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APIRA Championship presentation.
30th October: Avon Park International Racing Association and Shakespeare County Raceway are pleased to announce details of their Championship Presentation Evening to be held on Saturday 7th March 2015 in the
Valley Suite of the Severn Valley Railway, Comberton Place, Kidderminster DY10 1QR. The evening will honour the 2014 APIRA Champions and runners up along with APIRA and SCR Perpetual Award winners.

The evening will commence at 6:00 pm and the buffet will open at 7:30 pm. The Championship presentation begins at 8:30 pm. There will be a disco till late provided by Shakey’s resident DJ Jamie. There will also be a raffle.

Tickets are £15 per person including Hog Roast with all the trimmings and a choice of desserts; please see the booking form for the options. You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February 2015. Credit card payments can be made by calling 01789 414119 during business hours.

There are many hotels and guest houses nearby including a Holiday Inn Express, Premier Inn and Travelodge. Please see the Severn Valley Severn Valley Railway web site for details. There is plenty to see and do at the Seven Valley Railway as well as the historic towns of Bewdley, Bridgnorth and Kidderminster. The Severn Valley Railway itself offers a fantastic day / weekend of heritage steam which includes a very informative visitor centre named The Engine House at Highley Station. Perfect for all petrol heads!

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180 or E-Mail

2013 Perpetual Award winners please note that all trophies should be returned to APIRA/SCR as soon as possible please.

Top Fuel Manual review.
29th October: Dan Welberry's eagerly-awaited reference work on Top Fuel Dragster does not disappoint. Presented in the traditional Haynes style, the Top Fuel Dragster Owners' Workshop Manual gives a wide-ranging and detailed insight into the flagship class of drag racing. Even though you are not necessarily going to be able to tune a three-second thousand-foot pass by the time you read the last page, you will certainly have a much deeper understanding of what it takes.

Although not formally split, the Manual is neatly divided into theory and practice with the first half explaining what Top Fuel Dragsters are made of and how they work, and the second half containing several detailed first-hand accounts by those who have actually done it - this gives the Manual a big advantage over preceding Top Fuel books which have at most given practical experience cursory coverage.

The introduction sets the scene, explaining not just Top Fuel Dragster but drag racing as a whole, then the first chapter proper gives a brief overview of the history of Top Fuel particularly spotlighting the trigger moment for a permanent move to rear-engined cars - Don Garlits' transmission explosion at Lions Drag Strip, which put him in hospital for long enough not just to think about changing the paradigm but to achieve it. The chapter also gives an overview of the class' history in Europe including a detailed discussion, with no definitive outcome for reasons which are explained, of which was the first UK car to run on nitro. The chapter finally returns to the USA to explain the move to 1000 feet and subsequent developments.

Into the meat in the next chapter with a detailed anatomy of the Top Fuel Dragster front-to-end and side-to-side covering chassis, suspension, steering, brakes, wheels and tyres, aerodynamics, electronics, cockpit, safety equipment, engine and transmission. Over no less than forty nine pages each subject is not just described in fine detail but extensively illustrated with three or four pictures per page - and some subjects take several pages of explanation. There are also inset pages about nitromethane and what causes header flames (and why they can be such a pig to photograph, as Your Reviewer can confirm). As well as Dan for his detailed research and clear explanations, photographer Mark Skinner and the currently-lamented Andersen Racing team deserve a lot of credit since a lot of thought and effort plainly went into the photo session.

Having described what Top Fuel Dragsters are made of to such a degree that one almost expected a test at the end of the Anatomy section, Dan then talks to drivers, tuners and crew members to take the reader into the car and into the pits. Read the list of contributors and you are bound to find the name of at least one of your heroes and several who should be. Alphabetically they are Ben Allum, Rico Anthes, Darryl Bradford, Andy Carter, Don Garlits, Gary Page, Shelley Pearson, Kim Reymond, Gareth Robinson, and Sarah Senderski. Included within these pages, in the contributors' own words, are long, detailed and fascinating explanations of the tasks undertaken in each role - you get real kitchen detail here - as well as itemised lists of what a Top Fuel team has to do between each run and the tasks undertaken by a driver. All 114 of them! The book ends with a drivers' Q&A and it is interesting to see the varied responses to the same questions.

Again the second half of the Manual is extensively illustrated with superb photographs both on- and off-track. is represented by Julian Hunt and Tog, Mark Skinner we have already mentioned, and Carter Motorsport team member Gary Cottingham and MSA Young Photographer of the Year Dom Romney provide a large number of pictures. There are also some detailed line drawings, the best being of the ignition system.

On the subject of pictures, short-sighted viewers might like to remove their spectacles and look at the back cover of the Manual from a few feet away. There are two pairs of pages depicted, if you look at the top pair with your spectacles off do you see the pair of £ signs made up by the pictures? Subliminal messages in the media are of course illegal and I'm sure that this was not deliberate, but it is not inappropriate for Top Fuel.

The book costs £21.99 and is available direct from Haynes Publishing, from Amazon, and from other good booksellers. With supermarkets and TV already subtly reminding us that Christmas is not too far away the Manual will make an ideal Christmas present for the drag racing fan in your life, or you could (should) just go right ahead and buy yourself a copy now to save the agonising wait.

Or you could try your luck in our give-away...

Top Fuel Manual give-away.
29th October: Courtesy of Dan Welberry and those fine people at Haynes Publishing, we have five copies of the Top Fuel Dragster Manual to give away. This give-away is open to all readers in any country.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the Manual, simply E-Mail the following details to by 22:59 UK / 23:59 European this Sunday (2nd November):
  • Your name
  • Your E-Mail address
  • The address to which we should send the book
  • A phone number
None of these details will be shared with anyone save your name and address which will be given to the company who send your book.

The five winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries received and will be announced here on early next week.

Please note:
  • One entry per E-Mail address. Multiple entries will all be deleted.
  • Entries sent to any address other than will be deleted.
  • Entries timestamped after 22:59 UK / 23:59 European on 2nd November will be deleted.
Good luck!

Swift snippets.
29th October: Thanks to Ian King for letting us know that the final standings in the 2014 ACU UK Drag Bike Championship are now available on the King Racing web site at

We would like to wish a very Happy Birthday for today (Wednesday) to our good friend, MSA British Drag Racing Championship PR Robin Jackson. Have a great day Robin.

Erbacher: The Next Generation.
29th October: Last Saturday Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and sponsor Urs Erbacher got together with team and sponsors and celebrated his third place in the 2014 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship and confirmed a plan already proposed here on

My daughter Jndia sat in the car for a warm-up and we announced to those present that she will try for her Top Fuel licence early in 2015. The plan is that Jndia's first race will be at Hockenheim where she might race against me. Today we are travelling to Las vegas where we have booked Jndia and team member Marc Linder a couple of days at the Doug Foley Drag Race School to gain their Super Comp licences. RTL 2 TV programme Grip TV will Jndia, Noah Stutz and I this weekend.

I plan to race the whole 2015 FIA European Championship in my old car and of course I will try to win another title. Jndia will use that car for licencing but at Hockenheim she will drive my Murf McKinney dragster.

Web site updates.
29th October: Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with pictures of Saturday's action at the Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up at Shakespeare County Raceway. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest updates via the What's New? link at

Nitro fuels Read's return.
27th October: If you were tuned in to on 10th October you will have read that the UK Tech Committee approved the return of nitromethane to Super Pro ET. One of the parties behind the decision was the UK's Robin Read, who ran a legendarily-rapid supercharged nitro-burning Daimler-powered dragster before nitro was outlawed for Sportsman classes. Robin got in touch to tell us that the move was motivated by a desire to return to competition in a new Fuel dragster:

My old car was rendered illegal with the blanket adoption of the American rule book without any prior consultation. However there has now been some good forward thinking by some enlightened individuals. I had asked for the reintriduction of nitro to be included on the agenda for the Technical Committee meeting and I'm happy to say that the discussions around the room were extremely positive. Of course folk remember the days when engineering and innovation meant that small-capacity European engines could take on the ubiquitous American hardware and compete and, indeed, often prevail - a fact which commentators and journalists used to good effect.

My request for the reintroduction of nitro had been coloured by the fact that I am constructing a new car, powered by - of course! - a nitro Daimler. After the successful recommissioning of my old car and subsequent running at all three tracks around the UK , I realised that the madness had not left me and that there was unfinished business. Prior to my father's death in 1989, unbeknown to me, he had commissioned some billet aluminium cylinder heads. After a while the manufacturer of the heads contacted me and told me about the heads. He said that the materials had been procured and that the heads had been started but not finished, and asked whether I wanted to carry on with the project. It was an emotional and difficult decision to make, but I said that I would underwrite the manufacture of the parts. The cylinder were never completely finished although I did fabricate an intake manifold which matched the heads' greater flow and larger ports. Bertie Hopkinson had modified the head design from a curved inlet tract known, as a snail port, to a straight port design. There were many other modifications including extending the valve stem length to accommodate extra valve lift, which then meant that we had to move the rocker shafts upwards and apart to keep the rocker geometry correct.

What happened? In the early 1990s the stock crankshaft broke. After fifteen consecutive six-second sec passes it broke just behind number eight connecting rod. Of course the motor was rebuilt but that event effectively stopped the development of the new, more powerful engine. There were no aftermarket performance crankshafts available and so the parts which had already been manufactured were placed into storage unused.

Fast forward twenty years or so to the recommissioning of the old car and a reawakened dream of running quicker and faster. I thought that I'd finish the new engine and to that end I commissioned a billet crankshaft from Arrow Engineering and set to designing and obtaining the rest of the engine parts needed to complete the motor, with the intention of running it in the old car. But of course it was not that simple: as you are aware the rear axle broke because the recommissioned engine was making more power, so it was pointless putting the billet motor in the old car with the old axle. "I'll put a new axle in the old car", I thought, but when I purchased the axle I found that it would not fit without major chassis modifications. I stood there cutter in hand, but I couldn't do it (Good thing too - Ed).

There was only one solution, a new car. This would entail a lot of work and investment as I had already made my mind up to construct it to current specification without removing or reusing any part from the old car. I've got a titanium clutch housing, billet alloy engine bottom end girdle, re-engineered oil supply around the motor, bigger fuel pump, Pro Mag 44 with billet offset drive, 20% overdriven blower, new two-inch headers, Lenco CS4 three-speed with reverser, Strange Alloy modular nine-inch pattern rear axle, Weld Superlight wheels all round… I'm getting even more excited telling you about it! The car will be longer and lighter.

My brother Tim has been helping and encouraging me - I am not sure if more encouragement is a good thing! In conjunction with Mark Norton, Tim has steered us through the many and varied technical and safety rules and regulations to ensure the car's legality and eligibility. It has been quite challenging trying to satisfy all the criteria in a structure not designed for small-capacity, supercharged nitro cars. We are hoping for mid- to low six-second passes when I've done some testing and got a good idea on the new tune up. But more than this I just want a car I can race, which brings me back to where we began - the Tech Committee meeting. I already feel that I have had a major victory. Now we'll get the car finished and it should run in Super Pro ET .

I must also thank Bertie Hopkinson at BHP, Geof Hauser at Hauser Race Cars, Andy Robinson at Robinson Race Cars, Phil Evans, Bob Stange at Strange Engineering, Tom Prock at Venolia Pistons, Chase Knight at Crane Cams, Wayne Allman at Intergalactic Customs and Arrow Engineering. Of course there are many others who have played a part including my girlfriend Ella and all my crew, Mark Evans and Bill Mears. They all believe in me and in my new car.

I am seeking sponsors and associate sponsors; I am sure that there are many companies or people out there who would love to be associated with what we plan will be the quickest British-motored car. We really need a sponsor for a Racepak. There are many sponsorship options for both the new and old car, so if you are interested then please get in touch.

Stutz opens US account.
27th October: After his second-place finish at the FIA European Championships at Hockenheim Switzerland's Noah Stutz, the world's youngest licensed Top Fuel Dragster racer, now starts to focus on his US career.

Negotiations with various Top Fuel teams the last couple of months have gone well. Noah will make his US début at this weekend's NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas driving for the US' Lagana Racing / Nitro Ninja team. The Laganas have been around the dragster scene at the highest level for years and bring with them a lot of experience. Whilst Bobby works on the third-place Capco Steve Torrence-driven dragster, Dom has been helping Top Fuel teams in Europe and New Zealand as well as driving for an Australian-run American Top Fuel team team once in a while.

"It is incredible how fast this has happened", says Noah. "My manager Stefan Meier and I have worked hard in the last couple of weeks to make it work. Now I am really looking forward to making my USA professional début. I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible for me to get me into the NHRA for Las Vegas. To compete with the big names in the drag racing scene is a huge honour for me and I'll do everything possible to clinch a good result. More than twenty drivers will be in Las Vegas and only sixteen will make it through qualifying. It will be super exciting! For my future in the US I hope to make a good first impression in Las Vegas."

Swift snippets.
27th October: With the ratification of the final standings in the UK National Championships Simon has noticed a couple of Championship firsts, namely that Alex Hope (Pro Stock Bike and 9.50 Bike) is the first bike racer in UK drag racing history to win two different class Championships in the same year, and that Allan Davies (Comp Bike) and Louis Davies (Junior Drag Bike) are the first father and son in UK drag bike racing history to win Championships in the same year. Both of these feats have been achieved across previous years, but never before in the same year. You can check out this year's final UK and Club points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

The next News update will include a review of Dan Welberry's Haynes Top Fuel Dragster manual plus a give-away with five copies of the book up for grabs.

McIntosh enjoys the good times.
27th October: UK Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Alex McIntosh says that he has had a great season in 2014:

I came into this season with one thing in mind and that was to enjoy it. After doing so well in the 2011 Street Eliminator Championship I put too much pressure on myself and the 2012 and 2013 season didn’t go to plan. Our first meeting of 2014 was the Main Event but on the way we stopped off at 1320Dyno to meet up with Dave Rowe of EPS so that he could map the new MoTeC ECU on the rolling road dyno. Next stop was Webster Race Engineering for chassis baselining and then onto Santa Pod to set up. One of my goals for the year was to get the car back to its low eight-second potential, well we achieved this and a bit more as by the third pass all the upgrades over the winter were rewarded with our first-ever seven.

To run a seven was a performance milestone which I had hoped of breaking but was never confident that I’d achieve it. After a couple of weather-affected meetings we went to the European Finals and the car continued its seven-second performance running three Personal Bests in a row ending in a 7.88/174. I came away very happy with our season's achievements and had a great time doing it.

To finish the year off, I was lucky enough to be asked to crew on one of Rune Fjeld’s Top Fuel cars, bringing back great memories of helping with the clutch on the Pete Knight / Canto / Webster Top Fuel car some ten years ago.

None of this would have been possible without the great help of Webster Race Engineering, Dave Rowe of EPS, Paul, Tom and Scott at 1320Dyno, Laurie Bamford for the motor and finally to crew Jonny Mac and Dave Maclauglin.

More Top Sportsman TV.
27th October: The first of this year's UK Top Sportsman outings, held at the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway and sponsored by We Move Your Car and Antigravity Batteries, was televised last week. Class organiser Paul Marston says that the first programme met with great acclaim:

The stars of the show were all the teams and drivers who competed in UK Top Sportsman and make it what it is. From a filming perspective it has been a massive learning curve for all of us. I am very fortunate to have great friends like my co-host Dave Gibbons who has really bought a level of professionalism through his acting experience. I owe Dave a lot: last year he broke his ankle in a racing incident but that could not keep him away and he still came to do his bit at Top Sportsman. Zeon TV also bring a vast wealth of expertise and experience filming drag racing and were instrumental in putting the TV package together.

It takes a while to get a settled team in drag racing but in filming, producing and editing there is a whole different set of challenges. Every year you make improvements to the TV show and see ways to make it better. But I feel that Dave and Helen at Zeon TV and Dave and I really came together on this years show's after we worked real hard. I would like to think that the shows reflect that work. We were all hoping that they would be received well and from the acclaim that we have had I think that they may well have been.

The second show, Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman at VW Action, airs on Motors TV at 20:00 this evening (Monday) and repeats on Tuesday and Wednesday. Enjoy the shows, which feature Sportsman Doorslammer racing at its very best. DVDs will be available soon from Quartermilehigh.

Flame and Thunder gallery.
25th October: We have been at Santa Pod Raceway today for today's Flame and Thunder Show and in association with
Alamo Rent-A-Car we have posted a 150-picture gallery which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Swift snippets.
25th October: We have no less than five birthdays today (Saturday). First up, a very Happy Birthday and lots of hugs to our good friend Gittli Koller. Hugs also to Kirsty Giles who is also celebrating her birthday today, a manly handshake to multiple Junior Dragster Champion Joe Kellett, and back to the hugs for our good friend Deborah Marrs. Finally, Happy Birthday to Top Fuel Dragster racer and sponsor Urs Erbacher. Have a great day all.

Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for posting us the final 2014 standings in the UK National and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the National and SPRC points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

Andersen Racing, Nataas quit.
24th October: Karsten Andersen says that with multiple European Top Fuel Dragster Championships, ET and speed records, the best car, the best drivers and the best crew, there is nothing more to win and so Andersen Racing are calling it a day:

Andersen Racing have decided to leave the Top Fuel spotlight and to make room for some of the other talented racing teams in Europe. In other words 2014 was Andersen Racing's last season in Top Fuel drag racing and the team’s race car, trailer and parts are now for sale.

Andersen Racing have been racing as a team since 2006, and what a journey it has been. Our efforts have resulted in four European Championships with three fantastic drivers: Håkan Nilsson, Andy Carter and Thomas Nataas. We have set records more or less every season and then come back the year after and beaten our own records. We have tried our luck several times in the USA and we have even tried the combination of US driver Tommy Johnson Jr on European tracks. We have experienced countless hours of waiting due to oildowns, rain or even snow and despite everything, we have loved every minute of it. We have all been a part of the big European drag racing family for many years, and have truly appreciated the great atmosphere, the team spirit and the many fantastic friendships this has led to.

Besides thanking our fantastic drivers and crew members, we would also like to thank all our amazing sponsors through the years. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible. Thank you all.

19:30 This evening reigning FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Thomas Nataas, who was Andersen Racing's last driver, has announced his retirement from driving.

An 8.1 swansong.
24th October: UK Super Pro ET racer Simon Gough plans to turn the wick up in demonstration at tomorrow's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway:

After spending the year trying new set-ups we stumbled across a good setting but couldn't use as it was not consistent enough. We will put that setting back in and wind it up a bit for the Flame and Thunder Show. We ran an 8.30 at the start of the year and we know that we can beat that - with the settings we have we think that we should achieve an 8.1. What we're hoping for is four to five runs to make it happen.

It will be the last time we run this engine as a new motor is being prepared at Jeff Bull's HQ and we plan to run sevens next year with that. With what we have learned over the last two years with the current combination we feel that the time is right to move up another step. Setting up a quicker engine takes time, no point outrunning yourself and not learning anything in the process. So it'll be slowly-slowly catchee-monkey. A big Thank You to Jeff Bull for teaching me the Do's and Dont's over the last two years.

We wish everyone a good and safe winter.

Swift snippets.
24th October: Thanks to Lars Pettersson for letting us know that the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation and Tierp Arena have applied for FIA European Championship rounds at Tierp on 4th-7th June 2015 and 20th-23rd August 2015.

Congratulations to Nicole Parker who won her NHRA Super Comp licence at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School with a pair of 8.2-second passes. "It was a fascinating experience" says dad Jon. "Amongst the nine other students we had a guy who had already bought a blown-alky nostalgia slingshot and was totally unable to handle an eight-second rail, never got beyond two hundred feet and didn't return the second day. At the other extreme we had Alexis Dejoria's sister starting her race career, licencing for Super Comp alongside Nicole. Nicole's a big Alexis fan so this really made her week."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of (below left) is, we're told, a heads-up for a news item shortly to arrive. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Alex Stringer at Santa Pod Raceway tells us that they now have in stock the brand new 1:24 scale models of John Force's Castrol GTX Mustang Funny Car, Courtney Force's Traxxas Mustang Funny Car, Robert Hight's Mustang Funny Car and Brittany Force's Top Fuel Dragster (above right). "All are finished with Colour Chrome paint finish giving a very deep shine to the paintwork", says Alex. "All models are £59.99 and are available at Stocks are limited so order early to avoid disappointment!". Given recent events we would imagine that the car with Jimmy Prock's name on it will become a particular collector's item.

Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend timing data which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any page.

Today is Wear It Pink 2014, a UK charity day in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign. Like the logo today (hit Refresh if you don't see the updated logo - Ed), please wear something pink and pay your money for such a good cause. You can find out more at

SCR's spooky season closer.
24th October: Jerry Cookson writes that with petrol prices falling by the day there's no reason why you shouldn't bring your car or bike along to race at this weekend's Halloween Bonfire Burn Up Public Track Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway:

There's lots going on including the final round of the National Sprint Association Southern Section series, Honda Drag Series finals and on Sunday the last race of the season in the track's popular Bracket Race series. Saturday at midday is the starting point for the Warwickshire Charity Truck Convoy to Coventry Motor Museum in aid of Troop Aid. 

There'll be the usual bonfire, fireworks, fancy dress competitions for the kids and adults, Penny for the Guy and pumpkin carving competitions, and disco as well as the usual great party atmosphere of Kenny's bar on Saturday evening.

Gates open this evening (Friday); RWYB starts at 10:00 each day. If you're taking part in the weekend's RWYB you'll need a crash helmet and Drivers Licence. Admission is £12 per person per day or £22 for a weekend pass. Track fee is £25 for unlimited runs or £40 for a weekend of quarter mile fun at this final blast of the season. See you at the strip!

PMR overwinters.
22nd October: Paul Marston says that Paul Marston Racing will have a busy off-season, with the construction of new winter quarters being their first project:

This was necessitated by the building and redevelopment of our existing storage facilities, but from adversity comes opportunity. We have recently signed a deal which will allow us centralise our operation and will make logistics easier. In any case we had outgrown our previous base some time ago.

This does not in any way affect Paul Marston's Drag Race Driving School which is permantly based at Santa Pod Raceway, not does it affect the Race Car Rental programme.

The new winter quarters form a long-term commitment which we feel is necessary. Sometimes you have to spend money on other things rather than just race cars. These opportunities don't come up too often, it's not the ideal time being this close to winter, but no time is really ideal. Now it's a race against time to get everything done before the weather closes in and stops the building work. This mild weather which we are currently enjoying is definitely helping progress.

Four projects will pass through the PMR workshops over the winter so it is going to be even busier than the racing season, which is usually the case. The off-season presents an opportunity to really get stuck into a race car without the constraint having it back in one piece for its next race. So if you find something which needs a lot more work, to order parts or to carry out development, then it is less of a problem. There is also time just to sit and look at a race car from an entirely different perspective with no pressure. This means that you quite often see things which you would never have noticed before. It's a great way to improve and refine, I always say that the most progress and improvement often happen by accident in the workshop. All of a sudden that light bulb goes on over your head and an idea forms. It isn't always performance-related, it can be ergonomics of the layout of certain systems, a simpler way to do or achieve something, a safer way to apply something or simply a way to lose weight as unwanted items or systems can often just sit there and blend in. What about anti-freeze in the motor or your motorhome? If you don't have it then you need to sort it now before it gets real cold as once the block cracks you're into a whole different world of pain. Whatever it is, your race car won’t fix itself if you leave it in the trailer over the whole of the winter only to get it out the week before Easter. And of course anything your race car might need can go on the Christmas list!"

Swift snippets.
22nd October: ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt tells us that the involuntary passenger ride which he gave Filippos Papafilippou at the European Championship Finals is to be the subject of Close Calls On Camera on the UK's BBC1 TV channel at 11:45 next Tuesday, 29th October.

BDRHoF gala attracts royalty.
22nd October: The
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and Serbia will be an Honoured Guest at the BDRHoF Celebration Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 22nd November.

Princess Katarina, who will present one of the major awards of the evening, is the first relative of the British Royal family to attend a drag racing event in an official capacity. As a great-niece of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, she is in line of succession to the British throne and as well as her extensive humanitarian work is also President of the Guild of Travel and Tourism.

BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury said "It is a great honour to have Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina attending our event and present the major award of the evening. Her presence reflects the stature that the Gala Dinner has attained and is a fitting tribute to the pioneers who built the sport of drag racing in the United Kingdom. To have drag racing royalty in the shape of Don Garlits and a relative of the British Royal Family at the same event is something I would not have thought possible just a few years ago – even just a few months ago. I still can't quite believe it."

As you would expect, while Don Garlits is in the UK he has been invited to quite a few special functions. These include dinner with Lord Montagu’s son Ralph at Beaulieu Palace on 24th November - Don will be at the museum in the afternoon so as the museum is open as normal you might glimpse the party viewing the exhibits; a visit to the museum in 1976 gave him the idea for his own drag racing museum in Florida. Don will also attend the International Historic Motoring Awards dinner at the Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras, lunch at the RAC Club in Pall Mall, and an exclusive trip around the Lloyd's of London Building including a special presentation by Rupert Atkin, Deputy Chairman of Lloyd's, and a visit to Nick Mason's private collection of cars if it can all be fitted in to the busy calendar.

UK Top Sportsman TV.
21st October: Paul Marston writes that UK Top Sportsman, the roughest, toughest, no-holds-barred, no-rules heads-up Doorslammer series is featuring in two one-hour specials on Motors TV this week and next week:

The first show, from the Mopar EuroNats, has already had its début and is repeated every day until Friday this week. Check your Electronic Programme Guide to confirm times and set to record! The second programme, from VW Action, is screened for the first time next Monday, 27th, on Motors TV at 20:00 and is repeated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

2014 featured some of the closest racing that we have ever seen in UK Top Sportsman and some of the fastest Sportsman race cars in the country including Steve Neimantas' awesome 3000+ HP Bentley Continental GT. There were records and upsets aplenty, and all events were completed so there is plenty of action-packed drag racing to entertain you. It's not until you consider that a 2014 Formula 1 car is not quick enough to even make the minimum ET of 9.99 that you start to understand just how quick these cars really are.

Our sincerest thanks to everyone involved in making this all possible: the competitors, the crews, the PMR crew who organised and ran the events so smoothly, the sponsors, our stars, Antigravity Batteries and Direct Plastics and all the others - without their faith in us, none of this would be possible. Thanks to the Santa Pod management and track crew, the Mopar EuroNats Committee and VW Action management for hosting us and making us so welcome, Zeon TV for making everyone look so good, and for including our event in their Event Coverage and for everything they do for us throughout the year (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). Anyone I have missed, thank you too!

UK Top Sportsman will be back in 2015, as soon as the dates are confirmed we will publish the full schedule.

Swift snippets.
21st October: We were very sorry indeed to hear of the death yesterday of legendary Blue Max Funny Car pilot Raymond Beadle, a hero to many fans after his frequent and very welcome visits to Europe in the late 1970s and driver of some of the best-looking Funny Cars ever to grace a race track. You can read tributes on the Agent 1320 page of Drag Racing Online and on Competition Plus. Our deepest sympathies to Raymond's family and friends.

Nigel Taylor writes that Andy Frost will be filling the driving seat of the Detroit Spinner Prefect at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway in July 2015. "This is an absolute honour for us as a team and we are all looking forward to it", says Nigel. "Sponsor details and information can be found on the Detroit Spinner Racing Facebook page. We thank all of our supporters, fans, sponsors and drivers for being involved in everything we do. The whole project is kept running by friends and sponsors and proves what a great sport UK drag racing is."

Apologies for the several hours of down time yesterday. This was caused by a system programming error by our ISP Selfnet. Regular readers will recall that moved servers last week; the move is now complete so we will be resuming postings to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet very shortly.

Garlits Museum shortlisted.
21st October: Following nominations from classic car enthusiasts across the world, the finalists have now been confirmed for the 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards. After initially being nominated by the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing has reached the Museum or Collection of the Year short list:

Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, USA
Blackhawk Automotive Museum, USA
LeMay - America's Car Museum, USA
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, USA
Haynes International Motor Museum, UK

These museums now go forward to the panel of expert judges which includes racing drivers Derek Bell and Jochen Mass, Horst Br¨ning (President of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) and Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen (former Chairman of Bentley). They will vote to decide the winners; no easy task given the high standard of candidates.

The winners of this year’s International Historic Motoring Awards will be announced at a gala dinner at London’s St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel on 20th November. Fortunately this lines up with Don Garlits being in the UK for the BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 22nd November so he will be able to attend. Racing driver, journalist and television presenter Tiff Needell will be Master of Ceremonies and the guest list usually consists of a Who’s Who of motorsport.

BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury says "Following on from the Allard Chrysler dragster being shortlisted in two categories last year, this is a great tribute to drag racing. All of us at the BDRHoF congratulate Don on reaching the short list and wish him the best of luck in the final judging. Maybe we will have something else to celebrate in Windsor."

2014 UK National Champions II.
19th October: Congratulations to the winners of this year's ACU and UK National Drag Bike Championships which were decided at this weekend's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway:

ACU Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt
ACU Pro Stock Bike: Alex Hope
ACU Funny Bike: Gary Jones
ACU Super Street Bike: Steve Venables
ACU Comp Bike: Allan Davies
UK National 8.50 Bike: Ed Smiley
UK National 9.50 Bike: Alex Hope
UK National Junior Drag Bike: Louis Davies
ACU Supertwin Top Gas: Scott Collier
ACU Supertwin ET: Brett Cordelle

The final ACU, UK National and SPRC Championship points will be posted as soon as they have been ratified.

Bike Weekend results.
19th October: Congratulations to the winners of this weekend's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway:

Funny Bike: Stu Crane 7.4062/168.55 def. Bob Brooks 10.9039/122.40
Super Street Bike: Pete Field 7.2690/196.27 def. Garry Bowe 8.6992/113.19
Comp Bike: Allan Davies 7.7451/167.31 def. Dave Smart 8.6919/153.17
8.50 Bike: Ed Smiley 8.5707/143.03 def. Jake Mechaell 8.9468/163.63
9.50 Bike: Phil Pratt 9.5703/138.67 def. Richard Sawatzki 9.5780/141.19
Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer (13.90) 14.1182/43.64 def. Louis Davies (9.70) 9.8708/64.31
ACU Supertwin Top Gas: Chris Mott 9.5877/130.65 def. Les Harris 10.0380/127.26

You can check out our
Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored reports and photographs by by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Swift snippets.
19th October: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to Sam Marston. Have a lovely day Sam.

Feature: The Blacklist.
18th October: For the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products Simon interviewed Janne Uskali , Chief Editor of Finland's Bomber and Worldwide Bomber magazines, about Finland's Blacklist Outlaw Street series of which he is one of the organisers.

The Blacklist series is designed for street legal cars and comprises a Top Ten list of racers whose positions can be challenged once a racer wins a heads-up elimination.

You can check out our interview with Janne Uskali by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Swift snippets.
18th October: The Huxleys have been in touch with a reminder that the Dark Horse drag racing party takes place this evening at the Royal Oak in Broadwas on Teme, near Worcester (postcode WR6 5NE). Entry is £10 and all are welcome to enjoy a live band and great food, and camping is available. The guys advise that you don't turn up late as the burnouts start at 9:00 pm sharp.

Swift snippets.
17th October: Thanks to Paul Marston for letting us know that the first of the two UK Top Sportsman TV shows, covering the Mopar EuroNats, is to be broadcast on Motors TV on Sky, Freeview and cable at 20:00 on Monday (20th). If we tell you that the programme was produced by Zeon TV then that's all you need to know about how good it's going to be. Paul tells us that the VW Action round is likely to follow on 27th but keep an eye on EPGs for confirmation.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to outgoing (regrettably) SPRC International Race Director Robin Shone. Have a great day Robin and a big Thank You for everything you have so far done for the sport.

Bike Weekend Perfect Awards.
16th October: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the final event in the 2014 Perfect Awards Scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the UK National Finals. The money will be paid to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes including Straightliners during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals are available in the Signing On office and from the staff.

This weekend's RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy at the UK National Finals. The money will be paid to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ACU Supertwin ET, Junior Drag Bike and Straightliners index classes, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide see Derek Flynn or visit

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers including Straightliners are required to carry / Gold RV Perfect ET Award decals. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office and from the staff.

Swift snippets.
16th October: Per his recent press releases Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer Noah Stutz has confirmed his participation in the Toyota NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas on 30th October-2nd November. Noah joins the existing European contingent of Elvira Karlsson, Ulf Leanders, Jonnie Lindberg and Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences.

UK Championship outcomes II.
15th October: This weekend's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway hosts the final rounds of the 2014 ACU UK Drag Bike, UK National 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and Junior Drag Bike, and ACU Supertwin Top Gas Championships. Simon has put together a summary of the possible Championship outcomes and who to look out for during the race:

The 2015 ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt has already been confirmed and congratulations to him on his first title since 2009. Steve's number of Championships is well into double figures.

In ACU Funny Bike there has been another upswing in the number of racers competing in the year. Nine bikes are entered for the final round and the Championship is between Gary Jones and Dave Peters, with Gary 225 points ahead. 540 points (plus a potential 200 if ET and speed records are set) are available. Dave will need to outqualify Gary and win the race with Gary going out in the first round to have any chance of the Championship.

With no racers entered for the coming weekend, the 2015 ACU Pro Stock Bike Championship was decided at the UK National Finals. Congratulations to Alex Hope on his first Championship in what was planned to be a familiarisation year in the class.

ACU Super Street Bike has had a fantastic year with new records and Personal Bests which exceeded many riders' wildest dreams. Eleven bikes are entered and once again the Championship has come down to a final round between team-mates Steve Venables and Graham Balchin. On his new bike, with the bugs now ironed out, Ven has a 175 point advantage however 560 points (other than 200 points for records) are available. Graham will need to outqualify Steve and win the event and have Steve go out in the first round to take the title.

ACU Comp Bike has also come down to a two-bike contest. Allan Davies leads Phil Crossley by 110 points and with six bikes entered there will be an eight bike ladder if all qualify. This means 510 non-record points. With a margin this small, the 25 points for Quick ET and High Speed of the event may be crucial.

8.50 Bike has eight bikes on the entry list. There are 620 points available plus 50 points for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. Eddie Smiley is leading the Championship from Jake Mechaell by 190 points, however Jake has the 200 point all-rounds bonus in his pocket on signing on. This Championship looks set to go into eliminations and qualifying positions will also be important to the final outcome.

Alex Hope will be concentrating on 9.50 Bike at this event to see if he can score a double in only his second year in competition, which would be remarkable. He already has a significant lead of 690 points over Paul Morris and as there are 800 points available, Alex may be able to wrap the title up in qualifying if he qualifies eleven places or more ahead of Paul. Paul Morris will also need to keep an eye on the progress of thrice-champion Richard Sawatzki who is only 110 points behind Paul.

Junior Drag Bike has 2012 Champion Louis Davies ahead of Jordan Kenway by 390 points and 2014 APIRA Champion Blade Drummer a further 100 points back. 730 points are available and so this is another Championship which will be decided in eliminations.

In ACU Supertwin Top Gas Scott Collier will be provisional Champion if he signs on and shows for the first round, by virtue of his win at the UK National Finals and attending all rounds.

Finally, Brett Cordelle is ACU Supertwin ET Champion-elect with Fiona Moor as runner-up: congratulations to them.

You can check out the current ACU UK Drag Bike Championship points on the King Racing web site at and the UK National Drag Racing Championship points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

In association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, will be posting live reports and end-day galleries from the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. You can check out our Event Index, which includes links to the official entry list and provisional running orders, by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

2015 race dates.
15th October: Many thanks to Jerry Lackey for forwarding us the dates of the 2015 MSTO / Predators events, Public Race Days and NitrOlympX:

24th-26th April: Test and Tune, Bechyne, Czech Republic (MSTO and Predators)
29th-31st May: 6th Grand National International Drag Race, Bechyne, Czech Republic (MSTO and Predators)
1st-2nd August: Public Race Days Test and Tune, Hockenheimring, Germany
7th-9th August: 30th Anniversary NitrOlympX, Hockenheimring, Germany

Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway have also released their provisional 2015 calendars which are available at and respectively. The 2015 UK National Drag Racing Championships will be ratified at the 2015 UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting but based on previous years the traditional Championship event dates are as follow:

3rd-5th April: Festival of Power, Santa Pod Raceway
24th-26th April: Big Bang, Santa Pod Raceway
2nd-4th May: 9th Annual MSA/ACU APIRA Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
22nd-25th May: Main Event FIA / FIM European Championships, Santa Pod Raceway
27th-28th June: SPRC Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
17th-19th July: Bug Jam, Santa Pod Raceway
24th-26th July: Mopar EuroNats, Santa Pod Raceway
29th-31st August 10th Annual MSA/ACU APIRA Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
3rd-6th September: FIA / FIM European Championship Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th September: UK National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th October: Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, Santa Pod Raceway

See the tracks' web sites for the dates of other events including NSRA Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags, Dragstalgia, VW Action and the Bulldog Bash.

