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Editor's Diary archive
31st August: Kirstie and Simon are at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you the action from today's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day in association with John Woolfe Racing.
Our coverage will consist of an illustrated report and a gallery, both of which will be posted at the end of the day. You will be able to check out our coverage by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hans side of any Eurodragster.com page.
There will be no webcam at this event; the next Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast will be from this weekend's VW Action also at Santa Pod Raceway.
Please remember that neither Eurodragster.com nor our sponsors look kindly upon reports, results or pictures being stolen from our Event Coverage and posted on Facebook or elsewhere. Links and shares: fine. Anything else: not fine. If in doubt then please enquire at email@example.com.
On the subject of Event Coverage a big Thank You to the 90,147 readers of our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored coverage of the Scandinavian Internationals and APIRA Open Sport Nationals. We have received a lot of positive feedback about our coverage of these events which is very much appreciated (We'll draw a veil over the 424 attempts to watch webcasts which we clearly stated were not happening - Ed).
VP Racing Fuels back Lindberg.
31st August: Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports has announced a new alliance with Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels for the 2016 racing season. Jonnie Lindberg, reigning NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion, will rely exclusively on VP’s M1 Methanol in his attempt to secure a second Championship this year.
"I switched to VP because it's important for me to know you are getting the best and cleanest methanol on the market to make good horsepower and stay consistent", said Jonnie.
"Jonnie Lindberg is a young star with an even brighter future ahead of him in drag racing" said Chris Wall, Chief Marketing Officer for VP Racing Fuels. "He's not only campaigning with the NHRA but makes frequent trips back to Europe to help various Pro Mod teams with tuning. With all his experience and network of contacts, Jonnie will be a great asset to VP's R&D efforts and will help promote our brand both in the U.S. and across Europe."
Jonnie will be contesting Top Alcohol FC at this weekend's NHRA US Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park together with Ulf Leanders. Qualifying starts on Friday and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Dragracecentral.com.
31st August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us a tweaked final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Thursday-Sunday of next week (8th-11th September). You can check out the European Finals 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. Stay tuned as we understand that there is to be another entry update shortly.
Jan Phersson of Eurodragster.com sponsor Simpson Safety Europe had a successful weekend at the Scandinavian Internationals supplying trackside service throughout the event and, through the Simpson Motorsport Safety Academy, hosting a safety seminar for Junior Dragster racers. "Teaching racers about personal safety from their earliest years is paramount", says Jan.
Thanks to Ian King for letting us know that the post-APIRA Open Sport Nationals points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team have published a of the NitrOlympX which you can check out by clicking here (Dutch-language PDF).
The King returns.
31st August: Multiple FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and record holder Andy Carter has been invited to next week's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway to participate in a Meet and Greet celebrating SPR's fiftieth anniversary. Andy is one of a number of high-profile guests at Meet and Greet on the Saturday of the event and is looking forward to his first trip back to Santa Pod since his retirement in 2011.
"The venue holds so many amazing memories for me, and the fans are always at the heart of my recollections", says the King of Europe. "It will be great to see so many old faces and catch up, as well as meeting new fans over the weekend. I will be taking part in the Meet and Greet at 12:00 noon on Saturday and I'm hoping to be able to make my way back on to the start line as I have a few good memories from there. The view down the famous quarter mile will I'm sure stir a few emotions!"
Andy had an incredible record in his twenty nine year career in drag racing but his most impressive achievements were are at the very top of the sport when he spent seventeen years in FIA European Top Fuel Dragster competition. Amongst Andy's achievements when he retired were four-time FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion; European quarter mile ET record holder at 4.572 seconds, a record which will always stand since Top Fuel is now contested over 1000 feet; track record holder at Santa Pod Raceway, Mantorp Park and Shakespeare County Raceway; involvement in the first 300 mph runs in Europe alongside Barry Sheavills; and leading cumulative points scorer in FIA European Top Fuel Dragster between 2007 and 2013 - it took Andy's rivals two seasons after his retirement to catch up on his points tally.
Andy was also a pioneer off the track in bringing some of the biggest names into the sport through his partnership programme. His tireless commitment on all fronts resulted in major partnerships with big brands such as Lucas Oil, B&Q, First National Telecom Services, Wynn's Lubricants, NGK, Go Talk, K&N Filters, Teng Tools, Veidec, Crane Cams and many more. His career was documented in the book Andy Carter - King of Europe and he was a major contributor to the Haynes Top Fuel Dragster Manual. Andy also played a major part in promoting drag racing to as wide an audience as possible with appearances at events all over the UK including a dragster at Autosport International twelve years running. Since his retirement from drag racing, Andy has committed his motorsport energies into helping his son Albert Carter in his own racing career. Albert has already achieved success at the highest level in Karting and is currently racing Spedeworth Junior Rods.
"I genuinely can't wait to see you all at Santa Pod next week", says Andy.
Web site updates.
31st August: Thanks to Marcus Sjödin for letting us know that the official web site of the Top Doorslammer series has been updated with next season's race numbers after the conclusion of the 2016 Championship at Tierp Arena on Sunday. You can take a look at www.topdoorslammer.com.
30th August: We were shocked and very sorry to hear of the death of Swedish Super Street Bike racer Leif Larsson (Left, with crew Lennart Karlsson in 2014) who was killed in an accident on the way home from the weekend's Scandinavian Internationals.
Leif's race career spanned twelve years in Super Comp Bike and Super Street Bike and he also worked with Pro Stock Bike racers Robert, Elvira and Ellsa Karlsson driving their truck to races. He raced at tracks all around Europe and was due to contest next week's FIA / FIM European Finals.
Leif's close friend and crew Jani Ojala writes "Leif was a true gentleman, very kind and always smiling. He was a pleasure to be around. He will be sorely missed by all of us in European drag racing. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. Rest in peace Leif. God bless."
Speedgroup CEO Åsa Kinnemar says "So sad and way too soon for you to leave Leif. I am happy to have had the chance to meet you at the race tracks over the years. RIP. You will always be remembered."
Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King writes on behalf of everyone at King Racing "Our deepest condolences to Ann-Christine, his family and close friends. Godspeed Leif."
Our deepest sympathies to Leif's family and friends. If you would like to send a tribute to Leif then please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 APIRA Champions.
30th August: Many thanks to our very own Simon for forwarding the list of Champions in the 2016 APIRA Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championships. Congratulations to:
Super Pro ET: Brad Jackson
Pro ET: Ethan Lisle
Sportsman ET: Tig Napier
Super Comp: Andy Williams
Super Street: Leigh Morris
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Caitlin Wilson
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Stuart Williams
VW Pro: Carl Goldsmith
VW Sportsman: Ross Chisholm-Brown
Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins
Outlaw Anglia: Cliff Griffin
Funny Bike: Phil Crossley
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables
Comp Bike: Eddy Smiley
8.50 Bike: Jay Roe
9.50 Bike: Brett Cordelle
Junior Drag Bike: Louis Davies
NAST Supertwin Gas: Robbie Dobbie
ET Bike*: Joe Elliott
*For consistency in the points calculation between the two Clubs, the method of calculation of ET Bike points for the season is that stated in the rulebook under Sportsman Championships rather than that for the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships.
You can check out the full APIRA Championship 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.
APIRA Open Sport Nationals results.
30th August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's APIRA Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Super Pro ET: Brad Jackson (7.68) 7.759/162.11 def. Bob Doyle (8.58) 8.700/155.98
Pro ET: Ethan Lisle (10.00) 10.163/130.65 def. Brian Huxley (9.40) 9.463/142.78
Sportsman ET: Tig Napier (14.70) 14.665/95.15 def. Andy Dibley (13.65) 13.560/102.53 DQ red
Super Comp: Stuart Doignie 8.933/143.55 def. Andy Williams 8.863/136.92 DQ b/o
Super Street: Leigh Morris 10.911/120.63 def. Dave Cherrett 10.813/84.92 DQ b/o
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Caitlin Wilson (8.71) 8.705/73.05 def. Billy Everitt (7.99) 7.979/80.36
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Stuart Williams 7.809/180.71 def. Gary Gooding 8.000/171.87
VW Pro: Sam Chisholm-Brown (12.25) 12.316/114.47 def. Carl Goldsmith (11.00) 11.228/134.39 DQ red
VW Sportsman: Ross Chisholm-Brown (14.10) 14.270/97.09 def. Luke Stevenson (13.00) 12.989/93.45 DQ b/o
Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins (6.81) 6.810/197.62 def. Alan Loten (9.25) 9.136/137.76 DQ b/o
Outlaw Anglia: Jed Guy 8.225/167.39 def. Phil Middleton 8.539/158.94
Funny Bike: Phil Crossley 7.285/183.60 def. Allan Davies 7.620/174.10 red
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.396/193.16 def. Graham Balchin 7.446/193.90
Comp Bike: Eddy Smiley 7.889/176.71 def. Martin Walker 8.076/183.46
8.50 Bike: Augy Harrison 8.630/161.98 def. Jay Roe 8.463/146.04 DQ b/o
9.50 Bike: Jonathan Kasziba 10.007/137.35 def. Stacey Reed 9.970/139.63
Junior Drag Bike: Louis Davies (8.28) 8.255/81.37 def. Jack Shook (8.85) 8.661/70.53 DQ b/o
ET Bike / NAST: Wayne Bradley (9.00) 9.467/113.29 def. Fiona Moor (11.45) 11.925/114.18
Congratulations also to VW Pro racer Carl Goldsmith and ET Bike / NAST racer Fiona Moor who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for next week's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored APIRA Open Sport Nationals reports and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Lost, found and urgently sought.
