European Drag Racing News

SPRC entry forms updated.
29th January:
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall has let us know that the Festival of Power entry forms will be available from 6pm today.

Ian adds "The remaining forms will be available shortly; thanks to Pete Walters who has been working tirelessly to get us to this point."

Pete Walters added "You can now create an account which will save all your details and prefill entry forms to save a lot of time! A new addition for Car entries is the SFI/FIA Certification Declaration, which needs to be filled in before each event (also prefilled) to assist with the new scrutineering procedures." event coverage 2023.
29th January: We have posted our event coverage plan for 2023 which you can see at this link or by clicking on 'Event Coverage' in the main menu at the top of the page. As ever, the usual caveats apply: event coverage is dependent on weather and track conditions and team availability.

The event list has increased from previous years and we are thankful to our team for setting aside their time to make in some cases lengthy journeys to attend events. We are again scheduling events at Spitfire Raceway at Perranporth, Cornwall and Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon. Also, as a sponsor of Melbourne Raceway, we are pleased to announce coverage of all events at the track this year, with former editor Tog attending.

At Santa Pod Raceway we are covering all championship events, both SPRC National and FIA/FIM-E as well as several lifestyle events and RWYBs, and plan to travel to Tierp and Hockenheim for the FIA/FIM-E events at those tracks (Tierp TBC for FIM-E). Thanks to Julian and Kieran for giving their time for overseas trips and to Kieran for allowing us to embed video footage into the galleries for the first time.

Swift snippets.
29th January: Today's Happy Birthdays are to former SCR official Julie Willcox, UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Neil Frances and FWD racer Craig Evans. Have a great day guys.

Extensive photo coverage of Nitro Revival 5 from last November by Don Ewald can be seen at this link.

Last call for SPRC dinner.
28th January: Yvonne Tramm of
Santa Pod Racers Club has said there are still tickets available for applications to attend the SPRC Dinner on 18 February at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, and applications will stay open until 7th February.

"Email me at this address, if you would like to put tickets aside before you action your application form. It will be a great night, hope to see you there."

Mooneyes alongside Dos Palmos.
28th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell for sending us these awesome shots of the Mooneyes dragster replica alongside the original and restored Dos Palmos.

Tony Thacker wrote: "How cool is this? Two A/GDragsters that came to the UK in 1963 (Mooneyes) and '64 (Goodnight-Keith and Williamson Dos Palmas) united for the first time ever at the 2023 Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag Race, Irwindale, CA — thanks to Scott Campbell, Nick Davies, Mick's Paint, Geoff Stilwell, USAutomotive and the Justin Veazie and Evin Veazie."

The Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag Race takes place today and we will link to photos of the event when published. One spotted already is at the Outlaw Gassers So Cal Facebook page.

63 and not out yet!
28th January: The 63rd running of the National Sprint Association Awards Presentation took place last Saturday at The Strawberry Bank Hotel, Meriden where class champions received there deserved trophies and Perpetual Awards were handed out, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.

Just before that there was a tinge of sadness in the air when at the AGM it was announced that the club had lost the use of its most prominent track, Somerset’s Westonzoyland lovingly referred to as ‘WZ’ following the sale in recent weeks parts of the World War 2 airfield’s runway and adjacent land where the sprint strips pits were situated.

The NSA had been operating from this venue when it was just a single lane eighth of a mile sprint strip since 1981, and later a dual lane quarter mile up until 2021 when it reverted back to an eighth due to the lack of braking area. Several options are now being investigated but the club will be hosting rounds at Smeatharpe Airfield in Devon, Landbedr, Wales, Melbourne Dragstrip and Santa Pod alongside Straightliners. Dates are expected to be confirmed shortly.

With 80 guests converging on the Meriden Suite the evening was conducted by commentator Jerry Cookson with assistance from ‘H’ Haward Boswell from B&H Motorcycles. There was the usual raffle and something new courtesy of Portatree’s Wayne & Janet Schreier Shakespeare County Raceway’s show ‘tree hooked up to a reaction timer and an exercise bike so that contenders could act out the stance of sitting on a real sprint bike! Quickest reaction of the evening was Junior racer Chloe Hayman with a .036, but managing not to avoid the booby prize was 500cc racer Kerry Phillips with the slowest reaction and two red lights.

Guest of honour for the evening was the Queen of Speed Sheelagh Neal who in her long sprinting career has ridden more bikes and sidecars at some of the UK’s best known sprint and drag strips. In fact Sheelagh used to ride in the chair of her father Ossie’s outfit in the sixties. The evening closed with the usual raffle and disco.

2022 National Sprint Association Class Champions:

1a - 50cc Junior - Sam Taylor
1c - 125cc Junior - Chloe Hayman
3 - 125cc Racing - Martin Bracey
4 - 250cc Racing - Stuart Buchanan
5 - 400cc Racing - Simon Hewer
6 - 500cc Racing - Kerry Phillips
7 - 750cc Racing - Andrew Langdon
8 - 1000cc Racing - Simon Havercroft
9 - Unlimited Racing - Mark Taylor
10 - 500cc 3 Wheeler - Dave Langley
11b - 350cc Vintage Pre 1946 - Peter Thomas
11c - 500cc Vintage Pre 1946 - John Young
11e - 250cc Vintage Post 1946 - Richard von Mach
11f - 350cc Vintage Post 1946 - Brian Priddle
11g - 500cc Vintage Post 1946 - Noah Harrison
12 - Scooters - Adie Horrocks
13a - Classic (Non Jap) Up to 500cc - Andrew Webb
13b - Classic (Non Jap) Over 500cc - Jasper Joy
13d - Classic Japanese Over 500cc - Jason Winterson
15 - 400cc Road Legal - Karl Jefferies
16 - 750cc Road Legal - Neil Jenkinson
17 - 1000cc Road Legal - Mark Wheeler
18 - Road Legal Over 1000cc - Steve Everett
19 - Superstreet - Barry Varndell

2022 Overall Elgar Shield Champion - Jasper Joy
2022 Overall Runner Up - Adie Horrocks

Special Awards

NSA Fastest E.T. – Andrew Boswell
NSA Fastest Terminal Speed – Mark Taylor
NSA Most Outstanding Achievement – Tony Davidge
Fastest Pre 1946 Vintage – John Young
NSA Ladies Award – Lucinda Langdon
NSA Marshal Award – Pete & Sue Richardson (pictured right top)
Martin Bury Endeavour Award – Janet & Wayne Schreier (pictured right bottom)
NSA Slip Up Award – NSA Committee
Alan Tinnion Appreciation Award – Sheelagh Neal

NSA photographer Carol Jenkinson has made her presentation photos available which can be viewed at this link, supported by Lucas Oil Products.

The NSA season is expected to start in late March with events running and counting towards the cubs National Championship until October. Further info and dates can be viewed at or on the club's Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
28th January: Happy Birthday for today to Jet dragster and funny car racer Martin Hill, British Junior Dragster Club admin and JD mum Edel McDonald, Straightliners and Melbourne Raceway announcer Paul Cumpstone, Straightliners Bike racer Andy Higham, Modified 100e racer Troy Bull and Top Methanol Funny Car racer Mikael Larsson. We hope you all have a great day.

Good luck and stay safe to expat Swede Adam Flamholc, who we reported on in advance of his appearance at the US Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park this weekend. After two qualifying sessions, Adam is in 34th place in Outlaw Pro Mod, an incredibly competitive field with 3.605/210.11 for the top qualifier and 3.730/213.30 for provisional bump spot. Adam's best time was 3.757/203.31. You can see further action on FloRacing (streaming starting Saturday at 15:00 GMT).

Les Szabo.
27th January: We were very sorry to hear of the passing of former Super Gas racer Les Szabo who passed away suddenly on Friday 13th January following a heart attack.

Les was brought up in North London, subsequently moving to Enfield. After owning a '68 Dodge Charger which he bought in 1977, his first race car was his 1971 Plymouth Barracuda (pictured left), in full street spec (including white leather seats), which with its 340ci engine ran 13.3's. Naming the car Hot Metal, he rebuilt the engine and tuned the car to a succession of bests finally running a 11.01/122 in 1987. Les raced around the country in championship meetings as well as Gary's Doorslammer events.

In 1988 he acquired a '67 Barracuda 440ci fastback (pictured right) from Rick Garrett, which he also ran as Hot Metal. Les became 1990 Modified ET champion at Santa Pod Raceway. The Barracuda got down to 9.96s at 133mph; Les had ran in Super Gas in 1989 before selling the car in 1991, but realised to be competitive he needed to make big changes to the rear wheel tubs and gearing, and he was more of a Stock or Super Stock guy.

A real drag racing enthusiast, Les was friends with many and being a Mopar enthusiast, was a keen follower of Mopars in Nostalgia Superstock. He continued to attend meetings at Santa Pod to chat to racers of similar ilk. Les crewed for John Davison on his his Soper & Heck '69 Road Runner before the pandemic. John remarked "There wasn't much that Les didn't know about Mopars". Indeed Les, with the encouragement of his family, had often considered a return to racing and to build another car, but sadly it wasn't to be.

We send our deepest condolences to Les's wife Elizabeth, sons Rob and Christopher and his whole family and friends.

1983 photo of '71 'Cuda by Steve Day.

Pioneer stories: Al O'Connor, part 2.
27th January: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and long time Super Gas racer Al O'Connor, pictured with girlfriend Lisa.

After Al's Gasser crashed in 1978, Allan Herridge built a new chassis for the car which remains in use today. Al mainly ran the car in Modified until the creation of Super Gas in the UK in 1984. Al had travelled to the US as a spectator, but in the mid 80s started to get the itch to travel with Al's Gasser, first to Germany and then to the US in 1988.

Part two of Al'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.

Straightliners Northern Ireland.
27th January:
Trevor Duckworth of Straightliners has announced a series of drag racing events in Northern Ireland after a year of work behind the scenes.

He said "We have set up Straightliners (N.I.) Limited to put on events in the province, this will be run much like Straightliners is now with a mixture of classes and RWYB events. 2023 sees five full events taking place with the intention of running a full UK championship with rounds in the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man in 2024."

Fellow Straightliners (N.I.) Limited director Ben Lawrance said "As many of you will be aware, drag racing in Ireland is back. After a lengthy hiatus due to Covid, losing tracks and spiralling costs, the future of drag racing in Northern Ireland was certainly looking bleak.

"After the success of Drag Day and other events on the calendar, the sport was growing and with it, a whole community of like minded folk who all wanted one thing, to race. Sadly after all the momentum, the above conditions ultimately led to the demise of our sport in Ireland. Until now.

"I am proud to say we are back.

"With the backing and full support of the UK's premier timing team "Straightliners" under the watchful eye of Trevor Duckworth, we now have a fully equipped team that is ready to take on the challenge of timing the five rounds of the 2023 Irish Drag Racing championship. In February will be holding a private test session for our entire team to run the entire system over a 1/4 of a mile to maximise our readiness for the first round at Bishopscourt in March.

"I will sign off by saying a huge thank you to Trevor Duckworth and his team at Straightliners, his trust in us to deliver quality timing and events is one we do not take for granted and we have a duty to uphold the company's reputation. To all the supporters of what we have tried to achieve over the years, those who stuck with us, come rain, sleet, hail, snow and possibly the odd ray of sunshine - thank you.

"Myself and the team look forward to seeing you all trackside, both competitors and spectators alike."

Dates and venues for the five round series have been agreed:

Round 1. Bishopscourt (pictured), Sunday March 26
Round 2. Kirkistown, Saturday 29th April
Round 3. Ballykelly, 26th-27th May
Round 4. Bishopscourt, Sunday 30th July.
Round 5. Enniskillen, Sunday 27th August.

Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race tomorrow.
27th January: Tomorrow, 28th January, at Irwindale Dragstrip in California is the Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race, which we mentioned on 17th January. It will be the first public appearance of the Dos Palmos dragster since it was bought by the UK consortium of Geoff Stilwell, Tony Thacker, Nick Davies, Stewart Bassett and Mick Jenkins.

Mooneyes, which has been supporting racing and rodding since the fifties, still makes many of its own parts right in Los Angeles and still races and they have a long history of supporting us Brits ever since the Mooneyes dragster driven by Dante Duce made its first UK runs at Silverstone on 10th September 1963, culminating in a 9.48/167 which was the quickest quarter mile pass the UK had ever seen up to that date.

Spectator Entry for the event is still available online at this link, however car show registration (for ‘72 or older vehicles) and vehicle entry for drag racing are both sold out.

The second annual Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race is is a one-day show which is modelled on the Mooneyes Shows of the past and will include a pre-72 Car Show, pre-72 drag racing, vendor booths, live bands, a pin-up contest, pinstriping and more. The show is scheduled for 09:00 to 15:00 on Saturday 28th January.

Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell said "There should be many legends attending. Dos Palmos has cleaned up well and we have solved a problem of it running rich which has been an issue since we first took ownership of the car. Nick Davies sent over a spare fuel pump and the fuel lines and injectors were cleaned up, thanks to Tony, Donnie Cummings and Scott from the Pure Hell team for the cleaning and installation. The Mooneyes organisers are expecting more than 10,000 attendees and Dos Palmos will be on display alongside the Mooneyes dragster."

Swift snippets.
27th January: Happy Birthday for today to sponsor and car builder Geof Hauser who reaches 70 today, Wild Bunch racer Alan Skipp, Junior Dragster racer Harley Darby and Gasser Circus racer Simon Prest. We hope you all have a great day.

The new edition of Hot Rod, due out in February has a full report of Steve and Cindy Gibbs' Nitro Revival 2022. Coverage is by photojournalist Marc Gewertz can be seen on the Hot Rod web site.

Santa Pod Exhibition Classes for 2023.
26th January: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Track & Events Coordinator Dan Melrose who has sent us the following announcement:

Santa Pod Raceway is pleased to announce the return of several exhibition classes for 2023, headlined by the Greenlight Pro heads-up class at the Greenlight Nationals on August 19-20. The class will run to a heads-up pro tree, pro ladder eliminations format, and will be open to all vehicles running 7.49 or quicker that conform to Motorsport UK regulations.

Big Bracket will also be back for two standalone events in 2023. Alongside returning to the Greenlight Nationals, Big Bracket will now also be on the bill for the new Sportsman Nationals event on June 17-18. The class runs to a Dial-your-own format between 6.00-11.99 at Sportsman Nationals, and 7.50-11.99 at Greenlight Nationals. The class is open to all vehicles conforming to Motorsport UK regulations.

Entries will be available via the Santa Pod Racers Club website, so keep your eye out for more information!

Batcheler retires.
26th January:
Comp Bike racer Dave Batcheler has announced his retirement and sale of his racing operation:

"Well it’s time to hang up the leathers. I’m giving up racing and moving on to different adventures. I would just like to thank all that made us welcome at the track and I’ve made some great friends. And thank you to all the track crews at Pod, Shakey and Eurodragster (you're welcome - Editor).

I’ve been sprinting and drag racing for 18 years-ish and enjoyed it all. I got my first 8 second run at Shakey, then started running in 8.50 Bike for few years then moved up to Comp bike and after a few tries (well, more like few years), got my 1st seven.

There’s been a few highs. Phil Crossley letting me loose on his great Funny Bike which was amazing, and coming second in championship was the icing on the cake. And the same year at Easter, surprising Sharon and asked her to marry me when I cut the motor on startline. She still had the starter in her hand. thank you everyone involved in that plan.

We will still pop down every now and then to see you all going fast and can’t wait to see my tech guru Phil Crossley's new Top Fuel Bike running down the track.

I’m going to be selling the dragbike and stuff hopefully as a complete package. She’s done me proud. The fastest Suzuki Bandit-based motor in Europe, maybe the world, with a 7.76. Correct me if I’m wrong.

But from us all thank you again and we will see you in the future. Dave, Sharon, Rhys and Tyler.

All the best to Dave for his retirement. You can see details of his racing operation for sale at our Jeff Bull Race Engines sponsored Swap Meet pages.

Unusual Car Sales U.K. expanding.
26th January: Head of Facebook group Unusual Car Sales U.K. Nigel Taylor has been in touch with news of the group's expansion, and drag vehicles for sale.

Unusual car sales U.K. now has over 40,000 members between its main site and the parts and projects page.

When we started out 3 years ago we never had any idea that it would grow like it has, we have stuck with our zero policy on messers. We don’t allow negative comments, bad dealings, price slaggers, no show folk, no reply folk, no adverts without prices, no auctions, no competitions, no time wasters etc.

We enjoy helping everyone in the hot rod scene and drag racing scene and the feedback at shows and at Santa Pod has been amazing. We would like to say a special thanks to Mike and Stevie gates of Hayling Garage and Dan and Nik Williams of Williams bro racing for their continued support with the group and its members.

Vehicles this week that have sold include a drag racing Camaro, a pro street Fordson, a 56 Chevy, a coach camper, Chevy Blazer, Ford F150, a '58 Chevy Apache truck,a pro street Corvette, a 79 Camaro, a couple of Mopars and much more.

Some of the vehicles this week for sale include John Webster’s Amazing outlaw Anglia, Andy Frosts world's fastest street car, David Smith's Comp Eliminator Jag XKR (top left), Jiri Luke’s Funny Bike (top middle), Clive Charles's Topolino (top right), Kyle Rushby's turbo Hyabussa (bottom left), Kieran Turner's 9 second S10 truck (bottom middle), a couple of gorgeous 35 Ford’s, a gorgeous 58 Mercury and many more.

The admin team at unusual car sales U.K. consists of my wife and myself and up to now , we have had Chris Hepworth helping us along the way and he’s done an amazing job but due to the popularity and how busy it’s getting we have now added another 3 to our admin team. We would like to welcome Ross Simpson, Cliff “Firewalker” Mann and Adam Sayers who also happens to have an absolutely stunning 57 Chevy up for grabs on the site at present (bottom right).

The site also lists show/race dates, useful contact numbers, transportation services by area and anything else that helps out the scene. Thank you to for all the mentions, we know what hard work goes into this site and what a superb job Simon Groves does! Absolute legend. (you're too kind - Editor).

Grimhilde apparel on sale.
26th January: Street Eliminator racer and Serck Motorsport Global Motorsport Manager (UK and USA) Graham Smith has launched for the first time team merchandise for sale to fans. You can buy T Shirts, Hoodies, Zoodies and lack Zipped Tops, printed in extremely high quality using the latest technology and machinery by clicking on the picture.

Graham said "These products all feature our '57 Chevy Grimhilde. We are absolutely thrilled with the final finish thanks to Design by Binnie. Craig Dixon at Altered Apparel Tees has very kindly featured them on his web site at this link.

"We were thrilled with our first outing in the '57 at last years Euro Finals and look forward to the new season in Street Eliminator hopefully hunting a 7."

Swift snippets.
26th January: Happy Birthday for today to author and photojournalist Keith Lee, Nostalgia Funny Car racer Martin Maxwell, former Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car racer Birgitte Bremnes and ET Bike mum Sharron Collier. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

You can see eighth mile testing from the US Street Nationals streamed by NC ProModer on Facebook at this link with uploads also to Youtube; more live Facebook streaming is planned for today (Thursday). Some highlights of Tuesday testing have also been posted on Youtube by Straight Line Media.

SFI tour returns.
25th January: Many thanks to SFI President Jennifer Faye for announcing that after four long years of pandemic restrictions and international logistical challenges, the full SFI Inspections Tour will return for 2023:

The entire SFI Team is excited to return to the traditional four-stop inspections tour this year. We would like to thank everyone involved in European drag racing for supporting our efforts to return. We trust that most racers will be able to utilize the location that is closest to them and this will be much more convenient than shipping parts long distances for recertification.

The SFI inspection process is an important procedure for ensuring that certified parts are in safe working condition for the upcoming season. As a reminder, we are unable to inspect Weld wheels due to the special equipment that is not portable, however, we have added ME Racing Service in Sweden as an inspection site for Weld wheels. 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.

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

Flamholc racing at US Street Nationals.
24th January: Expat Swede Adam Flamholc had a busy 2022, attending over 30 events in the US and Europe, and is planning a similar, but more US oriented campaign in 2023, including NHRA, NMCA and No Prep Kings:

After a broken carbon fibre drive shaft (due to it coming into contact with the chassis) at the Snowbird Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, Adam had to withdraw after a best of 3.806/201.37 and #35 in qualifying in his Outlaw Pro Mod '57 Bel Air. He remarked "Super excited to go back out with the Bel Air. After making six runs with the car, I know what I wanna change and work on!"

On the following weekend Adam attended the No Guts No Glory grudge racing event at Orlando Speed World Dragway, then Adam and family had a short break. After Christmas, Adam continued working on the PDRA Pro street/Pro 10.5 doorslammer of Mike Reynolds as well as the Camaro of Dmitry Samorukov who is looking at competing in the whole NHRA Pro Modfied series in 2023, commencing at the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in March.

Adam's immediate racing priority is the US Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park this coming weekend. Information released by the track indicates an entry of around 56 Outlaw Pro Modifieds (see list of entries). Adam's new rear housing, brakes and axle parts arrived in time and he hopes to be at Bradenton to test tomorrow (Wednesday).

The following big race at Bradenton Motorsports Park after that will be the World Series Of Pro Mod 3rd - 5th March. You can see both races from Bradenton (and a lot more besides) on FloRacing (streaming starting Friday at 16:00 GMT).

One downside for Bradenton Motorsports Park is an amendment of use of land near the track to housing, passed by the local Manatee County in December in the face of mass opposition from local residents and the motorsport community, as reported in the Bradenton Times. We can only hope that development will be long delayed.

Swift snippets.
24th January: Happy Birthday for today to sponsor, car builder and racer extraordinaire Jon Webster, Santa Pod Raceway IT guru Dave 'DJ' Jones, ET Bike racer Blade King, Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman, VW Pro racer Paul Jackson and Jurgen 'Master of Desaster' Schomann. We hope you all have a great day.

The BBC have posted on their BBC Archive Youtube channel a report from Nationwide, originally broadcast 19 September, 1977 by Bernard Clark on events at Santa Pod Raceway. Included are interviews with SPR founder Bob Phelps, Roz Prior in the Maneater Top Fuel dragster and Harry Corrigan, who ran an Austin Westminster. See this piece of history by clicking here.

Pioneer stories: Ken Cooper, part 4.
23rd January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 4 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken built Bazooka Too, a more modern design, in 1967 which he ran until 1972 when he built Blast from the Past. With parts from Tony Beadle, Ken bored the engine out to 286ci and ran it on methanol with four Stromberg carbs and a full race cam. He then went direct drive with a slider clutch and ran 50% nitro, following which he experimented with different gearbox configurations and different fuels including hydrogen peroxide (not for long). In building a spare engine, Ken ground his own camshaft to the amazement of the competition - and knocked 3 seconds off the ET of the spare motor!

Part four of Ken 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.

