European Drag Racing News

Avril Brown.
26th March: We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Santa Pod Racers Club marshal Avril Brown yesterday. Paul Marston writes:

"I have been asked by the Brown family to write this on their behalf. It is with the deepest sadness that I have to inform you about the passing of former SPRC marshal Avril Brown.

"Avril had been fighting that awful disease cancer, as reported on Eurodragster earlier this year. Avril died peacefully in her sleep around 1.00am Saturday 25th March. Writing this is never easy and it shouldn’t be. Avril was a wonderful lady, anyone who knew her would attest to that. Always smiling, always happy, a lovely human being.

"Avril is survived by her devoted husband of 47 years, former SPRC Marshal Phil Brown, two sons Simon and Alan and grandsons Bailey and Charlie.

"As soon as funeral arrangements have been made, I will advise. We all take comfort in the fact that Avril is no longer suffering and is now at peace, may God bless you Avril."

The photos show Avril with Phil; both were marshals at SPR for several years and their sons Simon and Alan served as well. We at sends our deepest condolences for the loss of Avril to Phil, Simon, Alan, Bailey, Charlie and their family and friends.

Registration is open for DRU.
26th March: Thanks to Drag Race Union Secretary Markus Münch for an update on registration for the 2023 competition (English version below):

Drag Race Union Challenges, Anmeldung hat geöffnet.

Hallo Teams, Teilnehmer, Sponsoren. Mit leichter Verzögerung kann man sich für die diesjährige Ausgabe der Pro ET und Supro ET Challenge anamelden. Bitte nutzt dafür die Homepage. Unter findet ihr unter Challenges alles was ihr braucht. Jeweils für die Klassen Pro ET und Supro ET findet ihr die Ausschreibung. Bitte füllt das Formular zu euch und eurem Fahrzeug aus, ladet die entsprechenden Fotos hoch, die werden wir für die HP nutzen. Geht dann zum Bezahlen über „Payment“ direkt zu Paypal, oder überweist den Betrag an das angegebene Challenge Konto. Pro ET Teams kennen das schon, für Supro ET Teams ist das neu.

Pro ET anmeldung;
Pro ET bezahlung;
Supro ET anmeldung; und
Supro ET bezahlung.

Für die Klasse Extreme Outlaw kann man sich hier registrieren: Extreme Outlaw ist offen für aufgeladene Dragster (Kompressor, Turbo, Procharger) und der Wettbewerb wird im Cannonball Format ausgetragen.

Sponsoren, nehmt gerne Kontakt mit uns auf. Schon kleine Beträge ab 200€ nehmen wir gerne um den Preisgeldtopf für beide Challenges (Pro und Supro) zu füllen (Extreme Outlaw generiert einen eigenen Preisgeldtopf). Eure Gelder landen eins zu eins dort, und werden nicht für andere Dinge verwendet.

Bitte beachtet für die Registrierung und das Sponsoring die Deadline Ende April, damit wir die Challenge Aufkleber, Shirts auch rechtzeitig zum Saisonstart fertig bekommen.

Für alle diejenigen, die gerne hinter den Kulissen an den Challenges mitwirken wollen: Wir suchen dich. Z.B. als Ansprechperson für die Teilnehmer auf dem Rennplatz, oder zum übernehmen anderer Aufgaben. Melde dich.

Drag Race Union Challenges, registration is open.

Hello teams, participants, sponsors. Registration for this year's edition of the Pro ET and Supro ET Challenge is open following a slight delay. Please use the homepage for this. At you will find everything you need under Challenges. You will find the announcement for the Pro ET and Supro ET classes at the following links. Please fill out the form for you and your vehicle, upload the relevant photos, which we will use for the HP. Then go directly to Paypal to pay via "Payment", or transfer the amount to the specified Challenge account. Pro ET teams already know this, for Supro ET teams this is new.

Pro ET registration;
Pro ET payment;
Supro ET registration; and
Supro ET payment.

You can register for the Extreme Outlaw class at this link. Extreme Outlaw is open to supercharged cars (supercharger, turbo, procharger) and the competition will be held in Cannonball format.

Sponsors, please contact us. We are happy to take small amounts from €200 to fill the prize money pot for both challenges (Pro and Supro) (Extreme Outlaw generates its own prize money pot). Your funds end up there one to one, and are not used for other things.

Please note the end of April deadline for registration and sponsoring so that we can get the challenge stickers and shirts ready in time for the start of the season.

For all those who would like to work behind the scenes on the challenges: We are looking for you. E.g. as a contact person for the participants on the racetrack, or to take on other tasks. You can get in touch with Drag Race Union by email or Facebook.

Swift snippets.
26th March: Happy Birthday greetings to Transatlantic Funny Bike racer and adrenaline junkie Dale Leeks and Street Eliminator burnout king Nick Hale, also to German Mopar Comp Eliminator racer Dirk Peiler, hope you guys have a great day!

John C. Bennett Foundation Award.
25th March:
Following the passing of Santa Pod Raceway founder and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Bennett, the person, amongst others of course, who provided the reason we all get to venture to Santa Pod Raceway, Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall has announced an award in his memory:

John Bennett joined the first committee of the British Hot Rod Association in 1962 and, as Chairman, organised the first British Custom Car show at his Spa Engineering workshops in South Norwood in Easter 1963. He was involved in early drag races in the UK with his Pontiac Chieftan usually raced by his soon-to-be wife Ann Palmer. At the 1965 BHRA AGM, he made the historic announcement that five members including himself had been able to obtain a ninety-acre site in Bedfordshire suitable for a permanent drag strip.

John had formed a company known as National Dragways to develop the site which in 1966 was to become Santa Pod Raceway. Also in 1966, he took over Drag Racing Magazine, incorporated the BHRA club magazine Kool Kams into it and renamed it Drag Racing and Hot Rod Magazine. In 1969 after seven years as Chairman, John decided it was time to step down from the renamed British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association committee.

Andy Hadfield, The Supercharged Outlaws, and Santa Pod Racers Club wanted to recognise John’s efforts in the early days of Santa Pod Raceway that provided racers with a venue to establish drag racing within the UK.

The decision was made to provide a trophy for what we collectively consider to be the foundation of our sport, the Juniors, that’s Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike. The trophy pictured will be presented to a rider or driver at the season-end trophy evening, and will be presented to the person their peers deem to be held in the highest regard. This is not just about being a winner, but also who they are and what they do outside of their race machine. The dragster drivers will vote for a name within their class, as will the bike riders. This will be carried out at each National Event. The name, or names, that at the end of the season have the most votes will then be put forward for the award. The award will also include a cash sum of £200 provided by the very generous teams within the Supercharged Outlaws and Andy Hadfield, who have secured funding for many years to come.

The trophy will be called the John C. Bennett Foundation Award and will be presented on an annual basis. There will also be a smaller trophy for each year’s recipient to keep as a memento of their achievement.

I would like to also thank John Bennett Jnr for allowing us to use his father’s name on what we consider to be a very prestigious trophy.

And of course, Andy Hadfield and the Supercharged Outlaws for their financial support now and in the future.

Tim Blakemore's JDB opportunity.
25th March: Funny Bike racer Tim Blakemore and erstwhile Super Twin Fuel crew and rider Wendy Clutterbuck have been in touch with a great race-ready bike for sale for those wanting to enter Junior Drag Bike for the 2023 season. Wendy writes:

"We have decided to sell our little fuel bike replica, the Tim Blakemore Racing junior drag bike! It was originally built for Tyler Clutterbuck back in the early Junior Drag Bike days (he's now 30 and off travelling the world). Then it was campaigned by his little cousin Conor Meehan (he’s also older than I can cope with! Where does the time go?) It was on loan for a season with Will Pickering to help get him started out in to the drag racing world!

"It’s a real work of art and has been a great display piece and talking point at our shop, but really it should be back out on the track being raced again!

"It’s a Honda CB125 / 200 (sleeved/ unsleeved) powered 5 speed junior modified, has a custom built chassis and wheelie bars. The body is a super lightweight carbon fibre item and it has a custom made front wheel. The engine has been dyno tuned, has electric over air shifter, Dyna S ignition, two step launch control and shift minder, ignition kill/lanyard etc, everything you need to go racing. It’s all serviced and ready to go!"

Anyone interested should contact Tim or Wendy at Tim Blakemore Race & Classics Hallen Bristol BS11 0EA 07554748344 or email: Shipping abroad can be organised if required.

Swift snippets.
25th March: Happy Birthday for today to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and five time FIA Top Methanol Dragster champion Dave Wilson, have a great day Dave! 2013 FIA Top Fuel Champion Thomas Nataas who undoubtedly will be following daughter Julie's progress at her first Funny Car Chaos race at the Texas Motorplex today, have a great day Thomas! Also a very Happy Birthday to 2022 FIA Top Fuel champion Antti Horto, to Santa Pod Raceway Commercial Manager Caroline Holden and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Expat Norwegian racer Julie Nataas is in ninth position of 49 qualifiers after two qualifying sessions in her unblown nitro FC at Funny Car Chaos at the Texas Motorplex. Julie recorded a 3.794/198.35 in Q2 with one more session to go and then into eliminations later today. Good luck and stay safe to Julie. Live streaming coverage can be seen from 15:00 GMT at

The first round of the Hungarian National Drag Racing Championship takes place today at Kiskunlacháza Airport. For more details, results and points updates see and media on the day is being posted to the Facebook page.

Irish Drag Racing on Sunday.
24th March:
This Sunday, Irish Drag Racing in association with Straightliners present the first meeting of the Irish Drag Racing Championship at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Downpatrick.

New equipment has been fitted to accommodate the Straightliners timing system and racing will take place whatever the weather!

Action will take place from 10am - 6pm on Sunday, with race entry set at £120, all participants must have a valid Nora Motorsport licence along with Straightliners membership which can be purchased by clicking here. Basic licence and membership costs just £40 per annum or the advanced licence and membership costs just £80. Day licences can be purchased at the event but we strongly recommend you avail of the full years licence pre-event.

Spectators can enter the track from 10am by paying £15 each (or €20), teens £10 each (or €15), and under 12s free. on site parking available Advance tickets can be bought online by clicking here.

Racers and spectators should note that the Ballyhornan road from Downpatrick to Bishopscourt is closed this Sunday. Please do not be that guy that gets stuck on it with a trailer. Follow the signs or your sat nav to Ardglass to bypass the road closure, and then follow your satnav to 77B Ardglass Road, Downpatrick, BT30 7PR.

The Straightliners team comprising of Ben Lawrence, Stephen Hall, Liam Neale Ryan and Kerri Scott along with Paul McQuire will be on the ground at Bishopscourt airfield circuit from Friday (today) laying out the track in preparation for what is set to be a phenomenal season opener. 80+ entries and counting is no mean feat in March.

One of the biggest changes for 2023 will be a prize fund. Never has there been a prize pot so big and with a value of £10,000 for the season, this is a real coup for drag racing in the province. Full credit to Ciaran Coleman's tenacious work to ensure the sport not only moves forward, but also rewards racers for their efforts.

Ben Lawrence said "Thanks to principal sponsor PowerMax Engineering Ltd and associate sponsors Link, Precision Turbo, Bradley, PowerMax Competition, MCG Auto Styling, Bishop's Chrome Exhausts, and supporters Cano, Kitty's Kitchen, CCTV, MMK Electrical & LED Lighting, and Straightliners N.I.

"A huge Thank you to Ross Annett from Anachem Automotive who have generously sponsored our kit this year and we cannot thank him enough. Be sure to check out @Anachem Automotive for all your vehicle cleaning needs, give them a like and subscribe to keep up to date with all the latest news and products. Also a big thank you to Blackwater Graphics for supplying all the kit in good time.

"You can see more details on the Irish Drag Racing Facebook page. This is the first time a full sponsored championship has ever taken place in Northern Ireland, the Straightliners team are ready to deliver, as are the Irish Drag Racing Team.

"What both parties need is the support of not only the racers, but the general public to get this season opener off to a flying start, a start that will grow the sport and build a solid foundation for the future and beyond. We wish everyone an enjoyable and succesful event."

Thanks to Ben Lawrence for his help in editing this article.

Pioneer stories: Jeff Byne, part 2.
24th March: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 1 of the story of drag bike champion and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Jeff Byne, told in his own words exclusively for

1978 got off to a disastrous start for Jeff with an accident following a stuck throttle. He took the rest of the year off to build a double engined Morgo Triumph powered bike which he brought out on May Day 1979. The bike was quickly competitive and Jeff took the ACU championship that year also setting the Santa Pod track record for ET and speed. During the early 1980s the quicker racers reverted to single engines and Jeff's bike, run on a tighter budget than others, became less competitive. Although he retired from full time racing after 1983, he has kept his bike and brought it out at Dragstalgia in 2015 and subsequent years to give himself and fans a taste of what racing a twin engined fuel bike was like 35 years or so previously.

Part 2 of Jeff Byne's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
24th March: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Bike crew and engineer Lucy Moore, to Tierp chief starter Nettan Heleander, long time scrutineer Glenn Stockton and to former Pro Stock racer and Super Gas champion Conrad Stanley, have a great day all.

Well done to expat Norwegian racer Julie Nataas for running a 3.67, in the eighth, off the trailer, in her Randy Meyer Racing injected nitro funny car in practice for the Funny Car Chaos Classic at the Texas Motorplex. The race, the opening round of Funny Car Chaos from takes place today (Friday) and tomorrow, following testing which took place yesterday. 54 signed-up Funny Cars of a variety of styles, power plants, power adders and fuels, will be attempting to qualify for the 32 car field. In addition 16 Outlaw Fuel Altereds are registered. Live streaming coverage can be seen from 19:00 GMT at

Odd Erik Fossum.
23rd March: We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Norwegian Pro Modfied racer Odd Erik Fossum from cancer aged 58.

Odd Erik lived in Fannrem, near Trondheim, Norway came into drag racing in early 2000 and came to our attention in 2010 with a Chevrolet Camaro built by Stroupe Race Cars with a nitrous assisted engine. Odd Erik was a regular competitor at Gardermoen, Tierp Arena, and Sundsvall Raceway all of which involved hundreds of miles' journey. With his Camaro, he competed intially in Competition Eliminator where he set the A/NA record at the 2014 Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena at 6.392/219, a record which still stands today.

In 2015 he ran three races in Top Doorslammer as well as moving up to Pro Modified in which he competed at Gardermoen and Tierp Arena. His best ET was 6.150/233.17mph. As FMV Racing, sponsored by VP Racing, Odd Erik oversaw daughter Trine who competes in Super Pro ET.

In covering races in Sweden, we found Odd Erik and FMV Racing to be a warm and hospitable team who were only too pleased to chat and share information. Among the tributes to Odd Erik from fellow racers. Thomas Hauge wrote "You have made a big impression on the drag race world and it will never be forgotten." Crew chief Svein Arne Skjervø wrote "My team owner, buddy, race partner left us way too early after a long and hard battle. The racing world has lost a great competitor and will have a huge hole in it now when you are gone."

Daughter and team member Trine wrote "My dear, my dear daddy, what a battle you've fought this past year. So much injustice and downturn. You had the world's greatest courage and driving force, which gave us the rest of us around a hope we clung to so tightly. Yesterday you finally got peace, now I'm treating you with all the peace you can get. Eternally grateful that I got to experience so much with you, and that you wanted to share your passion with me."

We at send our deepest condolences to Trine, Svein Arne, other members of the team and Odd Erik's family and friends.

Springspeed entry deadline approaching.
23rd March: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for reminding us that the entry deadline for the forthcoming STP Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th April-1st May is 6th April. You can enter by going to this link to the entry portal on the SPRC website.

Classes running at this event, round 2 of the SPRC UK and Club Drag Racing Championships, comprise Comp Eliminator, Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Junior Dragster, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four and Nostalgia Super Stock. Bike classes comprise Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike, Funny Bike, Super Street Bike, Comp Bike, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike and Junior Drag Bike.

Robinson Race Cars recertifying HANS devices.
23rd March: Thanks to Kate Robinson of sponsors Robinson Race Cars for send a bulletin that Simpson Performance Products have given Robinson Race Cars permission to recertify Hans Devices.

Kate says "Please could any racers who are interested in this service contact us as soon as possible".

Spy pictures.
23rd March: The offices of received these two spy pictures with the captions respectively "We are on the home straight I think!" and "New class, new race #".

If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Fast Show this Sunday.
23rd March: The first performance and modified car event of 2023 takes place this Sunday at Santa Pod Raceway, The Fast Show. There will be a full programme of events throughout the day which is at this page on the Santa Pod website.

Included on track is Run What Ya Brung for which there will be prizes for Best Reaction Time, Quickest ET (Road Legal), Quickest ET (Non-Road Legal), Quickest ET (Bike), and Commentator's Choice Award. You can enter for RYWB at this link and then visit the Sign On Office from 08:00 to show your driving licence and your race voucher e-ticket. There is a RWYB on the Saturday with free camping for weekend ticket holders.

The Fast Show has the first Sports Compact Shootout of the year, for cash prizes of £750 to the winner and £250 runner-up. 15 cars have entered for the race, meaning a 16 car ladder, and we will report on qualifying and eliminations as well as posting a gallery thanks to Kieran who will be attending.

As well as the above there are a variety of off-track entertainments, a sold-out Autoglym Show & Shine with eight prizes, Martin Hill in the Fireforce 5 Jet Dragster, no less than 46 car clubs, Terry Grant stunt displays, Drift Rides and much more.

Swift snippets.
23rd March: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Mark Flavell, returning Pro Modified racer Mick Payne, Top Methanol Dragster racer Tony Bryntesson, expat Dutch Top Fuel racer Lex Joon, nitrous guru Trevor Langfield, and Outlaw Anglia and 9.50 Bike racer Scotty Crookston. Have a great day from all of us at

Thanks to Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi for posting the points from Round 1 of the 2023 Enemed Malta National Drag Racing Championship. You can see the points at this link (pdf format).

We regret to report that this weekend's Panhellenic Drag Racing Championship race at Agrinio Raceway for cars has had to be postponed due to a lack of entries. The better news is the bike event the following weekend will continue as scheduled.

"King Harold" Bull.
22nd March:
We were very sorry to hear of the death of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member "King Harold" Bull on Monday at the age of 98 following a fall.

Harold's daughter Jane Maloney wrote: "With huge sadness I have to say that my beloved Dad "King Harold" Bull passed away last night at the grand age of 98 years young! He went very peacefully in his sleep (a little help with morphine to help the pain from a fall) and is deeply missed already. He went racing for the final time in the recreated Stripduster dragster at the 2016 Dragstalgia Meeting aged 91. Dad...a true legend...always."

Harold was born in Shepherds Bush, London on 4th September 1924. After completing his large family, he started buying American Hot Rod magazines and was totally smitten. He heard the Americans were bringing some dragsters over to Blackbushe Airfield in ’64, went along for the day. He returned home full of ideas to build a scaled down version of the American Dragsters he had seen using British components.

Harold was a self taught engineer and tool maker. The original Stripduster, utilising a BMC 803cc A series engine, was built in 1965 in five months as a hobby car, more for fun than a serious race car. Her first outing was at Chobham Common, Surrey, where there was a strip of unused concrete on which she had her maiden run. Consequently someone complained about the noise and the police arrived, only to find the car much more interesting than arresting Harold for trespassing. The police told him to ‘move along’ and not come back – so he had to find somewhere else to run Stripduster. He took it along to Gravely practice day in August 1965 then entered the 2nd International Drag Festival and wound up runner up in the "up to 2500cc" Dragster Eliminator at Woodvale.

At Santa Pod Raceway, King Harold, as he became affectionately known, holds the honour of running the very first timed pass in Stripduster at the Easter meeting on 11th April 1966. He improved the car by using nitro, a home made blower and injector setup (pictured left above, John Smith photo), eventually running a 9.75/136 pass in 1971 which got Harold an article in the national press.

In 1967 he teamed up with Derek Metcalf to form B & M Equipment producing anything from small brackets to complete dragsters, including Clive Skilton's 2nd Revolution. He also took "Stripduster" over to Sweden in 1969 as part of a team of British cars and bikes. He retired from racing following an accident in Nobby Hills' "Houndog" dragster in which he was unhurt, nevertheless having run his personal best of 8.15/189 to add to his 40 trophies, world records and strip records in England, Germany and Sweden.

In his nineties, Harold, still driving, was still building working ¼ scale model engines on his lathe in the garden shed, as well as model planes and helicopters (photographs of his engines can be seen at this link). He also memorably returned to Santa Pod at Dragstalgia 2016 for one last blast down the track (pictured right above), in an immaculate reproduction of Stripteaser, against fellow pioneer Ken Cooper.

He was married to Ethel for over 60 years, who very sadly passed away on January 22nd 2010; they produced six sons, one daughter, twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren. We send our deepest condolences to all his family and friends.

You can see a number of stories about Harold and many photos at, established by Jane to share his history.

Malta Hal Far round 1 results.
22nd March: Congratulations to the official winners at round 1 of the 2023 Enemed Malta National Drag Racing Championship, which was organized at the Hal Far track by the Malta Drag Racing Association over 17th-19th March:

Dragster D5 and DTA5 class: Clifton Abdilla, uncontested (pictured right top)
Dragster DTA4 class: Patrick Cassar def. Tyson Debono (pictured right middle)
Dragster D4 class: Tyson Debono def. Patrick Cassar
Open 6 class: Nicholas Farrugia, uncontested
CA6 clss: Justin Muscat (pictured right bottom) def. Justin Mizzi
SM4 Class: Stephen Xuereb, bye
PS4 Class: Rosello Cassar, uncontested
Open 2 Class: Justin Muscat (pictured right bottom)
Front Wheel Drive Open Class: Christian Azzopardi (bye)
Escort Class 3: Martin Scerri def. Christian Pace (3rd place Mariano Ciantar)
Escort Class 2: Martin Scerri def. Rosello Cassar (3rd place Mariano Ciantar)
Index Class 1: Dylan Micallef def. Glenn Busuttil (3rd place Paul Fenech)
Index Class 2: Chris Mercieca def. Joe Ashton (UK) (3rd place Neil Caruana)
Bracket 8.00-8.49: Justin Mizzi
Bracket 8.50-8.99: Dylan Micallef
Bracket 9.00-9.49: Simon Farrugia def. Stephen Xuereb
Bracket 9.50-9.99: Clayton Johnson def. Glenn Caruana
Bracket 10.00-10.49: Paul Fenech def. Gordon Cassar
Bracket 10.50-10.99: Glenn Busuttil def. Joe Ashton (UK)
Bracket 11.00-11.49: Chris Mercieca def. Terry Gilam (UK)
Bracket 11.50-11.99: Steve Jennerway (UK)
Diesel Open Class: Justin Darmanin
Diesel Truck Class: Tommy Agius
Junior Dragster: Luca Mangion def. Aiden Bianco (3rd place Yelsin Bonello)

Top Fuel Motorcycle and M/Cycle Open Class: Glenn Borg (bye)
Motorcycle index 8.50: Jaarold Brown (bye)
Motorcycle bracket 7.50-7.99: Stephen Cauchi (bye)
Best reaction time: George Cutajar

A large number of records and PBs were set. Thanks to event announcer Luke Stevenson for letting us know that Clifton Abdilla ran an impressive 6.192/213.67mph in his Toyota 2JZ powered rail backed up by a 6.199/207.71, the quickest ever import powered ET in Maltese drag racing history and new DTA5/D5 records. Clifton said "We are closer to our 5 second goal, with plenty of room left to add power. Our dragster is the fastest 2JZ dragster in Europe. Running a race program of this scale is a big feat but luckily my team make it look so easy".

Vis Kosova from Albania whom we featured last Friday, ran a PB of 7.677/186.83mph in his Nissan GTR. Of the FWD racers, Dunstan Mangion ran a 9.909/143.06mph to break into the 9s for the first time and Semira Galea her first 10s in her black Focus.

In the Bike categories, Glenn Borg on his Funny Bike (pictured left) ran a 6.766/202.52 for a new track record, and also ran the first ever, and fastest side-by-side 6sec bike run in Malta 6.770/199.50 to Franklyn Borg's 6.879/185.63. Congratulations to all.

You can see a replay of the event livestream at the Facebook page of MotorsMT

Thanks to Alex Buttigieg for the photos. You can see Alex's photos from the event at this Facebook album.

You can also see photos at the Facebook page of Samuel Mifsud at Samuel's Photography.

Dakota Raceway RWYB/NSA report.
22nd March: Thanks to Jerry Cookson for sending in a report on last Saturday's meeting at Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe and to Carol Jenkinson for photos which we have posted at this link with the support of John Woolfe Racing .

The National Sprint Association began their 2023 championship campaign in mixed conditions for this time of month down Devon way at Dakota Raceway’s Smeatharpe Airfield last Saturday. Although the day began early with heavy downpours in the early hours the surface quickly dried out for the NSA sprint, and the drifting to begin, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.

A mixed entry of some 60 riders populated the streamlined classes for 2023 and with no less than 7 tracks records being reset or established, the performances gained from winter rebuilds were quite something given the days conditions.

With all the runs counting towards the overall class results FTD went to Unlimited Racing class champion Mark Taylor (pictured above) with a rapid 9.147s to the Suzuki’s credit. Also in with a shot but eventually ended up second quickest was Steve Everett’s Road Legal Hayabusa at 9.923s while looking to close the margin slightly was Paul Hayman’s 1000cc GSXR Suzuki with a rapid 10.096s for third although on a couple of occasions Paul had to fight to keep the front end from rearing up a 100 ft out from the start line.

500cc Racing class champion Peter McGuinness carried on from where he left off by resetting the class record previously held at Neill Curtis. As the day wore on Pete’s Kawasaki H1 got progressively quicker to block out Neill’s previous 11.086s and replace it with a 11.058s. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for fellow Kawasaki racer Kerry Phillips who’s brightly painted green and orange H1 ended up in the adjacent field after its 12.894/110.66 mph tank slapper at the top end. Although battered and bruised, and now needing a new set of leathers, Kerry was up and alert much to the relief of wife Samantha. It will take more than a roll of green and orange gaffer tape to fix it this time but says he will be back!

