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Joosten's legacy.
27th November: The Netherlands' Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team have announced that team member and sponsor Michel Tooren will drive the late Robert Joosten's 1971 'Cuda in 2016. We are indebted to our good buddy Remco Scheelings for permission to translate and use his news item posted on the web site:

After the sudden death of Robert Joosten, the founder, driving force and driver of Pro Dutch Racing, there was of course the question of the team's future. The team have decided unanimously to continue next season and starting in Easter 2016 the Pro Dutch Racing Plymouth Barracuda will be driven by Michel Tooren, a team member since 2008.

A spokesman for the team said "We had to think of a way forward for the Pro Dutch team. As well as the enormous grief there was a feeling that Pro Dutch Racing should not die with Robert. We wanted to continue with the team which Robert brought together and held together. It is a strange feeling to pick up the thread again without Robert. We still miss Robert every day and that absence will always be felt, but it is also a good idea to do this in his memory."

Obviously one of the most important questions was who would follow in Robert's footsteps as the new driver. Who had the same desire and passion? The answer was team member and sponsor Michel Tooren. Michel and his brother have run RBC Complete Safety since 2008 and he is an active member of the Pro Dutch Racing team. For example, he was responsible for the clutch. "I've always had the passion and a secret dream to drive myself", said Michel. "A few years ago there were concrete plans, but because so many hours of work needed to be put in to the new Pro Dutch Racing '71 Plymouth Barracuda the plans were put on the back burner."

Because you can't just step out from crewing and drive, especially when it comes to a 3500 hp Pro Modified, Pro Dutch Racing's preparations for the new season have already started. The season will begin at the Pro Peak Performance Day before the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway in March where Michel will make his licence passes for admission to the Pro Modified game.

Web site updates.
27th November: When you want to improve your performance you can either make changes to your Championship-winning bike or you can buy a state-of-the-art new ride, and that's just what Sweden's twice EDRS Pro Nordic Super Street Bike Champion Björn Friström did. Björn went to the USA to make his first runs on his new bike, an experience he will never forget and one which scared him a bit. Again courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings you can read more on the EDRS Pro web site at

One of the undoubted highlights of the recent Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway was the appearance of Robin Read's nitro-burning Daimler-powered dragster. If you weren't there, or if you were there and would like to see it again, then we have posted a YouTube video of Robin's second run of the day as seen by our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam. The video clip is available in standard and High Def and can be viewed by clicking here or by clicking on the image at right. You can also check out a video of Bob Hawkins' fire burnout at the Flame and Thunder Show by clicking here. A video of Liam Jones' second Top Fuel Dragster pass will follow shortly.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with shots from the Public Track Weekend and Super Gamblers at Shakespeare County Raceway on 11th October. You can take a look at Mad's shots at

Further to Wednesday's Swift Snippet, Santa Pod Raceway's Black Friday offer includes 50% off tickets to and mid-track VIP at the 2016 Festival of Power. Offers open at 09:00 today (Friday) and you can do your Christmas shopping at and

Street Car Super Nats boutique notes.
25th November: Although the Street Car Super Nationals ended on Sunday, our good buddy Mathias Schneider found himself on duty again when he ran into UK contender and another good buddy John Hackney in a Las Vegas fashion shop on Monday morning (Fashion? Shopping for someone else then - Ed). Mathias took the chance to grab a final set of SCSN pit notes:

John ended his day at the Raceway late on Sunday. John made it to round two of Open Comp, which took place at 8:00 am on Sunday, but then went out when his opponent ran a 0.01 light and just 0.01 above index. John went to round three in Non Electronics, which was held at 10:00 pm because of a serious of crashes which occurred just before it was John's turn. "We were ready and waiting in the car because it was very chilly outside", said John. "Then we heard "Non-Electronics" over the speakers and I started the car and went to pull forward which got all the other guys moving as well. Than the announcer continued with "We haven't forgotten about you and we will call you to the lanes soon."

Racing went on until 12:30 am and the track crew and everybody else were exhausted after six long days of racing. Testing started last Tuesday and racing went on from 8:00 am until late from Thursday to Sunday. John and friend and fellow UK racer Joe Elliott both had great fun and met lots of nice people in a very relaxed race at a great facility.

Phelps' thanks.
25th November:
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Roy Phelps was interviewed on Saturday morning by Tracy Hrudka of the Quarter Mile Foundation, but he got in touch to explain that he was unable to attend the BDRHoF Gala Dinner in the evening:

"I'd like to thank all those who came and said hello following the filming session first thing Saturday morning", says Roy. "Having started out at five thirty in the morning I just ran out of steam by four o'clock in the afternoon, and with a heart operation pending first thing on Monday morning I could not see myself lasting the night out. But I appreciate how high standard an event the Gala was. Many thanks to all concerned and I look forward to next year.

"I'm pleased to say that all seems to be well following the heart procedure, thank you to all of the well wishers."

We're sure that everyone will join Kirstie, Simon, Julian and Tog in wishing Roy a rapid continued recovery.

UK Top Sportsman solos in 2016.
25th November: UK Top Sportsman organiser Paul Marston writes that next year's already-announced UK Top Sportsman date will be the only such event in 2016 and that UK Top Dragster will not be run:

July's UK Top Sportsman date, at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway, will go ahead as planned and we are all very much looking forward to it. The BWM Scooter and Ska Festival does not appear on Santa Pod's calendar next year and we have been working hard with James Forster to find an alternative date for UK Top Dragster but to no avail. The organisers of UK Top Sportsman would like to express our sincere gratitude to James for all of his hard work trying to secure us another date in Santa Pod's schedule which is already packed to bursting point.

I am very grateful to Santa Pod Raceway for allowing us to run the events at their track. Thankfully we still have the Mopar EuroNats at which we can run UK Top Sportsman, a big Thank You for the Mopar EuroNats Committee for hosting us in 2016. I am desperately sorry to all the UK Top Dragster teams. Both James and I tried our hardest to find a date, but in the end we could not manage it. Hopefully 2017 might be different.

A huge Thank You also to all of the competitors and business partners who have supported us and continue to do so. Let's make the Mopar EuroNats the best it can be.

Swift snippets.
25th November: If you are starting to think of Christmas presents for the drag racing fan in your life, or indeed for yourself, then Santa Pod Raceway are holding a Black Friday sale this Friday (27th). Santa Pod say that it's their biggest ever on-line sale with up to 40% discounts. You will be able to place your orders at and don't forget that Early Bird discounts are already available on tickets for next season's events at

Honouring the 426 Hemi.
24th November: The drag racing legacy of the Mopar brand and its iconic Hemi V8 engine was honoured by the
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame with the organisation's Global Achievement Award during a ceremony held on Saturday.

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA - Global, accepted the award during a ceremony at the Savill Court Hotel. In his remarks, Pietro paid tribute to Tom Hoover, recognised as the "Father of the 426 Hemi", for the role he played in the development of the legendary Mopar engine. Tom passed away earlier this year at the age of eighty five.

"It was an honour and a privilege to receive this important award in recognition of an engine that still means so much not just to our company and to Mopar, but to the entire drag racing community" said Pietro. "The spirit of performance and passion that inspired people like Tom Hoover to bring the Hemi engine to life still powers and inspires the Mopar brand to this day."

"The 2015 BDRHoF ceremony was made even more special with the honour of presenting the Global Achievement Award to Mopar and Pietro Gorlier" said Stu Bradbury, Chairman of the BDRHoF. "More than an engine, the Hemi is an icon, one brought originally to the drag strip by Mopar and then adopted for the streets. We are proud to recognise the legendary motor that still fuels drag racers and performance lovers around the world."

Donna Garlits, daughter of living legend "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, who helped cement the Mopar Hemi V8 engine's successful reputation at the drag strip, represented the Garlits family in presenting the Global Achievement Award to Pietro.

Mopar's commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in Hemi-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 1964, Don's Swamp Rat 8 featured the then-new 426 cubic inch Hemi engine.

In 2014, Mopar celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the GEN III 426 race Hemi engine. Mopar continues to honour its roots by being a proud supporter of amateur racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the Mopar Hemi Challenge and Mopar Tom Hoover Sportsman Award, which recognises the top Mopar Sportsman racer in honour of the "Father of the 426 Hemi."

A little bench racing.
23rd November: Regular readers will know that one of the side attractions of the weekend's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner was a Bench Racing session featuring a number of the event's special guests. The session was introduced by Tracy Hrudka of the Quarter Mile Foundation and moderated by announcer and web site editor Jack Korpela.

On the panel were Fred Larsen of the Sundance Kid team - Norway's first drag racing team - 'Waterbed' Fred Miller of the Blue Max Funny Car team, longtime Funny Car racer and 1989 NHRA Winston Funny Car Champion Bruce Larson who now runs a Nostalgia FC, NHRA Nostalgia Series administrator Eileen Daniels, Rat Trap Fuel Altered pilot Ron Hope, Bob Muravez who drove the twin-motor Freight Train slingshot, and a strangely mute Floyd Lippencotte Jr. Don Garlits and Larry McBride were scheduled to attend but were unable to make it.

The session was recorded for later release (Skipchat says YouTube - Ed) but in the meantime, for those who were not there, here is a report of the session.

Questions were open to the floor and the panel members were asked what it meant to them to be in England and attending the Hall of Fame Gala.

Fred Larsen: "It is special to be here with the guys we looked up to, I feel very humble. We started in 1972 and these guys had already been racing a long time."

