Avril, we are thinking of you.
5th December: Thanks to Paul Marston for an update on former Santa Pod Racers Club marshal Avril Brown:
I have been asked by the Brown family to let everyone know that former SPRC marshal Avril Brown has been so bravely fighting a battle against cancer. Unfortunately, despite having undergone a full course of chemotherapy, the doctor's report last week said that it has not been successful and they have given Avril about 4 weeks to say all her goodbyes.
Phil Brown, Avril's Husband, and both of their sons, Alan Brown and Simon Brown, have all served as Santa Pod Racers Club marshals over the years, Phil for around 15 years, so they will be known to quite a few of you.
Phil and Avril also helped PMR when we ran UK Top Sportsman with Jeff and Belinda Bull at Santa Pod Raceway, they are kind people and very dear friends who have given so much to this great sport of ours.
This news will come as a shock to a lot of you as the Browns are private people and wanted to keep the treatment confidential in the hope that the chemo was successful, alas unfortunately it was not.
Paul Marston Racing team members new and old were privileged to have visited the Browns last Sunday to see Avril, who still has that cheeky glint in her eyes and a wicked sense of humour.
Please keep Avril and Phil Brown in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.
Spitfire Raceway event this Saturday.
5th December: With the rest of the UK suffering freezing temperatures over the coming days, Spitfire Raceway in Perranporth is forecast to be a relatively balmy 7C and the event is described by promoter Lee Child as "Petrolhead paradise".
The 2022 Xmas finale drag and drift will take place on Saturday 10th December. Gates are open at 8am and track action is from 11am to 3pm. Drag strip riders and drivers have a meeting at race control 10.45am. There will also be a car and bike show plus the opportunity for the brave to stay over at the track.
. Online bookings are open at this link and you can book the Spitfire Park holiday camping area for a relaxing short or long time stay by clicking on this link.
All vehicles welcome, you can spectate for £10 per person (under 16s go free) or take part drag racing at Spitfire Raceway from £10 after admission. Crash helmet and full driving licence required. All vehicles have a safety check for drag racing and drifting. Show & shine no charge after admission. Please respect the surrounding areas and speed limits when travelling to and from the venue.
We wish Lee all the best with Spitfire Raceway and possible new venues, following an announcement earlier in the week that he will no longer be involved in promoting cash days no prep racing at Melbourne Raceway and Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe. The respective tracks will continue with their announced dates and will announce plans in due course.
5th December: Happy Birthday for today to Norwegian Super Comp racer Mari Udtian, former Top Methanol Dragster racer Tony Dönges and VW Pro racer Andy Voce. We hope you are all having a great day.
USAutomotive to join 7707 LSR team.
4th December: Eurodragster.com sponsor USAutomotive is excited to announce that they will be joining Geoff Stilwell's record-holding, award-winning 7707 Land Speed Racing Team.
Chairman of USAutomotive Stewart Bassett said "USAutomotive has been involved with American autos and racing since our inception in 1997 and we've been friends with Geoff for a number of years now. As the UK's leading importer of American auto parts, it seemed only natural to get on board and help Geoff with shipping logistics and make this more of a British effort."
"The car was built at Brit Mick Jenkins' shop Mick's Paint, Pomona, CA", said Geoff, "and when their schedule permits is operated by Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes of Buckingham-based I.C.E. Automotive, while on-the-ground US logistics are handled by expat Brit Tony Thacker. So, it's mostly a British crew and having USAutomotive help with shipping logistics is a huge benefit to the programme", concluded Geoff.
"USAutomotive ships all types of American auto parts with weekly or at least bi-weekly air freight shipments from our base in Atlanta, GA" said Bassett, "and with these regular shipments we can help Geoff expedite his on-going race programme as we do for other UK-based enthusiasts."
"This is great news," said Nick Davies of I.C.E. Automotive, "We ship in a lot of components for our engine-building business and having USAutomotive become part of the team can only help build the network and make it easy for UK racers to go racing."
Geoff Stilwell's 7707 land speed racer set a A/Blown Fuel rear engined Modified Roadster record at 258.569mph at Bonneville Speedway in 2019.
Follow latest USAutomotive developments by going to their Facebook page.
Outlaw Street Prize Night.
4th December: The Outlaw Street Prize Night took place on 12th November at the Crown Lodge Hotel, Outwell, Cambridgeshire. It was the usual fun affair of good food, good people, banter, beer, prizes and more. Series organiser Mark Wallingford writes:
In the raffle draw, a free 2023 Outlaw Street membership was won by Howie Wright (Ranchero), a $50 Summit Racing Gift Voucher was won by OS-37 Chris Richards (Barracuda), and a bottle of Gentleman Jack was won by Luke Hersee (Javelin).
Free Membership Certificates to the 2023 season to members who've had 15 years continous membership were awarded to Stephen 'Badger' Moule (Chevelle), Mark Holmes (V8 Chevette), Joe Mills (Hillman), Stuart Ramsay (Camaro), Vic Fisher (Mustang), Team Bebikan (Zephyr), Simon Paul (Nissan GTR), Chris Richards (Barracuda), Nigel Jenkins (Mustang), John F Latham (car tbc), Chris Antell (VW Camper) and Gary Semper (Pontiac Firebird). 10 year membership awards of an engraved hip flask were presented to: Rob Leyman (C10 Pickup) and David Mahoney (Camaro).
Reaction Time engraved tankards and £25 prize money sponsored by Outlaw Street were awarded to:
Round 1 Sally Woolner (Camaro, RT 0.1233)
Round 2 Rod Atkinson (Nova, RT 0.1010)
Round 4 Dave Mahoney (Camaro, RT 0.0822)
Round 5 Abi Bailey-Unsworth (Fiat 500, RT 0.0923)
Round 6 Alan Payne ('34 Ford, RT 0.0195)
Round 7 Sally Woolner (Camaro, RT 0.1285)
Round 8 Pete Lane (Mercury, RT 0.2810)
Round 9 Pete Lane (Mercury, RT 0.2814)
Other special awards were made:
Quickest RT of the year award: Alan Payne
Fastest 4/6cylinder: Simon Paul, 10.3108/138.11mph
Fastest V8 class and new all time fastest V8 in OS history: Sally Woolner, 8.2222/166.06mph
Hard Luck Award (as voted for by Outlaw Street Members): James Griffin (Willys Coupe)
'Spirit of the Outlaw' Award (as nominated by Outlaw Street members): Simon Paul (Nissan GTR)
Improvement awards of £50 prize money & certificate sponsored by designbybinnie were awarded to:
Round 2 Vic Fisher (Mustang, 1.5478s)
Round 3 Pete Lane (Barracuda, 0.9058s)
Round 4 Sally Woolner (Camaro, 1.2316s)
Round 5 Pete Lane (Mercury, 1.8595s)
Round 6 Stephen Cowling (MG Midget, 0.8439s)
Round 7 Chris Richards (Barracuda, 1.6948s)
Round 8 Martin Rawlinson (Dodge Challenger, 0.863s)
Round 9 Simon Paul (Nissan GTR, 0.5792s)
The Top 12 winners of the Outlaw Street 2022 series each received an Outlaw Street 2023 calendar, with each month featuring one of the top 12 cars. The top 6 winners all received a 2023 Outlaw Street calendar featuring their car PLUS a framed photo of their car, with the top 3 all receiving Outlaw Street custom trophies:
2023 membership is frozen at £40 for the season & is now open for existing members to renew & retain their race numbers, and for new members.
The full 2023 race calendar for the 15th anniversary year of Outlaw Street is finalised & will be publised shortly, Mark can confirm there will be 8 rounds, 2 of which will be pre 1973 vehicles only, with 6 rounds counting to the series final points.
4th December: Happy Birthday for today (Sunday) to Funny Car crew chief Mark "Animal" Bodimeade, Funny Car crew member Malc Short, Sportsman ET racer Holley Walters and Junior Dragster dad Steven Taylor, we hope you all have a great day!
This weekend, the Snowbird Nationals takes place at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, and fingers are crossed for expat Swede Adam Flamholc as he is currently outside the 32 car Outlaw Pro Mod ladder, having run a 3.806/201.37 in his new screw-blown '57 Chevy to go #33 of 42 qualifiers on Friday, and suffering a broken drive shaft in his first burnout on Saturday. You can see highlights of Friday qualifying at the 51st Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals at the Youtube channel TheRacingvids or subscribe to FloRacing to watch live and view many independent drag racing events from the US.
3rd December: Last weekend, the annual VWDRC AGM and prizegiving took place on 26th Novermber. The sold-out event, held at The Campbell Room, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Milton Keynes, started with the club AGM then moved on to beer tasting before dinner.
The trophies presented by VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson, with congratulations to all racers, crew and others involved in the club for another successful year, were:
VW Pro Championship winner: Graham Fairhead
VW Pro Championship runner-up: James Hodson
VW Sportsman Championship winner: Paul Robinson
VW Sportsman Championship runner-up: Phil Jones
VW Heads Up Championship winner: Dave Henderson
VW Heads Up Championship runner-up: Paul Jordan
Dennis Cox memorial trophy (most consistent qualifier): Graham Fairhead
Brian Burrows Rookie of the Year trophy: Jerry Sadler
Howard Dalton Memorial for Driver of the Year: Graham Fairhead
RNJ Motorsport Car of the Year: Rob Carter, owner of Percy the Passat
Becky Sutton Memorial trophy for services to the club: Abi Tether
Shiftin' Ghia Best Package Award: Jacob Bailey
The Roxanne Red Light award for most red lights in eliminations: Dan Boucher
The Mechanical Sympathy Award: Dave Crowhurst
LuPro ET Award: Rhys Finney
The 36th VW Pro and VW Sportsman championships will take place in 2023 at UK Motorsport governed events as follows:
29th April–1st May: Springspeed Nationals
17th-18th June: Sportsman Nationals
1st-2nd July: Summer Nationals
22nd-23rd July: Bug Jam
19th-20th August: Greenlight Nationals
22nd-24th September: National Finals
The VW Heads Up championship will take place at the following lifestyle events:
23rd April: GTI Spring Festival
1st October: Das GTI Auto Show
Prize monies will be announced in due course.
A pre-season test day has been booked for 31st March (Pre-season testing). Entry is now available at vwdrc.square.site. Those wishing to join the VWDRC can do so by going to vwdrc.square.site.
Thanks go to club sponsors R-Tech Performance, White Label Consulting & Managed Services, GP Turbos, Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, Pro Race Engineering, Darkside Developments, CG Motorsport Clutch Specialists, European Front Wheel Drive, 32 Speed Shop, Renegade Fuel, BJ Bates Electrical, Track Ready, WRP Paint and Restoration and EST Performance.
Thanks to Abi Tether for providing information and photos.
3rd December: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified racer (albeit with a for-sale Mustang - see Swap Meet) Paula Atkin, expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas, Super Pro ET racer Steve Saunders, and Outlaw Anglia racer Brian Nixon, we hope you all have a fantastic day.
The NHRA Breakfast is always a highlight at the SEMA Show and this year was no exception. With legends Don Prudhomme, Richard Tharp, Lee Beard and Frank Hawley joining Brian Lohnes for “Bent Rules, Balled Fists and Dragstrip Battles” it was guaranteed to be a good one and did not disappoint. Some great stories and pieces of drag racing folklore dispelled, catch it at this link.
Wild Bunch 26th Annual Prize Presentation.
2nd December: Your editor and Mrs Groves were honoured to be invited to be Special Guests of the Wild Bunch's Annual Prize Presentation Dinner Dance last Saturday and congratulations to all prize winners. Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes:
The Wild Bunch held our 26th Annual Prize Presentation on Saturday, 26th November at Drayton Manor near Tamworth, and it was another brilliant evening, enjoyed by all attending! We welcomed Guests of Honour Robin Read and Ella Chapman and special guests Simon and Ros Groves.
Many thanks to our great comperes Barry Bohannon and Paul Wright, who did their usual excellent job, announcing the winners, with their citations and adding their usual aplomb to the celebrations. All the various Series winners were presented with their awards, with the 2022 Wild Bunch Series win going to Pete & Rob Brown with the “Rebel” slingshot, their second win in a row! Many congratulations to them and the whole team! The ‘Marras’ also won the Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Series for their second time in a row. Keith Crampton and his “Soultown Shaker” slingshot won the Springbridge MSUK Challenge Series Cup held over the 4 MSA events that the Wild Bunch compete in. This was his 1st win of that Series, which is sponsored by Springbridge Direct Ltd. Many thanks to Bob Hawkins and his company for their Series sponsorship, now in its 10th year! Newcomer Dan Wilson won the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series, a great debut for him and his team in his “Antique Toy” slingshot! Many Congratulations to all those who finished in the Top 4, and Top 10 in Wild Bunch!
The Wild Bunch would like to thank Bob Hawkins of Springbridge Direct Ltd for his decade of support, and our host of other event trophy and prize money sponsors this season: Mark & Lynne Coulsell of Team Limited Funz, Sutton Soda Blasting and Andrew Murphy of Team B-Sting.
Photos by Claire: Wild Bunch Top 10 winners, Robin Read presenting Spirit of Drag Racing award to Bob Hawkins, Crazy Chris showmanship award - Team Econorail, Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Top 4 winners
There were various presentations made just prior to and during the evening, including for Secretary Lynne Coulsell, and Race Co-ordinator, Treasurer &GM Claire Meaddows for all their hard work. Gifts were given to all the lovely ladies attending. Flowers were given to Hayley, Ella and Claire.
There were special presentations made including several to our Guests of Honour Robin and Ella. Robin, who is currently celebrating his 50th year in Drag Racing, gave a wonderful heartfelt speech!
In addition, the winners of all the Wild Bunch Special Merit awards were announced, and are shown below:
Big Bang Trophy: Lee & Mark Hartnell “Metal Mistress”
Fastest time by a British-engined dragster (Sponsored by Martin Holgate): Tim Roy, “Boston Straggler II” 8.357 Dragstalgia (and 8.409 backup at Summer Showdown). (Robin fittingly presented this to Tee!)
Fastest MPH: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II” 193.86 mph Summer Nats
Quickest E.T.: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II” 6.609 Nat Finals
Best Newcomer: Dan Wilson, “Antique Toy”
Best Altered: Bob Morgan, “B-Sting”
Best Slingshot: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Best Radical/Dragster: Phil James, “Rampage”
Best Turnd Out: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Perseverance Award: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II”
Best Achiever: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Derek & Brenda Annable trophy: Colliver King Racing “Misfit” & “From Hell”
‘Crazy Chris’ Showmanship: Team Econorail, “Hammerman II”
Crew of the Year: Alan Grimes, “Team Daddy Cool”
Driver Dave Memorial Bell (Kept Calm and Carried On - on behalf of Angie Woods & Warren Rowlands): presented by Mark Hartnell to Dave Williams
Scottie Durrant ‘Above & Beyond’ Award: Lee & Mark Hartnell “Metal Mistress”
Personal Achievement: Ken ‘Mr Flathead’ Cooper “Back from the Past”
C & C Sportsperson: Team “Happy Daze” “Happy Daze”
The greatest Wild Bunch accolade of the evening was as always, the Don Garlits ‘Spirit of Drag Racing’ Shield, the most prestigious award in the Wild Bunch, which represents sportsmanship, achievement, perseverance, commitment, presentation and a host of other attributes.
Sadly the 2021 winners, Team Limited Funz, were unable to attend for personal reasons. We are all sending our love and thinking of them.
Our Guest of Honour Robin made the presentation of the Don Garlits Shield to Bob Hawkins of “Time Traveller II” fame - from one 6-second driver to another! Bob is a long time Wild Bunch member and supporter, and has once again put in an outstanding effort this season to run his nitro-powered slingshot, once again down into the mid 6’s! This is Bob’s second win of the shield! Very well done and very well deserved! Huge congratulations to Bob and his whole team on this achievement!
We also held a raffle to raise funds for the club, so many thanks to all who donated prizes. The night was rounded out with more celebrations, dancing, chatting and laughs all round.
Many congratulations to all our winners! We can’t wait until 2023 to be back out at the drags for the 27th Anniversary season of the Wild Bunch!
Full info can be found on the Wild Bunch website www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, dry, safe and quick New Year to all racers and teams, marshals and officials, track and safety crews, photographers, media, promoters, managers and of course eurodragster.com staff, who work so hard! Thanks to everyone for all they do for this sport of Drag Racing we all love so much! See you all at the drags next season for another brilliant year!