Swift snippets.
15th October: Congratulations to Sweden's Jimmy Ålund and Elvira Karlsson who are both candidates for the 2014 NHRA Road to the Future award. Somewhat ironically, especially in Jimmy's case, this award is for NHRA's Rookie of the Year in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and awards a trophy and $20,000.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to SPRC Race Director and sponsor Carole Ismail. Have a lovely day Carole. will be moving servers during the day today (Wednesday). The new IP address should take twenty four hours or less to be promulgated and the site will also remain at its current IP until we are sure that everything is OK so you will hopefully not experience any break in service. Postings to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet will have to be paused until the server move is complete.

Web site updates.
15th October: Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr gallery with shots from one of the Peak Performance Days held at Santa Pod Raceway in 2010. You can take a look at

In the latest instalment in his Nostalgia Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car Brian Taylor brings together recent updates from the workshops of the Allard Chrysler Dragster. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any page.

Top Fuel Manual published.
14th October: Dan Welberry's eagerly-awaited main d'oeuvre, the Haynes Top Fuel Dragster Manual, has been published and can now be ordered.

Longtime fans will recognise Dan's name as a longtime supporter of and team member for four-time FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and multiple record holder Andy Carter with whom he teamed up in 2001. Dan undertook marketing, PR and sponsorship duties for Carter Motorsport.

The Manual charts the design, development and evolution of the Top Fuel Dragster in detail, with insightful first-hand accounts of how a modern Top Fuel Dragster is operated and driven, from drivers, Crew Chiefs and crew members, including three-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion Big Daddy Don Garlits and FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champions including Andy Carter and Kim Reymond.

The book also provides background information about other car classes within the sport, and an overview of drag racing and its basics and is illustrated with stunning photographs and explanatory illustrations, showing on-track action and a providing a unique insight into what lies under the skin of the Championship-winning Andersen Racing Top Fuel Dragster.

The book costs £21.99 and is available direct from Haynes Publishing, from Amazon, and from other good booksellers.

A review copy is on its way to and we shall shortly be running a contest with five copies of the book to be won.

Bike Weekend racer update.
13th October: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the arrangements for this weekend's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway:

Friday 17th October
15:00 Gates open
17:00-20:00 Signing On office open
17:30-20:00 Scrutineering open* (no scrutineering order)

Saturday 18th October
07:00 Signing On office open
07:00 Scrutineering commences* (no scrutineering order)
09:30 Track open for qualifying and Straightliners

Sunday 19th October
07:30 Signing On office open
09:30 Track open for eliminations and Straightliners

*Straightliners have their own scrutineering arrangements

The provisional running orders are now available for both Saturday and Sunday and can be checked out by
clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page. Please note that these running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

Please remember the strict curfew: race vehicle motors should not be started before 09:00 or after 20:00. Firing up motors out of hours will result in exclusion from the event.

Iceland on sand.
12th October: Sebastian Lindau has been in touch to let us know how he got on with his Sand Drag Bike in Iceland in September:

One thing I noticed immediately during qualifying - I have to be much quicker. I think that when I have the bike completely under control the times will get better. There is much room for improvement but it was OK to qualify.

Then came the first race and the bike didn't start. After short deliberation, I took the starter cable and used the battery from my van for a jump start. Body cover down, clamped the jumper cables to two screwdrivers and tried the starter. The engine turned and turned but just would not start, damn! Again looked at everything and found that one clamp had slipped from the terminal of the battery. Clamped on properly and tried again. Turn, turn, and the engine started! Body cover mounted and quickly to the start line, where my opponent had been good enough to wait for me. Still totally confused from all the stress I rolled into pre-stage and then into stage. Suddenly the pre-stage beam went off and my opponent got green and I picked the cherry - that was my first race. Clumsiness and bad luck went side by side here.

But this was a double race since July's race had been cancelled as the track was not suitable, so I had a chance for some more runs. As I checked the bike before the second race started, I realised that the lady didn't want to start again. After some searching for the reason I realised that there was no spark, and it was the same with my spare spark plugs. The ignition unit was at fault and I had no spare with me so this race was gone for good.

Not the best way to start a racing career but for us as a team, which comprises my girlfriend and I, the most important thing was to be a part of the race. Because of this we are not that disappointed and next time we will do better.

Thanks to Bílakl&uacte;bbur Akureyrar for giving us the oppotunity to do what we love.

For photos of the race and everything else you need to know about sand drag racing please visit my web site at

Swift snippets.
12th October: Dutch European Top Gas racer and regular contributor Herman Jolink exhibited his Ducati 1198 RS at the Intermot Show at Köln. 200,000 visitors attended the Show over 1st-5th October and Herman says that he and the team were very pleased with the attention which the bike received including a daily burnout display preceded and followed by an interview.

In his capacity as drag racing representative for the ACU, Ian King has updated the Gossip page of the King Racing web site with the changes in regulations for the 2015 ACU UK Drag Bike Championships. You can check out the rule changes at

A year in Pro Comp.
12th October: Marcus Runesson writes that Sweden's Team Northrace Pro Comp team are proud of their efforts during 2014:

We had a totally green driver, Kim Feldthusen, behind the wheel. The entire team congratulated him with a standing ovation when the final event was finished. We finished our season with a really tight race against a veteran, Stig Olsson; unfortunately we finished a few hundredths behind him but the points we amassed during the season were more than enough to take the first place in the series. There are a few weeks left until the prize ceremony takes place and we're really looking forward to it. It's a fantastic way to finish the racing year and to meet up with all the other teams whom we have met and raced against.

This year we built ourselves a new car with all that implies. We found a long chassis which we started to modify so that we could defend our title: for every year which passes the competition gets tougher. We had to make more upgrades on the engine and keep everything in tip-top condition. But with a new car we had to solve a big problem: transport. It took many hours of drawing and thinking before we figured out how we would solve every problem. We finally came up with this - the car is like a Swiss Army knife. We can take it apart and put it together in a more compact package.

We contested four races in the Pro Comp series. Two at Gardermoen Raceway, one at Sundsvall Raceway, and the finals at Kjula Dragway. We have made some great steps forward, not least our first sub one-second sixty foot time, and at Gardermoen we got a really great ET of 6.29 which, in a new car with an inexperienced driver, is really great and has given us something more to aim for.

As well as races we have been at two customer events this year. The first is one to which we have been for many years, Borgeby Fältdagar. At Borgeby we always get a warm welcome together with Nilfisk and it's a great opportunity to meet Nilfisk customers and all of the other visitors. It's a popular event at which we fire up the motor several times and that always attracts a lot of people to the Nilfisk display. The second event, which we just recently went to, was at Bromma, just outside Stockholm City, together with Nilfisk and Ahlsell. We had our hands full with a bunch of visitors who had a lot of questions about the car and the races which we have attended this year. We started the motor several times there as well.

During the year we have been forced to solve a lot of problems but like all other teams we faced our problems together in good spirit and representing our partner Nilfisk makes us fight hard every time and never give up. We would like to thank the entire Nilfisk team for the support and commitment during the year and not least to the team who, no matter what, maintain a good mood and always continue to fight for us so that we can have a chance to win! We hope and believe that we will have an equally rewarding 2015.

Web site updates.
12th October: Thanks to photo-journalist Steve Moxley for letting us know that his reports of the FIA/FIM European Championship Finals and UK National Finals have been posted on the ACU web site at

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures from the Friday and Saturday of the FIA/FIM European Championship Finals. You can check out Mad's shots at

Wheels-up into the circle.
10th October: Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences ended a two-year win drought last weekend when he qualified number one and won the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional race at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Oklahoma. Mike got in touch to tell us about it and to invite European fans to stop by in Las Vegas and Pomona:

After our successes in 2010 and 2011, we had a worn out car.  But the economy was not good and I did not want to buy a new chassis.  We were not happy with any resale chassis we came across. Then after the Houston Nationals in 2013, I knew beyond doubt that I needed another car and ordered a new chassis which was delivered in July 2013. We did a little testing with the new car and within the strictures of testing we were thrilled with the results. Unfortunately it did not perform on the race track.  More testing was undertaken, again we were thrilled but again no performance on the race track.

We had built the car with lighter pipe and by mid-2014 the front half was already drooping so we front-halved the car and used heavier pipe. The car was working better but we still had some traction issues. At the Dallas Nationals our first two qualifying hits were very good then we smoked the tyres in Q3 and again in E1. We needed to test before our next race and took part in the Noble test session where we had two hits. In T1 we blew the tyres off; in T2 we hooked up hard, hiked the wheels up and I had to lift as the car was drifting towards the wall.

We only got two qualifiers for the Noble Regional event. In Q1 the car launched great with a 0.928 sixty foot time, then as we were a little under-powered at about 1.5 seconds the tyres shook and I pedallled it.  It then hooked up big time and hiked up the front end - in fact people said they could see the front wheels over the concrete wall and, from behind, over the rear wheels.  I went past half track at about 214 mph and at about 1000' my Canadian opponent took a hard right towards my lane and I lifted. The front end came down softly. After the run we saw that the wheelie wheel had disintegrated, and we were not qualified.

In Q2 we were the second car up and blasted to Number 1 qualifier with a 5.334/266.5. In E1 we ran a 5.332 against my Canadian friend Gord Gingles, in E2 we ran a 5.31 and in the final we ran a 5.329/265.09. It was good to be in the winners' circle again. The track was getting better than we thought with every pass and our sixty foot was being pulled down. The car had a lot more in it on that track.

We will be heading to Vegas for the National and Regional events and then to Pomona to round the year out. If anyone is visiting from Europe, please stop by our pit and we should have a Shredder T-Shirt for you. Peter Crane has said he hopes to be in Pomona this year and I look forward to meeting him again.

Shakespeare County update.
10th October: If you're looking for some Run What You Brung action this weekend then look no further than Shakespeare County Raceway's penultimate Public Track Weekend. Jerry Cookson writes:

With VWs celebrating the 5th DKR Birthday Party and riders from the Cheshire Streetfighters Club it's going to be another mixed weekend of fun. Sunday will host another in the series of the Raceway's popular Bracket Gamblers races with either a sixteen-car ladder or better still a twenty four-car field for doorslammer entries. Details can be found at the SCR Bracket Gamblers web page at Track is open between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm both days. Admission is £12 per person per day or £22 for a weekend pass and the track fee is £25 per day for unlimited runs or £40 for the weekend. A crash helmet and full drivers licence are required.

Shakespeare County Raceway are also pleased to announce that following collections made at Ladies That Launch, Open Sport Nationals and the NSRA Hot Rod Drags a grand total of £258.19 was amassed towards the operational costs of the Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. Together with proceeds from the Ladies That Launch raffle, which topped out at £249, a grand total of £507.19 was raised. Well done to everyone who contributed to this very worthy cause.

Furthermore Shakespeare County are delighted to announce that we will be making further collections for Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance during our final two events, this weekend's Public Track Weekend and the Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up on 25th-26th October, and that we will extend our support as the Raceway's preferred charity into 2015.

Kunmadaras offers testing.
10th October: The team at Kunmadaras kept it quiet at the time because they were not sure how it would go and they didn't want any spies, but on 27th-28th September Switzerland's Olaf Menzi tested his Pro Stock Buell at the Hungarian track with the help of an international team including Danish former FIM European Champion Rasmus Olesen and a Hungarian Mechanic. Joseph Hadnagy writes:

Olef chose our track on purpose as we have a really good reputation! Because he has never ridden a drag bike before he really needed Rasmus' help but a sensation was born! He ran 9.4 first time out on Saturday with the first sixty feet of track prepped, then he improved to an 8.4. Testing continued on Sunday, and despite bad gearshifts he ran a 7.9 which is fantastic! The sixty foot time was 1.1 seconds, which is also outstanding, and he ran 4.8 at 230 kmh at 200 metres. We only sprayed the first eighteen metres so these times are fantastic! Of course the team are already thinking about running in the European Drag Challenge at Kunmadaras next year as well as competing in the Hungarian Championship.

Kunmadaras is available for testing, we await applications from racers and teams. We offer:
  • Track prepared to high standard
  • Safety crew
  • Staff available to help
  • Timing
  • Hungarian hospitality
  • Accommodation at the track, or booking of accommodation with thermal spa facilities only five kilometres from the track
You need your drag bike, and a generator for service activities (we ensure electricity if it is required).

If you are interested in testing at Kunmadaras then please get in touch with Joseph at or call +36 309 654 435.

Swift snippets.
10th October: Santa Pod Raceway have confirmed that Gabby McDonald and Chris Andrews will be providing the Top Fuel Dragster action at the Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday 25th October. There is a sizeable entry of Drag Demo vehicles and a stack of off-track attractions including the usual Action Arena, bonfire and fireworks, and the return of Titan the Robot. You can find out more and book tickets on Santa Pod's web site at

News from Wednesday's UK Tech Committee meeting is that nitromethane is to be permitted in Super Pro ET next season. We will have more on this soon.

"Hire car returned with clutch" shock.
8th October: With the racing season winding down in the UK and winter just around the corner, Billy and Nicole Parker of the Parker Racing Pro ET team are headed for warmer climes.

"Next week we jet off to LA en route for the California Hot Rod Reunion at Bakersfield", says Billy. "We're leaving early so that we have time to visit Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School at Fontana where Nicole will undertake the Super Comp course. The class runs Wednesday and Thursday, then on Friday Hawley's run a Dragster Experience eliminator for up to sixteen competitors in the School cars so we've both entered that as well!

"This almost fulfils our ambition to race in the States, and it's certainly a step up from running the rental car at Orlando Speed World... 'fess up, we all do that! So: drag racing in California, a visit to the Wally Parks Museum, maybe walk the track at Pomona, and drive the rental down Dead Man's Curve. That should keep us topped up over the winter!"

Webb doubles the fun.
8th October: With the 2014 season now over Richie Webb and team have had some time to reflect on what has been a hugely successful season running Richie's wild record-holding Beetle in Super Comp. Richie tells us that there will be a brace of Beetles in 2015:

Starting with the first pass at Easter, knocking three and a half tenths off our previous best 8.35 to 8.71, we knew it was going to be a good year. We continued that theme throughout the season to steadily chip away with small improvements to both ET and keeping the car straight, not so exciting to watch I know, sorry Tog (Let you off - Ed). It culminated in the new European best of 8.08/167 in our first qualifying pass at the UK National Finals in qualifying, then bettered to 8.02/169 in the first round of eliminations, both the straightest passes the car has made for a long time. After some studying of the data collected that weekend we are happy knowing that there are probably at least two or three tenths still left in it - maybe more!

Winter plans include some gearing changes as a taller fourth gear is needed - yes, it is a four-speed, manually-shifted clutch car - and some dyno time as there is a Version 3 of the engine nearing completion.

A sister car is in the final stages at Jim Smith's Cotsweld chassis shop and while it is a chopped-top Beetle Sedan it should still have a similar attitude and performance to the Cabrio as it will be the same mechanically. We hope that running two cars with twice the data will help with their development. The intention is to continue in Super Comp with the Cabrio and to start in Super Gas with the second car until it is sorted. There are no other classes into which they really fit at this time and we really had fun in Super Comp this year thanks mainly to the other racers in the class.

Finally I have to thank everyone from Santa Pod who worked so hard this year to give us somewhere to race in what I can only describe as trying conditions for most of the year. At times a boat would have been more suited, we all appreciate the effort you put in (Hear, hear - Ed).

Now, do whom do I speak about changing the Super Comp index to 7.90...

LA Racing Parts back RV3.
8th October: Street-legal former Pro Modified racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor team are very pleased to announce that
LA Racing Parts will be supporting the team in their new Outlaw guise for 2015 and beyond.

Team Principal and driver Andy Frost says "This is excellent news for our team, but Lee and LA Racing Parts are not new to our operation, of course. We have been using VP fuel which has been supplied exclusively by LA Racing Parts for the last three years with great success! We feel it's the perfect time to step up the successful partnership with LA Racing Parts as we move on to the next level of performance with the car, and with their help we feel we can challenge anyone or anybody in our field."

LA Racing Parts CEO Lee Child says "We have been supplying Andy with tyres, fuel and parts for over ten years. The Outlaw guise for the team is going to work well and I am glad to be part of it."

Andy adds "We thank Lee Child for his commitment and support for our team. We're both looking forward to what we can achieve in the coming months."

In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, and his last as a Pro Mod racer at least for now, Andy explains his reasons for changing class. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any page.

NAST wrap up 2014.
8th October: UK NAST Supertwin Gas racer Chris Mott writes that final round of the 2014 NAST Championships was run in great weather at Shakespeare County Raceway on 25th September:

Although the Gas class Champion was already known,the ET class went to the wire and wasn't decided until this final meeting. Congratulations to this year's Champions and runners-up: Joe Elliott and Robbie Dobbie in Gas, and Kieran Govender and Pete Harrison in ET.

It was good to see Joe Elliott there, running his street Harley in ET having broken his Buell. Good luck to Joe for next year as he's adding a couple of extra cylinders and running a BMW in 8.50 Bike. Thanks also to Tim Boutle, who brought two bikes with him and ran in both Gas and ET. It was tight but just possible, with a bit of help, to get back in time to compete in both classes.

My own weekend wasn't quite so good! After running the V-Rod for ten years we decided to build a new bike with an air-cooled Harley motor. Our plan is to see how quick we can get a Harley to go using the Screamin' Eagle - Harley Davidson's performance parts side - 120 ci engine. Having taken longer than hoped to build, I was determined to be running at the Open Sport Nationals. The bike was finished on the Friday afternoon and we managed to get a few shakedown runs in before the rain came on Monday.

The next meeting entered was the UK National Finals and everything was looking good until we warmed up the bike for the first qualifier and it wouldn't keep running. We then spent rest of Saturday and Sunday morning trying to find the problem. Thanks to Gavin Cupit (Crew Chief) who went home on Saturday night and returned on Sunday morning with some replacement parts. Eventually we narrowed the fault down to the ECM. I had an old unit from the V-Rod which we hoped we could modify to work. Fast forward a week and I was trying to get the ECM sorted on the way to Shakespeare County but it wasn't to be, so we carried on to the track and helped the rest of the guys. Two meetings on consecutive weekends and no passes! Very frustrating.

New ECM now purchased and we're entered for Extreme Bike (Final round of ACU Supertwin classes - Ed), so let's hope we can get some runs in before the end of the year. Thanks for all their help to my wife Yvonne and to Gavin and Tracy Cupit, I couldn't do it without you.

Street Eliminator Dinner Dance.
8th October: Many thanks to Matt Atkinson for forwarding details of the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator AGM, Dinner Dance and presentation.

The event will take place on Saturday 24th January 2015 at the Brandon Hall Hotel, Brandon, Coventry, CV8 3FW. The event will follow the normal format as follows:
  • Annual General meeting will be held at 2:00 pm; only active paying members of the class will be permitted to attend.
  • Pre-dinner drinks will be served from 7:00 pm in the reception area outside the Woodlands Suite.
  • Seated for three course meal at 7:30 pm with trophy presentations at 9:00 pm
  • The disco will follow until the early hours of the morning!
Tickets to the Dinner and Dance are priced at £35 per adult and £8.95 for under-12s. A preferential rate of £65 for a double room has been negotiated with the hotel; this includes breakfast the following morning. To book the hotel please call 02476 546000 and quote Street Eliminator. For further details and menu choices please contact me at Please note that the closing date for payment is Friday 31st October.

Swift snippets.
7th October: More congratulations to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of sponsor
Cosmo Residences who qualified in number one spot and then took the win at the weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional event in Oklahoma. It sounds as if Mike had a fair amount to deal with including a 200 mph wheelie and dynamic lane choice by a competitor. Mike will be contesting the NHRA National events in Las Vegas and Pomona and he loves to meet European fans, so if you are attending Vegas and/or Pomona then please go to say Hello.

Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Steve Dudley writes that the latest slot drags meeting of the new season takes place on Mr D Raceway at 2:00 on Sunday week (19th) at Higham Memorial Hall, School Lane, Higham, Kent ME3 7JL. "The hall is chargeable", says Steve. "If you would be kind enough to carry on the tradition of a couple of quid in the pot it would be appreciated. I have loan cars available if you do not have your own and would like to take part in eliminations."

Apologies for the gaps between news updates in the last few days which is down to personal stuff with which we won't bore you; please don't worry, though, since none of us is ill and we're all still manacled to our partners, it's nothing like that. Normal service is being resumed.

Swift snippets.
5th October: Kim Bishop's classic Gasser-styled '41 Willys is for sale as a roller at £10,000 including transporter. The car is for sale until the end of October at which point the team have plans either way. If you are interested then you can find out more under Cars for Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Congratulations and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences who qualified #1 and got through round one of eliminations at this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional event in Oklahoma. Eliminations continue today and you will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central buddies at

Further to Thursday's news item, Nigel Taylor writes that Graham Smith of Serck Motorsport, his crewman Col Law and hot rodder Michael Hawkins have all joined the driver roster of the Detroit Spinner in 2015 to attempt to beat Arthur Bonner's best speed and time. "Now added is a surprise driver for Nostalgia Nationals", says Nigel. "A well-loved figure around the sport years ago is coming back for a return which will suprise a lot of people. No clues! We can't wait for the competition to begin, Arthur needs other drivers to keep him in top form!"

Web site updates.
5th October: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer Colin Theobald looks forward to winter work on his Camaro Bruce. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any page.

Sweden's Leanders Brothers, who are racing in Top Alcohol Funny Car in the USA this season, have posted a YouTube video of their participation at the US Nationals at Indy. You can take a look at

UK Championships/SPRC Dinner Dance.
2nd October: Bookings are now being taken for the Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance and Trophy Evening, which takes place at 6:00 pm on Saturday 7th February 2015 at the St John's Hotel, Warwick Road, Solihull, Birmingham B91 1AT (
map). This event will present Champions and runners-up in the 2014 UK National Drag Racing Championships, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod Racers Club Championships and SPRC Perpetual Award winners. Avon Park International Racing Association are not participating and will announce their own presentation arrangements shortly.

The arrangements for the SPRC Dinner Dance are as follow:
  • Pre-dinner drinks will be available in the bar from 5:30 pm.

  • Proceedings will start prompt at 6:00 pm with trophy presentations to the 2014 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions and runners-up. For this reason it is important that everyone is in their seats in the function room at 6:00 pm as the presentation will not be held up for latecomers. If you miss your presentation then we will not be going back!

  • Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm.

  • After dinner, the 2014 UK National Champions and runners-up will be presented with their trophies, then the top three in the 2014 MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and finally the 2014 SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
Tickets to the Dinner Dance are £32 per adult and £15 for under-twelves which includes three-course meal plus tea / coffee and mints. Please make it clear on the form if booking tickets for under-twelves and specify a child's meal. An additional £1 per ticket should be added if paying by credit card. Verbal bookings will not be accepted: bookings will not be confirmed until a completed form is received by SPRC. Please remember to bring your ticket on the evening as the raffle will be drawn on ticket numbers.

SPRC have negotiated a preferential rate for hotel rooms in the St John's Hotel. These are priced at £75 for a single room and £85 for double or twin tooms, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the hotel on 0844 854 2910 quoting Santa Pod.

You can download the booking form (PDF format) by clicking here. A Word format form is available on the Entry Forms section of the SPRC web site at Please note that booking forms should be sent to Yvonne Tramm at the address specified and not to the SPRC address.

If you have any queries then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 or E-Mail

2013 Perpetual Award winners please note that trophies should be be returned to SPRC as soon as possible. To make arrangements for trophy return please contact Ian Marshall as above.

A whole bunch of Marras.
2nd October: Lynne Coulsell of UK Junior Dragster and Wild Bunch team Limited Funz Racing has been in touch with a review of the year in which the team became a three-car operation:

There were a lot of changes for the team this year; the Marras, Rob and Pete Brown with Mrs Marras, Hayley Fyfe and Kimberley Berry were building their own car which they were hoping to début at Dragstalgia, and Master Harley Coulsell had reached the magic age of eight so that meant Junior Dragster!

Bandit 1 - Harley Coulsell: Harley was given the most unbelievable opportunity to drive a junior dragster in 2014, which was something we didn't think we would be able to offer him. Through some very good friends, Daniel and Kirsty Giles, someone Mark has known through racing for many years made us an offer that we just couldn't refuse - for Harley to use a Junior Dragster for the 2014 season. We have not been allowed to say a proper Thank You during the year but now that the season is over we think that we can't get into trouble so we would like to say a massive thank you to Sandie and Thaliah Gibb for their kindness and generosity.

Obviously Harley was very excited by this and instantly wanted to call the car Bandit 1 as Smokey and the Bandit is one of his favourite films. He made his first run in the car the weekend following his eighth birthday in October 2013. From the fear in his eyes when he pulled round onto the start line I thought that that would be the first and last time he would be putting on that helmet! Wrong, he loved it so 2014 season here we come!

For his rookie year, Harley has had an amazing season. He was number one qualifier at the Main Event and number two at the European Championship Finals. Turns out he's not too bad on the lights either and has finished fifteenth in the National points standings. Another Thank You has to go to Daniel Giles for his excellent mentoring skills and butt kicking for some of those red lights, but as I heard Tog and Colin say at the National Finals "If you don't red light occasionally, you're not trying!".

We were very lucky to have a sponsor for the last two meetings of the year so thanks go to Matt's Groundworks in Tamworth.

We are hoping to build Harley his own Junior Dragster for 2015, of course in LFR black and orange colours.

BallBreaker – Mark and Lynne Coulsell and Steve and Anna Cassisi: We started the year with a rebuilt engine and a driver and Crew Chief with a huge thirst for a 150 mph, eight-second pass! Thanks to our only sponsors North Warwickshire and Hinckley College for giving Steve the space to build the engine and put her back together. The June Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway was a proud event for us with both BallBreaker and Bandit 1 sharing a pit for the very first time! And a weird experience for Steve crewing for dad and son who both have the same race face when strapped in their cars! Sadly we only managed two runs: one half pass (the team couldn't believe that Mark did as he was told!) and a full pass with problems as the fuel pump was not flowing as it should.

The NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakey was BallBreakers' fourth birthday and Crew Chief Steve Cassisi's thirtieth birthday! A big weekend all round so we were hoping to celebrate with our eight. Unfortunately we were still having problems on the few runs which we made. We we thought was the gearbox was at fault but it turned out to be fuel issues so still no eight at 150 mph! Could Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway be the one? The first run, after the terrified wife Bug (me!) complete with orange hot pants and boots did her job, was a 9.03 but at only 110 mph as oil was coming out after half track and Mark had to lift. The sixty foot was good though wasn't it girls Sandie, Kirsty, Anna, Claire and Sarah? The other runs were much the same with more oil so back to the drawing board. Thanks to Darryl and Sarah Howells for the donation of new rocker box covers which we hoped would fix the problem.

BallBreaker was making exhibition passes at the Alamo Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod but after the first run we still had the oil problem. Back in the pits Steve and Daniel investigated and found the source of the oil and fixed it. Unbelievably the lovely farmer had decided to harvest at the bottom of the track and dust and wheat debris were blowing all over the shut-off area so we were not allowed to make another pass. Poor Steve was champing at the bit for another run but we were all going to have to wait for the Hot Rod Drags at Shakey!

We thought that the Hot Rod Drags at Shakey would be an emotional event and for many reasons it certainly was! Unfortunately we had the very sad news that Anna's dad had passed away a few weeks before the event and we attended the funeral on the Friday. We were shocked but pleased when Anna and Steve decided to come to the track on the Friday night and for us to take part in this event. Mark, Anna's dad, had often attended this event in previous years and it was one of his favourites so we dedicated this weekend to him. RIP Mark Woodfield.

Wrathchild, with Mark's old LFR chassis, was making her début out of the LFR stable which also brought a tear to our eye... and we finally got our 150 mph! 151 mph, in fact, with a 9.02-second pass! Go Marra Chief, Steve Cassisi, you built us a mean engine and we all got what we've been waiting for in the long years since BallBreaker's début in 2010. It didn't end there: the next run was a whopping 8.76/152.2 and then an 8.67 on the third run! The team were on top of the world, champagne was on ice and there was still a Cacklefest to enjoy! The Sunday delivered us two more 8.7s so car and team all went home very happy.

Wrathchild – Rob Brown and Hayley Fyfe, Pete Brown and Kimberley Berry: The Marras acquired the old Limited Funz chassis in 2012 and were hoping to rebuild it and début it at Blackbushe in 2013. Mark was delighted when they asked if they could have the old Limited Funz Wild Bunch race number twenty and to be part of the LFR stable. As with most builds things didn't happen quite as expected and they finally had her ready for this year's Hot Rod Drags! It was decided that Rob would drive the car for the first event. A very nervous and excited team headed for the busy pairing lanes, including Marra Mom and Dad! Rob was assisted on the start line by Mark, Steve and Daniel Giles as well as Pete, Hayley and Kimberley so he was in very good hands. The first run was just a half pass and the whole team went crazy when Wrathchild went through the finish line with a 17.37/58. Go Marras, all of the hard work has paid off, a big pat on the back to you all.

The second half pass was with a burnout which Rob said was the ultimate thrill, he was like a kid in a sweet shop and seeing the Pie Crusts spin was amazing! He just got into the water box and floored it! That run was 16.49/55. The third run was to be a full pass and with a little red light Wrathchild recorded a 16.00/65. Unfortunately a problem was found with the gearbox when the car was back in the pits so Rob and Pete decided not to run on the Sunday until the issue was sorted but did the Cacklefest and were a great crowd pleaser with lots of applause and cheers. Another great reason for LFR to celebrate with some champagne on Saturday night!

The Marras would like to say a massive Thank You to the following for making their dreams come true: Marra Mom and Dad, Roy Wilding, Lesley Prior, LFR, Ian Coulsell, John Fullerton, Brad and Bazooka Ken Cooper, Paul 'Oz' Wright (for playing Wrathchild when we they in the pairing lanes), Mark Hartnell, and anyone else they may have missed. Thank you to everyone for the kind words and messages during the build, they are very much appreciated. Bring on 2015 for some more Marratastic action!

LFR would also like to say thank you to our families, friends, many supporters, sponsors,, marshals and officials, track and safety crews, commentators and organisers, photographers, Barry Bohannon and Paul 'Oz' Wright for their ever enthusiastic commentary, and a huge thank you to Chris and Claire of the C&C Racing Backdraft slingshot as without them we wouldn't have the great Wild Bunch class to run with.

It's been an amazing year for LFR, can't wait for 2015 and maybe Mark and the team will be able to run at the Main Event and European Championship Finals, even if Harley beat him to it!

The Spinner's return.
2nd October: Nigel Taylor writes on behalf of Detroit Spinner Racing to thank all those who made this season possible:

Just over a year ago we dragged the 1949  Ford Prefect from out of the garage in which it had been sat for twenty years. We checked everything on the car and replaced only what was necessary to get it back up and running and safe.

The car's first outing was the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, where the original builder Arthur Bonner (now seventy three years old) got back behind the wheel of his home-built car and after a few mistakes managed to get some decent runs in, putting a massive grin on his face and an emotional feel back in his system. The NSRA awarded us a trophy, reminding us that the whole rebuild was worth its while.

The next outing was the amazing Dragstalgia. Being put in the same class as Pure Hell and Rat Trap was an honour on its own. The front wheels were now lifting, and 12.1 at 112 was recorded by Arthur and 12.4 by Paul Dale, one of our sponsors / drivers. Then the Prefect attended the Can Am Car Show Canamania in Poole, where it got more interest. Then to round the season up, the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. The car was ready to go but Arthur wasn't feeling too good, handing the first drive to Colin Millar of Outlaw Anglia fame, 12.4 at 112, and then to Flathead guru Kelvin Helsdown, 12.2 at 113. Sunday came, Arthur felt better, his first run was a 12.1 at 114 proving that at his age he's still got his mojo.

Detroit Spinner Racing would like to thank everyone who made it possible. My great family for supporting me and being there when needed: Sophie, Elisha, Mackenzie, Fletcher Taylor. Those who purchased items throughout the year, those who helped out behind the scenes (Steve Jones, Dale Burgess), all our crew and sponsors. Arthur Bonner the main man,  Jeff Goddard Crew Chief, Graham True tow truck, Tom Mitty photo man, Paul Dale driver 2, dad Steve Dale, Nick Dunford tech man, Neil Gibbs chief push man, Mick Leadfoot Patey (yes we beat you), Kelvin Ecclescake Helsdown driver 3 - no fear, Richard Hicks beer advisor, Adam Gough (VWDRC), Justin Horne painter at Joust Performance, Desmond Ware Too Fast - Too Filling, Andover Trailers, Faraday Building Contractors, Clacys Garage of Whitchurch.

In 2015 we will hopefully go faster, stop quicker and run for longer. Work is well underway on the car , when spare time is found in between family life. New sponsors for next year include Serck Motorsport, American Motor Factors, Chris Cotten (55 Nomad fame), Kelvin Helsdown, Graham True and more. Driver Paul Dale will be out in the ex-Tim Adam Anglia which he now owns (he's got the bug again) so next season we may be looking for someone to share driving duties with Arthur. If you're looking for an opportunity to drive a piece of drag racing history, then join us on the Detroit Spinner Racing Facebook page to find out what you have to do to become part of a great team keeping a piece of Nostalgia still on the track.

We would also like to thank all the other racers, organizers and participants who made us all welcome, Santa Pod Raceway for Dragstalgia which was unbelievable, and our great friends and all the staff at Shakespeare County Raceway for keeping such a great place going. See you all in 2015!

National Finals JDB review.
2nd October: Many thanks to Lizz McCarthy for forwarding us the Junior Drag Bike racers' accounts of their weekends at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

JBP 2 Jasmine Cordelle: We arrived Friday late afternoon, and were hoping for a full weekends racing without any rain! We got it whoopie! We got the bike scrutineered, and all passed. Saturday morning, first qualifier I dialled in 9.38 and broke out by miles (ooops) and ran 9.10. Second qualifier I dialled in a 9.0 but it died on the line so ran a 11.0. After Saturday's qualifying, we had some problems with the bike as when I got back to the pits, I was stood in a puddle of fuel as the carbs flooded due to a cracked float, so we changed the float and started it up and hoped that on Sunday it would be okay as I had Blade first round!

Sunday morning, race day! I had Blade first round. I had a four second wait on the line before I could chase Blade down. I must say I do like the chasing part of it! I dialled in a 9.0 and ran a 9.27 Blade broke out so I took the win! Well done to Blade it was a great race! Second round I had Patch (Jordan) and we were both running similar times. We both dialled in 9.0. I had him off the lights, but unfortunately my bike died just before the sixty foot mark, so well done to Jordan who then had a bye to the final the lucky devil!

Well done to Louis too for winning the event. See you all at Extreme Bike for the last meeting.

JBM 3 Louis Davies: Q1 Woke up to a cold morning and expected a quick run so I dialled in a 9.35 and with a 0.15 reaction I ran a 9.46 at 70.02 mph which got me 1st qualifier. After the first pass we dialled in a 9.40 for Q2 but then redlit and broke out with a 9.39 at 70.08 mph but managed to stay first.

First elimination run on Sunday and it was getting hotter so we dialled in a 9.30 to be safe on my bye run I then ran a 9.303 which was just 0.003 off a perfect ET and I was through to the next round. Second round and it was still getting hotter so we dialled in a 9.27 and then ran a 9.31 against Liam and won so I was through to the semis. Getting closer to the final and it was getting even hotter the track was also getting stickier and I had Stacey so I dialled in a 9.27 just to be safe but then went much faster and ran a 9.23 at 71 mph, Luckily Stacey broke out by a larger amount so I was in the final. Going into the final against Jordan Kenway, knowing he was running good, we decided to dial in a 9.20 to be safe and try and get closer to my dial in. The race was won by the my quicker reaction running a 9.29 on a 9.20 against Jordan's near perfect ET.

