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SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 4.
21st December: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 7th February 2015.

For several of the 2014 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

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

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order of team (not racer) name, is as follows:

Billy Gane, Billy Gane Racing Super Pro ET
Vote for Billy Gane Racing

Brad Jackson, Brad Jackson Racing Super Pro ET
Vote for Brad Jackson Racing

Glenn Pallant Pro ET
Vote for Glenn Pallant

Tom van der Wijden, Meth-Ness Super Pro ET
Vote for Meth-Ness

Dave and Scott Gibbons, Rough Diamond Racing Super Pro ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster
Vote for Rough Diamond Racing

Martin and Matt Smith, Team Extreme Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator
Vote for Team Extreme

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to David Anniwell. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2014@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than Eurodragster.com. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The next voting category will be the James Edgar Memorial Trophy.


Swift snippets.
21st December: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "She is settling in at her new home!" in an apparent reference to Friday's spy picture. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Also arrived in its new home is the former Carter Motorsport Top Fuel Dragster which Sweden's BSG Racing A/Fuel Dragster team have acquired from Ben Allum. The team expect the car to make a few outings in Stefan Gunnarsson's hands next season although his and Robon Lantz' A/Fuelers are the priority.

Their friends and the entire Paul Marston Racing team asked us to say congratulations to Simon Brown of Santa Pod Raceway's fire crew and Jade Gregory, who were married yesterday (Saturday). We're very pleased to do so and we're sure that everyone will join us in wishing Simon and Jade many happy years together.


Simpson Carbon Christmas offer.
21st December: Eurodragster.com sponsor Simpson Europe are offering Eurodragster.com readers special Christmas deals on safety equipment. Big discounts and free shipping anywhere in Europe make an extra special Christmas present, and your favourite drag racing web site will derive a small benefit from all sales.

Head And Neck Restraint
Simpson Hybrid Pro XS-XL now €625 (was €935) + VAT - free shipping anywhere in Europe
FIA approved 8858-2010

Option
X-Package €185 + VAT - free shipping anywhere in Europe
Quick Release Anchors and Tethers €60 + VAT - free shipping anywhere in Europe

The Hybrid device is the preferred head and neck restraint amongst drag racers around the world. It provides comfort and the design allows easy entry and exit from a doorslammer or dragster.

The Hybrid X package is designed for drag racing's extreme speeds and is an option for the Hybrid Pro Head and Neck Restraint. The option includes a double chin strap W-style and semi-rigid neck collar constructed of SFI 45.2 approved padding. The package provides extreme protection featuring six tethers connecting to four points on the helmet. The Hybrid X package is designed for drag racing's Pro classes in which severe tyre shake is common.

For sizing, and to order your safety kit, visit the Simpson Europe web site at www.simpson-europe.com, E-Mail order@simpson-europe.com, or call +46 901 34700.


Welcome Hillingdon Speed and Spares.
19th December: We are very pleased to welcome
Hillingdon Speed and Spares as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.


Speed and Spares have been trading in Hillingdon since 2002, offering performance and service parts for American vehicles, servicing and MOTs at their own garage. They are a Lucas Oil stockist and hold a range of products from Edelbrock, ARP, Mr. Gasket, Trans Dapt and many more. A mail order service is now available for all parts for any vehicle, and with weekly deliveries from the USA parts can be sourced and delivered within a very short time. Proprietor Steve Hudson is himself a racer in Pro ET so has a good understanding of racers' needs.

Hillingdon Speed and Spares will also be event sponsors at Shakespeare County Raceway for the Springspeed Nationals on 2nd-4th May 2015 and the Open Sport Nationals on 29th-31st August 2015.

We are very grateful indeed to Steve Hudson for his backing. Please support those who support Eurodragster.com by considering Hillingdon Speed and Spares when shopping for goods and services.


Swift snippets.
19th December: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Off to its new home!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

The last Eurodragster.com News update before Christmas will be posted on Wednesday, Christmas Eve. Andy Marrs and our own Simon have already turned in this year's updated Champions' Champions for both European and UK Championships, and we have finished Drag Racing Unplugged XVI, both traditional and very popular parts of the Christmas Eve update. We will take a break, including suspending postings to the Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet, after the Christmas Eve update and the plan is to return on Sunday 28th December. The deadline for news items or Christmas greetings for inclusion in the Christmas Eve update is 21:00 UK / 22:00 European on Tuesday 23rd December.


Out for the Count.
17th December: UK Super Pro ET racer Vince Gibbs, driver and owner of the six-second Nosferatu 1997 Pontiac Firebird, writes with some unwelcome news:

After many months of thinking, soul searching and deliberation I have finally reached the decision to hang up my racing boots. I have had a lot to think about this year and without going into loads of detail (not really the right forum, but my close friends and family will understand) I think it's time for me to do something else.

Many may not realise that I have been racing for over twenty five years, starting with the Street Rover V8 challenge back in the 1980s with my old Toyota Celica, then the Northern Street Car Challenge, followed by driving Ray Eldred's Sanity Assassin Toyota and finally creating our dark beast, Nosferatu.

Drag racing and the drag racing family is an addiction and as many of you know, to break that addiction is a really hard decision, but for me and my family it's the right one at this moment.

I would like to thank my crew James and Susie for being very understanding and also to everyone who has supported and helped us in the past. It's amazing how many people step up to help when you have problems, with tools, parts and sound advice. Thanks to you to all and I will no doubt still bump into you at the Pod or Shakey.

Nosferatu, trailer and the truck will all be up for sale soon so if you would like any details then please E-Mail me at vincentgibbs@aol.com. Who wouldn't want a six-second, 200+ mph dark beast lurking in their workshop, eh?


Straightliners presentation.
17th December: Many thanks to Trevor Duckworth for letting us know that the Straightliners Annual Reunion and Awards evening takes place on Saturday 17th January at the Cedar Court Hotel, Lindley Moor Road, Ainley Top, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 3RH, following the Straightliners AGM that afternoon:

This is the night we celebrate the year's Championship, from winners to the Best Newcomer, we celebrate them all. This year we will be providing a live band, Black Thursday, buffet, and there will of course be a bar. Tickets are £25, and there is an additional 50p charge for those paying online to cover PayPal fees. You can book tickets on the Straightliners web site by clicking here. Rooms can be booked direct with the hotel on 01422 375431. Single rooms are £50 and double rooms £60, please mention the Straightliners presentation to get these rates.

The Straightliners AGM takes place at the same venue at 2:30 pm that afternoon. This is a chance to discuss the year's events with the crew, and to hear plans for next year. The meeting is open to all and there is no charge to attend. The AGM puts forward any changes that are planned for 2015 and also highlights anything which needs to be discussed with the crew and the community. It is also a chance for you to raise any points you may have.

The 2015 Straightliners calendar is as follows:

Round 1: 29th March, Santa Pod Raceway
Round 2: 12th April, East Kirkby
Round 3: 3rd-4th May, York Raceway
Round 4: 13th-14th June, Santa Pod Raceway
Round 5: 4th-5th July, York Raceway
Round 6: 2nd August, East Kirkby
Round 7: 5th-6th September, Jurby
Round 8: 13th September, East Kirkby
Round 9: 11th October, York Raceway
Round 10: 18th-19th October, Santa Pod Raceway


Swift snippets.
17th December: Babs Holland has asked us to say a big Happy 65th Birthday to Barry Holland of Team Flying Dutchman. Babs tells us that Barry is retired and lives in France but still attends races at which son Nick races. Have a great day Barry.

Steve Dudley writes that the next slot drags meeting of the new season takes place on Mr D Raceway at 2:00 on Sunday 18th January 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."

We like to think that our English is pretty good here at Eurodragster.com, however despite plainly-worded warnings we have had three attempts at organised votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards. For the thousandth time: we can spot this stuff a mile off, all of the votes in question have been deleted, save your energy.


Bomber, BDRHoF Christmas gifts.
15th December:
WorldWide Bomber Magazine Editor Janne Uskali has been in touch to let us know that back issues of the English-language bike magazine may be read on-line free as part of a web site revamp.

"It will soon be WorldWide Bomber magazine's first birthday and as a special offer we are not just making back issues available to read on-line but also offering a one year subcription for £8, €10 or US$12", says Janne. Only WorldWide Bomber subscribers get rights to read the latest WWB issues and you get free new Bomber Babe 2015 calendar. The normal price for this calendar is €20. Subscriptions can be obtained via the magazine's shop at shop.bomber.fi/wwb-subscription.


"As you know, there are not so many magazines out there in which you can read the latest drag bike news, riders' or team profiles and more. We really want to be one of the most active Drag Bike magazines out there."

Follow the links below to check out some articles from this year's issues: Those who attended the 2014 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner in November will have many great memories of a fantastic evening, which was encapsulated in the special sixteen-page A4 size Souvenir Programme which all those present received as part of their table pack.

In full colour, the publication was sponsored by Custom Car magazine and the front cover reflected the look of early copies of the publication. Designed by Power Race Graphics it features full details of all inductee citations and the other awards presented on this unforgettable night.

The BDRHoF is pleased to announce that a limited number of copies of the programme are now available for sale to those not able to attend the event. The programme is priced at £10 per copy plus postage and packing of £1 to the UK, pound;2.50 to Europe and £3.60 to the rest of the world. For more details or to order your copy E-Mail britishdrhof@aol.com or call Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.


Swift snippets.
15th December: Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren and clutch tech Bjarne Cox visited last week's PRI Show in Indy to check in with their product sponsors including, seen at right, cylinder head supplier MBE. "MBE are the best in the business and we are proud to represent them in Europe", says Michael, "such great guys. It's good to see so many European teams at PRI and you get to know so many nice and funny people both at the Show but also at clubs in the evenings. See you all again next year!"

Christine and Sandy, Collin and Megan and Charlotte have asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK 8.50 Bike racer Stuart Morrice. "Have a fantastic day" they say, and we're very pleased to second that.


Stutz' back and forward view.
15th December: Twenty-year-old Noah Stutz, the world's youngest Top Fuel Dragster driver, contested his first ever NHRA Top Fuel race in Las Vegas in November, setting the second fastest thousand-foot ET by a European and making a good impression in the process. Noah recently submitted to a Q&A about Las Vegas and about his plans for 2015:

You recently came back to Switzerland. What were impressions being in the USA for the first time and starting in the world's most prestigious series?

Noah: It was incredible. It's quite a big difference when you get out of your car and instantly have to give an interview on ESPN with more than a million spectators. It's something I'd never known before.

What was the main difference between Europe and the USA?

Noah: Definitely the extent of the facility. The huge amount of people in the paddock in between the teams and fans where people try to get autographs and a photo with the drivers. The fans love the sport and you can tell how professionally everything is organised there.

How did the top stars of the Top Fuel scene react to you?

Noah: Everybody was very friendly, welcomed me warmly and gave me advice. I think they were happy even though I'm actually another opponent for them. But everybody was very nice.

What are your plans and goals for 2015?

Noah: Actually a whole season is planned, twenty four races across America from February until November. We're still negotiating with teams trying to grab a one of the sought-after Top Fuel seats for the season.

How are you preparing for next season?

Noah: The end of one season is the lead-up to the next season. Together with my team and partners we are working hard to set up a good package for sponsors and investors in the short time between racing seasons.


Lucas, Santa Pod Autosport hook-up.
15th December: Autosport International is Britain's annual showcase of the world's fastest, most powerful racing cars. But venture to the far side of Hall 8 at the National Exhibition Centre and you'll find a machine far and away faster and more powerful than anything else in the show.

The Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster packs the horsepower punch of ten Formula One cars (that's right, ten!). 0 to 60? Forget it – the Lucas Oil machine can reach 100 mph in less than a second and top 300 mph at the finish line just 1,000 feet away. Firing it up indoors would probably lift the roof off. The dragster will be the centre of attention when Santa Pod Raceway and Lucas Oil occupy Stand 8000 for all four days of the show and the car's owner and intrepid pilot, Chris Andrews, will be on hand to explain how it all works.

One of drag racing's bonus points is open access to the pits, so you can see the teams and their cars at close quarters. At Autosport International, you can get closer still to this remarkable racing projectile – indeed, if you'll fit the cockpit and ask nicely, Chris might even let you climb on board.

Displayed alongside this mammoth machine will be a representative from the opposite end of the drag racing spectrum: the Alamo Rent-A-Car Junior Dragster driven by sixteen-year-old Paige Wheeler. Don't let this car's diminutive size or the youth of its driver fool you – Junior Dragsters only race over the eighth-mile but will easily outrun any self-respecting, road-going supercar over that distance. Paige has been driving them since she was eleven; sister Belle started when she was eight.

Whilst the dragsters draw the crowds, Lucas Oil will take the opportunity to present two advanced products new to the UK market, a series of oils and additives for top-flight racing engines and an anti-gel diesel fuel treatment. XRF stands for Extreme Racing Formula and is described as a major breakthrough in racing oils and lubricants. Les Downey, managing director of Lucas Oil Products UK, explains "It raises horsepower in the toughest of environments and – most importantly – provides better engine protection between oil changes". The Lucas Oil XRF range includes utility lubricants such as engine break-in oils, gear oils, greases and suspension fluids, and has been developed through an eighteen-month partnership with major American racing series such as NASCAR, NHRA, Indycar and Off-Road.

Lucas Oil's Cold-weather Diesel Treatment Anti-Gel is a fuel remedy that is particulate filter-safe, contains no alcohol, includes water dispersants and is designed to prevent cold filter plugging. It is also compatible with bio fuels and is economical to use.

These two new lines join the biggest variety of shelf products of any oil company. Lucas Oil supplies over 270 unique formulations to more than forty countries around the globe. Lucas Oil representatives will be present on Stand 8000 to explain the company's range of products alongside members of both drag race teams keen to tell visitors about their spectacular and competitive sport. Santa Pod's own staff will be there too, happy to discuss a 2015 season programme crammed with more than fifty events for lovers of all manner of fast-paced, motorised machinery – enthusiasts, participants and spectators alike. It is for good reason that Santa Pod Raceway is known as "The UK's most action-packed venue".


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 3.
15th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 7th February 2015.

For several of the 2014 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's latest category is Best Appearing Bike. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. You can see larger pictures on the official Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Louis Davies, Junior Drag Bike
Vote for Louis Davies

Pete Field, Super Street Bike
Vote for Pete Field

Pete Le Gros, Funny Bike
Vote for Pete Le Gros

Liam Holgate, Junior Drag Bike
Vote for Liam Holgate

Chris Mott, Supertwin Top Gas
Vote for Chris Mott

Phil Pratt, 9.50 Bike
Vote for Phil Pratt

Jay Roe, 9.50 Bike
Vote for Jay Roe

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to David Anniwell. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2014@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than Eurodragster.com. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The next voting category will be Most Professional Appearing Team.


Hackers' Strip act.
13th December: It's travelogue week here at Eurodragster.com as, following on from Robin Jackson's tales of Tours with the Family Garlits, another good buddy in the person of John Hackney has sent his account of the Street Car Supernationals at The Strip at Las Vegas, at which he assisted and he and Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child competed. Hackers writes:

The trip started with a flight to Los Angeles Airport with Lee Child and Joe Elliott. Unfortunately we got off to a slow start in Immigration, taking just over two hours to get through, then about sixty minutes at the rental car desk due to the upselling scheme that seemed to be going on. From there it was off to Ontario Airport for the first leg of our trip of a day at the NHRA Finals at Pomona. The NHRA meeting was something else. Sitting at the finish line is a great place to be, and with some Championships going right down to the final race it was a very interesting day.

From there it was off to Las Vegas on Monday, via Peggy Sue's Diner at Barstow for a $3.99 shake. Tuesday started with a visit to see Jason Kenzevitch at Hot Rods and Horsepower, a great place for Speed parts new and used. From there we went to the track to help with the pitting process. Woke up at stupid o'clock on the Wednesday, so off to the track for 7:00 am to continue meeting and greeting racers at the gate with Mel and Sally. It was great fun to meet so many of the racers who were coming from all over the USA.


As for the racing part it was now time to get all of the paperwork out of the way and get the cars to tech, Both passed easily. The first qualifying session was at noon on Thursday. My opening effort in Street Muscle was a 0.147 reaction, followed by a -0.109 red in Bracket 1. That was Sportsman qualifying over for the day, so time to hit the stands and watch the Daystar shootout. Standout run of the night for me was Roger Holder in his Radial tyre Camaro running a 6.20/240.


Friday Started off with Street Muscle in the lanes at 8:00 am prompt, Due to not having had the large bucket of coffee from Dunkin' Donuts my reaction was 0.297, then it was a hot lap to the lanes again for Bracket 1. -0.004 this time, close but the wrong colour. Back into the stands for more action on the track from the Pro classes then back in the lanes after lunch for another qualifier. This time I pulled a 0.125 in Bracket 1 and 0.051 in Street Muscle so at last getting there. The action on the track and in the pits at this event is second to none.


Saturday, and into the lanes again at 8:00 am. A super nice touch is the RFC Chaplain walking the entire lanes and wishing you a safe day. In Street Muscle I netted a 0.101 reaction and Bracket 1 a -0.021 red. So my the final qualifying position was near the bottom in Bracket 1 and about midway in Street Muscle. The first round of Street Muscle was Saturday afternoon due to the fifty or so cars entered, Based on random pairings I was pitted against another Challenger and in a double breakout race mine was the lesser so I was through to round two without having to buy back in. Bracket 1 was a very interesting pairing with Rich Zehring pulling up next to me in his Twin Turbo Pro Mod - a lot of racers double and triple enter on the day for track time. This was an easy one for me as he held the car on the line for ages and still ran a 7.24 on his 7.00 dial-in. Just glad I didn't break out. That was the bracket racing done for the day so more spectating to be done. Saturday Evening was spent wondering what the fuss was about with crawfish, as my good friends Mikel and Andrea took us to Hot and Spicy Crawfish in Vegas. To me it was like chicken wings, a lot of fuss for a very small amount of food.

Sunday dawned with quite a headwind but pretty good air quality so I was in the lanes again at 8:00 am, paired up with Kortney Simonian in her Camaro in Street Muscle. My reaction time wasn't brilliant but in my mirror I could see her red light and then a lot of smoke so another win. Bracket 1 was ended by Bob Bundy in his super-consistent AMC - when you see that amount of event decals on a car you know your time is up. Onto the third round of Street Muscle and I was laddered against my neighbour in the pits, Randy Mincks in his immaculate Red Maverick. Both of us broke out but his was the lesser so that was me done for the weekend.

I will be back next year and you all really need to book a trip around SCSN 11 next November. I would like to thank Mel, Heather, Mallory and the PSCA team for once again putting on such a great event, Ruthie and Ron for the loan of the lucky crash helmet, all of the Washington Area Racers with whom we were pitted, Mikel and Andrea for the top BBQ food, and Ritchie and Jo for the constant supply of English tea. And everybody else who knows me!

Editor's note: A big Thank You to John, Lee and to Camp Stanley for carrying Ed O'Connell memorial decals on their vehicles in Vegas.


Web site updates.
13th December: Our good buddy Chris Eyre has updated his European Nostalgia Funny Car web site with a small write-up on the NFC teams' exploits at Hockenheim including some great video footage from the stands. You can check it all out at euronostalgiafunnycar.jimdo.com. "Looking forward to next year, I will hopefully soon be sorting out some build pictures from new teams, and a report", says Chris. "Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Mike Collins has posted an FIA/FIM European Championship Finals report in his Still Ramblin' column in the American Autoparts Insight newsletter. You can check out Mike's report (PDF format) at www.americanautoparts.co.uk.


Top Dragster, non-dragsters welcome.
11th December: UK Top Sportsman organiser Paul Marston has announced that the complementary class Top Dragster is to be introduced at next June's Back With Mods at Santa Pod Raceway. Top Dragster will be open not just to dragsters but to altereds, Funny Cars and roadsters.

This is a class at which we have been looking very closely for a couple of years. James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway has been working with us to find a home for this exciting new class and we are very grateful to him. The home we have found is the Back With Mods Scooter and Ska Festival on Friday-Sunday 12th-15th June. Santa Pod has such a busy action-packed schedule that it is always a difficult task to find an opening for something new. In the States these two classes run together at selected NHRA and IHRA events, they complement each other very well and are the fastest and most thrilling Sportsman classes in both franchises. It will be thrilling to have the same thing happen here.