Pro ET bash a success.
23rd January: On Saturday, the UK Pro ET bash was held at the Worcester Whitehouse Hotel and was again a great success, writes Mike Lacey. "Trophies were awarded to the following:

Best appearing car: Brett Featherstone
Best appearing team: John Bean
Crew Chief: Debs (Brett Featherstone)
Rookie: Warren Watts
Hard Luck: Lee Huxley
Wheelie: Tom Watkins
Comical moment: Andy Garnett
Spirit of Pro ET: Neil Topliss (aka Toppo)
Just Do It (new trophy in memory of Neil Hunter, pictured): John Bean.

"Thanks to all for coming. All the winners were very much deserved. Well done to all.

"I will be stepping down now and Brett Featherstone will be taking over the running of the sponsorship scheme. I wish him and all involved all the best. May you all have a fantastic years racing. See you all at Easter."

UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
22nd January: As mentioned in our update on
5th January, the SPRC riders' and drivers' meeting took place this afternoon at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton. Below is a summary of the items covered, thanks to SPRC club secretary Ian Marshall for providing details:


The dates and classes of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below, together with a table of other non-National classes running at Championship events. You may download and print the full tables in pdf format, including all FIA/FIM-E classes, by going to the links for car classes and bike classes.

Cars Motorsport UK
Pro Modified
Super Pro
Pro ET Sportsman
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May

STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September

STP UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

Bikes Top Fuel
Pro Stock
Super Street
ET Bike Junior Drag
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May


STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September


UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

Other classes at
Championship events
Funny Car
Funny Car
Flat Four
Super Stock
7.60 Door Car Class
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May
STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September
STP UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

SPR and SPRC have added the Sportsman Nationals to help spread the load at race events. Pit space is becoming increasingly tight, at the Festival of Power we don’t have the room for all of the classes, this is due in one respect to there being a large VIP Marquee in the middle of what would be the bike pits; we see this growth as a positive. The bike racer numbers have grown by 35% over the 2022 season and we need to accommodate everyone, therefore we have moved three car classes from the Festival of Power to the Sportsman Nationals in June, they will be joined by all of the ACU Bike classes with the exception of Top Fuel Bike. They will also be joined by the Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus, Modified 100E and the 7.60 Heads up class.


The entry fees this year will sadly have to rise, as most people know the cost of everything is going up, we Santa Pod Racers Club and Santa Pod Raceway are not exempt, the track has seen huge cost increases in 2022 so we must all do our bit to sustain our racing facilities.

The fees will go up 10% across the board for all events, 7% going to the track and 3% to the club.

Entry Fees for the 2023 season will be:

Class Two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
Motorsport UK British Pro Modified; Top Fuel Dragster; Nitro Funny Car; Nostalgia Funny Car £198 £209 £247 (FC and NFC only)

NB FIA classes pay FIA fees for FIA European Championship events
ET classes; Super classes; Junior Dragster; Comp Eliminator; Street Eliminator; VW classes; Outlaw Flat Four; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; Nostalgia Super Stock; other Sportsman car classes £165 £181 £209
ACU Top Fuel Bike, FIM classes £203 £215 NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
ACU Funny Bike; ACU Pro Stock Bike; ACU Comp Bike; ACU Super Street Bike; 9.50 Bike; 8.50 Bike; ET Bike; ACU or FIM Junior Drag Bike £170 £187 NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events


The electric fees will remain as per the 2022 season, so thankfully no increase there (see table below).

Event duration Single phase Three phase
2 days £75 £195
3 days £87 £207
4 days £99 £219


The 2022 National Champion Winners will receive free entry to their respective National Rounds as normal.

A reminder that the new membership system has now been put in place, all memberships will run from 1st January to 31st December.

The SPRC website has undergone an upgrade, with several new elements, the most obvious will be the requirement for car racers to add their SFI equipment and safety kit with expiry dates. More details will be passed on before the site goes live.

This is linked into Santa Pod being given the green light for the new scrutineering system. At present, we are waiting for confirmation for this from Motorsport UK. Should we receive this, we will go back to the system used during the Covid season, in that there will be no queue to scrutineer at all but one event; the Festival of Power will remain as per our normal scrutineering regime, in that every car on site will be scrutineered. For all race events following the Festival of Power, scrutineering will be on a selective basis, we or our scrutineers will maintain records as to who has been seen and when, all vehicles will be scrutineered at least twice during the season, pro cars will be at every meeting. If you do not attend the Festival of Power then the first event you do attend, you will be scrutineered regardless.

We feel that this system is far better for our racers and scrutineers, as they will have more time to carry out a detailed inspection of the cars. Please note the new scrutineering system is not for Motorcycles.

As the website is going through an upgrade, the entry forms will not be available Sunday evening as usual. We will announce when they are available.

2023 should see the launch of a brand new timing system. Our timing gurus have been working in the background for a year or so now, and have developed their own new system which, when launched, should see many important updates and new features. The plan at present is to test the system at RWYB events, then to run the system alongside our current timing system at the Festival of Power and Spring Speed Nationals. This is to allow our team the opportunity to iron out any bugs before we go live with the new timing system. We are currently looking at the Main Event to launch this, but will get back to all of our Competitors with a live date and details of what the system will offer to the racers, spectators, commentators and press once we are in a go condition.

All of our National Championship classes now have title sponsors, more details on these will be announced in the coming days.

Could any championship racers looking to run as a team please make sure the team’s name and driver/Rider details are passed on to either Ian Marshall or Yvonne Tramm. These must be in place one week prior to the Festival of Power please.

Finally we (SPRC) will be updating our marshals' crew uniforms this year. If there are any companies that would be interested in sponsoring part of our uniform we would be happy to hear from you, please call Ian Marshall on 01933 313625 or email for more details and what we can do for you or your company.

Goodale joins UK NSS Committee.
22nd January: UK Nostalgia Superstock co-ordinator Don Scott has announced a new member of the class committee:

"Chris Goodale, one of our racers and also a parts importer / supplier, has now joined us on the committee. With the class growing so big and so quickly, Bev Tyrrell, our membership secretary, told me she needed a hand with updating the website etc, giving her more time to concentrate on membership and finances etc alongside her busy daily work schedule.

"At our recent committee meeting, we identified Chris as being a suitable candidate for such a task, and coupled with his extensive knowledge of the type of cars that race in our class, we are very lucky to have him agree to join us.

Ecumaster supports Hobos.
22nd January: Thanks to 2022 ACU Comp Bike Champion Chris Neary for writing in about a new sponsor for Hobo Racing: "We have run Ecumaster products on Chris Neary’s competition bike and Mike Gooding’s STTG bike for the last eight years with great success. This new package will allow us to upgrade the bikes of Justin Malton and Luke Blundell.

As part of this sponsorship, Chris’s bike will be further upgraded in order to perform beta testing of the new Pro 16 ECU which is aimed at professional motorsport users. Ecumaster products are widely used by teams competing in many different forms of motorsports, such as drifting, drag racing, rally and circuit racing.

The full Ecumaster range can be viewed by visiting their website

Swift snippets.
22nd January: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Anglia racer Adam Cuthbert, Norwegian Pro Modified racer Odd Erik Fossum, Swedish Stock Superstock racer Thomas Strand and Marshals Club stalwart Chris Hobson who reaches 75. We hope you all have a great day.

Taylors turn to reporting.
21st January: Head honcho of the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook site Nigel Taylor and fellow hot rodder and photographer son Kenzie are turning their talents to reporting the UK street and drag scene for two major US titles:

"Kenzie and I have recently been approached by both ‘Dragzine’ and ‘Street Muscle', two very big magazines Stateside. These two magazines are asking for me to provide photos on the UK drag scene, as they believe it is deserving of far more coverage and exposure out there and we agree! They are wanting both on-track shots and photoshoots of certain cars for both magazines. One magazine is mainly aiming at the fastest, baddest, and quickest hot rods/drag cars in the country...Topspeed Street Eliminator boys, we’re looking at you.

"The other title, ‘Street Muscle', are looking mainly for street-driven hot rods, street rods, street gassers and pro street cars, anything along those lines.

"Hopefully throughout the year I will be asked to cover some cool events at Santa Pod Raceway for both magazines, featuring some of your awesome race cars and street rods. This will be a really exciting opportunity if I can get some of you lovely guys with some fast street cars interested and to possibly have your car pictured / featured in the States!

"They really want to get some good recognition for the UK scene in the USA and around the world. It's been underserved for decades, time to change that. Their goal is to build a content pipeline where they can cover the cool cars that are over here and tell the stories of the owners.

"If you have a car that fits the description, can you please contact Kenzie Taylor or myself via Facebook messenger or email with a brief description of your car, a couple of pictures and an email address."

Swift snippets.
21st January: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway starter David Warren, Pro ET racer Will Clark and NSA historic drag bike exponent Terry Homan. We hope you all have a great day.

A reminder that today is the last day of voting for the Santa Pod Racers Club Perpetual Awards. Any votes that arrive after midnight will be excluded. The Perpetual Awards will be presented at the SPRC Awards Evening at DoubleTree Hotel, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on 18th February.

John Bennett.
20th January: We are very sad to announce the passing of British Drag Racing pioneer and Santa Pod Raceway founder John Bennett at the age of 92. John had been in hospital for about a month, suffering from pancreatic cancer but too weak for an operation to alleviate some of the symptoms. He was visited by, including others, his son John Jr and Maurice Takoor, but sadly passed away peacefully on 18th January.

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.

In 2020 we published an interview with John which you can see at
this link. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Amy, son John and daughter Suzanne, John's other family and friends.

Pioneer stories: Al O'Connor, part 1.
20th January: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and long time Super Gas racer Al O'Connor.

Al O'Connor lived near Podington Airfield and worked on auto mechanics from his teens. He had his first American car when he was 15 and, a couple of cars later, owned a Ford Zephyr which he called Rocky II after his son. In 1973 he bought Motor Psycho from the Gleadow brothers and converted it to a Street Altered which was named Al's Gasser. Al took Al's Gasser to events around the UK and to Sweden, however in 1978 the car, which had become well known for wheels up launches, crashed at Santa Pod, Al fortunately escaping serious injury.

Part one 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 January: A very Happy 70th Birthday today to sponsor and racecar builder Geof Hauser; Geof has finished building an altered for customer Ben Mace, who sent us the call-out following a tip-off from one of Geof's employees. Have a great day Geof, and see you soon.

Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny Car racer Andy Raw, Pro ET racer Tom 'Cherry' Watkins and Time Traveller II crewman Tom Hawkins. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Street Week Sweden organiser Mats Appelgren has announced that competition for the 2023 event will commence at Mantorp Park on 9th July and will this year take part in the south of the country. Four other tracks will be announced, but in the tradition of the event, it will conclude at Mantorp Park on 15th July. Registration for the event opens on 28th February at 10:00 via but competitors first need to register a profile at

FIM Europe publishes rules and records.
19th January: Thanks to FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen for confirming that revised rules for 2023 and existing records have been published on the FIM Europe website at

Readers should be aware that, in addition to the confirmed dates at Santa Pod Raceway and Hockenheim, negotiations for dates at Tierp Arena are still in progress and an announcement on them will be made in due course.

Edge Performance Transmission's SE plan.
18th January: Paul and Nick Evans of Edge Performance Transmissions are returning to the track with an uprated version of their '79 Vauxhall Viva estate in 2023 after completion of the new build. They said:

"We should be on to get the car out towards the middle of the year into Street Eliminator, changing over to the Chevy LS from the previous Pontiac was more work than we thought it would be. (The car was last run at Shakey just before it closed, running 8.90's at 165mph on some tune up passes). Our new block/ heads and parts were all supplied and machined in the States by Stefan at ACE for the new engine combo, Dart block/Trick Flow heads/Callies CCW crank, Holley EFI and intake. We've welded up the twin turbo charge pipes and the burst panel onto the intake top, thanks to Tom Atkinson for machining this up for us. All the stainless exhaust pipework has also been completed.

"It's more than just an engine build though - we've changed rear suspension and 4 link, chassis mods, cooling system, transmission (of course!), fuel system to suit the EFI, and some bodywork for good measure. We just have the 388 LS engine left to build."

Meanwhile some time ago, Nick posted a digital rendering from Design by Binnie (who also does Edge's new tee shirts designs) of Nick's droopsnoot Vauxhall Firenza that Paul and Nick are also building for Street Eliminator UK. So far, Robinson Race Cars supplied the chromoly tube and pre-bent some of the main cage for the 25.1H chassis, Bullseye Power Turbochargers supplied the SB billet 83mm turbos, supplied the race weight GRP doors, bonnet, bootlid, front wings etc; it also has a RRC chromoly rear axle setup/full Strange brakes, "This car being a slightly longer term build" said Nick.

Edge Performance Transmissions will be part-sponsoring Street Eliminator again this year, and, when the car is finished, both Nick and Paul will be sharing driving duties in SE. "We've always had a love for this class right from the early days, crewing on Joe's Stiletto for many years, it's a great class to be part of and we're glad we can give back something to our customers and the class in general. With cash prizes/goodie bags etc for quickest average reaction times, round wins and the championship win."

Edge Performance Transmissions provides automatic race transmissions for many cars in the SPRC National Drag Racing championship, in Street Eliminator, Pro ET, Super Pro ET, Outlaw Anglia, and Pro Modified as well as Outlaw Street and Supercharged Outlaws.

. Current Edge customers in Street Eliminator include Al Mac, Tony Higgs, Ashley Cooper, Dave & Elliot Day, Damian Halliwell, Mark Todd, Andy Bond, Joe Stevens, James Murray, Nick Hale, Nigel Hale, Steve Walker, Vic & Pete Smith - which is most of Street Eliminator!

One car which is returning will have extra attention due to its wild performances in the past and serious upgrades since it was last out at the Greenlight Nationals in 2021. Edge have uprated Joe's Stiletto transbrake race TH400 transmission, whilst Joe has also had input & help from Carburetor Solutions Unlimited (CSU), SCAT crankshaft and Robinson Race Cars (RRC).

A few recent new builds for Street Eliminator that will have Edge Performance Transmissions gearboxes are Vic & Pete Smith with their radial twin turbo Buick GS 455 , Steve Walker with his unique International Harvester pickup powered by a ACE Racing Engines 427ci LS and Mark Todd with the turbo BBC Aston - all cars will have an Edge 2500+hp ‘big shaft’ TH400, heavily upgraded to take all this power.

Edge Performance Transmissions has also added £250 to the prize pot for the first UK Street Weekend event and they see a bright future in this type of competition which has become popular in the US with Hot Rod Drag Week, Sick Week and others and Sweden with Street Week.

Backdraft Two.
19th January: Wild Bunch drag racer Chris Hartnell is joining the NSA! Yes, Chris (otherwise known as Crazy Chris) over the winter has purchased the 400 Racing Class bike formerly owned by Tony Pettitt. Besides racing his nostalgia slingshot dragster Backdraft at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway since 1994 Chris is expecting to run the bike at Westonzoyland, Smeatharpe and, of course, Santa Pod’s Dragstalgia this year with a view of the bike going on display, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.

"Commonly referred to (by me) as the 400 Clift Honda some say that the bike once started life in the seventies as Mick Warne’s ‘Jus’ Blue’ and raced in the BDR&HRA championships at Santa Pod with a W.R.E. 750cc Triumph while the Clift connection comes from the frame being constructed by BDRHoF member John Clift.

"Well, we can now confirm that the bike made its debut registered as DC131 at the 1976 Springnationals which ironically enough was the first drag race meeting that Chris attended to watch American Top Fuel hero Big Daddy Don Garlits race. The story goes that Mick’s other bike ‘Big Blue’, a twin engined Triumph was going to a show at the same time so Mick and John Clift built Tony’s and Chris’s bike in four weeks to get to the Pod in time for Easter. Funnily enough Warne qualified for Senior Bike to come up against and win against Clift; 9.90/141 to 10.52s after losing the carb (it fell off) at three quarter track!

"In all the years I have known Tony (a former 5 times Southern Sprint Champion) the bike’s motive power has come via a spiced up mid 12 second 400cc Honda and now joins the Bristol racer’s stable, shall we say, of unusual vehicles with Chris and partner Claire Meaddows' Backdraft slingshot dragster (ex-DB Motors Malibu Express/Pink Panther of Malcolm Olly), a 34 three window coupe street rod, a Harley road bike and now a pukka drag bike. Oh, and as Chris’ dragster is painted in the traditional Hartnell metal flake red expect to the merest hint of it on the bike real soon! Good luck Chris."

Mentioning the National Sprint Association, the club has its annual Prize Presentation and AGM this Saturday at the Strawberry Bank Hotel, Meriden, and we’ll publish a further item coming in the next few days of who won what, photos and dates for the 2023 season.

Photos by Carol Jenkinson and Chris Hartnell

Swift snippets.
19th January: Happy Birthday to Accidental Polymath Dave Gibbons, Supercharged Outlaws racer Simon Boot, also Crossfire (and future Wild Bunch) racer Jamie Faulkner, we hope you all have a fantastic day.

Willard OA visit is on!
18th January: Outlaw Anglia racer Mick Taylor has been in touch to tell us of his connection with Sydney, Australia-based Outlaw Anglia racer John Willard, who plans to bring his car over later in 2023:

I started building my own race van about 8/9 years ago. Through Facebook, John Willard started following the build, messaging me and we would chat about the build etc. I learnt he was an Anglia fanatic and already had a Ford Thames van. As, a chassis and race car builder, he was building an Australian Holden Monaco, but after learning about the UK Outlaw Anglia class, sold the Monaro and decided to build an Anglia instead.

John told me he used to race a Thames van in the mid-1990’s which unfortunately crashed. At that time he was a plumber in Sydney and didn’t have much idea about building cars. After the crash, he decided to work out what sets the good cars apart from the average ones, and after a stint building cars at home in the garage after hours, decided to start up a chassis-building business. He then said to me he was coming over to the UK for the 2018 Dragstalgia. I said why not stay with me for a couple of weeks, so I met John at the track that weekend, getting to know him and giving him the opportunity to meet many others in Outlaw Anglia.

He crewed for me at Summer Nationals the weekend before, and watched the car leave the line. He said "I can get you going down the track and lower your 60ft times." So we spent the whole week in the garage and every evening drinking beer and re-tuning the suspension, then off to Dragstalgia the following weekend. Unfortunately the van really didn’t go down the track as well as we thought. But John had highlighted the big problem with top-heavy weight distribution. This made us look at other aspects and now the van is running in the sevens at 180 mph.

John's previous project was a supercharged BBC Street rod Thames that ran an 8.70 ETs at 150 mph in the early 2000s (pictured above left). Being an Outlaw Anglia fanatic, he wanted the best start and got in touch with Colin Millar who made and shipped over a body shell. Shipping costs were more than the cost of the body. John told me he was building this car for one purpose and that was to run 6 seconds at over 200mph. Any record is only recognised at an Outlaw Anglia event and has to be backed up, and so wouldn’t stand in either the US or Australia. Then building the Chromoly chassis to the class rules maximum wheelbase of 101” and highly modified the body shell, then took a mould and laid the modified sections up in carbon, but left the roof, side and windscreen area in the original fibreglass.

The engine is a 451 cu in Brad Anderson Hemi with a Littlefield 14:71 supercharger and a Lencodrive trans, it’s tuned by Brett Gillespie who is also a racer and engine builder in Australia. The car was all but finished and we had talked about John coming over to the UK and putting together a Gofundme as he had always wanted to race in Outlaw Anglia in the UK. Then Covid struck, a year laterJohn had a bad back, then Sydney Dragway decided to resurface the track. Finally, John booked into the first weekend event possible at Sydney Dragway.

On Saturday morning 5th December 2020 about 5:30am I had a phone call from John in his lazy Australian voice saying "Sorry to wake you so early", What’s up John? "I've just run a 6!"…WHAT?? "At 200mph!" This was his first full pass in the new car and set up, after just having done a launch, a 60ft, and a 1000ft pass for Brett to confirm the tune-up. He did his first full run with a conservative tune running 6.93 at 201mph both unofficial records straight away. John has been out since and ran a 6.67 and 208mph.

The current outright record for a Ford Anglia is 6.659 at 207.7 mph and has been held by American Chuck Moore since 2007. The last time John was out August 2022 and ran 6.67 at 198 mph, shutting off early. The previous run was 6.72 at 208.33 mph beating Chuck’s speed record by 0.6 mph. John still wanted to come to the UK and I noticed a post from Rob Nixon, who started Outlaw Anglia back in 1993, saying we must get him over here. Rob has been the perfect person to front the Gofundme and you can view their progress at this link.

Our target was £10,000 but the more we can raise reduces the overall cost for John. We've had a few auctions and people have donated various things, Tony Betts, one of his funny car bodies, Roy Wilding, sitting in he's dragster on fire up, Wayne Allman, parts from Mental Breakdown, Ben Rushforth from Engine Data Analysis, dyno and balancing work, Chirs Bourton a Bespoke exhaust, just to name a few.

Many people have donated £5, £10, then Geoff Stillwell who runs a land speed car donated £2000 and has expressed additional help if needed, also donations from individuals in Outlaw Anglia, all of which are valued, no matter how big or small. This wouldn't have happened without you all, thank you all so much. At the Festival of Power 2022 I spoke with Keith Bartlett and told him of our plans to get John over and he was very enthusiastic about it and would help where he could. Since then I've been communicating with Dan Melrose at Santa Pod, it just so happens he's Australian and has worked at Sydney and Melbourne Raceways and knew of John. Santa Pod has agreed to pay 10% towards shipping costs and will be letting the cars stay and use their workshops whilst over here.

There are actually two cars coming over, it was actually cheaper for a 40ft container than a smaller one for one car. The other car is Paul Stephen's competition Altered (pictured left). John and us would like to thank Keith for his generous offer that has made things so much easier, also to Dan for the technical one-to-one support, all round nice guy! The cars will go into a container in March, not cheap, then flights, hotels, container transport from the docks and return, the container being bought and kitted out before delivery to the docks.

Events we plan to run are the Sportmans Nationals for some checkout passes, Summer Nationals (an OA MSUK round) Dragstalgia (an OA lifestyle round which John is really looking forward to), then the Ford Show for demonstration passes. John would love to set both records at one of these events and make it official, but, if not, just competing against his beloved Outlaw Anglia (especially Banshee) would be more than enough - you never know, the Aussie Outlaw might need to be pushed harder than ever to have a chance at beating the local competition! Unfortunately, John's crew chief/engine tuner may not be able to make the trip, however, he will be on the other end of the phone and two other crew members are coming. Both have worked on the car from the beginning, and I'll arrange a few crew members here too.

John will hold one record here, being the longest distance for a racer coming to Santa Pod Raceway beating Arthur Christy's record from South Africa in 1971.