The Vintage guys were also in record form as Richard Morgan established a new Vintage up to 350cc class record of 16.768s on a 1929 Rudge while in the Unlimited Vintage class John Young rode his 1936 500cc Tri/Jap to a 12.810s although couldn’t quite get to the 106 mph track speed record for the class. Maybe next time John!

The remaining four records were established in the relined Junior classes going to Jorja Cleall who was taking part in her first ever sprint with her Peugeot 125 while being shadowed on every run by dad Paul’s Kawasaki ZX9 (34.590s), Max Curtis on a 125/250 4 stroke single (21.630) while elder sister Libby ran in the 18s to a best of 18.035s. This left last year’s 125cc Junior champion Chloe Hayman to set a new class record for 125 GP/350 4 stroke single at 20.484s.

Top Scooter racer of the day was ‘Mr Greenlight’ Adie Horrocks over Chisel Speed’s Mike Pacey. With winter cylinder head mods carried out by Dave Bristow on Adie’s 149 FRT/BFA Vespa had worked out well with best being a 13.648s against Mike Pacey’s Lambretta mounted 14.205s. Others running in the class were the newly built Lambretta’s belonging to Shaun Nickells and Paul Gurney, and Nigel Howard with the Greenlight renta 144cc Quattrini.

From the 25 cars registered for RWYB the quickest and fastest car of the day was a 3.8 ltr McLaren 570s driven by Matthew Wilson and from the 17 or so runs made the McLaren supercar finally managed a best of 10.565 at 139.66. Almost matching the 570s’ pace was a RS6 Audi driven by Lukas Debrowski with a 10.802/130.91 mph to its credit followed by Nick Martin’s 4 litre AMG E63s Mercedes with an 11.097/128.14 mph ticket.

The next Drag ‘N’ Drift event at Dakota Raceway takes place on Saturday 22nd April for another round of the National Sprint Association championship and open RWYB. For information and bookings, go to

Video of NSA action at Smeatharpe is also available from Nick Pettitt at this link.

Swift snippets.
22nd March: Happy Birthday for today to former Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy, Frite racer Mark Bull, German Super Pro ET racer Harry Scherschinski and Swedish former Top Methanol Dragster racer Marcus Wålm. We hope you all have a great day.

UK SFI Inspection day.
21st March:
The SFI Inspection of parts took place today at Santa Pod Raceway's VIP building and it was good to see SFI President Jennifer Faye as well as the team of inspectors Andy Robinson, Luke Robinson and Lars Goran Eriksson (pictured from right to left). Jennifer said "I'm very happy to be back in Europe after three years off. The number of racers bringing parts for testing is back to the same levels as 2019 and it's pleasing to see such a good turnout." The team are back from the tour of European stops incorporating Amsterdam (Hotel Ibis Schipol), Klaukkala, near Helsinki (the new FHRA office) and Borlänge (ME Racing's shop).

During the morning, we gathered a number of pitnotes from the racers attending and are grateful to all of them for giving their time. We present racers' comments in order of when we noted them:

Pro Modified racer Mick Payne (below left) is looking forward to bringing his supercharged Duster out on track as soon as possible this season. He said "Although I'm retired from the paper mill I worked at, I seem more busy than ever getting the car ready. The change from the previous turbo installation was not easy to undertake, but now my complete combination of supercharged Hemi, transmission and clutch are in place. Thanks to Andy and Luke for baselining the new combination and car".

Competition eliminator racer Robin Orthodoxou, pictured with son Darren (above right), have been working on new steering and A arms at the front of Robin's A/Altered, as well as fitting a new aluminium Brodix engine block that the team have bought from Steve Schmidt. Other parts are awaited "We ordered some on 21st September and are still waiting for them" - a common explanation by racers such as Robin for not being able to attend the forthcoming Festival of Power.

"The long block we bought from Steve Schmidt is 53kg lighter than our previous iron block and whilst we were previously close to the minimum weight the new one will enable us put weight where we want to. The engine location is tight, before we were putting ballast in the front and using an engine plate made of steel, however the new setup gives us more options. Steve Schmidt built the long block with a Sonny Bryant crank, GRP rods, Bill Miller Engineering pistons and ProFiler cylinder heads. We will add our Dambest carburettors from John Satterfield which have served us well over the years, and MSD ignition and Power Grid controller. sponsor and Pro Modfied/Outlaw Anglia racer Jon Webster (below left, with SPRC secretary Ian Marshall) is looking to bring his Pro Mod Mustang out at the Doorslammers due to parts ordered in October not having arrived. He said "The lack of parts is not down to one type of item, in my case it is pins for the pistons and exhaust valves. I had two sets of heads repaired in the States by Alan Johnson Performance Engines and they are back. I may well be back racing in the Anglia at Nostalgia events as it is still up for sale, and will look forward to John Willard being in the UK to race at three events too.

Outlaw Anglia racer and 2022 Motorsport UK OA champion Rob Stone is ready to defend his title as he has entered for the Festival of Power from which a number of quick cars are missing. "I've freshened up everything", he remarked, "and am planning to do all rounds, MSUK and lifestyle. I've been in the class for 30 years, starting in 1993, its first year and having my first full season in 1994." Back it in the day Rob was organiser of the class as well although that has fallen to others since, now with Colin Millar co-ordinating the ever increasing numbers.

Hawk Racing Funny Car racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Jason Phelps (pictured right) had some pithy words on the current parts situation. "There is a supply risk currently, industry wide it is the same story, and for new parts there is a perceived preference for US teams who are located closer to the factories. Our team ordered and paid for parts in November, the manufacturers have been sitting on the money since then. Frankly, it's a threat to professional classes' racing in Europe and Australia. We are so far down the chain and, as we've given Americans a second hand parts market for 50 years, it feels unfair. Only Kevin Kent and Steve Ashdown are on the list for Easter. I reckon our chances of making it are 50:50 at best, we are reluctant to change our parts rotation pattern as that would risk a repeat of our 2020 explosion."

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Andy Raw (above left) said "Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to make the Easter meeting, as we are still awaiting parts for the engine from America, which seems to be a issue with a lot of the parts that we need for this season." However Andy and team, including crew chief and tuner Karl Harrison, have managed to source one part needed from a UK company, Westwood Cylinder Liners. As things stand, Andy will be the only Outlaw spec NFC in this year's championship. He said "The main differences on my car are the 29 gallons per minute fuel pump and MSD 44 mag. We have the full safety equipment including electromotion shut-off system and rocker cover restraints."

Doorslammer driver Darren Peart (below left) had a long drive from his home near Whitby, North Yorkshire. His main focus this year is the 7.60 Heads Up competition sponsored by Jeff and Belinda Bull. "We are reassembling the car and Mark (Norton) is re-tagging the chassis to 7.5s. We may do some rounds of Super Pro starting at Springspeed Nataionals and then Doorslammers, which is a favourite of mine. Following the accident at Melbourne last year we installed a new front end and new doors, and have now acquired a replacement roof which will go on during winter of 2023-24. The engine which is a 486ci big block Chevy is the same as before. It has two Dominator carbs and a single nitrous stage with Express controller, and Lenco transmission.

Street Eliminator racer Robert Slater (above right) was here with wife and crew Trudy having the transmission of his Code Red '57 Chevy Bel Air inspected. The car made its first class appearance at the Euro Finals last year. He said "We will be at Easter to get the car tuned and do some test passes, and are looking forward to the Street Weekend which has several Street Eliminator cars entered and over 10 from Outlaw Street. We are keen on drag n' drive events after spectating at Hot Rod Drag Week in 2019. It is a growing part of the sport in the USA and events this year include places as diverse as Alaska and Death Valley. The on-the-road laptop tuning is really impressive.

Robert and Trudy drive down in their Bel Air the 110 miles from Stoke on Trent, pulling a caravan. "In Street Weekend we will stay overnight at Melbourne, more relaxing than driving back to Santa Pod on the same day." The Bel Air has a 540ci big block Chevy from Dart with twin 88mm turbos and a Fueltech 550 engine management supplied by Trevor Hirst of ASD Ltd who also built the short motor. Transmission is a Rossler three speed with a Strange 9 inch Ford. The chassis is tagged to 7.50 after new tubing was installed in 2021 (the car used to be Black Ops). "Only the wheels are unchanged", joked Robert, who has owned the car for 18 years and covers an amazing 5000 miles a year in it.

The couple could be expanding to a two car drag team with Trudy in her similarly red '34 Ford 3 window coupe being a support vehicle but may also take to the track. As well as attending drag racing events, they drive the Code Red car to Hot Rod events, including Hot Rod & Hills in the Lake District (which a number of drag racers have driven to), Stars & Stripes in Tatton Park, Knutsford, NSRA Old Warden and Oulton Park (which is organised by ex drag racer Bernie Chodosh for Bernie’s V8s).

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tony Betts (below left) and wife Elaine came for inspection of transmission parts. Tony said "We have raised the roofline so I can see the top of the Christmas Tree through the screen and changed the steering geometry which was located too far over to the right for me. John Wright has looked at the tuning and identified some problems with the clutch which had uneven finger heights, these are now flat to within 1/100th inch, thanks to Bob Molinari. We've also got new tyres and serviced the car generally. Tony is optimistic about numbers in the class expanding as projects get finished.

Funny Car racer Kevin Kent (above right) has spent much time over the winter grinding clutch discs for himself and other racers. Recently however wife Shelley suffered a broken foot in a "martial arts incident" and we wish Shelley well for a quick recovery. Kevin said "We will run on a meeting by meeting basis depending on funds. We will give it...35%! John "Bodie" Smith will once again be on the team and thanks to him we are ok on parts, he sells second hand parts from his own racing operations."

Super Pro ET racer Scott Hauser (pictured right) says sponsor Hauser Racing has been very busy working on rear axles and installing them for Lunaz Design, a business based in Silverstone which restores and modifies existing historic cars to zero-emissions powertrains. Scott said "We convert a complete axle from start to finish, usually the 9" Ford which is a tried and tested conversion, but also Dana and Chrysler 8 3/4".

Scott and dad Geof go through his dragster's 598ci engine every two years to refresh it, however it is designed to be light on parts as it has a low compression ratio (11:1 on E5 pump fuel, compared with 14:1 to 16:1 for high octane petrol or methanol). Nevertheless it is a consistent 7.3s car. Fuel for a complete weekend's racing is no more than £60 as a result. The engine is a Dart block with custom pistons, Dart heads and Edelbrock manifold. Titanium valves were installed two years ago to reduce pressure on valve springs. The transmission is a Hughes Powerglide which has been used since 2011 with a new clutch pack and band installed last year "because we were starting to lean on it and not because it was wearing out". Scott reminds us that Hauser Racing is looking for a new business manager for the company.

In summary, it was a well attended day and the new season will be well attended by racers - if they have parts delivered in time. If you are visiting SPR, beware of potholes in the road from Wollaston leading up to the crossroads, and do pop into the pits and say hi to racers who have spent so much of the winter months in preparation.

Swift snippets.
21st March: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster, Funny Bike racer and tuner Stuart Crane, car constructor and racer Bill Felstead, Sportsman ET and Nostalgia Superstock racer Alan Medley aka Captain Caveman and Outlaw Anglia racer Martyn Payne. Have a great day all.

Atlanta-based race car constructors Homier Fabrications announced that internationally renowned DJ Carl Cox, visitor to Santa Pod Raceway for Doorslammers 2021, purchased a Plymouth Barracuda to which local firm RK Racecraft installed a PLR Hemi engine. Homier updated some of the electronics in the car which will be tested this week in Florida. They added that Carl plans on taking the car to Europe to run some Pro Mod races. We will await an official announcement, but until then Carl seems busy on his worldwide DJ tour...

Pioneer stories: Surrey Street Rodders, part 2.
20th March: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the part 2 of the story and history of Surrey Street Rodders, this time covering the Wheels Day shows which have been a continuous feature of the club for almost 50 years.

Surrey Street Rodders committee member Harold Martin recalls how club founders Dick and Paul Lambert put on the first Wheels Day at South Hill Park, Bracknell in 1975 following a request from the Park's officials, moving it to its now traditional day of Good Friday in 1976 so members could witness Don Garlits race at Santa Pod on Easter Monday.

In 1979, the show moved to Slyfield Green near Guildford and had to contend with issues such as the after effects of the site's normal use as a livestock market, and traffic congestion resulting from Wheels Show's popularity. The show again got too large for the venue and moved to Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot and a couple of one-off venues which produced their own stories. Summer Rod Runs and picnics were organised. In 2017 the club was inducted into the NSRA Hall of Fame for Wheels Day and the money they have raised and given to charities over the years.

The Surrey Street Rodders story was planned for season 2 but held over to 2023 so the complete story can be presented in three parts. British Drag Racing Historians are grateful to Harold and other members of Surrey Street Rodders for telling their story, and to Nick Pettitt for editing the text and the photos, which were supplied by members. Thanks to John Hunt also, for working during the last 3 years with all those who told their stories and collating them all for editing. Part 3 of the Surrey Street Rodders will be published next Monday, 27th March.

Part 2 of Surrey Street Rodders' story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu.

Picture: NSRA Hall of Fame presentation at the 2017 Supernats. For full size picture and list of members included, go to the bottom of the story.

Swift snippets.
20th March: Happy Birthday for today to Finnish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Ari Pietilä and Swedish Top Doorslammer racer Fredrik Lundh. Have a great day guys.

Tomorrow, the Facebook Live show Draglist LIVE, presented by Bill Pratt, will include a segment from co-host John Bockelman that will be a tribute to the great Jon Morton, described accurately as "one of the UK's most successful and beloved drag racers". John will present the tribute with input and approval from Jon's son and fellow Super Gas racer Dan Page. The podcast will be live at 20:45 Eastern Time (01:45 GMT) on the Drag Racing List Facebook Page and saved on the page's Videos section for future viewing.

Our UK SFI Inspection report will be posted in tomorrow's news update.

Gallery from Dakota Raceway.
19th March:
Thanks to Kieran for sending a gallery of photos from yesterday's Run What Ya Brung and NSA meeting at Dakota Raceway. Smeatharpe Airfield in Devon supported by John Woolfe Racing. You can see the gallery at this link. In a couple of days' time we will be posting a report by Jerry Cookson on the NSA Sprint Competition with photos from Carol Jenkinson.

Yesterday's meeting returned to a 'back to basics' format, allowing riders & drivers to enter on the day and run as a RWYB test & tune format with the track will open from 9:30am - 4pm.

Kieran's photos are watermarked and we are fine for them to be downloaded and shared unmodified on social media. This will be our standard policy for photos in the future.

Swift snippets.
19th March: Happy Birthday to Comp Eliminator team boss Nigel Payne, Santa Pod Raceway supporters and marshals Ben Skinner and Jack Skinner, and French team Toxic Drag Racing member Sébastien Lajoux. Happy Mother's Day to all too. We hope you all have a great day.

Richard Stirling.
18th March: We were sad to hear of the death of drag racing enthusiast, webmaster and photographer Richard Stirling last week following suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Richard attended many races, mainly at Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County, but also Sweden, Finland and the USA. In 2004 he started the website which contained Richard's photos and his good-natured accounts of races, many of which can still be read thanks to the Internet Archive. He continued to update the site until 2010 after which he suffered a number of health issues which precluded such intensive activity.

Despite these problems, Richard remained enthusiastic about the sport and visited Santa Pod as many times as he could. When we encountered him, he was always of cheerful disposition and had a large fund of stories about racing, which made him popular with members of the racing community. One memorable story was of an "aluminium shower" after Doug Herbert's "nuclear-strength" engine explosion at the 1999 Winston Finals. He was so keen on nitro warm-ups that he even bought his own mask to enable him to remain in the vicinity of the car.

Fellow Derby resident Jason Yates writes: "It is with great shock and sadness to hear of the passing of a great friend Richard Stirling. We first met Richard at Shakey years ago and after realising he was also from Derby, we became great friends and he always followed the progress of Orange Pop Racing. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. Fly high matey, love from us all at Orange Pop Racing."

We at add our deepest condolences to Richard's wife Susan and their family and friends.

Nostalgia FCs mix it up.
18th March: Santa Pod Raceway have announced there will be a Nostalgia Funny Car Cup in 2023 and that racers can compete in it under either Nostalgia Funny Car Rules or Outlaw Nostalgia Funny Car Rules.

The full rules are linked to in the class page on the Santa Pod website. There will be a points championship following usual rules at three of the four rounds with points from the Dragstalgia Cannonball included for the first time ever.

Racing will be over the quarter mile and rules have a proviso that speeds of 250 mph and/or elapsed times in the 5.90-second range will require a "re-evaluation of performance restrictions". Rules for Nostalgia Funny Cars include a 21 gallons per minute fuel pump restriction, 18.99% maximum blowe overdrive and other rules following NHRA Heritage Series rules and running at 2300lb weight including driver. The Outlaw Funny Cars are allowed bodies pre-1990 (NFC: pre 1980), a weight of 2,250 pounds, including driver, and up to 34.5 gallons per minute fuel pump with a couple more fuel nozzles permitted in the injector hat, and maximum of 50% blower overdrive permitted.

Both types of car will run with a 65% minimum nitro load and both have an inner-diaper highly recommended as well as the lower-engine-ballistic/restraint device, something which has helped prevent down-time in US races.

Whilst the two sets of rules on the face of it would give an advantage to the Outlaw cars, the option to review rules gives organisers an option to retain parity and we look forward to seeing fields of up to eight cars, depending on parts availability and in some cases, completion of construction.

Rounds of the Nostalgia Funny Car Cup will be held at the Festival of Power, Main Event, Dragstalgia and the Euro Finals.

Full details of the Nostalgia Funny Car Cup are at this link.

Malta Round 1 stream.
18th March: Thanks to our friends at MotorsMT, a live stream is available of Round 1 of the Malta Drag Racing Association championship which you can view on Facebook at this link. Readers are encouraged to comment and press "like".

Swift snippets.
18th March: Happy Birthday for today to Power Race Graphics and RAD Design Lines proprietor Darren West, Nitro Funny Car co-owner Jackie Hawkins, former Shakespeare County Raceway announcer and Wild Bunch crew Barry Bohannon and Pro ET racer Rhiannon Bellenie, have a great day from all of us at

Festival of Power entry closing today.
17th March:
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall has reminded us that the deadline for entry for the first round of the SPRC National and Club championships, the Festival of Power, is midnight today.

The current entry list for the event is at this link. You can enter by clicking here. Late entry may cost extra, so competitors are urged to sign up today.

Pioneer stories: Jeff Byne, part 1.
17th March: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 1 of the story of drag bike champion and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Jeff Byne, told in his own words exclusively for

Jeff Byne first attended Santa Pod as a teenager but before he was 20 years old bought a racing bike and made his competition debut at Santa Pod in August 1970, followed by sprints at Duxford Airfield in 1970 and 1971. Continuing his career at Santa Pod, Jeff bought a frame from Ray Feltell for 1973. A turning point in his career was a football pools win at the end of 1974 which enabled him to build a new, twin Puma Triumph bike during 1975. In its first year, he ran his first eight and became competitive in Top Bike against riders such as John Hobbs and Henk Vink, winning the Jubilee Big Go event in 1977 and travelling to Holland and Sweden to compete.

Part 1 of Jeff Byne's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

From Albania to Malta.
17th March: We noted from reviewing the entry list for Malta round 1 that Albanian Vis Kosova is racing at Hal Far this weekend.

Vis is a 36 year old video games developer who lives in Albanian capital Tirana. His passion for drag racing is satisfied by his Nissan GTR BL 1800X, the engine of which develops 2800hp, after addtion of an Alpha 22X turbo kit by Texan firm Boost Logic, and ran in the sevens when it was in the US. Having imported the car to Albania, Vis was able to run it into the eights with relatively little apparent difficulty, the four wheel drive helping on the unprepped track.

Vis's biggest local competitor is Kosovo based GOGI Racing, whose Audi S2 has been racing in Kosovo (where racing is organised by FASK Kosova), Bulgaria and other Eastern Europe locations driven by Skender Potera who won the 2022 Kosovan drag championship. On 2nd October last year Skender Potera driving his new Audi TT RS reset the Kosovan record to 7.895/184 mph. In Malta, Vis will have more competition in both CA6 class and bracket racing.

Vis is a supporter of Illyrius Motorsport, a non-profit sports organization which aims to promote and develop Motorsport in Albania and throughout the Balkan region. On 4th February, Illyrius announced the winner of an Auto Moto Park Albania design competition, backed by the Tiranian government, between four prestigious companies from Italy, Great Britain and Austria, the latter of which emerged as winners with Wurz Design (headed up by former F1 driver Alex Wurz and his father Franz). In their feedback, Illyrius Motorsport proposed that in addition to a circuit and drift track, the proposed drag strip should be of professional quality. Currently there are 150 competitors in Albania and Kosovo (and hundreds of other illegal competitors) and it is reckoned that drag racing there has a larger audience (and return on investment) compared with other motorsport disciplines.

For those in the area, the Kosovan championship takes place on 6th-7th May, 24th-25th June, 5th-6th August, and 30th September-1st October at Eurogoma Race Track, Slattinë. Detail about Albanian drag championships is hard to come by, but what is clear is that there is friendly competition between the two neighbouring countries.

Vis will undoubtedly be trying for a seven second pass this weekend. His previous visit to Hal Far in 2021 resulted in an 8.5s run after an intercooler pipe came off at the eighth mile. We wish good luck and stay safe to Vis and the local Maltese racers racing at Hal Far this weekend.

Photo credit: Samuel's Photography.

Swift snippets.
17th March: Happy Birthday to British drag racing pioneer John Wright, Swedish Nostalgia Funny Car racer Erik Wallinder and European Drag Racing Videos administrator Pascal Koch. We hope you both have a great day.

SFI price list for Monday.
16th March: Thanks to SFI President Jennifer Faye for sending a list of prices for parts inspections in Pounds Sterling, in advance of the inpections taking place next Monday at Santa Pod Raceway's hospitality suite. which you can see by
clicking here (pdf format). The list of items remains as previous published at this link.

Payment for inspections is either by cash or Paypal via Paypal's app.

Editor's note: Editor Simon is looking forward to attending the Santa Pod SFI day and obtain his first pitnotes of the year.

Swift snippets.
16th March: Happy Birthday to Supercharged Outlaw racer-in-waiting Purdie Hadfield, Comp Bike racer and Big CC Racing boss Sean Mills, French Gasser Circus racer Laurent Levi, Suzuki Performance Spares boss Nick Pepper, SPR Thrill Ride crew and former SPR startline marshal John Hackney and former Wild Bunch racer and APIRA official Tony Smith. Editor Simon and hope you all have a great day.

Best wishes to expat Swedish racer Adam Flamholc who suffered a testing accident yesterday in his Pro Mod '57 Chevy at Orlando Speed World dragway, Florida. Adam said "Something broke on the car, and it made a sudden turn to the wall." Adam attended the local hospital for a checkup which confirmed no injuries - and to look on Racingjunk for a new race car.

Top Fuel chassis spec update.
15th March: Thanks to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg for sending us an update in the Top Fuel section of the Technical Regulations for FIA Drag Racing:

In 2023, the Top Fuel Chassis specification 2.3T (required in 2022) will be accepted in addition to the new chassis specification 2.3U. It is also emphasised that it is now mandatory to use Aircraft Type Clamps when securing any "Saddled" Component. The use of "Hose Clamps" is prohibited.

This update is also available on the FIA website at
this link under Technical Regulations, Pro (para 4.11).

Start your engines!
15th March: Last Sunday over £5m worth of cars from members of car club SC:UK (Supercar Owner) hit Melbourne Raceway. Mark Starzynski sent us details of what went on:

On Sunday 12th March, Over 80 sports and supercars gathered at Melbourne Raceway in collaboration with SC:UK, and Straightliners to celebrate the start of the 2023 car events season and raise awareness of the venue.

With a wide variety of performance cars on show from Porsches and Lotuses to Ferraris, Lamborghinis and everything in between, the event offered car owners the chance to participate in a variety of different photo opportunities showcasing their metal, including group raceway photos and rolling shots.

Mark Starzynski, CarCalendar spokesperson, said “Our CarCalendar website and app has been designed to provide extra exposure to car events and venues around the country, so what better way to start the ’23 season than by shining light on Melbourne Raceway, a fantastic venue that’s loved by many in the racing community. The work that the Straightliners team, volunteers and donors have put in to rescue the venue from closure has been incredible, so anything we can do to raise further awareness of is time well spent.”

The event was a great success, and the organizers would like to thank everyone who attended and donated to the cause. Your generosity will help Melbourne Raceway continue to provide a safe and exciting racing venue for generations to come.

To find out more, go to to donate to Melbourne Raceway, to find out about upcoming motoring events, and to access exclusive events, drives, tours and more.

Swift snippets.
15th March: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified racer Michel Tooren, Pro Stock racer Robin Norén, Comp Eliminator racer David Swift and Pro ET racer Chris Newsam, we hope you all have a great day. A Happy 50th to former Super Pro ET champion Chris Parker, who is celebrating in style.

The Malta Drag Racing Association have issued the entry list to this weekend's Round 1 of their championship, which you can see at this link (pdf format).

FIM-E dates confirmed.
14th March:
FIM Europe have published their calendar for 2023 with both June and August confirmed at Tierp Arena. The good news is that the 2023 FIM Drag Bike championship is now over five rounds for Top Fuel Bike, Super Twin Top Fuel, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike.

FIM Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen says that the online entry for the championship registration is not yet live but it is said to be ready soon. We will post when it is available.

