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17th October: The UK's quickest Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson finished his thirtieth year of Pro Modified racing by taking the 2018 MSA Championship, bringing his total to seven titles.
Day one of the UK National Finals was completely washed out by persistent rain, however this did not mean that the Anger Management team were quiet. Whilst preparing to warm up the engine, a problem was found with the engine block which resulted in an engine change to the spare, a job which kept the crew working until late in the evening.
Sunday looked to be a busy day to complete the event as one-shot qualifying would set the ladder for the three rounds of eliminations. Nine Pro Mods were entered which would result in one team not making eliminations. The conditions were tricky, and with no data for the track that weekend, the wrong set up could easily result in a DNQ. Luckily Andy kept his Championship hopes alive and nipped into the number one position by two thousandths of a second with a 6.225 over Bobby Wallace's 6.227.
In eliminations the Anger Management Camaro progressed through round one with an improved 6.12 win, which tied up Andy's seventh Championship, also overtaking Rob Turner for the most MSA Championships held, a big achievement upon which Andy has had his eyes for a while.
Now concentrating on winning the meeting, Andy progressed through the semi-final to meet Chris Issacs in the final round. By this time the evening was closing in causing cold and dark conditions. Unfortunately, whilst pedalling through tyre shake Andy's Camaro hit the right barrier, which in turn caused a dramatic high-speed top end crash. Andy exited the car himself and walked to the ambulance, and was released by the medical centre shortly afterwards.
Crew Chief Luke Robinson said "Firstly we’d like to say a huge thank you to the Santa Pod safety crew, the medical team and all members of staff for all they did following the accident on Sunday night. We would also like to say thank you for all the messages, calls and E-Mails of genuine care and concern which we have received from the drag racing community. It is heart-warming to say the least and makes us proud to be part of such a tight-knit family!
"The Anger Management team will be back soon as time allows. We’re figuring out a plan at the moment and we’ll release more details soon. Despite this setback the 2018 season has been a very successful year for us, and now we're even more determined to come back out with a better and faster car. We’re not done yet!
"We would like to thank our sponsors and performance partners NGK Spark Plugs UK, Torco Oils, Nimbus Motorsport, PAC Racing Springs, Aurora Rod Ends, Weld Racing, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Victory 1 Valves, Mike Janis Superchargers, Noonan Race Engineering, EZ Motorsports, Hoosier Tyre UK, PRS and Manton Rocker Arms. A huge thanks to the Anger Management crew without whom none of this would be possible!"
For more information on the Anger Management Pro Mod Drag Racing Team, please visit our Facebook page, and for more on the MSA Pro Modified Championship please visit www.msadragracing.co.uk.
17th October: Further to yesterday's news item from Santa Pod Raceway, UK Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar writes that his class will also be exhibiting at November's Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham:
This will be our second year exhibiting. Last year we had lots of interest in the class and we found that a lot of people who had never actually seen a drag racer were drawn in and asked lots of questions. Rob Stone and Barry Woodford put in the effort with An Outlaw Anglia gazebo and the 25th Anniversary DVD playing in the background which certainly drew crowds watching from start to the finish, again with lots of questions afterwards.
If you are in the area then the Outlaw Anglias would be really pleased to see you on stand 5-130.
Twins close out the Challenge.
16th October: Robbie Dobbie writes that the final round of the NAST SuperTwins 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup takes place at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday (20th):
We have over sixteen riders signed up for the day with five twin-cylinder bike racers in with a chance of collecting the £500 winner or £250 runner-up and trophies.
After a wet Round 2 Andy Ball is currently leading on his 250cc Yamaha, despite split fuel hoses on his qualifying run, with Ian Chrichlow (leaving the Hayabusa in the garage) a very close second on a Honda 250! Chris Mott is forsaking his Busa for Yvonne's street Harley, Peter Harrison on his Ducati after a frustrating season and myself on the Honda SP1 will be keeping them busy on the day. Ian Turburville should also be making an appearance on his old Harley, recently bought from NAST racer Terry Green.
More details about the Challenge Cup can be found on our web site at www.supertwins.co.uk of search for ET Bike on Facebook.
We would like to send best wishes for the future to Colin Felstead (S/Street 165) who has just got married in Ohio; his SuperTwin member dad is hoping to ride this Saturday if not too jet-lagged. Finaly we wholeheartedly wish a full recovery to Giselle Moor who is making slow progress in Sheffield following an operation after her tumble at the Redline Rumble in August.
Help offered, sought.
16th October: Michael McDonald is looking for a crew place on a race team, preferably a Fuel, Top Methanol or Pro Mod team. If you are looking for crew then you can contact Michael on 07706 616961 or at email@example.com.
Eugene Smith, who will be racing a new car in 2019, is seeking storage space for a race car trailer/transporter in Grays, Essex, or the surrounding area."The trailer/transporter is used for the moving of race car only, not for business use", says Eugene. "We are novice racers so any help is welcome". If you can help then you can contact Eugene on 07507 844967 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Classic for Santa Pod.
16th October: Donna Finnegan writes that Santa Pod Raceway will be exhibiting at next month's Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham:
Santa Pod Raceway will again be co-sharing the stand with Lucas Oil Products UK. The Lucas Oil team will be available to answer all your motoring lubricant, additive and car care questions as well as having an array of motoring products for sale on the stand.
Santa Pod Raceway will unveil the latest addition to its roster of historic drag racing hardware with Roarin' Rat on static display. Originally a Small Block 1957 Chevy, it was transformed into a high-riding, supercharged, rat-motored drag strip demon in 1978. Roarin' Rat will join the line-up of key acquisitions for Santa Pod's forthcoming museum project. Martin Hill's FireForce 5 Jet Dragster will also be on static display for the first time. Visitors to the stand will be able to get up close to the Pratt & Whitney J60 jet engine which has powered FireForce 5 to eight 300+ mph passes this yeat alone, and to chat with Martin, Richard and Julian from the FireForce team.
The Santa Pod team will also be on hand with fresh-off-the-printer 2019 calendars and key event flyers.
The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show takes place from 9th-11th November and you will be able to find Santa Pod Raceway's stand at 2-660 in Hall 2.
AHRF Director attends HoF Gala.
16th October: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury writes that American Hot Rod Foundation Director David Steele is to attend the BDRHoF Gala in Weybridge on Saturday 17th November:
David grew up in Buffalo, New York, the son of a factory worker at Chevrolet's Tonawanda plant who restored, raced, and collected classic US Automobiles. While working as a professional musician during the 1990s and 2000s, David began to seek out and interview early hot rodders and racers in the cities and towns which he toured. A chance 1996 encounter with early rodder, racer, and engine builder Tommy Sparks introduced David to fellow pioneers and the American Hot Rod Foundation. Tommy mentored him on high-level restoration and maintenance.
David is also a freelance automotive journalist, has judged national-concours-level shows, and as a musician has made many appearances on prime-time TV.
Stu tells us that the Gala Dinner is now fully-booked but that if you wish to be placed on a waiting list for cancellations then please E-Mail him at email@example.com. The lunchtime Bench Race is turn-up-on-the-day.
Junior racers honoured.
15th October: Eire's own Junior Dragster team McDonald Motorsport organised a trophy presentation for the class at last weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. As well as trophies, money, vouchers and prizes were donated by Halfscale Dragsters Inc, McDonald Motorsport, Kevin Howlett, DJM Construction, Limited Funz Racing, Banshee Racing and Sticky Situation Racing.
The new Halfscale Dragsters Incorporated Cup was presented to Caitlin Wilson (right) to honour the whole family of herself, Morgan, Rachel and Duncan. This season the Eurodragster.com staff were asked to select the winner and we chose the Wilsons as a perfect example of what a family operation is about. They visibly enjoy their racing, are always smiling and set a good example to others, for example showing respect to the team in the other lane - we have seen Duncan rushing to help with a remote starter when an opponent's car has problems. Caitlin and Morgan are what us oldies would call well-brought-up and they make perfect role models for other girls thinking of getting into racing. In addition we never met anyone who doesn't like Rachel and Duncan. An example of the team's dedication to the sport is that they attended the Dare 2 Be Different day to help to introduce the sport to a new audience.
Congratulations to all of the trophy winners (in order of presentation):
Leaver's Cup: Ruaridh Hart
Best Newcomer: Lara Bartlett
Best Junior Stock: Archie Wray
Best Junior Modified: Harley Coulsell
Best Junior Modified Advanced: Lottie Bradford
Improved Junior Stock: Jacqueline Callin Bartlett
Improved Junior Modified: Daniel Weir and Freddie Taylor
Improved Junior Modified Advanced: Tom Kay and Frankie Taylor
Most Motivated Junior Stock: Meka Jo Gadney and Richard Willcox
Most Motivated Junior Modified: Harry Redshaw and Harley Jay Darby
Most Motivated Junior Modified Advanced: Holley Marshall and Skye Collier
Most Consistent Junior Modified: Luke Mugridge
Most Consistent Junior Modified Advanced: Matthew Dowdy and Jordan Payne
Most Enthusiastic Junior Stock: Kimmy Willcox
Most Enthusiastic Junior Modified: Sam Fairhurst
Most Enthusiastic Junior Modified Advanced: Frankie Fordham, Thaliah Gibb and Katie Ellis
Best Reaction Time Junior Stock: Liam McDonald
Best Reaction Time Junior Modified Advanced: Jack Gooding
Future Star of Tomorrow: Kaitlan Deevey and Thomas Cook-Abbott
Junior Dragster Cup in memory of Anita Board: Joe Holland-Villa
Best Junior Dragster Crew: Graham McDonald
Halfscale Dragsters Incorporated Cup: Caitlin Wilson for the whole team
The Best Crew trophy, which was won by Graham McDonald, was voted for by his fellow Junior Dragster racers and families.
Junior Dragster racers and parents please note that the official presentation pictures are available for free download from a private gallery whose link is available by E-Mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bench race and book.
14th October: Keith Lee has been in touch with more details about the Bench Racing session at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday 17th November, which also features the launch of his biography of Dennis Priddle:
The venue is the Oatlands Park Hotel, 146 Oatlands Drive, Weybridge KT13 9HB. Thanks to sponsorship from US Automotive, and also Custom Car magazine publisher Kelsey Media, the Bench Racing session will take place at 12:00 noon on a first-come, first-seated basis. It will feature well-known names from the European drag racing scene who all have some connection with Dennis Priddle, which will ensure it develops into a memorable session.
The current line-up for the Bench Racing session, to be chaired by Graham Beckwith, is:
Books sales otherwise will be via mail order only, and will be £30 including post and packing, which will currently only be available to UK addresses. No books will be delivered prior to the official launch, due to time-sensitive information contained within it. The ordering procedure will be in place to accept orders by Monday 29th October; information on ordering will be available by that date on my Keith Lee Images web site via the very appropriate web link www.mistersix.co.uk. Alternately, you can E-Mail me direct on email@example.com with your name, plus current delivery address, and I will send an invoice back to you. Payment will be via a secure Paypal link, which also allows payment by any credit or debit card - a Paypal account is not required. Dispatch will be in order of confirmed payment receipt.
Keith has just posted the latest Mister Six book Blog update over on the Acceleration Archive web site containting more detail on the book launch plans and updated details on how the book can be purchased when it becomes available in the near future. The Blog can be found at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
When the dream became reality.
14th October: The UK's newest Super Pro ET racer, former UK National Junior Dragster Champion Nick Mugridge, has been in touch with the story of his entry to the class:
The year had been going really well. I purchased Luke a new 8.90 engine from our longtime engine partners Craws Racing who supplied all of my engines in Junior Dragster, whilst Dad was finally making positive steps with our Camaro in Comp Eliminator, which is the first time we've entered the Camaro in official competition since Super Mod had been merged into Comp. As we were running both cars for the whole season my duties this year were split between making sure that both cars were ready for every round, in the case of the Junior Dragster I was now in full control of its maintenance.
The summer break rolled in and nothing in particular was going on for us since neither car needed any major work during the break. I was scrolling through the classifieds on my pad one morning when I stopped on an ad I'd seen before but had been changed. Ian Powell was selling his dragster turnkey but had now changed it to include a rolling price. It was in my budget so I dropped Ian a message. After a phone call to talk about the Dad and I made the trek down to Cornwall to visit and view the car. Obviously we had seen the car before at the track but not in any detail, as you're usually working on your own car all weekend. A deal was done and I finally had my own dragster, complete less engine but we did a deal on the Powerglide and converter as well.
At the end of August we were at the Junior Fun Day having a great time and also displaying my dragster. The day got even better when our friend Matt Wright came by. He had brought Stevie's Junior Dragster and I was involved in helping her gain her licence. Matt said he had a proposition for me, that if I helped him to build up the 580ci engine which used to be in the Rolls Royce then I could use it to gain my licence this year!
Knowing that the National Finals was the only race left which would allow me enough time to pull it off I agreed. This led up to incredibly long days for about five weeks, in the garage 'til past midnight every day. Parts which I needed to install the engine were ordered and we went through the entire car. We also made the decision to swap out the Hurst shifter, install my new Biondo shifter and wire in its auto shift function to it easier to drive for my licencing runs.
The weekend before National Finals was D-Day. We arrived at Matt's with one of my best buddies Ricky, who also crews on the Camaro, and we spent two incredibly long days building the engine. It fought us all weekend, trying to scupper our chances of making the event. Matt was back and forth to Jeff Bull Race Engines that week having the rotating assembly rebalanced to getting crank bearings whilst Ricky and I made a journey to meet up with Steve Large who very kindly loaned us a couple of rockers to replace those which were damaged a few years ago.
Much of our relief, on the Tuesday night before the Finals the engine was in the chassis and the dragster breathed life once more. We loaded up all three race cars which was a challenge in itself and we were off.
We arrived at the track Thursday and set everything up for Friday's test day. We made adjustments on the Friday morning and towed down for the first hit. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I'd be, getting suited up and climbing into the dragster brought back fond memories of my Junior days. Being strapped in I had zero doubts; I was feeling extremely comfortable.
The first run was the a burnout and sixty foot. I pulled into the water box and on the signal lit the tyres up and drove out once I felt the tires grow. It was amazing! I'd been dreaming of doing that for eleven years before this the event and it was all worth it. I bought the revs up on the foot brake, into stage and launched to sixty feet then lifted. I looked at the board and I had pulled a 0.038 light, not bad for a first try! We came back and serviced the engine, changing the oil to check that the new pistons and rings were okay then went back up for the second run which would be a half pass.
I'd been given the OK to use the transbrake this time, which was fun for me. Burnout completed, a bit better this time. The second amber lit up and I stood on the gas , the engine didn't like that and took a bit to stall the converter so instead of trying to cut a light, I waited a bit to allow the car to stall but I ended up letting go of the button before it was fully stalled anyway. I accelerated on and I then heard the auto-shift bang seconnd gear when my shift light flashed so I knew that the system worked great. I lifted just past the eighth mile, 5.42/128 which was great! I had to abort my third run as when I went into the burnout the engine died and wouldn't re-fire. Back in the pits we found the distributor drive belt had moved which meant I couldn't start up as it was out of phase, a simple fix which was a relief.
Due to the weather on Saturday I couldn't qualify for eliminations as I missed my final licence run on Friday. A quick visit to Race Control and Carole kindly allowed me to tag on the back of E1 to finish my licence, so thank you Carole for that opportunity.
I pulled round after everyone had run their races and completed the burnout, pulled it into pre-stage, this time I stalled the converter on the brake before nudging into stage and hit the throttle on the second bulb. The engine stalled perfectly this time and I went for the light, but as the transbrake button is faster than using my foot I went -0.060 red. Flying down the track I felt the front end moving a little in the back half but nothing out of control. Through the top end I pulled the chute and drove into it which I will work on next time; as soon as it opened up the rear end lifted up which caused me to go into a fair bounce for quite a way. I hung on until it settled down which gave me so much elation, I knew I'd done enough and I got really excited in the shutdown area ending my weekend with an 8.35/159. It was the best feeling in the world.