30th August: If you got home from the APIRA Open Sports Nationals and found that you were missing an expensive item from your tool kit then please E-Mail email@example.com with details and we will put you in touch with the finder.
UK Super Pro ET racers John and Tom Atkinson urgently require a Barry Grant 280 fuel pump to enable them to compete at the European Finals. The pump must be in good working order. If you can help then please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scandinavian Internationals curtailed.
29th August: Yesterday's eliminations at the Scandinavian Internationals were curtailed by weather. Most Pro finals had run and Sportsman eliminations were well advanced before persistent rain fell on Tierp Arena leaving the Race Director with no choice but to call the event.
Congratulations to the winners of those finals which were run:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Stig Neergaard 4.1865/458.40 def. Anita Mäkelä 4.7005/255.32
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Jonny Lagg 8.7590/151.18 bye
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Johnny Oksa 6.4171/402.99 def. Ari Pietilä 14.7967/88.55
FIA Pro Stock: Bengt Ljungdahl 6.4942/341.56 def. Jimmy Ålund 7.2459/283.17
Swedish Pro Modified Championship: Anders Nilsson staged, Mats Eriksson no show
EDRS Supertwin: Samu Kemppainen 6.5588/326.68 bye, Hans Olav Olstad did not start
EDRS Pro Stock Motorcycle: Kalle Lyrén 6.9840/307.68 def. Fredrik Fredlund 7.0534/304.91
EDRS Super Street Bike: Björn Friström 7.5694/308.57 def. Jani Kumpulainen 7.6896/292.37
Congratulations also to Bengt Ljungdahl who subject to official ratification set a new FIA European Pro Stock ET record of 6.491 seconds, and to the Champions in the EDRS Pro Motorcycle classes:
EDRS Top Fuel Motorcycle: Thomas Pettersson
EDRS Supertwin Motorcycle: Samu Kemppainen
EDRS Pro Stock Motorcycle: Kalle Lyrén
EDRS Super Street Bike: Henri Kolehmainen
You can check out the EDRS Pro Motorcycle points (PDF format) by clicking here.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Scandinavian Internationals live report and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the post-Scandinavian Internationals points standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the FIA 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. According to our calculations Johnny Oksa has a sufficient points lead over Ari Pietilä to have won the 2016 FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Championship so congratulations to Johnny.
27th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell is seeking the help of Eurodragster.com readers in locating the Houndog 9 Vega 'Pup' Funny Car body. "This was always my favourite car of the era and if the body still exists somewhere I'd love to find it", says Flav. "I know it changed hands several times and guises. Allan Bates drove it a while as the Warlock FC. In my Super Gas days I saw it at York campaigned by Dave Prior with Lesley driving. I understood that it went to France but I really don't know. Any help with this or an alternative period body would be well-received". if you can help then please E-Mail Flav at email@example.com or call 07785 226782.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join Kirstie, Simon and Grace in wishing Photographer Julian a very Happy Birthday.
York's Bank Holiday Nostalgia fun.
27th August: York Raceway's National Hot Rod Reunion tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday will be a celebration of the earlier days of hot rodding and drag racing with Championship quarter mile action on both days. Chris Murty writes:
The annual Northern Nostalgia Drag Racing and Hot Rod meet has in a few short years progressed to become the biggest event on the York Raceway calendar. Two days of non-stop drag racing action will be headlined by Robin Read's historic Daimler-powered nitro-burning dragster match racing against Julian Webb's Split Second Jet Dragster. This is set to be an awesome spectacle at York Raceway where you can truly get close to the action. The huge fields of American muscle cars of the American Super Stock Championship will battle it out in two complete Championship rounds over the weekend whilst the dragsters, altereds, hot rods and doorslammers of the PDRC Bracket classes race for their Championship on Monday.
In a new development for 2016, York Raceway will also be running a Comp Altered Shootout. With Ian Lloyd's Gonzo the Great Topolino and the Hot Pursuit Jaguar-powered Model T shoed by Ben Rushforth set to be the main protagonists, the Shootout will be open to all altereds (centre drive, under 130" wheelbase) with or without an MSA tag to join in the nostalgic fun! GSRs and scrutineering apply.
Away from the track, on Sunday we will be holding a Show'n'Shine with some of the North's best hot rods, classics, customs and muscle cars. Monday will be a more down-home affair with our Rust'n'Grime for rat rods and vehicles which show some real patina or are beautifully a little rough around the edges.
The Sunday evening Cacklefest features every available car in the pits making its way to the track to be fired up for ten very special seconds of noise.
Live entertainment for the evening includes live music and burlesque shows.
If you would like to be a part of the event or would like to know more check out the York Raceway Facebook page or drop me an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Sport Nationals racer update III.
26th August: Thanks to APIRA Race Director Tony Smith for letting us know that Super Gas has been cancelled at this weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. An amended provisional running order 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. 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.
Event entry update.
26th August: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 24th-25th September and which is the final round of the UK National Drag Racing Championship in car classes, the final round of Wild Bunch and Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships, the final round of the ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship, and the penultimate round of the other ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and UK National Drag Racing Championships in bike classes. You can check out the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here.
UK National Finals entry at standard rate closes on Friday of next week, 2nd September, after which entry if accepted may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. 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 UK National Finals entry then please contact Ian Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
European Top Gas Round 5 summary.
26th August: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for sending us a summary of the action in Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas at last weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, the fifth round of the Series.
E1: Schack 7.507-279 kmh beat Abraham 8.789-194 kmh; Caspari 8.441-245 kmh beat v Nimmen 8.633-246 kmh (new PB for v Nimmen); Albers 7.555-284 kmh beat Lymant 8.670-262 kmh; Pinet 8.112-267 kmh beat Jolink 8.758-252 kmh (Team Jolink put too large main jets in the in the reserve Ducati 999 RS 1214).
Semi-finals: Schack 7.424-282 kmh beat Caspari 8.303-255 kmh; Pinet 8.560-257 kmh bye after Albers' gearbox broke.
Final: Frederik Schack DK 7.383-290 kmh beat Serge Pinet F 11.560-133 kmh (problems with the gearbox)
Championship Top Five
Bonneville, and no joke.
26th August: At last year's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Ron Hope of Rat Trap Racing announced on stage that Geoff Stilwell of BDRHoF sponsor Beech Underwriting Agencies was going to drive at the 2016 Bonneville Speed Week. At the time Geoff thought that Ron was joking but it turned out that Ron was deadly serious. Geoff writes:
A few E-Mails passed between Ron and I and no, he wasn't joking. This trip came around really very quickly. Firstly I joined the SCTA. Then earlier this year, when I was in the USA for the Bakersfield March Meet, I was taken by Bob Muravez to see the guys at Simpson. One hour later I walked out with the new firesuit, helmet, boots and gloves at the spec required by the SCTA.
So fast forward to this month and after two years of rainouts Speed Week was on. I decided to fly into Las Vegas; it was 38° C when we landed at 8:30 at night and it had cooled down from 40+° the week before. A quick overnight sleep and then a 370 mile drive from Vegas.
Nothing prepares you for the vastness of the flats. We stayed in a small town called Wendover, which is only fifteen mins from the entrance. The pits are located four miles onto the salt which trust me gets everywhere. It sticks to your shoes, your feet are always wet, but it was dry enough for racing and it was in the best shape for years. It was compulsory to wear sunglasses to stop the glare. Daytime temps get into the high thirties, with humidity at nothing more than fifteen per cent. Altitude adjustment two thousand feet above sea level early in the morning going up to seven and a half thousand feet by mid-afternoon.
TV crews from CNN, Fox News, NBC, French TV, Japanese TV all descended on the salt for the week.
This year there were over four hundred entries, with Danny Thompson and the Speed Demon team streamliners plus Hall of Fame member Carl Olson in the Kuhl, Olson and Bowman Blown Fuel Roadster. The range of cars was mind-blowing as was the age of the drivers: many racers where in their late seventies and still going for that record run.
On day one we set up and checked the cars. On day two we got the cars through tech plus I had to do a bail-out fully suited up and go through rookie induction. Prior to tech and bailout Chris of the team spent ages teaching me about the Dodge I was about to drive. Medical forms all had to be completed then it was off to the rookie course. Bearing in mind that Speed Week had been rained off for the past two years the queues to run where horrendous: three to four hours to make a pass. By the time I got to run it was the middle of the afternoon and so hot. 97° F.
I was strapped in when about three cars back and awaited my turn. You are constantly reminded about safety and what to do. The starters checked everything and made sure that I was OK to run. Started the engine and I was on my way. Ron instructed me to drive the Dodge up to the rev limiter and hold it in fourth gear. My first pass was 122 mph which was good enough to get my basic licence. I collected my timing slip which had to be signed by the Chief Starters. Then I managed to get another run. We discovered a minor problem with the turbo but Brian Hope had decided that I could drive his pride and joy, 7551. But firstly I had to go to Tech and redo my bail out and prove to them that I knew what I was doing. It was eventually my turn to run.
Pulling round Brian instructed me to shift to high at 5000 rpm and then hold the revs at around 4500 through the markers. That got me a 149 mph ticket. When they arrived to tow me back Brian said "Do you want another go right now?". Stupid question! Of course I did. A short wait to let the motor cool then I was strapped in and got the signal to start the engine. This time I was instructed to shift into high gear at 5500 and hold that through the timers then to use the chute after I went through the two mile marker.