The full FIM-E calendar is:

Pro Stock, Top Fuel, Super Twin, Super Street Bike:

26th-29th May: FIA/FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, UK
15th-18th June: Tierp Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
10th-13th August: Summit Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
25th-27th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
7th-10th September: FIA/FIM European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

Junior Drag Bike Cup:

26th-29th May: FIA/FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, UK
25th-27th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
7th-10th September: FIA/FIM European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

2023 SPRC class title sponsors.
14th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall writes: with the 2023 Race season starting very soon, Santa Pod Racers club are pleased to confirm our 2023 National and SPRC Championship class title sponsors whom we thank for their support:

Comp Eliminator class title sponsor - Track Worx: Track Worx have been involved in motorsports for over 10 years, and strive to be the best whilst providing a one stop workshop for all Motorsport needs. When it comes to Race cars for Circuit, Drag, Sprint and Professional Drift cars, we can offer all aspects of work, from basic service and event preparation to complete car builds, and it doesn’t stop there. We offer complete tailor made Motorsport aftercare packages from big race team’s right down the owner/driver privateers in your choice of event, anywhere in the world.

If you have a need for support at a Race facility anywhere on the planet, we have the facilities to accommodate you and your requirements, contact us at

Super Pro ET class title sponsor - Peter Nee: Steve and Babs Saunders write: Pete was a true hot rodder at heart, he lived and breathed drag racing, hot rods and American muscle cars. He was with me from the very early hot rods days in the beginning of the 80's and at the very start of my drag racing. He loved NHRA Drag racing, British Drag Racing and going to the states travelling visit as many drag racing meetings as possible. Apart from being my Crew Chief, he himself had many different cars through his life ending up with his much loved Firebird which he was planning on racing himself in 2022.

Pro ET class title sponsors - Modurstang: Modurstang is the UK's premier Mustang specialist. Anything from an approved routine oil change for your brand new S550, to a full restoration of your 1960’s Mustang. If you have any ideas or would like to chat about a project, feel free to call us. We can put your mind at ease. For example, S550 supercharger packages are tried and tested to offer you the best possible performance at a competitive price.

Modurstang is the one-stop-shop for all your American motor servicing needs.We can make your Mustang dreams a reality. Please take a look at our web site at or phone us on 01608 678818, or mobile on 07774 712000.

Sportsman ET class title sponsors - Hutchinson & Dibley Ltd: Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd is a Buckinghamshire-based precision CNC engineering company specialising in the production of 'hard-to-manufacture' parts. We have over 50 years of experience in most industries including defence, oil, gas and marine, as well as machining most common metals and plastics but also working with difficult materials such as Titanium, Magnetic Iron and Inconel. Our shop facility includes CNC turning and milling as well as welding and fabrication equipment. Our entire production is ISO9001:2008 approved and accredited.

Super Comp class title sponsors - B Fast R: Who is B Fast R? We’re a team of petrol heads, with a love of all things automotive. We live and breathe motorsport, and we want to inspire the next generation of car builders, support staff, and, of course, drivers. Our mission is simple, to bring you the best content from across the planet. Whether it’s the engineering behind the latest and greatest purpose-built race car, or the story of one man who’s spent 50 years in his barn perfecting a tarmac shredding, road-storming piece of history, we’re there! We’ll be bringing you regular video features on some of the most iconic automotive personalities on the planet-from the F1 stars of tomorrow to the best kept secret in the smallest American town. But we’re about so much more than that; We want to inspire young people who love cars, but don’t know how they can find their way into the world of motorsport. From the obvious engineering roles to the people behind the scenes designing PR campaigns and looking after the all-important sponsors, we want to throw the doors open on professional motorsport, and mentor those who really know what they want!

We’re also one of the UK’s largest producers of textiles, giving us unparalleled opportunities in the world of clothing. From design & production of team wear, through a full range of apparel & merchandise, to the latest homologation FIA race suit, we are unique in how we approach individual requirements, and offer a one-stop, complete turn-key solution for race teams & businesses of any size. If you’d like to work with us, or think you have a story we’d be interested in, then let’s talk. BUILD | RACE | CONQUER.

Super Gas class title sponsors - TMC Carburetors: Tony Morris and Dave Gibbons are delighted to announce that Tony Morris Carburetors will once again be the headline sponsor of the 2023 Super Gas series!

As the sole UK agent for Tony Morris Carburetors, Dave Gibbons’ TMC with RDR Performance Carburetors operation will also offer a 10% discount on parts and labour on servicing, as well as keen pricing on new carburetors for Super Gas race car requirements. Tony Morris Carburetors specialize in performance carbs on the 4150 and 4500 Holley platform, and each carburetor is hand built for its application. Not only do TMC supply traditional four barrel racing carbs, they also supply twin blade carburetors featuring the patented upper jets, which provide superior tunability and offer the advantage of a wider range of flow rating to optimise your combination. Contact Dave via messenger on TMC with RDR Performance Carburetors | Facebook , on Instagram at #thecarbfellas or by e-mail on with your requirements.

Wild Bunch class title sponsors - Springbridge Direct: Bob Hawkins of Wild Bunch class title sponsors Springbridge Direct Ltd has been supplying high quality topsoil using the finest constituents for over 25 years.

As well as screened and blended topsoil Springbridge also supplies quality turf, barks, composts and a large range of aggregates in either bulk bags or loose loads. A general bulk and grab haulage service is also always available at extremely competitive rates.

Springbridge’s own fleet of low-carbon lorries can deliver to your site, anywhere in the south east, including London and to all low-emission zones. Springbridge will help you save time and money on your next outdoor project. You can call them on 0333 456 1919 for full details, or visit the website at

Nostalgia Super Stock class title sponsors - VP Racing Lubricants: VP Racing Lubricants are proud to be class title sponsor of UK Nostalgia Super Stock. Our range of oils includes Break-in oil, Classic Racing Oil, High Performance Synthetic Blend oils and Professional Grade Fully Synthetic Oils.

Please call our sole UK importer and distributor Williams Bros. Racing with any trade, racer or retail enquiries on 01327-220777 or email

Jeff Bull Racing Engines class title sponsors - 7.60 Heads Up: Jeff and Belinda Bull have been instrumental in keeping many racers on track with their championship winning engines and performance parts business for over 30 years. This includes their very own successful drag racing campaigns in Super Comp, Super Modified and Comp Eliminator.

JBRE carry a comprehensive stock of parts for Big Block and Small Block Chevy and can source and supply many other high performance drag racing parts with competitive pricing and regular shipments from their supplier in the USA. They are sole UK suppliers of BLP Racing Products billet carburettors and performance fuel system parts. They have worked with Transmission Specialties supplying the UK racers with great custom torque converters and performance transmissions for over 20 years. They have their own in-house state of the art CWT crankshaft balancer and Rottler Diamond cylinder hone machine to achieve today’s critical tolerances in balancing and bore finish on all their customer’s engines.

Jeff and Belinda are pleased to announce that all three rounds of 7.60 Heads-Up will have a prize fund in place (details to follow) for winner and runner up of each event and an additional pay out for the overall winner and runner up of the three events in 2023. The invitation is open to any other sponsors who would like to be a part of this new and exciting 7.60 Door car Class in the UK.

For Bug Jam 2023, 7.60 entries will be limited to 16 cars, also, cars must run 8.49 to 7.60 to be eligible for this event. Please contact Jeff on 07834 381804 for details before entering 7.60 Heads Up on SPRC.

Junior Dragster class title sponsors - Lucas Oil: Lucas Oil have been looking after many Riders and Drivers in Motorsport, with their second to none Oils and Oil based products, Junior Dragster has been fortunate enough to have had Lucas Oil’s backing for more than 10 years, and 2023 is no different, Lucas oil products can be found at Santa Pod Raceway or on the Lucas Oil website at

Top Fuel Bike class title sponsors - Banks Night Club: The Name says it all really, if you find yourself in Maidstone, Bank Street is the place to head for your night’s entertainment. Banks is an over twenty-ones venue situated in a Grade II listed building in the heart of historic Bank Street in Maidstone. With four beautifully refurbished & styled rooms, three bars & two dance floors to choose from. They boast the largest courtyard in the town with Alfie's Bar and the Garden Bar, fully seated & parasols to suit all weather. Family's welcome to daytime bookings, contact details as follows:, telephone 01622 762872, address 76 Bank Street Maidstone Kent, ME14 1SJ, please keep a check on their website for future opening times and any restrictions that may apply.

Funny Bike class title sponsors - Leeks Landscapes: The Leeks Landscapes Group, is a group of companies catering to all aspects of Landscaping, Waterscapes, ponds, lakes, civil engineering and more delivering projects to the commercial and domestic sector throughout the UK.

Comp Bike class title sponsors - Suzuki Performance Suzuki Performance Spares, are your premier source of quality guaranteed new and used parts for major motorcycle brands, they specialise in spare parts for modern, classic motorcycle, racing and Drag Race parts. Contact details: - or 07900 362809.

Super Street Bike class title sponsors - Kathy Taylor: Kathy, a long-time supporter of all things Drag Bike, on this occasion taking the Super Street Bike Title Sponsorship as her way of putting something back into the sport.

8.50 Bike class title sponsors - JKE Race Works: We welcome the return of Jake Mechaell JKE Race Works, who once again is sponsoring the class title for 8.50 bike. Jake says:

"I’m pleased to be the class sponsor again for the 8.50 bike championship during the 2023 season. The class is perfect for racers to have a stepping stone between 9.50 Bike and Superstreet/Comp Bike. It’s such a competitive class with a great bunch of riders. With the volume of bikes, we have coming through the workshop in preparation for 8.50 bike it’s a class which is only going to continue to grow.

"JKE Race Works offer a huge range of services including complete bike builds, bespoke fabrication, engine building, one off turbo kits specifically designed to suit your needs, bike setup, track support, engine tuning, suspension servicing, 1-1 tuition and much more. We are located next door to Santa Pod Raceway which gives our customers the convenience of an accessible drop off and collection location. It also allows us to provide support to all racers if they have an unfortunate part failure which can be repaired during the meeting to keep them out there making the most of their race weekend.

"Our dealership statuses are growing every month and we can offer great racer prices on the following brands so far: MTC Engineering, Racinglines, Putoline Oil, Antigravity Batteries, HEL Performance and Ramair Filters. Our aim is to give the highest standard of work at a reasonable price and help our customers reach their goals with all the support and advice needed. "Please follow JKE Race Works on Facebook and Instagram to see the work we produce and to keep up to date with future projects. Contact details are 07841 389360 and"

9.50 Bike class title sponsors - Atlantic Fluid Tech: Atlantic Fluid Tech Ltd has been trading since 2009 and is a major supplier of hydraulic valves to OEM companies in the UK and Ireland. It is the British subsidiary of an Italian Group that is based in Modena. The company has a warehouse in Coventry from where it distributes products to a wide variety of companies, particularly those involved in the manufacture of construction machinery. The Coventry building houses a hydraulic test facility and a CAD function for the design and supply of bespoke valve assemblies. Both UK Directors of the company has a long history of involvement in Motor Sport, and are very pleased to be associated with the Santa Pod Racers Club and sponsorship of 9.50 bike.

Atlantic Fluid Tech can be contacted at +44 (0)2476 617143 or

ET Bike class title sponsors - Blood Cancer UK: Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise) will continue to be supported by all of our racers as usual, and ET Bike will also continue to fly the Blood Cancer UK flag with the class title being used again in 2023. To make a donation to a charity close to many hearts please go to

Junior Drag Bike class title sponsors - was created 25 years ago and provides comprehensive and timely reporting of European drag racing news. As always, we are excited about the forthcoming season, are attending over 50 races and will post in-depth live reports on 20 of them, including all FIA/FIM-E and UK National championship rounds. Our news and race report pages are viewed by over 12,000 racers and fans across Europe monthly. We are proud to be supporting Junior Drag Bike which has an increasing field with newly built machines, the riders of which are becoming the championship bike racers of the future.

Dakota Raceway this Saturday.
14th March: Thanks to Straightliners director Trevor Duckworth for an update on Dakota Raceway which hosts its first 2023 event this Saturday:

Dakota Raceway sees its season opener this coming Saturday with a whole new format. These ever-popular Drag and Drift events in the South West provide the racer with testing facilities to dial in their cars and bikes. We have been asked over the last 2 years to go "back to basics" with our events at this popular venue.

So we have listened to riders and drivers and they now have an entry-on-the-day test and tune facility with the drag strip open from 09.30 until the 16:00 curfew.

The entry system has been streamlined thanks to our permit provider NORA92, so we will have you signed on and out on track in an instant.

Everyone’s Favorite Aunty, the NSA, is with us on the bike side so lots of classics and close racing for the spectators.

Entry is just £60 to enter your car or bike and this includes your day membership and race license. If you want to enter online, the link is here or click on the picture.

Spectators are welcome and its pay on the gate £10 per person and no charge for kids.

Smeatharpe Airfield is located in Devon at EX14 9RF, 20 minutes drive from the M5.

New and changed EDRS events.
14th March: Speedgroup have announced a detailed class-by-class calendar for their Summit Racing Equipment EDRS Championship, together with some event changes for 2023. You can see a copy of the detailed calendar by clicking here.

The event changes are a further date for Piteå on 14th-15th July, making it races on back-to-back weekends, both including rounds of the EDRS Top Doorslammer championship and all sportsman classes excluding Comp Eliminator.

In addition Sundsvall Raceway, run by SHRA Sundsvall, have announced the Mid Sweden Finals 2023 will take place on 25th-27th August, as well as the EDRS race already announced for 21st-23rd July. Racing in July will include Top Methanol and Pro Modified as well as Top Doorslammer and all sportsman classes. We await details for the August race which will be for the Swedish Championship and not an EDRS points round.

Camper wanted for JT.
14th March: Site sponsor and Pro Modfied/Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham has been in touch with an appeal for a motor home "I'm after the use of a large motor home or camper, artic, etc for the Doorslammers/Main Event, as the brilliant motor home company deal we had has sadly come to an end.

"Obviously, with money, tickets, etc, come and have a deal with me. To be honest it is only for me to sleep in, it's just the cold nights and the rain-off days for the crew (and I always have a lot of crew).

"I will absolutely promise it will be looked after. It's just driving 2 x cars x 2 events x 2 weeks back to back - I need some sleep. Please email me at".

To see JT's team in action on track and in the pits, view the video posted by Simon Letkey of Veedubracing at this link.

Swift Snippets.
14th March: Happy Birthday for today to Dutch photojournalist and pit note reporter Mike Kraaij and 8.50 Bike racer Patrick Rawnsley. Have a great day guys!

Competition Plus have published in their Youtube Channel a playlist of videos of nitro classes from the 2023 March Meet at Famoso Dragstrip, Bakersfield, which you can see by clicking here.

If you go to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet, under cars for sale are several new entries which will be of interest and well known to the racing community. One we have just posted is however new to us, a genuine (according to the seller) 1950s Fiat Topolino Altered with steel body and Flathead engine, imported from the US a few years back but never seen at UK tracks. We have seen photos which we have promised not to publish, but if you want more details, read the listing, and contact the current owner Drew by e-mail.

Pioneer stories: Surrey Street Rodders, part 1.
13th March:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the part 1 of the story and history of Surrey Street Rodders, an organisation that had close links with drag racing following its formation in the early 1970s.

Harold Martin first met Dick and Paul Lambert at Santa Pod in 1973 and attended the first meeting of the newly formed Surrey Street Rodders at a house in Ash Vale near Aldershot. Dick became the first chairman and soon, like many drag racing and hot rod clubs, met in local pubs. After a couple of years Tony Allen took on the chairmanship and the club began to organise Hot Rod and Custom Shows at Blackbushe drag races, helping to run the events as well.

The Surrey Street Rodders story was planned for season 2 but held over to 2023 so the complete story can be presented in three parts. British Drag Racing Historians are grateful to Harold and other members of Surrey Street Rodders for telling their story, and to Nick Pettitt for editing the text and the photos, which were supplied by members. Part 2 of the Surrey Street Rodders will be published next Monday, 20th March.

Part 1 of Surrey Street Rodders' story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu.

Picture: Terry Gibbs in his Black Magic Camaro, getting ready for a run at Blackbushe.

Gatornationals Saturday and Sunday galleries, Julie wins.
13th March: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for supplying two more galleries from the the sold-out NHRA Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Floria which you can see by clicking on the links for Saturday and Sunday, supported by Lucas Oil Products.

Congratulations to Top Alcohol Dragster winner Julie Nataas pictured with dad Thomas Nataas and team owner Randy Meyer above. It was Julie's second win in as many races, winning the Baby Gators the previous weekend. Her winning performance against no.1 qualifier Cody Krohn was low ET of the event 5.147/276.18. It will also consolidate Julie's lead in the TAD points standings for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

The other European based racer taking part was Dmitry Samorukov in Pro Modified; as reported yesterday he defeated Khalid al Balooshi in round one of eliminations but yesterday in round 2 went up against 2022 champion Kris Thorne and suffered tyre shake, forcing him to shut off.

Dos Palmas on show with guests.
13th March: Thanks to Tony Thacker who sent a couple of photos of Dos Palmas which was appearing at Don Prieto’s Annual Taco Party & Cacklefest yesterday.

Tony says "Tommy Ivo turned up to sign the car for which he built the chassis. Also there was Rex Sluggett of Tudor Rose fame. Rex, of course, remembers the car from his early days racing in the UK".

Don “The Wavemaker” Prieto was described on his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as "Unique to the sport in that he is a racer (owner and driver), a journalist, a historian, and a catalyst between the sport and some of the OEM companies". Author of the bestselling book “Hot Rod Chronicle”, he has also written for the prestigious Rodder’s Journal. The Annual Taco Party & Cacklefest has taken place for the last six years and includes a good number of historic dragsters and, as you can see from the photos, legends of the sport.

Swift snippets.
13th March: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Drag Racing supercrew Andy Fensome to Andy's son and Super Pro ET racer Aaron Fensome, also to Supercharged Outlaws car chief Mark Windridge, Super Pro ET racer and painter extraordinaire Marc Manning, and Comp Bike racer Tony Clark. Have a great day guys!

Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has, in advance of next weekend's first quarter mile race at Hal Far Raceway, posted 77 videos of the runs at the Run What Ya Brung held on 25th February in a Youtube playlist at this link. Konrad has assured us that the times will be reinstated on the scoreboards in time for next weekend's event.

Funny Car Chaos, the eighth mile competition that has attracted over 50 of the breed plus 18 fuel altereds for its first race of the season at the Texas Motorplex, have announced that due to inclement weather forecast for North Texas, the race has been postponed to the weekend of 23rd-25th March.

Bubblegum Racing Team changes direction.
12th March:
Thanks to Bob and Matt Glassup for sending an update on their Bubblegum Racing Team including details of new builds and part from an old favourite for sale:

It’s been quite a while since the Bubblegum Racing Team have managed on-track action so we thought it might be about time we sent a little update as to what has been in the mix and going on in the time since.

2020 and the drama of Covid certainly threw Bob a curveball as his business is primarily serving the airline industry. A slimmed-down workforce meant a more hands-on approach and less time for tinkering with race cars but thankfully things have bounced back and some free time is now on the cards… Not wanting to be too idle while he was snowed under with work, Bob asked some of his West Country-based friends to get a new project underway which was completed and unveiled on the Lucas Oil stand at the Paint and Body show last June at the NEC.

This new car is a Mk1 Capri-based doorslammer featuring a full tube chassis and fibreglass body shell. Powered by a blown big block Chevy set-up for pump gas, this car will finally see the track later this year joining the Supercharged Outlaws at the Nostalgia Nationals and some more lifestyle events over the Summer. Thanks to Steve Wright, Steven Spiller and Richard Walters for all their help with this car. We can’t wait to give it a shakedown! Thanks must be mentioned to Lucas Oil UK who continue to support the whole team in 2023 and we can’t wait to carry the Lucas banner at the events we have lined-up for the season.

In the time since finishing the new door car, the team have been mulling over what to do with the Nostalgia Funny Car… As you may well be aware, this chassis was originally Bob’s Xtreme topolino which ran a blown Brad Anderson set-up and I don’t think he has ever quite kicked the bug to be strapped into an altered. As it happens we have had a steel Fiat Topolino shell kicking around the workshop for quite some time and we have now finally worked out what to do with it.

Bob loved the experience of the altered and with the Mk1 Capri box ticked, has decided to use the Nostalgia FC as the donor-car for a new Steel-bodied Topolino Altered. Being a long-term customer of Andy Robinson Race Cars, Bob spoke to Andy and Luke about the potential build and the project has been met with some great enthusiasm from all those we sounded it out to. RRC will build a brand-new chassis and mate our Topolino body to it, using as many parts as possible from the Funny Car which has a freshly rebuilt motor from Kenny Gomez sitting ready to run. The Mk1 Capri body shell and the corresponding chassis is now for sale and will help fund some elements of the new build. “While it’s sad to dismantle a good car, the parts are going to a good home and so many of the parts will be re-used that really I don’t need much more than a new set of wheels and tyres in the way of parts.” This availability of all the parts mean that they are confident that this new build should be completed in 2023 and at the Pod sooner rather than later. Thanks to Andy, Kate and Luke for agreeing to take on this project and of course our wider Bubblegum crew for their help which will no doubt be called upon very soon.

Bob wants to say a huge thanks to Cathy for her patience and support with yet another build (or two). Thanks to Matty, Holley, Mark, Steve, Rich, and the many others who patiently help and support these mad plans. We’ll keep Eurodragster posted with the build (thanks! - Editor)

Gatornationals Friday gallery, results.
12th March: Thanks once again to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for sending a gallery of photos from Friday at the NHRA Amalie Gatornationals which you can see by clicking here, thanks to Lucas Oil Products for their support. Included are some shots from the first round of pro qualifying and the reveal in the starting area of the new hand painted colour scheme on Bob Tasca III's car which was quickest in the first two sessions.

European drag racing interest at the even continued and congratulations to Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas for reaching today's semi finals by defeating newcomer Sarah Allen in round 1 with a 5.170/280.60 (fastest speed in class at this event so far) and Jeff Veale in round 2 with a 5.259/279.38. FIA Pro Modified racer Dmitry Samorukov qualified 11th of 19 with a PB of 5.831/244.87 and went on to take the win in round 1 from Khalid al Balooshi with another PB of 5.803/246.75. Pro Mod will have another three rounds of racing today.

You can follow the Gatornationals on (subscription required) or from the results service on or live results and timing at

Stop press: Andy's Saturday pictures have arrived and can be seen at this link.

Swift snippets.
12th March: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway fire crew member Angie Daly, to Super Pro ET racer Mark Turner, and to VW Pro racer Bruce Kopasz. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

Due to inclement weather conditions, Santa Pod Raceway's sold-out Dial In Day, originaly scheduled for today, has been postponed to Sunday 19th March. Apologies from to readers for not being able to announce this sooner.

Next Generation Racing update.
11th March:
Thanks to Next Generation Racing Junior Drag Bike team manager Ollie King who has sent an update on the team's expansion for 2023:

Rookie eight year old Jaxon King (pictured) will be starting his racing in Junior Drag Bike this season, hopefully licencing at the Saturday Night Special on 25th March.

Hollie King will be out on a new bike for 2023, with Jack Shook's old Junior chassis with a Suzuki RM125 motocross engine.

Blade King, racing ET bike for the 2023 season, decided that the little Suzuki SV650 wasn't quite enough for him after finishing 6th place in 2022. Blade will be coming out with a chrome moly chassis from Rick Stubbins, orignally built in the US, boasting a Hayabusa engine, but all will be revealed when he's happy with it. The bodywork will be going to Rukus Customs who have been painting and hydrodipping our bodywork for the last 8 years, so keep a eye out for him.

Also Ollie and Hannah of Next Generation Racing have a opportunity for someone who would like to race in Junior Bike. They will need their own gear, licence and to pay entry fees to race. If you'd like any more information on this great opportunity, get hold of Ollie or Hannah on FB messenger.

Gatornationals Wednesday and Thursday gallery, results.
8th March: Many thanks to our roving reporter Andy Willsheer for sending photos from Gainesville, Florida, where the NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals will be taking place this weekend. Andy's pictures are from Wednesday around the track and Thursday's Top Alcohol qualifying session, plus a few of some familiar faces from the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame ceremony which Andy attended and you can see online by clicking on this link.

Included in the gallery, supported by Lucas Oil Products, which you can see at this link Don Garlits used a marquee to exhibit some of his historic Swamp Rat dragsters.

On track, well done to Julie Nataas for qualifying 2nd in the Top Alcohol Dragster field with a 5.200/279.96 and to Dmitry Samorukov (supported by Adam Flamholc) for a provisional qualifying place of 12th in Pro Modified with a 5.910/230.84. The first round of Top Alcohol takes place later today and there will be two more sessions of Pro Modfied qualifying.

You can follow the Gatornationals on (subscription required) or from the results service on or live at

Swift snippets.
8th March: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows and Pro ET racer AC Bell, have a great day both!

You can see a great account with captioned photos of last November's Nitro Revival by longtime photographer Ted Pappacena on website Nostalgia Drag World by clicking on this link. Included is a link to Keith Hudak's photos from the event.

Pioneer Stories: The Stones, Part 3.
10th March:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 3 of the story of 1970s and 1980s favourites of the sport in Britain, and members of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, The Stones Drag Racing Team.

The Stones story is from an interview with Dave Stone and Gerry Andrews on 3 January 2015 by Simon Groves, and Dave Riswick to whom we are grateful for making arrangements and providing material.

By 1978 the Stones team had a ex Raymond Beadle Mustang Funny Car and a new Allan Herridge-built Pro Comp dragster Hemi Hunter II. Both were competitive and in Pro Comp the car was so quick that the team got heat from officials over rules, none of which stuck. After many wins, 1983 was a turning point with a bad fire in the Funny Car and the Hemi Hunter II rolling later in the year. It was the end of Dave's driving career, but Gerry carried on with another dragster and in 1986 handed the controls over to Dick Cruse who raced the renamed Starliner until the team disbanded in 1988 after two decades in the top echelons of European drag racing.