I'd like to thank Rene Van Den Berg for the sponsorship this year and also Lightning Automotive and Beckwith Motorsports for sponsoring the Junior Drag Bike Club. Also a huge thank you to my friends and family for such an amazing weekend!

JBP 4 Jordan Kenway: We arrived at Santa Pod on the Friday, got signed on and went straight through scrutineering first time with no problems. Thanks to Scott Collier for taking me up while dad was setting up. Saturday brought rain and an oildown slowing play, but when we were called we dialled in a 9.00 and ran a 9.61. This was because before this run we put another spring in the clutch and all it did was bog and wheelie. When we got back we took it back out. In Q2 we dialled in a 9.15 and we ran a 9.14 super close but that left me seventh in qualifying.

Sunday meant race day and first round I had Natalie Jones, we dialled in a 9.00, bike launched well caught up with Natalie and shut off running a 9.20 something. Up next we had Jasmine Cordelle, we dialled in a 9.00 again but so did Jasmine meaning a heads up race, bike launched well again but unfortunately Jasmine had problems at the sixty foot mark. I didn't know this at the time so when I was looking for her I didn't have a clue where she was so I rolled off again and went through the finish line with a 9.1 something and the win light. I had a bye run to the final in which I ran a 9.03.

So then the final, me vs Louis we kept the 9.00 dial in, completed the burnout everything was fine, the bike launched well, but unfortunately I just couldn't catch Louis in time but, and this is a big but, I ran a 9.003/74 meaning a new PB in speed and time and near enough perfect ET. Had such a great weekend well done Louis on the win see you all at Extreme Bike!

Liam Holgate JBM5: Saturday I signed on early and went straight down to scrutineering all was OK but dad had to go back to the pits because he forgot the rear light. First qualifier I had to finish my observed runs because I was on my new bike so dad told me to take it slow on the first run. I staged but stalled on the line I managed to pull it back from the line so dad could restart it. I set my ET to 9.6, staged and did a smooth pull away for my observed run and ran a 10.68. Second qualifier was my last observed run I set my ET at 9.6 and ran a new PB 9.42/66.4 and qualified fifth.

First round of eliminations was against Charlotte. I set my ET at 9.3 and Charlotte set 11.4 which meant I would have to wait two seconds. This was new to me so I would have to concentrate and not red light. I ran a 9.27 and broke out but so did Charlotte with a new PB but I broke out less so I was through to the next round. Second round I was against Louis this was going to be hard as Louis was spot on this weekend. I set my ET to 9.25 and Louis set 9.27 we ran really close all the way to the line and I ran a 9.35, close but not close enough Louis ran a 9.27 and won. I was still happy though my new bike was all sorted and running great and a new PB as well. I can't wait till the next round. See you all soon.

Jake Charman JBM6: After testing at the Bulldog Bash it was time for my first meeting on the new bike. To start with we decided to keep the bike as it was and went for a dial in of 10.2 just to get a number on the board. After running a 10.8 we decided to see what could be done with the clutch. We lightened the base springs to allow for more clutch slip off the line and added weight to the arms to compensate further up the track. This worked off the line with a falling sixty foot time but definitely felt sluggish. We also noticed the shift point was set far too low as I shifted gear just as the bike was about to take off. All together it equated to a time of 11.2.

The night before eliminations we added even more weight to the arms and rose the shift point to try and get some speed back and guessed a 10.6 dial in. I ran another eleven-second run and was out. But all in all we learned a lot about the bike and what needed to be done. We are planning to go to some Run What Ya Brungs in the next few weeks to set up the clutch and find a shift and launch RPM that works.

I would like to thank Dad and Lizz for helping me over the weekend and Mandy Chant for taking me to and from the track.

JBP7 Alfie Udall: This weekend was another tough one for me. I was having problems all weekend with my bike. On the first qualifier I launched hard and wheel spun quite a bit but then my chain came off. I had to stop the bike immediately and wait for help. On the second qualifier I was told to just take it easy by my dad and get a number on the board. So we dialed in an eighteen and I went a little bit too fast and ran a fifteen.

In the first round of eliminations against Siobhan I launched well and won the race with no problems with the bike. Siobhan unfortunately had problems on the start line which was disappointing. In the second round of eliminations I had Stacey. I knew it would have been a close race to the finish but once again unfortunately my chain came off, and that was the race over for me.

Once again I had to wait for help and then lift my bike over the wall and through a gate back into the pits. Overall not the best weekend but I am glad I got to see all my friends and I still had a fun time. Looking forward to the last round where my bike will be once again ready to race.

Stacey Reed JBM9: I don't know whether to be happy or sad! In both qualifiers I was quite a way off my dial ins but my runs were still pretty consistent which was good. To my surprise, I ended up third in qualifying behind Louis and Natalie. After finding out I was currently second in the Santa Pod Championships I had a little spring in my step in the morning.

After expecting to be eliminated after round one I was pleasantly surprised when I beat Jake Charman. I have to admit I was nowhere near my dial in but still, I was through. Next round I met Alfie. Unfortunately, something happened to Alfie's bike which meant he didn't finish which is a shame because I was looking forward to this race. On this run I dialled a 9.6 and went 9.73 as I lifted because Alfie was nowhere to be seen. Last but not least I raced Louis and everything got a bit too exciting and I was a bit too eager to win and I broke out. I dialled a 9.6 again but went 9.49. It's all well and good getting to the semis but there's only one meeting left now. I guess I'll see you all then!

P.S. Well done to Louis for winning and to Patch for coming second, you boys did good! And... bye bye Siobhan! We're all going to miss you, good luck and kick some butt x

JBM10 Siobhan Moor: My last ever JDB race report, well where do I start? First of all I would just like to say a huge thank you to every single person that is some way a part of Junior Drag Bike Club. Each one of you has helped me along my journey as a Junior whether it's making sure I'm okay at the top end or making me laugh in the long waits in the fire up roads! Even though I've had Jerry Collier and my Dad pestering me to start racing since I was nine I just wish I wasn't so stubborn and now I incredibly regret not starting earlier. I would also like to thank my family for bringing me up in this special sport and giving me this amazing opportunity to take part at a young age. I've had some great memories in my time racing as Junior and now I am extremely excited to hop on to my sister's old bike and see where that takes me... hopefully into Super Street but father won't let me ha-ha! I hope to follow in my sisters footsteps of riding it like a nutter! Thank you for my gorgeous pictures, we have now had to create a new wall for them all to go on.

Anyway my race report yes, well I mostly wanted this to be my thank yous so to cut it short I had an average qualifying number and lost the first round due to only just crossing the start line as I didn't put enough revs on. But oh well I'm happy to say I had a fab last race meeting as a Junior! Congratulations to the Championship winner and the winner and runner up from the weekend! Also thank you to Lizz McCarthy for all the hard work she has put into our Club and good luck to the new Chair and Vice Chair. Good luck for all you racers next year will look forward to seeing you step up and no doubt will see you a lot anyway! Thank you all again! Lots of love x

P.S. Keep up the girl power Jasmine Cordelle, Stacey Reed, Natalie Jones and Charlotte Hales!

JBM11 Charlotte Hales: Woke up Saturday morning to mist and damp, but sign on and scrutineering went without a hitch. Dad dialled in a 12.25 based on the Junior Fun Day consistency and against Jake I managed to put in an 11.30! Oops I was happy despite a breakout though. Dad reckoned I was getting a little tailwind help so for the second qualifier of the day he dialled in a 11.15 Luckily for this last qualifier, I ran am 11.45 against Natalie. This proved the previous run was no fluke. It also put me in fourth qualifier.

Sunday morning was bright and clear with still a tail/crosswind. I was drawn against Liam for the first elimination. Dad being a bit over confident with the times and speeds decided not to change the board from the previous day and I went out with a a 11.15 dial in again. Breakout again! This time a 10.77 and despite Liam breaking out, he beat me into the next round. Although that was my day over, I was pleased to have run a PB on ET.

Thanks to Dad, Mum, Emily and Dangerface Drag Racing including Martin Dust for this season at all tracks. Thanks also to Junior Drag Bike Club and all our sponsors for making it possible for me to race. See you all at Extreme in October.

JB12 Blade Dummer: Arrived at the pod Friday so plenty of time to set up and get signed on. We had tested the week previous so had the bike running well so I was happy. In qualifying the weather was funny and the bike ran slower than expected but still qualified in fifth, which was good.

Sunday came and the air was better so I told Dad to leave the dial in and not to change it, so we put 13.12 for the first round and the track wasn't as sticky and I broke out only just with a 13.10, so that was our day done but gave me chance to watch all the other Juniors race. You all looked great by the way and have some videos. Well done to Louis and Jordan that was a close final.

Thanks to FBM Turbos, Tim at Beckwith Motorsports and Magic Bullet Fuel Additivies. I can't wait for the next round and the season is almost done, it's gone so quickly.

JBM14 Natalie Jones: Well the National Finals was a bit of an up down experience for me it had highlights and it had the 'Eh' moments. Saturday: Due to the weather, break downs and oil downs we only managed to get two qualifying runs out of three. Q1 - I dialled in an 11.50 but because I dumped the clutch, pulled a wheelie and half way up the track missed a gear I ran a 13.02 doh! But I didn't worry to much as I qualified sixth of eleven. Q2 - This run made my day! After a poor start, we dialled in an 11.60 and I ran an 11.73 which then moved me right up to number two qualifier! But on the way back down the return road my exhaust blew, but that wasn't too much of a worry because my dad and uncle sorted it out. It's amazing what a Coke can can do!

Sunday: The weather was being a lot kinder, the track was in good condition and there was a tail wind, fab! Nothing could go wrong with the elimination rounds! This was my first championship round of eliminations since starting Juniors.

E1 - I was against Jordan so I was really excited to have our "re-race" from the Junior Fun Day! I dialled in an 11.60 and that gave me a two second head start. I did one of my best reactions yet .269 and then it started to go downhill... my bike wouldn't go into third gear, the gear box had jammed in second so that ensured Jordan would get the win. Just after 330 feet I decided to pull over not risking it any further just in case any fluid was dripping. But I had a good dance on the strip whilst waiting for assistance to come help me, thanks NitroFM but sadly that put an end to my racing weekend.

Just want to say thank you to Lightning Automotive for sponsoring the qualifying trophies and thank you to everyone else who was there looking out for me and supporting me. Well done to Louis Davies for winning the National Finals! And a big goodbye to Siobhan Moor, it's been lovely having you in Juniors, sad that you're leaving, wish you all the best for Supertwin ET!

As always we would like to thank our sponsors and supporters the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Tim Beckwith at Beckwith Motorsports USA, Gary at Lightning Automotive UK, Brandi and the team at,, track crew, marshalls, photographers, and huge thanks must go to all the JDB Families, who put a lot into this Junior Bike Class.

Lizz' Funny story.
2nd October: Lizz McCarthy herself has had a frustrating season but ended up enjoying herself:

I've had no bike to race, due to the Comp Bike going off to have some modifications which should have been ready for August but then unfortunately, through no one's fault, the deal fell through which left me with nothing ready to ride! For the first time, I had been invited to the Bulldog Bash, which is always a hoot and a holler, and we were looking into other options on what to ride. Thanks to Richard Gipp, we were able to rent his Pro Mod Bike. Kev and Gipp spent a weekend sorting it out, as it had not been ridden for two years, got the bike home, but we were unable to test as work commitments had left everything to the last minute!

After the amazing fun I had at the Bulldog Bash, running a 7.6 first time on nitrous with this bike, and getting a feature in MCN, and my fifteen minutes of fame, I fell in love with racing all over again, and asked Gipp if I could rent it again, and enter it for the UK National Finals in Funny Bike. FB24 was born! The weekend came. Kev had finished work early to get to the track. I followed on a couple of hours later. Straight out of the car, and onto the bike, and managed to sign on and get it scrutineered before it shut... just made it in the nick of time, thanks Steve. The following day we did a bit of maintenance, got the bike prepped and ready to go. I was as always excited and nervous at the same time. This début in Funny Bike was quite a thing for me, I was comfortable in Comp Bike. This was a challenge! It was a pretty big field, I really wanted me and the bike to do well! The whole team were able to come this weekend, including one of my very dear friends Jeni Long of, who asked if she could film us in the pits and beyond. This should be interesting! You can check it out for yourself at

First Qualifier. Burnout, so far so good. Up to the line, lights went down, launched, and wheel spun, short shifted all the way up, but still managed a 1.14 sixty foot and 7.62/172. “Did you wait for the shift light Lizzy?". Erm... I didn't see the light at all. Doh! One run out of the way! I would be more together next time. But number two qualifier. How very cool! Second Qualifier. Too much water in the burnout box, and still water on my tyre, wheelspin all the way, and a tail wag. But got to the end in one piece with a slower 1.20 sixty foot and 7.81/171, grinning like a loon! Time wasn't on our side, and the curfew stopped a third qualifier. I had Bob Brooks in the first round of eliminations. That could go either way. The last time I raced him, it was in Comp Bike, and he ran a 7.1 to my 7.7! Bike was ready, I was ready, and crew were ready. Time for a bit of food, and a relax with the team, and see what happens the following day.

Bike on two-step in pits, and refuelled, all good. We were called into the pairing lanes, shook Bob's hand, and away we went. Burnout, back into first, nitrous on, straightened up, pat on the back, and over to me. As I paddled up to pre-stage and then stage, as I put my thumb on the two-step, my right foot slipped off the foot peg, and got wedged under the peg – I have small feet, and the pegs are just that little bit too high for me. Got it back onto the peg, but lost concentration, let go of the button, and launched about a fortnight before the lights went down. Dammit! It was an awesome run, isn't that always the way, but unfortunately no time or speed. Got to the top end, and was surprised to see Bob coming around the corner too. He too had redlit, but not as badly as me, so he took the win!

I had such fun, and all thanks to some pretty amazing people who make it so enjoyable. Richard Gipp – the owner of the bike, and all round good egg, Kevin Charman my amazing bloke, puts up with a lot, and has been one amazing mentor, he has taught me so much over the years, and such a great support. I can't wait for him to be back out there on the Fuel Bike! Chris Pyke, the best Crew Chief ever, his dedication to us all as a team and we are very blessed to have him as a great friend. Huge thanks, too, to the rest of the incredible Super Crew: Julie Moxley, Sarah Chapman, Mandy Chant and Jake Charman.

So now what? Well, I am not going to be doing the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, but I have spoken to Gippy about next season. I thought I was, but I'm not ready to retire just yet! You can check out what we are all up to on Facebook or on our web site at

Bracket Gamblers update.
2nd October: Sixteen Bracketeers faced the tree at Shakespeare County Raceway's Late Summer Madness Public Track Weekend for a round of the Warwickshire drag strip's in-house ET Bracket Gamblers Challenge series. Jerry Cookson writes:

With two qualifying sessions and four rounds of racing ahead the challenge began when Super Stock racer Vic Parson's 440ci '65 Plymouth Belvedere instantly grabbed the number one spot with a bang on 11.451 on an 11.45 dial. Fresh with a rebuilt motor Del Sanderson drove the Serck Motorsport sponsored '71 Chevy Nova into the number two spot with an 11.205 (11.20 dial). It was pleasing to see some new racers joining the series. After a few outings at the Hot Rod Drags Jordan Cowley drove his dad's Sportsman ET Z28 Camaro into the twelfth spot. Geoff has vacated the seat having acquired the ex Brian Whitfield flamed Chevy Nova. And if you think the series is predominately for American doorslammers then think again. Lee Parkinson entered his modified two-litre turbo Vauxhall Corsa into the bracket and qualified eleventh with consistent 12.8s. Also making the effort was Wayne Mason driving a 3.8 litre Nissan GTR turbo. He qualified eighth at 11.048 on a 10.99 dial. With the top half of the ladder covered by the Warhorse V6 Mustang of Vic Fisher, Mark Pearson's GMC '69 Hauler and the ‘68 Chevy truck of Neil L'Alouette, we were in for an afternoon's worth of upsets especially with the likes of former bracket winners Simon Parker, John Mulligan and Brian Huxley qualifying their race cars near to the bottom of the ladder!

In the opening round top qualifier Vic Parsons put his Super Stocker out of contention after misjudging his 11.45 dial with a losing 11.418 gifting Nathan Hulkes '98 Camaro a place in the second round. The upsets continued when Del Sanderson knocked himself out or competition by turning on the red bulb with a -0.020 red against Brian Huxley's Pro ET Mustang. Gamblers campaigner Don Brittain took an easy lap into round two after Adrian Jones failed to show at the line in the ex-Phil Herrick Super B MGB GT. His non-appearance was down to a broken gearbox. John Mulligan's Buick Skylark put away Wayne Mason's 3.8 litre Nissan; a 16.167 on a 16.12 dial against the GTR's closing 11.82 after running out of real estate!

On the other side of the ladder Neil L'Alouette put away the late model Chevy Camaro of UK Power Tour organiser Andy Dibley while Simon Parker's '68 Camaro played catch up and eventually overhauled the new style Type R Honda Civic of Curtis Fisher. The remaining wins fell to newcomers Jordan Cowley against Mark Pearson's GMC truck and Lee Parkinson's Corsa outlasted the advancing V6 top end charge from Vic Fisher's Mustang.

Upsets came and went in round two after John Mulligan forgot where he was running, a big breakout 16.069 on a 16.12 dial to hand the win to Jordan Cowley. The little Corsa's day came to an end against Simon Parker whose 9.971 stayed on the right side of his 9.86 dial. Long time bracket racer Brian Huxley was using his 9.85 dial to maximum effect against the Indy 500 Pace Car replica of Don Brittain. Closing out the round was Neil's Chevy truck running an 11.991 (11.95) against Nathan Hulkes' breakout 13.670 on a predicted 13.72 dial.

With sixteen cars now whittled down to just four all eyes were looking at young Jordan's Z28 Camaro especially as in the opposing lane sat the Dark Horse Mustang of cagey veteran Mr Huxley. With dial-ins displayed Jordan ran a near perfect race with a cautious 15.430 on a 15.30 dial. In the end it was the hard charging Ford which stole the win with a 9.979 on a 9.85 dial. On the other side of the ladder Simon Parker was just a hair too quick on the tree as a -0.008 put the 440ci Camaro back on the trailer handing Neil's truck the round win.

In the final Neil knew what he had to do as he stomped all over the lane in a vain attempt to cover the advancing Ford. But at the finish stripe it was Brian who got to the line first by just half a car.

With the trophies, money and supporters' goodie bags duly handed over we're now looking forward now to the next Gambler to be held on Sunday 11th October. Bracket organisers would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mark from On The Bottle as a Gamblers race supporter. Mark dispenses nitrous whenever anyone is in need of a refill, and he's also agents for NOS equipment and a VP Racing Fuels supplier. So please supporte the people who support bracket racing. Finally the organisers wish to also thank regular Gamblers Brian Huxley and Don Brittain, and Raceway official Nigel Statham, for all their help and encouragement at promoting the series to RWYB event attendees. The final race of this year's campaign will be Halloween Sunday 26th October. If you want to get involved then check out the Gamblers page on the Raceway web site or the SCR Bracket Gamblers Facebook page. See you at the strip!

NSRA back Hall of Fame Gala.
2nd October: With a substantial four-figure sum, the National Street Rod Association UK has joined the list of those sponsoring the prestigious 2014 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Celebration Gala Awards Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on 22nd November.

Before the formation of the NSRA, hot rod enthusiasts tended to be organized as a division of one of the two main drag racing clubs. The NSRA grew out of the National Drag Racing Club Roadster Register with the inaugural meeting being held at the Wheatsheaf Public House on the Reigate Road in Surrey in 1972. It is now a National organization for hot rodders, each year organising two of the UK's largest hot rod show weekends plus two major auto parts swap meets, and in conjunction with Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway is involved with three nostalgia drag racing events.

For the NSRA's fortieth anniversary in 2012, NSRA Street Gasser magazine editor Nick Brooke-Langham set about the massive task of recording the history of the NSRA in book form. The resulting 360-page publication Keeping the Dream Alive was issued to all NSRA members free of charge to recognise the anniversary year.

Jason Hollamby of the NSRA said "We have recently been working with the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame linked to our involvement in the Dragstalgia meet at Santa Pod. We really admire what they are doing and the way they go about it. The NSRA Hall of Fame was established in 2012 as part of the NSRA's fortieth anniversary with the aim to recognize significant contributions or achievements from people or vehicles within the hobby, so there is much synergy between our two organisations both of which are truly national bodies. We are keen to develop this obvious common ground and our sponsorship of this special event is hopefully just the start of a long-term relationship."

BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said "One of the most costly and important requirements for a successful awards event is installing the right audio-visual support. Julian Parsons, whom most of you will know from Nitro FM at Santa Pod, and AMP Audio Solutions will be providing this support for the Gala Dinner. The not-insubstantial costs are being sponsored by the NSRA this year and we offer our sincere thanks.

"Working with the NSRA to develop Dragstalgia has been a pleasure. Drag racing is the traditional hot rodder's sport and hot rodding is the very foundation of drag racing. Most drag racing pioneers are hot rodders at heart – including me."

Web site updates.
2nd October: Trakbak Racing Ltd in association with Track Group Europe are pleased to announce that the full HD one-hour TV Show from the FIA/FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is now available to view on-line at The show features the climax of the 2014 European Drag Racing Championships in Top Fuel Dragster, Top Methanol Funny Car, Top Methanol Dragster, Pro Stock, Pro Modified, Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike.

We were informed by Santa Pod Raceway yesterday that will not be able to webcast either the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend or the Flame and Thunder Show. At time of writing our understanding is that SPR do not plan to webcast these events themselves. Please bear in mind that when covering events at Santa Pod we are guests and it is their track, their rules; we all owe SPR a debt of gratitude for allowing us to broadcast so many events up to now.

Interview: Rex Sluggett.
1st October: For the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, Simon interviewed 1960s UK racer Rex Sluggett.

Rex Sluggett grew up in Cornwall and at the age of nineteen built one of Britain's first dragsters, the Duke of Cornwall, which had a blown 331 ci Hemi engine. After a demonstration run at a self-organised event at RAF Winkleigh, Rex took the Duke of Cornwall to Santa Pod in 1966 and met Dennis Priddle. With the support of Rex's mother Lilian, Rex and Dennis built Tudor Rose, a Top Dragster modelled on Don Prudhomme's The Hawaiian powered by a Keith Black late-model Hemi engine. Tudor Rose ran in 1968 and in its twenty three trips down the track that year ran best numbers of 8.28/182.82. The team broke up in spring of 1969 before a successor car was completed and Rex decided to move to work in the US, where he lives today.

In a fascinating and detailed interview Rex describes his racing and varied work career, his experiences with Keith Black, Bill Simpson and other legendary names, his travails to get his Green Card, and a lot more.

You can check out our interview with Rex Sluggett by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Dave Riswick of sponsor John Woolfe Racing for helping to arrange the interview and for supplying prints of archive photographs.

Sywell does the drags.
1st October: We are indebted to Stephen Billings who kindly sent us a report of the eighth-mile drag racing demonstration at the weekend's Sywell Classic at Sywell Aerodrome:

The dragster demos were run on part of the taxiway, over an eighth of a mile using a portable set of lights supplied by Santa Pod Raceway. Various cars were there including most of the Taz team as well as cars from Outlaw Anglia, Super Pro ET, the Gasser Circus and some Hot Rods from UK Street Machines. Although just demos there were people at the end of the eighth with flags to indicate the winner.

The first to run were Taz 10 driven by Colin Hutson, and Taz 6 driven by Brian Nixon.  Both making lots of smoke in the burnouts, with nice straight runs, the win going to Brian. Next was Taz 11 driven by Darren Scannell, and Roy Don, in SP 1778.   Both producing lots of smoke, and good runs, with the win going to Darren. After a solo run by Kevin Preston in the Topolino bodied Valkyrie from the Wild Bunch, racing continued.

Next up were two of the Taz Fiat 12s, Taz 5 and Taz 3, driven by Adam and Lucy Skinner respectively. Both cars doing almost no burnout, or pulling a wheelie. Although Adam's car popped and banged its way down the track, he still managed the win. Taz 14 driven by Dave Arnold and Taz 1 driven by Chris Skinner were up next.  Fair amounts of smoke in the burnouts, with a snaky launch from Chris, who went on to win. Dennis Reynolds Corvette was up against Mick Ette's SP 56 Chevy. No smoke from either, with the smallest of burnouts yet, the win going to Dennis.

Then a five-window Hot Rod whose driver's name I didn't get was up against the Gasser Desert Rat driven by Colin Nutt. This race produced the moment, and save, of the day.  Just after starting the hot rod turned sharp left, giving those watching from behind the start a full left side view.  It then passed behind the Gasser, going onto the grass at the side of the taxiway before being turned round and coming back onto the track. I found out later that it had just missed the Gasser, by a small distance.  

Then the two Outlaw Anglias OA 70 driven by Mark Braicking, and OA 99 Phil 'Ginner' Middleton came to the line.  Good burnouts with lots of smoke, from both cars.  Ginner had a snaky run, but took the win. The 'Mopar Brothers' of Donny Scott's Superbird and SP 1778 Kwik Magic, driven by Roy Don were next, both producing huge amounts of smoke in the burnouts, with the win going to the Superbird, by a quite small amount as I found out later.

Jeff Thurston in his Mustang, Taz 12, had travelled from Romford in Essex only to be the bad luck story of the event. Not only had his camper developed problems but his race car's water pump broke, so he only made one pass in the afternoon.

Super Pro ET Party set.
1st October: Thanks to Pete Walters of sponsor Peter Walters Race Design for the eagerly-anticipated date of the second annual Super Pro ET Party:

The party takes place on Saturday 14th March 2015 at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, High Street, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9LH - the same venue as last year. Tickets are £20 per head and include an amazing hog roast buffet courtesy of Rod and Kim Harrison, a disco, our special awards as per last year, and a cash raffle with winner and runner-up prizes. We have reserved the whole hotel; rooms are available to reserve from at £70 per room, call 01354 602890 and quote Super Pro ET Group.

The following hotels are also close by: Ye Old Griffen 01354 652517, Causeway Hotel 01354 650823, King William 01354 653378, Classics 01354 680363, and RV and Caravan parking is also available at the Harrisons' place. Please let Richard Walters knowas soon as possible on how many tickets you require, or call 07729 266191 or 01278 663804. Cheques should be made payable to Super Pro ET Group and the address is Richard Walters, The Old Dairy, Hulkshay Lane, North Petherton, Somerset, TA6 6NZ. Bank transfer details are: Super Pro ET Group, Sort Code 20 85 26, Account 73900320.

Swift snippets.
1st October: 13:00 After much hard work and intensive negotiation the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame have managed to secure a few extra seats at table for their Gala Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel in Windsor on Saturday 22nd November. These spaces are likely to go quickly so get in touch with BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury as soon as you can at A hotel room is also on offer in the Windsor Central Travelodge for that evening; £45 and an E-Mail to and the room is yours.

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of came with the words "The world's smallest three-plate clutch, fully base and CF adjustable". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Matthew's perfect race.
1st October: UK Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy had a perfect weekend at the UK National Finals, both literally and figuratively. Dad Michael writes:

Aged nine and in his second ever National event - the first was the rained-off SPRC Summernationals - Matthew he went to the final round to face 2014 Champion Joe Kellett. Matthew had worked his way through four rounds of competition with what can only be described as a cautious series of reaction times and benefitted from his opponent breaking out each time. Things took a more dream-like quality when in the semi final against Scott Gibbons he managed to run a Perfect ET with a 13.6001 on a 13.60 dial in. Thanks to and Gold RV for the addition to the racing fund!

In the final Joe was too cute to hand Matthew another breakout win and he sealed the event win in style. We wish Joe the best of luck in Super Pro ET next year. Matthew got to share the podium with Joe at the prizegiving after the racing had finished and picked up a trophy for his efforts. He would like to thank all the other racers and mums and dads for the advice and encouragement on the day. In particular we would like to thank Chris Barnes, Fenny, the Seamarks and Ian Marshall. For example, when the chain broke on Matthew's last qualifying run on Saturday, Ian went off to the pits and when we next saw the car it was all fixed, courtesy of a link from Joe Kellett!

Looking to next year the plan is currently to contest all the Santa Pod races in the SPRC car and to continue the rise of the Junior Stocks along with Dylan Thomas Bradley and Scott Gibbons, both of whom made their débuts in June with Matthew. Dylan even got his licence on the same day as Matthew! However Matthew is ten next year so, in the words of the other parents, it could get expensive...

PMR's ideal season closer.
1st October: Paul Marston Racing had a real tough week leading up to the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, but winning Super Comp made all the hard work worthwhile. Paul Marston writes:

Installing a motor and reinstating all the systems on our new Miller four-link dragster was quite an achievement and the credit has to go to Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering for all the small parts and pieces which Gary had to fabricate, any one of which could have stopped us in our tracks. I finished off with a full systems check and final assembly after a scare with a faulty oil filter before loading up and shipping out for Santa Pod early on the Friday morning. I managed to get just two hits in a checkout and a full pass on the Friday test session prior to Amanda Cox's unfortunate incident.

Come Saturday the three qualifying sessions turned into the two which I expected, justifying our decision to double-class the dragster to get four passes -two in Super Pro ET and two in Super Comp. This meant that the PT Bruiser did not make its scheduled appearance in Super Pro ET; apologies to all who were expecting to see it including Helen at Zeon TV. I qualified fourth in Super Pro ET on the dragster's third full pass, but Martin Curbishley never ran the right size of the Super Comp index. But with .00 lights Martin was ready. Come Sunday I made the second round and went gloriously red whilst Martin won the event. I must congratulate Martin Curbishley and the PMR Crew on a job well done. Martin was on the Tree from the get-go and the rest is history, a great win with a simply outstanding race car. Not only is it wicked quick, it is also deadly accurate. I have a lot of history with this dragster and to win first time out with it is about as good as it gets. It's a real team effort, the Paul Marston Racing crew really made the difference along with a little luck. To win against such quality opposition you have to do your job and be there to be counted and reckoned with, our dragster made its presence felt and once again was a winner.

With just the usual winter maintenance to be carried out, the PMR dragster can hit the ground running in 2015 at Easter. At this time the seat of the dragster is available for tuition for the 2015 season, it is ready to win National events and could potentially be a serious National Championship contender in either Super Pro ET or Super Comp. If you are interested in Drag Race School tuition or our dragster race rental programme then please contact us via E-Mail or call me on 07831 650230.

Many thanks to Rene and Andrea Kloss, who won Hockenheim with the dragster, for selling us this great car; Tony Morris, the American representative of PMR, for all the help and advice; Gary Springford DRE (0208 597 9484) for pulling all the stops out; Mick 'Chopper' Howling – No. 9 for the Racers; Sefton Whitlock; Lisa Farmer; Keith Bick; Mick Pusey; Crewchief and Kingsize for all their expertise and bloody hard work; for all your excellent coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed); Santa Pod track crew for such a great job so well done; Santa Pod management and all others involved in the football match which we won; and last but not least all our business partners, sponsors, supporters and fans. Without you we would not be here.

King crowned an eighth time.
1st October: The Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel Bike team continued their amazing win record in the FIM European Championship when rider Ian King clinched his eighth European Championship, and the team's third in succession, at his home track of Santa Pod Raceway.

The team travelled to the last round in the prestigious Championship with the knowledge that although it was mathematically possible for their great rivals and good friends Rikard Gustafsson of Sweden and Filippos Papafilippou of Greece to push them into third position that it would take a truly superhuman effort and an unnatural set of circumstances for them to lose their Championship lead.

The European Finals weekend started brightly with great weather, a huge crowd with the stands and banking packed. The team got off to a great start with an off the trailer 6.1038 second run to put Ian a significant distance ahead of the rest of the field and in the number one qualifying position which remained intact into the second day of qualifying where he ran an even quicker 6.0619 to consolidate top spot into race day. Expectations were high amongst fans and supporters that the team would repeat their five-second performances on the well prepared track.

However, the team suffered a number of uncharacteristic issues for the remainder of qualifying, and a drop in oil pressure in the first round match-up with eventual finalist Otto Knebl ended in a fiery blaze after the bike broke two conrods which exited through the engine block resulting in an oil and fuel fed blaze and a series of nasty electric shocks through the handlebars as the fire burnt through the high energy ignition system.

Notwithstanding the premature end to the race for the team their number one qualifying position had earnt them an unassailable Championship points lead and the disappointment of the first round loss was quickly forgotten as the team celebrated their continued Championship success. At the Gala Presentation team rider Ian King said "I am honoured to have had the privilege of riding the awesome Gulf Oil Dragracing machine once again this year. This has been a year of superlatives, winning the first event of the year in the US Championship, leading both the US and European Championships at the same time, running our quickest ever time of 5.8 seconds, t aking the final position in the prestigious MTC Top Fuel Five Second Club and now to win our eighth European Championship title is testament to our fantastic race team of Michael Beaumont, Marius van der Zijden, Martin Brookman, Nick Pepper and Debbie King, and the direct support of Gulf Oil International and Grand Prix Originals. Despite the set up problems we suffered this weekend the machine has been unbelievably reliable, the quality of the world leading parts supplied by our fantastic team of product support and the help of our service supporters has been immense. A special mention must go to John and Dea Morgan, our primary US race partners along with Mike and Sandy Marsh who made our US trip such a success and Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes who are not only great photojournalists but also good friends and invaluable sponsors.

"Finally I must thank my wonderful family of Debbie, Georgina and Alexandra who have sacrificed so much to support my race endeavours through thick and thin, my awesome friends and fans across the world who provide so much help and positive energy and my fellow racers who make this Championship the greatest in the World – I thank you all so much!"

You can see the team run low qualifier and quickest time of the event on the video of qualifying coverage at around 3h 52m by clicking here, and you can see the team suffer their first round woes on this video at around 3h 12m by clicking here.

For more information about Gulf Oil Drag Racing visit

The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in winning the 2014 European Championship:

APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Action Cameras - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Blackcat Motorsports - The leading V Rod Harley race team
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
Hotrod Hangar– Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
King Racing - The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European drag racing history
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC Engineering - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
RSG Customize - The UK's most creative website designers and vinyl artists
Supertough - Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
Spies Hecker - The world's leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
Vanson Leathers - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
Web Camshafts Inc - Simply the company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
Worldwide Bearings - The world's leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts

Swift snippets.
30th September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm for passing us the final car class points standings in the Santa Pod Racers Club Championships, which you can check out on our
OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page. Bike classes have their final round at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway on 18th-19th October.

Which leads very nicely to a thank you to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 3 of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Cinderella's gallant princes.
29th September: UK Pro ET racer Carla Pittau writes that the UK National Finals was a real ball for Team Heaven & Hell. In fact it was more than that: it was a fairy tale ball or even the implausible script for a movie:

The team started preparing for the two-day race with trepidation, as both the national and the SPRC titles would be decided at this event. With the win at the European Finals Rick had extended his lead over Novelty Racer Keef and the Herbs mob, but Mopar people cannot be trusted: you think you have finally tamed them and they suddenly break their chains, make a few dead-on runs, cut a couple of killer lights, and hey presto bye bye tinware and high honours, the Herbs have captured all and it's doom and gloom and sadness and despair and gnashing of teeth. Or a bit disappointing, anyway.

Our cars, both the red and the blue, fortunately needed no work after the Euros, but misfortune hit us when the after only eighteen months of service the Airtex fuel pump in my tow vehicle gave up the ghost in the Sainsbury's car park on Friday 12th. Naturally the tow vehicle was full of frozen food. I managed to get home with the very nice men of AA at about midnight and hoped I would get a pump the following day to fit over the weekend, but it seemed that nobody in the UK had one. We knew we could get one from Rockauto and ordered a Delphi unit on the Saturday to be shipped by the fastest route, and it duly arrived on Thursday morning at my office for installation on Thursday evening. Unfortunately it was an in-tank pump and of course we had to siphon out nearly one hundred litres of fuel before we could lower and remove it, but installation was straightforward and we thought we'd solved the problem. However when we tried to start the truck, the pump remained totally silent. We did all of the usual checks, prime circuit, relays, fuses, hit it with a mallet… nothing. The unit was getting power as the fuel level sender worked fine. Another Chinese piece of crap, perhaps made in the same factory that made the Airtex one?

