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Smax feels the heat in Florida.
27th March: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith has been in touch with a report of his weekend at the NHRA Gatornationals, where he was again driving the Leverich family's car:

After one of our best seasons ever Gary Leverich and I reflected on what we had achieved in 2016. We had attended only six NHRA races but qualified and ended up twenty second of thirty eight teams! We ran our first four-second quarter-mile pass at 4.9, got to the finals at the Mopar Nationals at Grand Bend, then won the Canadian Nitro Nationals at Toronto Motorsport Park and ran my Personal Best of 4.84 with the blower belt coming off before 1200 feet - it would have been a 4.79/310. Not to mention meeting some of the best names in drag racing!

With that in mind we now want to run our first three-second 300 mph thousand-foot pass so, confident we could achieve that, Gary made the call to go to the Gators in Florida. Unfortunately my boy Aidan couldn't come as he had other plans that weekend, which was a bummer, but Gary has friends in Florida who help him a lot. Mark Jones, Eric and Richard were to meet us there while Jacob (bottom end), Dan (cylinder head) and I drove to Detroit to catch a flight to Orlando on Thursday night. Gary and Bob Leverich drove the truck and trailer the twenty two hours but before setting off on Wednesday night found a flat tyre but everywhere was closed. Gary put a plug in but the truck tyre was too thick so he drove onto the spike and successfully penetrated the tyre so he could set off. Needs must! We arrived at midnight then got a rental car and drove to the motel, finally getting to meet up with Lee Webb of the Shockwave team, who flew over to help us, at 2:30 am - he was waiting with a beer! We set the alarm for 5:30 am as we had a  long drive to the track and there was a mandatory meeting for drivers and owners at NHRA Hospitality at 9:00! We made it just on time only having had a fast food brekky, Jake and Dan had hit Denny's at 2:30 am so that they could survive. The meeting was really positive that since Fox Sports 1 and 2 had taken over the TV the viewership had increased over 300% and sponsorship now looking a lot tastier now!

Gary and Bob had arrived the night before and got the car all tecched so we planned to do Q1. But then NHRA came over and complained that our Butler head restraint had been tampered with so had to miss Q1 and go see Alan at Simpson to do a repair- thanx to Aaron from Hans who darted around to find SFI material. NHRA also said to retag our mags so we had big thrash and were ready for Q2. We had some concerns over oil pressure but still decided to go out qualify.

We put English Lee out in front as my boy Ronan didn't attend either. I did a short burnout and backed up, then after stopping a chute fell out so I had to shut off. Bummer! We went back and Mark Fedexed two new cables from California whilst I went to see my hero Scott Palmer who gave us two chutes as he had just got a sponsor deal for two new chutes on his car, he also gave us one bag! We got everything ready and hit the Texas Steakhouse but there was a long wait so went to Denny's for food then next with Lee to an Irish pub for green beer and St Paddy's Day!

Had to get up early again to get the car ready for Q3 as we were the only car not qualified. Fast food brekky and jumped back on the car. Fired up but no oil pressure! Long story short, Gary discovered the system one filter screen was plugged even though clean, so left it out and got all the pressure back... phew! With chutes fixed and oil pressure figured this was our chance for that three-second pass. Racing against Shawn Reed I did a nice burnout, staged nice and left first but 250 feet out it went bang and shut off. As I had no radios or mirrors I didn't know that I had had a huge fireball so I just trickled over the finish line at 23 mph in fifteen seconds to make sure that we were qualified. I sat in the car until the Safety Safari put the fire out.

Back in the pits it was another story. The brand new rod #1 rod had disintegrated and exited the block. We lost five points for the oildown. So a huge CSI to find out what happened, as the piston, pin and rod bearing were OK and the data didn't show a misfire we were thinking rod failure but we were not sure. We asked Todd O'Hara of Schumacher's team to look and he felt that we had an ignition malfunction causing a hydraulic and catastrophic rod failure. We pulled the whole ignition off the car and Aaron Grant came over with Audrey to help so he went through our ignition. Todd kindly offered to take all our stuff back and check through it for free! MSD had just checked the mags and Scott Palmer gave us two coils, Aaron checked the boxes and harnesses and rewired whilst I looked at our dated kill switch. Many thought that could have been an issue although we replaced our mag clamps with billet off Scott Palmer's team. We put our spare short block in and thrashed to the wee hours, although I sneaked over to Larry Dixon's pit to meet his amazing family and have a little food. I didn't see much qualifying but said Hi to our man Jonnie Lindberg. We got back to the hotel at around 2:00 am, a quick beer at the Irish pub then a hot bath and set the alarm for 5:30 am!

The first round was scheduled for 11:00 am and I had number one qualifier Tony Schumacher. There was only 305 mph difference between #1 and #16! We got all done and fired up, scared the crap out of the fans with Gary's huge nitro whacks and got a standing ovation. We got such a warm welcome and lots of fans wishing us on. I went down to the driver introduction with Audrey and connected with a lot of drivers as well as getting asked for autographs from fans who thought I was Sammy Hagar! We got the call and towed down. Did my burnout then disaster! The brakes were failing so I shot past Lee and rolled to a stop, got in reverse and not wanting to use up what was left I backed up real slow so I wouldn't risk backing into anyone. All was OK even though everyone including the TV announcer was wondering why but I had to keep my cool as no radios. I then went to pre-stage the car but it rolled through into deep stage. I waited for Tony to pre-stage then highsided but on the yellows I redlit. I went to 300 feet and the car shook so I lifted and rolled to a stop. There was brake fluid on the track which counted as oildown #2 and on race day you lose five points and pay a fine of $2000.

I was bit disappointed. I went to Tony Schumacher's pit to apologise and explain what had happened but he was cool. We then went to service the car for Audrey to do licencing runs on Monday but disaster again - we had spun bearings, not sure why, so couldn't risk the line bore. We packed up and headed to the Texas Steakhouse for drinks and food... I think I was the only vegetarian in the place! Friend Les and Gary and his granddaughter had driven their RV from Canada so we shot over and picked them up too. Saw Jonnie, Johan and Karsten in there then I was going to party with Palmer's gang back at the track but found out that he was at a racers' bar so we turned around and joined him. Over the course of the weekend it was great to see Liam Jones and Gary Page as well as Monique and Roel Koedam, Stig Neegaard and his missus and Andy Wilsheer. On Sunday night Gary was with Tommy Johnson Jr at the same bar, a great night then back to the track to party in Les' RV then finally back to motel around 3:00 am, one last beer in the Irish pub with Jake and Lee. Lee was a great help all weekend and helped Jake on the bottom end while Mark Jones helped Gary, Eric worked on the clutch, and Richard ran around doing everything and proved his worth. It was a shame that Aidan wasn't there though.

As Audrey was not running and our flight home wasn't until 6:30 pm we went back to the track to watch testing. Watched and chatted to Anthony from Gas Monkey and Ulf Leanders as well as watching Nitro Funny Cars testing. The big highlight was Nico from Iron Maiden who was with the Tequila team, I got to chat to him and Maiden are touring so he invited our crew to the show in New Jersey when we are at Englishtown. Gary is a huge Maiden fan and has offered to wrap our car to promote their tour so see we'll see how that pans out, but it's positive!

We'll hopefully get all our damage sorted and head to Charlotte for the Four Wide at the end of April. I will race and we will test with Audrey on the Monday. Hopefully all of the minor dramas of last weekend are behind us and the crew will be dialled in to the car and back on the mission for that three-second pass. Big thanks to Gary and Bob and all the crew for their really hard work all weekend.


Swift snippets.
27th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

We were very pleased to hear that Germany's Werner Habermann Racing will be fielding both Timo's and Dennis' Top Methanol Dragsters on the full FIA European Championship Tour this season. Stay tuned for more.

EDRS Comp Eliminator Champion and full-time genius PerErik Lindgren will be swapping his dragster for a Doorslammer this season. Courtesy of our good friend Lena Perés you can read all about it on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Your News Editor stopped by Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday to plan the installation of the webcam PC into the track's reconfigured network (Thanks to Julian Parsons for his time - Ed) and whilst there he photographed trackside for an hour or so. You can check out our small Run What You Brung gallery, which is presented in association with John Woolfe Racing, by clicking here.


UK event entry update.
25th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 7 (aka "Final-ish") of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 14th-16th April. You can check out the entry list on our
John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power Event Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-fee Festival of Power entry closed yesterday (Friday); entry may still be accepted but if so then may be subject to a Late Entry penalty.

Next Friday, 31st March, is the closing date for standard-fee entry to Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 21st-23rd April (racing 22nd-23rd); you can download the official entry forms via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Festival of Power or Big Bang entry then you can contact Ian Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

Official entry forms for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 29th April-1st May, are available to download from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.


Malta's own Mister Six.
25th March: We were very pleased to hear that Simon Giordmaina's Super Street Bike, ridden by Franklyn Borg, blasted into the sixes at Malta's Hal Far Raceway last weekend. With Shawn Buttigieg also on the facility at Round 1 of the Malta Drag Racing Association Championship the race was on to the first six, as Gabriel Briffa writes: Simon, Franklyn and the team made changes to the turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa to continue where they left off in 2016, when they set a National Super Street Bike ET Record of 7.091 seconds. It all started on Friday with back-to-back test passes of 7.24 and 7.14, going past the 200 mph mark for the first time at 200.40 and 201.4.

Meanwhile Shawn Buttigieg took over the National Record with a 7.08 pass, backed up later with a 7.07, meaning that Simon's team needed to step up their game. During Saturday qualifying everything showed that the air and track conditions were better than last November as the bike went 7.11 with a Personal Best speed of 206 mph straight off the trailer and all the incrementals showing that a six-second pass was not an impossible dream any more. Later on the team backed it up with a 7.083 at an astonishing 208.40, which made them believe that it could really happen.

After a lot of data analysis from Simon doing his magic on the MoTeC and AMS2000, and discussion with Franklyn between passes about changes in the tune-up trying to make the combination work between all of the components, the bike was ready for eliminations. The air and track conditions were ideal. The team had two set-ups ready and decided at the last minute not to go for the aggressive set-up. The bike left the line, stayed on the ground and ran a 1.23 at sixty feet, then a 4.64 eighth mile showed up on the scoreboard. We thought "This could be it". The win light went on and all the hard work paid off, 6.993 at 208.95.

It was once a dream, but not any more. Not only a National Record in its class but Simon's bike was the first Super Street Bike to run in the sevens in Malta and now the first SSB to run in the sixes, and it also puts the bike third in Europe of the active registered bikes under FIM Europe SSB rules.

It could not have been a better weekend for us after the non-stop hard work since last November: coming back and qualifying first in both SSB and Open and winning both finals. Simon, Franklyn and the whole team would like to take this opportunity to thank firstly Rodney Williford for helping and consistently pointing us in the right direction, MTC Engineering for the amazing clutch, and NLR for power control and more. A special Thank You goes from Simon to Franklyn for doing a great job riding the bike and for also helping out, to Leli for all the help, to Gabriel for the support and now Press and Media Relations, and to George for finding the time for hard work at the workshop. Special big thanks go to all the people who have always supported us and continue to do so, again the feedback from you on the stands was something special: you can never explain how happy it makes you when you see the stands cheering at what you just achieved so thank you all again. We have to say a big Well Done and Thank You to the MDRA for putting on such a great event and giving us a track which can handle what we throw at it. Thanks to our parents who support and care for us: Charles and Carmen, and Marcell and Doris. Last but not least Simon and Franklyn want to thank their wives and children for the full support they always give, even when it sometimes means less time with them. We love you and we thank you for being there backing us up all the time.

There were more National Records at Hal Far last weekend including Duncan Micallef's 4.03/303 Top Fuel Dragster record and courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings you can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.


Top Fuel Dragster SFI spec updated.
23rd March: Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Crew has been in touch to remind Top Fuel Dragster racers that an SFI chassis revision, to Spec 2.3P, was issued on 17th March.

"This means that any existing certification is no longer valid", says Geoff. "Obviously if a car is planning to compete at the FIA Main Event then it will require this revision and a recert. If anyone requires details I can forward them, please contact me at
ukchassis2@btinternet.com."

SCR open gates for 2017.
22nd March: It's the first Test and Tune Public Track Weekend of the season at Warwickshire's
Shakespeare County Raceway, Shakedown @ S-Town. Jerry Cookson writes:


With many taking full advantage of the weekend the track will host its first in a series of the popular Bracket Gamblers races open to all doorslammers and street legal cars as entrants roll the dice and hopefully they'll win some money in return! Details can be found on the ET Bracket Race Facebook page.


The weekend also features the first 2017 outing for Roger Goring's popular Firestorm Jet Funny Car as the test and development work continues before the team launch into a full programme of appearances in the UK and Europe.

The track will be open from 10.00 am each day and caters for all competitions cars, bikes and street legal machines which are all welcome to come to test those winter modifications or just shake those winter blues out of their systems!

General admission is £12 per person each day or £22 for a weekend pass, track fee is £25 each day or £40 for a weekend of unlimited runs. Helmets are required along with a full driving licence. Overnight camping is available on the purchase of a weekend ticket. Kenny's Bar will also be open on Saturday night. So for a great weekend of fun on the drag strip make it Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend! You can find out more at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.


Swift snippets.
22nd March: Kerryanne van den Berg writes that 2016 Most Professional Appearing Team winners Shark Attack Drag Racing will be fielding no less than five racers this season and that it will be a family affair: her daughter Bobby Frazier (below) in Comp Bike, daughter Meggie Talbot in Junior Drag Bike, husband Rene van den Berg in Top Fuel Bike, nephew Tonny van den Berg also in Comp Bike, and nephew Louis Davies in ET Bike.


Complementing yesterday's report of the SFI Tour's UK stop, our good friend Lena Perés writes about the new generation of SFI inspectors attending the Swedish stop. You check it out on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Michael Dowdy has been in touch to ask us to wish a big Happy 12th Birthday to his son, UK Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy. Our pleasure, have a very Happy Birthday Matthew. "Matthew is looking forward to getting the dragster back from Hauser Race Cars where the engine has been refreshed and the harness straps updated", says Michael. "A big Thank You to Gary Lockyer of Wootton Tyre & Exhaust for his continuing support."


How to join in the Havoc.
22nd March: The next stop on the Havoc Fuel Altered's US Tour will be the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, Kentucky on 15th-17th June and Geof Stilwell of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsor Beech Underwriting writes that you too can be there at an affordable price:

It's one of the biggest events of the year, with a huge car show and you are near the Corvette museum so it's a great few days.

Nashville is the nearest main airport and Bobby at Dial-a-Flight  (01732 593050) has loads of flight or fly-drive deals for those who want to support the team. If you are going then make sure you get your hotel booked as lodgings near the track are limited.

The March Meet was well attended by us Brits, so please come and support our boys.


SFI Tour hits Santa Pod.
21st March: The fourth and final leg of the 2017 European SFI Recertification Tour took place at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday (Monday). Simon went along to talk to the inspection team and racers attending:

SFI Foundation President Arnie Kuhns said that this would be his final tour and we wish him well for the future. Since becoming president of SFI Foundation in 1984, Arnie has seen it grow to encompass around one hundred member sanctioning bodies and well over three hundred individual equipment manufacturers who participate in more than eighty five specification programmes.

Arnie said "I have been involved in the SFI European Tour for more than twenty years since before the FIA Championship began and around ten years before that. The overall attitude has become more and more professional. The sanctioning bodies know what they're doing and racers are highly co-operative."

Since the passing of the much-missed Tim Hyatt in December 2015, Arnie has had his eye towards succession on the tour. This time, the place of Murf McKinney on the SFI European Tour was taken by L-G Eriksson, now running ME Racing Services in Börlange, Sweden. Luke Robinson has succeeded Tim Hyatt as clutch specialist, and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson continues to inspect clutch cans and flexplates. The administration is handled by full-time SFI employee Jennifer Faye who commented that, whilst numbers seem to be down in all countries on the tour, there are increasing numbers of automatic transmissions in many classes.

In association with Lucas Oil Products we are pleased to present a gallery of the day which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Whilst photographing the SFI Day for our Feature we also garnered a few Pit Notes which are presented below in the order in which we spoke to the racers:

Dave Milam of the She Devil Top Methanol Funny Car team, with driver Steph, said "Our new ex-Dan Larsen Stratus was ready at the European Finals and then the class was cancelled a week before the event. We can't see any improvement in class numbers for this year so the car is now for sale as a rolling chassis. We will be running the previous car as an altered at Dragstalgia with a modified front wing to help the drivability, and plan to extend our European record of 6.18 further."

Karl Harrison of the NUA RKS Top Methanol Dragster team is busy with Rod Harrison's car and completing the Beetle Nostalgia Funny Car due out later in the year. He said "There was very little damage last year apart from our torque converter at Hockenheim and so work has been mainly freshening. For the dragster, we will be doing the same schedule as last year: Festival of Power, Main Event, Hockenheim and European Finals. Andy's Beetle is due for a mid-season début and I will be getting involved with Simon Barlow's team later in the year as well."

Ashley Bell will be back in his familiar Super Pro ET AC Cobra with a new black paint scheme, after taking most of the last three years off, with a sole appearance at the Mopars last year. His first event this year will be in Super Pro ET at the FIA Main Event.

Jon Best will be making his return to the track in a '78 Corvette-bodied Nostalgia Funny Car. "It's the old Chaos Fuel Altered chassis which we had altered with the cage reduced in height by around eight to ten inches for a lay-down driving position and a wheelbase of 125 inches. The body is a brand-new Lowlife Customs fibreglass item from former Motorsports announcer Army Armstrong. The engine is an aluminium Big Block Chevy with Arias heads. We will be joined by US Nostalgia Top Fuel racer Brendan Murry at Dragstalgia, as our engine set-up is identical to Brendan's with the exception of a twenty one-gallon fuel pump on the Funny Car as opposed to twenty-gallon in Nostalgia Top Fuel."

Super Mod racer Peter Thompson will be making a return to racing in his '68 Chevelle after a break in driving of four years. The car crashed in 2011 and Peter had it rebuilt and out in 2012, after which he had "A year out that became four years". This time he will be racing his nitrous Powerglide machine in Competition Eliminator.

Former JDS Street racer James Willday had a low nine second RX7, last seen in 2012, but has now built a RX8 for JDS Pro and Super Pro ET or Competition Eliminator. He said "I will be out in June or July. Hauser Racing fabricated the chassis and I have been working with Stuart at Hausers on assembling the body, and the wiring which I will need to be familiar when I run the car. The engine revs to around 14,000 rpm and getting the tuning right is really important as they don't handle detonation well. My sights are on running a six eventually, and the world record for a rotary car is now in the mid-sixes."

Rob Elsom will be making his initial passes in his Dirty Deeds Firebird Nostalgia Funny Car at the Festival of Power after a two year build.


Swift snippets.
21st March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us updated entry lists for the Festival of Power (Version 4) and Big Bang (Version 3). You can check out either entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can download the official entry forms via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. Standard-fee Festival of Power entry closes this Thursday (24th).

Mummy Stone remembered.
21st March: Lesley Wright hears that she was so sad to hear that Mummy Stone had passed away:

I have such fond memories of her, always smiling and laughing, it was a joy to be in her company. Whether at Santa Pod, at the Brighton show or on race trips abroad to Sweden, Italy and Switzerland you could always count on Mummy Stone – to go shopping! After making sure her 'Den', Dave, Gerry and Andrew had everything they needed for the day, she was off. Independent and resourceful she enjoyed the bits of drag racing which she wanted to and then pleased herself with her time. Always up for a cup of tea and a gossip in anyone’s caravan or trailer, a breath of fresh air whenever you saw her. Mary was an inspiration in that whether at home or abroad, she would hop on a bus and take herself off on her own little adventure for the day. Always back for dinner with entertaining tales of where she had ended up and who she had spoken to. In doing this she allowed the boys the freedom to enjoy themselves too and concentrate on the racing.

She taught us girls how to survive the mistress that is drag racing, always remembered and celebrated birthdays in some small way, and made everyone feel special.

I am so grateful that Mummy Stone has been a big part in my life. My sincerest condolences to all the family.


UK Championship class sponsors.
19th March: Following negotiations between Santa Pod Racers Club and sponsors for the title rights to race classes, SPRC are pleased to announce that  
Modurstang and Gearhead Garage UK are now the title sponsors for Pro ET and Super Pro ET respectively. Modurstang and Gearhead Garage UK join long-standing Junior Dragster class sponsor Lucas Oil UK. Ian Marshall writes:

SPRC would like to welcome both companies on board and thank them for their sponsorship commitment throughout the 2017 season.

Modurstang is a highly regarded UK-based Ford Mustang performance upgrade specialist. Conducting business in Chipping Norton, Mike Lacey and his team are waiting to help prospective customers to take Mustangs from show room stock wherever their dreams want to take them. Modurstang can be contacted on 01608 678818 or via their web site at www.modurstang.co.uk.

Mick Pusey's Gearhead Garage UK are well-known for supplying American vehicles to suit customers' requirements and parts to improve existing vehicles. They can even supply bespoke garages in which to keep your pride and joy safe, warm and dry, Gearhead Garage UK can be reached on on 01335 372119 or 07973 740076, by E-Mail at info@gearhead-garage.co.uk, or via their web site at www.gearhead-garage.co.uk or of course on the right-hand side of Eurodragster.com News.

Please consider all of your sponsors, especially when looking to buy goods and services, and hopefully these good people will continue to come back and help our racers where they can.


Swift snippets.
19th March: Brian Taylor has been in touch with a tribute to Mary (Mummy) Stone who died on Wednesday. "Sad news about Mary", he says. "She was a lovely lady with no side to her at all. I have many happy memories of her and my sympathies are with the family. Drag racing has much for which to thank Mary and the Stone family."

Glen Read writes with his deepest and sincere sympathies to Dave, Vicky and all members of the Stone family. "The Reads and the Stones were strong competitors on the track but even stronger friends off the track", he says. "We travelled so many thousands of kilometers together during the 1970s and 1980s. Our overseas jaunts usually started at Review Rd where we were all welcomed, fed and watered and more. Mary was like a mum to our team also. I know that Jim used to spend weekends off-season with Dennis and Mary. He came back always heavier and happier. RIP Mummy Stone."

"So sorry to hear this sad news", says Stu Bradbury. "I have fond memories of Mary and Dennis, in fact all the Stones family. Great pioneers of drag racing. Their contributions are one of the reasons the sport exists today! Condolences to family and friends."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Package on its way, delivery address Santa Pod Raceway, 1320 Airfield Boulevard, Northampton". Probably not one necessitating a rocket scientist but if you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

No news update yesterday for which apologies (Your News Editor successfully applied for an aegrotat - Ed) so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to our good buddy Barry Bohannon. Hope you had a good birthday Barry, similarly we hope that Darren West of Eurodragster.com sponsor Power Race Graphics had a great birthday yesterday. On to today and big Happy Birthdays to Mick Pusey of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gearhead Garage UK, and to Nigel Payne. Have a great day both.

Father and daughter Dag and Kathrine Wagenius have been flying the flag for drag racing at the recent MC-Messen, where they also revealed their plans for the 2017 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship. You can take a look on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Staying with the 2017 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship, Kristin Hegre will be following in son Jan-Sturla's footpegs by contesting Supertwin Motorcycle in this year's Series. Again you can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Eurodragster.com sponsor MPM Oil has introduced MB9 Automatic Transmission Oil, a premium synthetic automatic transmission oil especially developed for the latest-generation nine-speed automatic transmission from Mercedes-Benz for which the MB-approval 236.17 is recommended. You can find out more (PDF format) by clicking here.


Fifty years of Nitro Thunder.
19th March: Celebrating fifty years of Santa Pod Raceway and thereby fifty years of Fuel racing, longtime journalist Mike Collins has compiled an in-depth feature especially for Eurodragster.com readers.

Mike's piece runs to thirty two pages, covering both the 2016 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship season and the history of Fuel racing at Santa Pod Raceway since its opening day.

You can check out Mike's article, which comes in PDF format, by clicking here or by clicking on the picture at right.


PMR's double date.
19th March: Paul Marston Racing are pleased to announce that Paul's name will shortly appear in Super Gas and Super Street on the official entry list for April's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway:

I will be driving at the opener with entries from the stable appearing in various classes as the season pans out including the inaugural No Prep Doorslammer Nationals at North Weald Dragstrip on 2nd July and in UK Top Sportsman at the Mopar EuroNationals on 28th-30th July as well as other UK Championship dates. Super Gas is where I cut my teeth, competing against what were then the very best Doorslammer drivers, and where I won first my National event, so in some ways it's like coming home. With all the effort that Jon Giles has put into securing such a great sponsor, Super Gas needs racers to show their appreciation which is why I will be competing in the class this season. Just as it was before, the class is chock-full of some very tough racers and teams. To win in Super Gas you most certainly have to earn it. Sure the money helps, but I am excited about the new challenge of running a Pro tree again. Plus it's an even field: no dragsters, just Doorslammers and the occasional roadster.

I will also be supporting Super Street. It's a great class, and as I played my part in getting SPRC to agree to the-double header at the two FIA events with the blessing of Santa Pod Raceway I thought it only fair that I run that class too.

PMR will be fielding the 100% Whoopass Chevy Monza to kick the season off, but don't be surprised to see a change of race car as the season progresses with the début of a purpose built Super Class doorslammer.

Regrettably PMR have lost some of their Super Crew over the off-season, but the Brains Trust stays intact and there will be some new additions as the season progresses. At present all the crew are hard at it prepping everything to be 100% ready for the 2017 season, all that behind-the-scenes work which makes the team tick, and so long as the weather plays ball we will be ready. Please stop by and say hello at Easter.


Mary (Mummy) Stone.
16th March: We were very sorry to hear from Vickie Stone of the death yesterday (Wednesday) of Mary 'Mummy' Stone, wife of Dennis Stone and matriarch of of the UK's legendary Stones Drag Racing Team:

Mum had returned to her roots in a County Cork, Ireland in 2014 and was enjoying a quiet life in the place where she was born. She was 91.

The picture at right was taken by the Barking and Dagenham Post many years ago when the Stones bought Stardust.

Our deepest sympathies to Vickie and to Dave, and to all of Mary's family and friends. If you would like to send a tribute to or share a story about Mary then please E-Mail us at tributes@eurodragster.com.


2017 European Top Gas calendar.
16th March: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for sending us this year's calendar for the European Supertwin Top Gas Series. Herman writes:

Twenty two European Top Gas racers held a meeting at Molln in Germany to discuss the 2017 races. Jozef Hadnagy invited us to Kunmadaras for the twentieth year celebration on 24th June and said that if we came then Top Gas could have a two-day event, but there was one vote too few so we are going to Malmö twice in 2017.

13th-15th May: Malmö, Sweden
3rd-6th June: Malmö, Sweden
14th-16th July: Drachten, The Netherlands
18th-20th August: Hockenheim, Germany
1st-2nd September: Mosten Race Days, Denmark
29th September-1st October: Drachten, The Netherlands

Herman adds that he had to say goodbye to Eurol, his sponsor of twenty five years, this year but that he will now be sponsored by Putoline Motorcycle Oil.


FIM Europe prepare for 2017...
16th March: FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen has been in touch with an update from the FIM Europe Drag Bike Championships:

On 17th-1th February, the Magyar Motorsport Szövetség hosted the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission's seminar for Clerks of the Course and Technical Steward licence holders.

Prior to the seminar, the Drag Racing Commission had a special meeting with Rezsö Bulcsu, director of FIM International's Commission of Circuit Racing together with FIM co-ordinator Victoria Corredoira. This valuable meeting was scheduled to make a first list of issues regarding the plans for the new World Cup of Drag Racing. The overall conclusion of the meeting was very positive although everybody agreed on the fact that there are a lot of issues to manage and solve. Left to right below left are Reszö Bulcsu, Jozef Hadnagy (MAMS), Victoria Corredoira, and Job Heezen, Peder Eneroth, Palle Lind and Jari Halonen all of the Drag Racing Commission.