There are a lot of people whom I need to thank for their help and hours put in to making this deal happen, without them I would never have made it. Firstly Matt, Danielle, Stevie, Summer and Jenson Wright, without them this would never have happened. I can't thank you enough for putting your trust in me with one of your engines, it means the world. And congratulations Stevie on the Junior Dragster licence! The other person who showed faith in me was John Tebenham. JT has been a family friend since before I can remember. Even as a kid in Junior Dragster I would always run to the fences to catch JT run in his Probe, sometimes made easier when I could hear the Thunderbirds theme tune playing throughout the track. Through JT's sponsorship I was able to bring the dragster to the track and he will be backing me in the dragster at Easter next year as well, I couldn't be more thankful and of course I'll be around if he needs help with the Pop or his new Pro Modified Vette.
And of course thank you to Mum and Dad, who have supported my efforts to get back out, and to Dad for working all those hours to get my dragster to the track, we were all tired by the time we got there but then got a second wind. Thank you also to Jeff Bull, Steve Large, Andy Hone, Ferrea Racing Components, Steve Clark at Nimbus Motorsport, Eurodragster.com for excellent coverage (Thanks! You're welcone - Ed) and the Super Pro ET Club who have all made me feel very welcome already.
I am very much looking forward to 2019.
A Get Well.
14th October: Jim Broome writes that race fan Richard (TopNitro) Stirling has been admitted to hospital following a breakdown in his health, eight years after a similar episode: This came about following the organisation of a secret party for his wife who has just celebrated a significant birthday to be followed by a get-together for many of his acquaintances which both had to be shelved at the last moment.
Richard is due to be in hospital for at least another week and is channelling his energies into writing a book to include many of his drag racing anecdotes and pictures. He believes that this could be a mammoth task but is also potentially therapeutic. Richard would be pleased to hear from any of his acquaintances to relieve some of his boredom and can be contacted on his usual mobile phone number. Alternatively he can be visited at Ward 35, The Radbourne Unit, Royal Derby Hospital DE22 3WQ. Visiting hours are 14:30-16:30 and 18:30-20:30.
As usual for Richard he was more concerned for Andy Robinson's health than he was for his own and he wishes to send Andy his best wishes.
Three points to two grand.
12th October: Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway writes that £2000 was raised for Bloodwise at the UK National Finals courtesy of the new darts tournament and a generous donation:
Due to the wet weather earlier in the year, and the poor ground conditions, it became very apparent that our annual Staff v Racers charity football match wasn't going to go ahead. Several alternative suggestions were bandied around as we still wanted to find a fun way to raise money for our supporting charity Bloodwise. Following a chance conversation, Donna Finnegan gained a contact from a local guy who plays in the Professional Dart Championship. The PDC guys were keen to get involved, especially as it was for charity. So the scene was set and we started to put the wheels in motion.
After what was a dismal day of rain which curtailed racing on Saturday, everything was put into place for the darts match in Fuelers Bar. True to her word, Donna's guest turned up and we were graced to have the presence of PDC's James Richardson along with his agent Mark Wastell. We couldn't believe our luck when we realised we had the James Richardson, who is one of the top fifty ranked players in the world. James joined the PDC tour in 2011 then in 2012 caused one of the biggest upsets in the PDC history by defeating the world number one Raymond Van Barneveld 3-0 in the first round of the 2012 Championship. James started the night with a great talk and then went over the dart board and threw throw some arrows to kick the whole evening off. He then very generously donated a set of his personal darts for the winning team.
The format on the night was sixteen names drawn out of a hat to decided who was going to be paired with whom (Remember, Andy Thetford was number two - Ed). We then played a knock out game in the elimination-style ladder which we all know so well. In between rounds we had grudge-style call-outs with the loser putting money into the Bloodwise collection pot.
When we got down to the sharp end of things we had Darren Law and Ethan Lisle taking on Andy Thetford and our very own Angie (Top End) Daly. It looked as if Darren and Ethan were going to walk away with it at one point, with Darren hitting a very impressive 140. However they stumbled when trying to hit the doubles to finish the game, which let Angie and Andy back in. Andy then probably produced the best three darts of the evening to kill off the game and claim the victory spoils.
A big Thank You to all the players who took the time out to come down and play darts and give over their hard-earned money. We had many people say how great the darts set-up looked and this is down to the Woodpecker Pub in Raunds for the back boards, to Lloyd Grey for the trussing and lighting rig and Stuart Curtis for helping with set up. A big thank you as well to Paul Savage and his team from Fuelers Bar for looking after us so well.
We had loads of help on the night but it just could not have happened without the drive and help of Craig Wright and Sam Innes - thank you boys, you were great as ever. Every now and then we get a shining star coming through in our sport and Colin Theobald you were as ever you where a true star on the night and your commentary made the whole evening. Thank Yous must also go to Santa Pod Raceway for allowing us to take over Fuelers Bar on Saturday night, to Funny Car pilot Steve Ashdown for donating a canvas print of the Undertaker Funny Car which raised £130, to John Tebenham for your generous donation and we all look forward to seeing himu back on the track next season.
We also ran the Name the Ale Contest in conjunction with Pot Belly Breweries: the winner gets to name an ale and design the pump badge to be launched at Dragstalgia next season. The winner will be announced soon.
£2000 is a great effort so thank you very much to everyone who donated.
UK National Finals snippets.
12th October: Many thanks to our good buddy and timing guru Andy Marrs for passing us the official UK National Finals timing data, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Marrs for forwarding an updated table of European Bests, now containing Steve Woollatt's ACU UK Top Fuel Bike ET record set at the UK National Finals. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the European and UK Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Congratulations to Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racers Thomas Cook-Abbott and Luke Mugridge who have now officially won the Bob's Photo Finish Award, posted by longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts, for their finish line margin of 0.0005 seconds or 0.69 inches in E1 on Sunday. Thomas and Luke will each receive £50 from Bob to whom many thanks for his continued support.
Lucky, good, and lucky.
12th October: They sometimes say that it's better to be lucky than good, and whilst the UK's Isaacs and Tramm Pro Mod team has shown flashes of good now and again they certainly haven't been lucky – but that all changed at the National Finals, writes driver and Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs:
After life getting in the way of running before the European Finals we made significant progress at the race in Comp Eliminator, seemingly getting to the bottom of the tyre shake issues which have haunted us for what seems like eternity! As such we came into the National Finals with a degree of confidence we hadn't felt for some time.
One-shot qualifying was always likely to make things interesting though it didn't mix things up as much as I thought it might, but in any case we qualified and were to face Kev Slyfield in the first round. Come the time and, as Jimmy Young might have said, orft we jolly well went, and lo and behold we were just about keeping up with one of the top British Pro Mod runners – I could just see the nose of Kev's T-Bird in the corner of my eye all the way down through the eighth mile and it was looking to be quite a tight finish. Then we began to drift towards the centre line, I tried to stay with it but eventually decided to be kind to the SPRC timing crew and not take out their thousand foot reflectors. The pedal job cost us around three or four car lengths and that's how we stayed through the finish.
"Well that was OK", I thought, "we gave it a reasonable shot". I congratulated Kev and we chatted about the run and whom he would race in the next round. Then our respective crews arrived and told us that Kev had redlit. Neither of us had noticed! Kev had left first by nine hundredths but had suffered some shake so we were eight hundredts quicker to sixty feet, and both of us just thought it was a good, tight race. Unlucky for Kev who had missed the tree by a measly hundredth of a second but – hurrah and huzzah – some good luck for us at last. So it was Bobby Wallace we faced in the semi-finals, fresh from him clinching number two in the MSA Championship.
Well, I don't know where I was looking when the lights ran, or maybe an ice cream truck sounded its bell as I went into stage – anyway Bobby, one of the best leavers in the class, welded me to the Tree and proceeded to pull away at a puzzlingly vast rate of knots. Then suddenly he wasn't pulling away, we were catching him, and we had enough track left to go in front and take the win light. At the top end Bobby revealed that he had broken the Lenco transmission as he had had no drive when he shifted into third gear, leaving him coasting. Unlucky for Bobby but, would you believe it, two lucky breaks in a row for us.
However all was not well with the Duster and it was running, in Spencer's words, "Like a sack of s**t". A look at the data back ain the pits showed that for some reason we were running the world's first five-cylinder Pro Mod, and that clearly wasn't going to be enough for Andy Robinson in the final. Two of the dead cylinders turned out to be just duff spark plugs but we had broken number five intake rocker arm, and time was running out to beat the dew point of the track. Fortunately the rocker had sheared cleanly into two pieces, and both the rocker arm pieces and the valve lash cap were still lying in the cylinder head. Equally luckily, when we fitted to two halves of rocker arm together they lined up perfectly with no missing bits that may otherwise have been floating somewhere, and we had all the spares to fix it. So we all set to and got the work done.
So to the final and the first time I'd run Pro Mod in the dark. The Duster left the line nicely, and all the way past the eighth mile mark I could hear Andy's engine but couldn't see him, so I knew it was close. Somewhere around a thousand feet I couldn't hear Andy's engine any more, and after legging it through the finish line saw my win light come on. A small celebration ensued inside the car. It was only when I stopped at the top end and the safety crew came rushing over to check if I was OK that I learned of Andy's huge accident just behind me. It seemed an age but in what was actually quite a short time word came through that Andy was A-OK and we all breathed a sigh of relief. He had escaped a big crash without injury and we hadn't collided in a two-car accident... and so maybe this was the luckiest round of all.
At this point Spencer and I would like to do the Oscar thing and thank a whole bunch of people. Our crew of Vince Pinhorn and Rachel and George Georgiou for all their work; Andy, John and Paul Przybyl for their help; Jeff Bull for building our engine and pitching in to help us make the final; all the rest of the Tramm family for their support; and last but not least my wife Rosie who has made a welcome return to the track this year and looked after us all in fine style – thank you honey!
We managed to accomplish quite a lot in the two meetings we did this year – eight straight passes without tyre shake, consistent and fairly decent sixty foot times, and some round wins. Perhaps most significantly, for us at least, the Duster became the first turbo car to win an MSA Pro Mod event, and it always will be. I don't really do pride, but I admit to being a little bit proud of that!
12th October: After a successful start to the 2017 UK National Sportsman ET Championship season with victory at the Festival of Power, the UK's Steve West was all set to run his electric Nissan Leaf again in 2018 until excluded by a new rule banning electric cars. Steve didn't give in, though, and found not just a welcome but a title across the English Channel:
I was shown that I could take part in the French equivalent class of Street Run, so this year I went to France for three events in ATD Street Run. There were thirty nine cars at the first event at Rivanazzano in Italy but I didn't attend this one as at that point I hadn't decided whether to race in France. The second event was at Clastres, quite a large motorsport park with all sorts of car and bike events taking place . The weekend was also an American car weekend - American cars are really quite big in France. The people there were really welcoming even though I turned up with a car that is decidedly not American or V8!
The weather was hot and dry all weekend but with quite a strong headwind. The night time temperatures were really low compared to what we get in the UK - I needed to remember more blankets for the next visit! There were fifteen entrants and another two drivers from the UK, Clive Dandridge with his Mustang and Chris Redshaw with his MGF. As it was only my second event and my first outside the UK I was rather nervous but happy to qualify second by a very narrow margin: there was hardly anything between first and second. After seven qualifying runs Saturday and then two on Sunday I did well in eliminations and progressed to the final where I met the top qualifier and won as my opponent was off his dial-in. I was quite surprised to win what was only my second event.
The organisation at Clastres was first rate! There was some really good racing and the event ran smoothly after a major oil down from the first car on track Saturday.
The third event was again at Clastres and this time there were bikes there as well. We had a storm on the Friday night so the organisers had their work cut out to prepare the track, repair the timing gear and get everything ready. Many of the competitors also had a lot to do due to smashed awnings and water in engines. Fortunately nearly everyone managed to get to the start line. The weather cleared up on the Saturday, a few cloudy bits made us worry but the weather ended up hot all weekend and the extra blankets were not needed. This time there were only two UK entrants, myself and Chris Redshaw, also crewing for his son Harry in Junior Dragster. We again had seven qualifying runs on the Saturday, I managed to qualify first and Chris was an incredibly close second: 0.00012 of a second! We had some really close racing and I got to race another electric car, a full rally-prepared Renault Zoe capable of running sub-fourteen quarter mile. The Zoe was running a slower ET, catching the other driver up fast and then hopping past at the finish to try and take the win. Unfortunately for him when we raced I was right on my dial-in so he broke out! I managed to get to the final again and beat my opponent when he broke out.
I was unsure about going to the third event, at Vichy Airport, but when I saw I was doing so well in the Championship - second at that point - I had to go and try to win. Vichy is a way south of Paris so a long way for me... others have a longer drive but I was using my 1989 Landrover to tow my car and it feels much further when you are stuck at lower speeds! The weather for the weekend was fantastic and the evening entertainment was a lot of fun with a mostly-impromptu band being put together. This time I was the only UK entrant in my class but met more great people from all over.
Vichy is a working airport. They close Thursday night through to Monday for the event so the track has to be prepped and then the prep removed after. Quite a few cars had issues with grip, and very changeable winds made it very hard for me. This time I had a really hard time, I only managed to qualify fourth and progressed to the semi-finals where I somehow managed a 0.3 reaction time which was enough to knock me out.
I was pleased to find that I had done enough with the place to take the overall Street Run Championship. I was really pleased to win a Championship in my first season, I think quite a few people were disappointed as I won it using my Nissan Leaf Electric, but the ATD Street Run Champion for 2018 is a 2011 Japanese electric car.
All the events at which I raced were amazingly well-run. The ATD Staff were amazing, looking after everyone from when they arrived to when they left. They are very welcoming to new drivers and do their best to include you even with language barriers. I found some things they do a little difficult, such as signing for your ET twenty minutes or more before you run, but you get used to it. They also don't do any heads-up classes, all events are ET. It's a shame that there are so few events in France but they do not have the purpose-built venues like Santa Pod and even though Clastres is a motorsport park, they don't get to put on drag races very often. But it's definitely worth going to race in France just for the experience!
Web site updates.
12th October: Our good friend Chris Eyre has updated his web site with a small gallery from the weekend's UK National Finals, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the picture at right.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from No Prep 3 at Rockingham Drag Strip and VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
2019 SPRC Dinner Dance.
10th October: Santa Pod Racers Club are pleased to announce that their 2019 Dinner Dance Trophy Evening will take place on Saturday 2nd February 2019 at the De Vere Staverton Park Hotel, Daventry Road, Staverton, Daventry, NN11 6JT (map).
The event will present Champions and runners-up in the 2018 UK National Drag Racing Championship, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod Racers Club Championship (for Pro Modified, Comp Eliminator and the bike classes not covered in the UK National Championship) and SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
The arrangements are as follow:
Proceedings will start prompt at 6:00 pm; please be seated by 5.45 pm. There will be trophy presentations to the 2018 SPRC Champions and runners-up followed by a charity game with proceeds going to Bloodwise. Any latecomers will be able to collect their trophies after the first set of presentations.
Dinner will be served at 6.45 pm.
After dinner, the 2018 UK National Champions and runners-up will be presented with their trophies, followed by the 2018 MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and finally the 2018 SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
Tickets for the Dinner Dance are £37.50 per adult and £20 for under-twelves, which includes a three course meal plus tea/coffee and mints. The main meal for children will be chicken nuggets and chips followed by ice cream; please choose a starter for your child and please also specify on the booking form that it is for a child.
If you have any special dietary requirements then please inform Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will include them on the menu selection list for the hotel. Please do not approach the hotel yourself regarding special dietary requests.
You can download the booking form (PDF) by clicking here. If you wish to pay direct to the SPRC bank account please contact Yvonne Tramm for bank details at email@example.com. Please note that SPRC are unable to take payments using American Express cards. Booking forms should be sent to Yvonne Tramm at the address specified on the form and not to the SPRC office.
SPRC have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel. These are £79 for a single room and £89 for a double or a twin room, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the hotel on 01327 220676 quoting reference SANT020219. Please do not try to book your room on-line as the electronic reservations system has been told that the entire hotel is booked for that evening, so your attempt at reservation will fail. Please note that SPRC have block-booked a number of rooms which will be available until 31st December after which date any rooms not taken up will be put into general availability and the preferential rate will cease.
If you have any queries about the Dinner Dance then please contact Yvonne Tramm, not the SPRC office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK National, SPRC points posted.