Waterbed Fred: "I was kind of taken aback. I am representing Ray Beadle and I wish he was here. It's wonderful to be here and to be here with Bruce Larson who was there at the start."

Bruce Larson: "It is an honour and a privilege. Your culture is enchanting. I hope to get back here and drive a race car down the track."

Eileen Daniels: "It is such a great honour. All the people are awesome. I hope to come back here and see Bruce drive down the track. I am thrilled to be here, tonight's event is going to be awesome. I'm having a ball."

Ron Hope: "It is humbling to be here with people I've looked up to. It is great to be a part of the sport. I have a lot of great friends here, I have had the pleasure or racing here and hopefully again next year. Motorsport has taken me to places I can only dream of."

Bob Muravez: "I have been coming here for thirty years, as I have extended family here. I was really takan aback to be invited. We never raced here, we planned to but never hapened. I told Fred Miller I had firesuits older than him. I am trully honoured to be here."

Waterbed Fred, who quickly established himself as a star turn, was asked where 'Waterbed' came from. "I had one of the first water beds", he said. "It sprung a leak so I pulled it apart and used it as a cover for the Funny Car. Dale Emery started to call me Waterbed Fred".

Waterbed Fred was also asked about the "Headache" story and he explained: "That came from a race when the announcers said that Courtney Force had a headache. Then Alexis Dejoria had a headache at another race. Every time I listened to it I thought "Did you ever go racing without a headache?". Garlits' Crew Chief Ron Barrow was firing up the car when he got his hand caught in the blower belt and a finger came off. Ron didn't flinch, put a rag around his hand, picked up his lost finger and put it in his pocket and ran Garlits. And you say you have a headache? Things have changed I think."

Eileen revealed that NHRA's founder Wally Parks was not averse to the occasional bit of street racing. "Wally is my idol", she said. "One night Wally said he would take us to the beach after the race. This is the man who came up with the Safety Safari and on the way to the beach he was racing away from every stop light."

The next question was for Ron Hope who was asked how Rat Trap ended up in a ditch in New Zealand. "Thanks for asking, I was afraid it wouldn't come up!", he said. "It was an event similar to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We went to make some noise and to give people the nitro experience. I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I got to a ninety-degree turn, got off the throttle, the car picked up and got into the grass, went over. Twice. Then it went into the stream."

The panel members were then asked if they always wanted to be racers.

Fred Larsen: "It started with buying Hot Rod magazine from an airport thirty miles away. I didn't drive at the time so I rode my bike there. And once you buy one magazine you need to buy the next. We needed to do this even though no-one else in Norway understood what we were doing. I blame Hot Rod magazine!"

Waterbed Fred: "I could have gone to Vietnam or I could have gone drag racing. I was riding motorcross and I got my start with Bob Riggle who ran a motocross shop. I met Dale Emery there and he invited me to a race to work with his car. We won the race beating Pat Foster in the Setzer Funny Car and we thought "This is easy!". I worked with Billy Meyer and I walked into Ed Pink's shop. Ray Beadle and Harry Schmidt had paired up to run the Blue Max. I asked Dale whether I should join them and he said "You have to do it". I flew to Dallas the next day and the rest is history."

Bruce Larson: "My parents wanted me to get into engineering. I met a guy with a '41 Ford, his dad was an old Hot Rodder. We went street racing, I didn't drive but rode along. I then bought a 30s Ford and fixed it up and went to the firdt Safety Safari race in New Jersey in 1954. I never had any aspiration to do anything else!"

Eileen Daniels: "My husband had a '32 Coupe and did some street racing in Boston. We went to a race in Columbus Ohio and got the bug. We took turns to drive. Once at Indianapolis I went quicker than my husband and at every stop light on the way home he had people saying "Your wife went quicker than you, how do you like it?". How many people could take a hobby and turn it into a lifetime career"

Ron Hope: "The guys I worked with gave me a great start. They were lakes racers and we set some records. My three passions are my family, racing, and my auction business. I have had an incredible life."

Bob Muravez: "I was born and raised in Burbank. In 1954 my dad asked me what car I would like. I said a 1953 Concept Corvette. I had Betty Grable's 1953 Corvette for my Junior Year in Hugh School. I got a lot of tickets! I joined the famous Road Kings Club and was initiated alongside a guy named Prudhomme. The Club fielded twenty eight race cars. I worked with Tommy Ivo then teamed up with Don Gay in a BB/Gas dragster. I met John Peters and drove the Freight Train for more than eighteen hundred passes although if you look at the record books Floyd Lippencotte Jr won more races than Bob Muravez!"

Waterbed Fred was then asked about his experiences racing the Blue Max at Santa Pod Raceway. "Roy Phelps asked us here", he said. "In my first year with Ray Beadle we had one hundred dates and they were all over the place. We prepared the car and sent it over to England. Harry Schmidt had just left the team as he was burned out so Ray, his wife and I ran the car. The fans were fantastic and the track was good. Our first pass was 221 miles per hour. For the next visit we had hired Dale Emery who had raced in England driving the Chadderton and Okazaki Funny Car. I told Dale "All the car needs is a new clutch and we will be ready to race". We got to Santa Pod and went into one of those big huts and there was an engine block on the floor, Ray was leaning on the engine block with one foot. We asked "Where is the car?". There was a bare chassis propped up in one corner. We asked "Where is the engine?" and they said "You're standing on the engine block!". This was a day or two before the race. We didn't go to the hotel, we just worked on the car with help from Anders Hasselström's crew who helped us overnight. After our last run I changed a few things on the motor, Roy put it in another car and blew the blower off it in its first burnout, ha!"

The panel members were asked for their career-defining moment.

Fred Larsen: "Mantorp Park and our first final round. The trans broke and all the Norwegian racers and some of the Swedes got together and took it out. We raced against Kent Persson without a trans and won!"

Waterbed Fred: "The US Nationals against Prudhomme in 1975. Don had won everything in sight and hadn't lost a race that year. We ran against Don in the final. Backing up from the burnout I saw a thin trail of oil so I lifted the body and tightened up the fitting. Don's Crew Chief Bob Brandt waited for us and then we beat Don and set the National record. Then Don won every other race that year."

Bruce Larson: "Clinching the World Championship and being invited to have the car inducted into the Smithsonian the next week."

Eileen Daniels: "The whole thing has been a big part of my life. Back in those days we didn't have Top Fuel. When we won our first race we got thirty dollars and we bought a new trailer with it."

Ron Hope: "Driving a Fuel Altered there are a lot of defining moments! There are no Fuel Altered drivers, only passengers. The California Hot Rod Reunion when I had the car in the air and on its side and got it back on all four, sorta. That was one of the more exciting times. Most recently being an Honoree at the Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green."

Bob Muravez: "I got back in the Train in 1967. We knew Marvin Rifchin and he gave us some new M&H tyres. We went to the UDRA race in Long Beach and went 7.31 at 200 miles per hour then we went 205, 206 and 207. That put Freight Train on the map as a dominant car. Last March I was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame."

The panel members were asked their thoughts on the current state of drag racing.

Fred Larsen: "It's fun to watch but too much, it's not what it used to be. I can't enjoy it the way we did before."

Waterbed Fred: "Bruce and I raced with people like Jungle Jim, Snake and Mongoose. It's all money now. Today Daddy can take you to Hawley's and get you a licence. It's not like when you came up through the ranks. It's so money-oriented it's ridiculous."

Bruce Larson: "Racers will be racers and want to win no matter what. They stretch the rules and cheat to win. The sanctioning bodies change the rules and it's out of control money-wise. You don't see youth getting involved. It's up to the sanctioning bodies to keep it under control and they haven't."

Eileen Daniels: "We have to have something to bring the youth through."

Ron Hope: "My concern is that when I was growing up if you saved your money you could race and it was more affordable. Corporate money has come through but it has ruined the sport. The cars are rolling sign boards, Nostalgia cars can have personalities. The cost of entry into the sport is so large we see declining entry. Nostalgia racing gets big crowds, National events have empty stands. The sport is in danger of disintegrating."

Bob Muravez: "Nostalgia racing is going up, National racing is going down. We need changes made to get more competition for the Forces and the Schumachers. In my day you could get a few guys together and go racing. Get back to 1320, slow the cars down, there is stuff they haven't tried."

Bruce Larson: "Nostalgia racing may get out of control, the racers are stretching the rules. At the end of the day they're not making any money."

Bob Muravez: "We were just a bunch of test pilots. Nowadays you can buy good parts and that's a good thing."

Ron Hope: "We're in our twentieth year with the Fuel Altered. Nostalgia racing is more close-knit. We all want to win but we'll help each other with anything. We had ten Fuel Altereds at the California Hot Rod Reunion last month. We ate together every evening. That's something we need to preserve."

Fred Larsen: "How can this go on when the stands aren't full. I watch Nostalgia Top Fuel and I think it's gone too far."

Waterbed Fred: "Somewhere down the line we've lost something. We were in the entertainment industry. Look at Jungle Jim - he won one event but he was the most popular racer out there."

Bruce Larson: "Think about what's been said here and try to preserve it."

The Bench Racing session was sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies, US Automotive and Julie Braskett to whom many thanks. Stay tuned and when the video of the session is made available we will bring you details.