This is how we found ourselves ringing every van hire place in the South East on Friday morning, looking for any vehicle with a tow bar that could tow a 4500-pound car and trailer combo. Alas all the places we used years ago were taken over by larger companies which do not rent anything for towing, or closed down or disappeared, and the few companies which still advertised vehicles with tow bars didn't have anything at short notice. Of course we could leave my car behind, after all it was the blue car that we needed to race so it wouldn't be terrible, but I was gutted all the same. I love to race, I missed two meetings this year due to lack of funds and now that things have improved I really wanted to… go to the ball… so I thought I would call Simon Gough to ask him if he knew any place where we could get a van with a tow bar. Simon was already at the Pod as he had booked the Test Day but, being Simon, he just answered "I'll see you in a couple of hours" and dropped everything, jumped into his Land Rover Discovery and drove down to London giving up at least five hours of testing just so I could take my car to Santa Pod.

So Simon arrived in his Discovery, the golden carriage that would take Cinderella to the ball, hitched the trailer with the help of multiple team crew Dan Devlin and went straight back to the Pod, where we joined him a while later, got scrutineered and pitted and relaxed and weren't even as late as we often are. Words cannot express how grateful we were to Simon and how matter of factly he treated the whole thing. This man has a heart of gold and no mistake, a true diamond geezer and a true friend as well as producing the best banter in the pits (rivalled only by the Herbs Tribe) and I just wish we get the opportunity to do something for him in the future.

In the qualifying wars the following day Rick broke out twice, the second time by nine thousandths and sank to seventeenth place in the ladder, whilst I hit a dead on with a four and qualified third. I just wished we could swap, but the proof of the pudding is in the eliminations, and I had good hopes that Rick would once again put in the consistent performance he had at the European Finals.

Race day came and we were ready to do battle. Rick had Jon Turner in the lovely street legal Barracuda, Green Fish, and I faced Paul Jackson in Proteus 4, a beautifully presented black '68 Camaro. Paul said we could go heads up as we run very similar times and I would have liked to do that too, but I wasn't confident that I could run a 9.70 as my passenger side tyre had gone down from nineteen pounds to fifteen in the time I drove from the pits, so I was forced to lower both tyres way below the pressure I like to run in my radials and feared they might wrinkle too much and drag me down. So I decided on a 9.76. Cinderella pulled a 0.05 light and flew to the top end, a double breakout showing how much we both had properly analysed the track, the weather conditions and the tailwind, with Paul running a 9.60 on a 9.72 and me a 9.65 standing on the brakes and taking the win.

Again I would have gladly swapped results. Rick and Jon went heads up with a 9.98 dial in, but unfortunately Rick went straight into stage and had the slowest reaction of the weekend, a 0.08, coupled with a further focus-destroying event when the foam padding on the top bar of his roll cage fell on his face as he landed from the wheelie. A 0.08 may well do in a lot of races but it proved fatal in this one as Jon had a 0.06 which allowed him to lift and break out by less than Rick did, a winning 9.94 over a losing 9.93. The Championship chase seemed to have ground to a halt, then Mike Lacey informed us that all top points leaders, including himself but except Lee Huxley, had gone out in the first round and that Rick would therefore take the crown. We were understandably delighted with the result even if Rick kept kicking himself for having screwed up the staging. He is a perfectionist and he will not forgive himself for any mistake he makes.

However I was still in and we took a look at my tyre to see if we could find the leak, knowing that we had a repair kit if need be, and didn't have to look very far: a great big serrated nail was found, sticking out low down on the inside tyre wall. I had made a burnout and a full pass in anger with that nail in my tyre. Repairing a tyre is not difficult and long suffering Crew Chief Dave Buckland has done it many times, but you are not supposed to mend a tyre when it has a hole in the sidewall with a simple plug kit and he wasn't happy about it. I felt I would happily risk a repair with what we had as at least I would be aware of it and would be braced for any sudden lack of pressure, after all I've had regular blowouts on trailers when towing cars and on the camper (mainly abroad) when I wasn't expecting it and managed to keep everything straight, so I started to insist that we try, when Mike Lacey (Fairy Godmother 2) appeared again. After two minutes he came back with his wheels, explaining that as he'd gone out in the first round he didn't need them. Cinderella could wear borrowed shoes and stay at the ball…

With more than a little help from my friends I could face Jon Turner in round two and try and balance the score. My reaction wasn't brilliant at 0.10 but Jon was kidnapped by aliens as he wound up his alarm clock on the start line and I found myself with quite a bit to play with at the top end, hit the brakes and ran a 9.70 on a 9.64, and once again got a win light on my lane. The music was getting sweeter. In the third round I was paired with Bob Molden in the White Noise Peugeot. Bob can pull a killer light and run multiple dead ons, but I was relaxed, I wasn't in the Championship chase and the only reason I wanted to win this round was so that I could have another go on the track, I was enjoying myself greatly and driving for one more round was definitely its own reward. This time, however, Bob wasn't quite there with his reaction and my 0.05 was enough to get the win by tapping the brakes just before the finish line, running a 9.66 on a 9.64 and admiring the bright yellow bulb come on like a sunrise in my lane. Life was good. On to the semi finals, and finally facing a much quicker car, the lovely white Camaro of Tim Stanbury. Tim is another great guy and again I was quite relaxed. I knew the Camaro would win, I just didn't know what colour it would be. On my part I was hoping for bright red with flames, but kept thinking that life didn't get much better than that for Heaven & Hell Racing. Tim left on me with a 0.07 to my 0.09 and I certainly didn't have any room to lift, so it's just as well that I was dialled in as well as I was, as my 9.64 on a 9.63 prevailed on Tim's 9.25 on a 9.21 dial in – crossing the line twenty four inches in front of the white Camaro (thanks Tog for the info) and taking the win. Cinderella was on for the final waltz…

And, funnily enough, in the final waltz with the other princess! I don't think there has been an all-girl final in Pro ET since I can remember, so this was a really special final round for me, meeting the lovely Liz Malcolm in the beautifully presented Jus'4 Fun four-cylinder dragster. Liz is a great lady, she never has a bad word for anyone and just likes to race, has great fun doing it and I was really happy we were in the final together. I kept repeating that it couldn't get any better than this, and truly couldn't care less whether I won or lost, we dialled the car tight to avoid breakouts and I got comfortable in the car. By the looks of it I got a little too comfortable and pulled a pathetic 0.12 reaction, two hundredths slower than Liz who pulled a 0.10. Once again the race was to be decided by the dial in. As my crew is the best in the world I was able to tap the brakes and get a win light with a 9.66 on a 9.64 at 134 mph. Cinderella earned the crown of the event and got to marry the Blue Prince. Did I mention it? It was also my birthday. Really. Would you believe it? It sounds like a bad script for a movie but what a great birthday present to give myself, with more than a little help from my friends.

So Heaven & Hell Racing ends the season on a real high. Rick achieved the double crown by winning both the UK National and the SPRC Championship as well as finishing in runner up position in the APIRA Championship, and I won one event. Shame I didn't do the first two events of the season, or I would have managed a runner up in one or two myself. Not a bad result for the last complete season we run in the UK.

Of course none of this could not have happened without the help of fantastic people who have always been there for us: Colin and Grace Roaf and Dave and Chris Buckland. My win for sure could not have happened without Simon Gough who picked my car up and delivered it back home, and without Mike Lacey who lent me his wheels and tyres. This is the magic world of drag racing, where every day events turn into fairy tales. I would also like to thank the Santa Pod marshals and crew – the track was perfect and it was a real pleasure to launch with the wheels in the air every time - the staff (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), the lovely Lorrie and Nicky the ticket – I will miss the little stars and smiley faces, all of the Pro ET racers for their kind words, cards and gifts, particularly Tig and Cath Napier who extended their Bad Habit 40 and a half birthday party to include a surprise farewell party for us. Thank you guys, you are really the best characters in any story!

29th September: UK Super Pro ET racer Amanda Cox has been in touch to thank everyone who helped after her accident at the recent Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway:

I would like to thank the track and safety crew for their very quick response after my accident. As quickly as it happened the safety crew were there and dealing with the situation, having me out of the car in no time at all. It's the most reassuring thing to see the faces of people you know when things like this happen. They were quick and very professional and extremely respectful when it came to turning the car back over onto its wheels... I think my crew described it as gently turning a table over onto its legs.  My only complaint is after hanging upside down you realise that harnesses are clearly not built for comfort!

My apologies to the Santa Pod crew for the mess I left behind, the poor RWYB guy in the lane next to me for quite possibly frightening the life out of him, and my crew and friends for making them swallow their hearts.

This year has been eventful for us as a team, we've enjoyed the new combination and we've moved from strength to strength as the year has gone on, our sincere thanks to those involved: Jon and Jake at Webster Race Engineering, Nick and Rob at ICE Automotive, Dave Rowe at Electronic Performance Systems, Jamie, Billy and Scott at Topspeed Automotive, Pete Walters at PWRD, Mark at OnTheBottle, Mac Tools, and Nic Williams at OCS Paint.

Thankfully the damage was pretty much only superficial. We will be returning to Super Pro ET until such a time as we feel ready to move up to Pro Mod, which is still our ultimate goal. For the time being we will continue with the ICE Automotive program to move up in the future one way or another.

My personal thanks to my crew who have been exceptionally supportive through out the year, my beautiful children for accepting mummy's unusual hobby, my very close friends who have stood by me through so very much, and finally Tony who without a doubt has the hardest job of all... handling me! I think he's realised now how easy it was crewing for Wayne, and I buy Kiplings too! Big thanks to for the amazing coverage this year (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed) and the photographers for capturing those moments which give us all something to keep us going over the winter months.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Championships and we'll see you in 2015.

29th September: The UK's Karen Stevens contested her first full season in Super Street this year and took the UK National Championship with her Lass Vega 1973 Chevrolet Vega. Karen's partner, Pro ET racer and former Team Leader Mike Lacey says that he can sum up Karen's and the team's achievements in one word: Wow!

Karen qualified first three times and missed number one at the SPRC Summernationals by 0.001.

In our first round at the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway Karen qualified top and rolledoff incredible reactions to go with it. But oh dear... first round eliminations, a 0.001 red light against Leigh Morris. D'oh!  I must have rubbed up against her too much, hopefully she hasn't caught my red light disease. Then we seemed to go through a whole lot of qualifying and no eliminations due to rain. 

Eventually we got to the European Finals where again Karen qualified top and got to the final round against Bob Lees where she pulled another 0.001 breakout. It seemed to be a year of being bitten by 0.001! So we went into the UK National Finals knowing that any one of Bob Lees, Leigh Morris or Karen could win the National and SPRC Championships. We knew the pressure was on, as Bob and Leigh had won many Championships between them, but Karen seemed relaxed and confident. By this point we had seemed to have got a good handle on the car and Karen was driving like she had been doing it for years.

Qualifying went to plan, and in the second round Bob and Leigh were paired together and Karen was on a bye. This was perfect for us, as Leigh was challenging Karen for the National Championship and Bob for the SPRC Championship. Whoever lost, Karen would win that Championship and the winner would meet Karen in the final to race for the other Championship. Leigh lost and Karen won the National Championship. Celebrations were hard, as we still had a final to run and Leigh has become a very good friend.

Karen had lost the final to Bob at the European Finals and we were not going to let it happen again.  Karen had a 0.01 reaction, it was a fantastic race between the two of them but Karen took the win. Incredible! A tear in my eye and two Championships in her first full season. I'm so proud of Karen, the best partner anyone could ask for. Is there nothing this girl can't do?  Things just couldn't get much better.

I would like to add my thanks to Adam Shuttleworth and Mike Braney for being the best crew guys in the world. Roll on next year: seems I need to pick it up now, no longer the team leader!

Just the quarter left to beat.
29th September: After a disappointing 2013 season which concluded with unresolved issues with the motor lubrication system and clutch, UK Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt and the Dealer team approached the their first outing of 2014 with some trepidation. Phil Baimbridge writes:

Over the closed season The Dealer had been upgraded to a Don Jackson BDK valve-based fuel system and a PBR air assist clutch system; both are controlled by an AMS 2000 boost controller (thanks to NLR Systems for their help and support). To try to get a handle on the new parts the team attended a Run What You Brung at Santa Pod in early April. We managed to smash our previously best sixty foot times, running a pair of 1.01s, but wheelspin about a second and a half out limited any further progress.

On to the Festival of Power at Easter where we managed #1 qualifier despite ongoing wheelspin problems, but race day was rained off. Much to the team's disappointment our bottom end damage issues continued. The bottom end was refurbished and rebuilt. We'd also noticed that on the gear change the clutch was not locking up (25%-30% slip), so we took the decision to design and manufacture a new, bigger, clutch air apply cylinder. In addition, we fitted a new rear tyre (with thanks to Mickey Thompson for their continuing support).

Next was the first round of the FIM European Championship. To try to overcome our traction issues the team decided to take a more structured and controlled approach to the clutch air assist system tuning. We lost the first day of qualifying to rain, despite the valiant efforts of the track crew. We finally got onto the track early afternoon Sunday. As we hadn't managed to get to the eighth mile without some degree of loss of traction, the Dealer was set up with 'soft' clutch settings, running just the primary system in first gear and applying the clutch air assist on the gear shift to second. Qualifying session 1: A good launch and the Dealer carried the front wheel for the furthest I have ever seen it. I've got to admit that I was a little disappointed when the eighth mile time was announced over the PA as 4.10 seconds – it looked (and I had expected) quicker. The incrementals were 1.04 at sixty feet and 2.74 at 330'. The Dealer had completed the run without any excessive tyre slip and the clutch had locked up completely when the air apply cylinder was activated – so some progress there at least. Unfortunately, Steve reported low oil pressure at shut down. We pulled the sump and made a brief assessment of the big ends. Two of them were clearly shot. After a team discussion it was decided not to rebuild there and then based on parts availability, time and the weather forecast for race day (in the event the meeting was rained off on race day) and to focus on building a complete new bottom end for the next time out.

We missed Hockenheim due to the motor bottom end problems. After further modifications to the oil system we ran at a RWYB in August instead, but continued to take out big end shells. After many discussions and lots of helpful advice we decided to change the oil supplier and grade and increased the big end bearing clearances to suit.

In the first qualifyign session of the European Finals the bike started, but lost fire as Steve pulled away. Steve let the commentator explain to the crowd that nitro motors cannot be restarted after losing fire, and then promptly restarted the motor! Hardly any burnout, then into stage. Sedate launch (1.07) and Steve shut down much earlier than planned - we all suspected oil pressure issues again. Back in the pits Steve reported that the oil pressure was OK (phew!) and that the motor had dropped a cylinder; the spark plug gap had been closed by something hitting it on #2 cylinder, which also had 100% leak down. Stripped the top end to find part of the top ring land had broken off #2 piston. Steve had got off the throttle in 0.3 seconds which limited the damage, but the bore had still taken a hammering. We honed the bore as best we could - it still wasn't pretty - and installed a new piston with enormous ring gaps and new valves in #2. Checked the bottom end at the same time – all OK. Fired up and all seemed to be fine. By the time we finished we had missed the second qualifying slot. Up to the third qualifying session we hadn't been using the clutch air assist in first gear, so we decided to apply a few PSI and also made a few adjustments to improve throttle response and stop the motor losing fire. Another sedate launch (1.09, worst of the year), 4.18 at the eighth, shut off just past the 1000' with the blower belt shredded,. 6.59/176 at the stripe. Motor all OK. The final qualifier was lost to bad weather.

We ended up qualified fourth; it could have been worse, at least it meant that we wouldn't meet the hot favourite, Ian King, until the final should we progress that far. For the first round of eliminations we made a few adjustments to the clutch to improve the launch and to apply a little more air assist. Racing Filippos Papafilippou on his Pro Mod bike Steve cut a good light, but Fil still took 0.1 seconds out of us. Similar sixty foot times but Steve was catching up as he approached 330 feet where Fil changed lanes and sideswiped Steve. Miraculously Fil was catapulted onto Steve's wheelie bars and rode pillion into the shutdown area. Thankfully both riders were OK. The Dealer only suffered superficial damage, good job I build them to last 100,000 miles. I spoke with Steve, who was stirred but not shaken, who confirmed that he wanted to run in the semi-final. The team prepped the bike and as we still hadn't completed a full pass we left all the settings the same. In the semi against Rikard Gustafsson on his quick Funny Bike Steve pulled another good light and disappeared into the distance, shutting down just after a thousand feet when the motor dropped #3 cylinder. 1.05 to sixty, 4.06 at the eighth, running through at 6.34/194 mph. Some good numbers at last!

In the final we were racing Otto Knebl who had taken out Ian King in the first round, and with the chance of an all too rare event win we decided to leave all the clutch settings the same and just refined the fuel system to get the motor to run clean at the top end. Otto didn't show for the final and Steve ran a clean 6.26/215 solo pass to take the win within 0.003 seconds of Personal Best. 1.06 to sixty and 4.05 at eighth. It was great to get the event win and go home with an intact motor, bottom end problems apparently cured. Although we didn't reset any of our overall Personal Bests the bike ran consistently close to our PB times, rather than just one-offs.

After the event win at the European Finals, and having finally overcome our bottom end damage issues, the Dealer team arrived at the UK National Finals confident of resetting our quarter mile PB. The bike was prepped and ready for the first qualifying session. The weather was overcast with a bit of moisture in the air, but not too cold. The fuel and clutch systems were set up pretty much the same as the previous run, with small adjustments to try and improve the second half. Steve launched and the Dealer ran straight and true to an early shutoff 6.269/201 pass – apparently Steve's visor had misted up. Always pays to shut the throttle when you can't see where you are going! The timing ticket showed that we had reset our incrementals off a 1.05 sixty foot:

330 feet: 2.697
594 feet: 3.787
Eighth: 4.036
1000 feet: 5.217

On our next pass we ran slightly quicker to sixty feet at 1.04, but lost #2 cylinder after 1.7 seconds – a re-occurrence of the failure at the European Finals most likely caused by the condition of the cylinder bore after the earlier failure. Our season was over.

Although the season has been difficult for us, with the bottom end problems severely curtailing the amount of progress the team could achieve - we only managed one complete throttle open all the way pass - we ended the season satisfied and confident for the 2015 season. We started the season with a complete new fuel and clutch system configuration and this has all worked really well as we have reset all our incremental PBs, if not the quarter mile time. In addition Steve won the ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship and finished fourth in the FIM European Top Fuel Bike Championship, despite only attending two of the races.

Although the last two runs of the season were within a few thousandths of our PB, we are running around 0.05 seconds slower through the second half than with the original fuel system and the eighth mile speed is stuck at around 180 mph. The indications are that there is still some improvement possible in the first eighth, as we're still in the early stages of learning how to set up the new fuel and clutch systems, and we intend to focus on modifications to improve the second half of the run over the closed season.

The Dealer will be featured on the NGK Spark Plugs UK Ltd stand at the NEC motorcycle show – go and have a closer look.

Steve has, as always, done a great job of riding the Dealer and the crew have worked hard and kept positive, even through the dark days - changing big end shells every pass starts to get you down eventually. My sincere thanks to Steve, Jackie and the guys and to our sponsors PBR, Motorcycles Unlimited, DJB Precision Engineering, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels, G&S Valves, G-Max Racing Fuels, PreTech Engineering, ACL Bearings, NGK Spark Plugs UK Ltd, Buzzard's Bigheads, Richa, Shoei, Rebore Rod and Psycleworkz.

See you in 2015.

Now, who drives in 2015?
29th September: After a successful first outing in the Freddy's Revenge altered at the Festival of Power, Robbie Grabham and team went to Dragstalgia to continue his licencing in the blown-alcohol machine:

Dragstalgia was a very testing meeting for us as we had had gearbox issues which meant we missed a run. After help from various different people we managed to source new parts and fix the gearbox ready for Sunday. With one full pass under my belt I needed to make one more run to gain my licence. We towed down Sunday morning only for the starter batteries to let us down. So back to the pits to charge up the batteries ready for the afternoon run. After waiting all day the time finally came, on the penultimate run of the day I ran an 8.1/175 which was enough to gain my licence. I was over the moon! To top it off I was presented with the runner-up trophy for the event.

Next up was the UK National Finals. We had high hopes and I was excited to race someone for the first time. Saturday morning came round and I was paired against Nick Davies in the Chaos Fuel Altered. This would be the first time I would launch in first gear, and it resulted in a 7.88/174. I was so happy with my first seven-second pass and judging by the pictures so were all the crew. I thought this was a good baseline to work from and was looking forward to the next run. Unfortunately this wasn't to be: the motor felt tight when trying to turn it over in the pits and we instantly knew the cause as we had massaged the pistons back to life for this event. We thought the repair would last the weekend but unfortunately it only lasted the one run. Still we hadn't lost anything we just needed a new set of rods and pistons over the winter.

Our trip home was just as eventful as one of the stub axles snapped on the trailer on the A34. Luckily the wheel stayed in place and we managed to pull over with no disasters. The plan was made to unload Freddy on the side of the road and wait for another trailer. As usual with drag racing, offers of help flooded in. Big thanks to anyone who stopped to see if we were OK or offered us help in any way.

With our season over until next Easter the winter freshen up starts. Now the big debate starts of who will be driving next year; with the old man chomping at the bit to get back in the hot seat I feel I will have to give it up for next year.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us out over the season, but the biggest thanks go to the team for providing me with a great race car, and credit to my dad and to Crew Chief TC for building a fantastic car. See you all in 2015!

Sjödin's season by numbers.
29th September: Swedish Top Doorslammer racer Andreas Sjödin put together some interesting statistics about Sjödin Motorsport HB / ÅBM Racing's 2014 season:

Due to rain we ended the year with our last and only qualifying run at Malmö with a 4.27/283 kmh. So at least I made a decent last run and drove the car one last time before it was time to hide it away for the winter. Some fun information from this season...

I released the clutch and made fifty starts this year. We consumed 2800 litres of diesel on 7500 kilometres in the bus, four rear tires, sixteen connecting rods, 220 litres of engine oil, six blower belts, about thirty rod bearings , one third member, a couple of exhaust valves, some rocker arms, a bunch of pushrods, a bunch of floaters and clutch discs, about 750 meals, a couple of hundred liters of water and Coca-Cola, etc. We spend fifty five days travelling to and from the track to consume 1200 litres of methanol on about 100 kilometres and three minutes' driving with the Chevelle! We went been away nine times and there was a little rain at each event. Six races were in the Top Doorslammer Series and four of them were never completed due to rain outs.

We finished fifth in the series of a total of thirty participating cars. We were aiming higher but then the weather destroyed so much that we never really got the chance to do better. There were forty eight points from our fifth place up to first place so I must say that I still feel pretty happy with it. We have always qualified and we made almost every run which we had the chance to make, because we have the car under control and serviced it in time.

However I must say that I am not happy with our achievemts on track this year. Our best run ended up at 4.1095 seconds which is 0.0045 slower than last year, so no-oen on the team even smiled a little bit when we did it. We did manage to get over 300 kmh for the first time, 300.84 kmh and that was a 4.13 with a misfire. I know that the power is in the car to go really fast but we failed to get the clutch to work as it should do without pedalling, tyre shake or slipping the clutch like crazy.

I would like to say a big thanks my team: my dad Åke Sjödin, my cousin Marcus Sjödin, Simon Arvidsson, Max Hamrin, Jocke Månsson and John "The Snake" Johansen, and another big thank you to our sponsors who have supported and believed in Sjödin Motorsport / ÅBM Racing. First, our own that businesses Åkes Bil & Motor, Birka Motorrenoveringar, Sjödin Motorsport, Sjödin Network, Dragracing24 and Fuel Clothing Sweden. Then Emil at AGA, Kaare at Stockholm Gourmet, Ulf and Janne at Winassis System, Johan at LSF Custom Paint, Lasse and Erik at Bengtssons Smide, Dolle at Nicma Tools, Thorbjörn at T Grundström Plåtslageri, Jim at VP Race Cars, Tommy at AFT Clutches, PG at Bil & Glasdesign, Johan at Amalie Motor Oil, Roffe at The Parts Stop Sweden, Peter at Snap On, Kenneth at Swecomposite, and Anders at Bremö Bygg. I can't describe how much it means to me, it's thanks to you that we have been so successful in our first full season in the Top Doorslammer series.

Also a big thanks to Daniel 'Dojjan' Karlsson, who works with the Top Doorslammer Drivers Association. It would never work as well as it does at the track without you Dojjan and also Martin Westerlund, who helped and took care of us this year and did an awesome job with the race in Piteå and all around it, the start up at Coop, picking me up at the airport etc! While we are up north, I would like to thank Rolf and Niklas Berglund for those crazy nice days at 'Gubbis, priceless! I would also like to say thanks to all the organizers we been to this year, Kjula Dragway, Sundsvall Raceway, Gardermoen Raceway, Tierp Arena, Pite Dragway and Malmö Raceway and all our friends and teams who are always around to help when its needed, too many to mention but I must say that Mats Brag was a true hero in Norway when he helped us weld together our trailer which was about to break in two! And last but not least the whole LL Racing team for a crazy fun summer and good neighbors in the pit.

Now it's time to welcome the winter. The car will be put away and forgotten for a while, I have already begun to sell off parts of the Chevelle for future updates. Our bus Olga will be sold, the borrowed trailer will be returned and will not be borrowed again, the work on the bus which we started and then let stand for two and a half years will be recommenced. So right now it looks like we will not spend so much of 2015 at the track. Sad but true, but sometimes you have to look a little to the realities in life too...

Hillsrace 11.
29th September: Our good buddy Markus Münch of the excellent der Beschleuniger web site has been in touch with a report of Hillsrace 11 at Rivanazzao in Italy.

There are several races each year at Rivanazzano Airport, aka Rivanazzano Dragway, operated by American Motors Pavia. The races are open to American cars and air-cooled vehicles. There is also a Harley Davidson meet with something like two thousand Harleys on site, and a meet for maggiolinos which we know as Beetles. Hillsrace 11 was a nice event to finish the season off, sunny thirty-degree weather offered a warm welcome to the track and it stayed that way the whole weekend. In the evening there was live music for the many visitors.

Three Street classes battled heads up as well as Super Pro ET and Pro ET, both for the first time. Super Pro ET was won by Frenchman Eric Angeloni in his dragster, beating Beat Rechsteiner of Switzerland in his red Corvette roadster. Pro ET was won by Germany's Martin Weikum, the brother of Pro Stock Bike rider Karl Heinz, against Frenchman Alexandre Jaquot. Bruno Bader made some demo passes, the best a 6.4, and Rene Maierhofer made his first passes in his new Top Dragster, supported by Bruno and Rene Ehrismann. Then there was the Mach 2 Jet driven by Christian Lajoux, a slingshot and a lot more.

You can read a German-language report at and a gallery can be found at

European Top Gas Round 7 review.
29th September: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for forwarding us a review of the final round of Euro Serie Top Gas which took place over the quarter mile on the concrete track at Hoskovice, Czech Republic on 13th-14th September:

On Saturday there was some sun now and then but it was cloudy and so the track was cold. Qualifying was as follows:
  1. Frederik Schack DK on 2750 V-Twin 7.994/264 kmh. First run was 8.337, second the 7.994, third 8.568 and in the fourth run the gearbox broke, wheelspin on the rev limiter, so the gearbox was not under power and broke. The Schack team had been using the gearbox for just five runs.
  2. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 8.484/250. First run was an 8.515 in the left lane with best traction, the run in the right lane had traction problems, the third run was again the right lane because there was oil in the left lane, I did my best and ran 8.484, the fourth run again had traction problems and was 8.718.
  3. Frank Heitmann D on 2622 V-Twin 8.545/246. First run was 8.640 then problems in the second and third runs, and the best run was the fourth 8.545.
  4. Christian Bruhn D on 1000 SP Turbo Honda 8.552/252 on the first run, the second was 8.673, the third 9.023 and the fourth.
  5. Cord Albers D on 2622 V-Twin 8.591/243. The first run was 8.843, the second 13.354, the 3rd no time and the fourth the 8.591.
  6. Peter Niklas D on 1198 Ducati 10.068/215. Shortly after launching on the first run Peter lost control of his Ducati and fell off, luckily no injury or damage and was back out for the second run.
  7. Mats Larson S on 2589 Turbo V-Twin 11.285/160.
  8. Lars Andersen DK on 1966 V-Twin 11.628/142.
On Sunday it rained, the concrete was dry at 13:00 but then it started to rain again. Yvona Kneblova and her team did their best but the rain got stronger and we were rained out.

The six best results count for the Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Championship:
  1. Frederik Schack DK 2815 points
  2. Christian Bruhn D 1640
  3. Herman Jolink NL 1565
  4. Peter Niklas D 1440
  5. Cord Albers D 1060
  6. Lars Andersen DK 900
  7. Anders Jensen DK 800
  8. Frank Heitmann D 730
  9. Mats Larson S 520
  10. Olav Menzi CH 460
  11. Milan Kolacny CZ 360
  12. Miia Maria Vespalainen FI 250
The Herman Jolink Drag Racing Team will be on display at Intermot at Köln in Germany on 1st-5th October. You can find us on Stand 023 in Hall 10.

UK National Finals SE review.
29th September: The final round of the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship took place at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. With the APIRA Championship already win by Martin Smith of Team Extreme, the National and SPRC titles were to be decided. Outgoing Street Eliminator Chair Matt Atkinson writes:

We had eight entries for the weekend which turned into seven following the damage sustained by Alex Mcintosh at the European Finals. It had also been a thrash for Martin Smith with the GTR having sustained engine damage on the Cruise at the previous event but luckily everything came back together in time. Jon Webster in the Comet was also close to throwing in the towel and the Championship having seriously hurt the engine in the finals of the European finals but managed to get the car back together at 3:00 pm on the day prior to the event.

With the National Championship just a two horse race between Jon Webster and Stu Williams everyone was looking forward to an exciting climax! Qualifying started on Saturday afternoon after a spot of rain and it was the two Team Extreme brothers out first, Martin and Matt Smith. Unfortunate leak for Matt meant he joined at the end of the session and picked up exactly where he left off with an 8.542/164 to take eventual number three spot. Martin's was a test pass and he managed a slowing 8.136/166 to take number two spot. Next up were the two fighting it out for the Championship Jon in the Comet and Stu in the Supra, problems for Stu away from the line as the Supra squirreled towards the tree and Jon left him for dust running through with a 7.783/163 good for number one and Stu took fifth with a 10.546/166. Steve Neimanatas and Andy Bond followed, Steve looking to repeat his form from the European Finals whilst Andy was still in with a chance of third in the National Championship. Steve lit the tyres at the hit but ran through with a 8.779/190 to Andy's slowing 14.478/86, unfortunately not good enough to qualify for the time being. Damian Haliwell in the '63 Biscayne was the last of the lot and he ran through with a 10.686/125 before taking the rest of the afternoon off and letting Matt Woods do a photo-shoot on the car!

After Andy's nervous wait for another qualifier he was first out in the next round and true to form ran through with a 8.766/162 to take number six spot whilst Jon in the other lane suffered from the reccurring misfire problem which had been troubling him throughout the year. Stu Williams and Steve Neimanatas followed, Stu with a point to prove after his disappointing first run but this one certainly made up for it as he ran through with a 7.813/181 to take number three spot meaning only a ten point deficit to Jon in qualifying. Meanwhile Steve had other ideas in the Bentley in the opposing lane as he again ran quicker than the class ET record with a 7.417/187 that would need backing up for the new record to stand. Last pair saw the two brothers against each other again and mixed emotions on the line as Matt crossed the finish line first with a tag breaking 8.447/166 whilst yet more problems for Martin Smith meant he was out again suffering transmission failure for the second time this season.

Back to the pits to get ready for the Cruise only to find Andy Bond being towed back as the Mustang wouldn't start so with just an hour to the Cruise the team started investigating the problem. With only twenty minutes to go the team found the problem as the roller pin holding the distributor gear in place had gone astray leading the gear to drop. A quick rally round the pits and Steve and Babs Saunders to the rescue with a spare distributor gear meant Andy was able to make the cruise with just seconds to spare! A huge thank you to Ben Barnwell for leading the Cruise in my absence, as I along with the other racers and crew tortured the Santa Pod staff in the Leukaemia and Lymphoma charity football match in memory of Paula Marshall.

Sunday morning was upon us and the last eliminations day of the season, nerves were aplenty as we waited patiently for the first call. The Championship was now looking like Stu's to lose as he would have to go out in the first round and Jon would have to win the meeting to be crowned Champion. First up was Steve in the Bentley who was looking to take full advantage of his bye run and back up his 7.417 from qualifying to set a new class record. Unfortunately Steve appeared to overpower the track as the Bentley swayed right every time his foot went near the loud pedal. It later transpired that the rear end had again failed. Second pair up was championship chasing Jon Webster in the Comet and Damian Haliwell in the Biscayne, Jon holding the power advantage and Damian with it all to do. Jon away first 0.182 to Damian's 0.530 and Jon was building a lead and ran through with a 7.842/161 to Damian's 10.532/127 new PB for speed. Jon's title dreams were still alive whilst Damian finished the season with a smile on his face and fifth in the National Championship on his first full competitive season, well done Damian and team! Next up should have been the two Smith brothers of Team Extreme but the unfortunate problem for Martin meant Matt was left with a bye and boy did he take advantage, 1.326 to sixty feet his quickest by a tenth of a second and on the brakes hard by 900 feet but still running through with an 8.428/146 (20 mph down shows how early he was on the brakes) and good enough to progress into the next round. Last pair up were Championship leader Stu Williams and Andy Bond in the Mustang. Stu only having to get through the first round to assure the 2014 Championship whilst Andy had to progress to the final to get fourth position. Andy normally electric on the tree was quick into stage appearing to put Stu off his routine as Stu followed and the lights dropped -0.004 red for the Supra leaving the Championship wide open for Jon, Andy taking the win with a slowing 9.804/104 to Stu's 7.712/181.

Back to the pits and it was all hands to the pump as Jon was chasing an engine problem with the Comet and Steve had to go off-site to pick up a spare rear end from Webster Race Engineering's headquarters. A thorough check of the Comet and Jon was happy it was safe to run albeit hurt. Steve and the team managed to change the rear axle in between rounds meaning he still had a chance at the ET record. First up in the semi finals was the Bentley and matt Smith, Matt fresh from running his tag breaking new PB whilst Steve had his heart set on the record. Matt was away first 0.234 to Steve's 0.408 and Steve proceeded into a rolling burnout with the Bentley leaving Matt to race off into the distance before slamming on the brakes at a thousand feet and taking the win with a 8.690/128 to Steve's 10.069/175 booking Matt a place in his second ever final! Next pair up and everything was at stake with Jon having to win to keep his hopes of the Championship alive whilst a win for Andy would assure him third position in the National Championship. All eyes on the track as Jon was into stage first, Andy followed and Jon was away first 0.053 to Andy's 0.069. Jon did not quite know the full extent of the engine damage but the Comet looked on song, 1.22 to sixty feet to Andy's 1.36, Jon didn't look back though taking the Comet into the final with a 7.905/173 to Andy's 8.581/163, a superb effort by Bond Motorsport but just less than a hundred points short of third place is a fantastic achievement.

This meant the Championship was coming down to the wire, the last race of the entire season and Jon had to win to get the Championship otherwise it was second for a consecutive year. Standing in his way was Matt Smith with the Team Extreme Escort who had been going quietly about his business all weekend improving run after run, all eyes were on the track with a nervous Stu Williams looking on somewhere in the pits, both cars through the burnout and pulling towards the line, a quick check from the safety crews initially seemed fine but, but the eagle eye of Chief Starter Ian Marshall caught a glimpse of something dripping onto the track in Jon's lane. Jon needed this event win to secure the Championship, further investigation from Ian showed a pool of water on the start line meaning Jon was shut off and with that so were his Championship hopes much to the delight of Stu Williams and the Carmasupra team but a horrible and cruel way to lose a Championship. Matt however got the job done and made sure he took home the winner's trophy with a 8.511/140 and with that sixth position in the Championship.