UK Top Dragster will run to the same competition rules as UK Top Sportsman, which are other than safety there are no rules. This is run what ya brung and hope you brung enough! Two races over two days. The first is a Fast Bracket Race, 0.400 Pro Tree, one time trial run then straight into the first round with random pairings. There will be a buy-back available for first round losers. The second race a Heads-Up Eliminatorw, which is initially planned to be an eight-car qualified field but maybe sixteen depending upon entry. One shot qualifier then, again, into eliminations. The prize fund is structured the same as UK Top Sportsman. There will be an electric hook-up option.

There are some seriously fast Sportsman dragsters out there but this is not just open to dragsters: it is open to any centre- or side-steer non-Doorslammer such as altereds, roadsters, Funny Cars etc.

A lot of dragster teams have been asking for this for the last couple of years, here it is and this is your chance to support it. This is an event run by racers for racers, this is where you enjoy competition and make friendships. This will be the fastest, hardest, meanest, toughest, richest, heads-up dragster event and it will be televised so tell your sponsors. We need your help now: all interested teams are asked to E-Mail us at
pmracing@fsmail.net or call me on 07831 650230 so that we can gauge the numbers interested. We would also very warmly welcome any European teams who would like to attend. If you know anyone who might be interested then please contact them on our behalf. E-Mail us with any questions, we will be only too pleased to answer them, or check out the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page for rules, regulations and how it all works.

We will be looking for sponsors who would enjoy supporting and seeing this kind of competition. Come and be part of this exciting new development. Special thanks to Eurodragster.com for making our job of so much easier and for being such a staunch supporter (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), your work will never be taken for granted.


Swift snippets.
11th December: DC Electronics have announced that 2014 FIM European Super Street Bike Cup Champion Steve Venables will be meeting and greeting visitors on both Trade Days of Autosport International at Birmingham's NEC. You can check in with Ven and his bike between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm on stand E181 in Autosport Engineering on Thursday and Friday 8th and 9th January.

If you are looking for a unique Christmas present for the drag racing fan in your life then Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars have good stocks of previously-owned Pro Mod rods, pistons and valves, both damaged and lifed. If interested then please E-Mail Bob Roberts on roberrl-1@robinson-race-cars.co.uk.

Alternately you could get in touch with European Top Gas Series racer Milan Koláčný in the Czech Republic and purchase his Championship-winning eight-second Honda. For more details check out Bikes For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

For another Christmas idea Santa Pod Raceway are selling tickets to their own 2015 events at 20% discount until 31st January. To order your Early Bird tickets visit Santa Pod Raceway's on-line ticket shop at www.eticketing.co.uk/santapodraceway.

We would like to wish the UK's Outlaw Street series a very Happy 5th Birthday. Congratulations to Mark Wallington and the guys and here's to many more years.


Zeon TV DVDs review.
11th December: One of the eagerly-awaited highlights of the off-season is the release of the Season Review DVDs by Zeon TV. As ever this year's offerings do not disappoint, as Simon writes:

A new title and surely a potential best seller is the Santa Pod 2014 Season Review. Hosted by Colin Theobald, this includes over two hours of highlights from Fast Show, Festival of Power, FIA/FIM Championship Round 1, Summer Nationals, Dragstalgia, Bug Jam, Mopar Euronats, USC, Monster Truck Nationals, VW Action and FIA/FIM Championship Finals. It's a tremendous showcase which proves yet again that Santa Pod is the No. 1 venue for motoring entertainment in Europe. FIA/FIM Championship Finals racing footage is taken from the highly successful live web TV coverage from Greenlight TV. If you want interviews and background features you should look at Hardcore Street or MSA Pro Mod, but this is not to detract from a hugely impressive presentation.

MSA Pro Modified covers all six rounds of the Championship, including both FIA rounds, with detailed commentary by Darryl Bradford. This includes footage not seen in previous coverage elsewhere. Racers and tuners are interviwed frequently throughout the DVD and there is also behind-the-scenes footage of racers' cars which is an education in itself. In-car footage is extensive, showing how these cars are handled down the track. There was a lot of action this year with new cars being licenced, large fields and misfortunes, all borne with bravery and good humour, that every moment of the two-hour running time seem packed.

The Dragstalgia DVD opens with suitably nostalgia-tinged footage. The variety of the event was staggering, with many nostalgia classes, as anyone who attended will remember. One special, and in some ways unique, feature of the UK nostalgia scene is the the number of historic competition vehicles which make passes along the track, which greatly adds to the meeting's atmosphere. Colin Theobald as announcer repeats his role from the track and so gets to commentate on his own run in Bruce. The flame burnouts are included in footage which can't be seen elsewhere. There is extensive footage of the runs of Rat Trap and Pure Hell, which we were so honoured to get to see run at SPR. A treasurable record of a magnificent event.

Hardcore Street is one of the the longest-running titles at Zeon and seven of the eight rounds of the 2014 Championship are fully covered with the Open Sport Nationals being a victim of the weather. A view of Top Sportsman from a Street Eliminator perspective is added. Footage of the Cruise is shown as an entertaining contrast to the racing. There were new heights in performance this year and some great new cars to see and one of the closest Championship finales ever. A visit to the dyno facility at Paul Webster's 1320.co.uk dyno facilities is included. Paul Venners commentates.

The DVD of the twenty first running of the Mopar Euronats is indexed by day, but you can also select from the features of this event which never disappoints. Arrival, Cruise, Pro Mods, evening session, show and shine, eliminations, burnout and awards are all separately selectable. The organisers have all been involved since the inception of the event and this is a key to its success. Allowing other makes increases the diversity of the event rather than diluting the original concept. Graham Beckwith was the commentator at the event and repeats his duties admirably on the DVD. Much of the RWYB is highlighted and then the Cruise goes to its new location of Billing Aquadrome. Top Sportsman and Pro Mod highlights are included but those who want the full coverage of these classes are advised to also buy their own dedicated DVDs.

The DVD of the Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags organised by NSRA at Shakespeare County Raceway covers two events and is generously indexed. Paul Venners supplies commentary. SCR's wide open spaces and landscape are a gift for off-track shots, with a feeling of immersion in the event as you watch. On track, the mix of vehicles naturally includes hot rods as well as historic drag machinery, with less overlap with Dragstalgia than you might expect. Also by including both events the DVD is truly a highlights from five days of racing. As well as the hugely popular cacklefest, interviews include US Fuel Altered racer Rod Hynes, who gives great perspective to the nostalgia scene.

The Top Sportsman DVD is the first as a separate title. The separate presentation is fully justified by the number of doorslammers entered in both the Mopar Euronats and VW Action events at SPR. Race organiser Paul Marston is an enthusiastic presenter and interviewer of many of the racers and Dave Gibbons is co-commentator. Top Sportsman enables many drivers to race those from other Championship classes or the RWYB scene and this makes for great entertainment. Plaudits to Direct Plastics, We Move Your Car Antigravity Batteries for support.

The UK National Finals is one of the most exciting Sportsman events with all National Championships for cars being decided. This DVD is a comprehensive and tightly-edited record of the event with all car and bike classes shown. Colin Theobald again demonstrates the virtue of having the event commentator voice the respective DVD. This is a pure racing DVD with great momentum to keep your adenaline flowing in the cold winter months.

The Springspeed Nationals includes all classes run at this completed event, both cars and bikes running under sunny skies for once. An astonishing variety of camera angles is used in the introduction. Qualifying runs are then shown in quick succession for many classes, followed by eliminations. Qualifying and eliminations are shown as separate chapters, which makes navigation through the event a doddle. Excellent commentary is by Paul Venners and this is a great DVD for those who wish to see the variety of Sportsman racing at Shakespeare County.

We are blessed to have such high quality and detailed productions that showcase British drag racing. Camera work is excellent and the standard of commentary high - every car or bike is identified and announcers refrain from repeating times and speeds. David Coleman, Helen Todd and Tom Herbert are to be congratulated on the camerawork. These superb Zeon DVDs are available for £14.95 each plus £1.50 postage per order to anywhere in Europe. Various deals are available for the purchase of multiple titles. You can order online at www.quartermilehigh.com.

Many thanks to Zeon TV for again providing review copies of all of their drag racing DVDs.


Flamholc's PDRA plans.
11th December: Few racing enthusiasts are able to make it to the professional level of drag racing. Fewer still are successful. The select group who rise to international prominence dwindles to only a handful. Among that handful is PDRA racer, Sweden's Adam Flamholc. Over the last several years Adam has become a fixture in professional eighth mile drag racing in the US and abroad. In 2014 he competed at select events with the PDRA, managing a sixteenth place finish in overall Pro Boost points with just three appearances.

When not following the PDRA tour in the US, Adam and team were busy chasing the European Drag Racing Series Championship in Europe. Adam fielded a Pro Extreme car with the SRIF and took home top honours in his class, winning the SRIF Championship. His European success inspired Adam to make the move to Pro Extreme with the PDRA. He recently sold his Pro Boost car and purchased Brandon Snider's Joey Martin-built '63 Corvette. Adam tested his new ride at the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park this past weekend with pleasing results, 3.63/210. He plans to run as many PDRA events in 2015 as possible.

"We did so well with our Pro Extreme car in Europe in 2014 that I plan to run as many PDRA events as I can in Pro Extreme next year", said Adam. "We'll run as much as we can in Sweden as well. Every year it's been like that for the last four or five years. We probably do twenty races a year."

Adam not only serves as pilot for the team, but handles the roles of Crew Chief and engine builder as well. Their supercharger is provided by Mike Janis. "Our US team is only three or four guys", said Adam. "We work hard. We try to keep it not too big. It's easier to have control over it. The same guy does the same thing every time. It makes more sense to have two cars that are similar so I can share data from what we're doing over here in the US with what we're doing in Sweden and vice versa."

While Adam plans to keep much the same between his two racing operations, he admits that there are differences between racing on the separate continents. "The big difference is that drag racing in Europe is not at all as big as drag racing here", he said. "So most of the tracks in Europe are old airfields which some organisation bought and fixed up and organise racing on. So they're basically all asphalt tracks. It's harder to race over in Europe. You can't go as fast as you do over here. So doing what I do is quite a big difference. If we run into tricky track conditions here in the US, it can be an advantage to have the data from European racing.

"We bought a really, really good car. Brandon Snider was racing a similar set-up and a similar budget as what we have, so I hope that we can run well. The class is competitive, of course, but I really hope we can be among the top eight teams just like always."

Adam plans to start his US season with the PDRA opener at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis on 20th-21st March 2015. Updates and additional information on Flamholc Racing can be found at www.flamholcracing.com.


Swift snippets.
9th December: Fans of classic Top Fuel Drag Bikes of the 1970s and 1980s will be interested to learn that a limited-edition Team Pegasus T-shirt is now available. The rear of the shirt features a full colour illustration of the infamous double Norton-powered machine in action, as campaigned by Derek Chinn and Ian Messenger, and a small team motif on the front. Designed by Darren West of Power Race Graphics, and printed on quality white Gildan shirts, the Ts are available in limited quantities for £16 on the team's web site at www.pegasusteam.co.uk.

As you may have noticed we are not posting the usual combined Christmas Gift Mart news item this year but we will gladly post any individual news items which we receive with Christmas gift ideas. Drop a line to news@eurodragster.com.

Further to his news item of 27th October the UK's Robin Read has sent us a video clip of the first fire-up of his blown Daimler with its new billet cylinder heads and manifolds. You can check out the video clip (.MOV format) by clicking here.


Big Splendid Meals and more.
9th December: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Management Board member Robin Jackson had the enviable task of escorting the Garlits family around the south of England during their recent stay centred on the Hall of Fame Gala Dinner. Robin kept a diary of his travels which he kindly offered to share with Eurodragster.com readers:

Wednesday 19th November: Breakfast time at Gatwick Airport and the first contingent of Family Garlits has jetted in from Florida – daughter Donna, grandchildren Rodney and Sarah, family friend Marjorie and, heaving a luggage trolley piled high with teetering bags, The Man Himself. Don is just back from a weekend at Pomona to celebrate NHRA's 50th Anniversary Finals: Friday night's red-eye flight from Tampa; Saturday and Sunday servicing queues of autograph hunters, pausing only to cackle Swamp Rat 3B; Sunday night's red-eye back to Tampa; now Tuesday night, Tampa to London. He'd have liked a couple more days' rest – no chance of that now. Ahead: nine nights at the Savill Court Hotel, near Windsor; some Splendid Lunches and Dinners; and plenty of people to meet.

Thursday 20th November: Morning: a meeting in London, near Berkeley Square. Tip: take care if you need to park around here in a hurry. A dive into an NCP's stygian depths for a shade over two hours triggers a £36.30 parking fee. Evening: back into London for the International Historic Motoring Awards at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. A grim journey – Central London traffic is gridlocked. Intended time of arrival: 6.30 pm. Actual time of arrival: 8.05 pm. John Surtees is also delayed and they hold the meal – starters still on the table when dessert should have been approaching. A Splendid Dinner at last ensues. The Don Garlits Museum Of Drag Racing is one of four American entries shortlisted for Museum Or Collection Of The Year, but it's the sole UK entry, Haynes International Motor Museum, which scoops the trophy. Even heading home late at night, the traffic's still slow.

Friday 21st November: A most Splendid Lunch at the Royal Automobile Club, where they fondly remember displaying Roger Moore's MSA Champion Pro Mod Viper in the Pall Mall building's Rotunda in January last year. The family dines in the trophy-laden Segrave Room beneath the portrait of Sir Henry, pre-war land and water speed record-holder, accompanied by a select band of "Industry friends and allies" – Phil Evans from the MSA and FIA, Keith Bartlett and Caroline Holden from Santa Pod, Simon Groves from Eurodragster.com. Also Alan and Celia Tiley: RAC member Alan was once Sydney Allard's mechanic and is now responsible for engineering this occasion. Afterwards, it's another two hours to drive the twenty five miles back to the hotel.

Saturday 22nd November: It's Gala day at the Savill Court, but first there's breakfast time again at Gatwick Airport as the second contingent of Family Garlits jets in from Florida – daughter GayLyn, granddaughter Anna. Back at the hotel, it's busy-busy. BDRHoF's Gala director Brian Taylor and Julian Parsons and his tech team are hard at work setting up the room and a Santa Pod crew is delivering cars for display outside. Don is giving interviews – Motor Sport magazine's Rob Widdows declares it the most interesting interview he has done in years (watch out for publication in a forthcoming issue). Dan Welberry presents a copy of his new book, Haynes' Top Fuel Dragster Manual, to evident approval and, later, artist Paul Whitehouse presents a painting, to Don's delight. For the now five ladies of the party, there's an afternoon at the hairdresser's in Virginia Water. With everyone now primped, costumed and beautified to perfection, the Gala begins. There's been enough written and spoken about it elsewhere not to detain us here – but a Splendid Dinner it most certainly is.

Sunday 23rd November: The day awakens to a monsoon but it doesn't deter Donna and the kids from taking a train into London for a wet day's sightseeing – Rodney gets to marvel at the prices Harrods charges for shirts. Meanwhile, GayLynn and Marjorie join Don speedboating up the motorway to Santa Pod where Nicola Hart and Sophie Ferriman have laid on a Splendid Afternoon Tea for the select band of enthusiasts who have waded in from all parts of the country. Event sponsors Lynn and Davie Marshall (from USAutomotive) and Julie Braskett and Alan Whiston have gamely hauled up from the Gala bash the night before, along with ICE Automotive's Rob Loaring. Don answers questions with fascinating stories. His detailed recall is extraordinary – remember, this is not some ten- or fifteen-year career but one which stretches over six decades. He signs and distributes copies of his book and autographs various proffered items of interest dating from as far back as 1960, including a copy of the 1964 DragFest LP. As the sun sinks (the rain has cleared, just about) the congregation troops out to the start line for photographers Andy Willsheer and Grace Roaf – and anyone with a camera-phone – to record the moment for posterity.

Monday 24th November: The day awakens to sunshine, hooray, and begins with a South Coast trip to see a longtime family friend. The late Les Brooks was a Sydney Allard associate who looked after the Garlits family on their first UK visit for the 1964 DragFest and his widow, Joyce, has remained close ever since. There's a glimpse of glittering sea and then it's on to Beaulieu and the National Motor Museum, where delegations from the National Street Rod Association, the Allard Chrysler Action Group and the Wild Bunch await. First, though, there's an unscheduled detour into Chichester. By chance, concert pianist GayLyn's choir and orchestra has lately performed Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and passing within sight of the cathedral's spire without stopping for a snapshot or two cannot be countenanced. Beaulieu's gates open wide. The NSRA has helped sponsor the BDRHoF's Saturday night Gala and the Association's Richard Black and his powder-blue Model A Ford are waiting to greet Don on the Museum's forecourt. Inside, Don personally presents the Wild Bunch's Don Garlits Spirit Of Drag Racing shield to 2014 winner Keith Crampton. Then he inspects the Museum collection with its manager, Doug Hill. That evening, the family is invited up to Beaulieu Palace House by the Hon. Ralph Montagu, son and heir to Lord Montagu. GayLyn busks a little Bach on the Montagus' vintage grand piano to polite applause during drawing-room drinks, and a very Splendid Dinner indeed ensues.

Tuesday 25th November: A Splendid Lunch in a Cotswold inn is followed by a visit to see Nick Mason's priceless private car collection. Nick is busily engaged with Pink Floyd's new album, The Endless River, but has made time to come up from London to join Ten Tenths' team colleague Mike Hallowes and show Don around the collection. For Donna growing up, this kind of music was an illicit pleasure, and she has come armed with a sheaf of Floyd discs and memorabilia which Nick happily signs for her. The party motors back through rainy Cotswold lanes with Dark Side Of The Moon pulsing out of the minivan's stereo from Donna's freshly autographed CD.

Wednesday 26th November: To the heart of London once more, indeed into the City itself, for one heck of a Splendid Lunch. First, though, a real coup: the BDRHoF's principal benefactor, Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting, has arranged a private tour of Lloyd's of London, the international insurance market housed nowadays in one of the City's most eminent modern buildings. Several members of the Lloyd's Motor Group who attended Saturday's Gala are here to welcome the party, now joined by BDRHoF's Stu and Bev Bradbury and by John Price, the former Voice of Santa Pod and an insurance broker by profession. Surrounded by brokers and underwriters busily at work, the party sees the famous Lutine Bell (two dongs for good news, one dong for bad) and a cabinet full of historical artefacts from Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, and takes a spin to the top of the building in one of Lloyd's glass-walled outside lifts to view the City skyline. Don is presented with an inscribed, commemorative silver salver minted in 1932, the year of his birth. Then it's on to that Splendid Lunch, given in the grand hall of the Mercers' Company, the Premier Livery Company of the City of London (Royal Charter granted 1394). Welcoming the party is Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, costumed in full aldermanic robes and now one of the pillars of the City establishment but born in (can you guess?) Florida. On the way back to Savill Court, GayLyn, Donna and the kids drop off for some more London sightseeing. It's amazing what you can squeeze in if you are determined: Natural History Museum, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye all from a mid-afternoon start, plus a dinner on top of that Splendid Lunch and a late-night train and taxi home.

Thursday 27th November: It's Thanksgiving Day back in the USA. GayLynn, Donna and Sarah celebrate by doing the shops and sights in Windsor. Marjorie, Rodney and Anna elect to commune with the spirits, and a party of primary schoolchildren, at Stonehenge. The schoolkids are nicely behaved and the stones just carry on like stones do. Later, the family convenes for one last Splendid Dinner, laid on by Geoff Stilwell at his local olde-worlde pub south of Maidstone. It takes an hour and a half to reach Maidstone, another hour and a bit to get through Maidstone, but the pub is delightful and warm when the family arrives and the meal delicious – no Thanksgiving turkey perhaps, but no one misses it. Stu and Bev have joined Geoff for the occasion and the family takes its leave of its three hosts with warm words, shaken hands and a kissed cheek or two. Geoff's support has been the building block on which this entire visit has been founded.

Friday 28th November: Breakfast time at Gatwick Airport. Syd McDonald and his 4x4 have presented themselves early at the Savill Court for luggage-carrying duties (good job Syd has a big car) and – wouldn't you know? – the traffic has breezed along like a dream right to the airport. Fond farewells exchanged, Family Garlits jets home to Florida. At long last, Don can take that well-earned rest… yes? Not likely. The electric dragster awaits, with new, more potent motors installed, and Don will be back in the cockpit first thing. There's that pesky 200 mph barrier to be broken, and a deadline too. He first topped 200 mph in a piston-engined car in 1964 and is dead keen to repeat the feat with battery power before the fiftieth anniversary year is out. What a truly extraordinary career Don Garlits has had – and it goes on still.