Web site updates.
23rd November: Following on from Garry Willy's great reports from the Californian Hot Rod Reunion, Chris Eyre of the Eurodragpics web site was very pleased to hear from the man himself, Tony Betts. Tony explained what running at the CHRR was like from his perspective, described his past endeavours in drag racing for those who don't know, and also hinted at the future for Team Venom! "Congratulations to Tony (and Steve and Colin) for running at Bakersfield and living their dream", says Chris. You can check out Tony Betts' thoughts at

Feature: Street Car Super Nats gallery.
22nd November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is Mathias Schneider's gallery from the Street Car Super Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas.

You can check out Mathias' shots by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Street Car SuperNats pit notes.
21st November: Thanks to our good buddy Mathias Schneider who has been in touch with pit notes from the Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas:

John Hackney, known as a former bike racer and crew member of Santa Pod Raceway's Two Seat Dragster, is competing in two classes in his borrowed 2015 Camaro: Non Electronics and Open Comp. Qualifying in both classes goes by RT and John is up to his game sitting sixteenth in the sixty three-car Open Comp field and eleventh in Non Electronics. John raced here before in a Ford Mustang GT and he says that the Camaro is much more consistent which of course will be important on race day.

John is here not only with his wife but also with UK 8.50 bike racer Joe Elliott. Joe is racing in a VW New Beetle and he is "Little But Quick" in Las Vegas as well. In fact his stock Beetle has run better ETs than John's Camaro so far. "We are just having fun", said Joe. "It is my first time racing on four wheels. Racing here basically is only fifty dollars more than a weekend spectator ticket. Joe is competing in Non Electronics and so far he is thirty fourth with one more shot today.

Mathias has also kindly sent us a large gallery from Las Vegas which we shall post as soon as we can - right now we are attending the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner.

2016 ACU Affiliation Codes.
21st November: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch to advise UK bike racers that 2016 ACU Affiliation Codes, which are required for 2016 ACU licence applications, are now available from their respective Clubs. 2016 ACU licence applications are open but please note that you must be a current member of your Club for the code to be issued.

If you have any queries then please contact Ian at or call 01933 313625.

Web site updates.
21st November: Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén's dream of racing in the USA came true when he participated in the final two rounds of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in Las Vegas and Pomona. Although the 2014 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Champion did not qualify in the largest and most competitive Pro Stock Motorcycle field in more than a decade he came close at Pomona, made his first ever six-second pass, and reset his Personal Best speed. "Of course, as a racer you always want to do better and qualify, but the experience and everything we learned is worth so much more" said Kalle. You can find out more in Remco's latest article on the EDRS Pro web site at

Another Lindberg #1 plate.
21st November: Sweden's Jonnie Lindberg, the 2013 FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Champion, became the first European driver in history to win an NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series title when he clinched the Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona. The twenty six-year-old driver and tuner of the Landmeco Chevrolet Monte Carlo captured the season-long prize with a victory over Mickey Ferro in the semi-final round.

"To win the European Championship was big, but this was huge", said Jonnie. "The Swedish media never covered drag racing when I won the European Championship, but now I've been in Swedish newspapers and television and stuff. It's hard for me to understand how huge it is because I'm in it. It's a great feeling. Now I want to do it again. I want to go faster and win more races. I'm looking forward to next year."

Jonnie scored his first career NHRA win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona at the start of the season and broke the class' 5.3-second and 270 mph barriers when he won the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte in March. Jonnie still holds the national ET record at 5.361 seconds and raced the driver who took away his speed record, John Lombardo Jr, in the Pomona final last weekend. Jonnie ran quicker and was in the lead at the thousand-foot increment, but John went past him to win on a 5.445 to 5.439 holeshot by a margin of only .002-second. It was the quickest side-by-side race in Top Alcohol Funny Car history.

"It didn't matter so much at the time that I lost, but now it would have been nice to end the season with a win", said Jonnie. "I'm happy with the car. The old Monte Carlo body is going good with ET – now we just need to get some more speed in it. It always feels bad when you lose on a holeshot, and it's frustrating when you have a good light like a .036 and still lose that way. We'll put a new Camaro body on it next year, and I still have a few aces up my sleeve to try to get the speed record back."

Last season Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Steve Harker, who was born in Australia, became the first non-native North American to win a title in any Mello Yello or Lucas Oil category. One year later, Lindberg is the first driver from Europe to do the same and the first to score titles in both NHRA and FIA. The weight of the achievement is still sinking into Jonnie. "It feels pretty good", he said. "You are still smiling when you wake up in the morning. Now it's a real World Championship. It's not only Americans and Canadians. It's fun. Hopefully, we get even more drivers from outside the US to come race with the best of the best. It makes it more exciting."

Jonnie's season had its ups and downs. Though the ten events on his scorecard did not include as many event wins as he had hoped, his performance carried him to enough late-round finishes to amass the highest points total in the category in a season where there were twelve different winners at sixteen national events. "The car was good, but we had some parts failures, and I made some bad tuning decisions that made us spin the tyres or shake", said Jonnie. "We're learning more and more. We're getting better at every race. I think that showed in Pomona when I tried to stay focused and do my very best. All of the runs were in the mid-.40s except for when I shook against Sean Bellemeur. I went for consistency, and it paid off.

"Big thanks to Karsten Andersen that owns Landmeco. He's a big part of the team right now. He told me he wanted ten Championships before he retired, and he won nine Championships as one of the most successful Top Fuel team owners in Europe. Now he won ten times. He sent a text to me that says now he's looking forward to eleven times. Thomas Nataas from Norway drove those cars, and he helps sponsor me, too. It's really cool that racers from Europe believed in me to win the Championship, and I hope they are happy with how our season turned out."

Jonnie is excited to carry the number one and to once again fly the blue-and-yellow Swedish flag across the United States for his title defence in the 2016 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series beginning in February.

  Lindberg Bros Motorsports extends its gratitude to supporters Landmeco, Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg AS, Manton Pushrods and Rockerarms, Manley Performance valves, Noonan Race Engineering Cylinder Heads, Leanders Clutches, Composite Specialties Injector Hats, Bullet Cams, Jan-Cen, Red Line Oil, XRP, Kjelland Transport, CPI, Total Projekt, Geoveta, Scania, BST, Fastec, VSM, Scandrock, and Birka Motorrenoveringar.

Swift snippets.
19th November: Karen, Rachel and Rebecca asked us to say a big Happy Nearly 50th (i.e. 49th) Birthday to Santa Pod Racers Club marshal Bob Day. Our pleasure girls, have a great day Sir Bob.

A great excuse for a Ruby!
18th November: As we all know there is a lot of heavy stuff going on at the moment but Paul Marston writes with a ray of light:

The Paul Marston Racing crew were out in force last weekend with family and close friends to celebrate the Ruby Wedding Anniversary of Santa Pod Racers Club marshals Avril and Phil Brown. Avril and Phil are well-known to racers and fans alike as long-standing pit lane crew at Santa Pod Raceway.

To mark the event Avril and Phil attended Wellingborough Register Office to renew their wedding vows and to exchange wedding bands - carbon fibre of course! The weather was perfect and it was a great day and evening for everyone.

It was a pleasure and an honour to be invited to share that special moment with Avril and Phil, who also run the pit lanes for UK Top Sportsman. On behalf of everyone at Paul Marston Racing we wish our friends Avril and Phil and their family all the very best, and we look forward to seeing them back in their day jobs in 2016!

We're sure that all of our readers will join Kirstie, Simon, Julian and Tog in sending congratulations to Avril and Phil on their Ruby Wedding and our hopes for many more anniversaries.

Lindberg's historic NHRA title.
16th November: Huge congratulations to Sweden's Jonnie Lindberg, team and family on a historic NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship. A hard-fought season with event wins and new bests came down to a single-point lead going into the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona. Jonnie didn't have it all his own way to begin with; qualifying ended up very close, title rival Annie Whiteley was never going to give in easily, and John Lombardo was close enough to step in if either faltered. With a second-round exit for Annie it came down to Jonnie winning his semi or, if not, then waiting to see if John went all the way.

With not a foot wrong in the semi-final against Micky Ferro Jonnie took the 2015 NHRA Lucas Oil title with a round to spare. Although not the first European to show the Americans how it's done - that list is quite long - Jonnie is the first European to win an NHRA National Championship. The celebrations will likely last until the defence of his title starts next February and rightly so.

You can read more on the Lindberg Brothers' web site at or on their Facebook page (and a big Well Done to Patrik Larsson for the lightning-quick updates - Ed). Full results are available on the Drag Race Central web site at

Pomona Friday pit notes.
14th November: A big Thank You to our good buddy Mathias Schneider who has been in touch from Pomona with notes from the pits and
pictures from the track:

Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Kalle Lyrén and his crew were very focused during the warm-up for Q1. Kalle and Robert Karlsson are sharing pit space, and the goal for both riders is to qualify from the twenty eight-bike field. "Once you are in the the show, anything can happen" said Robert. Kalle did well in Q1 with 6.98 when he ran alongside Robert who put a 7.10 on the scoreboard. In Q2 both Swedes were lined-up next to each other again. Kalle's bike broke about 300 feet out and came down pretty hard, losing some parts. Robert ran a 7.02 but had huge problems getting the bike stopped on the short Pomona run off. He hit the sand traps pretty hard at a rather high speed.