Major relief for Stu Williams after a real nail biting afternoon resulting in him winning two Championships, both the UK National and SPRC, so a huge well done and congratulations to Stu, well-deserved over the course of the year. A big well done to Jon Webster who pushed him all the way and I am sure will be back bigger and stronger for 2015.

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the racers, crew and family members of everyone in Street Eliminator for everything they have done over the course of the year. It has been a truly spectacular year and I really cannot wait for 2015 already, although this time perhaps I can watch and enjoy a bit more the racing... maybe, anyway!

On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive sponsoring the class for their fifth consecutive year, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography and, all of whom can be found on our web site at

She Devil's Finals.
29th September: Steph Milam and the UK's She Devil Top Methanol Funny Car team headed for the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway with more changes to the valvtrain to try to make it more reliable. Steph writes:

We arrived on Wednesday to pit up and settle in. On Thursday two more of the crew arrived and added the last parts, chutes, wheelie bars and headers so the car was ready for qualifying due to start the next day. Friday's first pass in the left lane netted us 6.40/234 followed by a quicker 6.11 but the same speed in the right lane. We ended the day in fifth place. Overnight we serviced the bearings, checked out the valve train and made some small clutch adjustments.

On Saturday after a long wait in the staging lane we were back in the left lane and this time a 6.04 came up at a slightly lower 229 mph, we moved to fourth in the ladder but thnm back to fifth at end of day. So Sunday's pairings were set: Johan Lindberg v Jürgen Nagel, Leif Andréasson v ourselves, and Danny Bellio v Gareth Ellis.

On checking the motor out servicing for the next day, we found that on the last pass we had suffered more cylinder head damage which excluded us from continuing. The disappointment was huge as we were so looking forward to going into eliminations after the two previous meetings had been rained off.

Needless to say we will return and this time with spare heads and more parts. Roll on 2015!

Have a great winter and see you all next year - keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates, news and competitions.

Thanks to our sponsors NGK Spark Plugs, VP Racing Fuels, Torco Oil and Nimbus Motorsport.

Swift snippets.
29th September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for passing us the final car class points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships, which you can check out on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page. Bike classes have their final round at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway on 18th-19th October.

Steve Dudley writes that the first slot drags of the 2014-15 season at MrD Raceway will take place at 8:00 pm this Friday, 3rd October, at The Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA. "There is a small car park in the school grounds but please park carefully as it is narrow", says Steve. "Entry and racing are free, all we ask is that you make a donation of a couple of pounds to help toward the hire of the hall, although it's not obligatory. I have loan cars for anybody wishing to try out this exciting form of slot car racing. We usually run a couple of eliminations, for added tension. Come and have a go, it's great fun!"

SSAB producing R10 tubing.
29th September: Lena Perés writes from ME Racing Services that the SSAB tube mill will soon be starting the production of new high-strength tubing for race vehicle use:

SSAB will shortly start to produce Docol Tube R10. When we know which dimensions will be manufactured and the prices, we will post details on our web site. These tubes are a bit stronger than Docol Tube R8 but you should not use this tube where the rules require Docol Tube R8, as R10 tubes have not been tested for those applications in motorsports. But it is OK to use R10 where regulations do not refer to any specific material. If you want to go down in size and weight but retain strength then this is a good option. These tubes have the same weight and mass as mild steel, chromoly and Docol Tube R8. It's how you dimension with stronger tubes which allows you to earn weight.

Another kind of tube we will offer is Hardox Tube 500. Hardox is a wear-resistant steel, and these tubes are at their best in tough environments such as concrete industry.

For more information, look under the headline Products - Tubes on our web site at and keep an eye out for updates.

Web site updates.
29th September: Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a gallery from last week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. As ever you can reach the latest update via the What's New link at

Richard Smith has posted another superb gallery of shots from York Raceway, in this instance the UK Northern Nationals. You can take a look at Richard's pictures at

The Mad Welshman's latest photo update is from August's VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway and you can check it out at

A new gallery of shots from the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest update from photographer Dick Parnham and you can take a look at

The latest photo updates on the personal web site of News Editor Tog include the pre-UK National Finals Peak Performance Day, the pre-FIA / FIM European Championship Finals, and VW Action all at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Tog's pictures at

Sharon Francis.
26th September: We were sorry to hear from Swedish Pro Mod racer Adam Flamholc of the death of Flamholc Racing Team Mom Sharon Francis. Adam writes:

Sharon was always happy, always positive, always strong, always helping, always thinking about everyone else. To me she was like my American big sister. She battled cancer for sixteen or seventeen months, resisted longer than anyone expected and stayed positive right until the end. I'm so glad I flew over last week to meet her one more time, and to say goodbye.

My thoughts go to Bob Francis, Sharon's husband for thirty five years. I've never seen a relationship like theirs, living live together and to the fullest. I will forever have Sharon's name on my race cars.

Our deepest sympathies to Bob, to Adam, and to all of Sharon's family and friends.

Swift snippets.
26th September: We would like to say a big Happy 50th Birthday to Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Starter, and without doubt one of the most respected individuals in European drag racing, Ian Marshall. Have a great day Ian.

Due to exhaustion and the usual daily commitments we have quite a large news backlog featuring some great race reviews, season reviews and more. We are working on coding up everything we have and there will be a mammoth news update over the weekend. As ever we have room for more so please keep the news coming to

New Top Fuel SFI spec.
25th September: Thanks to Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Crew for forwarding details of a new SFI spec for Top Fuel Dragster:

As of 29/08/2014 SFI Spec 14.5 was issued. This is a standard for Top Fuel Dragster manifold restraints. At the moment there are only two NHRA / FIA accepted manufacturers, Taylor Motorsports and NitroSew. It is hoped that equipment already purchased will be retro-certified.

If you have any queries then please get in touch with Geoff at

Swift snippets.
24th September: We were sorry to hear from Roland Chaplain of the death of UK 1990s Comp Bike racer Tony Childerhouse, who died as a result of a motorcycle accident. "For those who remember Tony there will be a funeral service at St Faith's Crematorium, Norwich at 10:15 on on Friday October 3rd", says Roland. "His family have requested no dark clothing, also family flowers only please". Our deepest sympathies to Tony's family and friends.

Chris Orthodoxou has asked us to say Happy Birthday to his brother, UK Comp Eliminator racer Robin Orthdoxou. We think that Chris intended to say something rude about Chevy power but Robin's recent six-second exploits in his Chevy-powered altered would tend to contradict anything Chris might say. Have a very Happy Birthday Robin. Maikel Gloudmans of our streaming supplier has asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to his drag racing brother, CFO and Mixing Director Gijs de Ruiter. "Happy Birthday and many more great seasons of drag racing", says M@ik, "we're still waiting for the time and location of the cake."

Event entry update.
23rd September: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked us to remind racers that this Friday, 26th September, is the closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 18th-19th October and which is the final round of the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships excepting Top Fuel Bike and the UK National Drag Racing Championships for bike classes. Entry forms can be downloaded from the SPRC web site at, and you can check out Version 1 of the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list by clicking here.

Swift snippets.
23rd September: Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official UK National Finals timing data which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any page, and for an updated table of UK Bests including Steve Venables' and Garry Bowe's new Super Street Bike records which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any page.

Staying with Andy Marrs, today is his birthday so we would like to say a big Happy Birthday to him. Have a great day Marrs.

UK National Finals results.
22nd September: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson 6.2502/231.69 def. Rick Garrett 6.4069/215.83
Comp Eliminator: Guido Uhlir (8.16) 7.7357/178.46 def. Robin Orthodoxou (7.56) 7.1004/192.11
Super Pro ET: Al Didwell (7.53) 7.9838/140.69 def. Steve Saunders (8.49) 9.1545/142.97
Pro ET: Carla Pittau (9.64) 9.6676/134.51 def. Liz Malcolm (10.92) 10.9929/116.41
Sportsman ET: Craig Wright (16.34) 16.2421/84.24 def. Ricky Hale (14.67) 14.7352/94.88 DQ red light
Super Comp: Martin Curbishley 8.8399/159.08 def. Paul Hudson DQ left before lights ran
Super Gas: Jon Morton 9.8665/148.57 def. Collin Morrice DQ red light
Super Street: Karen Stevens 10.9516/126.51 def. Bob Lees 10.9430/132.97
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Joe Kellett (7.96) 8.0247/78.54 def. Matthew Dowdy (13.59) 13.7438/45.70
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Matthew Smith 8.5112/140.71 bye, Jon Webster shut off
VW Pro: Danny Wharton (11.30) 11.4352/117.90 def. Paul Bargate (12.39) 12.3381/106.89 breakout
VW Sportsman: Ed Keech (14.44) 14.5397/97.74 def. Paul Day (15.15) 15.1307/71.15 breakout
Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins (7.28) 7.3614/179.89 def. Adam Price (8.97) 8.9383/149.15
Nostalgia Fuel Car Cup: Nick Davies 15.7203/69.65 bye

Pro Stock Bike: Alex Hope 7.2712/183.54 bye, Len Paget no show
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.0458/205.11 def. Graham Balchin 7.4389/197.25
Funny Bike: Stefan Hagenstein 8.0744/166.07 def. Tomas Joswig 10.1050/90.85
Comp Bike: Allan Davies 7.5120/175.77 def. Phil Crossley 7.5445/173.08
8.50 Bike: Martin Walker 8.5847/139.83 def. Jay Roe 8.6469/144.87
9.50 Bike: Steve Ashby 9.5001/139.94 def. Paul Morris 9.5580/140.70
Junior Drag Bike: Louis Davies (9.20) 9.2962/71.06 def. Jordan Kenway (9.00) 9.0037/74.54
Supertwin Top Gas: Scott Collier 9.5308/136.43 bye
Supertwin ET: Brett Cordelle (10.68) 10.7857/102.54 def. Fiona Moor (12.10) 12.5611/103.57

Congratulations to the following who, subject to official ratification, set new UK records:

Super Street Bike ET: 7.142 seconds, Steve Venables
Super Street Bike speed: 205.18 mph, Garry Bowe

Congratulations also to Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy who won the /
Gold RV Perfect ET Award with a 13.600 on a 13.60 dial-in during eliminations. The Perfect ET Award has been reset to £ for October's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway whilst the / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award went unclaimed and so will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend.

You can check out our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored UK National Finals reports, pit notes and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

2014 UK National Champions I.
22nd September: Congratulations to the 2014 UK National Champions whose titles were decided at the UK National Finals:

MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson
ACU Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt

Super Pro ET: Scott Hauser
Pro ET: Rick McCann
Sportsman ET: Ricky Hale
Super Comp: Paul Hudson
Super Gas: Jon Morton
Super Street: Karen Stevens
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Joe Kellett
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Stu Williams

VWDRC VW Pro: James Hodson
VWDRC VW Sportsman: Ed Keech

Wild Bunch Series: Adam Price
Wild Bunch Real Steel Series: Bob Hawkins
Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Series: Keith Crampton

Outlaw Anglia (decided at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags): Cliff Griffin

The remaining bike Champions will be decided at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway in October.

Swift snippets.
22nd September: We have four birthdays today. Happy Birthday to Sharon Norris of Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew, to Santa Pod Racers Club official Emma Wray, to Junior Dragster racer Belle Wheeler, and finally a Happy 50th Birthday and hope the head is OK to Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar (right) of whom Gerry Treit says "Very best wishes and love from his present crew, former crew and all who know him (and that is many) as the colourful character he is". Have a great day guys.

Allard Award winners.
22nd September: Earlier this year, the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame announced two new awards to be presented at the Annual Gala Awards Event being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on November 22nd. The Awards celebrate the importance of the media in promoting drag racing along with the crucial role played by the late Sydney Allard as the Father of British Drag Racing. The new crystal trophies are sponsored by the Allard Motor Company operated by Sydney's son Alan and his grandson Lloyd. The BDRHoF Sydney Allard Awards are open to professionals and amateurs and comprise Best Written Journalism for the writer of the best book, article or feature on British drag racing published in print or on-line during the twelve months ending July 2014, and Best Photo Journalism for the best photograph featuring British drag racing, either published in print or on-line during same period, or remaining un-published.

There were more than eighty entries for the best Photo Journalism Award and independent judges Mark Sommer (Art Editor) and David Lillywhite (Editor) of Octane Magazine narrowed it down to ten including photos from Jon Spoard, Julian Hunt, Dennis Vos, Jenni Long, Matt Woods, Tom Loomes, Nigel Holland and Stu Mitchell. These ten images were sent to Pink Floyd drummer and classic car collector / racer Nick Mason for final selection of three winners which he prioritised. Nick is President of the Guild of Motoring Writers, a regular columnist for Octane Magazine, and a Trustee of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Chairman of the Trustee Advisory Board and Patron of the Allard Chrysler Action Group. The final three were photos from Jon Spoard, Julian Hunt and Dennis Vos. Jon Spoard's Slingshot and Sun (below left) was his number one choice.

There was a broad spread of entries for Best Written Journalism ranging from published articles to blogs and on-line race reports. These were sent to independent judge Guy Loveridge, Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers, which celebrates its seventieth anniversary this year. Guy selected a well-researched article called The Invasion Begins which was published in Gasser Magazine USA and Street Gasser UK in April 2014. It is about the International Drag Racing Festival in 1964 and was written by Nick Brooke-Langham.

Alan Allard said "Lloyd and I are so proud that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has chosen to honour my father's role in giving birth to drag racing in Europe with these two trophies. We are naturally pleased to sponsor them. The Guv'nor understood how important media publicity could be in attracting interest and promoting any new motorsport activity so celebrating photography and the written word is something that would have met with his approval."

The BDRHoF would like to thank all those who entered this year and look forward to even more next year.

Swift snippets.
21st September: The aggregate result of last night's two Racers and Crew v Santa Pod and SPRC football matches was 4-2 to Racers and Crew. Congratulations to everyone involved, big thanks to the organisers Sam Lewis, Darren Prentice and Craig Wright, and thanks to all those who watched and who contributed to Leukaemia and Lymphoma charity in memory of Paula Marshall. Kirstie took a number of pictures of the football match which you can check out by
clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page and selecting the UK National Finals.

We have two birthdays today. First up a very Happy Birthday with hugs to UK Pro ET racer Carla Pittau who is gearing up for eliminations at the UK National Finals. Have a lovely, safe and successful day Carla. Happy Birthday also to SPRC Chief Timekeeper and Honorary staff member Steve Horn. Have a great day Steve.

Event entry update.
19th September: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked us to remind racers that next Friday, 26th September, is the closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 18th-19th October and which is the final round of the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships excepting Top Fuel Bike and the UK National Drag Racing Championships for bike classes. Completed entry forms can be submitted in the Signing On office at Santa Pod this weekend, and entry forms can be downloaded from the SPRC web site at

Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the provisional running orders for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Please note that these running orders are as ever subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials. You can check out this weekend's running orders by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

National Finals charity hook-up.
19th September: Donna Finnegan of Santa Pod Raceway tells us that the Leukaemia and Lymphma Research Charity have become involved in this weekend's fund-raising efforts at the UK National Finals in memory of Paula Marshall. There will be collection buckets in the Signing On office, the Pod Shop, Fuelers Bar, the Media Centre, the Café and at tomorrow evening's Racers and Crew v Santa Pod / SPRC football match.

In addition Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett says that the link with the charity is to become a regular fixture at this event. Writing in this weekend's Event Programme, Keith says "I know from my own conversations with Ian he does not want this to become a Paula Marshall memorial event, but more of an event that will hopefully make some contributions towards fighting this dreadful disease. We have only just begun to make some headway with this project in recent weeks. Now that we have the charity on board at a start-up level for 2014, we shall be looking to really develop the event and project for 2015 and hopefully to build on the project and event year on year thereafter". To read the rest of Keith's comments be sure to get hold of a copy of the Event Programme.

Webcam waving fine waived.
19th September: Regular readers will be aware of a long-running humorous threat that anyone waving at our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam is liable to be fined. However, for this weekend only, all threats of fines will be waived.

It hardly seems possible but it is three years since we were encouraging racers, crew and spectators to wave to the late Paula Marshall who was tuned in to the webcast. Starting at today's Peak Performance Day and continuing throughout this weekend's race we again want you to wave at the webcam to support the fund-raising efforts in memory of Paula by the organisers of this Saturday's Racers / Crew v Santa Pod / SPRC Staff football match, Wild Bunch racer and long-distance runner Sarah Howells, and the weekend's Wax On Wax Off challenge in the Wild Bunch pits.

The way this works is quite simple: if you wave at the webcam, then you are honour-bound either to make a donation at the football match, to donate via Sarah Howells' JustGiving page, to visit the Wild Bunch pits and drop the money in the bucket at the Wax On Wax Off Challenge, or put some money into one of the collection buckets in the locations mentioned above. You can wave as many times as you like, at whom you like, the main thing is that you donate. If you're waving to someone you love then why not make sure that they know that you love them - how many times in life have we all said or thought "I wish I'd told them when I could...".

You know what to do folks.

Baynton's colourful return.
19th September: UK Pro ET racer Paul Baynton says that things don't always go as you plan:

Taking a year out to sort out my finances and get the Capri's bodywork sorted ended up at almost two years out. The last time the car ran in anger was at the National Finals in 2012. Originally the plan was for me to do all the work and to respray the car. Early on it hit home that I really didn't have the time, patience or space to do all the work. I spoke to Martin Curbishley and we agreed that I would strip as much as I could of the old paint, trim etc and then Martin would sort the body repairs and paint the car. I've known Martin and his work for many years and although he was two hundred miles away the deal was done. So during 2013 I did what I could, stripping most of the paint off the steel panels with help from my daughter Laura. In November 2013, having removed the running gear, I took the Capri to Martin's workshop. I didn't know what I wanted for a colour scheme and we considered flames or graphics. So while Martin worked I spent some spare time drawing up designs.

In early January 2014 we visited Martin's workshop to tape up the design. Funny how something looks good on paper but not so good when you tape it onto the car! Fortunately I took all my designs with me and the one now on the car is one of my early schemes which just seemed to work. Next were the colours, I still wanted the main colour to be blue and after much searching came up with Mazda Aurora Blue. The colours on the design were suggested by Martin and I think they work really well. The car certainly stands out now! I finally got the Capri back home just before Easter.

2014 has been a difficult year at work with another company buying us out. This meant I had to concentrate my efforts on work and I didn't have much time left for the car. We decided that the car had to come out this year and the European Finals was the one to aim for. The only mechanical work required was a transmission freshen-up and this was handled by Dave Milam. I've known Dave for around twenty years now, he has never let me down and always does excellent work. During this time we decided that a bigger motorhome was required and we eventually bought a Chevy G30 motorhome in September 2013. We arrived at Santa Pod incognito with the replacement motorhome and changed race car. The new colour scheme seemed to be popular with the other racers.

Qualifying went well considering I was a bit rusty but we eventually qualified in sixteenth so I was happy with that (despite having to leap out of the car before one run with cramp in my leg and pins and needles in my foot, much to the amusement of the other racers). In the first round we were up against Keith Herbert. The last thing I wanted was to race someone in a Championship hunt in the first round but I was there to race. As it happened I had a small reaction time advantage but failed to scrub off enough at the top end breaking out by 0.018 second and Keith took the win. All in all though, an enjoyable weekend.

Plans now are to look forward to 2015 and hopefully race as a team sharing the driving duties with my daughter Laura. Good luck to everyone at the National Finals.

2014's last hurrah.
19th September: Last weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway was this season's final hurrah for the Steel River Hot Rod, aka Mark Flavell's Super Pro ET Funny Car. Andy Flavell writes:

An interesting season, three steps forward and two and three quarter steps back in many respects. Anyone who talked to us at Dragstalgia this year will have some idea of what we mean. But we hope you agree, the car looks fantastic if we say so ourselves. We've had massive help from Derek Flynn and the fine folks at Gold RV, Prestone and Welding Specialists. Thanks as always to Mark, Craig Owen, Steve Metcalfe and Mali Rigg for building and rebuilding a number of hemi engines this year! Multi-time Super Gas Champ Frank Mason on board too. What a fantastic team we have.

The Hot Rod Drags with the Supercharged Outlaws was a fantastic weekend and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't been recently. Great contrast to the awesome European Finals in many ways, two fabulous and but very different events. The cacklefest was a nice bit of fun. Mark had a chance to be Crew Chief for a change, I left the Mini at home and went 153 mph in nine seconds, as one does on a given weekend at the drags. Who needs golf? Running out of spares, using the only real rods we have left and consequently getting very little compression so we'll park it for the winter. Lots to do as always.

Good luck to all at the National Finals this weekend, particularly to Scott Hauser who is almost at his second Championship. Great consistent car, maybe you guys should try building and selling them Scott? Could be an idea. We'll be back next year, hopefully less work and a little more play! Somebody asked me at the weekend why do you try to bracket race a methanol Funny Car, well why not? After all free weekends, intact knuckles, clean fingernails and financial security are all overrated!

Ending the year as it started.
18th September: UK Super Street racer Matthew Seamarks and the Gingerman Racing team will end the 2014 season as they started it: by missing a meeting. Matthew writes:

We thought of taking a season out due to lack of funds, however at the eleventh hour Matt Wright of stepped up to the plate. He challenged me to find a sponsor and he would then also sponsor me. Within twenty four hours we had a deal put together with a party which wishes to remain anonymous, but as Matt promised he put money on the table. We missed the entry deadline for the Festival of Power at Easter so we had to sit it out.

Over last weekend we dealt with a leak in our TH350 transmission, and as the oil was drained we found shrapnel. As a result we have decided to withdraw from the National Finals. However every cloud has a silver lining as Matt Wright has said he is going to continue his support of the team in 2015 through I would like to thank Matt and our anonymous hero for their support in 2014 as without them I really don't think the car would have appeared on track. Of course thanks also to my mum and dad without whom none of this would be possible.

To those who have offered so many nice comments on the, should I say, retro paint scheme we appreciate it. The car was always going to be painted in those colours, it just took a lot longer than expected! To all those racing at the National Finals, good luck and stay safe. We will see you all again in 2015.

Wild Bunch wrap-up.
18th September: Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes that the Nostalgia racers are looking forward to this weekend's UK National Finals, at which nine of their number will be competing:

This event will be the finale of the Wild Bunch Series.  Adam Price in the Team Gridlock Go Hard or Go Home!!!  altered and Andrew Murphy in the B-Sting altered are currently tied for first place. Adam and team will be hoping to make it four in a row this year. Bob Hawkins in the Time Traveller II slingshot is a couple of rounds behind in third place, with Keith Crampton in the Soul Town Shaker slingshot in fourth. Only the top three have a mathematical chance of winning the Series.

The event is also the ninth and final round of the Real Steel Series, which takes place over five MSA events and four Run What You Brung events. Adam Price is leading this Series by one point over Bob Hawkins who is only one point ahead of Keith Crampton in third place, so any of these teams could easily win the Series. The Club's five-round Springbridge MSA Challenge Series concludes this weekend and is currently being led by Keith Crampton, who has more than a three-round lead over Bob Hawkins, who is only two qualifying spots ahead of Adam Price, who has an almost two-round lead over Phil James in the Rampage Funny Car.  All four are still in with a shout of winning. The Series winner earns the Springbridge MSA Challenge Cup and one free MSA event entry for 2015.

Many congratulations to Keith Crampton who has won the APIRA Series (his first ever Series win) and to Bob Hawkins, who is runner-up for the second year in a row. Congratulations also to Adam Price who has won the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series for the third year in a row.

The competition this coming weekend should see some more close racing from the Bunch. Can Adam Price make it four in a row for the Wild Bunch Series, and add more to the team 's bulging trophy cabinet?  Will Keith Crampton earn even more Series wins in his Soul Town Shaker slingshot?  Can young Sean Law continue his consistent form and earn an event win for the Wicked Lady team?  Will newcomer Phil James translate his good qualifying form in the Rampage Funny Car into his first event win? Can Mick Gleadow pick up where he left off at Dragstalgia and run more PBs in his Jurassic Parts slingshot?  Will Alan Loten earn another top four placing in his iconic ParanoiaTime Traveller II slingshot and win a Series or two?  Will newcomer Steven East go rounds in his Ellie 's in Trouble Now slingshot and repeat his high nine-second form?  Can Andrew Murphy win a second WB title for the B'Sting? team? We can 't wait for Sunday, Sunday, Sunday to find out! Good luck to all the teams!

Many thanks to all the marshals, officials and track and safety crews at Santa Pod Raceway for all their hard work over the coming weekend.  Big thanks to for the excellent event coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed)!

Results and news from previous WB events can be found on the Club's web site at

PMR's new dragster is ready...
18th September: Eagle-eyed fans will have spotted that Martin Curbishley, who sadly had to miss the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals, is entered in a dragster in Super Comp at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Martin's attendance has been made possible through monumental efforts by Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering and Paul Marston, who writes:

The PMR team took delivery of their new dragster as a rolling chassis from good friend Rene Kloss at the end of competition at the European Finals. Rene and his team removed the loaned motor which was in the car. To make the dragster ready a motor had to be sourced, prepared and checked over prior to being installed in its new home. Luckily there were a few to choose from and the motor selected was the closest match to Renes original motor; the existing convertor and gearing would suit and some data would be relevant. The Dragster was fired up and a full systems check carried out at Drag Race Engineering on Monday so other than a few small jobs we are good to go.

Special thanks to Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering (020 8597 9484) for all the hard work and pulling all the stops out. Thanks also to Rene and Andrea Kloss, Jens and the rest of their team for looking after the dragster so well and for winning Super Comp at Hockenheim with this car. Extra special thanks to all the PMR crew who stayed so late after the Finals to help to load up the dragster.

On another note Vic Ferra, multiple Divisional and National event winner, winner of many big money bracket races and winner of the 2010 NHRA Division 2 Super Comp Championship with this dragster, the owner of Brevard Cylinder Head of Port Canaveral, Florida and the original owner of the Miller four-link Dragster, has already been in touch asking when he can fly over to drive his car again. Vic already knows the answer to that one - it's ready when you are my friend!

The dragster has been added to the Paul Marston Drag Race Driving School and will be based at Santa Pod, available for rent for driver tuition courses our race car rental programme. If you are interested in the dragster or in any of the doorslammers in the PMR fleet for tuition of National Event rental in 2015, please me on 07831 650230 or E-Mail

Swift snippets.
18th September: If you fancy a nifty turn-key ride then Tom Bognor, Motorsports Director of Lucas Oil Products in the USA, is selling his Super Gas roadster. "The car runs 9.90 at 167 mph at Sonoma and Pomona", says Tom. "The engine made 1067 hp at Sunset Racecraft, I ran it on my dyno and had 970 hp, either way it hauls ass!". For more details check our Cars For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting this weekend's AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. Qualifying starts tomorrow (Friday) and you can stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central buddies at

Steve Dudley writes that the first slot drags meeting of the new season takes place on Mr D Raceway at 2:00 this Sunday (21st) at Higham Memorial Hall, School Lane, Higham, Kent ME3 7JL. "The hall is chargeable", says Steve. "If you would be kind enough to carry on the tradition of a couple of quid in the pot it would be appreciated. I have loan cars available if you do not have your own and would like to take part in eliminations."

A successful Drag Challenge.
18th September: This season Joseph Hadnagy and his team organised the two-round European Drag Challenge at the Hungarian Drag Arena in Kunmadaras, Hungary. There was an outstanding international interest in every race and although a number of classes were contested, Super Street Bike was the most popular with twenty one racers competing. The final points table is as follows:

On 15th November the top three racers are invited to a prizegiving ceremony and dinner at which they will receive their trophies.

S-Riders Kft will organise the second European Drag Challenge Cup in 2015 on 1st May and 19-20th August 2015. All racers are welcome. Categories to be contested will be Moditwin, Competition and Super Street Bike, ET Category 1 quicker than 8.00 seconds and ET Category 2 between 8.00 and 9.00. More information at Kunmadár will welcome everyone in 2015 with a lot of sunshine, an excellent atmosphere and a well-prepared track.

King King of Mosten.
18th September: Ian King and the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel Bike team took time out from their European Championship schedule to participate in the unique Mosten Raceday in Ørsted, Denmark.

The event, staged by the British and American motorcycle club Mosten MC, is a mixture of great rock bands, food, festivities, Jet Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters and an eighth-mile sprint race against the clock on the club's sublime asphalt race strip. A number of classes are run including Junior Drag Bike, Scooter Drag Bike, Old School, Funny Bike, Supertwin and Top Fuel Bike. The usual format is six runs over two days with the best three runs averaged to find the lowest ET and the winner per class. The best overall average of all classes receives the accolade of King of Mosten.

Unfortunately inclement weather meant that only one run was made by all teams over the two days, but the team maintained their winning streak with the fastest time of all machines and rider Ian King was crowned King of Mosten after narrowly edging out Sweden's Peter Andersson Ström into second place with fellow Swede Rikard Gustafsson in third place.

For more information about Gulf Oil Drag Racing visit

The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in winning the 2013 European Championship and in their 2014 endeavours:

APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Action Cameras - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Blackcat Motorsports - The leading V Rod Harley race team
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
Hotrod Hangar– Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
King Racing - The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European drag racing history
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC Engineering - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
RSG Customize - The UK's most creative website designers and vinyl artists
Supertough - Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
Spies Hecker - The world's leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
Vanson Leathers - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
Web Camshafts Inc - Simply the company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
Worldwide Bearings - The world's leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts

Gasser Circus title clinched.
18th September: Nervous Nick writes that the final round of the 2014 Gasser Circus Showdown, which took place at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags, was not only taking place at an eagerly-awaited event but that it was also going to be a really close run to the Championship:

Going into the weekend Brian Gibson in his Identity Crisis Dodge had 54 points and held the lead by some seven points from his brother John who was making up for lost time in his '55 Chevy Crowd Pleaser with 47 points. He was closely followed by the racing friends Lee Pike and Jerry Denning who had amassed 42 points in their Honky Tonkin' 2 Chevy Nova, just one point behind were Martyn Hallam in his Whiplash '33 Willys Coupe and Ted Booth in his Mighty Mouse Pop. This meant that the title could, depending on how qualifying and eliminations went, go to one of five drivers.

This was immediately reduced to four when Brian Gibson failed to make the final round. If all the others failed to qualify, he would retain his lead. After the first run in qualifying that was no longer a reality with all the cars easily through. The race for the title was well and truly on. The tension in the pits was palpable, and all the drivers who could not win the Championship knew that they had a part to play, especially as all of them wanted to end the season with a win.

It was good to welcome two new Gasser Circus members, coincidentally both called Steve. One being of the Lang variety and the other a Dixon, the former giving a track début to his 1941 Willys Coupe, and the latter returning his new Ford Falcon to the track slightly de-tuned from when Nic Williams raced it.

Unfortunately, only two qualifying runs were possible due to oil downs, a crash and a very strange incident in the fire-up road in which a crewman was knocked over and injured, thankfully not too seriously. With qualifying concluded, Nervous Nick's Nogbad the Bad and Steve Dixon's High Roller Falcon had not run the numbers. Steve was tantalisingly close, but four thousandths too slow. Number one qualifier was Tim 'Hank' Holmes in his Powerwagon Dodge, which after all the trials and tribulations that have befallen Tim over the season was a welcome reminder of just how well his pick-up can run.

This placed Tim up against Slick Mick Allen's Horrid Henry and on Sunday morning Mick was once again showing his ability to cut a superb light with a row of zeros which assisted his win and moved him on to the next round. On the same side of the ladder Ray Turner and his Green Onions '55 Chevy were racing Mike Noble in his Honky Tonkin' '57 Chevy. Mike ran a new PB with a 9.7, but that was tinged with a red light.

The other side of the ladder still had all the title contenders. Martyn Hallam's Willys took on Ken Brookes in his legendary Roarin' Rat, with Ken uncharacteristically putting a cherry on the tree. Martyn was still in the title chase. The battle of Bristol was now underway with the tile contenders, the Mighty Mouse Ford Pop of Ted Booth taking on good friends and title contenders Lee and Jerry in their Honky Tonkin' 2 Nova. Whoever said was racing was easy has never raced for a Championship as the pressure builds, and when the tree activated Honky Tonkin' 2 left fractionally before the green and placed a big minus on the gantry handing the win to Ted. Honky Tonkin' 2, with Lee and Jerry sharing the driving duties, had come close, but the title was now gone.

Defending Champion Sean Milsom in his Morris van Ain't Misbehavin took on the returning Goldrush piloted by Brad Strevett. Sean took the win as Goldrush suffered a roller rocker breakage. The Gas Junkie Willys Pick-up of Ray Irish was keen to race John Gibson in his '55 Chevy, after being unable to rerun their semi-final clash at Dragstalgia. However, it was not Ray's day as John took the win. More importantly for John he advanced and stayed in contention with Martyn, and Ted. In the next round Ted faced Martyn, and beat him with a 10.89 on a 10.89 dial in. This would later earn him £150 from Mechanix Limited. Martyn was now out of the running for the title. John then took on Sean in a very close race, but John took the win with an 11.13 on a 11.08 dial-in.

On the other side of the ladder Ray Turner and Slick Mick Allen brought their cars to the line. Mick cut another fine light in Horrid Henry, and with Ray reacting 1.4 seconds later, the win at the top end went to the Horrid one. Slick Mick was now destined for his first ever final, as that side of the ladder provided a bye to it. All Mick had to do was stage and break the beam, but Gasser Circus racers don't go in for that, so he powered his way down the track giving the crowds something to watch.

  Semi-final time in the other half and the Mighty Mouse took on John Gibson's Crowd Pleaser. Everyone knew that whoever won the semi-final would be crowned Champion. With both drivers, crews and cars set on win mode, this was going to be a big battle. And that is exactly what we got, with strong burnouts followed by the slow roll into pre-stage. Both cars rolled into stage simultaneously then the drag race was a side-by-side affair, with Ted crossing the line first but the win light going on in John's lane. Ted had broken out by four hundredths. John was now not only heading towards his third consecutive final, but he would be doing so as the new Gasser Circus Showdown Champion. He and his crew and in fact all of the Gasser Circus joined in the celebrations, yes even Ted and his crew.

However, before the trophies we still had another race, and it was now going to be a bit special as both of the finalists, Horrid Henry and Crowd Pleaser, run Muncie gearboxes, and to have two manually shifted racers get to the final is a major achievement. John was a little concerned as Mick is a demon on the lights, but when it came time to roll into the fire up road for the final John could not be found. The Gasser Circus drivers and crews dispersed in various directions to find him. Surely he was not going to lose the final by default? No, he was quickly located as he was cleaning the Gasser Circus barbecue in preparation for putting it in his truck! Now that is one way to prepare for a final.

Slick Mick was seen into the burnout box by his crewman Little Paul, and John was guided in by his wife Sue. The cars burned out and edged up to the lights, and within the Gasser Circus ranks we all stood and waited to see who would take the win. The Tree activated, and Slick Mick went for another one of his wicked lights, but instantly the tree went red as he broke the beam three thousandths too early and John took the win. Mick was disappointed, but soon consoled himself with the success he had had over the weekend and he had after all made the final, beating some great cars and drivers along the way.

Runner-up in the race series was Ted Booth in the Mighty Mouse Pop, but congratulations must go to John Gibson who not only is deservedly this year's Champion but who also has bragging rights over his brother Brian for at least the next 12 months.

The Gasser Circus wish to thank their sponsors the NSRA and Mechanix Limited for their continued support, the crews at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways, and all the supporters and fans who cheer us on and visit us in the pits. We look forward to more of the same in 2015, with at least four new Gassers joining the ranks.

National Finals Perfect Awards.
18th September: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the penultimate event in the 2014 Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Lee Huxley at the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals are available in the Signing On office and from the staff.

This weekend's RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Comp racer Phil Bennett at the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ACU Supertwin ET, Junior Drag Bike, the Wild Bunch, VW Pro and VW Sportsman, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide see Derek Flynn or visit

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office and from the staff.

Web site updates.
18th September: Thanks to photo-journalist Steve Moxley for letting us know that his report of the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway has been posted on the ACU web site at, and that his SPRC Summernationals report is now showing on the Eat My Ink web site at

The latest edition of the Speedgroup Newsletter is now on-line and includes FIA / FIM European Championship Finals reviews, news of upcoming events and more. You can check it out at The Editor's Diary will be back in the next edition.