VP Fuels are sponsoring us with Fuel, we'd be pleased to hear from any other company who may like to help with funding, and sponsorship to cover costs such as transportation etc. All I can say is hold on to your hats, it's gonna be fun! John, Mick and all the crew would like to say a big thank to everyone so far for making this happen.

You can see Mick's drag cars in his garage by clicking on this link.

Track photo of John credit Brad McDonald. Thanks also to Mick for helping John Hunt out with contacts on one of our Pioneer stories.

Swift snippets.
18th January: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike engineer and tuner Marius van der Zijden who reaches 70, Supercharged Outlaws racer Andy Park, VW Pro racer Sam Chisholm-Brown, FWD racer Ian Pepper, and Willys Coupe racer Gary Daley. We hope you all have a great day.

2023 FIA Regulations published.
17th January: Many thanks to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg who has announced that the 2023 Technical and Sporting Regulations for FIA Drag Racing have been published on the FIA website and can be found on
this link. As before, the changes from the previous regulations have been marked up.

First outing for Dos Palmos.
17th January: Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has let us know that the famed Dos Palmos dragster which appeared at the 1964 Drag Festival in the UK will be making its first outing under its new ownership at the end of January.

Tony Thacker (pictured, click for video of start-up) posted that he, with co-owners Geoff, Nick Davies, Stewart Bassett and Mick Jenkins plan to have the car on display at the 2023 Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag at Irwindale Raceway, California, on Saturday 28th January.

Crewmen Scott Campbell and Donny Cummins helped to get the ex-Chris Goodnight Keith & Williamson dragster running after some fuel leaks were fixed. Scott handled the leak-down test while Donny handled the fine adjustment.

Geoff said he plans to attend the Grand National Roadster Show the following weekend 3rd-5th February. He said "I will be at the Mick's Paint booth plus helping out in the SCTA booth as well, and will be interviewed by Bob Beck." Geoff added that his car sadly won't be exhibiting at the GNRS as his trailer is being replaced by a new custom-built one after suffering serious chassis damage on the way to Bonneville last August for the abortive Speed Week.

Swift snippets.
17th January: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel and Funny Car racer and Junior mum Shelley Pearson, Super Pro ET racer and Junior Dad Matt Peters, former Top Fuel racer Andy Craddock and Pro Stock Bike racer Frederik Kirkhoff Schack. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Finnish Super Twin racer Vesa Lipponen (pictured), who was the first rider in his class to run a five, has run a best of 5.92/217mph and whose bike was run to a 5.99 at last year's Main Event by Samu Kempainnen, has announced he will be competing on the whole FIM tour this year. His announcement means we should see Vesa in action at Santa Pod Raceway at two events in 2023. You can support Vesa by putting your company logo/colours on his helmet by messaging him, and find him on Instagram at #topfueltwin.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, part 3.
16th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 3 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken started building his first dragster in 1960, meeting other British Hot Rod Association dragster constructors at their first Custom Car Show in 1963. RAC regulations put the project on hold and Ken hot rodded a '33 Ford Cabriolet for the first BHRA AGM. He resumed work on the dragster, completing it by the end of 1964 and took it to the BDRA Practice Day at Graveley in August 1965 when there were eight UK-built slingshots. Ken then took it to the first meeting at Santa Pod, recalling some of the personalities of the time.

Part three of Ken 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.

Swift snippets.
9th January: Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Mark Dainty and VW Pro racers James Gould and Ed Keech, both of whom reaching their 40th birthday. We hope you all have a great day.

Hayley Hadfield funeral stream.
15th January: Andy Hadfield has reminded us that late wife Hayley’s funeral is tomorrow at 13:45. We announced details of the live ceremony on 31st December, however if you can't attend in person a stream is available to watch remotely. Andy says:

"I have organised the stream and you can get to it by clicking on this link. Please bear in mind, this is a bit techie and will depend on bandwidth and streaming capabilities of the signal at the church. Should the livestream fail at any point, the whole service will be uploaded as a video which I believe will be on the same link. This could take up to 12 hours after the event.

"Hopefully it will be perfect and you should be able to watch it live. For those of you who are attending, I’m looking forward to seeing you there."

Sjödin Motorsport planning UK trip in 2023.
15th January: Thanks to Andreas Sjödin for letting us know that his Top Doorslammer team is planning to travel to Santa Pod Raceway in 2023, if sufficient funding is forthcoming:

"The 2023 season is here already! Thanks for the support to all of you out there during our Summit EDRS Top Doorslammer Championship Winning 2022 Season! The truck and trailer got the yearly inspection in the mid of November last year and are ready to hit the roads in 2023.

"We had a great time at the EDRS prize giving banquet in the end of November at Aronsborgs Konferanshotell in Bålsta together with a lot of other drag racing friends!

After winning the Top Doorslammer series in 2022, and as far as I know today, there is no schedule out yet for the series in 2023.

"So, I’m looking at what I want the most during 2023 and that is going to England and Santa Pod Raceway again for The Doorslammers and Main Event in May and we are looking for partners to get the funding for it! I want to go there and get the Chevelle into 3.7s in the 1/8 mile and 5.7s in the 1/4 mile! I’m pretty sure I got it in the car after looking on the data from when we were at Santa Pod in 2019!

"I will still be using the same motor that we got in the car in 2019 without any updates except small changes in tuning! I’m just looking to beat my own world record with a conventional headed big block Chevrolet!

"Once again I want to say a huge thanks to my awesome team, Dad (Åke), Max, Sofi, John, Krille, Dennis and Fredrik and to our partners, Åkes Bil & Motor, Birka Motorrenoveringar, Sjödin Motorsport Race Cars, Swecomposite, LSF Custom Lackering, Swelube Amalie Motor Oil, LVV AB, Bengtssons Smide, Loggamera, Clearwrap, SnapOn Pro Tools Peter Hult, ICA Gärdet, W-Linds Bärgning, Kustservice, Supra Trading, T. Grundström Plåtslageri, Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports, Swedol Arninge, CP-Carrillo, Alwerco Svets & Smide, Catch With Care, Edlunds Maskinservice that made our 2022 season so successful!

"If you are interested and want to see us at Santa Pod Raceway again in 2023 and want to be a part of it and help us, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and visit our home page.

Alice's hike for Macmillan.
15th January: Photojournalist Alice Fairhead has announced she will be undertaking some fundraising activity for Macmillan Cancer Support:

"This May myself and a close friend will be walking the North Norfolk mighty hike for Macmillian. We'll be walking the full 26 mile route on May 20th raising money for Macmillian Cancer Support. For myself personally, I've lost two people very close to me to cancer and as a racing family we've lost many. Any support and donations big or small are greatly appreciated.

"I'm also offering any of my photos from 2022 and anything from 2023 that are purchased before May 20th, the money will go straight to Macmillian cancer support. My photos can be viewed on my Facebook page and donations can be made at this link."

Swift snippets.
15th January: Happy Birthday for today to FIA Pro Stock racer and legend Michael Malmgren, Outlaw Anglia racer Garry Hill and German Pro Modified racer Jürgen Kath. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

We were sorry to hear of the passing of Outlaw Street crewman and occasional racer Adam Smith who raced a Mk1 Escort (pictured). OS co-ordinator Mark Wallingford wrote: "He was a really lovely guy who will be greatly missed by everyone. All our love & thoughts go out to Carly and Cameron." We add our deepest condolences for their loss.

Autosport International coverage.
14th January: A smaller Autosport International show at the National Exhbition Centre, with some notable motorsport industry absences, had less of drag racing interest than in previous years but long time supporter Bob Roberts and former editor Tog still managed to track down a couple of big stories (see below) and talk to those racers who were exhibiting.

You can see our Autosport International report and gallery, presented in association with
John Woolfe Racing, at this link. Many thanks to Tog and Bob for supplying a report and photos.

Williams Bros announcements.
14th January: Eurodragster com sponsor VP Racing Fuels have announced that Williams Brothers Racing have become the exclusive UK distributor for VP’s range of lubricants.

Speaking at Autosport International yesterday, VP Racing Fuels’ International Sales Manager James McVey said “Our brand is growing on the lubricant side and we are excited to be partnered with the Williams Brothers. They can promote the product and they go to the track so they have hands-on experience. We know that there is a lot of choice for customers and we offer a superior product which racers know will be consistent. Dan and Nic have been working with Freddie Turza for years; he understands the market and he said that these are the guys to work with."

Tech Manager Freddie Turza added “The Williams Brothers are premier engine builders and racers and I would say that they make good Brand Ambassadors. Their reputation speaks for itself. They will be the exclusive distributor of our lubricants in the UK and will be there on the technical side to help racers. They will have all of our products at their own facility.”

Freddie also said that VP Racing Fuels will also be supporting Dan and Nic Williams when they race in the USA in 2023.

Also in Williams Brothers news, track announcer and owner and driver of Bruce Colin Theobald told that he will shortly be starting to work part-time for OCS Group, primarily at the Williams Brothers Speed Shop but also the paint shop and workshops. “Because of the expansion of OCS Group, Nic is so busy that he needs extra help", said Colin. "So as from next week I will be working for them on marketing, social media, customer liaison and behind-the-scenes work. The boys have given me a new challenge!”

You can read more about both stories on our Autosport International report by clicking here.

Santa Pod wants you!
14th January: If you’ve ever wanted to be part of the volunteer track marshal team at Santa Pod, there’s no better time to join than now! With over 50 events each season ranging from Run What Ya Brung track days all the way through to our FIA European Drag Racing Championship events, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for you to get stuck into at the track, writes Events Coordinator Dan Melrose.

Roles are available in the following areas:
  • Trackside/Startline
  • Fire Crew
  • Timing
  • Signing On Office
  • Pit Marshals
One role we’re looking to fill in particular is for a new Race Director for 2023 and beyond. This fast-paced role will see you responsible for the safe and efficient running of all our Motorsport UK-sanctioned race events, alongside our existing senior race management team.

This is ideal for any racer, crew member or fan looking to give back to the sport they love. Previous experience is not a pre-requisite to joining, as training will be provided. For more info and to apply, check out the Santa Pod website at where there is an online application form.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
14th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the 2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Dániel Donát Lencsés (Dániel Donát Lencsés, Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike)
Vote for Dániel Donát Lencsés

Luke Robinson (Andy Robinson, Motorsport UK Pro Modified)
Vote for Luke Robinson

David Gane (Billy Gane, Peter Nee Super Pro ET)
Vote for David Gane

Chris Todd (Kevin Jenkins, Track Worx Competition Eliminator)
Vote for Chris Todd

Rick Stubbins (Alan Morrison Jnr, Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike)
Vote for Rick Stubbins

Marius van der Zijden (Neil Midgley, Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Marius van der Zijden

Chris Neary (Chris Neary, Comp Bike)
Vote for Chris Neary

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Peter Walters for designing and implementing the online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

Autoart Motorsport in collaboration with Mantorp Park.
14th January: Autoart Motorsport, with Johnny Nilsson as owner and Dennis Nilsson as driver, together with Mantorp Park is looking for more teams in the Top Fuel class for this year's edition of the Drag Festival at the famous strip. Yes, you read that right, this year the event goes by the classic name Drag festival and will take part as usual on the last weekend in July!

The ambition is to get a total of four Top Fuel teams (Autoart motorsport are already signed up) together and to run a so-called Cannonball race where the time is added up, quickest cars goes to the top! We run one round on Friday, two on Saturday. And the two quickest cars go to the final on Sunday, and also car nr3 and nr4 compete for third and fourth place.

In case of interest or more information contact Johnny via or call on +46-707-982222.

Swift snippets.
14th January: A very Happy 91st Birthday to drag racing legend Big Daddy Don Garlits, we hope you enjoy your day Big.

Happy Birthday for today to Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi and former Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook, have a great day guys!

Videographer Thomas Cook Abbott has uploaded to Youtube his highlights of 2022, in memory of Hayley Hadfield, and he packs a great deal into two and a half minutes, definitely an off-season pick-me-up. You can see Thomas's video at this link.

Pioneer stories - Chris Pattison, part 2.
13th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of UK drag racing pioneer and enthusiast Chris Pattison.

Chris first went to the USA in 1968 on holiday and his hosts took him to drag racing at Fremont Dragstrip. On his return to the UK, after completing his mechanical engineering studies, he worked at local motor dealers' workshops in his hometown of Wycombe, then joined British Airways as senior cabin staff. He was involved with classic motorboats and powerboats, eventually returning to drag racing, building the Grim Reaper altered which runs in the Supercharged Outlaws with Aaron and Mark Windridge.

Part two of Chris'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.

Above photo: Ian Blackett

Huxley Motorsport car at Autosport International.
13th January: Thanks to multiple Pro ET champion Brian Huxley for letting us know that a family car will be at Autosport international show this weekend:

"Darren Huxley who races his Nissan S13 180SX in Sportsman ET at Santa Pod Raceway will be at the show this weekend. It will be on the Formula D stand in Hall 3, stand W520. This car has run 12 seconds flat over the ¼ mile, running on VP Racing fuel.

"The car which also doubles as a drift-gymkana car. will be there from Friday until Sunday. Please call in at the stand & have a chat."

Swift snippets.
13th January: Happy Birthday for today to Sportsman ET racer Stephen Cherrett and Street Eliminator crewman Andrew Shakeshaft. We hope you both have a great day.

VP Racing Fuels hosts Williams Bros.
12th January:
Williams Bros Racing have announced they will be displaying Dan Williams' 2022 Competition Eliminator championship winning Chevelle at sponsor VP Racing Fuels' stand at Autosport International from today until Sunday. Also taking part on the VP Racing Fuels stand will be Santa Pod Raceway announcer Colin Theobald, and VP Racing Fuels UK & Europe Business Development Manager Tom Davis.

If you want to meet up with other drag racing people, in the absence of Santa Pod Raceway, who have chosen not to have a stand this year, VP Racing Fuels stand is 2370. You can also visit Robin Read who, with Herb Andrews, will be displaying both of his Daimler engined dragsters at stand 3250. Sraight to the Point Racing, headed by Benito Chiarella, will be at stand E320. The stands are fairly close to one another.

Also at the show will be the UK’s Top Tuned Cars including Andy Devine's Ford Escort Mexico Mk2, opportunities to get into motorsports engineering, the Live Arena and much more.

Autosport International is at the National Exhibition Centre from today until Sunday. Tomorrow, our reporters and photographers Tog and Bob Roberts will be concentrating on the drag racing aspects of the show and we will publish their work from Friday evening. Tickets are from £37.25 at this link. More information on Autosport Internation is at

Straightliners Show call-up, jets aplenty.
12th January: The Straightliners Elvington Top Speed Show will be taking place on 25th-26th February 2023 at Elvington Airfield YO41 4AU and is planned to have a major drag racing element on display. Rocket Bike racer Graham Sykes writes:

"We are looking for exhibitors who have drag cars and bikes, or Top Speed cars or bikes, to come and exhibit at the show. Hot rods, custom cars and bikes are also welcome, what have you.

"The show was run last year for the first time and, even though the weather was against us, it was a great success. We are now expanding on last years success. There will be four large heated marquees, catering, trade stalls, toilet facilities, class room and a hospitality trailer. We will have a dedicated marquee to Melbourne Raceway, and Top Speed vehicles.

"Outside, depending on the weather, we are planning a 1/16 mile Drag race Demo and jet car Static Flame shows. Already confirmed will be Julian Webb showcasing his brand new Jet Dragster Spiderman, who will be giving a flame show both days in the outside display area, Martin Hill with the famous Fireforce 3 Jet Funny Car and Graham Sykes with the steam Rocket Force of Nature.

"Everything permitting, we will also have Bluebird K7, the restored famous land speed boat of Donald Campbell, on display and they hope to fire the jet engine up for everyone to enjoy.

"Also we are hoping to get the current British Land Speed Record holding car Vampire and again we hope to start the car up with a flame show. Entry is £10.00 per day per person under 16 go free and free camping over the weekend. You can get tickets via the new Straightliners web site at Free entry for exhibitors is one free ticket per vehicle." Anyone interested in exhibiting their vehicle please contact Graham Sykes on 07778 053506 or by email at

Swift snippets.
12th January: Happy Birthday for today to European Top Fuel legend Anita Mäkelä and Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd. We hope that both of you have a wonderful day.

Santa Pod Racers Club have issued the 2023 Car and Bike Drag Racing Yearbook, including rules and regulations relating to the sport in the UK at this link (pdf download). Changes from last year are marked in red.

British Drag Racing Historians.
10th January:
Today we launch the logo for British Drag Racing Historians.

British Drag Racing Historians is open to anyone who writes about the history of British Drag Racing and has been published through the internet or print media. John Hunt founded the group by contacting those in the group and others in early 2020 asking if it was a good idea to operate under one banner as a group of like minded individuals who are dedicated to the History of British Drag Racing.

The group aims to discuss and share information on a mutual basis and meets occasionally and informally. Our first meeting was held on 28th July 2021 at Blackbushe Airport, the site of the Drag Festivals held in 1964 and 1965 and where many races were held in the 1970s and 1980s. The second meeting was at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu on 29th November 2022. The Group aims to promote the history of our sport through websites, Facebook, books and magazines. The group operates as an association and is not formally registered as an organisation.

You can contact John Hunt via at Names and background of individual members are shown here.

Paul Foot kindly designed the logo on behalf of the group for which we are thankful; the bike image was supplied by Jerry Cookson.

Swift snippets.
10th January: Perfect Light Award sponsor Cath Napier has asked if we can wish her husband Tig a very happy 60th Birthday for tomorrow 11th January. Hope you have a great day tomorrow Tig.

Also celebrating tomorrow is megafan Mikey Durbridge, we hope you have a great day Mikey.

We send our very best wishes to Santa Pod Raceway founder and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Bennett who is unwell in hospital.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, Part 2.
9th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken joined the British Hot Rod Association and took his yellow '37 Ford Coupe to the historic first meeting in September 1962 at the Watling Street Cafe near Junction 9 of the M1. Thanks to Brian Sparrow who was involved with the National Sprint Association, cars were allowed to run at sprint meetings. Eventually, having already run at the Brighton Speed Trials cars had their own meetings and Drag Festivals took place. With all this activity, the RAC were involved in regulating the sport and Santa Pod Raceway opened in 1966 only a short time after the Drag Festivals.

Part two of Ken 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.

Swift snippets.
9th January: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified team member Stefani Kate Fisher and former Funny Car racer Gary Willy, we hope you both have a great day.

UK Nostalgia Superstock crew member Charlotte Cawthorne appears in the latest programme in the BBC documentary series We Are England, entitled We Make Supercars. Charlotte is shown from around 9 minutes in, working as a maintenance technician apprentice at McLaren's new plant in Sheffield and enjoying racing on brother Jake's Dodge Dart team. Thanks to Martin Dunks for locating the programme.

An article on by Lena Perés reports that the two junior dragsters of Swedish racers Marcus Andersson and Chris Callin have been sold to Spain to race in the Centauros Drag Dragracing Team of Spanish Super Pro racer Angel Romero, Drag Race Union's champion in the class for 2022. The 16 year old Marcus Andersson will himself move up to Super Gas in dad Carl-Eric Andersson's Chevy Vega. The expanded Centauros Drag Dragracing Team plans to return to Tierp Arena this summer.

Autosport International call-up.
8th January: From Thursday 12th until Sunday 15th January, Autosport International will be taking place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham (Halls 1-5). It's the first live show since 2020 and those attending can buy advance tickets online at Tickets bought for the 2022 show may be carried over to this year.

The show opens at 09:00 each day and closes at 18:00 on Thursday and Saturday, 17:00 on Friday and Sunday. As usual Thursday and Friday are exclusively reserved for people who are involved in the motorsport industry or to those studying a motorsport or engineering related course. will be attending the show on Friday, there will be photos and a report by former editor Tog and sponsor Bob Roberts. We have identified some friends on the list of exhibitors, sponsors VP Racing Fuels and Anglo American Oil, also British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Robin Read has announced he will be exhibiting both of his Daimler engined dragsters on stand 3250.

We would be delighted if any drag racing folk attending the show, either as visitors or exhibitors, with products/services or vehicle(s), could contact us before Friday to ensure we can arrange a rendezvous. Send a note to or FB message editor Simon.

Swift snippets.
8th January: Happy Birthday for today to Melbourne Raceway Community FB admin Kelli Barrett, Junior Dragster dad Matt Fordham, and Swedish Pro Stock racer Lasse Britsmar. We hope you all have a great day.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 4.
7th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the
2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is Most Professional-Appearing Team. The Most Professional-Appearing Team trophy recognises not just the presentation of a race vehicle but the team's overall approach to racing. As well as a well-turned-out car or bike, the Committee have considered such aspects as the appearance and attitude of team personnel, the organisation and appearance of their pit area and support equipment, and their readiness when their class is called.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Ellie May Brown (Miss Stig, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
Vote for Ellie May Brown

Dan De'Ath (Sidechick race team, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike)
Vote for Dan De'Ath

Tom Kaye (Tom Kaye and Black Belt Racing team, Modurstang Pro ET)
Vote for Tom Kaye

Paul Morton (Mortified Racing team, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator)
Vote for Paul Morton

Allan Schofield (Scud Dragster team, Modurstang Pro ET and B Fast R Super Comp)
Vote for Allan Schofield

Meg Talbot (Rise Racing, Junior Drag Bike)
Vote for Meg Talbot

Craig Wright (CW Motorsport team, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike)
Vote for Craig Wright

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Peter Walters for designing and implementing the online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

The next, and final, voting category will be the James Edgar Memorial Trophy awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member.

Herman's ode to racing.
7th January: Ducati bike racer since 1976 Herman Jolink is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of his win at Drachten, and has kindly sent in an ode to commemorate his historic achievement, also marking the end of drag racing at Drachten Airfield:

Time is going    the new time
is coming    the older we let
behind  the new    is coming
it's exciting    you don't know
what is coming    that is okay
riding    with your bike
no diesel    no mud
on the road    nice riding
the front wheel    going
the right    way

By way of information on his 1984 win (pictured left), Herman took 1st Place in the 1984 Netherlands finals at Drachten on his Ducati Bevel 998cc drag Bike (with home made pistons from material supplied by Mahle), running on high octane petrol. His best time over the 1/4 Mile in 1984 at that event was 10.388s with a terminal of 209kmh (130mph). 2nd place was Martin de Jong on his Kawasaki.

Pictured right is a recent photo of Herman with his Beloved Old Lady, a rare Ducati Mille S2 (only 171 were made), also dating back to 1984/5.

Pioneer Stories: Chris Pattison, Part 1.
6th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and enthusiast Chris Pattison.

Brought up in a RAF family, Chris Pattison lived in Hornchurch and was introduced to motor racing by his father who, after retiring from the RAF, ran a country garage. Chris attended the 1964 International Drag Festival at Blackbushe. A major event for him was winning an Allard Dragon dragster in a competition in the British Drag Racing magazine. The car was initially driven by its designer John Hume and Allard works driver Rob Mackie, however Chris first had the opportunity to drive it in Spring 1966. In the first year of Santa Pod, Chris shared the driving with his father, gaining 13 awards from 11 meetings. His entrance to college resulted in the Allard Dragon being exchanged for Alan Ing's roadgoing Turner Climax.

