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4th May: Geoff Martin who heads up the UK's Tech Team has been in touch with a reminder to Nitrous Pro Modified racers taking part in this year's FIA European Pro Modified Championship:
A reminder about a change to the Diaper regulations for 2016. SFI 7.1 Lower Engine Ballistic Restraints were not mandatory in 2015, but are mandatory in 2016. There is still time to comply before the Main Event.
If you have any queries then you can contact Geoff at email@example.com.
Al Shammari: Main Event and more.
4th May: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on 29th April then you will have read that Kuwait's Hussain Al Shammari, who has raced in PDRA in the USA as well as the Arabian Drag Racing League winning events in Qatar and Bahrain, was set to join the Pro Modified entry at the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. Hussain has appeared on the final version of the entry list (see below) and he confirmed to Eurodragster.com that he will be driving Norbert Kuno's second blown-alcohol Avenger. Hussain plans to contest the whole FIA Tour.
Hussain raced a Ford Mustang in Outlaw 10.5 before moving to Pro Mod and campaigning a Nitrous-assisted 1970½ Camaro. He contested six events in PDRA as well as racing in the Arabian League. His best performance over the eighth is 3.80 seconds at 196 mph and he has so far clocked a best quarter mile of 6.05 seconds. His Camaro has run 5.8s over the quarter.
"I will be driving Norbert's blower car at Santa Pod but I plan to bring my own car to Europe", said Hussain. "Maybe my car will be at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. I want to race for the Championship; my team will be coming with me and we will work as one team with Norbert's team.
"I would like to thank the FIA guys for the invitation to race, big thanks to Norbert and his team, to my own team for coming with me to race, and to the Basel Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club in Kuwait for their help."
Holmberg to the rescue of Holmberg.
4th May: Swedish Pro Stock Bike rider Kenneth Holmberg had a choice to make after injuring his hand in a motorbike crash a few weeks before the season-opening FIA / FIM Main Event. Luckily Kenneth's expertise helped him to make the decision.
"This is not good timing", said Kenneth. "My hand is going to take eight weeks to heal so I would have to wear flexible plaster... or I could manufacture a plaster from carbon fibre!
"Events at Santa Pod are great and we don't want to miss the atmosphere and all of our fans in the UK. We will compete in all of the FIM rounds."
Three weeks to RV3's return.
4th May: Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that Andy Frost and his street-legal and five second-bound Red Victor 3 are on the official FIA / FIM Main Event entry list, Frosty's first appearance since September 2014:
There's a lot of water gone under the bridge since then, as anyone who follows us will know. And we certainly overcame all of that, with a fat middle finger to show everyone who was involved in those shenanigans. But I digress...
We are almost back with the help of the fantastic members of the Red Victor 5 Second Club, and a host of companies such as Lamude Racing Engines, Precision Turbo, Steve Morris Engines, Race Flow Development, Turbosmart UK, KA Sensors, Total Seal Piston Rings, Red Line Oils, Trackstuff UK, Turbowerx, Just Electrical Design, Fast Motorsports, Goodridge UK, Cam Auto Developments, Pro Torque Converters, Hard Knocks Speed Shop, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Powerlite, Diamond Pistons, Victory Performance, Wilson Manifolds, PE Composites, Radtec Radiators, Activ8, Braille Batteries, Plastics4Performance, Zircotec, Hutch Transmission Service, Cartek, Club Calibra, Protec Fuel Systems, Prestige Group, Precision Shaft Technologies, Manton Pushrods, Magnecor, C&C Engineering, and Intergalactic Custom Shop.
Obviously we'll not be in Pro Mod any more. Their rules, my car and I don't mix. So it will be Comp Eliminator for us, as all we want to do is go fast and keep the car safe! The car is currently at Pro Alloy Motorsport for some alli fabrication, and next will be Chris Isaacs Race Cars for baseline and final little jobs. Then back to RV HQ for final finish... it's going to get manic!
Thanks to the super crew of Jan Broersma, Gary Frost and Deb Frost for putting the basis of the car back together. From 21st May they will be joined by Mathias Sapa Edelsteen and the famous Shane T to finish and get it running again. There is a lot of work to do in the next three weeks, but we're confident it will all be done to make the Peak Performance Day on the day before the race.
4th May: Concluding the FIA / FIM Main Event news items, many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding the final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Springspeed Nats rained out.
3rd May: After disrupting the event several times the weather finally won the weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Yesterday's (Monday's) first rounds of eliminations and some second rounds had been run before rain set in early afternoon leaving race officials with no choice but to call the event.
Congratulations to Pro ET racer Brian Huxley who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.000 Reaction Time in the first session of qualifying. The Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway later this month. The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children again went unclaimed and will be increased to a hefty £125 for the FIA / FIM Main Event.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored APIRA Springspeed Nationals reports and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
NHRA's happiest loser.
1st May: Although ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith now lives in Canada, he still thinks of himself as English so going NHRA racing at Charlotte on the only four-wide Top Fuel track felt as big as it could get for an underdog from Lancashire:
My boys Aidan and Ronan and friend Jake set off on the fourteen-hour trip in Ronans less than glamorous CRV with a leaky tranny and dodgy wheel bearing to meet up with the Leverich family (who own the Top Fuel car) driving down from Michigan. Their drive down was full of the usual dramas, two trailer tiyes blown out and a five-hour delay caused panic as we had to pass tech by 5:00 pm on the Thursday! I had already sent my race suit etc with gary so that we could tech the car and my stuff same time - a good job as we only got there at 6:30! We got tech sorted, the only upgrade was new bolt on the inner diaper for $600 but trust me you don't want to oild own an NHRA track as the fines are huge and fans hate it!
With car ready to go the first qualifying session came around and I was so buzzing to race with three other 10,000 HP cars. I was in lane two but not only did two teams not show for the session but Pat Dakin in lane four broke and was shut off so I was on a solo. The car left well and ran a 4.3/278 to 1000 feet even with blower belt breaking! The car was perfect and ran like a Cadillac Escalade, so smooth that I even questioned if one of our mags had quit as it was a little flat. We ended up eighth after the first session which was amazing!
We stripped the car completely as we had a little crack in the crank, but it never moved and all parts were re-used. We didn't even hurt a spark plug! Aidan did his usual amazing job on the clutch, racing with the amazing Jake on the bottom end to see who was quickest, and Dan from Waterloo did one head while our new guy Russ from Michigan did the other with Kevin, Gary and brother Dan filling in all other necessary jobs. With the car ready to go we went over to crazy Scott Palmer's Top Fuel pit and partied till 4:30 am... and Scott hadn't even qualified yet.
We had decided to sit out Saturday's qualifying and light rain caused the second session to be cancelled. We got to watch lots of racing on Saturday with my boys and still ended up being number thirteen qualifier! Ronan met Antron Brown who came over to give us tribute T-Shirts to wear on stage for Mark Lyle, the NHRA Chief Starter who was killed in an accident. I met antron and had him sit in our car as it was his 2010 car, and he said how his newer car is an improvement. He is a really nice guy!
As our car was ready Gary was going to fire it up on Sunday morning in time for the first round at noon but Aidan was insistent that we fired the car on Saturday night to double-check everything. Good call as the initial fire-up revealed a huge fuel leak as the broken belt had whacked a fuel line. We then refired and found one mag not firing. It turned out that the MSD box plug was hit and damaged wiring. We put on our spare box but that didn't work either! We then fixed the plug on the original box and it worked. I took the spare box to MSD to fix but it tested out no problem... what? For the tune-up we wanted to get the RPM up higher and a quicker sixty foot so we took twelve grammes off the clutch and also put our nitro up from 85% to 88%. Finally we were happy with the car and went for food a few beers and a sensible 12:30 am bedtime!
I woke around 5:00 am buzzing for the race. We were first quad out at noon but NHRA has driver introductions on a stage so I went with all the drivers and had pictures taken with Brittany and Courtney Force, Scott Palmer, Chris Karamesines and Antron Brown to name a few. When they called Top Fuel number thirteen qualifier Smax Smith onto the stage no-one really knew me but as I was dancing about they will remember me as the crazy English guy and the man ready to take on Doug Kalitta, Clay Millican and Scott Palmer.
It was time to really concentrate as the lights are a bit of a mind-bender so no messing up. Aidan got me dressed and sat in the car tight and comfy, then we went to burn out but the startline guys failed to put water down. Our dragster just accelerated on the hot sticky track so I lifted but worried about no burnout although I remember having a similar deal in out FIA days with Rune Fjeld and no issues. Ronan started backing me up but the track ripped his shoe off, and four cars' worth of nitro burning his eyes had me snaking back rather than the usual straight back but it was funny!
We pre-staged but poor Scott had an idler pulley fail and was shut off. I staged and left right with the big guns and although we were third we ran our best ever 4.19 at 1000 feet, only 276 mph as I lifted early not wanting to risk oildown once I knew we were beaten, but hey a 0.915-sixty foot with no burnout and an arrow-straight run with no dropped cyliders did it for us... we were the happiest losers in the NHRA! It was the equivalent of a 4.90/300 run over the quarter.
We watched the rest of the racing but decided to leave before the finals as it was so packed that I knew we would be hours getting out of Charlotte plus at least fourteen hours home. We did pop over to say Hi to Jonnie and Johan Lindberg, Ulf Leanders and Karsten Andersen but it was really great to connect with Tony and Elaine Betts. We go back a long way to our Supercharged Outlaw days and for those who remember I took Tony's alky altered record by five thousandths of a second in 1999 with a 6.92/203 and mine was only the altered over 200 mph for years. I sat Tony in our girlie car - he now drives Nostagia Nitro Funny Cars - which was his first time sat in a dragster. Then Dicko (of Bulldog Bash fame), his niece and her boyfriend came to say hello and took pics, it made for a memorable weekend!
Big thanks to Gary and Bob Leverich who are really the unsung heroes of NHRA being brave enough to do what they do with no dollars and to let me drive. We all believe there is a sponsor out there who will see our marketing potential across the world! Big thanks as usual to my boy Aidan who really has my back, I would struggle to race without him, Rrooz my other boy for helping and making this whole deal fun, Jake for being reliable, hard-working and fun, Dan for sticking with us, helping and becoming a firm friend, and welcoming newcomers Russ and Kevin is always a blast. We are watching low car counts now and we may go to Atlanta in a couple of weeks to do this all over again. Of course televising qualifying and the race helps too.
It was fun with the boys blogging to Facebook all weekend so go to our Ant Hill Mob Drag Racing page on Facebook for more of that.
Web site updates.
1st May: Remco Scheelings writes that after licencing in 2014, Björn M&årtensson made his official Top Fuel début in 2015 with three races in the FIA European Championship. This year the Top Fuel driver and his Nitrobear team are stepping up their operation and with five races, including at Santa Pod Raceway, they intend to contest almost a full Championship tour. "There's nothing as cool as racing a Top Fueller!", says Bj&oum;rn. "We learned so much last year with the tuning but also about working together as a team. This season we want to go faster, but also to keep the car in one piece". You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
SFI 16.1 driver restraint recall.
30th April: Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Team has passed on the following urgent Notice of Recall issued by the SFI Foundation for Driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon:
Driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon have been found to be non-compliant with SFI Specification 16.1. All camlock type driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon must be immediately be removed from service and returned to Ruian Dragon.
This recall includes driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon, and sold under the Tanaka brand.
Ruian Dragon Auto Parts Co, Ltd
Buliding 1, No 2 South Development Zone, Economic Development Zone
Feiyun Town, Ruian City, Zhejiang, China
You can read the full SFI notice including Ruian Dragon's own recall (PDF format) by clicking here or by clicking on the picture at right.
Event entry update.
28th April: Tomas Pettersson writes that entry is open for the Tierp Internationals, which takes place at Sweden's Tierp Arena on 16th-19th June. Entry at standard fee closes on 17th May and entry (at increased fee) closes absolutely on 7th June.
You can enter the Tierp Internationals at www.dragracing.eu.
Simple: We can't stay away.
28th April: Having moved to Sweden from the UK last year, one of the first racing moves of Pro ET racers Carla Pittau and Rick McCann is to return to Santa Pod Raceway to compete in the FIA / FIM Main Event. Carla writes:
The Heaven & Hell team have much to do here at the new headquarters in Sweden (right), the most important task being renovating and altering the vast barn to make it into a workshop where we can work away on our race cars during the cold Scandinavian winter evenings. Builders are busy here and the project has been somewhat delayed, so the team ended up doing engine work on an improvised bench in the basement of the house in the company of the washing machine, tumbler dryer and heating system, but at least in a heated environment.
The building work has taken a lot of our time, and if we were really sensible we would not be racing until probably mid to high summer but, despite the rain-off, reading Eurodragster.com when all our friends were racing at Easter made us want to be where we are meant to be: at the race track.
Wish we had been able to swap weather with you guys: Easter here was sunny and settled (although winter came back briefly last week) if a bit cold, and we thought it would have made great racing weather. But no meets here yet, such is life.
Don’t get me wrong: we love Sweden and we are very happy with our decision to move here. Sweden is an excellent country, very civilised, friendly, efficient and absolutely gorgeous, and we thoroughly enjoy our life here, especially as there are so many gearheads everywhere. But family is always family, and we miss our racing family very much. So Rick and I have entered the Main Event. We are not 100% sure that we will make it with both entries as we have transport issues which not even Simon Gough could solve this time! But we will try our best, as there is nothing we enjoy more than run on the track side-by-side. But at least one of us will be there, and the other will be Crew Chief if we have only one car. That’s it.
One way or another we will see you all next month, and we look forward to it very much. Happy racing!
Sagelv's new ride.
29th April: Stefan Boman writes that Swedish Pro Stock racer Christian Sagelv is replacing his Ford Escort with a Jerry Haas-built 2012 Ford Mustang.
"The car has been in NHRA Pro Stock competition with drivers Frank Gugliotta, JR Carr and Robert Patrick but has not done any full seasons, so it's a low mileage car", says Christian. "We bought it as a rolling chassis as we still have the motors and transmissions from the old car. We will start with this equipment and watch the development of EFI engines before we decide in which direction any updates will be. The car is delivered with two fronts, one for EFI and one for carburetted engines."
The car will arrive in Sweden after the FIA Championship season has started and will make its competitive début at Hockenheim or Tierp 2. "We will not be able to hunt for Championship points this year", says Christian, "so our main team goal for 2016 is to get the car sorted out and to be in good shape for 2017."
Burgess Ties up a sponsor.
29th April: UK 9.50 Bike racer Lewis Burgess and the BM DragRacing team are proud to announce a a new sponsor for 2016.
Scott Patrick, owner of Tie Specialist Logistics Ltd, has decided to sponsor Lewis with support for fuel costs and contributions to funding. Scott owns a succesful transportation business delivering anything throughout the UK, from motorcycles to household items. He even helps with the transportation of Lewis' bike.
"Scott is a great guy and it is an honour to have him on board with us", says Lewis. "Support is everything for a succesful race team." You can check out Tie Specialist Logistics' web site at www.tielogistics.co.uk or find them on Facebook at Tie Specialist Logistics Ltd.
View from a Bridge.
29th April: UK VW Pro racer Dave Bridge has been in touch with a report of his weekend at Big Bang with the Plan B buggy:
Over winter there we had done more development work on the 2110 cc air-cooled motor, with a slightly bigger SU carb added to the drawthrough turbo set-up. All looked good on the rolling road, with 197BHP and 217 ft/lbs of torque, all from a single barrel carb! I was looking forward to seeing what it could do.
The first thing the motor did when we fired it up in the pits was leak. Neil Baskerville had knocked me up a great little aluminium drip tray for the car in the week before the event, just in case, but while it caught the oil this was not a drip! Luckily Paul and Kyle Miller of Harry Harpics were on hand to help me change the pulley seal, after which all was well.
On the first run I felt very rusty, but things improved through qualifying and I ended qualified fourth. The car also provided me with new PBs of 1.51 at sixty feet, 11.89 ET and 109 mph terminal speed. The fact that I had dialled in at 11.90 on that run didn't annoy me too much given the PBs!
In the first round of eliminations I drew Alex Knott in his turbo beetle and we were on similar dial ins. Alex couldn't get full throttle and I took the win, having backed off slightly. In the second round I got a bye run, so I used it to see how the changing weather had affected my times and then dialled in slightly slower for the semi-final. Unfortunately in the semi the car got out of shape in the wheelie and then veered towards the wall, so I had to back off losing the run which was a shame after my best light of the weekend.
It was great to be back though and I'm looking forward to the Summernationals. Huge thanks to Harry Harpics Engineering for the turbo motor development, and to Rob Judge and Simon McGee for crewing.
29th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 6 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Although not yet on the entry list we understand that Kuwaiti Arabian League racer Hussain al Shammari will be contesting the FIA / FIM Main Event in Norbert Kuno's second blown-alcohol Avenger. More news about that when we receive it.
Rat Trap, Thacker and Friends.
29th April: With the idea of building a better world tour – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous AA/Fuel Altereds of all time – Rat Trap Racing has retained the services of Thacker & Friends to help with the logistics, media relations and sponsorship. The Rat Trap World Tour kicked-off last month at the historic March Meet in Bakersfield, CA, and will soon head to Europe for a series of events, including two at Santa Pod, England and another at Hockenheim, Germany. Additional dates are being added.
"With four race cars and five members of the family driving, we're as busy as the Pied Piper", said Rat Trap Racing team owner Ron Hope. "It gets pretty hectic, and that's why we're thrilled to have the experience, enthusiasm and resources of Thacker & Friends to help us with our anniversary world tour. Tony and his team will be laying the groundwork for the European Tour, helping with scheduling and transportation, handling hospitality, and lining up some additional sponsors. Thacker & Friends are the best there are at this kind of work."
"This is a dream project", said Tony Thacker, principal of Thacker & Friends. "I was at the very first race at Santa Pod, at Easter in 1966, so to be involved in the car’s return for not only its 50th Anniversary, but also for the 50th Anniversary of Santa Pod, is fantastic. And, Rat Trap Racing is a wonderful addition to our roster. Ron, his whole family, and the team are great people and dedicated racers. The world tour is a project where we can promote hard because the car is so legendary with fans all over the world. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and we're looking forward to a fun tour."
There have been a series of record-setting Rat Trap AA/Fuel Altereds. The first was constructed circa 1965; however, today’s Rat Trap is a continuation of the car developed by chassis builder Dennis Watson in 1968. Unlike the early cars that were conventional in design, Watson’s car was revolutionary, with independent front suspension, a nitro-burning Chrysler Hemi, and distinctly wild paint scheme. The Rat Trap was one of the four cars that participated in the celebrated Fuel Altered Tours of 1970, '71 and '72.
Rat Trap Racing runs two Fuel Altereds and two land speed roadsters. The cars and team race regularly for nine months of the year, in both the US and Canada. They have also made previous appearances overseas, having been invited to participate at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, and at Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Festival in New Zealand. Rat Trap Racing is based in Franklin, TN.
"In racing, it’s the team work that makes the difference. Rat Trap Racing has a terrific crew and fabulous sponsors, and adding Thacker & Friends makes us even stronger", concluded Hope. "We can’t wait to see all our fans around the world."
For the full Rat Trap World Tour schedule, please visit www.RatTrapRacing.com/schedule.
Springspeed Nats running order I.
28th April: Many thanks to Tony Smith for passing us Saturday's provisional running order for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out the running order by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that the running order is subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Tony asks that Pro ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racers be in the pairing lanes promptly at 10:00 on Saturday.
50 Shades of Big Bang.
28th April: UK Sportsman ET racer Andy Dibley has been in touch with a report of the two-car 50 Shades of Racing team's weekend at Big Bang:
Kirstie Tramm was again in the green Camaro and I was in the red Camaro. After a rained-off Festival of Power, both of us were very eager to flex our respective cars' muscles in eliminations, just hopefully not against each other in the first round!
Qualifying was a very mixed bag with my car having some interesting gearbox shifting issues on Saturday. Kirstie managed a brilliant 0.006 light in the first round of qualifying and ended up tenth the order, whilst I fell much further down. We both ran several PBs, just not when we wanted to! The alternator failed in my car on Sunday which also threw a large spanner into the works, but the got the car going again thanks to Jamie at CM Frosts in Wellingborough (01933 225564) who opened up on a Sunday just to help us.
In round one of eliminations, Kirstie paired up against number one qualifier Stephen Cherrett in the S-Car-Go Vauxhall Astra, and although it a close race to the stripe Kirstie sadly broke out handing the win to Stephen. I met Sportsman ET newcomer Harley Smithies in his Peugeot 206. Harley pulled a 0.199 light versus my 0.019, I met him half way down the track and we had a very interesting side-by-side race to the line which was a little too close for comfort: I only won by 0.010 seconds.
In round two I paired up against Felicity Gibbs in the Li'l Miss Rampage Mustang. Having seen my light in the previous race Felicity knew she had to pull something out of the bag, sadly her light was -0.029, handing me the win on the start line. I ran a new PB of 13.38 which gave me an idea of what to dial in for the next round.
In round three I was up against rival Jemma Hale in her Supra. After losing in a final to Jemma at the end of last year, I really wanted to get one back over the Redneck racer, but it wasn't to be. Jemma pulled a cracking light against my 0.22, and although I managed to get to the stripe first by 0.001 (2.29 inches), sadly I was the wrong side of my dial-in handing her the win on a breakout.
The weekend was a great learning experience for both Kirstie and I. We are both competing at the APIRA Springspeed Nationals this weekend and we are really ready to roll in to Shakespeare County Raceway.
This wouldn't have been at all possible without a lot of help from other teams in the Sportsman ET pits, notably Alan and Gillian Medley for the loan of a power pack on Sunday 'Just in case', and Nick and Nigel Hale of Redneck Racing for loaning a battery charger and also doing the dash to CM Frosts to pick up the new alternator. I'd also like to thank Georgie and Mike Smith who helped with the alternator swap and also Street Eliminator Chairman Ben Barnwell for pushing of the car and start line help. I'd also like to thank my dad Dave for the support and for a mercy dash back to 50 Shades HQ to pick up a spare alternator, and Tom Atkinson for not crashing my caravan into a fence... if only the same could be said for Kirstie's caravan (see below - Ed).
I'd also like to thank our sponsors for this season: Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd - CNC Precision Engineering (01628 530448) and V8UK - V8s in the UK.
First round Fudder.
28th April: Staying with Sportsman ET at Big Bang, Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com Brother-in-Law Tom Atkinson made an outing in the class in his Potato Wagon '64 Ranchero, but it seems that just getting into the pits was an achievement in itself:
The hard work started the day before I headed to the track. I thought it would be a good idea to give the pick-up a proper blast up the road to blow out the cobwebs on the way home from work before the weekend's beating... yes, it's my daily driver. I'm rather glad I did, as it chose to blow the intake gasket between the water gallery and #4 cylinder. I'd sooner it happened there than at the track. After a good ten thousand miles and numerous trips down the strip I'm not complaining, these things happen.
I limped it half a mile up to Jacks Hill Truck Stop in Towcester where it would be easy to load up on the trailer. However after a bit of thought I decided to sort it out at the truck stop as luckily Mike (stepdad) has a Sunbeam Tiger with a Small Block Ford. He had some gaskets in the garage a few miles up the road and was finishing work in a couple of hours. I stripped it down, and then we built it back up outside the café. I got home at about 10:00 pm, thanks Mike!
That must be the bad luck over and done with, right? Nope! While bringing Kirstie's caravan round from the main gate we had another bit of excitement, in the space of about 0.1 of a second while driving through the pits I went from "Hmm, feels light towing" to "Why's everybody shouting?" to looking in the mirror and seeing the caravan exiting stage right (This is known as Doing an Abrahamson - Ed)! Apologies to the stall owner whose bike we knocked over, but luckily it was all taken in good humour.
Finally on to the racing. After a few little changes over winter I was on the hunt for a twelve. I'd have been over the moon with a 12.999999 by the end of the weekend but I really wasn't expecting it on the BFGs. Much to my surprise the first pass in the Run What You Brung was a 12.82, get in! Luck was starting to change, for now. A couple of runs later there was smoke at the top end, here we go again! It had blown out the rear of the rocker cover gasket blowing oil onto the header, after some hunting about and help from fellow racers and crew we got it fixed.
After a few more twelves, getting quicker and quicker and breaking out on every qualifying run I thought I'd play it really safe to get a number on the board. I dialled in a 12.50 and ran a 12.527 which was good enough for third in the tough Sportsman ET field, awesome! This was then followed up by a 12.46, to say that I was over the moon was an understatement, going to that from a 13.02 previous best in two days! The Calvert drag shocks and the TrueTrac diff from Hauser Race Cars made a huge difference, and all still on the mud and snow knobbly BFG's! That little 347ci ATK crate motor from Topspeed Automotive was really doing the job.
In the first round of eliminations I met Felicity Gibbs in the Mustang. I was a little overambitious with the dial-in following the last run, put a 12.45 on the back but just couldn't quite chase Felicity down. She was on the number and it was a great close race with a win margin of 0.02 at the stripe, well done Flick!
I'm now looking forward to having a play in the Cortina in Super Pro ET this weekend whilst watching Kirstie have some more fun in Sportsman ET. All being well the truck will be back out at Bug Jam for another go, I had a great time!
Finally I'd like to thank everyone: Dad, Mike, Kirstie, Dibs, Nigel Hale and Redneck Racing, Ben 'Hovis' Barnwell, Georgie and Mike Smith, Jake Mechaell and everyone in Sportsman ET, just for being a great bunch!
28th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 5 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes tomorrow (Friday) after which entry will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting this weekend's NHRA Springnationals in Houston. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy future to SPRC Assistant Race Director Karl Birkinshaw and SPRC Timing Crew member Nikki Chesters who have become engaged. A nicer couple you couldn't hope to meet.
Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc has revealed the reason for putting his racing on hold: he has taken a job with Dragtimes, organiser of the Russian Drag Racing Championship which commences in June. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu. Also now showing on the Blog are a preview of this year's first EDRS event, registration for the EDRS Riders and Drivers Club, and a visit with Junior Dragster racer Patrik Lind.
Springspeed Nats Perfect Awards.
28th April: This weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Billy Ringer at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Saturday morning.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been increased to £100 after it went unclaimed at Big Bang. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike / NAST and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Saturday morning.
FIA/FIM Main Event entry.
27th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 4 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes this Friday (29th) after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Racers entered for the Main Event who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride at Santa Pod Raceway on the preceding weekend (21st-22nd May) are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track, but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify either James Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Preparing Havoc to reign.
27th April: Nick Davies writes that work is progressing on the conversion of the 1932 Bantam Havoc to full nitro Fuel Altered specification by the team at ICE Automotive at Silverstone:
The task has become a little more extensive than originally planned, as decisions have been made to undertake several upgrades which should aid the longer term durability of the car, including safety and drivetrain modifications. The team will run the same 417 Donovan which took Europe's quickest fuel altered, Chaos, down into the 6.0 zone, albeit with some more 'period' detailing.
Whilst the work on the car is pretty much on target for the Dragstalgia showdown with the travelling American altereds, race fans will have the opportunity to support the home team by investing in one of the limited-edition full colour T-Shirts produced to celebrate the re-vamping of the popular altered. Featuring artwork and design by the talented Chris Froggett, the high-quality black T-Shirts will be available at the 2016 Dragstalgia meet for the princely sum of £15. Once they're gone, they're gone, so don't miss out!
Hope for Nimbus Motorsport.
27th April: UK Drag Bike team Hope Racing are proud to welcome Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport as a sponsor. Steve will be supplying Alex and Mark Hope with Torco Racing Oils and a range of racing fuels for the 2016 season. Mark Hope writes:
Steve has been a big part of the team from the onset, supporting our father Chris throughout his career in ACU and FIM Pro Stock Bike. When Chris hung the leathers up and Alex and I stepped out of his shadow to start racing careers of our own, there was ever only one choice in engine oils - it had to be Torco.
Alex and I are proud to continue the legacy Dad started and honoured to be able to continue the relationship which he built with Steve and Nimbus Motorsport, putting to use the extensive range of quality race oils and fuels that are available. Steve offered support from the outset with the 9.50 Bikes in the form of Torco Oils but has stepped up in a big way this year and we are excited to have secured a deal on racing oils and fuels for the turbo bikes and the Pro Stock Bike on which Alex will contend the FIM Pro Stock Bike Championship.
Steve imports and stocks the following products at Nimbus Motorsport: Torco Racing Oils and Fuels, Fuse Fuels, VP Racing Fuels, Ringers Gloves, and Thermo-Tec and DEI Thermal Control Products.
Visit Nimbus Motorsports' web site at www.nimbusmotorsport.com or call Steve on 01759 322100 for your needs!
The Mob turns Psycho.
27th April: Adam Gleadow writes that although it is a long way off the 2017 season will be a very special one for the Motor Psycho team as it will mark 50 years since Brian, Mick and Bob Gleadow's first appearance on the track after spectating since 1963:
Brian, Mick and Bob originally fielded a Pop Gasser initially called The Mangler before becoming the first Motor Psycho in 1968. Little did they know what they'd let themselves in for!