Top Alcohol Dragster racer Manty Bugeja is in a very good mood. "We want to win the whole thing", he joked. The Maltese team seems pretty happy being in Pomona. "It is the first time here for us, so we will see what we can do" said Manty. A solid 5.33 put him in tenth place. Fred Hanssen had problems yesterday when the ignition went back on after he shut off which resulted in a lifted blower and a lot of work for the team. "I just want to put down some runs", said Fred. "After almost two years I just need some practice again". After day two Fred is twenty fourth with a 6.13; in Q2 he had to shut off the car seconds after starting .

Ulf Leanders had his hands full with his Top Alcohol Funny Car in Q2. Shake and a pedal left him with a 5.87 for eighteenth place. The Leaders Brothers are also helping out other US teams with their clutch set-up this weekend. Jonnie Lindberg is leading in Top Alcohol points with one point coming into Pomona. Three cars can still win the Championship. "Of course we are trying to go for number one in qualifying", said Jonnie, "we always do. We hope to run a low 5.40 in Q2. But consistency is most important this weekend". Jonnie went for it and after a brilliant 5.46, low ET of that round, Jonnie ended up in the kitty litter after having braking problems. Rob Turner managed to improve his time to a 6.50. The run wasn't trouble-free but a good baseline for the final qualifying run today. Rob currently sits in twentieth.

After suffering severe damage in Vegas last weekend, Colin Millar's Flyin' Fyfer sits in the exhibition area alongside legends such as Shirley Muldowney, Tommy Ivo and many other well-known cars. Meanwhile Colin is easily visible flying the Scottish flag in the stands and having a good time.

Mathias also sent us a large gallery from Pomona which we are pleased to present in association with Lucas Oil Products which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Jonnie Lindberg, Ulf Leanders and Rob Turner are representing Europe in Top Alcohol Funny Car, Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences Manty Bugeja and Fred Hanssen in Top Alcohol Dragster, Kalle Lyrén and Robert Karlsson in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Markus Svensson in Stock Eliminator. Good luck and stay safe all. Qualifying concludes and Top Alcohol eliminations commence today (Saturday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at Good luck and stay safe also to the UK's Chris Hannam who is racing his new Supertwin at the Manufacturers Cup Finals at Valdosta - you will be able to stay in touch with Cannon's progress and watch a live stream at - and to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who is contesting the World Street Nationals XXII at Orlando Speed World; you can find out more at or on the Flamholc / MMR Motorsports Facebook page.

Webb's world best.
12th November: One of the annual traditions at the end of the season is a European invasion of USA race tracks, most usually in Bakersfield, Las Vegas and Pomona. UK Super Comp (Nominally - Ed) racer Richie Webb was one of those packing his firesuit as he headed to Los Angeles after the UK National Finals to race Version 1 of his wild VW Beetle Cabriolet:

Last winter I freshened up the engine and made some changes to the car, and I was eager to see how they worked. The first stop was Las Vegas where I ran in a class called Unlimited Street - similar to our Street Eliminator but no fuel restriction. I and all of the other racers completed the approximately twenty four-mile drive on the streets and freeways around Las Vegas without problems.

Race day was not so good with a small fire as the cylinder head was torched on the first pass. Undeterred I proceeded to do what anyone else would: strip it all down in the hotel car park and send it out to be repaired! This was duly completed and next we attended the final day of Hot Rod Drag Weekend at Fontana were there was a Test and Tune lane open. This time the car made it to fourth gear before it was obvious that something was wrong and I shut the motor off coasting to the end. The timing ticket did give some inspiration though with the eighth mile time of 5.83/120 being well over a tenth quicker than it had ever run.

Once again the engine was removed and all checked over and the conclusion was that the new Super Duty head studs were junk, allowing the heads to come loose. So I installed some new, reliable yet cheaper versions from Scat which I have used successfully in the past, and back together went the engine in time for the last Test and Tune of the year again at Fontana again. In the first pass the car did what it always loves to do, a big wheelstand, and I missed second gear so just cruised it up track. Minor changes were made and we went to try again, this time it worked perfectly and I ran a new record 8.95/158 which is the first sub nine-second pass in the world by an Aircooled VW with no wheelie bars. It still has stock VW suspension and is fully street-legal as well! You can see a video of the pass at

Unfortunately the car has no parachute so I was not allowed to run again until a chute is fitted, so that was the end of this winter's exploits.

Lindberg's title shot.
12th November: Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Jonnie Lindberg has all he can ask for. With the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season coming to an end at this weekend's Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, the twenty six-year-old driver and tuner from Upplands Vasby, Sweden,  controls his own destiny with a one-point lead over Annie Whiteley in the Lucas Oil standings.

Four drivers have a chance at the title including Jonnie; Annie, John Lombardo Jr., and Doug Gordon. The points system takes a driver's best seven-of-ten National event finishes and best three-of-five Regional finishes. For that reason, Annie would assume the points lead by winning the first round since she is replacing a first-round loss. Rather than play out the scenarios, Jonnie is focused on winning the event which would award him the season-long prize regardless of what his competitors do.

"I need to go one round more than Annie Whiteley", said Jonnie. "Lombardo and Gordon are hunting behind me, too. I need to go to the semis to gain eleven more points, but I think I really need to win the race to make sure I win. I'll do my best as always."

Furthering Jonnie's cause is a return to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona where he looked dominant during his first career NHRA win during the Circle K NHRA Winternationals in February. "The car ran perfect in February", Jonnie recalled. "The car ran perfect for this track. Hopefully I can go even faster since I have more experience now than I did in February. It's going to be a fast field, of course, because everyone has stepped up this year. I'm pretty confident that our car is going to work perfect this weekend. We checked everything with all the electronics before this weekend. I hope for some more luck this weekend, too."

Electrical issues had plagued the Landmeco-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo during Jonnie's recent efforts in Las Vegas. He was able to reach the semi-finals at the NHRA Toyota Nationals and take the points lead despite battling ignition issues and subsequent misfires. He had no such luck at the West Region event held at the same track the following week, though. After running a brilliant 5.47 during testing prior to the event, he was unable to qualify for the eight-car field. "It was a little frustrating to not qualify for the first time since I brought the car over to Pomona in 2013", said Jonnie. "If I won the race, I would have won the Central Region, so that was a little upsetting. It's still better it happened there than first round this weekend."

Jonnie is delighted to be in a position to close in on a title following an up-and-down campaign that featured major highlights and lessons learned along the way. His first win in Pomona and another victory in Charlotte while breaking the class' 5.3-second and 270 mph barriers are the high marks. A win at the Central Region event in Noble, Oklahoma, in October also boosted his title hopes. A record that includes several runner-up and semifinal finishes have put Jonnie in a strong position, and the experience gained after a season of racing all over the United States has taught him lessons that will help him convert more of those late-round finishes into victories.

"We learned a lot this year", said Jonnie. "Now we know more about how the tracks change and how to change the car. We try to make it more consistent. We've had ups and down with a couple of motor failures and parts failures. We haven't had a great year because we only had two National wins and one regional win – it feels like you should have more wins if you're the points leader – but we have a chance to win the title."

  Regarding the title, the 2013 FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car champion knows what it would mean but is trying to remain focused on the task at hand rather than getting caught up in it. "It would mean the world", said Jonnie. "We won the European Championship in 2013, and that was big. I think this would be ten times bigger, but I don't want to think about it too much and make myself nervous. We're going to take it one run at a time, and hopefully by the end of the weekend we will be winners. This weekend is going to be crazy with so many Swedes coming to Pomona. It's pretty cool that all of them are in the grandstands supporting us. This weekend is going to be a full-house team. We're probably going to have nine people. Everyone who has helped us this year will be flying over. I have a good feeling. I have a good team behind me, and I think it will be good if I play my cards right."

Lindberg Bros. Motorsports extends its gratitude to supporters Landmeco, Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg AS, Manton Pushrods and Rockerarms, Manley Performance valves, Noonan Race Engineering Cylinder Heads, Leanders Clutches, Composite Specialties injector hats, Bullet Cams, Jan-Cen, Red Line Oil, XRP, Kjelland Transport, CPI, Total Projekt, Geoveta, Scania, BST, Fastec, VSM, Scandrock, and Birka Motorrenoveringar.

As well as Jonnie, Ulf Leanders and Rob Turner will be representing Europe in Top Alcohol Funny Car, Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences and Manty Bugeja in Top Alcohol Dragster, Kalle Lyrén and Robert Karlsson in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Markus Svensson in Stock Eliminator. Good luck and stay safe all. Qualifying commences today (Thursday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at Good luck and stay safe also to the UK's Chris Hannam who is racing his new Supertwin at the Manufacturers Cup Finals at Valdosta - you will be able to stay in touch with Cannon's progress and watch a live stream at - and to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who is contesting the World Street Nationals XXII at Orlando Speed World; you can find out more at or on the Flamholc / MMR Motorsports Facebook page.

Top Sportsman rumour central.
12th November: With the UK season officially over, the midnight oil is already burning bright, deals are being done, cars bought and engines built and imported for UK Top Sportsman in 2016. Paul Marston collates the rumours:

Of course a lot of the information we have learned is classified under the Competitor Confidentiality clause. But without naming names or giving the game away in any way, what I can tell you is this. You might have looked at the Mopar Euronationals entry in 2015 and thought that there were a lot of fast doorslammers entered. It had all the signs of being a real slugfest, with more seven-second players than you could count on both hands, yes you really would have to take off your socks to count them all! Details are very sketchy but the source is not known to exaggerate, so I can tell you that in addition to those entries, I predict that there will be two more brand new very fast turbo cars coming. Both will be very capable, coming from good teams who know what they are doing.

