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12th May: Chairman of Supercharged Outlaws and sponsor of the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET award Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield has announced a special award for the blown race car category:
The Supercharged Outlaws have a sponsor for a new trophy. This new trophy will be for the Perfect Light Challenge and is being backed by Dave 'Twolanes' Armstrong and Sally Mears Southcott.
Dave and Sally previously sponsored a round in memory of their great friend Pete Thomas but wanted to do something that everyone could compete for regardless of how powerful your car is.
We have put our heads together and come up with this challenge and it’s simple. During the course of this season, whoever gets closest to a perfect light wins! If 2 drivers get identical lights then we look back at their next fastest reaction.
Pictures of Supercharged Outlaws racers, all from Friday at 2020 NSRA Hot Rod Drags: top row, Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield, Andy Park, Gary Parkes; bottom row, Keith Freeman, Simon Boot, Paul/Luke Watts.
Dave and Sally have kindly offered a £100 cash donation to the winner and a memorial trophy to be kept by the winning team until the end of the following season.
I don’t need to tell you about the bragging rights of being the fastest on the draw so let the fun commence - thanks again to Dave and Sally, what a brilliant idea!
You can see the Supercharged Outlaws, sponsored by Good Vibrations Motorsports, in action at their 2021 race dates (all at Santa Pod Raceway apart from final round):
11th May: Some of our more mature readers will recall Kim Reymond, Top Fuel racer who in a three year period 2001-3, tuned by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame members Carsten Andersen and Per Andersen ran some of the quickest ever ETs over the quarter mile in Europe. Kim's son Mike Reymond, now CEO of Reymond's US Speed Shop in Årslev, Denmark, started a Top Doorslammer drag racing career in 2019 and after a few setbacks, is now keen to be racing once again:
"We bought the car in 2018, and we only had a few test runs that year. The car was built in the US by All-In Race Cars with a 2007 Ford Mustang fiberglass body, a Sonnys 864cui 4-stage nitrous engine, Mark Micke M&M Transmissions 3-speed TH400 transmission and converter.
Above left: Mike with car at Mantorp 2019; right: testing at Malmö in July 2020.
2019 was our first real race season, and we started with a few test weekends at Malmö Raceway. In June 2019 we raced at Mantorp Park, and we ran a new PB of 4.248/276.30kph. We won the first round of eliminations, and were set to compete against Matthias Wulcan in the next round. We decided to add another stage of nitrous (until then we had only been running a single stage), because Matthias is very fast. The result was a meeting with the left lane wall after the tires lost traction, and the car turned left into the wall.
Above left and centre: the nitrous engine setup; right: testing at Malmö in July 2020.
"I was ok, but the whole left side of the car was destroyed. We sat out the rest of the 2019 season and the first 3 months of 2020 rebuilding the car. But then the coronavirus shut down most of our 2020 season. We only had two test weekends, and they didn’t go as planned. We have had a lot of electrical problems, but they should be fixed now. If the coronavirus lets us, we will probably be back at Mantorp in July, and we will in take all the Races at Malmö Raceway also. Hopefully we will also attend and run the car at Mosten Raceway here in Denmark. We may also attend other races, but it all comes down to this corona situation.
"We have the following sponsors for this year:
Time Travel updated.
11th May: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has updated his British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive site with new historic photo collection and posted on his Time Travel Video page a revised index of his eponymous video productions, originally released on VHS, then DVD and now free to view on Youtube.
Nick says "I have uploaded over 100 colour slides taken by Brian Sutton from 1965-1969. I used these slides along with Brian's cine film in my first Time Travel Video back in 1995.
"I've also listed at Time Travel Videos all my productions with descriptions and links to each one on Youtube. All new updates can be found at the top of the page".
Walton's Savoy build.
10th May: The 2021 UK Nostalgia Superstock season is getting off to a cracking start with 15 entries for the STP Springspeed Nationals on 22nd-23rd May and 25 for VW Breakout on 28th-30th May. News has reached us of a car being built for the 2022 season by class stalwart Pete Walton. He writes:
"I have owned this '64 Plymouth Savoy for many years, however life has got in the way of the car being built for NSS until now. But with help from Robinson Race Cars and others the car is almost ready for paint.
"The car has an original 426 Street Wedge engine with the factory Hurst 4-speed option. The clutch pedal is still in the car, but I will be running a TorqueFlite 727 box in racing trim for reliability, but do not discount a four speed going back in at some stage."
Pete thanks Swedish Superstock racer Fredrik Frisberg who has been "a great inspiration and a endless supply of help and info".
Geoff's new Lucas deal.
10th May: Nitro Revival Eurodragster.com sponsor Geoff Stilwell has signed a new sponsorship contract with Lucas, which will result in additional exposure for the brand, and for Geoff's Land Speed Racing roadster 7707 which will be racing at Bonneville Raceway in August in Geoff's quest to run a 300mph record.
Geoff said "Lucas has increased its presence in racing with Brandon Bernstein being hired as head of Lucas Racing, and research director Tom Bognor has developed a range of oils for nitro applications including a 70 Plus blend specially created for Bonneville racers, whose nitro engines run for much longer than quarter mile nitro racers.
"As well as generously supporting my Bonneville record attempt this year, Lucas Oil will be sponsoring George Poteet's Speed Demon streamliner which plans to be the first wheel driven vehicle to hit 500mph.
"Conditions at Bonneville, which can vary greatly with the wind moving rainfall on the racing surface, are considered exceptional. "Brine has been pumped in to keep the surface solid, and it is now as hard as concrete".
Lucas have contracted video producer Nestor Cabrera to make a video advert for the new range of oils and you can see the result, with specially written music on Vimeo at this link. A video of the roadster's fire up from last week was posted by Tony Thacker which can be seen here.
Meanwhile Geoff's trailer is being worked on, which will be revealed in a future posting.
Saunders: Focus re-emerges.
9th May: Back in the very early days of Eurodragster.com, former photo editor Sharkman was invited to a specially-held private test day at Santa Pod Raceway. The subject of the test was a brand new Ford Focus, commissioned by Ford and built in the UK to be raced in the US by UK racer Wayne Saunders. After a few years racing successfully in the NHRA Import series in other hands, the car apparently disappeared - until now.
We were contacted by former UK racer Shaun Saunders (no relation), who last raced in the UK in 1999 but is now resident in Scottsdale Arizona. Shaun brought us up to date on what had become of the briefly famous Focus that Wayne first demonstrated in the US at the 1999 NHRA World Finals:
"The famous Focus will wear the Saunders name again, as I have just purchased it. Built by Jon Webster in 1999 for Wayne to race with Ford USA; the build quality and engineering is outstanding. I race the world's fastest Mazda MX5 with its original engine, currently its best is 8.20 at 163 (see photo below right). I will be fitting one of my 4 cylinder Mazda turbo engines into the Focus for it to run low 7 sec passes again.
"After Wayne sold the car in 2000 it was raced by Ford for two years, winning the Pro Import championship, then it was parked in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until 2014. Upon its release, it was owned by a fellow in San Diego who fitted a blown Ford V8 which is how I purchased it. I removed and sold the V8 to refit a 4 cylinder turbo engine, although a Mazda instead of the original Cosworth.
"I have been in contact with Jon Webster who is trying to get another set of the carbon panels made as the moulds still exist. I am planning on replacing the fibreglass roof and quarter panels with steel panels as Jon built it. I thought I would send you the info as it’s such an interesting car with great history. And yes, the weather here is gorgeous most of the year - but our racing season ends in May because of the heat. My last time out, until we resume in October, is 15th May".
EDRS calendar amended.
9th May: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on drag racing calendars at all levels of the sport. We heard in the last few days that the Gardermoen Spring Nationals has been moved from 8th-9th May to 12th-13th June. The Gardermoen web site stated that registrations and rules for the Spring Nationals will be automatically moved to the later event. The revised date means that Gardermoen is hosting events on two consecutive weekends, the Scandinavian Bike Festival taking place on 19th-20th June. Organisers stated that motorcycle racers wanting to leave their crew in the area between the races will be aided by the track.
EDRS events cancelled are the Kauhava, Finland race planned for 15th-16th May and Tallhed, Sweden planned for 22nd-23rd May. The revised calendar is at this link; we will publish any further changes as soon as we hear.
7th May: We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of track marshal and former Wild Bunch racer Dave Rowlands on Thursday morning.
Dave was keen on many aspects of the sport and ran an altered Destinys Angel in The Wild Bunch from 2007-11, coming runner up in the Wild Bunch Series and Real Steel Series in 2010 and also in the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series in 2009. In 2011 Dave shared the drive with son Warren, the model T altered being a regular nine second runner, Andrew Willcox also driving the car at one race and Tom Margesson also getting the experience.
When he decided to stop racing, Dave went on the crew at Shakespeare County Raceway where he met partner Angie Woods. They worked together on the SCR crew, Angie organising the Ladies That Launch event, until Shakey closed at the end of 2017. Dave nursed Angie after she suffered a broken leg in the staging lanes in 2014.
After the closure of Shakey, Dave, with Angie, worked at Santa Pod Raceway. Dave was described as "a great guy", "a true gentleman", a "fantastic track guy who was always alert when it came to racers safety" and "another good guy gone that loved doing what he did".
We send our deepest condolences to Angie and Warren, and all Dave and Angie's family and friends.
VW Breakout class entry closes next Friday.
7th May: With the season proper getting under way, and racer entry by ticket being mandatory for lifestyle events at Santa Pod Raceway, we remind class racers planning to attend VW Breakout on 28th-30th May that entry for the event closes next Friday, 14th May. Santa Pod Raceway's online racer ticket page states: "The closing date for entries is strictly Friday 14th May 2021 at 5pm, any entries received after this point may not be accepted".
The classes running at VW Breakout are VWDRC Heads Up, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus and UK Nostalgia Superstock with RWYB for these classes available on Friday too. You can see the current class entry list at this link.
Volkswagen Audi Group RWYB (and Wild Bunch) track sign on tickets are available at this link and should be purchased on-line prior to the event.
7th May: Donna Johnson Marits has written wishing a "Happy Birthday to Bob Jarrett, the love of my life". We would like to join Donna in wishing Competition Altered and Funny Car owner, tuner and driver Bob the happiest of birthdays, have a great day Bob.
The latest update to the Trakbytes web site at www.trakbytes.co.uk has just been uploaded by webmaster Chris Dossett. Chris says "This time we have 38 new entries, and the addition of around 80 new programme covers. New additions start in 1963 and end in 1999. Check the "What’s New" page of the site for details. Thank you all for your contributions and continued support."
We were pleased to see a new blog on British Drag Racing, reminiscing on the glory days of drag racing and hot rodding culture from 21-year old Niamh Frances Smith. In her first two posts, Niamh writes about Celebrating the life of a British Drag Racing Legend: Dennis Priddle and The Isle of Thanet’s Forgotten Drag Strip: Screamin’ Alley Raceway. To read Niamh's well-written and illustrated site, the web address to go to is racewayhussy.blog.
Pro ET bash in July.
6th May: Lee Huxley has announced that the Pro ET bash is booked for Saturday 3rd July at the Fownes Hotel, Worcester WR1 2AP. Tickets should be available at the Springspeed Nationals for £15 each and the price includes a buffet and disco.
Tickets bought at or before the Springspeed Nationals 22nd-23rd May will be entered into a draw for a free room or equivalent. Rooms need booking before the 7th June at £65 for a double or a twin. There are limited numbers so be quick. All will be welcome, and money returned if COVID restrictions return.
An Accidental Polymath.
6th May: Racer, automotive enthusiast and celebrant Dave Gibbons has published his autobiography, titled The Recollections Of An Accidental Polymath, in which he recounts the story of his life and how he accumulated a wide variety of skills over the years. Dave told us:
I wrote the book as a record of things I thought that our son Scott (and hopefully future generations) might like to know – I never had any thoughts of publication. However, having written 66,000 words, I thought it might be nice to be able to give the work to Scott, friends, and family in the form of a tangible book. So in order to do so I decided to self-publish as the most cost effective means to do so. This of course means that it became available to the general public - but it also meant some serious editing, to remove the contentious detail and offensive language that would get me into trouble!
John Price was kind enough to write a foreword, and Russ Smith helped with some of the editing, and I hope the book presents itself well.
While drag racing and motorsport has been a big part of my live, this book doesn’t dwell on that aspect – I don’t want to appear that big-headed that I think I’m someone important enough to boast about their drag racing prowess – I’m not. As you will read, it really is a book of recollections (I hesitate to call it an autobiography as that feels to grand) encompassing pretty much everything – from the birth of my son, to some of the girls I went out with, and how I’ve managed to make a living without having a proper job.
Oh, and this is not a money making project – I get 13p from the sale of each book. Enjoy!
We read a copy of the book and found it well written, engaging and above all an honest account of the highs and lows of Dave's family and racing life, combined with his passion and drive to work in auto mechanics and also to entertain the punters.
You can order a copy of The Recollections Of An Accidental Polymath by going to this link on Amazon.
Snake wins in Mexico.