To keep up with Robin Read, his Facebook page Robin Read Drag Racing, including many priceless Tales from The Shed, is highly recommended.
2nd December: Happy Birthday for today to Robinson Race Cars' Luke Robinson, Outlaw Street racer Dave Mahoney, former Funny Car racer John Spuffard and former Pro Modified racer and Junior Drags Bike grandad Dave Pollen. We wish you all a great day.
Straightliners 2023 dates and championship.
1st December: Thanks to Trevor Duckworth and Helen Greathead for sending us the dates of the 2023 Straightliners car and bike drag racing and speed series:
Trevor added: "We have looked at the car classes for next year and taken note of comments from drivers. We will have new classes, a 9-round championship with two rounds at Santa Pod and 7 rounds at Melbourne, also the Northern Powerfest will again be at Melbourne for our May date after the success of last year's event, plus we are talking to class groups and will make an announcement about their dates in due course. We will make Melbourne work for both cars and bikes and Drag Racing - in general, there are many things going on at the moment to improve the track and its racing."
Pictured top: Campbeltown, Scotland, 3 miles long former emergency Space Shuttle landing site, resurfaced in 2021.
What are PAWOT and MIFUNI?
1st December: We were intrigued with three of awards from the Straightliners trophy evening last Saturday and were pleased to hear that figures in British drag racing provided the inspiration for two of them. Straightliners director Trevor Duckworth provided the details.
PAWOT, as awarded to Jane Pittwood for her work with the UK Timing Association as well as Straightliners on race secretary, signing on and welfare duties, is Put A Woman On Top Award given to a woman that has contributed to our sport.
The MIFUNI award is an award from Pip Higham back in the day when he was running the Village Bike shop and as he was very competitive, he tried to get sponsorship from Suzuki but to no avail, so he decided he would not ride a Suzuki any more and instead called the bike a MIFUI the award reflects that spirit and the trophy has recycled from awards given to us by Pip. This year it was awarded to Straightliners commentator and track worker Paul Cumpstone whose voice can be heard at every event and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the vehicles on track.
Paul added "The trophy was originally for Most spectacular run by a Street Bike but has now been repurposed. As such, it was awarded in 2020 to Mark Taylor, 2021 to Andy Higham and now myself. I've no idea the exact wording that Trevor used before I picked up the award as I'd nipped to the toilet and, coming back to the function room with huge applause going on, was informed it was for me!
The other noteworthy award is the Endeavour award; this award was made by Pip from a turbo housing in memory of Chris Hampson he put this award into the land speed section of Straightliners rather than mainstream Drag Racing many years ago and it has been our major award for many years. Congratulations to Graham and Diane Sykes for winning it this year in connection with Graham's steam driven rocket bike.
1st December: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaws owner and occasional driver Duncan Beard, FWD racer Calvin Skerritt and 8.50 Bike racer with a penchant for running quicker Steve Howe. We hope you all have a great day.
The group of British Drag Racing Historians mentioned yesterday wishes to contact Nick Anscombe, who raced in the 1980s with a front engined flathead powered dragster called Pig Pen. He raced regularly with the British Flathead Racers Association and was also a fan of Allard sports cars, in particular flathead powered ones. If anyone can help please email Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day at the Museum.
30th November: A group of seven British Drag Racing Historians met up yesterday at the National Motor Museum to discuss ways of preserving and making available their collections to succeeding generations of historians, racers and fans. The group included (from left to right) Keith Lee, organiser John Hunt, Mick Gleadow, Clive Rooms, Nick Pettitt, Eurodragster.com editor Simon Groves, and Jerry Cookson. They were hosted by Library Curator Carina Taylor and other staff of The National Motor Museum Trust including Director of Collections & Engagement Andrea Bishop to whom we are thankful for showing us the process of donation of collections and the professionalism with which the National Motor Museum Trust handles its archive.
The visit also marked the presentation by your Editor of the Pete Crane Spirit of '76 Award to its 2022 recipient Nick Pettitt. Jerry Cookson writes: Nick is greatly authoritative of the sport. To say he is a hoarder of nostalgia drag racing and hot rodding would indeed be a gross understatement! In his time of gathering up super 8 cine films from racers, fans and friends, Nick has archived as well as narrated thousands of hours of memories in a series of (firstly VHS videos and later DVDs) of Time Travel volumes featuring golden moments from the world of British drag racing and hot rodding. The archive also extended to photos and slides we all used to take of our heroes back in the day with their amazing machines. These volumes and many other videos can be viewed on Nick's Youtube channel. Nick has also set up a web page British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Archive where you will find videos, photos as well as a collection of sound bites simply called "Sounds from the Drags". For many years he's also been an administrator and contributor to Jon Spoard's excellent UKDRN nostalgia web site.
Nick has also written articles relating to the birth of British drag racing for popular magazine icons Custom Car and the much missed Street Machine. He also wrote a very well detailed piece about a short lived drag strip in Kent, Screamin' Alley Raceway. In 2008 he was asked to join the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame as one of its historians. But one of his ambitions was to write a book detailing the early years of the sport from sprinting to drag racing. This was called simply British Drag Racing - The Early Years by Veloce Publishing with archive material provided by BDRHoF member Brian Sparrow and former 60s Santa Pod commentator and contributor to Drag Racing & Hot Rodding magazine, Mike Collins.
From 1995 to 2000 he raced a Chevy powered nostalgia slingshot dragster which later in life competed in the Wild Bunch as a Competition Coupe with a Fiat Topolino mounted body which once was a Competition Altered called High Fever. He also raced, as well as driving on the street, his version of the Honest Charley's Speed Shop special, a Ford Pop gasser.
Today, Nick is still very much active where most weekends, he will be out and about with video and stills camera in hand capturing the essence of a rod run, a classic car show or a nostalgia drag race. Nick also likes to add to his archive film of short oval and stock car racing in the form of BRISCA F1s, F2s and the hitting nostalgia Saloon Stocks.
In 2021 Nick, along with a few friends led by founder John Hunt, joined together to form British Drag Racing Historians. They are a group consisting of well-known names from the past either as journalists, photographers, or both, who over the years have been lucky enough to build up vast collections of material relating to British and European drag racing. They also meet up on a yearly basis, which started with a reunion of former racers from the Surrey area called the Surrey Pioneers who met up at Blackbushe Airport, the scene of the 1964 and '65 Drag Festivals. Since then, John produced a series of articles for Eurodragster.com about the racing careers of our pioneer racers. This led to a second series of well known individuals being published earlier this year. Once again Nick assisted with information and photos from his own archive.
Congratulations to Nick from Pete Crane, the British Drag Racing Historians (also including Dave Dick, Chris Dossett, former Eurodragster.com editor Andy "Tog" Rogers and Andy Willsheer who were unable to attend yesterday) and from Santa Pod Raceway.
30th November: Happy Birthday for today (Wednesday) to Pro Stock and Super Street Bike patriarch Chris Hope, Oklahoma Willy Jet VW racer Perry Watkins, Cotsweld Race Cars director and VW racer Jim Smith and Top Fuel crewman Rob Inglis. We hope you have had a great day.
Straightliners Awards report and photos.
29th November: The Straightliners drag racing and sprinting organisation held their 25th Anniversary awards ceremony on Saturday evening at Briar Court Hotel & Venue, Huddersfield. The Annual General Meeting was held in the afternoon before festivities got under way, and there were a large number of awards celebrated during the evening.
Congratulations to racers and others who won awards as follows:
No Mercy Shootout: Phil Tomlinson (1st), Andy Higham (2nd), Terry Mountford (3rd)
Juniors: William Mountford (1st), Jack Taylor (2nd), Amy Wolstenholme (3rd)
No Mercy Scooters: Eric Cope (1st), Mike Pacey (2nd), Stephen Holt (3rd)
Oldschool USB Stock: Mickey Blackburn (1st), Darron Trowell (2nd)
Oldschool USB 2-Stroke: Rob Briers (1st)
Nostalgic Pro Stock: Claire Rule (1st) (trophy picture middle), Kevin Melling (2nd), Rod Spry (3rd)
Class 9.10/6.00: David Storrie (1st), Mark Taylor (2nd), Rob Briers (3rd)
Race Legends: Colin Fallows (1st)
Sportsman ET: Pete Eborall (1st)
Pro ET: Bob Molden (1st)
Pro-Extreme: Pete Youhill (1st), Mark Flavell (2nd)
Melbourne Raceway Championship
No Mercy Shootout: Andy Higham (1st), Phil Tomlinson (2nd), Ashley Hodgson (3rd)
Juniors: William Mountford (1st), Amy Wolstenholme (2nd), Alfie Barraclough (3rd)
No Mercy Scooters: Eric Cope (1st), Mike Pacey (2nd), Stephen Holt (3rd)
Class 6.00: David Storrie (1st), Mark Taylor (2nd), Rob Briers (3rd)
Race Legends: Colin Fallows (1st)
Sportsman ET: Pete Eborall (1st)
Pro ET: Bob Molden (1st)
Pro-Extreme: Pete Youhill (1st), Mark Flavell (2nd)
Man of Speed- Phillipe Le Peru (pictured) – 272.822mph
Lady of Speed- Becci Ellis – 252.513mph
Fastest ¼ Mile Speed- Ross Morrison 210.90mph
Fastest ¼ Mile ET- Ross Morrison 7.12s
Fastest Lady ¼ Mile- Claire Rule 8.62s
Fastest 1/8 Mile Speed- Maxine Taylor 148mph
Fastest 1/8 Mile ET- Kevin Melling 5.83s
Fastest Lady 1/8 Mile- Claire Rule 5.90s
Best Newcomer- Carl Mountford
Fastest Car 1/8 Mile Speed- Mark Flavell 150mph
Fund Raising/Merchandise- Jacqui Holden
Hard Luck/Never Give Up - Ben Fielder
Fastest Feet- Dave Taylor
Grafter - Mark Flavell
Best Appearing Team - Juniors
PAWOT 2022 - Jane Pittwood
Straightliners Crew Award - Clive Bell
Team Award - Team Mountford
Zephyr Award - Graham Sykes (trophy picture top)
Jack Graham - Adie Horrocks
Mifuni Award - Paul Cumpstone
Paul Windross Award - Mickey Blackburn
Tony Foster Award - Phillipe Le Peru
Village Bike Shop Award - Darron Trowell
Melbourne Service Award - Shaun Rounthwaite, Craig Rounthwaite
Elvington Tarmac Award - Jack Frost
Endeavour Award - Graham Sykes/Diane Sykes
Zef Eisenberg Award - Malcolm/Jane Pittwood
Winner of the Zephyr and Endeavour Award Graham Sykes said "At the Straightliners awards dinner I was awarded the Zephyr award for innovation and also Diane and myself were awarded the Chris Hampson trophy for Endeavour, for all the work and development with the “Force of Nature” Rocket Bike. Thank you to everyone who had helped us get to this point and it couldn’t have been achieved without the help of Straightliners and the Force or Nature team, Diane, Billy Hudson, Jim Dickman and Will Formosa, and all the help and advise from the United States, John Alan Hudson, Craig Adams, and Bill Inman ..Thank you all. Next year we are going big!"
Straightliners will be holding another Open Day Weekend on 25th-26th February 2023, including planned drag demo runs and a jet car flame and thunder show by the restored Vampire jet dragster. A massive range of vehicles will be on display under cover and outside (weather dependent).
29th November: The ladders and qualifying of the Panhellenic Drag Racing Championship held at Agrinio on 11th-13th November have been published on the Proactionracing.com website. Congratulations to the #1 qualifiers and winners.
EDRS Awards report and photos.
28th November: On Saturday night Swedish Drag Racing celebrated the 2021 and 2022 season Summit Racing EDRS Series champions at the Aronsborg Conference Center, Bålsta near Stockholm. It was the first time the awards had been presented in person since 2019 as a result of Covid restrictions.
The first three in each category (listed below) were awarded trophies or certificates. In addition, Theodor Brandt (pictured top left) won a VP Racing Fuels Special Award of SEK3000 in vouchers for, being a "Young and goal-oriented driver, under hard competition, taking home top positions and series victories in the Stock/Super Stock class in both 2021 and 2022". Theodor was presented with his award by former Pro Stock racer and VP Racing Fuels distributor Bengt Ljungdahl.
There were also special awards for the top three in Junior Dragster (pictured left to right), Anton Oikarinen (Finland, 3rd in 2022), Almathea Granholm (1st in 2022) and Lina Andersson (2nd in 2021 and 2022). Victor Barstad (1st in 2021) is shown separately. Marcus Andersson (#3 in 2021) was unable to attend.
In the Swedish Pro Modified championship, special awards were presented to (left to right) Stian Rusåner (Norway 3rd 2022), Mats Erikssson (2nd in 2022), Jan Ericsson (1st in 2022 and 2nd in 2021) and Micke Gullqvist (1st in 2021). Michel Tooren (Netherlands, 2nd in 2021) was unable to attend.
Congratulations to those who won championship awards:
Summit Racing Equipment EDRS Pro championship
Top Methanol: 2022 Daniel Jedborn (1st), Jonny Lagg (2nd), Magnus Larsson (3rd) 2021 : championship not contested
Pro Modified: 2022 Jan Ericsson (1st), Mats Eriksson (2nd), Stian Rusånes (Norway, 3rd); 2021 : Michael Gullqvist (1st), Michel Tooren (Netherlands, 2nd), Jan Ericsson (3rd)
Pro Stock: 2022 Jimmy Ålund (1st), Robin Norén (2nd), Richard Sundblom (Finland, 3rd) 2021 : championship not contested
Competition Eliminator: 2022 Gideon Liljegren (1st), Jens Eklund (2nd), Jens Zimmerman (Germany, 3rd); 2021: Niklas Heikkilä (1st), Stefan Winter (Switzerland, 2nd), Mathias Stenström (3rd)
Pro Street: 2022 Seppo Raussi (Finland, 1st), Michael Maderer (Germany, 2nd), Angelica Larsson (3rd); 2021: Michael Maderer (Germany, 1st), Seppo Raussi (Finland, 2nd), Lars Berglund (3rd)
Stock Super Stock: 2022 Rick McCann (1st), Markus Svensson (2nd), Anders Hållén (3rd); 2021: Thomas Strand (1st), Theodor Brandt (2nd), Tomas Westberg (3rd)
Top Fuel Bike: 2022 Jan Sturla Hegre (Norway, 1st), Sverre Dahl (Norway, 2nd), Thomas Pettersson (3rd); 2021: Thomas Pettersson (1st), Sverre Dahl (Norway, 2nd), Jan Sturla Hegre (Norway, 3rd)
Super Twin Motorcycle: 2022 Ismo Mäenpää (Finland, 1st), Julia Wagner (Norway, 2nd), Marko Lanto (Finland, 3rd); 2021: Greger Johansson (1st), Juha Hintukainen (Finland, 2nd), Julia Wagner (Norway, 3rd)
Pro Stock Motorcycle: 2022 Frederik Kirkhoff Schack (Denmark, 1st), Kalle Lyrén (2nd), Martin Newbury (UK, 3rd) ; 2021: Bertrand Maurice (France, 1st), Bo Thorselius (2nd)
Super Street Bike: 2022 Anders Blanck (Norway, 1st), Kenneth S. Laget (Norway, 2nd), Mathias Bohlin (3rd); 2021: Anders Blanck (Norway, 1st), Roberth Häggblom (2nd), Mathias Bohlin (3rd)
Summit Racing Equipment EDRS championship
Top Doorslammer: 2022 Andreas Sjödin (1st), Stefan Carlsson (2nd), Kenneth Lingvald (3rd); 2021: Stefan Carlsson (1st), Lasse Niskavaara (Finland, 2nd) Tero Laukkanen (Finland, 3rd)
Pro Street: 2022 Tommy Abrahamsson (1st) Birgitta Lindström (2nd), Ossi Oikarinen (Finland, 3rd); 2021: Seppo Raussi (Finland, 1st), Renate Rosen Skinne (2nd), Lars Åke Söderling (3rd)
Street: 2022 Lars Erik Persson (1st), Patrik Wickman (2nd), Linnéa Strid (3rd);2021: Lars Erik Persson (1st), Thomas Sandström (2nd), Linnea Strid (3rd)
Super Pro ET: 2022 Mikael Nilsson (1st), Isak Lagg (2nd), Johanna Granholm (3rd); 2021: Mikael Nilsson (1st), Trine Fossum (Norway, 2nd), Björn Romören-Hultberg (Norway, 3rd)
Pro ET: 2022 John Thidé (1st), Peter Svensson (2nd), Marko Oranen (Finland, 3rd); 2021: John Thidé (1st), Fredrik Seth (2nd), Petri Parkkinen (Finland, 3rd)
Super Comp: 2022 Mats Arntzen Wanvik (Norway, 1st), Mikael Nilsson (2nd), Pontus Garefelt (3rd); 2021: Mikael Nilsson (1st), Wilma Andersson (2nd), Mats Arntzen Wanvik (Norway, 3rd)
Super Gas: 2022 Annica Larsson (1st), Håkan Mattsson (2nd), Christer Uhlin (Norway, 3rd); 2021: Håkan Mattsson (1st), Christer Uhlin (Norway, 2nd), Per Eilertsen (Norway, 3rd)
Super Street: 2022 Åke Törnqvist (1st), Peter Nilsson (2nd), Ulf Axelsson (3rd); 2021: Åke Törnqvist (1st), Isak Lagg (2nd), Tomas Hägg (3rd)
Stock/Super Stock: 2022 Theodor Brandt (1st), Jere Lilja (Finland, 2nd), Rick McCann (3rd) ; 2021: Theodor Brandt (1st), Iiro Mikkola (Finland, 2nd), Thomas Strand (3rd)
Junior Dragster: 2022 Almathea Granholm (1st), Lina Andersson (2nd), Anton Oikarinen (Finland, 3rd); 2021: Victor Barstad (Norway, 1st), Lina Andersson (2nd), Marcus Andersson (3rd)
Super Comp Bike: 2022 Peter Östlund (1st), Vitalii Melnyk (Finland, 2nd), Kimmo Rantala (Finland, 3rd); 2021: Peter Östlund (1st), Emil Östlund (2nd), Michael Jensen (Denmark, 3rd)
Super Gas Bike: 2022 Teodor Norling (1st), Mikkel Jensen (Denmark, 2nd), Sarah Nevra (Norway, 3rd); 2021: Mikkel Jensen (Denmark, 1st), Teodor Norling (2nd), Teemu Honkanen (Finland, 3rd)
Street Bike: 2022 Juha Eralahde (Finland, 1st), Marko Salo (Finland, 2nd), Eppu Pihlajaniemi (Finland, 3rd) ; 2021: Otto Eralahde (Finland, 1st), Cato Bru (Norway, 2nd), Juha Eralahde (Finland, 3rd)
Junior Drag Bike: 2022 Jone Sokura (Finland, 1st), Jone Kiljala (Finland, 2nd), Ole Kristoffer Steen Aas (Norway, 3rd); 2021: Riku Polla (Finland, 1st), Jone Kiljala (Finland, 2nd), Linnea Brattgrå (3rd)
You can see the detailed points at www.dragracingeurope.eu for 2022 and 2021.