In addition, so I have been told, in 2016 there will another two new cars débuted with monster cube motors. I can also tell you without naming names that at least five previous competitors will be or are already upgrading from what they had last year to another level for 2016.

This is what we have been told, and in a lot of cases know as fact, and we are only in November! There are eight months still to go until UK Top Sportsman goes live at the Mopar Euronationals.

Please don't forget the second UK Top Sportsman Drag Racing show on Motors TV next week, the first showing is at 20:00 on Monday. If you missed the first show it is still being repeated this week, check programme guides for times.

Once again a massive thank you to everyone involved. The competitors and their hard-working crews in UK Top Sportsman and UK Top Dragster, our business partners and sponsors for believing in hard-core Sportsman racing, the fantastic UK Top Sportsman pit crew, the Mopar Euronationals committee, Santa Pod Raceway management and the hardest-working startline and track crew we know, Zeon TV for making you everyone look so good and for doing so much for us and the whole sport of drag racing (Thanks! You're welcome - Ed).

More UK Top Sportsman news to follow shortly, stay tuned to

Web site updates.
12th November: The latest update to The Mad Welshman's Flickr site features two albums from the end-September Public Track Day / FWD Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check it out at

Feature: LVMS LODRS gallery.
11th November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is Simon's gallery from the weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas.

You can check out Simon's shots by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Cannon's angry new ride.
11th November: Not only is a large contingent of fans headed for Pomona this weekend but also to South Georgia Motorsports Park at Valdosta where the final round of the Manufacturers Cup will be taking place. Amongst the participants they will be cheering on will be the UK's Chris Hannam with his new Supertwin. Cannon writes:

2015 has been a busy year for the team and as we travel to the USA we are ready to go for our next assault on the six-second zone, which has proven somewhat elusive since my four-cylinder fuel bike in 2004. We have been great with the short numbers with our UK blown nitro Supertwin and we are still working on upgrades to sort our back half numbers to net a six-second pass. This has not proven an easy task with work commitments holding up new development parts so in February 2015, and after long discussions, the decision was made to purchase a state-of-the-art brand new injected fuel Harley from Johnny Vickers at Hawaya Racing.

The bike was ready to test at the August Manufacturers Cup race in Rockingham NC, where we started to work out how to set up a new fuel Harley for a rider my size. Needless to say there were some issues, some with me and some with the bike, having had a great test the week before Rockingham on the blown bike at Santa Pod I was full of beans and ready to hit the ground running but this was not the case. We got the bike ready to test and went to fire up and I looked round to see the mass of riders and crew all coming out to watch. No problem, I've raced at the Pod in front of thousands. Ha! Not this time as having Larry and Steve McBride, Mike Dryden, Sam Wills and crew plus the full USA media it felt like the whole pits were there to watch this so I just had to suck it up and get on with it.

After a great burnout I was in stage thinking "What am I doing, this thing sounds very angry". I hit it hard and it felt the tyre turn so I shut off and coasted down the track, not the best start but it was a brand new bike and I was still coming to terms and feeling comfortable on it. The weekend went well and we identified lots of areas for change for our next attempt to help get us down the track at the Finals.

After the test at Rockingham the team flew home and the bike went back to Hawaya Racing for upgrades in readiness for this weekend's race.

We are now flying out and should arrive in Valdosta tonight so that so we can hit the ground running in testing on Thursday. With drag racing we never know if it's going to be a good or a bad race so here's hoping for a bit of luck and that the new upgrades work so that we can continue our new race programme.

If you're at the races call by our pit, and we will update our Facebook page with race updates when we can.

Finally I would like to thank our sponsors for their very valuable support with both our UK and USA efforts: Lucas Oil USA and Europe, APR, Portable Shade, MRE, Hawaya Racing and Cannon Engineering.

Dakota's last call for 2015.
9th November: The UK season draws to a close this weekend as Dakota Raceway hosts its final Drag and Drift Day of 2015 on Saturday (14th). Lee Child of sponsor
LA Racing Parts writes:

The grass-roots raceway in Devon had a good and successful October event with some great entertainment. The spectators couldn't have seen before such a range of vehicles running on the all-concrete asphalt-topped quarter mile. Entries included a Fuel Altered, eight-second nitrous dooorslammer, ten-second street cars, Pro Street cars, circuit racers, Nostalgia Drag Bikes, nine-second street bikes and a good number of street legal cars and bikes.

Saturday 14th November will be the end of season Drag and Drift Day at Dakota Raceway. The Dakota Raceway points series Championships are still all undecided, so it's all going down to the wire. The drag strip is open to all for unlimited runs whether street legal or full competition vehicles, and there will be trophies up for grabs for different categories. We have other activities going on too, such as the burnout competition which has trended towards the as the season has progressed with the area getting fogged out. Also at this event will be our regular Show and Shine with Club stand area, all on hard standing.

New to this event will be our Dakota Deals Swap Meet area which is also on hard standing. There is no extra charge after admission which is £10 per person, under-16s go free. For regular updates you can find us on Facebook, search for Dakota Raceway Southwest. See you at Dakota Raceway, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe Airfield, Smeatharpe, Devon EX14 9RF (map).

UK Season Review DVDs released.
9th November: Our good friends Helen Todd and David Coleman at Zeon TV have started to release their 2015 Season Review videos of various UK classes and events. Anyone who knows anything about drag racing DVDs knows that the Zeon TV name guarantees high quality and with something for everyone there will be at least one, but probably several, DVDs worth putting under the Tree for the drag racing fan in your life.

The range of DVDs covers the MSA Pro Modified Championship, Hillingdon Speed and Spares APIRA Springspeed Nationals, Dragstalgia, NSRA Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags, Hardcore Street (Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator), Mopar EuroNats and JS Secure Security Solutions Ltd UK Top Sportsman.

We will as ever publish a review in due course but if you want to get a head start then each DVD is £14.95 plus postage, and several package deals are available. Take a look or place your orders at Eagle-eyed readers will spot that Zeon TV are good judges of a photograph, too.

LVMS LODRS pit notes III.
8th November: Simon has been in touch from The Strip at Las Vegas with his final set of pit notes from this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series meeting which a number of European racers are contesting:

Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders ended up qualifying seventh with 5.601/260.01. Crew Chief and brother Jörgen, to whom a very Happy Birthday for today (Sunday), said "We were in a deep hole but it finally seems that we are seeing the light. We have been trying a lot of new things and it has been a struggle getting them all to work together, but now it looks good and we think we have figured it out. We are running Goodyear special development tyres which are thirty six inches in size and have been given to selected racers. We tested them in Norwalk Ohio, and although we have not had many other opportunities to test they seem better, although no tyre is shake-proof. It is important that we have found the right tuning window and we can now tune the car and look to improve". The final session was held in cool conditions; only three of sixteen racers improved, and Ulf lifted after 300 feet. "It is a killer track", said Ulf. "We got good data until the point the tyre shake started after 1.3 seconds. We are still learning a new combination."

Lucas Oil TAFC points leader Jonnie Lindberg started the day in fourth with a 5.633 but with seventeen cars going for eight positions, it seemed that an improvement was necessary to stay in the field. However the tyres shook in session two and Jonnie lifted after about 400 feet. The team were philosophical at that stage and Johan said "We have good data from testing, it is a question of finding the balance. We can get in the field". In the final session, though, the ignition problems suffered last weekend reappeared. Jonnie said "We ran 3.65 to half track at 208 mph and it was looking a very good run, we reckon it would have been a 5.49. But the ignition shut off the engine after four seconds, so I'm not very happy. All we can do before next time is to check every wire and box. It makes the Championship exciting, but I was hoping to gain up to twenty three points here and now we won't get any so we will carry a one point lead to Pomona. The car likes Pomona and we did well at the Winternationals."

Rob Turner, whose new pearl wrap looks resplendent under the lights, was able to keep the TAFC in the lane, however tyre shake struck on both runs. Rob said "Thanks to our team and Bernie and Geoff, we finished the engine by 9:30 pm last night and fired it up this morning. In Q2 I was concentrating on going straight and let the launch RPM drop. The track is so good, you have to keep the revs well up to avoid shaking the tyres. It is more difficult getting a TAFC to avoid tyre shake than a blown alcohol dragster where you can salvage the run in many cases. There is less window for tuning it traction-wise". The final session was the first time Rob had driven the TAFC in darkness. "We are in the left lane and the lighting is good along the track and in the shut down area", he said. The third and final attempt was also shake-plagued. "I crept into deep stage and had to grab hold of the brake to avoid rolling through the beams", said Rob. "Although it shook again, it is feeling better every time and we will be putting new slicks on before Pomona."

Top Alcohol Dragster racer Fred Hanssen again suffered tyre spin in Q2 and said that an tyre inner tube was leaking, compounding the problem. "After the run the new inner tube was measured at 5.5lbs/inch and the other one was 10lbs/in", said Fred. "The car was going to the right like crazy and I had to shut off. We also have a new Crower clutch and will have to take some weight off it for the final session". A final pass of 5.439/258.32 was enough to put Fred on the bump spot for most of the session before being edged out by Shawn Cowie's 5.394. Fred said after the final session "The engine lost a spark plug at one second which cost us 200-300hp. We should have changed everything after storing the car for a year. Comparing the run to the 5.30 from last year this should have been a quicker run still. So I think we can show them something at Pomona."