Part one 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.

End of drag racing at Drachten Airport.
6th January: The Dutch Hot Rod Association (DHRA) yesterday posted the following sad announcement:

After a very successful event in 2022 in collaboration with 402 Events & DragNL, preparations and planning for an event in 2023 had already started.

Unfortunately today it was officially confirmed to us that the drag races at Drachten Airport have come to an end. Drachten Airport has been the drag strip of the Netherlands since 1975 and unfortunately this now comes to an abrupt end.

It is with pain in our drag racing heart that we have prepared this message.

DHRA, in collaboration with the various partners, will continue to look for alternative locations in the Netherlands.

Through this message we would like to thank everyone for the contribution they have made to the long history of drag racing in the Netherlands on the drag strip of the Netherlands.

Below is a copy of the message that we received from the Drachten Airport Foundation via the municipality of Smallingerland:

Decisions of the Board of the Drachten Airport Foundation

With a view to the future and the intended developments at Drachten Airport, decisions have been taken by the foundation board that affect the use of Drachten Airport for activities and events that are not related to flying. One of these decisions concerns the change of the approach route, regarding the circuit runway 07 for GA and the associated 5.11 procedure. For this new approach route, the entire runway must be used and the runway must be completely cleaned. The track section with rubber residues will be cleaned by an expert company. Due to the high cost, the removal of the rubber is done only once, so the track cannot be used for racing again.

In addition, further developments in the field and the new airport decree, current legislation and regulations exclude events that could affect the order and safety of the airport grounds. Events for which the airport must be temporarily closed will also be excluded.

Result for races

This means that from calendar year 2023 no more (drag) races can be organized at Drachten Airport.

Alternative location

No alternative location is available within the boundaries of our municipality for organizing your races, so we cannot facilitate your (drag) races at an alternative location.

Conclusion ....a sad day for Dutch drag racing.

Dave Rudd's Banzai 2022.
6th January: Thanks to Pro ET racer Dave Rudd for sending in his 2022 season review with his immaculate Banzai Cobra.

2022 went a whole lot better than I could have ever expected. Considering it was my first full season competing in the SPRC National Drag Racing Championship and Banzai Cobra's first season back on the track following her 5 year long rebuild.

At the start of the season I would have been happy just to complete every round but we did a little more than that. Finishing 19th out of 57 in the Pro ET Championship, finishing 2nd best “newbie” behind Marie Mills who was also competing in her first full season (I think), and we weren’t the lowest positioned who received the “all rounds” bonus. As well as that I somehow managed to bag the £50 Perfect Light award (and sticker thanks to award sponsors Tig n Cath) with a 0.0003 in Q1 of the Summer Nationals, also qualified 7th at the Euro Finals being 0.0038 off my dial in!

Whilst on the subject of times, I have been around drag racing for many years, spectating then crewing, so I am familiar with how close competition is, but until this season I have never really put into context what is done. Driving a ¼ mile in a car (or riding a bike) to within 38 thousandths of a second of your predicted time and that only gets you 7th qualifier, and if you were a 100th off your dial in you were lucky to get qualified in the top 10 at some meetings, it’s crazy how close things are!

Anyway, onto racing (or trying to)...

Our first outing was at Le French Fest for testing and re-gaining my race licence. It was a very cold, damp and misty weekend, but we completed the required licensing runs and came home very happy with how she had ran on her first outing with no (major) concerns.

Between Le French Fest and the Festival of Power, we decided not to change anything on the car as I still wasn’t running her flat out so after a full spanner check, it was off to the Festival of Power at which we ran the test day for more data and practice. Over the weekend we did 7 runs all within 0.1006 overall but we never got the dial in right so ended up 31 out of 34 (so at least we had qualified). First round against another newbie, Warren Watts and I had a cracking race, a RT of 0.085 and 0.0090 off my dial in for my first round win. Second round against Amy Watkins and I was fast asleep on the tree giving her the win, TBH my RTs are all over the place (recurring theme for the season) but looking at the run log, the car is within 0.10 at all the increments on each run, it’s all about learning and practice.

Looking at photographs, videos and my feedback from the Festival of Power, we still had a lot of work to do on the setup and to improve the launch and try and stop a little lunge to the right at approx. 300 ft. Following a few tweaks in the garage, we headed off to the STP Springspeed Nationals. We again ran the test day and we appeared to have taken 0.20 off the ¼ mile times with the tweaks, but I was still not very happy with how she was handling. Qualifying went reasonably well but I still was all over the place with RTs and not brave enough with dial ins so we ended up 20th out of 24. Round 1 had an excellent RT, I got a bit excited with the gearshift and changed straight into second gear after the launch so handed Alan Medley an easy win.

Again more tweaks before (and during) the Main Event, but as we had so many qualification rounds, decided not to do the test day even though I had finally plucked up the courage to switch the transbrake on and use it. Which, looking at the run log, didn’t make a huge difference in times apart from making the 60ft times more consistent, but that’s a good thing. Also due to using the transbrake meant we had to re-tune the rear shocks etc. and by the end of the meeting we had run out of adjustment! Qualifying itself was fun! At one point we were up to 17th but the air conditions changed dramatically between Friday and Saturday and we were running 0.20 quicker on the Saturday so after a few breakouts, we scraped in 2nd last qualifier at 31st out of 37, 0.0465 off our dial in. I went out in the first round against Dan Holloway with my first eliminations cherry on the tree with a -0.0525.

Due to running out of adjustment on the rear shocks I was straight on the phone once at home to Andy Robinson Race Cars for a chat and ordered a pair of new softer rear springs and once they were fitted Banzai Cobra was set up again on the corner scales. After the usual once over we were ready for the STP Summer Nationals. Once again due to the new rear springs we ran the test day which was a bit damp with a strong head wind, we only got 2 runs in but good news the errant lurch to the right had gone and she was launching what felt a lot smoother. First round of qualifying again with a strong headwind brought a pleasant surprise of a 0.0003 RT earning me the Perfect light money and sticker (thanks to Cath and Tig for the award sponsorship). Q2 brought another 0.0610 RT but I was not allowing enough for the head wind and we qualified 25th. In the first elimination round Amy pulled a very rare (for her) -0.0018 red light against my terrible 0.2622 handing me the win. Second round was lost against Neill when I had an even worse RT of 0.3266! I was pulled by the top end crew as Banzai Cobra was smoking heavily from the left hand side which I knew nothing about till I was nearly stopped. Turned out the rocker cover gasket had given way and was spraying oil onto the exhaust manifold fortunately not enough to get onto the track. However that was not the end of tales of woe as I asked Steph to sit in Banzai Cobra so I could have a closer look for leak with the engine running and once that was done as she climbed out of the car she dislocated her knee tearing the medial collateral ligament, ending up with Dan giving her a ride round to see the medics who were great.

After new rocker cover gaskets were fitted back at home and the usual once over (with no tweaks) we were ready to head down for the Euro Finals, an event I don’t think anybody involved with drag racing in Europe will forget. Following a damp test day with more wet stuff on Thursday morning our Q1 went quite well with a 0.0620 off dial in to be 13th out of 44. We were called to the pairing lanes late afternoon for Q2 where the news that the Queen had passed away filtered through, followed shortly after by the news that fellow racer Jon had also passed away returning to his pit after his last run - R.I.P. Jon.

Needless to say Q2 was a fairly sombre affair with some Pro E.T. racers choosing not to run that round. The following morning in Q3 resulted in a -0.0377 break out for us the only round we got that day. Then on Saturday morning in Q4 we finally hit the right number running 9.6538 on a 9.65 dial in moving us up to 7th after that round. Another point to note was that in the 4 qualifying rounds so far my RT had been 0.07 or less, maybe we were getting there? Q5 our last one was not too bad either with a 0.1971 RT and 0.0346 off dial in. Needless to say I went to bed quite happy with myself and my little team. In the morning we had Marie in the first round and as we both pulled into stage I hit the throttle and as Banzai Cobra hit the launch limiter instead of the usual cracking from the exhaust she gave a cough and splutter, after a quick glance at the gauges all looked well but when I looked up my light was green and Marie was away in the distance. The run was fine with me being 0.0248 off my dial in so was a bit puzzled about what had happened on the start line!

Once back in her nest we checked Banzai Cobra over concentrating on the wiring of the 2 step and line lock and it all checked out ok, checked fuel system which is mechanical so not much to go wrong there, check boost pressure reference hoses for leaks, all good there! The plugs looked OK but we fitted a new set anyway, warmed her up and gave a couple of seconds on the launch limiter a couple of times (much to the “surprise” of the neighbours) and all seamed OK, so ready for the STP UK National Finals. We couldn’t make the test day so Q1 was the only chance to find out if all was well and it was but we broke out by - 0.0162 ending up 24th. There was a huge entry for this event so qualifying runs would be limited so were very important. In Q2 I was -0.0535 off the line but ran 0.0582 to dial in to qualify 16th. Round 1 the following lunch time was up against Geoff and I had decided to stage as shallow as possible following my cherry in Q2. As I edged forward to full stage the yellow flicked then stayed on but as I hit the launch limiter it flickered again and as the tree ran the red light came on, I won’t stage that shallow again!

So all in all a very good season and a huge learning curve for us all in the team.

A few highlights from the year not mentioned above, the main one being finally turning up at the track with my own race setup.

Having both my girls start line crewing for me at the Main Event and Euro Finals, all the comments on how great/immaculate/super/fantastic Banzai Cobra looked, which was a great relief to me as I was a bit concerned on how well the new look would go down.

All of the above would not have been possible without the dedication, help and support from my family and friends, supporting me in ways that I did not expect and I am extremely grateful for, I could not and would not have done it without you all.

And finally a huge thanks to the businesses that helped with the rebuild:
  • Dave Downes of North Race Speed Shop for the full chassis rebuild (and much more).
  • Micky at HTG Body and Paint for the body and paint work.
  • Glen from AB&C Solutions for the powder coating of the frame and painting of the tin work.
  • Kenny and all the staff at EDA Racing Engines for the new SBC Single Turbo engine.
  • Paul at Lagonda Garage for Gearbox and Axle work
  • Andy Robinson Robinson Race Cars for their vast technical help, supply of parts and support.
  • ALL the staff at Santa Pod who do a fantastic job and finally but not least the Staff at Eurodragster for keeping us up to date and informed (and a lot more) (thanks! - Editor).
2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
5th January: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for sending details of the 2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting:

The 2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting will take place on 22nd January at the Hilton Hotel Northampton. The hotel can be found at junction 15 of the M1 on the east bound carriageway of the A45 and is the first exit after the M1 junction.

The Riders' and Drivers' meeting will commence at 13:00 and be followed by the SPRC AGM no later than 16:00. Should any members have items for discussion in AOB could you please send them to by 16th January at the latest. Please note as normal the person submitting the items must attend the meeting in order to have the item heard.

SPR lifestyle racer tickets.
5th January: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events coordinator Max Frost for a reminder that race entries for our 2023 non-permit, lifestyle and nostalgia events will be going online tomorrow, Friday January 6th, at 11:00.

Max says "As usual, entries will be available at for the relevant events. As in previous years, tickets and vehicle passes for each event can be collected at the Advance Ticket Collection Office."

Swift snippets.
5th January: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Bike racer Mark Smith, Top Fuel crewman Ian Pellant, Norwegian Super Street Bike racer Dag Wagenius and Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Kempe. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

The Malta Drag Racing Association have released their 2023 calendar which you can see by clicking here.

Not often that we receive Australian Pro Mod car for sale adverts in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages, however of note is the BMW 850i Pro Mod/blown gasser rolling chassis for £17,000 that did service for many years in the hands of Alf Sorbello. You can see photos and video links at this link. For further information and many other cars for sale go to our Swap Meet page.

SPRC Awards Night update.
4th January: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club committee member Yvonne Tramm who has sent an update about the SPRC Dinner Dance Trophy Presentation Evening.

With just a few weeks to the big night I wanted to update you all regarding tickets and presentations. The Dinner will take place at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes on Saturday, 18th February, 2023.

Once again we will be presenting the ACU Championship trophies for the 2022 season to both Winners and Runners Up and hope you can join to receive your award.

Ticket sales are still open with no restriction on numbers, however, applications will close on 31st January in order to give us time to organise food and seating arrangements with the hotel.

Finally, if you are a Winner or Runner up of our National, SPRC Bike and Car Championships or the ACU Championship and are not able to attend the Dinner, please email me with the name of someone that can receive your Award up on your behalf, and I will add it to my list.

Happy new year to all, hopefully see you in Milton Keynes in February.

Dale's US venture.
4th January: Funny Bike racer Dale Leeks has announced he is shipping his bike to the US for the 2023 season for it to race in both the newly owned Man Cup series and drag bike sanction Xtreme Dragbike racing (XDA).

Dale's 1640cc turbo Suzuki GSX ran a best of 6.941/197.94 in Top Fuel Bike at the 2019 Euro Finals. Now, the engine is the new GSX1400 engine platform campaigned by Dan Wagner and Stuart Crane of Warpspeed Racing, with the world record setting billet Hurricane cylinder head masterminded by Dale's crewman Andrew Lock and Stuart Crane.

Whilst Dale will ride in the Man Cup series that we mentioned in our 1st January update, US rider Rob Garcia will be riding the bike in the XDA series which takes place at Maryland International Raceway and Virginia Motorsports Park over four events from February to October. Rob has competed in the eighth mile XDA Pro Xtreme class for a number of years but suffered a double blow at the end of the 2022 season.

Rob said "I crashed my bike at the last race of the year and then a fire at builder and tuner Dan Wagner's house pretty much destroyed my entire bike except for the chassis which did not get caught in the fire as it was elsewhere. Then Dale stepped up and was willing to ship his bike from England to the United States for me to race until I get my new bike completed. I cannot thank Dale enough for doing what he did. And also Dan Wagner and Kathie Mcgregor for hooking me up with the ride. I am going to try my best to get a championship on Dale's bike."

Swift snippets.
4th January: Happy Birthday wishes for today to Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tim Garlick, Team Walters crewman Mick Slocombe, and Swedish Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster racer Patrik Pers. Have a great day all from us at

Custom Gang in royal collection.
3rd January:
Visitors to Monaco in the winter months can view two European drag racing related exhibits in the principality's museums.

The Collection de Voitures de S.A.S le Prince de Monaco has had a facelift in its new setting located at Port Hercule, just a short distance from the Formula 1 circuit. This new space exhibits around 70 vehicles in a modern decor, and French team Custom Gang Racing have donated the Super Pro ET dragster of Fabien Dubois for display - until the start of the European season.

The other exhibit at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Turkish videographer Ali Kazma's has on exhibition a video of European Top Fuel legend Anita Mäkelä. For the 15 minute video on display until 15th January, Kazma travelled to California, Germany and Sweden. The characteristic blurb states "Top Fuel transcends its subject: rather than a documentary about drag racing, it becomes a meditation on time and the quest for the absolute."

Swift snippets.
3rd January: Diana has asked if we can wish Harry AKA Brian Palmer (member of Mark Sheridan's SE crew) a very happy birthday for today. Diana adds the bus pass is in the post...

Swedish photographer Henrik Lindberg has published a Facebook album of 387 photos from Kjula Raceway, well worth a look by clicking here.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, Part 1.
2nd January:
Today we commence the third series of stories of British drag racing pioneers which will be published on Mondays and Fridays in January to April 2023.

Ken Cooper was first influenced by American culture when he had access to the former World War 2 American barracks in his home town of Sutton Coldfield which was bombed during the war. He decided to go into the motor trade aged 15. He worked on English and American cars and learned to drive. After discovering hot rods in a film he then found hot rodding magazines in Birmingham and bought his first car, a '37 Ford Coupe with a flathead V8 engine. He then built his first hot rod, a ‘33 Ford Cabriolet, which resulted in a change of job...

Ken's story will be told in five parts bringing it to the present day. Part one 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.

Smax buys back.
2nd January: Thanks to Top Fuel racers Smax Smith and Aidan Heatley-Smith, now based in Canada, for getting in touch with a New Year message and with news of the re-acquisition of one of Smax's old cars, which can claim to be the original member of the UK Supercharged Outlaws:

Wishing all our racing families, friends and fans a safe and fast Happy New Year. We are hoping to race our two Top fuel cars in the NHRA with Aidan also driving our recently reacquired 35 Chevy.

Smax said "We kept the '35 Chevy body, put Mark Needham's '48 Fiat Topolino body on the chassis and sold it to Alberta ages ago, then bought it all back so get it together for this season!" The '35 Chevy body first appeared in Smax's hands back in 1993 as this clipping from European Dragster magazine testifies.

Swift snippets.
2nd January: We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop. Have a great day Martin.

In his first upload to Youtube of 2023, Kieran has gathered his footage of incidents from 2022 which you can see at this link. Kieran says "We're taking a look back at last seasons wrecks, wheelies, close calls and some explosions too. Kieran says "I can't wait to get filming again and bring you even better content this year! Support the channel by ordering your Mk1Kieran T-Shirt from"

The latest January 2023 issue of Practical Sportsbikes has a multipage colour photofeature in their `Heroes’ series with a retrospective of multiple European Top Fuel Bike champion Ian King's motorcycle builds and drag race career. To obtain a copy, go to this link or head to your local newsagent.

No Hair to race into 2023.
1st January:
Thanks to Dan Page who has released a news bulletin about his racing activities for this year.

"As we head into 2023 without our team leader Jon Morton at the helm we now have to look how we can honour him and keep his memory going.

"As a family we have decided to continue racing the No Hair 3rd Gen Camaro in Super Gas next season with me behind the wheel. It has been a very hard few months and sadly we haven't really had a chance to think about racing with so much going on behind the scenes and lots of lose ends to sort out. However the Christmas break has allowed for some time to reflect and plan for the upcoming race season.

"We managed to get The tow truck and trailer all moved to a place where it'll be easier to work on and start working on the car for next year and, fingers crossed, we can start to really make racing the number one focus from now on. The crew has taken on a couple of new members with (uncle) Gary Page, (brother in law) Daniel Stocker, and old family friend Duncan Harris coming to support and help me and old time crew member (Nice) Neil Earthrowl with preparing the car.

"We have had some amazing offers of help and support from people (you know who you are) and I will be very much taking you up on your offers thank you. But with limited funds at the moment we are only looking at doing the three big Santa Pod meetings (Easter,Main Event and Euro Finals) we of course are looking for any support with doing more events or even race the full season.

"After Jon's passing at the track we wanted to do something for people to have as a memory to either have on the race car or bike. Darren West at Power Race Graphics quickly got in touch and offered to design a sticker in Jon's Memory. Darren said "I just wanted to do something, it was a big shock to all of us... Jon was brillant with me, we did a couple of T Shirts way back that i loved doing and it was always great to see him the pits. Putting a sticker together is something I could do to give back!"

"We have a small run of stickers that we will be selling to fund a memorial for Jon at the track and to help fund running the car next year. They will be £3 each or a pair for £5 including postage and packaging by emailing me on or by DM on Facebook. Watch this space on this.

"We want to just take a chance to thank everybody for all the kind words and help that they have given us. We miss him so very much and the first time I've been to Santa Pod in 32 years without Jon being there was when I took his car to the national finals for the memorial. That was strange but racing without him limping about the startline leaning of the barrier giving me the thumbs up will be even stranger!

"We Look forward to seeing you at the track next year and I look forward to keeping his name at the top of the Super Gas wins!"

Shakeup at Man Cup.
1st January: The US Drag Bike scene is experiencing a major shakeup as ownership of the Man Cup series has changed and new rules introduced, as well as 2023's schedule, including the Finals which is often attended by European racers.

Jay Regan, previous owner of Manufacturer's Cup motorcycle drag racing in the US since 2010, confirmed that the sanctioning body had been sold to Broderick “Hollywood” Jackson on December 1, 2022. Broderick, already competing in the Pro Ultra 4.60 class and running a streaming and social media company at, became the new owner and Chief Operating Officer of Man Cup on that day.

The sale became publicised at the PRI show in December of 2022 which Hollywood attended to talk through with sponsors and racers. Jay will be present during the transition to new management during 2023.

The story of Man Cup goes back to June 2010, when the AMA/Dragbike sanction, which was formerly AMA/PROSTAR, was dissolved, Jay Regan, Dave Schnitz and seven others banded together to hold the initial Manufacturer’s Cup event in November 2010. The intention was for manufacturers to fund prize money and track hire of the South Georgia Motorsport Park track. The series became two races in 2011 and four in 2012, however in recent years several of the founders left, leaving Jay and Dave in charge until Dave retired.

Broderick Jackson has been a motorcycle drag racer since 1984, firstly in sportsman classes, then in NHRA Pro Stock briefly in the early 1990s. He also has had a role in bringing the Trick-Start 7hp Dragbike Starter to market, its carbon fiber enclosed 24v lithium-ion battery replacing the age-old start carts and heavy batteries.

As well as marketing and social media, the area Broderick has focused on is avoiding hours of downtime due to cleanups after engine explosions. Among the first announcements has been a rule that mandates that all motorcycles in all classes must have an oil retention device. Whilst track operators have been delighted by the new rule, there has been a lively debate amongst cash strapped racers. However the rule has encouraged engineering solutions to be drawn up for US sportsman bikes which have not previously had the benefit of such devices, diapers or catch trays.

Broderick Jackson wants to see the Man Cup series become more family friendly and better attended by live and on-line audiences. He told “I want to see this motorcycle drag racing sanction become like the NHRA level for motorcycle drag racing. A sport where we have fans in the stands and people can watch in real-time at home, thus creating viewership both in person and online that warrants advertising numbers that represent a good return on investment (ROI) for advertising dollars that will grow the sanction."

The Man Cup 2023 schedule is as follows:
  • 14th-16th April, South Georgia Motorsports Park
  • 19th-21st May, Rockingham Dragway
  • 16th-18th June, Alabama International Dragway
  • 18th-20th August, Rockingham Dragway
  • 20th-22th October, World Wide Technology Raceway
  • 17th-19th November, South Georgia Motorsports Park
The New Man Cup Series official website is, however, as it is still under construction, stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.

To read the full story by Tom McCarthy go to

Photo credit: Steve Moxley who attended the Man Cup Finals in 2017 to see several European teams when Rikard Gustafsson (pictured) and Ian King ran in Top Fuel, Anders Horntröm, Greger Johansson, Jaska Salakari and Per Bengtsson's Beast team in Top Fuel Twin, also Steve Venables and Mogens Lund in Pro Street.