Part 3 of The Stones' story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank Dave and Gerry for telling their story in detail, and Dave Riswick for arranging the interview. The Pioneer stories are also presented with the help of John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Festival of Power entry deadline looming.
10th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for reminding us that the deadline for entry for the first round of the SPRC National and Club championships, the Festival of Power, is next Friday, 17th March.

The current entry list for the event is at this link. You can enter by clicking here.

International Drag Racing Hall of Fame stream available.
10th March: Yesterday evening the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place and you can watch the celebrations for new inductees at Competition Plus's Youtube channel at this link.

This year's inductees are John Force, Shelly Anderson Payne, Ron Attebury, Sonny Messner, Carol "Bunny" Burkett (posthumous inductee), Graeme Cowin, Vinny and Richard Napp (posthumous inductees); Bob Frey won the Founders Award and the Pat Garlits Award went to Linda Jones. To read detailed citations go to this link on the NHRA website.

Video production of the event, which was hosted by Joe Castello of WFO radio and introduced by "Big Daddy" Don Garlits with features from his Museum of Drag Racing, has taken a major step forward with the involvement of Masters Entertainment and is well worth a view.

Swift snippets.
10th March: A big Happy Birthday to Hawaii-based British Drag Racing Hall of Fame international ambassador and nostalgia drag racing legend Bob Muravez aka Floyd Lippencotte. Have a great day Bob. Also Happy Birthday to US-based Premium Motosports Products founder and Top Fuel tuner Mike Domagala, and to two VWDRC racers, Charlie Roberts and Bruce Collins. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

Force of Nature Steam rocket bike rider Graham Sykes will be interviewed on BBC Radio Humberside tomorrow morning at 09.20 and again on Monday 13th March at 07.15. Graham says "I’ll be talking about the Force of Nature Steam Rocket bike and the year we have ahead of us trying to reach 200mph by just using steam as power".

Pro Modified racer-in-waiting David Smith has launched a new website for his Stranger Thing '55 Bel Air team. You can visit the website at this link, and included are a merchandise shop, photo gallery (covering preparation of the car) and calendar of UK rounds and Doorslammers where David will be competing. Coming later will be race reports and a blog.

Slicks urgently required by SPRC.
9th March:
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall has sent a reminder about collection of used slicks: "Santa Pod and Santa Pod Racers Club are in urgent need of any drag race slick tyres you may have and want to get rid of; please contact Ian Marshall at or on 01933 313625. We will come and collect them from you on 21st March. Please note we can only use Drag Race Slick tyres, as street type tyres don’t work with our equipment."

Ian adds: "Any one with tyres I can collect please ask them to contact me ASAP please so I can plan the route. Thank you in advance."

Fame, camera, action.
9th March: Thanks to promoter Lee Child for letting us know about an opportunity for keen dragster racers from the North wanting to get extra media exposure:

"I am working with a production company that has an online motorsports programme. The focus for an up and coming show is tradional drag racing related cars. At the moment we require another two more vehicles to join one stunning street eliminator car confirmed already for filming on the 28th March. We have a celebrity guest presenter (5ft 9in tall) that we need to get in a rear engine dragster (with throttle stop options) so they can film a pass.

"The third vehicle just needs to be a pure race vehicle, Drivers wishing to be involved in this will be filmed and interviewed as part of the programme. The day will have full fire rescue, paramedics and medics, just like a full drag race event. The location was all set for Elvington airfield, where we were getting a great relationship with the airfield staff, however that location is no longer available. So we have now three other venues we can use in the areas of East Midlands, the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber to give you an idea of the location".

Interested drivers or car owners please email Lee at with your contact details and a picture of your car.

Swift snippets
9th March: Happy Birthday for today to Engine Data Analysis head honcho and Outlaw Anglia racer Ben Rushforth, former Roarin' Rat racer Ken Brookes, former Super Twin racer Andy Watson and Top Methanol Funny Car crew and wife Iris Krivan. We hope you all have a great day.

As a warm up to the NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals, you can watch action from the nitro and Factory Stock Showdown testing on Monday to Wednesday free on Reports from testing can be seen on the NHRA website at these links for Tuesday and Wednesday (from our review of Monday, action consisted of a few test launches). Action from today including expat Norwegian Julie Nataas (Top Alcohol Dragster, from today at 21:00 GMT and tomorrow at 16:45) and Russian Dmitry Samorukov (Pro Modified, from tomorrow at 18:00 GMT) will be on to subscribers.

Also hot off the presses from the States, the Legends Nitro Funny Cars Series which will include 12 Nostalgia FCs, have a new website and have announced a points series, starting from the March Meet and now including nine racers of which three are NHRA National Events. Click on the link for more details.

March Meet Sunday and Monday gallery, results.
8th March:
Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for sending pictures from the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Famoso Raceway, California on Sunday, which was eventually rained off, and Monday. You can see Andy's pictures supported by Lucas Oil Products by clicking here. Apart from Top Fuel which will be run at the California Hot Rod Reunion in October, the race was run to its conclusion on Monday with results available on Competition Plus at this link. Congratulations to the winners.

A couple of notes, Herb Andrews, technology assistant to Andy, was drafted on to the crew of Clayton Zulim's unlown nitro A/Fuel dragster (pictured above with Herb in the background), with immediate results as Clayton who had qualified sixth, defeating longtime competitor Kin Bates with a 6.416/210.60, Clayton losing in the semi finals to Rick Ewen.

Also noteworthy was the Nitro Pro Comp class, run to a 5.90 index in which Keith Wilson in the Witch Doctor "transformer" AA/FA broke out by running an awesome 5.753/261.02, which we believe is a new PB for Keith, to give the event win to RED racer Elly Stafford.

For some cackle action at the March Meet, posted by Tony Thacker on Facebook, click on this link. Tony and colleagues cackled Dos Palmas, and talked to the car's engine builder and original driver from 1964 Arnold Chaves who was on hand. Tony also helped the Nitro Revival stand hosted by Steve and Cindy Gibbs.

SFI tour reminder.
8th March: A reminder to racers due to have parts inspected on the European SFI tour that the dates for the tour are fast approaching, as announced in the news on 25th January. The details are:

Stop 1, Netherlands (DHRA)
Thursday, March 16, 8:00am-12:00pm
Hotel Ibis Amsterdam Schiphol
Schipholweg 181
Bedhoevedorp 1171PK

Stop 2, Finland (FHRA)
Friday, March 17, 8:00am-12:00pm
FHRA Office
Teollisuustie 2
01800 Klaukkala

Stop 3, Sweden (ME Racing Service AB)
Saturday, March 18, 11:00am-5:00pm
ME Racing Service AB
Svetsgränd 10
781 72 Borlänge

Stop 4, England (Santa Pod, SPRC)
Monday, March 20, 9:00am-4:00pm
Santa Pod Raceway
Hospitality Suite
Airfield Road, Podington, NN29 7XA

SFI is unable to inspect Weld wheels due to the special equipment that is not portable, however, ME Racing Service in Sweden has been added as an inspection site for Weld wheels. More details may be found in the list of inspection items (click to download, pdf format). For each stop listed below, the host name can be contacted for pricing in local currency and to arrange parts delivery or attendance at each inspection day. ME Racing requires pre-registration, which may be found on their website.

Swift snippets.
8th March: Happy Birthday for today to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair and member Lesley Wright, former UK Top Fuel racer and BDRHoF member Roz Prior, Street Eliminator racer Joe Stevens and former drag bike racer and future Super Comp crew chief Jerry Collier. We hope you all have a great day.

Swift snippets.
7th March: A very Happy Birthday to honorary member, SPRC official and Competition Eliminator racer Spencer Tramm, have a great day Spencer. Happy Birthday also to tuner and crew chief extraordinaire Karl Harrison, Danish Super Street Bike racer Mogens Lund, Supercharged Outlaws racer Nigel Rigden and Supercharged Outlaws racer in waiting Lee Merryweather. Have a great day all.

Videographer Terry Robbins has updated his Pod Wheels Youtube Channel with footage of Pro Modified at the 2022 European Finals which you can see by
clicking here.

Following our story on 9th February that Skye Collier will be racing the former S&K dragster this season, Jade Racing have updated their Youtube Channel with an entertaining video of collection of the car which you can see by clicking here. The team said "Plenty of videos to come of refreshing the car, so follow along. Skye will be competing in Super Comp. The car will be powered by a big block Chevy by Engine Data Analysis (EDA)." We look forward to seeing Skye on track soon.

Pioneer Stories: Age Machine through the Ages, Part 2.
6th March:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of Age Machine, which, after being raced by Pete Bennett, Roz Prior and Liz Burn (now Rowland), was run as a Pro Comp car, then had a Flathead engine fitted.

John Wright and John Sutton bought the former Age Machine from Olli Burns in 1974 and ran it to a best of 8.41 in 1976, after which Pete Hollingsworth bought it as a rolling chassis following an engine blowup. Pete installed the Flathead engine, re-engineering it, even getting Flathead legend John Bradley over from the US to give advice. Pete sold the car to Nick Anscombe who ran it as Pig Pen, then the trail went cold until news of the car's current owner Milton Homan at Dream Cars in Redhill reached Mick Gleadow, who took up the opportunity to view the car at its current home.

Part 2 of Age Machine through the Ages is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Picture credit: Allan Currans, The Acceleration Archive.

March Meet Saturday gallery, Sunday rained off.
6th March: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for sending pictures from Saturday's qualifying and first round of Nostalgia Funny Car at the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Famoso Raceway, California. You can see Andy's shots including one of historic gas dragster Dos Palmas, on display pits next to the Warren Coburn Miller AA/FD,.at this link, supported by Lucas Oil Products.

Sadly, Sunday was called after three of four pairs had run in the quarter finals of Nostalgia Funny Car, with a lot of sportsman eliminations still to be run. The remaining rounds, with the exception of Top Fuel, will be run today (Monday) starting at 17:15 GMT. If the mobile signal allows, a live stream will be transmitted on Facebook Live by Frankie Larrabee.

UK nitro tuner Herb Andrews who has kindly been serving as technology assistant to Andy, has been pressed into duty as crew on Clayton Zulim's A/Fuel injected nitro rail, and we wish him and the team well for eliminations.

Simon Rees.
6th March: We were very sorry to hear of the passing of NSA sprinter and drag bike racer Simon Rees. Keith Lee writes:

"I was so sad to hear the news today that Simon Rees had passed. Simon really enjoyed his sprinting, and he also relished the chance to ride at Dragstalgia on his two Triumphs, which he absolutely loved riding. His exploits on Pendine Beach, on board the Mouse, were also something he looked back on with pride. He was a true motorcycling enthusiast, and an accomplished engineer, who worked on some very interesting one-off projects over the years. His enthusiasm for riding was something which never diminished. He was one of those rare people who always took the trouble to ring up after an event, to have a chat. That is something I will miss - the sound of him unnecessarily saying ‘Hello, Simon here.’

"It was hard to hear from him, only fairly recently, that his condition was diagnosed as terminal, but I did not expect it to be so brutally soon. My condolences to Laura, Kelly, Paul, and all of the family, who will miss him massively. RIP Simon."

Private testing opportunity at SPR.
6th March: Private testing organiser and FWD racer Scott Lewry has announced that sign-ups of another 30 racers are required to make his next Yam Yam Racing Drag Club Private test day at Santa Pod Raceway viable:

"We currently have around half of the racers needed for Monday 17th April just to make the day go ahead. We need 30 or so more and now have six weeks until the day. For the next couple of weeks I will keep a close on eye on numbers and see what happens. As previous we could increase the costs if people were prepared to do that but that will be to be confirmed.

"All I can say is if you are interested in booking up, please do so ASAP." You can sign up by messaging Scott on Facebook or join the Yam Yam Racing Drag Club on Facebook by clicking here.

Julie wins Baby Gators.
6th March: Congratulations to expat Norwegian racer Julie Nataas who overcame a bumper field of 19 cars to win eliminations at the Baby Gators yesterday. Julie qualified no.4 with 5.248/279.44, then defeated Summer Richardson with a 5.251/278.06, Jackie Fricke with 5.255/280.49 and, in the final, Cody Krohn running low ET of the event at 5.202/280.89.

It was Julie's 25th career win and 12th in NHRA competition with Randy Meyer Racing. Julie has two races in the next fortnight with the Amalie Oil Gatornationals next weekend and another 19 car field, with Funny Car Chaos at the Texas Motorplex the following weekend with 54 Funny Cars entered, racing her A/Fuel injected nitro FC for the first time.

Swift snippets.
6th March: Happy Birthday for today to Super Gas racer Andy Harrison and former Wild Bunch racer Nigel Lane, have a great day guys.

Recent weeks have seen a number of top quality race cars added to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet. Two such vehicles have been added over the weekend, Joe Kellett's Chrome Worx Ultra Cars-built Super Pro dragster rolling chassis and Simon Fulton's 1960 Blitzkrieg Ford Falcon turnkey. You can see all the details of these race-winning cars by clicking here. As for the future plans for these racers, our lips are sealed...

Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar has kindly supplied a list of Outlaw Anglia competitors and personal best ETs and terminal speeds over the thirty year life of the class which you can see by clicking here (pdf format). If any racer wants to add or correct times and speeds, please send a PM to Colin, or write to and we'll pass it on.

Prize fund posted for 7.60 Heads Up.
5th March:
Jeff and Belinda Bull (pictured right) are excited to announce that Swap Meet sponsor Jeff Bull Race Engines, West Country Fencing Supplies, Transmission Specialties, BLP Racing Products and Doug Herbert at Herbert Cams will be sponsoring three rounds of 7.60 Heads Up for 2023 with a total £3000 prize fund up for grabs.

The rounds will be held at the Sportsman Nationals, Bug Jam and the Greenlight Nationals with a prize payout of £400 for event winner and £200 for runner up at each of the three events. The overall winner of three rounds of 7.60 Heads Up will receive £800 and the runner up will receive £400.

Entries for Sportsman Nationals, Bug Jam and Greenlight Nationals are available on the SPRC website at this link. Please note entries for 7.60 Heads Up at Bug Jam is currently limited to sixteen cars, please email Jeff at prior to submitting your entry for Bug Jam.

All three events will be MSUK sanctioned so all cars and drivers must comply with latest rules and complete the SFI/FIA Safety Certification Information form on SPRC entry forms. All cars must have a 7.50 or 6.00 second chassis tag and are liable to inspection at any time by the scrutineers.

The class regulations for 2023 are:
  • All cars must be capable of running quicker than 8.49 and have a chassis tag of 7.50 or quicker
  • Door cars with two functioning doors, no centre driving position allowed
  • Any engine and transmission/gear box combination allowed
  • Drag slicks only
  • No throttle stops
  • Weight breaks will not be implemented for 2023
  • Running under 7.60 in qualifying will not count for ladder position
  • Running under 7.60 in eliminations will be a disqualification for that car and driver
  • In a double break out the closer to 7.60 will take the win
  • Any car running under 7.50 throughout the event will be disqualified from further rounds at the said event
It is with thanks to all concerned at Santa Pod for their efforts in making these three events happen.

March Meet Friday gallery.
5th March: Many thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for sending photos of Friday's qualifying session at the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet held at Famoso Dragstrip, Bakersfield, California. You can see the gallery, supported by Lucas Oil Products, at this link or by clicking on the top end photo of Rian Konno's Mustang.

The event, for which you can see some results and the top ten NFC qualifying runs on Competition Plus at their event page, was well attended and performances from the 50 or so nitro burning vehicles were impressive. You can see some footage from Facebook Live from Mark McCalla, however sadly no official live streaming of the event is available.

Eliminations will be taking place today and we recommend Competition Plus's event page, with more photos from Andy eagerly awaited.

Swift snippets.
5th March: Happy Birthday for today to Box of Frogs Funny Bike racer Roger Moore from daughter Lucy and all of us at Also Birthday wishes to Jonny Hines. We hope you have a great day.

Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas will be racing in Eliminations at the NHRA Baby Gators at Gainesville Raceway today following a rain delay yesterday. You can follow the action on at this link starting at 13:00 GMT.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted to his Youtube four more races from the 1990s, which are the 1996 Santa Pod Summer Nationals, 1996 NitrOlympX from Hockenheim, 1996 Santa Pod World Finals and 1996 Santa Pod International Doorslammers (click on each link to go direct to the respective race). All are Sky Sports productions presented by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Price.

March Meet test and tune gallery and qualifying.
4th March:
The 2023 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meeting got properly underway on Thursday with a test and tune session for nitro cars, and photojournalist Andy Willsheer was there to capture those that were making test hits. With the support of Lucas Oil Products, we have posted Andy's photos in a gallery which you can see by clicking here or going via News, then Features in the main menu.

On Friday, two qualifying sessions were held, and qualifying sheets are posted on Competition Plus via this link. After two sessions, Tim Boychuck led Nostalgia Funny Car qualifying with 5.692/248.61, Pete Wittenberg was the leader in Top Fuel with 5.820/227.46, with Dylan Winefsky leading Fuel Altered with 6.192/223.50.

Whilst 15 Top Fuel cars made passes, which is the largest at a March Meet for a decade, it appears that eliminations will be an eight car field as organisers required 18 cars to run a 16 car ladder.

Thanks to Andy for sending in pictures with the help of technology assistant Herb Andrews. You can see live action today from Famoso Dragstrip via the video stream provided by Frankie Larrabee, and Mark McCalla (Funny Car only).

Pictured: Kris Krabill driving the Bartone & Lebor '69 Camaro in new Darryl Gwynn tribute livery in recognition of Darryl's work for the Fund to cure paralysis, and his induction to the Motorsports Hall of Fame this coming Tuesday.

World Series of Pro Mod.
4th March: Action yesterday at the World Series of Pro Mod was late in starting as it was only 18:00 local time (23:00 GMT) by when winds abated sufficiently to hold two qualifying sessions during which an impressive 61 cars attempted to get into the 32 car ladder. You can see qualifying results at this link.

Whilst the eighth mile format, used in this competition for the first time, may not be to everyone's taste, the event has attracted a who's who of Pro Mod racers. All 32 qualifiers went over 200mph in the eighth and, after one session, the spread was less than a tenth of a second between #1 Johnny Camp (3.626/205.91) and #32 Randy Weatherford (3.701/205.19).

You can see live coverage and hightlights of Friday qualifying on FloRacing at this link (subscription required).

Swift snippets.
4th March: Good luck and stay safe to expat Norwegian Julie Nataas who qualified in fourth for Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Baby Gators at Gainesville Raceway with a 5.248/279.44, two tenths behind Matthew Cummings in #1 spot. You can see the final session of Baby Gators Top Alcohol qualifying on the NHRA Youtube channel by clicking on this link. Coverage continues today, free on and also on Youtube. We noted that whilst 19 TADs were attempting to get into the eight car field, only seven Top Alcohol Funny Cars signed on for the event with eight on the entry list for the Gatornationals the following weekend. Can the 54 car entry at Funny Car Chaos (plus 20 Fuel Altereds) at the Texas Motorplex in a fortnight's time, at which Julie will be racing her unblown fuel Funny Car, be a bigger draw?

We were sorry to hear from Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell that Land Speed legend Craig Breedlove, who has been seriously ill, has been admitted to a hospice and send our very best wishes to Craig.

Pioneer stories: The Stones, part 2.
3rd March:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of 1970s and 1980s favourites of the sport in Britain, and members of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, The Stones Drag Racing Team.

The Stones story is from an interview with Dave Stone and Gerry Andrews on 3 January 2015 by Simon Groves, and Dave Riswick to whom we are grateful for making arrangements and providing material.

The Stones team bought an Escort at the end of 1971 and set about re-engining it to a small block Chevy and training Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis to become its driver. Then in 1973 they bought the Hemi Hunter slingshot dragster and, with Gerry Andrews joining the team, campaigned it in Top Dragster and, from 1975, Pro Comp. The team expanded in manpower and in 1976 they bought the Stardust Funny Car previously campaigned by Don Schumacher and Allan Herridge, fitting a Big Block Chevy and, in 1977, moving to Rodeck equipment.

Part 2 of The Stones' story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank Dave and Gerry for telling their story in detail, and Dave Riswick for arranging the interview. The Pioneer stories are also presented with the help of John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Trevor's appeal for Melbourne.
3rd March: Straightliners chief Trevor Duckworth has been in touch to bring us up to date with the appeal for developing Melbourne Raceway:

"Straightliners would like to thank all of those who attended our recent open day at Elvington airfield. We are grateful for your presence and we hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did!

"We are writing to you today to ask for your support. Melbourne Raceway, which has made fantastic progress in recent years thanks to your support, has now embarked on its next £5,000 tarmac fundraising target and we need your help to get there.

"Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a difference and allow us to continue to make improvements to the raceway. If you are able to donate, please click below to visit our fundraising page.

"If you are not able to donate at this time, it would mean a lot if you could help us by spreading the word on social media or telling your friends and family about our cause.

"Thank you once again to those who have supported Melbourne raceway’s journey so far. We appreciate your generosity, and we hope to see you at our next event."

To contribute to the Melbourne Raceway fundraising appeal, click on this link..

Dave Bartz's funeral arrangements.
3rd March: Thanks to Les Harris for forwarding details of the funeral arrangements for National Association of Supertwins racer Dave Bartz who sadly passed away in February. The celebration of Dave's life will be held at Seven Hills Crematorium, Felixstowe Road, Nacton, Suffolk, IP10 0FG on Friday 31st March 2023 at 12pm.

You can see detailed arrangements, with an opportunity to donate in support of Macmillan Cancer Support, at Dave's page at

Swift snippets.
3rd March: Happy Birthday for today to Competition Eliminator racer Kevin Jenkins, Gasser Circus racer Lee Pike, German Super Pro ET racer Jens Könnecke and German Super Twin Top Fuel racer Christian Jäger. We hope you all have a great day.

Videographer Simon Letkey visited the Malta Finals at Hal Far last November and the results of his visits can be seen at his Youtube channel Veedub Racing. There are three videos, for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (racing was cancelled on Sunday due to rain), and Simon introduces each video with a visit to Hal Far's hospitality facilities and an informative walk round the pits, chatting to the racers before extensive trackside footage. This is highly recommended viewing for all fans of Malta drag racing, conveying the excitement of the event.

(Re)introducing Sacrilege.
2nd March:
Those with exceptionally long memories may remember a cool pinstriped '67 SS350 RS 4 Speed Camaro built for show by the late Folkestone-based Mick Cooke in 1975 and named Silhouette. Although a show car for the first years of its life, with a chromium plated blower atop its 350ci engine, Mick took the car to Long Marston in 1978 and became a regular at the Midlands track. Subsequent owners were Russ Duce and Alan Livesey who kept it in show condition.

The car is now destined for street and strip action, following a thorough mechanical rebuild by Doomsday Garage who have a history of top notch builds, several of which have appeared on magazine covers. In case of fears that such a cool piece of U.K custom history will get wiped out, Doomsday Garage are at pains to retain the character of the original car which has just been de-customised a little. Proprietor and Doomsday Impala racer Dave Evans said "A purist cried "Sacrilege", hence the new name. The car is the product of wanting to bring the fun back into the sport for me, as Doomsday racing costs and breakages tested my enthusiasm."

The 1967 SS350 RS 4 Speed Camaro will retain its Silhouette paint job, although with removal of the stars and stripes in front of the hood. There will be a few paint touch ups to the trunk and hood but these photos show how Sacrilege will look. Changes have mainly been mechanical to improve the car's drivability. There will be a retrimmed interior and exhaust mufflers. The and side pipes will go as they were non-functional, the slot mag wheels and tyres have changed to steel wheels, the engine will be a stock 350ci, freshened by Doomsday Garage, with more power being considered for the future.

The planned debut at the track will be at the Melbourne Raceway May meeting, although a Santa Pod appearance is not yet planned. We're sure there will be some demand for it to appear in Nostalgia Superstock though.

The car that Doomsday Garage is best known for, the Doomsday Impala, is still for sale, the rolling chassis going for £30,000, the trailer and truck having been sold. Dave Evans says "Come, have a look, and make an offer. If it doesn't sell, then it may be back, a little slower but no less cool."

Show pic credit: Russ Duce from Blackpool 2017 show.

Motovation sale.
2nd March: Following the comprehensive article on the historic Motovation dragster published on the UK Drag Racing News & Nostalgia website by Jon Spoard, current owner Harry Joseph has announced the car is for sale:

Allan Herridge & the Beadle Brothers' iconic 'Glacier Bearing Special' formerly known as ‘Motovation’, built by Speed and Custom Parts, has now been restored to its 1970 condition and preserved for ever. It is up for sale and will be sold in the coming months.

The ‘Motovation’ Junior Fuel car is the only surviving drag car of only three built by Speed and Custom Parts in the 1960s. It is also rare in being perhaps one of only a few completely British built drag car to have survived fully intact from that era. Its status ranks with the similarly historic 1961 Chrysler dragster of Sydney Allard the father of British and European drag racing.

‘Motovation', an iconic U.K. dragster, is offered for sale as an investment opportunity for a committed and serious collector of historic drag cars. It holds a prized position in the foundation years of British drag racing as do its three creators Allan Herridge and the Beadle brothers. It was a standout performer in the early years of Santa Pod Raceway as the British Drag Racing Champion of 1968 and its successes on the track in the U.K. and Scandinavia are extensively documented online and in print. After 53 years away from the drag strips this sale represents a once in over a half century opportunity to own an absolutely unique piece of British drag racing history.

‘Motovation’ has been painstakingly returned to its end of 1970 season condition by meticulous reference to archive photos and video footage. It has been preserved for posterity rather than being returned to its ‘as-new’ condition which would have eradicated its battle scars, unique decals and metal flake paint scheme. Preservation began in 2019 but due to the pandemic only completed in late 2022. ‘Motovation' is being sold with several spares such as original new double clutch plate, injection jets, clutch alignment tool etc.