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is indebted to Andy Wheeler of Europcar UK and Alamo Rent-A-Car for the transport provisions which made this itinerary possible.


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 2.
8th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 7th February 2015.

For several of the 2014 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's latest category is Best Appearing Car. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. You can see larger pictures on the official Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Tyler Ashdown, Junior Dragster
Vote for Tyler Ashdown

Chris Isaacs and Spencer Tramm, Pro Modified
Vote for Isaacs and Tramm

Brad Jackson, Super Pro ET
Vote for Brad Jackson

Liam Jones, Super Pro ET
Vote for Liam Jones

Paul Letchford, Super Comp
Vote for Paul Letchford

Steve Neimantas, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator
Vote for Steve Neimantas

Paul Przybyl, Super Pro ET
Vote for Paul Przybyl

Andy Robinson, Pro Modified
Vote for Andy Robinson

Bobby Wallace, Pro Modified
Vote for Bobby Wallace

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to David Anniwell. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2014@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than Eurodragster.com. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The next voting category will be Best Appearing Bike.


Red Victor 5.
8th December: After a couple of months of behind-the-scenes work, and now the dust has settled in the 2014 street-legal racing scene, Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing team are now ready to unveil their plans for the foreseeable future in the street-legal racing circus:

We will be upgrading RV3's powertrain to run in the five-second zone, and to bring the street-legal record back across the Atlantic, where it resided for two and a half years! Having watched the huge progress in street-legal racing which we started back back in 2010, we're happy that finally there are people who have joined us in the street-legal car revolution. That is what makes it exciting to be a part of it, and drives us on to new heights.

The car itself has plenty of potential, as we didn't really scratch the surface of its chassis or engine tune-ups. Track time and weather in this area of the world played its part in that! We had less runs in one year than our competitors had in one meeting! What we are lacking for the job in hand, due to the restrictions of the class in which we were racing, is power. This will be now be taken care of in certain areas, namely the top end of the engine, the turbo size, and transmission.

We will be using new Race Flow Developments spread port heads with a Victory Performance valve train, PAC springs, T+D rockers and Manton pushrods, along with a Steve Morris Engines billet intake manifold. Wilson Manifolds will supply the twin 105 mm throttle bodies, which will be supplemented by Precision Pro Mod GEN2 98 mm turbos, and Turbosmart wastegates/BOVs. Engine size will stay the same at 540 ci, and so will the New Century block, Diamond pistons, Winberg crank, GRP rods, Bullet/Morris cam and Jesel lifters. We will also have some new MoTeC equipment to add to the M800/CDL dash combo, namely a MoTeC PDM 30 and MoTeC keypad, to help with the street side which will allow us to change from pump gas to methanol with a press of a button.

Transmission-wise we will be changing over to a Reid cased TH400, complete with a Browell 6.3 bellhousing. I will build the trans myself, with Hutch Transmissions overseeing the build and supplying the parts. We always wanted to use this trans combo, but the FIA rules prohibited it when the car was being built. Now that we are running 'Outlaw', we can run the trans of (our) choice. The bolt-together converter will also be our choice.

The engine will again be built by Marc at Lamude Racing Engines, the same guy who built our record-setting engine for the last couple of years, and tuning duties again will continue to be handled by the world-famous Shane Tecklenburg, who is no stranger to setting records around the world!

Once the upgrades are done, around August-September 2015, we plan on shaking the car down at Santa Pod Raceway, driving the car around the countryside to test all the new systems then shipping the car to a sunnier destination to test the upgrades to the full. From that we will see what transpires.

One of the main reasons we are able to do this is because of our new sponsor the Red Victor 5 Second Club. We formed the club a short while ago, and after one month we have 120 dedicated club members who are supporting our quest for the fives and the street-legal record. They more than anyone are driving the team towards new heights, and all the RV1 racing team thank them for their unswerving support, along with our loyal sponsors and fans. The new Red Victor 5 Second Club Facebook page launches today (Monday).


Big day for the Wild Bunch.
8th December: Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes that a very special meeting took place at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu on Monday 24th November:

Great thanks go to Brian Taylor, Robin Jackson and Stu Bradbury and all at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, who had arranged a very special presentation for us.  They knew that every year the Wild Bunch awards a very prestigious trophy, the Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing Shield, to a worthy recipient amongst their ranks.  This trophy was sanctioned in 1996 by Don himself after a request by Wild Bunch founder Roy Wilding.  The award stands for a host of attributes including sportsmanship, commitment, enthusiasm, helpfulness, high standards, performance, consistency, development, perseverance and Wild Bunch team spirit. 

The BDRHoF knew that our Annual Wild Bunch Prize Presentation was the same evening as their fabulous Gala Dinner, at which Don Garlits himself was being inducted as a new member and being honoured with several awards. They worked to find a way in which it would be possible to ask Big Daddy whether he would be so kind as to present our 2014 Don Garlits trophy winner with their award, and came up with the idea that whilst Don and his family could make the presentation whilst they were were on a visit to Beaulieu. This was duly arranged, in conjunction with a gathering of the Allard Chrysler Action Group, where Don met with Brian Taylor and many of the team.  This took place by the Allard itself, which is currently situated in the focal point within the very heart of the museum and on display next to the Commuter slingshot, another iconic car in the history of British drag racing. 


We gave Don an album which contained the history of the award and write-ups and photos of all our past winners and our current winner, Keith Crampton and the Soul Town Shaker slingshot team. Keith has been involved in British Drag Racing since the mid 1970s firstly as a spectator, then as a marshall, and for the last seven years as a popular racer in the Wild Bunch.  This event was a dream come true for Keith, and a real honour.  He stepped forward to be presented with his award by Don himself,  and had the most beaming grin which never left his face all afternoon. We also had the opportunity for some of our previous winners to have a group photo taken.  Pictured are:  Claire and Mark from C&C Nostalgia Drag Racing Team Backdraft (1999), Dave Williams from Team Cunning Plan (2003), Adam Price from Team Gridlock's Go Hard or Go Home!!! (2010), Terry from Team Ratcatcher Resurrection (2011), Mark, Lynne and Harley from Team Limited Funz' Ballbreaker (2012), Scottie, Gina, Nicole and Beau from Team Tiki Munki (2013), and of course, Keith. The photos are courtesy of Adam Price of Team Gridlock and Photo Excellence.

Several other Wild Bunch members also enjoyed touring the museum for the day, attending the presentation and joining in the celebrations. Everyone really enjoyed the chance to meet with such a great hero and big legend of our sport.

We were very honoured and are grateful to the BDRHoF, and most of all to Big Daddy himself, who so kindly gave us his time and attention. We all wish him the best of luck in his current quest to achieve 200 mph in the electric-powered dragster. We know he'll do it! Still driving and still innovating!  Thanks for everything, Big!


Junior Drag Bike season review.
8th December: Many thanks to Lizz McCarthy for passing on the end-season comments of the UK's Junior Drag Bike racers and introductions to next year's rookies:

Alfie Udall (9.07/79): The highlight of my season is when I did my first burnout on the track in front of everyone thanks to Scott Collier for teaching me. My hopes for next season are to run in the sevens and, at least for once try not to break anything, and of course win!

I would like to thank everyone in the Club especially my dad, Jerry, Sharron and Scott for helping me with any problems I had, and sticking with me throughout the season. Thank you to everyone.

Blade Dummer (12.59/50): Well my first season has been so good and I've done more than I could have thought have. We had few minor bumps on the way with the bike not running how I wanted. And then running better than expected, if you know what I mean, but that didn't stop us or me trying harder every time I got to the start line.

My best time of the season was 12.59. A little too quick for my bracket (and I won't do it again) and on this run also my best sixty foot 2.67 seconds. That wasn't the run where I had my best speed that was another event but best speed for the season 50.76 mph over the eighth mile. Overall I've had the best first season ever meeting so many great people all over the other riders and their parents. I would like to thank all the staff and track crew at both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways, without these guys nothing would run. Also Dragbike.com, Eurodragster.com, Lightning Automotive Beckwith and King Racing.

There have also been some people I need to thank for their support and help. Dave and Sam at FBM Turbo Systems for my race shirts and hoodies, Vizman for wiring the bike for me. All of the Junior Drag Bike riders for being so kind to me and helping me. Tim Beckwith at Beckwith Motorsports, Ron at Magic Bullet Fuel additives thanks guys, and Lizz McCarthy for keeping the Facebook page up to date and working hard on our reports. Lastly my sister who has come to look after Dad and I and to feed us thank you Emilia and Dad for making this possible for me.

The 2015 season can't come soon enough see you all soon. JBM 2 for 2015!

Louis Davies (9.14/71): The season went very well for me this year on the brand new Shark Attack Drag Racing Junior Drag Bike built by my Grandad. Thank you to Rene van den Berg for the sponsorship. The season started off running mid nines and slowly creeping down to run my fastest time of 9.144 at 71.92 mph.

Highlight of the year was winning the National Finals. After an exciting season I finished firt in the Championship, so a big thank you to Mum and Dad for crewing, Granddad for another Championship-winning bike and Gipp Racing for their support this season.

Looking forward to making my bike faster over the winter ready for next year.

Big thank you to Lizz McCarthy for sorting all our sponsors and race reports, Dragbike.com, Eurodragster.com, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and King Racing for helping out the Junior Drag Bikers. JBM1 for 2015.

Jordan Kenway (9.00/74): Well well well... this season has been a real interesting one, few ups but quite a lot of downs. Season started off well with the number one qualifier spot and then the number two qualifier trophy at round 2.

But then we didn't really pick up as many points as we wanted on the two middle rounds. But we came second at National Finals, but didn't do so well on the last event which mattered, due to bike issues.

Managed to break so many PBs this year my best so far is a 9.003/74. Just like to say a massive thanks to Warpspeed Racing for their continued support also help from Len Paget when we had engine issues and finally the tracks and crew and not forgetting the support from Dragbike.com, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, Eurodragster.com and King racing. Also Lizz for keeping the Facebook page going, and the race reports. See you all next year! JBP 3 for 2015.

Charlotte Hales (10.77): This year was a learning year for me. The first time I'd ridden a bike with a clutch and air shifter. Unfortunately, the Kawasaki engine turned out to be the restricted model and no amount of "tuning" by Dad was going to make it quick. Martin Dust had made a great job of the chassis and I really liked the handmade, polished bodywork. Best time for this year was 10.77

Next year I'm looking forward to Junior Bike Pro with the number JBP8 and hopefully on a 500 cc twin four-stroke. Dad says I should find it easier to ride.

I'd like to thank Mum and Dad for giving me the chance to drag race, my sister Emily for support, Martin Dust for building the bike and helping with the tools at every meeting at all tracks, Dangerface Drag Racing Team for all their help and of course our sponsors Beckwith, Lightning, Eurodragster.com, King Racing. Big thanks to all the JDB club and all the racers for a fun year.

Liam Holgate (9.23/73.4): The highlight of the season for me was going up to Junior Modified on my new 125, but my low was bending the valves and having to go back to my 50 cc for one meeting. Next season I'm hoping to get more confident on my new bike and try a burnout and obviously go quicker.

I would like to thank mum and dad for letting me race, Dragbike.com, Beckwith Motorsports and Lightning Automotive for our sponsorship.

Natalie Jones (11.70/61): I only managed to do half a season due to finishing my bike, learning to ride it and getting my licence sorted. This was my first season out of two before I move up a class. My first event was the Summernationals. The highlight of my season had to be my best time which was on the dot 11.70. My best speed was 61 mph, I have to say if there was an award for Most Consistent Speed I believe I would win that every time as my bike was constantly on 57-58 mph so getting 61 mph was lucky!!

Next season I'm hoping to be even more consistent, actually do the whole season and get better speedsand reaction times! I'm supposed to be JBM 9 but as fourteen is my lucky number I am going to ask if I can keep JBM 14.

I would like to thank the sponsors of JDB: dragbike.com and Tim Beckwith. All the staff at both tracks Shakey and Santa Pod. The JDB club itself, especially Lizz McCarthy for helping organise the club and Facebook page. Kerryanne Frazier, Ollie Dummer, Kev Charman and Allan Davies and Clair Davies for supporting me throughout the whole season.

Thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome! See you next season!

Stacey Reed (9.33/70): This year was my first full year and it was amazing! The highlight of my year was riding the wrong way down the track when things got funky and a bit broken, I felt like the queen haha! My best time this year was 9.33 and that was at 70.14 mph.

Next year I'm hoping for everyone to stay safe but of course to go faster! Hopefully I can get my time down into the eights and then be able to persuade dad to tune up the Gixa thou ready for 9.50s!

I would like to say a big thanks to my Dad and track crew at both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County who make the racing possible. Also a massive thanks to all members of the Junior Drag Bike club, from the leaders to the racers. I would also like to thank Dragbike.com, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, Eurodragster.com and King Racing for their support this year and I hope it continues in the future.

See you all next year!

Siobhan Moor (9.6/70): Well, I have had an amazing last year in Junior Drag Bike, surrounded by some amazing and wonderful people and I am thankful to all of you for helping me out in my time in the Juniors. But it is my time now to move on to bigger and faster bikes that I am extremely excited about, or what my next year's racing is going to bring! It shall be interesting to see three quarters of the family competing in the same class!

I can't pick out a highlight from my season as each race meeting has been amazing in some way or another! I would like to thank my family for introducing to me such a unique and special sport and to some incredible people that have helped me along my journey, and for giving me the opportunity to experience it. I gained my best speed of 9.6 seconds which is at around 70 mph. I would also like to thank Kevin Charman and Allan Davies for all their amazing work they have done to keep the Junior Drag Bike Club on its feet, and Lizz McCarthy for her hard work keeping the Facebook page going. I would also like to thank the crew at Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway, the support of dragbike.com, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, Eurodragster.com and King Racing. Thank you all for such a great send-off and I am looking forward to racing you all again soon in the near future.

Jasmine Cordelle (8.88/71): This year was a up and down year, just getting used to the new bike and recovering from an appendix operation I had around Easter, which led to me missing the first meeting and then using the next meeting to get my licence, and qualify. This meant I lost 200 points for the first two meetings.

I think that the highlight of my season was getting down the track, running a new Personal Best, getting used to the bike and the enjoyment of learning how to progress in racing. This year was a big learning curve for me and although it was frustrating not being as competitive as last year. I knew that it was going to be difficult this year, but I'm just glad I now have the confidence on the bike and be ready to bring the girl power back next year, and hopefully to have an all-girl final with Stacey Read one day!

Next year, we are changing some of the bike so looking forward to see how it all plans out, and just can't wait to get back racing, I don't like the off-season at all.

I would like to say a big thank you to my Dad for letting me race and being supportive, and the Hysteria Drag Racing Team. Also the support of Dragbike.com, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, Eurodragster.com and King Racing for supporting the Junior Drag Bike Club! And also big well done to all the Junior Drag Bike riders this year for being awesome as usual. Thank you for Lizz McCarthy, too, for being brilliant about all the press, and coping with me not handing in my race reports on time!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Next year's race number JBP6.

Jake Charman: After building a new bike for 2014 I spent the year learning to ride the bike and trying to find a set-up which worked. We have been running mid-tens all season but are still yet to find a sweet-spot with the clutch setup and various things which still need to be tweaked.

Hopefully next year we can find a good, working clutch set-up to pull us into the nines. I would like to thank Dad, Lizz, Chris and Sarah for helping me throughout the year and Dave Branch for building the bike.

A mention too must go to the track, marshals and track crew at both tracks, Beckwith Motorsports, Lightning Automotive, BDRHoF, Dragbike.com, Eurodragster.com, King Racing and Doug at Ensys.

Welcome to our new racers...

Megan Talbot (15.00): Hello, my name is Megan Talbot and I am nine years old and my race number is JB16. My family are all motorbike mad! I did not compete in the Championships this season but I hope to do so next year. I have been wanting to race since I first went to Shakey when I was three years old! I had to wait six years and my cousin Jasmine Cordelle had to make sure that she looked after my bike all that time! Now I am going to whoop her, hee hee!

My first go down the track was on Junior Fun Day at Santa Pod. I was so excited and laughed all the way down the track! It was very slow at twenty eight seconds but the next pass was twenty three seconds so I was really happy, especially when we all received a medal. The next time on the track I was at Shakey and Louis Davies was crewing for me. He helped me a lot and my big sister Bobby I reduced my time again and into the eighteens. My final weekend was at Halloween at Shakey and my aim was to get into the fifteens. After lots of problems I did it! Two fifteen second runs and I was very happy. We had lots of help that weekend and I want to thank everyone who helped me, Natalie Jones, Tony Jones, Uncle Allan (Davies), Louis Davies, Kev Charman, Daniel Bergilin, Ollie Drummer, Nip Nap Stevens. I want to say thank you to Uncle Phil, Brett, Jasmine and Aunty Avril from Hysteria Racing, Bobby, Daddy, Aunty Clair, the Santa Pod Crew, the Shakey Crew especially the start line, fire crew and Jane in the tower and Rachel Hodges. Biggest thanks to Mummy for buying me the bike and being my top crew!

Next year I hope to get into the thirteens and get better reaction times (watch out Natalie Jones)! Thanks Lizz for letting me write this.

Jack Shook (9.84/69): I started in May with my licencing and ran a best time of 11.1/64. Later on in the season I have been practicing my launch techniques at RWYBs at Santa Pod. Now I have made my reaction times more consistent. I have managed to run a PB of 9.84/69.

My highlight of this season was Junior Fun Day as it was one of my first times meeting and racing the other JDB racers. For next season I'm hoping to complete all of the events and earn myself a few trophies.

I would like to thank Mum, Dad and Ben and all the other racers for welcoming me with open arms.

Kayleigh Goodrich and Richard Willcox: Kayleigh will start the season in April, and Richard will start after his birthday in August. The paintwork is being done as I type, so will be good to see them and the bikes in 2015.

Lizz adds: thanks so much to everyone that has supported us this year. We have four more racers who have joined the Club for next year and we continue to go from strength to strength. It has been a total pleasure to be so involved with the, generating the interest to other countries where Junior bike Racing hasn't reached yet, and being able to set the precedent.

On behalf of the Junior Drag Bike Club may we wish you a Happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.


Zeon TV DVDs available.
7th December: Our good friends Helen and Dave at Zeon TV have now completed their 2014 season review DVDs including Dragstalgia, MSA Pro Modified season review, Santa Pod Raceway season review, Hardcore Street, Springspeed Nationals, Mopar EuroNats, NSRA Hot Rod Drags, UK Top Sportsman and the UK National Finals. All sorts of deals are available if you want to buy more than one DVD. The covers feature some fine photography to boot.

A review will be posted very shortly but Zeon TV's reputation has preceded them for many years and you can be sure of another high-quality set of DVDs. To check out what's available and for how much, to view trailers, and to order, visit www.quartermilehigh.com.


2015 FIA calendar ratified.
5th December: Thanks to FIA Drag Racing Commission Lars Pettersson for letting us know that the 2015 FIA European Championship calendar was ratified yesterday by FIA's World Motorsport Council at their meeting in Doha:

22nd-25th May: Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, England
4th-7th June: Swedish Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
2nd-5th July: FHRA Nitro Nationals, Alastaro, Finland
7th-9th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
20th-23rd August: Scandinavian Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
3rd-6th September: European Championship Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England

Booking time off and travel is not recommended just yet as there are some issues to be settled before the calendar is finally confirmed.


Giles sits out 2015.
4th December: UK Super Comp / Super Gas racer Jon Giles has announced that the Roar Willys team are taking a break in 2015:

We have had a very hectic time since we started racing in 2008 and I think it's all caught up with me. So the decision has been taken to give it a rest through 2015 season and come back the following season all recharged and ready to go.

I would really like to thank Donna, Franki and Georgi for supporting me so far, Dave Southcombe (Crew Chief when he's awake!) and Finney for the continued help, the Morrice family for taking us under their wing and treating us so well, Stuart and Collin for the great Hockenheim experiences! Simon and Sharron Gough for their help and support inside and outside of racing, Jeff and Belinda Bull again for always being there for us, and all racers, crew, marshals, commentators and spectators. It really has been the best tonic for some of our personal problems.

So to all race teams have a safe and successful 2015 season. Roll on 2016!


Swift snippets.
4th December: We couldn't help but notice yesterday's (Wednesday's) attempt at an organised vote for one of the SPRC Perpetual Awards. Nice try.

Best wishes to Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair, British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Management Group member and Eurodragster.com Blogger Brian Taylor who is recovering from the application of two stents and the widening of an artery. Take it nice and easy Brian.