The awards celebration was preceded by meeting to discuss plans for 2023, which will be published in due course.
Thanks to Lena Perés for photos and information.
28th November: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén, EDRS timekeeper Lotta Ahlgren, Drag Kart exponent Scott Cooper and crewman Dusty Laugher, we hope you have a fantastic day folks. Also a belated Happy Birthday for yesterday to VW Sportsman mum Rachel Wilson and VW Pro racer Tom Herbert, we hope you had a great day.
Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has announced there will be a further racing event with a prepped Hal Fat track on 17th December; we will publish the nature of the event when it is confirmed. Konrad has uploaded a number of videos of the MDRA Finals to his Youtube channel and you can see a playlist of Thursday's qualifying at this link.
Meanwhile Kieran has posted to Youtube a video of 38 minutes of highlights of the the MDRA Finals to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel which you can see by clicking here.
Awards evenings galore.
26th November: Late November is a time when many drag racing awards evenings take place and today is no exception.
Two race groups in the UK have their celebrations tonight, the Wild Bunch and VWDRC and we will be bringing results from these events and Outlaw Street who had their prize evening on 12th November, in next week's updates.
26th November: Happy Birthday for today to expat Brit Top Fuel racer Steve Read, former Super Street crew member Wendy E Llewellyn, Top Doorslammer racer Rimbert Vahlström, and 9.50 Bike racer Jonathan Kasziba. We hope you all have a fantastic day.
Those missing the sounds and sights of Nostalgia Top Fuel racing at the California Hot Rod Reunion have a treat in store on Youtube with Les Mayhew's Nitro America showing 48 minutes of action and interviews from the 2022 event, including top end and on-board shots. You can see this outstanding high def production by clicking here.
For British drag racing nostalgia, drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted Pro Modified from the 1994 Avon Park Powerfest and more from the 1999 FIA European Drag Racing championship at his channel which is at this link.
Lencsés receives awards.
25th November: The Hungarian Motorsport Association, covering all discliplines of motorsport, has awarded Super Street Bike racer Dániel Donát Lencsés its MAMS Men's Athlete of the Year.
Dániel said "As well as the trophy for the MAMS Men's Athlete of the Year I received a commemorative plaque from FIM Europe, which I am also incredibly proud of!" Thank you all on behalf of myself and my team!
Dániel won the FIM-E Super Street Bike championship in a hard fought battle over four events, winning the opening round at Santa Pod Raceway in May and setting new FIM-E records of 6.649 and 226.72 at the Summit Racing Internationals at Tierp Arena in August.
Eurodragster.com joins Dániel's peers in congratulating him on his championship victory and awards. See you next year Dániel!
25th November: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Street racers Sally Woolner and Derren Brown who reaches the half century, have a wonderful day both!
Smurf Honda found.
24th November: We are delighted to report that the FWD Honda Civic race car of of Sean Prout has been found, essentially unharmed and complete, parked at the side of a road in the village of Iklin in Malta after it was stolen from the Hal Far Raceway on Sunday night.
Kieran had a part to play in communicating the brilliant news to Sean from the UK. He posted "What a night! I was woken by a call through Facebook at 4am this morning asking for Sean’s number as the car had been found, managed to get through to Sean with the help of Ahmed Jamshaid who was the only one active at 4am as he was looking for car parts, and shortly after Sean was reunited with his car!
"We’ve had the best possible outcome too as the car is complete only with minor damage from it being taken and this is all thanks to everyone who kept sharing the posts making it too hot to handle. Sean Prout, I’m so happy for you."
The car was spotted by a local resident who recognised it from photos in the media. We agree with Kieran and comment that the racing community had a large part to play in raising the profile of the crime committed so that Sean's Civic became too hot to handle with thousands of shares of social media posts and pictures of the car. Another factor that kept pressure on the perpetrators was Sean and tuner Gordon Darby of Street Racers Rolling Road Tuning & Remapping staying in Malta at their own cost, part funded by a GoFundMe crowd funding appeal, to search for the car and maintain the profile of the case.
Kieran's Malta gallery.
24th November: As well as shooting video at the Hal Far track which you can see on Youtube and Facebook, Kieran has supplied a gallery photos which you can see at this link. Our event coverage which you can see via the link in the main menu, is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
Kieran's latest Youtube upload is on the Import Dragster scene in Malta. He says "Throughout the weekend of the MDRA Finals we saw some wild saves, fantastic PBs and all round good racing." You can see the video by clicking on this link.
24th November: A very Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the United States.
Happy Birthday to Mad Welshman contributing photographer Paul Evans and to our Swedish friends former Svensk Dragracing webmaster Erik Zettervall and former Pro Modified racer Lars-Inge Johansson, we hope you all have a great day!.
Melbourne Raceway calendars.
23rd November: Melbourne Raceway community FB group administrator Kelli Barrett has announced that 2023 calendars to raise funds for the track have gone on sale:
"The price per calendar is £15.00 including 1st class postage. I am collecting the calendars from the printers on Friday 25th November and will be able to start getting them sent out then. If you would like a calendar please send £15.00 via Paypal (the payment must be sent as friends and family!) to Kellibrrtt@Gmail.com and include your postal address.
"The calendar includes racing dates for Melbourne and other Straightliners events. All profits will go to the track fund for Melbourne! A limited number are available so first come, first served. Any questions please direct message me."
23rd November: Happy Birthday for today to Gasser Circus racer, working on a new Austin Dorset build, Tom Margesson and Pro ET and NSS racer and class supporter James Oliver, have a wonderful day Tom and Ollie!
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt's latest Youtube upload is Pro Stock and Top Fuel from the 1999 European Finals held at Santa Pod Raceway which can be seen at this link. The video is presented by Russ Malkin and commentary provided by Graham Beckwith. For those with long memories, winners at this event were Robin Read in Top Fuel and Niclas Andersson in Pro Stock. You can see all the event's results at www.trakbytes.co.uk.
Sean's Smurf stolen.
22nd November: We were shocked to hear that the Honda Civic race car of UK FWD racer Sean Prout, with its distinctive Smurf wrap, was stolen from Hal Far Raceway on Sunday night.
Sean, who towed his car through Belgium, Germany and Italy to reach Malta via ferry, suffered gearbox and turbo issues on his first day at Hal Far. After working to solve these problems, he went for a full pass on Saturday, however the car suffered wheelspin and spun around hitting the guardrail down track causing minor damage. The Civic was then left parked at the top end of the track awaiting retrieval. However, after being left on Sunday, the car was spotted by CCTV being towed away around midnight on Sunday. Sean arrrived at the track yesterday morning to find that the car had gone and immediately raised the alarm.
Sean said "The video shows the car being towed by a small Toyota and covered in black tarp and was seen on the Birkirkara bypass (on the eastern side of the island). The person driving the car had lots of tattoos and was wearing a black hoodie."
Sean offered on social media a €5,000 reward for the recovery of his car, which has run a best of 9.6599/153.12 at Santa Pod's Japshow Finale and on which Sean invested around £100k to develop. The theft was reported in local newspapers Times of Malta and Malta Today as well as being widely shared on Facebook.
MDRA secretary Konrad D'Anastasi announced "After Sunday's shocking events where a car was stolen from our grounds, (which I must state, until this date has never happened in the MDRA's history) we spent a whole day co-operating and assisting in the police investigation with anything possible to help as much as we can.
"We are hopeful that the police will be able to find Sean's car. This has been a freak incident that has shocked us all, as the drag racing community is a very tight one here in Malta, and something like this, nobody would have imagined would ever happen. Once we have more information we will update you. If anybody has information that can help in any way, they are requested to speak (anonymously if they wish) to the local Birzebbugia/Zejtun police stations."
More Malta media.
22nd November: The Malta Drag Racing Association Finals held at Hal Far, which was rained off on Sunday had a few on track incidents but also a slew of personal bests. You can see media from the event at the following links, which will be updated with additional material over the next few days:
Custom Car's Winter edition.
22nd November: UK drag racing and hot rodding magazine Custom Car has published a Winter Edition, which fills in the gap between the December issue and the January one which will be published on 22nd December.
In it are eight pages of coverage of the STP Summer Nationals from Santa Pod Raceway with photos by our Julian Hunt and words by Mike Pye, coverage of the nostalgic RPM Nationals from Santa Barbara, California by Tony Thacker, and several articles on hot rods and hot rod shows around the UK accompanied by numerous photos.
You can subscribe to Custom Car for £25 for 13 issues by direct debit, with a free inspection lamp, by going to www.assignmentmedia.co.uk/customcar. When the subscription renews a reduced charge of £42 applies. Or visit your local newsagent and pay the cover price of £4.99.
22nd November: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET crew Karen Stevens, Top Fuel and Top Methanol Dragster crew member Konrad Ree, Belgian Super Twin racer Chris Van Nimmen and Maltese Escort racer Rodney Farrugia. We hope you all have a great day. Also, in the absence of an update yesterday, a belated Happy Birthday to 2022 Pro ET Champion Brett Featherstone.
Records celebrated in Malta.
20th November: Yesterday, a number of records were broken at Hal Far Raceway, Malta in the MDRA Finals which finishes today.
Duncan Micallef in his Top Fuel dragster recorded a great 4.076/300.90 mph pass to 1000ft with Rune Fjeld and his team, well done on a great achievement! In round 1 of the D4 Dragster class, Tyson Debono of XII Racing ran a PB of 6.42 at 215 MPH on a winning run.
All Wheel Drive racer Hubert Strengberger improved on his test day time to a new AWD European Record 7.149/185mph in his Audi TT. Also Christophe Marie-Francoise in the MF Performance Seat Arosa broke the European record for a diesel FWD car with a 9.436/147.70. Well done to all those who ran new records and PBs.
Photo credits: Alex Buttigieg, Simon Giordmaina, Mk1Kieran
On the bike side, U.S. Pro Street legend Rodney Williford made the long journey to Malta to ride for Simon Giordmaina on his Super Street Bike, running a best of 7.03/210mph on only his third pass on the brand new machine. New PBs were set by Stephen Cauchi who ran his first seven on his naturally aspirated Suzuki Hayabusa, Chris Vella who ran 8.004/172 on his Kawasaki and Steve Bezzina who went 8.3s also without power adders.
Commiserations go to UK FWD racer Sean Prout who had a spin and contacted the wall after half track, and bike racer Eric Baldacchino who came off his machine. Sean walked away from his incident unhurt but Eric was transported to hospital and we wish both all the best and to come back to the track soon.
Due to on-track incidents yesterday and rain today there has been downtime, however you can see an album from the first three days of the event at at the Facebook page of Alex Buttigieg. We will publish results from the MDRA Finals in the next few days.
20th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway co-founder John Bennett who reaches 92 years of age, Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders, Nostalgia Funny Car and Comp Bike crew member Dennis Bulford and UK Nostalgia Superstock committee member Andrew Bishop, we hope you all have a great day.
Dragsters at Hal Far.
19th November: You can see today's action at Hal Far Raceway, Malta, live streamed at this link.
Yesterday, the D4 class for four and six cylinder dragsters produced some great times in qualifying which, thanks to the Malta’s 4-Cylinder Dragsters Facebook page is listed as:
Thanks to Andrew Green who has sent photos of Friday at the track which we have uploaded to a gallery at this link. Included is a great shot of 2017 FIA Top Fuel Champion Duncan Micallef on a demonstration run in his Top Fuel dragster tunerd by Rune Fjeld; although he suffered a broken blower belt it was a typically strong launch for the Maltese Lion.
19th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway startline marshal Bob Day, to Pro ET racers Geoff Cowley and Tim Stanbury, to Gasser Circus racer and Junior Dragster grandad Tony Pearson, and to FWD racers Simon Crowley and Haider Jalal. Have a fantastic day all!
The Man Cup 46th annual FuelTech World Finals presented by Vance & Hines and Wiseco Performance Products is taking place at South Georgia Motorsports Park this weekend 18th-20th 2022. There is a live stream at this link and you can see a number of videos of action at the event's Facebook page posted by Dragbike.com.
18th November: There is good and not so good news from Hal Far this morning.
The good news is that the video stream of the Malta Finals is now up and running on Facebook which you can see by clicking here. On the positive side there have been some great passes, notably Patrick Cassar running a 6.49 @ 201mph in his Mitsubishi Evo-powered dragster, a new personal best & straight to #1 qualifier in the D4 dragster class. Also, Austrian Hubert Strengberger ran a great 7.229@181mph for a PB ET in his Audi TT, and others which we will add later.
The not so good news is that Clint Fenech suffered a high speed top end accident in his 2jz-engined Pro Import Mustang after a 6.62/207 run. Clint is ok and has been taken to hospital for a precauionary checkup, we wish him the best and send our commiserations on the damage to his car, new this year.
ACU rules changes.
18th November: ACU drag bike championship co-ordinator Ian King reports that the 2023 ACU Rules meeting took place yesterday morning and gives a short summary of changes:
Stilwell features in Hot Rod.
18th November: In the current, 75th Anniversary issue of Hot Rod magazine, arguably the publication that kicked off the sport of drag racing, Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has his 7707 blown fuel land speed roadster pictured in a piece by Tony Thacker entitled The Imperfect Storm.
In the article which pictures a number of other vehicles and a soggy Bonneville, Tony describes the disappointing outcome to Bonneville Speed Week which was cancelled after a number of vehicles arrived to the waterlogged salt flats.
We have documented Geoff's racing season in the news in recent months. Following a successful trip to El Mirage in May where he ran for the first time to a speed of 215mph, Speed Week, the Bonneville World Finals, and the November El Mirage meet were all rained off. We can only hope for better next year so that Geoff is able to attain the 300mph run at Bonneville, and a class track record at El Mirage, on which he and his team has been working so hard during 2022.
Hot Rod magazine is available at all good bookshops and you can see an online version of Tony's article at this link.