Our good friend Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with pictures from last weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. As ever you can reach the latest update via the What's New link at

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at

Paul Lister's Drag Car Anon web site has been updated with pictures from the Saturday of the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Paul's pictures can be found at

Drake calls a halt.
18th September: We were sorry to hear that after ten years of service covering Hot Rod, American car events and drag racing for the Drakies Americans web site and leading magazines, Martin Drake has decided to call it a day. Martin writes:

Following an accident at the start of 2014 resulting in a major operation to my right shoulder, coupled with other injuries from a motorcycle accident thirteen years ago, I will no longer be able to photograph drag racing as I would be a health and safety risk on the track, not only to myself but to other photographers and the track staff. I will no longer be attending any American car shows or drag races due to my injuries.

I have been around this scene for so long and, as most people will know, I have covered most major shows and drag meetings to the extent that after covering every angle of a scene many times over, to the extent of cramming twenty four shows and drag races in one year, I no longer find it a joy to be there. My enthusiasm has gone and I feel nothing but pain from injuries and wishing I was at home. The joy has gone from this fantastic scene we all love so much.

I will maintain the web site with its years of reports as the pure history is something that can never be replaced. I myself will still be clicking away on the camera but with a slower pace and at slower things!

National Finals racer update.
17th September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Santa Pod Raceway's gates will open at 08:00 on Friday both for the Peak Performance Day and for pitting.

Friday 19th September
11:00 Signing On office opens
11:00 Car scrutineering commences
16:00 Bike scrutineering commences

Saturday 20th September
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences (
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences (order)
09:30 Track opens

Sunday 21st September
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering available for cars and bikes

Provisional running orders will be published shortly.

A double prize fund will again be on offer at this event.

Please remember the strict curfew: motors should not be started before 09:00 or after 20:00. If going to scrutineering on Saturday or Sunday mornings then please tow or push your vehicle. Firing up motors out of hours will result in exclusion from the event.

ESLA add Drachten event.
17th September: Thanks to Margot Schmidt for passing on the news that ESLA have cancelled this weekend's Pro Quartermile event at Drachten Drag Strip due to a low entry. However ESLA have added one more event to their calendar next week:

After many positive and supportive comments we have decided to organise a end of season ESLA Street Legal event.  This two-day event will be held at Drachten on Saturday-Sunday 27th-28th September. Street-legal participants should visit to enter; the entry fee for Street Legal classes is €100. Participants who have already paid for a previous cancelled event will receive a €50 dscount. Participants with a free entry ticket can enter the event for free.  

We will also welcome Pro racers to make demonstration or test runs on both days. The track will be fully prepared and all necessary safety requirements will be in place. Pro racers wishing to run at the event should please E-Mail us at

All entries, Street Legal or Pro, should be submitted no later than Tuesday 23rd September.

For spectator tickets please also visit For more information please E-Mail or call +31 684 331 255.

Don't miss the last event of 2014 in The Netherlands. Sign up now and let's end the season like racers.

BDRHoF events sold out.
17th September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to report that its two November events - the Gala Awards Dinner to be held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Parkon Saturday 22nd November, and Afternoon Tea With Don Garlits to be held the following day at Santa Pod Raceway - are both fully booked.

Guests attending the Gala Dinner who do not already have hotel rooms arranged for that night are advised that there are several hotels within the vicinity. Web sites such as and will have further information. Some availability may also remain at the Savill Court itself but this cannot be confirmed; guests may wish to telephone the hotel directly (01784 472000) to enquire.

BDRHoF chairman Stuart Bradbury is maintaining a waiting list for the Gala Dinner in case of cancellations.

UK Championship outcomes.
15th September: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway features the final round for the car classes in the UK National Drag Racing Championships as well as ACU Top Fuel Bike. Simon writes that as most classes have only had couple of events run to completion so far this year there is a lot to play for, and many more racers than usual have a chance for glory if all goes their way in both qualifying and eliminations:

In MSA Pro Modified, sponsor Andy Robinson has a commanding lead over BA Racing (Andy Wright and Bert Englefield) and even they have a mountain to climb if they are to take the Championship from Andy, who showed his best form for some time at the European Finals.

Scott Hauser is on the brink of winning his second straight Super Pro ET title. He has a lead of 830 points over Brad Jackson, who is 50 points ahead of Dave Russell and 80 ahead of Rick Cooke. A maximum of 1000 points are available. To take the Championship Brad, Dave or Rick have to qualify near the top, win the event, and have Scott and other contenders go out early and qualify poorly. In Pro ET, Rick McCann is 450 points ahead of Keith Herbert who is 200 points ahead of Leigh Morris. 950 points are available so Rick must keep a healthy margin over Keith or he or Leigh could take the title from Rick. Rick is one of four racers to have two Pro ET titles and, with a move to Sweden planned for next year, this could be his last chance to gain top individual honours in the UK. Ricky Hale leads the Sportsman ET standings with a margin of 500 over 2013 champion Craig Wright. 760 points are available so whilst the Championship is not decided finally, Craig will need to qualify better than Ricky, win the race and have Ricky go out in the first round to defend his title successfully.

In Super Comp, Dave Day has a lead of 160 points over Paul Watson and 190 over Paul Hudson. Paul Hudson had gearbox woes at the European Championship Finals and if he has managed to effect repairs and attends (see yesterday's news item for details) he will get a 200 point bonus for attending all rounds. Jon Morton, three time Super Gas Champion, has a lead of 340 points over Jon Giles and third placed Stuart Doignie is out with engine damage. However four-time champ Tim Adam is attending – could he act as a spoiler? In Super Street Karen Stevens has a narrow 40 point lead over four time champion Leigh Morris with two time champ Bob Lees a further fifty points further back. Karen's objective has to be to keep ahead of the more experienced guys.

With an entry of twenty six, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster will be as tough as usual. The title has more contenders than in the last few years with Aaron Fensome, Billy Everitt, Joe Kellett, Shannon Kiddell and Saskia Fensome Jell all having a chance of winning, depending on how they perform. Joe will be hoping to end his career in the class on a high by being the first racer in the class to win three titles.

Stuart Williams leads Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator by 340 points over sponsor Jon Webster. Neither have won the Championship before and the class should be as entertaining as usual. The Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Points Challenge is led by Keith Crampton who has a healthy margin over the non-attending Adz Price. Bob Hawkins who has a points deficit of 320 to Keith is the main challenger. The VWDRC club, with a slightly different points system, is led in VW Pro by James Hodson over Jacob Bailey by 180 points with Paul Jordan 140 points further back. In VW Sportsman Adrian London leads Ed Keech by 390 points with Dave Lea 160 points further back.

ACU Top Fuel Bike has three entrants which will make a Championship round; good news after last year. Steve Woollatt has a lead of 70 points over Rene van den Berg. Good luck to all bike racers for this weekend; we will publish an analysis of bike classes in the week before the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend.

The post-European Championship Finals UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championship points standings are now available on our
OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

One ball, no problem.
15th September: Samuel Innes has been in touch with an update on the charity football match which he and Santa Pod Raceway's Darren Prentice have organised for Saturday evening at this weekend's UK National Finals:

A team of racers and crew will be taking on a team of SPR staff and SPRC officials. The match will last the full ninety minutes and if there is a draw at full time then penalties will decide the winner. Each player will be donating £10 before the game with all proceeds going to Leukaemia charity in memory of Paula Marshall. Spectators are welcome to come along to support, laugh at the participants, and just as importantly donate.

"We want a big crowd to support the players, coaches and other team members", says Sam. "We want to raise as much money as possible so please come along on Saturday evening to support us and to donate for this very important charity."

The Wheelie Man wins.
15th September: Carla Pittau writes that the UK's Heaven & Hell Pro ET team had a real ball at the European Championship Finals, a meeting blessed with much-longed-for dry weather and a great track surface to race on:

Our long-suffering multi-tasking crewman Dave Buckland and his wife Christine couldn't make the first two days, so Colin and Grace Roaf made sure that they were at their battle stations early Thursday morning, and proceeded to perform all tasks with efficiency, care and great dedication.

The cars performed really well in qualifying, with Carla's Camaro missing a dead on by 0.0018 which was good enough for number two qualifier, number one having had a dead-on with three zeros! Rick's  Camaro missed it by 0.017 and only managed seveneenth, so close was the Pro ET field. Number 1 Qualifier trophy went to Hans van der Speck, who hopefully felt a lot more positive about Santa Pod than he did after the Main Event; to his credit he returned and had great fun racing with the Pro ET family. A big welcome to Alex Mahl who joined us from Austria, a great bloke who we hope we'll meet again soon, and commiserations for his engine breakage, hopefully it is not too expensive a fix. Welcome also to Anton Schneider, who returned from Germany to race with us after the Main Event.

At the end of the first day, however, two problems seemed to arise: Carla's car produced a cloud of oily smoke on start up and on launching, and Rick's car appeared to have a problem with the axle, which whined a little and worried the team as the gears were installed by Rick and Carla at  Alastaro after a breakage without using the pinion depth tool (as that was of course left in the garage in London). Although we were both satisfied that the operation was carried out properly, noise from the rear end might mean impending disaster, so we decided to investigate further. We removed the wheelie bar and dropped the cover, carefully observed the pattern on the gears, and visually checked the backlash and preload on the pinion. We all agreed that it looked OK, but the yoke seemed a tad notchy, and our notes from the emergency installation did say that it was a little tight on the bearing, so we wondered if the customary trip home to re-install the gears with new bearings may be in order.

Fortunately for us, Paul Letchford was at the track, and as he has been very kind to us in the past and has checked our axles when we have been paranoid, we decided we'd best seek his advice again. Paul came straight away and had a good look and a feel and declared that the pattern was fine and the preload OK if a little tight, and that we shouldn't worry about it. Much relieved we buttoned it up again and proceeded to refill the housing with fluid, using the super duper Pro Stock stuff which Samantha Racing Crew Chief Mikael Sjökvist donated to us at Alastaro: a really  gloopy mixture which took ages to pump into the housing, with Colin getting the dirty end of the stick yet again and spending the best part of two hours making sure it was all squeezed in.

What we should have done, of course, was to fix my oily problem, which was real, but I voted for attending to Rick's car first as he was leading the Championship. Alas better safe than sorry so, much reassured, we took a look at the red car. We were ninerty nine per cent certain that we knew what the problem was: I had made a repair to the heads a few years ago and Rick suspected that this had given up. The situation arose during the 2010 season, when we realised that we were breaking rocker studs and getting valve float because the valve springs weren't really up to the RPM required, so we ordered the springs specified on the cam card and found out that the heads builder had decided to use other springs because the correct ones didn't fit the spring seats. So we decided to have the heads machined to take the larger springs. Unfortunately there wasn't enough material in that area, at least on number three intake seat, so the cut went through to the other side, albeit slightly, causing a tiny hole and a couple of pinholes on the edge of the seat, from which the oil was sucked into the cylinder.

The area couldn't be welded and we were in the middle of the season with not exactly big funds for a better fix, let alone new heads, so I resorted to the old trusty method: JB Weld. Of course it shouldn't have lasted and, coming to think of it, it didn't but four seasons is a pretty good record for an emergency repair, so on Friday morning we took off number three intake valve spring and found that the repair had been displaced, just as we thought. I cleaned it all up, and repeated the procedure, leaving it to cure all day, which is why I missed the three runs on Friday - certainly not because I thought I didn't need the track time as some suggested! The repair held fine and I could therefore return to competition on Saturday.

In the first round I met good old mate Tig Napier in the gorgeous and extremely purple Dodge Challenger. Tig offered up a gentlemanly red light allowing me to advance to the second round. Glenn Pallant, however, wasn't that accommodating and produced a 0.01 light instead, whilst I snoozed with a 0.10 and broke out by 0.05 trying to get past him. My adventure in eliminations was over, but I was happy that the team had another chance and that the Championship leader was progressing nicely.

Rick put in a solid performance throughout the event, twice breaking out by a few thousandths in qualifying and pulling nine zero lights over twelve runs, one double zero green and one double zero red, and only one 0.14 light. The car was consistent and quite predictable in competition, so we were full of hope for a bit of tin-ware by the end of the weekend, and we were not disappointed. Alas Rick also received a red light against him in the first round, compliments of Bob Molden in the White Noise Peugeot, then met old friend Mike Lacey in the Metamorphosis Camaro in the second, managing both a better light and a dead on with a four to Mike's breakout. In the third round Rick came up against Tim Stanbury's Camaro, and again managed to get a few hundredths advantage on the tree and another dead on with a two. Tim fought well but Rick really seemed to be on one and Team Heaven & Hell were delighted with the car and the driver.

The semi finals came and Rick had the opportunity of taking revenge on Glenn Pallant in the beautifully-presented yellow Capri, in fact in the fire-up road I couldn't help saying to Glenn "We meet again Mr Bond” whilst stroking a large imaginary cat in mid air. Glenn was pulling really good lights in competition and had me worried, but something must have happened in this round that unsettled him and he had a slow one, allowing Rick's 0.07 to give him enough room to hit the brakes at the top end and record a 9.99 on a 9.97 dial in. On his return to the pits, however, Rick found that his battery had given up the ghost. Fortunately we had an easy solution: swap it with mine. As we feared the final round may come only too soon we sprang into action, helped by the whole Williams Brothers Racing team: Keith and I extracted my battery in a flurry of spanners and screwdrivers, pushing and pulling and wondering how the hell it was so tight in there, with Colin and Grace and probably Nic doing the same with Rick's battery. We were ready to race. Phew!

On the other side of the ladder Mark Bailey had performed really well, chopping down the tree and getting past all opponents, and once again we dialled the car with some trepidation. Whatever happened to both drivers at the staging, however, the stellar reaction times were not on the menu this time for either of them, but Rick's 0.14 was enough again to stand on the brakes at the top end, giving us the win we desperately wanted, with a 9.99 on a 9.95 dial in.

As a result Rick is still leading the UK National Championship, in fact he has extended his lead slightly and he has gone from second to first in the SPRC Championship, so we now have great hopes we may clinch the double crown again. After a season plagued by bad weather and rain-offs, the European Finals was a fantastic event with plenty of track time and huge fun, which we enjoyed immensely.

I would like to give very special thanks to Colin and Grace Roaf, who have worked so hard for the team and deserved this win as much as the driver. It was brilliant not have to worry about anything in the pairing lanes and to be able to discuss strategy and dial ins with Grace who is a real star and cheerfully takes on new challenges as well as full responsibility for all of her duties and simply keeps me sane when I haven't a clue. Of course all this comes easy to Grace, as she is Colin's daughter. Colin is the most helpful and thoughtful person you could meet, and he is prepared to help at all times whatever the job. Thank you guys, you really are the best.

A big heartfelt thank you also goes to Paul Letchford for his reassuring advice and for getting to our pits immediately when Rick went to find him to pick his brains on the axle issue. Thank you to the Santa Pod crew for delivering a great track to race on and to all marshals for their unfaltering work, to Caroline ‘Oscar' Boncey for her enthusiasm and sunny smile which never fails, and a special mention for Nicky and Lorrie in the timing office, whose little gold stars and smiley faces on the timing tickets made even bad runs look better. Thank you to Dave and Chris and the Williams family for their help and to the Bad Habit team for helping us load up (they always do).

Finally thank you to the team for their hard work in covering the event, supplying great photos and keeping us up to date with events (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), and to Tog for allowing us to say goodbye to Ed O'Connell in the brief but dignified and emotional ceremony at the top end of the track.

The photos of the cars are kindly supplied by Mark Skinner and Mike Burroghs (thanks guys!) whilst the picture of the prizegiving and Colin and Grace under Rick's car are my own, which is why they aren't very good!

UK Tech Committee meeting.
14th September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm for letting us know that a meeting of the UK Tech Committee has been arranged at 8:00 pm prompt on Wednesday 8th October at the Holiday Inn, Borehamwood. The main topic for discussion will be the Rule Book for 2015.

All are welcome but if you plan to attend, or if you have any items for the agenda, then please E-Mail Yvonne at by Monday 6th October.

Fuel pump urgently sought.
14th September: UK Funny Bike racer Gary Jones is urgently seeking a fuel pump if he is to race at next weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

I'm searching a Hillborn PG150 fuel pump", says Gary. "My present pump has started leaking and I'm awaiting replacement parts from Hillborn which appear to be stuck somewhere in the mail system. If anyone has a pump I could beg, borrow or buy to race at Santa Pod this weekend then please get in touch with me urgently."

If you can help then please give Gary a call on 07788 581902 or E-Mail

Flamholc goes west, again.
14th September: Swedish Pro Mod racer Adam Flamholc is headed back to the USA tomorrow (Monday) to resume his American season:

It's been over four months since I was last over there and since we last raced the Daytona. Our plan is to work on the car Tuesday and Wednesday and maybe test Thursday before Heads Up madness at Bradenton Motorsports Park Friday and Saturday.

If everything works out as planned, this is our schedule for the rest of 2014:

Heads Up Madness, Bradenton, 19th-20th September
PDRA World Finals, Richmond, 9th-11th October
World Street Nationals, Orlando Speedway, 17th-19th October
Outlaw Drag Racing Championship, Bradenton, 23rd-26th October
Citrus Nationals, Palm Beach International Raceway, 28th-30th November
Snowbird Nationals, Bradenton, 4th-7th December

Hudson's explosive weekend.
14th September: After suffering a transmission explosion at last weekend's FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, UK Super Comp racer Paul Hudson says that all being well he should be at next weekend's UK National Finals, and that last weekend's events confirmed his belief in safety rules:

I'd like to say a huge thank you for all the help and encouragement that I've received over the last week and at the track especially to my crew of Diana, Andy, and Jack for missing the racing on Saturday to get the transmission swapped, and especially to Sandy who only came to watch - all the way from Scotland - but ended up working on the car too! Thanks to Roy Walker for the new transmission, I'll try not to grenade this one! To all the other racers for the loan of nuts, bolts, tools and spares etc, Andy Robinson for a bit of on-site welding and re-tagging and anyone else who helped, because I wouldn't be racing without you all. I'd also like to apologise to the start line crew for causing so much extra work for them on a very busy day. Sorry guys.

I would also like to thank everyone who helped fill the "begging bowl" which I put alongside the old transmission. It has really helped me get the car back together quickly, and it really made me humble at the generosity of you all!

The one good thing which came out of this was that the transmission shields really saved the rest of the car, and me. With the size and position of the explosion I could have been badly injured but the shields deflected the force downwards out of harm's way. It was also encouraging to see and talk to other racers who said that they are now going to get shields for their cars even if the rules in their class say that they don't need them. All I can say is that if you're in Sportsman ET or Top Fuel the shields can save you a lot of grief.

Micallef's 2014.
14th September: The Maltese Lion Duncan Micallef has been in touch with a review of his season in Top Fuel Dragster:

Coming back from a memorably tough 2013, we started our first testing at Easter. Although it was cold the car already showed promising numbers to eighth mile. Due to the bad weather we had only one day of opportunity at the Main Event. We went out three times and we managed 4.16 with a loss of power before 660 feet. We recorded 0.94 and 0.93 to sixty feet and we were fifth in qualifying.

Unfortunately the track at Alastaro wasn't as good as we hoped. When dealing with such tricky conditions, Top Fuel is very difficult to tune at these power levels. The whole weekend was a pedalfest. I got into eliminations from the eleven cars and met the event winner in the quarter finals. Once again had to pedal the car against Stig Neergaard but we lost the blower belt and it was all over. If Alastaro was impossible then Hokenheim was different for Top Fuel. When you watched Anita trying to stage when she opened the fuel pump and the car didn't move, you could see that the tuners were on the very limit when it came to clutch slippage. There were eight cars in the field so qualifying was a test to get down the track. I met Stig again in the quarter final and this run was just as hard on the car as it was on the driver as I got to know the car well. I pedalled the car in such a manner that when I saw the video afterwards I couldn't believe that I had done such driving. This time victory was mine and I went on to meet Micke Kågered in the semis after my best time of the weekend of 4.516. I was looking forward to meeting Micke. I got off the line first with a 0.07 reaction but started spinning the tyres at sixty feet. I pedalled and lost the belt once again and that was the end of it.

After Hockenheim I discussed some issues with The Boss, Rune Fjeld, and we took some decisions. We knew the track here was going to handle more power so we catered for it. In Q1 I pedalled twice then had to lift the throttle as my visor misted. We knew now that the car, the team, the tune-up and I were all going in the same direction, and fast. I raced in the quarter final against Anita Mäkelä and although it wasn't a clean run we won. Next, Thomas Nataas in the semis. We all know that the Bat is the car to beat. A on my side and the car went left, pedalled and settled the car then started to go right and had to pedal it again and I felt I was driving a Go Kart. This car was so nice to drive that I didn't want to finish this race. I was catching Thomas but his 3.95 was impossible to beat. We managed to go 304 mph with such a complicated run. 

The final round, and as you have seen the car was improving event after event. This was the pinnacle. 4.06 in Q1 and qualified first, Q2 was my first run in the dark in Top Fuel, everything was perfect but the fuel pump didn't open properly so the car went lean at the top end. A consistent 4.02 in Q3 and Q4 was rained out. We knew that our car was where we wanted it to be. Round one of eliminations against Tethys and another storming 4.02. Next up was six-time FIA Champion Urs Erbacher. This run is still on my mind because if my huge engine explosion had not happened we would have finished in second place in the Championship, which was like winning it for me. Many Maltese fans came to visit us in the RFM pits. At one point I could see ten people around my car and that put me under pressure. My reaction times weren't so good this weekend so I got out my practice tree and it worked, 0.06 on the lights. For me, racing against Urs was racing against the top man whom I watched in Kings of Nitro on the Discovery Channel couple of years ago. At 300 feet I knew that it was good then all of a sudden a big bang and whilst trying to pull the car straight I heard Urs coming from behind like a rocket passing, and that was it. Emotionally as ever from my side I said "OK Duncan, try again next time, my next challenge is to get some luck".

I would like to thank all of my previous crew members from my T-Bucket where I started, I would like thank my sponsors Unique, J-Portelli Projects, DBR Investment, Talocan Ltd, Totalnet and PFDR for making all this possible. I can assure you that you are betting on the right horse! I would like to thank all my crew Mark Farrugia, Mark Dear, Gary Page, Melvin Vella, Laurie Bradford and Paul Spaxman and also The King Rune Fjeld and Lindsay. I would also like to thank my wife for her patience during the year, and all those who supported me including the Malta Drag Racing Association. Who is going to be my future sponsor? The new season!

Heezen gets a happy ending.
14th September: Dutch Supertwin racer Job Heezen says that he had a short but successful season:

During last year, our first season with the former Lo Stäuble bike, we tried to solve its problems, most of all the handling problems for which it was known since it started life on the track. For that same reason I gave the bike the name "Sidewinder". In that first year I didn't find the right answers so during last winter we put the whole bike upside down and made more drastic changes. We welded approximately sixteen feet of extra tubing in the frame, made a new wheelie-bar, changed the size of the rear wheel, made an extra heavy engine support, altered  the clutch basket, made most of the internal parts in the clutch out of titanium and changed the exhaust from two pipes to the right to one pipe on the left and one pipe on the right.

Although the Main Event was mostly rained out, the two runs we made gave us the feeling that we might be on the right track. They weren't the fastest runs but they were staight as an arrow which gave us a good feeling about things. leave the Pod with a good impression.

Unfortunately I couldn't go to Alastaro for family reasons so it was at the Hockenheim event where we were waiting to show the bike's potential. No need to say that it didn't happen there and then, the runs were hampered by a lot of tuning problems, spinning tyres and dropped cylinders. Forget about it and on to the Finals...

On the first day of qualifying we found out that not only the Hockenheim track played a role in the tuning problems, but something else was going on too. In Hockenheim the bike just dropped cylinders in a friendly way but here at the Pod it started to misfire big time, in the burnout and after 330 feet. The ignition failed in a way for which they are notorious, they work flawlessly in the warm-up and at the beginning of the run but when the revs, vibrations and pressure come in, they stop firing. Testing the ignition in the pits it worked fine but back on the track for the second qualifier it misfired again. Overnight we changed all the suspicious parts: the CDI-boxes, battery and pick-up sensor, found a possible short-circuit in the wiring and tuned back the bike to a safe and known set-up to make at least one decent qualifying run. It worked, with a 7.2465/203 we knew that we found the leak. The horsepower was back again so now the racing started for us. Unfortunately the fourth qualifying run was cancelled due to the rain so we went into eliminations without any tuning, a good recipe for surprises...

First round: Roman Sixta from the Czech Republic, who is making big steps this season. And man, this guy went fast off the line and he flew over the first 330 feet! He was so quick off the line that I'm almost sure that somebody told him that I work for the Russian KGB and that I was chasing him. His engine blew up somewhere mid-track, giving me the win in this run.

My 7.040 was not too bad and we knew that there was more to come. Semi-final: Christian Jäger from Germany, the only candidate left to keep Samu Kemppaien off his FIM Championship title. In the first round Christian was up against Samu in a decisive battle for the Championship. Samu was in front of Christian by almost a whole second but at the very end of the run he hit the last timing-cell and was disqualified, handing his chances to the rest. As usual, Samu hit bad luck and sat in the nail-biting waiting room for the things to come. And with him, the rest of Finland I guess. The run started exciting with a better reaction and sixty foot for Christian but before half track he lifted the throttle handing me the win. We were pretty happy with my 6.865/183, best ever for me on that bike and a decent time considering the bike dropped a cylinder just before 990 feet. With this win the Championship went to Samu with Christian as a runner-up, a well-earned Championship with his consistency, speed and rider skills. I'm almost sure that Christian will agree that Samu was the one to grab the title this year.

But the best had yet to come: an all-Dutch final in Supertwins against Martijn de Haas! The Haas Brothers were going great guns all weekend long, adding one PB to the other. We sat together before the run and decided that this was a unique opportunity to make a good show so we turned up the heat and put in tune-ups which would make the bikes fly or die. The race was a very exciting side-by-side, both bikes with wheels high up in the air until the very end, a Personal Best for both Martijn and me. The timing slip showed it was close and if my BDK valve had worked at the end, we might have crossed the line side-by-side.

I think this was my best ever final, maybe not time-wise but running such a side-by-side, in the final, in front of so many people, is what drag racing is all about. Martijn and I enjoyed it both so much and I'm sure this goes for the spectators too. Forget about PBs, ETs, sixty foot times, this is what drag racing started with, who is the first to reach the next trafic light!

We left Santa Pod with a good feeling: the bike is strong again, going straight and when everything comes together there is a lot more to come. I would like to thank my team for all the work and perseverance, it wasn't always easy but after everything it had a happy ending. I also like to thank my sponsor Drag Specialties, it was a pleasure to work with you and we will try to carry on this way into the future.

A busy fortnight.
14th September: After a frantic two weeks of racing, working eighteen hours a day in between UK Top Sportsman II and the European Championship Finals, UK Super Pro ET racer Simon Gough, his team, and his package all came out happy with what they had achieved:

Two finals and a semi-final in Top Sportsman this year, not bad. At the European Finals we held number one qualifier for about four minutes then Dave Russell took it away from us. Well done to Dave. We then had another seven attempts to get it back and we were right on the number twice but not lower than his 0.0014 - we went 0.0020, 0.0053 and 0.0040 off dial-in.

In eliminations we were firstly up against Wouter in the blown Camaro. He pulled a red and gave us the win, we needed that as we broke out. Then we were up against Rick Cooke. The track was just perfect and we ran 0.0300 too quick, giving Rick the win. All was not lost, it was a tough weekend, but I wanted to get into the third round so I could get matched up against Rene Ehrismann in Tim Cook's old Bel Air because I owed him one from NitrOlympX, but it wasn't to be.

Our crew and car worked perfectly again for both events and we are joint third in the SPRC Championship. This week we are at the National Finals and we're coming out all guns blazing. We know we can't get anywhere near Scott Hauser, but we're going to do our best to try to secure second place. That would be a big thing for us as we are only in our fourth year in drag racing. We've won eight trophies in the last two years with the 2012 Camaro and we're very proud of that.

A big Thank You to the following as without them it wouldn't be possible: LAS Motorhomes, Opie Oils, K&N Filters, Jeff Bull Race Engines, Chris Isaacs, Chassis Works, Kev Cerusale Transmissions, Woody Race Cars Inc, Dan Devlin, Craig Wright, Paul Morton, Jim Massey, Chris Wing, and most of all my wife Sharron.

Finals Street Eliminator review.
14th September: The penultimate round of the UK's Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship took place at the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Street Eliminator Chair Matt Atkinson writes:

We started the weekend with twelve cars entered but unfortunately were down to ten before a wheel had even turned. Rich Merriman in his VW Beetle has been battling all year to get the car ready and the engine back together but unfortunately on this occasion time ran out so Rich was unable to join us this weekend. A real shame after his outings last year. Following damage at Shakespeare County Raceway Al Williamson was frantically trying to get the infamous Chevy truck ready but again unfortunately wasn't able to race at the weekend. This weekend did however mark the return of David Murdoch with his twin turbo set up fresh from Webster Race Engineering and we welcomed Antony 'Butch' Wilkins into the class for his first meeting in the very impressive home-made Hillman duly named Butcher Shop.

With ten qualifying rounds scheduled everyone was looking forward to making the most of the superb track conditions and it was only David Murdoch who missed the first round. Antony Wilkins and Damian Haliwell opened up qualifying with a superb side by side duel and Butch was straight into the tens with a 10.912/123 to Damian's 10.699/125, straight into PB territory. Steve Neimanatas followed in the Bentley and laid down a 7.582/186 to open his account for the weekend and put him straight into the number one spot. Coincidentally no one else in the class ran quicker than this all weekend... and the Bentley was only just getting started! Stu Williams and Jon Webster were next out and number one and two in the points respectively going into the meeting, Jon showing his intent with a 7.882/176 to Stu's 7.919/179 to take the number two and three spots. The two brothers of Team Extreme followed Martin in the GTR and Matt in the Escort both looking to improve on their PBs over the weekend and although Martin crossed the line first with a 8.118/171 it was Matt that was more pleased with his 8.687/169. Last pair up saw Andy Bond who was in a rich vein of form following an outstanding weekend at the Open Sports Nationals and Alex Mcintosh looking to back up his first seven second pass from the Main Event earlier in the year. Alex lit the tyres at the hit and ran through with a 9.420/174 whilst Andy run like clockwork in the opposing lane with a 8.900/160 to pick up where he left off.

Into the second round and the first glimpse of David Murdoch's twin turbo Willys and a very tame sixty foot but straight into the eights with an 8.889/154, well done to the team great effort. Great run for Alex moved him up to number five with a 7.941/174 and saw him back into the sevens whilst Steve in the Bentley consolidated his number one position with a 7.524/193. Stu Williams and Jon both improved on this run, Stu taking the number two spot with an impressive 7.829/180 to drop Jon down to number three with a 7.872/176. A 0.006 reaction for Martin Smith and a 7.909/178 moved him up to number four although this did come at a cost as one of the turbos was broken meaning a long trip down to Southampton to source new internals to continue to qualify. New PB mph for Matt Smith in the Escort of 162 to accompany his 8.633 and consolidate number six spot, whilst Andy improved with the Mustang to an 8.893/160 and no improvements for either Damian or Butch.

Round three and another seven for Alex Mcintosh in the Mustang with a 7.9403/174. Next pair up and the Comet of Jon Webster left the line like a scalded cat as his sixty foot times continued to impress. He went on to run a 7.848/175 whilst David Murdoch again improved to a 8.882/153. Stu Williams benefited most from this session as he drove the Supra to a new PB of 7.736/180 to consolidate that second spot whilst Damian Haliwell was pushed back in the Biscayne.

Onto round number four and Steve Neimantas continued to set the gauntlet improving again to a 7.507/187 edging ever closer to the class ET record. Improvements again for Stu Williams in the Supra down to 7.679/181 from the three-litre engine and Jon in the Comet again improved to 7.803/178, new PB mph, whilst deep staging. Andy Bond continued to chip away in the Mustang running a seasons best 8.781/160 whilst Butch again improved in the Hillman to a 10.797/123 hot on the heels of Damian and his Biscayne.

Round five featured a new PB for Alex Mcintosh in his Mustang 7.9301/173 after a tweak from Dave Rowe of EPS, squeezing every last bit out of the Procharged set up. Big improvements and PB's in the next pair as Matt Smith of Team Extreme ran through with a 8.537/162 to Jon's 7.735/177 in the Comet. Improvement this time round also for Davey in the Willys with a 8.550/160 as they started to pour the power in. Last up and Steve's Bentley edged ever closer to the record with a 7.494/185 to end the day on a high. A late night for the Team Extreme boys as they were off to Southampton following the turbo damage earlier in the day.

Following this there was a good night in the Street Eliminator pits; I am not going to elaborate too much more other to say that there was plenty of abuse fired round. We were not out until the late afternoon after the initial Pro session. First out and Davey improved yet again to an 8.461/161 to take number six spot whilst the Bentley took a huge side step off the line and at half track, Steve doing a good job of getting it back straight before applying the throttle again! Alex improved to a 7.882/174 resetting his PB. Jon away from the line with a 1.21 sixty foot and crossing the line with a 7.687/178 to reset his PB in the Comet showing the improvements made over the winter to the engine at ICE Automotive really have taken effect.

Single lane running for qualifying session seven and a huge wheelie to begin the session from Alex McIntosh, the Mustang coming down very hard and although Alex managed to fix the radiator it was the end of his weekend as an axle problem ruled him out. Problems also for Jon as the Comet pulled over just past half track, the problem later transpired to be a crank trigger issue which Jon duly fixed for the following day. New PB speed for Steve in the Bentley to the tune of 194.72 mph and great to see Martin Smith out in the GTR following the hard work of the Team Extreme crew to put the GTR back together which seemed to pay off, Martin running through with a 7.870/178 to take number four spot from Alex. Davey and Andy both improved on this round, 8.379/166 for Davey and 8.746/160 for Andy. Damian closed the session with a new PB of 10.637/125 hanging onto the number nine spot.

Drama in the last session of the day as Martin Smith in the GTR turned hard right a hundred feet out as a transcooler fitting blew off leaving a line of trans fluid up the track. It was not turning out to be Martin's weekend although the clean up did mean that we got to see Top Fuel in the dark which is always a special occasion. Also in this session Steve Neimantas managed to set the world alight with the quickest run in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator history, setting the bar to a 7.301/192, an absolutely amazing run from the Bentley and well done to the team for all of their efforts to get the car there. This did however come at a cost as on investigation it was found that the rear axle had actually cracked which meant no more racing this weekend and sadly no back-up of the 7.301 ET. Improvement also for Butch with a 10.746/123 in the Hillman.

The last qualifying sessions took place on Saturday and yet another late night for Team Extreme cleaning off all of the trans fluid from the GTR, a great effort by the whole team. Martin with problems again though as the GTR headed for the sky around a hundred feet out, Martin having to get out of the throttle and sadly no improvement on the ET. Davey Murdoch improved again to a 8.353/168 new PB for ET and speed whilst Stu Williams was going quietly about his business resetting PBs and running through with a 7.628/182 to stay number two. A similar story for Andy Bond as he continued his great form with a 8.533/162 new PB for ET and speed.

Unfortunately we didn't manage to get another run in as the rain came down but that did mean it was on to the Cruise and it was a late one! As we lined up to leave the gate it was clear that Martin Smith had problems with the GTR struggling to fire, he managed to limp round to the petrol station where everyone filled up and it was on to the hot start with the GTR really struggling now. Martin still in with a good chance of the Championship decided to soldier on and after just starting at the hot start it was back to the track and what seemed like a long wait for the GTR to get through the gates but thankfully despite oil pressure continuing to drop Martin managed to get the car through the gates pulling over past the gate to be towed back to the pits. After pulling the rocker cover off it was evident that there was a big problem as one of the rockers was in two pieces and two pushrods were out of action; despite a late night surge by everyone to source a rocker from somewhere in the pits it unfortunately wasn't to be meaning it was now a two-horse race for the Championship. Great effort and determination from Martin and the team and I am sure they will be back bigger and stronger for next year.