On The Bottle, Comanche hook up.
4th December: In addition to a wide range of VP Racing Fuels products, 2015 Shakespeare County Raceway lane sponsor
On The Bottle have announced a new nitrous oxide fitting service provided by race car fabricators Comanche Race Cars.

From the very latest nitrous equipment on the market today you can now get the full treatment with an expert fitting service from a simple bottle installation to a full nitrous kit set-up on any application ready for the strip or the street. All work is guaranteed to the highest standards. Based in Orpington, Kent the guys at Comanche already have a very successful introduction to the world of street rodding and drag racing thanks to Pro Mod customer Wayne Nicholson, Junior Dragster's Tyler Ashdown and doorslammer racers Ray Tucker and Matt Wright. But it's not all straight line stuff the shop offers! They can also build from the ground up track day, drift cars and circuit racers as well offering a bespoke service to any part of the motor sport industry. Currently on the jig is a soon to be tagged 7.50 slingshot dragster as well as a Chevy Vega doorslammer. Its not just chassis work either. Comanche can also offer a full vinyl digital wrap service from a full-blown race car to a race bike such as the fairings of Alex Hope's Pro Stock Bike unveiled at this year's UK National Finals. For further information or to book an appointment call 07955 067124. You can also find them on Facebook or visit the web site at www.comancheracercars.com.

Also for 2015 On The Bottle are very excited to add their first drag bike to the line up of supported teams and racers by providing Competition Bike racer Phil Crossley's Team Bopchop with VP Racing Fuel, nitrous oxide refills and equipment. The team are currently building a Suzuki-based Funny Bike for a 2015 début. To follow the build you can access Phil's blog page at gsxbopchop.blogspot.co.uk.


Web site updates.
4th December: Our good buddy Alan Currans has been in touch to let us know that he has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with another page of Roger Phillips' pictures. "It is called The Class of '71 and features the top-running dragsters and their drivers of that time", says Alan. "This was an important period in the development of the sport with times by the top cars inching down the sevens in search of that elusive six second pass. Needless to say there will be a Class of '72 along in due course". As ever you can check out the latest update via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the Halloween Bonfire Burn-up at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman. "Although this is my last drag racing album of the year, there will still be pictures from Beaulieu, Campervan Christmas and Butty Runs uploaded soon", says Mad.


UK Top Sportsman 2015.
2nd December: The organisers of UK Top Sportsman, "The biggest, richest, roughest, toughest televised heads-up Sportsman Doorslammer Series", are very pleased to announce their race dates for 2015. Paul Marston writes:

Having the event schedules of both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways available so early is a real bonus and has enabled us to firm up dates for next year earlier than usual.

UK Top Sportsman returns to the best Muscle Car event of the season, the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on Friday-Sunday 24th-26th July. 2014 had a record car count and both the ET and MPH records fell in competition. This is simply a great, must-attend event for everyone (Hear, hear - Ed) and once again UK Top Sportsman are grateful to the organisers of the Mopar EuroNats for inviting us back again in 2015.

Unfortunately UK Top Sportsman will have to say goodbye to VW Action for 2015, as the August Bank Holiday has moved weekends and Santa Pod have scheduled a Peak Performance Day on the Sunday. It's just not possible to run UK Top Sportsman's two races on just one day, plus there is now a fortnight between VW Action and the FIA European Finals which would have necessitated travelling and racing on three consecutive weekends.

The good news is that UK Top Sportsman have found a brand new home with the BWM Scooter Ska Rally at Santa Pod Raceway on Friday-Sunday 12th-14th June. UK Top Sportsman will be the stars of the show and there is no shortage of track time, so we are excited to announce this interesting new date. Credit must go to the Santa Pod management, in particular James Forster, for working so hard to find us another date which works on their packed event calendar.

UK Top Sportsman packs two races into one event. The first eliminator race is a Fast Bracket Race in which everybody runs. 0.400 Pro Tree, dial your ET, one-shot trial run then straight into first round. If you lose first round then you can bu back into the second round for just £30. First and second round pairings are completely random, then from the third round we run to an eliminations ladder. The second race is a heads-up, qualified (usually sixteen cars) eliminator. This has a one-shot qualifier for an elimination field with alternates.

All the entry fees after track fees are put into the prize fund, so the payouts for both events can be substantial. For the Bracket Race we pay from the third round and in the heads-up everyone gets paid. Remember that other than safety there are no rules! For full details of how everything works please Like our Facebook page where you will find our latest rules, regulations and a detailed description of how it all works.

Please stay tuned to Eurodragster.com as over the next few days we will be revealing more news and an exciting new development.


Swift snippets.
2nd December: UK Super Pro ET team Brad Jackson Racing are offering a free 2015 desk calendar to the first twenty Eurodragster.com readers to contact them via Brad's official web site. To be in with a chance of winning a calendar, visit
www.bradjacksonracing.com and use the contact details on the site to send your name and address. This offer is open to Eurodragster.com readers in any country.

An afternoon with a legend.
2nd December: We are indebted to Honorary Eurodragster.com staff members Colin and Grace Roaf for sending us a report of last Sunday's Afternoon Tea with Don Garlits at Santa Pod Raceway. Colin writes and Grace photographs:

The term "legend" is used a lot these days, so it was a privilege to attend an event with a true legend of our sport. Even a work colleague, who has no real interest in drag racing, has heard of Don, which goes to show that his reputation precedes him.

The Quartermile Club in the bankside VIP suite at Santa Pod Raceway was the venue for this once in a lifetime event. The promised hot drinks were welcome on the damp Sunday and the room was split up by a number of round tables at which the lucky participants of the sold-out event were seated.

Spontaneous applause rang out as Don entered the room. Robin Jackson, Public Relations Officer for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame welcomed Don, introduced one of his daughters and a family friend who were accompanying him, then thanked all the participants for their attendance. He went on to thank US Automotive, Julie Braskett, Alamo and Santa Pod Raceway for organising the event and introduced Andy Wilsheer as official photographer along with Grace who was taking photos for Eurodragster.com.

Robin then took up the Master of Ceremonies position as he introduced the Q&A session.

Some of the questions had already been asked by Tog during his interview with Don prior to the BDRHoF Gala Dinner, but Don was able to expand on some of his answers. Quite often I was drawn into the stories before realising I was meant to be making notes!

"Out of your many opponents and competitors you've faced over the years, who did you fear the most?". Don replied Chris Karamesines (The Greek) and Don Prudhomme (The Snake) but still saves all his respect for Shirley Muldowney. Especially during match racing, he always had to run the hardest against Shirley.

Don stated his strong opinions against 1000-foot racing and believes changes could have been made to allow a return to quarter mile racing. He paraphrased a scientist involved in the Hydrogen Bomb project who allegedly said "If it doesn't explode, we aren't interested" as a dig at TV coverage which concentrates on re-runs of engine explosions against coverage of actual racing.

When asked "What was your greatest achievement?" Don explained the complications of getting the rear-engined dragster to work. Following his accident in 1970 he wanted to focus on designing a car which was safe yet competitive. Using the phrase "But that's another story", the situation leading up to the 1975 World Finals which was explained with obvious emotion.


One of the points which Don made whilst remembering these events was that the cars weren't worked on at the track but taken back to the motels in which the drivers and crews were staying. Bath tubs were used to wash parts, engines repaired, reassembled and possibly started at all hours before packing the car back onto the trailer. I can just see Lenny Henry invoking the Premier Inns "Good Night Guarantee" if that still happened today.

A question was asked about the importance of the team effort. Don recalled that in the early days, it was just he and his wife Pat doing it all. Don would tune and drive the car and Pat would drive the push truck. He recalled working on regular cars during the day and building race cars at night. Don mentioned Connie Swingle and Tom Lemmons who worked at his workshop and also crewed for him. Between them they could "snap" a race car together in three days.

Don was always known as innovative, so the question "Which ideas didn't work?" brought up his Top Fuel Dragster project with the helicopter turbine engine and also the Sidewinder and Streamliner cars.

Glancing around the room everyone was absorbed in Don's every word. As he had been talking for quite some time Robin called a tea/coffee break. Comments were made at our table, and I'm sure at all the other tables, how they could "Listen for hours" and "What a great recall" Don had.

Whilst we were all taking a break for a drink, I saw Don wipe away some condensation on the window at the end of the suite which looks down the track. He stood looking at the view for a little while. I wonder if he was contrasting how he saw the track and facilities now against when he was last here.


Santa Pod then laid on an excellent buffet and as the weather had improved enough for photos to be taken on the start line around the Christmas tree. Against a sunset which has featured in many photographers' shots, Andy Willsheer organised everyone into a group shot and then some more individual photos were taken with Don as the sun went down completely.

The last part of the event was the opportunity to pick up a copy of Don's latest book and to have him sign it. An orderly queue formed with people getting pictures, model kits, LP records, magazines and other books signed in addition to Don's book. Andy was taking individual photos as Don was shaking hands with everyone.

All in all a brilliant afternoon spent in the company of a humble and strong-willed man who has done so much to shape the sport we all enjoy. His latest book Don Garlits And His Cars features a lot more detail and insight. Now all I have to do is figure out who gets to read the book first, Grace or me.


First BDRHoF Junior bonus won.
2nd December: Following the announcement earlier this year that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame would support UK Junior Drag Racing with £50 bonuses awarded to each season's National Champions, the first recipient of this award has been announced as 2014 UK National Junior Drag Bike Champion Louis Davies. Louis will receive his award at the Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance on 7th February 2015.

These awards have been made available following the release of funds from a long-dormant British National Drag Racing Association account. BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury again thanks Anne Pallant and Mick Hand, the BNDRA's last Financial Officers, and BDRHoF Management Group member Phil Evans for their efforts in recovering this account, which will fund these awards for five years. Thereafter, the BDRHoF plans to maintain the awards from its own resources.

On behalf of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Stu Bradbury congratulates Louis Davies on his success.


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 1.
1st December: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 7th February 2015.

For several of the 2014 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

The first voting category is SPRC Most Promising Newcomer. Nominees for SPRC Most Promising Newcomer have impressed whilst contesting their first full season or making their on-track début in 2014.

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

Harley Coulsell, Junior Dragster
Vote for Harley Coulsell

Jon Crawford, Sportsman ET
Vote for Jon Crawford

Blade Dummer, Junior Drag Bike
Vote for Blade Dummer

Matthew Dowdy, Junior Dragster
Vote for Matthew Dowdy

Damian Halliwell, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator
Vote for Damian Halliwell

Jan Lukes, Sportsman ET
Vote for Jan Lukes

Ed Keech, VW Sportsman
Vote for Ed Keech

Paul Przybyl, Super Pro ET
Vote for Paul Przybyl

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to David Anniwell. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2014@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than Eurodragster.com. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The next voting category will be Best Appearing Car.


Swift snippets.
1st December: Jeanette and Jon Webster have asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to daughter Shelby Webster. Our pleasure; have a lovely day Shelby.

No better first recipient.
30th November: A new award presented at last week's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Awards Celebration Gala Dinner held in Windsor Great Park. In a very emotional ceremony, the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award was presented to American drag racing legend Don Garlits by Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and Serbia along with Les Downey, Managing Director and Director of European Operations of Lucas Oil Products. Messages from American drag racer Bob Keith, Ambassador Barzun at the Embassy of the United States of America in Grosvenor Square, London and legendary British drag racer Clive Skilton (now resident in California) all showed just how much Don is loved and respected.

The crystal trophy will not be presented every year. A unique aspect is the inscription In memory of Pat Garlits on the base which will be engraved each time the award is presented in future years. It is a tribute to Don's wife Pat who passed away earlier this year, and marks the role played by all family members associated with drag racing. Without their support it could not happen.

As far as Global Achievement is concerned there can be no person in drag racing who can be a more apt first recipient of this award than Don Garlits. Born in Florida, he started racing in 1950, building the first of thirty seven Swamp Rat dragsters in 1955. He became the first racer over 170 mph in 1957 and over 180mph in 1958. By 1964, he had put down the first backed-up 200 mph speed. In victories his success can be measured in 144 National Event wins and seventeen Championships. However, it is the constant innovation he has brought to drag racing all over the world that is the prime reason for his legendary status. His expertise is world renowned. His cars are always immaculate and his communication skills have helped spread the word about drag racing far and wide. His museum has corralled and protected our history. This award is the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame's way of congratulating and thanking him for his dedication to drag racing for over sixty years.

Don's influence on British drag racing has been substantial. In September and October of 1964 the First British International Drag Festival took place organised by Sydney Allard and the NHRA's Wally Parks. Don match-raced Tommy Ivo and won The People Challenge Trophy for the best aggregate performance by any car, running a string of low eights at over 190 mph in front of huge crowds at Blackbushe and RAF airfields across the UK. In 1976 he visited Santa Pod for its tenth anniversary, driving Swamp Rat 21, and inspired Peter Crane to run the first five second pass outside North America. He returned the following year and won at the July Internationals before returning his car to the USA for eventual display at his Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida which opened in 1984, inspired by a visit which Don made to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in 1976.

After his visits to Santa Pod, Don's fellow American racers could more readily be enticed to race in the UK, furthering the boom in the sport in Britain during the late 1970s.

2014 has been a year of very mixed emotions for Don. He lost Pat, his wife of over sixty years and a constant companion at the track during his racing career. But he has succeeded in running over 180 mph in his electric powered dragster Swamp Rat 37. Developed with his grandson Rodney this is another Garlits benchmark project.


Swift snippets.
30th November: We were very sorry indeed to hear of the death of legendary Pro Comp racer and then even more legendary Fuel tuner Dale Armstrong. It is fair to say that without Dale's innovations, which included the slider clutch, dual fuel pumps and the Racepak, Fuel and other classes all around the planet would be nowhere near as quick, fast and reliable as they are now. You can read a tribute on Drag Race Central by clicking here. Our sympathies to Dale's family and friends.

This season's SPRC Perpetual Awards vote commences tomorrow (Monday) with Most Promising Newcomer. Voting will be open to all Eurodragster.com readers in any country. As ever a dim view will be taken of attempts to rig any of the SPRC Perpetual Award votes so nominees and voters alike should be sure to pay careful attention what is and is not acceptable: for example, "I have been nominated" is allowed but "Go and vote for me" is not. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing once nominations are posted then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

No news update yesterday so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Official Hug Provider to Eurodragster.com Alison Bohannon. Hope you had a lovely day Ali.


Doing Paula proud.
28th November: Ian and Holley Marshall have been in touch to thank those who contributed at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, which was held in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in Paula Marshall's name:

This charity is very close to the hearts of many competitors and staff of both Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club. I understand that this was not for me or about me but I would like to thank all of the people who gave their time, their money and massive effort in such a short space of time for this great charity.

Darren Prentice, Sam Innes and Craig Wright for organising all of the football activities, from sorting out the pitch to player strips, seating, all of the teams and much more in the background, Raunds Town FC for the goals and equipment, Ringstead Rangers FC for the football kits, Colin Theobald for his commentary of the games, all of the players who got involved on a very wet evening, all of the Cheerleaders who came along and did an amazing job, and to all of the support people who organised half time drinks and orange pieces.

Whilst the football was going on ladies and gents were having large portions of body hair removed, again in order to raise money for the charity which is going above and beyond.

Thanks also have to go to Donna Finnegan, Caroline Holden and all of the SPR staff for organising collection buckets, staff to help with the collections, banners and posters and a huge amount of behind the scenes work.

To all of the commentators who were mentioning the charity all weekend, to Tog and all of the Eurodragster.com team for their efforts in helping to collect money and helping out with the charity, to Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC for adding to the total raised, and not forgetting all of the racers, spectators, staff and everyone who gave generously.

So, finally, what did all of the hard work from so many people amount to? Well, after the money was all collected you had raised an amazing £3400 to go towards helping Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

From Holley and I a huge thank you to everyone who gave their time, their support and their hard-earned money. Thank You.


Gala Dinner/Afternoon Tea galleries.
27th November: Many thanks to Andy Willsheer and Keith Furness for letting us know that the official photographs from last Saturday's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Sunday's Afternoon Tea with Don Garlits are now available for viewing and ordering.

The pictures from both events can be viewed on Flickr by visiting
www.flickr.com and searching BDRHOF. The Flickr site shows the pictures in random order but at large sizes, up to full screen if required.

If you wish to order prints then make a note of the picture number, which is displayed if you mouse-over any picture in the above Flickr album, and then visit www.photoboxgallery.com/keithfurness/BDRHoF. Pictures are displayed in chronological (and thus numeric) order in this gallery but are displayed at a fixed size.


Swift snippets.
27th November: We would like to wish all of our many readers in the United States of America a very Happy Thanksgiving. Eat plenty of turkey and have a great day.

FIA announce Nataas sanction.
26th November: The
FIA this afternoon announced the result of their hearing after 2014 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Thomas Nataas failed an anti-doping test at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September. Thomas' points for the Finals have been docked and his licence suspended for two years, although he has twenty one days to appeal the decision.

"I took a dietary supplement designed for over-40s", Thomas told Eurodragster.com last week. "You can get it anywhere. It turned out to contain a banned substance. I co-operated fully at the time of the test, I told them everything, and at again at my hearing. The FIA guys at the hearing acknowledged that the banned list is like a phone book. But they said that in the end it was my responsibility and I accept that. I have it in writing that they have taken away my points for the event. But I still have enough points to be Champion."

Thomas told us that he may return to racing when his suspension expires, but he asked us to stress that this situation was not the reason for the recent retirement accouncements either from Andersen Racing or from himself.

We have also spoken to race officials and will post any statement we receive.


Hockenheim invites Outlaws.
25th November: NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey says that Supercharged Outlaws from all European countries are welcome to this year's event at Hockenheim on 7th-9th August and to that end he is inviting expressions of interest:

I am hoping to get a Supercharged Outlaws class on the NitrOlympX schedule. I would hope to get Supercharged Outlaw cars from England, Germany, Holland and Switzerland, and Scandinavian cars will also be welcome.

I need feedback from as many interested Supercharged racers as possible in order to build a definite plan. If you are interested then please drop me an E-Mail at
mail@jerry-lackey.de.

Thanks for a successful Gala.
25th November: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury says that there are many people who need a big pat on the back for the success of the weekend's inaugural Gala Dinner:

Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting for his generous backing and enthusiasm without which we would never been able to put this together. My ol' mate Brian Taylor for his attention to detail, his organisational abilities, and so much more I could mention. The same goes for Robin Jackson, again attention to detail and all the things I missed but Robin didn't. He had total commitment to every task he was asked to do, or find information about, and then followed the job through to the end (as he is at the moment being chauffer and tour guide to the Garlits family as I type). To Power Race Graphics for all their hard work with design and production of all our printed matter, back drop displays etc. Amp Audio Solutions (Nitro FM) for lighting and sound sponsored by a generous contribution from the NSRA. Mr MC, Chief Barker Paul Wright who did an outstanding job keeping us all in order, Phil Cottingham for his invaluable help looking after the press interviews and Phil and Angela Cottingham for help with the book signing.

Thanks to Simon Groves, Keith Lee, Ian Messenger and Brian Taylor for the inductee profiles, to Kaz Aston who did a lot of work on the Gala throughout the last year, and to my daughter Genna and "second" daughter Laura for escorting our inductees to and from the stage.

All our other sponsors of the night, Lucas Oil, Flint Insurance, Real Steel, Custom Car, Alamo, Santa Pod Raceway, Allard Motor Company, Eurodragster.com, APIRA, Shakespeare County Raceway, York Raceway, Pennine Drag Racing Club, and Nitro Goddess Julie Braskett, but mainly our long-term sponsors without whom we would never have reached this point. Santa Pod Racers Club and my old company US Automotive. Not to forget the lady behind me, my wife Bev. Without her putting me right, when I'm so obviously wrong, but too stubborn to admit it, things would certainly not have gone off as well as they did.

Also, thanks to everyone who gave us encouragement to carry on when things didn't go quite the way we wanted. So you see, it's a combined effort from drag racing in general. Let's hope that positive things come out of this which will benefit all involved in this sometimes crazy sport of ours. That was the aim, only time will tell if we have achieved what we set out to do.

Lastly, congratulations to all our inductees. I hope you all had a memorable evening being inducted along with the most famous icon of sport, Big Daddy Don Garlits.

We are already planning the 2015 gala with, we hope, an equally well-known guest of honour. Ticket announcement as soon as we have confirmations in our inbox. Stay tuned!

