McCarthy for forwarding us the Junior Drag Bike racers' accounts of their weekends at the SPRC Summernationals.
Jasmine Cordelle JBM2: I went to ride the bike up the pits and the clutch kept playing up and stalling. We took the clutch out, cleaned it and changed the oil to see if it would stop creeping forward. On Saturday morning I was up early to see if the clutch was OK, and it seemed to be. For the first qualifier I wasn't too sure what to dial in as this was my first time racing the bike at Santa Pod. We dialled in 8.98 but it bogged of the line as it didn't have enough revs so I ran 9.9, wasn't the best and I was one from the bottom of the qualifier list. Unfortunately the weather got us and we weren't able to race for the rest of the day. On Sunday it started nice and sunny in the morning and we were up bright and early again as we had an early qualifier. I dialled in 9.5 and ran 9.8, wasn't the best. Unfortunately the meeting got rained off. I would have had Jordan in the first round, that would have been a close race! Well done to Stacey for her first number one qualifier ,you go girl!
Louis Davies JBM3: For the first run of the weekend the weather was hot but was getting cooler as it got time to run. I dialled in a 9.15 to get a time on the boards. I got up to the line and focused on the tree, I pulled a 0.1673 reaction time and ran a 9.41, leaving me in third place which was good for first run. Second run and I was determined to get closer to my dial-in. We dialled in a 9.25 to try to get closer to my time. it was pretty cool when I made the run. I got up to the start line, raised the revs and pulled a 0.1002 reaction. I got to the eighth running a 9.33 and moving up to second qualifier. Sadly the weekend was rained off and we only got the two runs. Thank you to Rene van den Berg and Shark Attack Racing for helping crew for me this weekend, thank you to Gary at Lightning Automotive, to Beckwith Motorsport and to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame for sponsoring Junior Drag Bike this year.
Jordan Kenway JBP 4: I was looking forward to this event after a horrible end at Shakey, and I was feeling quite confident. In the first qualifier we dialled in a 9.60 but ran a 10.3-something, this was due to the front sprocket being too small making the gears really quick and I couldn't keep up. After changing the sprocket to a bigger one we were ready for Q2 but it rained meaning no more racing that day leaving me in fifth. On Sunday morning we had one more qualifier, we kept the dial in as 9.60 and ran a 9.8-something. It's quite funny because whilst that session was happening I went from fifth to eighth to fourth. We didn't get to run the first round of eliminations due to rain, so Jasmine I'll race you next time. Finally well done Stacey on the number one qualifier and a massive thanks to Stuart Crane for building my brand new lock-up clutch.
Liam Holgate JB5: Saturday started early as we had to had to get scrutineered but then we had a long wait until first qualifying. We set a 13.30 ET but ran a 13.66/48.98. I needed to be a bit closer but rain started and that was the end of the day. Sunday we started off where we left on Saturday. We managed to do another qualifying run I set 13.66 and ran a 13.82/48.56 but then the rain came again and that was the end of racing for the weekend.
Alfie Udall JBP7: This meeting was a good one for us. The bike had been fitted with a new air shifter and I was ready to race. On the first race I dialled in an 8.90 and ran a 9.00. I was very pleased that my bike didn't have problems. I found out I was second qualifier. On the second day of racing I dialled in the same but unfortunately I stalled on the line as I started the run in second gear. I was then dropped down to third qualifier but overall it was a good meeting and my bike finally worked! I'll see everyone at the next meeting.
Stacey Reed JBM9: One thing I learnt at this meeting is I really hate the rain! Unfortunately we only got two runs this meeting which sucks but I think being number one qualifier made up for that! First run I had no idea what to dial in because it had been such a long time since the last race but in the end I went for 9.51 which was just a shot in the dark, luckily I ran close to that with a 9.56 which got me number one place. After a long wait in the rain it was finally time for run two. For this one I dialled a bit quicker with a 9.45 because I felt I could go a bit faster than the day before. Unfortunately I didn't and ran a 9.74. Then that was it, the rain just kept pouring and the meeting was called. I'd like to say a massive thanks to all crew at Santa Pod for their hard work at trying to keep the track dry for us. See you next meeting.