Into eliminations and with three cars out (Steve, Martin and Alex) this meant a few bye runs and one of the recipients of this was Butch as he deservedly took his place in the next round with a 11.007/104, Andy Bond also took advantage of Martin's misfortune in the Mustang running through with a 8.520/164 new PB ET and speed marching onto the next round. Last of the recipients of a bye run was Davey Murdoch as he powered the Willys to a 8.224/165 new PB. First of the two match ups lined up Damian and Stu and it was Damian away first 0.242 to Stu's 0.366 but Stu ahead past sixty foot and taking the win with a 7.695/182 to Damian's 10.512/126 but Damian was chuffed with the new PB, well done Damian! Next up was Matt Smith in the Escort and Jon in the Comet, Matt trying to restore some happiness into the pit and despite a losing run a 8.431/164 achieved the weekend's goal of beating the 8.50 tag. Jon took the win with a 8.364/156.

Round two and Butch again had a bye run courtesy of Steve Neimantas running through with a 10.721/123 and quickest run of the weekend. Next match up was the ever improving David Murdoch against Stu Williams in the Supra and unfortunately for Davey excitement got the better of him as he left the line before the tree engaged handing the win to Stu who ran through with a 7.754/182 and booked his place in the final. Next semi final was Andy Bond in the Mustang up against Jon, Andy knowing a good light was imperative and he duly obliged with a 0.035 to Jon's 0.043 but Jon powered to the finish line with a 7.819/162 to Andy's 8.522/164 backing up his earlier run. A great weekend for Bond Motorsport all in all and great to see the Mustang running so well.

As the turnaround times shortened it was semi final time and luckily for Stu Williams he was the recipient of a much-needed bye run into the final. Not taking any chances Stu simply broke the beam and pootled up the track to take the round victory. Next pair up saw Butch in his first ever event in the semi finals up against one of the most experienced Street Eliminator racers in the history of the class Jon Webster. Jon was away first and didn't look back, taking the win with an 8.455/141 to Butch's new PB 10.619/126. This topped off a great weekend for Butch and the team and we are already looking forward to welcoming the team back next year.

Into the final and with the two at the top of the Championship it was going to be a close affair, Stu with the slight points lead and quicker ET, but Jon's lightning quick reactions would have something to say about that! Jon away visibly ahead of Stu with a 0.037 to Stu's 0.257 but it was Stu in front by the eighth and he powered through in the three-litre Supra to take the event win and extend his lead at the top of the points with a 7.766/182 to Jon's slowing 8.643/137.

A huge thank you for everyone at Santa Pod Raceway for all of their efforts over the weekend. A great time was had by all in the Street Eliminator pits despite the breakages. We are all really looking forward to the last round already with Stu Williams building up a healthy lead but all still to play for!

On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive sponsoring the class for their fifth consecutive year, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography and, all of whom can be found on our web site at

Euro Top Gas Series Round 6.
14th September: The sixth and penultimate round of the Euro Top Gas Serie took place at the eighth-mile sprint at the 21st Mosten Race Days in Ortsed, Denmark. Hermann Jolink writes:

The track was very well-prepared by Holger Dueholm and his crew. There were 165 competitors, mostly in bike classes but some cars. Thursday's technical inspection took place in nice sunshine, but on Friday there were a lot of rain showers. When the rain stopped the track crew tried to get the water off the track and dry it with Gerd Habermann's jet dryer, but there were just too many showers. The crew started drying again at six o'clock on Saturday morning and the first bike classes started at 09:30. Top Gas started their first runs at 12:00. Qualifying was as follows:
  1. Jan Malmberg S on two Blower 2400 V-Twin 4.858/225 kmh new Personal Best ET
  2. Frederik Schack DK on 2750 V-Twin 4.992/229
  3. Stefan Andre S on 60 degree 2600 V-Twin 5.392/217
  4. Cord Albers D on 2622 V-Twin 5.452/212
  5. Christian Bruhn D on 1000 SP Turbo Honda 5.647/209
  6. Anders Jensen DK on 2000 mechanical Turbo V-Twin 5.737/199, a new Personal Best ET
  7. Peter Niklas D on 1198 Ducati 6.817/186
  8. Lars Andersen DK on V-Twin 7.266/157
  9. John Henrich Hansen on V-Twin 7.678160
Herman Jolink NL had too few revs at the start so the Ducati 1198 RS stopped; Mats Larsson S had electrical problems with his 2589 Turbo V-Twin; Conny Karlsson S on 1985 Turbo V-Twin home-made frame also had problems; Bernd Foit D on 2870 V-Twin also had some problems; Ulrich Storch D on V-Twin broke his gearbox. Olaf Menzi CH was not at Mosten, Frank Heitmann D and Miia Maria Vespalainen FI were also not there.

After the first run the showers started again, the track was not dry again on Saturday so it was a rain out.

After the Mosten Race Days Fredrik Schack DK has 2815 points and with one round to go, at Hoskovice CZ this weekend, nobody can catch him. So the Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Champion of 2014 is Frederik Schack. After six of seven rounds the Championship stands as follows:
  1. Fredrik Shack 2815
  2. Christian Bruhn D 1620 (with one skipped event)
  3. Peter Niklas D 1410 (with one skipped event)
  4. Herman Jolink NL 1395
  5. Cord Albers D 920
  6. Anders Jensen DK 800
  7. Lars Andersen DK 790
  8. Frank Heitmann D 570
  9. Olaf Menzi CH 570
  10. Mats Larsson S 400
  11. Milan Kolacny CZ 360
  12. Miia Maria Vespalainen Fin 250
The Mosten MC crew did their best to get the track in a good condition but with so many rain showers it was not easy. Despite the rain a lot of spectators enjoyed the live bands.

JDB in their own words.
14th September: Many thanks to Lizz McCarthy for forwarding us the Junior Drag Bike racers' accounts of their weekends at the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:

Louis Davies: Q1 woke up to a cold morning and expected a slow run due to problems with the bike. So we dialled in a 9.30 just to get a time on the boards still with problems I ran a 9.41 at 69 mph which made me third qualifier. Q2 after the last run I raised the dial in to a 9.35 to try to get a higher place but staying third with a slower 9.43 at 69 mph, but still happy with the run. Q3 next day and woke up to another cold morning so I stuck with the 9.35 and then going much faster with a 9.33 at 71 mph so breaking out but staying third with no improvement. Q4 after breaking out I lowered the dial in to a 9.32 to try to improve but then running a much slower 9.40 at 70 mph so still no improvement but still in third qualifier. Sadly Monday was rained off and we did not complete any of the eliminations but thank you to all my friends and family for a great weekend and a huge thank you too Rene van den Berg for sponsoring me this year, also thank you to Beckwith Motorsport and Lighting Automotive for sponsoring Junior Drag Bike this year, plus Brandi and the team at for the support.

Jordan Kenway: We arrived at Shakey after spending two or three days at Santa Pod for the Junior Fun Day, We set up and everything was fine, Saturday morning we had no clue what to dial in as we made some modifications to the bike therefore we went for our safe 9.60 dial in but ran a new PB of 9.20 and a new speed PB of 71 mph. Also before this run I attempted my first ever burnout! Second run we dialed in a 9.15 and ran another new PB of 9.08, so we are super close to an eight second run now! Third run we dialed in an 8.95 hoping we would see our first eight but instead the bike had other ideas and when I pressed the air shifter the gear leaver got stuck in neutral resulting in an eleven second run as I had lost time with the first gear change. Unfortunately rain stopped play on the Monday so Natalie I will race you soon as that would have been a good close race! Also Well done Natalie for the Perfect ET run also a massive thanks to Scott Collier for helping and teaching me how to do burnouts! See you all at the National Finals for Round 5.

Alfie Udall: What an amazing week i had drag racing! It all started on the Tuesday evening when we arrived at Santa Pod Raceway for the Junior Fun Day. After a fun day of racing on the Wednesday I ended up finishing second in the second round of eliminations! We then stayed at Santa Pod Raceway until the Friday morning when we took the drive from Santa Pod Raceway to Shakespeare County Raceway where the real meeting would start. In the first round of qualifying I ran a 9.3 having dialled in a 9.0 so I started off at number four qualifier. However on my second run I ran a 9.03 on a 9.0 dial in. This put me at number two qualifier so I was very happy with that. On the next day of racing I went out for my first qualifying run but had problems as I launched my engine mounts shifted on my bike causing my chain to move out of position and snap this then bent my chain guard at a ninety degree angle. I was pleased that I did a big wheelie but wasn't pleased I broke the bike. Thankfully my amazing friends Jerry Collier, Simon Holgate my dad, Ollie Dummer and the Dastardly Drag Racing Team stepped in and helped get my bike ready for the next qualifying run. I wouldn't have been able to race if it wasn't for these guys thank you so much!. On my last qualifying run after doing a burnout I could feel something wasn't right with my bike which was to be expected after a full rebuild. My clutch was dragging a little bit so I couldn't hold it on the line with my two step. Nevertheless I was still very happy that I managed to have a run! I ran a 9.3 second run with a 9.0 dial in. Unfortunately this was my last run of the weekend due to the weather but I was still very glad I managed to stay number two qualifier and pick up a trophy! I can't wait for the next meeting where I can see all my friends again. Once again thank you to everyone who helped get my bike ready bring on the next meeting!

Stacey Reed: What a great few days! Firstly, on the Wednesday, it was the Alamo Junior Fun day at Santa Pod which turned out to be great. Throughout the day, Dad and I were playing around with different things on the bike to try to get it quicker, which in the end, resulted in a new PB speed! Woohoo! A big thanks to Alamo for the continued support. Then on the Friday it was time for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Overall, my times stayed between a 9.50 and a 9.84 with a top speed (and new PB) of 70.75 mph! After all qualifiers, I ended up fourth with a 9.59 on a 9.50 dial in. But then the rain came pouring down so eliminations couldn't happen. Well done to Natalie for the Perfect ET and to Jasmine and Patch for looking cool and rocking the burnouts! See you all next meeting

Jasmine Cordelle: We had the Fun Day at Santa Pod on Wednesday that was great thank you Alamo! Then Friday to Monday we had the Open Sport Nationals. Friday we just set up and relaxed and had a team photo shoot with Jenny Wren it was great! Saturday was qualifying, I dialled in 8.90 as we had to back off loads at Santa Pod but we ran 9.20. Qualifier two we dialled in 9.10 and ran 9.58. Sunday was still qualifying we dialled in 9.10 and ran 9.5 and fourth qualifier we dialled in 9.25 (Louis;) ) and ran 9.56. At the end of it all I was seventh qualifier. Monday was supposed to be eliminations but unfortunately they were rained off. I would have faced Alfie. Also glad to see the French again, hope you enjoyed England and see you next year.

Natalie Jones: What a great Bank Holiday weekend I had. Even though sadly the event got rained off so there were no eliminations which I was rather looking forward to as for first round I would have faced Jordan which was going to be a rematch from the Junior Fun Day. Q1 I was against Blade who I had never raced before so it was going to be exciting. We dialled in an 11.70 because that was the time I was running at Junior Fun Day. Blade went first while I waited for my start line handicap and then I was off. I couldn't believe it though I ran an 11.70 on the dot, a Perfect ET! So that put me number one qualifier! Q2 I was against Alfie. We dialled in an 11.60 and I ran a 12.50, absolute rubbish! This was due to my reaction time as I was too busy checking my make-up and posing for the photographers. Q3 I had a bye. My dad made a few tweeks to the bike so unfortunately I broke out as we dialled in an 11.60 and I ran 11.32 (D'oh!) but that didn't matter as I got a new PB for ET! Q4 I was against Jas. Due to the changes we now dialled in an 11.40 and I ran and 11.43 I was 0.03 off! All in all I just want to say a huge thank you to everybody in the Junior Drag Bike Club for supporting me, my cousin for coming along and helping me out and especially my two racing mums Kerryanne Frazier and Bev Batsford, for just being there for me through every step of the way. I would like to say huge well done to Liam Holgate who got the Tim Beckwith sportsmanship trophy, Alfie Udall and finally Blade Dummer who achieved a new PB albeit at the expense of getting himself disqualified but that didn't matter though as the meeting was called off due to rain. No doubt you will read about that in Blade's report. So then, we will see you all at the National Finals and hopefully the weather improves!

Blade Dummer: Well what week. First the Junior Fun Day on Wednesday was great so thanks to the staff at Santa Pod. I finished second in the morning's rounds and third in the afternoon even though the bike wasn't running great. When we got home we adjusted a few bits and dad thought it was right but when we arrived at Shakey and qualifying started we still were running slower than I wanted. So we had a look and the rollers had a flat spot so we changed them cleaned the jets, thanks to Allan for a tiny drill bit. Then during Sunday qualifying I didn't have a hold of the rear brake properly and red lit so we still didn't have a time to see if the bike had improved. The last run of Sunday came and I wanted to put a good run in and did I ever... but it was too good I broke out massively running a 12.5 with a 2.6 second sixty foot, massive new PB but with a class limit of 12.9 this was not good and got me disqualified from the whole event. But I know racing doesn't always go to plan and when Tony Smith brought my letter I shook his hand and said thank you. On a good note was nice to able to help Alfie who had a issue and everyone got him back to the track to race again.. Thank you for a great weekend and better test before the next round thanks to Beckwith Motorsports, Magic Bullet Fuel Additive and FBM Turbos

Siobhan Moor: I was incredibly excited not having raced in four months due to being here there and everywhere. On my first run out and round one of qualifying it was a smooth run however was far out from my dial in, second round of qualifying I ran a 10.8 on a 10.5 dial. Sunday morning's round of qualifying I decided to up my dial in to 10.75 which made dad called me a pessimist. While we were waiting in the fire up roads my dad gave me a new technique to try which made me massively break out running a 9.84 (Personal Best). So dad can't really complain about the breakout as I did what he told me to do! Therefore due to the new technique I felt confident I could carry it through and lowered my dial in to 9.8 and ran a 10.0 ending up in sixth place. The rain off on Monday was a disappointment however I am looking forward to the Santa Pod event which will be my last time racing as a Junior before I go up into Supertwins on my sister's old bike!

Liam Holgate: I was looking forward to the Junior Fun Day at Santa Pod for a while as I was trying to get my licence signed off on my new bike so I can go up to JBM. The first run of the day was good and I was getting used to the clutch ran a steady run and was happy with it, second run it tried a bit harder this time and tried to launch off the two step launch control it went well but as I changed to second I let it rev too hard and bent the exhaust valves. I was a bit sad but that's racing so I had to get back on to my old bike (after asking Casey my sister if it was OK as it was her bike now) but still had a great time and I'm looking forward to next year's Fun Day. Meanwhile at the Open Sports Nationals we arrived early straight from the Pod so dad had time to strip my bike and see if he could fix it in time for Saturday, but we were unable to get the bits in time . Saturday qualifying I was back on my old bike (thanks Casey) and set an ET of 13.50, ran a 13.81 and was happy with that to start with. Second qualifying set a 13.55 again I staged the tree changed but the bike stalled. I managed to restart but ran a 16.32. In the third qualifying run on Sunday I set an ET of 13.55 as we had a tailwind now, I ran a 13.71 a little quicker good and enough for number five qualifier. Fourth qualifying run I set my ET to 13.58 hoping to be a little closer without breaking out, I ran another 13.71 should have set it to that and would have had a Perfect ET. Just after racing had finished we had the weekend presentations and I won the Tim Beckwith Outstanding Sportsman Award, it was cool. It did look like an empty bag but then I was told that that was the bag it came in and that Kev Charman had forgotten to bring the real trophy, but I was happy with that.  Monday came and it rained all day and that was the end of that. Overall I had a great week of racing. I would like to thank Tim Beckwith for sponsoring the Junior Drag Bike club and I look forward to the next race meeting to get back on my new bike.

Two for the price of one.
14th September: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith says that he had a fab weekend at Toronto Motorsports Park, his local track:

We took the Leverich Top Fuel Dragster to match race our good buddy Gary Kraus and his amazing Pony Up nitro Funny Car. We also took Aidan's alky Funny Car for the finals of the NDRA Funny Car Series in which we were amazingly number seven with an outside shot at the title!

We set off early Saturday still with a bunch of stuff to do on the Funny Car when we got there, as usual, and that was after a two-week thrash to sort a long list of woes including getting our new push rods delivered to the track. For our Ruropean or fellow racers note that Smith Brothers custom-make any push rod same day and ship next, and my custom hemi rods were only $29 each!

The Living the Dream Top Fueller was all ready so we ran our first race at around 7:00 pm but we noticed that the pair of rear tyres on the car were same size and serial number but the models were different. One was NHRA legal, the other banned but we ran over 300 mph with them a decade ago. So Gary Leverich warned me that if skating around at top best get out of it. We flew down the track and at the top end started moving around but not scary but I thought best lift at 1000 feet and coasted to our Personal Best with that car at 5.1 at only 256 mph. Damn! So close to that elusive Four but got the win! No damage so apart from new clutch and bottom end check we moved the timing curve and went back out at 9:30. Now we get our ten foot high flames in the dark which the crowd love best and again we took the win but only a 5.4 as it dropped two cylinders after half track. Damn again! Sunday we ran again but only 5.5 at 262 mph as I had to lift early again but a fabby job all round and the track and the fans loved the show!

Back to the Funny Car, we got everything ready for the first qualifier but on warm up found that the new clutch wasn't disengaging. We quickly ripped it all apart and found the dial indicator used to the set stands was the wrong one so three quarters of an inch off. We reset the clutch and put our feeler blade in and it disengaged fine, got it all back together but it still didn't disengage. We missed the qualifier and ripped  it all out again! It transpired that the bearing retainer was touching the first disc as it was an all-new thicker pack, so we got the trusty angle grinder and nipped a hundredth off it (thanx Rob Lapierre). Now all sorted, changed oil etc, went to refire but now no oil pressure? Worked fine first fire up. It transpired that the first time I put in ten litres in the pan and eight in the remote tank and this time put fourteen in the tank and four in the motor which is fine except that we had two lines switched on our double Plueger style oil pump so it was only recirculating oil from the remote. Do damage, phew, but we missed the second qualifier.

The track said that we were running the third qualifier on Sunday but then said we could run the Top Fuel car on Saturday night but didn't tell me that the third qualifier was also changed to Saturday night. We had quit on the Funny Car to get the Top Fueller ready so we missed the third qualifier. But they said if that if we followed the three elimination rounds as demo runs we would get our qualifying money.

On Sunday I told Aidee to do half pass as we needed to check the motor as so much had changed. Everything was backed down, only 28% on the blower, fat as hell, but got down no problems or oil leaks! So back in the pits we checked everything over and all good so balanced the port nozzles but left it fat and lazy for a quarter mile pass. Again a great crowd pleasing burnout from Aidan and a lazy 7.7 but not sounding great at all. Back in the pits I put the blower up to 34% and set the fuel and it sounded much better. Excited for Aidees six before starting to get after it with clutch etc, his burnout even stronger and car just sounded better all round maybe a little stutter on the burnout?

We now have radios (for Aidee's birthday) so I told him to launch at a conservative 6000 rpm. It left wellbut was laboring bad, not enough rpms and stuttering. Aidan said it felt like was in one gear all the way and wouldn't rev up, but now we are pretty sure there is a malfunction with the rev limiter built into the tach which was killing us. But it still ran another seven and so we'll get that sorted and try once more before it gets too bloody cold.

We partied all Saturday night until 5:30 am and only got one complaint about noise, but DJ Azzy was still naffed he had to turn it down a wee bit. So a top weekend had by all, the promoter was happy, all three runs were great from both cars with no oildowns, breakages or tyre smoke and the mad enthusiastic crowd got their money's worth.

UK Top Sportsman II success.
14th September: Organiser Paul Marston writes that Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman at VW Action offered the very best in doorslammer action could only be described as a great success for everyone:

With great weather and the laid-back VW Action vibe, there were all the signs of a landmark event. Added to that some great competitors, who were all loaded for bear. The format was the same, the first race the fast bracket race with one time trial run and then a first round with buy-back into the second round. With nearly twenty teams in attendance for this inaugural event it took five tough rounds of competition to reach the final in which Billy Gane in his Big Block Ford 545 vci Vauxhall Victor faced off against Dave Gadney in his Cavalier with Jeff Bull built 565ci Big Block Chevy power.

Billy Gane was just on fire in the previous round against Brian Pateman, drilling Brian with a 0.009 light and just a hundredth over his 8.90 dial-in. In the final it was the same, Billy was 0.01 on the 0.400 Pro tree and two hundredths over his dial to take his first ever win in UK Top Sportsman. Congratulations to all the team at Billy Gane Racing, you earned it.

On to race two, the Heads-Up Elliminator which had the first shock with Taylor Letchford shoeing his dad Paul's 1968 RCCS-backed Camaro to pole in the one-shot qualifier with an 8.10/167.92 with a naturally aspirated 584 ci Big Block Chevrolet, an outstanding job. There were a lot of early shut-offs and poker-playing in qualifying, as you would expect with the kind of field assembled, but nothing should detract from a real solid performance from the Camaro. Once again there were upsets aplenty with number two qualifier Dave Townsend in his Pro Mod-spec Mustang bowing out with transmission/starter issues in the quarter finals.

By the time the dust had settled and we had reached the finals it was down to Simon Gough in his beautiful Jeff Bull-powered 598 ci 2012 Chevrolet Camaro against Brian Pateman in his nitrous assisted 540ci BBC. Simon had been chopping the tree down with 0.03 lights most of the event in both the bracket and the heads-up. But the superior power of the nitrous tune was the decider. Brian, who runs 8.80s with no gas, stormed to a 8.000/169, he is leaning on the motor so hard that with that much nitrous it starts to melt the ally floor in the Firebird.

Stay tuned to for the airing dates of the two TV shows featuring both rounds of UK Top Sportsman. Each show will be an hour long and shown on Motors TV. There will also be a DVD available from later this year covering both events.

Our special thanks go to all the UK Top Sportsman crew who worked their hearts out at both events. Phil and Avril from Santa Pod Raceway track crew, Mick Howling, Sefton Whitlock, Lisa Farmer, Keith Bick, the Crew Chief and Baby Giraffe, Keith Bick, The Pieman, Lighthouse Lee and Jordan Brastead. To our great sponsors and marketing partners, I hope we represented you all well: Direct Plastics,, Antigravity Batteries, Engine Data Analysis, Jeff Bull Racing Engines, Hauser Racing, Steve Strong Engines, Drag Race Engineering, Rough Diamond Racing and Paul Marston's Drag Race School. Thanks for the support and belief of, Santa Pod Raceway management, all the track crew at Santa Pod and last but by no means least all the great teams and drivers who have given everything to put on some of the most exciting racing seen at a drag strip in 2014.

Do not miss the TV show which I guarantee contains footage you have never seen before.

Web site updates.
14th September: Richard Smith has updated his Zenfolio site with an excellent gallery from the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals. You can take a look at

Warming up for the HRDs.
12th September: This weekend twenty Outlaw Anglia racers will be duking it out for a sixteen-car field at their season finale at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. Paul Wright says that, with the 2014 Championship at stake, nostalgia race fans at are in for a treat:

Cliff Griffin is currently out in front and on form, recording PBs at the last few events. The team are working hard to put the Griffin family-run car back in the Winners' Circle for the fifth year in a row. Hot on his heels is the Flyin' Fyfer Colin Millar. Colin's motor took a hit at the Open Sport Nationals but Mother Nature shed a tear to keep him in the running. He had parts on order and a dyno session due yesterday. Truly living by the seat of his trooosers true Scotsmen don't wear pants (Yes, we know - Ed).

Steve Wells won't be in attendance after breaking his second crank of the season on a phenomenal 8.33 pass, his current number eight standing is sure to be overtaken by Barn Levy from Northern Ireland, Spencer Tidswell in the Problem Child gasser and a few others.

Adding another touch of class to this year's NSRA Hot Drags will be the legendary Al O'Connor, and for a dose of anarchy look no further than the two-car Time Bomb team of Dave Sidaway's turbo'd Fordson, and Crew Chief Gary Bird's purple Pop.

For full points standings please visit the Championship page at For Facebook fans more info can be found on the Outlaw Anglia Drag Racing page.

Rough start, smooth end.
12th September: Pär Willén aka PiPPi writes that up until last weekend's FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway it had not been the best of seasons for Swedish Pro Stock racer Jimmy Ålund and the J&J Performance Racing Team. Not being able to match the KB Racing horsepower to tracks of varying quality had made for some early exits. Jimmy went into the European Finals holding a third place in the standings. Four Championship contenders were in place which made for easy maths: Jimmy had to win the event to clinch the Championship.

"Qualifying was very hard for us", said Jimmy. "We only got down the track twice, not a good way to go into eliminations". Qualifying round two was good enough to get the top spot but the team was not satisfied. "No, not at all" said Jimmy. "We were very frustrated as we did not feel we had a solid race day tune-up in the car. Our competitors ran both quicker and a lot more consistently than we did."

In Sunday's eliminations Jimmy with a solo run in the first round as number one qualifier in a field with an odd number of cars. Things were looking up, a straight and strong 6.542/212.98, quickest Elapsed Time of the weekend. In the semi-finals against then points leader Michael Malmgren, a Must Win to keep his Championship hopes alive, Jimmy left first and never looked back, running quicker and faster through all the incremental points down the track. The numbers were 6.56/211.09. The final round, the last run of the entire season, was where the Championship would be decided. Jimmy was up against Magnus Petersson who had had his best Pro Stock season ever, coming off an event win at the previous race at Tierp Arena and then with more points than Jimmy. Jimmy left the line first, Magnus made up some ground in the first sixty feet but after half track it was all Jimmy for the round win, event win, and an unprecedented ninth FIA European Pro Stock Championship.

"That was sweet but very very tough" said Jimmy. "As it should be, the Championship was decided in that last pair down the track. The team worked hard and got the right tune-up at the right time. A huge thanks and appreciation for the solid support from our sponsors and our fans. Of course we extend our gratitude to the engine shop at KB Racing for all their excellent work.

"This FIA Championship trophy will look just fine next to the Wally we won at the NHRA race at zMAX Dragway this spring. And you can be be sure that the whole team is already looking forward to next season."

For more information including videos, please visit

Old Skool Ford Round 6.
12th September: On Sunday 31st August the Old Skool Ford racers returned to Santa Pod Raceway as invited guests at VW Action. Jo Peters writes:

Our nineteen entrants went up against some of the quickest Vee-Dubs in Europe and the competition was fierce. Highlight of the weekend was ex-Rover Challenge racer Kev Jenkins in his XE turbo'd MK1 Escort finally breaking into the eights with a stonking 8.98 run which made the crowd erupt. He followed it up with an 8.93, another 8.93 and ended the day on an 8.90 - all as screened live on! The picture below left shows Kev up against Chris Todd in his Scooby-powered rear wheel drive Mk1 Fiesta Supersport, both launching into wheelies to put on a show for the crowds on the Saturday night. Chris ran a PB of 10.3.

Seasoned racer Darren Scannell (above right), who recently raced in Belgium, gained a second place trophy running a 10.01 in his Cossie-powered MK1 Escort.

The final round of the 2014 season takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on Sunday 28th September.

Web site updates.
12th September: Our good buddy, photo-journalist Remco Scheelings has had two FIA / FIM European Championship Finals reports posted on the web site. As ever there is a race report which you can check out by clicking here and an off-track report which you can check out by clicking here.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the recent Alamo Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's shots at

The latest edition of the Allard Chrysler Action Group on-line magazine ACAG update covers the sad tale of the engine damage and the plans for the future, plus a review of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame news and the Celebration Gala Dinner with VIP guests Don Garlits and his family. Brian Taylor thanks Nigel Holland for the on-line version which you can check out at

Editor's note: Still working on the news backlog whilst fighting back against health issues. Should be there very soon; please keep the news coming to

Flame and Thunder demos sought.
11th September: James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to invite racers to make demonstration passes at the Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday 25th October:

If you'd like to help to entertain the masses on the day with big burnouts, including a couple of fire burnouts, wheels-up launches and quick times, then please contact me at or call 01234 782828. Preference will be given to the quicker and quirkier vehicles and we have a limited number of spaces. Even if you have already asked about entering, please contact me again as I am now equipped to take entries officially.

Walters' substitution.
10th September: Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the appearance of sponsor
Peter Walters' name under Exhibition in the UK National Finals entry list. Pete will now be driving Dave Wilson's A/Fuel Dragster at the Finals instead of his own Super Pro ET dragster.

"We decided to withdraw from Super Pro after our breakage at the European Championship Finals", Pete told "All was not doom and gloom, though, as Dave asked if I wanted to drive his car and do some testing at the National Finals. If all the required parts arrive in time we will be there, and hope to finally put some great numbers down."

Pete is once again supported by Derek Flynn of fellow sponsor Gold RV, RW Custom Paint and Peter Walters Race Design. "Thanks for all the support", says Pete.

From one horse to several...
9th September: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and sponsor
Urs Erbacher says that his Finals started badly but came around:

We were really optimistic when we come to England. We had put a new AJ valve in the car which gave us a extra shot of nitro at the hit and would help us to run low 0.8s at sixty feet, and we ordered new tyres to run low 3.9s. But then everything started to turn round.

In Q1 the front crank seal leaked oil and the Starter wouldn't let us run. Q2 was our first run with the new valve which we had never tested before. We had way too much fuel at the hit so to cylinders went out at the hit and the burst plate went off. For Q3 we took the new valve off and it went great but after 200 feet a clutch finger broke and the tyres went up in smoke. But we got to the finish line and got into the show at number seven. We ran well in Q4 but after the first pair it started to rain and they cancelled the session.

We worked hard overnight because we were to race against Chris Andrews and he had run in the 3.9s. But I was optimistic: I beat him in Sweden so I knew I could do it again. And it worked, I won it again. Next was Duncan Micallef who also ran in the 3.9s. We still had a clutch problem and the car left badly, slowing down my reaction time. I saw him near the finish line and then he had a huge engine explosion and I took him before the finish line. So we got to the final against Thomas Nataas. We knew he had problems getting down the track throughout Sunday, and my car was not running better than a 4.20. Per and Karsten tuned Thomas' car very well and he caught me.

We were happy because runner-up is not bad with a car which only runs in the 4.20s. Later when we went to the banquet we were suprised when they called me up for third place in the Championship. How great was that? I didn't know it because I don't calculate points, I just race and win. My super team workeed perfectly all weekend: Robin Crew Chief, Dario Car Chief, Linus engine, Richard bottom end, Lukas and Marc on the clutch, Roy and Ralph on the blower and racks, Monika and Chris head servicing, Roger tyres, Fabian and Noah merchandising and media, and our new cook Ricky who made great food the whole weekend.

After attending two races in two years we raced the whole Championship and ended up in third place. I have decided to come back next year and to take the Championship back home to old Switzerland.

We have two pieces of hot news for the 2015 season. First, Noah will not race in Europe next year so we have his car for rent. We will rent it for the season, or for individual races, or for licencing. The driver can bring his own crew or we can crew the car, anything is possible. If you are interested or have any questions then just E-Mail us at or

The second piece of news is that my daughter Jndia is to start her drag racing career. She will go for her Super Comp licence with Doug Foley's school in Las Vegas on 3rd November, after the race. In January she will go for her A/Fuel licence with Doug and at Easter she will try out my Top Fuel Dragster in England. If she gets her licence we will race two cars at the NitrOlympX in 2015. We will keep you informed about Jndia's licencing on and there will be more information soon.

Swift snippets.
9th September: Sam Lewis and Darren Prentice are organising a charity football match between Santa Pod Raceway staff and racers / crew. The match, in memory of Paula Marshall and to benefit Leuakaemia charity, will take place after qualifying on the Saturday evening (20th September) of the UK National Finals at Santa Pod. You will be able to stay in touch with developments on the event's Facebook page.

Many thanks to Tomas Pettersson and Palle Lind for sending us the official final points standings in the FIA and FIM European Championships. You can check out the European points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points link on the left-hand side of any page.

Thanks to Ian King for letting us know that the latest points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at

Thanks also to Andy Marrs for sending us the official FIA / FIM European Championship Finals timing data which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any page, and for an updated table of European Bests including Thomas Nataas' and Timo Habermann's new records which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any page.

Steve and Babs Saunders of the UK's Hi-Speed Gas Super Pro ET team asked us to say a big Thank You to Santa Pod Raceway and the SPRC race officials for a fantastic week at the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals.

UK Junior Dragster racer Tyler Ashdown and dad Steve have been in touch to say a big Thank You to Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster racer Chris Andrews for all of his help and advice at the weekend and for taking time out of his busy schedule to spend time with Tyler. "We can't thank Chris enough", says Steve. "Well done to Joe Kellett for his win in Junior Dragster and finally thanks to all Santa Pod staff and track crew for a great weekend. See you at the National Finals."

Thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 20th-21st September. You can check out the National Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Martin Smith of the UK's Team Extreme UK Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator team is urgently seeking an exhaust T&D rocker 1.55 for their twin-turbo 427 ci Small Block Chevy (see below). If you can help then E-Mail Martin at or call 07809 390443.

Having sold his previous car in South Africa, Johnny Nilsson has acquired another Top Fuel Dragster which son Dennis will drive under the Nilssons' contact with the promoters at Tarlton Raceway in Johannesburg. The car, which came from Andersen Racing together with lots of parts, is now in one piece and the plan is to send it to South Africa in December and run it in February. Johnny asked us to thank Stig Neergaard and family for all their help as well as Henrik Cristiansen and Andersen Racing. Johnny's company Autoart has an order for ten Junior Dragsters to be taken to South Africa and there is also a plan to take more European cars such as Pro Mods and Top Fuellers to Tarlton Raceway.

Sweden's Adam Flamholc is considering selling his Viper or Daytona. "The Daytona is built by G-Force Racecars, 526 ci Hemi with a CN block, NRE heads, JanCen (Mike Janis) billet blower, Bruno drive and Lenco", says Adam. "Everything is fresh and ready to go. Runs 5.85s with 14% overdrive, in Europe we can go 20%. Have plenty of good Racepack runs to go with the car and I can also help with tuning. The Viper is built by Jerry Haas Racecars and is the fastest doorslammer in Europe. 526 ci motor with NRE or BAE Outlaw heads, PSI C-rotor blower, Bruno drive with Lenco, extremely consistent and extremely fast! Again many good Racepack runs and help with tuning. Both cars can be sold as rollers or turn-key. If you are interested then E-Mail"

Thanks to Stephen Billings for letting us know that an episode of Rise of the Machines, on satellite and Freeview channel Quest at 21:00 next Tuesday (16th), is about Top Fuel Dragsters. "It should be quite informative", says Stephen, "as the programmes go into the tech stuff behind the designs but in an easy to follow way."

Custom Car back BDRHoF Gala.
9th September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Custom Car magazine, in partnership with Real Steel, is to join the list of companies sponsoring the BDRHoF 2014 Celebration Gala Awards Dinner.

First published in March 1970, Custom Car is the longest-established magazine covering drag racing and hot rodding in the UK and in 2007 was inducted into the BDRHoF in its own right. At one time in the early 1970s it served as the magazine of the British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association and has sponsored many cars, events and Championships throughout its history. The Custom Car Shows of the 1970s and 1980s played an important role in bringing hot rodding and drag racing to the attention of the British public. This history of support will be marked by the BDRHoF Gala Dinner table programme/menu that will be presented to all those attending. Jointly sponsored by Real Steel it will be in the form of a mini Custom Car magazine featuring the menu, timetable and information about the award winners. Designed by Darren West of Power Race Graphics, it will be a great souvenir of the event.

Custom Car Editor Dave Biggadyke said "We are proud of our association with drag racing over the years and would like to thank the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame for giving us the chance oto get involved in this magnificent tribute to the pioneers of the sport – particularly as this year marks fifty years since Sydney Allard organised the first British International Drag Festivals. It is fantastic that one of the men at that series of influential drag racing meetings, Don Garlits, is to be at the Gala Dinner. He has stamped his mark on the sport in a manner that nobody else has equalled. I would like to thank Charles Pinion of Real Steel for joining us as co-sponsor."

BDRHoF Press and Public Relations Manager Robin Jackson said "Having Custom Car magazine involved with this event is very fitting. In media terms there can be few publications which have equalled the support and exposure they have given drag racing since 1970. The special mini replica of the magazine on the dining tables will definitely become a collectors' piece. On behalf of the BDRHoF I thank both Custom Car and Real Steel for their support."