10th October: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for posting the final points standings in the UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships.
You can check out the UK and SPRC points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
10th October: Big Bruv Bob Tucker asked us to say a big Happy 60th Birthday to Ray Tucker and congratulations on his new sponsorship from the Department of Work and Pensions. Have a great day Ray.
SPR's calendar expands.
10th October: Further to last Friday's snippet, Santa Pod Raceway's 2019 calendar adds exciting new events to its roster of familiar favourites. More than fifty events are featured in 2019's February-to-November season.
Two new fixtures join the Championship drag racing schedule, the Springspeed Nationals in May and August's Green Light Nationals. These raise the number of Santa Pod's National and International Championship races to seven, with individual Championship classes also competing at other events. The Festival of Power launches the Championship season as usual over 2019's late-April Easter weekend and Santa Pod's two FIA/FIM European Championship races take place on their traditional May and September dates. Historic drag racing will be highlighted by a quartet of events headed by Dragstalgia in July and accompanied by the VHRA Vintage Nationals (April) and the National Street Rod Association's Nostalgia Nationals (May) and Hot Rod Drags (September).
On the festival and enthusiast front, the 2019 calendar features a brand-new event in June for fans of all German car brands, Das Auto Show, which will complement Santa Pod's regular array of Volkswagen and BMW events headed by July's Bug Jam 33. Other freshly-minted enthusiast events include May's Vauxhall Show and July's Ford Show, while there'll be a second opportunity to enjoy the spirit of April's Fast Show with the launch of The Fast Show Reloaded in late June.
Santa Pod's complete 2019 calendar is now available on-line at www.santapod.co.uk/calendar2019.php and includes full event and ticketing information. Ticket sales open on 1st November. The print edition of the 2019 calendar will be launched from Santa Pod's stand 2-660 at the Classic Motor Show on 9th-11th November.
2018 UK Champions.
8th October: Congratulations to the 2018 Champions in the UK:
MSA British Drag Racing Championship (Pro Modified): Andy Robinson
SPRC Competition Eliminator: Andy Hone
Super Comp: Stuart Doignie
Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout: Stuart Doignie
Super Street: Dave Cherrett
Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET: Brad Jackson
Modurstang Pro ET: Team Paul Brown Motorsport
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Felicity Gibbs
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Joe Stevens
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Caitlin Wilson
Wild Bunch MSA: Phil James
Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar
VWDRC VW Pro: Paul Bargate
VWDRC VW Sportsman: Polly Judge
ACU Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt
ACU Funny Bike: Lorcan Parnell
ACU Super Street Bike: Steve Venables
ACU Comp Bike: Margot Schmidt
ACU Supertwin Top Gas: Michael Gooding
ACU Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki
8.50 Bike: Jake Mechaell
ET Bike: Phil Pratt
UK National Finals results.
8th October: The weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway was contested in its entirety yesterday after rain prevented any wheels from turning on Saturday. For the first time in a very long time emergency qualifying arrangments had to be used for UK National Championship classes. Congratulations to the winners:
MSA Pro Modified: Chris Isaacs 6.5975/222.56 def. Andy Robinson no time DQ
Comp Eliminator: Andy Hone 7.3133/185.71 def. Kev Perkins 7.5970/177.13
Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET: Billy Gane (8.49) 8.5026/145.73 def. Brian Pateman (8.77) 8.7431/156.27 DQ b/o
Modurstang Pro ET: James Oliver (9.74) 9.7589/136.80 def. Leigh Morris (10.90) 109760/118.04 DQ red
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Dan Holloway (15.90) 15.8997/83.94 def. Andy Dibley (13.48) 133.4766/102.78 DQ red
Super Comp: Stu Doignie 11.5182/72.76 def. Leah Kellett 8.9075/161.89 DQ red
Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout: Stuart Doginie 10.4834/119.00 def. Collin Morrice 10.4685/148.58
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Joe Holland-Villa (8.14) 8.1148/79.65 def. Daniel Weir (9.48) 9.2653/68.42 DQ b/o
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Joe Stevens 11.1930/107.68 def. Nigel Hale 11.4505/123.40
Wild Bunch: Callum Swinchatt (10.00) 9.4789/139.07 def. Philippa Turton (14.40) 13.7336/95.08 DQ b/o
VW Pro: Jacob Bailey (10.80) 108284/114.75 def. Abi Tether (12.90) 12.8813/105.78
VW Sportsman: Lee Chisholm-Brown (16.80) 16.6963/76.80 def. Russ Weir (17.75) 19.1419/60.84 DQ red
Nostalgia Super Stock: Pete Wiseman (10.90) 10.9076/123.72 def. James Oliver (9.75) 10.7008/99.83 DQ red
Outlaw Flat Four: Udo Becker 11.9024/105.52 def. Phil West 19.0549/52.96
ACU Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 6.1721/223.36 def. Allan Davies 15.1086/52.52
ACU Funny Bike: Kars van den Belt 7.2544/188.96 def. Phil Crossley 7.6595/171.75
ACU Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.1487/204.31 def. Robert Nilsson 7.4990/179.97
ACU Comp Bike: Margot Schmidt 7.6316/183.60 def. Sean Mills 7.5245/193.85 DQ blue line
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.3096/146.25 def. James Cross 9.4958/132.49 DQ red
8.50 Bike: Jay Roe 8.6207/151.60 def. Josh Stubbins 9.0222/151.57
ACU Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer (8.80) 9.7741/74.68 def. Casey Holgate (13.88) 13.8377/45.44 DQ b/o
ET Bike: Gary Hester (10.50) 10.7502/112.89 def. Michael Gooding (9.40) 9.8564/141.18
Subject to official ratification the following record was set:
ACU Top Fuel Bike ET: 6.147 seconds, Steve Woollatt
Congratulations also to Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racers Joe Holland-Villa and Thomas Cook-Abbott who won the two Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Awards of £50 apiece, and to Modurstang Pro ET racer Lee Huxley who won the Eurodragster.com/Vitesse Labelling Products Perfect ET Award of £50. The Bob's Photo Finish Award, posted by longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts, has provisionally been won by Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racers Thomas Cook-Abbott and Luke Mugridge whose finish line margin was 0.0005 seconds or 0.69 inches although the race was decided upon a red light. We will double-check with the official timing data before confirming the winners.
The MSA Pro Modified final was marred by a hideous crash involving Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson whose Camaro got airborne after hitting the guardrail. To everyone's relief Andy got himself out of the car and walked to the ambulance, testament to the construction skills and standards of Andy Robinson Race Cars and, of course, to SFI specs. 9.50 Bike racer Dave Bowe was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder after a top end crash and Funny Bike racer Dave Buttery took a spill after getting into a huge tankslapper, however we understand that his injuries were minor.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Please join Tog in a big Thank You to Simon for working out Championship standings in real time under considerable pressure yesterday, and to Julian and Diana for their hard work on the galleries.
UK National Finals bike scrutineering.
5th October: Further to Monday's news item, SPRC Club Secretary Ian Marshall has informed us that today's (Friday's) bike scrutineering for the UK National Finals commences at 17:00. There is no specific scrutineering order today.
All other times are as advised on Monday.
5th October: As we went to post Santa Pod Raceway published their 2019 calendar. We are expecting more details from SPR about the new calendar but in the meantime you can take a look at www.santapod.com.
Thanks to Lena Perés for letting us know that this year's EDRS Banquet takes place at 19:00 on Saturday 24th November at the Sunlight Hotel and Conference Centre in Nyköping. Bookings must be made by 30th October. For more information click here or click on the image below left.
First with the 2019 calendars is photographer Matt Woods. Matt's calendar, which will be a limited edition, is A4 and features twelve of his favourite images - "It was really hard to choose just twelve!", says Matt. "The calendar would make a great Christmas present for the drag racing fan in your life. The calendar is £10 plus £1.99 for UK postage or £4.75 p+p air mail to the USA". To order yours contact Matt via his web site at www.mattwoodsphotography.com.
The best of weekends.
5th October: The NSRA Hot Rod Drags has always been a favourite for UK Wild Bunch team Limited Funz Racing whether racing themselves or just soaking up the atmosphere, but Lynne Coulsell writes that the 2018 edition turned out to be one which the team won't forget for a long time:
BallBreaker had been put to bed for the season after Dragstalgia as we had gone through three fuel pumps this year and we weren't sure why. Someone came up with the bright idea of trying a belt-driven fuel pump so we woke her back up and fitted it. We had some good runs with this new set-up at the Redline Rumble and Steve tried a number of things to see what would work best for us. We even managed a cheeky little PB of 8.38, over our best of 8.39 from earlier in the year at the Nostalgia Nationals. All happy, we packed up and waited for our favourite event of the year, Hot Rod Drags.
We were all set up on Friday night ready to see what BallBreaker would do for us on Saturday. Steve and Mark had fitted a high-speed lean-out the weekend before so we weren't sure what would happen. First run out on the Saturday, after a rather long wait in the usual HRDs queue, and we saw 8.2/157 come up on the boards as BallBreaker went through the finish line! Apologies to anyone whom Steve, Anna and I may have deafened as we left the start line, but we were a little bit excited!
We couldn't poker face our excitement to Mark when we went to collect him from the bottom end and we arrived with hazard lights flashing and horns hooting! He knew that it was a good run but was stunned when we told him what it was. Finally he'd beaten Steve's previous best speed of 157.22 mph with a 157.39, about which he was equally as chuffed as the 8.23! No more teasing Mark about that one now, Colin Theobald! Back to the pits and our fab Wild Bunch racers had lined up to welcome us back clapping and cheering and even had a silver blow-up crown for Mark – it made the whole experience extra special.
We made another run later in the day, which was an 8.41 as the car decided to go a little sideways and we all looked ridiculously disappointed. Final run of the day and we bagged another PB of 8.22. Another great reception from the Bunch back in the pits and it was time to get ready to Crackle. Harley was excited too as Marras Rob and Hayley had offered him their Tot Rod to join in the Cracklefest, thanks to them for putting a smile on his face and to Phillipa Turton for the loan of a firesuit and helmet as we realised he didn't have his with him. Sadly Ian Coulsell couldn't make it with his beautiful 1949 Chevy truck in matching BallBreaker livery so no push start down the old fire up road for us but Mark wasn't going to be outdone by anyone and his was the last engine to shut off at the end of the Cracklefest before the fantastic fireworks began.
The girls went down to watch the band in the marquee and Steve and Mark milled around in the pits with a couple of beers, still smiling from ear to ear about what a great day it had been. Steve's final question before we turned in for the night was "Are we going for points or a PB in the morning?". Mark looked at me, I looked at Mark, we both looked at Steve and collectively decided that as we never go for points, and as it was our last meeting of the year, another PB would be nice.
Sunday morning arrived and we gave the lovely Claire Meaddows a dial-in of 8.22 as we thought "Why not!". BallBreaker, usually fairly inconsistent bless her, decided to play ball and although we didn't hit another 8.22 we didn't think we'd done too badly. Everyone was still smiling and we started to pack up and reflect on a great HRD's. We all gathered round where Claire was going to deliver the WB prize presentation ready to congratulate the winners. Spot prizes first and Mark was delighted to receive the Drivers' Choice award for the weekend, which is voted by the other WB racers. Claire started to read out the top four in the traditional reverse order:
4. Pete Huckle in the Jagster – at this point Steve, Mark, Anna and I usually switch off a little bit as fourth is the highest we've ever managed!
3. Phil James in Rampage
2. James Auld in Little Fauss - everyone was delighted for James as it was the highest he'd ever achieved...
...First place, and with a weekend of PB's too... Mark Coulsell in BallBreaker!
Mark Coulsell speechless, now that doesn't happen very often, as those who know him well will vouch! Steve and Anna remained sitting on the floor and were applauding like someone else had just won and I stood there in total disbelief at what had just happened! We were absolutely gobsmacked but obviously over the moon! Eight years of blood, sweat, tears, far too many ££££ to mention, more laughs than a comedy club and we'd finally bagged ourselves a first place, and to do it at Hot Rod Drags was the icing on the cake.
Thank you Santa Pod for giving us a Hot Rod Drags which we thought we wouldn't feel again after Shakey, to everyone there for giving us an amazing track to race on and keeping us all safe, Colin Theobald for the great commentary (how did you have a voice left after this one flying solo for most of the weekend) and Eurodragster.com, as always, for the great coverage and galleries for us all to look back on (Thanks! You're welcome - Ed). We're all still buzzin'!
Finally Mark would like to say to Steve Cassisi "A massive thank you for tuning a race car which has achieved times which I thought I would only even dream of. Marra Chief you are the best and I'm so proud of what you have achieved since we all decided to build BallBreaker back in 2006."
How you can get Mister Six.
3rd October: Keith Lee is proud to report that progress on his book Mister Six - The Story of Drag Racing Legend Dennis Priddle is somehow right on track for its planned launch during the day of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala on 17th November:
The writing and layout stages have just hit completion point - almost simultaneously, as it has turned out, due to the addition of some late news. It is now a case of getting proofs approved, prior to actually initiating the final act of having the books printed.
With regard to availability, the limited-edition hardback book will be available to purchase on-line, for shipping following the launch date. I will be taking books along to the launch event, and these will be available to purchase on the day. It will be on sale at a price of £25, but please note that I will not be able to accept credit card payments. It will be a great opportunity to get it signed by a number of racing greats who will be at the Bench Race at that time.
The web site is currently being worked upon. Fittingly, in the circumstances, the web site can be accessed via the very appropriate link www.mistersix.co.uk.
I plan to start accepting orders for the book on-line by the end of October. Price will be £30 including signed delivery, and I will be able to accept Paypal and major credit card payments. Please note that currently I will only be able to accept and ship orders to UK addresses.
There will be an exclusive preview of the book in the upcoming November issue of Custom Car magazine, which is due out this Friday. The magazine's owner Kelsey Media have joined US Automotive in sponsoring the Bench Race session, which will feature well-known drag racing personalities from the UK, Sweden and Australia who all have a connection with Dennis Priddle. It promises to be an entertaining session!
The finalised book details are: Large format, sewn binding hardcover book, with an 11 inch x 8.5 inch silk finish page size. Page count is 208 (a significant number in the Priddle story), and it is filled with well over 300 colour and black and white pictures. More important than the pictures, this is the story of a very memorable drag racer, and the word total in this account runs to some 100,000 words in recounting the life and times of Dennis Priddle.
Currently there are just a few tickets still available for the evening's Hall of Fame Gala. To book a seat, contact Stu Bradbury by E-Mail at email@example.com.
There is a Facebook group, Mr. Six - the Dennis Priddle story at www.facebook.com/groups/398554693879332, and I will be updating the Mister Six Blog over on the Acceleration Archive shortly.
Arrows for Bloodwise.
3rd October: Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway writes that the usual football match will not be the focus of fundraising for Bloodwise at this weekend's UK National Finals due to a rutted playing area. However, the alternative will allow you to get to the point of raising funds for this very worthy cause in memory of Paula Marshall:
We think that we have come up with a good alternative with which everyone can get involved, and that is darts in the area of Fuelers bar. There will be plenty of activities to keep you amused including a live band in the main bar area. We will have three dart boards to amuse everyone on the night and to get through the activities.
We have two main games in mind. The first is 501 in the lowest number of darts, which will be £5 a go and we will offer a good prize to the winner.
The second is a pairs knock-out tournament style 301, normal dart rules at £10 per team. Again the winning pair will pick up a nice prize and if we get chance a few grudge matches can be thrown together. I mean who wouldn't want to see Steve Ashdown v Liam Jones throwing down at the oche or David Left lane Warren taking on Ian Right lane Marshall - let's make them happen, money talks.
There will be other activities for you to have a go at such as table tennis and air hockey if you fancy challenging one of your crew. Also we will again be doing Name the Ale again to win the right to have an ale in your name and to design the pump badge which will go on sale at Dragstalgia in 2019.
If you're interested then just come down to Fuelers bar on Saturday night, or if you have a team to enter then get hold of Craig Wright or Sam Innes on Facebook.
Two of the dart boards are already sponsored but if you are interested in sponsoring the third then please E-Mail me an offer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write for any other information.
£250 on offer at UK National Finals.