Charlotte Hales JBM11: The Summernationals was a washout with two qualifying runs which were nothing to write home about. After my first run of fourteen seconds, my dad and Martin Dust (bike builder) changed the gearing on the bike and went up ten teeth, effectively changing the road gearing to eighth-mile gearing and this has helped with my launches. However, I was complaining of the bike not revving cleanly (I was told to change at 9500 revs) so Dad took it out in the rain and tried. I was right, it wouldn't rev past 8500 in second and above. Dad raised the needle as a plug chop showed good colour. On Sunday's run, the bike revved better but was still lumpy and I ran a fifteen on a 10.5 post! Now Dad plans to change the carb from 24 mm to 34 mm and to have a look at the porting.
Blade Dummer JB12: Well a great weekend again with all the Junior racers but a mixed weekend with the weather. I broke out on my first run but set a new PB 12.94 so really pleased with myself for that. Then dad said we needed to slow the bike down a little as my reaction times are improving but I went a little too far with it. We only had two runs due to the funny English summer so with the breakout I was qualified ninth and with the run on Sunday morning moved to seventh. I would like to thank Beckwith Motorsports and Magic Bullet fuel additives. Looking forward to the Junior Fun Day at Santa Pod and the next round at Shakey.
Natalie Jones JBM14: For my first event I found that I did pretty well even though it ended with the event being called off because of the weather. On Saturday I managed to only get one qualifying run due to the poor weather. I dialled in 11.60 and ran a 12.36 which qualified me in sixth place so I thought that wasn't too bad. In Sunday's second qualifying I dialled 11.60 again, but this time ran an 11.86 which moved me up a place to fifth so I had Charlotte Hales for round one. Sadly due to the weather, the event was called off and I didn't get to race During the Junior Drag Bike Club presentations, I was unexpectedly awarded the Outstanding Sportsmanship Trophy' I'd like to thank the whole of the Junior Drag Bike Club for choosing me for the award for this event, and Tim Beckwith for supporting the Junior Drag Bike Club.
Lizz adds: as always, lots of people to thank. Our sponsors for this season the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Beckwith Motorsports and Lightning Automotive; an enormous thank you to Brandi and the team at dragbike.com for their continued support, plus the t-shirts and stickers; it was a sterling effort of the Santa Pod track crew to try to keep it dry, in between and during the rain, but it simply wasn't to be - thanks for trying guys! Thanks as always to Eurodragster.com for keeping us informed where possible (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed); lastly to all the parents and their wallets, as without them the Junior Bikes would not be at all possible.
UK Top Sportsman update.
6th July: Paul Marston has been in touch with an update about UK Top Sportsman whose two outings this season are at the Mopar EuroNats on 25th-27th July and, sponsored by Direct Plastics, VW Action on 29th-31st August both at Santa Pod Raceway:
UK Top Sportsman is real simple. Other than safety there are no rules, just bring everything you've got. If you enter you can count yourself amongst the very best Sportsman racers in the country. Prepare yourself for two days of racing in three days. A fast bracket race first, which at the Mopars starts on Friday so be there early Friday morning for your single time trial run at 13:00, followed by the first round. If you lose first round then you can buy back into the second round and it's randoms until the third round. Then on Saturday night it's the one-shot qualifier for Sunday's sixteen-car heads up eliminator. Full details are on our web site at www.uktopsportsman.co.uk.
2014 looks set to be a real good one; stay tuned for a big announcement regarding title and contingency sponsors for the Mopar EuroNats. The entries are coming in thick and fast so if you are coming then we recommend that you enter as soon as possible, so as we can make sure we have enough pit space for everyone. Top Sportsman is the richest Sportsman race of the year, with some very nice trophies and cash payouts, and will be televised. All the entry fees, after track fees, go into the prize fund - this is a non profit making event run by racers for racers. Watch the spectacle of the very best and fastest doorslammers fighting it out, or enter and compete and you'll simply have a simply great time. Just ask anyone who has competed in previous Top Sportsman events - last year at the Mopars we had competitors from nine different classes from all over England and Europe.