18th November: Happy Birthday for to Pro Modified racer Annie Wallace, and Maltese Escort Mk1 racer (competing in three examples of the vehicle at the Hal Far Finals, Kieran tells us) Paul Fenech. Have a great day Annie and Paul.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt's latest Youtube upload is the 1989 Cannonball held at Santa Pod Raceway which can be seen at this link. The video, shot professionally but without commentary, includes an interview with Gary Page and the unfortunate accident of Gary Willy who had a major coming together with the crash barrier with his Toyota Funny Car. To read about what happened, there is a great summary on Trakbytes.
17th November: We were saddened to learn of the passing of UK drag racing pioneer Bill Haynes who, we understand from his friend Keith Stacey, passed away last Saturday.
Bill Haynes raced at Santa Pod Raceway, Blackbushe and Wroughton between 1966 and 1977, running a series of dragsters named Konkerer and later Quarter Horse. During his racing years, Bill collaborated with, or raced alongside, other Surrey-based drag racers Tony Anderson, Richard Jarman, Derek Metcalf, Jim Rowat, and Martin Rowat, mechanic John Smith, Keith Stacey and, from Essex, Mick Wheeler.
Keith Stacey said "He was my lifetime friend and buddy for over 65 years and never really had a bad word for anybody. He pulled another red light and left us too early."
You can read Bill's story at this link. We send our deepest condolences to Bill's wife Linah (pictured with Bill at the Blackbushe Pioneers reunion, July 2021) and his family and friends.
17th November: The 2022 Malta Drag Racing Association Finals begins at Hal Far Raceway today, action taking place from 17th-20th November between 10:00 and 17:00 local time (09:00 to 16:00 GMT) with Sunday starting an hour earlier. Whilst there is a huge number of British fans present to enjoy the sun and watch the record field of over 140 vehicles take part, we will be following the event as best we can from back in Blighty. We plan to post photos kindly supplied by Kieran and Andrew Green, also will link to streaming video via the Facebook page of MotorsMT when it comes online. In the meantime photographer Alex Buttigieg has posted photos from yesterday's test session to a Facebook album.
We have produced a spotters guide as last year from the latest version of the entry list which you can download from this link or from our event coverage page.
Hobbs machines go to musuem.
17th November: Thanks to Keith Lee for passing on news on drag bike legend John Hobbs who has loaned his machines to the National Motorcycle Museum.
While on their way to last weekend’s British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala, John and Cheryl Hobbs had to make an important detour to Solihull, in order to deliver the Hobbit and Olympus to the National Motorcycle Museum. Following on from John’s recent retirement from riding at this year’s Dragstalgia, his two iconic bikes will be on long term loan to the museum. John is pictured handing over the bikes to museum director James Hewing.
These two bikes will make a welcome addition to the drag racing, sprinting and land speed record bikes on display at the countries premier bike museum, which is situated close to the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.
After safely delivering the bikes, and seeing them set up in the museum, John and Cheryl headed down to the Oatlands Park Hotel, where John had the pleasure of presenting a Bootsie award to the Big Spender team, in honour of his old Dutch rival, the late Henk Vink, at the Hall of Fame awards ceremony.
Pictures thanks to John and Cheryl Hobbs. The National Motorcycle Museum is located at at Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ, located directly on the J6 island of the M42 motorway.
17th November: Happy Birthday for today to Old School Stockers racer Tyne Blight, Pro ET racer Dan Fulton and VW Sportsman racer Ben Mace. Have a great day guys.
Drag racing is thriving in Romania, and you can see the mainly sports compact style Drag Racing Romania Finals from the wide open spaces of Arad Airport by watching this Youtube video produced by M5Phenomenon, who have also posted a large number of videos on individual cars.
16th November: We were very sorry to hear that Bob Venison, co-builder and racer of Wild Thing Ford Pop raced in the 1960s, sadly passed away on Tuesday 8th November.
Bob's son Neil writes: "Dad died peacefully at home and he was surrounded by his loving family. We take peace in knowing that he didn’t suffer long with his short but brave battle with cancer. You can read Bob and his team mate Brian Gibson's story in Eurodragster.com's pioneer stories. As a family we are so grateful that Eurodragster.com shared the history of Wild Thing.
Photos: Bob Venison; Bob on his dad’s car; Bob with Wild Thing.
"Up until very recently, he was still working on friends' and neighbours' cars as well as maintaining eleven family-owned VW/Audi’s; we liked keeping him busy. After his drag racing career, he still attended the Pod with his wife Maggie, and later with his children Karen and I. As a family we would attend VW shows to show Maggie’s Mk 1 Golf Cabrio. He always liked cleaning the brake dust off those BBS alloys. Before I could drive I found my first car at a VW show which he collected for me a week later. It was a Golf GTi Mk1 lookalike and it wasn’t long before the 1.5l engine came out and in went a 2.0l, high lift cam, head by Doug, Bob‘s brother who did heads for Road and Racing Equipment, RJD Propower, Swaymar and Vulcan Engineering to name just a few.
"My dad knew what worked, so I helped where I could and he helped me begin my quest to win GTI International as the fastest front wheel drive Mk1 Golf over the 1/4 mile. This came in 2008 with the assistance of computer controlled nitrous oxide.
"My sister Karen also has the car love genes, with her first car being a 1970 VW Beetle which she had a full show restoration done with help from Dad, then a Golf GTi Cabrio and now a type 2 VW Surf Bus in which she tours with her husband Matt, who also has a 1961 Cal look Beetle.
Photos: Bob Venison far left, Doug Venison second from right. Brian Gibson far right; Mk1 Golf GTi; Bob on a Greek Island
"Growing up, we were so lucky to have many foreign holidays, this was mostly due to Bob's dislike of the rainy UK weather. After his retirement, he found a passion for travelling to Greek islands, staying on just over 50 and visiting many more. This was down to the excellent weather, the friendly people and the good food and drink. This year he managed to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary on Lake Garda, visiting Venice with Maggie in August and another three week holiday island hopping in Greece in late September.
"He was a great man and is going to be deeply missed by his family and friends but always in our hearts and memories. Love, the Venison family."
We send Maggie, Neil and Karen, along with their family and Bob's friends, our deepest sympathies.
Andy Willsheer's Nitro Revival gallery.
15th November: Photojournalist Andy Willsheer's final stop on his western U.S. odyssey this autumn was Nitro Revival 5 from which he has kindly supplied a gallery of 235 images from the event organised by the legendary Steve Gibbs and daughter Cindy, with webmaster Don Ewald.
You can see Andy's photos, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link or via news, then features from the main menu.
Included are all manner of historic drag cars, including blasts up the eighth mile strip at Irwindale Raceway, where the event was held, photos of the legendary cacklefest which comprised 43 nitro fuelled dragsters and altereds lined up on the strip, gassers and hot rods.
The event is a must-see for fans visiting California and Las Vegas for the end of the U.S. season, next year's dates being 4th-5th November. For details of this year's event, photos of previous events, see the event website at nitrorevival.com.
ACU rules meeting tomorrow.
16th November: ACU drag bike championship co-ordinator Ian King has reminded us that the meeting to discuss 2023 ACU Drag Bike Championship rule changes is to take place tomorrow, 17th November.
Ian says "If anyone has an interest in the championship or who plans to participate in 2023 would like their views, rule amendments or clarifications discussed please drop me a PM via Facebook or email to email@example.com. All communications will be held confidential should that be your wish."
16th November: Nigel Charman wishes a Happy Birthday for today to son James Charman, driver of the Wheeldon and Charman Gotavit dragster and member of the Two Much dragster crew. Have a great day James from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Sponsor and Pro Modified racer John Tebenham, showing signs of racer withdrawal symptoms, writes: "I'm having a kitchen upgrade. As my NHRA 2022 Mike Janis blower was getting cold in the garage, I thought I would bring it in the warm. The car is next as I have a massive lounge and not many ornaments." Just the thing to put next to the Christmas Tree, JT...
Cheers and tears at BDRHoF gala.
15th November: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala took place last Saturday night at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey and the 200+ guests welcomed new inductees to the Hall of Fame as well as recognising Junior Drag Racing champions and runners up.
Thanks to our Julian we have a further gallery of photos of the event, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, which can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu.
Established in 2006 by founding Chair Stuart Bradbury, the event was the sixteenth induction ceremony celebrating the contributions by racers to the sport's success.
The event started off before dinner with a drinks reception sponsored by Santa Pod Raceway during which the presentation of prizes, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, to Junior Drag Racing Champions Luke Fulton (winner, Junior Dragster), Luke Mugridge (runner-up, Junior Dragster), Hollie King (winner, ACU Junior Drag Bike) and an absent Casey Holgate (runner-up, ACU Junior Drag Bike).
After the dinner, announced by Paul Wright, BDRHoF chair Lesley Wright introduced proceedings by saying: "A warm welcome to our honoured guests and sponsors to our 16th BDRHoF induction ceremony. I'm really pleased to see so many existing members of the Hall of Fame here with us this evening. Also in attendance are the majority of our selectors who have the unenviable task of choosing those to be honoured each year. I can tell you that during our meetings there are always some very frank discussions and that is fuelled by copious amounts of Keith's coffee. So thank you to Keith for hosting us. This is probably the first occasion in a few years that we haven't had any Americans here. Tony Thacker sends us best wishes for a bumper gala.
"Also our dear friend Ron Hope has sent us a message: "Over the past few months I have tried earnestly to adjust my schedule so that I can attend this year's Hall of Fame dinner. I must report I have failed on all counts so I will not be able to attend. And that comes with great sorrow as I have previously attended all of the HoF dinners since the beginning. All of you are truly friends and I look forward to joining you next year. Even though I have taken my last trip down the quarter mile I will remain involved in land speed records and will continue to compete at Bonneville. Please extend to all in attendance my regret for not being there this year and my intention to be there in coming years. In closing have a wonderful event, my thoughts will certainly be with you”. I was pleased we received this message from Ron who is such a good friend."
Comperes for the evening Colin Theobald and John Price introduced the awards. The first trophies, sponsored by Santa Pod Racers Club, were presented by BDRHoF director Bev Bradbury to the Junior Drag Racing champions listed above.
Following this, the presentation of the new BDRHoF inductees took place with 'Bootsie' trophies sponsored by SPRC.
The late and great drag bike racer Henk Vink was presented by BDRHoF member and motorcycle drag racing legend John Hobbs to and Henk's team members Jan Smit and Nick Dammers. John Hobbs presented the award to Nick Dammers and Jan Smit on behalf of Henk’s family and team.
"This Bootsie has been a long time coming, far too long in my opinion, and it’s going to be presented to Henk Vink for everything he did for drag racing and for all of his achievements. Tonight is going to be special particularly for the principal members of his team who are here tonight Jos Smit and Nick Dammers. Also here tonight are Christine, Henk’s wife, his daughter Nancy, and also his two sons Robert and Martin. Henk Vink was the Flying Dutchman. He was a fierce competitor, he was an astute and successful businessman all of which was reflected in everything he did. He spent an absolute fortune on his racing and he regularly brought over his Kawasakis over, there were many of them and his team was appropriately called Big Spender – everything they did was big.
"Throughout the 70s and 80s crowds came in their 1000s to watch Henk racing his Kawasakis up the quarter mile and later on witness him pilot his record breaking rocket bike. When racing Henk you knew it wasn’t going to be easy. On track he was a formidable opponent but off track he was the most amiable and approachable guy you could ever wish to meet. He always found time to speak to anyone. His competitive spirit and sense of sportsmanship made him stand out amongst racers. I remember one race preparing to race him I broke on the start line. He soloed to the win. Afterwards he came up to me and said John, that’s no good, I want a proper race. Let’s do it again, and that’s what we did.
"I was privileged and fortunate to be able to call him my friend. His contribution to our sport cannot be underestimated. His professionalism, enthusiasm, drive and numerous contacts enabled him to effectively promote drag racing both here, in Holland and throughout Europe. He worked hard to try to build a drag strip in Holland but he ran out of time. Had he had more time his contribution would have been so much greater. I shall never forget our many races together nor shall I forget his absolutely fearless and unique riding style. It’s for all these reasons that I now have the pleasant task of presenting Henk’s Bootsie to Nick and Jan."
Nick Dammers responded “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Live today. And that’s how Henk Vink lived his life. Henk was only 50 years old when he passed away. But he lived his life for 100 years. And now he is inducted into the British Drag Raxing Hall of Fame. And I want to say thanks to everyone who has made this possible. It’s a great honour for his family and the Big Spender team to receive this award tonight on this grand stage. And for us, the team members, it was fantastic to work with Henk and for him for over 15 years. Henk always managed to find the right balance between wanting to win races and having fun with each other. It was a great time for all of us and I want to end with one of Henk’s many one liners – “Never change a winning team”.
Dragster and funny car racer and tremendous supporter of Melbourne Raceway Mark Flavell had his Bootsie presented by commentator and Melbourne Raceway supporter Graham Beckwith.
“Mark has been a wonderful gift to Northern Drag Racing, a gift that has no conception of what a big part he plays. A gift that has helped provide the infrastructure that has helped the sport flourish at York Raceway and latterly at Melbourne. Mark not only gives full support to any work parties but has also provided the actual essentials to run race meetings on the scale of the Christmas Tree and trackside Armco.
"Of course behind the man has been Ann, Mark’s lovely wife always happy to help with race day duties but also mother to children Andrew and Jessica in gratitude to their Dad while continuing the family involvement. Mark Flavell the racer, the grafter, the gift that keeps on giving, it’s a great honour to present Mark with his Bootsie and see him inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.”
Mark said “Thank you to the board of selectors for choosing me this year, very much appreciated. My introduction to drag racing came in a weekend drinking beer in Rushden with a bunch of guys from the Polytechnic. We camped at Santa Pod roughly where the dodgems are today and after a late night in Rushden, Sunday morning came and we woke up to one hell of a row going on. To investigate I climbed the spectator banking just in time to see Al O’Connor in the Gasser sidestep the clutch and wheelie away from the line. I have to tell you that was it, I was hooked. That day, walking the pits, I was completely smitten with my new found sport that 24 hours earlier I had barely any idea that it existed. The pits were crammed with homebrewed creations and immediately realised I had found a motorsport that I could, and wanted to, be involved in.
"When I returned to Santa Pod as a 20 year old kid but also as a competitor at our first event. I asked the late John Ledster at the drivers’ meeting could I have a go. My brother Alan was entered and he explained unless I was entered I wouldn’t be insured so no. As the crowd moved off John called me back and asked what car wewould be driving and how fast it had gone. With a big grin on my face I proudly responded “Pop Dragon, and we’ve just gone 19.6!” John quietly said “With a helmet on no-one would know”. Fifteen minutes later I ran my first quarter.
"Shortly after that I answered the call in Custom Car to develop York Dragway. I had a contact with some armco fencing which had been replaced on the A66 in Teeside and I’m not divulging any more information than that. I would collect the Armco and posts at the end of the day unload it and then drive down to York Dragway to drop it off, sometimes doing two trips in a night. I negotiated with the site foreman and for a bottle of whisky they would unbolt it rather than cutting it down. I even gave them a bucket to put the nuts and bolts in. That’s recycling. We acquired all manner of armco and posts to build York Raceway. I still have some posts if I could sell them.
"In the eighties Ann and I went to Edmonton in Canada. We attended eighth mile and quarter mile events at NHRA and AHRA venues, some very good but some so rough we never went back. Saskatoon International Raceway had a dustbowl for a pit area, a quarter mile dragstrip which turned into a single lane shutdown road which then turned into an unpaved road with compacted dirt, that was a real eye opener. So bear that in mind, not all tracks are as good as Santa Pod or Las Vegas.
"Andy Flav came along in ’85 and we returned to England in ’87 and got involved in the family engineering business. I met Dave Grady, probably my single biggest influence in the sport a couple of years prior to our Canadian adventure and shortly after my return to the UK he was on the phone with the idea of promoting drag racing on a national basis by setting up a touring championship racing group and would I help. My thought was that we would run all three rcognised British drag strips but also do shows and live demos. As a founder member I jumped straight in and sought some championship sponsors. The Super Gas Drag Racing Association was up and running. We ran three events at each track and took the best six results. It worked like a dream.
This is how I met a certain young lass Lesley Digby of course now Lesley Wright and now our Chairperson and she showed me how not to be so bone-headed and to compromise and learn to negotiate with people. They were an education and fun days, no, great days. It was all very successful and this led to Lesley and I to be invited to a weekend in Wellingborough by the track promoter to roll out our track machine under the IHRA banner.