2nd October: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the final event in the 2018 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme and also features the second Bob's Photo Finish Award of the season. To celebrate the end of a long and busy season Cath and Tig Napier are posting two Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Awards to add to Al Platt's Eurodragster.com/Vitesse Labelling Products Perfect ET Award and Bob Roberts' award for the closest finish. All of this adds up to a whopping total of £250 on offer from Eurodragster.com and our sponsors this weekend.
Two Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Awards, each of £50, will be on offer after the Award was won by Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET racer Paul Brown at the FIA/FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first two racers to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds during qualifying or eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first two Perfect Lights of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
The Eurodragster.com/Vitesse Labelling Products Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET racer Joe Kellett at the FIA/FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer to run +0.000 on index or dial-in during qualifying or eliminations. The Perfect ET Award will be available this weekend in Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Junior Drag Bike and ET Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event.
To be eligible to win the Award, decals (right) must be carried, clearly visible, one on each side of the vehicle. If a Perfect ET is recorded without decals then there will be no argument, we will not pay out and the money will be awarded to the next racer to record a Perfect ET. Decals will be available in Signing On from this Friday.
For more information about the services which Vitesse Labelling Products can provide please see Al Platt in the Modurstang Pro ET pits or visit www.vitesse-labelling.co.uk.
Bob's Photo Finish Award, which is presented in association with longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts, will award £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event. The first Bob's Photo Finish Award was posted at the SPRC Summernationals and was won by FIM Europe Junior Drag Bike Cup Champion Meggie Talbot and Blade Dummer in a semi-final race which was decided in Meggie's favour by 0.26 inches (0.0002 seconds).
The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on Eurodragster.com as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment.
Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only and although Eurodragster.com decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On.
UK National Finals racer update.
1st October: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:
Friday 5th October
08:00 Gates open for the duration of the event
10:00 Signing On office opens
10:00 Car scrutineering commences, no specific order
17:00 Bike scrutineering commences, no specific order
Saturday 6th October
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences: sign-on/scrutineering details
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences: sign-on/scrutineering details
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations
Sunday 7th October
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Car scrutineering opens
07:30 Bike scrutineering opens
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations
The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event including Friday's Alltorque Test Day. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven or ridden. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway. Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control; please firstly see the Race Secretary who is based in Signing On.
Colour commentators are requested to come to Commentary only when their class is at the head of the lanes, to vacate Commentary as soon as their class has run, and not to bring guests to Commentary with them.
At the request of SPR management the Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control is similarly out of bounds during racing except to Eurodragster.com staff, Zeon TV crew and racers or crew collecting Eurodragster.com Perfect Award money.
2018 UK Championship outcomes.
1st October: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the final round of all UK National Championship car and ACU Drag Bike classes, as well as MSA British Drag Racing Championship (Pro Modified) and other classes. Simon, who with Yvonne Tramm co-ordinates the UK National Championship points, has provided the following analysis of Championship outcomes:
In MSA Pro Modified, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson has a lead of 34 points over Jimmy Ålund, and a lead of 52 points over Michel Tooren, neither of whom are attending. Andy's closest rival is therefore Kev Slyfield whom he leads by 61 points. Kev would have to win the event and Andy qualify poorly to win the Championship, but if Kev wins one round he will achieve runner-up spot. Bobby Wallace is just three points behind Kev and could also, mathematically, overtake Andy if he suffers a nightmare weekend.
Andy Hone leads the SPRC Competition Eliminator Championship by 470 points over Robin Orthodoxou, with 590 points available. Andy needs only to qualify fourth or better to secure the Championship.
In Super Comp Stuart Doignie, who is going for his unprecedented fourth and a consecutive, Championship, leads Leah Kellett by 240 points. 480 points are available so Stuart will need to qualify top and go one round, or simply go two rounds, to secure the Championship. Leah needs to qualify top and win the event to get the title. Running a perfect ET could affect the outcome too, as this is awarded 50 points.
The Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout 2018 is a three-way battle (can a shootout ever be three-way?) with Simon Gough ahead of three-time Champ Stuart Doignie by 40 points, which is less than one round of racing. Team Morrice Boys Racing are another 200 points back. Of Simon and Stuart, whoever goes two rounds more than the other in the race, regardless of qualifying, will secure the title. Team Morrice Boys Racing will have to win the race and rely on the others going out in round one to win the Championship.
In Super Street, congratulations to Dave Cherrett who has won the Championship with a 450 points margin over Leigh Morris.
Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET is between Brad Jackson, who is 160 points ahead of Team Pryzm, who are in turn 80 points ahead of Scott Hauser. Brad will need to qualify well and go two rounds further than Team Przym - Paul Przybyl being the driver at this event - to secure the title, whereas Paul will need to qualify better than Brad and win the event. Scott will need to go three rounds ahead of Brad and Paul and qualify better than either. So it will be another fascinating three-way battle.
Modurstang Pro ET is led by Paul Brown who is 310 points ahead of Team Dark Horse - Lee Huxley driving at this event - who are 30 points ahead of Bob Molden, with Team Thatadoo a further 80 points back. With a field of twenty six cars, qualifying will be important. If Paul qualifies better than the others then he will only need to win two rounds of racing to secure the title. But if Lee qualifies top and Paul qualifies worse than ninth, then the race could go down to the wire.
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET is led by Felicity Gibbs who has a 550 point advantage over our Eurodragster.com colleague Kirstie Tramm. Kirstie's team-mate and class sponsor Andy Dibley is 230 points further back. Felicity needs 400 points to secure the Championship so qualifying top and winning one round of racing, or qualifying last and winning three rounds of racing, would suffice. To achieve the Championship Kirstie would need to qualify at the top and go to the final round, with Felicity going out round one and qualifying thirteenth or lower. Andy could get runner-up spot if he goes a couple of rounds further than Kirstie and qualifies more than three places higher.
In Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Caitlin Wilson attained the points lead by virtue of winning the European Finals and is 400 points ahead of Matthew Dowdy. Previous Champion Jordan Payne is another 60 points further back. Caitlin can secure the Championship by qualifying first and going two rounds, or going four rounds with a qualifying position in the top sixteen. To win the Championship Matthew would have to win the event and qualify near the top with Caitlin going out early.
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator is led by Joe Stevens, who is 80 points ahead of Andy Bond. Martin Smith in third place 220 points further back is out of the running and we hope to see him back soon. Whoever qualifies ahead of the other and goes furthest will win the title.
UK Nostalgia Super Stock (MSA events) is led by Amy Watkins who has a margin of 140 over her brother Tom and Guy King who are in joint second place. With a healthy entry of sixteen, any of these three could win. Thanks to Ethan Lisle for sharing the points, and for passing on the below news item.
VW Pro is led by Paul Bargate who has a 290 point advantage over Sam Chisholm Brown with Adrian Solly another 60 points further back. Paul will have to go two rounds further and ten qualifying positions higher than Sam to secure the title. Adrian would need to qualify better and go one round further than Sam to gain second position, however Sam is part of the three-car Team Mulisha - will team strategy aid his cause?
In VW Sportsman Polly Judge leads Jon Crawford by 330 points with Paul Day another 280 points further back in third. Polly will need to win three rounds of racing if she qualifies in the top half of the field to secure the Championship, whereas Jon will need to win the race, qualify in the top half of the field and have Polly go out in round one to take the title.
The Wild Bunch run several Championships, however the one relevant for the UK National Finals is the Springbridge MSA Points Challenge. Phil James has a margin of 250 points over second-placed Darryl Howells, and qualifying second and taking runner-up will secure him the title. Darryl would need to qualify at the top, win the event and have Phil go out in round two to take the Championship.
The Outlaw Anglia title has been won by Colin Millar for the second season in succession and congratulations to him.
ACU Top Fuel Bike is led by Steve Woollatt with a margin of 160 points over Allan Davies. Steve will need to qualify in the top two and win one round of racing (with points for low ET and top speed) to secure the Championship. Allan will need to qualify well, win the event and set points for Low ET and top speed with Steve losing in round one to take the title.
In ACU Funny Bike, Lorcan Parnell has an unassailable lead of 970 points over Dave Peters and congratulations to Lorcan and Team Storm on winning their first Championship. Dale Leeks is 90 points behind Dave and will therefore need to qualify better and go one round further to take runner-up.
ACU Comp Bike has a bumper entry of eighteen for the UK National Finals including eight from the Netherlands. Double Redline Rumble winner Erik Jennes has a 100 point advantage over Margot Schmidt (both from the Netherlands) and Sean Mills is a further 95 points back. Erik will need to qualify better and go one round further than Margot to secure his Championship. Margot will need to qualify better and go two rounds further than Erik, and Sean will need to win the event and have Erik and Margot go out in round one to take the title.
ACU Super Street Bike is led by Steve Venables over team-mate Graham Balchin by 210 points, with Rick Stubbins a further 90 points back. The title has only had one competitive round so far, the SPRC Summernationals. So with fifteen bikes entered and four rounds of elimination in prospect, if one of the leaders has a problem and loses in the first round, the potential is there for any of these three to win the title.
In 8.50 Bike Jake Mechaell has a 550 point lead over Ian Chrichlow and will need only to qualify well or get a round further than Ian to secure the Championship.
In 9.50 Bike David Bowe has a 320 point lead over Rick Sawatzki who in turn has a 520 point advantage over Brett Cordelle. David will need to qualify better than tenth and go three rounds to secure the title, whereas Rick will need to win the event and have David qualify poorly and go out before the final round to take the Championship.
The SPRC Supertwin Top Gas title has gone to Michael Gooding; congratulations to him.
The ET Bike title has again gone to Phil Pratt; congratulations to him. Runner-up spot is a tight battle between Dave Grundy, Jasmine Cordelle, Paul Adams and Gary Hester all of whom are within a points margin of 120.
ACU Junior Drag Bike is led by Liam Holgate who is 110 points ahead of Meggie Talbot with Casey Holgate a further 110 points behind. Liam will need to qualify better and go a round ahead of Meggie to secure the title - but the converse is also true.
The post-FIA/FIM European Finals UK National and SPRC Championship standings are now available on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. ACU UK Drag Bike Championship points are available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Eurodragster.com will be covering the UK National Finals, as well as Friday's All Torque Test Day, in association with John Woolfe Racing, with Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast on all three days. You can check out our UK National Finals Event Index, which includes a link to the updated final official entry list, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
A season of growth.
1st October: UK Nostalgia Superstock Chair Don Scott has plenty of reasons to feel good about the class as it approaches this year's final round:
We have seen numbers building meeting by meeting over this year, and many of the Lifestyle event cars have been made MSA-legal, so we are very happy to announce that the UK National Finals has a sixteen-car field of leaf-sprung muscle battling it out for the 2018 Championship.
With the Big Bang round earlier in the year being missed, the MSA UK Nostalgia Superstock Championship was cut down to just two rounds. The first round of the two was the SPRC Summernationals at which we saw some really close racing. The event win was taken by Amy Watkins in her Pontiac Firebird, racing brother Tom Watkins in the semi-final and going on the take the win against Guy King in the final.
All eleven cars from the first round are back with the addition of another five cars, for some of whom this will be their first time running MSA regulations. This is very promising for the growth of the class. We cannot wait to see how the Championship pans out and how the numbers increase further for the 2019 Championship.
New Junior trophies announced.
29th September: Graham McDonald writes that McDonald Motorsport will be presenting a new perpetual trophy in Junior Dragster at next weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway and adds that if you would like to donate money, vouchers or prizes then all contributions are welcome:
The cup will be known as the Halfscale Dragsters Incorporated Cup, or the Halfscale Cup for short. The trophy will be presented by McDonald Motorsport and this year will come with a $100 gift voucher for the winner from Halfscale Dragsters Incorporated. Each year we will pick a dfferent person or group to pick the winner and this year's winner will be picked by the good people of Eurodragster.com. Our wish is to add add further prizes and winnings to this cup to make it truly a trophy worth winning. Thanks to Tog and Simon for their help in picking the winner (You're welcome, thanks for asking us - Ed).
Next up: the Junior Dragster Cup will be awarded for the third time to a worthy winner, and we would like to award it in memory of Anita Board. This year we felt it time to introduce a cup for the hard-working crews in the background, namely the Crew Chiefs (who usually also have to empty the chemical toilet and wipe snotty noses). This prize is to recognise the hard work that goes into Junior Dragster racing, but it's never usually seen or recognised by the public or even other larger race teams. But they do it because they love it (really) and they get to spend valuable time with their kids and family, racing together. Funds are usually hard-pressed and a lot of race teams work hard, sometimes Mum and Dad do two jobs and go without to go racing at the weekend, but they wouldn't have it any other way. So this trophy is for you guys. We also hope to add prizes to this cup in years to come.
There will be up to thirty other Junior Dragster awards at the National Finals. We already have people donating prizes of goods and money vouchers to go along with the numerous cups,and we would like to thank those individuals for their help. We would ask anybody out there for donations of anything from engine oil, cans of methanol or gasoline fuel, gift vouchers of whatever value, even team shirts from larger teams to be used as prizes to go along with the cups. Literally anything which you think would make a nice prize for the kids would be welcome. You can bring any items along to the Junior pits all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, either to the Irish Junior Dragster team pit or any surrounding Junior racers' pit. All donations will be announced with the trophy presentation, and the donor's name will be announced with the trophy being handed over. We hope to build a large range of prizes to go with the various cups over the next few years to help the kids celebrate their achievements; they are the future of our sport.
The prizegiving will take place after Junior Dragster qualifying finishes next Saturday. The time will be announced on Nitro FM and by the track announcers, or call in to the Junior pits for further information. You can also contact us before or during the event at email@example.com or call +353 879 905 430.
If you can't help this year then there is always next year to consider supporting the Juniors.
29th September: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding the final, final, final version of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-7th October. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Mike Collins for sending us the usual preview of his column in the latest issue of Street Machine magazine, plus bonus material exclusively for Eurodragster.com readers. Click on the images above for the PDF downloads.
27th September: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 'Bird far from blue.
26th September: Further to Monday's news item our good buddy Jerry Cookson writes that further congratulations are in order to Nostalgia Super Stock racer Don Scott for his win at Sunday's Sywell Classic Pistons and Props No Prep Street Car Shootout organised by The Rodfathers UK:
Competing in a hand-picked sixteen-car Street Outlaw-style event Don's Plymouth Superbird went rounds and eventually met the Cosworth YB-powered Mk1 Ford Escort of Taz Racing's Darren Scannell. At the 330 foot finish line Don pulled off the win by a mere fender after Darren got slightly crossed up!
Don duly passed on the winner's purse to Taz Racing's Chris Skinner in order to give "A bloody good day out" to another of their team members, Grandad Taz Colin Hudson who is very ill at the moment (Best wishes Colin, and you're a class act Don - Ed).
Although the day didn't look too favourable after overnight heavy and persistent rain, the all-concrete racing surface started to dry out very quickly to allow the assembled competitors a morning's worth of burning rubber in the damp conditions under the watchful eye of the Shakey County Relics track crew. As well as the props of a two-seater Spitfire, a North American Mustang and a flypast by the world-famous Lancaster, jet exponent Perry Watkins was also on hand to entertain the crowd with his VW Jet Bus Oklahoma Willy.
26th September: UK Super Pro ET racer Pel Norman and his brigands managed 2000 km of the journey to Malta without problems but then they got to the ferry port. "We stopped south of Hockenheim, then twice in Italy and now getting bitten to death in Sicily", Pel told Eurodragster.com. "Unfortunately our ferry was cancelled due to bad weather so won't get to the track until teatime tomorrow, but we should still have time to do a couple of test hits as the track opens at 19:00. Just looking forward to the racing now."
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to blown-alcohol racer and backer-up supreme Kirsten van Croonenborgh and a Happy Birthday with manly handshake to SPRC Chief Starter and Club Secretary Ian Marshall. Have a great day, both.
The Dirty Dozen and more.
26th September: Alan Martin writes that the National Street Rod Association had a great weekend at the thirtieth annual Hot Rod Drags:
Santa Pod Raceway did us proud, as did everyone that attended. It was always going to be nerve-wracking event but the Hot Rod Drags spirit soon put paid to any doubts.