Swift snippets.
1st January: Happy Birthday to erstwhile Top Fuel racer Tethys, Comp Eliminator racer David James, and German Super Pro ET racer Robert Gassner. We hope you have a great day.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 3.
30th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the
2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is Best Appearing Bike. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. Click on a picture to see a large version.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. Click on a picture to see a large version.

Morrisons Junior Drag Bikes - Leah and Brad Junior Drag Bike

Vote for Morrisons Junior Drag Bikes

Leo Lester Comp Bike

Vote for Leo Lester

Craig Wright
JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike

Vote for Craig Wright

Alfie Udall
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike

Vote for Alfie Udall

John McLean Snr Comp Bike

Vote for John McLean Snr

Shawn Buttigieg Comp Bike

Vote for Shawn Buttigieg

Grace Pollen Junior Drag Bike

Vote for Grace Pollen

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Peter Walters for designing and implementing the online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

The next voting category will be Most Professional-Appearing Team.

Hayley Hadfield funeral arrangements.
30th December: Thanks to Andy Hadfield for sharing details of the funeral arrangements for wife Hayley who sadly passed away on 9th December:

Hayley's funeral will take place on 16th January at 1.45pm at St Michael and All Angels Church, Mottram in Longdendale, Hyde SK14 6JL. All are welcome and we expect the ceremony to last around an hour.

Dress code is formal but please, add your own splash of colour. It’s a celebration of life and Hayl would love people to wear a colourful tie or waistcoat. I’m sure the ladies will have some great ideas to brighten things up.

The cremation shall be a private ceremony and an invitation shall be sent.

The funeral reception shall take place at the White Hart Hotel in Lydgate. Again, all are welcome and you should travel straight from the funeral to the White Hart Hotel, approximately a 20 min drive with plenty of parking. If you are travelling a long distance and wish to book a hotel room, please contact the White Hart direct or Google hotels near OL4 4JJ.

Swift snippets.
30th December: Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny Car crew, and former Dennis Priddle crew, Phil Pead, UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Mick Sharpe and Super Street Bike sister Bianca Mechaell, we hope you all have a wonderful day.

US engine builder Steve Morris has announced he will be coming to Street Week Sweden in 2023. Steve will be shipping his 6 second 4500hp Caprice 'Boostmaster' wagon (pictured) to Sweden to battle with the Swedish champions. So if you were thinking of following Street Week Sweden, 2023 will be a unique opportunity. Registration for the event starts on 28th February (always a quick sellout - Editor) and the event will take place from 8th July to 15th July, starting three weeks after the UK Street Weekend to enable competitors and spectators to attend both.

Fuerza Libre plans 2023.
30th December: Spanish drag racing organisers Fuerza Libre (Free Force) have announced dates for 2023, their 11th season of competition. Here is a guide to the events taking place and notes on some of the classes and key players.

The 2023 season consists of five events at three locations:
  • 18th February, Circuito de Navarra - part of Vol Race Festival 17th-19th February (Also including Drift, Expo in the paddock, concerts and lots of partying)
  • 1st-2nd April, Circuito de Jarama - first championship round and league of PB times
  • 20th-21st May, Aerodromo de Matilla - second championship round and league of PB times
  • 1st-3rd September, Aerodromo de Matilla - European Challenge and third championship round and league of PB times
  • 21st-22nd October, Circuito de Navarra - fourth championship round and bracket racing
Whilst Matilla is an airfield which has been used by Fuerza Libre since 2016, Navarra (used in 2021 and 2022) and Jarama are professional motor racing circuits the latter of which has hosted Formula One events in the past.

The first event of the year at Circuito de Navarra is available for online entry at this link. The drag racing part of what is mainly a show will take place from 18:15 to 23:00 and consist of free practice.

Championship events are competed in four classes:
  • Street (vehicles with a ITV (MOT equivalent) certificate on street tyres) - 2022 Champion Rafael Amutio (BMW M240i), record 10.059 (Marcelino Murillo, Audi RS3)
  • Pro - 2022 Champion Pablo Nunez (Croos Kart ZX12R - pictured right), record 8.861 (Angel Romero, Chevrolet Camaro)
  • 4x4 - 2022 Champion Rafael Amutio (BMW M240i) record 9.846 (Luis Rivas, Audi RS3)
  • 4x2 (RWD or FWD) - 2022 Champion Pablo Nunez (Croos Kart ZX12R), record 8.861 (Angel Romero, Chevrolet Camaro)
Vehicles running quicker than 11s are required to have a cage and there are many other competition and safety rules listed in the rulebook (in Spanish).

Competition is essentially a sprint to the quickest aggregate ET and RT over a number of passes over the course of the event. The minimum class entry is 4, and if entry is more than 25 a change to the class structure may be considered. The entry for the Matilla event in May was 110. As well as class competition there are exhibition vehicles present, including jets.

The web site of Fuerza Libre, incorporating entry, results and photo galleries, can be seen at this link and the organisation also has Facebook and Instagram pages.

Custom Car January issue.
30th December: UK drag racing and hot rodding magazine Custom Car has published its January 2023 edition The cover is adorned by a photo taken by our Julian of Supercharged Outlaw racer Keith Freeman at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. Coverage by Jules (photography) and Dave Biggadyke (words) extends to eight pages.

Other drag racing features included are an interview by Keith Lee with Glen and Tim Read, and a three page photo report on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala held in November, with Jules and Dave once again supplying the material. The magazine also has articles on hot rod builds and shows and a nostalgic Custom Car Years look back incorporating feature cars of yore with contemporaneous, somewhat unrelated, news items...

You can subscribe to Custom Car for £25 for 13 issues by direct debit, with a free inspection lamp, by going to When the subscription renews a reduced charge of £42 applies. Or visit your local newsagent and pay the cover price of £4.99.

Swift snippets.
30th December: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET and Super Comp crew chief and dad Pete Kellett, Supercharged Outlaws racer Paul Dale, FWD racer Andy Nicholls and former Comp Altered racer John Tebbutt. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Hal Far December RWYB.
29th December: During the week following the rained-off Malta Finals, Malta Drag Racing Association decided to have a run what ya brung at Hal Far Raceway on 17th December to end the 2022 season. Media has now been published from the event and we have collected some of the notable times recorded.

You can see videos of 148 runs made during the RWYB event at the Youtube channel of MDRA secretary
Konrad D'Anastasi.

Notable runs came from Tyson Debono (pictured left) who recorded 6.330/217.94 to go to the top of the list of Malta's 4 Cylinder Dragsters. Clifton Abdilla recorded a 6.310/202.75 in his 2JZ 6 cylinder engined machine. The V8 engined Rebellious II of Mario Borg ran an outstanding 6.270/219.91 for a new PB for the nitrous assisted machine. In all we counted 10 dragsters making test runs which bodes well for 2023.

In the FWD ranks, Greek racer Taxos Petropoulos (pictured right) of RTMG Performance (based in Athens and Thessaloniki) ran an outstanding 8.435/170.16 new PB which raises him to #8 in the European FWD league. You can see video of their event posted by FWD admin Luke Stevenson at this link, with other PBs noted on the European FWD Facebook page.

Photos from the RWYB have been posted on Facebook by Alex Buttigieg.

Drag Seen #3 - out now.
29th December: Thanks to photographer Paul Martin for sending us details of Drag Seen 3 magazine which is now available in advance to readers of The annual photography fest of the 2022 Nostalgia drag racing season 'seen' through the lenses of Paul Martin and Julian Hunt, Drag Seen 3 is out now. This year we are stoked to have Mr. Dan Podobinski (Hop Up, Kustom Deluxe) dipping into his archives for some outstanding photos from the U.S. Meltdown Drags.

We've have left Northampton too, visiting Melbourne Raceway for the first meet of the season and also attending the inaugural Barnstormer Dirt Drags at Kay's Barn, Dunnington. Plus we have a Gasser Circus featurette by Niamh Smith and a wild monster front cover by ace 'Fink' Eyeball Mike.

Drag Seen #3 is a A5 sized magazine featuring 60 pages of glorious techni-colour photos of smoking' burnouts, wild wheel stands, wilder racers and trackside racing action featuring Hot Rods, Kustoms, American muscle, Gassers, Diggers, Outlaws and outcasts all printed on 130 gram hi-quality paper wrapped in a 300 gsm cover.

Every copy copy comes with a Free Drag Seen 3 sticker! You can also add a Drag Seen Logo Sticker for just £1.50 when purchasing the magazine. The magazine is available on Ebay from this link. For those that missed last years issue 2 there are a very limited number available at this link.

All profits from Drag Seen are donated to Cancer Research UK.

Swift snippets.
29th December: Happy Birthday for today to UK Nostalgia Superstocka and Pro ET racer Gary Carr, Freddie's Revenge crew chief Terry Carter, Wild Bunch racer Elliott Jones Swedish Pro Mod racer Micke Johansson. We hope you all have a great day.

JT's New Year resolutions.
28th December: Many thanks and Season's Greetings to Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer and site sponsor John Tebenham who wrote to us with his thoughts on the direction in which he will be travelling in 2023:

"With 2023 soon upon us, I am trying to be a man with a plan. We are definitely putting a passenger seat in the mad burnout Pop, bought from Matt Wright. I am so lucky to race my Pop in the brilliant Super Pro ET. With the engine away for a freshen up from I.C.E., I am going to add to the sponsors of the class for next season.

Only burnouts and eight mile runs on test days will be on offer. I’m sure that will be enough fun for one day. We will offer the tickets somehow and give the money to the charities of our two favourite drag racing friends who passed this year. So sad. J and H - enough said.

I really enjoy driving the Pro Mod, it’s fast but not really me, I like mad burnouts with wheels up runs; if anyone has £120k for a 5 second up to date absolutely start line ready car... It will go 5.8 this year and, believe it or not, is reasonably easy to drive. NO OFFERS - let me know. Don’t get me wrong, I have a 3 year plan with the car, but I want too go NPK (No Prep Kings to the uninitiated - Editor) in the US.

I have two great teams with Paul Marston on dial in duties on the Pop, and Dave Cherrett helping out as well, there’s something wrong with that man - amazing at dial ins. I have asked this before and will again, I want to do some road trip and race weekend videos for Youtube. The best one to watch is 187 Customs to get a gist of what I think would be fun. You would get ticket, food, beer, curry, fuel etc paid. It would be a lot of fun being involved in a two car team. It’s always strange as a racer how everyone says "Wow that was an amazing race", and I always say "I don’t know I didn’t get to see it I was in the car."

JT sends "massive thanks to Ian, Dave and all the crew on the start line, Keith without him none of this would be possible. Simon, bloody great (thanks! - Editor). And Kath who is incredible in sign-on and scares me."

Pioneer Stories returning.
28th December: Thanks to drag racing historians John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow, also to those involved in the early years of our sport, we will be presenting the third series of Pioneer Stories with the first article to be published on 2nd January 2023.

The identity of those telling their stories is a closely guarded secret for now, but will include many household drag racing names. If you think you've heard all there is to know about these drag racing legends, they have provided many stories and memorabilia which is new to us and most entertaining reading along the way. Stories will be published every Monday and Friday in January to March 2023.

In the meantime why not catch up with the stories of series 1 and 2. You'll find some additional photos and links to videos in them placed with the help of John and Nick.

Swift snippets.
28th December: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET racer Laura Baynton, Supercharged Outlaws racer Mike Couch and German super crew member Kirsten Krause. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

In his latest upload to his Youtube channel, Kieran has made a video of his favourite Mk1 Escorts from Santa Pod Raceway and Hal Far Raceway, Malta. Kieran says the video includes "the 20 quickest Ford Escorts I've captured going down the 1/4 mile this season. These times may not represent the vehicles PB just the quickest run I caught on camera!"

SPRC Christmas message.
23rd December: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for the traditional Christmas message from SPRC:

The 2022 Race Season is complete, and we are all working towards the 2023 Season, whether in the garage on the net ordering parts or organising Permits for the 2023 events.

2022 as many have already stated was a tougher year than we hoped for, but we got there, we said goodbye to fellow racers, crew members and family and welcomed new members on board to the drag racing family, whom will hopefully be with us for many years to come. We also have seen many firsts, 2022 was the year of the mind bogglingly fast bike, Eric on a rocket bike covering the quarter mile in under 5 seconds, Al Smith on a 3-cylinder Nitro bike running a 5, Daniel on a Super Street Bike running 6.5 seconds and Shawn on a Comp Bike running 6.6 seconds on the quarter all outstanding numbers, we salute you one and all. Our drivers and crew have not stood still, Collin Millar running his first 6 in a Ford Pop (just stop and think about that for a second), Ida Zetterström running a 3.78 in a fuel car and more P.B’s than we can mention, a great year for many reasons.

So, we look forward to the 2023 season with high hopes for fast safe times and lots of sun please. In the meantime we hope that you all have a great Christmas and New Year and Santa is kind to you, We thank all of our Racers Crew members, families and those that make it possible for you to come and race, We thank all of the SPRC Marshal’s for their tireless hard work, Eurodragster and all of the other Media guys for so much work and long days, and of course the Santa Pod Staff who make all of this possible. Merry Christmas one and all from all the Santa Pod Racers Club Committee.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 2.
23rd December: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the 2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is Best Appearing Car. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. Click on a picture to see a large version.

Dan Holloway
Modurstang Pro ET

Vote for Dan Holloway

Sam Young
VW Pro

Vote for Sam Young

Graham Smith
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator

Vote for Graham Smith

Rob Slater
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator

Vote for Rob Slater

Antony Wilkins
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator

Vote for Antony Wilkins

Ron Bartlett
Peter Nee Super Pro ET

Vote for Ron Bartlett

Brett Featherstone
Modurstang Pro ET

Vote for Brett Featherstone

PB Racing (Tom and Harry Peters)
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster

Vote for PB Racing

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Peter Walters for designing and implementing online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

The next voting category will be Best Appearing Bike.

Unusual car sales UK Christmas message .
23rd December: Unusual car sales UK admin Nigel Taylor writes "Merry Christmas Simon and crew, and have a great New year and a superb 2023 ahead (you too - Editor).

"Unusual car sales U.K. would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year and an excellent 2023 season ahead. Massive thanks to all of you that have just browsed, sold, purchased, or simply just told your family, friends, colleagues about our Facebook site. There are lots of hot rods, customs, Yanks, classics and drag cars for sale on the site at present and lots that have been sold heading for the 2023 season.

"The site also has a list of car events and useful numbers connected with the hot rod/drag racing scene as well as advice, transportation contacts, a parts and projects page and a community page.

"We would like to say a massive Thankyou to Mike and Stevie Gates and the team at Hayling Garage, Hayling American Automotives, also Dan and Nic Williams of William Bros Racing and (you're welcome - Editor) for all the continued support and Thankyou to every single member that makes the site work so well."

You can visit Unusual car sales U.K. at this link.

Swift snippets.
23rd December: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to UK drag racing historian Jerry Cookson for today and Nitro FM presenter and occasional Contributing Photographer Nikki Marshall for tomorrow (Christmas Eve). We hope you are having special days.

2022 Champions' Champions.
23rd December: The Champions' Champions tables prepared by honorary staff member Andy Marrs and your editor show the all-time highest points earners since the FIA and FIM European Championships began in 1996 and 1992 respectively, and since the UK National Championships began in 1999.

Andy Marrs writes that in Top Fuel, Antti Horto has moved up the rankings to #6 from #7 and has passed 2000 points.

In Top Methanol (combined), Jonny Lagg is up to #2 from #3, Linn Floysvik up to #5 from #8, Daniel Jedborn up to #7 from #11 and Silvio Strauch up to #10 from #12. In FIA Pro Modified, Freddy Fagerstrom is up to #10 from #11.

In FIM Europe Bike all classes combined Rikard Gustafsson is up in the combined rankings to #2 from #4, Martin Bishop up to #6 from #7 and Steve Venables up to #8 from #10. Martin Bishop passed 2500 points, Mogens Lund passed 2000 points and Martin Newbury passed 1000 points.

In FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike, Rene Van Den Berg is up to #8 from #9 in the rankings. In FIM Europe Super Twin Top Fuel Bike Martijn de Haas is up to #6 from #9, passing 1500 points in the process, and Samu Kemppainen up to #7 from #8. In Pro Stock Bike Martin Newbury up to #10 from #13 and passed 1000 points. In FIM Europe Super Street Bike, Gary Bowe is up to #3 from #4 and Mogens Lund passed 2000 points. In Junior Drag Bike, Hollie King is straight into #4 in the rankings and Wichard Veldman up to #7 from #9.

Andy has given us a couple of landmarks for FIA Pro Stock racer Jimmy Ålund next season. The next time Jimmy is #1 qualifier in PS will be his 50th, and his next round win will be his 200th in FIA combined (he has 159 in PS and 40 in PM).

Finally, a couple of housekeeping points though. Firstly there is my usual caveat that there are some small gaps in my historical data, particularly the early FIM data. Also Top Methanol includes all TM data, both from when TMD and TMFC ran as single classes, and when they ran as a combined class. Hopefully that’s clear enough in the spreadsheets.

Readers can feel free to publish and\or quote this information anywhere, but a credit to Andy Marrs as the source is politely requested. Please remember, you and everyone else who may see this are my proof readers. Beyond help from some Excel tools this is very much a manual process, much as I try to avoid it, mistakes do happen. If anyone spots any please let Marrs know at

Scoring for the UK National Championships Champions' Champions is based on an event having to be completed for a win to be registered. Race wins are ranked by number based on the driver or rider. Points however are scored and ranked on a team basis, as are numbers of Championships. For teams with multiple cars or drivers changing teams during or between seasons, the compiler's decision is final.

In 2022 the National SPRC Championship had six events held under Motorsport UK or ACU permit. Five of events were able to be completed, the National Finals suffering poor weather which did allow some racing thanks to the efforts of Santa Pod Racers Club track crew; the extension of this event to three days next year will hopefully allow all racing to be accommodated.

We had first time champions in nine classes, compared with four last year and a record eleven in 2015. Discounting 2020, the number of back to back champions from 2021 was six, compared with eight in 2021 and a record nine in 2017.

The Motorsport UK Pro Modified champion was sponsor Andy Robinson, who with eight championships has won more than anyone else in the history of the class. Andy won the Summer Nationals and Bug Jam, with Swede Jan Ericsson also winning the two FIA events with Michel Tooren and Bobby Wallace each winning a round at the start and end of the season respectively. Andy Robinson leads the number of event wins (21) and points total scored since 1999.

The Funny Car Cup was the first championship for the class since 2019. In a close contest, Steve Ashdown won the championship despite not winning an event, instead performing consistently. We understand Steve, along with Kevin Chapman and Patrik Pers will be rebuilding or upgrading for 2023 with Kevin Kent and Jason Phelps returning to the fray once more. Looking back, Gordon Smith has won the most championships in the class with John Spuffard the most event wins whilst Kevin Kent has overtaken Gordon to have scored the most points.

In Competition Eliminator, Williams Bros Racing were dominant with Dan Williams winning the championship, scoring two wins with brother Nic Williams and customer Spencer Tramm both taking two wins apiece. Andy Hone has three championships over the period under review, Kev Perkins has the largest number of race wins and Robin Orthodoxou continues to lead the aggregate points.

In Super Pro ET, Billy Gane took the title despite having won one event with Joe Kellett winning two; this with Billy undertaking a significant amount of racing travel and fatherhood into the bargain. Over the years, Barry Giles has won 15 races and leads the points aggregate in the Giles & Hartley dragster, perhaps the winningest car in British Drag Racing since it first appeared some 30 years ago. Scott Hauser has won three championships in the class, the only racer to do so in a fiercely competitive category.

Pro ET had a first time winner with Brett Featherstone taking the championship in only his second year in racing, a win at the Festival of Power followed by good performances over the remainder of the season and congratulations to him. The class has been dominated by the Huxleys, formerly as a team with Brian and Lee sharing driving duties, latterly racing separately in different cars since 2021. Seven championships have been won by the Team Dark Horse (previously known as Top Banana); Rick McCann, now based in Sweden, remains in second place with three. Lee has had 14 wins over the last 24 years, with Rick McCann and Bob Doyle having won six each. The Huxleys continue to lead the points tally ahead of Team Heaven & Hell.

In Sportsman ET Gary Lake won his first title with one event win to occasional class racer Andy Dibley's two. Craig Wright, Geoff Cowley and Team Rainy City Lightning (Al and Linda Platt) each have three Sportsman ET championships. Craig, with ten wins during his time in the class, leads Geoff Cowley and Rick Denny who both have seven wins. Team Rainy City Lightning still lead the points aggregate ahead of Nick Gay.

In Super Comp, Leah Kellett won her third championship with a win at the Summer Nationals, Richard Tunstall taking two wins in his first year in the class. Stuart Doignie, with four championships in 2015-18, continues to lead Brian Pateman for the most Super Comp championships, Brian having three in the period under review. Brian has most wins with thirteen over Tim Adam's ten, and the most points over Pete Creswell.

In Super Gas, Andy Dibley who already had two Sportsman ET titles under his belt, took his first championship in the car formerly raced by the greatly missed and loved Jon Morton who, like Andy, won one race. Pete Creswell took two wins but not enough to secure his first championship. Stuart Doignie, the late Jon and Tim Adam have four championships apiece, with Stuart's four coming in consecutive years 2015-18. Jon had more race wins in the period than anyone else at 13, whereas Frank Mason continues to lead points scored over Jon who regained his second place in aggregate points in his final season.

In Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator, congratulations to Andy Bond who won his third title, with three event wins, the most in any car class; Steve Pateman still dominates the overall listings with five Championships, seventeen wins and leads the aggregate points over Ian Hook.

In Junior Dragster, congratulations to Luke Fulton on his title having won the Covid Cup in 2020, taking two wins over the course of the season. Joe Kellett has the most championships with three, Nick Mugridge continues to have the most wins with nine and Joe Kellett continues to lead aggregate points over Thomas Cook-Abbott.

In a year during which the class expanded greatly with a number of competition debuts, Dan De'ath took the title in his rookie year in 8.50 Bike with a win at the Summer Nationals. Jay Roe, Jake Mechaell and Mick Winyard have each won three championships. Jake and Jay both have 13 wins, and Jay has overtaken Jake to lead the aggregate points.

In 9.50 Bike, Richard Sawatzki scored his tenth title with four wins along the way, the most for any class, and congratulations to Richard who has now recorded more than 1000 competitive passes after 20 years in the class. He has now had seven championships in a row, not counting the Covid Cup year and his 30 wins heads Fred Furlong's eleven, Richard continuing with an overall points lead over Fred that won't be overcome anytime soon.

In ET Bike Phil Pratt won his fifth championship with two event wins; Phil has won every title since the class's points scoring status began, apart from the 2020 Covid Cup. Phil also heads Gary Hester in events won with 15 compared to Gary's four, and leads Gary also in aggregate points.