"This was the start of the British National Championship. It ran for many years until sadly we lost the venues. Even Roy Phelps took me to one side and told me we were on to a good thing.
"I got round to rebuilding the Hemi Hunter II dragster we won the inaugural Mac Tools SC championship in 1997. We then invested in a blower and the fun really started. It was so quick, almost straight off the trailer we went 7.39 exceeding our 7.50 chassis tag. We were told to slow it down or we were out. Well we went 7.36, put it on the trailer and went home. I sold it and it’s still about.
"Moving on to funny cars, who doesn’t love funny cars and we wanted one. Trev Capewell rang me out of the blue and offered me the Southern Rebel, the ex Leif Helander Starkotter and to this day I say it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Sadly the old Saab body deteriorated to such an extent that we switched it out and it became the Steel River Hot Rod with an ex Jim Dunn Firebird body. I actually met Jim at the Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, Andy Flav showed him a few pics and he was chuffed to see the ex Al Hofmann car still getting down the track. After 46 years I still get excited every time I drive through the front gates be it Melbourne, Santa Pod, Drachten, Hockenheim, Dishforth, Enniskillen, Jurby Isle of Man and for a few years in the 80s, the western Canadian tracks of Edmonton, Calgary, Prince George and Saskatoon. We even did the sprint at Ramsey.
"Currently I’m enjoying retirement but only from my day job and now I consider myself a full time drag racer. I mentioned the huge influence Dave Grady had on me, well another one with his unlimited enthusiasm is Mr Trevor Duckworth he invited me to get involved with the rebirth of drag racing in the North at Melbourne. I didn’t hesitate and, as I do, jumped in with both feet, supplying more Armco, fabrications and doing all manner of things I could turn my hands to. We even built a collapsible startline gantry so as to leave the Mintex test track clear after the event.
"It is now my biggest goal using my skills, passion, time and energies to hopefully grow it into a championship venue. No prep is a challenge at Melbourne in a blown alcohol funny car. While really exciting eighth mile racing keeps the costs from being like Formula 1. The Steel River Hot Rod holds both the ET and mph records at Melbourne so I’d like to take this opportunity to challenge you all to come and take them off me. You’re all very welcome indeed. Let me make it clear, without my wife Ann none of this would have happened. Also on my table tonight my lifelong friends Craig Owen, Steve Metcalf and, I wish, Mal Rigg and of course Andy Flav. Without them I couldn’t run and I’m not sure I would have wanted to. It’s always been the people as well as the sport that I love and for this I thank you very much.
John Wright and Jerry Cookson presented the National Street Rod Association with their Bootsie. NSRA Chairman John Proctor and Mechanise Director Alan Martin accepted the award on behalf of the club. Alan said:
"Colin has said pretty much everything that I had got down on my list of things to say. The history of the NSRA, 2022 has certainly been a momentous year for the NSRA, it’s been around for 50 years and for me it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to accept this award on behalf of all the members of the NSRA past and present and you can rest assured that our links with drag racing will continue to grow over the coming years. It’s a great honour so thank you very much and we’ll see you at the track."
The Stones Drag Racing Team were presented with their trophy by Philip Evans who said:
“I have to write what I say in big letters because being a legend has its problems! When I started racing in 1972 the Stones were already megastars, particularly Tee Rat was the car that brought everybody to the fence when it came down the old fire-up road at Santa Pod. I rember the beginnings of the Escort which became Tender Trap, I think it was called Rudolf initially and it had a red nose and a V6 engine in it and it eventually became the car that DLT ran occasionally as Tender Trap. The Stones were enthusiastic participants in the Pro Comp class and I worked with Dennis a few times in his role as the class rep for the European Top Methanol Racers’ Association, so that was a thrill for me and speaking with someone I considered to be one of my heroes. It’s already been described to you the particular cars they produced and raced, I had written about those so it’s my pleasure and honour to ask the Stones racing team to come up and collect their award and to welcome them to membership of the BDRHoF.
Dave Stone, who was accompanied on stage by Gerry Andrews Trevor Horncastle and Andrew Swan, responded:
They said you’re can’t talk longer than three minutes. There isn’t any way I can explain I can explain this in three minutes, it’s absolutely impossible. So thank you all very much!”
Colin preceded the final, posthumous, induction by saying “It’s a poignant, indeed raw, moment as we mourn the recent death of our inductee, Jon Morton. But what is this occasion for, is it not for celebrating lives in drag racing? And Jon Morton’s life in drag racing most certainly merits celebrating. First on bikes, then in American cars, Jon’s racing career ended abruptly with a heart attack on Thursday 8th September as he drove back to the pits after a Super Gas qualifying session. It is scant consolation to suggest Jon died doing what he loved, but the respect and affection he had earned within the racing community are demonstrated by the two tables of family and friends who join us tonight to celebrate a much-loved life in drag racing.
Jon’s Bootsie trophy was presented by his friend Gary Page to Jon’s son Dan Page, daughter Heide Stanley, Marcella Field and Debbie Stock representing our dear departed friend. Gary said:
"When I saw that Jon was being inducted into the Hall of Fame I rang him and congratulated him he said “You’ve got to come, you’ve got to come” and I said “No problem, no problem” and then literally after I put the phone down Bev rang me and said “Are you coming?” and I said “I’ll come, I can’t miss Jon’s induction” and then a few days later she rang me and asked if I could present the award to which I obviously said “Yes”. And then it was an absolutely devastating phone call to get from Santa Pod that Jon had died.
We had had a family gathering but then I got Covid in Hockenheim and I couldn’t go to see him. That’s the last time I would have seen him. I decided to take some time out this year, otherwise I would have been at the Pod although I know there’s nothing I could have done and just want to thank everybody like Chalky who tried to help Jon, all the staff at Santa Pod, the paramedics were there in three minutes and the police said if he was going to survive that place was where he would have survived. It wasn’t to be, he had had heart attacks before and I was always afraid the next one would kill him and unfortunately it did.
I had the privilege of sharing a house with Jon in Bedfont and we should have had a revolving door on the front of the house because we had so many people in and out of the house all the time and that’s where I got to meet so many people, it was where everyone went, working out in the shed with him on his Pro Stock Bike and going around Europe, it was just fantastic times.
If you knew Jon and didn’t like him, you were an idiot, all the trips we had, going to America. There are so many stories we could tell but going out to Englishtown when it was still going, the first night we were there, we managed to get thrown out of a bar and nearly get arrested because the waitress said “What are you here for?” We were in an Irish bar, and so Jon said “We’re here for the Craic!” She informed the manager who wanted to call the police, so after our first night we nearly got arrested and shoved out of the bar.
"We smoothed that one over and went out to Englishtown and the second qualifying session for the fuel cars was late at night so afterwards Jon decided he wanted a beer which was unusual, so I took him off in the car and we looked for a supermarket, it was this tiny town, because Englishtown it’s really in the middle of nowhere, you couldn’t find it if you were lost, so he went “We’re going to a bar”. It was one of these deals like we can’t see anyone and we open the door and walk in and shut the door and went “Oh sh*t.” It was full of bikers and stuff and Jon said “We’ve got to go in” and it was run by some very nice lesbian bikers, we got talking to them and everything was alright and then somehow we stayed for a pig squealing competition. Jon said “We can do pig squealing” so we had to stay and meet their pig squealing champion but it was so bizarre it was just ridiculous, we went back to the track, but they had said “You’ve got to come back tomorrow”, and Jon being Jon we went back the next night.
"Everywhere we went it was just fun. He was three days younger than me and he used to ring me up and say “Happy Birthday you old bastard”, three days and every time we saw each other we had a cuddle and say we loved each other because he was more like a brother to me. I just can’t believe I can’t see him again. with all his friends and family here I’m so honoured to do this because they asked me after it happened do I still want to do this I said “Yes”. What was going to be a special night has become a very hard one, and Jon is probably laughing his nuts off; it’s just very difficult.
Dan Page said “As you can see I’m not Jon. But I’m here to say a few words about him and to read out his speech that we found on his laptop. It was saved as hall of fame speech and he had written it before he passed away.
"I found out that he had been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in February this year. In one of his many shopping trips to Lidl he would always pop in to see me if my truck was back and would say hello If not he’d phone and ask where I was. We spoke everyday on the phone, for hours at a time and I really miss our chats. Anyway on this particular day I was in and sat on the forklift and could see into his car. There was the envelope on the passenger seat with the Hall of Fame logo on it. To which I said “you got your call up then!” He went into a panic and had me swear that I couldn’t tell anyone. I then asked him his thoughts on it. He said he was worried that people would think he didn’t quite deserve it. I reassured him that he did deserve it as a Champion on both 2 and 4 wheels, four Super Gas championships leader of the super gas wins also not forgetting Super Comp 8.90 days which he missed out on the championship 4 times in a row coming 2nd! You’re a massive figure in the sport and everyone knows who you are!
"He was very humbled but he said he was just being him and enjoying the Sport he loved with the people he loved! And that’s the Jon that we knew and loved! It was an honour to be my hero’s Crew Chief but more importantly it was the biggest honour to be your son.
Now I’ll read Jon’s Speech as he wrote it.
"My first trips to Santa Pod were in 1966 with my elder Cousin Kerry in the late 60s sat next to one of King "Harold" Bull's sons.
"I carried on spectating till 1974. While working in a raceshop owned by 60s-80s saloon and single seat Race Legend Gordon Spice, a guy came in to purchase a Racesuit for Drag Racing. His name was Robin Wilby and drove a Lotus engined Junior Dragster, I informed him that I was a keen fan of quater mile action to which he told me he needed a push car driver as he only had one crewman.
"This lasted for a while till I went back to continue my unsuccessful motorcycle road racing career. In June 1975 I was in a nasty road accident while pillion on a friends Norton Commando, resulting in life threatening injuries to both of us and my friend riding loosing his arm from the shoulder. We were both at the time working with Brian Johnson. It was while convalescing from this, I was doing some light duties. Brian informed me that when I was better and returning to racing he fancied a go.
"Brian always had nice engineered bikes but as I pointed out, corners were not the best part of his riding skills and having already made some friends in the DragBike ranks I suggested he should take his Rickman Honda to our local strip at Blackbushe and have a go in Street Bike. The rest as they say is history and B.J, as he fondly became known to one and all conquered the World on his Top Fuel Bike following his success in Pro Stock bike.
"I crewed for Brian on and off throughout his racing time both here and in the States and Europe. I also crewed for Steve Woollatt , Rod Pallant and a few others.
"In 1984 I decided to have a go at Pro Stock Bike. The yellow Kawasaki GPZ Bike was built by B.J. and Barry Gannon and crewed by my old school mate Tyne Blight (also still racing today in Old School Stockers). It was ready for the 1985 season, after a steep learning curve that year we went on to win some national events and in 86 my first international race at Zandvoort , picking up BDRA best Bike Newcomer in '85, we won some more in 87/88 including the then called World Finals in 88.
"John Clift built me a new Kawasaki ZX10 pro stock bike for 89 and the advent of big wheel Stockers. A beautiful bike which was short-lived after dropping it through the top end at North Weald. I repaired it and raced 3 weeks later in Sweden running PB’s, but the writing was on the wall and the Kwacks were being left behind by the dominant performance of Suzuki's.
"So a new bike was built for 1990 by Wingnut Racing which I enjoyed for 2 years before selling it to Nick Pepper and building a Funny Bike with Mike Beaumont. This we did for 4 Yyears of fun before calling it a day.
"I had long had big ideas about building a fuel bike which I did with the expertise of Pete Davies and Frank Bratchvogel, it took over 6 years and cost double my original budget. Following a heart attack and other health issues a fuel licence was out of reach, the Bike was sold to Chris Hannam (Cannon) and now I believe is in New Zealand.
"I gave up Drag Racing for a couple of years (apart from crewing for B.J until he retired) for a life on the water with a little sea going motor boat. Boredom set in and I decide to try sportsman car Drag Racing having always loved American Cars and Hot Rods.
"The transition from bikes to cars was made easy by my close friendships with some of the car racers. I purchased a Super Gas/Super Comp '69 Camaro which I was lucky to have much success with over 13 years, thanks more than anything to stepson Dan Page who like most kids today, grew up with computers and understands all this equipment to make people like me look so much better than we are. I have won my fair share of national and club championships but only because of all the great people that have helped me along the way.
"To say I am humbled , honoured and indebted to so many people for inclusion in this fantastic club is an understatement. I am not worthy, but as any racer will tell you, “take em any way you can” and this has to be one of the proudest moments of my life and certainly my proudest Drag Racing Day."
After this emotional presentation, Colin gave Dan a special gift presented on behalf of Dave Gibbons of Tony Morris Carburetors who commissioned it, a print by Graham Durby Durbridge inspired by a Jon Spoard photograph.
Lesley Wright concluded the evening by saying "We all knew that was going to be emotional and and thank you to Colin and to John for charting our course through the occasion. Our thanks to those who make the evening possible, all of our sponsors and those who support our fund raising each year particularly at Dragstalgia and Melbourne Raceway. Thank you also to those who work as directors and advisers behind the scene, Nick Pettitt, Simon Groves, Andy Wheeler, and Jordan Payne. We must also not forget the sport's photographers and videographers who as we have seen tonight enable us to keep our memories alive, and thanks to Julian Parsons and the team from AMP Audio as we've had a really great presentation tonight. A special thanks to Bev Bradbury who has done a great job alongside that of the hotel.
"Over the years drag racing has always looked after its own. My first experience of this was when Roz Prior and Ronnie Picardo went to the spectators collecting money to help bring Al's Gasser back from an accident. This has been repeated for him and for other racers over the years, and more recently we've had this amazing crowd funding effort for Melbourne Raceway which has helped trremendously in the track's development. We often have individual racers setting up their own stalls in the pits for the benefit of charities that mean a lot to them and our commentators have always promoted these activities.
"Then on a bigger scale we saw Ian Marshall and Holley along with the Santa Pod Racers' Club raising money for Blood Cancer UK on behalf of our dear friend and Hall of Fame member Paula. A few short months ago the drag racing family yet again came together in a show of support for Hayley Hadfield and Andy and Purdie who are the family of our sponsor Team Twister. Darryl Bradford, Craig Dixon, Andy Thetford, Sue Ponsford, Elaine Hancock, Keith Bartlett and many others too numerous to mention in person all collaborated with fund raising ideas for the two charities who are providing support to Hayley and we've seen an auction and a raffle being held and I can tell you that these have raised a staggering amount of money. Putting these all together was no mean feat but it was done spectacularly and to show all your appreciation for his efforts would you please welcome back to the stage to collect a special appreciation award from the BDRHoF Colin Theobald."
Colin came up to receive a special trophy. Readers can see the total raised an Colin's comments in yesterday's news update and many congratulations to him and everyone in their fundraising efforts.
The enjoyable evening concluded with socialising and we look forward to next year's BDRHoF Gala on 18th November 2023, details to be announced in due course. The gala was presented in association with Santa Pod Raceway, USAutomotive, NSRA, Santa Pod Racers Club, Straightliners, and Lucas Oil Products. Supporters are Atlantic Fluid Tech, Team Twister, Eurodragster.com, VP Racing Fuels, Custom Car magazine, ChairOffice, Peter Walters Race Design, Paul Whitehouse Art, Shakespeare County Relics and julianhunt.net.
15th November: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET and Junior Dragster team mum Jan Mugridge, we hope you have a lovely day Jan.
Eurodragster.com Christmas Mart.
14th November: Thanks to all contributors to this year's Christmas Mart, for the person in your life who has a love of European drag racing, supporting those who invest their lives into our sport:
Parts and consumables
Thanks to John Iuga of Old Hall Performance has a comprehensive online store on which you can use the code DRAG22 to get 10% off your first order. The main items being offered for discount are Red Line fully-synthetic auto transmission fluid, VP Racing Octanium to increase your fuel's octane numbers to increase power/avoid knocks, VP Racing Fuel Containers, Red Line WaterWetter to reduce coolant temperature, Mechanix Wear black gloves, and AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. More details and prices are available by clicking on the image.
Other items available from Old Hall Performance without discount include the range of VP Racing Fuels and additives, Red Line synthetic race lubricants, AMSOIL Synthetic performance oils, Lifeline motorsport safety products, Mechanix Wear Industry leading hand protection, Heatshield Products thermal insulation and Gold Plug Magnetic sump plugs. To order, go to oldhallperformance.com.