6th May: With thanks to contributor and Nitro Revival Eurodragster.com sponsor Geoff Stilwell, congratulations to drag racing legend and former Santa Pod competitor Don "The Snake" Prudhomme who, at the tender age of 80, has won his class in the NORRA Mexican 1000 across the Baja peninsula. You can see an account of Snake's first race win in 28 years at Autoweek.com.
VWDRC gallery, racer notes.
5th May: You can see our gallery of photos from the VW Drag Racing Club private test day at this link or via our event coverage index. The day suffered from intermittent rain in the morning which the ever-hard-working Santa Pod Raceway track crew made great efforts to dry out, and then a full track oil down in the afternoon which brought proceedings to a premature conclusion. Whilst running was possible there was a difficult head wind and cold track making PBs a rarity. We made notes of a number of club racers and others who took part:
New to VWDRC, Junior Dragster graduate Jack Gooding (see picture, right) brought his VW Sportsman Scirocco, the car running consistently in the 16.6-16.9s range all at 80mph, a solid start to his fresh career in the class. Steve Metcalf of Blue Steel Racing is also new to the championship, in which he will be competing in his VW Sportsman Audi TT as a new engine is engine being built for his Baja Bug.
VW Pro Covid Cup winner James Hodson brought his rapid FWD Golf out running a 10.379/136.51 for a new PB.
VW Sportsman racer Justin Foley of Team Bubble Racing, tested his spare Audi TT bought from Lee Cordery to 14.97/89 as the engine in his Red Dwarf Golf is being upgraded to a VR6 turbo.
Also testing from those competing last year were VW Pro racers James Gould of Team Mulisha running a pair of low 11s, and Carl Goldsmith who ran a mid 11. Adrian Solly has had a new intercooler fitted by EST Performance which has resulted in higher boost in his Audi A3 engine, however his runs in the headwind were bests of 11.573 and 128.77 compared to his PBs of 10.50/141.
We saw returning VWDRC racers who had taken 2020 off, with VW Pro racer Abi Tether taking her VW Golf R Mk7 to a new PB of 12.775/105.01, VW Pro racer Ian Dale (see picture, left) in his Strip Burner Beetle was also testing.
Graeme Freeman ran his Sick Bubblegum Beetle in 2020 after a top end rebuild, however the car suffered a broken CV joint after his launch today and was out for the rest of day.
John Brewster (see picture, right) who ran his previous Street Lethal Beetle in Super Street in the mid 90s brought his Unfinished Business along. This rebuilt Beetle, originally built for shows by Matt Dolby, first seeing the track in 2020's Drag Days, has a John Sleath tuned 2276cc engine with race-spec internals, a new gearbox with Rhino case and FTC gears, and a Quaife diff. On his first run he experienced gear shift problems, and he lifted early on the second pass.
In the non-VWDRC contingent James Willday in his Mazda RX8 tried to improve on his 8s run at the Scott Lewry Private Test day, however the rotary engine struggled to get to the high launch revs it needs to leave the line. James said 'I plan to run the car in Comp Eliminator and it should fit in a class where we can run under the index'. You can see James talking about his unique car at Youtube link.
Best time of the day went to Craig Evans with his Corsa FTD, 9.9507/145.74, run by his Raggy Conversions firm.
Other non-VWDRC cars included Clive and Jane Mccready's Ben's Van, returning to the Sportsman ET championship after a break in 2020. Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Al Williamson was there, but conditions weren't considered suitable for making a pass; Al mentioned that components had been re-mounted ahead of the rear axle to avoid the wheelies the car was experiencing regularly in 2019.
Ben Kennedy's Outlaw Anglia made a pass with new Centerline wheels. We also saw FWD racer Ahmed Jamshaid, who ran a 10.2926/136.42 in his roadgoing Civic with K24 engine (he also has a race-built K20 engined Civic tuned by Liam Garratt of Street racers rolling road tuning & remapping). Mark Moseley (see picture, left) brought out an injected Pinto-engined Escort Mk1. Matthew Wright had a turbocharged V8 Escort Mk2 with a single 105mm turbo, another addition to his fleet of race cars, the twin turbo Rolls in the process of having a 14-71 supercharger blown into by the turbos, so it can run in Supercharged Outlaws.
Thanks go to VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson who organised the day and supplied streaming video whilst running took place, and the Santa Pod Raceway crew who worked hard in difficult conditions to put the track into a condition that cars were able to run on.
Dennis Priddle tributes.
3rd May: Thanks to all those who supplied tributes to the late Dennis Priddle, who passed away just a week ago. A number of unseen photos came to light and some have been collected by regular contributor Mike Collins who has provided his own unique tribute to Dennis incorporating the themes of reflection and Essence of NitroFire from #8 cylinder with some unpublished pictures (Click image for pdf):
To see all the tributes we collected, click here or go via the Features, Interviews, Tributes index.
Saturday Night Special video.
3rd May: Thanks to Kieran spending a high proportion of yesterday at his editing suite, his video of the 1st May Saturday Night Special RWYB at Santa Pod Raceway is available to view on his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You'll see most of the cars and bikes taking part in Kieran's 46 minute production.
Zerbst season begins.
3rd May: The shortened racing season in Germany commenced this last weekend with a Test & Tune at Zerbst Airfield organised by AMC Dessau. The event, held only with pre-registration and without spectators, attracted a wide range of vehicles.
The German FWD Shootout is establishing a league of quickest quarter mile times from eligible cars in 2021, the first being Dirk Radzanowski's Honda CRX 1.6 L 16 V Turbo (12.222/201.809kph) and Maik Benndorf's VW Lupo 1.4 L TDI (13.018/168.308 km/h).
Personal best times less than 10.0s also came from three in other categories:
AWD - Nils Orlamünde - Audi 80 2.0 L 16 V Turbo Quattro (9.453/249.48kph)
RWD - Daniel Schien - BMW E30 2.5 L M50 Turbo (9.443/250.465kph)
FWD - Marcus Schmidt - VW Golf 3 VR6 Turbo (9.462/252.965kph)
Whilst weather on Sunday precluded any running, there was testing on Saturday by the cars and bikes present. Harald and Clarissa Czekalla, usually photographers brought out their ex-Brian Gandy altered with new Chevy power and assisted by Gerd Habermann. Christian Jäger was testing his Super Twin Top Fuel bike, which he managed to keep in the groove by some adept handling. Also seen were the new Camaro doorslammer of Walle Strobel and the Volkswankel Jetta which is headed for Super Comp action.
A full set of 228 photos of the event was posted on Facebook by Picture by Bob (Thomas Poppe). A selection is shown above.
The next planned event at Zerbst is the German FWD Shootout with Test & Tune 26th-27th June 2021. Support for Zerbst's 2021 season is from EM-Racing, high-quality racing and tuning parts for engines.
Pioneer stories – Series 2.
3rd May: John Hunt has announced that he will be embarking shortly on interviewing racers from the 1960s in the next batch of pioneer stories.
John said "Simon, Nick and I enjoyed working together on the first series of seven stories and we've got a process that plays to our strengths which produces great content. If anyone has feedback on the first series, we'd be delighted to hear from readers".
John had feedback from two contributors. Bill Haynes wrote "This has been fabulous having my story told . It has been done so well and I donated all my items but know that all would have been returned if required. It has been done with great responsibility and honesty. I am proud to have been connected with it."
Keith Stacey also wrote: "I was a bit sceptical about it at first,especially trying to remember what I was doing 45 to 50 years ago. As it happens I am more than pleased with the end result and both Lyn and myself are looking forward to meeting the other guys again. I had no problem lending the slides out to you and the nice thing is they are now on my computer."
John continued "The second series of stories of up to twelve racers who started racing in the 1960s will cover car classes and we hope motorcycles.. The planned publication date is between January and March 2022. We would be particularly interested in any accompanying photographs, negatives, slides, newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia, team shirts, jackets, hats etc for scanning or photographing.
"We would very much welcome any programmes or magazines no longer required. These would be passed around the group of drag racing historians to add to their own collections. They will be valuable to the research of all areas in the sport. Memorabilia no longer required will be kept together in its own collection labeled and safely stored. We are always very keen to know of others who you are still in contact with ; your help with any introduction would be most appreciated to then be followed up".
Interested parties who started racing in the 1960s should contact John or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3rd May: Fire fighter and junior drag racing Dad Andrew Willcox has been in touch after the Collier family suffered a bad fire at their house on Friday after an electrical fire started in Scott Collier's room. Despite trying to put the fire out, the family had to get out of their home and are all safe, but devastated - Scott has lost all his trophies. Andrew said "I'm calling on the racing community to come together once again please at this distressing time for a much loved drag racing family, who will help anyone out when possible, and were the founders of junior drag bike. After helping at the house today and seeing the damage caused I have decided to set up a Go Fund Me page to help the Colliers get back into their family home asap." Contributions will be passed directly to the Colliers.
Eurodragster.com will be covering the private test organised by the VW Drag Racing Club tomorrow, 4th May at Santa Pod Raceway. The plan is for editor Simon to take trackside photos and collect racer notes.
Saturday Night Special gallery, notes.
2nd May: With thanks to Kieran and sponsors John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of pictures from yesterday's Santa Pod Saturday Night Special RWYB with running to just before 8pm.
We noted some of the times and comments from the racers who attended.
Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tim Garlick (pictured right) brought his Pontiac Firebird out for a couple of test runs. Tuner Rob Loaring said "the new clutch looks to be a good step forward. We made two short runs, the second on the throttle to around 400ft. It was a bit of a slug to 60' but the 330' was only 8/100's off Tim's best". The team's next outing will be at the STP Springspeed Nationals, where they will be joined by the completely rebuilt Venom of Tony Betts and Chi Town Hustler of Paul Harris.
The Top Fuel Bike of Phil Baimbridge was again piloted by Al Smith and you can see Phil's comprehensive write up with video at the PBR TFB Facebook page. The pair of launches resulted in a broken drive belt and damaged blower belt on the second attempt, following a 1.034s to 60ft on the first.
Hollie King completed her licencing runs on her Junior Drag Bike on her second outing. Brother Blade King (pictured left) got to see his new ride, supplied in white with help from Allan, Clair and Louis Davies moving up for the first time from junior bike. Blade made couple of nice gentle passes to get used to the bike and power, then last run of the day going for a launch with a fair bit of spin off the line, but keeping straight and still putting down a 140mph over the stripe. Also on a Junior Bike was Meg Talbot of Rise Racing aided by Kerryanne Frazier and Simon and Jake from sponsor Bod's Custom Cycles. Meg made eight runs, loads of random issues meant the last two runs were two new PB's 9.06 and Meg's last run of the day a 9.02.
Former Pro Mod racer Roger Moore (pictured right) brought his renamed and repainted Box of Frogs Racing bike back with team Lucy Moore, Dave Moore, Gary and Bob Brooks. The team reported that the burst panel went on the end of the first run and pneumatic issues pestered for the rest of the day with the pressure regulator being the source of failure. The team worked tirelessly trying to repair the regulator but sadly to no avail.
Super Pro ET and Pro Modified racer John Tebenham with the Crew Killer Pop ran a 9.0027/148.65, once again frustratingly short of his 150mph target.
Bike racer James Cross ran new PBs of 9.1010 and 142.48 on his Suzuki GSXR. European FWD racer Ahmed Jamshaid ran new PBs in his Honda Civic of 9.1897/154.67.
Also appearing was Chris Bates's rare Mitsubishi Airtrek Turbo-R (pictured left), headed towards Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator. The Airtrek has a Pro-charged 434ci SBC put together by Dan Williams at Williams Bros Racing. The car was bought from Belfast as an unfinished project and delivered to Jon Webster at Eurodragster.com sponsors Webster Race Engineering.
After some hold ups and the pandemic fiasco, the car was completed in November 2020. Chris thanks all involved to date, Webster Race Engineering, Williams Bros Racing, Dave Rowe at EPS and Darren West at Power Race Graphics for the original render.
It was good to have back at the track again the ex-Rob Smallworth '55 Chevy now in the hands of Iain Shurey with wife Jill and Dave Cunningham as crew.
You can see Kieran's gallery at this link or via the event coverage index from the main menu.
HOFtalk 11 published.
1st May: The Spring 2021 edition of HOFTalk, the magazine of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, has been published by compiler, UK Nostalgia enthusiast, and BDRHoF director Jerry Cookson.
This latest issue was finalised before the recent sad news of the death of Dennis Priddle. The next edition will be a Dennis Priddle Tribute issue, dedicated to his tremendous contribution to British Drag Racing.
In it, you can read about activities of BDRHoF members, tributes to those members who have passed away, and a retrospective look at the 2009 BDRHoF inductee presentations.
There is an article by Tony Thacker on Merek Chertkow who, as a 19-year-old driver of the Moonshot AA/FD, visited Britain's Drag Fest in 1965, and an interview by Eurodragster.com editor Simon Groves with South African fuel dragster pioneer Arthur Christy who made the long journey to compete at Santa Pod Raceway's 1971 International Meeting.