To celebrate this landmark Motor Psycho is going over to the dark side, nitro! We have purchased The Mob Fuel Altered operation complete from Ollie Burn, and will be transplanting the nitro-breathing 417 Donovan Hemi into our '34 Ford.
It's going to be a steep learning curve but one into which the team are eager to get stuck; none of us have been this fired up for racing for a while. The car will be going down to Comanche Race Cars for the motor mounting, re-locating the rear axle to suit a smaller tyre size and a few other updates whilst I undertake the engine strip down and freshen-up. All being well the car should be ready to make some noise towards the end of the year and to do battle in 2017.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ollie for allowing us the chance to purchase The Mob along with his guidance and help through our transition to nitro, his many years of experience and knowledge will be priceless.
In a way it's very bittersweet as it means the end of The Mob, a car I gre up watching and which fuelled my passion for Fuel Altereds when I watched it match racing Jim Seward's Harry The Spider, but rest assured that we will do Ollie and the team proud. Motor Psycho will always carry a tribute to their part in drag racing history.
Further Thanks Yous to Mick for transporting the car to our workshop, Dom Romney for a lot of help over the past few weeks, and the crew for their work at the weekend getting everything sorted.
To follow our rebuild to full blown AA/Fuel Altered status, Like our Facebook page and follow our newly launched Instagram account @motorpsycho_aafa.
27th April: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the Fast Show timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
27th April: DJ of Santa Pod Raceway writes that there are several new shows on Santa Pod's own YouTube Channel SantaPodTV including Street Eliminator 2016 Festival of Power - new for 2016 is the first of a series of WebTV Shows following drag racers in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator as they compete in the Santa Pod Raceway rounds of their 2016 Championship; FWD Drag Series 2016 Fast Show - Round 1 of the 2016 Front Wheel Drive Drag Series from The Fast Show; Big Bang highlights; Fast Show highlights; and Festival of Power highlights.
The NitrOlympX is always one of the highlights of the European drag racing season. The Hockenheimring facility, the special atmosphere of the Motodrome and of course the traditional Saturday Night Show all make this race of the FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championships a special one. After the very successful thirtieth edition last year, number thirty one promises to be even bigger and better. Now, with the start of the 2016 European Championship season quickly approaching, our good buddy Remco Scheelings has interviewed Jerry Lackey, who since 2009 has been the race director of the NitrOlympX and who with forty seven years in drag racing is one of the most experienced people in the sport. The former racer and still promoter, organizer and race director talks about the event that marks his life on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Springspeed Nats racer update.
26th April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us details of the arrangements for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Version 3 of the official entry list is now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The final version of the entry list will be posted on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Racer tickets, final instructions, vehicle passes and scrutineering slips have now been sent out to every racer who submitted their entries before close of play last Friday. Anyone who posted their entry since last Friday will be able to collect their tickets on arrival at the main gate. If any crew member arrives before their racer then they must notify the track beforehand, or wait until their driver / rider arrives at the track to gain entry.
Entry to the pits will commence at 12:00 on Friday. If racers wish to arrive on Friday morning, before the pit gate opens, then they are more than welcome to park up and wait. Please note that pit marshals will escort all racers to their designated pit, so please be patient if a queue develops on the entrance road into the pits. Anyone who pits incorrectly will be politely asked to move to their allocated pit space.
Scrutineering will commence for both cars and bikes at approximately 17:00 on Friday. Scrutineering will resume at 08:00 on Saturday. Signing On will also open at these times.
Saturday's running order will be posted here on Eurodragster.com later this week. Copies will be available in the Signing On office which will be open between 18:00 and 20:00-21:00 on Friday.
Anyone who did not collect their 2015 APIRA Championship trophies at last month's Presentation Evening can do so this weekend. They can be collected from Sue in the Signing On Office.
Shakespeare County Raceway would also like to remind everyone of safety requirements in the Staging and Fire Up lanes. No crew members under the age of seventeen may enter these areas. Under-age Junior crew members can still watch their respective teams race from the grandstands. The grandstands can be accessed from the top of the lanes by the Signing On office. We understand that this may upset some of the Junior crews, however your safety is paramount and must be considered at all times. These rules obviously do not apply to under-17s who are riding or driving a race vehicle which is in the pairing lanes (for which you must be a holder of an MSA/ACU licence or you are participating in observed runs). All children remain the responsibility of their parent or guardian at all times. Thank you for your co-operation.
If you have any queries about the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, then please contact the Raceway office at firstname.lastname@example.org or between 09:00 and 17:00 call 01789 720180 or 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180 / 414119).
Ashdown: It's the nuts!
26th April: The UK's Steve Ashdown is looking forward to making his final Top Fuel Dragster licencing pass before contesting May's FIA / FIM Main Event, having thoroughly enjoyed his outing at the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway. Steve made three runs on Saturday in one of Rune Fjeld's cars running a best eighth of 3.5564/210.65 and best thousand foot of 4.6821/193.78 leaving him with one full-bore pass to get the coveted signature on his licence.
"I never thought I'd see "Steve Ashdown" and "Top Fuel" in the same sentence!", Steve told Eurodragster.com. "It's one of the best things I ever did and I consider myself very fortunate. There's not a word which can explain driving a Top Fueller. You sit there strapped in asking yourself "What am I doing?" and you think "I can't do this" but then you have a go and it's brutal and it's awesome and you think "This is the nuts!" and you want to do it again!"
Steve has his medical next week then plans to make his final licencing pass at the pre-Main Event Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day on Thursday 26th May. "The idea behind running on the Test Day is that there's less pressure during qualifying", he said. "At the race there will be enough to think about with needing to qualify and having someone in the other lane for the first time, without the extra pressure of actually getting the licence to qualify in the first place.
"I really must thank Rune Fjeld. He has been a big help and is an absolute gentleman. He is a very clever man, nothing but professional and he believes in working with you rather than shouting at you. All of Rune's crew were brilliant and Liam Jones gave me a lot of advice and a lot of... let's say banter! I must also thank my missus and kids for their support and for going without holidays and other treats, and I must say a huge Thank You to Kathy Taylor as without her help I would never have got into a Top Fueller.
"Everyone at the track was so kind and so welcoming. I really appreciated the Big Bang people letting me run at their event and all the help I got from Ian Marshall, Darren Prentice and the Santa Pod staff."
Steve plans to contest the FIA / FIM Main Event and the FIM / FIM European Finals and has already lined up some sponsors in support; he asked us to say a big Thank You to Aerial Scaffolding, Robey Scaffolding, the Telephone Shop, Demon Ink Tattoo Shop, Epic Integration, and Richard Deevey.
26th April: After two years of false starts and missed deadlines UK VW Sportsman racer Ryan McGrath is set for his début at this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Ryan says that what started off as a drunken bid on eBay back in September 2013 has developed and changed into a very loved car with a lot of crazy character, which is not named Polo-Loco for nothing:
The car is a 1998 Polo Saloon, never the most popular of Volkswagen models, from the late 1990s and a parts bin mixture of a Mk3 Golf and Mk2 Seat Ibiza. The underpowered 1.6 8v engine has been cast aside for the 2.8 12v VR6 from a Mk3 Golf coupled with the same gearbox. The car has been lightened as much as possible whilst still remaining in a safe and road-legal state as I am having to drive up from Portsmouth in it, which is all part of the fun!
Externally the most noticeable part of the car is the Harlequin paint scheme. It was twenty years ago that Volkswagen first showed this scheme at the London Motor Show and it's still as divisive today. Love it or hate it, you can't deny it's hard to ignore (Column A here - Ed).
Our current Personal Best is 14.55/90.69 on a RWYB prepared track. We are gunning to break into the thirteens which, with an improvement in technique and a reduced sixty foot time, should be achievable on the current set-up.
Débuting at Shakespeare Country Raceway holds a great significance for me, as it was there twenty two years ago that my late father took me to see my first bit of drag racing over the URO / VW Dream Machine weekend. The strip has held a very special place in my heart since then, and even today still has that unique atmosphere.
The guys and girls of the VWDRC have been fantastic over the last two years, getting me to events, crewing for them and keeping me motivated and on track despite setbacks. There is a real family feel about the VWDRC which helps make the track feel like a home away from home.
You can follow our progress, the highs and the lows, on our Facebook page. See you all in the fire up road!
Brown's Vegas tale.
6th April: Regular Eurodragster.com readers will recall that after a chance meeting with Jeff Strunk, owner of Land Shark Racing and DragTarp, last October, UK Super Comp racer Paul Brown was invited to drive Jeff's car at the K&N Las Vegas Spring Fling Millions Challenge. Lesley Brown says that most of Team Paul Brown Motorsport ("Sorry Lee and Andy") attended the event, and Paul adds that the team came home with a new sponsor. Lesley writes:
The plane was diverted to California due to three inches of rain falling in about thirty minutes in Las Vegas. We were wondering whether Paul's drag racing career was always going to be hampered by rain, but from then on our trip was mostly bathed in sunshine.
At the track we met up with Crew Chief Jeff, his wife Linda and team-mate Phil Baladez, and once pitted Jeff took Paul and Phil off in his golf buggy - the best-ever drag racing invention in Jeff's opinion - to show them the ropes. The next thing I heard on the PA was "Will the person driving the golf buggy up the track please remove it!".
The next day was a Test Day. For me it was a surreal feeling being surrounded by over five hundred dragsters and door cars, especially when I realised that Jeg Coughlin and Shawn Langdon were only a few spaces away from our pit. We were all waiting at the start line for Paul and I was pinching myself as he drove under the Las Vegas Speedway gantry for his first test run. To think it was only six months ago that I felt privileged to do the track walk at an NHRA event!
Although Jeff's car is also a shorty, it is very different to Paul's car and there were several things to get used to, including the delay box on the start line. Paul's first test run netted him a reaction time of 0.034 and an ET of 5.404 on a 5.38 dial-in, and after a second and final test run with a Reaction Time of 0.011 and a 5.384, again on a 5.38 dial-in, Paul felt good to race.
Paul's race day was the Wednesday $10,000 competition with 514 entries, including approximately 250 door cars including a Pro Mod, no buy-backs and racing over the eighth mile. Pairing was random with dragsters and door cars racing separately until the last sixteen. The dial-ins ranged from 3.90 to 9.90 and the standard of cars was mostly exceptional. A new red light system, called Trulight, was in place. If the first driver left on a red light, it would show green until the second driver left the line. If the second driver was OK the first driver's light would change to red and the race was lost. However, if the second driver red lit by a bigger margin, he or she would lose instead.
Lining up in the pairing lanes in the glorious Vegas sunshine surrounded by hundreds of dragsters is an experience we will never forget. Paul was really up for the race and cut a decent 0.04 light but unfortunately the gears didn't shift into second gear, running a 5.62 on a 5.38 dial-in; by the time Paul realised and changed it manually it was too late to recover on the eighth mile. The winner was seasoned NHRA racer Chris Lindsey who took out Jeg Coughlin in the third round. Round one started at 8:00 am took almost four and a half hours to complete, and it took until midnight to complete all ten rounds.
On Thursday roles were reversed and Paul was part of the crew for Phil in the $20,000 dollar race, but unfortunately he too suffered a first round exit. Unlike Wednesday, Phil was allowed a buy back which he won but then bowed out in round two. The big prize day, for which we were not entered, was the Friday race. This year 270 cars raced to win the top prize of $270,000 and this was a case of dreams really can come true. Faced with tremendous opposition (with numerous cars making Perfect Lights and Perfect ETs) and big money cars, the winner's story was very different. Jeff Verdi had towed his Pontiac Firebird on an open trailer 2,400 miles from Virginia, breaking down several times along the way. He paid $50 for a raffle ticket and won the $2,000 entry fee for the race and then went all the way to win. You couldn't make it up!
The organisers of the Spring Fling Millions made us Brits feel very welcome, as did our fellow racers. Thirty two states and four countries were represented. The Long Distance Award went to a racer in Alaska, as you had to tow your vehicle, but in recognition of the distance Paul had travelled to be there he was awarded a racers appreciation prize of weather station software from sponsor Raceworks.
Paul said of the experience "It was an amazing experience racing against a huge field of vehicles. The quality of the vehicles and the equipment which people brought with them was unbelievable. Some racers were even bringing two vehicles with them. Racing over the eighth mile was completely different as it felt like the race was over before it had even started, but I saw some very interesting start line tactics involved. Unlike the usual burndown on the tree, racers were burning out straight into full stage and even reversing straight back into full stage. Previously being the fast car in Pro ET and receiving red light wins, I believe Trulight is great idea and think it's something we should work towards using in Sportsmans classes to even up the playing field for slower vehicles. As a team we have learned a lot from this event and we hope to fly out again in the future.
"Thanks to Jeff and the organisers for letting me drive his car, to our sponsors, and to Ian Marshall for helping me towards getting an NHRA licence."
Team Paul Brown Motorsport are also delighted to announce that DragTarp, whose web site can be found at www.landsharkdragsters.com, are sponsoring us for the rest of the season.
Drag Tarp make heavy custom race car covers with 100% waterproof denier material for all types of vehicles including dragsters, doorslammers, altereds, and Junior Dragsters and Funny Cars. Three different colours are available on which you can have your team's custom logo printed.
If you are looking to buy a new cover, come to visit Paul in the pits at this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals or at the FIA /FIM Main Event to have a look at his cover. Paul can arrange to measure up your car and get pricing from the company.
The UK's coolest quarter mile?
26th April: Spitfire Raceway, dubbed the coolest quarter mile in the UK, opens its gates on 7th May. Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child International Track Preparation Services explains why Spitfire Raceway deserves the "Cool" epithet:
Not many venues are located on the north Cornish Atlantic surf coast, with miles of sandy beaches just minutes away. It's worth the journey! Drag race on the Saturday and spend the remainder of weekend enjoying the area.
February's event was chilly but held under sunny skies, with 150 people taking part on the drag strip in front of an audience of 1500. Quickest of the Day in the car categories was Ross Stokoe, who travelled over 300 miles from East Sussex in his Nissan R35 and ran 11.0s all day long. Local man Mike Gray, from St Ives, went 10.0 on the no-prep surface with his 1000cc Honda.
The event is open to any vehicle and you can just turn up for Test and Tune. But this is also Round 4 of the South West Championship in the following categories:
For more information, check out Spitfire Raceway Cornwall on Facebook. Spitfire Raceway is located on Perranporth Airfield, Perranporth, Cornwall TR5 0XS (map).
6th April: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-Big Bang points standings for the UK National and Santa Pod Racers Club Sportsman ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Championships (8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike were non-points rounds at this one - Ed). You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Speedgroup CEO Åsa Kinnemar writes that a new Board was elected at the recent Annual Shareholders' Meeting. You can find out the new make-up of the Speedgroup Board at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Web site updates.
6th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with a large gallery of shots from the recent Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Draper Tools on their trolley.
26th April: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to announce that Draper Tools has joined the list of those businesses supporting the restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Draper Tools has donated a toolbox for use on the dragster's starter trolley (below right).
Draper Tools was established in 1919 and is now based in Chandlers Ford, not far from the National Motor Museum. It is a hugely-respected and much-used automotive industry trade supplier being a one-stop shop for professional mechanics, motor factors, MoT garages and automotive repair workshops. The focus is always on quality and their range includes hand service tools, diagnostics and workshop equipment. As well as the Draper branded products the company also supplies Knipex, Elora and Kapro Tools. Their web site address is www.drapertools.com and UK Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith of Draper Tools can usually be found in the pits at race events.
ACAG Chair Brian Taylor says "I would like to thank Draper Tools for their support. With the 354 Chrysler engine switching from nitro to methanol we no longer needed the pressurised fuel system on our starter trolley. We wanted to replace this with a neat toolbox to carry equipment likely to be required during the start-up procedure and Draper had just the job with their blue two-drawer unit.
"We had conversations with Mark Smith and John Draper and they came up trumps. The unit was prepped at Chandlers Ford for us to fit to the trolley at the next Work-In Day at Beaulieu. I look forward to inviting them to the museum once the box has been installed."
Draper Tools' Marketing Director Clive Richardson, pictured above with the toolbox, says "Draper Tools is pleased to provide one of its toolboxes to the Allard Chrysler Action Group. It's great to be able to have our brand associated with a project like this and we wish them the best of luck with the restoration of such a legendary machine."
BDRHoF honour the Juniors.
26th April: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is delighted to announce that Junior Drag Racers will again be honoured when the Gala Awards Dinner takes place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow Airport.
The Hall of Fame Gala is the most prestigious night of the year for Britain's drag racing community. Last year, for the first time, the top three Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike racers in the UK National Championship were invited, with their parents, to attend the occasion for their accomplishments to be recognised before the gathering of distinguished guests from Europe and America. 2016's young drivers and bikers will share the evening with the new Hall of Fame inductees along with leading figures from the States such as Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy, who brought the first American Funny Cars to Santa Pod Raceway in 1973, and Carl Olson, Founding President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission.
BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury commented "While the Hall of Fame's prime purpose is to recognise drag racing achievements of the past, we're particularly pleased to welcome and celebrate the rising new generation of racers too, and we salute the sponsors whose generosity and foresight have allowed us to create this opportunity. It's a wonderful thought that some of today's young achievers might one day, perhaps, return to the Gala stage for induction into the Hall of Fame in their own right."
Once again, the Juniors' tables at the Gala will be sponsored by Atlantic Fluid Tech Ltd, Santa Pod Racers’ Club, US Automotive and Lucas Oil Products, and the young racers can expect to take home some valuable mementoes of the occasion. The Hall of Fame is grateful to Lizz McCarthy and Wayne Jackson for their help with arrangements.
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Springspeed Nats Junior update.
25th April: APIRA officials would like to remind all Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike drivers and riders participating at Shakespeare County Raceway that all vehicles must be pushed back to pit bays after passing the Medical Centre on the left-hand corner of the return road.
To ensure the health and safety of Junior racers, the Junior Dragster pits have been relocated to the left hand side of the pits just past the Medical Centre. This has been done so that the Juniors do not have to push all the way through the pits. Junior Drag Bike pits will remain on the left hand side of the pits as normal, but moved further up.
If you have any queries then please do not contact the Raceway but either Glenn Stockton (MSA) 07774 142892, Jane Read 07970 293967,or Tony Smith (ACU) 07787 398614.
Big Bang results.
25th April: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway:
VW Pro: Richard Brook (12.50) 12.6352/106.25 def. Christopher Bayliss (12.50) 13.1662/103.71 DQ red light
VW Sportsman: Paul Day (15.30) 15.3619/83.62 def. Dave Lea (13.50) 13.6878/97.97
Sportsman ET: Chris Creswell (16.10) 16.219/78.73 def. Jemma Hale (15.43) 15.5241/89.44
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Ruaridh Hart (9.10) 9.1468/64.56 def. Billy Ringer (9.43) 9.5979/67.30
Outlaw Anglia: Cliff Griffin 8.0786/154.19 def. Phil Middleton 8.7426/157.43
JDS Street: David Greenhalgh 8.4473/161.34 def. Jeff Ludgate 9.2108/156.29
Front Wheel Drive: Allan Duthie 9.6544/155.22 def. Ben Dalgleish 10.1178/139.97
Nostalgia Super Stock: Dan Williams (10.00) 10.0656/133.61 def. Rob Tyrrell (10.20) 10.2145/130.22 DQ red light
8.50 Bike: Ian Chrichlow 9.3234/120.15 def. Jake Mechaell 14.8454/56.18
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.5340/128.40 def. Steve Ashby 9.5897/140.70
Congratulations also to Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Billy Ringer who won the £50 Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.0008 Reaction Time during qualifying on Saturday. The Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was not won and so has been increased to £100 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals.
Click here to check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Big Bang reports and pictures, or click on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Event entry update.
23rd April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us Version 2 of the official entry list for next week's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out the APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and for more information about the APIRA Springspeed Nationals check out SCR's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.
Chris Murty writes that the UK's York Raceway hosts the Bank Holiday Super Street Shootout on Sunday 1st May and Monday 2nd May. "This is the first big weekend of the year with fourteen race classes hitting the track, as well as Run What You Brung meaning non-stop drag racing action over the two days", says Chris. "We will have two rounds of American Super Stock, JDM-DRC, Pro FWD and NSCC. There will also be one round of Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Volks Stock, HRSC and Super Cup not to mention Straightliners shoehorned in, and amongst all that there will be plenty of chance for RWYB". For more information check out York Raceway's web site at www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
Post en Dros racer offer.
22nd April: Dick Koster of Eurodragser.com sponsor Post en Dros writes with a pre-season offer for racers, which is valid until Saturday of next week (30th):
Now is the time to get the A/F sensor kit on your race vehicle, or to renew your sensors. Get the most out of your injection or carburettor tuning.
Racepak A/F sensors are compatible with either gasoline- or methanol-fuelled engines. The gasoline application will display A/F ratios between 9.55:1 and 20:1, while methanol is shown from 4.22:1 to 8.7:1. Please specify the type of fuel you will be using when ordering:
1 channel air/fuel ratio kit (module / heater / sensor) April only €299
Air / fuel ratio sensor (Lambda sensor) April only €65
4 channel wide band controller (without sensors) April only €899
For more information, or to place your order, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going west with the Turners.
22nd April: UK Top Methanol Funny Car team Turner Racing contested recent NHRA National and Regional events at The Strip At Las Vegas. Driver Rob Turner got in touch to let us know how he, brother and tuner Steve and the team got on:
Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals: This was the first time we raced the car without Steve's girlfriend Vicky Reid, who is a vital help to the team and especially to my wife Carmel who has MS. Steve went out a week early to prepare the car at Bernie Harrington's shop and we all met up on the Wednesday.
We made two minor changes to try to get the car leaving straight, a tyre pressure change and more height on the wheelie bar. These changes worked as on the first pass the car left arrow straight with the wheels up just right. About two hundred feet out it shook pretty hard and needed a quick pedal to settle down to a 6.5-second run. The next qualifier was good to about a thousand feet when I got near to the wall and had to lift, but a bit quicker at 6.15.
We almost didn't make the final qualifier due to crank trigger failure. It had been giving us some problems, firing up on warm-ups but not firing on the run. Steve connected the mag direct, under a lot of pressure when everybody is watching you those plugs just don't seem to fit together! We made the run which was a 6.05, we think that from incremental times it was about a 5.90 (I rolled the staging beams). Unfortunately we didn't qualify for this event.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7: When we serviced the car after the National event we found three burnt plugs, and all the bearings were flattened. This was due to the mag fluctuating the timing. We know it was at least two degrees advanced so we were so lucky to not have done more damage. We spent the next few days servicing the car and we fitted a crank trigger changeover switch.
The weather forecast wasn't good for this event. The first qualifying session was delayed and we finally ran about 6:00 pm. The car left perfectly then about two hundred feet out the second gear hub let go and broke through the casing losing drive. Annoyingly this was our best sixty foot time in the USA, and still rolled through at nine seconds flat.
We got back to the pits and it poured! A flash flood ensued and we had to abandon servicing the car until morning, instead drying out at the hotel. Next morning we got to the track early and checked the spare transmission, took a head off to change a valve and springs, and serviced the bottom end. The car was back together and about to fire up when at about midday the pit marshal came by and said "They are going with Top Alcohol first when the track is dry, in about thirty minutes". We were second pair with Annie Whiteley so we readied the car as quickly as we could whilst the marshal was watching to see if we could make it. I was getting myself as ready as I could whilst still in the pit. We towed out to the front of the class just as Annie was going under the arch. I got into the car as quickly as I could and we just made it.
When we were servicing the car I had noticed the clutch release bearing was binding, so w adjusted it and now the pedal felt much better. However the car wouldn't move into stage when I let the brake off. I had to de-clutch to get the car into stage, which upset the staging. The car launched well and got to the finish line under power, running 5.88 at 246 mph. Our best speed ever by 2 mph! We qualified fourteenth or fifteenth but there is only an eight-car field at a Regional event.
Unfortunately the event was called off due to the storms after only two sessions of qualifying. It will be re-run in November between the National and Divisional events. Qualifying is set after the two sessions.
The team feel confident. We now know what the car needs to pick up the first incrementals, so we are looking forward to October / November.
Thanks to Bernie Harrington, Jeff Carroll, Reggie and Tina, Mike Simpson, and our sponsors Lucas Oil, GRP Connecting Rods, Center Point CnC, CP-Carrillo Pistons and Roy Wilding Race Cars.
The PT Bruiser fuelled for its return.
22nd April: Paul Marston writes that his very popular PT Bruiser it all set for its return to competition:
The last time we saw the PT Bruiser in competition was in Super Pro ET at the 2014 FIA European Finals. The car was then sporting an all-aluminium 540ci Donovan on injected methanol. That has not changed, but with the data from that last event there were questions to be answered and some work needed. It was nothing sinister, although the motor being all aluminium means that you have to set the valve lash as near zero as you dare when it's cold - aluminium motors grow due to the expansive properties of the material, and the growth causes the valve lash to open up as the motor heats. This was a problem at that race as the Ron's Primer Plus system, which we use to start the motor and idle to build heat, was not working properly. Primer Plus is a very simple petrol injection system custom-built to work with alcohol / methanol fuel injection and if it doesn't work properly it can be very difficult to build heat in a motor due to the cooling properties ofalcohol as a fuel plus the heat dissipation characteristics of aluminium.
When we ran in 2014 the motor never got to the temperature for which I was looking, plus it was down a little on what I expected speed-wise. Bear in mind that we are only able to compare this to the data on the previous motor, which was a Chrysler 500 ci Pro Stock wedge.
With lots of questions that needed answering I figured that prior to our next race event, which was scheduled to be the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, we needed to book some rolling road time with John Sleath Race Cars. Matt Wright of Eurodragster.com sponsor wemoveyourcar.com had recommended John Sleath Race Cars' rolling road dyno as it has helped him get the fuelling right on the UK Top Sportsman twin turbo BBC Rolls Royce which Matt owns and drives. It made sense as you are dynoing the whole car, which is important as it is real world condition: fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pump, ignition system, plug leads, along with the motor you test everything as a whole. With the Primer Plus system working properly (the top of the sheet metal tunnel ram needed some extra machining) we could also get heat into the motor and run it at the correct temperature.
Gary and Arron Springford, PMR crew Sefton Whitlock and I travelled to John's workshop facilities last Tuesday for the day on the rolling road. The first pull was the baseline, the last run from 2014, followed by another to back up the data of the first pull. This returned 665 HP at the rear wheels, and the fuel reading from the Lambda sensors showed that it could possibly use some more fuel. This system runs a main pill (jet) on the return to the tank side, which regulates the fuel pressure; the fuel pump is belt-driven from the crankshaft so delivery increases with rpm. To control this increase in fuel pressure we also run what is referfed to as a high speed lean which is a separate pressure-sensitive valve to reduce fuel pressure and prevent overfuelling the motor which is a common problem with these systems.
For the next couple of pulls more fuel was added by upping the opening pressure point of the high speed lean. Doing this we saw an increase in horsepower to 681 then 692, 695, then with a small adjustment to fuel and a little less timing (from 38 to 36 deg) over 700. This gave us exactly what we were looking for, the answers were as I had suspected. There was more power to be had, with an increase of nearly ten per cent, and just as importantly it showed us where the motor made power and how long for in its RPM range - we were taking the motor to 7400 rpm on the rollers. Probably most importantly, we now knew that the motor was being fed the correct amount of fuel all the way through its rev range and the fuel curve now matched the engines needs. If you get this wrong and run too lean with alcohol it can hurt the motor, real bad, real quick.
One thing which a rolling road cannot give you is the torque figures, which we will find out once we run the PT Bruiser on a race track: torque is what accelerates a race car.
So did we achieve what we set out to, does the motor produce what we wanted? The rolling road is a very useful tool and did exactly what we wanted it to do, it pinpointed a problem I suspected was there, but without data it was just a hunch. I could have spent three or four races working on the fuel system and as any racer knows there are so many variables from day to day, let alone event to event, so it would be very difficult to interpret any data accurately meeting to meeting. So long as your car is reliable and you have a good idea of where you want to be with it, you can use a rolling road to get done in a day what could otherwise take months otherwise.
It will be interesting to see what difference this makes to the performance of the PT Bruiser. Personally I think it will make a little difference, she has run 8.29/160 and I now know that the motor is where it's happiest and we should pick up a little. The rest of any more potential is in making the chassis work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Many thanks to John Sleath and his team who were very helpful and knowledgeable, Gary Springford for his sagely advise, Arron for the videos, and Sefton for being Sefton. John Sleath kindly sent me all the data I need, and John's advice to put the PT Bruiser on the rolling road just prior to competing was very good advice indeed. If you are thinking of having this done yourself call John Sleath Race Cars 07976 751742. If you want it right dyno it; John Sleath offers a variety of services so check out his web site at www.john-sleath.com for full details.
Web site updates.