Chris Eyre of DBF Photography says "For this Christmas I have 5 different drag racing calendars on offer featuring: nostalgia cars, fuel cars and bikes and sportsman racing. I have international shipping available and am currently working on distribution to more countries." You can see all these at this link. See below for photos of Chris's calendars.
Photographer Kenzie Taylor has calendars now made and ready for dispatch. He says "Thank you to all those that have ordered and paid, these will be on your way to you soon. If you would like one of these Calendars they are £14 supplied and delivered anywhere in the U.K.
"There are 2 designs, one is based on the excellent U.K. Topspeed street eliminator series and the other is a selection of particular photos chosen from throughout the year, taken at Santa Pod Raceway. Deadline for payment for the next batch is 15th November so keen readers will need to hurry.
Payment can be made via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or Nigel.email@example.com. Please state which design and postal address where you would like it to go. Please FB message Kenzie for bank transfer details or his Andover address, where you can pop by and see him if you would like one for cash.
Event coverage sponsors John Woolfe Racing are offering a 5% discount on all of their in-stock books until 31st December 2022. JWR have also kindly set up a discount code for Eurodragster.com readers which gives them an extra 5% off if they use the code "eurodragster" (minus the quotations) at checkout. You can see the books offered at this link on JWR's website www.woolfe.com.
Our good friend Jim Kelly formerly of VP Racing Fuels and now an author, has released his latest novel Spy Driver which you can order via his website jkkelly.com. Spy Driver starts with a near-fatal crash in the woods of Vermont after which the protagonist Bryce Winters embarks on a successful career in NASCAR and IndyCar racing. A chance encounter with a billionaire with dreams of an F1 championship takes Winters to the highest of international racing highs—at any cost—he is thrust into a clandestine world as a spy for the CIA...Ron Capps, now three-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion, said of Spy Driver "I loved the mixture of a roller coaster mystery and racing while intertwined with the travel."
Darren West of Power Race Graphics writes: The RAD Design Lines mission continues to inspire and encourage young people to unleash their creativity! All stocked up and ready to ship are our very popular RAD Design Lines colouring books. There are 3 books available in the series - Our latest release, 'Bugs, Buses and Campers' featuring custom and drag bugs, early split buses, panel vans and late model campers. 'Funny Cars' featuring some of the most popular Nitro and Methanol funny car body styles in the history of the class. 'Door Slammers' featuring the wildest door cars on the quarter mile the Pro Mods, plus a supporting cast of popular body styles across the classes.
Printed on heavyweight high quality paper, the colouring books come with logo sticker and are posted in rigid card envelopes. Great Christmas stocking fillers for drag fans and the colouring mad kids! Shop now at www.raddesignlines.com.
If you enjoy the two-wheeled action, or know someone that does, then Keith Lee’s book on the early years of drag racing and sprinting will make an excellent Christmas present. Covering the time when John Hobbs first started competing, which coincided with the birth of Santa Pod Raceway itself, through to his eventual retirement, this heavily illustrated hardback book is very much more than just the story of this legendary competitor.
It is a rounded look at the events going on in this vibrant time for racing. Twin-engined bikes became popular, but the influx of Japanese-based engineering was also becoming a threat. The top competitors of the era are acknowledged by this photographer, writer and commentator, who was fully involved in the scene, and in a unique place to give an authoritative and entertaining account of these formative times. when the Hobbs machines - Olympus and the Hobbit - became two of the best known names in racing.
The rise of Dragstalgia, which showcases some of the historic bikes covered in the book, is also included within this heavyweight history of the two wheeled legends of our sport. At 208 pages, filled with some 90,000 words and more than 360 photos, this is an excellent addition to any drag racers book shelf.
John Hobbs and the Age of the Twins is available by mail order for UK delivery only, priced at £32 including delivery. For secure ordering via Paypal link, go to keithleeimages.co.uk to order a copy.
Our good friends at Zeon video are selling DVDs of previous years at Santa Pod Raceway, with great quality pictures and commentary from the finest in the sport. UK shipping is now free and generous multi buy discounts are available - if you buy 5 or more there is a 30% discount.
Illustrated are the 6 exciting DVDs from the archives of Zeon TV, with some of the best drag racing action from the last 20 years at Shakespeare County Raceway and, of course, Santa Pod. The titles comprise Street Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, Pro Modified, NFAA Fuel Altereds, Hot Rods at Shakey and Mopar Euronationals.
Helen Todd of Zeon said "We have put some of the old titles back to 2006 on there that we haven't had listed for a few years, on the basis that when they're gone they're gone." So if you want these DVDs the message is to order sooner rather than later. Zeon's web site is at www.quartermilehigh.com.
Santa Pod Raceway has a range of gift cards, gifts and branded championship apparel which you can buy online from the Santa Pod shop.
Hayley auction and raffle raises huge amount.
14th November: Thanks and congratulations to Colin Theobald who was honoured at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala on Saturday for his part in a spectacular charity fund raising effort during 2022. Colin writes:
Over the last 5 months the Drag Racing community really came together as one to raise funds for 2 charities in support of one of our own who is fighting Pancreatic cancer. Hayley Hadfield is one of life’s beautiful people inside and out and it’s just not fair who Cancer picks on. Her husband Andy and daughter Purdie along with other family members and close friends are fighting with her and giving amazing support but what has really boosted them is the love, strength and incredible generosity the racing family has given.
What started as a T-Shirt that Darryl Bradford wore at Dragstalgia culminated with a raffle the day after Flame & Thunder at the end of October. Darryl’s T-Shirt inspired Craig Dixon of Altered Tees Apparel to come up with a brilliant logo that became so recognised and seen on many T-Shirts and stickers making their way onto many race cars and bikes. Pam Dale completed a sponsored 7 mile swim raising over £1000, Sarah Howells and Mark Coulsell completed a parachute jump and raised £1500 so we were truly on our way. Craig was having to print more and more shirts as the demand was so high.
The auction of Drag Racing memorabilia and experiences along with some other incredible items at the SPRC National Finals was the absolute highlight and the astounding amount of just under £22,000 raised on the night will be a memory and an occasion that everyone there will never forget. We ran out of time after 3 hours of the auction had items left over, so a raffle was organised and drawn the day after Flame & Thunder which itself raised over £2000.
Last Wednesday all of the funds were in, added together and on Saturday at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala evening we could finally announce that the total amount raised was a staggering £32,512.86 which will be split between The Christie NHS Trust and Pancreatic Cancer U.K.
Hayley, Andy and Purdie were blown away with the incredible total and a thank you here just doesn’t really convey the absolute love, support and strength this has given them all and has been a real boost to their morale. The auction evening will forever live in their memories as the time when the whole racing family came together as one.
Personally and from a team of great people that somehow came together to pull this off we cannot thank you all enough. To all of the people that bought T-Shirts and stickers that raised thousands, to every racer that carried the logo on their cars and bikes, to everyone that supported Pam, Sarah and Mark on their endeavours, to everyone at Santa Pod Raceway that gave support way beyond what could ever be even dreamed of, to every company and everyone that donated items and experiences to the auction and those who bid on them, to everyone that donated to Nikki Marshall’s fabulous baking (more please) that raised hundreds of pounds, to everyone that bought raffle tickets and of course to everyone that signed the presentation frame without knowing what was going in the middle of it for the presentation to Hayley & Andy. To Craig Dixon, Elaine Hancock, Andy Thetford, Susan Ponsford, Oz Wright & Pete Franklin, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thirty Two and a half grand...unbelievable. Love to you all, Colin.
14th November: Happy Birthday today to Barney Campbell, head of Box Lane Video Productions who produces streaming video for Santa Pod Raceway, have a great day Barney!
Andy Willsheer's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gallery.
13th November: In association with Lucas Oil Products we have posted a gallery from yesterday's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala.
The gallery by photojournalist Andy Willsheer can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu.
Pictures by our own Julian and an accompanying report will be posted in a day or two's time.
13th November: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch racer and Junior Dragster dad Mark Coulsell, Street Eliminator racer Elliot Day who reaches 18 years of age, 2022 Top Methanol Champion Sandro Bellio and former Top Fuel Dragster tuner Per Andersen. We hope you all have a great day.
The latest November 2022 issue of Revolution, the official magazine of Motorsport UK, there is an interview with Top Fuel racer Susanne Callin. In the six page cover feature, Susanne describes what it is like to drive in the top echelons of the sport and husband and Santa Pod Raceway CEO talks about their family's involvement in the sport. You can see Revolution free at this link (go to page 10) or go directly to the article at this link.
FIM-E rule changes for 2023.
12th November: Thanks to FIM-E Dragrace commission member Job Heezen for publishing details of rule changes for 2023 after their annual meeting. Job emphasises these decisions will only be valid with immediate effect after the FIM-E management council meeting on 13th December 13:
12th November: We wish a Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway timekeeper and etslips.co.uk webmaster Adam Bentley, Top Doorslammer racer Stefan Jansson and Renault 5 FWD racer Peter Cole. We hope you all have a great day.
Good luck and stay safe to our European racers who have qualified for the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals being held at Pomona this weekend. Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders from Sweden qualified second with a great 5.426/267.06, and expat Norwegian Julie Nataas qualified 15th in Top Alcohol Dragster with a 5.325/267.00. The first two rounds of eliminations for these classes are set for today with semi finals and finals tomorrow. Good luck also to Markus Svensson from Sweden who is through to round 2 of Stock Eliminator. You can follow the NHRA Nevada Nationals at www.nhra.com or www.dragracecentral.com and see the stream live on nhra.tv (subscription required).
Report from DRU Trophy Ceremony.
11th November: Thanks to Markus Münch for sending a report on the Drag Race Union Trophy Ceremony held on 29th October at Hillbilly Heaven, Bitz, Germany:
Hillbilly Hellfire Racing once again hosted the championship celebration. Bitz, on the Swabian Alb, attracted teams from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Holland, France and Spain. Very international, that's how we like it.
DRU, Drag Race Union. By drivers for drivers. The Supro ET Challenge has been around since 2008, followed a little later by the Pro ET Challenge. Ride together, celebrate together. That's still the core of it all. More than 20 teams were registered for each challenge, and even more than 30 teams at Pro ET. A nice hard core has developed over the years, but it is always open to new comrades-in-arms. The first three of each challenge got a fantastically nice trophy, up to fifth place there was still prize money (yes, the DRU pays out prize money annually. This time €7000 was distributed among the first five of both competitions). There were also a few goodies such as mugs, desk calendars and photo prints on canvas from the teams.
The celebration was officially opened by Jonny Niesner at around 6 p.m., who also opened the fantastic pulled pork buffet. Smoked for 24 hours, 45 kilos of the most delicious pork, with fries, salads, then desserts and cakes. Everything for a slim 30s, including a shuttle service to and from the respective hotels. Then the practice tree games began for the €500 prize of Hoosier tires. Rilana Dold won ahead of Janine Petzold, third was Niek de Kruif.
Janine Petzold was able to pocket the 100 euro bill sponsored by Glen Pallant for the "first perfect RT". Congratulations on that too. This was at Clastres in July, round two against Ronnie Mercer.
The Challenge participants were honored, special congratulations to the winners of both competitions:
Super Pro ET: 1st place, Angel Romero (Spain), 2nd place, Billy Gane (England), 3rd place Alain Dürr (Switzerland)
Pro ET: 1st place, Armin Widmann (Germany) 2nd place, Martin Weikum (Germany) 3rd place Janine Petzold (Germany)
The Extreme Outlaws (XO) also belong to the DRU, but did not have a winner this year, were only sporadically to be found on the racetracks, which will certainly change in 2023.
The entertainment program consisted of The Lonesome Dragstrippers, Pump Gas (with acoustic set) and then until 4 o'clock in the night DJ Ernie with great music and karaoke interludes. There was a lot of dancing.
Many thanks to the Hillbillys for preparing the hall, repairing the trophies, smoking the meat and preparing the salads. Getting, preparing and serving the delicious drinks, as well as cleaning up afterwards. Not only are you great, you're definitely the best. Thank you, and bow. Because four o'clock wasn't the end. Bar operations continued non-stop until Sunday noon. In the morning around 11 o'clock Harry Kempenaar performed a few Elvis and Cash numbers, which was great for a morning pint.
If you haven't experienced it, you've missed it, there may be a next time in Bitz, but for now we're looking for another location, which makes this evening even more special.
Also a big Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors and supporters: Billy Gane Motors, Geiger Cars, Rechsteiner Bedachungen, Race Point, Spedition Schumann, Eisenhauer KFZ Service / Hughes Getriebe Service, Jens Könnecke Fahrzeugtechnik, Team 74 Bruckmüller, Pats Postkarten, Garage Ehrismann, Lexpower, Dragmag.de, CG Design, Sacotec Pulverbeschichtungen, Schwefel Garage, M&F Montageservice, Hillbilly Hellfire Racing, Hoosier Reifen Deutschland.
Thank you for your company, Markus, Jonny, Oli and the DRU.
11th November: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway marshal Nigel Anniwell, Old Skool Ford racer Steve Dowling and drag bike racer and 2XS Drag Racing Team member Tanya Hardy, we hope you all have a great day.
Happy Wedding Anniversary to Ian and Nikki Marshall, also to Kev Charman and Lizz McCarthy-Charman and to Carla Pittau and Rick McCann. Have a great day!
New videos uploaded recently include Kieran's Youtube footage from Flame & Thunder, on VWDRCTV Youtube channel's VWDRC Summer Nationals 2022 Qualifying, also Nick Pettitt's Youtube channel has video of Barry Sheavills and Keith Bartlett at Santa Pod back in 1998 plus Phil & Frank Brachtvogel's Quarter Scorcher Top Fuel Bike from the same year.
Swedish win at CHRR.
10th November: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer who has the story of the first European since Nick Davies in 2017 to win at the California Hot Rod Reunion last month, Swede Joacim Ljungberg, who was victor in 7.0 Pro:
Following a long cessation of racing due to Covid-19, Joacim and crew of the distinctively-wrapped, blown ’23T caught the “ first available flight” from Sweden to the States in order to prepare for the 2022 season, kicking off with the Funny Car Chaos opener in Ennis, Texas. The team then spent periods of racing both in Sweden and the USA, flying back and forth before completing the overseas tour with an appearance at the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series wrapper at Famoso Dragstrip, where they qualified #17 in a field of 21 entrants.
Joacim said “it was okay for us, I enjoy competing in big fields which we don’t really have back home,” but following five straight win lights during the course of eliminations at the popular California Hot Rod Reunion the group was delighted to participate in the winner’s circle celebrations conducted amidst the gathering gloom of Sunday. Securing both the event victory and Heritage series tall trophy certainly made for a double delight and the team eagerly looks forward to heading home for the winter break before hopefully preparing to again return to the West Coast in the spring of 2023 in order to begin defending their prestigious championship win. We wish them well.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame traffic bulletin.
10th November: Thanks to Robin Jackson for a reminder that the sold-out British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala for 2022 inductions will be taking place this coming Saturday 12th November starting with a reception at 17:30 at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey and a notice about potential traffic problems:
"Guests attending the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala this Saturday, 12th November, are advised to pay close attention to traffic information. As many will be aware, Just Stop Oil protesters have been targeting the M25 motorway this week and causing traffic jams lasting several hours. The Gala location, Oatlands Park Hotel at Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9HB, is a short distance east of M25 Junction 11, but other routes are available."
10th November: Happy Birthday for today to former Pro Modified and Top Fuel racer Linda Thun Tønseth, Pro ET crew member and longtime fan Dave Buckland, Pro Doorslammer Cortina Mk3 racer Darren Peart and Maltese Bike racer Leslie Said. We hope you all have a fantastic day.
Greek championship finale this weekend.
9th November: The final event of the Panhellenic Drag Racing Championship to be held at Agrinio this weekend, 11th-13th November has several racers in the European Front Wheel Drive league table and Super Street Bike quickest times list on drdb.eu. There are also racers from East Europe hoping to challenge local racers in the most competitive car class.
Dimitris Panitsas will be looking to improve on his best of 8.403/167.17mph with his 20vt DSG equipped VW Golf (pictured), these times being the track record for FWD cars. Petros Taxopoulos who raced in the UK for a couple of months in 2022, has a best here of 8.499/133 and Fotis Xondropoulos with his Peugeot 106 has a PB of currently firstname.lastname@example.org and is also in the FWD table, looking to move up.