On day two of the seminar the real work started with training courses for Clerks of the Course and the Technical Steward licencees (above right). The training and examinations for Clerks of the Course were run by Commission Chair Palle Lind and those for Tech Stewards by newly-appointed Commission member Job Heezen.

The turnout of candidates was very satisfying with people from England, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Hungary. Those trained will help to bring the quality of the officiating and scrutineering to even highers level. New rules were explained, issues from previous seasons were communicated and there was ample opportunity to exchange views during the day. Major attention was been given to the safety aspects of drag racing, a key issue for the Commission. All of the licencees should be ready for some flawless operation in seasons to come.

Many thanks to our Hungarian hosts who did a wonderful job !

FIM Europe racers and others involved can check out important matters such as rule books, rule changes etc on the FIM web site or go to the Drag Racing Commission's Facebook page.


...whilst Holmberg forgets 2016.
16th March: 2016 was not the most fortunate of seasons for Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg with a broken thumb necessitating wearing a cast for the first race of the season and a number of broken engines. Finishing ninth in the Championship after previous top five finishes was disappointing but Kenneth says that it is all forgotten now and that he and his team have never been so well-prepared for an upcoming season:

With two updated engines, a number of new sponsors and a tight team, we are really looking forward to 2017. Gabriella 'Gabbi' Nikolovska and Kent 'Kenta' Carlsson, our talented team members for many years, are helping us out at racers with family and friends. We will compete and focus upon all of the FIM races and we will also race in the EDRS Pro series. One of the highlights is of course racing at our home track Tierp Arena in June and August.


This year's goal is of course top position in the FIM European Championship. Hopefully there will be a World Championship at Hockenheim in 2018 if all goes as it should with the FIM and promoters.

The first round of the FIM European Championship will be held at Santa Pod Raceway in England at the end of May with great organisation and a wonderful atmosphere. Before that we have a plan to test at Malm&oum; at the end of April. See you at the track!

Thanks to our sponsors Swecomposite, Hyresbostäder Boliden, EG Nord, ProService, Bilglasdesign, Texstar, Yniq, Swedol and FHRA Feringe.


Swift snippets.
16th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us updated entry lists for the Festival of Power (Version 3) and Big Bang (Version 2). You can check out either entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can download the official entry forms via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Good luck and stay safe to Smax Smith (Top Fuel Dragster), Jonnie Lindberg (Fuel Funny Car) and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol FC) who are contesting this weekend's NHRA Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville. Our heroes are in action from Friday and you will be able to stay in touch courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com and on the racers' Facebook pages.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member John Hackney. Have a great day Hackers.


London Motor Show SPRC discount.
16th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with news of a special discount for SPRC members:

The London Motor Show, which takes place in Battersea Park on 4th-7th May, is back again following a highly-successful event last year with over 25,000 visitors. As the show is intended for all car enthusiasts, and before the show sells out again, the Show is offering Santa Pod Racers Club members a special 10% discount on tickets. A special food and beverage area for Club members will also be on hand as a good meeting point with the added benefit of reduced rates on catering.

To use this exclusive special rate members just need to add the promo code SANTAPOD when buying tickets on-line at www.thelondonmotorshow.co.uk.


BDRHoF Gala sponsorship update.
16th March: Lucas Oil Products UK has announced that it is renewing its sponsorship of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner, to be held on Saturday 18th November at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey. Lucas Oil will be joined by Kelsey Media as joint hosts of the pre-dinner drinks reception, welcoming guests to an evening celebrating those who have helped the sport grow since its beginning in the late 1950s.

Lucas Oil also sponsors the BDRHoF Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award. In 2016 this was presented to the National Hot Rod Association for the crucial role played by NHRA and its employees in organising, governing and growing the sport of drag racing throughout its sixty five years of existence including the establishment of the FIA Drag Racing Commission which organises Championships in Europe and Australia. NHRA President Peter Clifford sent a photo and message saying how thrilled they were with the award and that they are proudly displaying it in their Glendora Headquarters' conference room.

Lucas Oil UK Managing Director Les Downey said "It is rewarding that British drag racing and Lucas Oil are represented in the sport's corridors of power in California. Our company has a long history in drag racing and also sponsors the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame based in Florida. And we are proud to continue our support of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner and this year act as joint hosts of the pre-dinner drinks reception with our friends from Kelsey Media. As well as celebrating the sport's UK pioneers at the BDRHoF Gala, many of whom have become personal friends of mine, Lucas Oil is committed to celebrating the young people entering drag racing by co-sponsoring two tables for the Junior Drag Racing Champions and their families It is great that the 2017 Junior Drag Racing Champions can attend the Gala again and meet so many legends of our sport. I know they really look forward to the occasion. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is doing important work and I would encourage more companies to get involved". This Andy Willsheer photo was taken at the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner and shows, from left, Les Downey of Lucas Oil Products UK, Don Schumacher and the 2016 Junior Drag Racing Champions. Sponsorship Partner and BDRHoF International Liaison Advisor Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting is on the right.

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Limited CEO Brian Taylor said "I have known Les for many years and he is a true friend of drag racing. This year the event will have a revised format aimed at streamlining the awards programme and providing more time for socialising. I can't think of anyone better to welcome guests before the Awards Dinner and set the right atmosphere of the evening and I thank him for his support."

Joining Lucas Oil this year is Kelsey Media – a business now publishing a multitude of magazines and organising events covering the automotive sector and many other areas too. A visit to their web site www.kelsey.co.uk shows you the amazing breadth of their coverage these days. The world of drag racing knows them for Custom Car, a magazine which has been helping to promote our sport since its launch in 1970. In 2007 the magazine was inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame for its long association with the sport and, along with US Automotive, sponsored the Souvenir Programme for the 2014 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner.

Covering everything from low-budget traditional hot rods and customs to hi-tech street rods and 300 mph dragsters, the team of writers at Custom Car bring together event coverage, technical articles, project cars, news and reviews and feature cars on a monthly basis. In addition, the magazine offers a classified section for those looking to buy and sell. It is available in print and digital format and is part of the Fast Car Entertainment event series which brings motoring enthusiasts together to celebrate their shared passion.

Managing Director of Kelsey Media Phil Weeden said "Kelsey Media, and in particular Custom Car magazine, are delighted to be supporting the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner. We're equally pleased to be sharing that support with a brand of repute like Lucas Oil. Custom Car magazine is part of a growing family of motoring publications, web sites and events at Kelsey Media. All have a passion for motoring at their heart. The knowledge and enthusiasm for cars in particular is especially evident in a brand like Custom Car magazine, which has been around now for over forty years, reflecting the best in hot rods, customs and drag racers."

Honorary Chairman of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Stu Bradbury said "Custom Car is part of our family, being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, and it is very rewarding that they are supporting us again. I remember when the magazine was launched and what a difference it made to how drag racing was perceived by the public and sponsors. Of all the titles out there this is the one that has shown longevity in its association with our sport and it is a special pleasure to welcome them back as a sponsor."

The BDRHoF is now taking reservations for the 2017 Gala Awards Dinner by E-Mail at stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or by telephone at 01933 279102. This year the tickets are priced competitively at £65 which includes a pre-dinner reception. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion we suggest you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms at the negotiated room rate that includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking.

On-going news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, on Eurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.


UK event entry update.
14th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 14th-16th April. You can check out the entry list on our
John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power Event Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 21st-23rd April (racing 22nd-23rd). You can check out the entry list on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Big Bang Event Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Festival of Power entry closes on 24th March and Big Bang entry closes on 31st March; you can download the official entry forms via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then you can contact Ian at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

Official entry forms for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 29th April-1st May, are available to download from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.


Havoc: The inside track.
13th March: Many thanks to Rob Loaring who has been in touch with the inside story of the Havoc Fuel Altered team's weekend at the March Meet.

Wednesday 1st March: Nick, Scott and I got into Bakersfield around 9:45 on Tuesday evening. We grabbed something to eat, found the hotel and went straight to bed. The previous Sunday, Brian Hope, Keith Dugan and 'Junior' had started the twenty two-hour tow from Rat Trap HQ in Tennessee. About the same time that we were falling into bed, our weary team-mates had parked the two trucks outside the track and were taking some well-earned rest at the same hotel. We met up at breakfast, said our Hellos and headed out to the track.


The pit set up was, to say the least, impressive. Rat Trap had travelled in a recently acquired forty foot trailer and the Bantam was tied down in the team's previous forty foot Gooseneck. Both trailers had been fitted with identical awnings and by the time they were set up we had a covered area about the size of a football pitch. For three guys from England, it was more than we could have dreamed of. The car had travelled well. There was a little organising to do but nothing too painful. Brian had equipped the trailer with a complete set of hand tools and the only stuff we had shipped from Silverstone was some specialist tools and our spares. Scott and I set about getting the car ready for Tech while Nick got things organised inside the trailer. By 6:00 that evening we were all but done. There were a few details to finish up Thursday morning but assuming that the car cleared Tech, we were set for a short run that afternoon.


That evening we all dined at Famous Dave's Barbeque, an establishment which thankfully isn't located anywhere close to where I live in England. The ribs, oh boy the ribs...

Thursday 2nd March: Thursday started bright and sunny; it was to remain this way until Sunday morning. We had finished breakfast and were headed to the track by 8:00 am. Apart from some questions regarding our International SFI chassis tag, Tech went smoothly. Our Tech Inspector made a call to Danny Gracia for clarification on expiry dates and we got the all clear at around 2:30 that afternoon. There was an open test session available from 3:00 pm and we hadn't been idle while waiting for Tech to sign us off. The car was warmed up, the clutch, ignition and idle speed set, and we were good to go.

The only potential banana skin we could see was a tyre roll-out issue. The first time we set the pressure, our new slicks measured just over an inch difference in circumference. If you're unfamiliar with this issue and can afford to waste five minutes of your life, cut out two small circles of card, one a little bigger than the other. If you then push them onto each end of a pencil and roll it forwards it'll go around in a circle. We have the same issue during a run. The rear axle is locked, and with the front end in the air any difference in tyre roll out (circumference) will cause the car to rotate either towards the left or the right. To an extent we can correct this by stretching the smaller of the two but the tyre has memory, making the job somewhat problematic. The slicks are bias-belted and the construction is basically a viscoelastic matrix of fibre cords, polymers and fillers. At the risk of oversimplifying, it's something like a plate of reinforced pasta. If over-inflated, areas in the matrix can break down and when the pressure is reduced to operating level the circumference is increased slightly. The difficult part is that, over time, the tyre continues to recover so for a while it's like hitting a moving target.

By the time we pulled out of the pit the difference was down to half an inch, the right rear being the larger of the two. Alarm bells should have rung when Nick indicated that some right hand steering was needed to keep the car rolling straight but unfortunately, we were excited and tired and missed the connection.

We were directed into lane four along with various other AA/FAs, Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars. The Fuel cars would run in pairs chosen entirely at random. We had the right lane and hooked up the starter alongside Adam Sorokin's Top Fuel car. Unfortunately the Small Block had an issue during start up and the team pushed back leaving us to début on a single.


Our first impressions of the track were great, it looked smooth and well prepped. The distance from the water to the staging beams is a little shorter than at Santa Pod Raceway so the car needed to be reasonably well-centred when backing up after the burnout. At the hit we lost cylinder #4 for about two tenths but after that the engine sounded fine. About thirty feet out our roll-out problem became apparent and the car steered left. Nick rolled off the throttle to try to get the front down but no joy, the rear end steered the car toward the centre line and that was that. It went 1.06 at sixty feet which is about as fast as it goes so we had something to smile about.

Back in the pits Nick dumped the Racepak data and it all looked good. Brian and the guys had finished up the last jobs on Rat Trap and we were all set for Friday qualifying. The March Meet was underway.

Dinner that evening was at In-N-Out Burger. Stewart Bassett and Geoff Stilwell (of US Automotive and Beech Underwriting respectively) had arrived that day and we all set off, largely unwashed, at around 6:45 pm. My good friend Andy Willsheer had suggested we try a Double–Double with onions and most of our group followed his advice. With our order placed we sat down at our table and Brian suggested I try one of the side dishes. I asked what they were and Stewart Bassett indicated "Pickles". I selected one about the size of a cherry tomato and bit off just over half. It was a rookie mistake. As the seeds turned the inside of my mouth into lava the entire Rat Trap team wet their pants laughing. So much for the Transatlantic Special Relationship... I'd like to comment on the burger but with what was left of the inside of my mouth it might as well have been a tennis ball.

Friday 3rd March: Brian suggested we start Friday with breakfast at Hardee's. I've always found cultural eating habits interesting, what gets mixed with what and when so to speak. Sitting at the table drinking coffee while our American team-mates sipped 7Up and Pepsi is one such example. We looked at each other and thought "How can you drink that stuff at 7:30 in the morning?". The all-inclusive breakfast sandwich was great but it did hang around for a while, progressing at glacial speed towards my stomach and finally arriving at about 3:00 that afternoon.

Ron Hope, Kay Hudson and Brian's wife Rebecca arrived late Thursday, thus making both teams complete. We weren't scheduled to run until late that afternoon so the pace around the pit was fairly steady. We hooked up with many of our travelling supporters and took some time to soak up the atmosphere. Around midday Ron gathered us all together and made a presentation. As if we hadn't already received enough help, Lawrie Gatehouse along with Bill and the entire Sherratt family had paid for our first barrel of nitro. If things were going to get better, it was difficult to see how.

We got the call at around 4:00 pm. The warm-up had gone OK and Scott had spent some time messing with the roll-out before going to the Goodyear trailer to check the balance. The steering was better, not perfect but a lot better. We sat in the lanes for a long time, Funny Car and Top Fuel qualifying was a hard-fought affair and a few oildowns were inevitable. The sun went down around 6:30 pm and the temperature started to drop dramatically. By the time it got to 7:30 pm it was getting cold. We had no official confirmation but it appeared that if the track temperature got down to sixty degrees they'd call it a day. In conditions such as this it becomes less of a question of what the car can run and more of what the track will take.


By the time we got to the top of the line Nick and I were debating a high-gear launch just to get something on the board. It would probably cost us a clutch pack but with only two qualifiers, the first of which was in cold conditions, we had little choice. In the event, when the Bantam rolled through the water it was sixty two degrees. Nick ran it in low gear for about thirty feet then punched the button. The car fell on its face but stayed in the middle of the lane and ran a 6.57 at 223 mph, good enough for third spot. Bad news was to follow. Half way through the burnout, Rat Trap pushed #2 spark plug out of the head and the team were unable to make a run. Going into final qualifying it would be our third hit at the startline but for our team-mates it would be their first.

Back in the pits Nick dumped the data and Scotty drained the oil. On the tow-back, headlights had illuminated the smoke coming from the clutch can. At this time of day I had no interest in dealing with the remnants, it was 9:30 pm and we were exhausted. Brian and Keith set about servicing Rat Trap and repairing the damaged cylinder head. We made our excuses, loaded the car and tools into the trailer and headed for the hotel. There was a small Mexican restaurant close by and dinner was a brief and light affair. The magnitude of the weekend was telling; you can hide stress from the outside world but your body knows. We were dead on our feet.

Saturday 4th March: The event was gaining momentum. The joking and messing around we enjoyed during the first couple of days had started to give way to a more focused atmosphere. We had one shot left, our team-mates hadn't yet qualified and we were a lifetime away from safe. This change in approach accelerated somewhat when, as we arrived at the track, the announcer indicated that our 4:00 pm qualifier had been moved up to 12:30 pm. There was enough time but we had to get to work. Check the bearings, fit a new clutch pack, mix the fuel, lube the valvetrain and accommodate a few interviews. By 11:00 am we were done. Scotty kept chasing the roll-out problem and when we pulled out of the pit we were in decent shape. It was business as usual for Ron, Brian and the Rat Trap guys. It was the environment in which they lived.


We eventually ran at about 3:15 pm. The staging lanes were organised so that we could run together, Ron in the left and Nick in the right. Our run was a little better, a 6.34 at 234 mph looked a little more likely to keep us in and at close of play it was enough for fourth. Ron had his hands full in the left. Brian has been fighting one or two dropped cylinders during the early part of a run and when they light up Ron spends the rest of the run with the car's front end in the air. A 6.77 at 219 mph was good enough to qualify but by the end of the session the little Bantam was ninth. Unless someone couldn't make the first round, Rat Trap Racing would go into Sunday with one car.

Dinner that evening was at the Outback steak restaurant. I can't explain why the steaks in the US are so good; Nick suggested that maybe the cows are just "Nicer" and frankly I can't think of anything better.

Sunday 5th March: Sunday morning brought rain. The farmers celebrated and we went looking for rope. The ever-changing forecast did little to help, surely we hadn't come this far just go home with a rain-out ticket. Running the race on Monday brought unwanted complications as our flight was due to leave at 9:00 pm that evening. As luck would have it, by about 11:30 am the rain started to clear and the early afternoon found us in the staging lanes waiting for our first round. During qualifying, our fuel mix had been close to 88%, in the first round it was back up to 90%. History has taught us that if we're short on pace, there's little point in making a guess at something better. We just take our A Game to the start line and if we come up short, so be it.

Our opponent was Keith Wilson in the Witch Doctor, a car which had been deep into the five-second zone. To be honest, the race was going to be tough because we weren't fast enough. To make a fist of it, we needed to be closer to the 6.00 index. For our opponents, slowing a mid five-second car down to 6.00 wasn't exactly going to be a walk in the park either. There were no games on the start line. Nick had indicated fuel on his visor during the burnout and at the hit, it was shower head. We enjoyed a hundredth's advantage at the start but by the eighth the Witch Doctor was in another post code. Unable to see much by now, Nick rolled off the throttle and we took a first round loss on the chin.


The mood in the pit was a little subdued, but after a short while the smiles returned and we were prepping the car for its long trip back to Tennessee. It was Rat Trap team member Junior's birthday and another trip to Famous Dave's Barbeque was planned for the evening. With the race over, it was a more relaxed affair, the ribs were great but the company was better. What a weekend.

As ever our sincere thanks go to the Hope family, Lawrie Gatehouse, Geoff Stilwell at Beech Underwriting and of course, US Automotive's larger than life Stewart Bassett. To everyone who has made a donation, many thanks. You've no idea how much it helps.


On AA/FA 6.00: Class performance is somewhat defined by technical regulations. If your car runs seven flat and it's a Super Stocker, you're probably Harry Potter. If it's an Alcohol Funny Car you should probably consider another career. However, without a credible Championship and sufficient long-term funding, writing a set of technical regulations is a waste of time. In the absence of a rule book, racers will naturally build whatever takes their fancy and such is the case with the AA/Fuel Altereds. Bringing a large cross-section of cars together for a single eliminator is probably only viable if an index is in place. The 6.00 number appears to be a good fit for the type of cars most people have built. If the tracks continue to run the format, over time I'd expect application-specific AA/FA 6.00 cars to start appearing. If you're a fan of the short cars, you're probably north of fifty. Despite their enormous popularity, very few people build cars which truly mirror those that ran in the late sixties. For a 108" car with 25% engine set back, a string of 6.00s is a lot to ask. When Ron Hope runs a mid six there's not much left on the table. Over time their numbers will likely diminish so if you're a fan of cars like Pure Hell, Bradfords Fiat, Pure Heaven and Rat Trap I suggest you take every opportunity available to go and watch them. Buy a T-shirt and meet the teams. Nothing lasts forever.

Quote of the meeting from outside our pit:

Upon arriving at the top end with yet another engine smouldering in the front of his Funny Car, our hero was met by a concerned fire marshal asking if his car was on fire. His reply: "As slow as this thing's runnin', I sure ******' hope so".

Quote of the meeting from inside our pit:

After our Sunday warm-up Brian quizzed me about our idle speed. I informed him that it sounded high because, in order to save fuel, Nick turns the fuel shut-off half open. Brian replied "We've got two trailers full of nitro. Burn it. Burn it all."

School Report: Good effort, must try harder. If we'd picked up the tyre roll out issue sooner it would be a B+ but we didn't so, I give us a straight B.

Roll on Bowling Green in June.


Something for the weekend.
10th March: Luke Stevenson writes that the
Volkswagen Drag Racing Club's 2017 promotional tour begins this weekend at Ultimate Dubs at the Telford International Centre:

As ever we have a number of cars on display with seasoned favourites plus some new builds for 2017. If you love your modified VWs (Audis, Skodas, SEATs, Porsches) then UD17 is a great day out for you, it's only £10 for Saturday (evening only) or £15 for Sunday. You can find out more at www.ultimate-dubs.co.uk.

Also we are happy to announce another sponsor for the anniversary season in the form of Hangar 30.  Ben Speechley has been around the VWDRC for many years, supplying suspension components and custom fabrication to our racers. In 2016 he created Hangar 30 offering custom fabrication, roll cages and track day preparation as well as general car servicing and repairs from his workshop in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Over the winter Ben has already fitted roll cages to four new racers for VW Pro, these along with a great number of racers are leading up to a very busy and exciting season.

As always a massive thank you to our 2017 sponsors Darkside Developments, Vanology Performance Ltd, Kleanfreaks, Engine Carbon Clean, WRP Paint and Restoration, Brickfield Autos, BJ's Speedshop, Trackstuff Racing Fuels and Tyres, Starsz Hair and Beauty and of course Hangar 30 who between them have amassed over £5000 of prize fund for the VWDRC racers to fight for.

Want to be part of the fun? Head to www.vwdrc.com for more.


Webster's Battery of assistance.
10th March: Eurodragster.com sponsor Webster Race Engineering's new Pro Mod project is underway, the aim being to get out on track as soon as possible. Jon Webster writes:

We've had great interest in the project since the announcement in January. Progress on the build is good and on target. We've got some correspondence going back and forth looking for support and technical partners, with some very positive feedback.

One area of the car getting particular attention is weight. The target legal minimum weight for the turbo vehicles is 2650 lbs with driver. We're targeting a lot less so that we have the option of moving the mass around for chassis tuning. Analysis of the weight and location of all components is key to mass distribution within the car and as this is a fresh build we can appraise each item individually for its spec and potential location.

The battery is a key component on any vehicle, but also very often of considerable weight and size. With some research and several E-Mails and phone conversations we found a product that fitted our requirements. Antigravity Batteries produce a range of extremely compact Lithium-Ion batteries for large range of Vehicles in OEM standard sizes, with over two and a half times the cranking power of lead-acid versions. They are readily available in the UK and are priced very competitively.

Antigravity Batteries have become technical partners with us on the Mustang and we will be using their ATX20 unit, which has 780 Cranking Amps and 25 Ah. The unit weighs less than 5 lbs making a weight saving of more than 30 lbs over our usual choice of battery. With an overall size of 175 x 87 x 155mm, the unit reduces limitations for the location within the car.

Webster Race Engineering will be agents in the near future. Meanwhile if anyone has any interest in their product range, Antigravity Batteries are located in Essex and can be reached via their web site at www.antigravitybatteries-uk.co.uk or call 01702 301664.


No trouble at the Mills.
10th March: UK Outlaw Anglia team Cooper Bros Racing are proud to announce Mills CNC as a sponsor for the 2017 season. Mat Cooper writes:

Mills CNC is one of, if not the, fastest-growing machine tool companies in the UK. Mills are highly-regarded and -respected in the machine tool market and across all those manufacturing sectors they serve: aerospace and defence, power generation, motorsport, oil and gas, medical, automotive and general precision component manufacture, to name but a few.

If you or your company are in the market for a new state of the art CNC machine look no further than Mills CNC. If you have any questions regarding the latest Doosan CNC machines then feel free to contact us via our Facebook page, contact Mills CNC directly via www.millscnc.co.uk or via their Facebook page, or drop by our pit at any Outlaw Anglia meetings. Support the companies which support our drag racing family!


Swift snippets.
10th March: Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who is contesting Extreme Pro Mod at this weekend's NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem at Bradenton Motorsports Park. You will be able to stay in touch with Adam's progress via the free Speed Video webcast at www.livestream.com/speedvideo/nmca-muscle-car-mayhem-2017.

On the subject of drag racing webcasts the excellent 1320 Online web site offers a detailed daily schedule of webcasts from around the planet including Eurodragster.com's own Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam (Thanks Barney - Ed). You can stay up to date with all the latest webcast offerings at www.1320online.com.

Monday's spy picture elicited a single response, to whit: "The dog is named Olive but if it's going to sit underneath a Ford it should be Oily". We are naturally honour-bound to protect the identity of the colourfully-pantalooned Super Pro ET Funny Car racer from the north of England our source.

Thanks very much to Jerry Cookson for letting us know that the official APIRA Trophy Presentation photographs are now available on Shakespeare County Raceway Facebook page.


Geoff Stilwell of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsor Beech Underwriting Agencies asked us to say a big Happy 79th Birthday for today (Friday) to US Fuel legend Bob Muravez. Geoff tells us that he and Ron Hope sprung a surprise on Bob at Bakersfield (above). "Everyone in the pit area sang Happy Birthday to Bob", says Geoff. "Earlier, as a special treat, Ron put Bob in Rat Trap for a warm-up just to give him his nitro fix. Bob was wearing a replica of his original firesuit."

Robin Jackson tells us that Motor Sport magazine's prestigious Hall Of Fame contains a category for American racing personalities and that this year's twelve US nominees include a single drag racer, John Force. For more information, visit the Hall Of Fame voting page at www.motorsportmagazine.com/hall-of-fame/who-will-be-next. Scroll down through the categories and select your favourite candidates. All votes will be entered in a free prize draw for various Motor Sport goodies, including tickets to the Hall Of Fame Awards Dinner itself, which this year retail at a cool £399 apiece. The event takes place on Wednesday 7th June at the Royal Automobile Club, Woodcote Park, Surrey. Be sure to cast your votes in good time.


Web site updates.
10th March: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Gearhead Garage Paul Marston brings us up to date with the construction of his twin-turbo Cortina. You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Gearhead Garage Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Festival of Power entry.
8th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 14th-16th April. You can check out the entry list on our
John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power Event Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Festival of Power entry closes on 24th March; you can download the official entry forms via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then you can contact Ian at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Swift snippets.
8th March: Kathy Taylor asked us to say a big Happy special Birthday to her good friend Lesley Wright. We're very happy to do so, have a lovely day Lesley and love and hugs from us too.

STTG, ET Bike run at Big Bang.
7th March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know that, subsequent to discussion at the recent UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting and at the AGM of the National Association of Supertwins, Supertwin Top Gas and ET Bike will have an additional UK National Championship round at Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway on 21st-23rd April (racing takes place on 22nd-23rd).

Supertwin Top Gas and ET Bike join 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike which already had a UK National Championship round at Big Bang.

The official Big Bang entry forms will be amended to suit and will be available on the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc on or by Friday of this week, 10th March.

You can check out the amended full UK National Championships calendar in our report of the UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting by clicking here. If you have any queries then you can contact Ian at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Swift snippets.
7th March: We would like to wish a big Happy 40th Birthday to our good buddy and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Spencer Tramm. Have a great day Spencer. A big Happy Birthday also to alcohol tuner Karl Harrison; you have a great day too Karl.

The Undertaker goes Cold.
6th March: UK Fuel Funny Car racer Steve Ashdown is pleased to announce sponsorship from Cold Fire Firefighting on the Undertaker FC:

Hydro Navitas Solutions is a name with which you may not be familiar, but Cold Fire Firefighting might just be. Lift the body of any Fuel Funny Car and look inside and you might just see a Cold Fire Firefighting fire suppression system staring up at you. Santa Pod Raceway have been using Cold Fire Firefighting for almost ten years and it is regarded as the very best firefighting product available. Hydro Navitas Solutions are Santa Pod's official firefighting partners, and are now in their second year as lane sponsor with the Cold Fire Firefighting lane.