Before we get into gear for next year, it only seems fair that we give the recipients of the NSRA trophies their recognition:
NSRA Dirty Dozen
1955 Chevy Nomad, owned by Ben Smith
Rover 110, owned by Fraggle – who also ran a PB of 11.02 at 124 mph
1941 Willys, owned by Phil Moules
1960 Ford F100 Pick Up, owned by Paul Woolf Active Sons
Ford Model Y, owned by Andy Park
1927 Model T Roadster RPU, owned by Aaron Percy
1957 Mk1 Vauxhall Victor, owned by George Merry (George had a smash on the strip Sunday afternoon)
1957 Morris Minor, owned by Trudy Slater
1958 Chevy, owned by David Caruso Heavy Chevy
1940 Willys, owned by Pace Firth
Model A, owned by Scott Collin
OA154 Ford Pop, owned by Adrian Witcombe
Quickest Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins, Time Traveller II slingshot 6.624/210.90
Quickest Supercharged Outlaw: Joe Bond, Bond, Osborne and Hannis slingshot 6.665/217.20
Quickest Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar, 7.392/183.62
Quickest Flathead: Bradley and Ken Cooper, Back from the Past slingshot 11.24/113
Quickest Tot Rod: Ford Skip, 13.5/47
Quickest Friday ET: Alan Lloyd, Gonzo the Great Topolino 8.334/133.24
Most Friday Runs: Aaron James Denning, '31 Model A, 20 runs
Brandon Vining also took the quickest Reaction Time of the whole weekend with his Tot Rod, an incredible 0.0085 seconds.
2019 is just around the corner. We'll see you at the track.
Web site updates.
26th September: Our good friend Remco Scheelings tells us that the weather did its bit to disrupt the weekend's DHRA Finals at Drachten Drag Strip but that some running was possible on Saturday afternoon. You can check out Remco's report and pictures on the Autosport.nl web site by clicking here.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from August's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Biggers takes the third option.
24th September: Anais Shepherd has been in touch to reveal that last week's spy pictures depicted the newly-acquired Ford Mustang of Mark Biggers which is destined for Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator in 2019:
Mark's taste for drag racing spans back some years. He bought the ex-John Bradshaw Project GTST Skyline but it soon became apparent that it would take more than just two people to run a car so it was sold on. In late 2017 Mark shipped a turnkey street-driven N95 Mustang LS V8 Turbo and set about updating it over the winter. We took the car along to Santa Pod for some RWYB action and it soon became apparent that we had one quick street car as on its first ever pass it ran a ten, and by the end of the day we got it down into the low 9.4s at 145 mph.
That is when we said "Let's enter the first-ever Doorslammers meeting", in the True Street class. We were up against some long time drag racers and Mark was totally blown away when he went and won the class and the big £2500 prize money. We were invited to USC where we were invited to make demo runs but the car suffered a fire as it went across the finish line.
The car was in a bad way and when we got it back to the workshop we set about putting it all right again, this time bigger and better with one thing in mind: to make it run in the eights next time out. Mark soon realised that that would take more time than expected so the hunt for a turnkey street car started once again.
There were three cars to chose from but one wasn't for sale, the second was going to be too much a true street car and, yes you guessed it, the third one is this lovely Street Eliminator car which has proven history and which was built by one of the best in the street car world, Jon Webster. The next stop is some testing at the Alltorque Tes Day before the National Finals just to get Mark used to the car.
Backing the 'Bird.
24th September: Don Scott's thunderous 860-horsepower Plymouth Superbird Nostalgia Stocker - the massively-popular tribute replica of Richard Petty's No. 43 NASCAR machine - will be re-entering the fray next year supported by American Autoparts of Redhill in conjunction with Lucas Oil Products.
American Autoparts are now helping with the preparation of this most versatile competition car, under the in-house care of Darryl Setchell. Powered by a mighty 572-cubic inch Keith Black aluminum hemi (that's 9.4 litres), the car regularly performs at historic NASCAR demos during the Brands Hatch American Speedfest, becomes a 9.1-second quarter mile car in the Nostalgia Super Stock class at Santa Pod Raceway, and appears at selected car shows around the country. The 'bird's best terminal at SPR thus far is 141 mph.
Don considered retiring the car at the end of this year to race a '69 Chevelle, "But the winged warrier's fans won't let him!", said American Autoparts boss Mike Lintern.
24th September: Chris Orthodoxou asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to his brother, Comp Eliminator racer Robin Orthodoxou. "Well into his fifties and growing old disgracefully!", says Chris. Have a great day Robin.
One step closer...
23rd September: 2017 MSA British Drag Racing Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson led the British competitors in the final round of the FIA European Pro Modified Championship, the FIA/FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:
In the first session of qualifying the Anger Management team stormed to the number two spot with a 5.91. Unfortunately, in Q2 and Q3 the team struggled to tune to the track and this ended with two aborted runs after severe tyre shake. In spectacular fashion though Andy and the team pulled it back in the final qualifying session, providing the huge crowd with a great 5.92 late in the evening on Saturday which ended up being low ET of that session. The team finished qualifying in the third spot for eliminations on Sunday.
On race day Andy progressed through E1 with a less than perfect 6.13 due to pedalling through tyre shake. During routine maintenance before the second round, a problem was found with the clutch forcing the team to switch to the back-up clutch for E2. "Although we have some old data on this clutch, the two clutches differ completely in design and it was a bit of a guess in terms of settings for the second round" explained Crew Chief Luke Robinson. Despite these issues, the team progressed through this round too with a 5.99 despite a big lift during the pass.
The clutch issues were not over, though, as a broken clutch linkage came to light after officials had called the class for the semi-final. Although the team were able to fix this temporarily, this seemed to have caused an inconsistent air gap and the crew believe that this may have contributed to the red light which handed the win to eventual winner Jimmy Ålund and the Old 51 team.
The weekend may have come with its challenges however the main aim, to further the team's lead in the MSA Championship, was achieved. By qualifying third and getting through to the semi-final the Hampshire-based team extended their lead to over three rounds heading into the final meeting of the season, the UK National Finals which tales place on 6th-7th October.
As well as the progressing in the MSA Championship, the Anger Management team also took home eighth place in the FIA Championship despite only competing in three meetings of six.
As always the Anger Management team would like to thank their sponsors and performance partners NGK Spark Plugs UK, Torco Oils, Nimbus Motorsport, PAC Racing Springs, Aurora Rod Ends, Weld Racing, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Victory 1 valves, Mike Janis Superchargers, Noonan Race Engineering, EZ Motorsports, Hoosier Tyre UK, PRS and Manton Rocker Arms. Also a huge thanks to the dedicated and-hard working Anger Management crew.
Enter the Thundergod.
23rd September: Duncan Beard writes to introduce the UK's Thundergod team:
I have been a keen drag racing spectator since 1982 and always wanted to participate but due to other things in life I never got round to getting involved, until 2017 when I entered my 1972 Mach1 in American Superstock at York Raceway. I got Des Taylor to do some of the work getting the car ready and during this he mentioned that Phil Toppin had a really good altered for sale at a good price. For the first time in my life I had money in the bank, and after two weeks thinking about it Des and I had a discussion and we agreed that I would buy it for him to drive if he could cover running costs, trailer, tow vehicle, technical support etc.
We had the car out for the first time at the 2017 May Bank Holiday at York and we were immediately successful in Super Cup, the car running 8.8 and 8.9 passes at 150 mph and Des taking the car to victory on both race days. After this we struggled with a few issues but got it all together for Dragstalgia where we finished joint second of more than thirty cars, a very pleasing showing.
For August Bank Holiday at York we knew that several other teams had stepped up their performance so we fitted nitrous which got us to 8.3/162 and quickest qualifier. Unfortunately the oil pump pick-up fell off in the first round and a broken connecting rod destroyed the entire bottom end of the motor including the block. A sad and expensive end to a promising season.
We had planned on stepping up to an injected methanol system which we acquired with the car but I never expected to have a blower. However during the winter Des had spotted that Derek Flynn was selling his spare blown 517 BBC motor from his Gold RV dragster for about the same price as rebuilding what we had. I bought the motor and we installed it along with a beefier Andy Frost Powerglide trans from Andy Hadfield. Just about every system on the car had to be uprated to match.
We eventually had it ready to run at Dragstalgia 2018. We had some difficulty getting the car down the track in a controlled fashion and, probably due to me not paying attention to between-rounds maintenance, we suffered a damaged rocker and pushrod on the only hard launch we attempted. We again had a poor showing at the Redline Rumble but then at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags it started to come together a bit more. The car was launching very violently in first gear, causing all four wheels to leave the ground on occasion as it bounced off the wheelie bars. Now Des has a lot of experience of what race car suspension should do and realised that not only did we have more power we had more weight higher up so the instant centre was probably wrong at the hit. On Saturday night Des and team member Gilly dismantled the rear suspension and moved the ladder bar front to a higher position to soften the launch.
On Sunday Des decided to launch in second to check it out. For the first time with this motor the car left hard and straight, looking like it was on for a seven-second pass but then less than two seconds into the run with the rpm at 7000 the motor just quit. On getting back to the pits the motor checked out OK and restarted fine. It appears that we have a fuel starvation issue, possibly due to the tank to pump line collapsing.
I would like to thank Russ Pursley, Derek Flynn, Richard Walters, Ian Lloyd, Andy 'Fadster', Dave Gibbons, Russ Marsden, John Everitt, and the Orange Pop team for helping us out. Crew are Gilly and Amanda, Ian Loasby and Karen Taylor. Also thanks to Andy at 351 Motorsport for his excellent fabrication work.
We are looking forward to next year running either Wild Bunch or Supercharged Outlaws. An experienced blown methanol tuner would be a welcome addition to the team.
23rd September: Eire's own Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald has been racking up the miles again. Dad Graham writes:
After qualifying number one at the European Finals with a reaction time of 0.00003 then making it to the third round, we were happy with the points earned in the UK Championship which took us from seventh to fourth in one go. It was great to have Randy and Judy Ditzel of Halfscale Dragster Inc at the Finals, they were a wealth of information for the Junior racers.
From the Finals we headed to Vichy in France to finish off the French Championship as this was the last round. Thanks to Neale and Mandy of Santa Pod for help organising the van hire through Longmarsh Van Hire. So it was down to Dover and the DFDS ferry, with the special drag racers' ferry price thanks to Santa Pod Raceway, and across to Calais. Santa Pod to Vichy was 600 miles and we passed the turn off toward Clastres drag strip about half way along the way, so I'd say Vichy is approximately twice as far as Clastres, or so it seemed in the direction we went.
Liam was qualified first for most of the weekend, starting with a 0.07 then a 0.05 then it went to Hugo, then Lisa did a 0.03. Then Hugo went 0.029 and Liam took it back with a 0.024. On Sunday morning Hugo qualified number one - we had more than ten qualifying runs on all. In the final Liam broke out by 0.03 and Hugo cut a better light and was nearer his dial-in so he took the win. Liam got second place and finished second in the French Championship.
23rd September: The UK's Paul Watson has confirmed that his blown-alcohol altered is for sale. "The engine damage is far more than I can afford, £8K to £10K", say Paul. "We are proud what we achieved running an 7.4 on our first full pass, a great effort from all the crew and people that have been involved from the begining. We could not have tried any harder or put any more into the car but we have battled all the way against the odds. A big thank you to everyone that have supported us. A shame to end on this note but there is no more money." You can find Paul's altered for sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet.
Thanks to MSA British Championship PR Robin Jackson for letting us know that the official Pro Mod race report and accompanying data from the FIA/FIM European Finals are now available on the MSA British Drag Racing Championship web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.
Bianca Booij of The Netherlands' Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team has forwarded an account of the second half of Michel Tooren and team's season. The Dutch-language PDF can be checked out by clicking here.
Many thanks to our good buddy and timing guru Andy Marrs for passing us the official NSRA Hot Rod Drags timing data, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Staying on subject we would like to say a big Happy Birthday to the above-mentioned and fragrant Andy Marrs. Have a great day Marrs. A big Happy Birthday also to bike scrutineer and Steward Steve Johnson. Have a good day Steve.
23rd September: As he did last year, Sweden's Jimmy Ålund competed in two FIA drag racing classes in 2018. A full season in Pro Mod driving the Magnus Petersson-owned Old 51 Chevrolet and the three Northern Swing races in Finland and Sweden in his own Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro.
The season started out in good fashion at The Doorslammers, a pre-season special event held at Santa Pod Raceway. Jimmy and the team won the whole event which was a hint of things to come. The following weekend was the first FIA Championship race, the Main Event, at the same track. Jimmy qualified #2 and finished the event as runner-up.
Next up, the Tierp Internationals in Sweden. Jimmy raced both cars here and this event also included the first round of the Swedish Pro Mod Championship. A solid showing in Pro Mod, Jimmy won this round of the Swedish Championship and qualified #1 with a new Personal Best elapsed time of 5.84 seconds. The Old 51 went all the way to the finals but an electrical gremlin ended the weekend in the pairing lanes, Jimmy thus the runner-up but with a points lead of nine points. In FIA Pro Stock, Jimmy qualified #2 with the fastest speed of the event and lost out in the quarter finals.
Third event of the season, the FHRA Nitro Nationals, Finland. History was made. Jimmy in two cars again, rough qualifying, the Old 51 only got one full-power run though good enough to finish in the top spot, but Jimmy was dead last in Pro Stock with lots of issues. Sunday's eliminations shaped up nicely. In FIA Pro Stock, Jimmys team had sorted out all the prior problems. The car was quick and fast, went all rounds and Jimmy won the event. In FIA Pro Mod, Jimmy went to the finals against reigning FIA Pro Mod Champion Micke Gullqvist. Jimmy and the team were in the zone and won the race and the event.
History of course: this was the first time ever that one driver had won both FIA Pro Mod and FIA Pro Stock on the same afternoon. "Unbelievable" says Jimmy, "to say that we struggled in qualifying would be the understatement of the century. But like the saying goes, "It ain't over 'til it's over" and Sunday turned out just perfect for both the Old 51 Pro Mod Car and the Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro". Jimmy left Alastaro leading the FIA Pro Mod Championship by thirty three points.
Race number four, the NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany. Again, problems in qualifying, in position #10 after day one and down to #13 after Q3 but a solid effort by the whole team set things straight. In Q4, Jimmy qualified as #1 with a new best speed for the car of 391.53 kmh (243.28 mph). The Sunday was not the best of days, Jimmy went out early with a loss in the semi-finals. Very tight in the points for the Pro Mod Championship, Jimmy dropped to second place, now eight points behind the Championship leader.
Back to Sweden and Tierp Arena for Championship race number five, the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals, where Jimmy was racing in both FIA Pro Mod and Pro Stock. In Pro Mod qualifying it was another tough first day, Jimmy qualified as number sixteen, on the bump spot. But as has been the case at earlier events, day two made for two good runs and second in the qualifying list. In Pro Stock qualifying there was not enough time to care for all the Camaro's needs so the team contested only one day of qualifying and took number four qualifying position.
In Pro Mod eliminations Jimmy went to the final by the way of a 5.81 second run in the semifinals, at 393.59 kmh (244.56 mph) which was a new best ET and speed for the Old 51 but was stopped in the finals, another runner-up. In Pro Stock eliminations it was a picture-perfect day for the Summit Racing Camaro. Jimmy was quickest and fastest in all rounds of elimination and finished off the day by winning the final with a 6.55 at 342.64 kmh (212.90 mph) which was both the low ET and top speed of the whole weekend. Though runner-up in Pro Mod, Jimmy was back on top of that Championship, leaving Tierp Arena with a fifty seven-point lead.
This made for an exciting season-ending event, The FIA/FIM European Finals, at Santa Pod Raceway. The FIA Pro Mod Championship trophy was very much within reach of Jimmy and The Old 51 team. Exciting indeed, as in overhauling the engine for this event the crew found a cracked crankshaft which made for a busy week.
Jimmy made two good runs in qualifying, ending up in the #2 spot going into eliminations. A relaxed Sunday in a way, Jimmy had gained enough points during qualifying to be the 2018 FIA Pro Mod Champion, but all work and no play for Jimmy and the crew. Jimmy went all rounds to the final, fastest speed in three of the four rounds and quickest ET in all elimination rounds, bettering his elapsed times and speeds through the semi-finals. It turned out a perfect day to end this Championship season, Jimmy drove the Old 51 all the way to the event win in the final to cap off an unforgettable year, winning the European Pro Mod Championship.