The day started very early for 2012 FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Manty Bugeja, whose Mr Whippy car arrived with car owner Joe Carrabott at 1:00 am. The team spent most of the rest of the night preparing the car without any sleep and the team were ready to run at 12:30 pm. The bugs started in the burnout when a fuel line broke leaving a line of fuel along the track and a puddle where the car had come to a halt. A crew member's drastic gesticulation resulted in the car being quickly sidelined and the clean up was over in a matter of a minute or two. Manty said "We've never had a fuel line break like that before so we are down to our last chance. It would have been good to get a couple of good runs in before Pomona, where we again only have three qualifying attempts". The second session produced a better pass of 5.667/255.43 but not quick enough for the eight car field which eventually had a 5.394 bump spot. Manty said "The car shook so much in the run that a body panel next to the roll cage broke, which will need repairing, and a brand new slick became badly cut." sponsor Mike Manners ran a great 5.312/262.85 which put him second in TAD after Q2. He said "We actually had two cylinders go out, one after four seconds and a second after five, so I think a 5.2 run is possible. We will step it up but be aware of the conditions as the track will be cooling off rapidly at around 5pm'. In the final session, like TAFC, only three cars improved and Mike suffered bad tyre shake, enough to shake the top element of the rear wing off the car. Crew Chief Shane Conway said "We've had worse shake before but the wing didn't like it this time and we will have to use our spare wing. A/Fuel cars are more susceptible to track conditions, they produce a lot of torque and we need to maintain wheel speed without spinning them, or cylinders will go out. The cars don't like track temperatures less than eighty degrees and it was sixty eight degrees tonight. For this morning it was eighty five to ninety degrees. We still had good sixty foot times although this evening's 0.919 was with the back wheels at the start."

Good luck to Ulf Leanders and Mike Manners in today's eliminations on Sunday, and to all the other European racers at the NHRA Finals at Pomona next weekend. You will be able to watch Mike and Ulf in action courtesy of the LVMS TowerCam at and stay in touch with their results courtesy of Drag Race Central at

Editor's note: Simon's tour of duty in the USA is now finished and I'm sure that everyone will join me in thanking him for his solo hard work in Bakersfield, SEMA and Las Vegas. Thanks also to Simon for sneaking in the birthday greeting during our small hours and to everyone who sent and posted birthday greetings yesterday - Tog

LVMS LODRS pit notes II.
7th November: During yesterday's qualifying at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series meeting at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the five European teams (and a sixth preparing to participate today) worked to acclimatise to the track conditions. Simon reported in overnight:

Most notable among the conditions is the high, and varying, adjusted altitude which is a factor we don't see as much of in Europe. Jonnie Lindberg explained "Today the adjusted altitude is in a range of 2,300-3,500 feet, but on Monday when we tested it was 5,000". Such a change requires much tuning input to keep the cars performing consistently and quickly.

The British team of Turner Motorsport arrived with a freshly wrapped TAFC body, the wrap applied by the team, and lots of changes including a Leanders clutch. But in Rob Turner's run this afternoon, the gremlins hit once again as the car drifted to the left and hit a couple of reflectors. Rob explained "I will wear my usual glasses rather than the varifocals I had on today. We have engine work to do as it dropped a valve in the burnout which damaged a piston. Bernie Harrington is helping us build another head. Fortunately we have a spare and need to get some valve retainers and locks". The engine rebuild will be taking place Friday evening in time for Saturday's qualifying sessions at 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.

Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders, who was the winner of this event last year, ran a 5.784/259.36 which placed him eighth which is the bump spot for the meeting. He said "I pedalled it at the start as I felt it going sideways with tyre shake, but thinking about it now I should have driven through the shake. The mind says one thing and the reaction is something different". There are sixteen cars going for eight spots so Ulf will be looking to improve tomorrow.

Fellow Swede Jonnie Lindberg, helped by 2015 FIA Champion and brother Johan, went 5.633/259.86 to go fourth. He said "The car shook down the track but it is good mechanically and we just need some fine tuning. With the altitude changes there are a lot of adjustments possible, but it is mainly about getting the fuel system right for the conditions."

In Top Alcohol Dragster, Norwegian Fred Hanssen made his first pass in a year, running a 6.623/232.39. He said "It feels good to be back in the driving seat as we have only done two races in the last couple of years. The run was really a long burnout, it spun the tyres all the way down the track in first, second and third gears. The tyres are really old so we definitely have to change them for tomorrow. There is fortunately no damage. This event is really about us testing for me rather than the car though. It is important that we come back a little over the event, and my objective is to regain familiarity with the car."

British ex-pat TAD racer and sponsor Mike Manners, based in Willis, Texas, ran a 5.505/260.16 in his A/Fuel car to go number six of fifteen. He said "We will have gone to fifteen races by the end of the season, and it's getting like a full time job. On that run, the engine was popping like mad backing it up. we had a problem in warming it and replaced all the plugs, did a leakdown test but couldn't find a problem. On the run a cylinder went out but actually came back down track, which is unusual. It meant also our speed was almost as good as it was last weekend when we ran four 5.2s before ending up smoking the tyres in the semi-final. The chutes wouldn't open but it didn't bother me as the shut down area is long and uphill. The car also has dual caliper brakes and I didn't need to apply them too hard. Even my parents Christina and Gordon and partner Vanessa Neades weren't worried when they saw the lack of chutes. We meed to increase the tuning for the first sixty foot which is not quick enough (0.969s - Ed)."

We managed to trace Maltese TAD racer Manty Bugeja with the help of tuner Norm Grimes, who is working with Joey Severance this weekend. When we spoke, Manty told us he had got the car released from the Long Beach Port Authority who had impounded it. "There was a missing piece of paper", Manty noted. The car hadn't arrived by the evening but is expected to arrive in time to run in the first qualifying session tomorrow, subject to approval from NHRA officials and scrutineers.

Finally Colin Millar, on day twenty four of his epic tour of the US, encountered mechanical problems in his attempt to qualify for the sixty four-car Top Sportsman field. The first run produced an 8.34 with a single stage of nitrous. He said "The car ran on seven cylinders and we found a dead plug where the strap on the cover had moved. So we checked all the plugs and went for a second bottle of nitrous in the second session". Smoke out the back of the car on an 8.16 told the story of mechanical damage and Colin later said "We turned up the wick for the second run but it looks like a wee bit too much, we have damaged the motor and it looks like it's terminal, will pull it apart in the morning, but I've been here before and I'm pretty sure of the outcome! We're not down, we're having the time of our life's with great people and it may be the end of our racing but we're still going to kick the arse out of it until a week on Tuesday when we go home, and we're still going to Pomona."

Action continues today (Saturday) and you will be able to watch our heroes in action courtesy of the LVMS TowerCam at and stay in touch with results courtesy of Drag Race Central at

Swift snippets.
7th November: UK Pro Modified racer Paula Atkin's Mustang has been put up for sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet. Paula and Stan told that they plan to take some time out, build up the overtime, and return with a new car.

Today is News Editor Tog's birthday, and Kirstie, Julian and Simon are sure that all readers and Eurodragsterholics will join us in wishing Tog a huge Happy Birthday.

The Chevy-driving Ford specialist.
7th November: Although he drives the Metamorphosis Chevrolet Camaro in Pro ET, the UK's Mike Lacey is a specialist in Ford Mustangs offering services to Mustang owners through his company ModUrStang. Mike got in touch to being us up to date with his latest offers for owners of Mustangs and other American cars including a discount on servicing:

I've been asked so many times "Why run a Camaro when you are a Mustang specialist?". I've just had the car so long, and I can't let it go. One day I will have a Mustang race car, I promise.

With the release of the 2015 S550 Right Hand Drive Mustang at some of your Ford dealerships this month - the first true RHD Mustang ever produced - I felt it was the right time to let you all know that Modurstang will be continuing with our unparalleled service and experience with this new model. As the UK's number one Mustang specialist, we offer everything from a service to a full restoration. We can install superchargers with numbers like 750 hp still retaining total driveability and good fuel economy. We will soon be taking delivery of the 2016 model which we will be using as an R&D car. 

Although we are Mustang specialists we will work on almost any American car. Feel free to give us a call on 01608 678818 to discuss anything with which we can help you.  Modurstang is offering 20% discount on servicing from now until Christmas - call it an early Christmas present. Find us on Facebook or on our web site at

On a slightly different note I would just like to remind everyone that the Pro ET End of Year Party takes place at the Lansdowne Strand Hotel in Calne, Wiltshire on Saturday 21st November. Tickets are still available at £10 per person and we would love to see you there - all are welcome. You can get it touch through the web site as mentioned above.

Finally thanks to all of the Pro ET sponsors for supporting us through the 2015 race season: Power Engineering, VP Racing Fuels, NGK Spark Plugs, Get Embroidered, Surf City Garage, Red Line Oil, Hillingdon Speed and Spares, Zannetec, Engine Data Analysis, Power Pour, ModUrStang, Topspeed Automotive, On The Bottle, Hauser Race Cars and Classic American magazine.

Matti Hämäläinen.
6th November: Kristjan Veedler of the
Estonian Drag Racing Association writes with sadness that another great man left us yesterday:

After a short but agressive illness, legendary finnish race official Matti 'Putte' Hämäläinen has passed away.