Also there's a new feature on drag racing collectibles, Collectors' Corner, which features models of several iconic British Drag Racing vehicles. To read the latest packed 35-page edition of HOFtalk (in PDF format, file size 45MB) you may download it direct from this fast link, or click on the Lucas Oils-sponsored Features, Interviews and Tributes link on any Eurodragster.com page.
Nick's video feast.
1st May: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another feast of UK and European drag racing videos to his Youtube channel. We've listed them below - most are broadcast quality productions:
Swedish Doorslammer Tour 2021.
1st May: With the cancellation of international racing leaving a vacuum in European drag racing calendars, a collaboration between four Swedish tracks, Kjula, Malmö, Mantorp and HMK Hudiksvall has established a new series the Doorslammer Tour and Bike Battle, a points competition that will take place during this summer with all class entries welcome.
Classes will comprise Pro Xtreme (aka Top Doorslammer with 3.66 index to the eighth), Super Pro Xtreme (4.40 index to the eighth) and Street (8.60/5.20 index), Pro Street (7.60/4.80 index), ET Pro (dial-in 8.50 to 15.0 or 5.10-9.60 in the quarter), Four To Six Pro (6.00 or 3.66 index to the eighth), Real Street (10.10/6.50 index) in cars. Bike classes are Pro Comp Bike (7.50 index), Super Comp Bike (8.50 index), and Super Gas Bike (9.50 index).
The race dates for the Doorslammer Tour and Bike Battle are:
We'll supply summary reports and links to the detail and media.
STP Springspeed Nationals entry deadline.
30th April: Today is the deadline for entry at normal rates to the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway.
The number of entries for the is currently at 227 as at yesterday 29th April. It includes 32 cars in Modurstang Pro ET, 24 in Lucas Oil Junior Dragster and 22 in Peter Nee Super Pro ET with twenty other classes of racing.
Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to be part of the action can still sign up on the on-line entry system at this link.
The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.
Dakota race results, next date.
30th April: Congratulations to Aleksandr Gerasickin for going four rounds of tough competition and taking the victory in the final of the AWD heads up category at Dakota Raceway Southwest's Drag Race Cash Day/Straightliners NSA event last Saturday. Aleksandr drove his Audi S8 all the way from Hull to take part and beat everyone in the category, which is really impressive.
Pete Lane with killer reaction times and a tune up dialled into the track won four rounds of competition and took the victory for the rear wheel drive category. Aaron Holford won the 1/8 mile heads up no time cash day drag race front wheel drive category in his street sleeper Fiesta. You can see video from the event at this link with a video of the racing posted at this link on Youtube. Cudos to @dayprojectsltd for a great production.
The next Dakota Raceway Southwest event is on Saturday 17th July, including once again, drag race cash day, the NSA motorcycle championship and Drifting. See you there.
Stilwell's Bonneville plans coming together.
30th April: Nitro Revival Eurodragster.com sponsor Geoff Stilwell has made progress towards his dream of hitting 300mph at Bonneville during Speed Week. We reported on 15th April that Lucas Oil Products had renewed their sponsorship of Geoff's 7707 Lucas Oil Landspeed Team. Lucas have now added to their support by supplying a special oil that can withstand the unique challenge of running a nitro fuelled Hemi continuously for a significantly longer period than it would on a drag strip.
In preparation for Speed Week, Geoff's team will be firing the engine up next week. Team PR Tony Thacker will be on hand to supply images and, we hope, video of the event.
The team have now got their air tickets to Los Angeles – in the expectation that flights will recommence in June, well before the August date for Speed Week. The plan is to then tow the car from Los Angeles all the way to Bonneville, which we can imagine will be a sweet trip for the UK members of the team, unable to have made the journey in 2020.
To show your support of Geoff and his 300mph Speed Record attempt, the 7707 Lucas Oil Landspeed Team have had new T-shirts designed by “Got Salt Racer” Frank Silva who himself has driven his “Got Salt” Landspeed car at over 350mph. These fantastic T-shirts will be available in the U.K. shortly, available only on white T-shirts at the moment (we understand a hoodie is in the works) and sizes are Medium, Large, XL and 2XL . Cost will be £25 incl packaging and post to mainland U.K. only. This is a limited run so message Geoff on Facebook to reserve your T-shirt(s).
Geoff's rival to achieve 300mph at Bonneville Ron Hope of Rat Trap Racing will be testing this weekend at Blytheville International Airport, Arkansas, under the East Coast Timing Association. The airport with its paved mile has become a pre-eminent Midwest/Southeast speed venue following Wilmington Ohio sadly having become an Amazon distribution centre.
UK & European drag racing photos' milestone passed.
30th April: Dave Turner, founder of the Facebook UK & European drag racing photos group, has been in touch to tell us about a milestone achieved:
After a little over 6 years and 10,000 members, I would just like to say a massive thanks to all the members and admin who help the UK & European drag racing photos group - my favourite place on Facebook.
I set up the group a little over 5 years ago. I was having a scan through some of the old drag racing photos taken by my brother and myself (using his old Praktica 35mm) and thought it would be nice to share these with the wider world but there didn't seem to be any groups or pages that fit the bill, most being about the US scene. I felt that these pictures that were not strictly pro shots would get lost in the myriad of American pro cars. I felt that the UK and European scenes weren't being represented. The group was simple enough to set up and I invited some of my Facebook friends and family who seem to like the idea. I shared the group on some of the other groups I was a member of. It took a couple of weeks for things to really start moving but before long we had a couple of hundred members and other people were sharing their personal shots. I was loving it and we were seeing pics that people had never shared. It initially started with me and my brothers Paul and Mark as admins but then Jerry Cookson offered to help administrate, followed soon after by Andrew Green and finally Chris Hobson, who are all still admins.
The group is about sharing pictures - we don't care if they aren't pin sharp pro shot (which are amazing by the way) - we want the pictures people have in their lofts and garages, the ones you took on your old Instamatic or Polaroid, and, more recently your phones. It's the content we are looking for- pictures that stir memories or hold a moment in time that will never be repeated.
So if your old drag racing pictures from Santa Pod, Avon park, Mantorp Park or Hockenheim are gathering dust in a box why not share them with like minded people on the UK & European drag racing photos Facebook group?
Planning for life after championship drag racing...
29th April: Thanks to Fuel Altered and Pro Modified racer Nick Davies for bringing us up to date with a group of like-minded racers:
As retirement beckons, the eternal dilemma is often what to do next. To a bunch of old racers, the answer came with the resurgence and what looks like being a bright future for the UK nostalgia racing scene and a desire to drive something affordable, fast and over-ridingly a huge amount of fun. What better than to go to the race track with your mates, tell hugely embellished stories of ‘the good old days’, smoke roll-ups with your mug of choice and laugh until the early hours? All that, and a bit of nitro.
Nitro? Sure, why not? But not just nitro - that can get expensive pretty quickly. Well, not necessarily. Not if limits are imposed. Limits that make a car more of a ‘driver’ than a ‘tuner’. Limits like maximum wheelbase, minimum crankshaft centreline height, maximum wheelie bar length, minimum weight-per-cubic inch, aero limits.
Would that work? Well, it worked back in the sixties as a formula for AA/fuel altered, so why not again?
It was this conversation over a prolonged period of time that has resulted in the start of 5 new cars being built (to date - and more being talked about….!). In order of the build commencement (and in order of above photos) they are: Martin Baldwin (427 Chevy Model ’T’), Nick Davies (417 Donovan Fiat Topolino), Rob Loaring (427 Chevy Model ‘T’), Jon Webster (354 Chevy Morris Minor) and Tim Garlick (426 Austin Bantam). Exciting? You’d better believe it...
It is early days yet and, owing to other commitments, the debut of the first car is not planned until 2023, but they will all follow soon after. Too early for an announcement? Maybe, but people talk and anyone who wants to get involved should understand this is no new ‘heads-up’ arms-race class, just a bunch of old racers looking to the future. It’s suddenly looking much brighter...
Blue Max goes to Sweden.
29th April: Funny car restorer extraordinaire from Sweden Johnny Nilsson has written to tell us about his 17th Funny Car project:
"The car is the Tony Casarez built Blue Max Funny Car from 1978 ( the yellow and blue Plymouth Arrow) which Raymond Beadle brought to Santa Pod in 1979 and raced it. The car stayed at the pod until 1980 when Tom Hoover drove it. Beadle was back in the seat at Mantorp Park in 1981, then the car was sold to different people and has been in Finland for many years.
"My plan is to make a complete restoration down to every bolt and nut, and I have most of the parts in my Autoart Racing Shop. The car will of course have the same paint scheme livery and be driveable with my youngest son Teddy behind the wheel.
"I would also like to say a BIG THANKS to Risto Poutiainen for making this possible for me.
"To all Eurodragster readers, I am searching for some parts like Water Necks for Hemi Heads, Milodon single plug valve covers and an old style bellhousing, and also if somebody has good pictures of the car, I will really appreciate them. Please send them to email@example.com.
VWDRC White Labelled.
29th April: A reminder first that there are still a few places available at the private test organised by the VW Drag Racing Club on 4th May which can be entered by clicking on this link. And now...
The VWDRC are happy to announce that White Label Business Consulting will be sponsoring the club for the 2021 season.
Tom and Jamie designed White Label Business Consulting as a ‘One Stop Shop’ for all your business’s needs. From a new company start-up and registration to advertisement, marketing campaigns and techniques to continued business management and advisory on any ongoing or new projects with their clients. Perhaps you are an independent sole trader looking to transition into a registered limited company? Or you might be an established company looking to gain an edge on competitors in your field and expand current business and profit margins.
As well sponsoring the 2021 championship, the White Label team are offering several discounts for club member including:
Website Design – 20% Discount
From standalone design of the website to design, hosting, domains and content management, White Label are sure to have an offering to suit your requirements. Websites starting from £499!
Start Up Package – 20% Discount
White Label Offer professional and affordable start up packages for new businesses and entrepreneurs looking to make a statement with all the necessities every business needs to thrive. Whether you are looking to set up a limited company or start out on your own, White Label has a package tailored to all needs. Packages starting from £299!
Logo Design – 30% Discount
Whether you are looking to spruce up your business or race team’s logo, White Label can provide you with an unlimited edit logo that will stand out from the crowd. Logos starting from £150!
Stickers – 25% Discount
Once you have your design ready, White Label can provide high quality stickers whether you are a new club sponsor or business who wants to promote your business at the track. A set of 200 printed and cut stickers for £250!
This is just the tip of the iceberg of services that White Label Business Consulting can provide so head over to their page and give them a follow for all the latest updates today.
Furthermore, Tom and Jamie will be at the track this season and will be more than happy to sit down and discuss any interest or enquiries you may have.
JT's something for the weekend.
29th April: Thanks to regular contributor, Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham for letting us know he will be out testing at this weekend's Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung on 1st May:
"Yeah, the mad burnout Pop is back out this weekend. We had a parts failure a couple of weeks ago. All my fault, well they were brand new US **** parts. ICE Automotive have been great getting it sorted, even my work man Greedy was ready to go at four in the morning to get to ICE. I am going to win the burnout competition this weekend and have entered both cars for the end of May, I will then announce the new car I’m going to have built, you wait, this will make your toes curl.
JT's friend Andy is rather poorly at the moment and we join JT in wishing him the best of thoughts.
29th April: Former Editor Tog asked if we could send best wishes to former Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb for her 18th birthday, which we are delighted to do. Happy Birthday, and have a great day Thaliah.
Birthdays are also being celebrated today by Supertwin Top Fuel Bike racer Allan Davies who reaches his half-century, former Outlaw Anglia racer and co-ordinator Paul 'Guv' Wright and slingshot dragster racer and fire burnout maestro Dave Nelson. Have a great day guys.
28th April: With great sadness, we learned that UK Drag Racing legend Dennis Priddle passed away yesterday evening at the age of 75. Keith Lee, author of Dennis's biography, writes:
This is so hard to write; having been asked by his long time friend Phil Pead to break the news that the drag racing family has sadly lost one of it’s truly legendary figures, with the passing of Dennis Priddle. Breathing complications, caused by a fall, resulted in an emergency trip to Yeovil Hospital, where he ultimately lost his final battle peacefully last night. To drag racing fans he will always be remembered as Mister Six, after recording Europe’s first 6 second pass back in May, 1972. There were so many highlights for this fascinating character, as he played such a major part in those early years of the sport’s history.
A member of both the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and also the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Dennis was known for his driving, and equally for the standard of the machines he built. An apprenticeship at Westland Helicopters instilled in him an attention to detail, which he applied to everything in life. It was a pleasure to be able to spend so much time with him, while working on the Mister Six book. He had a wicked sense of humour, and a way of telling stories that was not to be missed. He could be a difficult character to get to know, as he was essentially a very private character at heart - but one who enjoyed good company. Those who knew him well will all have tales to tell about this colourful character.