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. If I have, then please forgive me. I'm away for the rest of the week escorting the first family of drag racing around the various places and dinners we have arranged for them, so I'm unable answer all E-Mails until the weekend. But I will get back to everyone in time.


Wild Bunch honour Champions.
24th November: The UK's Wild Bunch held their nineteenth annual Prize Presentation on Saturday at Drayton Manor Park, and a great evening was had by all. Race co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes:

The various Series winners were presented with their awards, with the 2014 Wild Bunch Series win going to Adam Price of Team Gridlock with the Go Hard or Go Home!!! altered, for the fourth year in a row! A great achievement! Many congratulations to the whole team on their success. The Real Steel Performance Parts Series trophies were also presented, and the winner this year was Bob Hawkins in the Time Traveller II slingshot, his first ever Series win. Adam Price also won this year's Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series, presented by the man himself. Keith Crampton in his Soul Town Shaker slingshot won both the Springbridge MSA Challenge Series, held over the five MSA events in which the Wild Bunch compete, and the APIRA Series with the latter trophy to be awarded in March at their Prizegiving.

There were various presentations during the evening thanking Wild Bunch Chairman Chris Hartnell, Race Co-ordinator and Treasurer Claire Meaddows, web site author Ed Yates, newsletter editor Josh Coulsell and Secretary Lynne Coulsell for all their hard work. Presents were given to all the lovely ladies of the Wild Bunch who do so much to support their teams, and flowers were given to Claire, kindly donated by Mark Coulsell of Team Limited Funz.

In addition, the winners of all the Wild Bunch Special Merit awards were announced:


Big Bang Trophy: Dave 'Sag' Southworth, WB 72 Daddy Cool
Quickest ET: Bob Hawkins, WB91 Time Traveller, 7.235 seconds
Highest speed: Bob Hawkins, WB91 Time Traveller, 192.08 mph
Quickest ET by a British-engined dragster (Martin Holgate trophy): Sag Southworth, WB 72 Daddy Cool, 9.143 seconds
Best Newcomer: Steven East, WB 101 Ellie's in Trouble Now
Best Radical / Dragster: Phil James, WB 45 Rampage
Best Altered: Alan Loten, WB 69 Paranoia
Best Slingshot: Keith Crampton, WB 3 Soul Town Shaker
Best Turned Out: Team Tiki Munki, WB 4 Tiki Munki
Best Achiever: Bob Hawkins, WB 91 Time Traveller II
Perseverance Award: Steve and Lesley Field, WB 76 Black Pig Too
Personal Achievement (Daddy Cool Sag trophy): Dan Sharp and Scott Chilcott, WB 111 Little Big Horn
Derek and Brenda Annable trophy: Cath and Tig Napier
C & C Sportsperson: Bob Hawkins, WB 91 Time Traveller II

The greatest accolade of the evening was, as always, the Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing shield, the most prestigious award in the Wild Bunch, which represents sportsmanship, achievement, commitment, presentation and a host of other attributes. This was awarded to Keith Crampton and the Soul Town Shaker slingshot team who achieved increased success this year whilst putting on a great nostalgic show, helping others and demonstrating great commitment to the Wild Bunch and drag racing in general. Big congratulations to Keith and the whole team, a very well-deserved and popular win. There was also a special announcement on the night, that Keith and team will be officially re-presented with the award by none other than Big Daddy himself at a small presentation arranged by the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, to whom we owe huge thanks for this very special honour! Wow! 

Many congratulations to all our winners! We can't wait until 2015 to be back out at the drags for the twentieth year of the Wild Bunch. Full information can be found on the Wild Bunch web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, dry, safe and quick New Year to all racers and teams, marshals and officials, track and safety crews, photographers, media, promoters, managers and of course the Eurodragster.com staff (Thanks - Ed), who work so hard at Santa Pod, Shakespeare County and York Raceways for this sport of drag racing we all love so much. Thanks everyone for everything you do! See you all at the drags next season.


Thirty minutes with Big Daddy.
23rd November: Your News Editor was privileged to spend half an hour yesterday chatting with Big Daddy Don Garlits before his induction into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and presentation of the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award. Big Daddy was as ever on good form and was very pleased to answer our questions including some submitted by Eurodragster.com readers.

Eurodragster.com: What was the origin of "Swamp Rat"?

Don Garlits: That came from Setto Postoian in an advertisement in Drag News. It was a half-page insult. He said "No wonder they call you the Swamp Rat. You're in it for the money" and "You put a green kid in your car" implying that I was putting his life in danger, and other stuff. I was infuriated. One of the guys who worked with me drew a picture of a mouse with a flag and later we had stuffed toys made. I sent Setto a box of them! Then the car became Swamp Rat.

Eurodragster.com: What about "Big Daddy"?

Don Garlits: I had been working for Chrysler since 1961. They came out with a wedge engine which we used, we did away with the Hemi. At the time the NHRA nitro ban was in force and everyone was using gas, although there were AHRA, ITA and other organisations who allowed nitro. My boss at Chrysler wanted me to run at the US Nationals using the 413 max wedge motor. So I went there with the wife and kids and I wasn't doing too well with it on gas. People were saying "Daddy Garlits is here with his kids", and even my kids were making fun of me. So then the Track Announcer started to call me "Daddy Garlits". Connie Kalitta was having a problem with his motor and asked me to drive his car so that he could listen to it and I ran 180.36 for a new speed record. The Track Announcer said "I guess we'll have to call him Big Daddy now". Chrysler suggested that I register it.

Eurodragster.com: When you signed for Shirley Muldowney's licence did you think that women would be so successful in drag racing?

Don Garlits: No, I didn't. But Shirley deserved it. Connie Kalitta and Tommy Ivo signed her licence too. We weren't too keen on women driving those slingshots because they were dangerous, I wouldn't have wanted my daughters getting in one. But Shirley had the killer instinct and in my opinion she is the best woman racer on the planet, including circuit racing. If you look at her record, four Championships, that big crash, she won a Championship after being told she wouldn't walk again. It's a tough sport, if you look at the number of people who make it big as a percentage of all the people who race it's not a big number. Drag racing doesn't care about gender or race, I had black guys working on my crew before segregation. The sport is gender blind and colour blind and I always loved that. Oh yeah, the NHRA rule change that the car should be weighed with the driver in it, that was down to Shirley because it took the guys a while to catch on that she had a seventy- or eighty-pound weight advantage over them but then they realised and they got the rule changed.

Eurodragster.com: What did you think about the introduction of 1000-foot Fuel racing?

Don Garlits: I was all for it, as it was not meant to be permanent. They changed it, then they were going to change the rules to slow the cars down and change it back to a quarter mile. They made lots of rules but they are under pressure from some of the tuners. But the fans didn't like it and I was disappointed when they didn't change it back. You know why it was - if they reduced horsepower and went back to the quarter mile it would help the budget guys.

Eurodragster.com: You are currently developing an electric dragster but do you think that there are any big innovations yet to come with the conventional Top Fuel set-up?

Don Garlits: Not now. The rules are too strict. They're trying to slow them down. And the faster you go, the more difficult for the driver to survive even in that pod. The electric dragster is good for noise abatement and it's easy to limit them. You can get them 5.9 or 6.0 seconds at 250. Three seconds is not long enough for entertainment. Fans want to see side-by-side racing and we forget it's the fans who pay the bills. I don't think they should allow work on motors after the start of an event. In Nascar if a driver's engine blows then they don't stop the race for seventy five minutes so that they can put in another motor. I think the oildown rule should apply in any run whether in qualifying or racing or in the Countdown. I asked Graham Light why fourteen quarts of oil on the track is less dangerous than touching the outer line or the barrier. But the big guys call the shots. I'd never spray another track. Sure, I'd clean up oil but that would be all. But I would definitely disqualify anyone who oils down. Some of them will do whatever it takes even if they put a rod out because they have another engine. I'd take the diapers off to keep them honest, I'd want to see the pan because otherwise the big guys would just get a twenty five thousand dollar super diaper and never put oil on the track. When I came back I had four motors and four spare sets of heads and I still have all of them. But I only qualified once, and that speaks volumes.

Eurodragster.com: You have done and won just about everything but do you have any regrets?

Don Garlits: Indy 1971, Carbone v Garlits. He was in a slingshot and I was in the rear-engine dragster. He told me "If I never stage, I won't stage first". So Garlits goes to the line with a cold engine, we had the longest burndown ever. He won with a 6.6 and I had a 6.2 car. If I did it again I would go straight in. You should never play into a competitor's hands. It's traumatic when you know you should have won.

Eurodragster.com: Do you covet any particular car which is not in your museum?

Don Garlits: I would love to have had Tommy Ivo's four-engined dragster. I liked it as the dragster, not the station wagon. He had the parts to repair it. But a rich guy offered him a quarter of a million dollars and Ivo sold it to him. I have the twin-engined car which held the record I broke, I found that rusting in a field. I restored it and Ivo finished it. But I have most of the cars I want.

Eurodragster.com: We hear that another Garlits is licencing?

Don Garlits: That's right, my grandson Rodney is going to licence in a Top Alcohol Dragster. A local guy has cars and is looking for a driver. As soon as we get back we'll take him to Brandenton for licencing.

Eurodragster.com: We understand you have been talking to Lord March about a Festival of Speed appearance.

Don Garlits: It's a big deal. I don't know about the logistics. But we're thinking about it!


Swift snippets.
23rd November: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Still the gatekeeper?". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Web site updates.
23rd November: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from the 12th October Public Track Day at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.

Swift snippets.
22nd November: Good luck and stay safe to our good buddies Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor
LA Racing Parts and John Hackney who are contesting Bracket 1 and Street Muscle at this weekend's Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas. Lee and John are kindly carrying Ed O'Connell memorial decals as is Pro Mod Challenge racer John Stanley. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress under Drag News at www.dragracecentral.com.

Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked that last season's SPRC Perpetual Award winners return their trophies as soon as convenient. To arrange return please get in touch with Ian at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625. The vote for this season's SPRC Perpetual Awards will commence on Monday week (1st December) with Most Promising Newcomer.

Carla Pittau, Rick McCann and the UK's Heaven & Hell Pro ET team asked us to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Saturday) to 2014 UK National Super Street Champion Karen Stevens. "Happy Birthday to a real star", says Carla. "After watching Karen's performance in her rookie year, and hearing that she may move to Pro ET, we had no choice but emigrate!". Have a lovely day Karen.


Big Daddy dines at his Club.
21st November: The Royal Automobile Club's Pall Mall clubhouse today hosted 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits and his tour party for a special lunch. The picture depicts (from left to right) tour organiser and British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame Press and Public Relations officer Robin Jackson, Rodney Garlits, Don Garlits, Sarah Garlits, Marjorie Johnson and Donna Garlits.

The party were thrilled to be dining in such an auspicious setting. They were joined by FIA Drag Racing Comission member and Hall of Fame member Phil Evans, Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett, Santa Pod's Commercial Manager Caroline Holden and members of the RAC Club including Alan Tiley who, as a teenager, worked with Sydney Allard.

The Garlits family are on a week-long visit to the UK for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, taking place tomorrow evening at Savill Court Hotel, Windsor, and also visits to Santa Pod, Beaulieu and other sites of interest. Located in Ocala, Florida, the family are all involved in managing the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. Don remarked on his current electric dragster project and how he hopes it will influence both racing and motoring generally in the future. A further series of tests is planned on his return to the USA and he hopes he will break the 200 mph barrier for an electric powered dragster.


SCR announce events sponsor.
21st November: Shakespeare County Raceway are pleased to announce that Hillingdon Speed & Spares will be event sponsors for next year's APIRA Springspeed Nationals on 2nd-4th May and Open Sport Nationals on 29th-31st August.


Owned by UK National Pro ET Championship racer Steve Hudson, Hillingdon Speed & Spares have been specialising in performance, American and mainstream vehicle parts since the company was founded in 2002. They offer fully-equipped workshop facilities, MOT bays and a fully stocked parts ordering counter dispensing everything from car polishes, accessories, tools, racing oils and chemicals from professional and well respected suppliers in the business, liaising with the biggest wholesalers in the South East gaining easy access to a huge range of products to keep a car looking smart and attractive. You only have to look at Steve's '23 Model T altered to see how professionalism works alongside the business. In addition to the services provided, Hillingdon Speed & Spares are also able to offer a comprehensive mail order service on street and strip American parts offered by all the-top line US suppliers.   

"I'm proud to be associated with SCR and I hope this will be the start of a long relationship", says Steve. "I have been racing at Shakey for the last seven seasons and won the APIRA Championship in 2012. It seemed the right time to support the tracks which support the sport we love."

"It's great to have Hillingdon Speed & Spares on board with our two main national events next season", says SCR's Jerry Cookson. "Steve has been a longtime supporter of the Raceway with his Pro ET Model T. From racing to the commercial aspects of the motor industry in the UK, Hillingdon Speed & Spares has it all and I'm sure that we're both going to get great support throughout 2015."

For further information contact Steve on 01895 237222 or drop him an E-Mail at hillingdonspeedandspares@yahoo.com. At the same time check out the Hillingdon Speed & Spares Facebook page and their well-produced YouTube video.


Polidano to attend FIA Gala.
20th November: Many thanks to Drag Racing Commission Vice President Lars Pettersson for letting us know that 2014 FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Chris Polidano will receive his trophy at this year's FIA Prizegiving Gala:

The FIA World Motorsport Council hold their next meeting in Doha, Qatar in the first week of December, during FIA Annual General Assembly Week in Doha. The FIA Prizegiving Gala takes place on Friday December 5th and the FIA European Drag Racing Championship has been assigned one slot for a Championship class to represent drag racing alongside FIA World Champions in Formula 1, Rally etc.

We are pleased to announce that Chris Polidano will represent FIA European Drag Racing and Malta at this year's Prizegiving.

You can take a look at the FIA's video about the Prizegiving Gala by
clicking here.

Pro ET and the tumbling dice.
20th November: UK Pro ET racer Carla Pittau writes that a brilliant time was had by all at last weekend's Pro ET End of Season Bash and Award Presentation, held at the Landsdown Hotel in Calne and beautifully organised by Mike Lacey and Karen Stevens:

There was much imbibing and much merriment, and fun was had by all in the mock drag races which involved throwing bouncy foam dice after a mock burnout and a mock stage. Needless to say, 2014 Pro ET champ Rick McCann got to the final where he faced fierce competitor Bob Molden. They postured and tried to psyche each other out and then in the general suspense they finally threw their dice. It was a draw. In previous rounds, to avoid lengthy re-runs the rules stated that a draw would mean a double disqualification, giving a bye to the racer on the opposite side of the ladder, but in the final of course this meant there wouldn't be a winner, and in the spirit of such a competitive class, it couldn't be allowed. It was therefore decided to make an exception for the final, but the two finalists had decided in the meantime they would just share the prize money (£50 or the cost of the room at the hotel). The crowd rightly booed as we just needed to know who the winner would have been, and to more booing and general dissatisfaction of course it was another draw, or so Mike tells me, as everyone's eyes were somewhat blurred by then.

Back to more serious matters we then went on to the award presentation, again carefully orchestrated by Mike and Karen, with even a matching piece of music to go with each award and absolutely awesome trophies, all beautifully hand made by the very talented Elaine Southwold of Cool Engineering Art. Elaine makes a wide variety of true works of art for the home, office, or even outdoors, many of them designed to please the petrolhead in your life, so visit her web site for fantastic gift ideas. The trophies are all made with actual engine parts, carefully welded together and painted to form incredibly detailed figures.

The biggest and best of the trophies was one with very special meaning to each of us, the Spirit of Pro ET award which was conceived to honour the memory of John Byrne, who was well known for his readiness to help anybody with a beaming smile and a bear hug. The 2014 trophy was made from parts from the Altered engine of Phil Toppin, a close friend for whom John used to crew.

The 2014 winners of the awards were as follows:

The John Byrne Memorial Spirit of Pro ET: Simon Gough (music: Ed Sheeran – Sing)
Best Wheelie 2014: Mark Bailey (Chic – Le Freak)
Rookie of the Year: James Forster (Grease – Greased Lightning)
Hard Luck Award: Simon Innes (Calvin Harris – Blame)
Crash of the Year: Nic Williams (Limp Bizkit – Break stuff)
Best Appearing Car: Keith Williams (LMFAO – I'm sexy and I know it)
Crew Chief of the Year: Dan Devlin (Happy)

We would like to thank our sponsors for 2014: , Engine Data Analysis, Power Engineering, Webster Race Engineering (Power Pour), Topspeed Automotive, OCS Paint, NGK, Modurstang, Hillingdon Speed and Spares, Hauser Racing, G23 Engineering, BSI Transport, Race Insure, LA Racing (VP Racing Fuels), MPM Oil. Without their support none of this would be possible, and to Pro ET fans we ask you to support the companies who support your favourite sport!


Swift snippets.
20th November: Shakespeare County Raceway are currently offering sponsorship packages for the 2015 season. From trackside signage, event sponsorship and wall advertising you can create your own business branding for any kind of business or company involvement. For further information call 07415 546955 or advertising.scr@outlook.com.

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury asked us to say a big Happy 83rd Birthday for today (Thursday) to Hall of Fame member, Mr Santa Pod himself, John Bennett. It's our privilege, have a great day John.


The ultimate Ask the Expert?
19th November: Your News Editor is booked in for a one-to-one chat with Big Daddy Don Garlits this Saturday and we are inviting Eurodragster.com readers to send questions.

If there is something which you would like us to ask Big Daddy then please send an E-Mail with your question to
editor@eurodragster.com.

Annus horribilis.
19th November: Steve Williams of the UK's Paranoia Wild Bunch team is reluctant to call his account of 2014 a season review, as Alan Loten's legendary Jag-powered altered managed less than half of the planned racing schedule before it was bought to an abrupt halt:

Prior to this early end the season had been alright but had been what would be described as "character building" in polite circles. This followed on from last year when the car suddenly developed a gremlin which took a second off its performance and defied all attempts to evict it although we did eventually find that giving the engine more advance would claw back most, but not all, of the lost performance. This extra advance put the engine too close to detonation for comfort so we were keen to get to the bottom of the problem over the winter and get the engine back onto safer settings. We never had a eureka moment during the winter but found several small things that we put right and hoped that added together these were enough to have caused the problem. The car also had a couple of upgrades, one of which was a new deeper sump which contained baffling which we hoped would stop the oil pressure from going missing when Alan braked at the end of a run. Mind you, the sump was going to have to get used to travelling somewhat quicker than it was used to as its last fitment was on a tank!

A couple of weeks before the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway we were down to the last job which was to take the head off to grind in a couple of exhaust valves which a leakdown test had shown to be leaking slightly, what we weren't expecting when the head was removed was to find two damaged pistons. One was burnt around its edge, possibly because of the extra ignition advance, and the other was missing a large piece of the top ring land such that you could see the full width of the top ring while looking down the bore. This was bad, but not a disaster as we had a spare set of pistons which came with the car but the valve cutouts were different to the set in the car meaning that not only had the engine to be stripped to change the pistons but then all the clearances would have to be checked. There wasn't enough time left to complete the job so, unfortunately, we were forced to miss the Easter meeting which was not a good start to the season.

Everything was back together ready for our next meeting, the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, but on the first run, a planned checkout half pass, as Alan braked after the burnout the oil pressure started to disappear so he clicked it off. Back in the pits, we could find nothing wrong with the engine, and the oil pressure was fine on a test fire up, so we put a little more oil in and went down to try again. This time Alan decided to do a shorter burnout and coast to a stop instead of braking to see what happened to the oil pressure. This time all was well after the burnout which meant that, far from being better, our new sump was actually worse than the old one! As it was getting late, and we weren't qualified, we had decided that Alan wouldn't do the planned half pass but as long as everything felt OK he would power the whole way through. It obviously felt OK as Alan powered the whole way through and we were over the moon when the time came up as 9.39 seconds. This is only 0.03 off our best ever and, as all the settings were back to normal, proved that the gremlin had been evicted at last. There was just time for another qualifier but on this run there was a problem with the gearbox so Alan shut it down and coasted through. This turned out to be a happy accident as when we got back to the pits we found oil dripping out of the bottom of the clutch can and a quick check inside showed everything dripping in oil so that was the end of our weekend.

Back in the garage the gearbox and clutch were removed for cleaning and the back of the engine inspected to locate the oil leak. The rear crank seal was OK and the oil was actually coming out of the seal on the sump, when the sump was removed it became clear that the seal had moved during assembly so was not doing its job. A new seal was fitted, held in place with a spot of glue during assembly so it couldn't move again, then the cleaned clutch and gearbox were refitted and we were ready to go again at the Yanks Weekend at Shakey.