I knew that car was faster but when the guys came to pick me up they had glum faces. "165" they said... then started laughing. I had been through the timers at 180.173 mph. I could not believe it. I knew it was fast but that surprised me. The Chief Starter who signed my ticket was thrilled for me, and I had earnt my B class licence. We ran out of time as Ron had to be in Germany and Brian had to be in Canada, so not quite two hundred but close and I have every intention of getting my 200 mph badge.
If anyone thinks that running on the salt is easy, think again. We had to be up at 5:00 am to be at the course by 6:00 am then get the car in line to run by 7:00 am, then not finishing until 7:00 pm. It's a punishing schedule and it is for a week.
I cannot thank Ron and Brian Hope for letting me do this as well as all the team, especially Stu and Josh Bassett, Chris Tomin and Keith for getting me through tech, being patient with me and helping me to get my licences. I have come back with an acute case of Salt Fever, which Carl Olson tells me is incurable.
Web site updates.
26th August: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with galleries from the Mopar EuroNationals including sequences of Pete Youhill's Save of the Year and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson's attempt at same two days later. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Dick Parnham has also updated his Flickr site with more 1970s pictures including drag bikes, Don Schumacher's Stardust Funny Car, and Don Garlits in the pits at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at Dick's latest update at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
Open Sport Nationals racer update II.
25th August: Thanks to Julie Willcox for stepping up to the plate for an unwell Jerry Cookson to send us the latest upates for this weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Version 4 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.
Saturday's, Sunday's and Monday's provisional running orders are also now available and can also 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.
The weekend's pit plan can be checked out by clicking here.
If you have any queries about the APIRA Open Sport Nationals then please contact the Raceway office at firstname.lastname@example.org or between 09:00 and 17:00 call 01789 720180 for general enquiries or for racer entry, payments and advance tickets please call 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180 / 414119).
Our best wishes to our good buddy Jerry for a rapid recovery.
An important win.
25th August: After a five-week break it was time for race number four in the FIA European Pro Stock Championship, the NitrOlympx at the Hockenheimring, Germany. The race surface was better than ever and made for good performances and racing.
The Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team ran quick and fast during qualifying, ending up as number one qualifier. On race day Jimmy showed why he is the points leader. Consistency and quick ETs make for event victories and Jimmy did well on both counts. The spread of his ETs during eliminations was only 0.006 seconds and he also reset the track speed record with a strong run of 341.39 kmh (212.12 mph).
"I'd like to thank the track crew for giving us such a good and solid track" says Jimmy. "We qualified at the top and then we ran about as consistent as we ever have in eliminations and that paid off".
In the final, Jimmy went up against Bengt Ljungdahl who had recorded the quickest time of the event during the quarter finals. Jimmy won the race and thus the event with a slower time but a better reaction, crossing the finish line 0.04 seconds in front of Bengt. "The competition is fierce to say the least and the final was very important for the points chase with only two races left", says Jimmy. "We went up against the quickest car of the weekend and although I was not a killer on the tree it was enough this time. Lots of hard work all weekend and we are obviously very happy with the result."
The Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team left Hockenheim at the top of the points table, extending their lead over Bengt to fifty two points. The next Championship race is at Tierp Arena, Sweden, this weekend making for a hectic race schedule. Jimmy arrived home on Tuesday and the team leaves for Tierp Arena today.
Jimmy wishes to express his gratitude to his sponsors: Hockenheim event sponsor Exclusive Cars, Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuels, and X Parts.
25th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. You can check out the European Finals 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 European Final entry then please contact Ian Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Web site updates.
25th August: Liam Lodge has updated his European Drag Racing Blog with some thoughts on Nostalgia events recetly attended. You can check out Liam's Blog at liam66europeandragracing.wordpress.com.
Bench Racing line-up confirmed.
24th August: Beech Underwriting Agencies, major sponsorship partner of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, have announced that tickets are going quickly for the Bench Racing session, to be held between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm on Saturday 19th November at the Atlantic Suite of the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow Airport.
Beech Underwriting Agencies' managing director Geoff Stilwell said "There has been tremendous demand and there are not many places left. We have over fifty already reserved out of a capacity of one hundred, so potential attendees need to get in touch as soon as possible to make sure that they have a seat."
Last year's Bench Racing session was a major feature of the day of the BDRHoF Gala Dinner with many of the personalities present telling their stories and anecdotes as well as their current views on the sport. This year's fantastic line-up is bound to move the session to a new level. The official list of panel members of the Bench Racing session is:
From Great Britain
Dennis Priddle – 'Mr Six', Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car legend
From USA Reunited for the first time since 1973's Santa Pod Raceway "Funny Car Summer":
Don Schumacher – former Funny Car star, now NHRA's premier team owner
Paula Murphy – 'Miss STP', Funny Car star and round-the-world driver
Carl Olson – former Top Fuel star; ex-NHRA Vice President; founding President, FIA Drag Racing Commission
Graham Light – NHRA Senior Vice-President, Racing Operations; President, FIA Drag Racing Commission
Harry Hibler – former publisher, Hot Rod Magazine and other Petersen publications
'Waterbed' Fred Miller – Co-Crew Chief, Raymond Beadle's Blue Max Funny Car
Bob Muravez – alias 'Floyd Lippencotte Jr', renowned driver of John Peters' Freight Train twin-engined Top Gas Dragster
Ron Hope – owner/driver, Rat Trap Fuel Altered
Tony Thacker – ex-Editor, Custom Car magazine; former Director, NHRA Motorsports Museum
The Bench Racing session will be hosted by Bob McClurg, distinguished US drag racing photo-journalist and author.
The BDRHoF is offering the press the opportunity for individual interviews with panel members during the morning of 19th November, before the Bench Racing session. There will also be a unique chance to mix with legends socially before, during and after the Gala Dinner being held on the same evening.
You can register and reserve your place for the BDRHoF Bench Racing session by E-Mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission will be by ticket only.
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. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Grimes lands in Sweden.
24th August: Tommy Grimes is set to make his début on the European drag racing scene at this weekend's Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena. Having raced for twenty years, Tommy is best-known for riding the late Ray Price's drag bikes during a ten-year period with a lot of victories under his belt, but now he will contest Supertwin in the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship on Per Bengtsson's parallel twin The Beast.
"I'm really excited", said Tommy after receiving the phone call from Per Bengtsson a couple of weeks ago. "The phone has been absolutely crazy since the news came out, and I'm flattered that so many keep an eye on my career. My last race was in February at the NHRA Carquest Auto Parts Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona, where I rode one of Mike Bahnmaier's bikes. After that race I almost given up thinking about racing at a top level again. But now that Per has given me this opportunity, my blood has really started to pump again! I must say that it's a real honour to be able to ride someone else’s bike. My wife told me the other day "You must have made a hell of an impression to get a phone call all the way from Sweden"! I will do my very best to make the Beast team proud.
Tommy arrives at Stockholm Arlanda airport today (Wednesday) and, after a quick tour of Stockholm, will will join the team at the track next day.
The Scandinavian Internationals has a record-breaking entry with 363 teams attending from thirteen different countries. Supertwin has fourteen entrants fighting for an eight-bike ladder.
You can follow the race on here on Eurodragster.com and daily reports and pictures of the EDRS Pro Nordic MC will also be available on Dragracing Europe courtesy of Remco Scheelings.
For more information about The Beast drag bike team, please visit www.bentec.net or search for The Beast dragbike on Facebook.
Queue here for a track record.
24th August: The roads of the Isle of Man may be dedicated to two-wheeled road racing action this week and next as the Classic TT and MGP take place, but those of us who prefer straight line action will not be disappointed as the Pokerstars Drag Fest takes place on the weekend of 3rd-4th September. Ian Merryweather writes:
The event is grass-roots drag racing at its best with the emphasis on having a good time and entertaining the Manx public with something different. The Manx Drag Racing Association, in partnership with Straightliners, have been running this event since 2010 with many of the UK teams making the trip over in previous years.
In previous years Mark Flavell, Andy Fadster, Pel Norman, Ben Rushforth, Spencer and Jean Tidswell and the Patvan racing teams have thoroughly enjoyed racing on the Island much to the appreciation of the Manxies. This year Mark Flavell, Spencer Tidswell and Ben Rushforth are returning along with the current Supercharged Outlaws champion Paul Watts. All are out to crack the track record which is currently held by Mark Flavell at 9.41 seconds. To throw a spanner in the works, Julian Webb is also booked on the ferry with the Split Second Jet Dragster, so if track records are going to be broken then our money is on Julian although this has to be the equivalent of a Russia athlete so may not be eligible (Ian's thought - Ed).
The locals are not to be underestimated either with Malcolm Forbes along his Small Block Chevy slingshot dragster and Ian Merryweather with his 392 Hemi Topolino Banzai. It all makes for a cracking weekends racing, and it's free to all spectators! So why not get on the ferry and head up to Jurby Airfield, Isle of Man. For more check out the Manx Drag Racing Association web site at www.manxdragracing.com or search Pokerstars Drag Fest on Facebook.
APIRA Championship outcomes.