Matti will be remembered as a respected and very professional race official. He loved cars and especially drag racing. Over thirty years of experience in Finnish motorsport and volunteer work as a team member in FHRA made him a respected and loved man all over Europe. He also wrote a countless amount of very interesting articles in Finland`s car magazines.

As a person Matti was fun-loving and helpful. He knew how to keep serious responsibilites and free time separate. He always had time to show or teach you something new and he was never bothered if he had to explain the same thing all over again.

Matti will be sadly missed by his family, huge amount of close friends, FHRA crew, EDRA crew and everybody who had the privilege to know him.

May you have sunny weather and lots of tyre smoke on your heavenly drag strip now. We are gonna miss you, Putte!

LVMS LODRS pit notes I.
6th November: Simon has been in touch from The Strip at Las Vegas where five European teams are contesting this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series meeting:

This is one of the biggest sportsman events in the calendar, being the regional finals for NHRA's Pacific Division.

UK Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Rob Turner and team made their first racing appearance since the 2013 Euro Finals at last weekend's NHRA Toyota Nationals at LVMS. He said "We have been planning racing in the US since the end of the 2013 season. We bought our new trailer a year ago, it is smaller than our UK rig so we have had to throw out a lot of old stuff, a bit like moving house really. We have been helped a lot by TAFC racer Bernie Harrington who has been doing some of the maintenance and supplying parts. Steve helped Bernie install a Leanders clutch in January 2015 and Bernie's car ran down in the 5.6s after that. But in April Bernie had a serious, old-school type fire and he offered to help us before he rebuilds. We hope that we can run as a two car team when Bernie rebuilds, but in the meantime he is working with us."

The team shipped the car and parts in a container in August 2015. The container took thirty three days to arrive, and then they got to work setting up.

Rob's first US meeting since 1999 turned out to be more difficult than expected. "I guess I was a bit rusty so we got bit by small errors. We had three qualifying attempts, in the first I stalled the car in reverse, in the second the car rolled through the beams and in the third it drifted to the centre and took out some cones. But we didn't hurt anything and I am confident we can run well this weekend and at Pomona."

The team's 2016 plans are yet to be finalised but Rob hopes they will be able to do the first few meetings on the Western side of the US, including the Pomona and Las Vegas Divisional meetings. In the meantime a return home for the winter break is planned after the NHRA Finals.

TAFC racer Jonnie Lindberg has had a great year and the team are leading the NHRA Top Aocohol Funny Car Championship by a single point. Jonnie will be collecting additional points this weekend which his main competition, Annie Whiteley, is unable to do as she has already attended her quota of five regional events. A semi final finish at last weekend's race followed problems with an ignition coil throughout the weekend. Jonnie said "The coil was losing power and we had help from Per Andersen in replacing it after the second round of eliminations which gave us 200 hp more. Unfortunately we ended up spinning the tyres in the semi final, but we gained the lead anyhow. In qualifying we had a half second on the rest of the field which was pleasing. Our test run today was 5.478/264.70, second quickest and a good baseline for this meeting."

Fellow Swede, and supplier of clutches to an increasing proportion of blown alcohol cars is Ulf Leanders. The crew, headed up by brother Jörgen, has guest member Krister Johansson ("It feels strange working on a car with a supercharger not running on nitro"). The team has raced in nine National events in 2015 so far but had its second DNQ last weekend after tyre shake problems. Ulf said "We made a lot of changes and we had a issue with the combination affecting traction between 100 and 250 feet down the track. So we tested on Monday to a 5.64/258 after a couple of launches. We are glad to have Krister's input for the last three races of the year". A tyre shaking initial pass today was followed by a later attempt in much cooler conditions which produced a 5.635/260.11 as the team heads towards the first qualifying session tomorrow.

Top Alcohol Dragster racer Fred Hanssen is making a return to the track for the first time since the 2014 NHRA Finals, where he qualified fourth with a 5.30. The 2011 FIA European Champion said "I have sold my fishing boat and am planning to compete in the whole NHRA tour, scoring points at both National and Divisional races in a bid for the 2016 Championship. The competition is tough but that is the thing which is motivating us. I have help from noted alcohol tuner Bob Devore and Kurt Kuhns, and plan to make all three qualifiers, one on Friday and two on Saturday. We have a base near Brad Anderson's store in Pomona as well, although we are hoping we won't be needing many spare parts."

The Flyin' Fyfer team of Colin Millar won a Wally for Best Appearing Crew at last weekend's Toyota Nationals. Colin said "I don't know if a British team has won a Wally before (Yes, Al O'Connor and Dave Wilson - Ed), but we are really proud of it". Colin is running in Top Sportsman in the LODRS meeting this weekend, giving him scope to use nitrous. However the first qualifying session planned for late afternoon today was postponed as track officials called the day at 6:00 pm in rapidly cooling temperatures.

Although Joe Carabott and Manty Bugeja's Mr Whippy TAD entry from Malta was on the entry list for the NHRA Toyota Nationals, the team unfortunately weren't able to compete at LVMS last weekend due to customs problems bringing the car into the US. Let's hope they make it to Pomona for the Finals.

Qualifying continues today (Friday) and you will be able to watch our heroes in action courtesy of the LVMS TowerCam at and stay in touch with results courtesy of Drag Race Central at

APIRA, Outlaws Trophy Night.
6th November: Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and Supercharged Outlaws are pleased to announce details of their combined Championship Trophy Presentation Evening to be held on Saturday 5th March 2016 in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE located on Junction 15 of the M40. The evening will honour the 2015 APIRA Champions and runners up and APIRA and SCR Perpetual Award winners, together with winners and runners up from the UK Supercharged Outlaws.

The evening will commence at 6:00 pm with pre dinner drinks at the bar followed by a full sit down dinner which will be served at 7:00 pm. The Championship presentation begins at 8:30 pm. There will be a disco till late provided by Kenny's Bar resident DJ Jamie, along with a raffle during the course of the evening.

Tickets will be £20 per adult and £10 for under-twelves which includes a three-course sit-down meal finished with tea and coffee. A vegetarian option will be available on request but please tick the box on the booking form. Children's meals will be cheese on toast followed by beefburger served with french fries followed by chocolate pudding. If you wish to book a complete table for your team or group then please indicate this on the form. Tables seat a maximum of ten.

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel. These are priced at £91 for a double or £81 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room, please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the website at quoting reference number AWED15. Cut off point for bedrooms on the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at Credit card payments can be made by calling 01789 414119 during business hours. Payments can also be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February 2016. If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail E-Mail

2014 Perpetual Award winners please note that all trophies should be returned to APIRA / SCR as soon as possible please. To make arrangements for return of trophy's please E-Mail Jerry Cookson at or call 01789 720180 during office hours.

2016 UK Top Sportsman I set.
6th November: Paul Marston writes that the first UK Top Sportsman event has been arranged for 2016:

There will be a round of UK Top Sportsman at next year's mighty Mopar Euronationals at Santa Pod Raceway on Friday 29th-Sunday 31st July. This will be our sixth year with UK Top Sportsman and we once again expect the track action to be fast, merciless and furious as the cream of Europe's Doorslammers fight it out for the richest prize fund in Sportsman racing and the chance to becoming a member of that very exclusive group, a winner in UK Top Sportsman. We have never had a repeat winner in five years.

There is still a chance that we will be adding a second date to UK Top Sportsman and a date for UK Top Dragster, which débuted at Back With Mods 2015. We are working with Santa Pod to secure a date for 2016, so stay tuned to

Meanwhile we will go with what we know, UK Top Sportsman will be contested at the Mopar Euronationals in 2016, so any marketing partners and sponsors who would like to get involved with the fastest-growing, no rules other than safety, televised, richest Sportsman Heads-Up and Fast Bracket Doorslammer races in Europe. We are currently looking for companies and individuals who would like to share in and support UK Top Sportsman at the 2016 Mopar Euronationals. Please contact me on 07831 650230 or E-Mail for options and details of packages available. All enquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Showing the Modified crowd.
6th November: Ian Turburville writes that his daughter, Super Pro ET racer Laura Turburville, has been flying the flag for drag racing at a Modified car show:

Laura and Chris of Team Turboville are both big fans of Modified cars and have made some good connections in that scene. One of those is the detailing company Kleen Freaks and the owner of the company, Michael Crawford, decided that Laura was pretty cool and worthy of support so came along to the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod in May. He was blown away by the whole scene, loved every minute and after giving the True Blood dragster a complete going over with his fantastic products the car ran its first seven second run! Coincidence, maybe, but it certainly was shiny enough to slip through the air with more ease and looked dazzling!

The race season is over but the show season had one last big event, the Ultimate Stance Show at Telford International Exhibition Centre, and it was sold out! Michael just had to have the team there with the new Bad Blood dragster and Wheel Whores - it's their show - agreed, so Bloodlines Racing let Ian and the gang take it to the land of slammed cars. The organisers gave it pride of place and the show goers loved it. The satin black paint (yes you can use their products over it) and hand signage by Nefarious contrasting against the bling of the polished alloy and chrome set it apart from the rest of the show cars and it was mobbed all day.

Laura and Chris did a great job of promoting the sport of drag racing and many new friendships were forged that day with promises to attend the races next year to see if the fantastic claims of speed and power were justified! A shame they couldn't start it but it wouldn't have been able to compete with some of the mega sound which that were being demonstrated! There were a good few drag racers there and the whole scene was pretty cool, the standard of the five hundred modified cars was awesome to say the least. It seems this is hot-rodding for the youth of twenty first century Britain and bodes well for the future of customising.