22nd April: Our good buddy Alan Currans writes with news of the latest update to his excellent Acceleration Archive: "The sun shone on Shakespeare County Raceway on Sunday 17th April and a great field of two-, three-, four- and even six-wheeled vehicles assembled for what promised to be a great day's action. Undoubtedly the headline class was the Supercharged Outlaws who were holding their first of seven rounds for the 2016 season. However, what really made my day was the appearance of one man and two rather small bikes which did not even put in a single pass. That man was Brian Chapman who back in the day was the scourge of Top Bike with his world beating Vincent-powered bikes". You can take a look at Alan's pictures at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Event entry update.
21st April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us Version 1 of the official entry list for next week's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. "If you have sent in your entry but are not yet on the list then please wait for the publication of Version 2 before panicking", says Jerry, "we can only process the entry list as quickly as the Post Office deliver. Please also note that final instructions will be sent out shortly; we are just awaiting updates from the relevant officials."
You can check out the APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes next Friday (29th) after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Our Kirstie needs your help.
21st April: Regular readers know that Eurodragster.com staff member Kirstie Tramm has embarked upon a racing career after winning the Dial In Day at Santa Pod Raceway earlier this year. Kirstie put up a good showing in Sportsman ET at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, qualifying eighth and pulling the class' best Reaction Time, and she is planning to contest this weekend's Big Bang, but has put out an urgent call for help if she is to compete.
Kirstie's new crash helmet has not yet arrived so she is looking to borrow a helmet to use at Santa Pod this weekend. The helmet needs to be legal for Sportsman ET and of size Small. If you can help then please get in touch with Kirstie pdq at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
21st April: We don't suppose it will change a thing but we can highly recommend an excellent article on bangshift.com named Baghdad Bob and the New Power of Words.
LAS Aerospace back Allard Chrysler.
21st April: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to announce support from LAS Aerospace for restoring Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler.
The group was looking for a timing buzz box for the 354 Chrysler Hemi engine. Chris Eames identified a unit offered by LAS Aerospace Limited in Okehampton with a part number LED51. ACAG checked with Ray Howe at LAS that it was suitable and Managing Director Scott Powell agreed to donate the unit to the project.
The LED 51 unit being used by the Allard Chrysler Action Group is really designed specifically for aircraft magneto synchronisation and engine timing, but it is ideal for timing a Chrysler Hemi with a single magneto (they have another unit for twin mag application). It eliminates all guesswork and provides a greater safety factor by creating perfect timing quickly and reliably. You simply attach three clips to the magneto and adjust until the illuminated LED turns off and the tone sounds.
LAS Aerospace was originally founded by owner Stephen Saywell in 1982 and has been at the forefront of supporting the Sport and General Aviation market since then. Day to day running of the company is overseen by MD Scott Powell. They have one of the largest stocks of British and American specification hardware in Europe - in total over 100,000 parts - all available for next day delivery. They have shipments leaving the USA daily, meaning that most products are delivered in under a week. Full details can be found on their web site at www.lasaero.com or call 01837 658081.
LAS Aerospace MD Scott Powell says "This application is quite different to our normal requests but we are pleased to support such a unique project. Heritage is important to protect and being an American engine it is very much in line with our normal generic aviation products sourced in the USA. We were very pleased to be able to help."
ACAG Chair Brian Taylor says "Support for this restoration project has come from many different companies and private individuals, some based in the UK and others in the USA. It is very rewarding that so many see the value in what is being achieved."
20th April: Multiple FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Dave Wilson's operation is up for sale turn-key on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet. If you are quick then you can get a great deal in time to enter May's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. "Please someone, buy this car or I will be forced to enter the Main Event myself!" says Grumpy.
Good Luck and stay safe to Smax Smith (Top Fuel Dragster), Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol FC), Roy Olsen (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Jimmy Ålund (Stock Eliminator) who are contesting this weekend's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. Qualifying commences on Friday and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com and not forgetting the excellent Lindberg Bros Racing web site at www.lindbergbros.com.
Santa Pod Raceway are celebrating the inaugural Race, Rock'n'Ride on 21st-22nd May by giving away a Two Seat Dragster ride. To enter the give-away go to www.racerockride.co.uk/win. You can find out more about the event at www.racerockride.co.uk.
Our good buddy, photo-journalist Steve Moxley has been in touch to let us know that his Festival of Power report of the bike classes is now showing on the ACU web site at www.acu.org.uk.
VW Sportsman and Sportsman ET racer Jon Crawford asked us to say a big Happy 15th Birthday to his son, Crawford Motorsports and Engine Carbon Clean ace crewman Dominic Crawford. Our pleasure Jon, have a great day Dominic.
Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe asks if Dave Alexander could please get in touch with him.
If you plan to tune in to our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of this weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway, which is scheduled to commence at 12:00 midday on Friday, then please remember that there is now a status message box on the webcam landing page at www.eurodragster.com/webcam which will be updated with anything you need to know (track closed etc). We take no responsibility for, nor can we promise to be gentle with, those who can't or won't read.
Big Bang racer update.
19th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway.
Pit marshals will be available when gates open on Friday.
Racers are welcome to run in the Run What You Brung sessions on both Friday and Saturday but please note that DVLC licences must be presented; Competition licences are not accepted for RWYB (Junior racers have their own arrangements for RWYB sign-on - Ed).
Thursday 21st April
10:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates open for racers
21:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates close
Friday 22nd April
08:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates open for the duration of the event
11:00 Signing on office opens for Run What You Brung NB DVLC licences only for RWYB
12:00 Track opens for Run What You Brung
19:00 Track closes
Saturday 23rd April
08:30 Signing on office opens NB Competition licences required for race sign-on, DVLC licences for RYWB
08:30 Car scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
08:30 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
09:30 Track opens for Run What You Brung
15:00 Run What You Brung ends
16:00 Track opens for qualifying
20:00 Track closes
Sunday 24th April
08:00 Signing on office opens
08:00 Car scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
08:00 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations
The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Junior Dragster racers please remember the new rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
19th April: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with no words at all. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Web site updates.
19th April: Santa Pod Raceway's YouTube channel has been updated with a Web TV programme covering the first round of the 2016 FWD Drag Series which took place at the recent Fast Show. The programme was produced by our good buddies at Zeon TV which tells you all you need to know about its quality. You can take a look at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jOf-N0FQs.
All welcome at Drag and Drift II.
18th April: Dakota Raceway in the south west of the UK is set for its latest Drag and Drift day this Saturday (23rd). Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child International Track Preparation Services writes:
Last month's season opener was a success with plenty going on at the grass-roots, no-frills Devon quarter mile. The event had more variety than Heinz 57! Newcomers were amazed at Lee Johnstone's blown Volvo Nostalgia Gasser and Philip Masek's BMW i8 hybrid, which ran in the 12.7s, also earned appreciation from fellow racers and spectators. The diversity of vehicles at Dakota Raceway is demonstrated by the category winners:
The drag strip will be open between 09:00 and 16:00 and you can buy one run, three runs, or unlimited runs. Perfect for Test and Tune! Passenger rides are allowed but only for cars of course. Dakota Raceway has three Signing On booths so you can get on track as quickly as possible.
You can pre-order race fuel for collection at the venue on the day. For details about that and more information about the event check out our Facebook page at Dakota Raceway Southwest. Dakota Raceway is located in Smeatharpe, Devon, postcode EX14 9RF (map).
York Raceway offers fuel outlet.
18th April: The UK's York Raceway is now offering pre-ordering of race fuel. Orders are delivered to the track saving delivery charges. Steve and Chris Murty of York Raceway have added this service in co-operation with Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts who writes:
All unleaded, leaded, oxygenated and non-oxygenated fuels will be available to order. All fuels need to be ordered by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01803 391740 seven working days before an event at York Raceway; the deadline for orders for the next event is this Thursday (21st).
Technical support will also be available via LA Racing Parts so the best advice will be available to competitors at York Raceway. Other products will be added at a later date.
Big Bang Perfect Awards.
18th April: This weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Mike Lacey at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Sportsman ET, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals are available in Signing On or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
NHRA's BDRHoF Award.
18th April: It is a well-known fact that the National Hot Rod Association, founded in 1951 by Wally Parks, is the largest promoter of drag racing on the planet, with 70,000 members and 40,000 competitors. What is not well-known - until now - is that NHRA is receiving its first-ever Global Achievement Award, sponsored by Lucas Oil, at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala to be held at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, near London's Heathrow Airport, on Saturday 19th November 2016.
The Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award was inaugurated in 2014 in memory of Pat Garlits, the late wife of legendary drag racer Don Garlits. This year it marks the role played by all people at the NHRA as without their support in developing drag racing it could not happen at the level it does today.
NHRA will be represented by Senior Vice President-Racing Operations Graham Light who is also president of the FIA Drag Racing Commission. Graham, who joined the NHRA Board in 2004, oversees competition and operations at all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races. In addition, he oversees NHRA Field Operations / Divisions and the NHRA Technical Department, supervises the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA, and serves as Chairman of the NHRA Competition Committee.
NHRA has always been dedicated to safety and in 1950s the Safety Safari travelled around the US for early national events and to the NHRA network of member tracks. Track facilities developed rapidly and a programme of upgrading of facilities to stadium quality, with fan amenities, VIP towers, and tall grandstands took place in the 1980s and 1990s under the direction of Dallas Gardner, who is the current Chairman of the NHRA Board.
As well as overseeing incredible growth and success in the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA has over the years been closely involved in the development of the sport overseas. In the UK Wally Parks was personally involved in organising the 1964 and 1965 Drag Fests which established the sport in Europe. In the 1990s the NHRA organised a number of races in Japan. The NHRA also chairs the FIA Drag Racing Commission which organises championships in Europe and Australia.
In 2011 NHRA announced the creation of NHRA Worldwide Network, a program which will enable drag racing facilities around the world to conduct events under the NHRA banner and have access to NHRA technical resources. The first track to be included in the Network was Bahrain International Circuit and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi joined in 2013. And in 2016, world-wide online streaming and in-house TV production has begun under current President Peter Clifford.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chairman Stu Bradbury said "It is an exceptional honour to be able to present the Lucas Oil Global Achievement award to the organisation that we owe so much to for the establishment and growth of the sport across the world."
Graham Light said "The NHRA is thrilled to receive the Lucas Oil Global Achievement award and I am looking forward to meeting UK drag racing racers and fans at the BDRHoF Gala. NHRA and its two hundred dedicated employees have a passion for drag racing. They love the sport, they love the people in the sport, they just love being involved. The Safety Safari guys, the guys that haul the equipment down the racetrack and the guys that work cleaning up oil spills to drying race tracks, they work all hours to get it done and they keep the show on the road."
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Like father, like daughter.
17th April: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher has been in touch with news of the team's plan to race as a duet in 2016:
At the NitrOlympX my daughter Jndia will be driving Anthony Dicerio's Nitro University A/Fuel Dragster which she recently drove in Las Vegas. Anthony will attend the race with us. Transport of the car and equipment will be provided by Jndia's sponsor JH Ferry GmbH. JH Ferry's Managing Director Tobias Jaursch was with us in Las Vegas and he has agreed to cover all of the costs of transportation. Tobias is willing to offer special terms on ferry agreements to racers; if you are interested then you can contact Tobias through JH Ferry's web site at www.jh-ferry.de.
Jndia has her own page on our team web site at club111.org/jndia-erbacher.
I will be racing the full FIA European Championship Tour and after five years I will take the Championship back to old Switzerland. This season I will be racing the car last driven here by Noah Stutz, a Hadman chassis with many changes so it is virtually a brand new car. We have two new billet superchargers from Aaron Brooks and a complete new fuel system from Alan Johnson and the Lagana Brothers. Robin Grice and John Stewart will tune the car. The set-up is close to that used when Noah raced in Las Vegas last October, so we will be able to share data with our friends the Laganas.
We have another new sponsor this year, DMax Television who will follow us for the whole season. Their decals are already on Jndia's car and mine. They will be with us at the FIA Main Event to make a pilot programme. You can find their web site at www.dmax.de. All of our other Main Sponsors remain the same. When my car is painted I will send pictures.
Urs' team web site at www.club111.org includes videos of Jndia's stellar Top Alcohol Dragster début in Las Vegas as well as pictures, news, fan shop, sponsor page and more.
SPR seeking tyres for sleds.
16th April: Ian Marshall writes that Santa Pod Raceway are still seeking used tyres for their sleds to help to prepare the strip. Both slicks and ET Street Radials can be used. If you can help then please get in touch with Ian email@example.com or on 01933 313625 and he will arrange collection.
Read's record aims.
16th April: The UK's Robin Read has spent the off-season making changes to his blown nitro-burning Daimler dragster to achieve his aim of the world's first 200 mph terminal speed from a British-engined car. The dragster made its third best run at the 2015 Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway, clocking 6.91/190, and Robin and the team have since been addressing issues identified after that outing:
I have a 200 mph timing slip from the late 1980s but I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now! Part of the work I have been doing is to change the gear ratio; when the car was conceived and built in the mid 1980s I couldn't have imagined the times and speeds it was to achieve and so the choice of axle was a bit light. This was not a problem initially, but as the power of the engine increased the short gearing became a problem. Making more power just uses up the gearing quicker, so it needs taller gears. This is a bit tricky as the ratio I want is not available in 9310 spec material, so I have obtained 8620 spec and had it all re-tempered to soften it a bit. I tried taller ratios in the 1980s and 1990s and most recently at Dragstalgia in 2012, and they all broke! It was this problem which prompted the decision to build a new car and that is proceeding, albeit slowly.
What is to stop the new gears from breaking? Hopefully the re-tempering, and I will also drive the car a little differently by short-shifting off the line to try to make the first-second gear change before the clutch has locked, which should lessen the shock loading. I was going to save the first 200 mph pass for the new car, but it's worth a try to run it in the old car.
I have also freshened the blower, although the difficulty was not knowing how tired it was and how fresh it is now. So that we don't run lean I've increased the fuel jet sizes above the blower and gone up a size on the fuel pump. There are also more changes to the lubrication system: we have increased the pressure again and revised the oil pickup and sump lay-out, which is to improve the durability of parts during and after the run with the loss of oil pressure experienced when the chute hits. The problem with a nitro engine is not making power, it's engineering it to survive the power it makes!
New headers have been fabricated which will cure the problem of their coming loose on the run, which was caused by a combination of damaged threads in the cylinder heads and warped flanges on the headers, all as a result of many repairs over the years. Both cylinder heads have had all the threads replaced. The old headers are now hanging on the wall; the new headers look different but very nice (see spy picture of 22nd March - Ed).
So now we have to try all these modifications out, let's go testing! Many thanks to James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway for allowing us to test at the Race, Rock'n'Ride on 21st-22nd May. If all goes well, we should see the world's first 200 mph terminal speed from a British-engined car and hopefully an elapsed time better than a 6.81. Both would be world records.
Many thanks to Bertie Hopkinson, Mark Evans, Tim Read, Ella Chapman and Bill Mears.
Main Event Pit Tour guides sought.
16th April: Brian Taylor writes seeking volunteers to give Pit Tours to young members of the Institute of the Motor Industry on the Friday of May's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. The Pit Tours, organised jointly by Santa Pod Raceway and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, have become a regular feature of this event and have proven immensely popular.
Brian says "If you would like to offer your services as a Tour Guide to introduce the young guests to top racers in their pits and to explain the finer points of drag racing, then in the first instance please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01395 579733."
16th April: Thanks to our good friends Lena Perés and Remco Scheelings for passing on details of the latest features on Speedgroup's Drag Racing Europe blog:
Jan Phersson is the manager of the European part of Simpson Safety Equipment. Jan and his staff are located in Röbäck just outside Umeå in the north of Sweden but he travels all over Europe to help out with safety in all motorsport categories. Click here for more.
A small airfield in the beautiful Setesdal in south of Norway hosts a spectacular drag race event. It is set between high mountains and the roar of the race cars sends shivers along the spine. That's where the name of the race comes from, Thunder Valle. Click here for more.
In his fourth year in Top Methanol Funny Car, Finland's Johnny Oksa will chase an important goal: a race win in the FIA European Championship. After several round wins, semi-final finishes, and even a runner-up position in last year's home race at Alastaro, it's time for the Finnish driver and his OK Racing team to win a trophy. Click here for more.
FIA Main Event entry update.
14th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 2 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes on Friday 29th April after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
The return of the Duo of Destruction.
13th April: Nigel Taylor writes that the Detroit Spinner Racing Team and Acute Angle Racing Team are up and running and ready to test and tune at this weekend's (16th-17th) Spring Madness Public Track Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Last year the Pontiac engine let go in the Prefect, which was originally built by Arthur Bonner. The new powerplant is a 555 ci Dart motor on which Arthur is still getting his hands dirty, maching, drilling, grinding, and making parts all the time. He is now set to get back behind the driving seat at the age of 74 to try out the new motor! The Detroit Spinner Racing Team would like to say a big Thank You to all those that have made this possible: Nigel, Sophie, Elisha, Kenzie and Fletcher Taylor; Arthur Bonner; Graham Smith; Serck Motorsport; Andy Frost; Peter Borrett (saunashop.com); Justin Horne (Joust Performance and Recovery); Michael Hawkins; Jeff Goddard; Bob Hancox; Chris and Cindy Cotton; Ben and Lez Waldron; Graham True; Col Law; Steve and Paul Dale; Stephen and Anita Lowth; Kelvin Helsdown; Dave Dip Fulton; Stuart Ashton; Rob Gregory; Edward Ede; Nick Dunford; Richard Hicks; Neil Gibbs; James Gilmour; Andover Trailers; Mark Gardner-Nitrous; William Underhill; Mark Timson; S-C Raceway; the Flyin' Fyfer Team; Richy Barnett; Jeff Bull Race Engines; Rob-Co Tooling; V-G Speedshop; Oscar Jack Meaton; JP Santos; Denise Moore; Danny Mitty; Mandy Darlison; Mick Patey; Cliff Hepton (American Motor Factors); Pete Harrison; Kirsty Cleall and Ray Andrews
Acute Angle Team Owner Paul Dale would like to say a special Thank You to his dad Steve Dale and to Nigel Jenkins of UK Blowers, and a special mention to his daughter Somer for all her support. Paul's 105E also suffered a destroyed engine but it now has a 355ci motor with Brodix heads and a lush supercharger sat on top, ready to run in the Supercharged Outlaws.
Both teams are excited as we enter a new era! See you there.
The Outlaws' early outing.
13th April: The first outing of 2016 for the UK's Supercharged Outlaws is early this year as the popular series also hits Shakespeare County Raceway's Spring Madness Public Track Weekend. Dave McKenzie writes:
The Supercharged Outlaws are looking very good this year and we would like to thank Jim Maher of Good Vibrations Motorsport, California for his continued sponsorship of the Supercharged Outlaws in 2016.
Round one has traditionally had a low turnout of Outlaws, but this year we have bucked the trend with ten teams entered and two more trying hard to make it, so we could have twelve cars on site at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend. So we start five weeks earlier than usual and we get a bigger entry list... it's puzzling but I'm not complaining.
The entry list includes four Funny Cars: Dave McKenzie in Team Thing, Andy Gallimore in the LA Commercials FC, Mark Flavell driving the Flavell Welding Specialist FC, and Trace Froome whose team are desperately trying to make it this weekend. Three altereds are entered: John Reeve, Andy Fadster with the wild street-legal altered, and Ian Kerr who has bought the ex-Ghost Train Funny Car chassis and fitted the old Team Thing five-window Plymouth body along with a Big Block Chevy motor. Ian also has a new paint scheme on the car.
Five doorslammers are entered including reigning Supercharged Outlaws Champion Paul Watts who starts his title defence this weekend. Also entered are Simon Boot with the Bootlegger Camero, and two new cars to the Outlaws. These are Paul Dale with the Acute Anglia and Joel Kerr, no relation to Ian, who will debut Ian Kerr's old Pontiac with a new paint scheme. Andy Osbourne is the fifth entry with his Chevy truck.
With the series increased to seven rounds this year the Supercharged Outlaws are going to be busy. There are a few more new teams and a few regular teams who hope to be out for Round Two, more news on these at later date but I can tell you that there are some great new cars coming into the class in 2016. We look forward to seeing you all at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend.
12th April: Fans at Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th April will get extra lungfuls of nitro on top of those from the two attending Nostalgia Funny Cars as the UK's Steve Ashdown will be continuing his licencing in one of the Rune Fjeld Motorsport Top Fuel Dragsters. Licencing at Big Bang will be a family affair for the Ashdowns as Steve's son, Top Fuel crew and former Junior Dragster racer Tyler Ashdown will also be making observed runs, in a Super Comp dragster.
Racers entered for May's FIA / FIM Main Event who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride at Santa Pod Raceway on the preceding weekend (21st-22nd May) are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track, but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify either James Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the weekend's Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the Fast Show timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
12th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures of the Saturday's action at Shakespeare County Raceway's first Public Track Weekend of 2016. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Feature: SPR 50th Anniversary gallery.
11th April: To mark today's Fiftieth Anniversary of the first event held at Santa Pod Raceway, which took place on Easter Monday 11th April 1966, Simon has scanned and posted 214 historical pictures which were kindly donated by former Pro Fuel Dragster and Funny Car racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Clive Skilton.
The gallery is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and features pictures dating from 1966 to 1968 which were originally shot for Drag Racing & Hot Rod magazine, although many have never been published. The pictures have been ordered by vehicle over time and include shots of Santa Pod Raceway's original timing system built by Peter Billinton, the Golden Hind AA/FD, Harold Bull's Stripduster, Alan Allard's Dragon Anglia, EJ Potter, Nobby Hills' Houndog III, Derek Metcalfe's V4-powered dragster, Mark Stratton and Dave Riswick's Hustler, Spa Engineering's promotional vehicle, Commuter campaigned by Tony Densham, Roy Phelps' Wheelie Stingray, Freddie Whittle's Shutdown, Bo Sandeberg's The Deejays GTA, Pat Church's Gold Rush and others.
You can check out the 50th Anniversary gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
From the Eurodragster.com staff a big Happy Birthday and Thank You to all involved with Santa Pod Raceway then and now, and a big Thank You to Clive Skilton for passing on the pictures.
11th April: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with the words "Got boost"...
...whilst the second (above right) came with the word "Snap!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No news update yesterday (Sunday) so we were unable to say Happy Birthday for yesterday to Comp Bike racer Lizz McCarthy and to Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Colin Theobald. Hope you had a great day guys.
Europeans and more in Las Vegas.
11th April: Our good buddy and occasional Eurodragster.com contributor, the currently un-fired Markus Münch of Dragmag.de, attended his first NHRA National Event in Las Vegas last week. Markus got in touch with a report of his weekend:
What can I say? Everything is a bit bigger there. The grandstands, the facility, the parking lots... and the entry list. Over three hundred participants in various classes fought for Mello Yello and Lucas Oil points. Sixteen fuel dragsters, nineteen Funny Cars and nearly twenty Pro Stocks. The weather was hot, up to 30° Celsius.
Two Europeans were at the track, Rob Turner with the Turner family Top Alcohol Funny Car and Jndia Erbacher in her first race ever in an A/Fuel Dragster. Rob Turner did not manage to do better then 6.05 seconds in qualifying and did not make it into the field. Jndia Erbacher won her A/Fuel licence during the winter and went faster and faster on every run in her driving school's dragster. There were only eleven Top Alcohol Dragsters on site, so Jndia contested her first round of racing. She met Chris Demke in round one but the number two qualifier made no mistake at all with his 5.29 second Run. India reset her Personal Best on this run to 5.51/265, good job! We had the chance to chat with Noah Stutz and he told us that it is possible that we will see this combination of Jndia and the car in Europe this season if everything turns out right. Noah himself is busy sealing his deals for more NHRA races later this year and perhaps a full-time engagement in the future. He is talking to many sponsors and teams and is confident that the puzzle is coming together quite well. We wish him the best of luck.
I had many impressions of this race. The most impressive was how quickly the Pro cars were sent down the strip. The Funny Cars are celebrating their fiftieth year and put on a killer show. In qualifying ten of the nineteen FCs were in the threes. Jack Beckman set a new track ET record and Del Worsham a new track speed record. Side by side sub four-second runs are pretty impressive. In eliminations there were a bunch of exciting races. Brilliant. Alexis Dejoria finally won against Del Worsham, margin of victory 0.021 seconds and both in the threes. Previous to that Alexis beat John Force, who was on fire and kicked his FC after the race. But the old man is still loving what he does best, he eliminated his daughter Courtney in round two in a close one. In the first round he got "The Hagan Kid" and won. Del got Chad Head in the semis, Chad had a superb weekend with good times and two round wins.
There were some upsets in round one of Top Fuel. Tony Schumacher, Shaun Langdon, Steve Torrence, Clay Millican and Richie Crampton all went out. Antron Brown was in the final against underdog Troy Buff. Brown took the win, but Buff had a fabulous weekend eliminating JR Todd, Brittany Force and Richie Crampton on his way to the final. Pro Stock was Summit country with Jason Line and Greg Anderson dominating the field. In the K+N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday they were in the final; Jason Line had to be shut off after the burnout cause of a leak. Greg Anderson took his fifth K+N title, the first with an EFI engine. Jason Line took the event win on Sunday against strong Bo Butner.
What a race weekend... I will be back to NHRA sooner or later. But it will soon be time to go to the FIA Main Event.
You can check out Markus' extensive gallery of shots from The Strip at Las Vegas by clicking here.
Some you win, some you lose.
11th April: Paul Marston Racing fielded three entries at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, and Paul got in touch to let us know how the team's weekend went:
Our team included new boy, countless and reigning Sportsman ET Champion Craig Wright in the PMR four-Link Miller dragster resplendent in its new livery. Craig was competing in Super Pro ET as he wanted a new challenge. Easter being early this year meant that no real meaningful testing could be carried out. Team PMR arrived at Santa Pod on Wednesday to be ready for Thursday's Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune but the weather soon put paid to that. So we spent the day checking the dragster over again and installing an MSD three-step control box so that Craig had a burnout limiter. Qualifying went well; Craig naturally had a very steep mountain to climb as this was the first time he had sat in our dragster, having licenced in the Kellett family's dragster at the end of 2015. Those two dragsters are fundamentally different so there was plenty to keep Craig busy. As usual we had the most problems with the newest part on the dragster, namely the brand new fuel pump which leaked and caused us to miss Q2, but we made up for it in Q3. Craig also had the luck of the Irish in E1 as his opponent was declared broken so with no alternates he got the bye run. Then, as we all know, the weather played its part and the event was rained out. All in all not a bad first outing for Craig, his crewman Chris and their respective better halves. Craig's next outing will be at the FIA Main Event, once again in the PMR dragster.
Meanwhile I was on driving duties for our other two entries in the Whoopass Chevy Monza: Pro ET after too long an absence and Super Pro ET. The Monza finished off the 2015 season with two runners-up, with Mick Howling behind the wheel in Super Pro ET at the FIA/FIM European Finals and myself at the UK National Finals. Other than winter housekeeping the Monza was left untouched. I made Q1 no problem and got a full pull in Pro ET but Super Pro ET was another story as I had to lift at half track to save the car. In Q2 the Monza decided that it did not particularly want to go down the track again that day. I was in the staging lanes ready to go, hit the starter button and... nothing! Much thrashing ensued from the PMR crew but alas to no avail so we towed back. Once back in the pits I removed the 4 lb lump hammer from the toolbox, gave the starter a little tickle, and it worked fine again. But the starter was replaced and has since been repaired. This gave us kind of a one shot qualifier on Saturday as I was towards the bottom in Pro ET and dead last in Super Pro ET. In Q3 we improved in both classes with conservative dial-ins to get us further up the qualifying lists.
In Pro ET E1 I was up against Tony Harter in the ex-Vic Amato Ford Mustang. It's a real pleasure to race this car and great to see it back competing again. I had experienced a lack of gears in the Monza earlier that morning on my warm-up drive but they had reappeared, but that was really not a good sign with a racing transmission so we knew something was up. However all appeared to be working fine again. After a couple more disappearing acts I finally got to run first round. Burnout went fine, pulled up to the start line fine, both cars in full stage, put the motor on the launch chip, fine, let go of the transbrake button and bang! The first gear disappeared. Shifted into second and off I went in pursuit but never caught Tony who chalked one up for the next round.
I came up with the lucky dog in Super Pro ET as my opponent Tom van der Wijden had already broken and packed up and gone for the ferry back to The Netherlands. I had no first gear at all, but I still had second gear and reverse. So I staged for the round win and then hot-footed it back to the pits where the PMR crew began removing the transmission so that it could be repaired. As it was the event was rained out, so we got lucky in Super Pro ET and unlucky in Pro ET. In the great scheme of things no great advantage or damage was gained by anyone so both Championships are still left with all to play for.
Not the best start to the season but it will do; the weather is the weather, you cannot beat it (You want to try making rain sound interesting - Ed). Besides, it was great to see everyone at the track again. Our next outing is the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway where we will hopefully be fielding the PT Bruiser in Super Pro ET. It's all ready to go and once we have visited John Sleath's shop to set up the alcohol fuel injection system we should be able to see the potential of the current combination.