24th August: This coming weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals is the final round in the APIRA Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship held at Shakespeare County Raceway. There is a healthy entry and Championship trophies to be decided upon. So it's time to review the contenders, with the caveat that there may yet be a further version of the entry list. Simon, who as well as doing a bang-up job on Eurodragster.com is also APIRA Championship Co-ordinator, writes:
In Super Pro ET Chris Parker in the Windscreen Wizards dragster run by Nick Good Motorsport is leading and he is followed by Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters 90 points behind, Jack Brewster a further 30 points back and Peter Lane another 20 back. There are up to 790 points available plus 100 points for attending all rounds. In Pro ET, Paul Baynton is in the points lead followed by Geoff Cowley 10 points back, Leigh Morris a further 10 back and James Forster another 10 back. There are up to 800 points available. Sportsman ET has an entry of 10 so far and Elaine Hancock has a 60 point margin over second-placed Alan Medley. Ricky Hale is a further 20 points behind and Jemma Hale 10 points in arrears.
Super Comp is a shootout between points leader Paul Brown, Andy Williams 30 points further back, and Conrad Stanley 120 points adrift. Stuart Doignie is also entered but Paul Hudson is still nursing a broken car after his incident at the Main Event. There are up to 480 points available. Super Gas was not contested at the Springspeed Nationals despite two cars being entered, and there is also only one entered for the Open Sport Nationals, so unless more vehicles are entered it looks as though this class will be void. Super Street looks like a straight contest between Dave Cherrett and Leigh Morris who is 60 points in arrears, as these are the only two entered so far.
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster has a field of eighteen which means up to 920 points available. Lottie Bradford is 50 points ahead of Holley Marshall who is in turn 20 points ahead of Aaron Fensome.
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator is headed by Matt Smith who is 60 points ahead of Alan Williamson who is 10 points ahead of Martin Smith in the Bentley, and Stuart Williams is a further 10 points back.
Outlaw Anglia is led by multi-time champion winning Cliff Griffin who is fifty points ahead of Mat Cooper, and Mat is 10 points ahead of Phil Middleton. Five cars are entered. The Wild Bunch is headed by Phil James in the Rampage Funny Car, who has a 50 point lead over Dan Sharp in the Austin Ruby. Dan has a 10 point advantage over Bob Hawkins who has a 50 point lead over fourth placed Alan Loten.
VW Pro has an entry of eight so far and Carl Goldsmith has a 60 point lead over Sam Young, who has a 20 point lead over Paul Herbert. VW Sportsman with an entry of thirteen is led by Dave Lea who has a 60 point advantage over Ryan McGrath. Ryan has a 20 point lead over Adrian Solly who has a 20 point lead over Russell Weir.
Funny Bike is led by Phil Crossley who has a 60 point lead over Eric Richard and Allan Davies is a further 10 points back. Eric is not yet entered in the field of five bikes. 400 points are available plus record bonuses (100 for each of ET and Speed). Comp Bike has an eight bike field and Mick Winyard has a 10 point advantage over Eddie Smiley who in turn has a 5 point lead over Mark Hope. Kevin Osman in fourth is thirty points further back. There are up to 430 points available. Super Street Bike has an entry of five with Steve Venables 10 points ahead of Nigel Barker who is another 45 points ahead of Graham Balchin.
8.50 Bike has four bikes so far, with Andy Haley 70 points ahead of Dave Thomas and Jay Roe another 10 points further back. 9.50 Bike has five bikes so far and Brett Cordelle has a lead of 150 points over Rick Sawatzki; the Championship will most likely be one of these two with 480 points available. NAST Supertwin Gas is led by Robbie Dobbie who is 10 points ahead of Alfie Udall. Alfie is the only entry so far; if no further bikes are entered then the Championship will default to Robbie. ET Bike, which has a points series for the first time this year, is led by Joe Elliott who has an advantage over Wayne Bradley of 280 points with Peter Austin a further 110 points back. With eleven bikes entered, Joe is looking reasonable for the Championship.
Finally, Junior Drag Bike has five entries and Louis Davies has an advantage over Liam Holgate of 10 points with Blade Dummmer anoher 30 points in arrears and Jordan Kenway a further 10 points back.
24th August: Brian Burrows writes that racers wishing to test cars before the FIA / FIM European Finals are welcome to attend VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway the weekend before the event, saturday-Sunday 3rd-4th September. "Sunday 4th is a Peak Performance Day, but VW Action are happy to have Pro cars test during Saturday's RWYB sessions which include an evening session", says Brian. "The event is a great family weekend in its own right. Any racers wishing to attend should please contact NAS Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01279 725252 (outside the UK +44 1279 725252)". More about VW Action at www.vwaction.com.
Further to last Thursday's Lucas Oil Products-sponsored Feature with Graham Warley's inside story of Peter Crane's five-second pass, Antony Billinton of G Max Research calculates that removing one gallon of 89% nitro from a seven-gallon tank and replacing it with one gallon of 100% nitro would make the final percentage in the tank very close to 90.5%.
Further to yesterday's news item about this weekend's Nitro v Avgas match race between Robin Read's blown-nitro Daimler-powered dragster and Julian Webb's Split Second Jet Dragster, Ian Hart got in touch to let us know that Mark Fairhurst's Super Comp dragster was pitted against the Vampire Jet Dragster at Santa Pod Raceway as part of a feature in Autocar magazine in 2001.
Fuse for the Finals.
24th August: Steve Clark writes that Eurodragster.com sponsor Nimbus Motorsport currently hold good stocks of Fuse Unleaded Race Fuel which is available for the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:
These fuels are being used in many FIA / FIM classes in which unleaded fuels are required. This includes the unique Fuse HF125 which was designed specifically for the big-inch nitrous motors used in Pro Modified. We also have available from Fuse their E85R, created from the purest grade chemical ethanols and racing gasoline and also containing a corrosion inhibitor package for additional component protection.
To discuss your requirements and delivery please E-Mail Nimbus Motorsport at email@example.com or call on our new number 01759 322100 (outside the UK +44 1759 322100); our old number will also be operational for the next few months.
Open Sport Nationals Perfect Awards.
21st July: This weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County 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 increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the Mopar EuroNationals. 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 £100 for the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM European Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available from the Signing On office.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been reset to £50 after it was won by Sportsman ET racer Elaine Hancock at Bug Jam. 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), the Wild Bunch, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, 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 £75 for the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM European Finals. 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 tomorrow (Friday) morning.
Event Coverage at the double.
24th August: Eurodragster.com will be posting live coverage of two events this weekend in association with John Woolfe Racing.
Tog, Julian and Grace will be at Tierp Arena to cover the Scandinavian Internationals, which commences tomorrow (Thursday). Our coverage will consist of real-time reports and results on the on-track action throughout each day and a photo gallery at the end of each day. There will be no pit notes as Simon will be at Shakespeare County Raceway (see below). As full qualifying standings and ladders will be posted on-line courtesy of Time-Tree we will be using the popular split-screen format for our reports; we will post commentaries of Sportsman qualifying sessions and then round winners in Sportsman eliminations but we will of course continue to post the full reports and results in Pro classes. We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage when it commences tomorrow, but in the meantime you can check out our Scandinavian Internationals event index, which includes a link to the 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.
Simon will be at Shakespeare County Raceway to cover the APIRA Open Sport Nationals, which commences on Saturday. The coverage will consist of regularly-updated reports and results on the on-track action (manual reporting so top five qualifiers during the day) and a photo gallery at the end of each day. Eurodragster.com Photographer Kirstie is racing in Sportsman ET the event (Good luck and stay safe Kirstie - Tog, Simon, Julian and Grace) so Callum Pudge has kindly agreed to supply pictures for our coverage this weekend. Again we will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage when it commences on Saturday, but in the meantime you can check out our APIRA Open Sport Nationals event index, which includes a link to the 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.
Neither the Scandinavian Internationals nor the APIRA Open Sport Nationals are scheduled to be webcast.
Please remember that neither Eurodragster.com nor our sponsors look kindly upon reports, results or pictures being stolen from our Event Coverage and posted on Facebook or elsewhere. Links and shares: fine. Anything else: not fine. If in doubt then please enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Sport Nationals racer update.
23rd August: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us details of the arrangements for this weekend's APIRA Open Sport 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 the close of play last Friday. Anyone who has submitted 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 either notify the track beforehand or wait to gain entry until their driver or rider arrives at the track.
Entry to the pits will commence at 12:00 midday this 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. Please note that Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator will now be pitted in the main pit area and not behind the wall as in previous occasions. VW classes' pitting will remain the same. A pit plan will be published on Wednesday or Thursday.
Scrutineering will commence for both cars and bikes at approximately 17:00 on Friday. Scrutineering will resume at 08:00 on Saturday.
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.
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-seventeens 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 be 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 Open Sport Nationals then please contact the Raceway office at email@example.com or between 09:00 and 17:00 call 01789 720180 for general enquiries or for racer entry, payments and advance tickets please call 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180 / 414119).
Nitro v Avgas.
23rd August: The UK's Robin Read will take part in a unique match race when he takes his blown-nitro Daimler V8-powered dragster to the National Hot Rod Reunion at York Raceway this Sunday and Monday:
It's always good to support York Raceway, England's only track in the north. There had been some discussion about my runs and there were a few suggestions. One of which was that I could run against Julian Webb in the Split Second Jet Dragster.
I didn't have any objection in principle so long as it was over the eigith mile. I've observed Julian to be a skilled and intelligent driver. After a phone call he felt the say way as I did, that it would be a very interesting match up. I do know that piston-engined cars running against jet cars is an incredibly rare thing in Europe and the UK and maybe even in the world. To my knowledge, and according to Google, the last time this happened in the UK was a Funny Car against the Scorpion Jet Dragster in the early 1980s, unless Eurodragster.com readers know differently?