A big Thank You to everyone in the Mopar EuroNats organisation for hosting us at their great event, and to everyone at VW Action for inviting us to run at their great show. Last but not least thanks to the management of Santa Pod Raceway for their unwavering support, Zeon TV and Sean Stanley at Mastercutz recording studio for the excellent Top Sportsman promo video which has already had nearly four thousand hits, and Eurodragster.com who will be with us all weekend and who are planning to provide not just a webcast but for the first time live race reports. What would we do without you guys!
For more details on UK Top Sportsman please call 07831 650230, E-Mail email@example.com, visit the web site, or Like the UK Top Sporsman Facebook page.
4th July: Please accept our apologies for the lack of a full news update yesterday and today. We have had problems with our mobile broadband in the centre of London; when it has worked it has barely been faster than a taut length of string. We will catch up with the news backlog on tomorrow's update.
Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Elvira Karlsson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Mike Manners (Top Alcohol Dragster) of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who are contesting this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. You will be able to stay in touch with Elvira's and Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
Courtesy of Darren West of Eurodragster.com sponsor Power Race Graphics we now have a design for the memorial decal for Eurodragster.com staff member Ed O'Connell, who died on Tuesday. We envisaged a design echoing the Eurodragster.com logo; Darren took a sketchy description and frankly crappy freehand rendering and turned it into this perfect design so many thanks to him. We are investigating whether we can get at least a first run of decals printed in time for Dragstalgia. Stay tuned.
We have two birthdays today. First up, a Happy Birthday and hugs to Santa Pod Racers Club official Kathy Taylor. Have a lovely day Kathy. Happy Birthday also to world record-holding street-legal Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Andy Frost. Have a great day Frosty.
We would also like to wish all of our friends and readers in the USA a Happy 4th July. Have a great day guys.
2nd July: We are very sorry to have to report the death of Eurodragster.com staff member Ed O'Connell. Ed had been unwell on and off since Easter but bore his illness in his characteristic cheerful and irreverent manner; for a guy who once strutted in front of the Viet Cong without a gun ill-health was a frustration and nothing more. But, having been allowed out of hospital late last week after a heart procedure, Ed was taken ill at his New Hampshire home on Monday and passed away in hospital yesterday morning.
Ed, a drag racing fan since the early 1960s, and Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog became friends in 1996, swapping E-Mails as the result of a posting on a now-defunct message board. This quickly became a daily exchange of at least one pair of E-Mails only slowed by Ed's recent hospital stays. Ed was a huge anglophile with a particular love for Monty Python and fish and chips; we often figured that there must have been some English blood in there somewhere because Ed was highly accomplished at English humour and, unlike a lot of his fellow countrymen, totally got sarcasm and could do it but only in amusement because there wasn't a single nasty nerve in his body. Ed was always cheerful and enthusiastic and it was impossible to be miserable around him; in all the years we knew him none of us ever saw him even mildly irritated.
Ed managed to pack a lot into his life. He was born and brought up in Boston and educated to a very high level after which, to hear him tell it, he did nothing but goofing off, surfing around the planet and drag racing around the USA. However he was an architect by trade and was drafted into the military for a spell in Vietnam, where he was made a combat medic as he did not wish to carry a gun and so had to treat and evacuate injured soldiers under fire. Ed did not talk much about his Vietnam experiences although it did give him the chance to admonish good buddy and Track Announcer Christer Abrahamson, who switched off his alarm to sleep in one morning, with the words "Charlie Cong doesn't get an extra hour in bed, young man" delivered in a mock-serious voice which caused us to double up with laughter.
On his first visit to a European drag race, the 1998 FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, Ed rediscovered the spirit of drag racing which he felt had long been lost in the USA and from that moment he preferred drag racing on this side of the Pond. Ed was a strong proponent of European drag racing in his home land and was always delighted to have the chance to attend NHRA and IHRA races at which Europeans were racing, working long and hard every day of the race to send us reports, pictures and pit notes.