Continuing their support for drag racing in 2017, Hydro Navitas Solutions are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring Steve Ashdown's exciting move into the European Nitro Funny Car series, driving the Undertaker Funny Car in 2017 with their Cold Fire Firefighting brand.

Hydro Navitas Solutions' CEO James Petter said "I got a call from Kath Taylor who was helping Steve raise funds, she asked for ten minutes of my time, there was only one reply I could give her - yes! I was presented with a very professional Undertaker portfolio which got me hooked. In fact, even though I didn't say it there and then, I knew we had to help Steve achieve his own dream of driving in this series, and with Cold Fire Firefighting it made for a great partnership.

"I must say that Dave Bryant has a great team back at the Undertaker garage, Steve has an impressive support team behind him and I wish him every success in 2017. We are glad to do our bit for this amazing sport."

Steve told Eurodragster.com that Fuel FC was where he wanted to be. "I got the opportunity to drive Top Fuel thanks to Rune and Lindsay", he said. "Then it all went a bit crazy and I ended up agreeing to do extra events. Words can't describe how that felt.

"Then the plot thickened! I was going to take a year out to concentrate on Tyler's racing but at the end of last season I was asked if I would like to drive Shockwave. I had a quick chat with the family and then a meeting was set up with Gordon Smith and and Dave Bryant to discuss plans. After a couple of hours we came to an agreement, shook hands and agreed to do the full season in the 2017 Funny Car Championship. I am looking forward to it and I will be getting in there and getting my hands dirty!

"I am really looking forward to it and I have some great sponsors on board. You have read about Cold Fire Firefighting, I am pleased to say that my original sponsors are staying with me as well as new backers: Dave at Robey Scaffolding, Adrian at The Phone Shop, and Richard Deevey has been a gem. As well as Cold Fire Firefighting my new sponsors for the season include Anthony from Aspect Contracts Ltd, Les Downey at Lucas Oil UK, Alex Bateman at Goodridge Hoses, Graham and Mark at Serck Motorsport, Michela at Champion Spark Plugs, Liam Jones TFJ Motorsport and Gary at Fast2Finish Printers.

"I would like to say a big Thank You to Kathy Taylor and Darren Prentice for their help, to Pete Walters for the design and shirts, awesome work as usual, Dave, Gordon and the entire Shockwave team for the opportunity and for making not just me but my family feel so welcome. Thanks to Keith Bartlett and the Santa Pod Raceway staff for continued support of the Nitro Funny Car series, to Dave Bateman and family for all their help through the years, to Paul Marston for all his help and advice because this really all began with the Paul Marston Drag Race Driving School, and to Tog and Eurodragster.com for their help (Thanks, you're welcome, milk and none in mine - Ed). Finally the biggest thanks go to my family for all of their support."


March Meet update IV.
6th March: The UK's Havoc Fuel Altered made a first-round exit in yesterday's eliminations at the March Meet at Bakersfield. Gary Willy writes:


It was always going to be a big challenge against Keith Wilson's Witch Doctor Fuel Altered which has run as quickly as 5.73 seconds at 249 mph. Nick Davies ran a losing 6.91/152 and not without problems as Rob Loaring indicated that there was a fuel leak at the hit (Nick's visor being the Official Receiver - Ed). The Witch Doctor streaked ahead running 6.13/189, lifting early so as to not break out of the 6.0 index.

The whole weekend was however a fantastic achievement for the Havoc team (Hear hear - Ed).


Swift snippets.
6th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Old Fords never die, they just get faster". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Best wishes to the UK's Richie Webb who has made it into September's Hot Rod Drag Week with one of his wild VWs. Entry sold out in six minutes so securing an entry for the street-legal event is grounds for congratulation in itself. Richie faces six races in six days driving between tracks carrying or towing what he needs. You can find out more by clicking here.


Electric shock Hazard.
6th March: The UK's Adam Withington will be making a return to the track in the Hazard Racing Junior Dragster later this season. Dad and Super Street racer David Withington writes that Adam's car has a different power plant to that we last saw nearly four years ago:

The Briggs and Stratton 5 hp engine has been replaced with an electric motor. We think that this should be a natural progression as electric cars are becoming more common and even appear in Street Eliminator. We understand that this will be totally against the grain with the rule book as it is written around the use of a side valve engine, but things must move with the times.

We are currently testing the new motor and making adjustments before the first outing mid-season. The new motor can accelerate from 0 to its maximum RPM within 250 metres, which as you can imagine has caused a few issues such as throwing the motor windings and smoking tyres. We are currently tuning the control system to smooth out the acceleration and adding additional safety features to kill all power if anything fails. The custom control system has been designed by GFX Power Ltd in Cannock and has been created from scratch using some of the most up-to-date equipment available. Their strapline Power With Control definitely rings true, as a lot of power without control is pretty useless.

Adam says that will be a whole new challenge and that he is looking forwards to the return.


APIRA Perpetual Award winners.
5th March: The winners and runners-up in the 2016 APIRA Ultimate Power Championships, Supercharged Outlaws and National Association of Supertwins were presented with their trophies at the APIRA Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Warwick last night (Saturday). The winners of APIRA's Perpetual Awards, for whom Eurodragster.com readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.

Congratulations to the APIRA Perpetual Award winners:

APIRA Iris Page Memorial Trophy: Richard Walters (Super Pro ET sponsorship scheme)
Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement: Scott Crookston (Outlaw Anglia)
APIRA Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year: Caitlin Wilson (Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
APIRA Endeavour Award: Simon Groves (Eurodragster.com)
Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy: Tony Smith (ACU and APIRA race official)
McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer Trophy: Elaine Hancock (Sportsman ET)

Thanks to all of the Eurodragster.com readers who voted.

APIRA Endeavour Award winner, our own Simon, writes: It is a real honour to win the APIRA Endeavour Award and I am sorry I couldn't be at the ceremony in person. I would like to thank all the officials at APIRA for generously giving facilities and information, often requested at very short notice. I would like to thank Tog of Eurodragster.com for giving me the opportunity to work with him on the site which has been, and continues to be, an amazing journey. Eurodragster.com's readers and sponsors should also take credit for providing us with content and backing. I would finally like to pay tribute to my wife Ros for supporting my work in drag racing. See you at the track!

The following special awards were also presented. Congratulations to:

2016 Services to APIRA and Shakespeare County Raceway: Sue Davis, Sherron Guise, Dave Massam
Long Standing Services to APIRA and Shakespeare County Raceway: Gerry and Joan Cookson


March Meet update III.
5th March: Our good buddies at Bangshift.com are webcasting this weekend's March Meet from Bakersfield. You can to tune in to the free webcast by
clicking here. Bakersfield is -8 hours on UK time and -9 hours on European time.


Congratulations to Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and the Havoc team on a new Personal Best speed of 234.49 mph in qualifying, coupled with a 6.349 which was good for fourth spot. Gary Willy writes that a new clutch pack was put in before yesterday's qualifier. Geoff Stilwell adds that Havoc has top speed so far in the Fuel Altered class.


In round one of eliminations Nick faces Keith Wilson in the Witch Doctor. Geoff writes that the car is all good and the team are ready.

Pictures courtesy and copyright Gary Willy and Tony Thacker


March Meet update II.
4th March: Our good buddies at Bangshift.com are webcasting this weekend's March Meet from Bakersfield. You can to tune in to the free webcast by
clicking here. Bakersfield is -8 hours on UK time and -9 hours on European time.


Nick Davies is currently third in Fuel Altered qualifying with a 6.57 at 223 mph in the dark. Geoff Stilwell writes that there were long delays due to a number of oildowns. "The track was getting slick and was only 68F and the air temp was down to 60F", he says. "Nick pulled a fantastic burnout and before we knew it he had run a 6.57/223. No lights at all in the shutdown area! That time currently puts Nick in third, and we have another qualifying session today.

"Ron Hope in Rat Trap had to shut the engine down as it blew a spark plug clean out of the cylinder head. But it is all repaired and ready to go today."

Gary Willy writes:

Friday it got real for the Havoc team at the forty ninth running of the legendary March Meet. Going into the first qualifier after a test launch on Thursday Nick now had the layout of the track, run off area and procedures and as always the team were calm professional and businesslike.

If it had gone to plan there would have been two qualifying sessions for Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel slingshot and a single qualifier for the Fuel Altereds. In the first session of Funny Car, twenty eight cars lined up in the lanes and the number one qualifier was the McAttack car of Mick McIntire Jr with a record-breaking ET of 5.549. Ten Fuel slingshots joined the party.

As the day progressed with a couple of major oildowns and a car clipping the wall the schedule started to slip away. At 5:00 pm they were still just getting through the last of the 7.0 Pro class. With thirty eight plus Nitro Funny Cars and Dragsters to get down the track everyone knew it was going to be a late night.

The first Fuel Altered fired up at around 7:00 pm and we had fourteen Fuel Altereds going into the black of night for their first qualifier, the Havoc car getting to the line at around 7.30 pm and coming out sounding strong and ready for business. A good burnout and the car was then nicely backed up by Paula Clayton and brought to the line by Rob. Nick ran 6.57/223 putting the Havoc team an outstanding third qualifying position everything the Havoc team could wish for as we go into today's qualifying.


Advanced backing for Gough.
4th March: Returning UK Super Pro ET racer Simon Gough is pleased to announce AWS Racewear as a sponsor:

When I started racing a few years back I was having some issues finding a suit which not only fit me but which I actually liked. I came across a company called AWS Racewear in Ashford in Kent. I found the company excellent to deal with and they helped me out with not only with my suit but with crew shirts also. I am now on my fourth suit made by AWS and I'm still as happy with them as I was when they made my first. Nick runs a very tight ship and has the very best staff. They use the best materials to keep in line with FIA and SFI standards. They can also look after gloves, boots and helmets.

I am very pleased to say that AWS Racewear is now on our list of sponsors this year. I would like to thank Nick and all his staff for yet another great looking suit and hope to see them in the pits this year.

You can find AWS Racewear's web site at www.advanced-wear.co.uk.


March Meet update I.
3rd March: Our good buddies at Bangshift.com are webcasting this weekend's March Meet from Bakersfield. You can to tune in to the free webcast by
clicking here. Bakersfield is -8 hours on UK time and -9 hours on European time.


Nick Davies' first run in the Havoc Fuel Altered gained the team their best-ever sixty foot time of 1.05 seconds. Nick pedalled and then shut off as the car made a move to the left, clocking an 8.0-second time; Geoff Stilwell tells us that the move was due to an issue with the right slick which has been sorted.


Geoff adds that the engine checked out fine after the run and that Nick, Rob and the team are looking forward to today's qualifying.

Pictures courtesy and copyright Geoff Stilwell, Gary Willy and Dale Fackler


UK event entry update.
3rd March: Further to last Sunday's report of the UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting Jerry Cookson writes that the official entry forms for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 29th April-1st May, are now available to download from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Entry forms for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals will be posted in due course.

Entry forms for all of this season's events at Santa Pod Raceway are available via the Information link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.


Tet has to sit it out.
3rd March: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Tethys has been in touch with a response to those who have asked about his 2017 plans:

It's a somewhat expected turn of events - for me, at least - that I have fans! I thought I'd clear things up here. The simple answer is that I won't be racing this year. This is not through lack of desire, nor even the perennial lack of money which plagues racers. No, it's because at the end of last year, the universe decided to roll out the big guns and use its favourite way to ruin someone's day by giving me cancer.

In January, I had surgery to remove a tumour. The initial indications are that the operation was a success, and the prognosis is good. But dealing with it has been occupying a large amount of my time over the past few months, and something had to give. That something was racing.

I would like to hope that I'll be back in a race car again in the future, once things have settled down a bit, but for now my health is my main priority. All being well, I plan to be at the track for at least the Main Event and maybe other meetings, so do come and say hello. But I won't be driving, and will just be there as a spectator. Good luck to all those taking part this season.

Our very best wishes to Tet for a rapid and full recovery.


The Englishmen abroad.
2nd March: Geoff Stilwell of team sponsor
Beech Underwriting has been in touch from Bakersfield where Nick Davies' and Rob Loaring's Havoc Fuel Altered is getting ready to meet the public:

Nick, Rob and Scott arrived in LA safely on Tuesday evening and drove straight to Bakersfield. The aim is to run the car in free practice today: to quote Nick "We are not here to make up the numbers!"


For his own part Geoff is proud to announce that Iskenderian Race Cams have come on board to sponsor him and to help him to achieve his LSR goals in 2017. "I delivered to Brian Hope at Rat Trap Racing the new cam which Isky ground for me a couple of weeks ago", he says.


Geoff also showed us what NHRA racers get up to when they are not racing; in this case flying. Funny Car racer Tim Wilkerson made it possible for legendary US racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Ambassador Bob Muravez to take a flight in this beautiful piece.

Gary Willy writes from Bakersfield that although competition will be tough with as many as twenty four Fuel Altereds in attandance the Havoc team are certainly match fit:


We caught up with the team late yesterday afternoon and all was well with a couple of small alterations needed on the car for tech inspection. Hopefully the car will be out for a shakedown pass today as the team as the team get the car dialled into the track,


The track preparation at Famoso facility is second to none thanks to the efforts of the Bowser family and track management.


Alders offer transmission dyno.
2nd March: Richard Alder of Eurodragster.com sponsor Alders Automotive tells us that the company has recently installed a transmission dyno:

We found that more of our customers were asking if the transmissions could be tested after undergoing a rebuild and with increased sales on our race transmissions we decided to import a transmission dyno from the USA. This dyno will allow us to check all of our popular American and race transmissions before delivery. We can run the transmission and check transmission pressures, shifts and cooler flow.

This has given our customers peace of mind that they can buy with confidence knowing that their transmission has been dyno-tested before delivery allowing them to focus on their race meeting. The photo shows one of our full-race Powerglide transmissions on the dyno.

You can get in touch with Alders Automotive via their web site at www.aldersautomotive.co.uk or call 01323 848448.


UK electronic rule book update.
1st March: Ian Marshall has been in touch to let us know that there has been a problem with some of the USB sticks containing the 2017 UK rule book distributed to
Santa Pod Racers Club members:

It would appear that we have a coding error and that the rule book is not present on those sticks already sent out. The remaining memory sticks are being re-tested and all of the information copied again to ensure that all of the information is present.

For those members who already have a memory stick, please note that we will be sending a locked PDF file to you via E-Mail by the end of the week. You can then save it to the memory stick if you so choose, or keep it as a separate file.

We apologise for the error but we will have it sorted out as soon as possible.

If you have any queries then you can contact Ian at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


FIM Europe SSB Round 1 entry open.
1st March: Alexandra Tóth has been in touch with an update on the first round of the 2017 FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup, which this year takes place at the Car and Bike Celebrity of May event at Kunmadaras in Hungary on 29th April-1st May:

Our race series in Kunmadaras turns twenty years old this year, so we have many surprises and new features at the event. In addition, FIM Europe has approved Street Freestyle as an official European branch of motorsport, and has given the rights to Hungary to organise a one-round European Cup which will also take place at Kunmadaras.

So all in all we will have many new interesting programmes and two European Cups in Kunmadaras between 29th April and 1st May, and everybody is welcome.

The official entry form and Supplementary Regulations (PDF format) can be downloaded by clicking here. You can find out more about the event at www.kunmadarasmotorsport.hu.


Welcome Dyno Unlimited.
1st March: We are very pleased to welcome Belgian Top Methanol Funny Car racer Danny Bellio's business Dyno Unlimited as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.

Dyno Unlimited is located in Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, and can handle engines which are naturally aspirated, turbocharged, supercharged, gasoline or alcohol, carburettor, mechanical injection or EFI, from a regular street engine up to a 4000 horsepower race engine. Danny writes:

The benefit of putting your engine combination on the dyno is that you get a base tune-up in a safe manner instead of risking breaking parts on the track. Potential engine or tune-up problems can be spotted and mended before damage occurs.

We rent out the dyno unit with an operator, engine mounting, water cooling if needed, and logging sensors. The customer will need to bring their own oil, spark plugs, tools, service parts if needed, and mechanic if servicing is needed in between test pulls. The customer will also need to provide a test plan, what is expected from the dyno and how they wish to test their engine.

The dyno can be rented per hour with fee dependent on the type of engine being tested. Engines which need to be serviced between pulls require mechanics to be present although we can also provide the service, parts, and tuning aids and tips at additional cost.

What we offer is a safe base tune-up in an environment where the engine is constantly being monitored in real time and any problems can be spotted before damage is done.

If you are interested our service then please contact us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DynoUnlimited or E-Mail us directly at info@dannycars.be.

1st March is the start of Eurodragster.com's sponsorship year. We are very pleased to say that almost all of our sponsors have renewed for this season and a big Thank You to all for their continued support. Sadly we are saying goodbye and thank you to long-standing Eurodragster.com sponsor and recently-retired Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners' company Cosmo Residences, and to 2016-17 sponsor GF Innovations.

Please show your appreciation of those who support Eurodragster.com and our sport by considering our sponsors when shopping for anything from a race vehicle to parts, services or support.


And the winner is...
28th February: UK Fuel Altered pilot Nick Davies writes that the week has finally arrived for Rob, Scott and himself to make their way across the Pond for the first meeting of their 2017 US Tour with the Havoc Bantam Fuel Altered:

It feels pretty strange that we are four days away from the first qualifier of a race meeting and we haven't seen the car for nearly three months. Not our usual preparation. The plan is to arrive late in Los Angeles tonight (Tuesday), collect the rental car and drive to Bakersfield for some much-needed rest before getting to the track first thing tomorrow where we will meet the Rat Trap team and the two forty-foot trailers.

The three dedicated Havoc crew will then help to set up the combined team pit before working flat out to recommission the car after its 8,000 mile journey with the aim of making a pass in Open Testing on Thursday afternoon. The race schedule then indicates one qualifier on each of Friday and Saturday against a 6.0 index for an eight-car field, with eliminations on Sunday.

So, it's all about the show, right? With an abundance of big blower, big pump, twin-mag transformers which can allegedly break out even after clicking off at a thousand feet we know that we won't have a chance against the competition, right? Very wrong! This is a race for us and we are not going out there to make up numbers. We are going not only to qualify, but to win the meeting. The big guns will dismiss us at their peril...

Follow our progress on Instagram and our Facebook page and live on Bangshift.com. The running order can be found at www.famosoraceway.com/march-meet.htm.

Of course, it being Oscars week (Make sure they don't declare you winner - Ed), our thanks must be passed to the people without whom this just would not have been possible: Eurodragster.com will also have representatives at Famoso and we will bring you updates as we receive them.


Reminder: £1000 to win Super Gas.
28th February: UK Super Gas racer Jon Giles has been to ask us to remind racers about the winner-takes-all £1000 in the Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2017. Jon explains:

For a long time now Super Gas has really struggled to find the car numbers to make it more exciting for the racers, crews and spectators, so in the closed season I tried to see if I could change this and make 2017 a bigger field and more appealing to everyone. I have managed to find some sponsorship but with certain conditions which are as follow.
  1. Prize money of £1000 to the winner only, not runner-up or top qualifier. Monies will be paid out even in the event of a rain-off.
  2. In the event of a rain-off the £1000 prize money will be carried over to the next meeting.
  3. This will be held at Santa Pod Raceway only and for five events: the Festival of Power, FIA / FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA / FIM European Finals, and the UK National Finals.
  4. There must be minimum twelve-car field on eliminations day, not just qualifying. Any less and no money will be paid out or carried over.
  5. This is a trial, 2017 only at this stage.
  6. It will be called and must be commentated as the Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2017.
  7. No decals are required on the cars.
  8. Most of this has been agreed by Santa Pod Racers Club and Santa Pod Raceway. Comments welcome from all involved.
  9. A Facebook page will be set up for all rules and conditions.
I hope that you all agree that with disposable income being challenged by economic conditions, and the uncertainty the future holds at this present time, I needed to do something to support a class which was ironically founded in the first place to make drag racing financially accessible to everyone. I see the way things are going, with the Pro classes being challenged the most why not turn the spotlight on a class which supports them at each event and reduce the pressure they must be feeling. As you know it's not easy as we saw from the numbers at the UK National Finals, but maybe when the spectators know that there is a small pot of gold to race for it may grab their interest. Who knows, but it's worth a try.


Lucas Oil continue Junior support.
27th February: Wayne Jackson has been in touch with news from
Brad Jackson Racing and Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products UK:

I am pleased to announce that Lucas Oil Products UK will continue to sponsor the UK National Junior Dragster Championship in 2017 with prizes for first and second place at every Championship round.

Joe Holland-Villa will continue with Lucas Oil sponsorship and we are pleased to welcome a new Lucas-sponsored driver, Aaron Fensome, for his final year in the Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Championship. Aaron was the first drag racer to purchase a new race suit from racewearonline.com and during discussions regarding his new custom suit and custom gloves he enquired about sponsorship.

Aaron's timing was perfect; with Shannon Kiddell leaving Junior Dragster and moving to Pro ET it is great to continue to have two Lucas-backed cars in the 2017 Championship.


UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting report.
26th February: The 2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting took place this afternoon (Sunday) at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton. The official minutes of the meeting will be published in due course but these are the main points.

CLASS CHANGES

ET Bike is a UK National Championship class starting this season.

Big Bang will be a UK National Championship round for 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Supertwin Top Gas and ET Bike.

The base index for Junior Stock Dragster has been changed from 12.90 seconds to 11.90 seconds.

Junior Dragster harnesses will be valid for five years from date of manufacture so long as the date of manufacture is visible on the harness.

Effective this season bike racers must wear their leathers, gloves and boots at scrutineering.

2017 UK CHAMPIONSHIPS

The dates of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below.

Entry forms for events at Santa Pod Raceway will be available tomorrow on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at
www.eurodragster.com/sprc and forms for events at Shakespeare County Raceway will shortly be available on the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Closing dates are listed on the entry forms and reminders will of course be posted here on Eurodragster.com.

Super Street will contest two sets of qualifying and eliminations, both of which will count for points, at the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals. One entry fee covers both contests.

Bug Jam will again be a non-points round for Lucas Oil Junior Dragster.

All teams intending to field more than one driver or rider for the same vehicle must send a list of the season's drivers to Ian Marshall or Yvonne Tramm at SPRC before the Festival of Power.

Cars MSA Pro
Modified
Super Pro
ET
Pro ET Sportsman
ET
Super
Comp
Super
Gas
Super
Street
Street
Eliminator
Junior
Dragster
Other
classes
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
14th-16th April
Top Fuel Dragster, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd April
              Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, FWD, JDS, Nostalgia Super Stock
Springspeed Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
29th April-1st May
  Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
24th-25th June
Nostalgia Fuel, Comp Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd July
           
non-points
Fuel FC, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman
Mopar Euronationals
Santa Pod Raceway
28th-30th July
                Nostalgia Super Stock
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
26th-28th August
  Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel, Comp Eliminator
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th September
Nostalgia Fuel, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock

Bikes Top Fuel
Bike
Pro Stock
Bike
Funny
Bike
Super Street
Bike
Comp
Bike
8.50
Bike
9.50
Bike
Junior Drag
Bike
Supertwin Top Gas ET Bike / NAST
Supertwin ET
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
14th-16th April
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd April
           
Springspeed Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
29th April-1st May
 
NAST
Race, Rock'n'Ride
Santa Pod Raceway
20th-21st May
 
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
           
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
24th-25th June
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
26th-28th August
 
NAST
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
           
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th September



EVENT ENTRY

Both APIRA and SPRC have frozen entry fees this season.

Prize money has again been increased by 2% for this season.

2016 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions will again receive free entry to rounds at Santa Pod Raceway in 2017, although see below. Free entry applies even if you change classes. At FIA / FIM events SPRC will cover the equivalent of the National Championship entry fee for Pro Modified, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike. In the case of teams with more than one driver, one team driver per event will receive the free entry. Pitside power must still be paid for. The free entry must be used during 2017.

For this year's SPRC Champions to receive free entry in 2018 there must have been an average of four bikes contesting events in Top Fuel Bike and an average of six vehicles in each other class.

SPRC Champions will now also receive embroidered jackets (introduced at this year's Trophy Presentation).

Class Two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
MSA British Pro Modified; Top Fuel Dragster; Fuel Funny Car; Top Methanol; Nostalgia Funny Car £160 £170 n/a

NB FIA classes pay FIA fees for FIA European Championship events
ET classes; Super classes; Junior Dragster; Comp Eliminator; Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator; VW classes; Outlaw Flat Four; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; Nostalgia Super Stock; other Sportsman car classes £130 SPRC: £145
APIRA: £130
£170
ACU Top Fuel Bike £165 £170 n/a

NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
ACU Funny Bike; ACU Pro Stock Bike; ACU Comp Bike; ACU Super Street Bike; 9.50 Bike; 8.50 Bike; ACU Supertwin Gas; NAST Supertwin Gas; ACU ET Bike / NAST Supertwin ET; Junior Drag Bike SPRC: £135
APIRA: £130
SPRC: £150
APIRA: £135
APIRA JDB: £105
n/a
Jet Car £155 £170 TBC
Exhibition £165 £170 TBC



PITSIDE POWER AT SANTA POD RACEWAY

Fees for pitside power supply at Santa Pod Raceway have been frozen for two- and three-day events but the fee for single-phase has increased by £5 for the two four-day FIA / FIM events.

Event duration Single phase Three phase
2 days £45 £145
3 days £55 £155
4 days £70 £170



OTHER BUSINESS

The 2017 rule book has been put in the mail to car racers. Bike racers will receive their rule book within a week once a final amendment has been made. The rule book is on a USB stick; for a printed version please contact APIRA or SPRC.

Generic Championship and runner-up trophies will be made available for photographs of National Championship winners and runners-up at the UK National Finals.

Jon Giles confirmed that for the £1000 prize to be available in Super Gas, twelve cars must contest round one of eliminations.


Swift snippets.
26th February: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway. Have a great day Darren. Happy Birthday also to UK Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent, you have a great day too Kevin, and to safety crew member Geoff Quaife. Have a great day Geoff.

Longtime and attentive readers will know that today (Sunday) is Eurodragster.com's 19th birthday. The usual thanks to Andy Carter who sent our first news item in 1998 and to all of the racers, clubs, officials, promoters, sponsors, fans, family, friends and everyone else without whose support we could not do this.


SPRC event entry update.
25th February:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch to advise racers that, as every year, entry forms for events at Santa Pod Raceway will be available after the annual UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting, which in this case takes place in Northampton tomorrow (Saturday) - see yesterday's news for details about the meeting.

Entry forms will be available from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc from Monday. Forms for events at Shakespeare County Raceway will also be available very shortly after the Riders' and Drivers' Meeting.

Ian adds that the 2017 rulebook will be ready within a week or so and will be distributed to Club members on USB stick. If you would like a printed version then please contact SPRC or APIRA.


Kirstie seeks lady racers' help.
25th February: Eurodragster.com Photographer and Sportsman ET racer Kirstie Tramm is seeking the help of fellow female racers with a talk which she is giving in March.

"I'm the guest speaker in my school for International Womens' Day on 8th March", says Kirstie. I will be wearing my race suit! I would be grateful for quotes from our lady racers in any class and in any country to encourage our young female audience that anything is achievable. Short and snappy quotes would be particularly appreciated, thank you."

If you would like to help Kirstie with this great cause then please drop her your message at kirstie@eurodragster.com.