The stage is set! If anybody wants to see the world's quickest British-engined car run heads-up against Jet Dragster then the National Hot Rod Reunion at York Raceway is the place to be this weekend.
European Finals racer VIP offer.
23rd August: Nicola Hart writes that Santa Pod Raceway are again offering racers a special deal for VIP hospitality for their sponsors and supporters on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the FIA / FIM European Finals:
Your guests can enjoy balcony viewing from one of our exclusive mid-track hospitality suites conveniently located near the race paddock. The ticket includes day admission, refreshments throughout the day, complimentary programme, ear plugs, and use of the VIP shuttle bus service.
These VIP tickets are available for the Friday, Saturday and Sunnday of the event are on sale now on a first-come first-served basis. Adult tickets are £45 and child tickets £22.50. To book your tickets, or if you have any queries, then please call us on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). Tickets can be collected on arrival and proof of race entry must be provided.
Records and stats updated.
23rd August: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us a new table of European and UK Bests now including the European record set by Garry Bowe at the NitrOlympX. You can take a look at the table by clicking here or by clicking on the European and UK Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Marrs for sending us an updated version of his 'Spreadsheetosauruses' showing qualifying positions, results and round wins for all FIA Championship events after the NitrOlympX. Marrs' tables are available on the Champions' Champions page which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
22nd August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Anita Mäkelä 4.550/351.78 def. Micke Kågered 5.249/235.51
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Timo Habermann 5.316/435.30 bye
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Johnny Oksa 5.886/362.34 def. Ari Pietilä 6.345/261.82 DQ
FIA Pro Modified: Johan Lindberg 6.056/357.98 def. Marck Harteveld 6.120/372.27
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.575/339.94 def. Bengt Ljungdahl 6.570/331.79
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Rene van den Berg 7.008/227.83 bye, Ian King shut off
FIM Europe Supertwin: Samu Kemppainen 6.512/336.57 def. Martijn de Haas 6.742/341.17
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Gert-Jan Laseur 7.067/302.17 def. Fredrik Fredlund 7.197/299.58
FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup: Garry Bowe no time def. Rick Stubbins 7.793/275.74
Comp Eliminator: Robin Sattler (9.65) 9.050/203.48 def. Stefan Winter (8.32) 7.977/264.17
Super Pro ET: Patrick Dubois (7.17) 7.203/277.29 def. Franz Aschenbrenner (8.38) 8.404/262.86
Pro ET: Gerd Habermann (9.05) 9.246/204.67 def. Laurant Levi (10.65) 13.172/120.06 DQ red light
Super Comp: Eric Mathis 10.057/208.18 def. Kay Erbs 9.403/230.10 DQ deep stage
Super Gas: Collin Morrice 9.881/241.69 def. Stevan Reffelrath 9.857/9.881 DQ breakout
Junior Dragster: Leon Weikum (8.80) 8.818/117.84 def. Caitlin Wilson (8.77) 8.732/116.93 DQ breakout
Funny Bike: Kars van den Belt 7.245/313.37 def. Eric Richard 7.307/296.31
Supertwin Top Gas: Fredrik Schack 7.383/290.06 def. Serge Pinet 11.560/133.53
Congratulations to Garry Bowe who subject to official ratification set a new FIM European Super Street Bike Cup speed record of 340.69 kmh / 211.69 mph.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored NitrOlympX live reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the post-NitrOlympX points standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the FIA 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.
It was a clean sweep for the Lindberg family this weekend as reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol FC Champion Jonnie Lindberg took the event win at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Jonnie qualified #3 at 5.495/269.13 and beat Annie Whiteley in the final with a storming 5.443/270.54. You can read more on the Lindberg Brothers' web site at www.lindbergbros.com and on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Tierp Racepak / MSD support.
22nd August: Dick Koster of Eurodragster.com sponsor Post en Dros tells us that he will be providing trackside Racepak and MSD support at this week's Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena.
Dick is flying to Sweden on Thursday and can be found in the Top Doorslammer pit, specifically Mats Brag's trailer. Dick also recommends that you Like the Racepak EU Facebook page for tips and tricks, answers to queries, and details about new items.
21st August: Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy future to UK Sportsman ET racer Jemma Hale and Chris Barnes who have become engaged.
Event entry update.
20th August: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 27th-29th August. 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 APIRA Open Sport Nationals entry, then please contact the Raceway office at firstname.lastname@example.org call 01789 720180 or 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180 / 414119).
Feature: Inside the first Five.
18th August: Forty years ago, during the Easter of the long, hot Summer of 1976, an event took place at Santa Pod Raceway which still ranks as one of the most significant moments in the history of UK and European drag racing.
For the first time since the Dragfest of 1964 Don Garlits, a legend and then current World Champion, was coming over from the USA to take on the best of the European drag racers, bringing with him his Swamp Rat dragster. Taking him on and trying to defeat this king of the quarter mile was a contingent of primarily UK-based Top Fuel dragsters. Among these, and potentially one of the leading challengers, was Peter Crane and his Stormbringer Pro Fuel rail. Graham Warley was one of the crew on this legendary car, and in the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products he takes us behind the scenes with his account of the UK and Europe's first five-second pass, a seminal moment in the sport outside the USA.
You can check out Graham's inside story of the First Five by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
European Finals Prizegiving Banquet.
18th August: Trakbak Racing Ltd are pleased to announce that they shall once again be hosting the FIA / FIM European Finals Championship Prizegiving Banquet.
The event is free of charge for the first-, second- and third-placed FIA / FIM Championship racers to celebrate with their teams and collect their trophies. The Prizegiving Banquet will take place in the VIP Hospitality Village; doors will open approximately two hours after the close of racing. A self-service buffet meal and musical entertainment are included.
Each team finishing in the top three Championship positions of the following classes will be given ten wristbands to attend the event:
Please note that admittance is strictly by wristband only: due to space and safety restrictions Trakbak Racing Ltd are sadly unable to accommodate more teams than those listed above. Teams unable, or not wishing, to attend the Prizegiving Banquet may donate their tickets to other FIA / FIM Championship teams if they wish.
Trakbak Racing Ltd wish all riders and drivers good luck in the coming rounds of their respective Championships.
Vegter makes his name in Russia.
18th August: In an unforgettable week, the Netherlands' David Vegter and the Vegter Pro Mod Racing team impressed with a runner-up position in the second and third rounds of the Russian Drag Racing Championship on the last two weekends. Remco Scheelings writes:
Both races were at the Autodrom Nizegorodskoye Koltco, a track located four hundred kilometres east of Moscow. "It was a unique adventure", said David Vegter, "not only the races, but everything. Dragtimes did an amazing job, and all the people involved did their very best to make it as comfortable as possible for us". With his performance and presentation, the Dutch drag racer has many fans in Russia now too.
Vegter Pro Mod Racing travelled to Nizhny Novgorod after being invited by Dragtimes, the driving force behind the Russian Drag Racing Championship. The NRIng is a state-of-the-art race track with a fully equipped pits complex whose drag strip is created by extending the straight end of the track on both sides. David in his Pro Modified '67 Camaro had to take part in the Rear Wheel Drive category and had to face competitors such as Andrey Kravchenko in his imported American turbo Nissan, and the two Dodge Vipers of Dmitry Samorukov and Oleg Kondakov.
Due to delays on his journey from Finland, the Vegter Pro Racing Camaro arrived at the track late on the first Saturday afternoon, but Dragtimes adjusted the schedule so that it was still possible for the Dutch drag racer to take part in qualifying. As expected, David had no problems qualifying for eliminations and advanced to the final. But the track at the NRIng was too short for the 3,000 bhp Camaro, forcing David to lift before two hundred metres or the car would have ended up in the gravel trap at the end of the track. Although the Dutch drag racer was way in front at half-track, he had to pull his chutes in the final against Dmitry Samorukov. At the finish line the Russian Viper passed David to take the win by a split second.
One week later the RDRC competitors came back to the NRing for round three of their Championship. After defeating Andrey Kravchenko in the quarter final, David had to face Oleg Kondakov and his nitrous Viper in the final. With a good start, the Vegter Pro Mod Racing Camaro was way in front once again, but David again had to lift otherwise the speed of the car would have resulted in serious problems at the top end of the track. Oleg's win margin was only 0.03 seconds and for the second consecutive race David was a great runner-up. "If you lift a split second late, the speed is too great and you can't stop the Camaro in time",said David. "With less than a week to go to the next race of the FIA European Championship I can't take the risk of any damage". For the second time in one week the Dutchman was treated to a champagne shower on the podium.
David and his team were very impressed by the Russian adventure. "I'm impressed by the way Dragtimes arranged everything", he said. " From the live stream with all the on- and off-track action, and the autograph sessions for the fans, to the catering for the team, everything was great. Even in the time between the races they organised some activities so that we could see something more of the area. There was always an interpreter and someone from Dragtimes with us to answer our questions or to solve possible problems. It takes many hours to get there, but it was worth it and something you will never forget. When you see how Dragtimes tackle everything, don't be surprised to see Russian drag racing making big steps very quickly."
Vegter Pro Mod Racing also have some new fans after the two Russian races. Apart from the power, speed and sound of the Camaro which impressed, some young fans were able to take a seat in the car, and team T-Shirts and Playboy Energy Drink cans were hot items for the Russian drag race fans.