Dennis was someone whose exploits on track were not to be missed during the two decades he raced. With success in Top Fuel and Funny Car, Dennis was a firm favourite with the race fans, and he also inspired many to compete themselves. He was someone who was never afraid to speak his mind, and could be quite intimidating with just his stare, especially if he thought you were talking rubbish! What he respected was engineering excellence, which he always strived for himself - while always taking a keen interest in new technology advances. Away from the track, he produced and fitted screw blowers to road vehicles, which attracted interest from car manufacturers. He also enjoyed working on his own model railway engineering projects in his spare time.
One thing that the Covid situation sadly robbed Dennis of was the opportunity of seeing the finished tribute Monza Funny Car of Paul Harris in action last year, following the cancellation of Dragstalgia. Paul had for some time wanted to run a car in honour of his drag racing hero. Dennis himself was involved in mounting and fitting out the body shell, helping old crew member Brian ‘Star’ Savidge. Despite his debilitating health conditions, Dennis was so tickled that Paul and his crew were undertaking this project, and wanted to help out where he could. Watching him working in the pits at Santa Pod, when the car was run in Chi-Town Hustler trim, it was like the years were stripped away. Hopefully, a suitable tribute will be paid to honour the legend that is Dennis Priddle, when this stunning car finally hits the track, some 44 years after the original one made it’s impressive Santa Pod debut.
Our thoughts and prayers at this sad time go out to Sandra, his wife of 50 years, along with their daughter Nicola, and two grandchildren.
RIP old friend.
Editor's note: Please send your memories of Dennis to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them.
SFI inspection at SPR.
27th April: The annual UK SFI parts inspection at Santa Pod Raceway took place yesterday. Eurodragster.com sponsors Robinson Race Cars provided the team carrying out inspections, Andy and Luke Robinson testing parts for compliance and Kate Robinson handling the corresponding paperwork. Further inspections will take place at Robinson Race Cars over the next two days (Luke Robinson pictured right).
Andy told us that the new Anger Management Camaro will most likely be making its debut at June's Festival of Power. "It's got a slightly shorter wheelbase than the previous car, many new features on the chassis and will be a rolling shop window for the business".
Mark Norton of the UK Drag Racing Tech team also attended to inspect a new build chassis and answer racers' queries. Mark said that to obtain a prompt response queries should go to the central e-mail address email@example.com, whilst queries submitted at the stage of planning a new race build will be appreciated even if specific details are not yet decided.
Eurodragster.com attended the inspection, editor Simon taking a number of pictures and talking to racers attending. A fair number of racers took part in the inspection, possibly reduced from last year by travel restrictions affecting racers from the EU who had instead sent their parts to Sweden for testing at ME Racing. Fees for inspection have been discounted for 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic reducing racing activity in 2020, the SFI's insurers being unable to cover an extension of the certification period.
Our notes from racers follow in the order that we spoke to them:
Steve and Babs Saunders, formerly known as team Hi-Speed Gas but now renamed Rusty Dog in memory of late and much-missed team member Pete Nee (we'll leave it to Steve and Babs to describe at a later stage the exact provenance of the name), brought along a new build altered chassis.
Steve and Babs said "We were thinking of retiring when we put the Zephyr up for sale but thought is taking our new hot rod to picnics going to be enough for us? No! So the '32 Ford hot rod build spawned …a '32 Ford Super Pro altered.
"The body and chassis of the Zephyr was stripped of all running gear and sold to Sportsman ET racer Nathan Hulkes - who we suspect will be fitting a SBC. We then obtained some chassis plans from Mark Williams for a 120" altered and once we got the chrome moly tubing, asked Dave McCallan to weld it together for us. We bought some new front wheels, installed some front brakes and then mounted our new CNC Motorsports 632ci BBF short motor with all our old ancillaries and heads, our JW gearbox and spragless converter and 9" Chassisworks rear end.
"Babs then created a fibreglass '32 Ford bodyshell which will be going to Dave McCallan to be finished and painted.
Mark Norton inspected the chassis which passed for the 7.50 tag subject to a minor tweak.
Steve and Babs are behind the title sponsorship of Pete Nee Super Pro ET, Pete's work mates having generously stepped in to contribute towards the cost of supporting the class.
Competition Eliminator racer Robin Orthodoxou (pictured right) brought the clutch from his A/Altered entry for inspection. When we spoke to Robin at the 4th April RWYB, Robin was getting ready for a test run, the timing ticket reading 7.3358/175.77. He said "We were testing settings with the new wheelie bars, and ran with more air in the tyres, a lot of clutch, a low wheelie bar position and leaving with lower revs than usual. We had also changed the fuel bypass so more went into the engine. The car went straight even with an uneven chassis load but I had to shut off early with the sun in my eyes, with the run being made late afternoon".
Robin explained the wheelie bars have got a trick Neal & Parks wheel with some travel and sensors for data collection. Another development is the future installation of a lithium battery (with appropriate precautions such as removal between runs and not using a jump pack) to replace the heavy, currently front-mounted lead-zinc battery.
Super Pro ET racer Alan Didwell made the 90 minute trip from Wisbech for his Powerglide gearbox to be certified. He said "The dragster has ran well with no real issues, I imported it in 2011 from the US and the only major change I made was addition of a wing in 2020 to help the car's stability on the concrete track. The 555ci Dart-engined dragster has run a best of 7.52/179.
Several Funny Car racers were at the certification, all looking forward to the Festival of Power as the first competition for them in 2021 and anticipating with enthusiasm putting on a great show.
Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman (pictured right) is looking forward to having crew chief Terry Haddock in the UK, and hoping Covid-19 travel restrictions allow this without quarantine being necessary. Kevin, having his clutch and bellhousing certified mentioned Terry has had a busy season so far running his FC at the NHRA Gainesville and Las Vegas events, also at the Texas Motorplex Funny Car Chaos competition. He's also bought a racing wheel manufacturing business.
Nostalgia Funny Car racer Paul Harris (pictured left with Andy Robinson) brought his clutch, blower bag and bellhousing for certification. Despite earlier concerns about the delivery of the blower bag, it arrived in good time which means the team will be ready to compete at the Springspeed Nationals. Paul said "We'll be running the Ch-Town Hustler Dodge Omni body at first and then the Dennis Priddle tribute Chevy Monza body at Dragstalgia.
"We've been working through the issues we inherited from the car having a large capacity fuel pump outlaw setup to one within NFC rules. This was causing problems in running the engine on track and the clutch dragging me through the startline beams. The six at 212 on our third run shows the potential. Although crew chief Herb Andrews wasn't able to attend the SFI day, he messaged us to say "I've spent 100's of hours working out what the car needs so we're looking forward to see what the improvements I've introduced make to the car's performance." No-one ever said it was easy…
NFC Nitro Bug racer Andy Raw (pictured right) revealed a cunning two engine plan to us whilst his clutch was being certified. "I've got a spare engine and it's in outlaw spec with a bigger fuel pump and MSD Powergrid and we'll run it at the demo events such as VW Breakout. I got the idea from watching Outlaw NFC racing in Australia, the cars run really quick and you don't see the smoke from burning pistons at the end of each run which is a regular feature of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage NFC racing. The game is about getting more longevity of parts (with rods costing $220 each after duty and aluminium in short supply). Karl (crew chief Karl Harrison) is chomping at the bit". Due to late arrival of pistons, VW Breakout on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend will be the car's first appearance this season but if all goes to plan we should see it more often this season.
Funny Car racer Jason Phelps (pictured left) is in the process of rebuilding the Gladiator Funny Car which suffered such a huge fireball last September. He said "FGR Motorsport is repairing the chassis damage to the rear "tree" and wheelie bar. The new carbon fibre Toyota Camry body has arrived from the US and paint will be applied by a team of five people". The theme will be the next reincarnation of Gladiator and you can bet it will look as amazing as its predecessor. Dates for the car will be the Festival of Power (definite), Bug Jam and the Euro Finals (both to be confirmed) and some show dates in between".
Comp Eliminator racer Andy "Fred" Hone (pictured right) will be changing classes within the category by installing a bigger 530ci Chevy engine with two stages of nitrous and going into the BN/A (nitrous altered) class. "I've had the car since 1998 having bought it from Alan Packman who ran it in Pro Mod. The first mods made were Andy Robinson adding a FC-style cage, and then in 2013 Gary Layton and I strengthened the centre chassis. I ran it until 2019 in the SM class with a best of 7.302. Although the 7.99 SM index was seen as soft, the BN/A index was 7.86 (since reduced to 7.68) and the car should run substantially quicker". Fred welcomed the addition of Stock/Super Stock into the category and hoped the indexes work out to create a competitive playing field.
Comp Eliminator racer and Covid Cup winner Kev Perkins (pictured left) will be racing his Oldsmobile Cutlass in the SM (Super Modified) class again, with son Lloyd Perkins driving twice in this year's championship. "I've known the car ever since Tony Rose brought it into the country in 1993", said Kev, "and worked on it with Rob Loaring at I.C.E. Engineering. The car came through a few owners after Tony sold it, Nick Davies, Graham Ellis and Rob Elsom taking it down the track". The current spec is a 468ci BBC with twin carbs and a SM-legal nitrous kit, with the power going through a clutch and four speed Lenco.
As well as freshening the engine, Kev has made a new front end from the car based on the old panels, but in much lighter fibreglass. Kev continued "The old front end had become heavy with repairs being needed. The new front has a revised hood scoop design and is more aerodynamic. It's 35 years since I last worked with fibreglass and I'm pleased it came out ok".
Funny Car crew chief for the Shockwave/Undertaker car Dave Bryant (pictured right) is aiming for a Festival of Power entry into competition for 2021. He said "It's the same car, same driver (Steve Ashdown) and same ugly crew. The car has a new fuel system – we ideally would have tested it but it won't be possible, the system was flowed by Don Schumacher Racing. But the real deal is the numbers you get on track. We've got plenty of spares, two spare engines, two blowers, ten heads, but it's never enough. We're up for competition and racing against other classes as well".
Dave's wife Marie Mills who works on the FC's clutch along with Grace Roaf, has developed a taste for racing and will be licensing in the ex-Elaine Hancock 23T altered, then racing in Pro ET in non-FC events to start with, before moving to Super Comp.
Another member of the team Lee Webb will be working in the US with Scott Palmer's NHRA Top Fuel team this year, a great way to get key experience in the sport even if the team loses his services for a period.
Kevin Kent confirmed what had been announced last April, that he and wife Shelley Pearson will be running a two funny car team. He said "Shelley's car's ready and we're working to complete my new Chevy Monte Carlo so that we can both race at the Festival of Power". Kevin mentioned that whilst parts are more expensive this is partly tariffs and carrier fees which hopefully will reduce.
We also saw Bobby Wallace (pictured left) who said he is "99.9% sure" he will be at the season-opening Springspeed Nationals with the ex-Khalid Al-Balooshi/Ricky Smith Camaro that ran a five last September, and is currently being put back together. Bobby's garage still has his Willys Pro Mod and an ex-Roger Johansson Mustang in it but his choice of weapon for this year's Championship seems obvious. Meanwhile sister Annie Wallace is "undecided" about driving but remains an active member of the team.
Nostalgia Funny Car racer Rob Elsom confirmed he is aiming for the Festival of Power as his first meeting in 2021. He said "I would be up for another Big Show vs Nostalgia FC Cannonball". Rob's business of supplying equipment for online sales warehouses has gone through a very busy time over the last year, but his team including John Wright have given him much support in fitting the new swoopy Gen1 Camaro body, unique outside the US and one of only six created.
Competition Eliminator racer Paul Brooks, pictured with daughter Georgi, lovingly restored the ex-Dave Warne Mean As Hell Sierra, however on a test run the car lifted its front left wheel more than it had even done for its previous owner, the immaculately turned car getting up on one rear wheel and knocking a couple of reflectors for six. "I knew after that it needed a rear anti-roll bar so bought one from Mark Williams and Andy Robinson installed it and modified the rear end four link. The engine is still a B-1, a good nitrous engine and whilst the gearbox is currently a Ultra Glide, I have a CS3 five speed in the garage which I want to install at the end of the year."
Thanks to all the racers we buttonholed during a most enjoyable day and to Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway for supplying hospitality and facilities.
M&M Racing's fine pedigree.
26th April: After 33 years of spectating and crewing on other people’s cars Mark Turner of M&M Racing has now completed the first part of his licence in the team's Super Pro ET Toyota Supra:
Mark has been crewing for the last 27 years starting out as GDB (we guessed - Editor) for Alan Jackson before stepping up with ATJ and learning the complex clutch systems used on modern fuel cars. Later he worked with Knut Söderqvist on many of his cars and on the Mongoose funny car driven by Gary Page before moving to work with Micke Kågered’s championship winning Bahco Top Fuel operation and more recently with Jndia Erbacher.
But with Covid putting a stop to 2020’s FIA championship, Mark thought it was time that he realised his 30 year ambition of racing his own car. To this end he purchased the Supra as a rolling project from the Clayton brothers, this is a car that has been around UK drag racing for many years having first appeared in the hands of Bert Englefield in Pro Modified before being campaigned by the late Nev Mottershead in super gas.