Supertwins go Dutch.
25th February: Job Heezen writes that the Supertwin Drag Bike Association recently got together in Amsterdam (I guessed from the picture it may not have been Cleckheaton - Ed):

We tried to make a statement with this new set-up that the STDBA is not just about racing, rules and tech talk or whetever but about long-term friendship. We thought that this time we would organise it in such a way that not only racers would come to the meeting but also the people surrounding them such as team members, friends and family, to stress their importance.

We were able to make some really good hospitality deals in the historic town of Volendam, a fishermens' enclave to the north of still close to Amsterdam, and a town which has kept most of its original character. The picture shows how well this character suits the Supertwins.

After the short Volendam intermezzo the journey continued to Amsterdam. Being a city with as many canals as streets we had the splendid option to go for a boat tour showing all the beauty of the city, the harbour, the small canals in the inner city, the monuments, and the beautiful and romantic atmosphere of Amsterdam by night.

In the meantime we had time for the annual meeting which was what it was all about. Some major issues were reviewed: the relationship between Scandinavian and Central European racers, the development of the EDRS, the position towards the FIM Championship and the upcoming FIM World Series etc.

At the end of the day we issued a statement which reflected the thoughts of the STDBA members at the meeting on 11th February:
  • We unanimously fully welcome and support the idea of an FIM European Series in 2018 being held in Central Europe (including the UK) and Scandinavia;

  • We urge all parties involved to make the maximum effort to realise a Championship Series based on two Central European events and two Scandinavian events on major tracks and on traditional international race dates.
Priddle book Blog update.
25th February: Photo-journalist Keith Lee tells us that has posted a progress update on his Blog on Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive, as he gets fully into the process of writing his book on the life and times of one of European drag racing's true iconic drivers and constructors - Dennis Priddle.

"The project is going well, as I gather more information and pictures every day", comments Keith, "with Dennis contributing a wealth of detail for me to work with."

Dennis also features in Keith's latest column in the April edition of Custom Car magazine, which looks back at the excellent bench racing session staged at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala.

You can check out Keith's Blog at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk/keith/lee_blog2.html.


Reminders I and II.
24th February: The 2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting will be held at 13:30 this Sunday (26th) at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton, on the eastbound A45 just off Junction 15 of the M1 (postcode is NN4 0XW,
map). Items to be discussed include the 2017 UK National Championships (ratification of dates as well as Championship matters), event entry fees and pitside electrical supply, and prize funds, as well as Any Other Business. Refreshments will be available free of charge on arrival.

Voting for the 2016 season APIRA Perpetual Awards closes at 23:59 UK time tonight, Friday (00:59 European time Saturday). To check out the shortlists and place your votes check out the official APIRA Perpetual Awards vote page by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Success for our sponsors.
24th February: Courtesy of Marc Wesler of renewing Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels comes this flyer (below left) celebrating all of the VP-using 2016 NHRA Champions and featuring Sweden's own double NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car World Champion and now Fuel Funny Car racer Jonnie Lindberg. The flyer is in PDF format and will print to a very large size for that bedroom wall.


Via Les Downey of fellow renewing Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products comes news from Tom Bogner of Brian Fitzpatrick's 6.17/226 world record for an Import Dragster, set in Top Dragster at the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona. The alcohol-burning six-cylinder Toyota-powered dragster makes 2,000 hp and uses Lucas Oils' 50 Plus. Brian qualified seventh in a field of thirty four, the other dragsters all being V8s.


Swift snippets.
24th February: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

After what he terms as a season to forget in 2016, Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg is looking forward to the new season in which he will contest both the FIM European and EDRS Pro Championships. Courtesy of our good friend Remco Scheelings you can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.


VP's Eastern Europe distributor.
24th February: Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels has introduced its newest distributor, oils4cars SRO, based in Košice, Slovakia. As VP's authorised dealer, oils4cars will service customers in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Austria with a full line of VP's race fuel blends including unleaded R5, Motorsport 109, Motorsport 103 and many more.

  VP Madditives, formulated for petrol and diesel engines, will also be available from oils4cars.  The family of additives includes VP Fuel System Cleaner, VP Power Boost combustion enhancer and VP Octanium octane boost for petrol engines, along with VP Diesel All-In-One Fuel Conditioner and VP Cetanium cetane boost for diesel engines.

"Over the last years oils4cars has proved to be a strong and reliable partner to many businesses in Europe", Stanislav Brindza, Sales Manager for oils4cars. "We are convinced that the same business approach will enable us to serve VP Racing Fuels customers in an effective and professional manner.  We believe that VP represents world class quality, as evidenced by its co-operation with M-SPORT and also based on our own experiences in rally.  With both companies fueled by a passion for motorsport and successful business experiences, oils4cars sees great potential in our cooperation with VP.  We are happy to open a new chapter of business together with VP Racing Fuels."

"We're very pleased to welcome oils4cars to the VP family" said Marc Wesler, International Sales Manager for VP Racing Fuels. "Stanislav Brindza and his team are well-respected in the industry and very knowledgeable about performance products as reflected in the success of their Red Ants rally team.  We're confident they'll represent the VP Racing Fuels brand well and look forward to growing our businesses together."

More information about oils4cars is available on-line at www.oils4cars.com.


Hall of Fame Gala changes venue.
22nd February: The
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Annual Gala Awards Dinner is moving to a new venue for the 2017 event on Saturday 18th November: the luxurious four-star Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey.

Its magnificent grounds were originally the site of a grand Tudor palace built by Henry VIII for Anne of Cleeves in 1538. Other monarchs including Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, also resided at Oatlands during their reigns. It opened as a hotel for the first time in 1856 and has played host to a number of world-famous guests including writer Emile Zola, novelist Anthony Trollope and artist and poet Edward Lear. Now some of the great names from drag racing will join this list on Saturday, November 18th as the sport celebrates its British pioneers.

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Limited CEO Brian Taylor said "It is very difficult to find a venue which is convenient, which can take our numbers and enable us to pay tribute to our pioneers in a fitting yet affordable style. It is true that we had a very successful event at the Sheraton Skyline, London Heathrow, in 2016, but we really wanted a venue which could more readily handle all the activities held during the day and, most importantly, one with character and a sense of being in Great Britain. The Oatlands Park Hotel and its associated history certainly do that in spades and we are very pleased to have hunted it down."

Honorary Chairman of the BDRHoF Stu Bradbury said "We are always trying to improve the event, particularly the environment for guests to socialise with old friends they haven't seen for years and to give time to mingle with the celebrity guests. We also wanted a hotel that has local interest for those making a weekend of it. The Oatlands Park has easy access from Junction 11 on the M25 and is near London Heathrow Airport. It is only a few minutes' drive from the world-famous Brooklands Motorsport and Aviation Museum. This features many historic aircraft and cars, including one of the few Concordes in existence and the fabulous twenty four-litre Napier Railton which graced the Brooklands circuit setting many records in the 1930s.

"On the same Brooklands site you can find Mercedes-Benz World where you can put your driving skills to the test on the Handling Circuit in a range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Or let the Silver Arrows Display Team show you how it's done. Plenty of Mercedes vehicles on static display. Also nearby you can find Hampton Court, Windsor Great Park, Legoland, Windsor Castle and lots more. Trains from Weybridge station can take you to Waterloo Station in London so we think this new venue has it covered."

The main part of the Gala Awards Dinner evening is of course devoted to introducing and inducting the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame class of 2017 and these will be announced on Eurodragster.com during the weekend of Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway on 14th-16th July. The Sydney Allard Media Awards will also be presented at the Gala – this year introducing an award for best video. Event sponsors will be confirmed during the year.

The BDRHoF is now taking reservations for the 2017 Gala Awards Dinner by E-Mail at stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or by telephone on 01933 279102. This year the tickets are priced competitively at £65 which includes a pre-dinner reception. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion we suggest you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms at the negotiated room rate which includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking.

Ongoing news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, on Eurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.


Walters chases the missing Six.
20th February: UK Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor
Peter Walters has announced that in 2017 he will be driving the blown-alcohol six-second Super Pro ET rail owned by Derek Flynn of fellow Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV. Peter's own dragster will remain in the workshop this season.


"We wrecked two motors in my own dragster last year", Pete told Eurodragster.com. "We decided to change from a Small Block to a Big Block. We were going to carry out the change over the winter but then decided that we would take the season out, take our time and spend more money on it."

The plan to drive the Gold RV dragster was hatched when Derek and Fiona Flynn visited the Walters household at Christmas. "We spoke about my driving Derek's car at a couple of rounds, then I spoke to Derek a couple of weeks ago and he said that we will run it al all of the SPRC rounds", said Pete. "It is usually is quite simple with Derek, he says "Do you want to do this?" and I say "Yes"! My dad was going to crew with Derek this season anyway, whatever happened. We may bring my own dragster out to test at the end of the season."

Pete will be pulling double duty at some events as he and sister Holley will also be campaigning a 1996 Mustang in Sportsman ET as a two-driver team. "It'll be a bit of fun", said Pete. "It will be the first time that Holley has ever driven anything on the track."

Driving the Gold RV dragster will plug a gap in Pete's schedule of Personal Bests. "I've never driven a six-second pass!", he said. "I have run eights and sevens in my own dragster, and fives in Dave Wilson's injected-nitro Top Methanol dragster, but I have yet to drive a six."

This formality should be dealt with quickly as testing is scheduled for the Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day the day before the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway in April.


See Jackson for racewear and more.
20th February: Wayne Jackson tells us that Brad Jackson Racing Ltd are launching a new arm to their team selling a range of custom racewear, gloves and underwear as well as other safety equipment.

"Printed and embroidered garments are available", says Wayne. "The suits, one of which Brad wears, are made in Italy and are all FIA 8856-2000, even the entry level suit, so legal all the way to Super Pro ET, rear-engined, unblown no nitrous, 6.0 seconds.

"Besides the racewear there are belts, seats, and the legendary Tiger Grip work gloves. To follow shortly are steering wheels and Hans devices. The main focus on the web site over the coming days and weeks will be the addition of the Lucas Oil Products' UK inventory."

You can check out the new site and place your orders at www.racewearonline.com.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 6.
13th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted on Monday each week.

The final shortlist is the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, for the most promising newcomer to contest events at Shakespeare County Raceway. This trophy was presented for the first time in 2012 and is posted by Graham, Edel and Gabrielle McDonald. Last year's recipient was Sportsman ET racer Andy Dibley, whose entry fees to the Springspeed Nationals and Open Sport Nationals were paid by McDonald Racing in addition to the trophy. The shortlist for the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Colin Felstead, Pro ET
Vote for Colin Felstead

Frankie Fordham, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster
Vote for Frankie Fordham

Elaine Hancock, Sportsman ET
Vote for Elaine Hancock

Gary Hester, ET Bike
Vote for Gary Hester

Leo Lester, ET Bike
Vote for Leo Lester

Samir Lukac, VW Pro
Vote for Samir Lukac

John Mclean Jr, Comp Bike
Vote for John Mclean Jr

Bill Murfin, Super Pro ET
Vote for Bill Murfin

Kim and Richard Willcox, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster
Vote for Kim and Richard Willcox

Natalie Wood, VW Sportsman
Vote for Natalie Wood

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

Voting closes at 23:59 UK time this coming Friday, 24th February (00:59 European Saturday 25th).


Web site updates.
20th February: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Gearhead Garage Paul Marston works on the fuel lines, brakes and windows of his twin-turbo Cortina and makes a note of the latest weight loss. You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Gearhead Garage Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Quiz benefits Bloodwise.
19th February: Yvonne Tramm got in touch to thank all of those who took part in the Riders and Drivers Quiz for
Bloodwise at last weekend's SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation:

Thank you all for your generous donations to the Bloodwise charity.  A total of £345 has been sent on behalf of you all. Congratulations to Emma Wray who won the three-way tie and who received a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates.

I do hope that you all had a good night.


Murty on barriers.
19th February: Steve Murty of the International Organisation of Professional Drivers has asked us to post this statement. As ever News FAQ 16 applies:

Like many highly sensitive subjects in life there are those on the internet that voice an opinion without any perceived liability regarding subjects in which they have no practical knowledge or experience and no professional indemnity insurance. This can then create dangerous myths which may lead others in to boycotting certain venues unnecessarily.

One such myth which has reared its head recently is that motorsport tracks are more dangerous and a safety issue if not surrounded by concrete walls. Such unfounded motorsport myths have compensation lawyers sharpening there pencils all over the country as it infers that event organisers that run events where there are no concrete barriers are obviously negligent and therefore potentially liable to pay compensation.

It is and always has been the policy of the IOPD that the best barriers are the ones not there. Barriers on racing venues are only required to enable spectators or paddock to be close enough to the action or just to fit it all in limited land space.

In the UK everybody is so used to barriers everywhere on the roads that drivers tend to feel unsafe without them. However if you were in America where land space is not the same problem as the UK all you find between highways is wide open spaces where the land slopes down in to a slight ditch to prevent cars and trucks passing across in to oncoming traffic.

Where cars and Armco barriers are used on circuits both are energy absorbing devices which dissipates the kinetic energy of a wayward car. Cars can hit a barrier pointing in any direction at any height, either spinning, rolling and turning end over end and often a combination of both. From the drivers point of view energy must be dissipated as gradually as possible without subjecting him to deceleration that causes internal injuries. The magnitude of energy to be dissipated increases at the square of the speed ie a 60 mph impact in to concrete is equivalent to dropping the car from a height of 80 metres, at 120 mph it's 314 metres, at 180 mph its 700 metres and at 200 mph it is the equivalent of dropping a car from a kilometre!

In the worst scenario should a car leave a race track and barrel roll it then dissipates kinetic energy relatively slowly and subjects the driver to substantially less G-forces.

Armco barrier acts like a spring dampener absorbing energy. Concrete walls do not, however concrete walls are less likely to allow a car though or over the wall. Both concrete and Armco cause crashing cars to bounce back on to the course and possibly in to other racers who may be innocent passers-by. No barrier no rebounding race cars!

Armco barrier that deflects by 0.5 metres reduces the severity and therefore the g forces on the driver by around (50% the difference between concrete and Armco).

Large run off areas on F1 circuits allow for declaration of car at around 1G. A well restrained motor racing driver may walk away from a 30G impact and this increases to over 40G if wearing a Frontal Head Restraint.

Whatever personal opinions car driver may have regarding barriers they must not lose sight of fact that 50% of sprint and drag racers are motorcyclists and therefore should consider there safety also. No motorcyclist wants barriers to hit if it can be avoided. This is always a difficult balance for the racing circuits to achieve and is often compensated for by the use of air and tyre walls.


Summit Racing back EDRS.
17th February:
Speedgroup are pleased to announce that Summit Racing Equipment, the world's largest mail order automotive performance equipment company, has becomes the title sponsor for the EDRS European Drag Racing Series, which has been operated by Speedgroup since 2012. Effective this season the Series will operate as the Summit Racing EDRS Series.


The 2017 Summit Racing EDRS Series, the biggest drag racing series in Europe, comprises eighteen events at thirteen tracks in five European countries:

MAY
12-14 Malmö Raceway SWE (SRIF)
20-21 Tallhed / Orsa SWE (Night Cruisers Färnäs)
26-27 Vålrgårda SWE (SHRA Borås)
JUNE
3-4 Thunder Valle NOR (Jaeren DR)
15-18 Tierp Arena SWE (NDRS MC) 
23-25 Tallhed / Orsa SWE (Night Cruisers Färnäs)
29 June – July 2 Alastaro FIN (FHRA)
30 June- July 2 Sundsvall SWE (SHRA Sundsvall)
JULY
7-9 Piteå Raceway SWE (SHRA Luleå)
8-9 Pärnu, ESTONIA (EDRA)
14-15 Fällfors SWE (SHRA Skellefteå)
27-30 Gardermoen NOR (NDRG)
AUGUST
4-6 Tallhed/Orsa (MC event) SWE (Night Cruisers Färnäs)
11-13 Sundsvall Raceway SWE (SHRA Sundsvall)
19-20 Lindesberg SWE (SHRA Lindesberg)
24-27 Tierp Arena SWE (NDRS MC)
SEPTEMBER
1-3 Mosten DEN (Mosten MC)
15-17 Gardermoen NOR (NDRG)

"Stepping up to the series sponsorship is the perfect opportunity to expand Summit Racing's support for the EDRS racers", said Jim Greenleaf, Summit's Motorsport and Events Manager. "We experienced an incredibly positive response to our participation in the contingency program in 2016. We are impressed with Speedgroup and the vision they have for the future of drag racing in Europe. Summit Racing looks forward to being a part of the program for many years to come."

Speedgroup CEO Åsa Kinnemar says that Summit Racing first became involved through the contingency programme operated by Speedgroup 2016: "The response and appreciation from racers for Summit Racing's support and commitment in the contingency programme alone was amazing. Now we are delighted to get the opportunity to intensify the co-operation with Summit Racing by also having the Series operating under the Summit Racing EDRS Series name and banner. The co-operation with Summit will allow us to further develop and add new values to the series both short and longer term."


King of America?
17th February: 2016 was a momentous year for UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King and his King Racing - Gulf Oil Drag Racing team. Another record-setting tenth FIM European Championship was won, and in doing so Team Principal and rider Ian King became the most successful rider in European drag bike racing history by accumulating more Championship points of any rider in any class over the two decades since he began competing in the Championship. At the end of the season he diversified his sporting focus by using the very same Championship-winning machine for a successful attempt to set a new FIM World Land Speed Record on a track and in conditions totally at odds with the environment in which he had been so successful over his ten European Drag Racing Championships.

So, what for 2017? Following his successful one-off race in the 2014 USA National Championship opening round where he not only won the event but became the final and permanent member of the prestigious MTC Top Fuel Five Second Club, invitations from the organisers to race the entire USA National Championship, and the hopes and desires of his many fans across the globe were compelling and so he and his team have been working on a programme to see if Ian could become the first European rider to do so since the late Brian Johnson more than three decades ago.

  Since then the team have been working feverishly on a programme to race the entire season in the home of drag racing in the USA Championship, whose details you can find at www.dragbike.com. The plan is financially demanding, but some notable supporters have already stepped up to the plate to assist. However, the team are still some way short in reaching the necessary budget required for such an undertaking and as such are reaching out to the wider drag racing community for help in supplementing the budget already raised to make the plan a reality. Ian is extremely grateful for the outstanding support for his endeavours and hopes that competing in the US Championship in 2017 will be possible.

With that funding in mind one US fan of Drag Bike racing, Mark Rendeluk, has kindly set up a funding page to help in the quest at www.gofundme.com/help-ian-king-get-to-race-mancup. All contributions, however small will be very gratefully received by the King Racing team. Ian King can also  be contacted on his Facebook page or by E-Mail at ian@kingracing.com.


No Prep looking at York.
17th February: Paul Marston tells us that after a recent visit to York Raceway he has been invited to look into running a No Prep event at the track later this year:

No Prep is Doorslammers only, heads up eighth-mile, no times, numbers drawn out of a hat to decide the pairings, call-out allowed first round only minimum £50 side bet, no weight limit, no limit to engine or power adders, other than safety there are no rules. Entry would be £125 and if there are enough entries the prize fund to win will be £1000 cash.

What we need now is for drivers and teams to register their interest in competing at this event. There will be no limit to entries but we will be looking for at least sixteen interested teams before we go back to Steve Murty and confirm a date.

Everyone knows that York needs support and this is your chance to do just that. I know that there are teams interested in travelling up from the south, and York has some great Doorslammers of its own so this event could be quite a showdown.

To register your interest please contact us via Facebook on either the Paul Marston Racing or UK Top Sportsman pages, E-Mail pmracing@fsmail.net, or call me on 07831 650230.


UK Top Sportsman #7.
17th February: UK Top Sportsman will be celebrating its seventh year at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway at the end of July. Paul Marston writes:

We are most grateful to the organisers that the very fastest Sportsman Doorslammers will be racing at the very best muscle car event on the calendar.

UK Top Sportsman is two races in one weekend. First there is the Pro Tree bracket race, no throttle stops allowed. This race kicks off Friday and runs to conclusion. On Saturday night there is the one-shot qualifier for the sixteen-spot Heads-Up race, with the eliminations on Sunday.

UK Top Sportsman is open to anyone with a Doorslammer, providing it can run 9.99 or quicker. There are just safety rules, other than that there are no rules on engine size, power adders, vehicle weight, 2WD or 4WD. Its run what you brung and hope you brung enough!

This is where you will see the very best Sportsman drivers not just in the UK but also in Europe: we welcome all European race teams and have had drivers from many European countries race with us. In 2017 Rene Ehrismann from Switzerland made it to the final of the Heads-Up race.

This is an event run by racers for racers and is also the richest pay-out for a Sportsman race in the country. The wealth is shared as we pay from the third round onwards. With an average of thirty two teams regularly entering UK Top Sportsman, it's a great event in which to compete with lots of racing. Two races in one weekend! Yes it's the toughest event of the year ad it brings out the very best in the race teams with Personal Bests, plenty of seven-second runs and a lot of scalps to be taken. This is the race everyone talks about, the race for which people build new Doorslammers. This is the one that really matters. So make a note in your diary - Santa Pod Raceway, Mopar EuroNationals, 28th-30th July.

We are still looking for a title partner / sponsor and associate business partners / sponsors for this event, so if anyone is interested in enjoying the exposure and the benefits of the exclusive webcast and TV time, plus all the press releases and on the day and trackside promotion, then please contact us via Facebook at UK Top Sportsman, E-Mail pmracing@fsmail.net, or call me on 07831 650230.


Outlaw Street 2017.
16th February: Mark Wallington writes that 2017 is the eighth year for the UK's Outlaw Street series:

That's right, we've been running for eight years - where's the time gone! For those of you who've followed the series through the race reports over the past seven years, or who've seen members racing at Santa Pod or Shakespeare County Raceway, you'll be familiar with the rules and format, but for anyone who's not, or who fancies 2017 being the year they dip their toe into drag racing, here's a summary of the who / what / where of Outlaw Street.

Outlaw Street is an amateur drag racing series open to anyone who owns a street-legal car and who wants to enjoy quarter mile racing with like-minded people, and at the same time have an opportunity to win a trophy and be part of the fastest-growing drag series in the UK.

The series is open to all marques of vehicles, four cylinders and up (which is part of the eclectic appeal of Outlaw Street). We do however have a strong grounding in anything American V8 powered, whether it be a 1930s hot rod, a 60s muscle car, a pick-up truck or a modern day Mustang or Corvette, or old English tin with a V8 stuffed under the bonnet.

The series is spread across eight race meets throughout the 2017 drag racing season, starting in May and runing through until October with an awards and prize night in November. We hold rounds at both Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway at a mix of events including Run What You Brungs, Saturday Night Specials, Lifestyle events and specialist weekends such as the Mopar EuroNationals and VW Action. The Series is actively supported by both tracks with Outlaw Street invited to a number of invitation-only events throughout the year.

The added luxury with the Series is that you don't have to stay all weekend to be eligible for points, you can just turn up for a day and race for a few hours, which makes the Series a lot more accessible to those racers with weekend work/family commitments.

Thanks to our sponsors Wisbech American Street & Performance Limited, Joe & Co and many others, we've grown our vast selection of trophies and awards including along with the traditional Top Three of the season, Reaction Time trophies for each round, American Car Magazine subscriptions for points winners, Fastest Elapsed Time trophies for both fastest V8 and non-V8 cars and more.

The rules for the series are quite simple. Your car must have:
  1. A current MOT
  2. A current TAX registration
  3. A full functioning exhaust system
  4. Tyres with road legal tread depth
Your car can't have:
  1. Open Headers
  2. Slicks
The points system is built on a combination of three factors:
  1. Quickest ET on the day
  2. Your own personal improvement from the last race meet
  3. Attendance
This means that you don't have to run the fastest car to have a chance of winning a trophy across the season, as proven by the top three winners in virtually every year of the series to date. Points are posted on the Outlaw Street forum after each meet so you can track how you're doing, who's beating you and who you've got to beat. Although there are eight rounds in the 2017 series, only six count towards the final score to decide the series winners. Of the eight rounds the first you attend counts as your Dial-In round and as such is a zero points round. In addition there is one holiday / breakage round meaning you can choose to drop one round per year and not ruin your chances of being competitive within the series.

Membership per season is £40. This gives you entry to the Outlaw Street forum, your own unique race number, membership card and Outlaw Street stickers along with several discount passes throughout the season.

We are very pleased to confirm sponsorship and support for the 2017 series from WASP Ltd (Wisbech American Street & Performance), Joe & Co, American Car Magazine, Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, Graham Durbridge Artworks and HRG Services.

The Series dates for 2017 are:

OS-1 13th-14th May: Saturday Night Special (night racing), Sunday Run What You Brung, Santa Pod Raceway
OS-2 27th-29th May: Yanks Weekend / Gary's Picnic, Shakespeare County Raceway
OS-3 10th-11th June: Public Test Weekend, Shakespeare County Raceway
OS-4 28th-30th July: Mopar EuroNationals, Santa Pod Raceway*
OS-5 19th-20th August: Saturday Night Special (night racing), Sunday Run What You Brung, Santa Pod Raceway
OS-6 1st-3rd September: VW Action, Santa Pod Raceway*
OS-7 30th September-1st October: Public Test Weekend, Shakespeare County Raceway
OS-8 28th-29th October: Bonfire Burn-Up, Shakespeare County Raceway
Prize Night: Saturday 11th November, The Crown Lodge Hotel, Outwell, Cambridgeshire

*Provisionally scheduled for webcast on Eurodragster.com

If you'd like more information about the series you can find out more at www.outlawstreet.co.uk or follow us on Facebook at Outlaw Street.


Glad and sad.
15th February: Congratulations to SPRC Club Secretary and Chief Starter Ian Marshall and Nitro FM's Nikki Skinner who have announced their engagement. Nikki and Ian were actually engaged on their trip to the USA last autumn with the proposal coming at Yosemite Falls after a two-hour trek to the base of the top fall. Our very best wishes for a long and happy future.

Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer and outgoing Eurodragster.com sponsor Mike Manners, who raced in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, has confirmed that he has retired from racing. "I have had some neck and back problems over the last three years which occasionally forced me to cancel races", Mike told Eurodragster.com. "Then two doctors in two days told me that I was risking severe nerve damage from the G-force, let alone a wreck, and that I was silly to continue driving. I had a fantastic time doing it and my only regrets are that I did not get my NHRA Top Fuel licence and that I never raced at Santa Pod". Our best wishes to Mike and our thanks for his long support of Eurodragster.com.


Malmgren signs ARP at PRI.
15th February: Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren is pleased to announce that he signed ARP Autmotive Racing Products as a product sponsor on his trip to PRI.

ARP have signed a deal with Malmgren Pro Stock Racing to promote their products on the FIA European Championship Tour. "We are very proud to add ARP to our list of performance parts product sponsors", says Michael. "Bob Ingles, our engine builder, relies only on ARP fasteners. We need the best products possible to keep our high-revving Pro Stock engines alive, and that's why we rely on ARP fasteners."

"We are proud to be associated with Malmgren Pro Stock Racing", says Nigel Atkinson of ARP.

Michael confirmed that, although EFI is now allowed by the FIA rules, he will be sticking with the carburetted set-up in 2017.


All welcome to refettled Jurby.
15th February: With one UK track and possibly another under threat of closure Ian Merryweather of the Manx Drag Racing Association writes with some welcome good news:

The Manx Drag Racing Association would like to announce they are in the process of building a new prepped track for all to come and enjoy. Work to put in the new concrete startline is underway, along with new tarmac further down track. The concrete stretches 145 feet from the burnout box. The removable start line gantry we have will be in place along a new mobile timing kiosk.