Congratulations! "Thanks", says Jimmy, "be sure it was an all-out team effort and that it was pretty tough going there in the mid-season but we pulled together and got the first FIA Pro Mod Championship for The Old 51". Jimmy continues "What a great season in all, and to be able to finish it off like this with an event win at the Finals. The whole team has tuned the car so well, we've been running 5.8s pretty much at will this year. Back to the Future, last year we were in the 90s, this year in the 80s and next year we'll be in the 70s".
The Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro only raced at three events this year. "I think we did good, we won two events including the historic double-header win at Alastaro and cleared the table with the event win at Tierp which was very satisfying, again proving that we can go all-in for a whole event with that car."
The Big Question, 2019? "Well, this partnership has worked out real well, #2 last year and European Champions this year" says Jimmy. "I'd really like to run the full Championship with both Magnus Petersson's Old 51 Pro Mod car and my own Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro. We have to let the impressions from this season sink in for a while. So as not to cause any undue speculations, I'll go with "The future will show" for now".
Summit Racing Equipment, Viking Industrimålning and Exclusive Cars sponsor both the Old 51 Pro Mod car and the Jimmy Pro Stock Camaro this year. This is in addition to Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, and VP Racing Fuels. Jimmy Ålund Racing are very grateful for the continuing support from such great companies.
An eleventh title.
23rd September: Filippos Papafilippou, Ian King and the Gulf Oil Drag Racing team arrived at the final round of the FIM European Drag Racing Championship with a lead in the points from their 100% win rate in the competition to date but still requiring additional points to secure an eleventh Championship title and defy the challenge from second-placed rider Eric Richard from France.
In the first day of qualifying team rider Filippos Papafilippou finished in second qualifying position despite both runs suffering from a loss of traction as the team sought the optimal clutch and fuel settings for the track and atmospheric conditions. The team made a number of changes overnight and were confident of a good result for the second day of qualifying. They were proved right when Fast Fil ran a fine 5.8143 seconds at a Personal Best speed of 240.29 mph to put him safely into a number one position with a time and speed that was not to be bettered throughout the event.
However, disaster struck when Filippos was unable to stop the Gulf Oil Puma on the high-speed run and bailed from his motorcycle just before the end of the track, with the bike and rider ending some way into the field at the end. Fortunately Fil escaped with 'just' bruising and after the formal impounding of the bike in the parc ferme for inspection the team set about stripping the machine down for damage assessment and repair in anticipation for round one of eliminations the following day. However, the intensive labours of the team were to no avail as the necessary repairs were unable to be completed in time and the team failed to make their bye run in round one of eliminations.
Despite the huge disappointment of the team they had already secured their record eleventh FIM European Championship win, and with new rider Filippos Papafilippou continued their outstanding history of race success. Team Principal and former Championship rider Ian King said "Once again we enjoyed an outstanding season. Filippos showed that he was a great fit for the team and demonstrated his skills in piloting one of the fastest and quickest motorcycles in the world to a number of personal and team bests. Our outstanding King Racing team showed once again that they can provide world-class performances, and with unique consistency and longevity achieved by the use of the best products in the field from our blue-chip technical partners. Gulf Oil products have ensured that our engine has performed faultlessly under the extremes of our sport and I'd like to thank them and all our fabulous partners for their continued support and best-in-class products."
Rider Filippos Papafilippou added "The Gulf Oil Drag Racing team are one of very few teams around the world that can demonstrate such a performance and I couldn't do anything without them. Special thanks to Ian and Debbie King, Michael Beaumont, Marius van der Zijden, Martin Brookman, Nick Pepper and Basak Dogan for their help and support throughout the season."
The team now move on to compete at their last event of the season, the USA MFC Championship Finals in Valdosta, South Georgia where Team Principal Ian King returns to the saddle for race duties.
For more information on the Gulf Oil Dragracing team please visit their web site at www.gulfoildragracing.com, their Facebook page, and their YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/kingracingpuma. For more information about Gulf Oil International please visit their web site at www.gulfoilltd.com.
The Gulf Oil Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in their participation in the 2018 FIM European Championship:
APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Barnsdale Leisure - The UK's Premier Knaus Caravan dealer
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
H Craft Customs - Race car preparation, roll cages, fabrication and custom projects
Hotrod Hangar- Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
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
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of HarleyDrags.com
Scott Perri Trucking - Logistics solutions par excellence
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
The UK's largest importer and stockist of Thule RV products -
Trim-Tex - The premier manufacturer of vinyl drywall beads and accessories
Tryka LED - The UK's cutting edge LED lighting manufacturer
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
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
The true meaning of Bloodlines.
23rd September: Ian Turburville writes from the Twilight Zone with a strange but true racing tale:
I have been involved with drag racing since 1966 but only started racing myself in 1990 on a modified street bike. Like so many others the bug bit and I was hooked, the rest is history. Fast forward to 2016.
My family come from the East End of London, they moved out to Basildon in Essex in the 1960s as did many Londoners. I later moved to Nottingham as did my parents and then my sister and her husband. A great place to live. My sister had a son, Gareth, who grew up, went to Cambridge and got a job in the city of London as a financial whizz-kid for a merchant bank. There he met a lovely girl called Vicky, they fell in love and got married. Turns out her father is Ray Irish from the Gasser Circus! What a coincidence! Wait! Turns out that her mum Lin was at school with my sister and also moved to Basildon at the same time... whoa, getting weird! Now we are one big happy family and all is good so what else could happen?
Well, I had become good friends with Derek Flynn of Gold RV over the years. This year Derek sold his dragster and decided to try his hand at bike racing. He asked me to coach him a bit and he got the bike bug. He then bought a Supertwin Top Gas bike and I helped him with that, great fun! On my 66th birthday Derek said that I could ride his bike at a RWYB as a treat, which I did, and it rekindled old fires! A month ago Derek and I were talking about all this and he was trying to goad me back into bikes as I hadn't raced since 2010, when Laura took over. I mentioned that the only kind of bikes in which I was interested were Harley Davidsons, always been that way, and that I knew of none for sale. Then inspiration hit me, I had not seen my old Top Gas bike for a long time, where was it?
It turned out that Terry Green still had it but had built a new bike so my old bike was for sale. I gave him a call, he told me what he wanted, I told him what I had, we both went away to mull it over. What on earth was I thinking? I should not even be contemplating this, should I?
At that very moment I got a call from my sister; Vicky had given berth to a beautiful baby boy, wonderful. I asked her what they were going to call him and they said Leo! I could not believe it - why? Their surname is Payne! If you know your drag racing and Bonneville history then you will know Leo Payne was one of the legends of Harley Davidson racing, Google him! I knew I had no choice in the matter and Terry agreed that the bike should return to me, and it did!
It was twenty years ago exactly that this photo was taken of me on the line at Drachten on this same bike. The guy behind me in a hi-vis is Frans Krastel, a tech official. He is now Crew Chief for Rockin' Ramon's Nostalgia Funny Car and we are all firm friends. I have given the bike a make-over, I think it's only fair that I give the bike a new name, so it shall be called Leo!
Laura will be out again in her field car at the UK National Finals, all being well. The True Blood cackle car will be making noise and flames at the Flame and Thunder Show to end off this very eventful year.
Drag racing: what a sport, what a family. Guess we had better plan Leo's first Junior Dragster now! Thanks to Bloodlines for all the support, now you know what the name means!
European Top Gas round 6 review.
23rd September: Herman Jolink writes that the sixth and final round of the 2018 European Top Gas Series took place at the 25th Mosten Race Days:
This was a 201 metre sprint with 155 racers entered and about 8,000 spectators. The track was very well-prepared by Holger Dueholm and the Mosten-MC team. There was a lot of live music and breakfast in the tent with nice blues music. There was a very relaxed atmosphere. Some rain on Friday but the track dryer did a good job. My compliments to Hans Jorgen Hitz and his team, Jens Olaf Hersom the Race Director, Lisbet Joergensen for timing and the whole Mosten MC team.
On Friday the Top Gas racers had a meeting and decided to hold an elimination on Friday.
E1: Lymant 4.659/238 bye, Aaslund broke; Albers 16.116/31 def. Jensen chain broke; Schack 4.782/233 def. Jolink 5.473/203; Menzi 4.977/225 def. Stroem 6.228/195 clutch melted.
E2: Lymant 4.741/229 bye, Albers' front sprocket broke; Schack 4.791/233 def. Menzi 5.034/223.
Final: winner Joerg Lymant D 4.673/233, runner-up Frederik Schack DK 4.710/235
2018 European Super Twin Top Gas Championship:
23rd September: Liam Lodge has updated his European Drag Racing Blog with a review of the FIA/FIM European Finals. You can take a look at liam66europeandragracing.wordpress.com.
Paul Lister has updated his Drag Car Anon web site with a large number of pictures from Dragstalgia. You can check out Paul's shots at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
21st September: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding the final, final version of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-7th October. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The latest spy pictures to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
AA/Pro Modified racer Chris Orthodoxou has asked us to say a big Thank You to Martin Hill "For for helping me out with bolts for my flywheel ring gear - taking me all the way to his workshop to find the right ones!", and to fellow Pro Modified racer Norbert Kuno "For supplying auto trans fluid at very short notice". Well done both.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to Stock/Super Stock racer Carla Pittau, Happy Birthday with manly handshakes to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Steve Horn and to Steve Silvester, and Happy Birthday with a pat on the back to Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald whose latest exploits will be detailed here on Eurodragster.com on our next news update. Have a great day all.
Editor's note: The recovery continues; the current plan is for a mammoth news update tomorrow to catch up. Thanks for the continued good wishes.
School pupils seek dragster.
20th September: Brian Monet wries that Cranford House School in Moulsford, Oxfordshire (map) is seeking a race car for display at a special event on Saturday 3rd November:
We are a small independent school but have big ambitions. We are hosting a themed Junior school event here at Cranford House bringing to life the science and engineering behind automobiles and aviation. The free event taking place on the morning of 3rd November will be open to the public as well as local primary schools and families. As a part of the outreach programme, throughout the school week local primary schools together with our pupils will be taking part in a car designing project hosted by a visiting Technical Engineer from the Force India F1 Team. The finished designs will be on display during the public event on the Saturday.
Currently the organisations contributing to the event are British Airways, who have a flight simulator and a couple of pilots who also happen to be parents here at Cranford House, Force India F1 Team have agreed to have an F1 car on display and to send an engineer, and then we have the Fireflies aerobatic display team entertaining families from the sky. Along with this we will have both vintage and modern cars on display from old Mini Coopers to the latest Tesla.
Of course the importance of the event is how we can inspire young minds and help demonstrate the principles and science behind Wings and Wheels.
If you would be interested in displaying your race car and representing the sport then you can contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A drag bike for charity.
20th September: If you fancy buying a drag bike and doing a bit for charity at the same time then Tom Margesson of the UK's Wild Child Super Comp team has passed on details of the latest project from Mint Customs which could be yours after this weekend. Tom and John Gumble from Gasserville Hot Rod Shop have had some involvement in the bike's construction, about which Simon Parry of Mint Customs writes:
A few months ago I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in buying an old dragster whch a guy had in his tattoo shop. Not knowing what to do with it I said yes. My brain got ticking and came up with the notion of building it up on a budget and racing it, but then what to do with it after? Charity event? Corporate event? The suggested charity was Noahs Ark Children's Hospice, which was a very good cause. I merged two ideas and asked a local firm if they would sponsor the build and whether they had a preferred charity?
Simon O'Shea from One Facility jumped at the chance, along with Malc Caiger from Drainworx, both fronting monies to help with the build. When the bike finally arrived at our workshop it wasn't exactly what I had in mind… the motor was shot, it had no rear wheel just a jockey wheel to roll around on, and the forks and brakes were useless as was most of the frame.
OK, so I had some big decisions to make. Do we scrap the project? Or do we go flat out? Two phone calls later (Mr O'Shea and Mr Caiger) I started chopping it up. Still on a strict budget, I had to come up with a plan for the motor to use. I also had to think about which front end to use and, most of all, where and how I was going to get a drag bike rear wheel? Spending hours on the internet and forums gave me a few ideas and luckily I had friends within the drag world who that gave me contacts for tyres etc.
I managed to source a rear wheel too! Then it was over to Craig our machinist who did an amazing job on making the rear wheel, hub and tyre all work perfectly. During this time a motor was found, Yamaha YZFR11000CC 07 fuel-injected engine and loom which had more than enough power to move this thing yet would also be reliable enough for hours of racing fan. This is where it came to be a challenge to mount it on the old and tired frame, with most of the original frame which had now been modified to take the engine. Now it was time to make the front end fit, I managed to source an early Ducati front end which went over to Craig again to be modified to fit the frame.
Now it was finally coming together! After many hours sorting out the wiring to make the motor run we then needed some cool exhausts. This is where Tom Margesson came into it; he's our dragster enthusiast who helped to source tyres etc, and he also builds some cool exhaust systems for cars. Time was running out but not only did Tom build us some amazing downpipes, he did it in two short evenings, burning the oil late into the night on bank blooming holiday may I add, top job Tom!
At this stage the bike was ready for a quick test run, but the only place we could do it was in our car park. Even though there wasn't much space, it wasn't much of a test but it was the only way we could make sure that it selected gears, worked etc.
Now it was time to say good bye to the old paint job and tear down for the new powder coat. Fresh back from the coaters is always the best time to reassemble the bike using all the new bolts etc, as at this stage you get to see exactly what it's going to look like when finished. It went together really well and took about two days to get together.
The final job to do was to make the wheelie bar, which was made from some old drawings I found on the internet. Then the paint job came back from Dexter and looked amazing.
Now it's time for me to test out my handiwork and pilot this thing down the track at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday (22nd). Then the charity fundraising starts!
We are guessing that this bike would be a shoo-in for ET Bike, but the spec is as follows:
Ducati front end
2007 Yamaha R1 engine
HM Quickshifter and air shift
Bespoke rear wheel
Simon Parry says many thanks to: Simon O'Shea - One Facility; Malc Caiger - Drainworx; Craig Ross - Bespoke Engineering; Greg Ross - Bespoke Engineering; Dexter Phillip - Paint; Tom Margesson - Gasserville HotRod Shop; Stuart Gillespie - RS Sheet Metal; Alistair Latimer - Mint Customs; Sam Parry - Mint Customs; Lee Russell - Mint Customs; Allison Broadwood - Mint Customs.
Editor's note: Your News Editor is still a little unwell but recovering slowly; thanks very much for the concern and the Get Well messages.
NSRA Hot Rod Drags results.
17th September: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Santa Pod Raceway:
Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar 7.4347/179.96 def. Scott Crookston 7.9872/167.91
Wild Bunch: Mark Coulsell +0.0713 average against dial-in
Gasser Circus: Ray Turner (12.18) 12.2307/104.55 def. Sean Milsom (10.10) 10.1065/130.24
Tri-Chevy Shootout: Andy Bond 7.9631/188.22 def. Paul Watts 10.9159/107.18
Congratulations to the following on their 2018 Championships, decided this weekend:
Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar
Gasser Circus: Martyn Hallam
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored results, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Many thanks to Diana Macrae and to Callum Pudge for their contributions to our galleries this weekend.
Editor's note: Your News Editor is unwell so there is a small backlog of news items which we will post on the next update.
UK Championships points update.
16th September: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for posting the post-FIA/FIM European Finals points standings in the UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the UK and SPRC points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Rare torque converter needed.
14th September: Dave Cumbridge and Clive McCready of the UK's Tech Crew are seeking the help of Eurodragster.com readers with the restoration of Geoff Martin's Oxford Builder altered.
"We are looking for a torque converter from something like a Morris Marina, or from anything small which ran a BW65 auto box", says Dave. "They are like hens' teeth".
If you can help with the required torque converter then you can get in touch with Dave at email@example.com.
Bike racers' views sought.