Our first qualifier was a 9.43 which we were quite pleased with especially when the clutch can was as dry as bone when checked for oil back in the pits. There wasn't time for another qualifier so it was straight into racing the following day and on the first run Alan was distracted by a marshal on the start line and didn't launch the car properly so it only ran a 9.60 but worse was to come on the second run when the NOS electric fuel pump refused to start. I tried the time-honoured cure, a hefty thump with my fist, but all this achieved was a skinned knuckle but Alan decided to run through anyway. The car doesn't launch properly without the NOS or run as quick but we are safe to run as there is a pressure switch in the NOS fuel line, through which the power to the gas solenoids is fed, so no pressure no gas. Unfortunately, the pump decided to do its thing at half track and the resultant kick up the backside when the NOS fired caused the car to pull a wheelie at this point which most people missed. The rain then arrived so that was that for another meeting.

A new electric pump was sourced for the NOS fuel which was of a different type so we hoped this would prevent any more failures at the next meeting which was the Shakey Super Pull. We only had one qualifier due to rain delays but ran a 9.57 on a virgin track so the car was at least being more consistent than last year. There were only two runs on Sunday due to the rain coming back but we managed to run an average of 0.058 off our dial in and finished the Wild Bunch Competition in third place, our first ever top three finish so we were well pleased and felt we had at last turned the corner. We weren't aware at the time but this was to be the high point of the year with everything going downhill from then on.

The following week, while Alan was at work and his wife was out, he had unwelcome visitors in the shape of thieves who broke in to the outbuildings, stole the quad bike, our petrol generator plus several other items while doing quite a bit of damage in the process. To add insult to injury, they then stole a small trailer to take their booty away in! None of the items were ever recovered but some months later the insurance did pay out to cover some of it, less the excesses of course. Luckily they didn't get into the car or touch its trailer so if we replaced the quad we could go racing at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakey. We did hear later from the police that, due to the wonders of modern forensic science, the thieves had been identified, arrested and are currently spending time at one of Her Majesty's establishments where we sincerely hope the fleas from a thousand camels will infest a very sensitive part of their anatomy and cause endless discomfort!

E-Bay supplied another quad which was actually an upgrade on our old one but by the time this had been collected we didn't get to Shakey until the Sunday of the Nostalgia Nats so had to dial in blind. The first run was a 9.75, a bit off but Alan thought he had accidentally double shifted the box into fifth so that explained the poor run. On the next run Alan had more problems with double-shifting, this time earlier in the run, so the time was even worse. The gearbox in Paranoia is a five-speed Liberty shifted by air rams under the control of a small button next to the steering wheel, this button is quite sensitive and if the car is moving around it is very easy to shift when you don't mean to. Some foam rubber under the button stiffened its action a bit so we went back down for the last run, this was again disappointing at 10.65. When I collected Alan I expected him to say that he had problems with the shift again but he was surprised the run was so slow as he had not had any problems and felt it was a lot quicker than that.

Back in the garage the last run was a worry as it was almost exactly the same as a gremlin run from the year before and we really did not want that back again especially as the next meeting was the following weekend. Engine checks eventually revealed that we had no compression at all on number five cylinder and a leakdown showed that the pressure was leaking into number four indicating that the head gasket had failed. It was a relief to find out that the gremlin hadn't returned but, although we had spare head gaskets, there wasn't much time to change it before the following weekend. We set to and with the head off found that the head gasket had indeed failed but that the O-ring in the top of the block was badly burned and we didn't have any spares so we had to miss the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod. This left us two weeks before our Meet of the Year, Dragstalgia at the Pod.

The engine was back together ready with a new head gasket and O-rings on the Thursday before Dragstalgia and sounded awesome on a test fire. Back in the garage some compression readings were taken so we could monitor the engine but we were horrified to discover that we still only had 40 psi on number five cylinder. Either we had done something stupid on the reassembly or there was more damage than just a head gasket. The head was again removed and more careful checking revealed the bad news that the liner on number five cylinder had started to drop down the bore so there was no way the head gasket would seal and no way were we going to Dragstalgia, as the block would have to be re-lined.

After the huge disappointment of missing Dragstalgia we had six weeks to our next meeting, the Open Sports Nationals at Shakey, and then another four weeks to our season end at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod so we were hopeful of at least getting back out for the last meeting if not the one before. There was more bad news during the stripdown when it was discovered that the spigot on the gearbox input shaft, which goes in the back of the crank to provide support, had snapped off. With the block away we started trying to get a replacement input shaft for the box and very quickly discovered that, as with all American drag race parts attached to a Jaguar engine, it was not a standard part but modified so was not available off the shelf.

During our enquiries it was suggested that it might be possible to repair the shaft we had so we stripped the gearbox to remove the input shaft to see about a repair only to find a two-inch chunk of metal floating about in the bottom of the box. This turned out to be one of the legs on the fouth gear selector fork so we were going to need to source one of those as well. Time was running out to be able to get everything repaired before the Open Sport Nationals so we reset our sights on the UK National Finals. We managed to get the shaft repaired by having a longer spigot made that was pressed into an interference hole bored in the end of the shaft but then there was a problem with the block and also getting the correct spare from Liberty so time started to go against us. In the end the block wasn't ready for collection until the week before the UK National Finals and, although the input shaft was repaired, we still hadn't got the spare selector for the box so reluctantly we had to acknowledge that our season was over after only attending four of the nine planned events. This being the case we did what any self respecting drag race team would do, we went down the pub. No we didn't really, well not that night anyway, you have to take what positives you can from the season like this, and then draw a line under it, and start planning next year.

There were some positives to be drawn from the year, of the eleven runs we managed, seven were within a couple of tenths of each other so the car did have a degree of consistency, the other fpur were slower because of problems of one sort or another. We managed our first ever Top Three placing in a Wild Bunch meeting and, even given the limited running, were only one place lower in the Wild Bunch Championship compared to last year.

So if you wondered where the car disappeared to mid-season you now know the full gory story. We will be back out next year with, hopefully, a couple of upgrades which might help the old Jag to roar a little louder, and clinging to the belief that next year can't possibly be as bad as this year... can it?


Swift snippets.
19th November: The answer to Wayne Colliver's question to brother Phil "What's in the box" turned out to be his birthday and Christmas present, a radio-controlled slingshot completely hand made from steel tubing with a motor on 30% nitro. "Phil made the heads and bugcatcher, and the engine breathes through all eight pipes" says Wayne. "It has a two-speed box and a working chute too! Phil also brought the FC on which he is working, his take on a modern Stardust Mustang. "I would like to say a big thank you to Phil and I'm sure he could be persuaded to build cars for other people. If anyone is interested then please contact me at waynecolliver@hotmail.com."

PMR take the hits.
19th November: Paul Marston says that Paul Marston Racing have been surprised at the number hits recorded by their YouTube video of the axle failure which struck the Whoopass Super Pro ET Monza during Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman at VW Action:

The axle breakage, which also featured on our friends Bangshift's web site, is unusual footage to be captured courtesy of Dave Gibbons Go-Pro but we never expected over a million hits in seven days. The most important thing is that the driver at the time, Martin Curbishley, was completely unhurt albeit a little shaken.

With all the jobs and servicing work on the Insanity Vega now finished it has left the PMR workshops and been put into winter storage. Whoopass has now been collected from Santa Pod and is to be started on at the PMR workshops next week. Firstly we need to establish exactly what collateral damage was incurred and what needs replacing. All the parts which we know that need replacing are in stock, it'll only be an issue if anything else unusual crops up. There is of course some interior tinwork which is now decidedly secondhand, but thankfully not the brand new wheeltubs which Barry Mansbridge and I installed last winter. The plan is to have the Monza back in service before Christmas so that it can be put into winter storage ready for next year.

Up to the axle failure Martin was leading the UK National Super Comp Championship points chase. I was third in Super Pro ET and won two out of three completed events in Quick 8 Heads Up at North Weald. So by most standards not a bad year indeed. Everyone at PMR is looking forward to 2015 and a brand new season.


Interview: John Whitmore.
17th November: For the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products Simon interviewed the UK's John Whitmore, another of this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and another racer who got peak performance from British motors and parts.

An electrical engineer by trade, John was inspired after a visit to Santa Pod to build a front-engined slingshot dragster powered by the four-cylinder BMC A series engine with a host of home made or modified parts, all British. After records and many event wins with the slingshot, in 1974 he built a rear-engined dragster powered by the same engine type and running times deep into the eights and ultimately carrying British Leyland sponsorship. In 1980 he débuted a new Daimler dragster in which he ran his first seven the following year.

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

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury in arranging the interview.


Joosten's Swedish export.
16th November: Robert Joosten's popular Pro Dutch Racing 1970 Camaro is on its way to the North. After five years in the Netherlands, the car which powered Robert into the fives has to make way for a new and even quicker car.

"In drag racing where even one thousandth of a second is the difference between winning or losing, you have to improve to stay ahead of the competition", says Robert. "When the team put the still perfect and up-to-date 1970 Camaro up for sale, it didn't take long before the first interested buyers wanted to know more and on 14th November Robert handed the car to its new owner, Lars Järpler of Sweden. Lars is a Top Doorslammer racer and will use the Camaro in the same series next season. The Swedish team will use a 800+ cubic inch nitrous engine which will make the Camaro a front runner in Top Doorslammer."

A few weeks ago Robert and crew member Michel took the plane to the States to look at a new car. "We know what we are looking for, but I can't say at the moment", says Robert. "I can only tell you the new car has never been used in competition and has made only six test runs so far. But in those runs the car was already faster than I have ever been with the Camaro. An American partner informed me about the car and we hope to conclude the deal as soon as possible now. We'll use the same engine as we did last year, so forget all the rumours about Top Methanol Funny Car or turbo motors."

To get a good tuning baseline for the new car, Pro Dutch Racing would like to make the first test runs in the States but are not yet sure whether they will also contest some races. What is certain is that the car will be back in Europe before the start of the FIA European Championship season. "This is good for our sponsors, partners and European drag racing", says Robert. "We are working on plans to attract more media attention for the sport, and that is also very important for drag racing in the Netherlands. We have to make people understand what drag racing is and that we have high-profile Championships."


Swift snippets.
16th November: Already having found a new car is Sweden's Adam Flamholc who has purchased a Joey Martin-built 1963 Corvette from Brandon Snider. "I think that this was the best car available, and it's a fast, proven car!" says Adam. "We will pick it up on Thanksgiving weekend and then try to get it race-ready in Pro Extreme trim for the Snowbird Nationals in Bradenton. This will be the second Corvette race car for me. A long time ago I had a Corvette C4 with a Small Block motor which we ran in the Outlaw Super Small Block class. We won the Championship with that car in 1999 or thereabouts, I hope that we can get some wins with our new 'Vette as well!"

Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Jonnie Lindberg (Top Alcohol Funny Car) and Elvira Karlsson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) who will contest today's eliminations at the NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona. Jonnie qualified #1 in Top Alcohol FC and Ulf Leanders #2 but Ulf made a first round exit yesterday as did #4 qualifier Fred Hanssen in Top Alcohol Dragster. Elvira qualified #11 in the sixes whilst Gert-Jan Laseur did not qualify on the Star Racing bike. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central buddies at www.dragracecentral.com.

Steve Dudley writes that the next slot drags of the 2014-15 season at MrD Raceway will take place at 8:00 pm this Friday, 21st November, 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!"


FIA Championships update.
14th November: Last Friday, 7th November, parties involved in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships gathered for a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. The meeting was initiated by the FIA Drag Racing Commission and included representatives from the FIA Drag Racing Commission, tracks / promoters who hosted events in the 2014 FIA Championship - Santa Pod Raceway (UK), the HockenheimRing (Germany), Alastaro Circuit (Finland) and Tierp Arena (Sweden) - as well a representative of the teams and Championship administration company Speedgroup.

"The meeting was very constructive and informative", said FIA Drag Racing Commission Vice President Lars Pettersson. We highlighted different aspects connected to the FIA Championship, such as teams facing high costs for travel and such. We also discussed the FIA Championships from the organisers' and administrators' perspectives. We all agree that external funding is necessary to secure and develop the FIA Championships, and that that need is urgent. One key question is the commercial rights, currently owned by the FIA and granted for individual events to the ASNs in the countries where the events take place. No sole entity has the right to cover the promotion and sales for the full FIA Championships. I think that all parties are being as open-minded as they can and wish to find ways to move the FIA Championships forward.

"But more funding is needed, that is a fact. A key over the coming years will be to commercialise the FIA Championships to attract major sponsorship. At the meeting we agreed on an action plan and assigned people to further investigate possible solutions. We also set a deadline for first steps by the end of November. We will see what comes out from that and what the next move will be."

Whilst there are still some outstanding issues to be resolved, the plan is to present the preliminary 2015 FIA European Drag Racing Championship calendar very soon. Following normal procedure, the calendar will be ratified by the FIA World Motorsport Council during the conference in Doha, Qatar, in the first week of December.


Mattias of Arabia.
14th November: 2014 FIA European Pro Modified Champion, Sweden's Mattias Wulcan, has entered the 2015 Arabian Drag Racing League. Stefan Boman writes:

The Series comprises five races in six weeks, all in Doha, Qatar, starting 8th January and ending 21st February. The ADRL is replacing Pro Xtreme and Pro Nitrous with NHRA-legal Pro Mod in 2015 and, as well as Mattias, top US drivers are expected to participate in the ADRL Series as well as domestic racers.


Mattias' team will build two new engines with NHRA-legal 14.5% blower overdrive and they do not plan to go back to the European standard of 20% after the race. "We wish to drive Pro Mod, compare ourselves with the US, and leave the door open for more international racing", says Mattias. "None of this would be possible without my team who are as big a part of this as I am. This is a group effort. Wulcano Racing are Pelle Eriksson, Oliver Johnsson, Michael Dunå and Torbjörn Pettersson.

"A big thank you also to our sponsors Renoveringsgruppen, TUNGTEK, Beijer Bygg, Däckvulkis, Auto-Verdi, Leanders Clutch, 76 Oljor, SP Fönster, Vargöns Mekaniska, Färgservice i Linköping, Dekaltrim, and Östa Husbesiktning."


On The Bottle in the fast lane.
14th November: Following Tuesday's right lane sponsorship announcement, Shakespeare County Raceway is pleased to confirm that on-site nitrous oxide provider On The Bottle has secured the naming rights to the left lane for 2015, writes SCR's Jerry Cookson.

"I never thought that we would be at the stage where we are now, a lane sponsor at Shakey, especially as it's a track I used to race at with my Mercury Cougar back in the day!", says owner Mark Gardner. In addition to nitrous refills and the marketing of world leading products from NOS, Wizards of NOS and Ny Trex, Mark has also been appointed a distributor of VP Racing Fuels and products offering a free trackside delivery service on a pre-order basis to racers at Shakey.

"In just four short months On The Bottle is now supporting the Supercharged Outlaws and the Bracket Gamblers series as well as support refill deals to many of the country's leading racers such as Colin Millar, Amanda Cox, Lee Gallimore and Paul Hensher. We can't wait to kick it all off again in 2015. It's going to be an exciting year!", says Mark.

On The Bottle has already pledged support in 2015 for the DubShack Racing team to become the quickest and fastest Mk 4 Golf in the UK, Outlaw Flat Four racer Bernie Newbury, and Lee Darby in his personal goal to run a seven-second pass with the DKM Construction 1953 Chevrolet custom pick up truck.

Mark would personally like to thank Jerry and Martin for their warm welcome to Shakey, the Orange Pop Team, Cooper Brothers Mat and Adam and to all the other people who have really made this possible and finally, but no means least his wife Tracy for the endless support.

On The Bottle can be found on their Facebook page, web site at www.onthebottle.co.uk, or just off Junction 8 of the M25.


A cast of thousands...
14th November: Nigel Taylor writes that the Detroit Spinner Racing Ford Prefect, originally built by Arthur Bonner in the 1970s, will be back out in 2015 mainly funded by supporters, sponsors, drivers, friends and crew. Several drivers will be competing for the best time and speed:

The Nostalgic Prefect will still keep its Pontiac Powerplant backed by its Fairbanks gearbox - the only one still in use in the UK? - but will have nitrous added as well as upgrades to the front suspension, brakes, ignition, cooling system and more, depending on funds received. The drivers for 2015 are Arthur Bonner (turns 74 years old in July), Jeff Goddard (Detroit Crew Chief), Mark Onthebottle (Nitrous man), one ex-Outlaw Anglia racer who will mark his return to the sport (secret), Graham Smith (Serck Motorsport ), Col Law (Ten-second Pop), Andy Frost (Penn Autos, fastest street car record holder for two and a half years), Michael Hawkins (black Chevy Sedan) and Dave Fulton (Green Willys Pick up).

Crew and sponsors consist of spare drivers Stuart Ashton and Kelvin Helsdown, the above-mentioned, plus Peter Borrett, Saunashop.com, Cliff Hepton, American Motor Factors, Justin Horne, Joust Performance, Graham Smith, Serck Motorsport, Chris Cotten, Leslie Waldron, Ben Waldron, Graham True, Rob Gregory, Steve Dale, Paul Dale, Stephen Lowth, Tom Mitty, Edward Ede, Kirsty Cleall, Nick Dunford, Steve Marshall, Mandy Darlison, Danny Mitty, Clacys Garage, Neil Gibbs, Sophie Taylor (was Smart), Elisha Taylor, Richard Hicks, Mackenzie Taylor, Fletcher Taylor and On The Bottle nitrous.


A league of extraordinary gentlemen.
14th November: On the weekend of the fastest, quickest, motorcycle drag race of 2014, MTC Engineering will host a gathering of the elite eight members of the official MTC 5 Second Club during the running of the MANCUP World Finals between today (Friday) and Sunday at South Georgia Motorsports Park, in Adel, Georgia. MTC Engineering has put the call out for a gathering of the greats, to attend the race. An effort is underway to bring all eight members of the official MTC 5 Second Club to the Mickey Thompson - Motec, World Finals at SGMP to meet and greet the fans. This will be the first gathering of its kind to bring the only motorcycle drag racers ever to run in the five second elapsed time zone to one race at the same time.

The event will officially welcome Ian King of Gulf Oil Dragracing to the Club. During elimination rounds at the Manufacturer's Cup Exoticycle-Roaring Toyz Spring race in Valdosta, Ian ran a 5.878 at a speed of 225.07 mph. Ian becomes the eighth and final member of the club.

Keep in mind here, from when Larry McBride ran the first official five-second elapsed time in AMA/PROSTAR sanctioned competition in 2001, to Ian King's 5.87 pass in April of 2014, it has taken over a decade to fill the eight slots afforded by the MTC 5 Second Club. This is a very elite exclusive gathering of professional Top Fuel Bike racers! The eight members of the MTC 5 Second Club are: Larry McBride (2001), Jimmy Brantley (2005), Tom Perry (2008), Korry Hogan (2008), Geoff Pollard (2009), Chris Hand (2013), Peter Svensson (2013), and Ian King (2014).

Two of the eight will actually be in competition at this event, Larry McBride and Chris Hand. It's interesting to note that both of these truly extraordinary racers have been racing in Top Fuel Motorcycle longer than any of their counterparts! Both of these racers began their nitromethane careers during the 1970s era of motorcycle drag racing.

There will be a meet and greet combined with an autograph signing session with the MTC 5 Second Club members on Saturday and Sunday at a time to be announced. A special commemorative poster with all eight racers will be available for this one time only event. On Sunday before the start of the race, the formal induction of Ian King into the MTC 5 Second Club will take place prior to the start of eliminations. While Korry Hogan will be in attendance with the John Alwine racing team, their new bike is not quite ready to enter competition. However, the bike will be on display at the MTC Engineering both located on the Manufacturers' Midway.

For more information visit www.mancup.info.


Record won with WON.
14th November: It's been a long time coming but Eurodragster.com sponsor Wizard of NOS have an American car customer who has produced an outstanding official world record in the X275 class using a Wizard of NOS Killer Scorpion plate. Trevor Langfield writes about the feat in Huntsville:

We've been selling our advanced nitrous technology to a growing number of American customers for a good number of years now. They have all chosen Wizard of NOS over dozens of alternative US brands, despite the much higher price they have to pay. This is the ultimate Coals to Newcastle and David and Goliath stories merged in to one as Wizard of NOS is a micro company in a foreign land, pitted against the might of numerous huge US companies, in the very home of nitrous oxide. Yet we have killed all the competition.