Jurby Airfield, where the Manx Drag Racing Association have been running events in partnership with the Straightliners since 2010, has the benefit of no noise restrictions whatsoever, in fact the only restriction we have is that the grass on site is not allowed to be cut until August due to nesting Skylarks! There is a huge motor museum on site, a bus museum, a kart track, and for those who break the rules the Isle of Man prison - or Jurby Hilton as the locals call it!

Their Drag Fest event, which has been sponsored by Pokerstars since 2010, has always been tagged on to the final weekend of the Manx Grand Prix / TT Classic bike racers' fortnight, usually first weekend in September. Many of the UK racers have made the trip over and had a great time - ask Mark Flavell, Paul Watts, Spencer Tidswell and Ben Rushforth to name but a few. The biggest problem has always been finding suitable ferry sailings due to the bike teams leaving en masse after their fortnight of action.


This year, however, Trevor Duckworth's Straightliners and the MDRA have got together to offer the drag racing masses a new event. The Tynwald Drags, which will be held over the weekend of 1st-2nd July, does not clash with other UK events this year, or any events on the Island. Therefore there are plenty of ferry sailings available at very reasonable rates (although we would still advise booking early). For more information including ferry packages visit the events page at www.manxdragracing.com.

We all hope to see you in July and don't forget next month's Custom Car magazine, due out 24th February, for the write-up up of the 2016 Pokerstars Drag Fest.


The original Stat Guy speaks.
15th February: Longtime Eurodragster.com readers will know of our long association with TSI Timers Europe especially timing and stats guru Andy Marrs who recently announced that he is retiring from active duty on SPRC's timing crew, although he will still continue to consult on timing matters.

At Saturday's SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation Marrs was stitched up a treat, being presented with the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy and then, when he had got back to his seat, being called up again to receive the John Ledster Memorial Trophy.

It's not often that we see Marrs at a loss for words but he eventually recovered and has been in touch to thank all those responsible:

I'm still reeling from Saturday night! I don't really know what to say apart from thank you to everyone. To Carole, Karl and Ian and to everyone else involved in conspiring to get me there, and obviously to everyone who nominated and voted for me. I feel massively honoured to receive the awards. I'm in some very special company with those who have received these awards before me, and I am stunned to be thought of in the same way. I'm just a bit of a nerd that is fascinated by the numbers in the sport who realised that there were a few other anoraks out there who were and are interested in them!

Rest assured I won't be disappearing into the sunset. I'll still be popping up the track now and then, and I will still be working on the numbers.


A word from a sponsor...
15th February: It was a successful weekend at Pomona for Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products. Tom Bognor writes:

Top Alcohol Funny Car winner Shane Westerfield (below left) uses Lucas Oil 70 Plus current formula - no additives, just good old oil out of the jug.


Above right is one of the pistons from Del Worsham's Fuel Funny Car. Del has had no parts failures using Lucas Oil. I have been present for every fill, drain and run down track this year, beginning with pre-race testing in Phoenix. Del is running the new Special Blend 70 Plus, again we have not run any additives to date, just oil out of the jug. All parts have been serviceable, just the way the team likes it. No liners replaced, or any other parts.

Del lost in the second round against Ron Caps, 2016 Champion, but he did take out Robert Hight in round #1. I am very pleased with the results of the first race.


...and a word to our sponsors.
15th February: Eurodragster.com sponsors please note that this year's sponsorship renewals have been sent out. If your renewal has not arrived and it is not in your Spam folder then please get in touch with Tog at tog@eurodragster.com.

If you are interested in sponsoring Eurodragster.com then please get in touch with Tog at the same address.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 5.
13th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted on Monday each week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy. The founder of the National Drag Racing Club, Alan Wigmore was dedicated to every aspect of the sport at home as well as in America. As Chairman of the NDRC Alan got to do just about every job there was to organise as well as run race events. This Award is presented in Alan's memory to the chosen individual who has shown the same dedication, spirit and enthusiasm for the sport which Alan showed in his years in drag racing.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Dave Rowlands (Shakespeare County Raceway fire crew)
Vote for Dave Rowlands

Chris Schreier (APIRA race official)
Vote for Chris Schreier

Graham Smith (Organiser, Tri Chevy Shootout)
Vote for Graham Smith

Tony Smith (ACU / APIRA race official)
Vote for Tony Smith

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The final shortlist, to be published next Monday (20th February) will be the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer Award.


Swift snippets.
13th February: Mike Janis got in touch to alert European readers to this very tidy Pro Mod which he is selling on Racing Junk. The Camaro comes as a roller or turn-key having made all of twelve eighth-mile passes. You can find out more on Racing Junk by clicking here.

Having been selected for the Norwegian National Drag Bike Team, Thomas Olsen and the Brothers In Arms Pro Stock Bike team are upgrading and gearing up for EDRS Pro Nordic MC competition in 2017. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Love and best wishes for a rapid recovery to Dianne Hope of the Rat Trap Fuel Altered team who is back at home in Tennessee after a scary-sounding kayaking accident and hospitalisation in New Zealand. Look forward to seeing you at Goodwood Dianne.


SPRC Presentation gallery.
12th February: The official Trophy Presentation pictures from last night's SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation are now available. The gallery, which is presented in association with
Lucas Oil Products, can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Copies of any picture are free and can be obtained by E-Mailing tog@eurodragster.com with the image number.

Many thanks to photographer Grace Roaf for her hard work last night.


SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
12th February: The winners and runners-up in the 2016 UK National Championships, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships were presented with their trophies at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Daventry last night (Saturday). The winners of SPRC's Perpetual Awards, for whom Eurodragster.com readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.

Congratulations to the SPRC Perpetual Award winners:

Most Promising Newcomer: Michel Tooren (Pro Modified)
Best Appearing Car: Jon Webster (Nostalgia slingshot)
Best Appearing Bike: Rikard Gustafsson (Top Fuel Bike)
Most Professional Appearing Team: Shark Attack Drag Racing (Rene van den Berg and teams)
James Edgar Memorial Trophy: Andy Wright (Pro Modified)
Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy: Andy Marrs (TSI Timers Europe)

John Ledster Memorial Trophy: Andy Marrs
Obsession Motorsports Sportsman of the Year Trophy: Brian and Lee Huxley

A big Thank You to everyone who submitted votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards.


York Raceway fights threat.
10th February: The UK government's Garden Villages scheme, intended to build new villages, has targeted used and disused airfield sites including Long Marston Airfield, home of Shakespeare County Raceway. Chris Murty writes that although Melbourne Airfield, home of York Raceway, has escaped the attentions of the Garden Village planners, the venue is under threat as a consequence of another decision and needs the urgent support of the UK drag racing community:

Sherburn-in-Elmet has been named as
the chosen location for a new £55 million factory. This means that the current users of Sherburn must find a new location. A major parts manufacture are looking to build a new proving ground to test their products and are in negotiations with the owners of Melbourne Airfield to resurface the venue with two new test tracks. This company have stated that they do not want to share the facility with drag racing.

However there is still hope. The land owners have welcomed negotiations with Pennine Raceway Ltd, the promotional and management company of York Raceway, and have intimated that they would consider accepting a substantially-improved offer of rent from Pennine Raceway Ltd.

Over the past three months Pennine Raceway Ltd have had to look at how to raise triple the rent just to remain in negotiations. Therefore, York Raceway propose the following for 2017:
  • More RWYB-only days, giving more track time to RWYBers;
  • More race rounds, giving our racers even more racing and better value for money;
  • The introduction of a £10 per run scheme in RWYB, to encourage new people to take part;
  • A loyalty card system, five RWYB sessions and get the sixth session free, as a thank you for loyalty;
  • Invite several drag racing classes to travel north, with potentially three new classes visiting York in 2017;
  • In 2017, regretfully raise RWYB by £10 per day to £40 for one day and £60 for two days, and to raise race fees by £20 per day to £60 for one day and £80 for two days).
We hope that with these changes, and with more independent race Championships embracing York, that here will be at least two permanent venues in the UK in the immediate future for the preservation of the sport.

Pennine Raceway Ltd are open to offers from promotion and marketing companies looking expand events, or as a potential new home. We would also welcome any company looking to sponsor or to invest in the venue and take drag racing and lifestyle events forward.

York Raceway has 365 days use as a motorsports venue and there are currently no sound limits.

If you would like to get involved in supporting York Raceway then please get in touch at info@yorkraceway.org.uk.


The Army game.
10th February: The UK's Team Mulisha are pleased to announce that with effect from this season they are a recognised British Army Drag Racing Team. Each team member is from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers who work closely alongside 3 Army Air Corps at Wattisham Flying Station.

The current team is Sgt Daniel Pigott (aka Lester) Mk2 Golf VR6, Sgt James Gould (aka Jay) Mk3 Golf VR6 SC, and Cpl Sam Chisholm-Brown (Team Captain) Mk2 Golf R32.


The team compete in VWDRC VW Pro and VW Sportsman and invite members of the British Army to take part.

If you are interested then you can contact Team Mulisha through their Facebook page.


Night of the Outlaws.
10th February: Callum Pudge writes that the annual Outlaw Anglia Presentation party took place on Saturday 28th January and that, as always, it was a fantastic night:

Before the party started, there was an AGM organised by Colin Millar at the Hilton Hotel in Coventry giving drivers and crew a chance to have their say on the future of Outlaw Anglia and how to move the class forward. The meeting was very well attended and lots of positive ideas were put forward. Everyone also had a chance to see a preview of the new and improved Outlaw Anglia web site which will be launched before the start of this season.

Cliff Griffin and team picked up their winners' trophy after a season full of ups, downs and plenty of seven-second passes. Jedd Guy and team fought hard for the runner-up trophy, getting Shorty's Hot Rod down into the sevens in the process, well done guys! Bob, Carole and Fiona presented the Debbie Hancox memorial trophy to Barn and Gemma Levy; congratulations and well deserved in the spirit of Outlaw Anglia.

Once again, Penny Bird organised a raffle to help raise funds for the Air Ambulance Service which raised an impressive £415. A big Thank You to everyone who donated prizes or bought raffle tickets and donated prizes.

The first race of the season will be at Big Bang at Santa Pod. We hope you'll join us for what we plan will be one of the best seasons so far of Outlaw Anglia.


Johansson working towards return.
9th February: Swedish Pro Modified racer Roger Johansson is well-advanced on his return to racing after his horrifying 200 mph crash at last year's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Roger is recovering well from what were at the time very serious injuries and a replacement car, a Mustang naturally, is being readied.

"The crash was a combination of bad things", Roger told Eurodragster.com. "I stayed in it a little too long. I was little out of the groove and I hit a bump. Then everything was over in a split second". Roger was helicoptered to hospital with badly damaged legs and internal injuries but we were pleased to hear that things have improved somewhat. "My legs are working well, I still some pain in my back, but the doctors are very happy with the results", he said.

Incredibly the motor was salvegeable from the wreck. "The motor was almost new", said Roger. "It only had three runs on it. I had to replace everything in front of the motor such as dry sump pump, vacuum pump, ignition, oil tanks and all of the hoses. I could not see any damage to the crank but the engine is too expensive so I ordered a new one."

Roger's new Mustang has the same body style as the crashed car but this time has an RJ Race Cars chassis. "RJ Race Cars build some of the quickest and prettiest Pro Mods in the world", he said. "We were happy with the old one, but this one is a couple of notches nicer. We have always tried to have the best safety equipment, so in the new car we have a Racetech seat which is the best seat for a high-speed race car. The engine and transmission have been updated with the latest stuff for 2017 and Andy did a very nice job on the clutch can. The car is probably going to be black but you never know!"

Roger hopes to be on track in May of this year. In the meantime he would like to thank his family, team members, Santa Pod safety crews and everyone who has been in contact and all of his racing friends.

Roger has a Pat Musi 706 ci Ford SVO motor for sale which you can check out under Parts For Sale on our
Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Get well soon Eileen!
9th February: We would like to join the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in offering best wishes to Eileen Daniels following a recent accident.

Geoff Stilwell of BDRHoF sponsor Beech Underwriting Agencies reports from America that Eileen, an International Ambassador for the BDRHoF and a great friend and supporter of the organisation's aims and principles, suffered a fall at her Florida home but that she is recovering well.

BDRHoF members and guests who have had the pleasure of meeting Eileen at the last two Hall of Fame Galas, or at any of the historic drag racing displays which she organises at NHRA events in America, will doubtless echo the Management Board's good wishes.


Europeans abroad.
9th February: A late entry to the European invasion at this weekend's Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Pomona is NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jonnie Lindberg who accepted a late offer to assist in the tuning of, and an even more late offer to drive, Jay Payne's Top Alcohol FC. More on the Lindbergs' web site at www.lindbergbros.com. Good luck and stay safe Jonnie together with Fred Hanssen (Top Alcohol Dragster), Ulf Leanders (TAFC) and Markus Svensson (Stock Eliminator). Qualifying starts today (Thursday) and you can stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com. Pomona is -8 hours on UK time and -9 hours on European time.

Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc has announced his US racing schedule for 2017:

9th-11th March: NMCA, Bradenton Motorsports Park
30th March-1st April: PDRA, Galot Motorsports Park
6th-9th April: NMCA, Atlanta
18th-21st May: NMCA, Bowling Green
13th-15th July: PDRA, Indy
27th-30th July: NMCA, Route 66, Joliet
24th-27th August: NMCA, Norwalk
21st-24th September: NMCA World Finals, Indy
19th-21st October: PDRA World Finals, Virginia
Winter races in Florida

"With help from our sponsors we are doing the whole NMCA tour this year, as well as a couple of  the PDRA events", says Adam. "Big thanks to 5 Days Plantation Shutters & Blinds, Hameetman Racing Engines, Malmo Motorrenovations, Line2Line coating, Amalie Oil, JanCen and R&R rods for making this happen!

"We have had a good winter of racing in Florida. In October I got a new supercharger from Mike Janis (JanCen) which is working very well for us. We have tried some different set-ups with gear ratios, converters and so on. At the World Street Nationals in Orlando we ran 5.7 8 to the quarter mile and last weekend in Bradenton a 3.79 run to the eighth mile - both are new Personal Bests (Good man, congratulations - Ed). The competition in NMCA and in PDRA will be tough, but we will do our very best for sure."


Fireforce 3 to star in Bahrain.
8th February: Martin Hill is pleased to announce that the FireForce 3 Jet Funny Car will be performing demonstration passes at rounds four and five of the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit on 23rd-24th February and 2nd-3rd March. The Bahrain Drag Racing Championship is the biggest drag racing series in the Gulf and will be the first outing of the 2017 season for the FireForce team.

Martin Hill, owner and pilot of FireForce 3, says "We are honoured to have been invited to attend these events and will look forward to entertaining the crowds at the Bahrain International Circuit. We have already loaded the car and will be travelling to Bahrain mid-February to prepare for the event."

This is the first time ever that a jet vehicle will visit the BIC and give the Bahraini crowds a taste of the immense power of FireForce 3. Martin says that updates and photos will be posted on the team's web site at www.fireforce.co.uk and on social media platforms.

To find out more about the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship visit www.bahraingp.com.


SPR driver-ambassador vacancy.
8th February: Caroline Holden tells us that as another busy season is in the making, Santa Pod Raceway are preparing to take their promotional show on the road to a number of events and exhibitions across the UK. To support the busy schedule, the SPR team now require an additional driver / drag racing ambassador for ad-hoc weekend work.

Duties would include loading and transporting exhibition vehicles to other venues as well as being a Show Ambassador for the Santa Pod stand, therefore some knowledge of drag racing and Santa Pod Raceway would be advantageous. An HGV Class 2 licence is essential and the driver must ideally live within a twenty to thirty mile radius of Santa Pod. Competitive rates of pay and subsistence are offered.

For further details, please E-Mail donna@santapod.com.


Neergaard's thanks.
8th February: Further to Monday's Swift Snippet, Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard has been in touch to say that his weekend at the Danish Motor Awards and Motorshow, at which he was awarded the Årets Profil award, has been fantastic weekend for himself, Gitte, Kenni, his crew and all those who have been supporting him through the years:


Being nominated for Motorsport Profile of the Year is a big thing, and is something I would never have thought possible. A big thanks to DASU for nominating me for this Award. To win the prize when you're up against three other great drivers, who all run professional race team, is fantastic, and couldn't have been possible without all my friends. 23,000 people voted for me. Thanks!


Thanks also for all of the messages, all of the fantastic comments sent to me on Facebook, the texts and E-Mails, and thanks to all of you who visited us at our stand in Herning. Thanks to you all. You are fantastic friends!

See you at the race track!

You can check out a feature and video on the TV2 web site by clicking here.


APIRA Trophy Night: Final call.
8th February: Saturday week, 18th February, is the closing date for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway, the Supercharged Outlaws and the National Association combined Championship Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place on Saturday 4th March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (located on Junction 15 of the M40).


If 2016 APIRA Champions or runners-up are unable to attend then please contact Jerry at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com so that alternative arrangements can be made for trophy presentation.

The meals are: chicken liver paté, braised beef and chocolate torte; vegetarian option of melon, four cheese ravioli and chocolate torte; or children's meal of tomato soup, chicken nuggets, and chocolate torte.

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £86 for a double or £76 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. A few rooms are left; to book please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASCRA.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

Further details about the APIRA Trophy Night can be found in our news item of 28th September 2016.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 4.
6th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted on Monday each week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA Endeavour Award. The APIRA Endeavour Award is presented to a racer, team, supporter or member of the media in recognition for services rendered over the last twelve months, as well as their overall support of Avon Park International Racing Association and Shakespeare County Raceway.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Mike Burrowes (photographer)
Vote for Mike Burrowes

Simon Groves (Eurodragster.com)
Vote for Simon Groves

Steve Moxley (photo-journalist)
Vote for Steve Moxley

Richard Sawatzki (9.50 Bike)
Vote for Richard Sawatzki

Shaun Wilson (Shakespeare County Raceway Track Announcer)
Vote for Shaun Wilson

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The next shortlist, to be published next Monday (13th February) will be the Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy.


ATD close out 2016.
6th February: Didier Canicave writes that the annual meeting of France's Association Trophée Dragster in late January closed the 2016 season:

President Eric Angeloni addressed the seventy six people present and presented a mixed assessment of 2016. Notably financial problems caused by the weather which was disastrous at the three French races with the low point being the finals at Vichy.

After having answered the various questions Eric presented the projected Championship calendar for 2017:

6th-7th May: Rivannazzano, Italy
17th-18th June: Clastres (with ESLA and Quarter Mile)
8th-9th July: Clastres
September TBA: Drachten (planned with ESLA)

Many participants at the meeting wanted the return of free membership cards for the Racer Club, and racers in Street Cars B and C requested a re-grouping of their two categories, a proposal which will be studied by the ATD office. Then Eric thanked all the volunteers who participated in the organisation of the 2016 season.


The meeting concluded with the presentation of trophies to the winning racers in each class.


Swift snippets.
6th February: As well as participating in ACU UK and FIM European Drag Bike Championships, the UK's Alex Hope and Mark Hope will be competing in this season's EDRS Pro Nordic MC series. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Further to our news item of 17th December we were very pleased to read that Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard won the Årets profil category in Bilmagasinet's Danish Motorsport Awards. Well-deserved after the Championship fight he put up last year, congratulations Stig.

Staying on the subject of trophies and back to the Perpetual Awards. For both the (now-closed) SPRC and (still open) APIRA Perpetual Awards it has given us a nice warm feeling to see that those shortlisted have, to a man and woman, voted for someone else in their category rather than voting for themselves. Very sporting behaviour, well done all.


Grimes returns to Europe.
6th February: Swedish Supertwin racer Per Bengtsson has teamed up with sixteen-time NHRA Wally winner Tommy Grimes who will ride the famous parallel twin The Beast again in 2017. Per will become Team Manager.

Tommy, who made a European début at Tierp Arena in August 2016, is very anxious to come back to Europe for some serious racing with the Beast team despite a DNQ on that first outing.

"After some consideration, I think the Beast team would grow in the right direction with myself as a Team Manager", says Per. "Therefore I've been in contact with Tommy and asked him if he had any plans or offers for 2017. The answer was "No, I've been waiting for you to call!". I think it was a big boost for the whole team to have the experience of working with a real professional racer like Tommy."

"The potential in the bike and the team is exactly what I'm looking for", says Tommy. "The chemistry between the crew and myself was in place after the first day together at the track. It´s not very often you experience that."

"We have already secured increased support from some of our existing sponsors and we are working really hard to get new partners onboard for the 2017 European and American tour", says Per. "The bike will go through several test sessions at Malmö Raceway before the first outing at Tierp Arena in June. I will do all of the pre-season testing myself, but Tommy will make a last-minute check at Malmö as well.

"The plan is to run the whole 2017 EDRS Pro Nordic Championship Series with Tommy as the rider and with a clear ambition to take home the Championship. We will then send the Beast and equipment with hopefully some more high-calibre bike teams over to the US and run the Manufacturers Cup World Finals at Valdosta in November. We thank Wayne and Donna Pingel at Pingel Enterprise for their increased support". If you are a racer inerested in participating in this event in November then please contact the Beast team at per@navitaspa.se."

A big thank you to the following partners for their continued support: Red Line Oil Scandinavia, Autoexperten Växjö, Bilservice i Åseda, Rävemåla Bilservice, Liqui Moly, Persåkers Speedshop, Ulvsgården AB, Swedcut, Per Andersens Restauranger, Fanhultstvätten Älmhult, Marine Diesel, Bentec Engineering, Brammer, Flexoart, and Bengtssons Sågverk Älmhult.


Pro Mod: Get Inside.
6th February: Drag Racing Entrepreneur Will Hanna, owner of the popular forums InsideTopAlcohol.com and InsideCompRacing.com is launching a new web site, InsideProMod.com to cater to the Pro Mod / Doorslammer racing categories. Will plans to use the same blue print whjich has made his other web sites successful – generate useful content for racers to make it a community of racers.

The wheels went into motion last December when another web site shut down due to low activity. Hanna began exploring the feasibility of launching another web site and discussed it with many figures in the industry at the Performance Racing Industry trade show.

"We have a fair amount of Pro Mod activity on InsideTopAlcohol.com", said Will. "ITA kind of has become a home for everything blown alcohol or blown nitro in the world. I noticed a prominent Pro Mod forum was shutting down as of December and realized that was the last of the dedicated Pro Mod forums. I reached out to them to see if they needed help staying afloat, they declined and decided to proceed with shutting the site down. I am fortunate enough this is my full time job and we have the infrastructure there to start another web site. I asked a number of people within the industry at PRI if they would support it or if they thought I should do it, and it was a resounding yes. So we moved forward with it.

"It's no secret that social media has taken some of the discussion that used to go on forums. Our strategy and our niche moving forward will be original technical content. There are plenty of outlets that cover the news, race results and personalities. Of course we will have that to a degree, but our focus will be on the technical side. I am going to use my experience as a crew chief to work with manufacturers to create engaging content that educates the racer. We are going to then use social media to leverage that content. We want to be a resource for racers as much as an entertainment source. It is going to add a lot of work to a full plate, but I've never been one to back down from a challenge."

In addition to technical content, Will is introducing the Call 'Em Out forum to help facilitate racing rivalries and fan interest. "You can call someone out on social media and it will be broadcast to however many followers you have seen it in your feed", said Will, "but when you put it on our forum, the whole world can see it.  I think often times in our quest to be professional and get sponsors, we kind of lose sight of that core instinct of drag racing – my hot rod is badder than yours. Rivalries drive popularity in every sport, ours is no different. We are going to leverage social media to expand the footprint of these call-outs. It's going to be fun.

"In much the same way ITA has encompassed much more than just Top Alcohol, we hope to provide a place for heads up Doorslammer racing in general. We are going to do our best to accommodate them all and be a resource for them as well."

You can join in the action at www.insidepromod.com.


SPRC Dinner Dance: urgent message.
4th February: Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with an urgent message for those attending next Saturday's (11th) SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Daventry.

You have seen recent news items regarding shortages of vegetables. The DeVere Staverton Park have been in touch with Yvonne to say that their chef has been unable to obtain enough peppers and courgettes to go with the salmon fillet. Yvonne has asked the chef to use his discretion and instead to use any vegetables he can obtain.

If you are attending next week's Dinner Dance and have ordered the salmon but are allergic to any particular vegetables, then please contact Yvonne on 07762 195729 or E-Mail her at
ytramm@africonnect.com so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Tom Larman.
3rd February: We were sorry to hear that UK Wild Bunch racer and all-round top bloke Tom Larman passed away yesterday (Thursday) following a stroke. Barry Bohannon writes:

Tom ran the Ferret Model T Comp Altered with his son Craig as Crew Chief, his wife Wendy, and most if not all of his family at some events.

Tom was one of the most cheerful and helpful people one could ever wish to meet, always the first to offer a helping hand and or merciless mickey-taking in equal measure. He once badly injured his foot in a freak pit accident towing the race car but even that didn't dampen his spirits, he was that kind of guy. He gave part of the eulogy at Scot Durrant's funeral last summer and his warmth and sincerity shone like a beacon amongst the sad faces gathered that day.

The Wild Bunch pits will sorely miss Tom: his radiant smile, raucous laughter, rubbish jokes and cringe-worthy puns were a staple of any event at his beloved Shakespeare County Raceway

Tom is survived by his wife Wendy, three children and four grandchildren to whom we send our deepest sympathies.


SPRC's Super Street double-header.
1st February:
Santa Pod Racers Club will try out a modified programme for Super Street at the 2017 FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals. SPRC Club Secretary Ian Marshall explains:

To increase the level of competition for Super Street cars we will be running a double-header race at the two FIA events at Santa Pod Raceway. Qualifying will take place as normal on day one of the race weekend with eliminations running to conclusion on day two. On day three there will be a one-shot qualifier and then another set of eliminations, with the final rounds competed on day four.

Points will be awarded separately for the two sets of qualifying and eliminations upon their completion or up to the point the event was concluded.

These details are of course subject to change due to weather or other conditions which may limit track time. There are many differing scenarios which may occur at race meetings, the details of which will be outlined at the Riders' and Drivers' meeting on Sunday 26th February.

If you have any queries then you can contact Ian at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Introducing Extreme Outlaw.
1st February: Jonny Niesner writes that Germany's new Extreme Outlaw Challenge is for the inexorable and unstoppable:

Many teams have used the winter months to give their passion an official framework. The new Extreme Outlaw Challenge is a race class for rear-wheel drive cars powered by turbochargers, ProChargers or superchargers and which run the quarter mile in 6.00 to 8.50 seconds.

Altereds, Funny Cars, Pro Mods and dragsters run against each other in this class – no other class offers so much variety for spectators. This class is loud and fast and the drivers will offer the finest burnouts. That's what makes this extraordinary class so attractive for spectators as well as promoters.

The goal of XO is to compete as an official class in its first year this year, at events which can offer the specified conditions.

More information can be found on our web site at www.extremeoutlaw.de or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/extremeoutlawdrag. If the class is to your liking then please don't forget to hit the Like button.


Presenting your winners...
1st February: Crowned MSA British Drag Racing Champion for the fifth time in ten seasons, Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson was presented with his 2016 Championship trophy last Saturday at the Motor Sports Association's annual Night of Champions, held at the Royal Automobile Club in London's Pall Mall. Robin Jackson writes:

Andy was one of twenty-two national motorsport Champions to be honoured at the prestigious occasion, along with a host a special award-winners, and received his commemorative silver salver from FIA Deputy President (Sport) Graham Stoker.

Andy's MSA title defence will not be his only motorsport undertaking in 2017. Plans to venture into Historic circuit racing were unveiled at the recent Autosport International exhibition. Andy and racing partner Jerry Clayton will enter a Studebaker Lark Classic Saloon Car imported from the USA and prepared for competition in the Andy Robinson Race Cars workshop. A certain irony attends this project, as a similar plan announced on Eurodragster.com several years ago was revealed to have been an April Fools' Day hoax.