He then bought a 496ci Chevy from Jedd Guy which he then had drag racing legend John Wright rebuild. This is mated to a two speed Powerglide from Jeff at Jeff Bull Race Engines. Wanting to put his own stamp on the cars appearance but with an eye to the cars history, Mark had Chris Picken of Paint Palace lay down the two tone paint scheme and with vinyl designed by Chris Parker and applied by Scope Automotive to complete the look, we were then ready to hit the track for some testing. With support from John and Lesley not only tuning but showing a virgin crew the ropes, we managed to check out the cars systems and get Mark the first part of his licence.
The plan now is to complete licencing and qualify for Super Pro ET at the STP Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod 21st-23rd May.
Mark would like to thank everyone who has helped him achieve his dream of racing his own car his wife Michelle who has supported him through his years crewing and now as team manager for M&M Racing. John and Lesley Wright, Tony Betts, John Rathbone, his crew Dave, Paul and Chris, AD coach systems for their support.
If you would like to partner this new team as they start there journey please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow M&M Racing on their Facebook page and mandmracing308 on Instagram.
SFI day tomorrow.
25th April: Drivers of cars requiring SFI certification on relevant parts are reminded that tomorrow, 26th April is the day for the certification at Santa Pod Raceway's VIP building. If you are unable to attend inspections on 26th April, there is also the opportunity to send or bring your parts to Robinson Racecars that week, 27th-29th April, by appointment only. Please contact Robinson Race Cars at email@example.com to make arrangements.
Eurodragster.com will be attending, with Editor Simon ready with his notebook and camera to take some early-season pit notes. In recognition of the Covid-19 restrictions, interviews will be conducted outside SPR's VIP building. You can see full details of the certification process in the UK and Sweden at our news story on 9th April.
Outlaw Street reaches milestones.
25th April: Thanks to Outlaw Street and RWYB racer Simon Paul who has been in touch to let us know he had passed a milestone in his racing career. Simon writes:
"28th March 2021 was the 45th Anniversary of my 1st run down a drag strip on 28 March 1976; 45 years ago it was a RWYB event at Santa Pod and I was driving a 1965 MkIII Ford Zephyr 6 which ran 19.44 at 68mph, I was hooked!
"Over the following four seasons (1977-1980) I competed with the Zephyr in the British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association (BDR&HRA) Production classes at Santa Pod. I eventually got the Zephyr to run a best ET of 16.97 and a best Terminal Speed of 80.45mph. The Terminal Speed was the M/Production class record which stands in perpetuity.
"The Zephyr has long gone and was replaced with various cars over the intervening years that I have run at Santa Pod. I am now running a Nissan GT-R.
To celebrate my 45th anniversary I attended a Private Test Day at Santa Pod on Monday 19th April with my GT-R and ran a new personal best of 10.0056 @ 143.92mph - so close to the 9's, and a great way to celebrate!"
As a category, Outlaw Street is celebrating over 100 members with street legal fast cars. The six race dates for 2021, all at Santa Pod Raceway, with a Prize Night on Saturday 13th November are:
Springspeed Nationals deadline approaches.
24th April: There's just six days to go before the entry deadline at normal rates to the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway.
The number of entries for the is currently at 155 as at yesterday 23rd April. The first event of the new season, the first round of the 2021 SPRC National Drag Racing Championship, will include many racers who could not race during 2020 and it will be great for everyone to meet up again, albeit under the much reduced Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place by then.
Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to be part of the action should sign up on the on-line entry system at this link.
The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.
24th April: We wish a very Happy Birthday to our long-time supporter, crewman to Pro ET teams and good friend Colin Roaf. Have a great day Colin from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Thanks to Mark Bishop for letting us know that the Vegas Hustler slingshot dragster has already been sold, with near record speed. Mark said "This isn't the end by any stretch of the imagination, more a space issue! The plan is to put the blown methanol engine from the dragster into the Willys coupe, with myself and Dad Kim sharing the driving."
23rd April: News comes from Finland of the Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown 2021, a five round championship series organised by nitro bike legend Jaska Salakari. The series is open to all nitro bikes, and the first round is on 11th-13th June at Motopark Raceway, Pielsämäki.
An impressive eighteen riders from Scandinavia and the Netherlands have signed up, including many regulars in the FIM-E and EDRS Pro championships. The prize fund is generous by European standards, thanks to the support of Eurodragster.com sponsor Fueltech, with the champion winning €12,500, runner up €8,000 and third place €5,000 in addition to a race prize fund of €10,000 per race. Race product prizes will be given away to winners of a prize lottery, the tickets handed out to all racers, with the top three at a race getting five, three and two tickets. The prizes comprise a PRP/Overkill or Harsh crank with bearings, a 205l drum of nitro, a new slick from M/T or Hoosier and a hotel package at the Kauhava Lento Hotel.
Rules are imaginative, with A and B ladders of eight bikes each, championship points awarded according to qualifying and racing in the respective ladder. A national license is required and rules and regulations for FIM-E Top Fuel Bike and Super Twin Top Fuel bikes, with allowance made for NHRA TF Harley and Man Cup TFB / TF Twin bikes. Performance equalisation is addressed with a 6.100 breakout, and a penalty of 0.01s in the next run for each 0.01s that a rider runs below the 6.100 cut-off. Whilst Covid-19 travel restrictions may prevent some racers from attending, the strength of the classes in Scandinavia and generosity of prizes had made for a well-attended series. New riders have been attracted to the competition, with names Juha Hintukainen (ST), Marko Lantto (ST, formerly Pro Mod/Top Doorslammer), Marko Leppänen (ST) and Kalle Myllylä (TF) all making their competition debuts on these machines.
We plan to bring readers news of the championship rounds, and you can also keep up to date by looking at the Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown Facebook page.
Pictured: Gruff Racing, Finnish Super Twin Top Fuel racers Torsti Kettula, Teemu Kettula and Norwegian Julia Wagner.
Vegas Hustler for sale.
23rd April: The beautifully prepared Vegas Hustler slingshot dragster is displayed for sale as a rolling chassis in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.
Driver Mark Bishop and Dad and crewman Kim Bishop say "Due to a change in circumstances and space we are reluctantly selling our FED. Bolt in your engine and gearbox and join in with this year's Slingshot Showdown at Dragstalgia. The car, including Ford 9" rear axle, comes with a purpose-built trailer at a price of £17,500.
23rd April: Nigel Taylor from the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group wishes his good old mate, prolific hot rod builder, clever man, top guy, funny man, no fear drag racer and owner of Valley Gas Jimmy Hibberd a very Happy Birthday.
"He says he’s still 21 but we all know he’s a little over 50". Happy Wedding Anniversary to Jimmy and Eloise Hibberd too. We all echo Nigel's wishes, have a great day Jimmy and Eloise.
SPRC Springspeed Nationals update.
22nd April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for passing to us two important updates relating to the STP Springspeed Nationals regarding scrutineering, and the test day prior to the event:
During the Springspeed Nationals, racers in all car categories will not be required to attend scrutineering at the beginning of the event. The additional Motorsport UK form that you have all completed for the event, and has been signed by the entrant or driver, states that the vehicle you will compete in meets all regulations as set out in the Drag Racing rule book, the Championship Regulations and the Supplementary Regulations for the event.
However, scrutineers and Tech Crew will be on site and may either visit your vehicle or request that your vehicle visit the scrutineering area following a run. We expect close to 20% of all cars competing will be checked across the event. Please note that vehicles competing in Pro Modified and Comp Eliminator will still be required to carry out vehicle weight checks as per normal.
Those drivers wishing to have their vehicle inspected by the Tech Crew should visit the scrutineering bay to check where the Tech inspection will take place as this may change from class to class.
Motorcycle riders, please go to the scrutineering bay as normal. The ACU requirements for scrutineering are as per normal, with the addition of Covid safety measures being in place - a mask must be worn at all times whilst visiting the area.
Riders and Drivers wishing to take part in the Test day, Friday 21st May prior to the Spring Speed Nationals event, please contact Santa Pod Raceway on 01234-782828 (office hours) to book your space, you must have entered the event prior to booking your test day space, as Santa Pod will check the current entry list for the event before allowing entry.
Video from private test day posted.
22nd April: Kieran has posted his video from Monday 19th April's private test day to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You can see hightlights from the morning's action at this link and the afternoon, including the Quick 8 competition, at this link.
NitrOlympx cancelled again.
21st April: The sad news reached us this morning that the organisers of the 2021 NitrOlympX have cancelled the event, but on a positive note the 2022 event has been placed in the calendar for 26th-28th August 2022.
As in 2020, there will be no European drag racing championship run by the FIA and FIM at the Hockenheimring in 2021. After the corona-related cancellations of the races in Santa Pod (GB) and Tierp (Sweden), Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, organizer of the NitrOlympX, is now announcing the end of the quarter-mile race in Hockenheim, planned to have taken place from August 27th to 29th this year.
Hockenheim-Ring GmbH is reacting to the current development of the corona pandemic; the situation makes concrete planning for organizers, teams and participants with implementation of this cost-intensive large event impossible.
The financial aspect in particular weighs heavily on the Hockenheimring in these times of crisis. Since Hockenheim-Ring does not have a permanent drag racing track, NitrOlympX challenges the organizers every year to get the quarter mile in top condition for an international race in terms of asphalt preparation, track safety, timekeeping and other. Running the event has high material and personnel costs, with a long preparation phase, during which the adjacent Grand Prix track cannot be rented to anyone else.
The investment in preparation and other event costs could in the past be offset by audience income. But the audience restrictions to be expected in August 2021, tightened by the limited space available along the Rico Anthes Quartermile, make the NitrOlympX financially unsustainable this season. Added to this are the sometimes strict travel restrictions that would have a negative impact on the international field of cars and bikes.
“Even if it has unfortunately becomes a sad routine to cancel spectator events at this time, the end of the NitrOlympX 2021 is particularly painful for us. Because we know with how much passion the tens of thousands of fans, participants, helpers and partners looked forward to this event after the cancellation last year. And that's exactly how it is with us as an organizer. But especially in these economically tense times, we have to keep the corona-related financial damage to the company as small as possible. With the early cancellation, we are drawing the conclusions from the current situation - also in order to be able to guarantee at least a certain degree of planning security. We are all the more looking forward to a brilliant dragster spectacle with the NitrOlympX 2022 in the coming year."
The acceleration event for hobby drivers, Public Race Days, originally planned for 21st-22nd August, has also been cancelled this year.
A date for the 2022 edition of the NitrOlympX has already been fixed. Current plans are for the event to take place from August 26th to 28th, 2022. As usual, the Public Race Days will again be at the start on the Quartermile a week beforehand.
Keith Bartlett (Executive Chairman of Drag Racing Europe) said that he had been in regular contact with the management of Hockenheim over the past few weeks to see how and what Hockenheim may or may not be able to do in going forwards regarding the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship. Due to the covid-19 pandemic and the varying and different restrictions across several European countries, the Hockenheim Management has also had to make a decision based upon those facts in front of us today.
DRE will be looking into the overall situation of the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship and making a statement in the very near future.
Petrolheadonism's SPR hire.
21st April: The Petrolheadonism Club, established by the Sharnbrook Hotel to offer events in the Bedfordshire area to petrolheads from any part of the UK, hired Santa Pod Raceway for a private test day on Sunday 18th April titled Breakfast Meeting & Driveout.
Organised with Covid-19 safety requirements in mind, the behind-closed-doors event offered members breakfast at the Sharnbrook Hotel followed by a choice of unlimited runs at SPR or a single run, depending on the price paid. The official photographer was Simon Letkey of VeeDubRacing who has posted Facebook galleries of track side pics and pit side pics.
Picture courtesy of and © Simon Letkey, Veedubracing.
21st April: We wish a very Happy Birthday to the honorary head of the Eurodragster.com complaints department Ray White, have a great day Ray.
Private Test results, gallery.
20th April: 20th April: Santa Pod Raceway hosted a private test yesterday, organised by Scott Lewry of Yam Yam Racing. The day was successful with excellent weather conditions. With thanks to Kieran and support from John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of 120 of his photos which you can see by clicking on this link. The day was successful with over 450 timed runs possible on the prepped surface.
Streaming video and commentary from the startline tower were made possible by European FWD organiser Luke Stevenson who posted the footage on its FB page. Trackside video footage by Kieran is in preparation and will be posted to the Mk1Kieran Youtube page shortly.
We analysed the timing data and entry lists and came up with the Top 20 times recorded during the day (see left). It was the first time out in 2021 for many of the over 80 entrants and some were on their best times straight off the bat, such as the Outlaw Anglias of Colin Millar and Jedd Guy, the latter being a new build.
Andy Bond was there with his U6ly Sister Chevrolet 210 which took part in an informal Quick 8 competion and won the trophy in the competition, defeating Colin Millar in the final. Lee Huxley's Nova, first seen last September, attended and there was a new car debut for Marc Huxley (Toyota Corolla KE20, reminiscent of the Huxleys' Cando from the 1980s), the latter running a new PB of 10.3403/125.46.