ACU Top Fuel Bike had a new champion in Neil Midgley who had previously won five titles in Funny Bike. Neil, getting familiar with the Puma bike during the year won two races to Steve Woollatt's two. Steve leads the way in championships won with 15 in the period under review (19 in total) and unprecedented wins total of 34 and the aggregate points lead.

In ACU Funny Bike, Louis Davies won the title after his 2020 Covid Cup win with two wins on the way, equalled by Dave Peters. Neil Midgley continues to lead all three scores with five championships over Chris Hall's three, seventeen event wins to Chris's ten and the points lead over second placed Tim Blakemore.

Chris Neary won his first ACU Comp Bike championship after five years of competing in the class, with a win at the Festival of Power. Phil Leamon has four titles to Ivan Birch's three, eleven wins to Ivan's ten, Phil also leads the points with a substantial margin over Stu Crane.

In ACU Super Street Bike Steve Venables won his twelfth title, with wins at the Festival of Power and two at the Greenlight Nationals. Ven continues to lead the number of titles with 12 in ACU Competition and has 35 wins leading the points total over Graham Dance who lies second in championships with four, and in wins with nineteen.

Hollie King won her second ACU Junior Drag Bike title back-to-back with 2021, with wins at the Festival of Power and Saturday at the Greenlight Nationals. Liam Holgate and Scott Collier share the lead of titles won with four and wins with ten each. Scott leads the points tally over Louis Davies.

You can check out the UK Champions' Champions by clicking here or by clicking on News, then Champions' Champions in the main menu of any page.

Drag Racing Unplugged XXIV.
23rd December: As has become traditional on our last pre-Christmas update, we have posted Drag Racing Unplugged, our selection of top stories of the year from our news pages, including Simon's, Diana's, Kirstie's and Julian's Stories of the Year..

We are pleased to present Drag Racing Unplugged XXIV, the 2022 collection, which you can check out by clicking here, or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page. Christmas lists.
23rd December: We will now be taking our Christmas break until 28th December. News updates and postings to our Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet will resume on that date as well. Keep those news items coming to us at and we will post them after our break.

In the meantime our core team have compiled our usual requests to Father Christmas, together with our New Year resolutions:

Top of Diana's Christmas list: So many little things I need, new fence, catflap in my back door so I can shut the windows, ooo new boots size 7 please, also a new car...

Top of Kirstie's Christmas list: Simpson Hybrid HANS device.

Top of Simon's Christmas list: More Top Fuel in Europe.

Top of Julian's Christmas list: A pair of shorts that don't wear out after six months.

Diana's New Year resolution: Lose weight is top of that list. I did think of giving up lettuce, but then burgers wouldn't be so nice lol.

Kirstie's New Year resolution: Don’t be scared, just do it!

Simon's New Year resolution: Keep everything running without collapsing...

Julian's New Year resolution: To seriously consider wearing proper trousers when it gets cold.

Kirstie, Diana, Simon, Julian and Kieran would like to wish all readers and their families the very Happiest of Christmases, and to thank everyone who has sent us personal Christmas wishes and cards. Have a great time.

Teboul awarded plaquette.
22nd December:
FIM-E Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen has announced that Rocket Bike record breaker and former Top Fuel Bike racer Eric Teboul has been awarded a plaquette for his dedication to the sport.

Job said "Although Eric Teboul's rocket bike didn't fit any of our championship's classes, FIM-Europe has decided to award him with a memorial plaquette to honour his outstanding performances over the years and to thank him for his longstanding dedication for the sport. We will look for an appropriate occasion to hand him this reward in style. Wishing you all the best mate."

The inscription on the plaquette says "Eric Teboul, France, the fastest man on the planet on a 2-wheeler. Santa Pod Raceway, England, September 11 2022, the quarter mile in 4.9766 seconds at 467.53 kph / 290.51mph.

In a career spanning over 35 years, Eric competed in Top Fuel Bike (formerly Competition Bike) until 2010 and rode his Rocket Bike over the quarter mile from 2002, culminating in the barrier-breaking run at Santa Pod Raceway at the 2022 FIA/FIM Euro Finals, the first and only time a drag bike has run the quarter mile in under 5 seconds, and Eric's final pass down the track.

Flyin Fyfer 2022 review.
22nd December: Many thanks to Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar for sending us his review of a year that had its highs and lows:

The 2022 Outlaw Anglia season was always going to be a special one as we hit yet another milestone for the class reaching the ripe old age of 30 years young, the Flyin Fyfer was ready, for once early on in the season, so no rushing about like a chicken with its head cut off which always helps the mind to start working on how are we going to go faster.

The new three stage nitrous set up had been in the car for one season and we were starting to get a handle on the tune as the window has now shrunk to such a small opening and just a minute adjustment can see large gains but also large failing if we weren’t careful, track preparation, track temperature as well as air quality all play their part.

We managed five out of the six Outlaw Anglia meetings and also enjoyed fun in Super Pro-ET at The European Finals which for me was just the very best, as we thought after the setbacks after Dragstalgia our season was at an end, however, as most of you are aware we overcame all the odds, we won the Outlaw Anglia Championship, we ran our very first six second quarter mile and the most important element we has so much FUN.

These things don’t just happen and without our crew chief Aaron Springford and BUG Lynn Purvis as well as advice and tuning help from Jedd Guy and, to be honest, all the support we receive from the OA class, the drag racing family, the supporters, the fans, the marshals, the officials and the promoters we couldn’t put on a show for you all, so a massive thanks goes out to everyone who is a key part of this fantastic sport.

  • On Friday the 8th of July at 19.07 and 47 seconds, we achieved the dream we had been pushing for over the last four years, the very last car of the day to run as we purposely held it back to the very last minute as the air quality was so good and we still had track temperature being retained, and BOOM 6.9851 @ 194.56mph!
  • On Sunday the 3rd of July at Summer Nationals seeing Barry Woodfords face light up when being presented with a trophy for reaching the final of Outlaw Anglia at the Summer Nationals and watch his lovely family support him all the way
  • On Friday the 16th of September at 15.45 at The Hot Rod Drags watching Crew Chief Aaron Springford wee face light up with joy after running the Flyin Fyfer to the fastest the car had ever gone without Nitrous with a storming 7.96 @ 173.06mph
  • On Saturday the 17th of September at 11.09 and 56 seconds at The Hot Rod Drags running another PB of 6.9480 @ 190.59, BOOM!
  • Watching the joy of Ben Rushforth and his lovely wee family taking it all in when he won the Outlaw Anglia Final at The Hot Rod Drags was unforgettable.
  • Winning the OA 2022 Championship
  • And Rob Stone winning the Outlaw Anglia SPRC Championship, well done that man.
  • Lost my dad in April, he encouraged me in everything I did, funny though he came to see me race at Shakey and was way to uncomfortable at the speeds I was reaching
  • Still miss a very special person, Gerry Treit who in two days’ time will have been gone from us for two full years
  • We lost Hayley xx
  • We lost the Queen
  • We lost Jon
  • Breaking my crankshaft after Dragstalgia
  • UPS losing my new crankshaft and we’ve never seen height nor hair of it ever again, having then to buy another crankshaft to get us back out there.
  • Missing Green Light Nationals because of the crankshaft and missing Hockenheim again because of the crankshaft (this crankshaft has a lot to answer for)
What’s the plan next season then you may ask?

The Flyin Fyfer Headquarters is never silent and standing still is not an option as you actually go backwards, new major components have been procured, some have arrived, some have not, more power for sure, more reliability is essential, lighter components absolutely.

The team are just about to finalise a new battery solution heading into the Lithium arena, present 16v battery is 44lbs, new battery 8.8lbs, that’s pretty spectacular, in fact all areas are getting close scrutiny and YES its getting silly, taking out stainless steel M4 countersunk screws out of the door side and rear windows and replacing with plastic ones, oh and the most important factor is fatty has to lose two stone lol!

The actual plan was all set in place and agreed some time ago, run the six and back it all off so we could just have a laugh and a couple of beers and only set up the car just enough to beat the person in the other lane, no stress, no pressure, no breakages, however it very much looks like there may be some serious competition heading our way next year, so in life if you want to win you’ve got to be prepared, bring it on!

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas break and a Guid New Year with all your loved ones and really looking forward to seeing you all next season, don’t put it off as you never know what’s round the corner, until then enjoy, Colin Lynn and Aaron xxx

Swift snippets.
22nd December: Happy Birthday for today to Competition Eliminator racer Elaine Hancock, ET Bike racer Scott Collier, Super Pro ET team member and dad Chris Swinchatt, Wild Bunch racer James Auld, VW Sportsman racer Jason Anslow and Nostalgia Superstock racer Gary Cork. We hope you all have a wonderful day.'s Christmas update will be posted tomorrow, 23rd December following which we will be taking our annual break until 28th December. If you have a news story or review of your year for us to publish, the deadline is midnight tonight.

Jonnie Lindberg interview.
21st December:
Many thanks to Andy Willsheer for supplying an update on 2013 FIA and 2015-16 NHRA Top Methanol Funny Car Champion Jonnie Lindberg from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Sweden’s loss is America’s gain as far as the talented Funny Car specialist is concerned. Having enjoyed much success in the straight-line sport in Europe – he and older sibling Johan have fielded competitive entries in both the Top Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Mod categories for a number of years, each annexing FIA championship trophies before making a major move across the Atlantic to mix it with the big names in NHRA competition. At one point, Jonnie was racing TAFC in the States as well as flying to and fro in order to help certain European Pro Mod teams with tuning chores, making for a hectic schedule to say the least.

It was when the FIA series began to host dwindling numbers of Alky Funny Cars and realising his capabilities could be better employed in the USA, Jonnie moved across the Atlantic where he quickly gained an enviable reputation in the class, procuring NHRA Lucas Oil Series championship laurels in 2015 and 2016 as well as enjoying a notable three-season stint shoeing a Fuel Funny Car in 2017-2019 for wealthy general contractor/ team owner, Jim Head, following his attaining a crossover licence in Tim Wilkerson’s Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang. At time of writing, he’s continuing to fulfil orders for methanol-guzzling floppers at the chassis shop in Brownsburg, to say nothing of his tuning and between-race servicing work for Junction City, Oregon’s, Brian Hough, who drives the Cascade Truck Body and Trailer Sales-sponsored Chevy Camaro built last year at the Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports’ facility.

A point of note is that the savvy Swede primarily became involved with the TAFC fabrication business following the retirement of Tacoma, Washington’s, veteran chassis builder, Brad Hadman. West Coast racer Doug Gordon was in the market for a replacement TAFC and would normally have gone along to the Hadman emporium had the renowned metalwork craftsman not called it a day. However, after speaking with Jonnie, who offered to undertake the build, he was duly commissioned. Suffice to say the long-time competitor then went on to procure his first Lucas Oil championship, much credit going to the car constructor who chooses to work as a one-man band at the Indiana workshop, where he’s currently undertaking manufacture of a third car commissioned by Doug.

In between his U.S. commitments, Jonnie mentioned he’d managed to spend a couple of summer months this year with the family back in Sweden, and although he misses racing his own car on our side of the Pond would one day like to get back behind the wheel of a supercharged-nitro machine in his adopted country. That’s in the future, but for now the clean-cut maestro who can build ’em, drive ’em and tune ’em keeps more than busy supporting those members of the drag racing fraternity hoping to follow in his winning wheel tracks.

2023 Panhellenic championship dates confirmed.
21st December: Motor Sports Federation of Greece (OMAE) have announced dates of the six-round 2023 Panhellenic championship. The drag racing events in 2023 in Greece will take place at Agrinio Raceway and Serres Circuit (Lenoe Drag Racing club). Dates are:
  • 18th-19th March, Agrinio
  • 22nd-23rd April, Serres
  • 27th-28th May, Agrinio
  • 16th-17th September, Serres
  • 21st-22nd October, Agrinio
  • 18th-19th November, Serres
We will publish highlights and links to the results for each event when available.

Swift snippets.
21st December: Happy Birthday for today to Maltese Super Street Bike racer Simon Giordmaina and Peggy Beck, wife of announcer Bob Beck. We hope that you both have a wonderful day.

Vegter Pro Modified season review.
20th December: Many thanks to photojournalist Remco Scheelings for an article on the 2022 season of Pro Modified racer David Vegter.

David Vegter and his team Vegter Pro Mod Racing can look back on an excellent season. Claiming the runner-up position in the 2022 FIA European Pro Modified Championship, the Dutchman scored his best ever result. In the most competitive and most international category of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, Vegter finished as the runner-up at The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, claimed the number one qualifying position at the famous NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, and recorded at least one run in the 5.8 or 5.9-second zone at every race.

After the coronavirus pandemic caused a 2-year break, the FIA European Drag Racing Championship was back on the calendar in 2022. To emphasize the new start, Vegter Pro Mod Racing revealed a brand new and fresh design for their ’67 Chevrolet Camaro short before the start of the season. David Vegter and his team Vegter Pro Mod Racing kicked off the season in the best possible way by claiming the runner-up position at The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, round one of the FIA European Championship. Vegter only had to acknowledge his superior in reigning FIA European champion and European recordholder Jan Ericsson. Looking at the recorded elapsed times, Vegter also proved that the adjustments the team made during the winter to the car, engine and set-up, paid off.

A few weeks later Vegter underlined his great form in a non FIA European Championship race at Tierp Arena, Sweden, by claiming the number three qualifying position and recording 5.847 seconds, close to his 5.804 second personal best. In August Vegter Pro Mod Racing were back at Tierp Arena for the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals, round two of the FIA European Championship. From the number eight position in qualifying, the Dutchman had to abort his first round elimination run after the burn out due to a problem with the fuel tank.

But Vegter bounced back two weeks later at the famous NitrOlympX at the HockenheimRing, with over 50,000 spectators the best attended drag race event of the European season. Recording 5.91 seconds, Vegter claimed the number one qualifying position to defeat all European competitors. In the eliminations the Dutchman noticed a problem with his car, but was still able to advance to the semi-finals.

After the race the team detected a cracked tube in the chassis as the reason for the car handling problems. With only two weeks to go to the fourth and final round of the FIA European Championship, The European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, there was a lot of extra work to be done. But being the number three in the championship and with only a few points between the numbers two up to five, there was plenty to fight for.

Back from Robinson Race Cars, and after a lot of work in the pits at Santa Pod Raceway, the Vegter Pro Mod Racing Camaro was race ready again when qualifying started for The European Finals. All efforts paid off as Vegter recorded 5.89 seconds on his second run, claiming the number two qualifying position. This was even more remarkable because, due to the bad weather conditions, only two qualifying sessions had been completed, giving the team limited time to find the right set-up for the repaired Camaro. After winning his first round of eliminations, Vegter improved to 5.85 seconds in the quarter finals, but he was still defeated.

With his spot in the quarter finals, Vegter gained one position in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship, finishing the title race in second position, his best ever result. In recent years the Dutchman has scored several top five positions in this most competitive category of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, but after finishing third in 2017 and fourth in 2019, this has been his highlight up to now.

Vegter therefore looks back on the season with a good feeling. “It was a great season in which we were still in the title fight until the last race of the season. Highlights of the season were the runner-up position at The Main Event and the number one qualifying position at Hockenheim. It was a pity to lose so many points at Tierp, and besides that we were a bit unlucky sometimes. But it was great that we suffered hardly any damage to the engine, a sign that we worked in the right direction with the set-up. The only serious damage was the cracked chassis tube in Hockenheim, but that is something we couldn’t do much about.”

Nowadays in motorsport the new season starts hardly a week after the last race finished. “We will take the car apart, check everything and replace parts if needed. We will focus on the FIA European Championship again next season, kicking off with The Main Event at Santa Pod. We are happy to announce that Velocity Classics will remain one of our partners. The company based in Rijsenhout and specialized in selling American muscle cars and classic cars, joined us this season and will continue and even expend the existing relationship. Our long time partners HKR Techniek, tomkart (electric karts) and Post & Dros will remain on board again, something we are very grateful for,” said Vegter.

Follow Vegter Pro Mod Racing on Instagram and Facebook.

Swift snippets.
20th December: Happy Birthday for today to Pro ET racer Warren Watts, Supercharged Outlaws racer Luke Watts, Top Doorslammer crew member Pelle Eriksson, retired Pro Stock Bike racer Ulf Ögge and longtime supporter Ivar Kolberg. A belated Happy Birthday for yesterday to VW Pro racer Polly Judge. We hope you are all having, or had, a great day.

Photojournalist Steve Moxley has published an article on the ACU web site about the Phil Baimbridge Racing Rocket Top Fuel Bike and how rider and co-constructor Al Smith got the bike to run into the five second zone at the STP National Finals. You can read Steve's article at this link.

Dennis Stormin’ Norman.
18th December:
Keith Lee writes: I am sad to pass on the news that Dennis Stormin’ Norman, one of the legendary characters of British drag bike racing, passed in hospital yesterday. Having suffered a fall, Den unfortunately succumbed to pneumonia in hospital.

On track, Den was the first rider of a twin-engined bike to dip below 10 seconds, on his tyre-smoking blown, single speed 1300cc Triumph, which earned him the name Stormin’ Norman. That was in 1970, and in the same year he went to America, along with the Pegasus Vincent team, and qualified for the first ever Top Fuel Bike eliminator at the NHRA Nationals at Indianapolis. Den followed this bike with a twin Norton entry. Both of these machines have been returned to the track, thanks to the efforts of son Gary and a crew of friends - under the evr watchful eye of their constructor - to perform at Dragstalgia. Well into his 90s, Den still enjoyed talking about the sport he loved, having made his last pass on the Triumph when he was 85!

Many years before, Den would have been found in Europe, training despatch riders at the end of WW2. His methods were interesting, as he got new riders going down a dry bob sleigh run - and through a partially cleared mine field! He first sprinted an Ariel square 4, to which a blower was soon fitted. The bike ran 10.9s back in 1965 - and also suffered one of the biggest ever motor explosions!

It was an honour to be asked to present Den with his Bootsie, when he was inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, for his contributions to the sport. He one of those who volunteered to help finishing off the Santa Pod track in the far off sixties, as his expert welding skills were put to good use.

When Den ran his original Triumph double at the NSA 50th anniversary sprint in 2008, Santa Pod’s excellent traction led to him breaking the ends off the flywheels. Only Den could turn round to his friend Ray Baskerville, who built them 40 years ago, and say: ‘Here Ray, are these cranks still under guarantee?’ And the cheeky old bugger got his wish!

They do not make them like Den Norman any more, and his humour and stories will be much missed by those who knew and raced with him. Our thoughts are with Den’s wife Pat, and the whole of the Norman family at this sad time.

We at send our deepest condolences to Den's family and friends.

Swift snippets.
18th December: Happy Birthday for today to Super Comp racer Martin Curbishley, director of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Phil Cottingham, former Super Street Bike racer and tuner Rick Stubbins and VW Sportsman racer Jake Fronda. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 1.
17th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is Most Promising Newcomer. Nominees for SPRC Most Promising Newcomer have impressed whilst contesting their first full season in a class or making their on-track début in 2022.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Dan De'ath, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike

Vote for De'ath

Teddy Howe, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster

Vote for Teddy Howe

Leah Morrison, Junior Drag Bike

Vote for Leah Morrison

Finley Fagg, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster

Vote for Finley Fagg

Chris Redshaw, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET

Vote for Chris Redshaw

AC Bell, Modurstang Pro ET

Vote for AC Bell

Richard Tunstall, Fast R Super Comp

Vote for Richard Tunstall

Andrew Christophi, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike

Vote for Andrew Christophi

Anna Sasiak, Blood Cancer UK ET Bike

Vote for Anna Sasiak

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Peter Walters for designing and implementing online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

The next voting category will be Best Appearing Car.

Swift snippets.
17th December: Happy Birthday for today to Nitro FM presenter Pete Franklin, Outlaw Flat Four racer Paul Bate, Santa Pod Raceway operations manager Neale Saunders, and from Malta HexaTech Mk1 Escort racer John Martin and 2JZ dragster racer Alan Zammit. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

You can read on Speedgroup's web site an account by Lena Perés of the 2022 season from Pro Stock team Malmgren Racing, a season which ended with driver Michael Malmgren being championship runner up, nine points away from the title.

Santa Pod Lifestyle and Nostalgia race entries available 6th January.
14th December: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events co-ordinator Dan Melrose for letting us know the date from which racer entries can be made for 2023:

Racer entries for all of Santa Pod’s lifestyle and nostalgia events will go on sale at 11am on Friday 6th January. These include Dragstalgia; the highlight of the nostalgia racing season, the big-money heads-up Doorslammers event, and the brand new for 2023 Street Weekend. A full list of events and entry forms can be found at

To see which classes are involved at the respective events listed, go to the Santa Pod calendar page and click on "Full Event Details" for the relevant event.

Midgley wins UK Championship.
14th December: Top Fuel Bike racer Neil Midgley took the next step in his career by winning the ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship in his first season riding his Puma Engineering built machine after a record-breaking weekend at the National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Going into the final race of the season with the King Racing & Cannon Motorsports team collaboration, Midgley was in second place in the Championship with multi-time UK Champion Steve Woollatt some way ahead on points. The only way that Midgley could take the crown was to win the event and for Woollatt to have a poor showing in qualifying and eliminations, or to outqualify him, win one more elimination round and to set a new Championship record. To the delight of the fans it went to the wire with Midgley qualifying in number one position with a fine 5.8588 seconds, closely followed by Al Smith with a stout 5.9328 seconds, the first five for the PBR team with their unique 3-cylinder machine. In round one of eliminations Midgley was the beneficiary of a bye run but did not disappoint, setting a new ACU UK ET record of 5.9632 seconds backed up by the quicker but outside of the stipulated 1% qualifying pass to move into the final.

On the other side of the ladder the incumbent champion Woollatt dispatched Smith to set up a nail-biting `winner takes all’ final. The veteran rider did all he could with a better reaction than Midgley, but that deficit was quickly overhauled by the 60ft mark, and it was Midgley in front all the way to his first Top Fuel Bike Championship crown.

Neil Midgley said “I would like to thank my combined team of Ian Carruthers, Mike Vickers, Martin Brookman, Nick Pepper, Marius van der Zijden, Chris Hannam and Ian King for their expert guidance, work and support in my first season on this fabulous machine, and the fantastic class leading products from our great group of technical partners without whom this championship would not have been won. A big shout out also to the staff and officials of Santa Pod Raceway, the awesome safety teams and the superlative media, track announcers and websites who have reported on our progress this season. Thanks to you all!”