Ed was hugely popular amongst the European racing community and cut an unmistakable figure at trackside or in the pits. The racers loved him and would always show their appreciation for the effort he made to attend events. Ed was a regular at Santa Pod Raceway, Mantorp Park, Tierp Arena and Hockenheim where he made a huge contribution to Eurodragster.com's Event Coverage, had also visited Shakespeare County Raceway, and before he became ill was making plans to attend this year's NitrOlympX or FIA European Finals. When at home Ed tuned in to every race which his Eurodragster.com colleagues covered; he noticed every in-joke and every Python reference, and he and Tog were so attuned that he easily perceived what was really being said or what was being left unspoken.
Ed loved photographing drag racing from any angle and was pleased to take any role to which we would assign to him whether pits, start line or top end. He particularly enjoyed days at the very end of the track at Santa Pod Raceway where he had been adopted by Angie and the safety crew, a team of whom he spoke very highly and after whom he often asked. Ed also turned his hand to pit notes on occasion and his vast mechanical knowledge allowed him to talk with racers on equal terms; more than once he returned to the office with a sheepish look and confessed that in the last two hours he had only spoken to a couple of racers because the conversations had gone into such great depth. You can take a look at Ed's drag racing photography at www.surfphotonh.com/Drag-Racing-1.
Ed's first visit to Sweden, to attend the 2008 Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park, was memorable not just for his being taken instantly to heart by the local race officials - which also happened at Santa Pod, Hockenheim, Tierp and in fact anywhere he went - but for an unfortunate incident at a petrol station when Ed, not being familiar with usual practice, managed to drive off without paying for a tankful. Ed returned the rental car only to be told that the police were looking for him. We never let Ed forget about it and "Still wanted by the Swedish police" was often applied in parentheses or dropped into conversation at the least excuse.
Ed retired some years ago and he and Kathy spent a lot of time travelling both within the USA and elsewhere; quite often the USA trips would coincide with a race. Ed, who lived on the coast, also spent long hours at the beach photographing surf and surfers, surfing being one of the other great loves of his life. You can take a look at Ed's surfing photography at www.surfphotonh.com/Surfing.
Ed liked his food, particularly pizza or lobsters; somewhat ironically Tog had a pizza cooking when he received the sad phone call from Kathy. If you would like to do something immediate to remember Ed then please eat a pizza for him. More long-term we are already working on a decal for racers to carry on their car or bike.
Ed's passing leaves a huge hole in a lot of lives and within the Eurodragster.com team, and European drag racing has lot one of its biggest supporters. You will never be forgotten Ed and we will always be indebted to you for your friendship - the best friend a man could have - and for the work you did both for Eurodragster.com and for the sport as a whole. The Swedish police never got you, buddy.
Our very deepest sympathies to Ed's wife Kathy, and to all of Ed's family and friends.
We have set up a tribute page for Ed which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you would like to send your own tribute to Ed then please drop an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will place it on the page.
Editor's note: It is usual practice to allow obituaries to stand alone on Eurodragster.com News but the ever-modest and self-effacing Ed would have been horrified to learn that we had suspended operations for him. We will therefore post another news update later on this afternoon.
2nd July: Thanks to Eero Saarela for letting us know how the weekend's FHRA Drag Race Week Meet and FIA / FIM Test and Tune went at Alastaro.
Among those testing on the freshly laid track were Johnny Oksa and Ari-Pietila (Top Methanol Funny Car), Tero Laukkanen and Tami Brander (Pro Modified) and Sampsa Palos (Pro Stock). Bikes racing included Samu Kemppainen, Ulf-Ledstrom, Hans Olav Olstad and Svein Olav Rolfstad (Supertwin) and Kenneth Holmberg, Kalle Lyren and Roy Olsen (Pro Stock Bike). Eero told us the familiar story that on Sunday there was "Rain and more rain and finally in afternoon race was cancelled". Results of Sportsman rounds can be found on the FHRA web site by clicking here, and you can check out Eero's photographs at www.zegetion.com/MotorSport/DragRacing/2014/06-28.