VW Pro racer James Gould ran a new PB of 10.5434/134.82 whilst Jose Leite ran his diesel VW Polo to a 10.9237/131.05, his first ten. Helder Pereira got very close to running his first nine in his Seat Ibiza, scoring a 10.0101/142.91 best. Several other PBs were scored during the day, Craig Evans' firstname.lastname@example.org being his best in his Vauxhall Nova.
VAG drivers have the opportunity to attend a private test organised by the VWDRC on 4th May which can be entered by clicking on this link.
Dakota Raceway Entry closes tonight.
20th April: Entry for the Dakota Raceway 1/8 mile no time drag race and 1/4 mile test & tune on 24th April will close tonight, 20th April, at 9pm. For further details, see our news item on 13th April.
Blackbushe programme appeal.
20th April: If any reader has a copy of the programme for the first NDRC event held at Blackbushe Airport on 7th June 1970, could they kindly contact email@example.com?
19th April: We were sorry to hear of the passing of German pit marshal Jürgen Landvogt, a well known figure at the NitrOlympX and at other races in Germany. Thanks to Markus Münch who has sent this tribute:
It is with deepest sadness we have to announce the passing of Jürgen Landvogt unexpectedly on March 20th. A true fan and supporter oft he sport of drag racing. He was a member of the German HARA association for a long time and always helped where it was needed. In Hockenheim and Bechyne, Bitburg and other tracks, he was on pit marshal duty and helped to run a smooth race in Pro ET and Super Pro ET. The non-German Hockenheim regulars will know him from there.
Still speechless, I only can say that the sport lost a true supporter, who was there to do something when needed.
Jürgen leaves behind his wife Daniela and son Steven. On April 10th his funeral took place at his home town in the Frankfurt area. Family and friends, as well as some race teams and HARA members attended the ceremony (see picture).
Jürgen, keep an eye on our sport from wherever you are.
There are stickers available (for free) to carry him on your race car/trailer. If interested, e-mail Markus at info@ dragstripper.de.
Pioneers' stories – Richard and Martin Jarman.
19th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1969-1986 for Surrey dragster racers Richard and Martin Jarman.
Richard Jarman was first involved by watching the sport at Santa Pod, buying the Harold Bull-built Strip Star dragster from Derek Metcalf in 1969. Richard first ran the car with a 2-litre Ford V4 engine; with the involvement of his brother Martin, the engine was changed to a 3-litre V6 and times came down, with sponsorship coming on board. After running Strip Star for 14 years, Strip Star 2 came along in 1983, the chassis having been built by Tony Anderson and times reducing to mid eights.
Many thanks to Richard and Martin for telling their story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it. You can see Richard and Martin's story by going to this link, or via the index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport.
Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
SPR private test today.
19th April: Santa Pod Raceway is hosting a private test day today organised by Scott Lewry, who organised two such days in 2020.
Our Kieran is taking video and photos as we speak and we will post a link to his work as soon as it is posted.
In the meantime, you can sample the action by watching the live stream at the European FWD Facebook page, courtesy of Luke Stevenson who is supplying commentary as well.
Don returns refreshed.
18th April: UK Nostalgia Superstock organiser Don Scott has been in touch to announce his return to racing at the first event of the year in his newly refreshed 572ci Keith Black Hemi-powered nine second Superbird:
"Well the Superbird is all back together with a rebuilt motor and man it sounds strong, cant wait to get it back on the strip at the Springspeed Nationals. I would now like to thank both my sponsors American Autoparts and also Nutraceuticals.
"Big thanks go out to Roger Luty for building a fantastic race engine, and Darryl Setchell for fitting it and generally getting it all up and running again. Last but not least my glam crew Yvonne O'Rourke and Grace Roaf for all the support and encouragement.
"Basically now the whole drive train has been rebuilt so we're looking forward to (hopefully) a full season of racing in Nostalgia Superstock. See you all at the track".
18th April: Good luck and stay safe to our European heroes Jonnie Lindberg and Julie Nataas who will be racing later today at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas. Jonnie qualified no.16 in his one-off drive for Jason Rupert in Funny Car, while Julie qualified no. 2 in Top Alcohol Dragster.
You will be able to catch up with the action on-line by going to NHRA.com or watching nhra.tv for live streaming (subscription required). Action starts at 6pm UK time today.
Springspeed Nationals entry exceeds 100.
16th April: With a fortnight still to go before the entry deadline at normal rates, the number of entries for the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway is currently at 106 as at 16th April. The first event of the new season will have racing in 23 classes, and is the first round of the 2021 SPRC National Drag Racing Championship.
Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to join the competition should sign up on the on-line entry system at this link.
The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.
VWDRC pre season review.
16th April: The VW Drag Racing Club's season kicks off on Tuesday 4th May with a pre-season test day at Santa Pod Raceway. Chairman Luke Stevenson says "The club has exclusive use of the track that day. It's open to anyone who wants to come join in whatever car you have, picture short waiting times, multiple runs, fully prepped strip. Entry including two crew will cost £100 with additional crew members for £10 each, all pre-booked on the VWDRC Shop.
"The test day will be for 100 cars maximum and is expected to be packed with a record number of new members".
The season will consist of six championship rounds for VW Sportsman and VW Pro, and three rounds of VW Heads Up racing. The full calendar is:
Thanks go to sponsors Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, EST Performance, BJ Bates Electrical, Pro-Race Engineering, Volks Workshop, CG Motorsport Clutch Specialists, 32 SpeedShop, Track Ready, WRP Paint & Restoration and R-Tech Performance.
We'll shortly run a piece on the new cars expected out in 2021.
Picture: Carl Goldsmith ran a 10.84/129 in the £2000-to-build Loaner Golf at last October's GTI Festival.
Lucas renew with Stilwell.
15th April: Geoff Stilwell, owner/driver of the record-holding 7707 Lucas Oil Land Speed Racecar, and sponsor of Eurodragster.com through Nitro Revival, is very proud to announce the continuation of Lucas Oil’s sponsorship of the team for 2021: "We were unable to race at all in 2020 due to the Covid crisis,” said Geoff, CEO and MD of Beech Underwriting Agencies, "however, that did not stop us from supporting Lucas Oil whenever possible with the Blown Fuel Roadster on display at the Grand National Roadster Show at the world famous Pomona Country Fairgrounds in Los Angeles, so we are extremely grateful that they remain on board for 2021.
"Assuming travel restrictions are lifted, the team plan to be on the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week, August 7-13, when we hope for some favourable racing conditions. I still hold the A/BFRMR class record but there’s always somebody trying to better it".
"Besides sponsorship from Lucas Oil the racecar is also supported by our UK crew Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes of ICEAutomotive.co.uk, Ron Hope's RatTrapRacing.com, and CARS Recon Inc. www.capautorecon.com, and the builder/painter of the car award winning Micks Paint www.mickspaint.com".
Based on a highly modified 1927 Ford Roadster, 7707 is a purpose-built land speed racer that currently holds the A/Blown Fuel Rear-engine Modified Roadster record at 258.569 mph. 7707 was built entirely at Mick’s Paint, Pomona, CA, and features a 494 ci Brad Anderson-based engine built by John Beck of Vintage Hot Rod Design & Fabrication, Chico, CA. The 5,000 hp engine features Bill Miller pistons and rods, a Blower Shop 14-71 supercharger and Enderle injector with MSD ignition and Racepak data acquisition. The transmission is a B&J 2-speed and the rear end a Winters quick-change.
15th April: Andy Clifford wishes a happy "big 60+1" birthday to his dad Terry Clifford, pilot of the Ratcatcher Resurrection nostalgia dragster, long-time Wild Bunch member and head-honcho of the Clifford family race team. Happy Birthday from all of us at Eurodragster.com, have a great day and see you back at the track soon.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded more UK and European drag racing videos his Youtube channel. First up is The Goodguys Shootout #4 'Judgement Day' from Avon Park Raceway, Long Marston, England on May 14th-15th 1994, filmed by Keith Taylor of First Image Video. Then we have Super Series Avon Park 1998, all four rounds, presented by John Price, as shown in broadcasts at the time. European footage is from the 1995 Hockenheim NitrOlympX, filmed from the stands and capturing the atmosphere supperbly. Other shorter clips include Elmer Trett, Brian Johnson, Graham and Allan Nash at Long Marston 1984-5 and a clip from This is Your Life of legendary radio and TV presenter and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Dave Lee Travis being greeted by the Stones Drag Racing Team and Brian Taylor.
Former UK drag racing photographer Bob Valder has updated his Youtube channel Bob's UK Drag Racing Archive with just under an hour's worth of videos from May 2004's Excitement Nationals from Shakespeare County Raceway including bikes and cars. Bob's videos are collected in a playlist making it easy to see all the footage for the event uninterrupted.
Gasser Circus dates confirmed.
14th April: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for sending dates for the 2021 Gasser Circus Showdown:
The Gasser Circus are getting ready for our first round of racing and below are the details of our slightly amended season.
Thanks to the excellent work by the team at Santa Pod, the Gasser Circus will once again contest our race series at the legendary race track in 2021. The Gasser Circus is also delighted to confirm the continued sponsorship of Melliards Modern Pinstriping & Lettering at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram, and the National Street Rod Association at nsra.org.uk and also on Instagram.
Photo credit: Stuart Mitchell
14th April: Thanks to Jack Petley for sending us a preview of his new race car, the ex-Super Modified / Pro ET car owned by David James and then Peter Thompson:
Since myself and Dad bought the Chevelle around a year ago, and due to building a new house, we haven't had much of a chance to look at it, over the last few months we have nevertheless made a plan - we are building Maliboost". It will be a Twin Turbo 427 LS built to be a street/strip car. It's going to be built to run in Street Eliminator UK however we will probably also give Pro/Super Pro a go depending on its ETs.
The engine will be built by Stefan Rossi in California, who's spec'd us a turnkey street strip beast! The chassis work is being competed by Chris Isaacs Racecars. The car was dropped off this weekend (10th April) with a lot of ideas being thrown his way; nothing was a problem and Chris has been great so far! Thank you to Dave Gane for the transport.
The paint design was done by Przym Paintworks, who have absolutely killed it, and with a few pics and some ideas, have got the design spot on.
As always, thank you to dad for all his support, mentally and financially, and to some of friends and family who've given us advice along the way! 52 weeks till Easter 2022!
Lindberg gets FC seat.
14th April: Swedish racer Jonnie Lindberg has got a seat in the new NHRA Funny Car team of Jason Rupert, in time for the team to make its debut at this coming weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip, Las Vegas.
The team's 2017 Ford Mustang is painted with matching Bays & Rupert lettering to Jason's Nostalgia Funny Car which ran in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, winning three championships with Jason driving. The lettering is in tribute to Jason's father former Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car racer Frank Rupert who passed away in January 2019.
Jonnie's drive will be short-lived as Jason will be making licensing passes during test runs after the Las Vegas event.
Jonnie, a two-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car champion, drove the Head Racing Funny Car from 2017 through 2019 and was selected to substitute for Bob Tasca III in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang last summer when Tasca was sidelined with COVID-19. Jonnie reached the final round four times while driving for Head with two occurring at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I’m happy to get behind the wheel of a nitro car again,” said Jonnie. "It is always an honour to be trusted with someone’s equipment. Rupert and I talked about this possibility going back to last year. They are a new, part-time team who took the time and effort to put together a good car."
The 32-year-old Swedish driver will also be tuning Brian Hough’s Top Alcohol Funny Car that was recently built at Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports. This event marks the first time that the Top Alcohol categories will compete in the four-wide format.
Nitro veteran Johnny West will serve as crew chief.
Photo courtesy NHRA.com
14th April: A very Happy 60th Birthday to Super Street Bike rider and tuning guru Brad O'Connor, have a great day Brad!
An interview with ex-pat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas, focusing on her future racing career, appeared in NHRA.com yesterday. Julie stated her desire to race in Top Fuel in the future, following the steps of Dad Thomas, 2013 FIA European Top Fuel Champion.
Dakota race on 24th is on!
13th April: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child for giving an update on the race taking place in a couple of weekend's time at Dakota Raceway.
On Saturday 24th April Straightliners Dakota Raceway opens to competitors and pit crew only. The day is going to be like a two for one kind of deal where the main feature of the day is going to be a 1/8 mile no time, no prep, heads up eliminator with six categories to make it a real level playing field.
There is a prize fund for each 16 car category of £400, winner takes all. Competitors will have the option to run the 1/4 mile at no extra charge before the eliminator starts, and if they get eliminated. The drag strip will have the National Sprint Association Portatree timing system in place for the day. We have teams hauling from the north, midlands, south east and just around the corner. We can still take more entries but you only have until 20th April when entries close at 9pm.
Entry fee: Driver and one crew member entry is £100. If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile no time drag race, you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge; passengers have an additional charge.
All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from an out-of-the-hat selection until the final two race for the money.
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pre entry is required and you can enter via this page on the Straightliners web site. This is a non-spectator event.
Dakota Raceway is situated at Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon EX14 9RF. For daily updates check the Dakota Raceway Southwest Facebook page. If you want to test and not be part of the eliminator please contact Lee on 07771 590176.