14th September: Job Heezen of the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission has been in touch to invite drag bike racers to get in touch with any ideas, suggestions or thoughts:
The Commission's season starts right now with meetings, seminars, discussions on rules and so on. So if anyone has anything to say about last season, or has interesting ideas, proposals, views etc for next season or further in the future, please drop my fellow Commission members or I an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or write us a letter,
Please do so as soon as possible as we need to prepare all of this in the next month - we need suggestions before the second week of October. Thanks in advance for your co-operation, together we will get there.
14th September: Our best wishes for a long and happy future to SPRC Starter Dave Warren and Lucy Cottee who are to be married today. Have a lovely day guys.
Lass Vega flies again.
14th September: Modurstang Pro ET racer and class sponsor Mike Lacey tells us that his workshops have a new ornament in the form of what is left of partner Karen Stevens' race car:
After Karen's catastrophic crash at the Main Event the Vega was far beyond any form of rebuild. The crash destroyed just about everything. The chassis was bent everywhere, apart from the driver's cell, showing the fantastic job someone did when they built this chassis. Unfortunately, we don't know the history of the car that far back, so we don't know who to thank for it.
Seeing this first hand, and the stress and horror I went through seeing Karen crash, has made me rethink the roll cage etc on my own Camaro. My car is booked in with Andy Robinson Race Cars in November, for a chromoly roll cage with extra bars and a chute.
So Karen's car is now wall art at Modurstang! Quite intimidating as you come in, but a great talking point.
Thanks to all of our friends and race fans who have shown their love and support over this quite awful event. It has been an up and down year with the new track working so well for my car now, and the downs with Karen. We won't forget it for a while. Thanks again to all of the marshals throughout the year.
Hot Rod Drags ready to fire up.
13th September: Alan Martin writes that the 30th Annual Original Hot Rod Drags are here:
It hardly seems possible. Three decades on and still going strong. That's getting on for nearly half a lifetime and I don't think that, even in our wildest dreams, we ever imagined back in 1989, looking out across the pits and realising that people did actually want to come and share our dream of a Rod Run that happened to take place at a race track, that we would still be in the driving seat thirty years later. We certainly never expected to be welcoming you all to Santa Pod Raceway, that's for sure.
With the twenty-fifth Nostalgia Nationals under our belt, the Hot Rod Drags, for the first time at The Pod, is shaping up to be pretty special. It's a milestone event in more ways than one, most certainly the start of a whole new era.
Other than the location, everything will be pretty familiar to the regulars. The same emphasis on Pre '73 Run What You Brung action, the track will be open for all eligible vehicles (silenced or not) all day tomorrow (Friday). The gates will open at 12:00 noon today for early arrivals (£5 pp extra). There will be live music from Eastwood and Skabucks, with resident DJ Grant Pinney on both Friday and Saturday night and the courtesy bus, which was very popular at the Nostalgia Nationals, will again be travelling to and from Rushden Lakes all day Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday again feature plenty of Run What You Brung action and it wouldn't be the Hot Rod Drags if we didn't have the massed ranks of the Gasser Circus, Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia and Supercharged Outlaws adding their own brand of entertainment to the proceedings and somewhere in the mix will be Chevrolet's finest strutting their stuff in the Ti-Chevy Shootout. Not to be outdone, Julian Webb will also be putting the Split Second Jet Dragster through its paces too.
Just for good measure, Saturday evening will feature the now-traditional Hot Rod Drags rolling Cracklefest followed by a tremendous firework display.
As always, the NSRA will be on hand to provide the passes to allow you to sign on if your car meets the criteria and point you in the right direction if you need any help. The criteria is pretty basic, pre-1973, no rear engined race cars and no bikes. Other than that you are good to go. The NSRA crew will also be keeping an eye on the track action, to select the recipients of the Dirty Dozen trophies. They will also be setting up shop to sell their range official goodies.
We'd like to welcome you to the Hot Rod Drags merchandise stand, situated near the front of the staging lanes, where, as in the past, you will be able to come and have a chat, trade insults with Steve, tell us what you think and hopefully buy a T-Shirt or hoodie or two. In another return to tradition, they are all strictly limited edition so when they're gone they're gone.
Most of all we'd like you to help us celebrate thirty years of the Hot Rod Drags and raise a glass to the next thirty years.
For more information please visit www.hotroddrags.com.
See you at the track.
European Finals wrap-up.
13th September: Many thanks to our good buddy and timing guru Andy Marrs for passing us the official FIA/FIM European Finals timing data, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Marrs for forwarding an updated table of European Bests, now containing Anita Mäkelä's new ET record and new Top Methanol bump spot record, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the European and UK Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Photo-journalist Stefan Boman got in touch to ask whether we had noticed that the FIA class winners at last weekend's race were also the 2018 FIA European Champions. "I think it has happened with the bikes more than once but never the cars", says Stefan.
Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted two FIA/FIM European Finals reports on the Autosport.nl web site. There is a race report which you can check out by clicking here and a report of "Other things I saw" which you can check out by clicking here.
13th September: The post-Redline Rumble points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday and grattis to timekeeper Oscar Lindgren who is no end of help when we are covering events at Tierp Arena. Have great day Oscar.
Web site updates.
13th September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has published the sixth issue of its on-line magazine HOFtalk which is designed to facilitate communications with members and supporters of the BDRHoF and which is edited by Eurodragster.com's own Pit Reporter and BDRHoF Ltd board member Simon Groves. "In this issue you can read about this year's inductees, the winner of the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award and the BDRHoF Media Awards", says Simon. "We also look forward to the Bench Race at this year's Gala on 17th November at Oatlands Park Hotel in Surrey, and review our presence at Dragstalgia. Gala tickets are going very quickly so you are advised to book yours as soon as possible!". HOFtalk VI is available as a downloadable PDF file by clicking here, or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from July's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
UK National Finals entry update.
12th September: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 2 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-7th October.
You can check out the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes this Friday, 14th September, after which a Late Entry penalty may be payable. You can download the UK National Finals entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Cars sought for cancer fundraiser.
12th September: Jason Stephenson of Santa Pod's fire crew is seeking two or three race cars for static display at an event in Buckingham to aid cancer research on 22nd-23rd September. Jason writes:
There will be stalls, tombola, raffles and other activities going on if the drivers don't have any plans and want to bring the family along. The more the merrier, as it is for a great cause. I know it is short notice but I have been let down by a couple of people.
Ideally cars would need to be there at around 10:30 on Saturday 22nd and pick up will be 11:00 on Sunday 23rd. Parking is on a secure school playground with gates overnight.
If you can help with this very worthy cause then please E-Mail Jason at email@example.com or call him on 07731 034389.
Norman heads for Hal Far.
12th September: After twelve months' planning UK Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET racer Pel Norman is taking his Shogun race car to compete at Hal Far Raceway on Malta:
We will leave on Friday 21st and have been planning our route through Italy, to Sicily then Malta to arrive on the following Wednesday. There will be eight of us travelling down on the converted coach including John Wood of Heavy Breathin' fame whom we met in the 1980s and with whom we have always kept in touch. John took us to Zandvoort in The Netherlands a couple of times. My wife's friends are flying out too.
After winning the No Prep Big Tyre class at Rockingham and running at the European Finals the car is in good shape. Thanks to Stretch my Crew Chief and Marc Manning for all of their help over the weekend after all the changes we made to the car before Rockingham, new Chance converter, bigger tyres, freshened Andy Frost gearbox. Thanks for all the info, took some doing but we got there in the end.
Finally thanks to my sponsors AIP Compressors, Quickjack, Pokies Paintshop and 351 Motorsport as without them none of this would be possible. Thank you also to Kenny and Bev Coleman for putting us in touch with the right people to talk about going to Malta.
JT for PM.
10th September: John Tebenham has been in touch to reveal to Eurodragster.com that he has bought Eurodragster.com sponsor Marco Maurischat's 1953 Corvette blown-alcohol Pro Mod and that he intends to campaign the car in FIA competition in 2019.
This is something which John has been contemplating for a while now, although he currently has a Ford Pop with seven-second potential being built at the workshops of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars. JT has always had a tendency to drive more extreme race cars, for example his Cosworth-powered Anglia and his Ford Probe with the same Cosworth turbo motor and a liberty manual transmission.
John sees Pro Modified as the ultimate doorslammer challenge and put together the deal with Marco whilst attendingthe NitrOlympX. "I wasn't really looking to buy the car", said John, "but I get on really well with most people and Marco and I have been friends for some time now. When I saw Marco over there he just flat out told me that he wanted me to buy the car and drive it. Marco wants to see the car run a five-second pass and thinks that I am the man to do it.
"Marco will still be involved in the car and will fly over to oversee my new English crew. He and his Crew Chief will show them everything and train them to look after it for me; I just don't have the time to fully commit to doing everything on the car. Unfortunately my first choice of Crew Chief and crew are unable to attend Santa Pod, so I am a little stuck for an English crew at the moment. So anyone with Pro Mod credentials should please get in touch.
"Marco's car has run a best of 6.035, so it has very good potential, and Marco only ever used top-drawer parts in it. I fit in the car real well, a lot better than in the Ford Pop at Andy Robinson's, but that's just a bit of fun. The Corvette is all about getting the job done. My Ford Probe was manual and so was the Anglia before that, so I am more than comfortable in a clutch car. FIA Pro Mod is something I always wanted to do and I need to do it now before I am too old for this kind of stuff."
The Corvette will be completely gone through. The motor is being rebuilt with new rods, piston rings and all of the usual consumables as if Marco was getting ready to run the car himself. Once reassembled it will be delivered to the UK to be wrapped in some mad design and then will most probably sit in JT's Lounge as a piece of automotive art prior to the beginning of the 2019 season. "Who wouldn't want to have such a cool piece in their lounge if they could?", said John. "Why leave it in the trailer over the winter when you can have it somewhere you can look at it when you get up every single day!"
2018 European Champions.
10th September: Congratulations to this year's European Champions, all but one of whom claimed their titles at the weekend's FIA/FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:
FIA/FIM European Finals results.
10th September: Conratulations to the winners at the weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Anita Mäkelä 3.9670/276.00 def. Jndia Erbacher 8.9871/71.46
FIA Top Methanol:Dennis Habermann 5.3457/266.57 def. Jonny Lagg 5.4296/262.50
FIA Pro Modified: Jimmy Ålund 5.8737/241.58 def. Jan Ericsson 6.0501/239.84
FIA Pro Stock: Bengt Ljungdahl 6.6628/202.57 def. Michael Malmgren 18.9594/41.47
Fuel Funny Car: Kevin Kent 7.9750/103.98 def. Kevin Chapman 8.6723/77.47
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 15.0503/48.33 bye, Stu Crane no show
FIM Europe Supertwin: Marcus Christiansen 6.5652/197.15 def. Martijn de Haas 6.7814/203.41
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Martin Newbury 7.1914/184.32 def. Bertrand Maurice 7.4958/169.17
FIM Europe Super Street Bike: Mogens Lund 6.9915/206.12 def. Steve Venables 7.0594/200.77
FIM Europe Junior Drag Bike: Liam Holgate (7.90) 7.9906/83.64 def. Meggie Talbot (9.58) 9.6516/67.46
Comp Eliminator: Robin Orthodoxou (7.45) 11.5972/167.90 def. Robin Sattler (9.63) 9.6936/100.51 DQ red
Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET: Brad Jackson (7.81) 7.7867/169.78 def. Mark Bailey (8.87) 8.9881/149.62 DQ red
Modurstang Pro ET: Lee Huxley (9.60) 9.6767/130.61 def. Harrison Brown (10.84) 10.8098/119.19 DQ b/o
Super Comp: Leah Kellett 8.9486/155.74 def. Collin Morrice 8.9459/150.66
Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout: Collin Morrice 9.9235/144.37 def. Brian Pateman 9.8619/151.57 DQ b/o
Super Street: Dave Cherrett 11.3745/87.52 bye, Leigh Morris no show
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Caitlin Wilson (8.32) 8.2819/79.09 def. Daniel Weir (9.25) 9.2888/67.55 DQ red
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Andy Bond 7.8117/185.89 def. Joe Stevens 8.2671/169.18
Subject to ratification the following records were set:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster ET: 3.870 seconds, Anita Mäkelä
Quickest European Pro Modified side-by-side: Roger Johansson 5.8269 and Jimmy Ålund 5.8657, Q3
Congratulations also to Paul Brown (Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET) and Joe Kellett (Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET) who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the Eurodragster.com/Vitesse Labelling Products Perfect ET Award respectively.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA/FIM European Finals reports, results and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Finals FIA/FIM prizegiving.
8th September: Trakbak Racing Ltd are pleased to announce that they will once again be hosting the FIA/FIM European Finals Championship Prizegiving. The event is free of charge for Champion, runner-up and third-placed FIA and FIM Championship racers to celebrate with their team and to collect their trophies.
The prizegiving will take place in the VIP Hospitality Village. Doors will open at 20:00 and food will be available from 20:30.
Each team finishing in the top three Championship positions of the following classes will be given ten wristbands to attend the event:
Access is open to all after 22:00, or after the presentations, whichever is earlier.
We wish all riders and drivers good luck this weekend!
UK National Finals entry update.
6th September: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 1 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-7th October.
You can check out the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Friday of next week, 14th September, after which a Late Entry penalty may be payable. You can download the UK National Finals entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Legends of Nitro attend Santa Pod.
6th September: UK Junior Dragster team Matthew Dowdy Racing are again pleased to promote the Legends of Nitro T-Shirt range on the Rustys Speed Shop stand at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend.
Bruce Blackaller of Rusty's says that there are several new designs available for the European Finals such as the Pisano & Matsubura F/C, Bradford's Altered, and a Don Prudhomme shirt. Bruce's own range of Rusty's-branded T-Shirts should be available in the spring of next year. Rusty's can be found behind the grandstand this weekend and will also be found at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags, Japshow, and the Flame and Thunder Show.
Matthew Dowdy would like to thank those who offered him an engine after the crankshaft snapped in his own motor at the Junior Fun Day at Santa Pod Raceway. Some swift work by Hauser Race Cars means that Matthew's motor has been repaired in time for the European Finals.
Flying the flag for Liam.
5th September: Eire's Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald has continued his continent-trotting with trips to Hockenheim and Tierp Arena. Dad Graham writes:
At Hockenheim we shared a pit garage with three other Junior Dragsters and one Junior Drag Bike. It was nice to be in a cool garage and out of the sun and I think it helped towards an easier environment in which to work. Liam qualified in number spot right out of the trailer with a 0.004 Reaction Time. We knew that this would not be secure as somebody could get under the time which Hugo did eventually with a 0.002. Still not bad, as we gained good points for the number two spot in the German Championship.
The track was sticky and Liam was having to jump up and down to unstick the car to move it forward. We invented a cunning plan to get around this sticky situation which we carried on at Tierp to the amusement of the local racers who thought we were carrying on some form of black magic on the rear tyres. It's not dry powered glue or leprechauns' dandruff as was mentioned but it seems to work.
Our last qualifying round was cancelled which didn't allow us time to recover the number one qualifying position for which we were going. This last qualifier was very funny in itself as news came down the queue from the start line that you were not allowed to wear shorts on the line. As you can imagine with the kids already strapped in and ready to go you all you saw was a mad panic with everybody telling the other crews to change to long trousers, so with that everyone went either running, on quads, or mopeds back to the pits to change with horns blaring and people trying to dodge the massive crowd in the pit area. It was funny to see, and we made it back in time to be told that the round was cancelled. One poor individual even swapped trousers with his wife as he did not understand what we were talking about at first.
To make up for the qualifier which was dropped they allowed all the Juniors to run at the start of the Night Show, including those Juniors who did not qualify for eliminations. We could pair up with whomever we liked and we all ran as a show in effect. So on to first round of eliminations and Liam red lit against Tom Kaye, who went on to the final. Liam had dialled a 13.06 and ran a 13.167 but red lit by -0.039, Tom also red lit but dialled a 7.970 and ran a 7.978 so Liam was out as first to red light. The final was won by Jack Gooding.