Vegter Pro Mod Racing are supported by Playboy Energy Drink, HKR Techniek, WVB Holland, PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance, DutchBoxx Golfkarton and Sonic Equipment.
Web site updates.
18th August: Next week's Scandinavian Internationals is the fourth and final round of the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship. Two and a half months after the Championship kicked off at Tierp Arena, the EDRS Pro Nordic MC is back at the state-of-the-art drag racing facility north of Stockholm. Samu Kemppainen (Supertwin), Kalle Lyrén (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Henri Kolehmainen (Super Street Bike) and Rikard Gustafsson (Top Fuel Motorcycle) enter the final round as leaders in their respective categories. Bianca Nilsson is the favourite to become the first EDRS Pro Nordic Super Comp Bike Champion and you don't have to be a fortune-teller to see that Janne Koskinen will be crowned Champion in Super Gas Bike at the Scandinavian Internationals. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
The beat goes on.
17th August: It's time to go racing again after more than a five-week break in the FIA drag racing schedule. It's the fourth round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships, the event is the NitrOlympX, the venue is the Hockenheimring in Germany, and the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team is looking forward to racing again after a season which has had its ups and downs, although Jimmy is still in the points lead after solid qualifying efforts and one event win.
"The NitrOlympx is always an exciting event and we're looking forward to racing in front of the biggest crowds on the circuit", says Jimmy. "We're more than ready to go and if the conditions are as we expect then we just might break our own tracks record for Elapsed Time and speed, 6.653 seconds and 336.2 km/hour (208.9 mph)".
Longtime sponsor and partner Exclusive Cars has stepped up as the NitrOlympX event sponsor. "That feels good for a number of reasons", says Jimmy. "We've been working with Exclusive Cars for many years now. Together with Summit Racing and the master engine builders at KB Racing I feel that we have what is needed to make this a successful weekend."
Jimmy wants to express his gratitude to his sponsors Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Exclusive Cars, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuels, and X Parts.
RV3 shall go to the ball...
17th August: The UK's Andy Frost has received confirmation that he can race his six-second (So far - Ed) street-legal Vauxhall Victor in the Bahrain Drag Racing Club's 2016-17 race series. Frosty has booked tickets for himself and Red Victor 3 and plans are well advanced:
For a couple of months we have been raising funds on the Red Victor 5 Second Club page, including a huge prize draw and various auctions of RV memorabilia. This was was enough for Frosty to take the decision to go, and we have raised enough to be able to ship and return the car and truck, and to contest the first BDRC meeting on 8th-11th November.
Big thanks to Martin Smith at Coastal Global Logistics Ltd for planning and organising the complete shipping schedule for the trip. His expertise in logistics were just what we were looking for!
We are still raising funds to contest the rest of the BDRC season, and we have set up a public crowdfunding page set up to try to raise get the remaining funds we need. You can find the page at www.igg.me/at/red-victor. If you can donate to help us get the record back then that would be great. If not, then no problem! Just share it around and let others know.
As always this is a team effort, and there are a lot of people to thank when a small team from the UK attempt something on this scale. Thanks to all of our sponsors from around the world including Precision Turbo and Engine, Lamude Racing engines, Steve Morris Engines, Race flow Developments, Kustom Konsulting, ST Consulting, Goodridge UK, Cam Auto Developments, Airservices Hellas, Trackstuff UK / VP Racing fuels, Turbosmart UK, Turbowerx, Zircotec, KA Sensors, Old Hall Performance / Red Line Oil, Pro Torque, Hutch Transmissions, Super Power Unlimited, Total Seal Piston Rings, PE Composites, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Diamond Pistons, Victory Performance, New Century Performance, Protec Fuel Systems, Activ8, Plastics4Performance, Magnecor, Browell Bellhousings, Wilson Manifolds, Powerlite Performance Electrics, Cartek Motorsport Electronics, Precision Shaft Technologies, PTP Turbo Blankets, Prestige Group, Club Calibra.net, and Hard Knock Speed Shop.
Of course none of this would have happened if it hadn't have been for the moral and monetary support from the Red Victor 5 Second Club members, supporters and our own team. A huge thanks to them that we are in this position today.
Finally, thanks to the people who are ably assisting us in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and are making living the dream a whole lot easier.
See you in Bahrain!
Russian Championships Round 3.
17th August: The third and penultimate round of the Russian Drag Racing Championship took place this past weekend at Nizhny Novgorod together with a local "Battle of the Engines ET" contest. Forty or so cars turned out from VAZ 2108s to Lamborghini Huracans and Pro Mods.
Qualifying was cut short on Saturday due to heavy rain. The track was dry by noon on Sunday and the organisers continued qualifying and then eliminations. Mainly due to the weather Dmitry Samorukov's track record of 6.708 seconds, set at last week's race, was not beaten.
In Front Wheel Drive Oksana Yakovleva (Honda Civic), who outran Kirill Morozov (VAZ 2109) and Yana Kholodkovskaya (Honda Civic), became the main contender after the breakage of Artem Demikhov's VAZ 2108. In the final she was 0.6 seconds faster than her opponent Georgy Garakishiev (Mitsubishi Mirage). The second win in a row gave her the Championship lead. "As we expected, everything was great", said Oksana. "I was in a combative mood on my way here. Smoothly, easily, improving the result in every run I achieved my goal and now I am close to winning the Championship. In Grozny we will try to set a record and we will fire on all cylinders. There will be a battle not only with my opponents, but also with myself, because I want my car to be the fastest Honda in Russia. As of now, we have realised only seventy per cent of its potential. We have the extra thirty per cent, and as soon as I stop making mistakes, we will break nine seconds. The only question is in me, but I will do it: I will study and achieve the desired goal. Even now, we are improving our results and being consistent like this is very important for me."
In All Wheel Drive, most competitors faced technical problems. The Mitsubishi Mirage of Yan Bazhenov broke at the start. The Nissan Skyline GT-R of Dmitry Kapustin lost the actuator and the car stopped on the track. The Subaru Impreza of Dmitry Mandrikov suffered a rear suspension failure and lost the rear right wheel – the car was thrown on to the grass just few metres after the start line. In the semi-finals and final there were four different Nissan GT-Rs of Stanislav Lunev, Vladislav Kasheev, Konstantin Katynkin and Dimtry Matveev. The third place went to Lunev, the second to Kasheev, and Dmitry Makeev was the winner. Dmitry said "It's great to win after you lost before: your feelings from the win are even stronger. Last season everybody thought that first places were very easy for me. The previous weekend showed that it's not that easy. Fortunately, this weekend we were stable and fast, we are happy with the car and we will do our best in Grozny. Technically, we have all a chance. I am many points behind my opponents, but it the next round is successful for us I will be able to catch them up."
Rear Wheel Drive is full of very powerful cars this season. Four Pro Mods with over 1000 hp started this weekend. However, such cars can be rather capricious, as happened with the Dodge Viper DT of Dmitry Samorukov. Andrey Kravchenko's Pro Mod took third place in his run. The 1400 hp Dodge Viper DT of Olae Kondakov (Moscow) and 3000hp Chevrolet Camaro SS of David Vegter (Netherlands) met in the final. Oleg was 0.092 seconds quicker than his opponent. "I think I really lucked out, because this is sport, different things happen here" said Oleg. "Mistakes and faults lead to bad luck, while if you do everything well then it leads to a good result – it's normal. That is why I am not overestimating myself, have no euphoria. First of all, my team deserves credit for this result. I've already thanked Andrey Veremeev (CEO of Dragtimes, the organiser of the Russian Drag Racing Championship), because it was his idea to bring one more Pro Mod and it was he who persuaded me to drive the Dodge Viper DT. Thanks to him and to the whole Dragtimes team for the preparation of the car and for all work they've done."
The final round of the Russian Drag Racing Championship will take place in Grozny on the Fortress Groznaya race track.
Our good buddy Remco Scheelings was in Nizhny Novgorod and you can check out his excellent illustrated report at www.autosport.nl.
HoFtalk II released.
17th August: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has published the second issue of its on-line magazine HOFtalk which is designed to facilitate communications with members and supporters of the BDRHoF and which is edited by Simon Groves, member of the BDRHoF Management Board and Eurodragster.com 's very own Pit Reporter.
"There have been many exciting developments for this year's Hall of Fame Gala to be held on 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow", says Simon. "The guest list is already looking spectacular. The BDRHoF is being showcased at more events around the UK and many members of the Hall of Fame are coming to nostalgia drag racing events such as Dragstalgia and staying in contact with the sport. The new issue of HOFtalk is about celebrating these achievements and honouring those inducted this year: Paula Marshall, Rob Loaring, Bob Keith and Santa Pod Raceway."
HOFtalk is available as a downloadable PDF file by clicking here, or on-screen at www.drceurope.co.uk/hoftalk/issue2.
Web site updates.
17th August: Dick Parnham has as promised updated his Flickr site with 1970s pictures of UK legend Dennis Priddle. You can take a look at Dick's latest update at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
17th August: News updates may be sporadic over the next few days as we concentrate on covering the NitrOlympX, although if you like your Nostalgia then be sure to tune in to tomorrow's (Thursday's) update as we have something very special lined up for you to keep you going whilst we are travelling. Please do continue to send your news to email@example.com, though, and we will post it as soon as we are able.