Gilly Lowe funeral details.
13th April: Many thanks to Lizz Charman for passing to us details of the funeral of Gilly Lowe, partner to Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget, to be held on Friday 16th April at 10:45am at Test Valley chapel which can be watched via webcam:
The web site to go to is www.obitus.com with user name rolu9144 and password 862076. The stream will commence at approximately 10:40am and the web stream will be available to watch again from up to three days after the funeral for a further 28 days.
13th April: We have three birthdays to celebrate today: Happy Birthday to Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car legend Leif Andreasson, to Nostalgia Funny Car crew chief Herb Andrews, and to Junior Dragster dad Mark Cook-Abbott who reaches 60 today. Have a great day all.
Run What Ya Brung gallery, video.
12th April: Thanks to Kieran and supported by John Woolfe Racing, we have extended the gallery of photos from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung by 45 additional photos. Our gallery can be seen at this link, and we have placed a link in the gallery to each photographer's work.
Kieran has also uploaded video of Saturday's Run What Ya Brung to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You can see the 22 minute long stream by clicking here. Kieran comments: " It was a day limited by brief rain showers but the crew worked hard as always to ensure everyone had as much time on track as possible. The next RWYB day is May 1st which happens to be a Saturday Night Special too!"
Wild Bunch revise dates.
12th April: Wild Bunch co-ordinator Clare Meaddows has announced that, following cancellation of events at Santa Pod Raceway until the fourth weekend of May, a revised calendar for the nostalgia dragster, funny car and altered category has been released.
The revised calendar, together with the respective class championships, The Wild Bunch Championship (WB), Spirit of Nostalgia Championship (SN), Springbridge Direct/Motorsports UK Championship (MSUK) and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Championship (RW) is below. Mandatory pre-entry is via SPRC or Santa Pod Raceway ticketing as indicated for each event:
Picture: Ian Wild's new WildCat Jaguar engined Wild Bunch altered.
Editor's note: the end of May VW Breakout meeting will now include, as well as a full field of VAG cars, the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus and UK Nostalgia Superstock, making for a great weekend's racing.
Pioneers' stories – John Smith.
12th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1973-76 for Surrey crewman and mechanic John Smith.
John Smith was a schoolfriend of Surrey drag racing pioneer Keith Stacey, later getting to know Bill Haynes and Richard Jarman. Being mechanically minded, John helped Bill to build and run his first two cars Konkerer and Quarter Horse, also taking up trackside photography at Santa Pod Raceway. John met other early UK drag racers including Derek Metcalf, and spent time helping Tony Anderson's More Trouble Daimler-engined dragster team at his workshop and at the track, also later giving Keith Stacey assistance in running his Whiskey Peddlar, the former Trouble slingshot.
John has kindly given permission for us to publish his photo collection taken at Santa Pod Raceway between 1967 and 1971 which can be seen at this page, with captions included.
12th April: Many thanks to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett for letting us know that the latest update to his great web site has just been posted:
There are somewhere in the region of 28 new entries, including some personal bests, some record performances, some full meeting results, three major event re-writes and plenty more. The earliest entry this time is from 1963, the most recent, 1995.
I've started to add a few more programme covers alongside their corresponding events too. If anyone has any scans of covers that I don't yet have (and there are quite a few), and you have time to send them to me, I would be most grateful.
Trakbytes provides an easy-to-navigate chronicle of British drag racing history with the timeline for legends of the sport and results of many major meetings with records set.
Run What Ya Brung gallery.
10th April: Courtesy of John Woolfe Racing, we have posted coverage of today's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. Julian and Kieran took photos and we have published a gallery which currently includes Julian's pictures; Kieran's will follow and will be linked to in the same page.
Please do write to email@example.com with your news about the day's activities and we'll publish it in the next news update.
10th April: Mark Cook-Abbott has asked us to wish son Thomas Cook-Abbott, aka The Tominator, a very Happy 18th Birthday today. Have a great day Thomas from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Also enjoying a special day today are former Comp Bike champion and Junior Drag Bike supporter Lizz McCarthy-Charman and Santa Pod Raceway announcer and co-presenter of the Santa Podcast Colin Theobald. Happy Birthday and have a great day both from all of us.
SFI UK Day 2021.
9th April: Thanks to Jennifer Faye, President of the SFI Foundation, who has announced the 2021 parts inspections in the UK:
As COVID gathering restrictions improve in the UK, SFI is happy to announce they will be providing the annual safety inspections and recertifications at Santa Pod Raceway on Monday, 26th April. Racers and team personnel may begin bringing parts at 09:00. Distancing measures will be employed such as dropping parts at the door, queueing in vehicles, etc. to avoid gathering in groups. Further details for the UK SFI Day 2021 will be posted to the Santa Pod Racers’ Facebook page shortly.
If you are unable to attend inspections on 26th April, there is also the opportunity to send or bring your parts to Robinson Racecars that week, 27th-29th April, by appointment only. Please contact Robinson Race Cars at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
As a reminder, there will also be SFI inspection services available at ME Racing in Borlange Sweden on 26th-28th April. Parts must be registered and sent to ME Racing prior to those dates to minimize contact. Further details about inspections in Sweden may be found at the ME Racing Service web site.
Motorsport UK requires team details.
9th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention the importance of completing the new Motorsport UK part of the entry form for car classes:
Car racers entering the Springspeed Nationals please note, this is very important, when you get to the new added Motorsport UK form at the back of the entry form, it is vital that you complete the last section. This requires you to fill in the details of all crew or family members that will be using your crew tickets to enter the event. These forms are to be sent to Motorsport UK and used as track and trace for the event, and is part of the permit restriction to allow us to run the event. If you only complete the Drivers name and one crew member you will only receive a ticket for those persons, Sportsman Racers have four tickets one for the driver and three for their crew, if you intend using all of your entitlement of tickets (a list is in an earlier news item per class), then you must enter all of the names with a contact phone number for each individual. I have received many entry forms with just the drivers name added.
So if you have already entered and not completed the form correctly, please follow this link and complete the form. Without the necessary information, one of three things will happen, you will either not get your ticket entitlement, your entry may have to be refused, or in the worst case Motorsport UK can take the permit away. Please help us to help you and fill the form in correctly.
If you are yet to enter, please make sure the form is completed correctly. Thank you in advance for your help.
Delayed start for FIA Championship.
9th April: Remco Scheelings has passed to us an announcement of the delayed start of the FIA Championship that has been released by championship promoter Drag Racing Europe:
The continued coronavirus related restrictions create challenges for the first events on the FIA European Championship Drag Racing tour. This has led to that the organizers have been forced to confirm the cancellation of the first three events, Santa Pod Raceway, England in May and the Swedish event at Tierp Arena in June, and Kauhava in Finland in July. The vaccinations have had a good progress in England, but restrictions will likely apply into, at least, June.
In Sweden the vaccination process has been relatively slow so far and it does not look possible to run a major event in June. "We need at least three months of preparation for a big event like this and the forecast for June is just too bad in terms of restriction levels. There is unfortunately no way we can start full activities now in working with the event in June at the moment," said Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Tierp Arena. Also the Finnish organizer FHRA have been forced to cancel the championship round in Kauhava in July, which was planned for Top Fuel and Pro Modified only this year. "We had to work with a very limited staff for the last couple of months and we simply cannot prepare good enough to hold the round in July," said Jarmo Grönman, president of the FHRA.
Right now we have a 3-round FIA Championship with a start at Tierp Arena and Hockenheim in August, followed by Santa Pod in September. "We are monitoring the situation closely for the upcoming events, as it's important for us to be able to create and communicate a plan when decisions are made. It's not easy as the conditions are unique in the different countries. After this long break from major championship Drag Racing events in Europe, the events that are run later in the season will most likely be great. We are really looking forward to get it going again and get some exciting racing in the late summer!" said Michael Gullqvist of DRE, the promoter company of the championship, jointly owned by the organisers and Speedgroup.
Editor's note: following this announcement, DRE have emphasised that the Tierp August race and NitrOlympX in August are still not confirmed. So we urge readers to stay tuned for a future announcement regarding these dates.
Greenlight for class racing.
8th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for the club's latest announcement on the 2021 race season:
Due to the loss of the 2021 Main Event, many of the Sportsman classes will have lost a round of competition; Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club have now taken the decision to move the lost round to the STP Greenlight Nationals on 21st-22nd August. What does that mean? The Green Light Pro and Big Bracket will no longer happen, however we will be adding the Sportsman Classes who lost the round at the Main Event.
Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Pro, Pro ET, Street Eliminator and Junior Dragster will now all run at the this event.
There will also be a decision made later in the year regarding the Double Header for the ACU classes at this event; we will publish details if, and it is an if, there is any change.
Trouble in store.
8th April: Thanks to all those who gave positive feedback and memories following our publication of British drag racer and engineer Tony Anderson's story and the recollections of Keith Stacey as part of our series about pioneer racers in the UK.
Fellow dragster racer and former announcer Steve Young remarked "I had the honour of being the custodian of this fabulous car for a while, the trick engineering parts were stunning". In between a lot of gremlins getting in the way, Steve's best times were in the ex-Tony Anderson/Keith Stacey slingshot were 10.3/138mph; he and wife Jacky recall:
In about May 1976 I spotted an advert for a dragster for sale near Guildford and rang the guy who turned out to Keith Stacey and arranged to view the car the next day.
We arrived at a large garage/workshop and we were shown the bare chassis and a stack of Sunblest bread baskets which was apparently the dragster, just needed putting together! We agreed on a sum of about £500 which meant I needed help with finances and a local American car guy agreed to come in and help with the cost.
We got the car into my lock up garage and tried to make sense of it all and after a lot of head scratching found Tony Anderson’s phone number and rang him to pick his brains. These phone calls could go on for a very long time as Tony had a severe stammer and when he got animated the stammer could take an age to overcome to get the info from him!
We eventually got it put together and headed to the pod at the next meeting.
That first fire up on the rollers was a shock I can tell you! And we seemed to leak so much fuel we spent most of the meeting making gaskets from Weetabix packets to sort the leaks. I think we were taken pity on and were allowed one run after all the work.
That first push start was also an eye opener as the trusty Ford Mk4 Zephyr pushed me forward to about 30 mph I flicked the ignition switch and the bloody thing took off like a rocket!
We staged and ran a pretty steady 12 sec run at about 95mph but it was incredible! My experience was heightened by the fact I need to wear glasses but I could not get them on under the face mask so left them off and peered vaguely towards the finish line.
We ran a few meetings normally getting beaten by Russ Carpenter or Ian Fraser, who both knew how heavy my clutch pedal was and used to take an age to stage while I was developing a severe knee tremor trying to hold the bloody clutch pedal down!
We were always plagued with fuel leaks, not Tony’s engineering, my lack of skill! A newish substance came to my attention, black silicone sealer, I decided to use this liberally on the gasket surfaces of the Wade blower in the hope of finally putting these leaks to bed.
We fired the car on the rollers, all good! No leaks, down to the fire up road, started, all good, came round into stage and set off a blistering run but rather worryingly it was getting prematurely dark for me! Unbeknown to me methanol dissolves silicone so by 1/2 track I was getting a bath from the shoulders up in black tinted methanol which covered my goggles in a black sticky mess! Remember my shortsightedness and lack of glasses? Made it very interesting at the top end!
Another take off track I went to the lock up to do some work on the car only to find the doors swinging open and no car! I was beside myself! I went round everywhere and finally found my partner that had helped me buy the thing in the first place had done a runner with it and stashed it miles away. I tracked him down and we had a Frank exchange of views and I agreed to buy his share and in return I was told where the car was hidden. Car retrieved and readied for 1977, with new paint, and freshened parts.
At the first 1977 meeting I towed to the rollers and tried to fire it up and the blower destroyed itself!
I was devastated as I thought I had the blower sorted. I was sat on the slick feeling pretty sorry for myself when Roland Chaplain wandered over and asked if I fancied a deal with him for his ex Rich Fielding Imagination Fiat Topolino? We haggled and the following weekend we drove to Blackpool to deliver the slingshot and collect the Fiat which was named Harum Scarum when we got it. That of course became Autocat and is a whole different story!
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt added: The slingshot lived on after Steve had it with various owners. It was at Blackbushe 1984 when run by Mary Grace and in 1995 on a trailer with a Rover V8 lump fitted (see above photos). It would be nice to think it's still in a garage somewhere waiting to be restored back to how it was...
8th April: Nick Pettitt has uploaded the final three drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 87 uses Pete Blake's cine film taken at Santa Pod, Snetterton and Blackbushe from 1973-1979. Time Travel 88 features Tim Mudd's cine film taken at Santa Pod and Elvington from 1968-1970. Nick's final Time Travel video Time Travel 89 uses Philip Eeles' cine film taken at Santa Pod, Elvington and Martlesham Heath from 1966-1971. This video, produced in 2010, fifteen years after Nick's first Time Travel video, represents the conclusion to Nick's huge project to produce historic videos of drag racing and hot rodding in the UK. You can see many other videos and historic photos at Nick's British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive web site.