Meanwhile the Monza's transmission has been stripped and rebuilt by Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering after a rare component failure. This is actually good news, as if it had lost the first gear assembly it would have been a much bigger problem! The Monza is scheduled to run in the Quick 8 Eliminator at North Weald on Sunday 8th May.
Many thanks to Eurodragster.com for the pinpoint coverage at Easter (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed) and to Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering for turning the transmission around so quickly. Thanks also to our tireless crew at PMR and to our fans and sponsors.
Lindberg to drive The Old 51.
9th April: A change to the driver's seat has been announced from Sweden's The Old 51 Drag Racing Team. Magnus Petersson, owner and Crew Chief of The Old 51 Chevy Coupe Pro Mod, and driver Niclas Andersson had to make a tough decision this past week as Niclas' back problems are preventing him from competing on the FIA European Drag Racing Championship series.
In his place, Magnus has named Johan Lindberg as the driver of The Old 51 for the 2016 season. Johan was is the 2014 FIA Top Methanol Funny Car champion.
"It's with a heavy heart that Niclas isn't driving the car", said Magnus. "Niclas injured his back, so he wasn't comfortable about driving the car this year. I bought the car in 1998 and have only had two drivers. Niclas has been driving it for nine years, so it was quite emotional when Niclas couldn't drive the car any longer. We have been running the Pro Mod series for the past four years. Last year, we decided to run for the FIA European Championship. It's a bit sad, because Niclas was excited about doing it.
"I knew that Johan was out of a drive in Sweden and Europe, so we talked together about him driving my car this year. We have had our car for years, and we helped them out when they started and became friends. We get along well. There are only so many guys you can think of that you'd want to drive a car like this. We feel very confident as a team that Johan is the right guy to do this."
Niclas Andersson exits the driver's seat with a heavy heart. The supercharged, carbon-bodied Chevy Coupe won seven Scandinavian Top Doorslammer Championships before switching to Pro Mod, and the best seems to be yet to come with the team embarking on the FIA Tour.
"I have some back problems with a herniated disc which has got worse and worse", Niclas explained. "It was a tough decision to make, but safety has to come first. I've been driving the car for nine years. I love this car. We scored a lot of wins, and it gets faster and faster every year. Magnus and I talked about it, and we thought it would be best to have Johan drive the car. He is a very good friend and a very good race car driver. It is going to be a good year for him and the team. It's a really good race car."
Johan is excited about joining the team. With Lindberg Bros Motorsports becoming increasingly more concentrated in the United States in order to focus on brother Jonnie's defence of his 2015 Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship in the National Hot Rod Association, the opportunity to get back into Pro Mod with an established team of trusted friends is a perfect fit for the 33-year-old from Upplands Väsby, Sweden.
"It felt very good to have Magnus call me up to ask if I wanted to drive the car", said Johan. "I am very happy to do so. Magnus and all his guys are great people who are good friends of ours, so driving for him is going to feel like home. I'm looking forward to driving a Pro Mod car for the first time since 2012. Hopefully, it's going to be a good year."
"It's a good car and a championship contender", added Jonnie Lindberg. "It works out perfect for me and my brother. He was looking at getting back into Pro Mod, and this allows him to do that with a great team without taking focus away from racing for a Championship in the United States with my car."
The 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championship series begins at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. A test is planned to take place at Malmö Raceway on 13th-15th May.
"It's a strong team", added Magnus. "There are very mixed feelings which are difficult to express. I'm very sad that Niclas won't be driving. At the same time, I'm extremely thrilled to have Johan join the team. I think this year is going to be a lot of fun."
The Baltic States join the fold.
9th April: The first ever Drag Racing Conference for the Baltic States was recently held in Lithuania, where the sport has grown since the country regained independence in 1990. The conference was attended by Paul Marston and Bill Felstead and Paul has been in touch with a report of their trip:
The tracks are currently ex-military airfields and are no prep affairs, which make the times and speeds all the more impressive. As you can imagine a lot of the race cars are home grown, for example some very impressive Audis and BMWs with home made ECU and injectors which run either E85 or Alcohol and producing between 800-1200 hp using huge turbos. The events now draw fields of up to 130 cars and the National Record is 7.90/180 from a fuel injected LS1 twin turbo-powered altered built for a customer in England by Bill Felstead of 2015 UK Top Sportsman event sponsor Comanche Racecars then exported to Lithuania a couple of years back.
The organiser of the Conference was Andrius Tiknius who recently became the SFI representative for the region and is the FIA representative for drag racing in Lituania. Andrius was a very successful promoter of Lithuanian drag racing events in the 2000s, but became disillusioned. He then moved to England for four years and built race at Johnny Hall's Stamford Speed Shop. When in England Andrius was a regular at Santa Pod, guiding and advising the many visiting Lithuanian drag racers who were either bringing their cars from Lithuania or who had bought or had cars built turn-key in the UK and were testing prior to returning home. Andrius eventually returned to Lithuania himself with batteries recharged and he lost no time in sharing his knowledge and once again helping to move the sport forward.
To this end Andrius knew that the time was right to introduce the drag racing rule book to which people build their cars all over the world. Up to this point home-grown race cars were built to rally spec as those were virtually the only rules around. He invited experts from different countries to come to the conference to talk about specialist subjects pertaining to drag racing as it would help the sport to develop in the right way and in the right direction. It would also give racers and teams the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss their race cars. The invitees were from Sweden, Jan Phersson, Managing Director of Simpson Racing Products; from The Netherlands, Dick Koster and Egbert Dros of Racepak datalogging products and Post en Dros; From Lithuania, Andruis Tiknius representing competition rules and classifications for drag racing in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Drag Racing Cup; From Lithuania, Saulius Stanaitis the LASF technical chassis scrutineer for Lithuania; from England, Bill Felstead the race car chassis constructor and drag racing historian; from England, Paul Marston covering Sportsman class racing and promotion, marketing and sponsorship. Guest speakers were Romas Austinskas, the President of the Lithuanian Automobile Sport Federation and Tigran Seferjan, the head of the Drag Racing Committee of the Russian Federation of Automobile Sport and member of the FIA Drag Racing Commission.
Having known Andrius for quite a while when he lived in the UK Bill and I were not going into this blind, but having never been to Lithuania before we did not know what to expect. My first task was to get Bill to the airport on the right day, let alone the right time... anyone who knows Bill Felstead will know what I mean! But we arrived at Luton Airport at 05:30 in the freezing frost for an 07:30 flight. We were met at Vilnius Airport by Giedruis Jurevicius, owner of the ex-Taz Racing Boudicca Altered which currently holds the Lithuanian ET and Speed records.
A short trip to Giedruis' motor mechanics servicing workshop business and a viewing of the altered confirmed that he is a very brave man! There was a lot of home grown technology in the altered, mixed in with American parts. As I mentioned above it's a Bill Felstead build, in fact we found three of Bill's cars over there. Bill and Andrius have quite a few Eastern European connections including the World Record-setting Nissan Skyline from Russia, which incidentally set that record at Santa Pod Raceway a couple of years back. That evening we take toe 300 km road trip to the other side of the country as the conference was being held in Klaipeda on the Baltic coast.
The conference lasted two days and started on the Saturday morning with Andrius. Strange as it may seem, nearly all of the conference was conducted in English as nine out of ten Lithuanians can speak English. Andrius gave a brief background on himself and his involvement with drag racing and explained that the purpose of the conference was to help the drivers and teams to build safe race cars which complied with the rules to which cars in the UK are built, so that they could compete in other European countries.
The first conference of its kind went very well and was very well-received by all the attendees, also offering networking opportunities of which full advantage was taken. At the end of each day there was an opportunity for the teams to ask the speakers any questions they wished. What was also surprising was how many racers had actually run cars at RWYB events in England.
Tracks in Lithuania currently like North Weald, ex-military bases where the surface is OK but could be better. The ingenuity employed by the teams reminded me very much of our drag race scene in the late 1980s, when I first competed with the NDRC at North Weald. The only difference is just how much faster their cars are, which is why Andrius Tiknius will prove to be such an instrumental part of the sport's development. By acting now, the cars being built will have safety built into them. Bill and I went into Lithuania with open minds, how can you ever know until you have been there, and we found a great country with very friendly people, outstanding hospitality, great food and beer, and very clean and tidy. If you are thinking of travelling to Lithuania I would recommend it with no hesitation, but bear in mind that during the winter its -35° and in the summer it hits 90° so go in the summer! Would we go back again? Most certainly! Personally I would like to attend a race meeting there. Hopefully some of the Lithuanian organisers will be able to come over to the Mopar Euronats at Santa Pod at the end of July to see how we run UK Top Sportsman.
Once again special thanks to Andrius Tiknius for inviting us and for the great cooking, he kept Bill well fed. I look forward to the next time I encounter any of the guys and girls I met in Lithuania as they are now my friends. Special recognition also to Eurodragster.com, it is amazing how many people over in Lituania rely on sites like Eurodragster.com to keep up with the latest news (Thanks, good to know - Ed).
See LA for Holley and more.
9th April: Lee Child writes that Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts has added another product range:
After the last few years concentrating selling race fuel, an opportunity came up for a perfect partner to our race fuel sales - a company which supplies fuel induction components. I am proud to announce that LA Racing Parts is now a dealer for Holley. I have been selling Holley products for as long as I have been trading, but with the strength of our fuel sales and knowledge this is going to be a great performance advantage and easier on your racing budget.
The Holley brand group is massive: Accel, Demon, Diablosport, Earls, Edge, Flowtech Exhausts, Frostbite, Hays Clutches, Holley, Holley EFI, Hooker, Hooker Blackheart, Lakewood, Mr Gasket, MSD Performance, NOS, NOS Sniper, Quick Time, Superchips and Weiand are all part and LA Racing Parts will be selling every brand.
With NHRA Pro Stock now running Holley EFI I can see it being very infectious with other applications going through the Sportsman ranks. Whatever your vehicle, we will have something from the Holley group which will lower your times and increase your power.
For more details call Lee on 01803 391740 or e-Mail email@example.com.
H's Scary tribute.
8th April: On the day of the funeral of Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head, her friend Heather Read (aka H) writes from Australia with a tribute:
I hadn't spent much time on the computer so I wasn't aware of the news until Dave called me on Saturday evening to let me know of Sarah's passing (thanks Dave).
During my time in the sport in the UK Sarah and I became good buddies while she was racing, but our bond grew stronger when she had her top end spill at Santa Pod. I remember she held my hand when she was in A&E and just looked into my eyes. She was worried, but showed true grit that a lot of men would crumble at. The girl had backbone.
Over time Dave and I sat in corridors and were just there for each other waiting for the next instalment of news. Slowly but surely Sarah healed and I knew that she was on the mend when her colourful language began to appear again... but I thought it would be after she came out of ICU (smile).
On one of my trips back to the UK I took a trip up to see Sarah and Dave and found her in a very positive frame of mind, working out when she would be ready to throw her leg over a frame again. She wanted that world record with her name on it.
Sarah, you will always be in my memory as a fighter and if what they say is true then you are doing what you love best. See you some day. H.
Smax Smith writes from Canada: Sarah was a joy to know and had bigger balls than me. Rest well my friend.
A Split weekend.
8th April: Thanks to Rick Johnson for passing on Split Second Jet Dragster pilot Julian Webb's account of the Tate Oil-sponsored team's weekend at the Festival of Power:
After numerous changes to the Tate Oil Split Second Jet Dragster, including the burner fuel delivery system and ride height, we all headed off to the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway full of enthusiasm for some good runs.
The intention was to run on the Thursday to check out the changes but the weather stopped us. Our first run was a side-by-side with our good friends in the Fireforce team. We needed to check the burner pressure and the upgrades certainly worked, however the increased stress on components culminated in a broken burner pump drive. We were able to run but without the burner and we were thoroughly beaten by Martin Hill, but we got some good information from the run.
Unfortunately I had tidied the race trailer and left the spare fuel pump and drive back in Leeds so had to take an eventful round trip of three hundred miles for spares!
With an old pump and drive fitted we were not sure what to expect. The first hit of the afterburner shot the car forward more than ever before and blew the door off the workshop behind the start line, which was a good sign! After a massive flame show and a few small burner pops we were shut off with a leak. This turned out to be a failed solenoid causing the catch can to fill. Sorry to the start line crew who had to clean up the leaked fuel.
We repaired the problem and massively reduced the burner pressure, deciding that it was best to build back up to our regular levels. The last run was really good and has proved that the high flow system which we now run is the way forward.
We then made our way over to our local track, York Raceway, for some fun on the Monday. Although it was raining Steve Murty's uncanny understanding of the local weather kept us waiting for the rain to stop. Just as Steve predicted the rain stopped and the crew started to prepare the track. As time went on we decided that it was not fair to take the limited track time from the regular racers so we called it a day. Five days and two runs was not what we hoped for but that's the weather for you.
We have new burner drives being made so we can start to get the full potential from the new system and now can't wait for the next meeting on May Bank Holiday at York Raceway.
Thanks to my crew for all their efforts and everyone who dropped by to say hello over the weekend.
8th April: Good luck and stay safe to the UK's Rob Turner who is contesting Top Alcohol FC this weekend's NHRA Divisional race in Las Vegas, to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting this weekend's NHRA Regional race at No Problem Raceway, Louisiana, and to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who is contesting the NMCA / NMRA All-Star Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. Qualifying commences at each event today (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com. Additionally you will be able to tune in to a free webcast of the All-Star Nationals courtesy of our buddies at Bangshift.com. Click here to watch the webcast.
Oil pump and rod manufacturer the Auto Verdi Company have been a faithful sponsor of Pro Stock and Pro Mod for many years, have worked with different racers to develop their products, and are backing the EDRS with contingency sponsorship this season. Lena Perés writes that you can read more about Auto Verdi's involvement on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
Sweden's Ida Johansson loves motorcycles and she can't help it as it must have been genetically determined. The Swedish student from Hofors got her first bike when she was three years old, joined the Junior Drag Bike racers when she was fourteen, and took over her dad's ride in Super Gas Bike at the age of sixteen. Now, at nineteen years old, it's time for the next step as Ida follows in the footsteps of her father Niclas by taking over his Super Street Bike and making her entrance into the no slick, no wheelie bar class for the brave. You can read more courtesy of Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman.
8th April: The organisers of UK Top Sportsman are very pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com sponsor Gearhead Garage have taken the title rights for the 2016 outing of UK Top Sportsman at the mighty Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July.
Gearhead Garage Head Honcho Michael Pusey explains a little background to this new venture and the services which Gearhead Garage can provide:
Gearhead Garage has been a long-nurtured idea and, as time goes on, it's time to think about slowing down the physical side of the building business so here we are. We have already got a few stock vehicles and parts for sale. Sourcing of vehicles and parts, with containerised shipping from California, is available through our San Diego based agent, vehicle appraisals are also possible in CA for those far-away purchases! A forty-foot container arrives in the UK every fortnight.
Our market is American cars and trucks from old to new, maybe the odd race car and hot rod; stock and commission sales are also catered for. At our rural Peak District location we have substantial yard storage for up to forty vehicles and secure garage storage for four cars, with local unit secure storage for many more within half a mile. We welcome any enquiries for vehicles and parts at any time, contact us via our web site at www.gearhead-garage.co.uk.
Paul Marston adds: Gearhead Garage were a contingency sponsor in 2015 and very kindly provided apparel for all the UK Top Sportsman crew. They were impressed with the level of excitement and entertainment which UK Top Sportsman provided and have elected to take the top spot for 2016. As most people know UK Top Sportsman attracted interest from TV companies from the outset, and all events from the second year have been televised. This provides a very attractive platform for businesses who are looking for quality, high-profile exposure in our niche market. Gearhead Garage is a relatively new company, run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts of American cars and associated high performance parts. By taking the UK Top Sportsmans title sponsorship Gearhead Garage will be able to substantially raise the profile of their company to the public, to competing teams, to the on-line audience and to the TV audience which covers most of Europe. Gearhead Garage see this as excellent value for money investment which will accelerate their growth and which will simply keep on giving way into the future.
There will also be a cross-over into mainstream National Championship Drag Racing as Gearhead Garage has become a business partner with Paul Marston Racing in 2016 season.
UK Top Sportsman is the fastest-growing, richest Sportsman doorslammer heads-up and fast bracket event of the year. It's the race where you come to be measured against the very best in England and Europe. It's the race with the richest payouts, all in cash. There are two races over three days, and other than safety there are no rules: so long as it's a Doorslammer and you run quicker than 9.99 seconds you are in. No, you do not need an MSA license; no, you do not have to have all your safety equipment in date, just so long as its there. This is without doubt the toughest, hardest-fought event of the year. In our six-year history no-one has won the Heads-Up or Fast Bracket races twice. Many have come but no-one has ever dominated, so anyone who is good enough can win.
For more details and information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07831 650230 (outside the UK +44 7831 650230). We are always looking for business partners to join us to share the exposure which being associated with UK Top Sportsman attracts. If you are interested then please contact us for more information.
Event entry update.
6th April: Entry is still open for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing, ACU Drag Bike and other Championships, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 30th April-2nd May. You can download the official entry forms from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee via Bacs rather than credit card or cheques, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. SCR's account details can be found on the entry form. If you have any queries about APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry then please contact Shakespeare County Raceway at email@example.com or call 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 414119).
Entry is open for the FIA / FIM Main Event, a round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships, the FIM European Drag Bike Championships and some classes in the UK National Drag Racing Championships, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out Version 1 of the official FIA / FIM Main Event entry list by clicking here, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
6th April: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "There was a knock at the door...". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-Festival of Power points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn. Have a great day Derek.
The plan came together I.
6th April: Karl Harrison writes that the NUA/RKS Motorsport Top Methanol Dragster team headed to the Festival of Power with two goals. The first was to get Rod Harrison down the track in 6.40 seconds or quicker, and over 200 mph, twice get his licence signed off so that he could compete in FIA Top Methanol Dragster, and the second was to get back to the team's performance at the end of 2015. Karl says that both objectives were achieved and that in fact, from his standpoint as Crew Chief, they achieved more than that:
We arrived at Santa Pod and met up with Abby and our good friend Andy Boyce (who travels from Ireland each meeting to support us, thank you Andy). Dad, Tash, Abby, Andy and I then set about getting the pit set up. That all went surprisingly smoothly given that we hadn't done it for months. Mum and the rest of the crew arrived late afternoon. The dragster was pretty much ready to go; we went through a couple of small bits which needed sorting and then chilled out for the rest of the evening, then got an early night ready for what would hopefully be a good day's testing the next day.
Friday dawned and it looked good, sun out and a dry track. We got the ninety minute call and were all ready to warm up. Got the thirty minute call and fired the car up, again all went to plan with everyone happy and we were excited to get down on that start line.
The plan was a half pass check-out as there were a lot of new parts in the engine and the whole car had been apart over the winter. The half pass went smoothly, 1.06 to sixty feet, a bit of tyre shake about 150 feet out, Dad stayed with it and then clicked it off just past 330 feet. We got back to the pits and serviced the engine and all was good. We got out for the last session of the day and plan was a full pass. And a full pass it was, 5.96/230, we were a happy bunch! We serviced the car again all was good to go for Saturday.
As we all know Saturday wasn't great when it came to the weather. We got out late afternoon and got the first goal of the weekend done, after a great driving job from Dad he got it down the track in 6.33 seconds at 215 mph, licence signed off.
After a very windy Saturday night a still breezy but sunny Sunday arrived... and this was the part which not many people knew about. We and the Apache Nostalgia Funny Car team had discussed the possibly of a match race if Dad's licencing was sorted. Rob Loaring walked into our pit on Sunday morning and asked "Well are we having a race then?". This was quickly followed by "You bet!". The rest is pretty much as normal other than the race, which was nothing other than fantastic and great finish to our weekend. We ended with a 5.92/229 win over Tim Garlick's 6.13/230. Now that's racing!
We are now officially a Top Methanol Dragster team and we can't wait for our first entry into FIA Top Methanol Dragster at the Main Event.
As always a massive thank you to Tash, Andy, Lisa, Abby, Jacko and Lee for being simply the best crew. A massive Thank You to Ian Marshall not only for signing off Dad's licence but also for allowing the match race between Tim and Dad. Thank you also to all of the Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC staff, track and safety crews.
Last, but definitely not least, a huge thanks to NUA Motors for their sponsorship this season. We would also like to welcome Willow Transport Solutions as a new sponsor for this year, thank you for your support and I hope that we do you proud on the track.
We now have the long break between Easter and the FIA Main Event. We will service the race car and we have some work which we would like to get done on the trailer so we still have plenty to do to keep us all busy. See you at the Main Event!
The plan came together II.
6th April: Colin Millar has been in touch with a wee update from the Flyin Fyfer Drag Racing Team, whose new driver took the wheel for the first time at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday:
Scott Crookston now has his name on the Flyin Fyfer together with a new Outlaw Anglia number OA106. Scott managed to bag his licence with the help of Ian Marshall who was as always keeping an eye on the day's activities.
Scot was unable to have his breakfast on Saturday morning but after his first run and his nerves settled and he was able to down a square of sausage, brown sauce and a cup of tea! We have been busy getting the car back together and it is now sporting a new Shafiroff 582 ci BBC which has proven a good decision; it's now running on pump gas and you will also note the lack of NOS this year (Oh boo - Ed) as we are still paying off the dreaded credit cards from our wee trip to the States. So we plan a year of cost reduction and ensuring no engine damage and staying trouble-free whilst still delivering a reasonably fast car.
We had the dyno sheets from a recent test on Kenny Coleman's Dyno at EDA (thanks Kenny) and we had an expectation of what was achievable. On Scott's final full pass for his licence he ran a very straight and controlled and surprisingly fast 8.79/152 and on his final pass he ran 8.77/151, both trouble free and with the help of an excellently-prepped track as always and some warm sunshine. Everyone was happy with the exception of Scott's mum Lynn who was told that Scott would be eased in and running tens all weekend!
On Saturday night we made our way to Shakespeare County Raceway and with the exception of Scott we had a nice night in Kenny's Bar. In the morning we made two runs which proved somewhat challenging, but it's what you make it and we had all in all a fantastic and successful weekend. The set-up is still quite soft so there is a bit more still in it going forward.
If you look on the entry list for Big Bang Scott's name is there in black and white; we will début there with the Outlaw Anglia family followed by the Springspeed Nationals a week later.
Scott, Nicole, Lynn and I are so looking forward to seeing everyone at the track again.
Festival of Power awards roll over.
5th April: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch to let racers know that, following the rain out of the Festival of Power, the unpaid prize fund for those Sportsman classes which contested the event will be carried over to the SPRC Summernationals in June. The prize fund for the Wild Bunch will be carried over to the UK National Finals in September.
Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway writes that Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels and Santa Pod have also decided to roll over the unclaimed VP Racing Fuels prizes from the contingency sponsorship programme. The fuel unclaimed from the Festival of Power will be awarded to the number one qualifiers in each class at the FIA/UEM Main Event in May, in addition to the regular prize awarded to the winner of the event. The same terms and conditions apply as for the prizes awarded to event winners.
A reminder of the sponsorship scheme:
Santa Pod Raceway will be offering one nineteen-litre pail of any of its VP Racing Fuels to the winner in the following classes at our five UK National Championship and ACU UK Drag Bike Championship rounds in 2016 (Festival of Power, FIA/FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA/FIM European Finals and the UK National Finals):
You are only three steps away to a chance of winning with this fantastic offer:
5th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us the final version of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Remco Scheelings writes that Ari Pietilä and the Woodstock Racing Top Methanol Funny Car team have recruited top-level motorsport knowledge in the form of former Formula 1 engineer, and Technical Director of Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Ossi Oikarinen. You can read more at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Feature: Long Time Dead.
4th April: If you like your dragsters front-engined then you will enjoy the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, in which Sam Freeman gives us the low-down on his new slingshot named Long Time Dead.
Sam Freeman is well-known as a Super Pro ET racer and, in the late Vic Hammond's SpeedDemon slingshot, as a Supercharged Outlaw racer but his involvement in the sport dates back as far as 1971 when he was shanghai'd into Clive Skilton's Pro Fuel Dragster team and then worked with Trevor Young.
In a fascinating and entertaining Feature, Sam details his career in the sport then tells the story of eventful trips to the USA to acquire the components of his new car and then its construction in his own workshop. You can check out the story of Long Time Dead by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
4th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures of Friday's action at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Also updating from the Friday of the Festival of Power is Paul Lister whose pictures you can find at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
More welcome returnees.
4th April: Consultant to the NHRA Eileen Daniels and Chairman of the Quarter Mile Foundation Traci Hrudka are planning a return visit to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala evening which takes place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London's Heathrow Airport.
Eileen, together with husband Bob who died in 2007, helped to grow NHRA to the prominence it currently enjoys. In their racing career, their Fiat Topolino Altered enjoyed many wins. In 1959 Wally Parks recruited Bob as a Division Director for NHRA. After twenty years of opening tracks and organising events in his Division, Bob was appointed as General Manager for Indianapolis Raceway Park where he and Eileen worked until their retirement.
At last year's Hall of Fame Gala, Eileen inducted Yvonne Tramm into the BDRHoF. Eileen said "What a wonderful time we all had in England last year, it was a trip of a lifetime. Yvonne Tramm followed the same path as me in working at Santa Pod for thirty two years. Her history is very near my life career story. She is a lovely lady and I was proud to present her award."
Traci operates the Quarter Mile Foundation which has a mission to preserve drag racing's history from interviews with its pioneers and legends. She has to date interviewed 265 legends with over three hundred hours of footage which will be made into a documentary series for television and live streaming. Traci is the niece and daughter respectively of Mr. Gasket Co. founders Joe and Tom Hrudka.
Traci said "What a great time we had at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala in 2015 and it is really exciting to be visiting the new venue with such great folks".
Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are delighted that Eileen and Traci plan to return for this year's Gala and look forward to their enthusiasm and fun which was infectious last year."
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Grødem announces retirement.
2nd April: Norwegian Top Methanol Funny Car racer and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Arvid Grødem has announced his retirement from racing. His FC operation is up for sale.
"Time's up and the decision is finally made", says Arvid. "I am now officially announcing my retirement. I was always of the opinion that I would return to TMFC racing, but as time has passed the Norwegian krone has nosedived against the US dollar (and most other currencies), as has the oil business which has been my major source of income and racing funds. So the decision to quit has been forced more by external factors rather than not enjoying racing any more - I have enjoyed all of the time I have spent on racing and have memories which I will treasure for the rest of my life.
"I would like to take this oppurtunity to say a big Thank You first and foremost to my better half Bente, and to my extended family the entire Westside Racing team: Pål-Henning Sørensen, Tore Karlsen, Bjørn Arild Sjøblom and Jan Vidar Vestvik and to everyone who has been part of the team over the years with special thanks to Per Egil Nordby, Gunnar Olsson and Sten Erik Tverraaen. Thanks also to Lars Ruud at Keddell and Bommen and all other contributors, the entire race family - especially the TMFC competitors, you know who you are - and also to the fans and spectators. I hope that we have given you a good show over the years (You bet - Ed).
"Last but not least we wish all racers a safe and fast season.
"The race car, truck and trailer and everything that goes with it all is for sale. If you are interested then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com."
Business as usual!
1st April: It will come as no surprise to the 5,950 people who read Eurodragster.com News on 30th November 2015 but Jerry Cookson writes that, following a winter of uncertainty about the future of Shakespeare Country Raceway, the track can confirm that there will be a minimum of two seasons' racing starting with this weekend's Season Opening Public Track Day:
The Raceway is already looking forward towards the full 2016 season of nostalgia, lifestyle and Championship drag racing events which will lead into a full 2017 season as well. We will confirm 2018-19 at a later date (Will Facebook users therefore please give us a minimum of one year's respite from moaning about the sky falling in, thank you - Ed).
This weekend we host the first of two Public Track Weekends. Shakedown @ S-Town features two full days of RWYB which includes the first of the track's series of Bracket Gamblers events. The track will be open from 10:00 each day and caters for all Competition Cars and Bikes to come and test and iron out those winter blues. All makes of car, motorcycle and race machine, including Clubs, are welcome to participate before the season really gets going in two weeks' time. The track will be prepped.
General admission is £12 per person each day or £22 for a weekend pass. Track fee is £25 each day or £40 for a weekend of unlimited runs. Helmets are required along with a driving licence. Overnight camping is available on the purchase of a weekend ticket. Kenny's Bar will also be open Saturday night. So for a great weekend of fun on the drag strip make it Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend!
1st April: Further to yesterday's news item, Eurodragster.com reader Simon Paul writes that scrutineering tickets have changed somewhat in the last thirty nine years. "This is a picture of my first scrutineering ticket", says Simon, "dated 9th April 1977. It is from my 1965 Ford Zephyr 6 which I ran in the Production class between 1977 and 1980. It all seems a long time ago!"