Expressions of Interest accompanied by an Opening Bid, by email only, are invited over £38,000 and should be forwarded to The closing date for opening bids is 31st March 2023. Please include all relevant background details of yourself with your offer. Only serious bidders will be considered.

Viewings in person by the highest four Open Bidders will take place shortly after the closing date to allow for Final Bids. The sale will be awarded to the highest Final Bid one week later.

More photos of the car can be seen at this link.

Hauser Racing vacancy.
2nd March: sponsor Geof Hauser has a vacancy for a full-time right-hand man or woman to work in the office at Hauser Racing.

The position will entail taking and processing sales calls, customer liaison, ordering from suppliers, and be generally involved with many aspects of the company’s function.

Candidates will need to have a good telephone manner, be computer literate, and have an understanding of race car/driveline systems. Hands-on experience in car building or maintenance is essential.

We are looking for someone who is organised, motivated and enthusiastic. Salary will be commensurate with ability and experience.

Send CV to or call 01933 682500 for more details.

Streaming feast - from today.
2nd March: Today starts 11 consecutive days of streaming from Gainesville Raceway as the relaunched covers the Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series from 2nd to 5th March, testing from 6th to 8th March and the NHRA Gatornationals from 9th-12th March.

Yes, has relaunched, with a new look. But we hope it is more than a makeover.'s new streaming partner, Endeavor Streaming, has a worldwide sports client base including NBA, NFL, Univision, UFC, Big Ten Network, English Football League, Sky Sports and others. To the European based NHRA user, paying $149 per annum, this means simultaneous access to live NHRA events cross-platform and, for the first time outside the US, utilising the app for smartphones. We also fervently hope that one of the biggest shortcomings with the previous provider, not being able to review the previous day's coverage until two days later, will be addressed. The days of buffering and picture breakdown during Top Fuel and Funny Car are long gone...

Those wanting NHRA highlights and background features without paying a subscription are directed to the NHRA Youtube channel, which also has the streams of some divisional events and promotional historic material.

An alternative to for doorslammer racing (and the Funny Car Chaos series) is FloRacing which is streaming no less than three events this weekend. The headliner from 3rd-5th March, is the World Series of Pro Mod, promoted by Wes Buck of Drag Illustrated with an invited elite 40 car field, racing for a winner takes all $100,000 prize. The NMRA Spring Break Shootout is on the same days, and no-prep fans can see the Bounty Hunters No Prep Nationals from 4th-5th March. On a laptop or using the FloRacing app, it is straightforward to switch between events.

The poor relation in this feast is sadly the March Meet from Famoso dragstrip. Budget restrictions mean that the event will not be streamed however you may catch some Facebook live videos at the pagse of Mark McCalla and Frankie Larrabee. After the event, we wait to see March Meet videos from Competition Plus Youtube channel.

Swift snippets.
2nd March: A very Happy 79th Birthday to Swedish Funny Car legend Leif Helander of Starkotter Racing, thanks to Magnus Larsson for notifying us! We wish a Happy Birthday to Santa Pod Racers Club official and awards evening organiser extraordinaire Yvonne Tramm, also to former Funny Bike rider and drag bike engineer Bob Brooks. We hope you all have a great day.

If you're looking to buy a Junior Dragster, Jade Durney has one for sale including trailer for £4000 or near offer. You can message Jade for more information on 07762 113742. As Jade kindly sent several photos, we have posted them with the support of Jeff Bull Race Engines at this link.

Fred Whittle.
1st March: We were sad to learn that British drag racing pioneer Fred Whittle has passed away. He was an extraordinarily gifted car builder as photos below of his own cars and others, such as Gonzo the Great Topolino, testify. Nick Pettitt writes:

Back in the early 60s Fred laid his hands on a copy of Hot Rod Magazine and decided he could build a Hot Rod himself. At first, he was going to build it for the street but then thought maybe the Bolton Constabulary would not be too happy with what he had in mind so changed his plans and began to build a Competition Altered based on a ‘32 Model B Ford Roadster with Chevy power.

He built a triangulated space frame chassis of his own innovation, fitted a stock 265 Chevy and hand built a beautiful aluminium replica of a Model B Roadster, built from photos in Hot Rod Magazine and sprayed in red Metalflake with ‘Shutdown’ sign written on the trunk.

Fred debuted Shutdown in 1968. A need for more speed saw him borrow from the John Woolfe Racing Team an Edelbrock XC-8 crossflow manifold and twin Holleys together with fuel injection heads off Dave Riswick's '57 Chevy. So impressed was Fred with the setup that he later purchased the complete 283 and goodies out of Dave’s '57 Chevy.

With the hot 283 fitted Fred was running mid 13s. Then he made a mistake on the line, dumping the clutch at low revs. The result was less wheel spin and a time of 12.01!

Above left: Fred waits to be scrutineered in his Shutdown Ford Roadster. Nigel Dodd pic. Above right: At Woodvale 1969. Andy Brough pic.

Fred continued to campaign the car till 1970 when decided to build his version of the popular American Fuel Altered, Pure Hell. It would again be called Shutdown with no expense spared to make it go as well as show.

Starting out with a 392 Chrysler Fire Power Hemi, it was filled with all the best speed goodies available at the time. Mickey Thompson rods and pistons, perfect circle rings, Isky cam and a Reath crank. Hilborn injection atop a 6-71 blower fed the nitro/methanol mix and it had a Schieffer clutch and Pontiac rear end with 4.11 gears. Rear boots were M&H Racemasters on polished American mags.

A chromed Allan Herridge tube axle was fitted with sparkling 12-Spoke American mags, the first we’d seen in the UK. BSA motorcycle springs held the front in the air, steered by a Standard 10 box.

The body was another work of art beaten out of aluminium, again using photos as reference. Fred created a perfect replica of an Austin Bantam Roadster and finished it off with another red Metalflake paintjob. Such was the accuracy of Fred’s Bantam, Fibreglass Applications man Pat Cuss took a mould off it to start producing glass bodies.

Above left: First time out for the Bantam with the front in the air. Tony Whitehouse pic. Above right: By 1972 the car sat level and went 180mph. Ken Robbins pic.

It was a good job that both Fred and his wife were drag racing fanatics as they stripped all the furniture and carpets out of their front room, installed lathes, jigs, etc, then built Shutdown before knocking down and rebuilding a wall to get their baby out.

The Shutdown Bantam debuted in 1971, became the first British Altered in the nines at the Internationals and finished the year with a 9.35/158mph.

Although the ‘front in the air’ stance looked great, Fred couldn’t see where he was going and by 1972 Fred had rebuilt the frame allowing the car to sit level. That year he ran 180mph becoming the fastest Competiton Altered in Europe.

Above left: At Silverstone 1973. Pete Blake pic. Above right: Tipping the can. Pete Blake pic.

1973 saw a new paint job and sponsorship from Auto magazine. At the end of the year Fred sold the car to Mike Hall, concentrating on building cars for other racers, all with the same immaculate attention to detail that he gave to his own race cars.

Our deepest condolences to Fred's family, Gladys and Brad in particular and his friends in the drag racing community to whom he gave much advice over the years.

Welcome Straight To The Point Racing.
1st March: Welcome to Straight To The Point Racing Ltd as a new sponsor for's Home and News Pages.

Based off the A52 Grantham Road in Whatton, Nottingham, Straight To The Point Racing is run by Ben and Aimee Chiarella and his team.

Services include:
  • Complete race car builds from start to finish;
  • Restorations and metalwork including body panels and lead work;
  • Bespoke race engine builds and refreshing;
  • Gearbox rebuilds for many types of Ford or Chevy transmissions, automatic and manual;
  • Fabrication of custom aluminium radiators, intercoolers, cold side piping and intake manifolds;
  • Exhaust fabrication in stainless, titanium and inconel;
  • Chassis and roll cage fabrication in CDS, Chromoly and T45;
  • Machining for historic, race, and classic engines as well as modern engines;
  • Supply of parts for performance engines including turbo applications, tuning tools, and gearboxes; and
  • Paint bodywork and refinishing.
Everything is done all under one roof at Straight To The Point Rracing, with their fabrication shop, engine machining, engine building and much more, even going into the paint shop for top tier paint work.

Track support is offered and STTP can tailor a track support program to suit a racer's exacting needs and specific budget. STTP offer everything from general maintenance at the track, race preparation before a race meeting, or the whole package when a driver arrives and drives. There is also secure storage facilities in the Midlands for storing and maintaining rare and historic vehicles.

Contact Ben on 01949 850 009 or by e-mail on and see more detail at their website

Swift snippets.
1st March: Happy Birthday for today to Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator competitor and Santa Pod Raceway marshal Antony Wilkins and superfan Kerry McCartney Jeyes, we hope you have a wonderful day.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Maltese Super Street Bike racer and tuner Simon Giordmaina who came off his Pikachu bike at the Hal Far Run What Ya Brung last weekend. Simon said "Thank you to ll the people, friends and competitors out there that reached out to contact me and my family to offer their support. Altough I have fractured toes, shoulder and lower back spine, and a lot of body scruffs and bruises, I have managed to make a couple of steps on my feet so fingers crossed I should be back with you guys very soon for sure, behind the keyboard but, as to riding, its too early to make a decision."

Elvington Top Speed Show hits the spot.
28th February:
Thanks to drag racing historian Jerry Cookson for sending a report and gallery of photos from the Straightliners Top Speed Show at Elvington Airport at the weekend:

As shows go, and particularly outdoor shows coupled with wintry weather, the second Straightliners Speed Show held at Elvington Airfield certainly gave the viewing public, some of which had never encountered wheel driven and jet powered machines like this before, something to look forward to in 2023, as the countdown now begins on the years drag, sprint and top speed events some of which are calendared at Elvington’s famous 26 runway. And that’s not all, depending on what time you arrived at the airfield, there was still time to take a wander through some of the Aviation Museum’s stunning display of World War Two planes and Cold War jets displayed in the many hangers and in the open air next door to the show site!

All the displays were housed in six heated marquees which, in view of the 4 degree temperatures outside, proved to be a godsend for all of the exhibitors involved as well as the viewing public. Everywhere I went, there was plenty of footfall viewing the varied selection of cars and motorcycles, but quickly emptied once the 1/16th (100 metre) drag strip was pressed into action at intervals during the day.

Although the non-appearance of Donald Campbell’s K7 Bluebird Land Speed hydrofoil jet boat was a big disappointment, due to legal issues between the Ruskin Museum and the Bluebird Project, the project owners however, still found it in their heart to attend the show, talk to interested punters about the project, and sell merchandise to help the cause. But, come Sunday in the absence of the real thing, a fully working 1/6th scale model of K7 was brought along for its own fire-up following a minute’s silence for fallen Australian Land Speed Record legend and jet dragster driver Ken Warby who passed away last week; a fitting tribute to the one and only Aussie Invader.

For me, the best parts of the show were seeing Brian Johnson’s Imperial Wizard Top Fuel Bike, now fully restored and in the ownership of Keith Edwards, and Tudor Rose, another one of drag racing’s truly iconic late sixties slingshots in all its glory and fully restored by Richard Lyon, Mick White with assistance by Rex Sluggett; one half of the Priddle & Sluggett team.

Imperial Wizard

Shortly after when Brian retired from the sport in the early nineties and sold the legendary Imperial Wizard fuel bike to American AMA ProStar rider Jimmy Brantley, everyone had thought that was the last time that they would ever see this ground breaking machine in Europe after its world shattering times achieved at both Santa Pod and Avon Park raceways. Who could forget BJ’s frightening and torturous ride at Avon Park when his crash helmet was sucked from his head at over 200 mph and for his historic 6.2s and 6.1s making the British Drag Racing Hall of Famer one of the top ten quickest riders in the world at that time.

Now fully restored by Keith Edwards, proprietor of Keith Edwards Motors, an independent Audi Specialist in Ulerston, Cumbria, Keith is no stranger to motorsport, having raced a 750 hp Group B Audi Quattro S1 E2 replica hillclimb car which has competed at the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado as well as conquering as many British and European hillclimbs as possible.

Keith acquired Imperial Wizard in 2021 via an incredible network of well-known European drag bike names included Ian King, Jiri Lukes and Otto Knebl. Although the bike has undergone several ownerships, there is still one mystery surrounding French ownership that is believed to have had some connection with fellow French speed ace Eric Tebeul, at which time the bike was painted green! Since Otto’s ownership when it was silver, Keith has returned all of its panels to its rightful BJ trademark deep red with gold pin striping. But Keith tells me that the bike isn’t merely for display, no Sir. When the time is right, it will be making passes some day soon with Dave "Rocket" Peters on-board, a fellow Cumbrian rider who Keith also supports.

The motor has been fully stripped down; parts acquired, checked, run in the workshop, and is ready to go. During the day I was there, the bike attracted lots of interest, and following BJ’s induction into the BDRHoF in 2008 and sad death in 2015, I duly passed on membership decals for him which now appear in pride of place on the flanks of one of the world's quickest and fastest motorcycles.

Tudor Rose

Another car I was itching to see was Tudor Rose. The first time I saw this car in anger was in the late sixties, racing against the likes of Tony Densham in a night race meet at Santa Pod and billed as the Battle of the Giants. But at that young age, I wouldn’t have remembered anything about the race other that what’s written in print! I had seen her fly down the old York and Long Marston quarter miles as the Ol’ Timer in the hands of current owner Richard Lyon and crew members Mick & Paul White in the 1980s. Today, seeing the car again in all its glory with its gleaming and chromed Keith Black power house is indeed an understatement. Everything down to the dragster's finer details is perfection on wheels for this classy iconic slingshot.

For this special occasion, the dragster's original owner Rex Sluggett and driver along with Dennis Priddle (and now co-owner again with Richard) sent across a copy of original FIA Certificate issued for the cars record run achieved at this very airfield during an International Speed Organisation weekend October 5th/6th 1968. After some minor issues encountered with the dragster’s oil filters, Tudor Rose ran its official record runs twice, and in opposite directions as the rules dictate with a first run of 8.291s followed by a reverse direction 8.301s. When averaged out by ISO officials the previous year’s record of 8.91s held by Tony Densham with Commuter, had indeed been lowered to a joyous 8.296s.

Although the Tudor Rose chassis had gone through several transformations in its time as the Ol’ Timer winning the RACMSA Drag Racing Championship back to back in 1989 & ’90, it wasn’t until recently that both Rex and Richard wanted to see the old girl returned back to how it looked in the late sixties. Richard said, “It was mainly Rex who was responsible for the rebuilding of Tudor Rose. It was his enthusiasm and determination to see the car again as it was in 1967 that has got it to its current condition.” Former Rover V8 racer Steve Green, and John Woolfe Racing boss Dave Riswick has been instrumental in returning the chassis to its original specification and the cars reconstruction leaving to Rex source a part built engine, rear axle and other parts located at various American swap meets for Dave to import the engine (dismantled) along with a host of other parts Rex had sourced in the States. Once in the UK long-time friend and National Super Stock racer Dave Billadeau from Billadeau Speed & Automotive started to assemble the engine and Dave’s brother Scott to paint the panels. This left Rex’s niece Diane to handle the period correct sign writing and the all-important Tudor Rose graphic on the front driver’s cowl.

As you can see from the accompanying photo, everyone concerned in the project has given 110% in their efforts to pull this amazing rebuild, and if you didn’t get a chance to view its crowning glory, then there’s going to be a reunion taking place in July at Santa Pod’s Dragstalgia meet with Commuter; the other half of that classic ‘Battle of the Giants’ meet. Rex, who resides in Redondo Beach, California, will be making a return visit to the UK to be with the car at Dragstalgia. So make sure you save the date for this very special occasion!

Drag Bikes

Other drag bikes on display included Phil Crossley’s 3000cc V4 nitro fuelled bike breaking cover for the first time, and indeed another fine piece of rolling art. In fact, just like Tudor Rose, the pictures doesn’t do the bike justice as Phil’s attention to engineering detail is second to none - after all, he’s spent nearly every waking hour in his shed. If you have been reading Phil’s Tales from the Shed blog on Facebook, then you’ll appreciate how much thought has gone into this project. Also, not seen for a number of years was Jules Boag’s Top Fuel bike looking very menacing and ready for some quarter mile action at a drag or sprint strip real soon! Next to them was show organiser Graham Sykes and the Force of Nature Steam rocket bike. Every time I walked past the bike, either Graham or his second in command wife Diane were in deep conversation with interested people. In fact all the machines on display attracted a great deal of interest with many questions asked over the two days.

Drag Cars

A few other cars caught my eye in the shape of the Aidensfield Hustler! Not sure if this was a play on words or just a tribute car to the Heatbeat TV Show but in reality in had a full tubed chassis sitting underneath its Ford Anglia 100E built by Ian Brookes; and he’s Out For Justice! Creating his own smoke show in the live action arena on more than one occasion was Will Formosa’s supercharged big block Dodge Charger. After the show it’s no wonder he was judged as the burnout king at last year’s Mopar Euro Nationals. Melbourne regulars Pete Youhill (Pontiac) and Dave Rudd (Cobra) displayed their cars, and it was good to see ‘DJ Bobby’ Molden and the White Noise Peugeot again.

Although Pete & Kerrie Lane couldn’t quite get their 1977 Mercury Marquis Colony Park inside the marque without crashing into the tent's centre pole, Freddie, as it's affectionately known, had to stay outside so that everyone could admire the engineering work carried out on the ‘Long Roof's’ 545ci twin supercharged Ford in natural daylight. In addition to all of his other big toys, ‘No Prep Pete’ has acquired yet another toy in the form of a tube chassied SS Camaro roller, which I think has in the past got quite a chequered history to it. From what Pete tells me it’s quite probably the Appleton & Todd dayglo orange Super Gas car, which broke cover at Long Marston in 1989! At the moment, Pete’s not sure what he’s going to do with his impulse buy, but he did suggest going electric or putting a tried and tested big block in it. Whatever he does it will be radical, knowing Pete!

National Sprint Association

The National Sprint Association featured a very big display of sprint royalty, some of which still competes today at the NSA's annual Shootout at Dragstalgia; names like Two Faced, Super Cyclops, Ram Rod and Solitario graced the Elvington concrete. Gary Norman, son of the late great Dennis ‘Stormin’ Norman, displayed his twin engine Norton alongside Neil Baskerville’s 650cc Triumph. Just behind the display was a pop-up banner dedicated to the BDRHoF member featuring many period photos from his illustrious straight line career.

Green Light Scooters

Adie Horrocks, the man behind the fresh wave of interest in Scooter sprinting via his Tewkesbury-based Green Light Scooters, is really looking forward to the new season. Buoyant on wins and records from last season, Adie is very keen on bringing new riders and interest to the sport through his scooter rental programme which without too much capital outlay, can be taken out for practice and racing at any chosen venue where the NSA and Straightliners are participating.

He's also looking to stage a second Green Light Scooter Shootout following its success last year at Westonzoyland, at a venue soon to be announced as well as adding the world record for scooters to his list of achievements. His enthusiasm for scooters and racing is infectious, and what with his fellow scooter racing friend and adversary on the track Mike Pacey from Chisel Speed where ever this pairing go you can be sure of an enthusiastic day's sport. So, whether your interest's lie in Vespas or Lambretta's Adie's your man. This time last year he even staged a race on his 150cc small frame Vespa against a 4 litre V8 BMW E92 M3. You can view the outcome on the Officially Gassed YouTube channel.


Geoffrey Parker brought along the ex Ty Dillon Bass Pro Shops NASCAR Chevy Silverado truck which had, in its day, competed on the big and short Stateside ovals as a contender for the Craftsman Truck Series. Creator of the world’s fastest shed Kevin Nicks was there with his crazy collection of speed contenders as well as the Guinness World Record holding Barrow of Speed and a wheelie Bin; I kid you not. But topping the exhibition vehicles, alongside Martin Hill’s FireForce 3 Jet Funny Car was the Spiderman Jet Dragster of Julian Webb. Not only did Julian display the car up north for the first time, but also the well-presented team came out into the live action arena to lay on its customary fire and smoke and booming fire pops, that I’m sure woke up the neighbouring village!

In closing, I really enjoyed my visit to this show. If it happens again in 2024, which I think it should, then I suggest you get along. All credit to principal organiser Graham Sykes on behalf of Straightliners for keeping his cool despite a few hiccups encountered along the way, to the Straightliners crew led by skipper Trevor Duckworth and to the Melbourne track crew and Al Perkins for looking after the mini drags in the cold conditions, and finally to those racers who took part. If you did manage to get to Elvington, I hope that you enjoyed the day as much as I did. I’ll now leave you to enjoy a few pictures.

To see Jerry's gallery of pictures in our event coverage sponsored by John Woolfe Racing, click on this link or go via our event coverage list.

Gallery, video from first 2023 Santa Pod RWYB.
28th February: Thanks to Kieran for sending a gallery of photos from Sunday's first Run What Ya Brung of the year at Santa Pod Raceway, which we have posted with support from John Woolfe Racing at this link, including video which Kieran took on the day.

Kieran says "It was a sunny but cold day so track conditions were tricky and there were over 90 cars & bikes signed on for the day with a nice mix of vehicles on site."

Well done to Old School Stocker racer Kevin Melling who ran a new PB (and quickest time of the day) of 8.3372/153.62mph on his Kawasaki H2 following enhancements to the engine from Alan Smith. With credit to the European FWD Facebook page, FWD racer Connor Edwards took his Saab powered red Astra Saloon to a new PB of 11.29/125, whilst several others were running tens at over 130mph, with a moments for a few as they struggled to get their power to the track.

The next RWYB at Santa Pod Raceway is this coming Sunday 5th March, with the sold-out Dial In Day the following Saturday, 11th March. You can enter RWYBs by going to this link on

Les Szabo's funeral to be streamed.
28th February: Thanks to Rob Szabo for letting us know that his late dad Les Szabo's funeral to be held at Enfield Crematorium tomorrow, Wednesday March 1st, at 2pm will be live streamed. You can see Les's funeral by clicking here and then entering the webcast login PIN 627-9915.

Swift snippets.
28th February: A busy day for birthdays today. Happy Birthday to SPR commentator, VWDRC chair and racer, and European FWD promoter Luke Stevenson, Nitro FM producer and IT/audio technical wizard Julian Parsons, retired NitrOlympX race director Jerry Lackey, ACU bike scrutineer Les Harris, and FWD racer Terry Newton. We hope you all have a great day.

Tomorrow we will announce the new sponsors who will be joining the panel of advertisers and supporters. If you would like to take up advertising on the site, which has an average of over 12,000 and rising users per month, contact

Pioneer Stories: Age Machine through the Ages, Part 1.
27th February:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 1 of the story of one particular car that was raced by a variety of individuals, being the first car for some who went on to race at the highest level of the sport in the UK - Age Machine.

Age Machine was originally built by Allan Herridge in 1968/9 and was a sister car to junior fueler Motovation which has been covered in a recent article on the Drag Racing News & Nostalgia website. Its original owner was Pete “Snoopy” Bennett and it was named Red Baron. Bruce Brown bought it over the 1970/71 winter break, fitted a small block Chevy and then upgraded to a big block Chevy from the Hillbillies Topolino altered. At the end of 1972 Bruce sold the car to Dave and Roz Prior. The car was a little too small for Dave but Roz fitted it well and was a great driver from the start of her career. Ollie and Liz Burn (now Rowland) then bought the car in 1974 and ran it as the Lizard for the rest of the year, selling it to John Wright and John Sutton.

Part 1 of Age Machine through the Ages is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Photo credit: Colin Barlow.

Willsheer reporting from the US.
27th February: Our roving correspondent, famed photojournalist Andy Willsheer will be travelling to Famoso Dragstrip, Bakersfield, California to cover the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet for, following which he will take a flight across the USA to Gainesville, Florida where he will be reporting and photographing on the NHRA season-opening Gatornationals.

There will be a nitro emphasis to our Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet coverage, as the ranks of front engined Top Fuel Dragsters look set to expand with the competition being a 16 car field once again, also a large field of Nostalgia Funny Cars hoped for, and Fuel Altereds running a competition albeit without our good friend Ron Hope who has retired from the cockpit of Rat Trap. Qualifying at the March Meet starts on Thursday 2nd March and whilst there will be no live stream from the event, we will publish photos as received from Andy's technology assistant Herb Andrews.

The NHRA Gatornationals, sponsored by Amalie Oils, from 9th-12th March will have many European visitors spectating and expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster competitor Julie Nataas will be attempting to avenge her semi final departure from last weekend's Division 4 event at No Problem Raceway, Belle Rose. Also, FIA Pro Modified competitor Dmitry Samorukov from Russia will be competing for the first time in a couple of years, having tested with tuner Adam Flamholc.

Keep an eye out for Andy, and he will be around for a chat.

Swift snippets.
27th February: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike guru Frank Brachtvogel and former Top Methanol Funny Car racer Jonas Staflund, we hope you have a great day guys.

Spitfire Raceway review.
26th February:
Despite variable weather, the run what ya brung at Spitfire Raceway took place last Saturday and Lee Child has posted drag racing times at the track's Facebook page for the 80+ drag competitors who took part.

Lee said "We would love to thank every one of you for attending today’s drag and drift. We are yet again blown away with the support you show Spitfire Raceway when the weather forecast and weather is total yuck, it really is appreciated. Thank you once again from Kevin and the whole Spitfire Raceway Drag and drift crew."

Courtesy of Youtube channel Vantime360 you can see a short video clip of the action by clicking here.

Congratulations to Lukas Zbordwski taking the top spot on the drag strip with a solid 11.55 seconds @ 127.69 mph in his Audi, just 0.14s ahead of Nick Martin with a Mercedes on 11.698/125.46. Congratulations also to Dave Coombes for taking the burnout competition title with multiple fog outs, as shown in Michelle Walsh's Facebook video, also to Joshua Downing for Best Appearing Drift Car.