The American team of Jack Vanover, assisted by Kevin Neal and driver Greg Smith, with the aid of a Wizard of NOS Killer Scorpion plate, are now record holders of the quickest nitrous car in the class. This also means that:
  1. Not only is it the quickest plate car in the class (and probably ever in the history of drag racing) but it's also quicker than all the multi-solenoid, multi-stage direct port kitted cars in the class as well;
  2. On the day it was quicker than everything save one turbo car and one blown car;
  3. All this using just one solenoid and a plate.
The quickest turbo car in the class was only approximately 0.05 seconds quicker and that car had been running the same times on each run, whereas Jack's car improved each run, dropping from 4.56 to 4.53 to 4.51, so a couple more runs and the outcome could have been reversed. Of further interest was the car's impressive sixty foot time of 1.04 seconds, which was clocked with the front wheels hung in the air.

You can find a report of interest at www.racingconverters.com/crazy-fall-air-drops-radial-records as well as posts on Kevin Neal's Facebook page. You can find a video of the record-breaking run at www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-lfFn8JxdU.

Jack has only run the new combination at a couple of races since buying it earlier this year, so he's very happy to have such great results so early in the game. He's also totally confident, that even with the limitation of the single trashcan solenoid there is a 4.4 run in it, as he and Kevin Neal have only just got started, on getting the car down the track and haven't even thought about how to get the best from it yet.

Thankfully, Jack is not prepared to let the trashcan solenoid limit the 1,500 HP capability of the Killer Scorpion plate for much longer, as he's just purchased and will be fitting our latest Mega-Noid and will be dumping the trashcan as soon as possible. This should mean quicker than 4.4 should be on the cards (as long as he can use all that power), which should be possible as the new Mega-Noid will pulse down to as low as 10%.

For anyone who is interested you can find information on the plate which Jack Vanover's car is using, which is an uprated and improved version of the Spider plate concept and from which a number of our American customers are getting great results, at www.noswizard.com/the-killer-scorpion-dry-nitrous-plate.html.


Winter reading from WASP.
14th November: With the dark nights upon us what better time than now to stock up on your winter reading material? Wisbech American Street and Performance Limited have just released a range of colour catalogues which will keep you occupied for hours planning that next upgrade, restoration or 'present' for the car/truck in your life.

Three catalogues are available:
  • Drag Racing Parts and Accessories: Boasting 560 colour pages crammed solid with over 350 of the top manufacturers across the USA, available for £5 including P+P
  • Hot Rod and Early Muscle: 430 pages of every part you'd ever want for your hot rod, muscle car or pick up truck, available for £5 including P+P
  • Late Model Muscle: 160 pages dedicated to performance parts for 1995 to 2014 Camaros, Mustangs, Trans Ams, Challengers, Chargers and 300Cs, available for £3 including P+P
WASP is able to provide everything within the catalogues (and much more) , and with weekly air freight from the USA parts can be at your doorstep within seven days. They will also refund the price of your catalogue with your first order over £50.

You can order your copy by calling WASP on 01354 610333, E-Mail w-a-s-p@btconnect.com or via the E-Bay shop at www.waspspeedshop.com.


Web site updates.
14th November: Our good buddy, bike photo-journalist Steve Moxley's report on the FIM European Championship Finals is now showing on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com. You can check out Steve's report by scrolling down a short way on the Home Page.

Notice to FIA racers.
12th November: Thanks to Micke Gullqvist for passing us details of a rule change for all FIA classes:

The 2014 FIA rule book stated that an Event Data Recorder would be mandatory in 2015. After discussions within the Rules Advisory Group and the FIA Drag Racing Commission, this requirement has been reconsidered and removed from the 2015 rules.


Gabby seeks thesis help.
12th November: Eire's own Top Fuel Dragster racer Gabrielle McDonald is seeking volunteers to take part in a study for her thesis as she continues her final year at university studying Psychology. Both racers and non-racers are invited to participate.

"I'm looking for around a hundred people", says Gabby. "Fifty racers, it doesn't matter what you drive or ride. I also need fifty people who have never raced - crew members are eligible so long as they have not raced.

"Your input will consist of two Reaction Time tasks and two questionnaires. I'm examining years of experience, confidence and, of course, gender. I preferably need an equal number of men and women to take part. You can take part if you are under eighteen so long as you get parental consent. I will also need to be able to Skype you, so having Skype or setting up an account would be required."

If you would like to help Gabby then please E-Mail her at
gabrielle7793@gmail.com or contact her via her Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
12th November: The Netherlands' Gert Jan Laseur has joined the European contingent at this weekend's NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona, riding a Pro Stock Motorcycle for Star Racing. Elvira Karlsson (PSM), Fred Hanssen (Top Alcohol Dragster), and Ulf Leanders and Jonnie Lindberg (Top Alcohol FC) are also representing Europe but unfortunately Mike Manners' name has dropped off the TAD entry list. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Thursday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central buddies at www.dragracecentral.com.

Nicole the Mendip Hillbilly.
11th November: Following UK Pro ET racer Nicole Parker's successful outing at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School, dad John says that a deal has been struck with Zane and Anne Llewellyn for Nicole to run Zane's dragster in Super Comp in 2015:

It's been a while since Zane's Big Block Ford rail last ran. It has been sitting in the Zannetec workshop and this deal is just the incentive Zane needed to get stuck into it. As they are fellow Mendip Hillbillies, living in the next valley along from us, it's an arrangement which makes a lot of sense.

We know it's a good car which can and has run the numbers, and Nicole settled in really quickly at Hawley's. Time constraints dictate that Nicole will have to focus on the UK FIA rounds and the NitrOlympX, but after some testing around Easter time we plan to be a threat in the Super Comp Championship next season.


A passage for Jndia.
11th November: Also doing a bang-up job at racing school, in this case courtesy of Doug Foley's Purespeed School, were Jndia Erbacher, daughter of Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor
Urs Erbacher, and Team Erbacher crew member Marc Linder.

"Jndia and Marc made several runs in Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday and got their Super Comp licences on Tuesday evening", says Urs. "Some of their heroes were watching.


"On Tuesday evening we checked how Jndia fits in Doug Foley's A/Fuel school car. Jndia will go for her A/Fuel licence at Doug's school in early 2015. This car is a 2012 Tony Schumacher Top Fuel car with an A/Fuel nitro engine; the car works exactly same way as my Murf McKinney Top Fueller which will help Jndia to drive my Top Fueller.


"After this Jndia will go for her Top Fuel licence at Santa Pod early in 2015 and then she will race with me at Hockenheim."

You can read a German-language press release (PDF format) by clicking here.


Serck in the fast lane.
11th November: Shakespeare County Raceway are pleased to announce that Serck Motorsport will be a new lane sponsor for the 2015 season. SCR's Jerry Cookson writes:

Serck Motorsport has been a dedicated and committed brand in the world of motorsports providing leading-edge applications when required. Providing a wide range of cooling systems, oil coolers, fuel and header tanks Serck can also offer a bespoke service to customers from the design stages through to the finished product with complete technical back-up and support. Leading Formula 1 and Indy Car manufactures have received top-class race-winning service which has lead to support in British club motorsport and, for the last few seasons, drag racing. But it's not just in the car racing world that Serck gets involved as the company is also currently enjoying a healthy association with the motorcycle racing industry.

From humble beginnings with Ian Hook's '34 Ford Coupe in Street Eliminator, Serck Motorsport is proud to be associated with a number of Sportsman drag racers in the UK. Currently benefiting from this service are Tony North and his amazing Triumph Herald, Pro ET's Team Bonkers Chevy Nova in the hands of Del Sanderson, and the company's own rolling test bed, Graham Smith's '57 Chevy 210 affectionately known as Snow White.

"As manufactures and suppliers we pride ourselves on working closely with our customers to ensure that the products and services we provide are tailor-made to their specific requirements", says Racing Manager Graham Smith.  "We have worked on many projects together with our customers and also work with well known companies in drag racing over the years such as Insane Creations, Hauser Race Cars, Andy Robinson Race Cars and Webster Race Engineering. I am delighted that Serck Motorsport will be supporting Shakespeare County Raceway in the new 2015 season and look forward to another exciting year ahead."

Serck Motorsport can also offer a comprehensive product service from Sunoco Race Fuels and Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oils through to Wizard of NOS nitrous kits and Kleers Premium Car Care Products. So why not check out the Serck Motorsport web site at www.serckservicesmotorsport.co.uk and their Facebook page.


Swift snippets.
11th November: Congratulations to François Gissy who went over 300 km over about 1000 feet on his Rocket Bicycle at France's Paul Ricard race track last Friday. "We went from 0 to 333 kmh (207 mph) in 4.8 seconds", says François. "The quarter mile ET was approximately 6.8 seconds but that is not the purpose of the bicycle". You can check out a YouTube video by clicking here and a professional TV crew's footage by clicking here.

Alex Stringer writes that, with Christmas now starting to appear over the horizon, Santa Pod Raceway have started a Pod Presents scheme whereby a different item from the on-line shop will be discounted each day. "Pod Presents is running and will continue until 9th December so make sure you check the web site regularly to keep up to date with all the latest offers", says Alex. "We have also just taken delivery of our new loungewear range to keep you warm on these cold winter nights! Take a look at www.santapodshop.com to see all that we have to offer."

We would like to say a big Happy 22nd Birthday with hugs for today (Tuesday) to Tog's niece Jennipher Rogers Knight. Have a lovely day Jenn.


Interview: Russ Carpenter.
10th November: For the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products Simon interviewed the UK's Russ Carpenter, one of this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and a man who famously did things with a 2.5-litre Daimler V8 which Daimler said were not possible.

Russ and Tony Anderson's rear-engined dragster made its début in March 1972 and featured many engineering innovations over the years. Russ took over the driving in 1975 and won many Championships and events in Senior Dragster. As the Glacier Grenade, Russ' dragster was the first British-engined car, and the first car anywhere in the world with a motor of less than five litres, to make a quarter mile pass in less than eight seconds, eventually running a best of 7.2 at 180 mph. The car is still running now.

In a fascinating interview Russ details his racing history, his exploits in the UK and Europe including dealing with bleating opponents, the fine details of making a Daimler V8 run sevens, and his continued involvement with Daimler motors.

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

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury in arranging the interview.


2015 Estonian calendar.
10th November: Many thanks to our good buddy Kristjan Veedler of the Estonian Drag Racing Association for forwarding us the Estonian racing calendar for 2015:

2nd-3rd May: EDRA Nationals, Kiltsi Airfield, Haapsalu. Estonian Championship round 1, Estonian Drag Racing Cup round 1, Estonian Junior Series round 1, Latvian Drag Racing Championship round 1). Details at www.edra.ee.

20th June: EDRA Summer Race, location TBA. Estonian Championship round 2, Estonian Drag Racing Cup round 2, Estonian Junior Series round 2. Details at www.edra.ee.

25th July: Speedest Nightrace, Pärnu Airfield. Estonian Championship round 3, Estonian Drag Racing Cup round 3, Estonian Junior Series round 3. Details at www.speedest.ee.

22nd August: EDRA Finals, Kiltsi Airfield, Haapsalu. Estonian Championship round 4, Estonian Drag Racing Cup round 4, Estonian Junior Series round 4. Details at www.edra.ee.


Swift snippets.
10th November: Congratulations to Sweden's Ulf and Jörgen Leanders who went one better in Las Vegas this weekend by qualifying #1 and taking the win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional event. It was a repeat of last week's final against Steve Harker only with a win for Ulf this time around 5.675/258.12 to Steve's 5.835/254.38. Numbers and a picture can be found at www.dragracecentral.com.

Flamholc Racing moves on.
9th November: Sweden's Adam Flamholc says after competing in Pro Mod and other classes that are close to legal Pro Mod since 2008, he feels that it is time to take the next step in door car racing:

Last year the team competed in US with a 'legal' Pro Mod car, and in Europe with a Pro Extreme car. The whole crew really liked the Pro Extreme car, and we ended up winning the Championship in Sweden.

I feel that it would give us more, and that it makes more sense, to have two cars with similar powerplants, close to same gear ratios and so on. So in 2015 we will have two Pro Extreme cars! Keeping the Viper here in Europe, and getting another one in US. I'm looking at a couple of cars, and I hope and think we will have something decided within the next couple of days.

The plan is to attend as many PDRA races as we can in US next season, and of course as many local races in Florida as we can.

None of this would have been possible without my sponsors! Please support them:

Amalie Oil
Hurst Boiler & Welding
Cleanpipe
5 Days Plantation Shutters & Blinds
Malmo Motor Renovating
Performance Plus
JA IT Hjalp


Stutz gains respect.
7th November: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer Noah Stutz put in an extraordinary performance at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. In front of sold-out bleachers Noah instantly became the favorite of the press and spectators.

In the first qualifier Noah set an incredible time of 3.970/298.14 in a Top Fuel Dragster campaigned by American team Lagana Racing and became only the eighth ever european to go below four seconds. In the second run Noah got to the finish line first but couldn't improve his time. In the third run he was up against Championship-leading legend Tony Schumacher. Despite Noah's better reaction time Tony got there first. In the fourth run the young Swiss racer was able to clinch not just a Personal Best with an astonishing 3.876 / 315.19, but also the second quickest time ever recorded by a European over one thousand feet.

Nineteen-year-old Noah didn't qualify in the top sixteen, one of the quickest fields ever in the history of NHRA, but he gained great respect from the Americans with his performance. Noah's four runs were:
  • 3.970 / 298.14 (opponent: Kebin Kinsley)
  • 4.012 / 252.28 (opponent: Bob Vandergriff)
  • 3.924 / 278.86 (opponent: Tony Schumacher)
  • 3.876 / 315.19 (opponent: Kebin Kinsley)
"The race here in Las Vegas was incredible", said Noah. "I never would have imagined anything like this and suddenly it all went so fast. So much happened this weekend. First I broke the four-second mark, then I lapped another incredible 3.876 setting the second quickest lap recorded by a European. I'd like to thank everybody who made this possible and of course I'd like to thank Lagana Racing."


Swift snippets.
7th November: Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Ulf Leanders and Jonnie Lindberg, and Frøya's Fred Hanssen who are contesting Top Alcohol FC and Top Alcohol Dragster respectively at this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional event in Las Vegas. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central buddies at www.dragracecentral.com.

Jamie Reeves of Eurodragster.com sponsor Topspeed Automotive says that they have just received a container load of goodies and new items ready for the winter rebuilds as well as new novelty items which are ideal for Christmas presents. You can take a look at the E-Bay shop at stores.ebay.co.uk/Topspeed-Automotive-Ltd or via the web shop at www.topspeedautomotive.co.uk. "If you can't see what you're looking for then give us a call for the most competitive prices", says Jamie. "We have another container leaving in about four weeks' time, so if anyone needs anything bulky bringing in such as tyres panels etc then I'm sure we can squeeze in a few goodies around our two new cars... errr, was I supposed to mention that just yet?"

A very Happy Birthday to Eurodragster.com News Editor, Race Reporter and Photographer Tog. Have a great day buddy, and many happy returns from Kirstie, Julian and Simon.


Champion seeks crew.
7th November: 2014 UK National Super Comp Champion Paul Hudson is seeking crew for his 2015 campaign.

"My excellent crew of the last two seasons have decided to move to pastures new so a big Thank You to them for getting me the Super Comp Championship this year", says Paul, "I wish them all the best for the future.

"However, this means that I'm crewless for the 2015 season so I would like to ask if there is anyone out there who would like to crew for me.The pay structure is very simple (i.e. nothing) but there up to three entry tickets and a vehicle pit pass will be available.No mechanical knowledge is necessary but would be an advantage. You must also be willing to assist on any work needed on the car and be prepared for some early starts and late finishes.

"If you are interested then please send an E-Mail to paulhudson130@btinternet.com. I will reply to all E-Mails received but please note that it may take a few days due to work commitments."


Web site updates.
7th November: Our good buddy, bike photo-journalist Steve Moxley's report on the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend is now showing on the ACU's web site. You can check out Steve's report at www.acu.org.uk.

Holmberg looking to 2015.
5th November: Sweden's Swecomposite Racing Pro Stock Bike team, dubbed "The prudent team" by Track Announcer Pär Willén, are looking forward to a successful 2015 after rider Kenneth Holmberg finished fifth in this year's FIM European PSB Championship.

Kenneth previously won the Scandinavian Pro Twin Bike Championship and held a number of Swedish records before moving to Pro Stock Bike in 2013. At the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway he set no less than three Personal Bests and made the semi-finals. "We has hard competition from my friends and competitors this season, especially the outstanding Fredrik Fredlund, Gert-Jan Laseur and Karl-Heinz Weikum", says Kenneth. "We have learned a lot in the last two years and tried harder each time. We are looking forward to next season."

A few new sponsors have already signed up including, of course, Kenneth's company Swecomposite which fabricates a lot of racing parts. Kenneth will also have the continued support of former PSB racer Gabriella Nikolovska and experienced mechanic Kent Carlsson.


Swift snippets.
5th November: Further to Sunday's snippet, ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences has withdrawn from this weekend's NHRA Divisional race in Las Vegas as his back injury is still bothersome. Mike says that he will decide on Friday about his participation in the NHRA Finals at Pomona, and that he has his fingers crossed. So do we, get well soon Mike.

Steve French and Dave Branch are building a drag bike to facilitate development and reliability testing of their Land Speed Racer's motor. "We hope to be out testing early next year whenever it's dry enough", says Steve. "We will attend only RWYBs as entries, licences etc add unnecessary cost. At present the motor is a blown methanol 750 cc pushrod Triumph twin with billet barrels, head, block, rods and crank. Boost around 30+ driving through a billet-cased Suzuki GSX1100 gearbox with slider clutch. If the testing goes well on methanol we will test with 50%-60% nitro". You can find out more at www.saltbike775.co.uk or on the project's Facebook page.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and former Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Sharkman. Have a great day buddy.


A Hall of Fame birthday.
5th November: November is becoming a month rich in reflections on the history of UK drag racing. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame's Gala evening approaches, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 British International Drag Festival, with Don Garlits joining our own Gerry Belton, Russ Carpenter, Dennis Norman and John Whitmore as this year's Hall of Fame inductees. Meanwhile, another significant figure in the sport's development celebrates a milestone birthday. Robin Jackson writes:

Simple arithmetic says that Roy Phelps would have been eighteen years old when he push-started the Mooneyes dragster at Silverstone in 1963, for the former owner of Santa Pod Raceway turns seventy today (Wednesday) - Guy Fawkes Night, which could hardly be more appropriate for a man so closely associated with the world's most explosive motorsport. Roy was also pictured lending a hand to American stars such as Tony Nancy at the DragFest the following year, but his involvement in the sport was secured in 1966 when he joined his father, Bob Phelps, his cousin, John Bennett, John's business partner Ted Peddle and the land owner, Ernie Braddock, to launch Europe's first permanent drag strip, Santa Pod Raceway. After cousin John and the others and, later, father Bob had retired from the scene, Roy remained in sole charge of Santa Pod until 1990.

In that time, Santa Pod produced a famous stable of race and exhibition cars which Roy fielded, tuned and sometimes drove, in particular piloting Britain's first wheelstander, the Wheelie Stingray. The period was also notable for the roll-call of drag racing stars brought over from the USA to compete in front of British audiences. Don Schumacher, Raymond Beadle, Gene Snow, Don Prudhomme, Tom Hoover, Al Segrini, Frank Hawley and Darrell Gwynn were just some of the NHRA giants who graced the Santa Pod strip throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In recognition of their achievements, the Phelps family were numbered among the Hall of Fame's original group of inductees after its foundation in 2006.

Easter 1976 gave Santa Pod the most memorable weekend in its history when Don Garlits came to race, a visit he repeated to triumphant effect the following year. Appropriately, when Don is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Gala on 22nd November, it will be Roy Phelps who presents him the membership trophy.

Although Roy sold Santa Pod in 1990, he has slipped back into the scene in recent years, involved with Lawrie Gatehouse's Chaos Fuel Altered and with his son Jason Phelps' Team Rock nitro Funny Car, along with the revived family firm, FGR Motorsport, which Jason now operates. At 2013's Hall of Fame induction dinner, current Santa Pod owner Keith Bartlett awarded Roy the rare accolade of a Santa Pod Golden Key, granting lifetime access to the venue Roy himself once owned.