What do you do to liven those cold dark days and long nights early in January, asks Richard Merriman? Well, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator held its Dinner Dance and awards evening at the stunning Coombe Abbey Hotel just outside of Coventry. A change of location from last year's event, moving just up the road, but the feedback from those who attended was very positive.

The Dinner Dance was preceded by the AGM to discuss a number of items. A healthy turnout meant there was good discussion and a number of valid points were noted. We say a huge thanks to Ben Barnwell for all his hard work over the past couple of years but he has decided to step down as Chairman and hands the reins to Jon Webster. Welcome on board Jon, and we welcome Richard Merriman as Club Secretary / web site administrator. They will be assisted by Ben Barnwell as Sponsorship Co-ordinator and Matt Atkinson as Treasurer.


After a short break it was time to gather for the Dinner Dance and award presentation which kicked off the evening. A huge Congratulations to Street Eliminator Champion winner Matt Smith and runner-up Gary Gooding both of Team Extreme.


The following awards were also presented:

Best 60 foot: Winner Mark Todd, runner-up Gary Gooding
Best Reaction Time: Winner Matt Smith, runner-up Nick Hale
Most Improved ET: Mark Sheridan
Best Appearing Car: Jon Webster
Spirit of the Class: Nick and Nigel Hale

A thoroughly great evening was had by all and there was much talk about the up and coming season.

So at which events can you catch Street Eliminator this year?

14th-16th April: Festival of Power, Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May: Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
26th-29th May: FIA / FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway
24th-25th June: SPRC Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd July: Bug Jam, Santa Pod Raceway
26th-28th August: Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
7th-10th September: FIA / FIM European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th September: UK National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway

We would like to say a big thank you to our sponsors who of course help make all this happen: AW Upholstery, Insane Creations, Matt Woods Photography, Powerpour, Serck Motorsport, Topspeed Automotive, Custom Car magazine, Webster Race Engineering and Zeon TV.

If you would like to keep up to date with what's going on check out our Facebook page and our web site at www.streeteliminator.com.


A quarter century of Outlaw Anglia.
1st February: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar writes that the class for the wild short-wheelbase doorslammers has also just had its AGM at which the racers declared a plain and simple objective: to raise the profile of Outlaw Anglia so that everyone can enjoy the spectacular show which has already lasted twenty five years. Colin writes:

Outlaw Anglia is now officially twenty five years old, twenty five years of earth-shaking close heads-up racing with all the thrills and spills of trying to get a short wheelbase car 1320 feet up the track with huge amounts of power. There is not a huge number of us as not everybody has the mental ability to pilot these unstable and unforgiveing machines run after run event after event and keep coming back even in the face of destruction to engines, gearboxes, rear axles, and unfortunately complete cars.

Outlaw Anglia has a new reformed focus to develop the awesome show it provides to anyone who has ever sat and watched a full round of spectacular heads-up racing. If you've never had the opportunity then get yourself along to the next available Outlaw Anglia meeting. We are a very friendly bunch and we consider the OA family to be one of the best drag racing classes that exists. We would like to invite inspire and promote new drivers and cars to join the class and we welcome spectators to come along and meet all the OA family at a track near you for a fun fast and exciting day out.

There are a number of new cars coming out this year with other cars well into the build for launch in 2018, developing the latest technology and enhancing new materials to deliver power-to-weight ratios which were unthinkable only a short time ago. One day soon there will be a six-second Outlaw Anglia, watch this space.

This is a very special year and we will not let this pass without allowing the spirit of Outlaw Anglia to show through. We have Tom Pugh who has gone above and beyond to provide the class with fantastic new vibrant artwork to commemorate our twenty five-year anniversary which is available to all on T-Shirts, hoodies and a vast array of other merchandise including mugs, umbrellas, data sticks, pens, trolley coins and much much more. All enquiries welcome to me either on Facebook or at cmillar@dp-services.co.uk or just catch up with us at the track.

To celebrate these twenty five wonderful years there will be a huge party at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals on Saturday night with great food, great music and the huge party spirit within Outlaw Anglia. We drive fast and party hard, we have a huge appetite to win on the track but we revel in the great friendship found within the OA pits.

Callum Pudge, who at the very young age of eighteen has already established himself as an accomplished track photographer capturing everything that goes on within the tracks at both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway, has always shown a huge interest in our class and has now delivered the foundations of our new and inspiring web site which will deliver all the required past present and future facts associated with our class. The new site will be launched prior to the start of our race season.

Eurodragster.com will deliver all the meeting updates as the class progresses through its event schedule for 2017 and there will be live webcam at selected events, thanks Tog (On behalf of the team thank you, you're welcome - Ed):

21st-23rd April: Big Bang, Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May: Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
24th-25th June: NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
14th-16th July: Dragstalgia, Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd July: Bug Jam, Santa Pod Raceway
11th-13th August: Bulldog Bash, Shakespeare County Raceway (non-points demo round)
26th-28th August: Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
16th-17th September: NSRA Hot Rod Drags, Shakespeare County Raceway

The best six of seven rounds count for the Championship.

Our class had a fantastic 2016 season and with 2017 approaching  we would like to take the opportunity to wish all Outlaw Anglia racers and crew well, and to all our fans and spectators we wish you all the very best for 2017. Come and see us in the pits.

No cherries!


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 3.
30th January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted on Monday each week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year trophy. The APIRA / SCR Sportswoman of the Year trophy recognises the efforts of women in 2016 as racers, crew members or track officials.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Gemma Levy (Barn Levy Outlaw Anglia crew)
Vote for Gemma Levy

Lisa Pallant (Glenn Pallant Pro ET crew)
Vote for Lisa Pallant

Lynn Purvis (Scott Crookston Outlaw Anglia crew)
Vote for Lynn Purvis

Grace Roaf (Peter Lane Super Pro ET crew)
Vote for Grace Roaf

Cathrine Stones (Andrew Stones Wild Bunch crew)
Vote for Cathrine Stones

Kirstie Tramm (Sportsman ET racer, Tom Atkinson Super Pro ET crew)
Vote for Kirstie Tramm

Caitlin Wilson (Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer)
Vote for Caitlin Wilson

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The next shortlist, to be published next Monday (6th February) will be the APIRA Endeavour Award.


Ålund to drive the Old 51.
29th January: Sweden's ten-time FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund will jump behind the wheel of Magnus Petterson's Old 51 Pro Mod this season. Previous driver Johan Lindberg will focus on NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driving brother Jonnie's car. The news was announced on stage at tonight's Swedish National Car Sport Federation prizegiving banquet in Stockholm.


Jimmy says that the move to Pro Mod is not to be viewed as permanent. "This is something for 2017", he says. "A lot of different aspects came in place pointing in this direction but my heart is still in naturally-aspirated engines and Pro Stock. I still have my own car and at some events I plan to bring it and compete in both classes.

"To try Pro Mod is a challenge I am really looking forward to, and when it comes to my own Pro Stock car it will be nice not to have the tension to chase very important qualifying points in every round and nice to be able to test more than we usually dare."

Jimmy will be doing some initial Pro Mod testing in Malmö prior to the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod in May.

Story and pictures courtesy Stefan Boman for Bilsport magazine


Bellio breathes easy...
28th January: Belgian Top Methanol Funny Car racer Danny Bellio had an eventful 2016 off the track but are preparing for a return in 2017:

Danny's Racing Team didn't enter the first FIA round at Santa Pod because we didn't have an engine: the old one was destroyed on the first test run at the Pro Peak Performance day before the Main Event in 2015. During 2015 and early 2016 we were extremely busy in the workshop with our dyno operation but at the start of 2016 parts were ordered to complete our new engine. Several of the parts were not available and we got them just one week before the Main Event. So we had to skip the Main Event and the first of the rounds at Tierp and focus on getting everything together for round four at Hockenheim.

Meanwhile Danny made a successful attempt to quit smoking after forty years. In the period following the Main Event he started to suffer breathing problems and went to the doctor several times without getting a diagnosis. But the nights are very long when you can't sleep.

The team got busy assembling the new engine when necessary parts were delivered in June and the new combination was tested on our new engine dyno Dyno Unlimited making several nice strong runs. Everything was promising and the team were very excited.

The car was ready the weekend before Hockenheim, but our driver wasn't in top condition. Danny was still suffering from breathing problems, but the doctors still couldn't find the cause. A week before Hockenheim the doctor sent Danny to a lung specialist who prescribed a ten-day special therapy.

On the Friday at Hockenheim we tried two qualifying passes but our driver wasn't confident in the car. On Saturday we didn't make any runs because Danny didn't have the strength to drive the car and decided not to continue. On Sunday he was in better condition and wanted to run the car, but in the first round of eliminations the car rolled the lights and it was game over.

On Monday Danny went back to the lung specialist, but there weren't any problems with his lungs.

We decided to make the trip to Sweden for round five at Tierp. When we arrived on Thursday afternoon it was raining heavily. When the rain stopped we built everything up and did some small check-ups and changes to the car. On the Friday Danny was feeling well and we contested the two qualifying rounds, but on the Saturday Danny could hardly breathe and didn't feel well at all. We made the hard decision to stop qualifying and miss Sunday's eliminations. We drove back home on Sunday morning and at that point we had two drivers for our truck, Danny and Sandro. Danny managed to drive the truck but something was seriously wrong and we didn't know what.

When we arrived in Belgium we went back to the doctor and she decided to run all of the tests over again to see if something had been missed and finally they found what was wrong: Danny's thyroid was growing extremely fast and was obstructing his windpipe. The thyroid was six times bigger than normal and was growing to the inside instead of growing outwards. In November Danny was scheduled for surgery, but removing the big thyroid involved some risks as it was growing close to Danny's vocal chords. This was a concern as if the thyroid was growing around or on the vocal chords then Danny could have lost his voice.

We are very happy to report that everything is OK with Danny at this time. The surgery was a success. When the race season starts Danny will hopefully he will be strong enough to run the car again, and we are looking forward to making some awesome test runs. To get results with the race car everything needs to be in top condition - car, team and especially the driver. We know the car can run into the 5.6s and maybe quicker.

For 2017, we don't know yet what the plan is. Top Methanol Dragsters and Top Methanol Funny Cars will race together and this has caused the team to look at the options for our race operation. But first we need to do some serious testing on the car and become consistent again.

See you at the track!


...and offers 4000 hp dyno.
28th January: Danny Bellio also writes that his business Dyno Unlimited in Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, is proud to support racers in tuning any type of combination:

We can handle engines which are naturally aspirated, turbocharged, supercharged, gasoline or alcohol, carburettor, mechanical injection or EFI, from a regular street engine up to a 4000 horsepower race engine.

The benefit of putting your engine combination on the dyno is that you get a base tune-up in a safe manner instead of risking breaking parts on the track. Potential engine or tune-up problems can be spotted and mended before damage occurs.

We renting out the dyno unit with an operator, engine mounting, water cooling if needed, and logging sensors. The customer will need to bring their own oil, spark plugs, tools, service parts if needed, and mechanic if servicing is needed in between test pulls. The customer will also need to provide a test plan, what is expected from the dyno and how they wish to test their engine.

The dyno can be rented per hour with fee dependent on the type of engine being tested. Engines which need to be serviced between pulls require mechanics to be present although we can also provide the service, parts, and tuning aids and tips at additional cost.

What we offer is a safe base tune-up in an environment where the engine is constantly being monitored in real time and any problems can be spotted before damage is done.

If you are interested our service then please contact us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DynoUnlimited or E-Mail us directly at info@dannycars.be.


Swift snippets.
28th January: We have received another spy picture from the same source as Wednesday's spy picture, so presumably another piece of the puzzle. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Gas Bike Champion Janne Koskinen will be contesting EDRS Pro Pro Stock Bike in 2017 on a former Ellsa Karlsson Suzuki. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.

Santa Pod Raceway's Early Bird 20% discount on tickets for most events closes at midnight UK this Tuesday (31st). You can order your tickets at www.eticketing.co.uk/santapodraceway.


2017 European SFI Tour confirmed.
27th January: Many thanks to
SFI Foundation President Arnie Kuhns for confirming the calendar for the 2017 European SFI Recertification Tour:

Thursday 16th March: DHRA, Aambeeld 11, 1969 NC Heemskerk, The Netherlands (08:00-12:00)
Friday 17th March: FHRA office, Helsinki-Malmi Airport, 00700 Helsinki, Finland (09:00-12:00)
Saturday 18th March: Persåkers Speed Shop, Solbergavagen 28, Åkers Styckebruk, Sweden (12:00-17:00)
Monday 20th March: Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, United Kingdom (10:00-16:00)


To the arena, and make it snappy.
27th January: Maikel Gloudemans of our streaming service provider DoYouSee.me writes that Rene van den Berg and the Shark Attack Top Fuel Bike team will be putting on a display at this weekend's Racing Expo in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. M@ik says that indoor burnouts are on the menu:

We have been invited by our main sponsor Eurol to make a nice big static display of our team and to stir up the crowds with burnouts in a live action arena. If last year's burnouts are a valid indication we will almost literally raise the roof.

DoYouSee.Me will be there to try to capture the moment, as well as provide promotional videos about drag racing in our display.

Racing Expo has grown into a large fair covering a lot of forms of motorsports, both cars and bikes, including tuning and design and the live action arena will be filled with demos of several disciplines. For more information check out www.racing-expo.nl.


Announcing PTTM Drag Racing.
27th January: Vegter Pro Mod Racing, one of the leading Dutch and European Pro Modified race teams is entering a new era and stepping up a level with a strenghtened relationship with sponsor and partner PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance. The team will now be known as PTTM Drag Racing. Remco Scheelings writes:

PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance partnered with Vegter Pro Mod Racing early last season. Fred Dorland was a drag racer and race car builder, and with PedalToTheMetal Dragracing he had his own hobby-based team which raced very successfully with several cars in all kind of categories. These activities, together with building V8 engines, were the foundation for the start of the very successful company PTTM Musclecar Performance.

"Due to all his business commitments, Fred didn't have the time to drive any more", says David Vegter. "He and partner Sido Zeilstra and son Max Dorland wanted to stay involved in the sport, and the way we worked together last season turned out so well that we both wanted to intensify our co-operation, especially as Fred and his partners are still passionate about drag racing. As a result, from now on the team name will be PTTM Drag Racing. Fred Dorland will be Team Manager and will take over all kind of duties, but also the business part around the team, contact with sponsors and partners, and arranging relationship marketing events. He will also support the team wherever it's needed.

"As a Crew Chief and driver I can focus on the technique, the race car and the driving job. Together with the crew, everybody in the team will do the things at which they are good, and will be involved in everything. It was getting a bit too much for me last season. The sport asks for a far more professional approach now and I'm sure that this will take the renewed team and our performance to the next level."

PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance are an all-round Speed Shop specialising in high-end classic American muscle cars. PTTM buy and sell, repair, restore and paint, have numerous different parts, including driveline components, and have all the know-how of American V8 performance engines. These engines are used all over Europe and beyond for street cars, racing and drag racing. In their showroom in Sneek, Holland, PTTM always has at least forty unique cars as well as several restoration and renovation projects for customers.

David Vegter and the '67 Camaro will again compete in the full FIA European Pro Modified Championship tour of six races, the Championship in which he finished in fifth position last year. As announced last week, David and his team will have Red Line Oil Scandinavia as their lubricant partner for 2017. Longtime partners WVB Holland and HKR Techniek have extended their partnership with the team, and the PTTM Drag Racing '67 Camaro will also be supported again by DutchBoxx Golfkarton and of course main sponsor PTTM Musclecar Performance. The team is talking to current and new partners and expect to have more news pretty soon.

"We are also working hard to improve the car, the engine and the team", says David. "We will do our very best to be fully-prepared at the start of the season, although there is still a lot of work to be done. We want to emphasise that the renewed team and team name as an organisation and foundation are totally independent from the main sponsor with the same name. Of course there are some connections, but the sponsor interests of the company are completely separate from the drag racing activities. This makes it possible to work with other sponsors in the future, but to use the team name it now has."


Here, read the manual.
27th January: A 390-page Official History of the Allard Chrysler Dragster and its restoration has been handed to National Motor Museum Manager Doug Hill by Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor.

The document includes the dragster's full history; why Sydney Allard decided to build it in the first place and the story of its racing career. It then details the nine-year restoration by the Allard Chrysler Action Group (warts and all) along with all part numbers and documentation including the engine's original brass identification plate. All of this will be placed in the library for use by researchers.

The sponsorship of the project by Lucas Oil Products UK has also been marked by decals affixed to the body panels - a special deviation from its period correct status. A recent addition to the restoration has been the application of period correct Castrol and Wynn's logos in the engine bay on the firewall. These were original sponsors of Sydney Allard back in the mid-1960s and photos exist of these decals in place at that time. However it has been Lucas Oil Products UK who have provided all the lube requirements during the restoration so, after discussions between Brian and Doug, the National Motor Museum has agreed to honour this support by applying Lucas Oil decals to the body panels. This is not of course period correct and would not have been allowed back in the day, but it was felt that the company should be treated as a special case to reflect their support.


More on Snell 2005 helmets.
25th January: Following on from the German tech update on Snell helmets of
9th January, the UK's National Tech Committee have issued the following update:

The 2005 Snell helmet is no longer legal for FIA classes in the UK. The Snell 2010 and 2015 are of course still legal.

2005 Snell helmets will remain legal for all MSA classes until 31st December 2018. This also includes the European Funny Car Series, as racers compete under a National B Permit and not FIA, however all helmets used in the European Funny Car Series must have the original factory-fitted Hans-type device posts installed.

The Snell 2005 helmet regulation will also cover any Pro Modified racer competing within the MSA British Pro Modified Championship, but will not cover the FIA Main Event nor the FIA European Finals.

If you are unsure then please contact SPRC or the UK National Tech Committee.


SPR/DFDS ferry discount continues.
25th January: Many thanks to Caroline Holden for letting us know that the deal between Santa Pod Raceway and DFDS for reduced-rate ferry crossings across the English Channel is to continue into 2017.

There is no rate increase, however in line with DFDS Group policy on all routes a charge has been introduced for each additional driver or passengers. The concessionary rates still offer a considerable discount when compared to DFDS' standard freight tariff and, until further notice, each driver and passenger will be able to take advantage of a free main course offer in the Freight Drivers Road Kings restaurant on board their vessels.

You can download the booking form by clicking here for PDF version or clicking here for Word version.

For more information about DFDS check out their web site at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk but to benefit from the Santa Pod Raceway discount please be sure to use the form, not the web site, to make bookings.


Swift snippets.
25th January: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Still a puzzle, but getting closer". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

No Prep Nationals entry open.
25th January: Paul Marston writes that entry is now officially open for the inaugural No Prep Doorslammer Nationals at North Weald on Sunday 2nd July:

No Prep is the fastest growing drag race format in the States. It's kinda going back to its roots, race hard for a nice pile of cash! The format is sixteen cars, £125 entry, the winner gets £1000 and the runner-up gets their entry fee (less track fee). This is eighth-mile no-time racing, the first past the finish line wins. You will get two practice run sessions in the morning then eliminations start after lunch break. Callouts are allowed providing both drivers or teams like the match-up; minimum sidebet is £50. Otherwise it's straight numbers out of the hat for the pairings. Christmas Tree start, run to conclusion, judge of the fact at the finish line with video camera.

Any doorslammer can run, there are no exceptions: street legal or not, slicks or not, 4WD, 2WD, as many power adders as you like or not. No prep but yes you can use Grip Juice, Pimp Juice, Gorilla Snot, whatever if you want. It's simply the first car from point A to point B wins. Power is most probably not going to be king - clever will most probably steal the day. Remember this has never been done in the UK before, this will be the first.

Entry forms are available from the organisers by E-Mailing pmracing@fsmail.net, via the Paul Marston Racing Facebook page, or by simply calling me on 07831 650230. Ther eis limited availability, sixteen cars only can enter, so if you want to be part of it then please act now.

This event will be filmed, produced and placed on YouTube and will be featured on American Internet TV. Eurodragster.com plan an end-day report and gallery. Our sincere thanks to all involved so far. Over the next couple of weeks we will announce our title sponsor and marketing partners / associate sponsors so stay tuned to Eurodragster.com.


Stunt Fest race vehicles sought.
24th January: Santa Pod Raceway are seeking race vehicles for static display at Stunt Fest on Saturday 18th February.

"It's a great family day, so bring your kids as well" says Phil Bennett.

If you are interested in displaying your car or bike st Stunt Fest then please drop Phil a line at
phil@santapod.com.

Swift snippets.
24th January: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to race vehicle builder, Pro Mod racer-in-waiting and Eurodragster.com sponsor Jon Webster. Have a great day Jon. On behalf of the whole Master of Disaster crew René Martin asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to nostalgia slingshot racer Jürgen Schomann. Our pleasure, have a great day Jürgen.

Why Chrysler Hemis are sought.
23rd January: Further to our news item of
12th January, Sam Wilkinson of Performance Communications has been in touch to explain why Chrysler Hemi-powered race cars are sought for a Press Launch at Santa Pod Raceway at the end of February:

"We are acting for a large automotive company who wish to show media from A-List magazines the power of Hemi engines both in their cars and in dragsters" say Performance Comminications. "We are keen for a dragster to attend for a series of challenges in an Expert v Journalist competition, for example 0-60 mph, 0-100 mpg and quarter-mile challenge."

If you fancy some early mid-week testing on 27th, 28th February and 1st March, for two of these days, or for one day, then please contact Darren Prentice at Santa Pod Raceway at darren@santapod.com.


Bartlett on SPR, Europe and more.
23rd January: Longtime Eurodragster.com readers will know that Eurodragster.com usually talk to Santa Pod Raceway and Trakbak Racing owner and CEO Keith Bartlett at Autosport International each year. Our paths did cross at Autosport last week but Keith had a busy schedule of business meetings so we spoke on the phone a few days later. This is what Keith had to say about Santa Pod Raceway, Trakbak Racing, European and World Championships and more:

"2016 was yet another extremely successful year. This has been the trend for the past three or four years and I don't think that it's by luck. The management and the staff at TBR (Trakbak Racing Ltd) and Santa Pod have worked hard to lift the brand and to keep improving the events and show overall. It's no surprise that we have had more people and more positive feedback. I am delighted that we have achieved all we have by the end of 2016. That was the five-year plan to 2016 and we are now entering into a new five-year plan, commencing in 2017.

"For both the Championships and Santa Pod Raceway social media has played a large part in our expansion. I would say that in motorsport in the UK, we are one of the front runners in that we really do utilise social and new media. We are going out to and working within a market few others seem to value in the same way as we do at Santa Pod. I am chasing down the teenage market, the kids who could in the near future be our next generation of customers.  There is no doubt that social media must play a large part in our expansion and development. This year will see Santa Pod taking this to further levels of integration and activity. Over the past two years we have developed all or TV broadcasts and production. This is now at a standard where our own YouTube Santa Pod TV live stream shows have a huge following in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands for each show. This is only the beginning of our TV and internet broadcasting planning for the future.

"We are always trying hard to improve the overall facility at Santa Pod. We are conscious that last year the racers only saw the new exit gate past the finish line, although we did build and install a new finish line gantry the year before. The new office complex completed early in 2016, at the main gate, was a vital element to our future expansion plans.  We currently employ around thirty five permanent staff and two hundred seasonal staff. I am sure that will increase even more in the coming years. That's a different story to twenty years ago when I purchased Santa Pod and had only around twelve full time staff. I am pleased with where we have got to today. We have a well-defined and variable calendar, but we don't lose sight of the racers who are crucial to our success. It doesn't matter, Pro or Sportsman, we need to continue to develop the sport, despite the curve balls thrown up by the economy, planning restraints and in some cases the rules of drag racing. Santa Pod will always continue to put the racers first, wherever and whenever that is applicable and workable.

"As I have already said, the next five-year plan will commence this year. It's our most ambitious development plan since 1996, and we are now entering a serious phase of Santa Pod's development, looking to give improved facilities to the racers and public alike. My aim is for this to be a real lifting of the facility and how it is perceived.  How the Santa Pod facility will look in the future I hope is going to be quite different to today, but as long as I have the final say, I will make sure that Santa Pod never loses it soul and what it has represented and stood for over the past fifty years. Part of the next five-year plan includes my long talked-about aspiration of a Santa Pod museum, which will soon be underway as we ago for planning consent in 2017. All things being equal, the museum should commence construction sometime around the end of 2018 to mid-2019. I have already acquired the first couple of vehicles!

"One downside within all this development was a planning consent given for a wind farm right next door to us. Following many objections from many other residents, the final number of turbines was reduced from around nineteen to just three. One turbine is now up, the next two will be up within a few weeks. There is nothing we can do about this situation as it's not on our land. It changes the iconic view from the start line but we have to live with it. It is on the farmer's land and there is nothing we can do. Neither Santa Pod and or TBR have any financial benefit from these wind turbines.

"I remain somewhat still quite disappointed with the FIA Championship overall. The commercial rights are still not allocated (despite over three years of discussion, negotiation and tenders) and no one entity owns the rights and so long as that remains the case, the Championship will continue to flounder and at the same time remain where it is. That said, Santa Pod Raceway and Hockenheim are working hard to develop and market the overall FIA Championship, at least at their own rounds. I am of the firm opinion that the FIA Championship needs single ownership and full control of its direction across all rounds to truly grow and develop the whole Championship, which in turn is the only way that the racers and teams will see increased income and sponsorships. Santa Pod has grown and developed to where it is today as a result of having single ownership and control of its direction and growth, supported by a very competent management team.

"Over the next couple of years we will be dedicating some of our resources and time to really developing the European Funny Car Series. The way the pound has gone to the dollar recently, post Brexit (and that is another story in its own right), most people will understand that buying parts and equipment from the States is now more costly. This makes life even harder for the Nitro Top Fuel and Funny Car owners. However, on the other side that means that we can do a lot more business in the USA, hopefully be able to get Americans organisations to spend their money in England and at the same time make it a far more attractive proposal for US teams to come here. Our aim for the European Funny Car Series is a minimum six-car entry at each round and it will likely involve US teams in the future. I remain upbeat that we are going to take this series up to the next level.

"As some of you are aware TBR signed the commercial rights to an FIM World Drag Bike Championship. This commences in 2018 as a single World Cup event for Pro Stock Bike. Hopefully with a twenty four Pro Stock Bike entry with teams from all around the world of drag bike racing and all competing to make a sixteen-bike field. The winner will be crowned the FIM World Cup Champion. So in 2018 it is single World Cup event with a single class, Pro Stock Bike, but it is our intention that when it develops into a full-blown Championship from 2019 onwards you will see Top Fuel Bike and Supertwin coming in. For those two classes it may be a Championship, or a Cup, but we will bring them in. It took a lot of negotiation over a three to four year period to secure the right deal for the commercial rights. It is a project that both TBR and the FIM will work closely together on as any partners should. TBR is now in a position to take advantage of holding the commercial rights to this first ever official FIM World Drag Bike Championship. With interest from top teams and high level tracks alike in the USA, Australia and the Middle East, along with Europe the project has real potential.

"For the last three years Trakbak Racing has been working on developing the overall Santa Pod brand and it is today, I believe, so strong that I think it's now accepted that Santa Pod is viewed by so many people in motorsport at least, as a worldwide brand and not just here in Europe. In my role as CEO I intend to exploit that brand value across clothing, retail, experience stores and more external projects, all outside of just motorsport. That is all part of the five-year plan. Over the past five years we have achieved all that we targeted to achieve, now we are looking to try and repeat that over the next five years. We may not succeed in all our plans in this period, but I am confident we will succeed in many of them, regardless of the curveballs and barriers thrown at us on a regular basis.