Among visitors Andrzej Majchrzyk from Poland races a 9 second naturally aspirated RCA Motors Honda CRX and has a personal best of 9.882/136.47mph. Cogu Nicolae (BMW diesel) from Romania and Mensur Redzic (BMW M5) hail from Croatia are in the Index 11 class.
In the bike ranks, the entry list includes 67 bikes across eight classes. Bikes to watch out for are Grygoris Kyrou (Super Pro) who ran 6.930/186 at the October event, Dimitrios Gkosios who ran a pair of 6.9s in October, and Super Street Bike racers Sam Mavromatis (pictured) and Bilas Theocharis both of whom ran in the low 7.1s in October.
You can see a live stream of the Agrinio race on Youtube at Sportal TV and we will post a link to the results to be published on the Proaction Racing website.
Malta entry list and running order published.
9th November: Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has published the entry list and running order for the November event on the Malta Drag Racing private Facebook Group. We will prepare a spotters' guide in time for the event which takes place 17th-20th November at Hal Far Raceway and to which a sizeable British contingent will be travelling.
On the subject of British racers travelling to Malta with race cars, Konrad says "all racers coming over from the UK, please dont forget to get your ATA Carnets sorted with your local shipping agents before you book your cars over, or else once they arrive they will be held by customs and you have to pay in full as if the car were being imported.
"The ATA Carnet allows temporary importation from a non-EU to EU country without having to process a Customs entry/declaration upon arrival. Besides a Carnet costs a fraction of the price compared to full importation, apart from the fact that your cars will not be held by Customs. "One last note, it is very important to declaire not just the vehicles, but also any tools, parts, oils, fuels etc on the Carnet so you wont have any problems with Customs. Thanks and good luck to all!"
The Malta event will be the final major race in Europe in 2022. As well as a large number of doorslammers, there will be nine of Malta's 4-cylinder dragsters that can run in the six second zone and 2017 FIA Top Fuel Champion Duncan Micallef will be making exhibition passes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the four day race there will be a private testing day on Wednesday 16th November.
9th November: A belated Happy Birthday to Top Alcohol Funny Car crew chief Jörgen Leanders who is preparing for his car's third race in as many weekends, driven by brother Ulf at the NHRA Finals in Pomona. All the best to Jörgen and the team.
Southern California Timing Association have announced that the November meeting at El Mirage due to be run on 12th-13th November has sadly been cancelled due to rainfall. We commiserate with all racers who planned to attend including Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell, and can only hope the list of 2023 Land Speed Racing dates in 2023 that we announced on 3rd November is fulfilled.
Results from the Haltech World Cup Finals race last weekend at Maryland International Raceway can be seen at this link and, if you're still wondering why all the fuss, some great videos from a startline perspective have been posted at Youtube Channel TheRacingVids, showing the atmosphere admirably.
Nïamh to join Circus.
7th November: UK Nostalgia Superstock committee member Nïamh Frances Smith has announced she will be racing in the Gasser Circus in 2023, and has bought Nick Brook-Langham's Nogbad The Bad car:
"On Saturday 5th November me, my partner Jake and his dad travelled down to collect the latest racecar to join the Cawthorne/Smith stable; the infamous Nogbad the Bad Austin Devon that races with the superb Gasser Circus. For nearly two months now, we have had to rebut questions on why our Ford Fairlane that I raced last season in Nostalgia Superstock and my MGB GT both mysteriously went up for sale less than an hour after Nogbad the Bad appeared for sale on social media, we weren’t exactly subtle and so of course many people guessed the reason, while others we left guessing.
"When the car popped up for sale, there wasn’t a question whether we needed to sell a couple of cars to gather some funds for the car; for years now the Gasser Circus has been a class both Jake and I have wanted to race in, and some may remember our failed project ‘Kwik Magic’ which was intended to be a ‘Fred Hurst’-esque Barracuda gasser. Nogbad was the realisation of that goal.
"I’m sure most readers of Eurodragster will know some of the history behind the car, or at least seen it run, piloted by ‘Nervous’ Nick Brooke-Langham for many years now. He has owned it for a long time, and transformed it into its current guise as Nogbad around 15 years ago. The history of the car goes back to at least the late 70s and into the 80s when it was hot rodded, and owned by Mike Taylor. There’s a lot more to the history of the car that I am yet to learn, and the Brooke-Langham family have so many great stories and memories of the car, including a trip to Finland with it and, of course, many years on the track.
"My intentions of the car are obviously to race it with the Gasser Circus for next year. The car handily came with a 351ci Cleveland motor which, all being well, will get fitted soon. Other than that there really isn’t much that needs doing to the car except some minor cosmetic changes: some small bits of paintwork and signwriting. I also intend to return it to the street, with some additions to help it pass an MOT such as an exhaust, so I can also take it to car shows. All that’s left to do then is just to really enjoy this car, which I know we definitely will!
"Thank you to Nick Brooke-Langham for being a great custodian of this historic car and for allowing me to see it through the next chapter. Can’t wait to have a match race with you next year!"
Feature: SEMA Show gallery.
7th November: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for providing a gallery of photos from the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center which you can see by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Features in the main menu. We thank Lucas Oil Products for their sponsorship of our features.
You can check out Andy's SEMA Show pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
7th November: Happy Birthday for today to former Eurodragster.com Editor Tog, have a great day on your postponed birthday trip from last year from Simon, Julian, Kieran, Diana and Kirstie. Many Happy Returns also to Ain't No Saint builder and racer Lee Johnstone, Super Pro ET racer Robert Doyle and VW Pro Racer Dave Crowhurst. We hope you all have an enjoyable day.
For latest media from Nitro Revival 5 at Irwindale Raceway yesterday click on this Facebook link to ensure you see all the great pictures and videos in chronological order.
Nitro Revival media.
6th November: At Irwindale Raceway, Nitro Revival 5 has been under way since Friday. You can see images of cars from the event on the Nitro Revival Facebook Group at this link, and a number of videos, including an awesome cacklefest, at this link. Also Bob Beck posted a live feed of the cacklefest at close quarters at this link.
For a closer look at the many attending celebrities, go to this post, and for a moving and sometimes funny tribute to the late Dave McClelland, go to this video. Many thanks to co-organiser Cindy Gibbs for capturing the moments and of course to Steve Gibbs for organising the event.
Our roving reporter Andy Willsheer is attending and we look forward to posting a gallery of his photos. We are also sad to report that due to a family illness, our Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is unable to attend. Geoff wishes everyone to stay safe and have a fantastic time at the event which finishes today.
Photo: Bob Muravez sitting in the late Tom Hoover's 1965 Fishbowl slingshot AA/FD. Photo credit: Jonathan Jones.
World Cup Finals qualifying.
6th November: You can see the final qualifying for the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco at Maryland International Raceway on Facebook at this link.
Not only are the fields mostly full, but some incredible performances are taking place. For instance, in the quickest Outlaw v Extreme class, the field is between #1 qualifier Natty Racing's 5.712/249.16 and #16 Kalianys Racing's 6.572/224.92. Of these 16 cars no less than ten are powered by Toyota 2JZ derivative engines, displacing a mere 3 litres or so.
We mentioned another record in Friday's update with Carlos Olivo running a new four cylinder record of 5.862/243.46 with a Honda K20 based engine. Another incredible number is the 6.226/221.82 out of a Mazda 13B rotary engine by the El Jefe de tu jefe Fuentes team. And in the street based classes, the 6.826/213.70 by Jonathan Atkins in the Stick Shift class demonstrates some lightning gear shifts.
You can see highlights of the Haltech World Cup Finals at the FloDragRacing Facebook page or shell out on a FloRacing subscription which enables you to view many independent drag racing events including Funny Car Chaos, outlaw Pro Modified and radial tyre, and sports compact events from the US.
Photo: Renegade v Modified entry of Jose Gonzalez, powered by 2JZ, qualified #6 with 6.190/223.80.
6th November: Happy Birthday for today to Walters Motorsport crew and team mum Julie Walters, Top Methanol Dragster racer Petteri Liimatainen and slo-mo videographer Steve Kelly. Have a wonderful day to all.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted video of the 1994 Santa Pod Season Opener on his Youtube channel at this link. The video, 55 minutes long, was made for the now-defunct Wire TV channel with commentary by the incomparable John Price.
McLean Racing season recap.
5th November: Thanks to John McLean Jnr for a 2022 season recap with his Suzuki GSX1700 Outlaw Comp Bike, looking forward to 2023:
After a successful weekend testing at the Euro Finals in 2021 which was our only outing of the year, we gathered some valuable data which we were previously missing in order to move forward. During the winter, I made a few minor changes to the bike to try and find a bit more mechanical power and give us a good baseline going into 2022 to try and run for that 7 second pass we had been trying to get for the GSX Nitrous Outlaw.
Unfortunately, we had to pull out of the first round at Festival of Power due to work commitments so that was any chance of running a full championship out the window. So our first round was the Springspeed Nationals. However, it became evident early on that whatever changes that were made in the winter had kind of worked, but now the bike was becoming so violent off the line, that it would wheely almost instantly, and after taking power back out over the course of the weekend, the best we could manage was a 8.25@162mph.
The next round was the Summer Nationals, however, before that, I had to repair all the bits that had been broken after all the wheelies. Going into the weekend, on the test day, Snr managed a solid 8.40 A-B pass at 160mph with no drama’s, however, come qualifying and eliminations, the wheely problem started all over again, then in Rnd1 eliminations, Snr miraculously took his first round win with a 8.70@140mph and a slipping clutch. The clutch was prepped for Rnd2 but unfortunately the bike wheelied violently again to almost 11 o’clock and lost out with a 8.63.
We collectively had a weekend between rounds to all sit around and really look into how the bike was now performing, and between myself, John Snr and Ady, we decided to make some chassis geometry and gearing changes before running the bike again. The health of the motor was still good so there was no issues there, but something was really not right with the chassis.
The double header Greenlight Nationals was a chance to work with the new changes and get some data off the chassis without playing too much with the power. The test day started good, running a couple of 8.3s, then qualifying with a 8.45, then into eliminations, Snr’s fortunes started to change, winning the first round with a 8.35, winning the semi finals with a 8.29, then then losing in his first final by 0.02 with a 8.23@161mph.
Day2 saw Snr qualify in his best position to date, taking 3rd with a 8.11 @ 164mph, but loose in the first round by 0.01 with a 8.09 @ 166.66 mph Last chance to dance, moving into the National Finals and on the test day we all decided that it was time to start getting some of the power back into the bike now we know the chassis is working as it should. 1st pass 8.14@167mph, 2nd pass 8.16@167mph, 3rd pass...7.96@171mph! Not only John Snr’s first 7, but the first non wheely bar GSX1400 in the 7s in the world. Celebration time!
Overnight we checked the bike over again, checked the motor was still good and put a setting in for Saturdays qualifying, in the 1st qualifier the bike, had an erratic bog off the line and then left, running a 9.2, 2nd qualifier, Snr runs another PB and his best qualifying position ever taking 2nd with a 7.84@171mph. Sundays eliminations come and Snr takes 1st round win with a 7.89@168 and the semi final win with a 7.92@167mph and unfortunately was robbed of potentially his first ever event win because of the curfew. However, hands down, our teams best weekends racing ever.
But wait…..there’s more. We then decided to do exhibition passes at the season finale Flame and Thunder, just to celebrate all our achievements this year. John Snr out the trailer runs a 7.97 @ 168mph followed by a 7.93 @ 169mph on his 2nd run making it the quickest bike and 2nd quickest piston powered vehicle on the premises that weekend.
We also decided to run crew man Ady’s new 8.50/ET bike Suzuki Bandit for a few shakedown passes, running a 10.2 and 10.0 respectfully on the motor, while nowhere near as quick as we know itll go, Ady hasn’t ridden a bike in over 6 years due to a previous spinal problem and has to learn his race craft all over again, but after only 6 passes on the bike, we are all very happy to see him back out racing.
A final note from myself, I am very proud of what has been achieved this year with the GSX1700 Outlaw, from an idea I had 10 years ago to starting to build the bike 7 years ago, building a completely new motor configuration that had not been done before, on a chassis configuration that has not been built before, to spending 3 years building a 1 of a kind bike, the bike was debuted in 2018 and hasn’t been the easiest of bikes to understand, damaging some parts, changing other parts, but the last 18 months has really been a turning point in the bikes development and id like to thank Dad (John Snr) for a stellar riding effort, and being persistent in wanting to see the bike perform as it should. And also to Ady who has stuck by us for many years doing his crew duties, of which we would realy struggle without him. There is a list of many people who id like to thank for the support over the years, but you all know who you are, and we are very grateful for the support.
So what does 2023 hold for us? Well, we plan on running the full Comp Bike season, we have already started making a list of changes needed this winter to be competitive next year, and run deeper into the 7’s, we will also have “Spud” out for his first season in Junior Dragbike, and possibly Ady may come out for a select few rounds if he feels up to it. We are also opening up sponsorship opportunities for anyone or any companies that would like to get on board and support us as a team, please get in contact via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/McLeanRacing or by emailing McLeanRacingUK@gmail.com if this is the case and we can cater a sponsorship package to your needs. Thank you finally for all the Santa Pod crew, the marshals, medics, etc who without them, we would not be able to race. See you all in 2023.
Jess going Pro ET.
5th November: Junior Dragster racer Jess Bishop is planning a move into Pro ET next year with the Scud Dragster currently run by Allan Schofield, but with a rich history to it.
Jess wrote: "Its time to say goodbye, being in juniors for the past two years has genuinely been the best two years of my life. I’ve made friends and memories I will never forget and had an absolute blast. The whole time I’ve done nothing but enjoy myself. I can’t put into words how genuinely happy i am with the experience I’ve had.
"I could go on for days about how thankful i am for every single person who has helped me and the team and we wouldn’t be able to have done what we did without others. From getting into finals to losing round one, I’ve always managed to have a good time doing what I love with the people I love and creating a family along the way.
"Thank you so much to my team Paul Bishop and Jordan Smith who have been there no matter what happened.
"I’m going to cut this short and save the tears, but good luck to every junior in the coming years and I won’t be far away at all, so you don’t need to miss me too much (I’ll be practically next door you can’t get rid of me that easily).
"Thank you to everyone and thank you to the car for being an absolute dream. Stay safe everyone, I’ll miss you all."
Crew member for the Scud Dragster Sharon Walters said "It's the end of an era, the Scud dragster is off to the next generation. She's been a fantastic car to us. For us it will be Rough Diamond next year unless Allan finds his next fast dragster."
The Scud dragster is a rebuilt version of the former Hemi Hunter II car which was run by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees the Stones, with Gerry Andrews driving, running a best of 6.59/207. Super Pro ET racer and fellow BDRHoF inductee Mark Flavell bought it in 1996 and did a major rebuild, changing and modifying a good part of the chassis, shortening it to 225" with a new cage. With it, Mark won the inaugural Super Comp championship in 1997 and after running a best of 7.39, sold it to Nick Good, subsequent owners being Paul Brown and Conrad Stanley/Trevor Graves. Thanks to Mark for providing information with the remark "I always said it would hook up on a gravel path!"
Custom Car's December issue.
5th November: The December 2022 issue of the sport's main mass circulation print magazine Custom Car arrived on your Editor's doormat the other day and we are pleased to report the quality of the publication under new owners Assignment Media Ltd has remained high after comments about paper quality were taken on board.
Drag racing coverage has increased with a ten page report on the FIA Euro Finals, penned as usual by Mike Pye with photographs from our own Julian Hunt. A welcome series brought over from the old ownership is the fascinating Auto Focus from Keith Lee, which in this edition focuses on British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees the Stones. The extensive CC archive has also given up a story on Chevy V8 engines for drag racing with a cover photo of the Stones' legendary Tee Rat injected Chevy engine. In addition there are also plenty of articles on the hot rod scene in the UK and Europe, with a definite nod to the title's rich history.
You can subscribe to Custom Car for £25 for 13 issues by direct debit, with a free inspection lamp, by going to www.assignmentmedia.co.uk/customcar. When the subscription renews a reduced charge of £42 applies. Or visit your local newsagent and pay the cover price of £4.99.
5th November: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike racer and current FIM-E ET record holder Filippos Papafilippou, Street Eliminator racer Tony Higgs, Super Street Bike racer Ross Morrison, Wild Bunch racer Danny Jones, FWD racer Connor Edwards and photographer Alice Fairhead. We hope you all have a great day.
Those who want to watch highlights of the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco but don't have access to the FloRacing.com streaming service can go to FloRacing's new FloDragRacing Facebook page. Included is the scary incident involving Bill Colson and David Farlow in X275 vs Hot Rod qualifying; fortunately both racers walked away.