The next run what ya brung at Spitfire Raceway, Perranporth Airfield, Cornwall is on Saturday 29th April and you can enter now by clicking on this link for drag and drift participants and this link to book camping. You can drag race from £10 after admission (Crash helmet and full driving licence required). Admission is £10 per person and under 16 spectators go free. There is also Show & Shine with no charge after admission, all vehicles are welcome, gates open at 8am and track action is from 11:00 to 15:00.'s 25th birthday.
26th February: A reminder came from former editor Andy "Tog" Rogers that it is's 25th Birthday today. The date marks the publication of our first news item was on 26th February 1998 and we have kept the news service since then, with every intention to continue it into the future so long as there is European drag racing news to publish. You can read a 2005 interview with Tog and Photographic Editor Sharkman at

Happy Birthday to us, and congratulations to those who founded the site, Tog and the sadly departed Tony B.

Swift snippets.
26th February: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway Race Track Manager Darren Prentice, fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent, Super Twin Top Fuel racer Willem Been, Outlaw Street racer Rob Leyman and UK & European drag racing photos administrator Dave Turner, and Sportsman ET racer Connor Holt. We hope you all have a great day.

Following the withdrawal of Land Speed hydrofoil Bluebird K7's withdrawal from the Elvington Top Speed Show this weekend, Bill Smith of the Bluebird Project, who with his team raised and rebuilt the boat, running it at Bute in 2018, set out his thoughts on the legal situation surrounding the legal papers issued on behalf of the Ruskin Museum that caused the cancellation, which you can read at this link.

Westberg reveals his next car.
25th February:
Sick Week winner from Sweden Michael Westberg impressed greatly with his Chevrolet S10 pickup running 6.4s at 218mph and driving between the four tracks on the drag n' drive event last week. During the event Michael announced he was selling the truck and taking the engine back to Sweden for future use following celebrating his win with a six day cruise in the Caribbean. Yesterday he revealed the rolling chassis of the car that will be taking the powerful turbo engine - the Top Doorslammer 69 Camaro of Anders Edh.

"It's time to show off the new project, a well-known car that we and Andreas Arthursson and the whole PPF team will do some magic with. We are short on time but we count on it to be ready before Street Week Sweden 2023. It should allow us to go really fast now.

"But it is only part of the large expense that we need to make, eg new carbon fiber cardan joints, a dry sump system, containment seat, carbon fiber coating and all the other small ordinary things when ordering a build such as electrical system, fuel system, cooling system among others, so, in addition to my usual faithful partners Linderoths Tryckeri, Pickup Center, @TAG, and PPF I am looking for new partners who believe in what we do. The pea also asks for a new varnish...

"The S10 will be sent home next week via ACE Racing Engines (expat Brit Stefan Rossi - editor) so we think we are a little better on time than our first plan on that front, but it will be tight when the drive line from the S10 arrives from GET Logistics, Inc. the engine should be put into the new chassis - but PPF constructor Felix Eriksson likes tight deadlines."

Photo credit: Patrik Jacobsson.

Bluebird withdrawn from Elvington.
25th February: Straightliners director Trevor Duckworth made the following announcement yesterday concerning the historic and 7 times water speed record breaker Bluebird K7 Hyroplane which had been due to be on display at the Elvington Top Speed Show this weekend:

It is with deep regret that Straightliners have to announce that Bluebird will not be at the Top Speed Show this weekend. Due to legal papers being served on Bill Smith and the Bluebird project on Thursday the boat cannot now attend our event, this is out of our control and very disappointing for all concerned.

However we still have the best collection of speed vehicles ever assembled at the show. We are disappointed, but onwards and upwards we have the best show we have ever had put on by the best crew in the business come and support us if you can. Anyone who as bought tickets just to see Bluebird can have a refund but I would say that we have the best collection of speed vehicles you will ever get to see.

For those wanting to know the story of Bluebird K7's history after the crash that killed pilot and land speed record holder Donald Campbell, its recovery, restoration and trial run at Bute in 2018, there is a documentary from Sky News which talks to key people in its recovery and a recent update from ITV News about the legal issues which we hope can be resolved to enable the car to go on public display in the future.

Greek championship date change.
24th February: Following cancellation of the two day pre-season testing at Agrinio Raceway on 18th and 19th February, due to lack of entries, organisers of the sport in Greece have announced there will be back to back championship races at Agrinio.

The first race will be at the previously announced date of 25th-26th March, this will be for cars, followed by a practice session for bikes, and the second date on the following weeked of 31st March-2nd April will be exclusively for bikes.

Organiser Manolis Diakakis said a detailed season schedule will be posted soon.

Swift snippets.
25th February: Happy Birthday for today to twin Super Pro ET racers Elodie Dubois and Fabien Dubois, Kieran's mum and grandmother-to-be Ali Jenkins, longtime fan of the site and Tierp Arena crew member Carl Zettervall, and Clastres photographer Stéphane Cousin. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Congratulations to expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas who has qualified #1 in her first race of the year, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 4 at No Problem Raceway Park, Belle Rose, Louisiana. Julie ran a 5.231/281.11 pass to go top in a field of five. You can see coverage of the event streamed on the NHRA Youtube channel at this link, and follow results and live timing at

Pioneer stories: The Stones, part 1.
24th February: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 1 of the story of 1970s and 1980s favourites of the sport in Britain, and members of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, The Stones Drag Racing Team.

The Stones story is from an interview with Dave Stone and Gerry Andrews on 3 January 2015 by Simon Groves, and Dave Riswick to whom we are grateful for making arrangements and providing material. The team started in July 1969 with a Lotus Cortina which soon had an Opus One altered added, the small block Chevy motor soon giving way to a big block Chevy, the car then replaced at the end of 1971 by a T Bucket which was the first British altered into the eights in July 1972. In 1973 treated to an exotic ex Can Am all-aluminium engine on nitro. The next step up was a new chassis from Roland Pratt with which Dave went as quick as 7.55 at 198mph.

Part 1 of The Stones' story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would particularly like to thank Dave and Gerry for telling their story in detail, and Dave Riswick for arranging the interview. The Pioneer stories are also presented with the help of John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow who have been invaluable in the recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Picture credit: Gary Lakin from UKDRN archives.

Swift snippets.
24th February: Happy Birthday for today to UK Nostalgia Superstock organiser and SPRC class champion Don Scott, Super Gas racer Tim Moore, Scarlett & Sons team member Mark Scarlett and Irwindale Raceway announcer and Great American Auto Scene host Bob Beck, we hope you all have a great day.

Important SPRC announcements.
23rd February: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for sending us some important announcements relating to the upcoming season:


Drivers using a Head and Neck restraint will in 2023 be required to wear a balaclava under their helmet, as we no longer use neck braces in vehicles that utilise full harnesses and head restraints which leaves a gap between the fire suit and the helmet. Therefore an FIA 8856-2000 / 8856-2018 or SFI spec 3.3 balaclava will be required, the exception being if you have a SFI 3.3 skirted helmet that covers the gap between the helmet and suit.

Entry Forms for Cars Only

All entrants or drivers completing entry forms must complete the SFI/FIA safety equipment sheet. We are getting lots of entries through that are not completed correctly, even Racers in Sportsman ET with a total stock vehicle still need to list their driver safety kit details as requested. The information is important to our scrutineers to enable us to use the new scrutineering protocol as outlined at the Riders and Drivers meeting.

Once your details are completed, they will only need updating when you change elements of your safety gear, after the first completion; the form will autofill for next events you enter thus making the process much quicker, however it’s important we get the right information all complete for the first event you are to compete at. Thank you for your help.

Tyres (Drag Slicks)

As usual at this time of year, Santa Pod and Santa Pod Racers Club are in need of any drag race slick tyres you may have and want to get rid of, please contact Ian Marshall at or on 01933 313625 and we will then set a date for us to come and collect them from you. Please note we can only use Drag Race Slick tyres, as street type tyres don’t work with our equipment. Thank you in advance.

Lucy qualifies.
23rd February: Thanks to former Pro Modified racer and current Funny Bike racer Roger Moore who has written in as a proud dad on the achievements of daughter Lucy Moore:

Well done Lucy, crew chief for my Box Of Frogs Funny Bike team, for achieving a 2:1 Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Lucy is now an Engineering Project Manager working in Space imaging for an American company based in Chelmsford.

Lucy has spent a great part of growing up in the pits at Santa Pod (no better start in life!) and missed it so much after I retired from Pro Mod that it was her persuasion that convinced me to return in Funny Bike. I am very proud of her success and look forward to racing again this year with Lucy's valued input.

To see Lucy's and the team's work on repairing the bike's engine after a windowed block at the National Finals, see the photos of their workshop at the Box Of Frogs Racing Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
23rd February: Happy Birthday for today to rocket bike legend Eric Teboul, Super Pro ET champion and new dad Billy Gane, Sportsman ET racer Georgina Smith, Vegas Hustler slingshot racer Mark Bishop who reaches the big four-oh, and Outlaw Street racer Rod Atkinson, have a fantastic day all.

UK Drag Racing News & Nostalgia webmaster Jon Spoard has published a great story on one of the pioneer cars of British drag racing, the junior fuel slingshot Motovation, which was built in 1968 and driven by Allan Herridge and has been preserved by current owner Harry Joseph, who now wishes to sell it. The article, including several photos, can be seen at this link. You can see a video of the car as it is now, looking as new, at this Youtube link, and contact Harry if you are interested in buying by e-mail.

You can see results of Q1 from the radial tyre doorslammer event Lights Out 14 from South Georgia Motorsports Park at the Facebook page of organiser Donald Long's Duck X Productions (sadly no European competitors, to our knowledge - Editor). You can see streaming coverage of Lights Out 14 on Floracing (subscription required).

Swift snippets.
22nd February: Happy Birthday for today to Nitro FM presenter Paul 'Oz' Wright, former Top Methanol Funny Car racer Dez Krivan, Outlaw Flat Four Racer Nigel Hull and Willys Wars racer Guy Davenport. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

In addition to historic NHRA telecasts and season reviews on
Sportstribal's free streaming service, the channel is now showing the 2022 highlights "They Walked Away" review, which is broadcast today at 21:00 GMT and a video version of the latest NHRA Insider Podcast with Brian Lohnes which is at 04:00 on Friday morning.

Subscribers to streaming provider Floracing will be in line for a full five days of radial tyre drag racing from South Georgia Motorsports Park with Lights Out 14 being streamed from Wednesday 21:00 GMT, when the first qualifying session begins, through to Sunday's finals.

Another must-see is the "Hook Knows" interview from the legendary Steve Gibbs of centenarian camshaft manufacturer Ed Iskendarian which is being streamed live on Nitro Revival Facebook Group on Wednesday 16:00 PST (midnight GMT). As those of us who met Isky and Steve at the 2016 and 2017 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame galas remember, this will be a massively entertaining conversation.

Street Weekend/Sportsman Nationals classes update.
21st February:
Santa Pod Raceway Events Coordinator Max Frost has sent in an update on the Street Weekend and Sportsman Nationals taking place on Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June:

To say that Street Weekend has exceeded all expectations already would be an understatement. When we set out on this project, within it’s first year, we were expecting no more than between 8-16 cars. As it currently stands, we’re at a whopping 28 entries with such variety across the entrants, we’re truly humbled by the response to our new Street Weekend event.

As you may be aware, Street Weekend is currently being held alongside the new Sportsman Nationals across the weekend of 16th-18th June. Due to the ever increasing entries, with a lot more planning to enter, we’ve had to look at track time and have taken the difficult decision to remove Big Bracket from the Sportsman Nationals roster.

Apologies to anyone that was planning on participating but it’s the only class at the event that won’t form a part of any championship or series so hopefully this won’t leave anyone too disappointed.

An up to date list of classes can be found on the Sportsman Nationals web page.

Entries remain open for Street Weekend, so be sure to get your entries in by clicking on this link! We’re super excited to see the continuation of entries and variety into the event and look forward to finding out who’s the true King or Queen of the street!

Straightliners' huge Elvington show.
21st February: Straightliners are again organising the Elvington Top Speed Show on 25th -26th February, and, make no mistake, the show will be on a much larger scale than 2022's first edition of the event. Organiser Graham Sykes writes:

With six massive heated marquees and over 150 exhibitors including Top Speed vehicles on 1,2,3, and 4 wheels, this unique event just keeps getting bigger.

The star of the show has got to go to the famous "Bluebird" K7 Hydroplane boat (below left). The team have agreed to bring the beautifully restored "Bluebird" and have it on display for all to see both days, Not only that, they will be starting the engine up both days as well. This is the first time since being raised from the bottom of Coniston water that the boat will on display and start up in public.

Along with "Bluebird", the "Vampire" Jet dragster which has been restored to its former glory will be exhibiting and starting up both days as well. Julian Webb will be debuting his amazing new "Spiderman" jet dragster (below centre) and will be performing a flame and afterburner show both days for everyone. Martin Hill will be also there displaying the magnificent "Fireforce 3" Jet funny car.

"Tudor Rose", a rebuild of the Keith Black-powered AA/FD slingshot originally built by Rex Sluggett and Dennis Priddle, and currently owned by Rex and Richard Lyon (above right, apologies to Rex for the incorrect description earlier) will be on display alongside the ex-Ken Cooper "Fourth Dimension" Slingshot Dragster. Mark Flavell will be there with the Super Pro ET "Steel River Customs" Funny Car and is hoping to fire the engine up both days in the live action Arena.

Melbourne Raceway will have a big presence selling merchandise, and many cars and bikes that race there will be on display.

Three Top fuel bikes will be on display, with the lovingly restored to its former glory, ex "BJ" Brian Johnson "Imperial Wizard" (below left) now owned by Keith Edwards making its first public debut since coming back to this country. Phil Crossley will also be displaying his Brand new "Lightweight" V4 Nitro Injected Fuel bike (below centre). This is the first time this bike has left the workshop for everyone to see. This bike is breaking new ground with its innovative approach to the class. Joules Boag has rebuilt his Fuel bike and is making the journey up North to Exhibit the bike and has plans to run it this year after many years.

Alex Macfadzean will once again be bringing the mighty "52 Express" gas turbine powered World Motorcycle Land Speed Record Attempt two wheeled streamliner (above right) that will be ridden by Guy Martin to try bring the record back to Britain. Graham Sykes Will be there with the "Force of Nature" Steam rocket bike (below left).

Motorsport innovator Adrian Reynard formerly of Reynard Racing cars and designer of the BAR Formula One cars for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, will be displaying his motorcycle on which he broke several land speed records at Elvington in 1970 and 1971; Adrian will be trying to break those records again at the Straightliners World records Speed week in May at Elvington.

The Santa Pod Raceway Mopar burnout champion Will Formosa in his Supercharged big block Dodge Charger (below centre) will be giving burnout demos with a difference over the weekend.

Sunday will bring 30 super cars who are driving to the event and will be on display in the outside area. On both days there will be a drag race demo for invited entrants twice a day over a 1/16 mile strip. Bill Barrowcliff (above right) will be judging both the cars and bikes on the Saturday and there is a Trophy and a Bottle of Bubbly for the Best Turned Out Car and Best Turned Out Bike, which will be presented on Sunday.

There will be the usual Catering, Bar and free camping over the weekend with trade stalls and merchandise. Some of the clubs in attendance and having stands are Straightliners, The Speed Record Club, NSA, NSRA, NSCC, Green Light Scooters.

This is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and meet the people behind some of the fastest vehicles in the country. Opening times 9.30 am till 5.00 pm both days £10.00 per person per day Under 16's go free. This promises to be a great weekend!

Dave Bartz.
21st February: We were sorry to hear of the passing of National Association of Supertwins racer Dave Bartz last week. Fellow N.A.S.T. racer and ACU scrutineer Les Harris writes:

Dave was a character, fun to be with in the pits, never a dull moment. Dave was a long time member of N.A.S.T. I joined in 1998, he helped me do my first run. We raced in the Super Series at Avon Park, Dave on his beautiful heavily modified street Triumph, and, boy, could he ride it, a showman on the track.

Getting a win over Dave was hard, Dave also raced big inches Harleys, in Street, Modified and Top Gas with the R.M.D. team, who a had a Harley in every class. We also got asked to run demo's, at the Speedfreaks Ball, the Mopar Euro Nationals, and of course the Bulldog Bash, Dave's playground. We even raced our pit peds, at Pod - Dave won.

I think Bartz was a natural born racer and character. He will be missed at the track by so many. R.I.P. mate.

Mantorp Park revives Drag Festival.
21st February: Swedish track Mantorp Park have announced a tie-up with Meguiar’s car care products to promote the 27th-30th July Drag Festival, the first time the event has been given this name since 2010, since when it has been titled Drag Revival.

Drag Festival is once again back to Mantorp Park - a well-known event filled with everything drag racing has to offer. For keen drag racing fans, Drag Festival is a name that awakens strong memories of the 70's, 80's, 90s and 2000s. Together with Meguiar's, we bring Drag Festival back to life and welcome Meguiar’s Drag Festival to Mantorp Park. The last weekend in July is the time to create new memories together with drivers, teams and all of you who visit the festival.

Mantorp Park and SHRA Mantorp along with Meguiar’s are ready to switch things up properly and create a drag racing festival filled with top-notch driving, car show, camping and evening entertainment. This year we also welcome four of the fastest Top Fuel drivers in Europe and for the first time since 2010 we will experience a Top Fuel competition at Mantorp Park. Top Fuel racers attending are Dennis Nilsson, Susanne Callin, Ida Zetterström and Stig Neergaard.

We love everything to do with cars, everything from cleaned show cars to motorsports and racing cars, says Hampus Möllerström at Meguiar's. Now we have the opportunity to support Swedish drag racing and participate in a recognized drag racing festival that has long been synonymous with Mantorp Park. We are incredibly excited and look forward to a grand event, concludes Hampus.

We are extremely happy that Meguiar's wants to be involved in supporting the development of Swedish drag racing at Mantorp Park and we look forward to rewarding cooperation.

Find out much more about Meguiar's Drag Festival, including Top Fuel profiles and a full class list, at the Mantorp Park website.

Swift snippets.
21st February: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer and team manager Nick Good, Nostalgia Funny Car crew member Joseph Harris and Norwegian Super Gas racer Christer Uhlin, we hope you all have a great day.

Drag racing historian has posted two more videos of historic British drag racing events, the 1996 Santa Pod Main Event and the 1996 Avon Park Summer Internationals. Both are Sky Sports productions with commentary by John Price and interviews with several legends of the sport. Highly recommended viewing for those with a nostalgic bent.

KB's speech at SPRC Trophy Presentation evening.
20th February:
We are grateful to Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett (pictured) for sending a copy of his speech given at Saturday's SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation:

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. As always, it is my pleasure to be able to say few words to you all tonight – that is if I can keep to a few words, not easy when your name is Keith Bartlett.

The SPRC Dinner dance affords me the opportunity to directly address all of you- our racers, and in one location, plus hopefully in a more relaxed atmosphere than that of being at the track and concentrating on your racing. This evening also allows me to outline some of the plans going forwards for Santa Pod Raceway, and some of what we are striving to do not only to benefit Trakbak Racing Limited, our operational company, but also you the racers and teams who give so much of your time to Santa Pod every season.

The flip side of that is of course it also affords you the opportunity to abuse and heckle me if I begin to talk a load of s**t – and if I should do that I can assure you that my wife will be the first person to heckle me – followed by my other wife Caroline Holden the Commercial Manager of TBR...

I am sure many of the men here tonight will agree having one wife can be hard enough, but having two can be a little challenging to say the least – well at least for some of the time, although I suppose it is fair to say having two wives does have its advantages…with that said I wouldn’t change wife number one for anything – plus she does drive a Top Fuel car at 300mph in under 4 secs – so I can never top that in any racing conversations...

Moving on to more important issues, as I said at this dinner last year, we have survived and came out of a most difficult period in our modern-day history both nationally and at Santa Pod Raceway. The 2022 season, although mainly covid free, at least in terms of restrictions, saw another dynamic being introduced – that being the dire situation with the British economy, (thank you Brexit and Boris) which in turn has arrived at the doorstep of everyone in this room in one way or another – especially in relation to you and your racing activities, which are now burdened with large increasers in costs to go racing. The same has applied to Santa Pod Raceway. Our costs to put on events have gone through the roof, in some cases seeing increases of over 50% - even over 100% in some areas. An example is that in 2022 we very surprisingly increased our turnover and ticket sales above that of 2021 and 2019, yet only managed to make around 40% of the profit – due entirely to the increased cost of putting on events and of course the cost of salaries, labour, and materials for our day to day running of the business.

We cannot pass these huge increases on to our public or you the racers. But we have had to pass some of the costs on to the public by way of increased to ticket prices and to a lesser extent you the racers by increased entries. The 2023 season will be a challenging one for Santa Pod Raceway not as to our survival, as I will always make sure Santa Pod survive, I am not sure how Susanne will react to not have the chance to win the FIA Championship in Top Fuel - if that was because I failed to keep Santa Pod alive and well – I guess I would just have to ask wife number two have a word!

With lower profits comes less investment into the facility. This year already, we are investing before the season starts around £250k-£300k in upgrades, improvements or plain repairs to areas that are tired and worn out. Ideally, we need to invest another £1m this year, but that is easier said than done in this distressed economic environment we are all in today.

In 2022 we were able to relay the whole length of the shutdown area. This was at a cost of around £450k. What was very good for us was the fact that we negotiated with the government department ‘Highways England’ for long term deal for police forces to use the shutdown area for highway and accident and maiataince improvement. This allowed us obtain us grant funding for this project, which in turn reduced the investment required by TBR into the resurfacing of the shutdown area. I am sure that you will agree that was a huge benefit to all you the racers at Santa Pod.

To now look at some positives regarding Santa Pod raceway and the future. As some of you in this room are well aware I turned down a large multi-million pound deal to sell Santa Pod for housing development back in 2018. The main reason that I turned down such a lucrative offer was down to the simple fact I am -and always have been – and will continue to be crazy about drag racing. I purchased Santa Pod to go drag racing – not to build houses. Added to that was the fact that I had major plans and ambitions for further development of the brand Santa Pod and European Drag Racing through the FIA European Drag Racing Championship.

Both me and TBR are totally committed to the business of drag racing at Santa Pod Raceway - we are tenacious and maybe even a bit obsessive – but we also are unsentimental and pragmatic - for me personally very rarely will my heart rule my head. Business should be romantic, and I find drag racing is just that – but it should also be hardheaded. That in my opinion is how Santa Pod will achieve its goals and targets.

Just to give you an insight into some of our plans for Santa Pod in the coming years. One of my first ambitions which covid set back, was to take the Santa Pod brand out into the retail market and the high street. In 2023 we are beginning to get back on track. At Santa Pod in 2023, we have our first initial partnership with a high street clothing brand, that being Helly Hansen clothing. This year our FIA / Santa Pod range of jackets will be branded onto HH branded jackets. If this cooperation produces successful sales at Santa Pod in 2023, we are hoping to see this range going into selected high street stores possibly in 2024. We are also looking at other high street brands to partner with. One of the major benefits of these high street partnerships will be the increased profile for Santa Pod to non-drag racing and or non-direct motorsport people – especially among the younger generations – who will hopefully become our future spectators and maybe even to become racers in the future.

Another area of improvement will be the re-launch of the Santa Pod online shop. The re-launch in the spring this year will see a much-increased range of clothing and selected partner brands, not just the single Santa Pod brands.

Media and content companies in the main are crisis resilient – as they entertain their customers as opposed to say manufactures who sells products to their customers. People always want to be entertained – and one of the forms of entertainment is sport – drag racing is in the entertainment & sports business – so I do feel that in these very difficult economic times they may not be so quite so worrying for us, as it may be for other business sectors.

Just last week, at Santa Pod we had Lando Norris the young driver in the McLaren F1 team make videos to launch his new clothing range. We feel that he chose Santa Pod over other venues, including the Silverstone Circuit, as Santa Pod has a cool street and extreme sport type brand reputation, along with a huge following and one that is growing among young people.

We have a sport which is ‘made’ for the new generations of the under 20’s - the smart tech generation who often actually have very low levels of concentration and at the same time want instant gratification in the now - and not in 20 mins or 2 hours’ time. I am sure many of you in this room have young kids and or teenagers who fit this demographic. Drag racing is made for these people. Our races are over in 4 secs up to 15 secs to find a winner, plus they are exciting - don’t need much concentration or even knowledge of the sport – they in the main just want to see fast exciting runs – the KB theory that many of our younger audience the kids under 18 years of age, just want to see the ‘red’ car against the ‘blue car’ and they don’t care who the driver is or what they are racing for, they just love the instant gratification and excitement that drag racing brings them. We must harness that and use that to promote and take drag racing to even higher levels of recognition – bigger brand recognition = bigger potential monetary income which if it happens - means more money into the sport which in turn, especially from Santa Pod Raceway's perspective, means more investment into the facility.

On the physical development side of Santa Pod Raceway, the covid pandemic set us back greatly in this area too. We lost over £2m in total between 2020/2021, a tidy sum and even harder to earn back. But we have plans to go forwards with various upgrades and developments in the coming next couple of years. An area we are very keen to set in motion is to make Santa Pod a staycation venue where people can camp over with their caravans and or motor homes perhaps for a 1 weeks stay taking in at least one weekends event -if not two weekends! It is quite clear that the whole caravanning and camping sector has rapidly grown since the covid-19 pandemic. Yet another opportunity to introduce new people to our sport.