On to Tierp Arena, our car was taken by Tom Kaye and the Drummin' Man team to the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals. A big thanks to Summit Racing for supporting Junior drag racing. Due to noise restrictions we had to run a silencer which seemed to knock about a tenth of our ET and around two kilometres per hour off our top speed, or so it seemed against the times we ran at Hockenheim, although the humidity was high up - to 83% at times - which could have had an influence also. Our silencer was made with deflectors instead of an absorption style of muffler. Personally I am convinced that this is the way to go with Junior silencers as the exhaust gas can move through more freely rather than expanding and retaining that heat inside the silencer.
We qualified with a 0.04 best Reaction Time and we could not improve on this. With thirty nine cars going down to nineteenwe made it through the first round less than a hundredth off our dial-in but a 0.3 reaction? So on to the second round where we drew the Norwegian Champion, dialled 13.25 and ran 13.2445 so broke out. The launch revs had gone up more than two hundred more than I wanted and I was on the other side of the car leaning over to try to settle them back, then Liam left 150 to 200 revs under his ideal setting. Note to self: don't be rushed in, take your time. But it is what it is and we were out, but in fairness the other guy ran an 8.16 on an 8.16 dial-in and a 0.09 reaction against our 0.32.
Tierp Arena is highly recommended to all, a beautiful track which looks like they planted an American track right in the middle of a forest in Sweden. The locals are lovely and you get to meet people from the surrounding countries whom you would not normally meet in the the rest of Europe. A big thanks to the EDRS crew and especially Yasmine Bengtson and the Jr FUNN project which creates fun activities for the Junior racers at drag racing events. Liam really loved the fun and games and the organised tours of the Pro Mod and Top Fuel Bike pits. Thanks a lot to all in Tierp who helped us out especially Emma, Patrick, Thomas, Glenny and the Söderlunds and again to Yasmine who organised a caravan and a Junior Dragster to hire if we could not get our car there, helping with our entry form, and most importantly getting the Irish flag up at Tierp as we were the first ever Irish team to go there.We will definitely be back next year, watch out!
Liam is preparing for the upcoming European Finals at Santa Pod into which he goes in seventh place in the UK Championship with only 380 points between there and number one spot. We believe that we can improve on our points standing. The result at the Finals will be the deciding factor whether we contest the UK National Finals or head to Bad Söbernheim in Germany for the German Championship finals were we believe that Liam has a chance of doing well. In the French Championship Liam is in third place only forty four points off the number one spot. In the Junior International Championship Liam is in third, but with the points from the last French round at Clastres to be added on. Unfortunatly we didn't know that the Italian round at Rivanazzano at the start of the year was a points round, and even if we had gained the minimum points from that round we would possibly in lead spot in the French and Junior Internationals at the moment. For a whole year prior to the event we were told that it was only a show for Juniors during the lunch break. What a bummer, if only someone told us the correct story in the first place. Lack of proper communication to my mind seems to be a big problem in European drag racing.
European Finals racer grandstand offer.
4th September: Donna Finnegan of Santa Pod Raceway writes that racers and crew members are welcome to watch this Friday's Evening Nitro session from the main grandstand free of charge, and that half-price tickets are available at other times:
Free entry will be permitted from 18:30 on Friday (only) with access through gate number 81-110. A racer ticket or start line pass will need to be shown to the grandstand steward before entering.
We also politely remind you that the grandstand operates a strict No Smoking policy. Anyone found smoking in the grandstand will be asked to leave.
If racers wish to access the grandstand before 18:30 on Friday, or all day on Saturday or Sunday, then they can purchase half-price grandstand tickets directly from the grandstand ticket kiosk. This offer is strictly for teams entered for the European Finals. Tickets can be purchased by each crew member at the grandstand kiosk at the event. Each crew member must show their barcoded racer admission ticket, not their start line crew pass, at the time of purchase. One racer ticket entitles the holder to one half price grandstand seat. All seats purchased will be subject to availability at the time of purchase and no disputes will be entered into.
Voodoo Hemi on the ward.
4th September: The Netherlands' Marck Harteveld has delivered his Voodoo Hemi Pro Mod to Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars to repair the damage inflicted in a crash at The Doorslammers at Santa Pod Raceway in May:
The chassis has to be redone from firewall forwards, as well as measuring the rear end to make sure that everything is perfectly straight again. With big thanks to to fellow race teams and fans we were able to gather the most needed new and used parts to get the Bird going again. We have disassembled the car completely and cleaned and carefully checked every to see what we could re-use. The fire extinguishers and water made a lot of a mess of the car and parts. Also the engine and blower were taken apart and luckily those parts looks to be in good shape so far.
As soon as the Bird is back from Andy's we will make a new carbon nose and give the Bird a new paint job as there was too much damage to the body to save the paint job. We will also have to completely re-do the wiring, Racepak, oil and fuel lines etc... basically everything at the front of the car was destroyed.
The plan is to have it ready for Easter weekend to do some testing of the almost as-new Bird. Hopefully it will go better, straighter and quicker yet. At the forthcoming Finals I'll be a spectator and I will help out the Pro Dutch racing team wherever possible.
Curbishley Fixed for the Finals.
17th July: The UK's Martin Curbishley will again be sponsored by Fix Auto Penzance at the FIA/FIM European Finals, where he will be racing in Super Comp. Stuart Cameron of Fix Auto writes:
I attended the FIA Main Event in May and entertained some key members of staff from Fix Auto. We had a blast! We were all rooting for Martin, of course, when he advanced to the semi-finals but was beaten by a whisker by Stuart Doignie. We were also blown away by the Top Fuel and Pro Mod classes, unbelievable ETs and speed. I am really looking forward to the forthcoming Finals.
Fix Auto Penzance are in the middle of a major expansion plan at the moment. Building work is underway to double the size of our paint shop facility and the installation of three state-of-the-art spray booths to complement our existing two paint booths which increase the throughput of vehicles through our facility by 40%, making us the biggest accident repair facility in Cornwall. Please visit our Facebook page to see progress of the new building and equipment. Exciting times indeed for our new facility, and we are already looking forward to the 2019 race season.
Martin would like to wish Lisa Farmer all the best for stepping up and taking on the role of Crew Chief for Team Fix Auto Penzance.
4th September: Many thanks to Mike Collins for sending us the usual preview of his column in the latest issue of Street Machine magazine, available if you are quick, plus bonus material exclusively for Eurodragster.com readers. Click on the images below for the PDF downloads.
Not a sport which we would usually mention here on Eurodragster.com except as second billing at drag racing events but Tog would like to say a big Congratulations to his nephew-in-law Andy Frost on winning the 2018 HEL Drift Cup.
European Finals Perfect Awards.
4th September: This weekend's FIA/FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2018 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £150 will be on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by ET Bike racer Gary Hester at the Redline Rumble. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds during qualifying or eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
The Eurodragster.com / Vitesse Labelling Products Perfect ET Award has been increased to £100 after it went unclaimed at the Redline Rumble. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer to run +0.000 on index or dial-in during qualifying or eliminations. The Perfect ET Award will be available this weekend in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won then the Award will be increased to £150 for the UK National Finals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals.
To be eligible to win the Award, decals (right) must be carried, clearly visible, one on each side of the vehicle. If a Perfect ET is recorded without decals then there will be no argument, we will not pay out and the money will be awarded to the next racer to record a Perfect ET. Decals will be available in Signing On from this Friday.
For more information about the services which Vitesse Labelling Products can provide please see Al Platt in the Modurstang Pro ET pits or visit www.vitesse-labelling.co.uk.
Halfscale Inc visit the Finals.
3rd September: Fans of Junior Dragster racing will be delighted to hear that Randy and Judy Ditzel of Halfscale Dragsters Inc are VIP guests of McDonald Racing at this week's FIA/FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Edel McDonald writes:
Randy and Judy construct some of the premium Junior Dragster chassis out there. You only have to say Halfsceale and anyone who knows anything about Junior Dragster will know what you mean. This is the first time that Halfscale have come both to England and to Santa Pod. We invited them over to witness Junior Dragster at Santa Pod at first hand.
If you need to get measured up for a new car now or in the future, or if you just have technical questions on your set-up, then feel free to call in to the Junior pits and visit the Irish Junior Dragster team where Randy will be based.
FIA/FIM European Finals webcasts.
3rd September: Eurodragster.com and then Santa Pod Raceway will be broadcasting the whole of the FIA/FIM European Finals including Wednesday's Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day. This week's broadcast schedule is as follows:
Links to both webcast and Web TV can be found on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA/FIM European Finals Event Index, which also contains links to the official entry list and provisional running orders. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
VW Action galleries.
3rd September: It was a warm and action-packed weekend at VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway and the Eurodragster.com team were in attendance to bring you the best of it in association with John Woolfe Racing as part of our lead-up to this week's FIA/FIM European Finals.
You can check out our VW Action galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
A big Thank You to photographers Kirstie and Julian for their hard work in uncomfortable conditions.
2nd September: 1990 UK Super Gas Champion Psycho Phil Drewitt is to return to the strip for the first time since the mid-1990s.
Phil tells us that he did a bit of F2 Stock racing in the meantime but that the call of the strip had become too strong to ignore. "At the Hot Rod Drags you will see my newly-built street-legal Outlaw Anglia Pop making its first appearance", he says. "It is powered by a 540 BBC. Hopefully a few shakedown runs will go trouble-free with mid-nines the target after Psycho remembers what to do!
"Lots of people have helped along the way, too many to mention but Thank You to every single one of them."
Vegter misses Finals.
2nd September: It is with great sadness that The Netherlands' David Vegter has to announce that he will not be able to take part in Pro Modified in the FIA/FIM European Finals. Severe engine damage leaves the PTTM Drag Racing driver no other choice than to withdraw his entry.
"For the first time in, I think, seven years I will not race at the Finals", says David. "At Tierp Arena we had a major problem with the engine in the quarter finals and there is so much damage that it is impossible to get everything replaced in time. It feels very bad for me, for the team and for the fans, but there is no other option."
From the number four qualifying position with a great 5.900 second elapsed time David advanced to the quarter finals with a 5.94 second win over Freddy Fagerström in the first round. In the quarter final the PTTM Drag Racing Camaro had a bye run but it went wrong after 300 metres when a connecting rod broke and started a chain reaction which destroyed everything inside the engine.
"The block, the crankshaft and the camshaft were also damaged and even the blower case was cracked in several places", says David. "We don't have a spare engine or blower case and we couldn't get all the parts we needed in time to make it to the European Finals. It feels very bad that the season has come to an end like this and with one race still to go, but we had no other option.
"One thing is for sure: we will be back next year, stronger than ever before."
David may still visit the European Finals as a spectator.
Ålund's busy fortnight.
1st September: After more than six weeks' break it turned very hectic for multiple FIA Pro Stock Champion and 2018 FIA European Pro Modified Champion-elect Jimmy Ålund with race numbers four and five in the FIA Pro Mod and Pro Stock Championships over two consecutive weekends.
At the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim Jimmy and the team wanted to continue their success from the win at Alastaro but it was not to be. A broken rear end in the first round of qualifying set the plans awry and Jimmy ended up as the #10 qualifier after day one. Problems continued in Q3 but with a huge improvement in Q4, into top spot with a 5.95-second run at 393.58 km (244.55 mph) which was a new Personal Best for speed.
On race day Jimmy had two bye runs to take the Old 51 to the semi-finals against Jan Eriksson. Jan had an astounding Reaction Time of 0.006 seconds which made for a lead which held all the way across the finish line. "It was a mixed weekend", says Jimmy, "three bad runs in qualifying and then we got it all together. The team had the car in good shape for the semis on race day but Jan outdid me at the tree and that was it for the weekend."
In a tight points race Jimmy went to Hockenheimring in first place and left in second place, just eight points behind the leader.
As in 2017 Jimmy is racing in two FIA classes this year, Pro Mod and Pro Stock. The fifth race of the FIA drag racing season at Tierp Arena was the third and last weekend at which Jimmy fielded both cars. As usual Pro Mod had a solid turnout with eighteen cars for a sixteen-car field but this time Jimmy did not get off to a good start with Magnus Petersson's Old 51 Chevrolet. Tyre shake left Jimmy on the bump spot as the #16 qualifier after day one. Things shaped up nicely on day two when two good runs took Jimmy to second place going into Sunday's eliminations.
Jimmy pretty much dominated his side of the ladder with solid five-second runs and a new best ET and speed for the Old 51 in the semi-finals, 5.815 seconds at 393.59 kmh (244.56 mph). On the other side of the ladder, Andreas Arthursson went rounds to make for an exciting final. Andreas ran 5.80 in the semis and Jimmy 5.81 but Andreas got it all together and ran his quickest run all weekend to take home the event win.
"OK, we want to win of course but we have to be happy with that runner-up" says Jimmy. "I'd rather forget that first day of qualifying but the rest of the weekend was fine. We ran a good number of solid five-second runs and are now back in the points lead". Jimmy came to the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals in second place in the FIA Pro Mod Championship and left in first place, fifty seven points ahead (With Micke Gullqvist's withdrawal from the European Finals since this was written, Jimmy has won the 2018 Championship - Ed).
In Pro Stock Jimmy only had the Summit Racing Camaro out for the first day of qualifying and Sunday's eliminations. Jimmy was number one qualifier after two rounds of qualifying but slipped back to #4 in a strong 10t-car field. The team did their job on the Sunday and stepped it up big time. Jimmy was quickest and fastest in every round of eliminations and finished off the day by winning over old-time foe Thomas Lindström with a 6.55 at 342.64 kmh (212.90 mph) which was both the low ET and top speed of the whole weekend.
Quite a performance! "You bet, yes indeed" says Jimmy with a big smile. "We did not have all the time needed to run that super strong Summit Racing Camaro on Saturday but not to worry, Sunday was a day to remember for the team who put a perfect car on the track" It looked easy. "Maybe so" continues Jimmy, "but be sure it's not. We had ten very competent Pro Stock teams out there and it's as hard as any drag racing event can get."
Another highlight of the 2018 the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals was the attendance of Jim Greenleaf, Motorsports and Events Manager of Summit Racing Equipment. Jim said "I'm absolutely thrilled to travel to Sweden again and to be part of an excellent race weekend like this. We're very proud to sponsor the whole event and of course such competitive and high performance teams as the Old 51 and the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing Team"
Summit Racing Equipment, Viking Industrim˚lning and Exclusive Cars are sponsoring both the Old 51 Pro Mod car and the Ålund Pro Stock Camaro this year. This is in addition to Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten and VP Racing Fuels. Jimmy Ålund Racing is very grateful for the continuing support from such great companies.
BDRHoF Media Awards.
2nd September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala, to be held on 17th November at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey, will this year honour two photo-journalists who have made major contributions to the sport, both in Britain and internationally.
Longtime buddies Roger Gorringe and Andy Willsheer have been covering the sport for a host of media outlets for almost fifty years apiece, and have each collected a host of images. They have both been published widely in most automotive magazines and many drag racing books.
Roger first encountered drag racing in a cinema in 1965 but it was Easter 1969 before he was able to go to Santa Pod Raceway. First going trackside in 1972, he first contributed to Drag Racing News which he edited from 1978 for over ten years. In 1979 he started covering the sport internationally in the US and Europe, and has been doing so ever since. He has compiled and edited SPR programmes since 1999 and supplied the majority of photos to Crazy Horses by Brian Taylor and DragRacing by Christina Bodén in Sweden.
Andy attended his first event at Santa Pod Raceway in 1972. He decided there and then to become a photographer, and for his second event he bought a Praktica camera and got himself a press pass. The following year, he and his brother John toured the west coast of the US, attending every meeting they could and the trip, planned for three months, ended up staying for fifteen months. Nigh-on every year since, as well as covering the sport in the UK and Europe, he has visited the US, often making two or three trips. His work has reached the UK daily papers and he was named a Hi-Riser by Car Craft magazine in June 1983.
Stuart Bradbury, Chairman of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, commented "Roger and Andy have each contributed a huge amount to the media coverage and the recording of the history of the sport in Britain and internationally, and this award is not only vastly overdue, it is very well-deserved."
On-going news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved is regularly published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, here on Eurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
1st September: Spencer Tramm (right) and Martin Taylor (left) asked us to pass on best wishes for a long and happy future to Paul Woodhead and Fran Hammond who were married at Bolsover Church yesterday. We are very pleased to do so and to add our own best wishes to Paul and Fran.