Simon will be at Alastaro from tomorrow (Thursday) to bring you the action from the FHRA Nitro Nationals in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car. Qualifying lists and race reports will be posted live with photo galleries at the end of each of the four days of the event. A Livestream video feed courtesy of Mobile Tv Oy will be available on Sunday by clicking here. Eurodragster.com is not responsible for external video feeds and any issues should be reported via the Livestream page.
You can check out our FHRA Nitro Nationals event index by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
BSG Racing's début.
2nd July: New Swedish A/Fuel Team BSG Racing will make its first FIA European Championship appearance at Alastaro this weekend. Peter Lantz writes:
The team is owned by Stefan and Maria Gunnarsson, and the car is driven by Stefan. This is not necessarily the best class for a new team, but it happened when it was most needed. Stefan is a good friend of Jonny Lagg's, and after being a part of Jonny's team as crew and sponsor in 2013 he and Maria decided to go for it. Stefan's track experience goes back twenty five years when he rode ten-second street bikes, but this is his first time in a dragster at the strip. His interest in drag racing is natural since he lives just kilometres away from Mantorp Park, and has been a frequent visitor to the track.
Last Autumn Krister Johansson and Peter Lantz were assigned by BSG to find a car, and after a while we found Todd Datweiler's complete operation, which was purchased and sent home to Mantorp in Sweden. The car has not run since 2008, therefore some updates have had to be made both safety- and performance-wise. The car has run in the 5.20s and 5.30s in the USA, and the goal is to come close to that during this season.
So far Stefan has licenced at Gardemoen Raceway as well as testing in Sundsvall last weekend, and both he and the team are showing great progress. The team's goal is to progress in small steps and if success comes with it we take that as a bonus.
The team assisted by Peter Lantz and Krister Johansson is a part of a three-car team including Jonny Lagg and Robin Lantz. Jonny Lagg had a bad weekend in the first round of the Championship at Santa Pod Raceway with some damage to parts. This is now all repaired after a bunch of hard work from Jonny who will be making his Alastaro début tuned by living legend Krister Johansson. To correct some incorrect information which appeared on the web earlier this year, it is not Jonny Lagg's son who is also going to début a car: it is Robin Lantz, son of Peter, who has a car which will début in 2015, to walk in Dad's footsteps.
3.7s here we come...
2nd July: Karsten Andersen of Eurodragster.com sponsor Landmeco has been in touch with an update from the Andersen Racing / Thomas Nataas Top Fuel Dragster camp:
As you know we started the new season with a new car. Well not only a new car, but also a lot of new and different parts. Our mix of parts and tuning combinations doesn't really work on paper, and never has. But who cares? The car keeps going faster and faster and again a new best was set at Round 1 of the FIA European Championship in England. 3.91 seconds at 309 mph / 497 kmh. The new best was set on the second run in that car, and we think that there is more to come.
We planned to do some testing before the race, so we all arrived three days early.Unfortunately all we did was to watch some of the more specular weather phenomena. We didn't get to do any testing and during race days the weather still didn't want to co-operate so we only managed to get in a few qualifying runs and no eliminations. The track was awesome, and a 3.7 was possible. Anyway we left England leading the Championship.
Next up is Finland this coming weekend. It would be really nice to see some improvement traction-wise. The location and spectators are awesome so let's give them some fast runs.
A huge thanks to our amazing loyal sponsors: Landmeco, Else-Marie, Biltema, Teslak Transport, Pack Plast, and ABCSkilte. And joining us in 2014 we have Red Line Synthetic Oil, Interfit UK, Preben Hansen, and Gert Hansen.
Turtle Wax goes International.
2nd July: Sweden's Tierp Arena is proud to announce Turtle Wax as principal partner for their European Championship race on 21st-24th August. Tierp Arena understands the value of good partners for their events and looks forward to working with Turtle Wax which is a globally established company in the car care industry. August's race has been renamed the Turtle Wax Internationals.