Pictures courtesy of Andy Willsheer & Callum Pudge

The team are proud to be supported in their world class performances by their blue-chip partners and their products in winning the 2022 ACU UK Championship:

APE - The world’s most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for race bikes
COMETIC GASKETS - The Premier Manufacturer of racing gaskets
GATES - The world’s most trusted name in drive belts, hoses, and hydraulics
GOODRIDGE - The most innovative and the best in fluid transfer systems
JE PISTONS - The world's premier manufacturer of high-performance forged pistons
KIBBLEWHITE PRECISION MACHINING - The highest quality valve train components available
LUCAS OIL PRODUCTS INC – High performance engine & gear oils second to none in the racing industry
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC ENGINEERING - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NGK SPARKPLUGS UK – The world’s number one spark plug manufacturer
PAR WILLEN – Master webmaster and proprietor of
PRO ALLOY MOTORSPORT - The UK’s leading fabricator of alloy tanks, intercoolers, and radiators
VANSON LEATHERS - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
WEB CAMSHAFTS INC - Simply THE company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
WORLDWIDE BEARINGS - The world’s leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
ZODIAC - Europe’s largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts

Spitfire results and 2023 bookings.
14th December: Thanks to promoter Lee Child for publishing results from Spitfire Raceway, Perranporth, Cornwall's RWYB which took place last Saturday:

"Congratulations to Luke Allin taking the number one spot with the quickest time, in his 800 plus bhp Audi, of 11.479 seconds at 121.42mph in the cold and wet conditions.

70 vehicles attended the event. For drag strip results click here for rankings 1-50 and here for rankings 51-70.

Lee commented "We were totally blown away by the effort everyone made to attend the drag and drift event, freezing temperatures, wind, hail and rain showers didn’t stop you. We really appreciate it and we think you are totally hardcore enjoying the day in those conditions. From everyone at Spitfire raceway thank you so much."

All 2023 drag and drift events online bookings are now open at this link and you can book camping on site by clicking here.

Swift snippets.
14th December: Happy Birthday for today to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg and UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Dave Simcock. We hope you both have a great day.

Position vacant at Hauser Racing.
14th December: 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.

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.

Shiftin’ Ghia Racing update.
14th December: Thanks to VW Sportsman racer Russ Weir for an update on his plans with his VW Karmann Ghia, powered by an Audi 1.8 20 Valve Turbo engine, for 2023:

After being sidelined due to catastrophic engine failure a few years back, the conversion from a 2.1 n/a aircooled flat-4 to a 1.8 20vT has been completed, and leaves me with an increase of 120bhp and double the torque. This should easily allow me to move up from VW Sportsman to VW Pro Class.

The rear suspension has been totally overhauled & uprated, and I’m in the process of doing the same for the front suspension, steering & brakes, returning to a full-width set-up over the existing 3” narrowed and Wilwood calipers.

During the hiatus, some of my safety kit has expired, so that will also need replacing. In order to fund this, I have some Beanies & T-shirts for sale - available from my website (online ordering available).

Street Weekend becomes reality.
14th December:
Santa Pod Raceway and Melbourne Raceway have announced that Street Weekend, a drag and drive event involving both of England's two permanent tracks, will be taking place on 16th-18th June 2023:

Street Weekend is an all-new competition for 2023 to find out who’s really king of the street. In a tip off to the coveted Hot Rod Drag Week in the USA, we’re looking at a similar format where drivers need to set and submit a time at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire before Driving around 200 miles to Melbourne Raceway in York to set a time on day 2 and then returning again and setting a time on the 3rd day.

Track conditions will be different on each day, starting at Santa Pod on day 1 at the Sportsman Nationals Test Day, an unprepped 1/8-mile challenge at Melbourne on day 2 and finally alongside the Sportsman Nationals at Santa Pod on day 3 on a full championship-prepped track.

In summary, we’re looking at around 400 miles on the road across 3 days whilst also recording a time on track on each one of the days. We all know that Street Eliminator cars are probably the quickest street legal cars on track in the UK right now, but can they really handle that many road miles? This is the competition to find out!

Find out more, and how to enter at this link.

Outlaw Street announces 2023 championship dates.
14th December: Many thanks to Outlaw Street series organiser Mark Wallington for sending us the category's dates for its 15th anniversary 2023 season:

Round 1 1st April, RWYB, and 2nd April, Straightliners, Santa Pod Raceway (all cars)
Round 2 5th-7th May, Nostalgia Nationals, Santa Pod Raceway (pre-1973 only)
Street Weekend, 16th-18th June, Santa Pod Raceway and Melbourne Raceway (all cars entered into Street Weekend) OR
Round 3 17th-18th June, RWYB, Melbourne Raceway (all cars)
Round 4 28th-30th July, 29th Mopar Euro Nationals (all cars)
Round 5 12th August, Best of British, and 13th August RWYB, Santa Pod Raceway (all cars)
Round 6 1st-3rd September, VW Action, Santa Pod Raceway (all cars)
Round 7 15th-17th September, Hot Rod Drags, Santa Pod Raceway (pre-1973 only)
Round 8 21st October, Saturday Night Special RWYB, and 22nd October RWYB, Santa Pod Raceway (all cars)
Round 9 29th October RWYB, Santa Pod Raceway (post-1973 only)

Membership of Outlaw Street is £40 for the season and over 50 have signed up. Catch up with the latest on the series at the Outlaw Street Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
14th December: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel crew member Harry Gibson, Old School Stocker racer Mark 'Nipper' Stevens, former Outlaw Anglia racer Cliff Griffin and Shadowfax builder/racer from 1971 Colin Weber. We hope you all have a great day.

The Veedubracing Youtube channel of Simon Letkey has a video of the quickest VW Beetles that he has filmed in 2022. You can see the footage and a list of the cars involved by clicking on this link.

The curiously named Flabob Airport, Riverside, California (established almost a century ago and named after two engineers Flavio and Bob) hosted the TROG Airport Drags for the first time last weekend. Since it was premiered in 2012 the race was held on beaches in New Jersey, so the move to Flabob was a major change in direction, one that was well supported by locals in SoCal. TROG stands for The Race of Gentlemen, seeming appropriate for the vintage-style drag racing that took place. You can read our good friend Tony Thacker's account of the race and see video of it at the Torq Talk website.

Håkan Fridholm.
13th December: We were sorry to hear that Swedish scrutineer and part time slingshot racer Håkan “Fritte” Fridholm passed away on Sunday.

His local club, SHRA Lindesberg, posted "It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that our dear friend and member Håkan Fridholm has left us in grief. Håkan belongs to one of the few who have been members of SHRA almost from the start. He was a sweet and gentle soul who never turned people down when they needed help. There is so much to write about Håkan but we all know how much he meant to everything and everyone."

Håkan will be missed greatly amongst the wider Drag Racing family as he was a very passionate expert in his function as scrutineer on a national and international level.

We send our deepest condolences to Håkan's family, friends and colleagues.

SPRC Perpetual trophies.
12th December: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for a request to return SPRC Perpetual trophies in advance.

Ian writes: "Could all current holders of the Perpetual trophies please return them to SPRC HQ, if I could have them back prior to Christmas please it would be a big help."

The address to which you need to send trophies is, for normal post (i.e. not couriers please) Santa Pod Racers Club, P.O.Box 12, Rushden, Northants, NN10 0ZU or, for courier post, Santa Pod Racers Club, 2 Carmichael Close, Rushden, Northants, NN10 0ZB.

Eye Candy t-shirts.
12th December: Pro ET racer Chloe Wilkins has announced a new line in t-shirts for fans to show their support for her dragster team:

"It’s a big dream of mine to have my own dragster and to now have my own t-shirts too is just amazing, everybody that knows me knows how much my racing and Santa Pod means to me. Craig Dixon from Altered Tees Apparel has really brought my dream T-shirts to life for me.

"You can order the T-shirts through this link on his website for now but once the 2023 season comes around we will be selling some at the track. Obviously I've got to give the biggest thanks to my main man and Dad "Butch" for giving me this whole opportunity and showing me drag racing as a whole which is now my life. I can’t wait for the 2023 season to begin, already counting down the days and to hopefully see some of you walking round with the dragster on your t-shirt would be the best thing."

Swift snippets.
12th December: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET and Wild Bunch racer Callum Swinchatt and to VW Sportsman racers Holly Sanders and Laurence Clark. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Those wanting to catch up with all of the NHRA interviews from the PRI show can go to the NHRA website for videos and daily schdules for each of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can see the interview of Top Fuel racer Ida Zetterström by Tony Pedregon at this link. Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas with team mate Travis Shumake were interviewed by Brian Lohnes which you can see at this link.

We were impressed by a Youtube channel of restored historic NHRA telecasts including ABC Wide World of Sports as well as some early Diamond P productions. Some of the ABC productions are shown in full for the first time since the original broadcast. You can see these historic broadcasts by going to the @supertubr channel. What makes these videos different from other Youtube channels is the quality of the images, which have been restored to produce significantly better quality than those seen previously. The channel "strives for the best picture and sound quality whenever possible. You won't find "stretched" wide-screening, over enhancing, video lag, or videos with ID's that providers neither own or created. Upscaling and stabilization I support if it's done properly."

Tierp Arena has a new owner.
12th December:
Swedish newspaper Nya Lidköpings-Tidningen has reported that Swedish businessman Svante Andersson, through his company Stenhaga Invest, has signed an agreement to acquire Tierp Arena.

In announcing the transaction, Svante said that as well as continuing existing events management will be able to arrange rock concerts and horse competitions in the future.

With 22,000 seats Tierp Arena is a multi-sport arena covering a total area of 172 hectares. Over the years, around SEK250 million (around £20m) has been invested in the arena, which has a drag racing track, a track racing track, a rallycross track, an off-road track, a hotel, a campsite and an airport. "The idea is that in the future there will be motorsport activities on a large scale, but also training for the police, fire brigade, ambulance, the defense and training for driving school students, similar to what we do today at Kinnekulle Ring" (a circuit in Götene, owned by Stenhaga Invest since 2011), says Svante Andersson.

Editor's comment: This is fantastic news which should ensure a secure future for the premiere drag racing venue in Sweden, with positive benefits for the sport in Europe. is planning to attend both FIA rounds to be held at Tierp Arena in 2023.

Straightliners announces new ET bracket car classes.
12th December: Straightliners have announced four new car classes for 2023. Trevor Duckworth said "The new bracket classes will be Sportsman ET (7.90 or slower in the eighth), Pro ET (6.90 to 7.89) and Pro Extreme (5.500 to 6.899). There will also be Pro Comp Cannonball (5.90 or quicker, heads-up, pro tree) and of course Run for Fun RWYB." Bracket classes will have a 0.5s sportsman tree.

More official details will follow, however the championship looks likely to include Melbourne Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway. "There will be 9 rounds starting at Santa Pod on 2nd April with a test day on Saturday 1st April so you can make a weekend of it, then we have 7 rounds at Melbourne and the finals at Santa Pod on 15th October, again with a test day on the Saturday. The final round will be a double points round and the 9 round championship will have 8 rounds to count." The championships will be for both cars and bikes, which will continue with the previous format.

Swift snippets.
12th December: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Ian Brown, Grumpy's Toy racer and tuner Paul Watson, Finnish Super Twin racer Marko Lantto and former Junior Dragster racer Lot Bradford. We hope you all have a great day.

Thrill Ride crew position available.
11th December:
Thrill Ride driver Paul Brown has been in touch about a crew member opportunity for next season:

Santa Pods 2-Seater Thrill Ride Dragster team is looking for a new crew member to join for the 2023 season. We would be looking for someone with previous experience crewing within the Drag racing community.

Your role would include: general vehicle maintenance/repairs if required between rounds, refuelling, packing the parachute, being involved in start-line procedures, unloading and reloading the race equipment before and after the event is complete.

You would also need to have excellent communication skills and enjoy entertaining customers for them to have a superb experience.

The ideal candidate would need to be available for all of the following events: Festival of Power, Spring Speed Nationals, Main Event, Sportsman Nationals, Dragstalgia, Mopar Nationals, Green Light, Euro Finals & National Finals.

If you are interested, please could you send an email to with a brief message of what experience you have and your contact details. We will be in contact with the correct candidate at the end of January 2023.

Photo credit: Chris Eyre

Swift snippets.
11th December: Happy Birthday for today to our colleague Kieran, we hope you have a fantastic day from all the team. Also Birthday wishes to Santa Pod marshal and new mum Holly Donisthorpe, FWD racer Ahmed Jamshaid, Swedish marshal Thomas Andersson, Austrian Pro ET racer Alex Mahl, former Santa Pod Raceway Events Manager James Forster and belated wishes for yesterday to Top Fuel Racer and Malta Motorsports Association President Duncan Micallef. We hope you all have a great day.

Hayley Hadfield.
9th December:
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Supercharged Outlaw team member, wife and mother Hayley Hadfield this morning from pancreatic cancer.

Hayley bravely fought the disease that when diagnosed, had already become serious. Through her family with husband Andy 'Fadster' and daughter Purdie, Hayley underwent the various treatments to keep the illness at bay at The Christie Hospital Manchester.

Fadster posted this morning "I’m heartbroken to tell you our brave and beautiful girl passed away this morning. It’s a day Purdie and I and our hugely supportive family and friends have dreaded.

"We brought her into the wonderful Willow Wood hospice on Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to control her symptoms but these escalated and it was more than our valiant warrior could fight. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all our friends who supported us, showed us true friendship and sent messages that helped us through what has been an incredibly difficult time."

Following the family's announcement of Hayley's illness in July, the UK drag racing community came together in an unprecedented way to raise over £32,000 towards Pancreatic Cancer UK and The Christie Hospital Manchester with auctions and raffles.

We will post details of funeral arrangements in due course. In the meantime our deepest condolences go to Andy, Purdie and all of Hayley's family and friends. She will be much missed as one of the sunniest presences at the track even after she became ill, and her family supported her tremendously in her final months.

John Dodd.
9th December: We learned this morning of the sad passing at the age of 89 of hot rodder John Dodd, who became identified through one vehicle - his 27 litre Rolls Royce Merlin-powered Beast - and a family presence in the sport.

After visiting Santa Pod in the late sixties, John, who worked on automatic transmissions for a trade, had the inspiration of having a car built with such an engine and making it roadworthy. Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway's supporting company Fibreglass Repairs, John's Beast was produced for 1972 and caused much interest, as you can see from a contemporary BBC archive video. John's son Paul reported on the 50th anniversary of The Beast on 1st March.

John's son Paul and grandson Jason (pictured with John at Dragstalgia in 2014, where John took The Beast for another run down the track) also became avid hot rodders and are members of Surrey Muscle. We send them, other members of John's family and their friends our deepest condolences.

Swift snippets.
9th December: Happy Birthday for today to Tierp Arena announcer and honorary Naughty Swede Christer Abrahamson, former Sportsman ET racer and photojournalist Nigel Holland, Danish Top Fuel crew member and traveller extraordinaire Karsten Andersen, Supercharged Outlaws racer Ian Merryweather, Outlaw Anglia racer "Anxious" Ian Tweddle and Pro ET racer John Bean. We hope you all have a great day.

Although not strictly in Europe, the Bahrain Drag Racing Club's first round of their 2022-23 season is under way and you can see streaming video on Youtube at this link; qualifying took place yesterday and eliminations are happening today as we type.

Julie's U.S. story.
8th December:
Thanks to photojournalist Andy Willsheer for giving us an update on expat Norwegian Julie Nataas who has now been in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster for five years.

26-year-old Julie Nataas is now the proud possessor of a Green Card in the Land of Joe Biden and has certainly made quite a name for herself since joining the Jr. Dragster class at a tender age and moving onward and upwards through both karting and some open-wheel roundy-round experience before opting to concentrate on Scandinavia’s straight-line racing scene. Prior to her emigrating from Norway some 7½ years ago, the third-generation drag racer – her late grandfather was a Sportsman racer for many years and readers will likely need no introduction to her father Thomas, a two-time FIA European Top Fuel Champion at the wheel of Denmark’s Andersen Racing dragster – has of late been an integral part of Kansas-based Randy Meyer Racing for four full seasons after initially attaining her Top Alcohol Dragster licence at Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2017, whilst also earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business and entrepreneurship at Santa Barbara, California’s, Antioch University.

Now calling Brownsburg, Indiana, home – a place which can be almost be described as America’s centre of the drag racing world insofar as many top teams are headquartered in the Hoosier State town that, incidentally, is a suburb of the more widely recognised state capital, Indianapolis – the accomplished expat has had mixed results in the injected-nitro ranks this year, during which time she has competed in a packed schedule of NHRA national events as well as half a dozen Lucas Oil divisional races and even an appearance behind the wheel of Randy Meyer’s injected-nitro flopper at the Funny Car Chaos season-opener in Ennis, TX. The highlight of her ’22 season had to be victory in September’s JEGS Allstars event held in conjunction with the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Qualifying #1 at the biggest and most prestigious race in the NHRA Camping World series, the determined driver handily annexed both eliminators along with accompanying bumper pay-outs for the double win.

Although she was obviously disappointed when later failing to qualify at the FallNationals held at Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex, (“this was a first in my drag racing career,” Julie said when I spoke with her at the penultimate stop of the Camping World tour,) it is hoped that niggling gremlins which have plagued the OTG/Lucas Oil/Right Trailers A/Fuel entry since winning the biggie at Indy can be sorted during the off-season.

Her future plans have yet to be finalised, but suffice to say the ambitious Ms Nataas will continue working hard toward achieving her ultimate goal of following in her father’s footsteps and procuring a ride in Top Fuel. Watch this space…

Bottom right: Julie in her car in staging lanes alongside Swedish race official Anette Heleander.

Swift snippets.
8th December: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Anglia racer Rob Brindle and Swedish former Corvette racer Håkan Andersson, we hope you both have a great day.

ACU license applications.
7th December: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for an announcement about a change in procedure for obtaining ACU licenses.

"ACU riders looking to apply for their 2023 licences no longer require a club code to apply; the ACU licence system has been updated to reflect this. Riders simply need to be an SPRC club member to apply. When riders apply, I am then sent an email requesting validation of membership, on reply your licence application is then completed, if you have any questions, please contact me on either 01933 313625 or email

Crail Raceway announces 2023 calendar.
7th December: During 2022, Crail Raceway based near Anstruther, less than an hour from Dundee, 1 1/2 hours from Edinburgh and 2 hours from Glasgow, held 15 Sunday events, three of which were circuit, the other 12 drag and drift. As well as quarter mile drag racing and non-stop drifting action, there were club stand displays, trade stands with over trophies for track and show. As well as on-site catering you can get your car washed too.

Entries for drag racing were impressive, with 266 in the March opener and many others over 200. The Crail website includes a database of times scored during the year and records set. The outright track ET record was reset on 17th July when Andy Forrest took his Westfield V8 to a 8.770/148.50.

You can see updates about Crail's events at the track's Facebook page. Events planned for 2023 are in the calendar (click on the image to get a full size version) which shows themed events as well as drag and drift days from February through to November.

Swift snippets.
7th December: Happy Birthday for today to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame supporter Carolyne Beckwith, Nostalgia Superstock racer Jake Cawthorne and Swedish Nitrocalypse Nostalgia Funny Car racer Torbjörn Jansson. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

Thanks to Julian for spotting a Youtube video recently posted by Iain Tyrell about the Heritage Skills Academy at the historic Brooklands Museum. The video features Funny Car and Nostalgia Superstock crew member Grace Roaf introducing the Academy and outlining the skills in repairing and maintaining classic cars that it teaches. To see the video click on this link. Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice or joining the employer scheme should visit the Heritage Skills Academy at this link.

Ida in 30 Under 30 list.
6th December:
Congratulations to Top Fuel racer Ida Zetterström for being included in the 2022 30 Under 30 list of the brightest and most promising young people in drag racing, published by Drag Illustrated magazine. The 2022 DI 30 Under 30 list will be celebrated at a special press conference at the PRI Show on Friday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET (18:00 GMT). You can read the 2022 Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 issue in digital form at this link. In her feature on page 92, Ida reveals her of being in the NHRA racing in Top Fuel. "The big long term dream is to be in NHRA running for a championship one day. Top Fuel and drag racing are what gets my heart racing and the goal is to be around it fulltime."

Will Ida follow other Europeans to race in the NHRA? Well possibly not in 2023 as her calendar on her website declares that she will be racing at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod and all rounds of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. But with ambition and determination on her side as well as a media friendly personality, she could well be given an opportunity by an existing NHRA team to enter competition. Ida has confirmed other appearances at the PRI show on Thursday at the PRI Booth 1:00-2:30p.m. for an autograph signing, at the Redline Ace Booth for autograph signing 3:00-4:00p.m., on Friday at the Edelbrock Group booth (#725) between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and on Saturday for interviews at the Content Creation Stage 1:00-1:30p.m. and at the NHRA Stage 2:00-2:30pm (all these times ET).

The PRI (Performance Racing Industry) Show takes place from 8th-10th December at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. You can see details at its website This reveals an array of drag racing stars dominating the appearance schedule, both from the NHRA Camping World series and No Prep Kings stars too. As well as the announcing their '30 under 30' list and issue and Drag Illustrated will be revealing on Thursday at 1pm more racers that have signed up for its World Series of Pro Mod with its $100,000 prize, to be held at Bradenton Motorsports Park on the weekend of 3rd-5th March 2023.

There are over 1,100 registered exhibitors. From Sweden our good friends Mats Eriksson and LG Eriksson from Sweden are exhibiting a range of chassis building products including Docol R8 tube and sheet metal, chassis jigs and tools. From France SADEV Transmissions Inc include driveshafts suitable for drag racing. The UK has three specialist magazines displaying, Race Engine Technology, Race Tech Magazine and Racecar Engineering and a number of specialist engineering companies.

When videos of events at PRI are published we will post links to them.

New car for Pers.
6th December: After only a handful of test passes and one event, Patrik Pers' Speedghost Motorsport nitro funny car chassis and body is for sale at a price of £23,000 as the team is buying a new car from the US. Team member Michael Mcdonald writes:

"Speedghost Motorsport is selling their fuel funny car chassis and body; the chassis will not have rear end in it or rear wheels. The chassis and body is an ex Bob Bode car raced in NHRA a few years ago, the chassis being certified in August 2021. Simpson belts are in date to June 2024. The car comes with clutch can, all titanium roll cage plates, cockpit panels, reverser tunnel, 4 belly pans, fuel tank and oil tank, complete fire bottle system (bottles are out of date). It will have a titanium computer box mounted but it will not have any racepak or electromotion sensors or cables with the chassis. Body comes with 2 spare front windows and spare burst panel.

"The chassis can come with coils, point boxes, 2 MSD promag boxes plus graphic editor but no ignition system cables. We also have 2 sets of headers to go with car. We also have blocks, cranks, camshafts and many other parts for sale for a top fuel operation that can be put into the deal.

The car has done 10 runs in Europe since leaving USA." For more details or questions contact Michael Mcdonald on +44 7706 616961.

The team later posted "Just to squash any rumours running around the rumour mill Patrik has not quit or retired in any shape or form. The truth is we have just purchased a new car from America. We are not releasing details as yet but hopefully we will have some news for you in January. Patrik and the entire team would like to thank everyone for their support." Thanks for the clarification guys and looking forward to seeing the new car.