We will of course be able to pick up all E-Mail sent to Eurodragster.com and personal addresses although replies may take longer than usual.
Postings to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet are suspended until next Tuesday (23rd).
Aidan Kenny's funeral.
16th August: Many thanks to Christopher Kenny for forwarding us the details of Aidan Kenny's funeral.
Aidan's funeral will take place at 12:00 midday on Thursday 1st September at South Bristol Crematorium, Bridgwater Road, Bristol BS13 7AS (map).
The family would be very pleased if any hot rodders would like to join the procession from their house to the crematorium. Departure time is 11:15 and you can get the address from Christopher by E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, via Facebook or by phone.
Dress code for the funeral is hot rod or drag racing TShirts, Rockabilly, 1950s or party clothes as Aidan would have wanted.
After the funeral all are welcome to a celebration of Aidan's life at the Bristol Imperial Sports Club, West Town Lane, Bristol BS14 9EA (map).
The family ask that, if you wish, rather than flowers please make a donation in Aidan's name to Macmillan Cancer Relief. You can do this though Thomas Davis Funeral Directors of Sandy Park, Bristol.
"Again we all would like to thank you all for the kind messages, tributes, cards, flowers and phone calls", says Christopher. "It really has helped us all get to through this difficult time knowing that Dad was so very well thought-of."
APIRA Open Sport Nationals update.
16th August: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 27th-29th August. 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. Jerry tells us that entry is still open and that more list updates will follow.
Tickets, passes and paperwork are now on their way to those racers who enclosed SAEs with their entries. Tickets, passes and paperwork for all others will be held at the gate for collection on arrival. Jerry adds that images taken by camera phones cannot be accepted as official entry forms; those which have been received have been rejected and returned.
Further APIRA Open Sport Nationals racer updates will be published in due course.
Early success at Hockenheim.
15th August: Our good and unfired buddy Markus Münch of Dragmag.de has reported in from the traditional curtain-raiser to the NitrOlympX, the weekend's Public Race Days at Hockenheim:
First of all, the track. It looks pretty good right now. Of course there will be further track prep throughout the week, but we had a track to race on so it looks very promising for next weekend.
The action included Test and Tune runs for race teams alternating with Run What You Brung sessions. Street bikes, street cars, both in stock as well as hopped-up style. Participants came mainly from Germany but also from Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia and The Netherlands. On Saturday there was a packed house both on-track and in the grandstands.
It's hard to pick something out of the many good performances, but if had to choose one I would nominate name the NitroHunter, Christian Jäger, on Thomas Joswig's Funny Bike. Christian made four or five stout passes, culminating in a new best for the bike of 7.5 seconds. "Christian weighs like thirty kilogrammes less than me, so he managed to squeeze a bit more out of the bike than I have", said Thomas.
So, bring on the NitrOlympX.
You can check out Markus' full Public Race Days gallery at www.dragmag.de.
SPRC office unmanned.
14th August: Ian Marshall has been in touch to let us know that the Santa Pod Racers Club office will be unmanned until next Monday, 22nd August, whilst he works with the track crew at Hockenheim.
Although the office is unmanned SPRC business is still being transacted. E-Mails, event entries etc are being attended to in the evenings and Ian will return any missed calls when he can.
Habit at home.
14th August: UK Pro ET racers and Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award sponsors Tig and Cath Napier welcomed their beloved Challenger home after its repaint by Bryan of Roberts Motor Bodies. Cath Napier writes:
Bryan delivered her yesterday (Saturday) morning and now Tig has his work cut out to get her ready for the European Finals. There's only all the exterior and interior trim to put on, engine and box to put in, complete rewire, and some general maintenance, updates and fabrication to do... should be a doddle. Bad Habit will be running the last two meetings this year with the 572 ci motor, as the 655 is going to Eric of Northern Speed Engineering for "A good fettling".
The pictures are obviously from Bryan's workshop, so all the chrome and the engine are not installed, but you can see just how stunning the paint job is. The colour is House of Kolor purple with a magenta stripe, and a few little sparkly bits that Bry added, including the name being a bit more in your face than it used to be. We want to say a massive thank you to Bryan of Roberts Motor Bodies for the awesome work he's produced. We thought she looked good before, but now: just WOW.
14th August: Many thanks to Palle Lind for forwarding us the points standings in the FIM European Drag Bike Championships after this weekend's FIM European Super Street Bike Cup round at Kunmadaras, which was won by Malta's Shawn Buttigieg. You can check out the FIM 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.
Further to the above, you can check out qualifying standings and elimination ladders from the Premium Energy Drink Extreme Bike Festival on the Kunmadaras Motorsport web site by clicking here.
RDRC Round 3.
14th August: After one week the Russian Drag Racing Championship returns to the Nizhegorodskoe Ring and you can tune in at www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-8j_O_10xo.
Spectators will see a new round of the battle for time and for the the first place in the Championship in Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive. There is the possibility of a new track ET record after Dmitry Samorukov reset it to 6.708 seconds in his 4000hp Dodge Viper DT.
Once again four Pro Mods will compete in RWD. At last week's round, two newcomers lost to their experienced opponents due to different technical problems. During the upcoming weekend, Oleg Kondakov (Dodge Viper DT) and Andrey Kravchenko (Topspeed Promod Outlaw) will try to win and to remove Dmitry Samorukov and David Vegter from the podium.
We will also see an interesting duel between two women in FWD: the Honda Civics of Oksana Yakovleva and Yana Kholodkovskaya often meet on the track. Oksana won the second round but Yana Kholodkovskaya's team promised to prepare her car as well as possible to help her fight for the prize. The real intrigue is in AWD: Championship leader Dmitry Mandrikov (Subaru Impreza) has only three points more than last week's winner Alexey Krivolapov (Nissan Skyline). Stanislav Lunev (Nissan Skyline GT-R Kiwamaru) is not far behind them, just twenty seven points off. But don't forget about the rapid Dmitry Kapustin (Nissan Skyline GT-R) and Vladislav Kasheev (Nissan Skyline GT-R), season débutant, who won fifteen points at his first race last week.
The fight at the Nizhegorodskoe Ring will be even more spectacular than last week because the identities of potential Champions can emerge now. After Nizhny Novgorod the competition will go to Grozny, where the final stage of RDRC will take place at Fortress Groznaya.
There will be also a local "Battle of Engines" ET competition during this weekend's event, in which many noted drivers of the Nizhny Novgorod region will compete with each other.
You can find out more about the Russian Drag Racing Championship at www.rdrc.ru and at www.dragtimes.info.
13th August: Robin Jackson writes that the current issue of Motorsport News, dated 10th August, contains a special twenty six-page feature, Motorsport Monsters, dedicated to spectacular and overpowered machinery of the kind which has made motor racing such a compelling attraction over past decades. The feature includes an illustrated article on drag racing's renowned rocket man, Slamin' Sammy Miller, written and photographed by the doyen of historic drag race photo-journalists Keith Lee. It's a minor cavil that the paper's caption writer has mixed up his jets and his rockets, but apart from that the article is a fine read, as one would expect from so distinguished an author. Search hard, and the issue may still be found at good newsagents, price £3.30.
We would like to say a big Happy 50th Birthday to UK Supertwin racer Chris Hannam. Cannon is testing his awesome Supertwin at Santa Pod Raceway today, hopefully to be followed by a visit to the Curry Garden for a prawn cocktail. Have a great day Cannon and stay safe.
Across the lake.
13th August: Geoff Stilwell of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsor Beech Underwriting has been in touch from Bonneville Speed Week where he is aiming to record 200 mph in one of Ron Hope's cars. Writing at 05:00 local time Geoff said:
We have to be in line by 7:00 am. Yesterday I was doing fully-suited practice bail-outs and getting to know the car.
I'm driving the little 1200 bhp turbo car for my rookie passes so that I get to understand the salt. I have to run between 130 mph and 150 mph on the first pass, then 175 mph, and then it gets serious.
The other big news is that Ron Hope has his twin-turbo car here and they really think that they have a shot at 300 mph to set a new record.
I cannot thank all team enough for their patience, their help and their guidance.
Good luck Geoff and stay safe.
The awesome foursome.
12th August: Santa Pod Raceway are pleased to announce details for the final stop of the US Fuel Altereds' European tour, the FIA / FIM European Finals on 8th-11th September. James Forster writes:
It has been almost a year since Santa Pod Raceway set about bringing these awesome machines to the UK and the European Finals marks the closing chapter of Santa Pod's 50th Anniversary celebrations. After some incredible side-by-sides at Dragstalgia we're overjoyed to be welcoming back Ron Hope and Rat Trap, Randy Bradford and the Bradfords Topolino and Nick Davies in Havoc.
Unfortunately Ramon Van Der Weurf is unable to come back out to play again but fear not, because Tim Garlick has fixed the Apache Firebird after axle damage earlier in the year and will be stepping up to the plate in what promises to be the ultimate UK v USA showdown. At Dragstalgia, the final score was Europe 2, America 2 so it's all to play for. No pressure boys!
You can fid out more about the FIA / FIM European Finals and book your tickets at www.santapod.com.
12th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 5 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. You can check out the European Finals 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 European Final entry then please contact Ian Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Dan Page asked us to wish a big Happy Birthday to UK Super Comp and Super Gas racer Jon Morton. Our pleasure Dan, have a great day Mort.
Tributes to Aidan Kenny.