"Turtle Wax and Tierp Arena are both strong, well-known brands worldwide" says Viveca Löf of Turtle Wax. "We are looking forward to the co-operation and the possibilities it brings with Tierp Arena and the European Championships both with the Turtle Wax Internationals and future events. It's very good for motorsports that the track is back up and running and that focus and effort is put on the facility which is absolutely world class. "
2nd July: UK Funny Bike racer Lorcan Parnell was the subject of a theft from his car in King's Lynn on Saturday evening when his helmet, leathers and gloves were stolen. For more details please check out Lorcan's Blog at www.stormdragbike.co.uk/blog/?p=405 and if you know anything then please do not hesitate to shop the culprit.
Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-SPRC Summernationals points standings in the 2014 UK National Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the UK National points 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 Eurodragster.com page.
We have two spy pictures for you today. The first came with the words "Will be race ready very soon"...
...whilst the second came with no words at all. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
We understand that UK Fuel Funny Car racer Bill Sherratt, who raced from the 1970s to 1990s with best times of 5.68/250, is to return in a big-engine, long-wheelbase car in association with FGR Motorsport. More details when we receive them.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the official timing data from the SPRC Summernationals. You can check out the timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with added hugs to Podington Pea Diana Macrae. Have a lovely day DD.
2nd July: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury tells us that room has been made in the Nostalgia Vehicles marquee at next week's Dragstalgia for a very special vehicle, none other than BDRHoF member Harold Bull's Stripduster:
Harold and his son Simon have been trying to complete a replica of the famed BMC slingshot for quite some time, the idea being to surprise everyone by bringing the little car back to life at Dragstalgia although on display only this year... unless things change?
King Harold, as he is affectionately known, holds the honour of running the very first timed pass down the famous Santa Pod quarter mile at the Easter meeting on 11th April 1966.
Harold and Stripduster hold three world records, set at Elvington, which to our knowledge have never been broken: the standing quarter mile, standing 500 metres and standing kilometre.
You can find out more at www.stripduster.co.uk.
Web site updates.
2nd July: The latest edition of the Speedgroup Newsletter is now available and features FHRA Nitro Nationals previews, race calendar, Eurodragster.com Editor's Diary and more. Check it out at club.speedgroup.eu.
Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceration Archive with pictures caught between the showers at the SPRC Summernationals on Sunday. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest updates via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Event entry update.
1st July: Nostalgia racers are reminded that this Friday, 4th July, is the closing date to enter Dragstalgia which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 11th-13th July. Anyone intending to take part in the Run What You Brung sessions should get themselves booked in by this date too to guarantee some track time. Saturday RWYB spaces are already sold out, a few are left for Sunday and there are plenty available for the Friday. To book, please call James or Phil on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). This Friday is also the closing date for advance general admission tickets. If booked before this date, you can pick up a weekend ticket for what's set to be one of the most memorable weekends of the year for just £30. Book now at www.dragstalgia.co.uk or call the above number. "We already have a pretty magic entry list but there may still be more to come", says James Forster. "You can view the current list at www.santapod.co.uk/e_entrylist_dragstalgia14.php."
Entry is open for the sixth round of the UK National 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike Championships and the fourth round of NAST Supertwin both of which take place at Shakespeare County Raceway's Ladies that Launch Public Track Weekend on 19th-20th July. Entry forms can be downloaded from Shakespeare County Raceway's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com; entry forms are now also available for August's Open Sport Nationals, a UK National and ACU Championship round, which takes place at SCR on 23rd-25th August.
Entry is also open for the MSA Pro Modified round which takes place at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th July. Entry closes on Friday week, 4th July; entry after this date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Entry is open for the Scandinavian Internationals, an FIA European Championship and EDRS Series round, which takes place at Tierp Arena on 21st-24th August. You can enter the Scandinavian Internationals at www.dragracing.eu.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of official entry list for Bug Jam which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 18th-20th July. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
1st July: Racers and Parental Licence holders are reminded that disciplinary action can be taken for abusive behaviour not just at the track, but also away from the track and on Facebook and web forums.