Santa Pod Racers Club have asked us to clarify that the rule about Junior racers pushing back to their pit after passing through the arch next to Scrutineering at Santa Pod Raceway applies to Junior Drag Bike racers as well as to Junior Dragster and Junior Funny Car racers. If you have any queries then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Good luck and stay safe to Jndia Erbacher (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Rob Turner (Top Alcohol Funny Car) who are contesting this weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas, and to Adam Flamholc who is contesting Pro Mod at the Good Vibrations Motorsports IHRA Texas Nationals in San Antonio. In both cases qualifying commences today (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com.
Easter Street Eliminator review.
1st April: Many thanks to Street Eliminator Chair Ben Barnwell for sending us a review of the action in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator at last weekend's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, with pictures by Matt Woods Photography:
The first round of Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator came around quicker than most people expected. Before we knew it the Test Day had arrived and, already down on numbers with ten entered, we lost two more. Jon Webster unfortunately had to pull out last minute as he was extremely busy with work and did not wan to compromise his work in any way so he decided to give it a miss. The other casualty was Andy Bond who decided that he was in desperate need to get work done on his twin turbo '56 Chevy so gave round one a miss. Down to eight cars, but still with spirits high, we attended the Peak Performance Test Day. With most drivers wanting to get in as many runs as possible everyone was set up and ready to go. The finishing touches were applied to the newly-released Bentley Continental GT of Martin Smith and the Nissan GTR of Matt Smith at class sponsor Webster Race Engineering. With the sun shining a few test passes were made by other classes but unfortunately before any Street Eliminator cars could get out, the rain came down, test day over, weather wins this time!
On to qualifying day 1 and again at the start of the day the sun was shining. Luckily for us, this time it stayed! Two runs were scheduled for Friday and although there were some oildowns and stoppages we got both runs in, thanks to the Santa Pod track crew for their hard work as always. In Q1 2014 Champion Stu Williams returned to the track having missed the last three meetings of last year to try to find a problem within the Carma-Supra. His first run off the trailer was a mighty impressive 8.07, however alongside him the twin turbo '33 Willys of David Murdoch just managed to trump Stu for number one, an 8.05 enough to do it in the first round. The second pairing came was Matt Smith in the Nissan GTR which used to be owned by his brother, alongside big brother Martin in his new ride, the 3000hp Bentley Continental GT now sporting its black paint and looking stunning! Unfortunately Matt pushed back due as he was not able to get the car to burn out. He waited at the Barn trying to find the problem, whilst brother Martin took his solo in the Bentley and was off to a flier, 150 mph at the eighth but unfortunately the car started drifting left and crossed the centre line. Unable to get the car to straighten up Martin took out some timing blocks and sustained some damage to the front of the Bentley. Not the first run he was looking for, but he'd be back just as strong! The third pairing in the session featured the Hale Brothers, the big 1400hp Chevy pickup for Nigel, and the Small Block Mercedes for Nick. Side by side tens was a good way to start the year! Gary Gooding had problems in the next line up, but still broke into the eights on his first run. The final pairing for this round featured Matt Smith back for his run alongside the Howlin' Hauler of Al Williamson, both drivers sporting very smart looking Stand21 Suits! Matt ran an 8.30 to start the year off, with loads more to come and Al an 8.40, very close to his PB. So all in all a good off the trailer session to kick off 2016.
In Q2 all the cars were still in one piece and back around for another crack! First pair in this round was the same as the first with the '33 Willys up alongside the Carma-Supra, a big wheelie for David and broke a turbo drain so had to back off, luckily no oil down, in the other lane Stu took number 1 for then with an 8.008, almost that seven! Unfortunately this was Stu's last run, damage to the Supra engine meant Round 1 was over for him. In the next pairing Matt Smith took on Martin Smith again! This time Martin rolled through stage so did not get a time, but the run looked strong so encouraging for Team Extreme. Matt however nailed his run with the first seven in Street Eliminator for 2016! A PB for Matt and the number one spot with a 7.76. Al Williamson and Nick Hale also both got PBs, Al with a massive 8.11 second pass in the Howlin' Hauler, and Nick back into the nines.
Saturday came and the weather looked against us from the off. As a class we decided to take the first qualifier and go out on the Cruise because the weather wasn't looking great! This session included an unusual run for Dave Murdoch with the Willys blowing its tyres away, a bit sideways and off the gas for Davey and stayed third. Matt Smith backed up his 7.76 with a 7.85, the car looking to be quicker at the eighth however tyre spin and a quick pedal slowed him down. A good driving job to still clock a seven, Matt is one to watch this season. Big news of the session was Martin Smith, another driving job for him but got a time on the board and qualified sixth, not as high as he would have wanted but in for race day. Gary Gooding the only one to improve, getting an 8.4 second pass on a colder track than Friday which was a sign of good things to come from him. With all eight cars qualified only seven would go on the Cruise, but no dramas on the Cruise ensured that seven would race on Sunday. Choosing to go out on the Cruise early turned out to be the right decision, with the rain hammering down just after getting all of the cars in.
Raceday morning and the weather looked to be on our side, so cars were warmed up and drivers readied for round one of eliminations. In the first pairing we tested out the new Sportsman ladder for the first time, the change from a Pro ladder to make for closer racing. Nick Hale took on Dave Murdoch and with the uncertainty of what the Willys would run Davey was careful with the tune. Nick was away first and did all he could, but the twin turbo Willys had the power advantage in the second half and clocked off another low eight second pass to take the win and move on to E2. Next up was the truck race, but a lot of rain meant two hours between the first pair and second. Another massive thanks to Santa Pod's track crew for drying up and finishing the session. Nigel Hale took on Al Williamson, Nigel away first and a slow get away for Big Al in the Howlin Hauler, but Al took the win with an 8.6 to Nigel's 11.9. The most anticipated pairing for round one of eliminations was the Team Extreme pairing, Matt Smith against Gary Gooding. Gary knowing he had to get the jump on Matt and did just that, drilled Matt to the TTree and by half-track was still two car lengths in front. Matt somehow managed to get past Gary after 1000 feet and took the win by 0.04 of a second, one heck of a close race! Martin Smith took a solo pass - he was supposed to face Stu Williams - a launch and some spin from water finding its way under the tyres was all he needed to book his place in E2.
Unfortunately the weather set in and the event was called, leaving all points relatively close after the first event but Matt Smith leads Dave Murdoch. The next round is the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Street Eliminator send our best wishes to Street Eliminator and VW Pro racer Carl Goldsmith who had a top end crash at the race. We understand that Carl is OK and the car is reparable. We hope to see you back soon Carl.
On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography, On The Bottle and Eurodragster.com, all of whom can be found on our new web site at www.streeteliminator.com. If you would like to become a class sponsor please contact us via the web site and we can discuss the options.
Web site updates.
1st April: Mike Collins writes that the latest issue of American Auto Parts' AAP Insight includes twenty four pages of his pictures and "Ramblin" (His words - Ed) about Nostalgia Funny Car at Bakersfield. You can take a look at AAP Insight (PDF format) by clicking here.
FAO racers: SPRC scrutineering tickets.
31st March: Santa Pod Racers Club Race Director and Eurodragster.com sponsor Carole Ismail has been in touch with an important notice regarding the new scrutineering tickets in use at Santa Pod Raceway this season (right):
Can we please ask all riders and drivers to display the scrutineering tickets in a clearly visible location on the vehicle, so that the pit marshals can mark them after each run with the lane they need to use. For consistency we would ask that tickets are fixed on the right side of cars, and in the middle of the front fairing on bikes.
At the Festival of Power tickets were fixed in the strangest places and we could not get to them, so it would help everyone if the tickets could be fixed sensibly as suggested above.
31st March: Chris Hannam has kindly been in touch again to let us know that Sarah Jane Head's partner Dave Varey has asked for family flowers only at her funeral next week.
If you would like to make a donation in Scary's honour then please either donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance or the Leeds Dogs Trust as Scary's dogs were her life after her accident and were her company whilst Dave was at work.
If you would like to send Dave a sympathy card then you can send it to:
23 Fox Lane
31st March: Congratulations to UK Pro ET racer Nicole Parker who won the Nail Technician of the Year trophy at the National Beauty Industry Awards. Proud dad John says "Work has really got in the way of racing over the last year. All our plans to step up the race programme have had to go on hold as the business has just grown and grown. We hope to get the old Fox Mustang back out at a couple of meetings this year, perhaps some no-prep runs at our local tracks and if possible a Championship round". Nicole says "Winning the trophy at last week's awards in Manchester is recognition for all the hard work, but a Pro ET winners trophy would be just as rewarding!"
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official Festival of Power timing data. You can check out the weekend's timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Bianca Booij of The Netherlands' Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team for forwarding us a review of Michel Tooren and team's weekend at the Festival of Power. You can check out the Dutch-language review (PDF format) by clicking here. We're working on a translation.
We were shocked and sorry to hear of the death on Sunday of NHRA Chief Starter Mark Lyle. We understand that Mark died trying to save the life of another, a fact in which his family and friends should find much pride. You can read a tribute on the NHRA web site.
Good luck and stay safe to Jndia Erbacher (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Rob Turner (Top Alcohol Funny Car) who are contesting this weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas, and to Adam Flamholc who is contesting Pro Mod at the Good Vibrations Motorsports IHRA Texas Nationals in San Antonio. In both cases qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com.
Priddle makes IDRHoF date.
31st March: Many thanks to Dave Riswick of Eurodragster.com sponsor John Woolfe Racing for sending a report on the induction of the UK's Dennis Priddle into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame:
The 26th Annual Banquet and Induction Ceremony for the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame took place at the Wyndham Garden Gainesville Hotel, Florida on Thursday 17th March. Don Garlits and his family organise and produce this prestigious event each year to tie in with the NHRA Gatornationals. The International Drag Racing Hall of fame was something to savour this time around as Dennis Priddle was inducted into the what must be the créme de la créme of drag racing history. Only one other European had been honoured by the IDRHoF before Dennis, and that was Sydney Allard.
Late last year Dennis was unsure whether he was going to be there due to medical issues. However he managed, and made the trip in grand style bringing a host of close friends and team members from the UK plus all the original American supporters who were stationed at RAF Upper Heyford. Bill, Tex, Rick and Tom, all of whom worked on Dennis' race car in the late 1960s, congregated in support of Dennis.
None other than Don Garlits himself presented Dennis with the honour.
Sarah Jane Head funeral update.
29th March: Many thanks to Chris Hannam for passing on the details of the get-together after Sarah Jane Head's cremation. The full details of Scary's funeral are now as follow:
Scary's funeral service takes place at 10:00 am on Friday 8th April at:
YO8 4PU (map)
Scary's cremation takes place at 11:00 am at:
YO23 2QD (map)
After the cremation all are welcome to a get-together at:
The Grey Horse
YO8 9HD (map)
Festival of Power rained out.
28th March: Having affected two of the three days of the event the weather won the Festival of Power as yesterday's eliminations were rained out before all first rounds were run. The track crew responded time and again to rain and other issues but heavy rain mid-afternoon left Race Director Carole Ismail with no option but to call the event.
Congratulations to Pro ET racer Mike Lacey who took this year's first Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with an off-the-trailer 0.0003 Reaction Time in Saturday's first qualifying session. The Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway in April. The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of NSPCC has been increased to £75 for Big Bang after it went unclaimed this weekend.
Congratulations also to Two Seat Dragster driver Steve Warner who pulled no less than three consecutive 0.000 RTs whilst chauffering VIPs down the track; we wonder if this feat has ever before been achieved in any car or on any bike. Answers to the usual address.
Commiserations to Top Fuel Bike racer Nick Milburn and VW Pro racer Carl Goldsmith who suffered top end crashes. Nick suffered a dislocated shoulder and his bike is totalled; Carl was uninjured but we understand that his Golf is reparable.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports, pit notes and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
25th March: Brian and Lee Huxley of 2015 UK National Pro ET Champions the Dark Horse Mustang Drag Race Team would like to thank all of the people and sponsors who help them: Forbes & Andrews Racing, Zane at Zannetech, Jegs, Tim Hines Engines, Wayne Allman at Galactica Garage, NGK, Proptech and for 2016 Lucas Oil Products coming on board with product sponsorship as well as their local sponsors without whom they say they couldn't have done it. "We did have a few issues during last season but now with rebuilt engine and axle we are looking forward to a new season with #1 on the car", they say. "Good luck everyone, and not forgetting our crewman Slap."
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 2 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
SPR announce new lane sponsor.
25th March: Santa Pod Raceway is delighted to announce the formation of a strategic marketing partnership with the revolutionary fire-suppressant product, Cold Fire firefighting, newly introduced to the UK and Europe by Northampton-based fire safety specialists Hydro Navitas Solutions. Cold Fire firefighting becomes not only Santa Pod's new lane sponsor, but also the Raceway's Official Firefighting Partner. It is believed to be the first time such a safety-related partnership has been forged by a British motorsport venue.
Cold Fire has two cardinal virtues unique among other chemical-based fire suppressants: it is non-toxic and 100% environmentally friendly; and it can be used to extinguish any kind of fire.
Conventional firefighting agents come in the form of foams and dry powders and in motorsport require the user to keep both types at hand and to determine the kind of fire that has broken out in order to choose the appropriate agent. Both agents can also be highly toxic. Cold Fire, however, is a single agent that fights Class A, B, D and F types of fire. It works on contact by quelling heat to below ignition point, prevents re-ignition and provides high levels of thermal protection for added safety. Furthermore, in environmental terms, it is non-toxic and completely biodegradable, so much so that it is even safe to drink. At a product demonstration before other interested motorsport parties recently hosted by Santa Pod, a director of Hydro Navitas Solutions astonished onlookers by swallowing Cold Fire straight from the extinguisher.
Other Cold Fire virtues include matters of maintenance and storage. While conventional fire suppressant devices require annual maintenance and servicing, Cold Fire is developing a fire extinguisher that requires no maintenance for 10 years. The product and its containers are maintenance-free and, if discharged, can be refilled easily and re-pressurised via a standard Schrader valve.
Hydro Navitas Solutions' Group Managing Director, James Petter, comments: "Cold Fire has been established since 1991 as an alternative to traditional methods of suppressing fires and is used by emergency services in the USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil. We are the product's UK territory manager and look forward to exporting our solutions into Europe. Cold Fire is already proven invaluable in NASCAR and Indycar motorsport but its applications spread far and wide into industrial, commercial and domestic spheres and beyond. We shall be promoting and selling our full product range in Santa Pod's ‘Garage' shop very soon."
Santa Pod Raceway's Commercial Manager, Caroline Holden, is delighted to welcome Hydro Navitas Solutions and Cold Fire firefighting as the Raceway's new lane sponsor and is especially pleased to have created the innovative Official Firefighting Partnership. "We believe this is a safety partnership unique among British motorsport venues," she explains. "With the unusually broad array of fuels, lubricants and track preparation materials we have in use at Santa Pod, it's essential we have the very best firefighting products available to us. With its multiple uses and environmental qualities, Cold Fire is ideal for that purpose. Santa Pod's safety standards have already been highly commended and the Cold Fire partnership will enable us to raise those standards even higher. This is a brand new partnership we have formed with Hydro Navitas Solutions and we are eager to begin work on developing the relationship. As we progress, we're confident it will quickly deliver fresh benefits for both of us."
Cold Fire firefighting will be unveiled as sponsor of Santa Pod's left-hand lane this Easter weekend at the Festival Of Power (Friday to Sunday, 25th-27th March). Longtime Santa Pod supporter Autoglym continues as right lane sponsor. Further information about Santa Pod Raceway and its many and varied events may be found at www.santapod.com, or by telephoning 01234 782828.
Hydro Navitas Solutions' new web site is available at www.hydronavitas.com.
Sarah Jane Head's funeral.
24th March: Many thanks to Chris Hannam for passing on the arrangements of the funeral of Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head.
Scary's funeral takes place on Friday 8th April and consists of a service and then the cremation. The service takes place at 10:00 am at:
YO8 4PU (map)
Scary's cremation takes place at 11:00 am at:
YO23 2QD (map)
There will be a gathering after Scary's funeral; we will bring you details when they are confirmed.
Peak Performance Day rained out.
24th March: Today's Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day at Santa Pod Raceway was rained out after a couple of hours. Julian did manage to get a number of pictures before the rain set in; you can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks to all those who sent feedback on the new Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam set-up. Everything is now working as planned (just before your News Editor called the Samaritans). The next scheduled webcast is from Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th April.
Help urgently needed.
24th March: UK Sportsman ET racer Matt Moxon needs a part for his Mustang if he is to compete at this weekend's Festival of Power.
Matt is looking for a power steering pump for a 2006 S197 Mustang GT. If you can help then please call Matt on 07843 094916.
Ten years of Design.
24th March: Peter Walters of Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters Race Design together with Walters Motorsport have débuted their new PWRD-liveried dragster to celebrate PWRD's tenth year.
"I started Peter Walters Race Design in 2006 drawing cars as a hobby", says Pete, "and it has grown over the last ten years into a successful business. I now work closely with NHRA World Champions on a day to day basis, which is something I dreamed of when starting PWRD.
"For 2016 we are sporting a new look in the PWRD scheme. The blue chrome livery comes as part of a new partnership with Weston-Super-Mare based vehicle wrap specialists Supawraps. PWRD will be working closely with Supawraps to create high quality wraps for all vehicles. Richard Walters Services and Custom Paint will be on hand as always to fulfil all paint needs.
"I am also pleased to announced that I will be supporting Junior Dragster racer Aaron Fensome in 2016. I saw a lot of potential in Aaron, he's passionate and professional, so we are proud to see him run in PWRD colours".
"I am honoured to have been approached by Pete to help promote ten years of PWRD", says Aaron. "It is very exciting to showcase my new dragster in PWRD colours and I can't thank Pete enough for the support and guidance he is giving me."
Pete and Aaron will be running the full UK National Championship this year and hope that winter upgrades to both vehicles will give them great results.
For all graphic enquires, or to check out the new wrap, find PWRD in the Super Pro ET pits at the Festival of Power this weekend. The new PWRD web site will be launching within the coming weeks, but be sure to like us on our social media pages for all the latest updates: the Walters Motorsport Facebook page, the Peter Walters Race Design Facebook page, and on Instagram at @waltersmotorsport and @peterwaltersracedesign.
Training for your safety: The sequel.
24th March: Tony Smith writes that Shakespeare County Raceway hosted the tenth annual APIRA Training Session this past weekend with Saturday dedicated to fire and rescue whilst Sunday was set aside for medical updates:
Supported by the Motor Sports Association, the fire and rescue day was led by Richard Ashton's Calder Rescue Team. Besides attending Stage Rallyies and other disciplines of motorsport Richard and his team have a good understanding of our sport having covered events at York Raceway. During the day quite a few different scenarios were acted out by the Raceway's track and safety crews. Some were gone through bit by bit while others were acted out in real time! These were aided by Wild Bunch racer Mark Coulsell who no matter what we asked him to do did the opposite, which set the scene perfectly by keeping the fire crews on their toes, not to mention Bruno and I as neither of us knew where he was going to end up. We also had the help of Chief Starter Chris Schreier who neatly wedged himself under a car to simulate a start line incident. The crews acted very quickly by jacking the car up so that Chris could be recovered safely and without any further harm.
The second day consisted of medical practice led by C&C Medical Services' Chris Salter. This featured films in the use of different fire extinguishers and first aid training which ended with practical demonstrations of putting people in the recovery position and administering CPR, with which everyone got involved.
All in all it was a great weekend where everyone learned different ways of doing different jobs. I would like to thank everyone involved in getting the weekend together including the MSA, Calder Rescue and C&C Medical Services. Also huge thanks to all the marshals and fire crew who made the effort to attend. Photos can be found on the Shakespeare County Raceway Facebook group.
Drag racing in the press.
24th March: Robin Jackson writes that as Santa Pod Raceway prepares to launch its Fiftieth Anniversary season with this Easter weekend's Festival Of Power, this week's edition of Motorsport News (dated 23rd March) marks the occasion with a selection of Ten Best Moments from Santa Pod's half-century of drag racing history:
It is a rare occasion these days when drag racing is recognised in the pages of a Haymarket publication and a rise in this edition's sales might help support Editor Kevin Turner's new-found appreciation for the sport, following his visit to last year's European Finals, and encourage further interest on his publisher's part.
Motorsport News is on sale at good newsagents, price £3.30.
NHRA Gatornationals notes V.
24th March: Now safely at home in Germany although not necessarily in the correct time zone, David Beitler of Speedseekers.de has been in touch with a final tranche of notes and pictures of Sunday's action at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville:
After all the weather hiccups during qualifying days, Sunday turned out to be about perfect. After the usual pre-race ceremonies the action got started with Top Fuel, followed by Funny Car and the other Pro categories. The sun was burning down on the track and it seemed like the big teams who posted all those record-setting runs during the last couple of days had their struggles getting the cars set up to the hot track surface.
So it was The Greek pulling the upset by defeating a tyre-smoking Richie Crampton in round number one, shortly followed by another upset as Terry McMillen put reigning Top Fuel Champion Antron Brown on the trailer. The "Upset Nationals" continued with Top Fuel newcomer Tripp Tatum winning over the last event winner Leah Pritchett. The rest of the day was all Brittany Force. She went to the final against Terry McMillen earning her first win after the third event with Alan Johnson making the calls. The crowd went wild and John Force had propably the biggest smile ever on his face for the rest of the day... well, and probably night too.
In Funny Car, things didn't turn out to be as surprising as in Top Fuel. Once more it was Don Schumacher Racing v John Force Racing in the final round of eliminations. Robert Hight made the JFR sweep perfect by beating a centre line-crossing Ron Capps in a spectacular pedalfest.
In Pro Stock, both Summit race cars dominated the class all day long and went up in the final against each other, with Greg Anderson earning his eightieth career Wally in a close finish.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle the Screaming Eagle Harleys were racing in their own league, being almost a tenth quicker on each pass compared to the competition. So at the end of the day Eddie Krawiec took home the Wally by beating Hector Arana.
The Pro Modified final was a clash between Danny Rowe's blown Corvette and Rickie Smith's Nitrous Turbo Camaro. Smith turned on the win light by running a 5.829 ET.
Jonnie Lindberg, our last European man standing, went on to win round two of Top Alcohol FC defeating Kris Kool with a 5.558/264.91, but unfortunately his 5.546/264.86 came up short against Doug Gordon's 5.503/268 in the semi-finals. Doug lost the final to John Lombardo Jr. Rookie driver Megan Myer went to her first Top Alcohol Dragster final, but Rich McPhillips had a better reaction time and took the win with a holeshot.
You can check out David's updated Gatornationals gallery, which is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
24th March: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flick gallery with shots from the weekend's Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Festival of Power: bring your change.
23rd March: If you are attending this weekend's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway then you will have the chance to donate to a number of good causes.
SPRC race official and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Yvonne Tramm has made a number of Louise angel charms (right) for either handbags or keyrings. The angels are priced at £3 with all profits going to the support fund for paramedic Louise Payne. Yvonne has also made bracelets, necklaces and earrings and will also put a portion of the profits from the sale of these into Louise's fund. You can find Yvonne in the Stewards' Room at all race meetings at Santa Pod Raceway.
This year's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award is presented in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. If you wish to donate to the NSPCC then please visit its web site at www.nspcc.org.uk. You can read more on yesterday's news update.
Wild Bunch racer Sarah Howells writes that Saturday's spy picture shows the infamous "Everyone's a winner" chocolate tombola to be held this weekend by DASH Racing and Fieldcraft Fabrication. “We've been so lucky to be supported again by the very generous people with whom we work with at DHL", says Sarah, "in particular Tim Cooper and John Hall who deserve a huge chocolate hug for the amazing donations. With over a thousand products to bundle up into the tombola bags it's kept us on our toes but we're ready and really looking forward to raising as much money as we can for charity. For this event we are going to split whatever we raise between two charities.
"The first is Canine Partners, a charity which trains and provides assistance dogs as partners for people with a wide range of disabilities. We are lucky enough to be weekend foster parents during the dogs' advanced training periods and we currently have the pleasure of a beautiful black Labrador most weekends. The second charity is Marie Curie who are currently supporting our family through the later part of terminal care for Darryl's mum. The nurses have such a positive effect, not just on Mum but the whole family and their dedication, cheerfulness, support and caring has been and continues to be outstanding.
"Come to see us in the Wild Bunch pits and grab yourselves some chocolate yumminess! We ask for a minimum donation of £3 but everyone walks away with something chocolatey!
"Happy racing all, may your ETs be low and your lights perfect."
23rd March: Graham and Carolyne Beckwith write that they were saddened to hear of the passing of Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head. "A lady with real balls and a heart of real gold", they say. "Scary will be sadly missed. She was a joy to know and a delight to watch, a little Northern lady who always gave it all she had in life and on two wheels. Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and close friends at this sad time."
"Certainly never forgotten... Godspeed Scary" says FIM European Top Fuel Bike Champion Ian King.
During the winter engine rebuild Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson's Pro Mod crew decided to make a better mount for the Camaro's oil scavenge pump. Bob Roberts writes that Luke Robinson fired up the CAD system and designed a shiny new bracket which fits an RCD timing cover on a BAE engine and also provides also a robust crank trigger mount. The mount is suitable for the Barnes pump on Andy's motor; if you have the same set-up and you'd like one for your own engine then call 01256 880589 (outside the UK +44 1256 880589) or E-Mail email@example.com. As it is stored on the CAD ARRC may be able to adapt the design for other pumps.
Attention Junior racers.
22nd March: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked us to inform Junior Dragster, Junior Funny Car and Junior Drag Bike racers that, further to the notice at the recent Riders' and Drivers' Meeting and with immediate effect, Junior Dragsters, Junior Funny Cars and Junior Drag Bikes returning from a run at Santa Pod Raceway must be pushed, not driven, back to their pit bays once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
If you have any queries then please contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625), or ask race officials at the Festival of Power.
Festival of Power racer update.
22nd March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway.
Thursday 24th March
08:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates open for the duration of the event
10:00 Signing On office opens
12:00 Car scrutineering commences - if at the track on Thursday then please try to get signed on then scrutineered
16:30 Bike scrutineering commences - if at the track on Thursday then please try to get signed on then scrutineered
Friday 25th March
07:00 Signing on office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences - click here for scrutineering order
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences - click here for scrutineering order
09:30 Track open for qualifying
Saturday 26th March
07:00 Signing on office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences
09:30 Track open for qualifying and eliminations
Sunday 27th March
07:30 Signing on office opens
07:30 Car scrutineering commences
07:30 Bike scrutineering commences
09:30 Track open for eliminations
The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Please remember the curfew. No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven. Non-compliance will result in exclusion from the event.
Please note the above news item concerning pushing Junior Dragsters and Junior Funny Cars on return from a run.
Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards 2016.
22nd March: We are very pleased to confirm that the Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme will continue in 2016. There is a change in arrangements for the Perfect ET Award so please read carefully and please be sure to replace the previous decals on your race vehicle.
We are pleased to announce the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting NSPCC for the 2016 season, in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Derek Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV recently contacted Eurodragster.com about an idea he had had for the Perfect ET Award. Rather than call it the Eurodragster.com / Gold RV Perfect ET Award as it has been known for many years, Derek suggested that Gold RV sponsor this award on behalf of the NSPCC. Gold RV will be putting up the prize money on behalf of the NSPCC and are paying for the decals, which feature another great job by Pete Walters Race Design.
The NSPCC is a favoured charity of Gold RV as Derek experienced child abuse whilst at Junior school and he wishes that the kind of support that is in place today existed back then, as it may have saved other children from the perpetrator.
"I am sure the stickers on so many great cars and bikes will help to promote the NSPCC and the great work that they do for the victims and help to raise awareness that abuse should always be reported", says Derek. "Please help us to help the NSPCC by carrying the decals which you must have on your car or bike in order to win, and we ask that you donate to NSPCC at least £1 per event you expect to be entering this year. For example if you enter eight events this season then we ask that you donate at least £8. Obviously this is on an honour basis but with £600 or more up for grabs over the season that is surely worth a few pounds. We believe that the Government will also contribute a percentage on top of your personal donations.
"Please help to protect our youngsters as even now there will be too many of them who will be preyed upon until we can stop child abuse. Your help to raise awareness as well as funding will make a difference. With your help we can help stop this abhorrent behaviour. Watch out for the signs and speak to the NSPCC helpline if you suspect anything. To all the victims out there, speak to the NSPCC as they will help any and every child they can.
"Thanks also to Eurodragster.com for their assistance in helping us to raise awareness on Eurodragster.com news which is visited daily by so many racers and fans. This will surely help to make a difference."
If you wish to donate to the NSPCC now then you can find a Donate button on their web site at www.nspcc.org.uk.
The inaugural Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting NSPCC at this weekend's Festival of Power is £50. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for Big Bang; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Big Bang.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals will be available in the Signing On office from Thursday.
Cath and Tig Napier of Bad Habit Racing are again kindly sponsoring the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award which starts at £50 at this weekend's Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for Big Bang; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Big Bang.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
22nd March: Comp Bike racer Phil Leamon writes that he was sorry to hear of the death of Sarah Jane Head. "A tough and spicy character, who always said what she thought regardless", says Phil. "Loved her drag racing and a real character. I'll miss her lots".