2014 European Champions.
8th September: Congratulations to the 2014 European Champions, all but one of which were decided at the weekend's FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Thomas Nataas
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Chris Polidano
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Johan Lindberg
FIA Pro Modified: Mattias Wulcan
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Ian King
FIM Europe Supertwin: Samu Kemppainen
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund
FIM European Super Street Bike Cup: Steve Venables

FIA / FIM Finals results.
8th September: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Thomas Nataas 4.0265/303.85 def. Urs Erbacher 4.2852/285.72
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Timo Habermann 6.1174/162.49 bye, Dennis Habermann no show
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Gareth Ellis 5.7747/249.10 def. Johan Lindberg 11.8766/69.71
FIA Pro Modified: Mattias Wulcan 10.3640/84.58 def. Marc Meihuizen 12.9362/47.37 DQ
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.5715/211.10 def. Magnus Pettersson 6.6329/208.00
European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent 4.5530/241.45 bye, Gordon Smith no show

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 6.2682/215.02 bye, Otto Knebl no show
FIM Europe Supertwin: Martijn de Haas 6.6230/214.92 def. Job Heezen 6.7029/191.40
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund 7.0422/187.36 def. Gert-Jan Laseur 7.1800/182.88
FIM European Super Street Bike Cup: Steve Venables 7.2034/200.65 def. Garry Bowe 7.3308/200.78

Comp Eliminator: Robin Orthdoxou (7.72) 7.0521/185.02 def. Sascha Pretzch (7.72) 7.3078/181.39
Super Pro ET: Dave Catton (7.58) 7.6195/162.47 def. Brian Pateman (8.69) 8.8235/155.73
Pro ET: Rick McCann (9.95) 9.9906/130.60 def. Mark Bailey (9.00) 8.9798/147.10 breakout
Super Comp: Brian Pateman 8.8390/155.78 def. Dave Day 8.8761/147.29 DQ deep stage
Super Gas: Jon Morton 9.9333/147.61 def. Jon Giles 9.9723/151.61 DQ red light
Super Street: Bob Lees 10.9555/132.45 def. Karen Stevens 10.8984/129.89
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Joe Kellett (7.96) 7.9708/81.96 def. Aaron Fensome (8.18) 8.1985/79.25
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Stu Williams 7.7668/182.14 def. Jon Webster 8.6436/137.00

Subject to official ratification the following records were set:

Top Fuel Dragster speed: 316.40 mph, Thomas Nataas
Top Methanol Dragster ET: 5.221 seconds, Timo Habermann

Congratulations also to Lee Huxley and Phil Bennett who won the / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and /
Gold RV Perfect ET Award respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.

You can check out our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored FIA / FIM European Championship Finals reports, pit notes and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Malmgren to change number?
5th September: FIA European Pro Stock Championship leader Michael Malmgren is very pleased with his season so far, and that it will be a bonus if he can change the race number on the GXP for next year:

When we bought this trick new Jerry Haas GXP we asked ourselves whether we could keep the #3 on the car, but of course we are aiming higher. We have to be realistic: Jimmy has engine power from KB Racing which you can't buy for love nor money, and he has figured out his Camaro perfectly. He never usually leaves anything on the table for rest of us. Thomas Lindström has the latest engine technology from Allen Jonsson, so we figure he will be tough and he is a good driver. We can't leave Magnus Petterson out of the discussion as he had his engine updated by Bob Ingles. Bob does my engines, so we know what Magnus has got under the hood, and he also has a fast car and a good team. And look at him now, he can win it all. Then we never know what will happen with the guys from Finland, and we have both Jan Palqvist and Christian Sagelv who have stepped up with new engines this year.

Before the season started everyone in the media etc said it will be between Ålund and Lindström (Not all - Ed), the rest of us were not even considered. How wrong they were!

Looking back we changed all that by beating Mr Imposible Jimmy Ålund twice this year, and with the win at Alastaro and runner up at Tierp we now are in points lead, which we didn't expect. Thomas is more or less outside the top three this year so it's all down to Jimmy, Magnus and I, and we are all within one round of points. So it will be the most thrilling Finals ever at Santa Pod, at least for Pro Stock. What about the rest, well I guess it didn't turn out as expected. Nixxon, the quickest car from Finland, had to sit out this year which was too bad as he is a fun guy.

It ain't easy - sometimes more power doesn't help, a Pro Stock car is hard to tune and believe me we worked our asses off pre-season to get a grip on it with a lot of problems with tyre shake etc. This Haas car is very different to my old, more forgiving Bickel car. I must say I am very proud of my crew Erland Cox, Bjarne Cox, David Xen, Kent Eriksson and stand-in crew Tord Sjöström, they have done hell off a job ! Regardless if whether there will be a 3, 2 or 1 on our car for next year we are pleased with the season so far. Let's hope for more than we have right now, that would be awesome.

Swift snippets.
5th September: Santa Pod Raceway asked us to clarify that, although post-Finals Banquet booking forms were distributed to all racers, the event is intended for Pro racers only. If you have any queries then please contact Santa Pod Raceway.

Amanda Cox and Team Yenkonova / Team Topspeed asked us to wish Crew Chief Tony Underhill a fabulous birthday for today (Friday). When today's qualifying is done Tony will sit on the spectator bank celebrating with his favourite Pod pizza watching his favourite classes race. "The rest of the team want you to enjoy it this year because next year's a whole new game", says Amanda.

Interview: Jussi Puolakka, damBEST.
4th September: For the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with
Lucas Oil Products Simon spoke to Jussi Puolakka, Finnish former racer and now European distributor of damBEST carburettors.

Thanks are due to the good offices of Dave Riswick of sponsor John Woolfe Racing for helping to arrange the interview to coincide with Simon's visit to Finland for the FHRA Nitro Nationals, and to John Satterfield, owner of damBEST.

Click here to read our interview with Jussi Puolakka or click on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Andersen Racing catch-up.
4th September: Andersen Racing Top Fuel Dragster team joint car owner and tuner Karsten Andersen of sponsor Landmeco has been in touch with an update on the team's season so far:

The season started in England with a really nice 3.91 second run in qualifying, which was more than good enough for the number one spot. Unfortunately all eliminations were cancelled due to rain. Then it was off to Finland. The track was really tricky and we had to detune a lot. We can measure how much power our car produces, and on a good track we exceeded 9000 hp. In Finland we never went any higher than 4200 hp. We qualified top but went out in the second round: the engine exploded big time and we lost by a few hundredths of a second. The damage was huge, and we didn't even bother taking it apart. A team member from one of the other TF teams wanted the block as a souvenir, so he had it with crank, rods and pistons still in it. In trade we got a couple of designer chairs. When we get old we can sit in those chairs remembering the beautiful country of Finland – the huge crowd – how we got those chairs and one of the two worst race tracks on this planet. The third race of the schedule is the coolest place on the tour: the HockenheimRing in Germany. The atmosphere is hairy and the crowd is huge.

We qualified number one, but again we went out in the second round. This time a small bracket holding the throttle cable broke. Anyway the car ran really well all weekend. So good that some suspected us of using traction control. We almost thought the same, as that track was the other one of the two worst tracks on this planet. Actually we did have some kind of traction control, whose official name is Thomas Nataas. He would be told to hold the brake light, medium or hard anything between 0.0 and 2.8 seconds into the run. On every run he was within 0.1 sec of his instruction. This also meant that he had to drive and control the car with one hand.

Finally it was off to Tierp Arena in Sweden. We were really looking forward to going there. That place is every racer's dream, and we have never lost on that track. We did struggle a bit in qualifying. It's always a little challenging getting the tune-up right after Finland and Hockenheim, but we managed to get two decent back-pedalling runs and ended up as number one qualifier. The points standings after Hockenheim made the Sweden race one of those dead or alive ones, as six teams were still in the Championship chase. E1 turned out to be one of the more weird ones. Anita was eliminated by Duncan. She was in front until she was hit by her Racepak battery. When Stig Neergaard was told to fire up his car, the safety system failed. He could have fixed it in a minute or two, but he was disqualified, and Antti Horto had a bye run. We do not support Stig's disqualification. Urs Erbacher and Chris Andrews had a smokefest, and maybe because Chris doesn't normally smoke the tyres, Urs won. Thomas saved us with a 4.06-second back-pedalling run against Micke Kågered.

In E2 we got it right and ran a new European best of 3.956/501.86 run against Duncan, who ran a strong 4.10/490. In E3 we won with a 3.955/500.46, against Antti's 4.11/418. It was really really nice to win that race, and resetting the European record which formerly belonged to – yes, Thomas Nataas.

So to start at the beginning – it's time for the last race of the year. We are leading the championship by 69 points, and we are heading for Santa Pod, England for one of – or maybe – the fastest races of the year.

As always huge thanks to our amazing sponsors: Landmeco, Else-Marie, Biltema, Teslak Transport, Pack Plast, ABCSkilte, Red Line Synthetic Oil, Interfit UK, Preben Hansen, and Gert Hansen. The weather looks to be awesome. Car, crew, Andersen Racing and Thomas Nataas are more than ready. You will need a really good excuse not to come – but if you really have to stay at home you can always get your live updates at (Thanks! - Ed).

A flaming brilliant weekend.
4th September: UK Wild Bunch racer Sarah Howells says that the drag racing family are willing to share the most amazing experiences:

Facing the end of another un-remarkable day in the office I ventured onto my little smartphone to see if the world of Facebook held any particular smile-worthy events. I spotted a message from Bob Hawkins ... interesting ... oh look he uses a photo of his famous fire burnouts as his profile pic ... how cool I thought, but reading the message turned the day into anything but un-remarkable! Bob wondered if Darryl, Steve or I might be interested in taking his Time Traveller 1 slingshot across to Hockenheim in Germany to perform Europe's first side-by-side fire burnout in the event night show. As a drag racer my reactions are pretty quick so typing "Hell yes!!! Are you serious?!!" took nanoseconds! And so the adventure began. Darryl was driving the van, I was doing the 'organising', Steve was bringing the beer... but who was actually doing the burnout? There was a lot of "No you do it"... "No, really you should do it" which resulted in three lots of race kit being packed just in case. The easiest decision was to let Bob decide.

The road trip was epic! We picked Steve up when we collected the trailer and then headed off for the ferry. What an awesome experience sailing with DFDS was, smooth crossing, great food and all the staff were really helpful. Safely transported into Europe we travelled through the night reaching the track early the following the morning, the Thursday. We joined the Super Pro pits as Bob, Tom and Ted were already there with the second Hawkins Racing vehicle, Bob's blown slingshot Time Traveller II. Everything so far had a very familiar feel to it and there were plenty of friendly faces. We queued with Billy Gane and the Moldens for scrutineering, we had Ove and Arnie Kröger pitted just across the way with their stunning Dancing Queen slingshot and Colin Millar was pitted right next door. We were in exceptionally good company. We found a teeny weeny issue with TT1 when she was released from the trailer: our nose cone demon had struck again. The car must have worked a little loose on the journey and despite our numerous checks the nose was a little bent. Ted set to work on sorting that out and in no time at all everything was looking as good as new – phew!

Friday morning was qualifying for Super Pro so TT2 was fired up ready nice and early. I'd taken the opportunity to do some international Running for Paula training and bagged the Formula One circuit including the drag strip itself in the process. Awesome and it was lovely to see Ian Marshall and the Santa Pod team too – what a fabulous job they did in what were challenging circumstances. This was my first proper look at the enormity of this place. I'd heard mention of 50'000 people attending the meeting and now I'd seen where they were all going to be seated. Wowsers! The timings of our two qualifying rounds gave us an insight to the precise nature of this event too – it is run like a very well oiled machine, runnng to the precise minute. Off we trundled at our alloted time and made our way down to the strip passing all the garages normally occupied by F1 teams but now home to the Bloodlines slingshot of the Turbovilles, Kirsten's Suzy Q and the beatiful altered driven by Jutta which we'd seen at Dragstalgia. Very exciting. The pit lane was full of Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Cars, Pro Mods... what an event this was going to be.

Bobs first run didn't quite go to plan - a desperate shame because the car was bang on the money at one stage too. He had a much better run on the second qualifier which put him in the top ten – job done the rest of the day was ours to relax, watch the racing and get a bit of cock pit orientation under our belt in TT1 ready for the big show on Saturday night.

The atmosphere at Hockenheim is great, everyone is beautifully friendly and ever so slightly crazy – we really felt at home. Saturday dawned and it was hot! Bob sat out the final morning qualifier – the competition was important but ensuring the car was absuloutely perfect for the Night Show was the main objective. That gave us some more time to focus on TT1 and get the car fuelled up, fired up and the chosen driver comfortable in the hot seat. I still can't quite believe that I got the job! Thanks to Darryl and Steve for graciously giving up the opportunity. I did quite a lot of preparation for the night of firsts - first time racing at night, first time driving this car and first fire burnout... oh, and first time doing all that in front of 50,000 people. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best didn't seem appropriate so I took as much time as possible to get as relaxed and at home as I could although there was a possibility I had taken things too far when Bob caught me going through the gears simulating nightime with a helmet bag over my head!

Bob was drawn against Barry Giles in the first round of eliminations but despite a valiant effort the win light went to the other lane and it was Barry who advanced to the next round. Our focus firmly moved to the evening activities and our second stage of preparation – me driving TT1 under power along the return road. That went reasonably well and we declared ourselves ready.

All the Night Show participants are asked to attend a meeting prior to its start. Jerry Lackey talks to each individual to ensure that everyone knows exactly what they are doing and when they are doing it. The fire burnout slot was near to the end of the show at 21:50 and there was much amusement (I think) when we made it known that I was the second fire burnout driver alongside Bob. Maybe it's unusual for a lady to do this in Europe? Not any more!

There was nothing more for us to do other than wait for darkness to descend. The pits fell wierdly quiet as all the other racers made their way down to either the spectator stands or to the fire-up road waiting their turn. The crewing duties were already decided. Darryl would back up Bob, Tom would back up me, Ted would pour Bob's petrol and Steve would pour mine.

The nightshow is spectactular! If you've never seen it then get on You Tube and check it out, amazing! Being a part of it is something we will never forget. The signal came that it was time for our part of the show. Thumbs up to Bob to wish him luck then I was pushed through the burnout box to then fire the car up. Steve poured the petrol, I watched as the flames took hold and then started my count down: one Mississippi, two Mississippi... oooooohhhhh this is so cool... three Mississippi .... "Did you say go Tom?". Out of the corner of my eye I saw Bob fly forward in TT2. Definitely my turn to hit the throttle and go. Waaaaaahhoooooooo! The reverse was a bit juddery but I managed to stage the car nicely and off I went on the run into the dark – second gear launch, nice and steady but soaking up the atmosphere all the while! Bob of course hit the throttle full pelt and the photographs of the blown slingshot with flames licking at the slicks are just stunning. Europe's first side by side flame burnout – congratulations to the Hawkins Racing team for grabbing a little bit of history with both of their cars! Many hugs were shared at the top end of the track when the crew car arrived – I got a slight ticking off from Tom for out-staying my welcome in the fire but all in all it was good, we'd done it and it felt great!

Back in the pits it was strangely surreal. We came back, cooked dinner for nine people as Bob's wife Julia, daughter Penny and son-in-law Chris had joined the festivities and then we were off into the night to join the party with a brilliant band that had been playing for much of the evening. We met some great people that night and when handed a sparkler "To be like the crazies in the fire burnout" I whispered "Did you see it? Did it look good? I was driving the car in the right hand lane". I thought the guy was going to fall on the floor in shock but he excitedly gathered his mates and we spent the rest of the night swapping drag racing stories whilst the band played on! What a great time.

But it didn't end there! We were absolutely delighted to find that on Sunday we would be able to complete a demonstration run before the finals took place. Bob lined up against Laura Turburville and I lined up against Ove – what a dream. Sadly Ove lost oil pressure so I completed a solo run but it was still great – TT1 is an awesome car to drive. Straight, true and a perfect fit!

What a weekend of memories! Massive thanks obviously go to Bob for the opportunity of a lifetime, to Tom, Ted and Steve for their support, patience and calm and to Darryl who, despite winning the toss to do the burnout was insistent that I should be the one to do it, did all of the driving to get us there and back safely in record time and as normal took pit grub to a whole new level of tastiness! Thanks also to Jerry Lackey for the invitation and the whole Hockenheimring team who were welcoming and so helpful all weekend – everything was awesome! See you all in 2015.

Photo thanks to Adam for capturing this picture. It's the only one we have showing me fully immersed in flames from the side because the photographers were only able to stand on the left hand side due to the fireworks sited down the right hand lane.

Good luck to everyone at Eurofinals this year. Unbelievably none of the four slingshots with which we are involved with are ready to roll - Chemical Reaction, Black Pig Too, Ramraider and.... well there's another blown slingshot which is now in the hands of one of our team mates, so that makes four - so we will sit this one out and be back next year. There's also the small matter of a half marathon on Sunday as I am again running the epic Great North Run in aid of Runnning for Paula. If anyone has any pennies left after the various Ice Bucket Challenges and they would like to make a donation then we'll be at the Hot Rod Drags or you can visit the web site. Thanks to everyone for their amazing support this year.

Web site updates.
4th September: The latest issue of the Speedgroup Newsletter is now available and contains Turtle Wax Internationals review, FIA / FIM European Championship Finals previews, Editor's Diary and more. You can check it out at

Test and Tune coverage.
3rd September: A small (very small) advance guard of the staff is in place at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you the action from today's Pro Racer Test and Tune in association with
Alamo Rent-A-Car.

Our coverage will consist of an end-day gallery and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast with trackside audio so long as the track is open.

You can check out our Pro Racer Test and Tune coverage by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page. will also be broadcasting tomorrow's first day (Sportsman Day) of the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals before take over on Friday for the rest of the event with free Web TV brought to you by the same team who produced the excellent NitrOlympX webcast.

Take tea with Don Garlits.
3rd September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is delighted to announce an exclusive opportunity for drag racing enthusiasts to meet Don Garlits at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday 23rd November. Afternoon Tea with Don Garlits is presented by the BDRHoF in association with US Automotive and Julie Braskett and will take place in the Quarter Mile Club (Bankside VIP) between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm.

This event is the only public appearance which Don will make during his 2014 UK visit. Only fifty tickets are available for this event, at £35 per person plus booking fee. Your ticket includes:
  • Hot drinks to welcome you on a chilly November afternoon
  • Q&A session
  • Personal photo opportunities
  • An autographed copy of Don Garlits And His Cars
  • Full afternoon tea
To order your ticket visit Santa Pod Raceway's on-line ticket shop at or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). Please note the terms and conditions at the end of this article.

Julie Braskett says "Having grown up in a drag racing family from Southern California, and recently relocating to the UK, I find it rather astounding that now, on this side of the Pond, I am preparing to meet one of my father's idols. Don Garlits is the Big Daddy of them all. A pioneer and a true legend of the sport. He was the driving force, the inspiration, and the very reason my father became a drag racer. This is the reason why I am committed to continuing the legacy in my father's name. I would like to thank the BDRHoF from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me with open arms, and for the honour and privilege of sponsoring such an occasion."

Stewart Bassett of US Automotive says "We have supported the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame since its inception and its growth in status over recent years has been very rewarding. Apart from Bonneville being cancelled, it's been a great year for all of us at US Automotive. Being able to bring Rat Trap and Pure Hell to Dragstalgia was a real highlight and the opportunity to sponsor and host an appearance of the man who has to be the most influential in the sport's history is the icing on the cake. We are all looking forward to meeting a legend."

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury says: "The BDRHoF Celebration Gala Dinner is proving to be a great success and it will be a sell-out function. Although we plan a book signing session as part of the Gala Dinner occasion, Don is only in the country for a few days and many more fans want to meet him. This additional opportunity at Santa Pod will hopefully fill that need. I would like to thank Julie Braskett and US Automotive's Stewart Bassett for their generous support. I know the event will be a very special occasion. I'm guessing it will also be a sell-out so book your tickets early."

The Hall of Fame is grateful to the management of Santa Pod Raceway for their kind assistance in arranging this event, and to our event sponsors USAutomotive and Julie Braskett for their invaluable support.

Please note the following Terms and Conditions:
  1. Admission by valid pre-booked ticket only.
  2. Tickets are limited in number and sales are subject to availability.
  3. No more than four tickets to be sold per person.
  4. Once purchased, a ticket cannot be returned or refunded.
  5. A booking fee of £ 2 will be added to the price of each ticket.
  6. Additional postal charges may be applied if purchasers require their tickets to be mailed to them. Postal charges will not be applied to tickets booked online and printed out at home.
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is supported by Beech Underwriting, US Automotive, Power Race Graphics, Santa Pod Racers Club, Pennine Drag Racing Club,, Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway, Santa Pod Raceway, York Raceway, Allard Motor Company, Flint Insurance Group, Lucas Oil, and Custom Car / Real Steel.

Swift snippets.
3rd September: We understand that Eire's Gabby McDonald is a last-minute addition to the Top Fuel Dragster field at the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals. Gabby will be driving one of the Rune Fjeld Motorsport dragsters.

FIA Top Tens.
3rd September: As we approach the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals, Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has been in touch with an interesting set of Top Tens in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship classes:

Event wins
1. Jimmy Ålund 25
=2. Dave Wilson 17
=2. Urs Erbacher 17
=4. Leif Andréasson 13
=4. Micke Kågered 13
=6. Peter Schöfer 12
=6. Michael Malmgren 12
=6. Ulf Leanders 12
9. Niclas Andersson 10
=10. Micke Gullqvist 9
=10. Andy Carter 9

Round wins
1. Jimmy Ålund 113
2. Michael Malmgren 110
3. Leif Andréasson 98
4. Dave Wilson 92
5. Peter Schöfer 86
6. Micke Gullqvist 83
7. Ulf Leanders 75
8. Micke Kågered 51
=9. Dan Larsen 50
=9. Urs Erbacher 50

Number one qualifiers
=1. Leif Andréasson 32
=1. Michael Malmgren 32
3. Jimmy Ålund 31
4. Dave Wilson 30
5. Ulf Leanders 19
6. Andy Carter 17
7. Urs Erbacher 16
8. Micke Gullqvist 12
=9. Anita Mäkelä 11
=9. Peter Beck 11

Low ET of the event
1. Dave Wilson 34
2. Michael Malmgren 32
3. Leif Andréasson 31
4. Jimmy Ålund 30
5. Andy Carter 19
=6. Ulf Leanders 18
=6. Urs Erbacher 18
8. Micke Gullqvist 15
9. Thomas Nataas 11
=10. Urban Johansson 9
=10. Johan Lindberg 9

High speed of the event
1. Michael Malmgren 35
2. Dave Wilson 32
3. Jimmy Ålund 28
4. Leif Andréasson 25
5. Urs Erbacher 23
6. Andy Carter 22
7. Ulf Leanders 13
=8. Barry Sheavills 12
=8. Micke Gullqvist 12
=8. Thomas Nataas 12

These Top Tens complement Andy's and Simon's Champions' Champions analyses which you can check out by clicking here.

FIA/FIM Finals Perfect Awards.
19th August: This weekend's FIA / FIM European Championships Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2014 Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Pro ET racer Patrick Dubois at the Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals are available in the Signing On office.

This weekend's RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Junior Drag Bike racer Natalie Jones at the Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide see Derek Flynn or visit

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office.

In front of 50,000...
3rd September: Reigning European Supertwin Top Fuel Champion team Zodiac Racing headed to the famous Hockenheimring in Germany for the biggest race of the 2014 FIM European Drag Racing Championship. the NitrOlympX. Vincent Pels writes:

The media attention again was huge at this event, and for this year it even had free live Web TV coverage. Unfortunately the Formula 1 organisation demanded that the track had to be cleaned as it is part of the run-off area. And again it was done in such a way as to make it unsuitable for the full potential of the nitromethane-breathing monsters. The NitrOlympX track crew along with the crew from Santa Pod Raceway had worked non stop for two weeks between the Formula 1 race and the tweny ninth edition of the popular drag race, but despite their tireless efforts the Rico Anthes Quartermile never reached the record setting state of a few years ago. And as the Zodiac Racing supercharged Nitro Harley is one of the most powerful bikes in the field, these conditions did not help at all.

This year there was no appearance in the spectacular Night Show, where the blown Zodiac Top Fuel Supertwin has become infamous for its traditional feat with huge header flames. But the large crowd could still enjoy this spectacular sight during the late afternoon qualifying sessions.

On the Sunday morning the sun was out and the track finally started to get a little better. So when the FIM bike classes ran some better performances were expected. In the first round of eliminations Ronny was up against Dutch rider Martijn de Haas, who is enjoying his best season yet with some stellar performances. At the green light Martijn was away first, but Ronny was past him by 300 feet. For the first time that weekend the Zodiac Power really started to kick in and the bike started to pull real hard. Then the inevitable happened when the primary belt broke, creating some damage including the blower drive system. As Martijn was struggling as well, it became a race of momentum which was won by Ronny in a silent fashion. Back in the pits the crew started to work frantically and with the help of Martin from the King Racing crew it looked like the bike was going to make the call for the semi-finals especially since Samu, our contender for the next round, along with the Hockenheim crew were able to change the schedule to give us more time to get the job done. A big Thank You to all. But when the bike was ready to go, Samu was already doing his burnout.

Even though the team went out in the semis, they still left with a positive feeling. They were able to make all qualifying rounds and the engine held up real good. Their quest for the European Championship will be more a theoretical thing than anything else, but the chance for a runner-up spot in the FIM European Championship is still very much alive at the last race of the season at Santa Pod Raceway. Again some changes have been made in the fuel system and the blower has more overdrive to try to make more power then ever before.

Please make sure to come by our pit to have a look, stand next to a 1000+ hp engine warm-up, grab a hero card, or buy a Zodiac Racing baseball cap or T-Shirt.

The Zodiac SuperTwin Top Fuel drag racing team is proudly sponsored by Zodiac International BV, Spectro Oils of America, S&S Cycle Proven Performance, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, Accel Motorcycle Products and Kibblewhite Precision Machining.

Sauna? Who needs it.
3rd September: Our good buddy John Hackney has been in touch with an account of his trip to the St Louis Streetcar Supernationals where he planned to help with the organisation but ended up racing:

I flew out on the Sunday before the event to help out Mel, Heather and Mallory from the PSCA. I went via Chicago Airport, which is absolutely huge: it must have taken nearly thirty minutes to taxi from the runway to the terminal. Luckily my connecting flight was delayed by an hour or I think I would have missed it. I flew from there into St Louis. Off to the car rental place and an upgrade later I was in a V6 Camaro. I was not going to bother with racing this time, but Mel kindly offered to pay for the tech card and entry so why not!

I arrived at the track on Monday morning and was handed two boxes of flyers to distribute, so off to the local areas on Monday and Tuesday to drop off to convenience stores, Auto shops and restaurants, wisely deciding to give Ferguson a miss this time.

Wednesday arrived and it was time to start pitting duties, basically greeting racers at the gate then passing them on to Mel who put them in their correct places. I was privileged enough to be shown around the best damn bar in the pits by Camp Stanley, what a top man he is (Seconded - Ed). The day having gone quite quickly, it was then off to the airport to pick up Ron and Ruthie Pister who had flown in from Washington and finally go to the rental house in St Charles, a gorgeous little town which reminded me of Stratford-upon-Avon with lots of restaurants and boutique shops.

Wednesday night was Test and Tune night for the early arrivals, so I put a few laps in with the Camaro going from a 15.5 with traction control to regular 14.9 passes without. At about ten in the evening a storm was forecast. The grandstands were evacuated and boy was it a storm, the best lightning show I have ever witnessed.

On Thursday morning, Jason Kenzevitch arrived from Las Vegas with a borrowed Outlaw 8.5 car due to unfortunate engine damage to his very quick Mustang. After an eventful long journey, I will say no more on this except that if you have a shortbed truck and a gooseneck trailer then don't make a tight turn! Thankfully the trailer had air conditioning, which was used a lot over the next few days as the temperatures were in the hundreds with very high humidity. There was an open Test and Tune session so off we went to get the cars dialled in. My first qualifier in the Camaro was not a brilliant reaction (Street Muscle and Bracket 1 qualify on reaction times), but the second netted me a 0.009 light which was good enough for number one qualifier. The quest for the quickest doorslammer title had already started in Outlaw Pro Mod by this time with Frankie Taylor on his first test pass over a quarter mile running 5.59! This figure was lowered to 5.55 on his next pass, High Speed already being traded between the Moits car and the Q80 car.

Friday morning again was hotter than hell with very high humidity , every time you went from A/C to outside it felt like a sauna, my glasses instantly misting up as soon as I was in the heat. I decided to enter Brodix Bracket 1 to double my chances of going a few rounds, narrowly missing out on number one by running a -0.001 red, ultimately ending up third qualifier. By now all of the legal Pro Mod cars were qualified in the fives, and the Outlaw cars were flying.

Saturday was eliminations day with a final qualifier for all bracket classes. A few more local bracket racers had turned up in the day which swelled the field slightly. Then off to the presentation for number one qualifiers, I got a few laughs when it was announced that I was driving a rental again. I got a bye in the first round of Calvert Racing Street Muscle and ran another 15.0 run, then straight back round for the first round of Brodix Bracket 1, where I faced Alex Rogeo in her ten-second Dodge Magnum. This turned out to be a double breakout race which Alex won by 0.002. The second round of Street Muscle was against a nine-second Camaro whose driver was deadly accurate on his dial in, so that was me done in Street Muscle. I bought back in to Bracket 1, but once again fell foul with a red light. The rest of the evening was spent in the stands watching records fall in Outlaw PM, culminating in the epic 5.46 to 5.47 race between Frankie Taylor and Turky Al Zafiri.

I would like to thank Mel, Heather Mallory and all of the PSCA officials, Ron and Ruthie Pister, Jason Kenzevitch, Camp and John Stanley for being a great laugh, and Alex Rogeo for a superb race.

Swift snippets.
2nd September: Thanks to Trakbak Racing CEO Keith Bartlett for letting us know that Trakbak Racing and Track Group Europe have released a one-hour on-line video of the NitrOlympX. "This edit of the show is that produced for the race teams and their sponsors", says Keith. "It includes both FIA and FIM Championship classes along with interviews and non-racing segments, which in the case of the NitrOlympX was the Night Show. Trakbak Racing will be producing a similar show from the European Finals, in addition of course to our main TV broadcasts and live Web TV during the event". You can find the NitrOlympX show at, at, and on the official FIM Europe Championship web site at

UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Tethys will have T-Shirts and souvenirs for sale from his pit at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. "I'd like to thank Persåker's Speed Shop and my fellow air-cooled brethren in the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club for the support, it's very much appreciated" adds Tet. "We don't have the budget to compete for the Championship, so we'll just go and run our own race and see how we get on."

Joe Stevens is urgently seeking a crew member for his twin-turbo Super Pro ET Sunbeam for this weekend. Joe offers free entry to the event, and hard work, starting tomorrow and continuing until Sunday. If you can help then please contact Joe on 07854 698567.

Thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us the latest version of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 20th-21st September. You can check out the National Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Thanks are also due to Andy Marrs for forwarding us a new version of the European Bests table updated to take account of the records set at the Turtle Wax Internationals at Tierp Arena. You can take a look at the new European Bests sheet by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any page.

This has been the best season ever for Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc, winning the Pro Extreme series and runner-up in the Top Doorslammer series even though he missed one event. "Big congrats to Jonas and Frank who won Top Doorslammer", says Adam. "Again thanks from me to the guys in our team, to my family and our sponsors. The way we all work together makes us very strong, and when I go up to the line I always know that I have the best prepared car possible! We only lost one round in ten races this summer, and on that run we couldn't make the call due to a bad starter ring. Now I'm looking forward to going to the US again to race with the Daytona. In two weeks we are flying over to update the car and then race at Heads Up Madness at Bradenton on 20th-21st September. If everything works out with sponsorship, we will again race in the USA at least over the winter."

Su Hood says that Rhiannon Bellenie's Pro ET dragster finally emerged at the Alamo Junior Fun Day but did not run as it was not correctly mapped. "We hoped that Rhiannon would be able to make licencing runs and then compete at the European and National Finals but sadly Pete was again taken seriously ill and had to have emergency surgery on 24th August", says Su. "The team has withdrawn from all competition for 2014 but we are hoping that all members will be fit and healthy for the 2015 season when I am sure that Rhiannon will be pleased to compete in the Pro ET class. Thank you to everyone for their support and help at this difficult time. Fingers crossed Rhiannon and I will be at the European Finals to watch and to be with our extended family". Our best wishes to Pete Bellenie for a rapid recovery.

Rod Rich tells us that he has for sale a good selection of early 1960s British Drag Racing and Hot Rod magazines, all in generally good condition and some containing typed documents relating to events and official matters. "I don't have a clue what they are worth so I am open to offers", says Rod. "The deal is that all proceeds from the sale of these magazines will be going to Ann House, wife of our mate Andy House who was recently lost to cancer. Ann is raising money for the hospital which cared brilliantly for Andy before his passing". For more information or to make an offer contact Rod at

Luke Bennett writes that Escape Design are pleased to offer the drag racing community a fantastic web site designed and built for only £395. "This is pretty straightforward", says Luke, "a sleek five-page web site which includes domain name, E-Mail and full SEO, we take care of it all. Those already using Escape Design include Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren and the Bennett Racing NFAA team. Sponsorship and the search for it in this day and age require a strong online presence; a tatty Facebook page just won't cut it. You need a professionally-designed web site to reach those potential sponsors and partners. This is a limited time offer but if you are interested then please"

Moore help needed.
1st September: UK Pro Modified racer Roger Moore says that a combination of crew attending a wedding, college course work, Italian trips,  and divorce proceedings have left him crewless at Santa Pod until Thursday afternoon, and then short for the rest of the event. He will be pleased to see anyone who can help at the track on Wednesday.

"If any one is at the Pod on Wednesday afternoon or evening and can help with putting up the awning and setting up please come and visit me in the Pro Mod pits", says Roger. "Tea and biscuits will be available."

Swift snippets.
1st September: Congratulations to Billy Gane (Bracket) and Brian Pateman (Heads-up) who were the winners of Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman at VW Action at the weekend. Full results can be found in our
Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored VW Action coverage by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

Apologies for what, according to the caption on our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam, was a long and active lunch break at VW Action yesterday. Having finished a long news update Tog got a little too excited and went trackside without removing the caption from the video stream.

We make no apologies, however, for cutting yesterday's video feed for a short while when it was pointed out to us that a German Facebook page was illegally copying and reposting our webcast. It was a drastic course of action but it did the trick and the response from viewers was unanimously understanding and supportive. We would not hesitate to do the same thing again in future; anyone who had or has a problem with this should take it up with the Facebook page in question. A big Thank You to the Eurodragsterholic who alerted us.

Mooneyes' archive at Beaulieu.
1st September: Most automotive enthusiasts will know that Dean Moon was very much involved in supplying parts and advice to Sydney Allard's team back in the winter of 1960-61 when Europe's first dragster was being assembled in the Allard Motor Company Clapham workshop under Sydney's office. Dean was also very much involved in bringing Dante Duce and the Mooneyes dragster across to appear in the UK during 1963.

What was not known was the fact that Dean kept in his office drawer copies of the correspondence linked to his association with the project, along with press cuttings. They were discovered only recently and, backed by Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama of Mooneyes, have been copied and printed in a folder by Allison Jobe of SXS Performance in California.

The completed publication has been donated to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu as part of the archives linked to the Allard Chrysler dragster. Along with lots more information it can now be accessed by researchers using the library at the museum.

The printed document was brought over to the UK by American drag racer Dale Snoke, someone else involved with preserving the Mooneyes history, and presented to Brian Taylor of the Allard Chrysler Action Group at Santa Pod Raceway during Dragstalgia. Brian later presented it to National Motor Museum Chief Executive Russell Bowman who said "Our heartfelt thanks go out to all those involved in preserving this piece of history. The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu is proud to include it in our archives. Preserving the documents linked to our exhibits is a vital part of what we do and this document includes a considerable amount of previously unknown information about Sydney and his drag racing activities."

The Allard Chrysler dragster is on display at its home, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu whose web site can be found at

Web site updates.
1st September: UK Super Pro ET racer Brad Jackson has relaunched his web site at As well as all the usual features the site has the facility to choose your own colour scheme by hovering over the Home button on the Home Page. You can also Like Brad's Facebook page from the site.

Earlier news