A major project that we are working on is the redevelopment of the café area. We are looking to build a 2/3 story building there which will be not dissimilar to a kind of ‘Hard Rock Café’ style facility. We looking to have a two-story building with a ground floor which contains the Santa Pod merchandise shop and the café all surround by various items of memorabilia from actual vehicles and all other drag racing memorabilia, from past heroes of drag racing from the UK, Europe and the USA. The second floor will be a corporate hospitality area catering for up to 250 people with a bar, food and dance floor along with a balcony that has seated viewing over the track at the 1000ft point. We may then add a 3rd floor roof terrace with open viewing for around 1000 people – all part of a corporate hospitality package. When will this all start? This will also take the form of a drag racing museum on the two floors. We had hoped have this building for 2023, but in all probability, this is more likely for 2024 at the earliest and quite possibly 2025. This building will be open in the weekdays to cater and serve the stycation customers.

Also this year we replacing the track lights and at the same time improving the PA system pitside. Additionally we are building a brand new and updated timing sytem for the tower. All fairly costly projects.

Back in 2019 I was involved in setting up a new company based in Sweden called DRE (Drag Racing Europe AB). This company was formed to take over the running of the FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championships. DRE will own the commercial rights to both Championships and be the promoter of both Championships. As the Executive Chairman of DRE, I will continue to play a key role in moving that company forwards in the coming years, hopefully to the benefit of all the competitors who run in those Championships (Including the wife) and working towards securing the commercial partnerships to enhance the same.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone in this room for all the support that all of you have shown to Santa Pod over the past years and in particular the covid-19 years when business was so difficult. For the support that all the racers gave to us I am and remain greatly humbled - that proves yet again what a close family we all actually are.

Next, I must add my and sincere thanks to the SPRC. The club work tirelessly every year for the benefit of drag racing and for the you the racers of Santa Pod. From Ian Marshall, Phil Evans, Kath Carter, Yvonne Tramm, Karl Birkinshaw, Dave Warren, the track crews, the pit crews and the fire crew – I could go on and name so many more people all of whom make huge contributions to Santa Pod and the sport of drag racing in the UK through the SPRC. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated team of people at all our events.

The last few years, we have lost some close friends and it seems to me that the old guard of Santa Pod the founders of our sport back in the 1960’s will in the not-too-distant future no longer be with us. Just last week Nobby Hills passed away and he, like Dave Stone, was a hero of mine in the very early 1970’s. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame allows us to keep their memory alive in our sport.

But the future must lay in the next generations both in spectators and the racers alike who will attend Santa Pod in the years ahead. I can only hope that when the time comes for me to pass the baton on that I will be leaving Santa Pod in a far better position than when I purchased it in 1996 - by the way everyone I’m not looking or planning on going anywhere soon...

Talking of our family I was amazed and proud last year when our drag family came out and gave so much support to Andy and Purdie Hadfield during their very difficult duration of Hayley Hadfield illness. A big thank you to Andy Thetford, Colin Theobald and Brad Head to name just a few. We are indeed a very close family and Andy and Purdie you are a part of our drag racing family...

I am fortunate that I sit on top of the castle called Santa Pod – and yes I am living the dream, organising and promoting drag racing not only in the UK but across Europe- but in reality I am just a simple working class boy from SE London who fell madly crazy about drag racing some 50+years ago and like most of you in this room I am the same as you – a drag racer at heart-and that will never change! I am at my happeiest being one of you guys in the staging lanes waiting to run my one of my race cars, also i’m very lucky to have a wife and two daugthers who also race and enjoy it – and a wife who is very good at it to boot - although maybe not quite as obsessive as i am about our sport.

I set up Slick Tricks Racing in the the late 1970’s with Stuart Vallance. It became a well known firm I was proud of the reputataion that it reached with the brand called Slick Tricks Racing. Fast forward to 2018 and I re-introduced Slick Tricks Racing back into UK and European drag racing. Susanne runs her top fuel dragster under Slick Triks Racing colors and branding as do my two daughetrs in their Modifed A Junior dragsters. We are now looking to take the Slick Tricks brand out into high street and into a wider retail and commercial audience.

Looking back to those years of the 1970’s, I recall that my two main drag racing pals of the time, Stuart Vallance and Norm Wilding along with myself all had dreams of what we wanted to do in drag racing. Norm Wilding just wanted to drive a nitro funny car and race in the USA. Stuart wanted to own and run a Top Fuel Dragster and run in Europe at all the tracks. I wanted to rule the world of drag racing, own teams (slick Tricks racing), manage drivers and run and promote drag racing events acroiss Europe and produce TV shows on drag racing. We all three achieved our goals - and I am lucky enough to still be doing the same to even greater levels that I had ever first envisaged all those years ago...

Hopefully in 2023 I can avoid the concrete barriers in the Comet and beat Andy Bond in our next series of match races. I come from a street racing backgound in the early 1970’s - so the match races with Andy were for me going back to my roots and maybe show what a silly old fool I have become...See you at the track!

Keith added that he will try his best in the future to reduce the length of his speech to prevent people nodding off...

Pioneer stories: Bruce Brown, part 2.
20th February: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of UK drag racing pioneer Bruce Brown.

After Prospector II, Bruce's next dragster was also built by Allan Herridge as Red Baron for Pete Bennett, renamed Age Machine by Bruce. The 327ci small block Chevy engine was replaced by a big block 454ci from the Hillbillies. With this setup, Bruce became 1972 NDRC Top Dragster champion, then selling the car to Roz and Dave Prior. Bruce left drag racing in 1974 and continued sporting competition in enduros, motocross, equestrian sports and circuit racing.

Part 2 of Bruce Brown's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
20th February: Happy Birthday for today to Super Twin Top Fuel Bike racer Jaska Salakari, German Top Methanol Dragster racer Silvio Strauch, Junior Dragster dad Stuart Fagg, Pro Modified racer in waiting Steve Rawlings, Top Doorslammer racer Anne Britt Nilssen and Netherlands based Comp Bike racer Thurtny Martina. We hope you all have a great day.

SPRC Perpetual Awards winners and gallery.
19th February: The winners and runners-up in the 2022 Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship, SPRC National Drag Racing Championships, ACU UK Dragbike Championships and SPRC Club Championships were presented with their trophies at the Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Milton Keynes last night (Saturday). Each National Champion was presented with a Victory Trophy incorporating a picture of their respective vehicle. The winners of SPRC's Perpetual Awards, for whom readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.

Congratulations to the SPRC Perpetual Award winners:

Most Promising Newcomer: Dan De'ath (JKE Raceworks 8.50 Bike)
Best Appearing Car: Ron Bartlett (Pster Nee Super Pro ET)
Best Appearing Bike: Grace Pollen ( Junior Drag Bike)
Most Professional Appearing Team: Ellie May Brown (Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
James Edgar Memorial Trophy: Luke Robinson (Motorsports UK Pro Modified)
Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy: Paul Marshall (for pairing lanes marshalling)

John Ledster Memorial Trophy: Phil Kenyon (chief eligibility scrutineer)
Obsession Motorsports Sportsman of the Year Trophy: Kathy Taylor (Signing on office and support of motorcycle classes)
Trakbak Racing Ltd Spirit of Santa Pod Trophy: Rob Loaring (engine builder, car constructor, nitro tuner)

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

In his traditional speech in support of racers and workers at Santa Pod Raceway, Keith Bartlett struck an upbeat note on the opportunities available at Santa Pod Raceway for sport and entertainment in the coming year, and the drag racing family's support to the late Hayley Hadfield and her family, and others we have lost during the last year including Jon Morton and Nobby Hills. We will be reporting Keith's speech in the next update.

Trophy Presentation gallery has now been posted. Photos are watermarked, meaning it is ok to copy and post them on social media; if you want to obtain free-of-charge originals please contact Simon on or via Facebook messenger.

Laura retires.
19th February: Super Pro ET racer Laura Turburville-Wilson has announced her retirement from racing, with her Bad Blood dragster and trailer going up for sale.

I’m not sure it is possible to truly ‘retire’ at the age of 27, but it seems like the most appropriate term for the end of this part of my career.

The first time I went to the track was at 2 weeks old, but it took another 14 years of hanging around the track with my dad while he raced for the bug to truly take hold. Now, after 12 uninterrupted seasons of championship drag racing, it’s time to draw a line. Having always been around our wonderful sport, I can honestly say that drag racing feels like a large and important part of my identity, so much so that I’m not sure who I am without it.

When we lost Jonny at the end of 2021, it gave us a break we didn’t know we needed. Combined with my dad’s recent health issues, it is no longer viable or reasonable to carry on as we were.

I’ve found there is something special about championship drag racing, the dedication and shared understanding between you and your fellow teams. Being a part of that, and a part of the Super Pro class in particular, is the thing I am going to miss the most.

Of course, we will return as spectators, but it is not the same as rocking up to the track after work on a Thursday night, waiting anxiously for your class to be called at all times of the day, post-run chats with your classmates and of course, that amazing feeling of going down the strip.

I hope the opportunity will return to me one day but until then, all that is left to say is a massive, huge, enormous THANK YOU to my amazing dad for enabling me to be a part of all this for so many years. The hard work, the money, the time, the dedication, all of it – has been a privilege to be a part of and can never be repaid.

Thanks also have to go out to my husband Chris for all his hard work (mainly putting up with me), all the sponsors – many of which have been friends, my fellow race teams and all the great people at Santa Pod. My beautiful Bad Blood dragster is now for sale, all details of which can be found on Facebook and Eurodragster. Enquiries can be made to I hope to see you all at the track soon!

We wish Laura all the best for her future, you will be missed in the racing ranks but be sure to visit the pits on your future trips to the track. For details of the Bad Blood dragster and trailer go to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages.

Drag Race Union update.
19th February: Thanks to Drag Race Union Secretary Markus Münch for an update on the international Drag Race Union championship for 2023:

On January 21st, 2023, Drag Race Union met for its annual general meeting. The 2022 season was reviewed and the coming season planned. What is there to know?

The Pro ET and Super Pro ET Challenges will happen the way they were in 2022. There are small changes that I'll get into later.
The Extreme Outlaw (XO) class will also have a challenge again in 2023. There will be four named races in which the XO'ers will compete.
Sportsman ET: the class was pushed by the DRU. We would like to continue this in 2023 and support the class at the Races in Zerbst.

The homepage of the DRU ( will be redesigned shortly. The Super Pro ET Challenge home page will be included in the DRU site. All information about the challenges and the DRU will then be available via a single site, which will also be used to register for the Pro and Super Pro ET Challenges.

The announcement for the Pro ET/Super Pro ET Challenge will be published promptly and entries can then be made.

There will be a small change to the Santa Pod Raceway, England races for the Pro and Super Pro ET Challenge:

“The following applies to races at Santa Pod Raceway: The first three races that a driver contests in Santa Pod can be used for the respective challenge points. Only the two best results count. If a driver drives more than three races in Santa Pod and would like to use one of the later results for the challenge points, he must report this to Hans Niesner or Markus Münch before the first race he contests at Santa Pod.” This regulation serves to ensure equal opportunities. In mainland Europe you can have a maximum of three races on one circuit, that's in Clastres. The teams based near Santa Pod have seven races there. It would be a little unfair if all seven can in principle be used to collect points. From three races in Santa Pod, only the best two count, as with Clastres.

Prize money/sponsorship: The XO Challenge manages their challenge money independently. A joint sponsorship pool will be formed for the Pro and Supro ET Challenge and then payed out the half of that pool for the Pro and the other for the Supro ET Challenge.

There is already a date for a championship celebration, DRU championship celebration 2023: Date: October 21, 2023. In the clubhouse of the Knight Riders MC in Bad Kissingen (about 100 km from Frankfurt/Main).

Personnel wanted: The DRU is open to people who want to get involved in the organization of the Challenges. Tasks would be, for example, being the contact person for the teams on the racetrack, coordinating things before and during the season... With more staff, we could, for example, consider offering a challenge for Sportsman ET, or other classes such as Super Gas or Super Comp. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the current staff. Get in touch with Hans Niesner or Markus Münch if you are interested.

Let's go, the season will come.

Swift snippets.
19th February: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Dragster racer Mackenzie Love, Audi exponent Audrius Bagdonavicius and former Super Pro ET racer Rick Cooke and Swedish photographer Cenneth Schiller. We hope you all have a great day.

The Automotive Alchemist.
18th February: Photojournalist Andy Willsheer has sent his own review of custom car builder Andy Saunders' just-published book The Automotive Alchemist, featured in the latest issue of Custom Car magazine:

Poole, Dorset resident, Andy Saunders, is in a class of his own when it comes to creating custom cars, and this splendid coffee table tome happens to be a fitting tribute to a hugely talented individual whose ingenuity on the subject of automotive extravagances knows no bounds. Boldly going where others may be more cautionary, his introduction to the wild world of unconventional conveyances came at the tender age of ten when he encountered a Mini-based Outspan Orange poodling along a road in his hometown. Suffice to say, this left an indelible impression on the youngster and later set him off on a path to fame, if not fortune. A moot point of interest for readers and long-time devotees of the straight-line sport is that one example of the six constructed in 1972 as mobile advertisements for the South African Outspan brand was used for many charitable purposes by the late father of former Santa Pod Raceway chief fire marshal, Geoff Rhino Quaife. And speaking of the Pod, who can remember the memorable occasion back in the Eighties when Andy raced one of his outré creations – a street-legal, Reliant Regal 3-wheeler mounting a speedboat hull and amusingly named Run-A-Ground – against Perry Watkins infamous Dalek? Fun days, indeed.

On a more serious note, the self-taught enthusiast has come up with a plethora of intriguing creations over many decades that have graced the pages of magazines all around the world, as well as being star attractions at numerous shows and events, to say nothing of appearances on the small screen. To be honest, should you have any interest whatsoever in the alternative motoring scene, you surely must know his name…

Be that as it may, The Automotive Alchemist’s Matt Woods’ studio cover photo admirably depicts Andy’s latest stroke of genius among the sixty featured vehicles therein, the concours convertible being Deja, a stunningly modified Riley RM replete with Delahaye flowing wings that exquisitely epitomises the term ‘show-stopper’. Rather than list the totality of Andy’s prodigious number of attention-arresting one-offs, I simply suggest procuring a copy of the fascinating hardcover volume published by Dalton Watson Fine Books. It’s an extremely well written and comprehensively illustrated tour de force featuring one of the most likeable and imaginative persons ever to be involved in the UK custom scene…

You can see sample pages, video interviews with Andy Saunders, and order a copy of by going to this link on the Dalton Watson website, price £100.

Sick Week results.
18th February: Complete results from the Sick Week drag n'drive event can be seen at the excellent web site of organisers Sick The Magazine.

Sweden Michael Westberg ran another great pass of 6.435 216.45 in the final day at Orlando Speed World for a final average of 6.464/214.42 to become overall winner. Congratulations to Michael on a great driving job, aided by co-driver Rasmus Stenfelt, engine builder expat Brit Stefan Rossi and remote tuner Andreas Arthursson. Michael has sold the rolling chassis of his Chevrolet S10 pickup and will take his engine back to Sweden to go into a new car which we will see at Sweden's Street Week in July (for which general registration opens on 28th February at 10.00 CET).

A tip of the hat goes to runner up Stefan Gustafsson who battled traction issues during the last three days of the event and yesterday ran a 6.887/205.44 best for a final average of 6.5982/212.67, almost two seconds ahead of the remainder of the field. In Modified, Mikael Borggren ran a best of 7.406/181.64 for a final average of 7.5662/180.75 to go second in class. The fourth Swede, Sami Toivonen, ran his best of the event 8.575/155.52 in his Camaro to go 7th in Street Race 275 class.

You can see all the action at the Youtube site of organiser Tom Bailey, to whom cudos on an excellently run and reported event.

Photo of Michael Westberg by Sammy Solstad.

Swift snippets.
18th February: Happy Birthday for today to Daimler dragster exponent and BDRHoF member Russ Carpenter, photographer Dick Parnham, Funny Car champion and constructor Johan Lindberg FWD racer Lisette de Koning and Modified 100e racer Robert White, we hope you all have a great day.

Pioneer stories: John "Jynx" Harrison, part 2.
17th February:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the part 2 of the story of UK drag racing pioneer John "Jynx" Harrison.

This episode comprises memories from those who knew John ‘Jynx’ Harrison: John Syvertsen who was his brother-in-law, Brian Sparrow, Chris Pattison and Ken Cooper who also remembers Allan Herridge in the early days, also Dave Armstrong who bought and ran Twin Jynx.

Part 2 of John "Jynx" Harrison's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Picture by Imagerie Mecanique from Paris show in 2017 showing Twin Jynx, run by a French team with Jaguar power.

Fraudster 2023 season update.
17th February: Kieran has sent in an update about the Fraudster C20LET Mk1 Escort driven by dad Kevin Jenkins, including exciting news about sponsors:

The 2022 season was a huge step forward for the team and the car, as we learnt a lot about clutch setup and started to get a real handle on the tune. In 2021, our PB was 7.62 at 181 mph and we ended the 2022 season with a 7.29 at 188 mph. We also beat our own little goal of taking the UK's 4 Cylinder Doorslammer ¼ Mile record which had stood for over 20 years!

So what's new for the 2023 season? We have three exciting new sponsor partnerships this season, as we continue on our quest to try and run a 6 with an OEM Cast Block and OEM Cylinder Head.

ASD Fuel Tech UK Authorised Dealer have stepped up and supplied us with the FT600 ECU which has some amazing drag racing based features as well as some other FuelTech goodies that should give us a real boost in performance!

Pro-Race Engineering who are also our fellow competitors in Comp Eliminator have been busy and prepped us a new block for the upcoming season, we are remaining with an OEM Cast Block but this one will be sleeved for a bit more strength.

DP Engine Parts UK are manufactured in Greece using the highest quality materials to the highest standards for road, race and drag cars. For the past season we have been running DP Pistons and have been impressed with the quality, we will now be running their rods too.

Thank you also to our existing sponsors who are sticking with us this year:

Burton Power | Vulcan Engineering | FCP Engineering
L A Racing Fuels-uk | Auto Finesse | Pro-S-Fittings UK
Ralloy Engineering | Mk1Kieran | CT Tuning | Melliard’s Modern | Ladmu Chassis

We are again looking to do the full season in Comp Eliminator, Doorslammers & atleast one of the 7.60 Heads Up rounds. For updates throughout the season go to the Fraudster Mk1 Escort Facebook page.

Sick Week report, day 4.
17th February: Day 4 of the Sick Week drag n' drive event was held at Gainesville Raceway, Florida and the two Swedish racers in the Unlimited classes kept their sizzling form to stay on top of the standings. Michael Westberg in his Chevrolet S10 ran a day's best of 6.452/216.55 for a four day average of 6.4713/213.91 for the overall lead. 0.05s behind is Stefan Gustafsson's C4 Corvette which had traction issues but still ran a best of 6.561/223.21 and averaged out 6.526/214.48.

Swedish fan Johan Zetterholm paid tribute to co-drivers Rasmus Stenfelt for Michael and Roine Kjellqvist for Stefan, reminding us that drag n' drive at the highest level is a team game just as much as championship drag racing.

In the Modified category Mikael Borggren in his Volvo 245 wagon ran a best of 7.662 179.95, still struggling off the line, for a four day average of 7.6063/180.52, 0.85s off category leader Brett LaSala.

Also we have neglected to mention fellow Swede Sami Toivonen who is running his Camaro in the Street Race 275 radial tyre class, running an average of 9.1083/147.60 and best at South Georgia Motorsport Park of 8.711/150.80. Sami is running seventh in his category.

Good luck to all the racers, who you will be able to see on the live stream from Orlando Speed World at this link starting at 16:00 GMT.

Picture of Stefan Gustavsson suffering bounce at Gainesville Raceway by Peter Ahlin

Swift snippets.
17th February: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET racer Amy Watkins, former Pro Stock racer Thomas Lindström and former Top Methanol Funny Car racer Trace Froome. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

Sick Week report, day 3.
16th February:
The Sick Week drag n' drive event moved from Bradenton Motorsports Park to South Georgia Motorsports Park for Wednesday and the Swedish contingent kept their leading positions. You can see coverage of day three on Youtube at this link, with highlights and interviews of the Swedish racers at this link. Thanks to Sick Week organiser Tom Bailey's team for doing a bang-up job on the streaming and collating results.

Street Week Sweden 2022 victor Michael Westberg is leading the Unlimited class after a great 6.468/218.37 pass at SGMP, a new PB for speed and giving him a three day average of a fantastic 6.4777/213.03. Michael posted that he had problems with the gearbox spraying oil smoke from a loose hose into his cabin on his first run, but solved the problem and were ready in time for his second pass. He then drove without problems to the hotel at Gainesville for today's action.

Fellow Swede Stefan Gunnarson with his Brillko Engineering Corvette C4 described his day 3 on his blog. He is only 0.04s behind Michael after four attempts yesterday with a best of 6.551/ 198.44 for a three day average of 6.5143/211.56. Stefan reported a turbo pressure pipe came off on two of his runs.

Volvo 245 racer Mikael Borggren is in second in the Modified class with a three day average of 7.5877/180.71. After traction issues yesterday his best day 3 run was 8.356/172.76, leaving him over 0.8s behind class leader Brett LaSala.

Brits Al McSweeney and Paul Mander are sadly out of competition after mechanical problems. Paul said "We damaged the motor so had to put another engine in Monday. We are having tuning problems with it so we are out of competition. We have it running, kind of, so should be at Orlando with the car on Friday." Good luck to Al and Paul who have announced they will be shipping their '86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (pictured) to the UK in a few weeks time. You can see details of the car at this link on the Unusual Car Sales UK FB page; they are looking for £17,000 ONO.

NSA announce 2023 calendar.
16th February: The National Sprint Association have announced their 2023 calendar of 11 rounds with 8 to count towards the Elgar Championship for sprint bikes:

18th March, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon
15th-16th April, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire
22nd April, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon
13th-14th May, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire
17th-18th June, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire
8th July, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon
15th-16th July, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire (non-championship round)
22nd-23rd July, Llanbedr, Wales (double points round)
5th-6th August, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire (non-championship round)
12th August, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon
16th-17th September, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire
30th September, Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon
7th-8th October, Melbourne Raceway, Yorkshire
15th October, Santa Pod Raceway (double points round)

Despite the loss of Westonzoyland as a venue, there are still four venues for competition.

The club will also be displaying at the Straightliners Elvington Open Day weekend on 25th-26th February and NSA members who are interested in taking part should contact Rob Brittain by email to register. Exhibitors can arrive on the Friday to set up and camp for the weekend. Admission is £10 per person to include camping.

More info on the National Sprint Association can be seen at their website

Picture of 2022 Unlimited Champion and top speed Mark Taylor by Carol Jenkinson.

Swift snippets.
16th February: Happy Birthday for today to crew member for Micke Gullvist Motorsports Fredrik Westerlind, 9.50 Bike racer Dion Hartley, Lithuanian Topolino racer Giedrius Jurevicius and former Wild Bunch racer Pete "Eddie" Yates. We hope you all have a great day.

Thanks to photojournalist Steve Moxley for pointing us in the direction of a fascinating video history of motorcycle drag racing introduced by US drag racing journalist Tom McCarthy for Rick Foulkrod of Things Extreme Photography and Video. The first episode features Elmer Trett, who visited the UK in 1984 for the NDRC Transatlantic Drag Bike Race. You can see the episide at Pittsfield TV on this link (ad blockers should be disabled).

We are nearly there.
15th February: Thanks to sponsor John Tebenham, who has been planning his 2023 season, for his latest update:

"So the man with a plan, we are going to race at Easter with my refreshed engine by the one and only I.C.E. - go and see them. My little Pop puts up with a lot of sh*t and it lived for 2 years and needed a freshen.

So Luke is preparing both cars to come and play at the amazing Doorslammers and the Main Event. Blimey - two cars, two meetings.

We will run a 5.8 this year. I ran a 5.99 with a 0.1 light, yep, a 0.1 light, be afraid, be very afraid. I am going to try to win in probably the greatest season yet with my outstanding Mike Janis blower.

Come and see us - posters are free this year. I am 100% going to try and win, but Pro Mod is crazy. A massive thanks to Ricky who runs the team and is always covered in oil. If you ever fancy a bit of crewing contact me through the one and only

Sick Week report, day 2.
15th February: Day 2 of Sick Week was held at Bradenton Motorsports Park in atmospheric conditions almost as good as those at Orlando Speed World on day 1. You can see footage from yesterday at this link, and keep up with the live stream today from South Georgia Motorsports Park at this link.

Yesterday was an outstanding day for Swedes Michael Westberg and Stefan Gustafsson, and a repeat issue of last year for Sick Week organiser Tom Bailey whose Camaro had terminal transmission damage. In the great conditions, Michael ran a PB of 6.400/210.83 in his 1991 Chevrolet S10 to go top of the Unlimited class with a two day average of 6.4825/210.36. Stefan Gustafsson suffered a door coming off his Brillko Engineering '89 Corvette C4 on another outstanding pass, 6.434/218.34, for a 6.496/218.13 two day average. You can see Stefan's comments at his blog.

Another Swede Mikael Borggren with his 1987 Volvo 245 Wagon got back into the sixes after some issues on the dyno resulted in some additional engine work becoming necessary on his LSX unit. A 7.498/168.94 on day 1 improved to 6.909/200.44 yesterday for a 7.2035/184.69 two day average, placing him third in class.

Sadly Brits Al McSweeney and Paul Mander, sharing driving duties in their '86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo have had to withdraw with mechanical issues.

You can get detailed results and plenty of stories on Sick Week at

Photo of Mikael Borggren: Ken Cox.

Custom Car March edition.
14th February:
The March issue of the sport's national magazine Custom Car includes a plethora of articles for any drag racing or hot rodding enthusiast.

Rightly heading the list is a ten page piece on the latest creation of legendary hot rod builder Andy Saunders, based on a Riley 2.5 but heavily influenced by French marque Delahaye giving it a wonderful art deco look. Those interested in reading more on Andy's creations are encouraged to visit and consider buying his autobiography The Automotive Alchemist published by Dalton Watson.