"I have never been more upbeat about the overall situation at Santa Pod and Trakbak Racing Ltd than I am today. The future looks really good for Santa Pod."


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 2.
23rd January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted on Monday each week.

The second shortlist is the Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement. The Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievemen tis awarded to a racer who achieved outstanding performance at Shakespeare County Raceway during the season.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Scott Crookston (Outlaw Anglia)
Vote for Scott Crookston

Phil Crossley (Funny Bike)
Vote for Phil Crossley

Graham Dance (Super Street Bike)
Vote for Graham Dance

Roger Goring (Jet Funny Car)
Vote for Roger Goring

Joel Kerr (Supercharged Outlaws)
Vote for Joel Kerr

Joe Stevens (Super Pro ET)
Vote for Joe Stevens

Steve Venables (Super Street Bike)
Vote for Steve Venables

Stuart Williams (Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator)
Vote for Stuart Williams

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The next shortlist, to be published next Monday (30th January) will be the APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Award Sportswoman of the Year Trophy.


Web site updates.
23rd January: Our good friend Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with the first instalment in the promised Blog by Keith Lee describing his work on a biography of UK legend Dennis Priddle. As ever you can check out the latest updates via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Gearhead Garage Paul Marston works on the appearance of his twin turbo Cortina whilst also pruning yet more weight from it. You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Gearhead Garage Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Lee pens Priddle biography.
21st January: Drag racing photojournalist Keith Lee has been in touch to let us know that he has commenced working on a long overdue book that will tell the inside story of Dennis Priddle, one of the true legends of the sport.

"Dennis Priddle was a firm favourite with race fans over some two decades, as the sport made rapid and exciting progress during those formative years in the UK", comments Keith. "Dennis was also one of the pioneers who helped spread the word into mainland Europe. Race fans always knew that if a Priddle car was entered, he would put on a great show. I had the good fortune to be around during this exciting times, as a spectator, photojournalist and commentator during the period that he campaigned a variety of top line cars. They always looked good - and performed even better! Having enjoyed listening to his fascinating racing anecdotes over recent years, I am very pleased to say that I have persuaded my good friend Dennis that it really is time to recapture those memorable days in print for a wider audience to enjoy."

A fearsome driver on track, Dennis was also highly regarded as a race car constructor, and engine builder. Bland he most definitely is not, and hopefully his character will come through in the book, which will look back at the many achievements - and also the traumas - along with the entertaining stories surrounding this master of the sport.

One of the first inductees of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2006, a delighted Dennis was also inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2016. Capping off a memorable year, he was re-presented with the IDRHoF award at our own Hall of Fame Gala last November. The standing ovation he received was a measure of just how highly regarded he is.

Alan Currans has kindly agreed to post some of the interesting snippets uncovered along the way towards completing the book, in a blog on his excellent web site The Acceleration Archive.

It will be an interesting journey, with very welcome help from Annie, reliving and pulling together this story of a true drag racing hero, and also of those who helped make the Dennis Priddle story.


Dial-In Day 2017.
21st January: The hugely successful Dial-In Day returns to Santa Pod Raceway for 2017 on Saturday 4th March, leaving plenty of time for attendees to prepare for the first round of the National Drag Racing Championships during Easter's Festival of Power weekend:

There's nothing quite like the feeling of hunting or being hunted on the drag strip and we're inviting you to come along and give it a go. The concept of bracket racing, the entry level of drag racing, is simple. The slower car gets the green light first and a head start according to the difference in predicted finish times, meaning that unless both racers predict the same time, you'll always get a cat-and-mouse scenario which is simple to have a go at, and near-impossible to master. Graduates from previous Dial-In Days have gone on to achieve great things in the National Championships in classes such as Sportsman ET, the VW Drag Racing Club and beyond. There have been multiple event wins, number one qualifiers, Perfect ETs and Reaction Times and even a couple of Championships won by those who started it all with a trip to the Dial-In Day.

If you're thinking about getting involved with drag racing, or simply want a little insight into what it's like to take part, the Dial-In Day will not disappoint. It's a no-obligation training day which consists of classroom-based sessions to teach you everything you need to know about bracket racing before track-based mini-events allow you to experience full qualifying and eliminations for yourself. You absolutely do not need a race vehicle to take part; in fact we restrict the day to vehicles completing the quarter mile in 12.00 seconds or slower to reinforce the accessibility of the sport. Only the normal RWYB rules apply so, in most standard road cars, that means you need to bring nothing more than yourself, your car and your driving licence. The RWYB prices apply too with admission at just £10 and sign-on fee the regular £25 for the day.

New for 2017, thanks to the introduction of the ET Bike class to the National Championships, we shall welcome bikes to the Dial-In Day too, making this year's event the most accessible yet.

Dial-In Day takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough (NN29 7XA), from 08:00 on Saturday 4th March. To find out more, or to book, check out www.rwyb.co.uk/dialin.php.


NFAA's 2017 agenda.
21st January: Lawrie Gatehouse writes that the UK's Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association hopes to present a bigger collection of cars than last year and to enhance the sometimes-unpredictable short-wheelbase mutants:

Many of you will know that Havoc is presently in the USA, fulfilling a dream for Nick, Rob and Scott, by taking on the US Fuel Altereds on their home tracks. We wish them well – try not to break anything guys.

2017 will be a huge year for the Gleadows' Motor Psycho. It will mark fifty years of the family campaigning cars on the track, starting with a Ford Flathead V8 powered Pop, initially called The Mangler, before being re-named as Motor Pyscho. This year another itch will be scratched as they will campaign with a new mill in the form of a blown 417 Donovan Hemi, fuelled by Nitromethane, ex-The Mob. The chassis has been uprated to suit and a two-speed Lenco via an L&T clutch will put the increased power to the slicks. This has been a lifetime ambition of the team and we wish them Godspeed, but only one lane at a time, if you would be so good...

Dave Grabham and family will field Freddy's Revenge in the hunt for new PBs, sporting a new look to the front end of the chassis, whilst keeping the paint scheme in its customary design and colours.

We hope to persuade Paul Watson with the ex-Clayton Round Rebel T to join the melée. So, much to look forward to, see you at the track.


Swift snippets.
21st January: Not altogether unexpectedly double NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Champion Jonnie Lindberg has announced that he will concentrate on driving Jim Head's Fuel Funny Car in NHRA competition this year, but that brother Johan Lindberg will drive the Top Alcohol FC in NHRA Lucas Oil competition. You can read all about it on the Lindberg Brothers' web site at www.lindbergbros.com.

We would like to wish a big Happy Birthday to SPRC Starter David Warren. Have a great day David.


Serck get it right at SCR.
21st January: Following on from Lucas Oil Products' recent announcement that they are to be the new left lane sponsors at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2017 Graham Smith, Motorsport Manager for Serck Motorsport also confirmed at Autosport International their continued support of the Warwickshire drag strip's right hand lane this year.

The name Serck is synonymous in cooling solutions and radiators for over one hundred years. Serck have been providing for the racing industry since the early sixties including to historic Formula One marques such as Lotus, BRM, Brabham and many more. Recently the company have been involved with Red Bull Technologies, McLaren Racing, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Prodrive. Morgan and many respected British and European drag racing teams.

"As a growing business we continue to expand our range and make the highest quality ranges we now have widely available to our customers direct off the shelf availability is our long term goal", said Graham. "Someone recently said we are now Summit of the UK which was nice to hear and this is our goal."

Serck Motorsport's presence at the show was very rewarding, with the stand attracting new and existing customers to the tremendous product range now offered by the Middlesex-based company. Even Wheeler Dealers front man Edd China stopped by the stand to marvel at the engineering work on the awesome 7.1 second all-steel split-screen VW Camper Van race bus Mental Breakdown of owner / driver Wayne Allman of Intergalactic Customs fame, featured as the stand's star exhibit.

"We are now officially appointed Ddstributors for Auto Meter, Meziere, NX, Fi Tech, Setrab Oil Coolers, Goodridge, VP Racing Fuels, Sunoco Race Fuels, Nitrous Oxide Supplies, Stant Racing Caps, Torque Storm Pro Charges, and we still manufacture Cooling Systems for worldwide customers", added Graham. There's so much more to come."

With several new product lines introduced for the start of the new year aimed mainly at the drag and hot rodding community, as well as general motor sporting disciplines, the guys at Serck took the opportunity to launch the company's first extensive Power and Performance Parts Catalogue which amounts to nearly three hundred pages covering seventeen well-known and world-respected companies: a far cry from Serck's earlier slime line editions launched at previous Shows.

Graham was also proud to announce that Auto Meter Competition Instruments have officially appointed Serck Motorsport as their UK Distributor. "We have been working very closely with Auto Meter to acquire this exclusive position and allow a full inventory of stock to be available directly from our shelves at Serck", commented Graham. "Our stock holding of Auto Meter Competition Instruments is now the largest in Europe and our aim is to provide all of our customers with the highest quality in performance parts with efficiency and competitive pricing providing the very best service and delivery direct to your door."

Another new product line acquired recently and making its show début was Fitech Fuel Injection of Riverside, California, producing Go EFI Systems for a wide range of street and strip applications. FiTech are the most advanced, yet lowest cost, EFI Systems available featuring an outstanding throttle body and competitive port systems along with a number of other supporting components, the line-up of EFI products are truly state of the art in the fast moving world of electronic fuel injection.

"With all this fantastic product line-up for the motor sporting industry it's great to have Serck Motorsport as our lane sponsor for a third year", said Shakespeare County Raceway's Jerry Cookson. "The guys at Serck have a real passion for motorsport with a true wealth of knowledge about the product and the services that go with the product. This also branches out to the Tri Chevy Shootout which Graham also organises with us in June and in which he is eagerly looking forward to competing with the ex-Roger Butterworth Snow White '57.

“After a fantastic Autosport Show our four divisions within Serck Motorsport are gearing up for our busiest year yet", concluded Graham.

Further information about Serck's product range can be found at www.serckmotorsport.co.uk, on the company's Facebook page, or by calling 020 8813 7470. Copies of the new Serck Motorsport catalogues are now ready for shipping; to get yours simply E-Mail your details to ss.hayes.m@unipart.com.


Web site updates.
21st January: Another mention for our good friend Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive which has been updated with a thirty fifth gallery of readers' pictures. As ever you can check out the latest updates via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Editor's note.
20th January: Apologies for the lack of a news update today (Friday). An update was scheduled but we suffered a perfect storm of a lack of free time and FTP server access issues. We are now working on the update right now; stay tuned.

APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 1.
18th January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint APIRA / Supercharged Outlaws Trophy Presentation on Saturday 4th March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2016 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The first shortlist is the Iris Page Memorial Trophy. The Iris Page Memorial Trophy is awarded to a racer, team, official, marshal or other individual who has either contributed to the sport over the last twelve months, or who has achieved their own personal goals against all the odds.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Ben Barnwell (Chair, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator)
Vote for Ben Barnwell

Mat Cooper (Outlaw Anglia)
Vote for Mat Cooper

Tanya Hardy (Comp Bike)
Vote for Tanya Hardy

Bomber Harris (Run What You Brung)
Vote for Bomber Harris

Stacey Reed (9.50 Bike)
Vote for Stacey Reed

Luke Stevenson (Chair, Volkswagen Drag Racing Club)
Vote for Luke Stevenson

Richard Walters (Sponsorship Co-ordinator, Super Pro ET)
Vote for Richard Walters

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2016@eurodragster.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc.) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The next shortlist, to be published next Monday (23rd January) will be the Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement.


APIRA Trophy Night bookings.
18th January: Further to the above Jerry Cookson has been in touch to let us know that 18th February is the closing date for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway, the Supercharged Outlaws and the National Association combined Championship Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place on Saturday 4th March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (located on Junction 15 of the M40). If you have not already booked then it is recommended that you send your ticket form off as soon as possible.


If 2016 APIRA Champions or runners-up are unable to attend then please contact Jerry at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com so that alternative arrangements can be made for trophy presentation.

The meals are: chicken liver paté, braised beef and chocolate torte; vegetarian option of melon, four cheese ravioli and chocolate torte; or children's meal of tomato soup, chicken nuggets, and chocolate torte.

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £86 for a double or £76 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room, please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASCRA. Cut-off point for bedrooms at the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

Further details about the APIRA Trophy Night can be found in our news item of 28th September 2016.


Vegter hits the Red Line.
18th January: Remco Scheelings writes that The Netherlands' Vegter Pro Mod Racing are proud to announce a partnership with Red Line Oil Scandinavia for the 2017 FIA European Drag Racing Championship. The team, frontrunners in the European Championship for many years, will use the high-quality Red Line Oil products in close co-operation with the Swedish distributor of the American lubricants brand.

"Especially in the world of drag racing, Red Line is known as the best oil money can buy, and we at Vegter Pro Mod Racing are extremely proud to represent Red Line Synthetic Oil at, but also outside, European race tracks,” said David Vegter, driver and driving force behind Vegter Pro Mod Racing. Red Line Synthetic Oil products perform and protect better than any other on the market making Red Line oil the number one motor oil in drag racing, the motorsport in which engines make thousands horsepower and have to face the most demanding challenges. In their early years, Red Line Synthetic Oil produced lubricants for the racing industry only, but nowadays the American company manufactures more than one hundred quality products, including motor oils, gear oils, assembly lubes, fuel additives and cooling additives for the automotive, motorcycle, marine and industrial markets.

"Red Line Oil products didn't need any further introduction to us", said David. "Last year we got in contact with the Red Line Synthetic Oil distributor in Sweden. These meetings were so positive that we decided upon a partnership for the 2017 season and to use the Red Line products with immediate effect. We at Vegter Pro Mod Racing are very proud to represent such a highly rated brand."

Vegter Pro Mod Racing are one of the leading Pro Modified teams in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. One of their highlights was at Tierp Arena, last August, when David broke the magic 6.00-second barrier for the first time with a stunning 5.958 second passs. David ended the FIA European Pro Modified Championship in fifth position. In 2017 Vegter Pro Mod Racing will again compete in the full FIA European Championship tour of six races in England, Sweden, Finland and Germany and will aim to do even better than they did last season.

Teams that wants to order oil or other Red Line Oil products for the oncoming season can contact Red Line Oil Scandinavia at +46 (0)8-756 65 96 by phone or via E-Mail at order@redlineoil.se. For more information about the Scandinavian Red Line Oil distributor please visit www.redlineoil.se.


2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
17th January: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for confirming that the 2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting will be held on Sunday 26th February at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton, on the eastbound A45 just off Junction 15 of the M1 (postcode is NN4 0XW,
map). The meeting will commence at 13:30. Refreshments will be available free of charge on arrival.

Items to be discussed include the 2017 UK National Championships (ratification of dates as well as Championship matters), event entry fees and pitside electrical supply, and prize funds, as well as Any Other Business.

Racers are invited to submit items for the agenda but please note that an item will only be discussed if its proposer actually attends the meeting.

If you have any items for the agenda of the 2016 Riders' and Drivers' Meeting then please send them either to Santa Pod Racers Club at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or to Shakespeare County Raceway at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com by close of office hours on Friday 17th February.

Immediately after the Riders' and Drivers' Meeting will be the Annual General Meeting for Santa Pod Racers Club, which will discuss the SPRC accounts. Please note that this will not be a continuation of the Riders' and Drivers' meeting and that access to the AGM will require current SPRC membership.


UK SFI Tour date.
17th January: Thanks also to Ian Marshall for confirming that the UK stop of this year's SFI European inspection tour will take place at Santa Pod Raceway on Monday 20th March.

Inspections will take place between 10:00 and 16:00 on the ground floor of Spectator-side VIP.

If you have any queries about the UK SFI Tour date then please contact Ian by E-Mail at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625.


Baby pictures sought for quiz.
17th January: Our very own Kirstie is urgently seeking the help of racers with a quiz at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on Saturday 11th February. The Dinner Dance quiz will be open to all attending for a donation to Bloodwise but Kirstie needs source material.

Kirstie is looking for pictures of racers as a baby, plus a picture of their race car or bike. The object of the quiz will of course be to match the two.

If you would like to help then please send a picture of yourself as a baby and a picture of your ride to Kirstie at kejtramm@perse.co.uk by the end of this week. You can of course send pictures even if you are not attending the SPRC Dinner Dance.

This is ultimately for a good cause folks so please get scanning and/or sending.


Havoc approaching The Colonies.
17th January: Having left Southampton Docks in the middle of December, the Havoc altered of Silverstone duo Nick Davies and Rob Loaring is due to dock in the Southern US at any time. Nick Davies writes:

Assuming that Havoc clears US Customs without too many dramas, it will travel with the Rat Trap Bantam of Ron Hope, with which it has shared the container across the ocean, to Rat Trap Racing HQ in Tennessee where it will be based for the duration of 2017.

The Team would like to thank all the well-wishers. In order to keep all interested parties abreast of progress and developments, we have launched a dedicated web site for the tour which can be found at www.havocfuelaltered.co.uk. Please visit the site regularly in order to track progress, as well as more frequent updates on the Havoc Facebook page. Eurodragster.com will, of course, be first to hear of any significant developments.

The Team would also like to thank our supporting partners without whom much of this would prove an awful lot more challenging, if not impossible:

Beech Underwriting Agencies - perhaps the greatest supporter of British drag racing's history and heritage
The Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association and Lawrie Gatehouse - the UK's best altered racing over the past fifteen years
Motor State Distributing - The US' leading distributor of racing and high performance auto parts
Rat Trap Racing - see their exploits at www.rattrapracing.com
US Automotive - your #1 source for American Automotive Equipment in the UK
Lucas Oil Products - made in America, sold to the world!
Thacker and Friends - Communication and Marketing professionals


'69 Bruce turns Pro ET 69.
16th January: Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer Colin Theobald will be racing his immaculate 1969 Camaro Bruce in competition at June's SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway. Colin got in touch to explain how he finally cracked, as we all knew he would:

It was inevitable really. My work commitments have for once enabled me to have a weekend off for an event in which I could actually take part. Luckily for me the weekend in question is the SPRC Summernationals, and as Darryl Bradford commentates on that event I have a fantastic opportunity to take part in a race event.

Nothing like getting ready early so the race suit has been acquired, the helmet is up to date, and a visit to the Autosport Show completed the race gear with the purchase of boots, gloves and neck brace.

Bruce will be going up to his second home at Williams Bros Racing in the next month or so. Dan and Nic will install an SFI-certified flex plate and we also need to change the harmonic balancer. The boys will go over the car checking everything as they normally do. Dan rebuilt the engine before last season and upgraded a few components. Since then we have also installed CalTracs, changed the torque converter to a higher stall, and replaced the shock absorbers resulting in a new best for the car of 11.42 seconds, taking 0.4 seconds off the previous year's numbers. Webster Race Engineering installed the roll cage last year and this needs to be tagged but that's it, everything else is race ready. My SPRC membership has arrived and I have sent off for my MSA licence, then it is down to my observed runs to allow me to compete.

I am genuinely excited about racing, especially in Pro ET. If possible I will double-class and race in UK Nostalgia Superstock but I think that threeclasses would be too much for one event so Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator will have to wait but I'll definitely race with them one day. It would be rude not to, especially as I'd like to go out on the Cruise as a competitor, but commentary comes first as I love that more than anything so you are not losing me from the tower.

I really couldn't do this without the help and support on the Williams Bros Racing team, they are my second family now. If all goes to plan we could be fielding four cars that weekend so it will be a very busy event. Lucas Oils are continuing with their support for which we are forever grateful; we will be proudly carrying their logos at this event and at Dragstalgia where Dan Williams will once again be racing Bruce in my place. Thanks once again to Eurodragster.com (Thanks, you're welcome, hope Bruce has a radio - Ed) and yep, I'll be checking the race results like mad to see if I can cut a light and guess my dial-in close enough.

I'll still be driving the car to the events, swapping the rear wheels over once there to slicks then put the treads back on for the journey home. One of my favourite pastimes at the track is taking people for passenger rides in Bruce, this will continue as there are quite a few people who still have to take to the passenger seat after my promises last year. You know who you are...


Autosport International report.
15th January: In association with John Woolfe Racing we have posted our report of Friday's second Trade and Press Day at Autosport International at the NEC. Drag Racing was well-represented with Santa Pod Raceway's large display and as well as the usual visits to Eurodragster.com sponsors we managed to chat with a number of visiting racers.

You can check out our Autosport International report by clicking here, by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Feature: 40th Man Cup World Finals.
15th January: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is Steve and Julie Moxley's report of November's Man Cup World Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park. The report covers Top Fuel Bike, Top Fuel Twin, Pro Fuel, Pro Street and Shootout.

You can check out the Man Cup World Finals report and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Editor's note: A big Thank You to Steve and Julie for supplying this Feature just before Christmas and apologies for the delay in posting which was due to a combination of the Festive Season and personal issues.


Dutch SFI Tour date.
14th January: Thanks to Kees van der Meij of the Dutch Hot Rod Association for letting us know that the 2017 SFI European inspection tour will commence in The Netherlands on Thursday 16th March.

Inspections will take place between 08:00 and 12:00 at DHRA Headquarters at Aanbeeld 11, 1969 NC Heemskirk (near Amsterdam).

Chassis can also be tagged but only by appointment. To book your appointment, or if you have any questions, then please contact
keuring@dhra.nl.

On the usual form this puts the SFI Tour in Finland on Friday 17th March, Sweden on Saturday 18th March, and the UK on Monday 20th March but we will of course post the full official itinerary as soon as it is confirmed.


No Mercy: the rebirth.
13th January: UK Super Comp racer Richie Webb has been in touch with welcome news of the rebirth of Keith Seume's No Mercy chop-topped Beetle, which ran in VWDRC and Super Gas:

After Keith sold the car it was raced around Europe and finally ended up back in England in a poor state. The car was bought by an enthusiast in Scotland who wanted to race it again. Unfortunately the tube chassis showed too many signs of abuse and was deemed scrap. So Jim Smith of Cotsweld Race Cars was commissioned to build a new up-to-date chromoly chassis, tagged to 6.00 seconds, with strut front suspension and retaining the existing four-link. Jim also mounted the old body / flip front and fabricated a lot of other parts for it.

The car then came to me for all the mechanical work, intake and turbo set-up, plumbing dry sump and fuel system etc. The body went to Paintbox for a similar paint scheme to when it was first raced in UK.

The car is now nearing completion. I am currently finishing the engine and working on the new FT600 Fuel tech EFI set=up, The plan is to have it back to Jim at Cotsweld for final alignment and set-up in the next few weeks and to start testing in April. Initially we plan on running it in Super Gas, then as we progress maybe Super Comp. With essentially the same mechanical set-up and power plant as my Cabriolet it should be another entertaining car to watch!


Swift snippets.
13th January: Good luck and stay safe to the UK's Andy Frost who is up and running at Bahrain International Circuit with his street-legal Red Victor 3 and gunning for a new world record for a street-legal car, which will involve a 5.8-second pass. Frosty has after a small number of runs already recorded a PB in the 6.3s and made that look easy so congratulations to him for that. You can stay in touch with Frosty's progress in the BDRC Arabian Pro Series event via live webcast on the BIC's YouTube channel, on Andy's Facebook page, and via the Blog on Dragzine.com.

Diana Macrae asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to Podington Pea and Redneck Racing Crew Chief Andrew Shakeshaft. "What on earth could go wrong on a 40th birthday on Friday 13th?", asks DD. What indeed. Have a great day Andrew.


Jackson's new colours unveiled.
12th January: The Lucas Oil Brad Jackson Racing livery for the 2017 drag race season was revealed at 10:30 this morning on the Santa Pod Raceway stand at Autosport International.


Twenty-year-old Brad Jackson is a final year IMI apprentice Light Vehicle Motor Technician from York. He is stealing the drag race headlines, with two major events in twenty one days at the end of last year: a Super Pro ET victory at the APIRA Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway followed by a stunning win at the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway mean that Brad is the one to watch in 2017.

Brad's hero is Andy Carter, four-time winner of the FIA European Top Fuel European Championship - three as part of the Lucas Oil team. After unveiling the new look car at the Santa Pod Raceway stand in Hall 7 Andy said "It was an honour to be asked to unveil the Brad Jackson dragster. The new Lucas Oil design looks fantastic and I'm sure we are going to see a lot more of Brad on the winners' podium during 2017."

The 2017 livery is designed by Pete Walters Race Design and Wayne Jackson. It is a pastiche of last season's successful eye-catching layout which caught the everyone's attention on so many occasions. The successful grey patchwork theme has evolved, utilising the colours of the logo from Brad Jackson's main sponsor Lucas Oil to spectacular effect.

Brad is delighted to see the car unveiled by his sporting hero and is aiming to emulate Andy's rise to the top. His chase has begun with rebuilds of the 940 bhp V8 Big Block Chevrolet 565 and gearbox which will maximise reliability next season. The car under the bodywork is the same as the 2016 specification. The additives and racing oils from Lucas Oil will continue to help to ensure a reliable run of performances this season.


SPR seek Chrysler hemis for PR.
12th January: Darren Prentice writes that Santa Pod Raceway are seeking Chrysler hemi-powered cars to make runs for a PR company who are holding a Press Launch on 27th February to 1st March inclusive.

If you fancy some early mid-week testing on 27th, 28th and 1st, for two of these days, or for one day, then please contact Darren at darren@santapod.com.


£1000 to win Super Gas.
12th January: UK Super Gas racer Jon Giles has been in touch with news of a sponsorship scheme for the class at five events in 2017. A winner-takes-all £1000 is available in the Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2017. Jon explains:

For a long time now Super Gas has really struggled to find the car numbers to make it more exciting for the racers, crews and spectators, so in the closed season I tried to see if I could change this and make 2017 a bigger field and more appealing to everyone. I have managed to find some sponsorship but with certain conditions which are as follow.
  1. Prize money of £1000 to the winner only, not runner-up or top qualifier. Monies will be paid out even in the event of a rain-off.
  2. In the event of a rain-off the £1000 prize money will be carried over to the next meeting.
  3. This will be held at Santa Pod Raceway only and for five events: the Festival of Power, FIA / FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA / FIM European Finals, and the UK National Finals.
  4. There must be minimum twelve-car field on eliminations day, not just qualifying. Any less and no money will be paid out or carried over.
  5. This is a trial, 2017 only at this stage.
  6. It will be called and must be commentated as the Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2017.
  7. No decals are required on the cars.
  8. Most of this has been agreed by Santa Pod Racers Club and Santa Pod Raceway. Comments welcome from all involved.
  9. A Facebook page will be set up for all rules and conditions.
I hope that you all agree that with disposable income being challenged by economic conditions, and the uncertainty the future holds at this present time, I needed to do something to support a class which was ironically founded in the first place to make drag racing financially accessible to everyone. I see the way things are going, with the Pro classes being challenged the most why not turn the spotlight on a class which supports them at each event and reduce the pressure they must be feeling. As you know it's not easy as we saw from the numbers at the UK National Finals, but maybe when the spectators know that there is a small pot of gold to race for it may grab their interest. Who knows, but it's worth a try.


All set for Autosport International.
12th January: Bob Roberts of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars writes that the Clayton-Robinson Studebaker Lark Classic Saloon Cars racer is to make its début on the Aurora Bearings stand (8330) at Autosport International at Birmingham's NEC today (Thursday).

"Imported from California a couple of years ago, the Studebaker (below left) has been a long-term project which got some emphasis when we were invited to display the car on the Aurora stand", says Bob. "Fully built but not, yet tested it will hit the tracks later this year".