SPRC entry list updated.
7th April: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters for building a new entry list system for Santa Pod Racers Club. Peter says "It will just look pretty to most, but in the background it makes life a lot easier for Ian and Simon at Eurodragster, with a click of a button upload, rather than manually entering entries".
You can see the new entry list for the STP Springspeed Nationals by clicking on this link, or by going via our event coverage page. The entry list will be regularly updated as in the past, however now the process requires a lot less work.
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike preview.
7th April: The number of competitors in Junior Drag Bike looks to be on the increase as new racers come into the class for 2021 (the photo shows the class back in October 2015). As well as our title sponsorship of the class, a new prize fund sponsored by Jerry Collier's Pro Joint Fabrication and Lizz and Kev Charman's Nitro Junkie Racing was announced last week.
Hollie King, eleven year old sister of former Champion Blade King and daughter of class co-ordinator Ollie King, will be riding a brand new bike built by other class co-ordinator Simon Holgate, with bodywork sponsored by Rukus Customs, sporting a 150cc engine and automatic gearshift. Holley will be aiming to license at the Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung on 10th April in good time for the first championship round at the STP Springspeed Nationals on 22nd-23rd May.
Hollie will be joining Casey Holgate and Richard Willcox who raced last year. Megan Talbot (now on the ex-Blade King Aprilia bike) who raced in 2019 but took last year out, return to the class this year.
Other new riders for the class comprise Grace Pollen, who will be riding an ex-Blade King KTM 125cc machine, Simon Holgate's granddaughter Lyla Humber (who is a member of Rugrat Racing, and John McLean Jr's son John, making a third generation of the motorcycle drag racing family with the same name.
On building the new bike for Hollie, Ollie said "With frames being allowed to be used in ET Bike with engines of up to 500cc, there is a continual need for new bikes. Production frames are allowed with rigid rear ends and wheelie bars, and Pro Joint Fabrication and Simon Holgate can make frames; Simon is getting a jig to increase the number he can produce. A from scratch new bike can cost £2,500 which is a competitive price, a lot of the cost savings being factory OEM engines being used.
"Engines for junior drag bike vary in size from 50cc two stroke engines from a pit bike or scooter to a Suzuki GS 500cc motorcycle engine, the size being determined by the rule book (page 181). The other main mechanical component is the lock-up clutch which Simon also makes.
"The main thing is everyone helps everyone else in the class to develop their knowledge of running Junior Drag Bikes, and the additional support from Pro Joint Fabrication and Nitro Junkies with class sponsorship from Eurodragster.com will mean a revitalised class in 2021".
SPRC entry form addition.
6th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention some important changes in the entry form for the STP Springspeed Nationals:
Now that the SPRC entry system is up and running, some racers may have noticed an addition to the entry form. The Motorsport UK signing on declaration is effectively your signing on form for the event. On the latter part of the form there is a section to complete listing the details of crew members.
The additional part of the form allows for a list of 10 names, this is purely to allow for space for the Pro classes' crew members. The standard ticket allocation for all classes is as follows:-
Note bike classes are not listed as there is no additional form to complete. However the two half price racer tickets are still available at the gate upon arrival for the event.
Junior Dragsters for sale.
6th April: With several Junior Dragster racers reaching the maximum age during the last year, but lockdown restricting the opportunities for marketing their cars, there are now several cars for sale at different price points. Four are illustrated below with full details being included in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is, all at comparable prices.
First on the list is the Banshee Junior dragster raced by Frankie Taylor (pictured left below). Frankie's Dad Joe says "No expense has been spared and the car has been well maintained and is a complete setup. You can buy it and just go racing." The Half Scale car, complete with box trailer and quad bike, was tagged in 2019 with the engine refreshed in that year. It will be available after the 2021 National Finals but can be viewed at any Championship event this year. Price all-in is £10,000.
Our next car is the machine raced by Thomas Cook Abbott to a runner-up position in the 2017 Championship and at several events (pictured right above). It has only been raced by 2 people and is a championship contender, comes with plenty of spares, and is available at the end of the season. The price for the car is £8,000.
Frankie Fordham's Junior Dragster (pictured left below) is available immediately and is a Half Scale Junior Modified Advanced dragster, the same category as the two above. The car was 2019 UK Championship runner-up and also Championship winner and runner-up with its previous owners. Parent Matt Fordham says "It has a wide chassis, so there is plenty of room for a child to grow in. It's a very consistent car and comes with plenty of spares". The price for this car is £7,500. Matt adds "Frankie will be making the next step into Super Comp in his new dragster in the 2022 season".
Finally we have the distinctive looking JM car of Freddie Taylor, named Outlaw Angria (pictured right above). Dad Lee Taylor says "It's a perfect starter car in Junior Dragster, will suit a driver from 8 to 13 in Junior Stock or Junior Modified and is available now. The car is currently set up for Junior Modified with the 8.90 limit but has run as quick as 8.45. We are prepared to split the car if there is enough interest in doing so. The rolling Chilton chassis is £3500 (just add a cheap as chips 5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton l206 engine and clutch for a rookie to go Junior Stock racing without a Mychron data logger). Surrey Customs completed the distinctive paintwork. The JR Race Cars Stage 9 motor and clutch cost £2500 and the complete car can be yours for £6,000.
For contact details go to the cars for sale page of our Swap Meet.
RWYB pit notes, gallery.
5th April: We have published our pit notes and gallery from yesterday's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway which you can see at our coverage page. Thanks to our sponsor John Woolfe Racing for their support of event coverage.
As one might expect, it was a busy day with new or returning racers trying their vehicles out after the extended break, and a large number of street vehicles that made full bore runs within the safe confines of the race track.
There were relatively few incidents, however we were sorry to see multiple Super Comp and Super Gas champion Stuart Doignie in an incident at close quarters to no-prep organiser Paul Marston, who made an effective avoiding manoevure when, from our photo sequence, a collision appeared imminent. Thankfully both emerged unhurt and Stuart said this morning "I was very lucky to come out without a scratch and will be at the track later this year in the '63 Vette we have been building up over the last couple of years".
Our next coverage will be photo galleries from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung, courtesy of Julian and Kieran.
Pioneers' stories – Keith Stacey.
5th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1964-76 for Surrey dragster racer Keith Stacey. Keith became a fan by reading about the sport, going to the first Blackbushe Dragfest in 1964 as a 17 year old, and attending events as a spectator in the U.S. and Canada in the late 60s and early 70s. When he got an opportunity in 1973 to drive the ex-Tony Anderson 'Trouble' dragster, he grabbed it with both hands and continued to drive the car, renamed 'Whiskey Peddler', with help from John Smith, until the Easter 1976 Santa Pod 10th Anniversary meeting.
Keith collaborated with, or raced alongside other Surrey based drag pioneers whose stories we have presented in this series. Many thanks to Keith for providing his story. Keith has also kindly supplied slides for two extensive, and previously unpublished, galleries of Santa Pod 1967-71, also Canada 1968-9 and U.S. Nationals 1969, 1974 and 1975.
You can see Keith Stacey's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories and archive images, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
3rd April: We're pleased to announce there will be coverage by Eurodragster.com of Run What Ya Brung events on 4th and 10th April and 1st and 16th May.
Coverage will consist of a post-event gallery for each day, and pit notes also posted as soon after the event as we can manage. Tomorrow's coverage team will be Julian and Simon, so if you see them wandering around they will be pleased to hear from you. Coverage for the other RWYBs will be announced closer to the time, and thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for making this possible. The page to head to is this one. Note there will be no live feed of tomorrow's or next Saturday's RWYBs.
JT heads for 150.
3rd April: Pro Modified and Super Pro racer John Tebenham has set himself a performance, and donation, target for tomorrow's RWYB, but adds that the wild Crew Killer Pop may be heading for the exit:
The sad news is it might be one of the last meetings for the Crew Killer, but we have a new plan... As for the 150 mph Club which is so difficult to reach in a brick shaped Pop with 645 bhp, we have 23 x 149 mph time tickets. I am now 20 lb lighter and with my new I.C.E. engine we hopefully will be there.
If we run the 150 mph I will donate £150 to Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise). As I had some cancer cut out of my arm twice this last winter and have since got the all-clear, I'm right up for supporting a great cause. Don't get me wrong, the blue car does 191 mph in 3.91 seconds at the half-way point, but the Pop is 10 times more fun as it’s a jolly boy's outing every time we run it.
Vampire at hill climb.
3rd April: Thanks to former Santa Pod owner and promoter Roy Phelps for passing on the news that the Vampire jet dragster from the 1980s, restored by FGR Motorsport, will be attending a hill climbing event at Shelsley Walsh on 1st August.
The Bromyard Speed Festival will be themed "Altitude with Attitude" and will be a celebration of motoring history and traditionally welcomes in excess of 140 road and race vehicles including historic, classic, prestige, racing cars, road cars, super cars and motorcycles. The event is open to Entrants and the Public.
The event format enables each Entrant to run their vehicle up the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in a morning and afternoon individual, non-competitive, non-timed, public display run. Whether this includes the Vampire jet dragster, is not known.
Entry open for STP Springspeed Nationals.
2nd April: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced the online online entry system is now live for the Springspeed Nationals. The closing date for entries at the normal fee is 30th April 2021; a surcharge will occur after this date.
Prize fund for Junior Drag Bike.
2nd April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall who has announced a new prize fund for Eurodragster.com-sponsored Junior Drag Bike:
Sharron and Jerry Collier, Lizz and Kev Charman - all have considerable history within Junior Drag Bike, for many years championing the class across Europe, and promoting the class wherever and whenever they could.
After a brief time away from Junior Drag Bike, they have all returned with a big sponsorship commitment for Junior Drag Bike during the 2021 season. The sponsorship through Pro Joint Fabrications and Nitrojunkie.UK, will be committing to the following:
Firefighter Racing Juniors' new livery.
2nd April: Junior Dragster and Drag Bike Dad Andrew Willcox has a fitting new design on the Firefighter Racing Juniors of Kimmy and Richard Willcox:
With the season start delayed the paintwork has been done on the cars & bikes by the brilliant Richard Walters (thank you so much) we would like to show the design created by Peter Walters; they look slightly different to the design as they have been painted and not wrapped but we are still over the moon with them!
Please like and follow the team page if you haven't already, yes we are out to have fun but also support a great cause in the process for some of those that risk their lives to help us when we need it and may get injured in the process physically, mentally or even both.
Jackson welcomes Lucas Oil back to Santa Pod.
2nd April: Wayne Jackson has renewed his partnership with Lucas Oil Products UK, which will sponsor his challenge in the Enduro KA Endurance series in 2021.
"I'm grateful to Lucas Oil's Dan Morgan for supporting me, but it's also good to see that Lucas Oil’s long association with the junior dragster racing set-up at Santa Pod Raceway will continue this season," he says.
As well as being named sponsor of the UK Junior Dragster National Championship, Lucas Oil is also sponsoring 10-year-old Kai Cooper in the JM and his 9-year-old brother Jake in the JS. Lucas Oil will also be supporting 15-year-old Jacob Heap’s first full season in the junior Saloon Car Championship.
In an exciting development, Lucas Oil is also behind the return of the Brad Jackson Racing team this season. With support from the NG Motorsport team, Brad Jackson lifted the Super Pro Championship in 2018 and 2019. Currently in New Zealand, he's hoping for a successful comeback when the partnership resumes.
Wayne Jackson is on stand-by if Covid restrictions limit Brad's appearance in the car.
"It's great to see Brad Jackson Racing back on the track. The car has a new and more powerful engine and everything is looking great for the new season," says Wayne.
Updates will follow shortly once the season plan is finalised.
Docol R8 Tube available in the UK.
2nd April: Thanks to Ian Hart for news about supply of Docol R8 roll cage and chassis tubing in the UK:
RH Weldfab Ltd, Based in Northamptonshire have agreed a deal with ME Racing Service AB in Sweden (Mats and L.G. Eriksson) to supply Docol R8 tube in the UK. Docol R8 is a product range of welded cold formed circular tubes in high strength steel, specifically targeted at the requirements of the Motor Sport industry and similar producers, and approved for use in the SFI specifications for roll cages and chassis in different types of drag racing vehicles. Using Docol racing tubes allows the development of new designs, with more weight reduction or increased strength for chosen parts of the structure. In comparison to traditional Chrome Moly 4130 Docol Tube exhibits higher tensile and yield strength in combination with excellent bending and welding properties. In direct comparison of cost, Docol R8 tube is around 20% cheaper than 4130 Chrome Moly, which allows more budget to spend on the shiny bits.
RH Weldfab can supply Docol R8 Tube in full lengths or cut to size. Tube can be supplied pre-cut and bent to your requirements, or we can build your chassis or cage to the required SFI spec. Docol R8 tube is approved for SFI specifications for front and rear engine dragsters, door cars and bike frames from sportsman classes through to top fuel. Contact us on 07740 338990, email email@example.com, or check out our Facebook page.