Top Fuel Manual winners.
3rd November: Congratulations to the winners of our give-away of five copies of Dan Welberry's Top Fuel Dragster Owner's Manual, recently released by Haynes Publishing:
  • David O'Callaghan, St Pauls, USA
  • Alice Fairhead, Bungay, UK
  • Jan Hernebro, Tyreso, Sweden
  • Ella Lameir, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
  • Henrik Lund, Frederikshavn, Denmark
The winners' details have been passed on to Haynes Publishing. Thanks to everyone who entered; we could have given away hundreds of copies. Thanks also to Dan Welberry and to those fine people at Haynes Publishing for putting up the prizes.


92nd mission accomplished.
3rd November: Phil Pratt and Sue Morris of the UK's Satan's Lady 9.50 Bike team can sum up 2014 in the phrase "Wow, what a year!". Sue writes:

When we unveiled Satan's Lady at the end of January, we could never have imagined what the season would have in store for us. We'd kept the respray under our hats with only a handful of people, who had helped us with research etc, in the know, so when she appeared on Eurodragster.com, our inboxes and Facebook pages went into meltdown with comments, and that hasn't stopped since!

There have been so many highlights for us during 2014, it's hard to pick just two or three. The first would have to be Springspeed Nationals and our mystery benefactor who, on hearing that we couldn't afford to compete, sponsored us for that meeting, and we repaid them by going on to win the event!

Then there was Dragstalgia - the most emotional and meaningful event for us. Family members of some of the service personnel who had served with the 92nd at Station 109, now Santa Pod, had made the trip over from the USA to see where their fathers were based, and we were thrilled to be invited to have Satan's Lady on display for them. It was unbelievably emotional to meet, chat with, and hear the most amazing stories of their fathers' times at Podington. We wanted to honour those who served at Station 109 but couldn't have imagined that their families would take us to their hearts the way they have. We have been truly humbled by the messages, and friendship, given to us by members of the 92nd USAAF-USAF Memorial Association. Twice during 2014 Satan's Lady has featured in the newsletter which goes out to veterans and their families, and we couldn't be more proud.

Our season closed with the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, which we approached in fourth place in the UK National and third in the SPRC Championships. We knew that it would be impossible to win the National title as work commitments prevented us running at two of the three extra rounds which had been added to the Shakespeare County Raceway calendar, which would mean that we wouldn't gain the 200 bonus points. However the SPRC Championship was still there, but the points were so close that it could essentially be won by any of the top six. In nailbiting end of season stuff, we knew that all Phil had to do was qualify top and win the event to take the 2014 SPRC Championship. No pressure there then! We didn't dare think about what might be then, in Q4, a 9.502 lit up on board - there was his top qualifier spot. A win in the semi-final against Steve Ashby guaranteed us runner-up in the Championship, now all we had to do was to get around Rick Sawatski. In a great final round the win light came on in Phil's lane, his 9.570 to Rick's 9.578 wrapped up our 2014 season in a way we could never have dreamed of. Oh and what about the National Championship? Well, despite having to miss those two rounds (and those two hundred bonus points) we still ended up in third spot, just sixty points short of runner-up, and we're pretty chuffed with that!

Of course we have to say a few Thank Yous. Firstly, and most importantly, to David John Earl for his phenomenal paint work - if you haven't seen Satan's Lady up close then you might not realise that she is not a vinyl wrap, as some have thought, but airbrushed with hand-painted artwork complete with true-to-the-era brush strokes. We'd also like to say a big thank you to everyone for the fantastic messages of support that we have been sent this year, and also for the beautiful photos of Satan's Lady which we have received. Also to everyone who has paid us a visit in the pits, talked to us, picked up any of the leaflets, badges, posters and wristbands we've been giving away to keep the memory of the 92nd Bombardment Group alive, and also to those who have brought us some wonderful gifts relating to the 92nd.

At the start of the season, we were surprised to discover how many people had no idea how important a place Santa Pod was back in WWII. We know that we have inspired people to delve deeper and find out more so we have done what we set out to do, and will continue to do.

As for Phil and Satan's Lady taking the SPRC Championship on the very runway from which the 92nd flew their mighty B-17s, that was just the icing on the cake.


Swift snippets.
3rd November: Congratulations to Sweden's Ulf and Jörgen Leanders who took runner-up in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the weekend's NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Ulf qualified #2 at 5.551/263.67 and only lost the final round on Reaction Time after he and winner Steve Harker pulled identical 5.548 ETs. A great advertisement for the Leanders clutch, well done guys.

More Insanity in 2015.
3rd November: Paul Marston says that the Paul Marston Racing team are already hard at it in preparation for the 2015 season, starting with the ex-Dave Warne Mean as Hell Pro Modified, now known as Insanity:

Either name suits the Chevy Vega pick-up well. Being comparable to European size cars when they débuted in the 1970s Vegas were very successful in every class they entered be it Pro Stock, Pro Modified and Funny Car, not to mention every Sportsman class. Even today Vegas are still a dominant force in Sportsman and big money bracket racing due to their compact size and the skill of their drivers.

Our little Vega has only been used for teaching with the Paul Marston Drag Race Driving School over the past two seasons, for which it has given excellent service. It currently runs a 454 ci Big Block Chevy with a BLP Alcohol Dominator carburettor and is well capable of running high nines which is perfect from a teaching perspective. The BLP carburettor has been faultless, and the use of alcohol enables us to get a lot more seat time with the driver during training due to its cooler running properties.

Insanity has now been in the PMR workshops for a month and has come out very nicely. No major problems, just a thorough servicing and replacement of the usual consumables such as valve springs, filters and fluids. The fact that it is an ex-Pro Modified means that it is built for ease of use and servicing. Since in our possession it has received a lot of new parts and pieces to bring it up to date including brand new Weld Racing wheels front and back, brand new Aerospace brakes and calipers, Leda front struts, custom fabricated and coated exhaust manifolds, aluminium Kirkey seats, upgraded Big Block Chevy power, BLP Alcohol fuel system, new tyres, the list goes on and on. In 2015 the Vega should be used more extensively, and not just as a School car, so keep an eye out for this infamous drag racer coming to a drag strip near you.


Bike Weekend JDB review.
3rd November: Many thanks to Lizz McCarthy for forwarding us the Junior Drag Bike racers' accounts of their weekends at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway:

JBP 2 Jasmine Cordelle: Extreme Performance Bike Weekend was another up and down meeting. We arrived on Friday got set up, and went to scrutineering. We had problems with the back brake which dad sorted Friday night. Saturday, woke up to rain oh joy! Finally managed to get out at around 2 o'clock we dialled in 9.50 unfortunately we didn't get to the end of the track due to an electrical problem which we think we fixed by next qualifier. In the second qualifier we dialled in a 9.50 again had a massive wheelspin off the line which led it to the middle of the track, managed to get it under control and ran a 10.24. In the third qualifier I bounced back, did a better burnout, dialled in 9.50. A little wheelspin but ran a 9.53. Last qualifier was in the dark! Dialled 9.50 again ran a 9.63 spun a bit off the line again. At the end of the qualifying I was third qualifier.

Sunday, race day! We had one more qualifier in the morning so I dialled in 9.50 and ran 9.7. There was very strong head wind all weekend. First round I had Charlotte Hales. I dialled in 9.50 and ran 9.57. I backed off just in time and took the win well done to Charlotte it was a good race! Second round I had Jordan Kenway. I dialled in 9.50 and ran 9.67! I passed him at half track and then backed off as there was no one in sight. In the semi-finals I had to have Mr Louis Davis! I dialled in 9.50 we were side by side all the way and then sadly I didn't back off enough and ran 9.43 so Louis took the win well done!

I would like to say a big well done to Louis for winning the National and SPRC Championship and to Blade Dummer for winning the APIRA Championship. You have done great for your first year Blade!

Thank you to Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway and to my awesome crew / family the Hysteria Racing Team, plus the JDB sponsors and supporters this year: Tim Beckwith of Beckwith Motorsports USA, Brandi and the team at dragbike.com, Gary at Lightning Automotive, and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Lastly I would like to thank Lizz McCarthy for the hard work she puts in, checking and publishing all our race reports, taking photos and keeping the Junior Drag Bike page up to date for us. See you all next year hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year!

JBM 3 Louis Davies: Saturday Q1: In qualifying it was hard to get the dial-in right due to the strong headwind. With some debate I dialled in a 9.45 and then with still a serious head wind I ran a 9.926 at 64.31 mph which was far off but still got me second due to the difficulty of getting the dial-in right. Q2: After a very slow first run I raised the dial in to a 9.65 still with a strong headwind, I broke out with a 9.60 and sadly after that run I dropped to number five qualifier. Q3: The headwind seemed to have dropped a bit so I tried lowering the dial-in to a 9.37 but then going way too slow and running 9.69 at 66.67 mph with my quickest reaction time of the weekend of 0.05 but still staying fifth. Q4: This time we were running in the dark and the headwind had died down very slightly so with a 9.45 dial-in I ran a 9.57 at 68.03 mph with a 0.07 reaction which was a bit better and put me in fourth. Q5: A new day and sadly the wind was still very strong so I dialled in a 9.70 and then ran a 9.72 at 67.27 mph with a reaction 0.09 which qualified me second.

E1: I was against my old race rival Jake Charman and after being close to the dial in in the final qualifier I decided to dial in a 9.70 and then ran a 9.725 at 65.93. I won so I had a bye run to win the 2014 JDB Championship in the next round. E2: Now with a bye run I could keep the bike full throttle all the way to determine the lowest possible dial-in for the semi so I wheeled up to the line and opened the throttle and dropped the clutch, as soon as I took the green I was the Junior Drag Bike Champion of 2014! Into the semi's and I was against Jasmine so dialled in a 9.70. This was going to be a good race as we are always close, I won with Jas breaking out. I ran a 9.73 at 65.85 mph and I was in the final against Blade. In the final I dialled in a 9.70 and rolled up to the line and forgot that I was waiting for five seconds on the line so opened the throttle straight away having to quickly shut off and go back on the power, I pulled a rubbish 0.3 reaction and chased Blade to the end, I got there but Blade beat me by 0.02 of a second, well done to Blade for a great race and the win.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all my friends, family and fellow racers for making it an amazing weekend and a great first year on my new bike built by Grandad. A big thank you to Rene van den Berg for sponsorship this year, also a big thank you to Lightning Automotive and Beckwith Motorsports for sponsoring the Junior Bikes this year, and the BDRHoF. Thank you for a great year of racing I hope everybody has a great Christmas. We are going to spend the winter making my bike go faster and we looking forward to some great racing with everyone next year.

JBP4 Jordan Kenway: We arrived at Santa Pod on Friday with high hopes for another good event. We signed on and scrutineered. Saturday yet again brought rain but luckily it stopped and the Santa Pod crew did a great job getting it ready to race on. Q1 we dialled in a 9.00 and ran a 9.30 putting me number one for the time being. Q2 we dialled in a 9.00 and ran a 9.28 dropping me to second as Stacey Reed went number one. Q3 we decided to bring up the dial in so we dialed in a 9.20 and we ran a 9.2280 putting me back into the number one spot. Q4, this was racing in the dark, we kept the 9.20 dial in and ran a 9.25. I tell you wha,t racing in the dark was amazing, just wish we could do it more! Sunday morning was a bright one for a change. We had one last qualifier and this is where it started to go wrong. Dialled in a 9.20 and ran a 9.30.

E1 I had a bye so we dialled in a 9.20 and ran a 9.41 showing that we had problems. E2 I had Jasmine, I dialed in a 9.40 it launched as well as ever but unfortunately because the base gasket was blowing we were down about 10mph on power therefore Jasmine got the win. However I did have the fastest speed of 72 mph and the fastest ET of 9.22 over the weekend.

Had such an amazing year a few highs but quite a lot of lows, new parts are now ordered for the bike so we can rebuild it. Well done Louis for winning the Championship again.

Finally a massive thanks to all of Warpspeed Racing for their help over the year. See you all next year after the long winter break.

JBM5 Liam Holgate: We didn't get to Santa Pod early enough to get scrutineered because the traffic was really bad so we had to wait until the morning. We passed scrutineering no problem. In Q1 there was a big head wind so we were unsure what ET to set, so we set it at 9.50. When I set off the bike wheel spun all the way in first gear no traction and set a 10.20/63.76 good enough for number three qualifier. Q2 we let some more air out of the back tyre to get some grip set my ET to 9.7 and spun the wheel again but managed to run a 10.04/64.72 still number three qualifier. Q3 I was still struggling for grip we dropped the rear tyre to 8 psi, set my ET to 9.8 still spinning the wheel and set a time of 10.08/64.43. Q4 set my ET to 10.00 still spinning the rear wheel and ran a 9.95/64.39 need to practice burnouts for next year to get more traction and get dad to set up the lock up clutch. Q5 I set my ET to 9.90, I think we were getting somewhere now I staged and launched still spinning the rear wheel, I shifted to second and accelerated but then the bike shifted back down to first, over-revved and spluttered to a halt. We got it back to the pits and dad checked it out he said I had bent the exhaust valves again so that was the end of racing for me for the weekend.

I'll be back next year can't wait see you all then.

JMB6 Jake Charman: Dad went ahead to the track to set up while Lizz waited to fetch me from the railway station. We got to the track too late to get scrutineered, so got up early the next morning, and all went OK. This was really a test and tune weekend for me, as the new bike was only finished mid-season, so I am still learning to get to grips with it. Q1 launched off the line, and no shift light so guessed all the way! Got back to the pits to find that "someone" hadn't secured the battery so it disconnected. Dialled in a 10.85 and ran a 12.48! Hoping for better luck next time! Q2 I moved up a place, and was now in number four spot. We had some clutch issues, which were making the bike bog at about sixty feet, and run out of legs. We thought we may have got them sorted, the next run would tell. Q3 I'm not too sure what happened, but I had a momentary lapse of reason and forgot to change gear, even though the shift light was working (like Dad and Lizz said, it's been done before by better!). This bumped me down to last place, but at last we have sorted it, and the clutch is working. This is only the second meeting with the new bike, I've done minimal testing, but it's heading in the right direction... I'm having fun, and that is all that matters. Q4 racing in the dark! I love it, Dad does too, and Lizz hates it! The bike was launching off the line well now, but losing it a bit at the sixty feet. Being 6' 2" riding an un-tuned 125 cc isn't going to help! I'll keep plugging away.

In the first round of eliminations I had Louis. He is a good racer, but we always have good races. He won the round, well done to him, and well done on winning the Championship. And that was the end of that. I was however very surprised to be awarded the Beckwith Motorsports Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship, so thank you!

The bike will be stripped down over winter, new parts, and taken over to Kennedy Motorsport for a tune-up. I may stop growing and be able to do the bike more justice!

Thank you as always for the support (and finance!) from Dad and Lizz, Dave Branch for such a cool bike, the tracks and crew, photographers, and our sponsors BDRHoF, Lightning Automotive, Beckwith Motorsports, and Brandi at Dragbike.com. Thanks to Eurodragster.com and King Racing for keeping us all updated (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).

See you all in 2015.

JBP7 Alfie Udall: This meeting was disappointing one. Once again I had problems with my bike. I ended up getting one run out of the whole weekend. I ran 24 seconds. I would just like to say a big thank you too every person who has helped me in this year of racing. My bike has had quite a few problems over the course of the year but I still raced! Thanks too all the people who helped me. Without you guys I wouldn't have raced most of this year. I'm also sorry that my bike has been such a nuisance this year too. I have had a great year and am already looking forward to next year. Thank you for the opportunity to ride your RD Jerry. Lastly thank you to my Dad with getting me there fixing my bike after it broke every time and being the best Santa ever!

See you all next year and once again thank you all.

JBM9 Stacey Reed: I hate that this is going to be my last race report of the year! Oh well, here it goes. First pass was alright but I slightly overestimated the wind and dialled 0.05 seconds off what I ran. Next run was only 0.02 seconds off so I was getting closer. Then on the others I think I broke out but I'm not going to lie, I've lost the tickets so I can't be sure ha ha. It was also cool to race in the dark with Jas as our last race together of the season - riding back in the pitch black was fun! I ended up third in qualifying which meant I had Blade first round. If I had won, I would have had two byes to the final due to Liam Holgate's and Alfie's breakages, however Blade took the win and he went on to win in the final (well done dude!).

I would like to say a massive thanks to everyone who has helped not only me but all of the Juniors this year. From starting my bike when my crew has disappeared, to fixing my bike in the pairing lanes, pushing me forwards because I'm a weakling as well as reminding me to write these race reports and getting them all ready for you lot to see. Honestly, you lot are an amazing class to be involved in and I can't wait to see what next year brings us!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you at the SPRC Dinner and Dance.

JBM11 Charlotte Hales: The last meeting of the season wasn't my best performance. The wind didn't help anyone and the Kawasaki was way down on "get up and go". My times were all over the place and I couldn't get any consistency. Dad traced a problem to water in the fuel which he'd only bought Thursday. Thanks to Martin Ollie and Blade, we got more and some two-stroke oil. A new spark plug and a different jet in the carb still didn't help however. Dad says a tired, restricted engine just wasn't going to cut it.

I've had a great time this season getting to grips with the bike both in ACU and sprint / drag meetings, but for next year I need a new plan. This will be subject to rule changes. Thanks to everyone in JDB for all your support this season. Looking forward to next year. Have a great Christmas.

JB12 Blade Dummer: Where do I start with this race report? What a season. For those who don't know this was my first season racing. It's been amazing, everyone has made me feel so welcome and helped us so thank you.

We got to the Pod on Friday and got set up and signed on all OK, then needed to alter some settings on the bike from the weekend before only to find that I had fried the clutch. So from the start of the weekend I had issues then just to make things a little more difficult there was a headwind that was almost enough to push me backwards when the lights dropped.

Anyway with these issues we were stripping the clutch between runs so it was busy and we didn't qualify great, ending up seventh. I was happy still to be able to run though and Dad and Wayne worked really hard, and with my help and I've now also learnt how to adjust the air / fuel mix on my own.. In the first roudn of eliminations we had Stacey who ran well all weekend it was well close on the top end but I just got it. In the second round I was to face the winner between Alfie and Liam Holgate but they both had problems and couldn't race, so I ran solo. In the semi-finals I had a bye, putting the clutch even closer to not working.

In the final we had Louis, who runs well and I enjoy racing with him, but with the wind and bike not doing what I want it was going to be a real hard race. Louis had quite a wait at the line and from what Dad said chased me down at a rate of knots. But I got to the line 0.0241 seconds ahead meaning I won the finals. Finishing the season on an amazing high so thank you to all the other Juniors. I have had an amazing time and can't wait till next season.

Thank you to my Dad I know how much you do so I can race. And a huge thanks to FBM Turbos who did all my race hoodies and T-shirts, Beckwith Motorsports and Magic Bullet fuel additives.


Web site updates.
3rd November: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with a large number of shots from September's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway including new (for Mad) top end and return road pictures. You can check out Mad's shots at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.

Swift snippets.
2nd November: Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Ulf Leanders and Jonnie Lindberg who are qualified #2 and #13 respectively in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Noah Stutz and Elvira Karlsson missed qualifying although Noah blasted his Personal Best ET and speed into next week. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress in today's eliminations courtesy of our Drag Race Central friends at
www.dragracecentral.com.

On the subject of Las Vegas, Get Well Soon to ex-pat Brit Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who has had to miss this weekend's NHRA Toyota Nationals due to a health issue. Mike hopes to make next weekend's Divisional in Vegas and then the NHRA Finals at Pomona.

Steve Ashdown says that son and Junior Dragster racer Tyler Ashdown (below left) achieved a lot this year and that the family is proud of him. "We learned a lot about car, and made lots of mistakes!", says Steve. "We would like to say Thank You to Andy Wheeler, Dee and the girls of Team Alamo for their support this year. Also thank you to Chris Andrews, driver of the Lucas Oil Top Fueller, for taking Tyler under his wing and giving him good sound advice as well as for coming to the start line with Tyler, very good of him considering how busy he is, and to Dave Bateman and family for all their help. And Dave, stop spending my bloody money! Finally thanks to Steve Kiddell and family for help in pits at every meeting. We'll see you all next year to do it all again."


Lizz McCarthy, Kev and Jake Charman and the Nitrous Junkie crew have asked us to say a big Happy 40th Birthday to Dutch bike racer Erik Jennes (above right). "Have a great day and we hope to see you for another Indian meal soon!", they say.

Don't forget that 22:59 UK / 23:59 European tonight is the deadline for entry to our Top Fuel Dragster Owners Manual give-away. For full details of how to enter check out Wednesday's news update.



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