Race coverage with photography by our Julian Hunt, comprises seven pages on the Mopar Euronationals from last July with words by Mike Pye. Keith Lee provides a comparison of modern drag racing events at Santa Pod Raceway to events of the past with the pros and cons highlighted.

Tony Thacker provides a profile of the Rømø beach race in Denmark, and Alice Fairhead reports on the V8 Hot Rod meet at the Cross Keys in Redgrave and the Knuckle Busters/Stonham Barns shows, two of many UK rod runs that you can see for free.

You can buy the latest excellent edition of Custom Car from your local newsagent for £4.99, or get a subscription from which brings with it a free pocket lamp for £25 for 13 issues direct debit introductory offer.

Sick Week report, day 1.
14th February: You can see the live stream of today's Sick Week Drag n' Drive event at this Youtube link from Bradenton Motorsports Park. Also accessible are the results from Day 1 at this link

Day One held at Orlando Speed World saw Swedes Stefan Gustafsson (pictured left) and Michael Westberg (pictured right) in positions #2 and #3 of the Unlimited class respectively with best passes of 6.558/217.91 and 6.565/209.88. Michael commented that Andreas Arthursson had helped with the tuning, for a -500ft density altitude. In testing Michael had suffered gearbox and axle problems, and M&M Transmissions and Adam Flamholc both came to the rescue with spare parts.

Stefan and Michael made strong passes in the 6.4s in early action today. Brits Paul Mander and Al McSweeney with their 86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo were only able to manage a 20s/50mph pass in the DYO class yesterday, Al driving, but still four more days to make up time.

You can get detailed results and plenty of stories on Sick Week at

Picture credits: Chris Story (Stefan Gustafsson), Phillip Thomas (Michael Westberg)

Hook Knows interviews TV Tommy.
14th February: The subject of tomorrow's "Hook Knows" interview from Steve Gibbs of the Nitro Revival Group is star of the 1964 Drag Festival in the UK TV Tommy Ivo who had a number of memorable match races and exhibition runs at the six events in September and October of that year.

To see this interview go to this Facebook link at 6pm PST (02:00 Thursday GMT), or watch it on replay from Thursday morning onwards.

You can see previous interviews at the same link including last week's entertaining chat with Land Speed legend Al Teague.

Pic by Stephen Wright: Tommy at Blackbushe in October 1964. Thanks to Geoff Stilwell for the interview link.

Swift snippets.
14th February: Happy Birthday for today to the Marras, Wild Bunch racers Pete and Rob Brown, FWD racer Scott Nobby Lewry, Santa Pod Raceway marshal John O'Shae and German Pro ET racer and photographer Clarissa Czekalla. We hope you all have a lovely day.

Pioneer stories: Bruce Brown, part 1.
13th February:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the story of UK drag racing pioneer Bruce Brown.

Bruce Brown got into motorsport aged 18 with a Mini at autotests and sprints. After a few years scrambling, he bought a Daimler Dart which he took to Santa Pod in 1966. He replaced that with a '55 Chevy and then bought Allan Herridge's old Pulsation dragster from Chris Urlwin and Alan Ward. Bruce named the dragster, with its engine from the '55 Chevy, Prospector 2.

Part 1 of Bruce Brown's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Crail upgrade timing system.
13th February: Scotland's Crail Raceway, based at Anstruther, has announced a new timing system and a revised first quarter mile date for 2023.

"Over the past few months we've been working hard behind the scenes to improve things for 2023. We've invested heavily in a new timing system from Portatree - this includes lots of new equipment, cabling, and up to date software. As you may imagine, this is not exactly a 'plug and play' system, there is a lot involved other than just buying the kit.

"We've been piecing it all together and finally making progress. However, we are still not quite there yet with the new system and have a busy week ahead ironing some issues out.

"The first event on the 19th February was originally planned to be a 1/4 mile 'Drag & Drift' Day, however we've decided to change this to an Open Track day. The first 1/4 mile day will now be on the 5th March, giving us a crucial extra 2 week period to ensure the system is operating correctly.

"We hope you understand that this date switch is so we can provide a better service for you all coming to Crail. We are confident once we deal with the initial teething troubles it will serve us well for years to come with a much more reliable timing system.

"We look forward to seeing you all back soon now that we open the doors again in 7 days time."

Swift snippets.
13th February: Happy Birthday for today to Old School Stocker racer Dan Blight and former slingshot racer Mike Oates. We hope you have a great day.

Top Methanol Funny Car team OK Racing with driver Johnny Oksa have announced they will be competing in all rounds of the FIA Drag Racing Championship, starting at the Santa Pod Raceway Main Event. Let's hope the class support continues to increase for 2023.

Congratulations to Julie Nataas who has earned her NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car license with a best 5.60 pass in her unblown nitro A/FC in testing at Houston Raceway, Baytown, Texas. Julie's first race date in her TAFC is at the Funny Car Chaos opener 17th-19th March at the Texas Motorplex. You can see her complete schedule at

Our good friend Tony Thacker has published an article on the Grand National Roadster Show ’23 at his Torqtalk blog site. Included are plenty of photos and video.

Spitfire Raceway next Saturday.
12th February:
The first organised race of the 2023 UK season takes place next Saturday at Spitfire Raceway. Promoter Lee Child writes:

Trophies will be up for grabs for quickest top ten on the drag strip, quickest FWD car, best appearing drift car, best burnout, best of show and best club stand.

All vehicles welcome, you can spectate or take part at Spitfire Raceway, spectators are £10 per person on the gate, under 16s go free. Drag race from £10 after admission (crash helmet and full driving licence required). Show & shine no charge after admission. All vehicles are welcome at Spitfire Raceway Cornwall. Gates open at 8am and track action is from 11am to 3pm. All vehicles have a safety check for drag racing and drifting. Drag strip riders and drivers meeting at race control 10.45am.

Vehicles competing include Luke Jasse with his super car , motorcycle slaying 1200+ BHP Audi TTRS whose car was recently featured on Youtube channel Living Life Fast.

Don’t forget to you can camp on site. Enjoy the events and the local area.

All 2023 drag and drift events online bookings are now open. No more waiting - book away. Click on the links to make bookings at Drag & Drift and Camping booking.

Please respect the surrounding areas and speed limits when travelling to and from this event. will be attending the event for video and still photography of drag racing action.

Swift snippets.
12th February: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Drag Bike mum Kerryanne Frazier, Comp Eliminator crew Dave Hancock, supporter and former Alky FC racer Tom van der Wijden, former Top Doorslammer racer from Sweden Thomas Dahlblom. We hope you all have a great day.

Nobby Hills tribute page.
11th February: We have set up a
tribute page in memory of Nobby Hills who passed away last week, and would be pleased to receive tributes to him and pictures for publishing, send your words and photos to

Swift snippets.
11th February: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway Events Coordinator Max Frost, Super Comp crew and wife Angela Hudson, Nostalgia Super Stock wife Bev Tyrell, Nostalgia FC crew Stuart Bradley and '55 Chevy racer Iain Shurey. We hope you all have a great time.

Nobby Hills.
10th February:
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of UK drag racing pioneer Nobby Hills, to natural causes last week aged 87.

Norman "Nobby" Hills was one of the few surviving pioneers who had raced at the 1964 UK Drag Festivals. After visiting Silverstone to watch the Mooneyes dragster of Dante Duce and Sydney Allard's Allard Chrysler in September 1963, Nobby became inspired and using his many engineering skills set to work and built a 3.4 litre Jaguar engined dragster named Houndog which was entered to race in the September Drag Festivals at Blackbushe in 1964 the following year. A supercharged Jag engined Houndog 2 followed in 1965, "Movin" Mike Hutcherson took over the driving, and Houndogs 3 and 4 had Cadillac power, the car going through six of the engines in 1969 as Nobby learned of frailty in their design.

In the 1970s, Nobby switched to Chrysler power for two further slingshots, Houndogs 5 and 6 , and the times improved rapidly. Then in 1973 Santa Pod Raceway came to him with an offer that couldn't be refused: the Plymouth Duster Funny Car brought over by Paula Murphy. It became Houndog 7, had a fantastic paint job, and the fearless Owen Hayward made a great driver. In their day jobs at heavy earth-moving and construction equipment distributors SLD Olding, Owen was Nobby's boss, but at the track Owen had been a team member since 1966! The following year, 1974, had a second new car in the Houndog stable, the beautiful Houndog 8 dragster based on the latest US rear engined design from Tony Nancy. Mike Hutcherson left the team after March 1975 leaving Owen as the main driver of both cars. All of Nobby’s cars were beautifully turned out, attention to detail along with high performance were two of his well-known trademarks.

Nobby and the team got quicker but there were setbacks. In August 1977 the Duster Funny Car was destroyed in an accident, but Owen was unhurt. Alan Bates took over the driving of the Houndog 8 dragster whilst Nobby and the team prepared their new Funny Car Houndog 9 nicknamed ‘Pup’. The Houndog 8 dragster was dismantled at the end of 1977, with some parts going on DLT's Needle Dragster.

The last three cars of the team were all funny cars: the 1978 Houndog 9 Vega based on a home built chassis and, a couple of years later, a Challenger bodied funny car again with a home built chassis debuted in late 1979 became Houndog 10, which came to a firey end at Mantorp Park in 1983 and finally the repaired chassis with a Corvette body Houndog 11 was run by Nobby through to the end of the 1980's with former crew chief Alan Bates in the drivers seat, the beautifully finished Corvette was the first Funny Car in Europe to record a five second run receiving a 5.99/251.8mph timing ticket on 25 May 1986.

A born showman, Nobby and his team never failed to entertain the crowd, whether it was building a Model T body for the funny car chassis to create a fuel altered whilst a new body was being prepared, or bringing SLD Olding heavy lifting equipment to the track to raise the Vega way above the crowd at a rainy event in 1978, or the many show trophies won, or their final project after two decades away from the sport, a nitro-burning Camaro Funny Car Houndog number 12.

He was literally a giant of the sport at 6'4" and could always be identified in the pits by his stetson and, if you looked down, a pair of flip-flops. Nobby joins daughter Jodie who was killed in a motor accident in 2004 and shared with Nobby a love of country music and American cars. We send our very deepest sympathies to Nobby's wife Anne, daughter Katie, six year old grandson Beau, an engineer in the making, and to all friends and team mates. RIP Nobby.

Photo credit from Dragstalgia 2022: Ken Robbins. Other photos:, Peter Donaldson

Pioneer stories: John "Jynx" Harrison, part 1.
10th February: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the story of UK drag racing pioneer John "Jynx" Harrison.

This story is told by John ‘Jynx’ Harrison’s son Paul; he recalls his memories of John, the family, friends and the Dragster Developments Team. John with Robin Evemy and Brian Sparrow joined fellow Heathway Engineering employee Allan Herridge to form Dragster Developments in 1962. John himself built a dragster and his DD Atlantic car raced at early drag races in the UK including the 1964 International Drag Festival. After extensive modifications in 1965 it was renamed Jynx in 1966, and Twin Jynx followed in 1972. John continued to work for Heathway Engineering until the 1980s but sadly passed away in 1993.

Part 1 of John "Jynx" Harrison's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
10th February: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Stock Bike crew chief and wife Cindy Newbury, Junior dad Andrew Willcox, FWD racer Matt Davison, and later owner of Twin Jynx Dave "Twolanes" Armstrong. We hope you all have a great day.

EDRS calendar announced.
9th February: Speedgroup have announced the 2023 calendar for the European Drag Racing Series, the premier sportsman championship in Scandinavia. The dates are:

19th-21st May, Motorpark, Finland
19th-20th May, Vårgårda, Sweden
26th-28th May, Gardermoen, Norway
9th-11th June, Motorpark, Finland
15th-18th June, Tierp, Sweden
23rd-25th June, Tallhed, Orsa, Sweden
30th June-2nd July, Haapsalu, Estonia
7th-9th July, Piteå, Sweden
13th-16th July, Kauhava, Finland (TBC)
20th-23rd July, Sundsvall, Sweden
3rd-6th August, Gardermoen, Norway
10th-13th August, Tierp, Sweden
18th-20th August, Motorpark, Finland
25th-27th August, Sundsvall, Sweden (TBC)
1st-2nd September, Mosten, Denmark
1st-3rd September, Kauhava, Finland (TBC)
8th-10th September, Gardermoen, Norway

As ever, dates are provisional and subject to change. We note the TBC dates for Kauhava at which events have been difficult to plan for local reasons.

Skye headed towards senior classes.
9th February: With her announcement that Skye Collier has bought the rolling chassis of the S&K Dragster formerly owned by Roger Sinclair and Mick Kemp and lately driven by Roy Wilding and Lesley Prior, her path into the senior classes from junior dragsters has become clearer. She said:

"We’ve bought the car without the engine and transmission, and Ben Rushforth from EDA is building me an engine! Brother Scott works there too now, so he’ll be majorly involved in the whole thing and I’ll be having many Saturdays down there working on it too, exciting!

"We’ll be putting a Big Block Chevy in it and the end goal is to run in Super Comp, but to start off, I imagine we’ll go Pro ET while we get the hang of it. I’m not entirely sure when I will be doing the licensing runs, we’re going to strip the car to check all's good and see if anything needs doing and whatnot, and of course we need the engine to run! I think we’re aiming sort of by the end of the year, possibly, to have it running, but as you know things can change quickly so could be sooner or later!

"The whole thing is only possible as Baz Rathbone is helping us out so much, he gave us the money to be able to buy it, it’s all really because of him! The first time we get out in it, Paul Marston is coming with us to teach us what to do, because of course he does the race school!

We wish Skye the best of luck in her quest to step up, with great support from her family and friends.

Swift snippets.
9th February: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Anglia racer Phil Drewitt, Pro ET and UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Guy King and Swiss Super Street Bike racer Sandro Haldimann. Also a huge belated Happy Birthday to Unusual Cars UK Facebook Group admin Nigel Taylor, hope you had a great day top man!

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded a video of the 1995 Main Event from Santa Pod Raceway, broadcast by Sky Sports. Included are Top Fuel, Top Fuel Bike, Pro Modified and Super Gas with some names from the past (and present) plus top flight commentary from John Price. It's well worth a view at this link.

Balaclava requirement.
7th February: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for reminding us about the new rules for balaclava to be worn by drivers that use a HANS device:

"Drivers using a Head and Neck restraint will in 2023 be required to wear a Balaclava under their helmet, as we no longer use neck braces in vehicles that utilise full harnesses and head restraints this leaves a gap between the fire suit and the helmet, therefore an FIA 8856-2000 / 8856-2018 or SFI spec 3.3 Balaclava will be required, the exception being if you have a SFI 3.3 skirted helmet that covers the gap between the helmet and suit.

"This is only for racers looking to enter Permitted Championship Events at Santa Pod Raceway." Any queries should be sent to Ian directly.

Grand National Roadster Show gallery.
7th February: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor and Land Speed Racer Geoff Stilwell for providing a gallery of 75 photos of just a small fraction of the amazing cars at the Grand National Roadster Show in the Fairplex, Pomona.

Geoff said "I travelled here for the event to support my friends including Mick Jenkins of Mick's Paint, a number of cars he worked on are on display. I also caught up with Ron Hope, Tony Thacker, Steve Gibbs and Bob and Sharon Muravez, you don't know who you will run into, but many famous racing personalities attend.

The photos taken are from three of the nine halls in the massive Fairplex, some halls featuring boats. At the top of the gallery is Rick LeFevre's '32 Ford 3 window coupe which won the Vesey Bros Phaeton Award, a finely detailed car with a period correct feel. Geoff added "If you're around at the end of January and start of February you could get a cheap fare to LAX (book way in advance for that!) and visit the Mooneyes New Year Party at Irwindale and the Grand National Roadster Show, then you could get an appointment to visit nearby speed facilities such as Brad Anderson and Sonny Bryant's, and fit in the weekly drags at Irwindale."

Geoff will return to Pomona for the opening LSR meeting of 2023 at El Mirage which is a short drive from Pomona. You can see Geoff's gallery with some pictures from Tony Thacker at this link supported by Lucas Oil, or click on News, then Features for a list of all our photo features over the years, most recent first.

Pictured by Mark Vaughn: Jack Chisenhall's ‘32, winner of America's Most Beautiful Roadster, work carried out by Roy Brizio Street Rods.

Geoff asked if we can send Pure Hell creator and owner Rich Guasco best wishes for a speedy recovery from a broken back after a fall. We hope you are comfortable Rich and are sure your many fans in the UK and Europe wish you well.

Swift snippets.
7th February: Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny Car owner, possibly on his way to the US Rob Elsom, Willys Wars racer Mark Puddick, Swedish Top Fuel Bike racer Thomas Pettersson who reaches 60 years of age today, Pro Modified wife and crew member Belinda Nicholson expat Pro ET racer Colin Felstead, now based in Ohio. We hope you all have a great day.

Pioneer stories: Bradley Cooper.
6th February:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper's son Bradley Cooper.

Bradley was born into a drag racing environment. Dad Ken's slingshot was stored in the garage at home and Bradley's first permanent job was at Automatic Transmission Products run by former drag racer Tony Whitehead. Ken took Bradley to Shakespeare County Raceway on his 21st birthday, Ken's first time at the strip for over 15 years. Ken was warmly welcomed back by many fellow racers and as a result Bradley acquired a deep interest in the sport. Ken built a new slingshot flathead engined dragster and in 2012, Bradley made his driving debut. Since then he has been a regular racer in Wild Bunch lifestyle events and an established part of the UK drag scene in his own right.

Bradley Cooper's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Welcome Lando Cordelle, debut for Cameron Cordelle .
6th February: Congratulations to Brett and Charlii Cordelle on their third child, and Brett has updated us on their family's racing plans for 2023: Would just like to let everyone on that on 29th January at 00:09 we welcomed our third child into the world, Lando Lloyd Phillip Cordelle.

Last year was probably the worst year of racing as Charlii was pregnant and I decided to scare her not once but twice by coming off on the line and through top end so her stress levels were through the roof.

This year I’ve decided to take a year off the bike and focus on getting my other son Cameron into the sport, as he will be racing for the first time, he can’t wait to get to the track to race his new junior drag bike.

John Bennett Celebration of Life to be held, date to be confirmed.
6th February: Maurice Takoor has been in touch about John Bennett's funeral, and his own car going on the market:

There won't immediately be a funeral for John as he donated his body to medical science, however there will be a celebration of his life at some stage in the future, but possibly up to two years hence.

I'm selling my little slingshot dragster, Spirit, as I've decided I'll never get around to fixing it and continuing to race it. I had fun with it and hope someone will continue to look after it and enjoy it as much as I have.

Swift snippets.
6th February: Happy Birthday wishes for today to NSS racer Claire Johnson, Wild Bunch racer Wayne Colliver, former Junior Dragster race Skye Collier, and long time drag bike racers Turbo Tim Boutle and Pete Le Gros, we hope all of you have a great day, and belated Birthday wishes to Super Gas racer Andy Dibley who celebrated yesterday.

Your Editor says "Thanks for all your best wishes for a speedy recovery which seem to have worked so we are back in business. We will run the remaining stories we have tomorrow and keep the news coming."

Pioneer stories: Al O'Connor, part 3.
3rd February:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and long time Super Gas racer Al O'Connor.

After modifying Al's Gasser to run consistently in Super Gas, in 1987 Al, with Lesley Digby (now Wright), started planning their ambitious tour, running in the NHRA at 21 events during the spring and summer of 1988. After winning the UK Championship in 1989, Al and Lesley returned to the States and ran a series of borrowed cars in 19 events during 1990. More UK Championships followed with a move to Outlaw Anglia and another rebuild thanks to the racing family that Al has been a part of over 50+ years.

Part three of Al's story, with extensive documentaton of his US tour is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Raisvuo Brothers back in the game.
3rd February: Former Top Methanol Dragster racer Esko Raisvuo is making a return to senior classes with his son Samuel driving after a number of years in Junior Dragsters and a Junior Drag Bike. In a Youtube video, Esko describes his racing philosophy, including some quotes from US legends, and Samuel talks about his Super Pro ET dragster which has a 750hp Ford engine with an additional nitrous shot of 250hp.

Samuel who goes by the nickname "No Fear" has undertaken licensing passes, and his first race will be at Motopark Raceway 20th-21st May.

Those with long memories will remember Esko in his A/Fuel dragster running a best times of 5.500 and 435kph (269.77mph), both Finnish records and the ET record still standing.

Swift snippets.
3rd February: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Daniel Giles, 8.50 Bike racer Stacey Reed, Sportsman ET racer Steve Mellors, former 9.50 Bike racer Dave Bowe and Outlaw Street racer Paul Knifton. We hope you all have a great day.

A new era begins at Tierp Arena.
2nd February:
Thanks to Lars Pettersson for some great news about Tierp Arena the sale of which completes on 1st March.

On Tuesday, the new owner of Tierp Arena, Svante Andersson, held an introductory meeting with 30-40 participants from several motorsport categories, clubs and representatives from the municipal council of Tierp.

Drag racing was represented by Lars Pettersson, President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission, Helen Rapp, Chairman of the Swedish Aoutomobile Sports Federation (SBF) Drag Racing Committteee and Michael Gullkvist from Speedgroup and Drag Racing Europe.

Representatives from entrepreneur Svante Andersson's company Stenhaga Invest described at the meeting how they work to develop companies that they acquire. They also described what they have built up for business at Kinnekulle Ring which is a motorsport facility they bought a few years ago. Stenhaga Invest see great potential in developing Tierp Arena with new activities such as expanding the facility with a circuit track as well as other types of events such as concert and sporting events, exhibitions and driving school exepreinces for road and track. Svante was very clear that the activities that are scheduled will happen. Svante said "The two FIA Drag Racing EDRC and EDRS are two important events for us. As a new owner, I see great potential in expanding and managing and bringing more activities to Tierp Arena all year round".

For European Drag Racing, Lars says "This is a very good news; the Tierp facility is one of the 10 to 20 best Drag Strips tracks in the world.

Swift snippets.
2nd February: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaws racer Jake Clayton, Super Street Bike racer Dave Thomas and US Funny Car legend Ed 'The Ace' McCulloch. We hope you all have a great day.

Karsten's US tour.
1st February: Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for catching up with Dane and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Karsten Andersen at the NHRA Nevada Nationals last November and sending this piece:

When Karsten Andersen with drag racing partner and fellow Dane and BDRHoF member Per Andersen (no relation) opted to exit Top Fuel in 2014 following several seasons of competition that resulted in their close-knit team attaining FIA European Championship laurels with various drivers, team co-owner Karsten continued to flourish through his commercial business involvement, Landmeco, Scandinavia’s largest producer of poultry equipment. He could be seen starring in
YouTube videos demonstrating the products the company offers, however Landmeco was sold in 2019 and the car was sold to Scott Palmer five years earlier. So what is Karsten up to now?

He has also maintained close contact with the sport of drag racing through his invention of a track tester that has proved to be very much the in thing for top teams desirous of having a state-of-the-art piece of kit in their inventory of parts. I well recall seeing him at Santa Pod in the early 2000s strolling behind the prototype self-propelled piece of equipment in the manner of walking the proverbial dog, holding an electrical lead keeping everything under control. A novel sight to say the least, and seemingly a major improvement over the long-used press-down- and-twist piece of apparatus.

Fast forward to current times, the shrewd entrepreneur now enjoys getting along to NHRA national events in the States, where he enjoys working as a track specialist with prominent names such as the Capco Contractors two-car Top Fuel team, which is where I caught up with him during the 2022 Las Vegas Nationals working in close company with Swedish hotshot Jonnie Lindberg, who was on hand tuning Brian Hough’s Top Alcohol Funny Car. Data from the so-called KEG (the acronym for Karsten’s Electric Grippo, named as such by Lanny Miglizzi, one of the very first track professionals responsible for assessing racing surface grip, supplying valuable information to crew chiefs in order that optimal adjustments may be made to a car’s setup prior to it making a pass along the strip) undeniably augmenting the technical side of tuning.

Developed in conjunction with aforementioned Lanny - currently employed by John Force Racing - the first example of this innovative machine was acquired by JFR in 2000, subsequent to the respected multi-car team being supplied with a further six. It was not too long, however, before other big names came on board to the point where Karsten said use of a KEG is nowadays considered de rigueur by 90% of top teams in the States’ straight-line sport.

A point of note regarding the pioneering Danish maestro is that he usually stays with buddy Jonnie in Brownsburg whenever he makes the transatlantic trip for sundry races where he has acted in 2022 as clutch and track man to the teams of of Billy Torrence, Tripp Tatum and Doug Foley. Having the brains trust domiciled under one roof in Indiana works well for all parties and Karsten also works on development with Toyota Racing Development.

As Karsten is in the US part-time, so if you are based in the US and interested in buying a KEG, you can contact Jonnie Lindberg or Todd Tutterow.

Les Szabo's funeral.
1st February: Thanks to Rob Szabo who has let us know the funeral of his late father Les Szabo will be a public event at Enfield Crematorium on Wednesday 1st March at 14:00.

"It will likely be a long journey for most that would come, but anyone who would want to make the journey and pay final tributes to Les is welcome to come", says Rob.

Enfield Crematorium is located at Great Cambridge Road, Enfield, Greater London, EN1 4DS.

Swift snippets.
1st February: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones, former Sportsman ET racer Ian Jackson, Straightliners administrator Helen Greathead and Estonian administrator . We hope you all have a great day.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Daniel Jedborn has announced that partner Tina Høst Nedregård (pictured left) will be taking over driving of the team's A/Fuel dragster from the June FIA event at Tierp Arena, the team's first event in 2023.

Super Street Bike racer Steve Woods, who announced his retirement during 2022, has decided that he will be at one more race to obtain that elusive seven second timeslip. The race? The 2023 NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. Good luck to Woody on his quest, if achieved we expect there will be a small party.

Earlier news