Barriers broken at World Cup Finals.
4th November: Five second runs are the barrier breaking target for doorslammer racers over the world. But when a 5.8 at over 240mph is achieved by a four cylinder engined car, the world should sit up and take notice. In the first round of qualifying at the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco held at Maryland International Raceway, Joel Olivo "No War" K24 Honda ran a 5.86sec @ 243mph to become the quickest and fastest four cylinder car on the planet, running in the Renegade vs Modified.
The World Cup Finals is a unique event that has been in existence for 26 years. Organiser Jason Miller was interviewed by Drag Illustrated Magazine which you can read at this link. The bare facts are that almost 350 cars come to race heads-up over the quarter mile at MIR in classes that seek parity between domestic V8 based racers and import four, six cylinder and rotary combinations. Here is a list of the classes about which you can read more detail at this link:
Outlaw vs Extreme (Minimum ET 6.29 1/4 or 4.09 1/8)
Renegade vs Modified (Minimum ET 6.99 1/4 or 4.59 1/8)
X275 vs Hot Rod (Minimum ET 7.39 1/4 or 4.79 1/8)
Warriors vs Tres Cuarto (Minimum ET 7.39 1/4 or 4.79 1/8)
Street Fighter (Minimum ET 7.69 1/4 or 4.99 1/8)
Wild Street (Minimum ET 8.09 1/4 or 5.29 1/8)
Stick Shift (Minimum ET 8.09 1/4 or 5.29 1/8)
Super Street (Minimum ET 8.19 1/4)
Mean Street (Minimum ET 8.89 1/4)
All Motor (Minimum ET 9.99 1/4)
Pro Street Bike (Top 10 from XDA)
Growth in interest for the unique format has been enormous with the event sold out before the first day, and the international flavour is emphasised by 13 countries competing (but none from Europe...yet).
You can see event information at the website importvsdomestic.com and we will post a link to results as soon as they are available. In the meantime you can see footage of the Haltech World Cup Finals presented by Wiseco by going to FloRacing.com at this link (subscription required); coverage starts at 14:00 GMT today.
Photo credit: Faster Motorsports.
Burns' new bike.
4th November: Former 9.50 Bike racer Adam Burns is planning a big move up in classes and made a great start in testing his new MIB Racing Hayabusa at the weekend of the 2022 season at Santa Pod Raceway. Adam told us:
"The bike has been built to super street bike spec, running in E85 fuel as methanol wasn't legal when we started the build in 2019. It runs a Maxx ECU, Owen developments turbo with turbosmart blowoff and wastegate, a NLR air clutch, Hardcore swing arm. The engine has had some trick things done to it, including a custom made wiring harness made by BTC moto. All the exhaust system, plenum chamber/charge cooler and associated pipework was designed and fabricated by my dad Mike Burns and uncle Ian Burns.
"We have tried to make as much of it ourselves where possible. The plan for next year is to run the bike in competition bike so we can keep chipping away at the bringing he time down and giving me time to learn and get comfortable on the bike as I have never ridden anything like this before and is a big jump from 9.50 bike which I ran between 2017-2019. The bike will be coming completely apart over the winter to check everything over and get all the frame powder coated and the bodywork painted.
"We finally got the chance to test out the new bike at Santa Pod. We got 2 passes in due to the weather and I broke my PB twice with an 8.64 at 161mph at Flame & Thunder and then an 8.45 at 164mph at the Sunday RWYB. This has been a long project that we started back in 2019 and to finally get to take it down the track has been so rewarding and relieving (I think my dad watching was more nervous than I was riding it).
"I have so many people to thank for their help and guidance to get us to this point so I apologise if I have forgotten anyone but here I go. This biggest thanks has to go to my dad Mike Burns who without him this would never have happened, he has put so much effort into this build and kept pushing me along when I lost motivation with it. Also to my uncle Ian Burns who has put so many hours in on this bike to get it to where we are today. I honestly cannot thank them both enough.
"Next a huge thank you to Bradley O'Connor who was with us over the weekend. His knowledge and expertise were vital to what we achieved and we couldn't have done it without him. He has been a great help over the past few years supporting us and answering all my annoying questions.
"So many others have helped us in so many ways offering advice and experience to help us along the way. Mark Hope has been great with me over a long period with all the help and advice he has given us and answering all my questions. Dan De'ath has helped us along the way and very kindly sorted us out with some parts at the last minute so we could run this weekend. Jake Mechaell, who managed to sort us out with an replacement part on Saturday so we could run on Sunday and for all the advice he has given. Other shoutouts to Rick Stubbins for getting the frame short necked and helping us set the bike up on the dyno a couple of weeks ago.
"Garry Bowe, Alex Hope, Chris Hope, thanks for answering my questions when we were stuck during the build. They were a massive help. If I have forgotten anyone again I apologise. It's been such a long project I forget what where I am with it at times. It was such a rewarding weekend, we can really look forward to the 2023 season to really see what we can make this bike do."
4th November: Happy Birthday for today to British drag racing pioneer Bob Gleadow, former Super Twin Gas and Wild Bunch racer Martin Holgate, Comp Bike racer and 2022 Champions Chris Neary who reaches his half century and Fuel Altered racer Adam Clayton, also a belated Happy Birthday to former Top Fuel racer Liz Rowland (aka Liz Burn) whose special day it was yesterday. Have a great day all.
Kieran has posted video of the final 2022 Run What Ya Brung day on 30th October at Santa Pod Raceway to his Mk1 Kieran Youtube channel. He says "and just like that, the UK 2022 Drag Racing season is over! This is my footage from the final RWYB day of the year at Santa Pod Raceway which unfortunately ended a few hours earlier than planned due to rainfall but we still had a good couple of hours of racing beforehand." You can see Kieran's video by clicking here.
Eurodragster.com is again running its traditional Christmas Gift Mart early in order to dodge postal strikes and the usual last minute rush. If you have any products you would like to sell to Eurodragster.com readers, please forward details to email@example.com. Previous gift marts have included t-shirts, calendars, mugs, prints, DVDs and even parts for race cars. The publication date for the Christmas Gift Mart will be Monday 14th November.
After 33 years in Southern California Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products is consolidating its operations at its Indiana facilities and closing its corporate headquarters and West Coast production facility located in Corona, California. Lucas's primary production facility will remain in Corydon, Indiana. It will also be moving its wholly owned MAVTV streaming network from Corona, California to Indiana. Lucas joins several organisations in the motor and motorsports industries to move their corporate headquarters and various operations out of California in recent years. (Thanks to Tony Thacker for supplying details).
Samu's Sushi ride at Rockingham.
3rd November: Many thanks to Lotta & Pasi Uponen who have provided an account of fellow Finn and Super Twin racer Samu Kemppainen's recent trip to compete at the Jim McClure Memorial Nitro World Finals at Rockingham Dragway last weekend (part of the American Motorcycle Racing Association championship) on the blower nitro twin of Juha "Sushi" Hintukainen.
"Sushi, who lives in Sweden, is a well known character among two wheels nitroheads. He worked for example with Tak Shigematsu and Donald "DJ" Johnson etc. Sushi has two Super Twin Top Fuel Bikes, a naturally aspirated bike here in Europe and a blower bike in the US.
"Samu raced on Sushi's blower bike at Rockingham. The bike, which Sushi built, has a 168 cid PRP engine and Lenco CS2 transmission. After reaching Florida mid October, Samu first tested the bike in Orlando last Thursday 27th October. In the first run he had a very soft set up and he ran an ET of 7.34s. But unfortunately the cylinder head gasket broke and they needed spare parts.
"Sushi had arranged for spare parts to be delivered from Sweden to the US a few weeks previous, but the courier company lost these parts. So the team didn't have the correct parts. As a result the team had to make many changes to the bike before the Rockingham race, putting different kinds of heads, pistons and cylinders on the engine to enable it to run again. It was a shame because the bike had felt good on the first test run. Worse, the team hadn't any useful data for Rockingham.
"At Rockingham, qualifying was really only testing. The team tried to find a decent set-up, but Samu was in last position after qualifying. In the first elimination round he was against #1 qualifier Randal Andras who had run 6.343/215.72. In the matchup against Randal, Samu's clutch was far too soft and the start was lazy. Then the power came on and his tyre started to smoke. Samu said that he saw how quick Andras was and that's why he came off the throttle, he didn't want to break Sushi's engine. Randal won the race with a 6.313 to Samu's 8.424 and Samu was out.
"Luckily, Samu and his Skull Racing Team got permission to test after the nitro finals. The bike was ok, so of course they wanted to test. The test run was excellent, the clutch set up was still too soft and the start was very lazy, but then it started to happen. The supercharger made a lot of boost down track and the bike went absolutely great in the second half of the track, Samu getting a time of 6.816 at an awesome 248.43 mph. Samu, and Sushi's bike, are back in business!
"Samu said "This was the first full run with a new smaller engine, the old engine was 182 cid but due to new rules it's now only 168 cid. Now Sushi has got a lot of important data for set ups. When the bike started to push it pushed very hard. It will be a very quick bike when Sushi finds a good clutch set up." Of course the result of the race was a little disappointing but in the end Samu thanked the organizer for the race and opportunity to teat. Everything went well, the race itself was great and all the Finnish guys enjoyed being in Rockingham. It was an absolutely great trip and everyone had fun!"
Photo credits: Mikko Haapalainen
'Rents go Racing's new bike.
3rd November: In our write up of the October Saturday Night Special, we mentioned Anna Saskiak of the 'Rents go Racing ET Bike team who, with husband Kyle Rushby crewing, made three test runs on their new Hayabusa. A couple of runs later at Flame & Thunder, the new bike had run a PB for Anna and got into the 9.0s. Kyle wrote:
"Ending the year on a high! We achieved our goals in ET Bike class, mid table and not last! The Rider learned to be a proper racer and we had a blast with our racing family ET Bike UK. Testing the new bike has been a great learning experience, going from 10.4 to a 9.032 at 159.61mph within five runs. It is so easy to ride and lots more power to come. We are looking forward to 2023. Huge thanks to Bradley O'Connor at BTC Moto for the electronic wizardry, help and support and Jake Mechaell at JKE Race Works for building the engine and his clutch magician skills. Also to Sean Mills Big CC Racing for building the turbo and Stuart Crane and Michael Piggott at Warpspeed Raceteam for their dyno work.
"The time has come to sell our old race bike, a proven 9.3s bike with more to come. We will be swapping off front fairings for bare panels and will swap out our Spondon arm for a steel unit, unless the buyer agrees a price to retain it. It's an ideal starter ET Bike or 9.50 bike. If interested get in touch, looking for £7k with steel arm."
You can see pictures of the for-sale bike and keep up with the team at their Facebook page.
Engagement wishes for Holley and Dan.
3rd November: Big congratulations and very best wishes to Sportsman ET racer Holley Walters and Pro ET racer Dan Holloway who have got engaged in Yosemite National Park, California during a trip to see racing at Bakersfield and Las Vegas as well as the Grand Canyon and other romantic tourist destinations.
Site sponsor, brother and future brother-in-law Pete Walters who is part of the family tour sent the above photos depicting Holley and Dan on the Santa Pod rostrum and with engagement ring in Yosemite National Park.
SCTA and El Mirage dates for 2023.
3rd November: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell who has forwarded us the dates of the land speed calendar from the Southern California Timing Association:
Speedweek - 5th-11th August
World Finals - 30th Sept - 3rd October
Some of these dates are close to, or the same, weekend as other racing events giving visitors the opportunity to see different races in a (relatively) short period.
Photo of Geoff's 7707 at El Mirage in May from Jay Black.
3rd November: Happy Birthday for today to Super Gas wife and former SCR clerk of the course Tina Moore, Pro ET and Super Gas racer Bob Molden, Junior Dragster racer Kai Cooper and National Street Car Challenge and Outlaw Street racer Ian Walley. We hope that each of you has a wonderful day.
In the US, the 26th annual Haltech World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic presented by Wiseco will take place at Maryland International Raceway starting today, from 3rd-6th November, 2022. Coverage on FloRacing.com at this link (subscription required) starts at 19:00 GMT today.
Funny Cars and Halloween at NHRA Nevada Nationals.
2nd November: The NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a unique atmosphere. In recent years, many teams have dressed in Halloween costume's for Saturday's qualifying and eliminations. Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer who supplied a gallery of photos of Halloween happenings and Funny Cars both Big Show and Nostalgia at the event. You can see Andy's photos, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link, or via news, then features from the main menu which brings up a list of all features published on Eurodragster.com since 1998.
This year, the event had ten additional nitro vehicles in the form of the inaugural Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series, presented by Red Line Oil, with Bill Windham the mastermind behind it.
The participants for the Legends Nostalgia Funny Car event made the tow from Bakersfield, where they had been competing in the NHRA Heritage Series at the California Hot Rod Reunion the previous weekend to The Strip where they adapted superbly to the conditions - and the 1000ft racing distance they were racing to. Here is a summary of qualifying and eliminations:
Billy Morris 4.764/236.71 def. Tim Boychuk 4.819/233.72
Geoff Monise 4.859/235.60 def. Jeff Gregory 5.120/217.28
Bobby Cottrell 4.742/240.00 def. Cory McClenathan 4.891/226.77
Kris Krabill 4.805/229.51 def. Ryan Hodgson 4.891/233.36
Billy Morris 4.733/235.06 def. Geoff Monise 4.799/237.21
Bobby Cottrell 4.744/236.46 def. Kris Krabill 7.989/91.49
Bobby Cottrell 4.742/238.55 def. Billy Morris 10.099/62.60 DQ red
Winner Bobby Cottrell (pictured top) races for Bucky Austin and has won the NHRA Heritage Series Championship for the fifth year in a row. In round 1, Bobby faced and defeated NHRA legend Cory McClenathan who won 34 Top Fuel races and turned to Nostalgia Funny Cars this year after announcing his retirement in 2019. Cory's crew chief with his Mac Attack Firebird (pictured bottom) owned by Rick Akers is Glen Mikres, who crewed for some FIA teams in Europe a few years ago.
The Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series was seen as a success and Bill Windham and colleagues are in discussion with the NHRA about a series of 8 to 10 races which will be a fantastic addition to NHRA National Events as well as continuing in the NHRA Heritage Series.
Dakota Raceway 2023 dates.
2nd November: Promoter Lee Child has announced the following 2023 drag racing and drifting dates at Dakota Raceway based at Smeatharpe Airfield in Devon:
Winners and quickest runners in 2022 were:
2022 1/8 mile heads up drag race champion: Kevin Headon (1966 Pontiac Le Mans), runner up Pete Lane (Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon), 3rd place Paul Leworthy (1968 Pontiac Catalina Station Wagon) and Nathan Lang (Nissan GTR)
Quickest street legal time and speed: Simon Cooksey (Nissan GTR Evotune) 9.353/157.09
Runner up quickest street legal time and speed: Corey England (Lamborghini) 9.722/147.88
No Time To Lose.
2nd November: New UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Micky Churchill says his 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee, the sole third generation Charger in the class, has been completed and now has a suitable name, No Time To Lose. Watch out for NSS93.
"My Charger is pretty much finished over at the Billadeau Speed Shop, she is being kept safe out the weather for winter so she is ready for race season. I am really grateful for all the help and hard work from Dave Billadeau, Chris Goodale, and Tim Holmes, you guys are the kings of metal and after a year it has all come together to help this phoenix rise from the rust and ashes. She is back to her former glory with even more muscle than before!
"The specs are: 493ci big block V8 440 stroker, 850 double pumper 4 barrel carb, 727 Torqueflite auto gearbox with manual valve body and Cheetah race shifter, Dana 60 4:10 gears, heavy duty drive shaft and loop. Roll cage, body reinforcement and safety harness, full drag race setup suspension, fuel system, and ignition. Kick ass paintjob.
"No power steering, no power brakes, no driving assists, no problem."
2nd November: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Car team member and occasional dragster racer Tyler Ashdown, also to Super Street Bike racer Erik Jennes. We hope you have a great day guys.
Contrary to rumours circulating during the summer months, NHRA have secured a ten year extension, to 2033, of their tenure to hold events at the Pomona Fairplex in California, which has acquired title sponsorship from In-N-Out Burger. Whilst the 2023 NHRA season will commence with the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Pomona will host the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Presented By ProtectTheHarvest.com on 30th March-2nd April, so fans from Europe will have a chance to see West Coast action before returning for the start of the season in Europe.