TJ O'Brien writes that Scary was and is an inspiration. "A friend to both Pat and I at the track and away from the track", he says. "I can just imagine the conversations which Scary, Paul Rose and Pat are having at that great drag strip in the sky. Sleep well my friend and give Pat a hug from me. Dave I am so sorry for your loss, big hug from me when we meet again. All my love."
Former Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Carey adds "Sorry to hear the news, thoughts with Dave and the family".
The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came (below left) with the words "New year... new headers!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
From Rick Johnson comes a rendering of Julian Webb's Split Second Jet Dragster (above right). "The new look thanks to Pete Walters of Peter Walters Race Design, says Rick.
Four or five out of five?
22nd March: Reigning UK National Sportsman ET Champion Craig Wright's plans to move up to Super Pro ET in 2016 have been covered here and were certainly no secret, but Craig got in touch to bring us right up to speed with developments in his pit:
We will be racing with Paul Marston Racing this season. After many E-Mails between Paul and I at the end of 2015, I was wondering if we could get the budget to run the two FIA events at Santa Pod Raceway in his Miller four-link Super Pro ET dragster. We sold the Civic and that's when my team and family thought it would be possible to maybe contest the whole SPRC Championship, and I thought I'd do my best to try and make it happen. With massive thanks to the sponsors whom we have gained over the winter, we will be contesting four of the five SPRC rounds, and hopefully we can find the budget to do the UK National Finals in September.
It is a massive step for us from a sixteen-second Civic to an eight-second dragster, but licensing went very well last year in the Kelletts' dragster and we finished the day with a 8.23/164. I'm confident that after some seat time in this car, and with Paul's team and their knowledge, we will have a good combination which will work and go some rounds. Saying that, Super Pro ET is a real tough class with some of Europe's best bracket racers, and I respect every single one of them! We will be testing at Santa Pod Raceway this coming Thursday ahead of the first round at this weekend's Festival of Power.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a few people: Topspeed Automotive, Custom Pipeworks, Liam Jones - TFJ Motorsport, Red Rum London, Callum Pudge - Pudgeys Pictures, Ki-Tran Express Delivery Service and Peter Walters - Peter Walters Race Design. Also a massive thanks to Crew Chief Chris 'Hardy' Hardings for all his help, my mum and dad for all their support, of course my better half Kat for keeping me sane and on the straight and narrow, obviously to Paul and Sam Marston and their team for giving me this opportunity, and also to everyone for their messages and phone calls of support and good luck for this weekend.
Good luck for this season everyone. Be safe, and we will see most of you on Thursday!
Sarah Jane Head
21st March: We were very sorry to hear from Chris Hannam of the death of Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head. Scary died in York Hospital today (Monday) after a short illess.
Scary came in to the sport via the Straightliners series. From there the team spent several years running a turbo bike in Comp Bike before they took a step up to Funny Bike in 2003 with the purchase from Chris Hannam of an ex-MRE Pro Mod bike known as The Budster. Scary and Dave quickly got a handle on the bike culminating in a spectacular 7.085/184.03 at the 2003 UK National Finals.
Scary's racing career was cut short by a top end crash at the 2004 Easter Thunderball when the bike's throttle stuck open after a 7.243/175.87 pass in the first round of eliminations. She suffered devastating injuries which led to long and uncomfortable hospital stays but her strength of character ultimately left her undefeated and her sense of humour certainly didn't suffer.
Scary was never, ever one to play on her gender - she was a classic case of the racer who happened to be a girl rather than a girl who raced - but it must be remembered that her 7.085 made her the quickest female bike racer outside the USA for several years, and in fact that at the time she clocked that ET she was only hundredths off the world best.
"Sarah Jane (Scary to her friends) leaves a big hole in the drag racing world and will be sadly missed", says Chris. We agree and we are very sorry to have to say farewell to such a friendly, down-to-earth, genuine, tough and courageous woman and a damn fine racer. Our very deepest sympathies to Scary's partner Dave and to all her family and friends.
You can read our 2003 Feature on OPM Racing by clicking here. If you would like to send a tribute to Scary then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crawford's Clean up.
21st March: It has been a busy winter for Jon and Dom Crawford of VW Sportsman and Sportsman ET, but their hard work has paid off with the announcement of a parntership deal. Jon explains:
After two years campaigning Sharan, one of the most recognisable vehicles in drag racing, the need for speed began to raise its head. A brief car-swap with team-mate Holly Sanders at last year's Volkslife event gave me a big enough push in the back of the seat to make me realise that seventeens just weren't enough to scratch the itch and so, last autumn, plans began to be drawn...
Recent divorce and single-parenthood precluded the planned attack on Nostalgia Funny Car (although once Camelot buck their ideas up...), and so something else was planned. Running for a year with the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club made the decision to race with them again in 2016 a no-brainer. The classified ads are full of V6 Golfs and the like which are very thirsty, expensive to insure and crippling to tax. This makes them economical to buy, and so ideal for our purposes.
A suitable car was located and a deal done. Susan is a 2.8 litre Golf 4motion. One of only a handful of Mk4 Golfs in the class, the extra power of the 24v head along with the 4wd system should get the car off the line consistently. It also appealed to the dare-to-be-different approach which put Sharan on the track.
First things first, and a serious diet for Susan. Stock Mk4s are fairly chunky to begin with, and the 4mo tips the scales at 1450Kgs. Over 300 Kgs later she was somewhat trimmer. Next came a visit to our friends at the 4130 Motor Club. Fellow racer Ross Chisholm Brown and his brother Lee worked their magic, installing new suspension, brakes and a straight-through exhaust. A staging brake will help me to launch consistently hard, and various other tweaks and fixes render Susan in fine shape for the year ahead.
Running Sharan in two classes last year was a huge help in dialling in car and driver, but obviously this comes at a cost. It was looking very much like we would only have the budget to contest one class at selected events. As a team we have worked hard to try to build the brand, and over the winter Dom and I made good use of the team's Social Media pages (search on Facebook for Crawford Motorsports) to raise awareness of what we were doing.
As a result of all this hard work, we are delighted to announce that we have entered into a marketing partnership with Engine Carbon Clean, an established UK based company with seventeen mobile agents covering the UK, Scotland and Ireland, and international agents in Brazil, Ukraine, Florida, Denmark, New Zealand and Pan-Africa. Their mobile service uses hydrogen technology to help target the removal of harmful carbon build-up in a vehicle's engine via a thorough 'detox' from air intake to exhaust. Effects are immediate, noticeable and long-lasting and include restored power and performance, lower emissions and revitalised fuel efficiency – perfect for drag racing!
We are sure you will all join us in welcoming Engine Carbon Clean to Drag Racing. As a way of showing your appreciation for their support, Dom and I urge you to head over to their Facebook Page and give it a Like. Engine Carbon Clean will be in the trading areas at all Championship events this year, and a few others besides, ready to answer your questions and take bookings.
The partnership will make its first competitive outing at Santa Pod Raceway's Festival of Power this coming Easter weekend. As Santa Pod Raceway celebrates her fiftieth birthday in 2016, we are all proud to play a small part in a historic year-long party.
Got the Bug again.
21st March: Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Chair Luke Stevenson took a season out in 2015 to concentrate upon building his Vr6 Powered Dragster (which is slowly getting there, he says). 2015 passed very quickly with his work within the VWDRC, but whilst Luke got to watch some awesome cars the hunger to get back in the seat grew especially with the question mark over the future of Shakespeare County Racway. Luke had to do something about it and got in touch to tell us what that something is:
I decided I had to race the full 2016 schedule. Cue a cheeky EBay purchase! At the time we had no other newbie Beetles racing in the VWDRC so the car would stand out from the crowd. Having searched the garage for parts and with massive help from fellow VWDRC members Ross and Lee Brown of the 4130 Motor Club we created a fun car which will hopefully be competitive and run in the thirteens on a very tight budget.
Last weekend we got to début the car at Ultimate Dubs in Telford and it was great to hear the comments as people noticed the little touches. Needless to say it certainly got the reaction I had hoped for.
Roll on Thursday's test session for my first runs in the SechsBug and good luck to all my fellow VW Sportsman competitors. Again thanks to 4130 Motor Club, Vanology Performance Ltd and EBay for the help in this fun build. Check out Predict Racing and VWDRC on Facebook for updates throughout the season.
21st March: From Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters Race Design comes the spy picture below left. Pete promises a dénouement on Thursday.
One for the Is this you? department: the picture above right comes from Geoff Martin who heads up the UK's Tech Team. As many of you will be aware Geoff raced in Comp Altered many moons ago in the popular Oxford Builder; he recently found this picture of two fans and wondered what became of them. "The pictures are from between 1987 and 1990 I think, getting on for thirty years ago", says Geoff. "I never got their names but they were a couple of nice kids and I wondered if they will be at Santa Pod as grown-ups this weekend, maybe with families of their own". If that's you in the above picture, or if you know the then-kids in question, then drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll put you in touch.
Best wishes to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury had a major operation on Friday; however Brian Taylor writes that the procedure did not go as planned. "At the end of the operation, whilst Stu was being stitched up, he suffered a cardiac arrest and the doctors had to perform twenty minutes of CPR to bring him back. He was taken straight to the Intensive Care Unit and remained on a ventilator and under heavy sedation for twenty four hours. He is off both of those now and improving slowly but surely. He's responding very well to treatment and communicating well and should hopefully be moved to a less dependent ward in a day or two. We will update in the coming days the more he improves but keep him in your thoughts". We sure will, as we will Stu's wife Bev and daughter Genna.
Run What You Brung coverage.
20th March: We are again at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you the action from today's Run What You Brung in association with John Woolfe Racing. The RWYB is racers' penultimate chance to test before next weekend's Festival of Power.
Today's plan is for an end-day gallery, and the Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be on-line and broadcasting live video and trackside audio so long as the track is open. Thanks to Doyousee.me for the provision of streaming services.
You can check out our Festival of Power Week coverage index, which includes links to yesterday's Saturday Night Special gallery, the webcast, and next weekend's official entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
NHRA Gatornationals notes IV.
18th March: David Beitler of Speedseekers.de has been burning the midnight oil again sending us notes and a large number of pictures of yesterday's action at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville:
It rained all night long on Friday and didn't stop yesterday morning. The track wasn't race ready until 2:30 pm, so they started right away with Top Fuel and Funny Car Q3. Richie Crampton ran a blistering 3.731 reset the track record and went to the top of the qualifying ladder. In Funny Car Jack Beckman's 3.913 ET still held up for #1. The fourth nitro qualifying session was even more exciting. The track record was reset three times! Richie Crampton underlined his dominance running a sub 3.7 pass at 3.698, the fifth quickest 1000 foot time in the history of the sport! In Funny Car Jack Beckman ran a unbelievablly quick 3.879 at 329.29 mph tying the quickest run ever made in a Funny Car! Another record was set in Pro Modified when Jonathan Gray defeated Kenny Lang in round number one with the quickest pass in the history of Pro Mod and a National ET record of 5.751, 258.02 the speed. Wow!
The Top Alcohol classes had their first round of eliminations at 8:00 pm. In Top Alcohol Dragster Eurodragster.com sponsor Mike Manners spun the tires at the hit and went out early. In Top Methanol Funny Car, Jonnie Lindberg ran a solid 5.53 at 263 mph to move on into the next round, whilst Ulf Leanders crossed the centre line at half track and is finished for the weekend.
Hopefully this rain-troubled event can be finished tomorrow.
You can check out David's updated Gatornationals gallery, which is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. As well as David's pit notes you can stay in touch with results courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
20th March: Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Chair Luke Stevenson writes that if you have been following the VWDRC social media you will have seen some of the racers posting #Waiting photos but that now the wait is over:
We are days away from the largest first event field of VW Pro and VW Sportsman in years, with many more cars being made ready for round two. What is most impressive is the number of rookies for 2016, especially those who also attended Santa Pod's Dial In day. With ten rookies taking on the first event and at least five more from Big Bang the VWDRC Rookie of the Year will be hotly contested.
The range of vehicles making use of the Volkswagen Audi Group pool is also growing, with an Audi A3, TT and Seat Leon and maybe a certain Bentley making a cameo at Big Bang.
In 2016 the Championship returns to seven rounds, five at Santa Pod and two at Shakespeare County Raceway, along with the promotional tour extending to GTI Festival, GTI International and VW Action starting later this month with the Volksworld Show.
The VWDRC has again been fortunate to be supported by some great companiss. Please take the time to look them up and use their services, quoting VWDRC when calling for their best price. Thanks to Herbies Autos, Vanology Performance Ltd, Trackstuff Racing Fuels and Tyres, Reichspeed Aircooled, KleenFreaks, WRP Paint and Restoration, Bear Motorsport Transmissions, Brickfield Autos, Darkside Developments, and StarsZ Hair and Beauty
Don't forget to Like the VWDRC and to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
See you at the lights!
20th March: SPRC Assistant Race Director Karl Birkenshaw writes that the SPRC marshals are looking to upgrade some of their caravans as many have taken a bit of a battering from the weather over the winter. If anyone knows of caravans which are on sale at rock bottom budget price then please drop an E-Mail with details and a price to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racepak and Post en Dros are Speedgroup contingency partners as well as Eurodragster.com sponsors. Almost two years ago Post & Dros Racing Engines & Parts, the European importer of all Racepak products, introduced a trackside support service at some FIA European Drag Racing Championship races. It was an instant success and Dick Koster, the Post en Dros employee responsible for this service, was back in 2015 for all FIA races. But innovation never stops and to get the latest updates and tips and tricks of all Racepak products, Dick and his colleagues Egbert Dros and Erwin Pepping travelled not only to the Racepak headquarters in California but also to Pomona, where Dick assisted the Racepak crew with their trackside support at the NHRA Circle K Winternationals. You can read more in Remco Scheelings' latest update on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.
An honoured guest returns.
20th March: Carl Olson, former NHRA Vice President and a key player in establishing the FIA European Drag Racing Commission and Championship, is planning a visit to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Evening which is taking place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London's Heathrow Airport.
After Carl's first exposure to drag racing whilst he served in the US Coast Guard, in the 1960s he became Crew Chief, driver and eventually owner for a number Top Fuel teams racing in California. In 1970 he was offered the drive in Mike Kuhl's Top Fuel Dragster and in 1971 the pair became partners in one of the first mid-engine cars to be built which they débuted at the NHRA US Nationals at Indianapolis and which won Best Appearing Car at that event. After winning the 1972 NHRA Winternationals with a new Donovan Engineering 417 aluminum Hemi engine they became full-time professional racers, won the legendary Last Drag Race at Lions Drag Strip, and gained membership of the exclusive Cragar Five-Second Club. In five years the pair won many major races. In 1973 they sold their car to BDRHoF member Clive Skilton who imported it to the UK.
At the end of the 1974 season Carl made the decision to retire from racing and became active within the sport and the industry, first as the General Manager of Waterman Racing Engines, Inc then joining the Specialty Equipment Market Association as its Technical and Legislative Director. He then held several positions at the NHRA for over twenty five years, and in 2001 became Motorsports Manager at the SFI Foundation, Inc.
In addition to his drag racing history, Carl has many accomplishments and honours including membership of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and several positions within SEMA including a seat on its Board of Directors. He served as the founding President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission and as consultant to several race facilities around the world. He was inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. On that occasion, he jetted in and out of the country within twenty four hours. This time he and his wife Kathy will have several days to spend at their leisure over the Gala weekend.
Carl said "I enjoyed visiting England frequently in the 1990s and 2000s and it will be a happy return to see many friends I have missed in the meantime".
Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are delighted that Carl will be returning to the UK for the 2016 Gala. After his flying visit for the induction ceremony in 2012, we look forward to enjoying the pleasure of Carl and Kathy's company for a more relaxing few days on this trip."
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of 10 are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Webcam on test today.
19th March: Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam is on test at today's Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway.
Yesterday's upgrade of the webcam to fibre optics did not work so today's broadcast will initially be on the existing cabling set-up although with new cameras. Please note that we will be doing more work on the fibre optic set-up during today and we will likely have to stop the webcast whilst that work takes place. We will post a caption on the webcast if we need to stop it.
Released today for you to exercise fully is a new player by our streaming service supplier Doyousee.me which is designed to work on PCs, laptops, tablets, Android and iPhones and other mobile devices. If the new player does not work for you then you will still be able to watch via the old players; the link is included on the webcam landing page at www.eurodragster.com/webcam. Please address queries or feedback about the player to email@example.com and not to the Eurodragster.com Facebook pages.
The webcam landing page at www.eurodragster.com/webcam has been updated with a box which will contain status messages about the webcam, for example that it is on test or details of the next planned broadcast. We will not respond to queries which are covered by this status message.
You will be able to check out today's webcast, as well as future webcasts, at www.eurodragster.com/webcam, by clicking on the WRE/Nimbus Webcam link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the current event. We recommend that you bookmark the eurodragster.com/webcam landing page and not the player page as the file name of the player page is subject to frequent change.
For this season's full planned webcast roster please check out our John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage schedule by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please read the schedule carefully, and please note that all webcasts are subject to the approval of venue or event management.
As well as the webcast from today's Saturday Night Special and tomorrow's Run What You Brung we will post end-day galleries in association with John Woolfe Racing. You can check out the galleries and webcast by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Big Bang entry.
19th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 1 of the official entry list for Big Bang, a Championship round for VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car, Sportsman ET, Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and the JDS and FWD Series, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April.
You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
NHRA Gatornationals notes III.
18th March: When we last heard from David Beitler of Speedseekers.de a big clean-up was underway at Gainesville. David got in touch in the small hours (That's USA small hours and ours - Ed) with notes from the rest of yesterday's qualifying together with another gallery update:
The clean-up took almost two hours, but it was worth the wait, because we saw two fantastic qualifying rounds from all Pro categories as well as Pro Modified. In Top Fuel Brittney Force took the number one spot with her 3.745-second pass at 309.56 mph. Jack Beckman reseted the track record with his Dodge Charger Funny Car running a 3.913 at 323.74 mph and became one qualifier. Jason Line took the qualifying lead in Pro Stock with a 6.596 at 210.01 mph. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec raced to the provisional lead with a 6.808 at 197.71 mph. In the wild and furious Pro Mod category former Top Fuel driver Sidnei Frigo secured the top spot in his '15 Corvette running a strong 5.839 at 240.47 mph.
Ulf Leanders had a clutch malfunction in the first round of qualifying. One of the clutch levers broke.The second run was also a rather wild one, but a 5.688 at 220.26 mph got him qualified #8. Jonnie Lindberg also improved from his former run and took the #3 spot with a strong 5.532 at 263.87 mph. Our man from the UK, Mr Michael Manners, solved the problems from the first round and will start from #5 position with his 5.369 at 262.85 mph.
With the delayed start and some more oildowns and mishaps it was a wrap at 21:30. Fingers crossed for a dry and sunny racing day today.
You can check out David's updated Gatornationals gallery, which is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. As well as David's pit notes you can stay in touch with results courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
No-one here but us chickens...
19th March: Further to last Thursday's spy picture, Michael Dowdy writes that a further peek in the Old Chicken Shed reveals the body of the UK's Matthew Dowdy's Junior Dragster resplendent in its new colours courtesy of Nic and Ashley at OCS Paint:
Many thanks to Nic and Ashley and to Nic's dad Keith for their sponsorship of the paintwork. Many thanks also to Gary Lockyer of Wootton Tyre and Exhaust (01604 660644), himself a former racer, for helping out with a new pair of slicks. Having used Gary's services for several years I can say that there is really no need to look elsewhere for tyres in the Northampton area. Finally thanks to Andy Wheeler for looking after the car over the winter and obliging with his trailer for the forthcoming Festival of Power as our Plans A and B did not come to fruition. Hopefully this should be resolved soon but if anybody does have a Junior-size trailer which they could hire or lend in April, Matthew would be most grateful!
Matthew is really looking forward to the new season and finally getting to use the car. It seems so long since he last used it at the Flame and Thunder Show four and a half months ago! Ideally Matthew will be testing this weekend; more lead is on standby just in case. All we need now is for Dad to pay attention whilst Andy Wheeler helps us to run the car for the first half of the season!
19th March: Somewhat of a heartbreaker for your dieting News Editor, the latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Chocolate... so much chocolate". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
NHRA Gatornationals notes II.
18th March: David Beitler of Speedseekers.de took advantage of a clean-up to send us more notes and pictures from the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, in which a number of European racers are competing. Thanks David!
The sky was really foggy to start with, hopefully it will clear up later. At least it's not raining anymore. It was still quiet in the pits first thing, not too much going on there. John Hale's was one of the first Funny Cars getting pulled out of the trailer. Track drying started at 08:15 and I noticed Pro Stock cars being unloaded at 08:30. I stopped by Jimmy Ålunds trailer. He switched classes and is now running AA with a 10.60 index. He's trying to get the car in the 9.6 second zone and is still figuring the car out, trying somenew stuff. His goal for today is get a quicker sixty foot time and to survive the first round.
I ran into Ulf Leanders who won last weekend's Divisional event here, but for the NHRA event the track has been prepped a bit differently so he is planning to drive into the 5.4 range this weekend. Krister Johansson is here with him helping out the team. I met the Lindberg Brothers who are running a new Camaro body which has a smaller canopy allowing more air to pass to the rear. It's also a bit lighter. Since there was a threat of rain, they were planning on running a conservative set-up for the first qualifying round and try to tune it up from there.
Q1 for Top Methanol Funny Cars and Dragsters started at 12:00. Jonnie Lindberg had a pretty wild run, he posted a 5.60 but was all over the place. Ulf Leanders had a pretty wild run too and posted a 6.482 at 166.81 mph. Eurodragster.com sponsor Mike Manners made a proper burnout in his Top Alcohol Dragster but couldn't get the car out of reverse on the start line and they had to shut it down. This was followed by one of the TADs popping the blower and spitting a lot of liquid on the track.
You can check out David's updated Gatornationals gallery, which is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. As well as David's pit notes you can stay in touch with results courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Giordmaina's success story.
18th March: Maltese Super Street Bike racer Simon Giordmaina has already started his season, and started it in style taking the win at the first event on Malta with a new set-up on his bike and a new rider. Simon got in touch to bring us up to date with events in his pit:
The 2015 season was a successful one for Simon Giordmaina Drag Racing. I had been out of the saddle for two years whilst the bike was raced in the USA by Rodney Williford, who ran consistent 7.0s but missed the magic 6.9, but last year I won races, set a new PB of 7.55, and won the Maltese Open Class Championship. I was also tuning Italy's Carbonera Super Street Bike team and managed to get them to run into the sevens for the first time in their racing career. That was an amazing day for them and for us too as we feel proud that we are a part of their team.
When the 2015 season finished we started working to get the bike into better shape. After discussing tune-ups and set-ups with Rodney we decided to make some changes to the bike geometry, suspension and clutch. We got some new NLR narts, new NLR Planum and more, refreshed our motots and got the bike together ready for 2016 season. We also decided to put on new bodywork which is currently being put together. But the biggest change in 2016 on is the latest Rodney Williford side-mount turbo set-up with a new mod GTX turbo, which Rodney built for us and sent to Malta. I can tell you that the headers are so nice that I don't want to run them! But I also know that when they are on the bike we will have more power to use when we need it.
When the 2016 season arrived a last-minute change was made to our team. While I was having a chat at the track I met a longtime friend whom I knew through bikes, Franklyn Borg. We were both interested in Franklyn riding the bike this season and we saw it as a challenge as he had never ridden a Super Street Bike, although he has a lot of experience in drag racing on other bikes.
We tested the bike and on Franklyn's first full pass he went a 7.85 which showed potential. We made another test pass and went an amazing 1.22 at sixty feet and off throttle due to spin. This showed that we could work together and we couldn't wait for the racing to start.
On the Friday we didn't start on such a positive note as the tyre was spinning and we could not get down the track under power. On Saturday we were told that Franklyn would have to make an observed run. I had to make changes to the tune-up as I wanted to get down the track under power so that Franklyn would pass his observed run, and I wanted him to build his confidence as a rider. We went out for the first qualifying session and the bike ran a very smooth 7.70/160. We now had some data to look at, and Franklyn passed his observed run and became a more confident rider. It was a long day at the end of which we were asked if we wanted to make a second qualifying pass that night or in the morning. We were the only team who decided to make the pass at night. We didn't make a full pass as the track had got too cold for Super Street Bike but I had more data to look at.
It was another sleepless night working out a tune-up for eliminations on Sunday. In the first round Franklyn ran an amazing 7.48/192. We looked at the run and it was far from perfect so we re-tuned the bike for the next pass and Franklyn ran a very nice 7.40/195, this was the quickest side-by-side SSB run in Malta as Shawn Buttigieg ran a 7.3. The next pass was the Super Street Bike final which Franklyn won with a stunning 7.36 which made us all cheer, then we relaxed after a hectic weekend with drinks and selfies.
I have to say a big Well Done to Franklyn for doing a fantastic job riding the bike and for understanding what's needed to go quick and fast in such a short time. Well done my friend. A big Thank You goes to all the people that stood together with us and supported us even when things were not going well. Thanks to MDRA for a great event and a very well-prepared track, and thank you Brad O'Connor for making me the person I am today tuning an SSB. There are a lot of people to thank but a special Thank You goes to Franklyn himself for all the help before the race and for riding the bike in such style, his father Marcell for the nice tasty coffee and his help through the weekend, my brother George for helping with engine swapping and anything we needed, my father Charles for the support, Noel Calleja for doing the engineering part of the bike even if it means a long night, Mark, Gabriel, Leli, Joe Krojs, Vince and Daniel for their support through the weekend, and many more - you all know who you are! A big Thank You again goes to Rodney Williford for the straight-to-the-point advice and understanding the rush throughout a race. Thanks Rodney and the Willifords, you're the best. Thank you also to our special families for supporting us during our most difficult times, even when we are away for a long time preparing our bikes.
A special thanks also to Graziella and Jayden my Number One Supporter, for all they do and for being understanding about the time I am away from them, even now when Graz needs me around more as she is expecting our second baby in two or three months (Congratulations! - Ed).
In closing Simon Giordmaina Drag Racing will be on track for the rest of the season trying to run quicker and faster on every pass if possible. This is all preparation for bigger things in the future. Certainly we will keep on enjoying every minute of it, as this is all about loving the sport.
18th March: Our good friend Lena Perés has been in touch with some snippets from the north of Europe.
Maja Udtian has provided us with some information about a very exciting and special EDRS tracks located far out from the Norwegian coast, on the island of Frøya. Click here to read more.
After long and hard admin work, activity to rebuild Gardemoen Raceway is now at a very high level. When the 2016 race season starts the racers are going to find a resurfaced race track with new in the plan throughout the season. Click here for more details.
Speedgroup are happy to introduce racers to a new track in the EDRS series Kiltsi Airfield in Estonia where the Estonian Drag Racing Association run drag racing events. We are pleased to announce that they have decided to cooperate with Speedgroup and to run some of the EDRS classes at one of their events. Click here to find out more
18th March: Good luck and stay safe to Kalle Lyrén (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences (Top Alcohol Dragster), Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol FC) and Jimmy Ålund (Stock Eliminator) who are contesting this weekend's Amalie Oils NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. After a rain-out yesterday qualifying continues today and you will be able to stay in touch with Team Europe's progress on the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com. We will also have more pit notes for you courtesy of David Beitler of Speedseekers.de.
Welcome Wobblebox Hire.
17th March: We are very pleased to welcome a new sponsor to Eurodragster.com: Matthew and Danielle Wright's new business venture Wobblebox Motorhome and Caravan Hire Essex. Danielle Wright writes:
Motorhomes and caravans for short breaks and holidays have always been a favourite British pastime, whether it's during racing events like us, or simply to avoid costly airline fares, or if you prefer an adventure closer to home with the kids! We realised that so many who enjoy the camping experience do not have the time or space to own a caravan or motorhome permanently. Rental is the next best thing! And with no hassle.
Our niche business provides both UK and European travel options for 2-6 berth motorhomes and caravans. All of our motorhomes are less than a year old, ensuring that you have the most luxurious experience possible both on and off the road.
So come on get off the couch, stop hibernating! Spring and summer are around the corner and it's time to shake off those winter blues. If you have an event coming up or some long-overdue time off work then hiring a caravan or motorhome is a fun adventure for all the family.
If this is of interest but you're not sure how it all works then Matthew or I would only be too happy to take you through the hire process and to answer any of your questions. Contact us through the web site at www.wobbleboxhire.com or call us on 01277 366584.
We are based in Billericay, Essex, a stone's throw from Junction 29 of the M25. Ideally situated for European travel! If you would prefer to arrive at your camp site with your accommodation already set up then caravan delivery can be arranged to various locations within the UK, please ring for a quote.
We would like to say a big Thank You to Danielle and Matthew Wright for their additional support of Eurodragster.com. Please support those who support Eurodragster.com by considering our sponsors first when shopping for goods or services.
NHRA Gatornationals notes I.