As reported here on Eurodragster.com on 5th January Santa Pod Raceway have a Fuel Funny Car and Brad Jackson's Super Pro ET ride in its new Lucas Oil Products livery on Stand 7460 where you will also be able to find representatives of Eurodragster.com sponsors Lucas Oil Products and VP Racing Fuels. As has become traditional at Autosport International, Eurodragster.com sponsor Hauser Race Cars are displaying Scott Hauser's Super Pro ET dragster in Autosport Engineering today and tomorrow; you can find the car on stand E730. Wayne Allman's Mental Breakdown blown-alcohol split-cab VW pick-up stars on the Serck Services Motorsport stand (7350).

You can find out more about Autosport International on the Show's official web site at www.autosportinternational.com. Simon and Tog will be attending the Show tomorrow (Friday) and we will be posting a report in association with John Woolfe Racing. If you would like to talk to us for the report then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com so that we can arrange to meet.


A Super Star, as we all knew...
12th January: Stars of lesser motorsports have recently been rubbing shoulders with Finland's 2016 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Anita Mäkelä. Anita writes:

In December I had the honor of visiting Vienna and attending FIA Prizegiving Gala. Tommi gave up his place to our daughter Hanna. We had a lovely evening with the other FIA Champions. This weekend I was fêted by AKK, the Finnish Motorsport Federation. Besides the Championship trophy I was named as their Super Star of the Year for 2016. This trophy is donated by Robert Lappalainen for a racer who perseveres and keeps faith in success in the future. My web site at www.anitamakela.com has been updated with a link to a video by Drag Race Life.


We have been shopping in Brownsburg and new stuff is on the way for the race car. We had old-style AJPE Stage 5 cylinder heads, but now we'll move up to Stage 7. We will be taking the chassis to Mats Eriksson's shop to be updated and front-ended by LG. Hopefully these will bring improvments, so that we can retain the European record and the number one on our car.


Swift snippets.
12th January: UK Pro ET racer Brian Huxley is seeking help locating one of the team's previous race cars, the '32 Ford Roadster which as Top Banana they campaigned for several years with not a small amount of success. Brian writes "The car is now on the road having been extensively worked on, registration XEG 772X (we think) - we helped with the registration. Last heard of in the Surrey area (we think again). The guy sent us photos and a nice letter thanking us for our help but when we moved we lost all of his details. Please help us find her and her new owner. If you know anything then please E-Mail econoline1@btinternet.com."

A reminder that voting for the SPRC Perpetual Awards closes at 23:59 UK this Sunday, 15th January (00:59 European Monday 16th). You can check out the shortlists, register your votes, and make your Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nominations by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Spirit of 76.
12th January: Nigel Taylor writes that it has been a busy few months at Detroit Spinner Racing HQ. The team had to wait for parts etc but after a few headaches they appear to be on target for a return with the Ford Prefect driven by Arthur Bonner, who will reach the tender age of seventy six come July:

555 ci Dart power should liven up the Prefect no end. It is still running its rare Fairbanks Turbo 400 gearbox. The initial fire-up took place last weekend, with everything kicking into life as it should and decent oil pressure. We are now looking forward to being out in April to test and tune the forty plus-year-old race car with the original builder back behind the wheel. The team have a few back-up drivers just in case: Justin Horne of Joust Performance, Col Law, Graham Smith, Colin Millar, Kelvin Helsdown, Andy Frost, Michael Hawkins, Bob Hancox, Dave Fulton, Paul Dale and our top crewman Jeff Goddard being a few. So we should have it covered! Thanks to all my family, the sponsors, the crew and Eurodragster.com for all their coverage and banter (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).

Paul Dale and the Acute Angle team with the had a very successful year with the 105e in the Supercharged Outlaws. He was well-pleased with his low ET of 9.3 seconds, especially when Peter Knight Race Engines stripped the motor down to find not one lobe left on the camshaft. A new Dart Small Block, built at Peter Knight's, will be going in and with the rear end gearing also changed from 4:56 to 4:1 and a step up on nitrous the little Anglia hopes to be wheeling into the eight second zone.

Paul would also like to send special thanks to his family, friends and the whole of the Supercharged Outlaws who have welcomed him in to the class. Special thanks from both teams to Paul's dad Steve Dale, who got us hooked on the crazy sport and who swore that he wouldn't get involved again. See you in the pits again soon Dad!


Lucas Oil sponsor SCR lane.
12th January: Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products has been named as sponsor of the left lane at Shakespeare County Raceway. The move formalises a working relationship with the Warwickshire drag strip which stretches back for over five years.

Shakespeare County Raceway Event Manager Jerry Cookson says that most of the teams already use Lucas Oil Products' oils, lubricants and additives and that because so many of them are sponsored in some form or another by the American lubricants giant it will make a lot of drivers and teams feel at home. "Lucas Oil has been a prominent supporter of this family-run drag strip for over five years", said Jerry. "What this agreement does is formalise our working relationship. It identifies the Shakespeare County Raceway name with a brand associated with motorsports worldwide."

A 2017 event calendar for the six-month season has just been published at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. The track opens on the weekend of 25th-26th March with a Season Opening Shakedown Public Track Day. New events for 2017 will aim to attract new faces to the track and the sport.

Drivers of Japanese vehicles will be among those targeted by a Pro Street Drag Series Time Trial in June which will be held over five rounds over the Raceway's Public Track RWYB Weekend.

The MSA Springspeed Nationals (29th April-1st May) and Open Sport Nationals (26th-28th August) are events which count towards the season-long UK National Drag Racing Championships. These feature a spectacular line up of fast dragsters and doorslammers. The always-popular hot rodding events start in June (23rd-25th) with the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals and end with the NSRA Hot Rod Drags in September (15th-17th). Both events are supported by the National Street Rod Association, which is one of the oldest hot rodding clubs in the UK.

With large numbers of cars expected to be bearing the Lucas Oil logo, a successful season is almost guaranteed. However, the additive and lubricants manufacturer plans to use the venue to promote new products for racers and new products for fans of the sport to use in their own cars and motorcycles. Lucas Oil is set to announce a new Racing Oil range in January 2017, new oils for family cars and a new all-purpose additive for engines and fuel systems, called Complete Engine Treatment.

Lucas Oil Products managing director Les Downey said "Motorsport fans drive cars and motorcycles to get to and from the drag strip. They all use oils and although not all of them know it, they need to use additives, too. We will be making that point strongly throughout the season.

"The Lucas Oil brand is associated with motorsport and with motorsport winners. Our new product schedule for 2017 is underway, so this agreement to sponsor the left lane at Shakespeare County Raceway comes at the right time, is in the right place, and is perfect timing for us."


Jet stream forecast to hit SPR.
12th January: Easter in mid-April can often turn out warm and sunny, but Easter 2017 promises to be a scorcher when Santa Pod Raceway unleashes its fire-breathing extravaganza, the Jet Car Shootout. The largest contingent of jet-powered vehicles ever assembled in Britain will headline Santa Pod's season-opening Festival of Power on 14th-16th April, blasting forth their unique brand of flame, smoke and thunder.

Technically, Jets are classified as exhibition vehicles rather than racing machines, but don't try telling the drivers. Local hero Martin Hill presents no fewer than three entries from his FireForce stable, two Jet Funny Cars (FireForces 3 and 4) and his five-second FireForce 5 Jet Dragster, taking on the Split Second Jet Dragster of Julian Webb. Lee Dennick pilots the Reign of Fire mini-Jet Funny Car – small in stature, perhaps, but packing a punch far above its weight. Jetting in from Germany, Gerd Habermann brings not only his familiar Dragon Hunter Funny Car but raises the insanity level to new heights with his outrageous Jet School Bus, the first British outing for this flame-throwing yellow peril.

If the afterburner-popping Jets haven't already rattled the china on your mantelpiece, there'll be the nitro-burning Funny Cars of the European Funny Car Series in action too, and Top Fuel Dragsters warming up for the season ahead. Family entertainment is a key feature of the event, but the Festival of Power also embraces a serious motor race. 2017's National Championships for cars and motorcycles start here – leading the way, the rumbustious Pro Mods battling out the first round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship.

Away from the track, the Festival of Power offers a vibrant selection of entertainments fit for all the family. The Live Action Arena stages stunt shows galore, together with those perennial children's favourites, the Monster Trucks. There is even another jet car on show, Hervé Franquin's thrust-powered Peugeot 205 coming all the way from France to warm up the Santa Pod crowd. And for those fans who love their smoke abundant and multi-coloured, watch out for a round of the European Burnout Championship, a spectacular sport invented in Australia and new to these shores. There is plenty more family fun on offer, not least the Festival Of Power's annual Big Top show, the award-winning Pinder's Circus.

Early Bird tickets, available until 31st January, start from as little as £15.20 per day for adults – as ever, kids go free – under-sixteen, three per paying adult. For full event information and to book tickets, please visit www.santapod.com or telephone 01234 782828. Tickets may be booked on-line and printed at home.


Time to scratch the itch!
11th January: UK former Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor
Jon Webster has decided that he just had to scratch the itch and move to Pro Mod. Jon takes up the story:


In the early part of 2011 a decision was made to build a purpose built tube frame car, following six years of racing the MG SVR, which was a floor pan car weighing in at 3640 lbs. Specific choice of class at this point hadn't been made. It seemed logical to take the powertrain from the MG and put the best of what we had developed from customer cars into a new chassis and shed 1000 lbs or so. But turbos had been introduced to Pro Mod and that had a definite appeal to me.

As the year moved on the pros and cons were considered, but the decision was made easy when a significant regulation change was made in Pro Mod: the maximum engine capacity was reduced from 650 ci to 540 ci and from my perspective it was obvious that the new combination had to be given time to settle. So I started construction of the Comet in October 2011 and we were racing at the 2012 FIA Main Event. We had four solid years in Street Eliminator resulting in third, second, second and second in the National Championship and SPRC Championship, along with an APIRA Championship win in 2013.

In 2016 I sat back a bit to contemplate the racing future and we only competed at the FIA events. At the FIA / FIM Main Event we broke the motor but at the FIA / FIM European Finals we lost to Mark Todd in the final. The Comet is a great car, really efficient in the front half, but the back half was limited by the aerodynamics and a 377 SBF. As the SBF was further developed by ICE and Dave Rowe, the increased power went some way to bumping the gains in the back half, the aero obviously still resisted but we made small mods with reduced grille openings, added trimmers and under trays, which managed the situation until late 2015. We made big gains at the European Finals and the speed was up to 189 mph which resulted in the front wheels not being in contact with the track most of the way (getting closer to the point of no return).

I initially opted for the Comet body partly for Nostalgic reasons, and it has great aesthetics in my opinion, but also the image had to reflect a stock appearance. I know primarily it's a race car but I wanted to tone down the race image, which I believe puts emphasis on the performance, while creating the illusion that it is also a credible street car (which it is). So when it comes down to changing the body or modifying it just won't happen. The car is what it is and I hope for it to be preserved. Therefore a new car was needed.

Again the questions were presented: what class? What car?

Street Eliminator is unique class, very competitive, rarely a foregone conclusion. We have data which shows that with better aero and a bit more power we would have the potential to find a bigger window of opportunity for better performance. However, the rules have now settled in Pro Mod with regard to turbos, with only minor tweaks to the regs here and there. The capital outlay of both options are similar, so budget has little relevance on the choice. The build is in some ways more straightforward on a Pro Mod, but ultimately my choice was made on wanting to compete at MSA and FIA Championship level in the quickest door cars in Europe.

The choice of car was easy, beautifully illustrated here by Darren West of Power Race Graphics.

The engine choice wasn't as easy, and I went with my head rather than my heart. The choice being AJPE Muscle-headed TFX hemi with twin turbos, build by ICE Automotive Racing Engines. The Transmission is from the USA, built by M&M Transmissions.

Construction has just started and we hope to be out as soon as possible, subject to available time and budget. Most of the budget is in place due to the sale of the Comet, and if the front-engine dragster is sold the the remaining budget requirements are fulfilled.

I am not saying goodbye to Street Eliminator. I still hope to be involved in various ways with customers and administration and possibly with a return to the competition in the future. After all Street Eliminator is a metaphorical foundation on which Webster Race Engineering was built... oh, and I like it a lot!

Pro Mod was where I cut my teeth back in 1987, with Tim Cook and Rob Loaring, and I was heavily involved way into the 1990s, so in some ways it's a return to my roots albeit vastly different. But this time in the driver's seat.


Snell 2005 helmets in Germany.
9th January: International scrutineer Frans Steilberg has been in touch with an important message for racers with Snell 2005 crash helmets who plan to compete in Germany in 2017:

In all Pro classes governed by FIA, Snell 2005 ceased to be valid on 1st January 2017. In Sportsman racing governed by the DMSB (the governing body of motorsports in Germany), Snell 2005 helmets are valid until 31st December 2018. Please be advised that if ET Bracket classes - Super Pro ET, Pro ET and Sportsman ET - are run under FIA rules then Snell 2005 helmets will not be acceptable.

If you have any questions then please E-Mail me at
dragracingtech@eircom.net.

UK Nostalgia Superstock calendar.
9th January: Many thanks to Jim Chandler for letting us know that the 2017 UK Nostalgia Superstock calendar has been released:

UKNSA is a new but greatly-expanding race series which has only been in existence for five years. It was the idea of Pete Walton and I; we both broke our cars at Dragstalgia and so decided that we were going to race each other every year and share the trophy for winner and runner-up. However word got out, so Pete had to set up and start running a proper series.

The look and feel of the class was to relive the heydays of Stock and Superstock racing of the 1960s and 1970s. It is a bracket racing dial-in class, running 9.00 seconds to 14.99 seconds, so something for quick street cars to hard-hitting track cars. First it ran only at Dragstalgia, then as it became more and more popular more dates were added to the calendar until in 2017 there are eight confirmed dates:

21st-24th April: Big Bang Camper and Bus Show, Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May: APIRA Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
27th-29th May: York Raceway
24th-26th June: SPR Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
14th-16th July: Dragstalgia, Santa Pod Raceway
28th-30th July: 24th Mopar EuroNationals, Santa Pod Raceway
26th-28th August: APIRA Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway TBC
23rd-24th September: UK National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway

Points will be allocated from the five best rounds, so even if you can't make all eight rounds you still have a good chance of winning.

To be eligible to race all you need is a pre-1980 American V8 car which can run between 9.00 seconds and 14.99 seconds. A basic outline of the rules is: stock style suspension, max 10" rim, max 10½" slick, no back halved cars or power adders. The full list of rules, regulations and safety requirements can be found on the UKNSA web site at uknsa.freeforums.net or our Facebook page. To run at any permit / sanctioned events you must have a valid MSA licence and be a member of Santa Pod Racers Club or Avon Park International Racing Association.

Non-UKNSA members can race but will not be eligible for points, prizes, sponsor discounts etc.

Happy racing!


Swift snippets.
9th January: Racers, officials, sponsors etc please note that Simon and Tog will be attending Autosport International this Friday (13th) and we will be posting a report in association with John Woolfe Racing. If you would like to talk to us for the report then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com so that we can arrange to meet.

Further to the below, once the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote closes we will hold the vote for the 2016 season Perpetual Awards for the Avon Park International Racing Association.


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
9th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on Saturday 11th February.

For several of the 2016 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category, the last, is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy. The James Edgar Memorial Trophy is awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Rene van den Berg, for himself (Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Rene van den Berg

Pat Byrne and Phil Peck, for Matt Smith (Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator)
Vote for Pat Byrne and Phil Peck

Cristiann Carlo, for Nick Good Motorsport (Super Pro ET)
Vote for Cristiann Carlo

Karl Harrison, for Rod Harrison (Top Methanol Dragster)
Vote for Karl Harrison

Brad O'Connor, for various bike racers
Vote for Brad O'Connor

Jan Selles, Arjan van Demmel, Leon van der Linden, Jaap Oonincx, Anton Vink, Michel Tooren, for Michel Tooren (Pro Modified)
Vote for Jan Selles, Arjan van Demmel and the Pro Dutch Racing team

Andy Wright, for Bert Englefield and himself (Pro Modified)
Vote for Andy Wright

Olly Young, for Sam Young (VW Pro)
Vote for Olly Young

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2016@eurodragster.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

Voting closes at 23:59 UK next Sunday, 15th January (00:59 European Monday 16th).


At sixes and sevens.
7th January: After another season racing with the Wild Bunch and running sixes at over 200 mph in his 434 Chevy-powered Time Traveller II slingshot, the UK's Bob Hawkins had to decide what to do in 2017:

Our poor old Small Block grenaded at the UK National Finals due to an oil pick-up problem, so we kind of had a blank canvas to start with. As the whole team just seem to want to go quicker and faster it was decided a Big Block Chevy was the obvious way to go!

We were lucky to find a very nice, and fast, ex-Sandro Bellio blown alcohol motor which we purchased from the very helpful Alex Mahl in Austria. This saved a small fortune over an all-new engine! Much swapping of parts and fettling followed to shoehorn it into our chassis and to hopefully make it a little faster still. We are now very much looking forward to the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway at Easter to check out and baseline the car.

It's also looking like Time Traveller I will be making more appearances this season with Tom at the wheel, hoping for more sevens. So a very interesting year in the making for us! Good luck to all the teams out there in 2017, go fast and stay safe.


SPR get busy at Autosport.
5th January:
Santa Pod Raceway's 2017 season launches with the Raceway's annual appearance at next week's giant Autosport International Show at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre. Centre of attention on Stand 7460 will be the former Speedghost Nitro Funny Car recently driven by Sweden's Patrik Pers.

The Funny Car will be exhibited in full competition mode. Show visitors can get up close to inspect the sleek, carbon-fibre body and the 8.2-litre, supercharged and injected, nitro-burning V8 engine capable of generating 10,000 horsepower and propelling the car to 300 mph speeds in just four seconds. Sad to say, the weekend's likeliest FAQ – "Are you going to start it up, then?" – will have to be answered "No", since the NEC values its roof, but staff and racers will be on hand to explain the machine's intricacies and its spectacular, ground-shaking performance capabilities.

Visitors to Stand 7460 can also collect a copy of Santa Pod's 2017 Calendar. Santa Pod's staff will be happy to discuss a ten-month-long programme crammed with more than fifty events for lovers of all manner of fast-paced, motorised machinery – enthusiasts, participants and spectators alike.

Sharing the stand with Santa Pod will be Lucas Oil UK, displaying an array of its Championship-winning automotive products alongside the Lucas Oil-sponsored dragster of rising Sportsman star Brad Jackson. The twenty-year-old from Yorkshire is one of the formidable band of young racers who have graduated from the Junior Dragster ranks, and now races in Super Pro ET. In September, Jackson delivered his finest performance to date to defeat a thirty eight-strong field and win Super Pro ET at Santa Pod's FIA European Finals. His US-built car is powered by a methanol-burning big-block Chevrolet V8 and can reach 175 mph in 7.6 seconds. The dragster's latest Lucas Oil livery, fresh for 2017, will be unveiled over the weekend. Lucas Oil representatives will be happy to explain the company's extensive range of automotive lubricants, treatments, additives and ancillary products.

VP Racing Fuels, Santa Pod's official fuel supplier, will also be present on the stand. While technical advice about VP products will be on offer for the technically-minded, VP's promo girl will join forces with Santa Pod's own promo girls to create a perfect storm of photo opportunities for visitors with a broader range of interests.

Santa Pod Raceway, Lucas Oil UK and VP Racing Fuels will welcome show visitors to Stand 7460, Hall 7, throughout Autosport-International next Thursday-Sunday, 12th-15th January (Trade and Press Days Thursday-Friday, public days Saturday-Sunday).


Lindberg joins Head.
4th January: Sweden's Jonnie Lindberg, back-to-back and reigning NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion, has been announced as the new driver of famed NHRA racer Jim Head's Toyota nitro Funny Car from 2017. Jonnie, who is now based in Brownsburg, Indiana, will replace Jim's son Chad, who will be devoting more time to the family business.

Jonnie said "This is a dream come true for me. About a week ago, I got a text Dave Leahy of Electromotion who also works with the Head team and he said, "Call me, we need a driver." I called right away and told them I'm up for it. Who would turn down a chance to drive a nitro Funny Car?

"I talked to Jim (Head, Team Owner and Crew Chief) for more than an hour today and I think he and I are on the same page," Lindberg said. "He started out as a driver, owner and tuner and that's pretty much what I've done the last two seasons. I told him that I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. I want to learn as much as I can about running a nitro car."

Jonnie started his career in methanol-fuelled funny cars by winning the FIA Championship in 2013 before racing in the US. In winning two NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Championships in 2015-16, Jonnie has won six NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing series national event titles. He was also the first driver to venture into the 5.3-second zone and run over 270-mph in a Top Alcohol Funny Car. He gained attention late in the 2016 season when he earned his nitro Funny Car license by driving Tim Wilkerson's Mustang to a pair of impressive 3.9-second runs at over 320 mph in Las Vegas.

"I've always wanted to drive a fuel Funny Car," Lindberg said. "Last year, my goal was to win a second TAFC championship and then get my fuel license. When I got the opportunity to drive Tim's car, I thought it was a good idea to have the license just in case someone was looking for a driver. I didn't expect that anything would happen this quickly, but I'm happy that it did."

Team owner and crew chief Jim Head said "Jonnie and I have a lot in common. We both race for the same reason. He's a one-man band; someone who drives his own truck and puts his own awning up. That's how I started and even though I'm a long way from that now, I did it for a lot of years. I can relate to someone who has gone through all that. I think it will be a good combination."

Head currently plans to compete in 16-18 races starting with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. By racing this expanded programme, Jonnie will become one of the top candidates for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award as NHRA's top rookie driver.


French ATD review of 2016.
3rd January: Didier Canicave has been in touch with a review of the 2016 drag racing season in France:

The French Championship Trophy (Association Trophy Dragster) took in four races in 2016; one in Italy (Rivanazzano), two on the permanent French at Clastres, and the final on the airfield at Vichy. Once again the ATD association performed miracles, Eric Angeloni and his team of volunteers, assisted by the Dutch ESLA team for the two races at Clastres, worked tirelessly to give racers in all classes solid organisation and perfect tracks.

Unfortunately all the races with the exception of Rivanazzano were disrupted by bad weather culminating in Sunday's eliminations being cancelled at Vichy for understandable reasons, with heavy rain all day long. This was all the more infuriating since the televison team from Auto-Moto and the President of the Fedération Française Sports Automobiles had made the trip to the race. Local racers were bewildered because they said that there had been no rain in the previous two months. The final round for French Drag Bikes was also due to take part at this event which meant that the public should have enjoyed a field of more than 140 on four and two wheels.

Pro ET: The highlight of this class was the return of the Championship crown to Sylvain Nowak and his Chevy altered, with two victories in Clastres and big results in Rivanazzano. In second place was Eric Angeloni and his Chevy dragster, he had problems at Clastres and was not able to reduce his deficit during the Vichy Finals; he was a serious contender for victory but the rain decided a different result. In third place, in spite of a no-show at the final round, was Romain Bouillard who has strong early races, and he was just eight points in front of Alexandre Jacquot with his Ford Probe. With twenty nine cars registered and fifteen racing the class is in good shape. These dragsters are some of the most powerful in the Championship and are not always easy to tune and drive even though the tracks become better and better every year.


Super Pro ET: The biggest dragster category with an average of fifteen cars racing and thirty six registered. The crown went to Franck Besset with his Chevy Nova after a strong battle with Beranger Pudil and his Chevy Camaro. Each racer had a victory, Franck making the difference with the most consistency. Fabien Dubois and his Chevy Nova was in third place with strong runs throughout the Championship. We must also note the magnificent performance of Elodie Dubois and her dragster in fourth final place with a podium at Clastres as a bonus.


Street Run A, B and C: In Street Run A Laurent Arnould and his Chevy Chevelle had consistent Championship performance at every round with a victory at Clastres in July to win the title. In Street Run B Claude Grodard and his Pontiac Trans Am won big points and took at victory at Clastres in July, and won the Championship despite a no-show at Rivanazzano. In Street Run C Florian Salvatore with his Opel Astra had to battle strongly all season to take the final victory as the top four racers were separated by only twenty points. Florian won a magnificent victory over the Italian racers at Rivanazzano.


Junior Dragster: This year's king of Junior Dragster is Clement Dubois with two victories, a second place, and top qualifying spot in the Vichy Finals. In second place was another strong driver, Lucas Dubourget who was German Junior Champion for the second year, was more than one hundred points behind Clement. In third place was Quentin Steinegger and in fourth place Samantha Fermond.

The 2016 ATD will go into the books as a good Championship with 128 racers registered in six categories. This year the ATD shared the track with the Dutch racers of the European Street Legal Association at the the two races at Clastres Raceway and this was a success for the first year. The ASA Dragster and the FFSA, as well as the volunteers who work in the background, must be thanked warmly as they give up their free time and sometimes their holidays, often arriving severals days before an event to prepare the track and organisation to ensure that all of the racers and teams can race in the maximum safety and pleasure. These weekends are a real pleasure for racers, teams, mechanics and fans of every category, all with the same passion: drag racing.

The next big event for the French circus is the annual TD meeting to prepare for the 2017 Championship which will have more racers, the best weather, and, as always, lots of fun. A Happy New Year to race fans across Europe and around the world... enjoy your new season.


Swift snippets.
3rd January: A recent look through his collection of car books resulted in a pleasant surprise for Eurodragster.com Photographer Julian...


...no less than an early sighting of UK Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam. Zero out of ten to the publishers, however, for the not-remotely-predictable caption.


SPRC Dinner Dance hotel bookings.
2nd January: Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with an important notice regarding hotel rooms at the SPRC Dinner Dance, which takes place at 6:00 pm on Saturday 11th February 2017 at the
De Vere Staverton Park Hotel in Staverton.

Today (Monday 2nd January) is the last day on which hotel rooms can be booked at the preferential rate of £85 for a single room and £95 for double or twin rooms, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the hotel on 01327 302002 quoting reference SANT110216. Please do not try to book your room on-line as the electronic reservations system has been told that the entire hotel booked for that evening, so your attempt at reservation will fail. The block booking of rooms will be released tomorrow (Tuesday 3rd) from which point the SPRC offer code will not be accepted and you will be charged the full rate.

You can find full details about the SPRC Dinner Dance in our news item of 14th September, and you can download the Dinner Dance booking form (PDF format) by clicking here. Please note that booking forms should be sent to Yvonne Tramm at the address specified on the form and not to the SPRC office.

If you have any queries about the Dinner Dance then please contact Yvonne Tramm, not the SPRC office, at ytramm@africonnect.com.


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 4.
2nd January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 11th February.

For several of the 2016 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category is Most Professional-Appearing Team. The Most Professional-Appearing Team trophy recognises not just the presentation of a race vehicle but the team's overall approach to racing. As well as a well-turned-out car or bike, the Committee have considered such aspects as the appearance and attitude of team personnel, the organisation and appearance of their pit area and support equipment, and their readiness when their class is called.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order of team / vehicle (not racer) name, is as follows:

Blown Bird (Kev Slyfield, Pro Modified)
Vote for Blown Bird

CW Motorsport (Craig Wright, Super Pro ET)
Vote for CW Motorsport

Gulf Oil Drag Racing / Grand Prix Originals (Ian King, Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Gulf Oil Drag Racing / Grand Prix Originals

Highlander II (Holley Marshall, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
Vote for Highlander II

Team Reloaded (Pete Walters, Super Pro ET)
Vote for Team Reloaded

Shark Attack Drag Racing (Rene van den Berg, Top Fuel Bike; Ivana van den Berg, Supertwin Top Gas; Louis Davis, Junior Drag Bike)
Vote for Shark Attack Drag Racing

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2016@eurodragster.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement and comments on the subject on our Facebook pages will be deleted.

The final voting category, due next Monday (9th January), will be the James Edgar Memorial Trophy.



Earlier news