Thanks to the aforementioned companies for the hospitality and to Bloodlines for the use of the car. Thanks also to Central College Nottingham and USAutomotive for the help with building the car and support for the 2016 season. Now for six months of hibernation until we smell the track prep going down again!

Never to be forgotten.
6th November: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury writes that although we celebrate fifty years of drag racing at Santa Pod Raceway in 2016, there is one person who made a huge contribution to the development of drag racing in the UK and Europe who will not be with us to see the milestone:

On this date in 1983, 6th November, Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge made his last ever run at Santa Pod Raceway He was débuting a new Jet Funny Car named 'Midnight Cowboy' which he built himself. The car made a left hand turn at the top end of the strip running head on into the crash barrier and Allan was killed instantly.

Bootsie was an original, an innovator, a hero to many and great loss to the world of drag racing. To honour his memory, those inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame receive a 'Bootsie', a quality crystal tablet encapsulating an image of Allan, a man who put so much into British drag racing, together with an exclusive gold enamelled commemorative pin badge. We all miss him.

Steve Blyth.
4th November: We were sorry to hear from UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Tethys of the death yesterday of his friend, and crew member on various teams, Steve Blyth. Tet writes:

Steve was the reason I'm involved with drag racing. He was one of a group of long-haired biker types that I got to know through our local tattoo shop. He'd been going to Santa Pod since time immemorial, and since he knew I liked motorsport, he tried to convince me to go along. Of course, I thought I knew better. Racing in a straight line was clearly going to be dull and I had better things to do. But after several years of nagging, I relented and went to one of the FIA meetings and have never looked back. However, it all began with Steve.

Steve was always interested in the engineering side of the sport and some years later, myself, Robin, Ferret and Steve found ourselves in Finland, crewing for Smax Smith who was driving one of Knut Söderqvist's Top Fuel Dragsters. Knut took one look at us and dubbed us "Smax's modderfockin' hippie crew", a term which followed us around for years to come. Steve was in his element, whether it was working on the full size car or fixing the engine on the junior dragster that Smax's sons were driving. His tinkering earned him the nickname The Gnome, and he was duly provided with a suitably pointy gnome hat, which he took to wearing at the track.

After that season, we carried on crewing with the McDonald brothers on their own car, with Steve machining up all manner of parts in his workshop. A season with Jon Webster driving eventually led to Steve working for Jon for a while, bringing him into contact with an ever increasing percentage of the UK drag racing scene. Although we had many good times over the years, Steve had a passion for railways and one of my fondest memories was abandoning a snowed out Santa Pod one Easter and heading back to Steve's house near Northampton where we drove his steam trains around the track he'd built in his back garden. He'll be missed by me and by many others in and around our sport. Requiescat in pace, Steve.

Our deepest sympathies to Steve's family and friends.

Feature: SEMA Show gallery.
4th November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is Simon's gallery from the SEMA Show currently taking place in Las Vegas.

Not only did Simon find a host of very pretty vehicles to photograph but he also encountered a few of our heroes including one of those rapscallions from You can check out Simon's shots from SEMA by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Swift snippets.
4th November: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm for passing us the final bike-class points standings in the 2015 SPRC Championships. You can check out the SPRC points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any page.

Further to our news item of 22nd October, Brian Taylor tells us that audience places are still available for the Bench Racing session on the afternoon of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala at the Saville Court Hotel in Windsor on Saturday 21st November. As well as the US and Swedish stars Brian says that a number of UK drag racing legends will be in the audience ready to add their own war stories, and that the motor of the Apache Nostalgia Funny Car will also be appearing (Although not speaking - Ed). Places are free and are available whether or not you are attending the Gala Dinner. The Bench Racing session commences at 13:00 and you can book your place by contacting Geoff Stilwell at or by calling Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.

Thomas Olsen and his Brothers In Arms Racing team did a great job last weekend not only representing their own operation, but also the sport of drag racing in general, at the Oslo Motor Show, Norway's biggest meeting for motor enthusiasts. The team answered many questions about their beautiful Pro Stock Motorcycle and the sport of drag racing, and with their enthusiasm they were real ambassadors for the sport and gave many visitors a first taste of what drag racing really is. You can find out more in Remco Scheelings' latest article on the EDRS Pro web site at

When 6.91 isn't enough...
4th November: The UK's Robin Read writes that his outing in his nitro-fuelled Daimler-powered rail at the Flame and Thunder Show was one of those "Best-laid plans of mice and men" kind of days:

We were happy with what happened, although it wasn't quite what we'd hoped for. My 6.91 was our third quickest ever pass on the car but there were a couple of things which weren't in the plan.

The first was that for the first run we made the decision to put some extra fuel in the motor by richening the main fuel return. We had also made sure that the engine was up to the optimum temperature and so would burn the extra fuel and give more power. Due to an on-track incident and subsequent loss of medical staff the motor cooled down and didn't burn the extra fuel. For the second run we leaned the mixture, but the blower had lost efficiency (should have rebuilt it) and this also resulted in a rich mixture.

The good thing is that all other aspects of the car were good. The new oil pump and modifications to the lubrication system were just what we expected, which means that next time out we will run our quickest. It's a tough thing trying to run world records, I guess that's why the queue isn't very long.

Web site updates.
4th November: Our good buddy Steve Moxley's latest report on the Eat My Ink web site is of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship classes at the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can check out Steve's work at

Noisy cars sought for Rob.
1st November: UK street-legal racer Andy Frost writes to invite readers with hot rods and other cars to make a big noise to honour a late friend:

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that on the 13th October 2015 our friend and crewman Rob "Henchman" Kearns suddenly passed away at the tender age of 54 years old. He was a big guy with an even bigger heart, and will be massively missed by myself, Deb, the whole Red Victor team and of course his family here and in Australia.

Rob's funeral will be held at 11:30 am this Friday, 6th November, at Honor Oak Crematorium, Brockley Way, London SE4 2LW. We are looking for some local hot rods and other cars to join the funeral procession, which will start from 190 Neckinger Estate, Spa Road, London SE16 3QF. The cars will need to be there at 10:30am prompt; the funeral directors are FA Albin and Sons.

One of Big Rob's wishes to his son Dean before he passed was that when he went he would like to have a bunch of cars making some noise in his memory! Let's keep that wish for him...

RIP Rob, and condolences to his family at this sad time (Seconded - Ed).

Drive eO's electrifying rail.
1st November: Geof Hauser of race car builder and sponsor
Hauser Race Cars has been in touch with news of the latest race car to emerge from his workshop: no less than a rival for Don Garlits' current ride:

The dragster is a 245" chassis similar to our own race car but it will be powered by six electric motors. It was commissioned by Drive eO of Latvia who are determined to have the first electric dragster to run 200 mph. It will be driven by Maris Ozolins who is a three-time drag racing champion in Latvia. The car will run in the UK and Sweden.

Drive eO have been successfully involved in building electric-powered race cars for a few years now and the proof of their work was at this year's Pike Peak race where with Rhys Millen driving they had the quickest car of all. That car had 1368 bhp and the dragster will have more.

The motors and custom-designed transmission will be installed over the winter and it is expected that the car will be back in England for testing in the Spring of next year.

The race is on!

Swift snippets.
1st November: Saturday's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway was the final event on's 2015 Event Coverage schedule. We would like to thank our readers who tuned in in their thousands; John Woolfe Racing, Webster Race Engineering and Nimbus Motorsport for their sponsorships of live coverage and webcasts; the racers for giving us so much to describe and photograph; Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, Tierp Arena, Hockenheimring and Alastaro Circuit management and race officials for facilities and approval to report upon and broadcast their events; AMP Audio Solutions and for technical facilities and endless assistance; and Team Nutritionist Syd McDonald for keeping us fed and watered. Please also join Tog in a big Thank You to colleagues Kirstie, Simon, Julian and contributing photographers Grace Roaf, Patrik Jacobsson and Lena Perés for their hard work again this year.

Multiple FIM European Top Fuel Bike Champion Ian King and the Gulf Oil Dragracing team are the subject of an impressive six-page colour article in the November issue of Germany's Custombike magazine, available in all good magazine outlets throughout Germany now, or for purchase as a digital edition at

UK Top Sportsman TV.
1st November: Paul Marston writes that the TV broadcasts of this year's JS Secure Security Solutions UK Top Sportsman and Top Dragster rounds are coming up fast:

The shows will be on Motors TV on Monday 9th November and Monday 16th November. The first broadcast will be from Back With Mods at Santa Pod Raceway in June and will feature both UK Top Sportsman and UK Top Dragster. The second broadcast is of UK Top Sportsman at July's mighty Mopar Euronationals again at Santa Pod Raceway.

The shows will be repeated on Motors TV many times during that week, so if by chance you miss the first show date just look up the programme guide on Motors TV for the rest of the week - you will find it. Motors TV is now available on Freeview so nearly everyone can enjoy the shows.

Once again we would like to thank all our sponsors, all the UK Top Sportsman and Top Dragster race teams, the fantastic UK Top Sportsman and PMR pit crew for running the event, Santa Pod Raceway staff and management, Mopar Euronational event organisers and last but not least for their excellent event coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). Thanks also to everyone else who makes it happen and supports us, we truly are in your debt. Enjoy the TV shows.

Earlier news