17th March: David Beitler of Speedseekers.de has been in touch from Gainesville with his first notes and pictures from the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, in which a number of European racers are competing:
The sky in the morning looked rather promising, some cloud cover but a few sun beams breaking through here and there. In the pits the Pro trailers were closed and the pits looked deserted. Some trailers were lined up at the gate to enter the pits, amongst them Morgan Lucas Racing, Clay Millican and Matt Hagan. Sportsman classes pulled into the staging lanes at 08:20.
At 08:30 the first pair fired up right on time and we were underway with Q1 for Stock Eliminator, followed by Super Comp and Super Stock. Jimmy Ålund driving the turquoise Fire Escape Racing Stock '70 Nova (left), indexed at 10.60, ran a 9.994 out of the box which had him sitting #60 after the first round. In the second round Jimmy posted a 9.986 and dropped down to #65 out of 76.
At 12:15 a few light sprinkles turned into a heavy rain followed by thunder and lightning at about 12:50. The NHRA Safety Safari checked out the track at 13:45.
You can check out David's first tranche of pictures from Gainesville, which are presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Event entry update.
16th March: Shakespeare County Raceway's Jerry Cookson has been in touch to let us know that the official entry forms for the MSA/ACU APIRA Springspeed Nationals are now on-line and ready to download from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Jerry adds that racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee via Bacs rather than credit card or cheques, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. SCR's account details can be found on the entry form.
Entry is open for Big Bang, a Championship round for VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car, Sportsman ET, Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike and the JDS and FWD Series, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Santa Pod Raceway are pleased to announce that they have joined forces with Fast Bikes and Back Street Heroes magazines to present Race, Rock & Ride, a festival celebrating everything on two wheels, on 21st-22nd May. There's fun for all the family with on track action from Straightliners, bike-only Run What Ya Brung, FireForce Jet Car, Monster Truck, static displays, AC/DC tribute band LiveWire and more. Weekend tickets start from just £23 with sign on at £25. To find out more, visit www.racerocknride.com.
Racers entered for the FIA Main Event the following week who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride are most welcome to come along and take advantage of what will be a fully prepped track, but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the FIA Main Event notify either James Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828.
16th March: The Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, one of the traditional European invasion events, kicks off for Sportsman classes tomorrow (Thursday). Good luck and stay safe to Kalle Lyrén (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences (Top Alcohol Dragster), Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol FC) and Jimmy Ålund (Stock Eliminator). You will be able to stay in touch with Team Europe's progress on the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com and we hope to have pit notes for you courtesy of photographer David Beitler.
Booking closes at 17:00 UK / 18:00 European this Friday for discounted advance tickets to next week's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway. To book your tickets visit www.santapod.com.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday for today to our good buddy John Hackney. Have a great day Hackers.
UK network Channel 4 are screening Speed Special with Guy Martin at 21:00 tomorrow (Thursday), a puff piece for C4's Formula 1 coverage which nevertheless includes multiple FIM European Top Fuel Bike Champion Ian King tutoring Guy in the ways of proper motorsport. You can take an advance look at Ian's contribution on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5-PcezSlAI.
Feature: UK SFI Day.
15th March: The UK leg of the 2016 European SFI Recertification Tour took place at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday (Monday). In association with Lucas Oil Products we are pleased to present a gallery of the day which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
SFI Foundation President Arnie Kuhns made what may be his last stop on a European SFI Tour, although we hasten to add not his last visit to Europe, as administration on the Tour has been taken over by Jennifer Faye. Inspections were carried out by Murf McKinney, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson and Luke Robinson. The death of regular inspector Tim Hyatt in December left a big hole in the close-knit team and Andy said that this year's Tour had had its emotional moments.
Jennifer told us that numbers of items inspected were up on last year in The Netherlands and Sweden, slightly down in Finland, and down in the UK. Very few items failed on age or condition and none on unauthorised modifications. Jennifer added that she had enjoyed her second Tour as she knew what to expect, and that Arnie Kuhns had been a good trainer.
Per the new UK rule for 2016 a number of Junior Dragster chassis were also inspected by Mark Norton and Dave Cumbridge of the UK's Tech Team. Geoff Martin, who heads up the UK's Tech Team, Phil Evans, who heads up the MSA Drag Racing Sub-Committee, and UK Tech Team member Dave McCready were also in attendance as was European Tech Inspector Frans Steilberg.
The new design of silencer for Junior Modified and Junior Modified Advanced dragsters was tested during the day and we will bring you more news about that in due course.
Whilst photographing the SFI Day for our Feature we also garnered a few Pit Notes which are presented below in the order in which we spoke to the racers:
Jim Draper said that the Draper Brothers plan to run their altered / Funny Car car as an altered in Super Pro ET this season. The car's ignition has been changed.
Having completed work on the body, Top Methanol Funny Car racers Steph and Dave Milam have spent the off-season working on the chassis of their ex-Dan Larsen Funny Car including new rails at the front. The car is due to make its competitive début next season. "It's a really nice car", said Steph, "although I have not actually sat in it yet as we only put the seat in the other day!". The current FC will again run as an altered at Dragstalgia and the aim is to take the ET record for a European altered to complement Steph's speed record set in 2015.
The Grabhams will be taking the Freddy's Revenge blown-alcohol altered to Dakota Raceway this Saturday for some pre-Festival of Power testing in the hands of Robbie Grabham. The car has new rods and pistons but Dave and Hilary said that just as important was the chance to get the team together and to get back into the swing, getting the car on and off the trailer and working on between-round maintenance. Saturday's plan at Dakota is for burnouts and launches and "To make a bit of noise".
Fuel FC racer Kevin Kent said that the West Ten FC has a new set-up this year. "We have a setback blower", he said. "It will be interesting to see how much more it pins me into the seat". Kevin added that John Smith will be tuning the FC at next week's Festival of Power. We asked if Kevin's partner Shelley Pearson is planning to get into the FC again and Kevin said that this would likely happen late this season. "When we win the lottery I'll buy her another!", he said.
Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell's Funny Car will be running a limited schedule this season. The team have spent the off-season working on the car's body after it suffered damage in a blower panel burst at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. Prompted by the request at the recent Riders' and Drivers' Meeting Mark and team have been scouting a possible racing venue.
Top Fuel Dragster team owner Rune Fjeld said that Rune Fjeld Motorsport will be fielding two cars this season. Liam Jones has signed up for the full FIA European Championship Tour whilst previous RFM names of renown will each be contesting a couple of events. RFM will be fielding two Top Fuellers at next week's Festival of Power in the hands of Liam Jones and, confirming our "We understand" snippet on last Friday's news, Steve Ashdown making licencing passes. Rune added that he will be celebrating forty years in drag racing in 2017.
2016 European Top Gas calendar.
15th March: Herman Jolink has been in touch to let us know that the European Top Gas Series racers held a meeting in Molln, Germany on Saturday to vote upon their 2016 calendar. "Twenty Top Gas teams were present at the meeting and twenty two racers are Top Gas members, so if everyone comes to the races we will have a good field in 2016", says Herman.
The 2016 European Top Gas calendar is as follows:
13th-15th May: EDRS, Malmö, SE
27th-29th May: AutoMaxx Spring Edition, Drachten, NL
3rd-5th June: Dragster Eurogames, Bechyne, CZ
1st-3rd July: Main Event, Drachten, NL
22nd-24th July: Main Event, Drachten, NL
19th-21st August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, D
2nd-3rd September: Mosten Race Days (eighth-mile sprint), Allingabro, DK
The six best of seven rounds will count for the Championship. You can find out more at www.topgas.com.
A TMD at sixty.
15th March: Karl Harrison writes with an update from the NUA / RKS Motorsport team, whose entry into FIA Top Methanol Dragster this season has not been kept a secret but there may be at least one aspect which has hitherto not been public knowledge:
Driver Rod Harrison, who is also my dad, turned sixty at the end of last year. After years of competing in various types of motorsport he's decided to slow down a bit and enjoy some peace and quiet... not a chance!
Santa Pod Raceway have kindly let us enter as a demo car for the Festival of Power so that we can get the driver settled in the car again and all the crew back on their toes. The engine has been freshened up by Andy Raw and I and it has now been fired up for the first time this year. The chassis is all ready to race; we are lucky as the car was a fully-legal Top Alcohol Dragster which had only made twenty runs in NHRA before we got it.
We hope to get back to where we finished last year, which was a best ET of 5.86 and best speed of 234 mph, in readiness for the FIA Main Event. We know we are going up some of the best in the world but are relishing in the new challenge. We've had an incredible time racing in Super Pro ET and wouldn't be in the position we are now to follow up not only on an ambition but also what seemed only a dream when we started competing in drag racing back in 2007. Having started our drag racing adventure in Super Pro we would like to thank everyone in the class who has helped, advised and encouraged us.
This next step is a very exciting time for all involved but I must say a huge Thank You to NUA Motors and NUA Entertainment for their continued sponsorship this year. Without them it wouldn't be happening.
Our plan for this season is the Festival of Power, FIA Main Event, NitrOlympX and the FIA European Finals. Unfortunately we don't have the budget to do the whole tour this year but we intend to give it our best at those rounds we can do.
We are also very lucky to have a dedicated crew who also share our passion and dedication to racing, so a massive Thank You to my better half Natasha who puts up with the countless hours I spend doing this, Andy and Lisa Raw, Abby, Jacko, Lee, Jonno and of course young Harley Darby our young Junior driver and my brother Sam. You are all superstars and I thank you. We would also like to thank Post en Dros for their continued support supplying our engine parts, Quick Dive for their help and parts with the converter drive, and Jeff Bull Race Engines for the torque converter and continued help and advice.
We - as family, extended family and crew - can't wait.
The Nitro Bug Nostalgia Funny Car is coming along too. The project is taking shape at a pace with which all involved are happy and we plan on having the car out mid-season. Andy Raw and I can't thank Jason and Roy at FGR Motorsport enough for their work and for getting us where we are so far with the project. I'd also like to thank the Apache team for their help, advice and loan of parts. The NFC class is looking like it's really going to take shape in 2017, again we can't wait and the great part is we have the same crew from the TMD with the added bonus of Steve Taylor for the Nitro Bug car, Steve and Jacko are also the paint department and Andy, Lisa, Tash and I have no clue on the paint design other than colours!
All in all 2016 is looking busy but exciting. See you all at Easter!
15th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway next week. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then please contact Ian by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
VW Sportsman racer Russ Weir tells us that he has been working frantically on engine and transmission upgrades to his Ghia to have it ready in time for the Festival of Power. You can find out more on Russ' Facebook Page.
If a racer could earn bonus points for being the first to enter a Championship then Finland's Vesa Ruhanen would now be the leader as he was one of the first riders to register for the 2016 EDRS Pro Nordic Super Street Bike Championship. And not without reason, as after a season with only two races Vesa can't wait to start racing again and is looking for a bit more of everything: more races, more wins and a first six-second time slip. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the EDRS Pro web site at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
UK Wild Bunch racers Pete and Rob Brown have been in touch to say a big Thank You to all at APIRA for considering them for the Iris Page Memorial Trophy, with which they were presented at the APIRA Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation after coming top of the vote of Eurodragster.com readers. "We were both blown away to even see our names on the list!", they say. "Small fish in a big pond sprang to mind!"
Dakota Raceway opens for 2016.
14th March: Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child International Track Prep Services writes that Devon's Dakota Raceway opens 2016 with a Drag and Drift Day this Saturday (19th):
2015 was a really good season with increasing numbers of spectators and more riders and drivers than 2014. The Devonshire quarter mile is open to everyone. Joining us will be Robbie Grabham testing in the Freddy's Revenge Topolino blown nostalgia altered. Adding to the supercharged action will be Glen Child with his Rodeck-powered T. The nostalgia theme continues with Lee Johnstone testing his blown Volvo gasser Ain't No Saint.
The track is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. At our last event in November one of our regular Test and Tune guys made seventy passes in one day, so you can be sure you will get track time. We also have drifting on the largest drift area in the West Country, Show and Shine, and Club stands. As well as this Saturday we have Drag and Drift Days on 23rd April, 8th October and 12th November. For details check out Dakota Raceway's Facebook page.
Dakota Raceway is located in Smeatharpe, Devon, postcode EX14 9RF (map).
13th March: If you are headed to tomorrow's SFI Day at Santa Pod Raceway then the latest information we have is that inspections will be taking place downstairs in spectator-side VIP. If we are informed of any change then we will let you know.
Congratulations to Sweden's Ulf Leanders who took the win in Top Alcohol Funny Car in this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series round in Gainesville. Ulf qualified #3 and took the win against Doug Gordon. You can read more on the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com. Meanwhile good luck and stay safe to Adam Flamholc who is qualified third for today's Pro Modified elimination at the NMCA event in Bradenton. You can stay in touch with Adam's progress on the Flamholc/MMR Racing Facebook page. We have the macro ready.
An Easter invitation.
11th March: The North of England's drag strip York Raceway opens its gates at Easter weekend for its fortieth consecutive season of drag racing with a brace of action packing events. Chris of York Raceway writes:
Modified Action on Sunday 27th March features non-stop Run What You Brung action, with York Raceway's very popular Ultimate RWYB class format for street cars and the return of the Mini Showdown. The Mini Showdown always attracts some very diverse machinery looking to take the trophies for Quickest A-series Mini, Quickest 'new' BMW Mini, and Quickest Mini overall. Modified Action is also the perfect opportunity for racers to test and get their race vehicles dialled-in for the PDRC Championship season.
On Monday 28th March York Raceway hosts the Easter Nationals, the first round of the 2016 PDRC Championships. Race classes include American Super Stock, Volks Stock, JDM-DRC, Pro FWD, bracket classes Pro ET and Sportsman ET, and the heads-up Super Cup class. The NSCC will also be competing in the first round of their series and there will be track time for RWYB throughout the day. More information on PDRC Championship race classes can be found on the York Raceway web site at www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
MSA licence holders who find themselves at a loose end on Easter Monday will be made very welcome at York where they can enter two race classes for only £40 with their MSA licence and APIRA / SPRC membership card.
11th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "There's a spy picture for you". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
US tuner Will Hanna has been in touch to let us know that he would love to make a trip back to the FIA/FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway and is offering his services as tuner, consultant, colour commentator or driver (Will is building his own TAFC due out at some point this season). If you would like to engage Will's services then you can contact him at email@example.com.
With the Festival of Power starting in a fortnight (Don't forget that entry closes today - Ed) racers have a number of chances to test before HM Queen Carole of Race Control and Crown Prince Karl request the kind attendance of racers for Q1. Santa Pod Raceway are hosting a Saturday Night Special and Run What You Brung next Saturday and Sunday (19th-20th) and a Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day on the day before the event, Thursday 24th. You can find out more at www.rwyb.com. Alternately Dakota Raceway at Smeatharpe in the West Country is hosting a Drag and Drift event on Saturday 19th. For more details check out the Dakota Raceway Southwest Facebook page.
On the subject of the Festival of Power, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the TBA in the Top Fuel entry. We understand that TBA are Steve Ashdown's new initials but we will bring you more news on this when we get it.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows. Have a lovely day Claire.
2016 European Pro Stock preview.
10th March: Many thanks to Ian Hart for forwarding us a run-down of this season's FIA Pro Stock runners and riders:
Following the switch to Electronic Fuel Injection within the NHRA ranks several European racers have bought cars, engines and complete packages from the US to swell the ranks of FIA Pro Stock with some highly competitive cars. The familiar hood scoops of Pro Stock cars may be no more in America, but naturally-aspirated motors remain current in Europe and it is European Pro Stock fans who will directly benefit.
Stefan Ernryd has decided to step up from sponsoring to driving and has purchased an Allen Johnson Dodge which was previously campaigned by Richie Stevens in the NHRA. Stefan is planning to race at the season opener at Santa Pod Raceway and the Scandinavian rounds and to see how things come together. Stefan licenced in the car over in Florida and had his licence countersigned by none other than Jimmy Ålund. "I told him he will grow to regret signing that licence" says Stefan with a smile. The Crew Chief on the Ernryd Cars entry for 2016 will be ex Pro Stock racer Ulf Wagnhester.
Bengt Ljungdahl has purchased Shane Gray's 2015 race car which Shane took to semi-finals with consistent 6.5-second passes. Bengt was racing an ex-Michael Malmgren Pontiac in 2015, a car he has now sold to Pro Stock newcomer Jonas Boberg, who will race it in the class this year. Jonas has some help and serious knowledge in the form of his Crew Chief, the popular and very experienced Pro stock Sacer Tommy Leindahl.
Robin Norén has bought the ex-Mats Jacobsson Pro Stock Pontiac, and will compete in the class this year. Robin plans to compete at the two Tierp events and Alastaro, and then may enter the European Finals at Santa Pod dependent on how things go.
Hannu Kalliomäki made his first Pro Stock outing in 2015 in an ex-Greg Stanfield Pontiac GXP, which set the number one qualifier position in session one at Alastaro. Hannu plans to race at Tierp and Alastaro.
Jimmy Ålund, is going to have some fun over in the US this year racing a Stock / Super Stock 1970 Chevy Nova at Pomona, Gainesville and Charlotte before he comes back over for the European Pro Stock season. Jimmy will race at all events, and will include Malta if the logistics can be worked out. With no plans to race Pro Stock in the NHRA this year, Jimmy will have all his attention and resources focused on Europe to challenge Thomas Lindström for the number one plate.
Reigning FIA European Pro Stock Champion Thomas Lindström has new J&J power under the hood for 2016 wrapped up in a new-look car and trailer designed by Nina Lindström. Thomas tells me that since the sponsorship with Ernryd Cars ended last year new sponsors have been contacting the team but that there are still slots available on the sponsorship side. "Winners attract winners so sponsors who would like to be associated with a race team which has a proven record and a high-profile presence can continue to contact us", says Thomas.
Magnus Petersson has new sponsors in the form of MPM Oils and Mekonomen. Magnus and Martin have been working hard throughout the off-season to increase the horsepower and they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in 2016.
Michael Malmgren will be back and will be looking to improve on the numbers he was running last year. Michael hit PBss for ET and speed in 2015 proving that he has the muscle and the motivation to run with the leaders still and to continue to amass points to his already impressive and record-holding European points tally.
Simon Gustafsson will also be returning with the Samantha Racing Dodge, and plans to run the normal calendar. Simon says "We will test at Malmö and we are going to run at the normal FIA events and chase results."
With regular Pro Stock campaigners including Richard 'Nixxon' Sundblom, Jan Palmqvist, Christian Sagelv and Sampsa Palos yet to confirm the races they will contest, it is possible that Pro Stock will number fourteen or more cars at some events.
10th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "What's hatching in the old chicken shed?". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 6 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th March. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes tomorrow (Friday); you can download Festival of Power entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Keith Lee writes that as UK legend Dennis Priddle prepares to fly to Florida in the next few days, ready for his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the news has been picked up by the local radio and TV stations. Dennis was interviewed by BBC Radio Somerset, along with a contribution from Keith, ready for broadcast this morning (Thursday) on the Claire Carter Breakfast Show. It will be available for replay at www.bbc.co.uk/bbcsomerset following the show. Dennis is today heading up to Bristol where he will be chatting live about his racing years on the West of England news programme BBC Points West at 18:30.
On behalf of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Geoff Stilwell asked us to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Thursday) to US legends Bob Muravez and Floyd Lippencotte Jr. Our pleasure Geoff, have a great day Bob and Floyd.
Save the children.
10th March: Lex Joon Racing is proud and honored to announce a new strategic partnership with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and its Project ChildSafe firearm safety education programme. Lex Joon Racing will be promoting the programmes Own it? Respect it. Secure it initiative at NHRA events throughout the 2016 season.
After moving from Europe to the United States in 2013, Lex gained a better understanding of Americans' passion for owning and using firearms. At the same time, he recognised that nearly all firearm accidents can be prevented if gun owners are aware of and follow safe firearms handling and storage guidelines. "Recently, I read about a firearm accident involving a child and it struck me that I was in a position as a professional racer to use my visibility to encourage the proper storage of firearms", says Lex.
Lex Joon Racing's goal is to expand awareness of Project ChildSafe's Own it? Respect it. Secure it safety message and to promote responsible gun ownership. The message is quite simple - if you own a firearm or have one in the home, it should be safely and securely stored when not in use to help prevent access by children and other unauthorised persons. "I have no doubt the NHRA community will support this important safety programme wholeheartedly", said Lex.
"We greatly appreciate Lex Joon's passion for helping to reduce firearms accidents and misuse by bringing Project ChildSafe's Own It? Respect It. Secure It message to the fast-growing National Hot Rod Association audience" said Bill Brassard, NSSF Senior Director, Communications. "NSSF is proud to partner with Lex Joon Racing on this exciting initiative. Thanks to corporate partners like Lex Joon Racing helping to raise public awareness about the safe and responsible ownership of firearms and the importance of securely storing firearms, fatal firearms accidents are at historic low levels." The Project ChildSafe program was developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry. Project ChildSafe is committed to promoting firearms safety among firearms owners through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits. The kits, available through local law enforcement departments, include a cable-style gun lock and a brochure that provides safe handling and secure storage guidelines to help deter access by unauthorised individuals. Project ChildSafe is a real solution to making communities safer. More than fifteen thousand law enforcement agencies have partnered with the program to distribute more than thirty seven million firearms safety kits to gun owners in all fifty states and the five US territories. Project ChildSafe's firearms safety education efforts are supported through tax-deductible contributions to the Project ChildSafe Foundation. For more information about Project ChildSafe, visit www.projectchildsafe.org.
Festival of Power entry.
9th March: This Friday (11th) is the official closing date for entry to the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th March. Entry after Friday, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. Please note that the two-week entry deadline is a one-off for the Festival of Power; entry to all other events has the usual three-week deadline.
You can download Festival of Power entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 5 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
9th March: UK Super Comp racer Paul Brown had an interesting season with his Shorty dragster in 2015 and is looking forward to more of the same in 2016. Paul also says that he has done a deal to race in the USA:
Things didn't run as smoothly as I'd have liked in 2015 but boy did I have fun and a few wild rides! The Shorty has proved to be a new challenge for me and I've enjoyed that extra power too. Slight engine damage had us out of eliminations at Easter. In the qualifiers at the FIA Main Event we kept being paired up against a certain wild Beetle, both of us trying to be the first to break that seven-second barrier resulting in massive breakouts for both of us. Well done Richard Webb for getting there first. My quickest run of the season was 8.08 so hopefully I'll get the chance to crack the sevens some time this season.
During the summer break we had planned to put some upgrades into the car but discovered that we had a broken torque converter. Life was getting in the way as we were all busy on other things, so we decided to finish the season early and get the gear box sorted and the engine refreshed and dyno'd.
Having hopefully solved some of the handling issues we are hoping for better consistency this season. All being well, the plan is to run a full season in Super Comp. The car is now ready for testing, we're just waiting on some warm and sunny weather to check the car out properly.
In April we will be heading out to Las Vegas to race at the Spring Fling Million, which is a five-day race event. It all started when I ordered a dragster cover from Land Shark Racing, the makers of short dragsters. My parents went to collect the cover whilst they were in Colorado. One conversation with Jeff Strunk, founder and President of Land Shark Racing, led to another and now we're off to Vegas to join him and race his Shorty dragster. The plan is that I race for a couple of days at that event and that Jeff does the other days as there are many different races taking place that week. Then we will drive via the Grand Canyon and Route 66 to Jeff's workshop in Colorado and spend some time there. All being well Jeff will be coming to the UK either in September or next year to race in my car. He originally thought about shipping his own car over here as he liked what he saw on Santa Pod Raceway's web site but our reciprocal agreement seemed a better plan for both of us.
My NHRA licence has been issued so I will be packing the racing gear just after Easter and heading over the Pond for a new experience.
Socking it to 'em.
9th March: UK Fuel FC racer Jayne Kay has recently teamed up with America Pro Snowboarder Shane Levi Gould, Creative Director and Founder of Fuel, to promote the action sports clothing brand Fuel Clothing. Jayne writes:
Fuel Clothing is a foundation started in 1992 built upon the support of skate, snow, surf, moto, music and racing lifestyles. They do most of their advertising through athletes from a variety of sports. Shane is a great supporter of all athletes in the sport industry and helps to push the growth of up-and-coming sports personalities with the support of Fuel Clothing. As well as supporting Jayne Kay with her Nitro Funny Car endeavours, Fuel Clothing is also teamed with twice NHRA Funny Car Champion, Cruz Pedregon, supplying the team with design, production and marketing.
One of the reasons I am pleased to be joining the Fuel team is because I get to promote the Sock Karma subscription service. As well as providing Pro athletes with great apparel, Fuel also run an action / motorsport sock subscription service. This service not only sends you socks every month, but also donates the same amount of pairs to homeless shelters on your behalf. I love the passion which comes from the Fuel team, I am grateful for their support in my racing career and can't wait to start promoting their products online and at the race track.
Keep an eye out for more posts on the Jayne Kay Motorsport Facebook page. Check out www.fuelclothing.com to find out more!
9th March: Staying on the apparel theme UK Super Pro ET team Brad Jackson Racing's 2016 team race shirts, designed by Kris Boesen of Six B Apparel in the USA are to feature in his advertisement in Bandimere Speedway's 2016 program. "Seventy five thousand programmes will be printed up and given away, so it is really an honour to be part of the Six B Apparel logo feature", says Wayne Jackson. "Kris has designed our teamwear for the past three years and his service and commitment are second to none. Give him a try at www.6bapparel.com, you will not be disappointed!"
Further to Monday's snippet, James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway writes that an illustrated report of Sunday's Dial In Day is now showing on SPR's official Run What You Brung web site at www.rwyb.co.uk/dialin.php. At time of writing Eurodragster.com Photographer and Dial-In Day winner Kirstie is working feverishly to take make use of the free Festival of Power Sportsman ET entry with which she was awarded for her victory on Sunday.
Another win for Flamholc.
9th March: Sweden's Adam Flamholc carried on his winning ways with victory in Pro Modified at last weekend's opening IHRA race at Orlanda Speedworld:
Our plan was to test on Thursday to make sure that we had found the electrical gremlins we suffered in Bradenton a couple of weeks ago. But unfortunately we couldn't get the truck and new trailer ready in time, so we arrived at the track early on Friday. The car ran OK in qualifying, but not the way we expected and we ended up in fifth position. We worked late into Saturday evening, and finally found the problem.
In round one I was up against Billy Glidden. Billy is a great driver who has won a lot of races, so I knew it was gonna be a tough one. We managed to pull off a great run, 5.89 to Billy's 5.98, and advanced to round two. In round two it was time to take on Billy Harper. Billy qualified number one, and recorded a new IHRA ET record (congrats to them). Another good run in a great race, I ran 5.90 to Billy's 5.95. He left a litle bit on me so it was close, but I won!
In the final I faced Jerico Balduf. Jerico is a young very talanted guy who has been running very well lately. I knew what he was capable of, so I was very motivated and focused. Unfortunately for Jerico, they had some problems with the car pretty much from the start of the run, so a 5.95 was enough to take the win in the final.
Im extremely happy and proud of the guys in our team! They just stay at it and keep the spirit up, and keep on working through good times and bad. Am awesome car built by Joey Martin, a great supercharger from Mike Janis, an incredible motor built by Hameetman Racing Engines and Malmo Motor Renovating. Thanks to Amalie Oil, 5 Days Plantation Shutters and Blinds, Stallningsbyggarna, Performance Plus, Ekdahls Miljo, R&R Rods and Linnarhults Terminalen. Without you guys supporting us, none of our racing would be possible.
It feels great to go to Ennis, Texas for round two of the Championship as points leader. This weekend we will be in Bradenton for the NMCA Season Opener. Hopefully we can keep on making good runs and go rounds!
Lottie's new livery.
8th March: Spencer Tramm writes that the first of yesterday's two spy pictures shows the new paint scheme on the car of 2015 UK National Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Champion Charlotte Bradford:
The paint scheme has been updated to resemble the Przym Paintworks Super Pro ET Dragster, although eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the dark blue and turquoise have been reversed as turquoise is one of Charlotte's favourite colours.
Charlotte was just twelve years old when she won the Championship last year. Now she has turned thirteen we have installed the JR Race Cars 515 cc motor which John Przybyl ran in the Lucas Oil car and she is moving up to Junior Modified Advanced for 2016. Charlotte, dad Mark, mum Julie and sister Liv want to say a huge thanks to Andy, Cheryl, Paul and John Przybyl for the great job they did on the dragster.
The team hope to get in some testing before the Festival of Power.
The story behind yesterday's second spy picture will be revealed here on Eurodragster.com News on Saturday week (19th).
Beat the World Champion, then...