Swift snippets.
6th December: Happy Birthday to Swap Meet sponsor and race engine builder Jeff Bull, and to Super Pro ET racer Scott Hauser. We hope you both have a great day.

Avril, we are thinking of you.
5th December: Thanks to Paul Marston for an update on former Santa Pod Racers Club marshal Avril Brown:

I have been asked by the Brown family to let everyone know that former SPRC marshal Avril Brown has been so bravely fighting a battle against cancer. Unfortunately, despite having undergone a full course of chemotherapy, the doctor's report last week said that it has not been successful and they have given Avril about 4 weeks to say all her goodbyes.

Phil Brown, Avril's Husband, and both of their sons, Alan Brown and Simon Brown, have all served as Santa Pod Racers Club marshals over the years, Phil for around 15 years, so they will be known to quite a few of you.

Phil and Avril also helped PMR when we ran UK Top Sportsman with Jeff and Belinda Bull at Santa Pod Raceway, they are kind people and very dear friends who have given so much to this great sport of ours.

This news will come as a shock to a lot of you as the Browns are private people and wanted to keep the treatment confidential in the hope that the chemo was successful, alas unfortunately it was not.

Paul Marston Racing team members new and old were privileged to have visited the Browns last Sunday to see Avril, who still has that cheeky glint in her eyes and a wicked sense of humour.

Please keep Avril and Phil Brown in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.

Spitfire Raceway event this Saturday.
5th December: With the rest of the UK suffering freezing temperatures over the coming days, Spitfire Raceway in Perranporth is forecast to be a relatively balmy 7C and the event is described by promoter Lee Child as "Petrolhead paradise".

The 2022 Xmas finale drag and drift will take place on Saturday 10th December. Gates are open at 8am and track action is from 11am to 3pm. Drag strip riders and drivers have a meeting at race control 10.45am. There will also be a car and bike show plus the opportunity for the brave to stay over at the track.

. Online bookings are open at this link and you can book the Spitfire Park holiday camping area for a relaxing short or long time stay by clicking on this link.

All vehicles welcome, you can spectate for £10 per person (under 16s go free) or take part drag racing at Spitfire Raceway from £10 after admission. Crash helmet and full driving licence required. All vehicles have a safety check for drag racing and drifting. Show & shine no charge after admission. Please respect the surrounding areas and speed limits when travelling to and from the venue.

We wish Lee all the best with Spitfire Raceway and possible new venues, following an announcement earlier in the week that he will no longer be involved in promoting cash days no prep racing at Melbourne Raceway and Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe. The respective tracks will continue with their announced dates and will announce plans in due course.

Swift snippets.
5th December: Happy Birthday for today to Norwegian Super Comp racer Mari Udtian, former Top Methanol Dragster racer Tony Dönges and VW Pro racer Andy Voce. We hope you are all having a great day.

USAutomotive to join 7707 LSR team.
4th December: sponsor USAutomotive is excited to announce that they will be joining Geoff Stilwell's record-holding, award-winning 7707 Land Speed Racing Team.

Chairman of USAutomotive Stewart Bassett said "USAutomotive has been involved with American autos and racing since our inception in 1997 and we've been friends with Geoff for a number of years now. As the UK's leading importer of American auto parts, it seemed only natural to get on board and help Geoff with shipping logistics and make this more of a British effort."

"The car was built at Brit Mick Jenkins' shop Mick's Paint, Pomona, CA", said Geoff, "and when their schedule permits is operated by Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes of Buckingham-based I.C.E. Automotive, while on-the-ground US logistics are handled by expat Brit Tony Thacker. So, it's mostly a British crew and having USAutomotive help with shipping logistics is a huge benefit to the programme", concluded Geoff.

"USAutomotive ships all types of American auto parts with weekly or at least bi-weekly air freight shipments from our base in Atlanta, GA" said Bassett, "and with these regular shipments we can help Geoff expedite his on-going race programme as we do for other UK-based enthusiasts."

"This is great news," said Nick Davies of I.C.E. Automotive, "We ship in a lot of components for our engine-building business and having USAutomotive become part of the team can only help build the network and make it easy for UK racers to go racing."

Geoff Stilwell's 7707 land speed racer set a A/Blown Fuel rear engined Modified Roadster record at 258.569mph at Bonneville Speedway in 2019.

Follow latest USAutomotive developments by going to their Facebook page.

Outlaw Street Prize Night.
4th December: The Outlaw Street Prize Night took place on 12th November at the Crown Lodge Hotel, Outwell, Cambridgeshire. It was the usual fun affair of good food, good people, banter, beer, prizes and more. Series organiser Mark Wallingford writes:

In the raffle draw, a free 2023 Outlaw Street membership was won by Howie Wright (Ranchero), a $50 Summit Racing Gift Voucher was won by OS-37 Chris Richards (Barracuda), and a bottle of Gentleman Jack was won by Luke Hersee (Javelin).

Free Membership Certificates to the 2023 season to members who've had 15 years continous membership were awarded to Stephen 'Badger' Moule (Chevelle), Mark Holmes (V8 Chevette), Joe Mills (Hillman), Stuart Ramsay (Camaro), Vic Fisher (Mustang), Team Bebikan (Zephyr), Simon Paul (Nissan GTR), Chris Richards (Barracuda), Nigel Jenkins (Mustang), John F Latham (car tbc), Chris Antell (VW Camper) and Gary Semper (Pontiac Firebird). 10 year membership awards of an engraved hip flask were presented to: Rob Leyman (C10 Pickup) and David Mahoney (Camaro).

Reaction Time engraved tankards and £25 prize money sponsored by Outlaw Street were awarded to:
Round 1 Sally Woolner (Camaro, RT 0.1233)
Round 2 Rod Atkinson (Nova, RT 0.1010)
Round 4 Dave Mahoney (Camaro, RT 0.0822)
Round 5 Abi Bailey-Unsworth (Fiat 500, RT 0.0923)
Round 6 Alan Payne ('34 Ford, RT 0.0195)
Round 7 Sally Woolner (Camaro, RT 0.1285)
Round 8 Pete Lane (Mercury, RT 0.2810)
Round 9 Pete Lane (Mercury, RT 0.2814)

Other special awards were made:

Quickest RT of the year award: Alan Payne
Fastest 4/6cylinder: Simon Paul, 10.3108/138.11mph
Fastest V8 class and new all time fastest V8 in OS history: Sally Woolner, 8.2222/166.06mph
Hard Luck Award (as voted for by Outlaw Street Members): James Griffin (Willys Coupe)
'Spirit of the Outlaw' Award (as nominated by Outlaw Street members): Simon Paul (Nissan GTR)

Improvement awards of £50 prize money & certificate sponsored by designbybinnie were awarded to:
Round 2 Vic Fisher (Mustang, 1.5478s)
Round 3 Pete Lane (Barracuda, 0.9058s)
Round 4 Sally Woolner (Camaro, 1.2316s)
Round 5 Pete Lane (Mercury, 1.8595s)
Round 6 Stephen Cowling (MG Midget, 0.8439s)
Round 7 Chris Richards (Barracuda, 1.6948s)
Round 8 Martin Rawlinson (Dodge Challenger, 0.863s)
Round 9 Simon Paul (Nissan GTR, 0.5792s)

The Top 12 winners of the Outlaw Street 2022 series each received an Outlaw Street 2023 calendar, with each month featuring one of the top 12 cars. The top 6 winners all received a 2023 Outlaw Street calendar featuring their car PLUS a framed photo of their car, with the top 3 all receiving Outlaw Street custom trophies:
  1. Sally Woolner (Camaro)
  2. Simon Paul (Nissan GTR)
  3. Dave Mahoney (Camaro)
  4. Pete Lane (Mercury)
  5. Alan Payne ('32 Ford)
  6. Dez Brown (MG Magnette)
  7. Vic Fisher (Mustang)
  8. Rod Atkinson (Nova)
  9. Matt Southcott ('39 Ford)
  10. Paul KNifton (Mustang)
  11. Chris Richards (Barracuda)
  12. Russ Pursley (Dutton)
After a successful evening it was announced that Prize Night 2023 for the classe's big 15th Anniversary will be on Saturday 11th November 2023 At the Crown Lodge Hotel, Outwell, Cambs.

2023 membership is frozen at £40 for the season & is now open for existing members to renew & retain their race numbers, and for new members.

The full 2023 race calendar for the 15th anniversary year of Outlaw Street is finalised & will be publised shortly, Mark can confirm there will be 8 rounds, 2 of which will be pre 1973 vehicles only, with 6 rounds counting to the series final points.

Swift snippets.
4th December: Happy Birthday for today (Sunday) to Funny Car crew chief Mark "Animal" Bodimeade, Funny Car crew member Malc Short, Sportsman ET racer Holley Walters and Junior Dragster dad Steven Taylor, we hope you all have a great day!

This weekend, the Snowbird Nationals takes place at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, and fingers are crossed for expat Swede Adam Flamholc as he is currently outside the 32 car Outlaw Pro Mod ladder, having run a 3.806/201.37 in his new screw-blown '57 Chevy to go #33 of 42 qualifiers on Friday, and suffering a broken drive shaft in his first burnout on Saturday. You can see highlights of Friday qualifying at the 51st Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals at the Youtube channel TheRacingvids or subscribe to FloRacing to watch live and view many independent drag racing events from the US.

VWDRC Prizegiving.
3rd December: Last weekend, the annual VWDRC AGM and prizegiving took place on 26th Novermber. The sold-out event, held at The Campbell Room, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Milton Keynes, started with the club AGM then moved on to beer tasting before dinner.

The trophies presented by VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson, with congratulations to all racers, crew and others involved in the club for another successful year, were:

VW Pro Championship winner: Graham Fairhead
VW Pro Championship runner-up: James Hodson
VW Sportsman Championship winner: Paul Robinson
VW Sportsman Championship runner-up: Phil Jones
VW Heads Up Championship winner: Dave Henderson
VW Heads Up Championship runner-up: Paul Jordan
Dennis Cox memorial trophy (most consistent qualifier): Graham Fairhead
Brian Burrows Rookie of the Year trophy: Jerry Sadler
Howard Dalton Memorial for Driver of the Year: Graham Fairhead
RNJ Motorsport Car of the Year: Rob Carter, owner of Percy the Passat
Becky Sutton Memorial trophy for services to the club: Abi Tether
Shiftin' Ghia Best Package Award: Jacob Bailey
The Roxanne Red Light award for most red lights in eliminations: Dan Boucher
The Mechanical Sympathy Award: Dave Crowhurst
LuPro ET Award: Rhys Finney

The 36th VW Pro and VW Sportsman championships will take place in 2023 at UK Motorsport governed events as follows:

29th April–1st May: Springspeed Nationals
17th-18th June: Sportsman Nationals
1st-2nd July: Summer Nationals
22nd-23rd July: Bug Jam
19th-20th August: Greenlight Nationals
22nd-24th September: National Finals

The VW Heads Up championship will take place at the following lifestyle events:

23rd April: GTI Spring Festival
1st October: Das GTI Auto Show

Prize monies will be announced in due course.

A pre-season test day has been booked for 31st March (Pre-season testing). Entry is now available at Those wishing to join the VWDRC can do so by going to

Thanks go to club sponsors R-Tech Performance, White Label Consulting & Managed Services, GP Turbos, Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, Pro Race Engineering, Darkside Developments, CG Motorsport Clutch Specialists, European Front Wheel Drive, 32 Speed Shop, Renegade Fuel, BJ Bates Electrical, Track Ready, WRP Paint and Restoration and EST Performance.

Thanks to Abi Tether for providing information and photos.

Swift snippets.
3rd December: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified racer (albeit with a for-sale Mustang - see Swap Meet) Paula Atkin, expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas, Super Pro ET racer Steve Saunders, and Outlaw Anglia racer Brian Nixon, we hope you all have a fantastic day.

The NHRA Breakfast is always a highlight at the SEMA Show and this year was no exception. With legends Don Prudhomme, Richard Tharp, Lee Beard and Frank Hawley joining Brian Lohnes for “Bent Rules, Balled Fists and Dragstrip Battles” it was guaranteed to be a good one and did not disappoint. Some great stories and pieces of drag racing folklore dispelled, catch it at this link.

Wild Bunch 26th Annual Prize Presentation.
2nd December: Your editor and Mrs Groves were honoured to be invited to be Special Guests of the Wild Bunch's Annual Prize Presentation Dinner Dance last Saturday and congratulations to all prize winners. Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes:

The Wild Bunch held our 26th Annual Prize Presentation on Saturday, 26th November at Drayton Manor near Tamworth, and it was another brilliant evening, enjoyed by all attending! We welcomed Guests of Honour Robin Read and Ella Chapman and special guests Simon and Ros Groves.

Many thanks to our great comperes Barry Bohannon and Paul Wright, who did their usual excellent job, announcing the winners, with their citations and adding their usual aplomb to the celebrations. All the various Series winners were presented with their awards, with the 2022 Wild Bunch Series win going to Pete & Rob Brown with the “Rebel” slingshot, their second win in a row! Many congratulations to them and the whole team! The ‘Marras’ also won the Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Series for their second time in a row. Keith Crampton and his “Soultown Shaker” slingshot won the Springbridge MSUK Challenge Series Cup held over the 4 MSA events that the Wild Bunch compete in. This was his 1st win of that Series, which is sponsored by Springbridge Direct Ltd. Many thanks to Bob Hawkins and his company for their Series sponsorship, now in its 10th year! Newcomer Dan Wilson won the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series, a great debut for him and his team in his “Antique Toy” slingshot! Many Congratulations to all those who finished in the Top 4, and Top 10 in Wild Bunch!

The Wild Bunch would like to thank Bob Hawkins of
Springbridge Direct Ltd for his decade of support, and our host of other event trophy and prize money sponsors this season: Mark & Lynne Coulsell of Team Limited Funz, Sutton Soda Blasting and Andrew Murphy of Team B-Sting.

Photos by Claire: Wild Bunch Top 10 winners, Robin Read presenting Spirit of Drag Racing award to Bob Hawkins, Crazy Chris showmanship award - Team Econorail, Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge Top 4 winners

There were various presentations made just prior to and during the evening, including for Secretary Lynne Coulsell, and Race Co-ordinator, Treasurer &GM Claire Meaddows for all their hard work. Gifts were given to all the lovely ladies attending. Flowers were given to Hayley, Ella and Claire.

There were special presentations made including several to our Guests of Honour Robin and Ella. Robin, who is currently celebrating his 50th year in Drag Racing, gave a wonderful heartfelt speech!

In addition, the winners of all the Wild Bunch Special Merit awards were announced, and are shown below:

Big Bang Trophy: Lee & Mark Hartnell “Metal Mistress”
Fastest time by a British-engined dragster (Sponsored by Martin Holgate): Tim Roy, “Boston Straggler II” 8.357 Dragstalgia (and 8.409 backup at Summer Showdown). (Robin fittingly presented this to Tee!)
Fastest MPH: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II” 193.86 mph Summer Nats
Quickest E.T.: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II” 6.609 Nat Finals
Best Newcomer: Dan Wilson, “Antique Toy”
Best Altered: Bob Morgan, “B-Sting”
Best Slingshot: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Best Radical/Dragster: Phil James, “Rampage”
Best Turnd Out: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Perseverance Award: Bob Hawkins, “Time Traveller II”
Best Achiever: Keith Crampton, “Soultown Shaker”
Derek & Brenda Annable trophy: Colliver King Racing “Misfit” & “From Hell”
‘Crazy Chris’ Showmanship: Team Econorail, “Hammerman II”
Crew of the Year: Alan Grimes, “Team Daddy Cool”
Driver Dave Memorial Bell (Kept Calm and Carried On - on behalf of Angie Woods & Warren Rowlands): presented by Mark Hartnell to Dave Williams
Scottie Durrant ‘Above & Beyond’ Award: Lee & Mark Hartnell “Metal Mistress”
Personal Achievement: Ken ‘Mr Flathead’ Cooper “Back from the Past”
C & C Sportsperson: Team “Happy Daze” “Happy Daze”

The greatest Wild Bunch accolade of the evening was as always, the Don Garlits ‘Spirit of Drag Racing’ Shield, the most prestigious award in the Wild Bunch, which represents sportsmanship, achievement, perseverance, commitment, presentation and a host of other attributes.

Sadly the 2021 winners, Team Limited Funz, were unable to attend for personal reasons. We are all sending our love and thinking of them.

Our Guest of Honour Robin made the presentation of the Don Garlits Shield to Bob Hawkins of “Time Traveller II” fame - from one 6-second driver to another! Bob is a long time Wild Bunch member and supporter, and has once again put in an outstanding effort this season to run his nitro-powered slingshot, once again down into the mid 6’s! This is Bob’s second win of the shield! Very well done and very well deserved! Huge congratulations to Bob and his whole team on this achievement!

We also held a raffle to raise funds for the club, so many thanks to all who donated prizes. The night was rounded out with more celebrations, dancing, chatting and laughs all round.

Many congratulations to all our winners! We can’t wait until 2023 to be back out at the drags for the 27th Anniversary season of the Wild Bunch!

Full info can be found on the Wild Bunch website

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, dry, safe and quick New Year to all racers and teams, marshals and officials, track and safety crews, photographers, media, promoters, managers and of course staff, who work so hard! Thanks to everyone for all they do for this sport of Drag Racing we all love so much! See you all at the drags next season for another brilliant year!

To keep up with Robin Read, his Facebook page Robin Read Drag Racing, including many priceless Tales from The Shed, is highly recommended.

Swift snippets.
2nd December: Happy Birthday for today to Robinson Race Cars' Luke Robinson, Outlaw Street racer Dave Mahoney, former Funny Car racer John Spuffard and former Pro Modified racer and Junior Drags Bike grandad Dave Pollen. We wish you all a great day.

Straightliners 2023 dates and championship.
1st December: Thanks to Trevor Duckworth and Helen Greathead for sending us the dates of the 2023 Straightliners car and bike drag racing and speed series:

25th-26th February   Straightliners Elvington Open Day Weekend
18th MarchDakota Raceway, Smeatharpe 1
27th MarchTop Speed Monday, Elvington
2nd AprilSanta Pod Raceway Season Opener (Straightliners round 1)
15th-16th AprilMelbourne round 1 (SL round 2)
17th AprilTop Speed Monday Elvington
22nd AprilDakota Raceway, Smeatharpe 2
13th-14th MayMelbourne Raceway round 2, (SL round 3)
15th MayTop Speed Monday Elvington
20th-26th MaySpeed Week, Elvington
5th-8th JuneTT Ramsey Sprint
17th-18 JuneMelbourne Raceway – Round 3, (SL round 4)
19th JuneTop Speed Monday Elvington
24th-25th JuneCampbeltown, Scotland
8th JulyDakota Raceway, Smeatharpe 3
15th-16th JulyMelbourne Raceway – Round 4, (SL round 5)
17th JulyTop Speed Monday Elvington
22nd-23rd JulyLlanbedr (SL round 6)
29th-30th JulyTOTB
5th-6th AugustMelbourne Raceway – round 5, (SL round 2)
7th AugustTop Speed Monday Elvington
12th AugustDakota Raceway, Smeatharpe 4
19th AugustJM Racewars
20nd AugustDrive Nation
27th AugustRamsey Sprint, IOM Ramsey Sprint
2nd-3rd SeptemberJurby, IOM
11th SeptemberTop Speed Monday Elvington
16th-17th SeptemberMelbourne Raceway – Round 6, (SL round 8)
23rd-24th September Elvington ACU /UKITA Records
30th SeptemberDakota Raceway, Smeatharpe 5
7th-8th OctoberMelbourne Raceway – Round 7, (SL round 9)
9th OctoberTop Speed Monday Elvington
15th OctoberSanta Pod Raceway, (SL round 10)
Helen says "Please check before an event to make sure there aren’t any changes. Racers can phone or message me on 07921 712266 or email at or check the Straightliners website at Events can be entered online or ring Helen 01724 347801. Entries will be dearer from 2 weeks before the event. 8 rounds from 10 will count for the Straightliners Championship; Melbourne 6 rounds from 7 will count. Events are pre-enter only for Championships, RWYB available on the day at most events.

Trevor added: "We have looked at the car classes for next year and taken note of comments from drivers. We will have new classes, a 9-round championship with two rounds at Santa Pod and 7 rounds at Melbourne, also the Northern Powerfest will again be at Melbourne for our May date after the success of last year's event, plus we are talking to class groups and will make an announcement about their dates in due course. We will make Melbourne work for both cars and bikes and Drag Racing - in general, there are many things going on at the moment to improve the track and its racing."

Pictured top: Campbeltown, Scotland, 3 miles long former emergency Space Shuttle landing site, resurfaced in 2021.

What are PAWOT and MIFUNI?
1st December: We were intrigued with three of awards from the Straightliners trophy evening last Saturday and were pleased to hear that figures in British drag racing provided the inspiration for two of them. Straightliners director Trevor Duckworth provided the details.

PAWOT, as awarded to Jane Pittwood for her work with the UK Timing Association as well as Straightliners on race secretary, signing on and welfare duties, is Put A Woman On Top Award given to a woman that has contributed to our sport.

The MIFUNI award is an award from Pip Higham back in the day when he was running the Village Bike shop and as he was very competitive, he tried to get sponsorship from Suzuki but to no avail, so he decided he would not ride a Suzuki any more and instead called the bike a MIFUI the award reflects that spirit and the trophy has recycled from awards given to us by Pip. This year it was awarded to Straightliners commentator and track worker Paul Cumpstone whose voice can be heard at every event and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the vehicles on track.

Paul added "The trophy was originally for Most spectacular run by a Street Bike but has now been repurposed. As such, it was awarded in 2020 to Mark Taylor, 2021 to Andy Higham and now myself. I've no idea the exact wording that Trevor used before I picked up the award as I'd nipped to the toilet and, coming back to the function room with huge applause going on, was informed it was for me!

The other noteworthy award is the Endeavour award; this award was made by Pip from a turbo housing in memory of Chris Hampson he put this award into the land speed section of Straightliners rather than mainstream Drag Racing many years ago and it has been our major award for many years. Congratulations to Graham and Diane Sykes for winning it this year in connection with Graham's steam driven rocket bike.

Swift snippets.
1st December: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaws owner and occasional driver Duncan Beard, FWD racer Calvin Skerritt and 8.50 Bike racer with a penchant for running quicker Steve Howe. We hope you all have a great day.

The group of British Drag Racing Historians mentioned yesterday wishes to contact Nick Anscombe, who raced in the 1980s with a front engined flathead powered dragster called Pig Pen. He raced regularly with the British Flathead Racers Association and was also a fan of Allard sports cars, in particular flathead powered ones. If anyone can help please email Simon at

Earlier news