8th March: Scott Hauser has been in touch with the concluding instalment in the tale of his trip to Florida to race Tony Morris' dragster at the AMSOIL IHRA Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speed World:
Saturday was a lot colder than the previous days and we had a bit of a tail wind. We were scheduled to have two timed runs - not qualifying, basically there is no qualifying! Run number one was pretty good off the trailer, continuing from Friday's runs, a little quicker but that was due to the weather change. The dragster ran 4.862/142.66. For run number two the wind had dropped slightly but the track had got a little better, the sixty foot was a hundredth quicker but a slowed down top end due to the change of wind, 4.864/141.43. Run number three was a little unexpected, I think possibly the track had become too hot and it caused most guys to spin the tyres, we ran three hundredths slower but so did everybody else! It was slow, a 4.896/140.50.
Now we were into eliminations! With no qualifying and with so many cars in the Box class we were spread over four pairing lanes and basically the marshal picked two cars at random to race. We were pretty much towards the back of the queue to let the rushing around in the staging lanes sort itself out.
When it was our turn to race Tony didn't say anything about the other guy, only what he dialled which was a 6.40 to my 4.88. I then put his dial in time into the delay box. The tree is blinded but the way the bulbs come down is different: because you react off the top bulb using a delay box both of the top bulbs come on together so you react to the first thing you see which is always the quickest reaction. The tree runs as usual but my Tree now only has two ambers left! It's pretty confusing but straightforward once you get the hang of it. I think because I'm used to waiting for the tree a while longer I must have hesitated a bit on the line, my reaction was a 0.056 to his 0.010, I knew I couldn't catch him pretty much as soon as I left the line. Going down the track I was sure I had spun the tyres or was real late on the tree, knowing that these guys don't mess around I had loads of ground to make up.
With the finish line in sight it was obvious I wasn't going to catch him, he crossed the line over a tenth in front of me but as I crossed the line I saw my win light on, he'd broken out! He ran a 6.394 off his 6.40 and I'd run a 5.007 from my 4.88, way off! I got real lucky but a win's a win. Afterwards Tony told me that "You took out big Mike" then went on to explain that he was the World Champion, Mike Ruff! I am still shocked even now!
Driving back to the pits I heard a bit of a squeaking noise, not really thinking anything of it because all the gauges read OK. I'd never really heard this noise before. I was pretty much at the pit so I parked it up and told Tony it was making a noise. He then went to crank the engine and it really struggled to turn over, Tony said he thought a bearing had spun, so that was that we had to retire the car. It was a real shame but it was the only thing to do!
Upon getting the dragster back to Mark Whitner's yard, we decided to take the oil filter off to see what we could find. We took it apart and it was pretty much full of bearing particles, which wasn't a good sign. Tony said that the engine had to come out and be completely stripped so he is going to retire the car for now. I can't apologise enough for pretty much wrecking the engine, I felt and still feel terrible, fingers crossed the damage isn't too bad.
I must say it has been the experience of a lifetime racing out here. All the racers were so nice and welcoming, and they all have such a relaxed and hilarious time at the track. A lot of the people loved hearing my accent and even had a go themselves, it was really funny! I had such a laugh that it's a real shame I have to go back home. It was nice to see a few European racers at the track. I met Rene Meierhofer from Switzerland who a six-second Super Pro ET dragster, and I also met Bruno Bader who was crewing with Rene. I'd never met Bruno before but he's a real down to earth guy with a sense of humour. Also congratulations to Adam Flamholc for winning Pro Mod.
I would like to say a huge Thank You for all the support I have received, it has meant so much! I didn't have any internet throughout the days so it has been tough keeping up with it all. I would like to say an even bigger thank you to Tony Morris for giving me this opportunity to drive out here especially in such a great car. I will be forever grateful.
See you all soon - still got to get our own engine built for the start of the season!
Support blows Lisa away.
7th March: Further to our news item of 26th February, The Netherlands' Lisa Selles has been blown away by her new sponsorships and all of the support she has since received since that announcement.
Lisa's sponsors GF Innovations Ltd and Accelerate Your Marketing Ltd (formerly Gold RV Racing) have recently teamed up. Accelerate Your Marketing, provider of bespoke marketing solutions, have been appointed as marketing consultants for GF Innovations Ltd and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn has been appointed GFI's Director of Sales and Marketing.
AYM have definitely accelerated Lisa's marketing by providing the Super Pro ET dragster with a 2000 hp 547 ci blown BBC which was previously campaigned by Vince Gibbs. "AYM would like to thank Luke Robinson of Andy Robinson Race Cars for the heads-up that this engine was available, Brent of SMD who had the engine, and Uganda Dave for agreeing to sell it to us complete as taken out the car", says Derek. "Thanks also to Nigel Turner who came with me to look at the engine. Nigel has kindly agreed to crew for the team to help to look after the beast and he is also allowing us to use his trailer too. Nick of ICE Automotive was also very helpful, as was the motor's original owner Vince Gibbs. Both had both done quite a bit of work on the motor and they were able to reassure us that it is a good item with nearly new parts on which they have done a professional job. We should take delivery of the motor this week and the work will begin to put it in the car. Thanks also to Mark Norton for coming down to tag the car for us.
"We still need a Shorty 'Glide and appropriate torque converter capable of handling the 2000 hp beast. If anyone has either or both, or can recommend either, then please get in touch.
"We are hoping to début the car in Lisa's hands at this year's SPRC Summernationals. We like to think that when we ran together in Junior Dragster we proved that the Dutch and English connection made for drag race perfection. Lisa won several events and a couple of Championships in the Gold RV Junior, and we feel sure that once she gets used to her new ride she will be a force to be reckoned with. Go For It Lightning Lisa, it will be a blast!"
Derek has asked fans and racers to Like the GF Innovations Facebook page and to take a look at some of the great products they have on their web site at www.gfiglobal.com. Derek would like to prove to GFI the power of drag race marketing, adding that the more Likes that GFI get the faster Lisa can go.
Also further to last week's news item we are also very pleased to welcome GF Innovations Ltd - designer, manufacturer and distributor of all things connector and cable for the telephone, telecom, computer, audio, AV, on-line media and security industries - as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com News. You can check out GF Innovations' web site at www.gfiglobal.com or click on the banner at left or in the right column, and as mentioned above please Like and Share the GF Innovations Ltd Facebook page if you have not already done so.
7th March: A big Congratulations to Eurodragster.com staff member Kirstie who won the elimination at yesterday's (Sunday's) Dial-In Day at Santa Pod Raceway. Kirstie took the title in Andy Dibley's Sportsman ET Camaro thereby winning herself a free Sportsman ET entry to the Festival of Power. It happens so often that we are setting up a macro to automatically type out "Congratulations also to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who took the win at...", in this case the weekend's AMSOIL IHRA Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speed World where he took the Pro Mod title. You can read more on the Flamholc/MMR Racing Facebook page.
We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with no words...
...whilst the second came (above right) with the words "Martin Hill, Julian Webb, Roger Goring, your boys took a hell of a beating!". If you know more about either, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Starting and ending the news update with a Tramm today, as we would like to wish a big Happy Birthday to Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member and all-round good guy Spencer Tramm. Have a great day Spencer.
APIRA Perpetual Award winners.
6th March: The winners and runners-up in the 2015 APIRA Ultimate Power Championships and Supercharged Outlaws were presented with their trophies at the APIRA Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Warwick last night (Saturday). The winners of APIRA's Perpetual Awards, for whom Eurodragster.com readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.
Congratulations to the APIRA Perpetual Award winners:
APIRA Iris Page Memorial Trophy: Pete and Rob Brown
Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement: Mark Todd
APIRA Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year: Teresa Powell
APIRA Endeavour Award: Tim Stanbury
Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy: Andy Hadfield (aka Fadster)
McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer Trophy: Andy Dibley
Thanks to all of the Eurodragster.com readers who voted.
The following special awards were also presented. Congratulations to:
Anya Yates "With You All The Way" Memorial Trophy: Kenny Aston
2015 Services to APIRA and Shakespeare County Raceway: Alan Davies, Dave Rowland, Tony Smith
Long Standing Services to APIRA and Shakespeare County Raceway: Bruno Sanderson-Brown
Supercharged Outlaws Best Engineered Car: Joe Bond, Bond, Hannis & Osbourne slingshot
Supercharged Outlaws Most Promising Newcomer: Andy Gallimore
Supercharged Outlaws Best Turned Out Team: Pink Lady Racing
Supercharged Outlaws Most Improved Team: John Reeve
Supercharged Outlaws Best Burnout: Ian Kerr
Supercharged Outlaws Wildest Ride: Deborah Laugher
Supercharged Outlaws Best European: Karl Heinz Kleider
Supercharged Outlaws Melanie Dalton Memorial Trophy (voted by Outlaw members): Team Thing
Supercharged Outlaws Quickest ET: John Reeve, 7.142 seconds
Supercharged Outlaws Fastest MPH: John Reeve, 189.99 mph
Vic Hammond Memorial Trophy (Spirit of the Outlaws): Andy Hadfield and Team Twister
Mel's 2 Bob Trophy (sponsored by Jay Gilmore of Feeding Time Productions): Richard Davis
6th March: 2016 SPRC Comp Eliminator Champion Robin Orthodoxou says that the Chaos Brothers altered is returning to defend the title in 2016. "After an up and down season in 2015 it has been decided to sacrifice some performance in the search for consistency", he says. "We are proud to announce that we have a new sponsor along for the ride, UK Dump Truck Hire."
Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Adam Flamholc and the UK's Scott Hauser who are contesting this weekend's AMSOIL IHRA Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speed World. You will be able to keep in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com and on the Flamholc/MMR Racing Facebook page, and a webcast is available on the IHRA web site from 13:30 UK / 14:30 European.
Racing photographers might be interested in a Canon 100-400mm zoom lens which former Street Eliminator racer Ray Comer has for sale. You can find full details under Rigs, Trailer and Tools in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.
Allard Chrysler Dragster seeks crew.
5th March: The Allard Chrysler Action Group – the enthusiasts approved by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu to restore Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler, Europe's first dragster owned by the museum – is looking for new team members to help to complete the current restoration.
After a lengthy engine restoration during 2015 things are now moving on a pace and the car should be ready for cackle and parade demonstrations early in the summer. Because not everyone will be available for all public appearances it is handy to have at least three different crews capable of operating the dragster. There is still work to do to get it it ready so volunteers are needed now to help with the final work and to gain experience in procedures.
Knowledge of blown and injected methanol burning engines is ideal and, as the dragster is based at Beaulieu, living within an easy commute is useful. If you would like to join the ACAG team then please E-Mail Brian Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01395 579733.
5th March: Good luck and stay safe to Sweden's Adam Flamholc and the UK's Scott Hauser (see below) who are contesting this weekend's AMSOIL IHRA Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speed World. You will be able to keep in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com and on the Flamholc/MMR Racing Facebook page, and a webcast is available on the IHRA web site from 13:30 UK / 14:30 European.
We have updated the landing page of our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam with a status box which will contain updates about the webcast, for example that it is on test. In addition we recommend that you bookmark the landing page at www.eurodragster.com/webcam and not the webcast page itself as the file name of the webcast page will be set to a random value each day. Alternately click on the WRE/Nimbus Webcam link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Sweden's Kalle Lyrén will kick off his 2016 season where he left off in 2015: in the United States. The 2014 EDRS Pro Nordic Pro Stock Motorcycle champion will compete in the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida, the season's first of sixteen races for Pro Stock Motorcycle in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The American Dream part two! You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the EDRS Pro web site.
Seven runs on the bounce.
5th March: Scott Hauser has been in touch from Florida where he made seven test passes at Orlando Speedworld in Tony Morris' dragster:
Practice times were between 1:00 pm-4:00 pm and 5:00 pm-7:00 pm. During the first session I got in four runs; we could have possibly got more runs but discovered a little problem with the driver. As I was leaving the line I was lifting the throttle slightly, so even though I had made three runs Wednesday night we change the pedals. Basically I've got real short legs (No comment - Ed) so the block of wood on the pedal just wasn't enough. Tony rushed around to get a longer bolt for the pedal stop but nobody had a fine thread bolt. Tony drove to a local automotive store to get one and got back twenty minutes later, great success!
On the second run everything was going to plan but as I left the line the car made a bit of a turn towards the wall out of the groove, I got out of the throttle and brought it back to safety. Run number three was the first successful run of the many, 4.874 at 142.43 mph. Run number four was also a good run! I decided to drop the delay box timer as I was much more comfortable being consistent on the Tree. I went red by 0.013 but it was a great starting point, running 4.877/142.40 at the eighth. This time Tony said to get more comfortable go to a thousand feet or even a full pass get used to the car. I decided not to be a wimp and kept my foot in, 7.66/174.53.
Upon shutting off I had a bit of a drama getting the car slowed down. Being used to a four-link suspension dragster I'd never driven a hard tail slip joint car, especially this fast. As I got off the throttle I started to apply the brakes slowly as Tony had said that if you brake too early or too hard the car could go into a bounce. I thought I'd got away with it because the car slowed down nicely, then I started to feel the car undulate and everything starting bouncing. It really got my attention that's for sure! Got the car slowed down with no problems. When I got back to the pits I had the biggest grin on my face!
It all started to come together on the fifth run. I took a couple hundredths out of the box and pulled a 0.006! Result! With the car running 4.875/141.61 I was real happy that we were going in the right direction getting the 'perfect' run. For the sixth run it was approaching dusk and the air had completely changed, let's just say I was pretty chilly! Leaving everything the same as the last run I wanted to repeat that awesome reaction time. I pulled a .024, I was pretty pleased with that The car ran a little slower but was still within a hundredth, 4.882/141.33. The final run of the evening was made in darkness, I had remembered from Wednesday night that the lights startled me so I tried to focus and stay on my game. I pulled a 0.008 reaction... over the moon! Unfortunately we only received a Reaction Time and sixty foot ont the ticket so we don't know how the car ran, possibly felt a little slower but not by much.
I was real happy with how the day went, some good numbers on the board and hopefully scared the competition. Got a pat on the back from Tony with a "Good job!" which topped it all off. We have big weekend ahead of us now. On both days we get two timed runs and then straight into seven or eight rounds of eliminations. Where's Wally? Oh there he is! Can't wait!
If you'd like to follow the racing this weekend a link to the live stream is on the IHRA web site. The race starts at 8:30 here which is 1:30 pm in England and 2:30 pm in Europe. Wish me luck (Good luck and stay safe - Ed)!
Fletcher signs up with Pers.
4th March: Mark Bodimeade has been in touch to confirm one of the worst-kept secrets in European drag racing, namely that Patrik Pers is now in possession of the former Starkotter Fuel Funny Car campaigned by Leif Helander. Animal says that Patrik will be running in the European Nitro Funny Car Series in 2016:
The guys in Sweden have been working non-stop to get things ready in the last couple of months and fingers crossed we are currently on schedule. Sarah and I will fly over at the end of next week and we will hopefully be adding final touches and then be ready to transport everything over to England.
Patrik is excited about the new challenge. He is looking forward to getting back in a Funny Car and to having some close racing with the other guys are already in the group.
On a separate issue,the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway at Easter will be the last race for tuner Alan (Action) Jackson. After many years of tuning for Patrik, Micke Kågered, Susanne Callin and Smax Smith, to name but a few from the Knut Söderqvist stable, he is retiring to concentrate on Stock Car Racing with his son.
However I am pleased to announce that at Easter a long-time friend from our shores, who has resided in the United States since 1982, has offered us his services on the tuning front and will be there with Alan to take over. Dave Fletcher, whom some of you will know, has agreed to come over and tune the car for us. Dave worked for Austin Coil and Frank Hawley on the infamous Chi Town Hustler. He then went on to John Force Racing with Austin, and spent a while as Crew Chief and tuner for Cruz Pedragon amongst others. Dave is currently under the umbrella of Don Schumacher Racing and will be spending some of his vacation time with us at Speedghost Motorsport. Welcome on board Dave.
Big congratulations to Mark and Jackie on their engagement - Ed
First-footing in Orlando.
4th March: UK Super Pro ET racer Scott Hauser has been in touch from Florida where he has made his first outing in Tony Morris' Super Comp dragster and already had a few novel experiences:
After arriving in the US on Tuesday evening I headed straight to Tony's. We ate and then went to see the dragster to make sure that everything would be OK for me to just hop in and drive. The race car is kept about fifteen minutes away from Tony at Mark Whitner's shop. Mark is a real nice guy and knows his stuff! He also races in a dragster with a SB2 dry sump engine 420-440 ci, running 7.50s.
After getting in the car everything felt good and within reach so I gave Tony the thumbs up... then I realised I couldn't reach the pedals! Whoops! I couldn't get full throttle - which becomes relevant later on! - but it was pretty late at that point. We headed back to Mark's shop first thing Wednesday morning after getting some yummy breakfast. It was difficult to move the pedal closer so we decided to make a wooden block to attach to the pedal, it was only about three quarters of an inch thick but it was just right (Known as "A Mottershead door mat" - Ed).
The Wednesday night test at Orlando Speedworld was due to open 6:00 pm, we had left at 4:30 aiming to get there around 5:30 to get a good spot, but we ended up getting caught in rush hour traffic! In the end we arrived at 6:00 pm and the queue was all the way out to the main road so we knew it was going to be a busy night. Once we had got set up I drove the car around the pits to get everything warmed up and to get familiar with all the controls and gauges, everything went according to plan. I followed Tony down to tech inspection and pretty much within a minute of getting out the car, signing my name and receiving a sticker, I was back in the car. We were ready to race!
I drove down to the lanes and almost without delay it was ready to fire up and go. The plan was not to rush but to focus on the different starting line routine, i.e. leaving off the top bulb with a delay box! It's much more difficult than it looks, especially never having used one. The burnout was good but on the reverse back I slightly went out the groove which was exaggerated by the time I'd got back to the starting line. I got back in the groove and was ready to creep forward, but the burnout area is bigger than at Santa Pod so for the first run I was a little unsure where the start line was. I got the car staged (eventually) and I was ready to race.
The tree started running and the first bulb really startled me! I didn't realise that those LED bulbs were so bright! Even with a tinted visor, it really took me by surprise. I got off the button and then hit the throttle, just before the light went green the car shot off. I pulled a 0.086 reaction, we can change that later. I kept my foot down for about two hundred feet just to get used to the car launching. It was such a strange experience letting go of the transbrake button on the first amber then flooring the throttle, the car reacting all by itself, also the way the hard-tail slip joint car handles, they were all completely new experiences!
Run number two was a bit of a disaster. The burnout was improved and much better in the groove. Did my thing going into stage, as cool as a cucumber, first bulb... second bulb... Damn! I was meant to leave on the first, I felt so relaxed and in the zone that I almost carried out my usual routine rather the delay box first bulb start! It was a little disappointing but not the end of the world as it was only my second run in the car. Round about three hundred feet the car bounced a little and I realised the throttle was on-off on-off. I realised I'd never left at full throttle! I hit the pedal and the car took off again. The eighth mile was 5.25 at 130.5, with a 0.4 reaction... whoops again!
For the third and final run I knew I had to pull something out the bag to redeem myself. Burnout was good and in the groove this time, bumping into stage, cool as a cucumber and all that, the first bulb dropped and I got off the button as quick as I could. I thought at the time it seemed good, but this time I forgot something else - the gas pedal! I remembered on the third amber and hit it. The car left just before the RPM chip but it was still good enough to get a decent launch, reaction was a 0.065, 4.92/140 this time, still about a tenth off.
We thought we would try and squeeze another run in before the 10:30 pm curfew. Tony and I were chatting in the staging lanes and then from the track there was a huge "Boom!". We turned and saw a ball of flame which lit the night sky. We both thought it was a car which had an engine explosion, turns out it was a nitrous bottle explosion on a bike. It was such a lovely bike! The bike and the rider were completely engulfed in flames, no real news if the guy was OK but fingers crossed nothing serious. That put an end to the evening and we headed home!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tony for everything he has taught me so far, and I'm sure there's loads more on the way. All the Americans have been so nice, I'd really love to stay! Whoops, I think I just lost my passport and missed my flight (smile).
Yesterday we worked on the car and went to the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. The next racing outing is today (Friday) when we will try a few things. Report to follow.
4th March: The UK's Danny Cockerill has put his NLR Super Street Bike up for sale. "Those who know me and my bike will know that I have the best of everything on this bike", says Danny. "The motor will be fresh from Rob at Mistral Performance, fresh turbo, new style billet NLR intercooler, Motec C125 colour dash, AMS 2000, Motec M800. Marviv, Brembo etc". Danny is asking £28500 turn-key and you can find out more from Danny on 07971 568266 (outside the UK +44 7971 568266).
Thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 4 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th March. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes next Friday (11th); you can download Festival of Power entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Eight-second grass roots.
3rd March: Janne Uskali has been in touch with news on the Finnish Blacklist street race series, which runs mainly on unprepped tracks.
"The series has grown huge", says Janne. "Now the fastest street cars run eight-second quarter-mile times and almost ninety per cent of the cars on our lisr are different to those we highlighted in our Feature back in October 2014.
"The biggest thing is our new own Web TV series, Blacklist Street Racers. The first episode just came out and the next comes out at the end of next week. The series has English subtitles so that you can follow the racing too. The channel to follow is www.youtube.com/user/BeeonePowergear and you can find the first episode at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vwsM_BYac0. Our Facebook site is www.facebook.com/BlacklistRaceTV."
3rd March: UK Super Pro ET racer Scott Hauser has revealed that last Saturday's spy picture shows his safety kit. Scott is now in the USA where he will be driving Tony Morris' dragster at this weekend's IHRA AMS Oil Spring Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speedworld. Testing takes place today (Wednesday) followed by more runs on Friday. Tony and Scott plan to post updates on Facebook after each run, and Scott promises another report here soon. Good luck Scott and stay safe.
Racing as a UK team in 2016?
2nd March: UK National Drag Racing Championships Points Co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with a reminder that if you plan to race as a team in the 2016 UK National Championships, that is to say if the same car or bike will have different drivers or riders at different events, then Santa Pod Racers Club should be informed before the Festival of Power commences on Friday 25th March.
If you have not already informed SPRC that you plan to race as a team this season then please get in touch with Yvonne as soon as possible at email@example.com.
Today (2nd) happens to be Yvonne's birthday so we would like to add a big Happy Birthday and have a lovely day, Yvonne.
2nd March: With the start of the UK season fast approaching, things are progressing nicely at the workshop of UK Pro Modified racer and reigning MSA British Drag Racing Champion Kev Slyfield:
New parts are ready to install and after being plagued by oil pressure problems throughout last season we have installed an upgrade to the oil system. Of course our hope is to repeat the success we had in 2015 and to try to get into the 6.2s, but with more competition and everyone upping their game, it is going to be a mighty challenge. Apart from the new oil system the car will remain as it was last year with a few forced legal requirement changes.
A major factor contributing to our success is having a dedicated crew who have stuck with me through difficult times, a massive Thank You goes out to them: my wife Elaine, Angela Cooper, Brian Cooper, James Woodsford, Clive Phayer, Paul Morton and Bert Nutland.
2nd March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the word "Ammunition!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-27th March. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes on Friday week (11th); you can download Festival of Power entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
It came too late for yesterday's update but DD asked us to say Happy Birthday and hugs for yesterday (Tuesday) to Kerry McCartney, aka Kezza. Hope you had a lovely day Kerry.
PDRC honour 2015 Champions.
2nd March: Pennine Drag Racing Club Chair Al Perkins writes that the 41st PDRC Annual General Meeting and Night of Champions were held in Bradford at the weekend:
The AGM was well-attended by racers, officials and supporters . Reports back from the track are that winter has been kind to us. Work parties are arranged for 6th and 20th March.
With the official part of the day done we assembled in the bar then were called through for dinner. Following a great meal it was time for the awards, hosted by Graham Beckwith. Our guests of honour for the evening were Stu and Bev Bradbury who did a great job of handing over trophy after trophy, posing for pictures with each winner. The traditional raffle followed hosted by our very own comedy duo Smithy and Des. Finally the DJ took over with music and dancing , along with a good dose of bench racing and catching up with other racers. There may have been a drop or two of alcohol involved along the way. A great time was had by all.
Congratulations to our winners:
Marshal of the Year: Craig Rounthwaite
Most Consistent American Car: Dave Billadeau
Services to PDRC: Des Brown
Best Performance by a British-engined Car: Darren Peart
Enthusiasm for PDRC: Claire King
Sustained Efforts for PDRC: Stephanie Rudd
Best Engineered: Richard Grainger
Fastest Doorslammer at York: Andy Hadfield
Most Outstanding Performance: Holly Chandler
Entertainer of the Year: Darren Peart
Crew Chief of the Year: Nicola Peart
Most Promising Newcomer: Andy Frear
Services to Motorsport: Andrew Leigh
Most Consistent Reaction Times: Mick Elsworth
Services to UK Drag Racing: Stu Bradbury
Raw Horsepower: Pete Youhill
Racers' Choice (voted by racers): Pete Youhill
Hard Luck Award: Dave Rudd
Sportsman ET Champion: Andy Frear, runner-up Nathan Askey
American Super Stock Champion: Lee Chiles, runner-up Karen Gregory, 3rd Dave Billadeau
Pro ET Shootout Champion: Vic Parsons, runner-up Marc Manning
Volks Stock Champion: Dan Spensley, runner-up Adam Proctor
Super Cup Champion: Paul Grainger, runner-up Darren Peart
JDM Champion: Phil Davison, runner-up Nathan Askey
Pro FWD Champion: Matt Davison, runner-up Peter Richardson
Car Points Champion: Vic Parsons
Next year's event is already booked at the Campanile Hotel, Bradford, on 25th February 2017.
Eurodragster.com sponsorship 2016.
1st March: We are pleased to welcome new sponsors to Eurodragster.com as well as sad to say goodbye to others.
In the order in which they signed up please welcome our new sponsors:
New Eurodragster.com News sponsor Alders Automotive was established in 1999. Richard Alder writes: our workshops are located in East Sussex and cover all aspects of American transmissions and driveline from racing transmissions, overdrive conversions to reconditioning the transmission for your American vehicle. Our workshops can also carry out diagnostic work and the removal and installation of the transmission from your vehicle.
All of our transmissions are built in house using the highest quality parts and incorporate the latest modifications to ensure reliability. 2015 was a busy year for us and we are looking forward to 2016. We have been making some changes within the business over the past year. One of our biggest changes we have made is the installation of our transmission dyno, this will ensure that our transmissions are tested, shift correctly and the pressures and cooler flow are correct before delivery to our customer. We have also increased our stock levels to improve turnaround times and service.
This year we have decided to sponsor Eurodragster.com and Santa Pod Raceway; this is in addition to our continuing sponsorship of Super Pro ET in the UK.
We are UK distributors for Coan Racing, Reid Racing Inc and Winters Performance and have parts shipments from the USA every two to three weeks. Express shipping is also available.
We would like to wish everybody the best of luck for the upcoming season and look forward dealing with your enquiries.
You can find the Alders Automotive web site at www.aldersautomotive.co.uk, E-Mail email@example.com, or call 01323 848448.
Since the first time he prepped the strip at Shakespeare County Raceway, the hunger to make tracks quicker and faster with total safety has been the goal of Lee Child and new Eurodragster.com News sponsor Lee Child International Track Preparation Services. Lee writes:
The tracks which I have prepped have always have a great range of successes including Personal Bests, track records, National records, continential records and world records. A high percentage of the tracks I prep only have limited days on which they can operate, but the track owners want quick and fast - and that's where I step in.
Please Like and Share the Lee Child International Track Preparation Services Facebook page which I shall be updating with updates on my travels.
Not only I am providing drag racing surface preparation services and consultancy for tracks around the world, but I can also supply traction compounds and other related products. For more details or orders please contact me through the Facebook page or call 07771 590176.
Mick Pusey has long nurtured the idea of US car and parts supplier and new Eurodragster.com News and Blogs sponsor Gearhead Garage, and he decided that now was the time to launch as he thought about slowing down the physical side of his building business. Mick writes:
Our market is American cars and trucks from old to new, maybe the odd race car and hot rod, stock and commision sales also catered for. We already have a few stock vehicles and parts for sale. Sourcing of vehicles and parts and containerised shipping from California are possible through our San Diego-based agent. Vehicle appraisals are also possible for those far-away purchases!
We have substantial yard storage for up to forty vehicles on site, limited secure garage storage on-site for four cars, and local unit storage for many more within half a mile.
For more details or orders please visit www.gearhead-garage.co.uk, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07973 740076.
A huge Thank You to all of those existing sponsors who have continued their support into 2015-2016. Please support those who support Eurodragster.com by considering our sponsors first when shopping for goods or services.
If you are interested in sponsoring Eurodragster.com then it is not too late; please get in touch with Tog at email@example.com or with Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, goodbye and a big Thank You to departing sponsors Wizards of NOS and PF501.com. Eurodragster.com has had long-standing and generous support from Paul Fischer and Trevor Langfield, for which we remain very grateful.
Stay tuned for news about this year's Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme.
Web site updates.
1st March: Sweden's Per Bengtsson and The Beast Dragbike Team will compete in the full 2016 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship tour and have one ambition: "To take home the title for our main sponsor Red Line Oil". If the season goes as planned and The Beast is as competitive as the team know it can be then England and the USA are the next targets for the most aggressive and noisiest Supertwin in Europe. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.