12th August: We have received the following tributes to the late Aidan Kenny:
Rick and I were very sorry to hear the news of Aidan's passing. We will always remember his smile, his promptness to help anybody at any time, his happy and generous nature. We will always treasure the times we spent drinking and laughing with him at the Pro ET dos or in the pits, always value his sportsmanship and fairness. "A lovely bloke and great drinking buddy" Rick said of him, and this photo says it without words. He will be sadly missed by the whole drag racing community. Our heartfelt condolences to Jan and Chris (Carla Pittau and Rick McCann).
Gutted to hear about Aidan. Will never forget his sportsmanship in the first round at the National Finals all those years ago. Always smiling, always positive, nothing seemed to get him down. Love to Jan and Chris. The pits wont be the same without him and that old Transit van (Keith Herbert)
A true friend and best mate Aid. The Pod and the world of racing won't be the same without you. RIP. We had great times together! (Iffy aka Gerry)
We are so very very sad to hear this news - another great guy from our drag racing community taken away. We will fondly remember our fun Pro ET pit days with Aidan Kenny... a fun, easy going and so very accommodating, true gentleman loved by us all. He even made the journey to Reading on a Saturday night just to celebrate our wedding with us (I literally screamed when I saw his beaming face coming through the door). A top bloke who always looked on the bright side... we will so miss our chats at the Pod. Race in Peace Aidan and love to Jan, Chris, all your family and friends xxx (Pam,Wayne and Samuel Hiscock, Sam Jackson, Andy Hill, Chevyhelle Racing)
So sad today, yet another true gent taken from our community... you will be sadly missed mate. Our condolences go out to his family (Matt Eley)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Aidan. Like a lot of other people say what a great guy with a big heart and willing to help anyone. When I rolled my Pop in 2009 he offered to travel all the way down to mine in Essex and help weld a complete new roof on the Pop. Top guy, RIP Aidan (Lee Cohen)
If you would like to send your own tribute to Aidan then please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grimes keeps Bengtsson's seat warm.
11th August: Tommy Grimes, a sixteen-time NHRA Wally winner and four-time Champion in Nitro Harley, will take over the riding duties of Per Bengtsson's The Beast Supertwin at the Scandinavian Internationals, as the four-time European Champion will not be able to ride himself at Tierp Arena.
Per, owner and rider of The Beast and current speed record holder with 223.70 mph, had to withdraw from the Alastaro and Gardermoen EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship races after suffering a stroke during a business trip in Germany (Ouch, get well soon Per - Ed). After two weeks of treatment at a state-of-the-art hospital in Hamburg Per returned home to Sweden and is now working on the rehab process.
"After some discussions with my wife Christina, who is in charge, and my team members we decided that despite the circumstances we would participate in the Scandinavian Internationals on 25th-28th August", said Per. "We needed a new rider for the race and one who could do The Beast justice. We came down to a few options. On top of the list was one name, Tommy Grimes. I gave him a call and explained the situation, and he said "I will come over"!"
Tommy is best known for riding the late Ray Price's drag bikes for ten years. With Championships and records in twenty race seasons he is one of the quickest drag bike riders of all time.
"We hope to give the race fans and our sponsors a good show at Tierp Arena", said Per. "Tommy's experience together with the knowledge of our team members, and the support from our longtime sponsors will guarantee an exciting weekend, and I don't mind seeing some records fall even if I am standing by the side of the track. I'll just have to repeat the performance when I'm back next year! The team and I are looking forward to see you all at Tierp Arena."
Special thanks go to Red Line Oil Scandinavia, Brammer, Liqui Moly, Autoexperten Växjö, Fanhultstvätten Älmhult, Bilservice I Åseda , Bentec Engineering, Rävemåla Bilservice , MarineDiesel Sweden, Swedcut, Per Andersens Restauranger, Bengtssons Sågverk AB, Flexoart, Ulvsgården AB and Persåkers Speed Shop.
For more information please visit the team's web site at www.bentec.net or their Facebook page at The Beast Dragbike.
Jäger keeps Joswig's seat warm.
11th August: From German Funny Bike racer Thomas Joswig comes news of another rider substitution as Supertwin racer Christian Jäger will take the seat of Thomas' bike at Hockenheim this weekend and next.
Thomas was a no-show at the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway in June but what we didn't know at the time was that Thomas' non-appearance was due to a heart attack a few days before the event (Get well soon Thomas - Ed). Thomas tells us that he is in good shape and that will he will coach Christian on his return to Funny Bike.
"The bike is ready and I don't want to let it sit in a dark garage for the remainder of the season", Thomas told Eurodragstercom. "Hockenheim is my home track and I desperately want to participate there."
The Funnybike.de / Nitrohunter.com team's first outing will be during the Dragster Test and Tune sessions at this weekend's Public Race Weekend at Hockenheim where they will work on a good set-up for next week's Nitrolympx.
11th August: Our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the UK's Aidan Kenny who died on Tuesday night after a short illness. Cheerful, down-to-earth and popular in the pits, Aidan was a proud member of the legendary Bristol contingent and raced in several classes including Outlaw Anglia, Pro ET, Super Street and Sportsman ET. He will be sadly missed and not forgotten. If you would like to send a tribute to Aidan then please E-Mail us at email@example.com.
The first of two rounds on consecutive weekends of the FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup takes place at Kunmadaras in Hungary this weekend. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday) and you can find out more about SSB and all other classes running, and keep up with results, on the Kunmadaras Motorsport web site at www.kunmadarasmotorsport.hu.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the Mopar EuroNationals and Ultimate Street Car. You can check out the Mopars and USC 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.
11th August: Thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know that a report of Round 4 of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship, which took place at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway, is now available on the Championship's official web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.
Mother Nature is not always as co-operative as you would like when you have something to celebrate. Rain played far too important a role in the opening of the new Gardermoen Raceway. Not only was the official part of the ceremony disturbed by rain, but round three of the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship was also cut short to one qualifying round on Friday and one on Saturday before rain also brought an early end after one round of eliminations. You can read more courtesy of Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
Paul Lister has updated his Dragcar Anon web site with pictures from Dragstalgia. You can check out Paul's pictures at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
10th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. You can check out the European Finals 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 European Final entry then please contact Ian Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Mark Cook-Abbott and the Tominator Junior Dragster team asked us to say a big Happy 16th Birthday for today (Wednesday) to tyre tech and team member responsible for driver safety Charlotte Cook-Abbott. Our pleasure Mark, have a lovely day Charlotte. Mark adds Good Luck to Charlotte and to all of those Juniors who get GSCE results on 25th of this month.
Payback at the Mopars.
9th August: UK Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield and the BA Racing team came to the Mopar EuroNationals on the back of a disappointing SPRC Summernationals at which a problem with the two-step caused the motor to cut out. But things turned right round for BA Racing this time out:
We knew that we would have to be aggressive from the start if we were to catch up with Andy Robinson in the points. Our plan was to make a half pass on Friday to see what the track could hold, and the data we got from that run showed that Ian Marshall and the SPRC track crew had done an excellent job. For the first qualifier on Saturday we put in our Main Event tune-up and to our suprise the old Hot Rod ran a 0.972 sixty foot, 4.02 at the eighth and 6.203 at the quarter to give us the number one spot.
Back in the pits the Racepak data showed that the clutch had never really fully locked up in top gear. We missed the second session feeling that we couldn't improve but decided to do the last session when the track had cooled down a bit. This gave us a 6.284 and we ended up third.
On Sunday we decided to calm it down a little as we didn't have the power to outrun Michel Tooren or Andy Robinson. The first round against Wayne Nicholson was a repeat match from the Summernationals only this time the car didn't let us down and we won with a 6.24. Although the crew were worried the driver would let them down the semi-final against Roger Moore was going to going to be tricky as he always runs as hard as he can and will never hand it to you on a plate. Roger ran an excellent 6.39 but we had the extra power for the win.
The final was to be against the Pro Dutch guys who had been running fast all weekend, but as is often the case with finals it didn't live up to expectations. Michel redlit and our 6.28 gave us the win, and kept us in the title chase. With a few updates due for the European Finals hopefully we can squeeze a six-teen out of the old Hot Rod.
9th August: We have two birthdays today. First up a very Happy Birthday to UK Fuel legend Gary Page; have a great day Gary. On behalf of the whole family and the Leverich Racing team Aidan Heatley Smith asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer, "The man who makes it all possible", Smax Smith. Our pleasure Aidan, have a great day Smax.
Web site updates.
9th August: We don't know where he finds the time but our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted an article about the weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen on the Netherlands' Autosport site; you can check it out at www.autosport.nl.
Remco also tells us that the latest EDRS Pro Motorcycle points are now available in PDF format on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with four galleries from Dragstalgia. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Hockenheim: The work starts.
8th August: As the Formula 1 juggernaut left Hockenheim for its next location all eyes turned to the Rico Anthes Quarter Mile and the work required to bring the race surface up to expected standards. Darren Prentice writes that work is well underway to turn the circuit's iconic straight into a strip on which Europe's best drag racers can do battle at the legendary NitrOlympX:
Work started in earnest last Monday (1st) with the German crew being joined by a three-man team from Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club. Both crews worked hard all day and into the night grinding the track to ensure that the base surface of the track was at its best.
With the grinding finished and the track cleaned it was on to laying rubber on the track surface, and again the Hockenheim team has not held back. With three tractors and track groomers continually applying rubber to the ground surface, and more plant and equipment en route (more on this later), things are shaping up nicely. As ever, no expense has been spared.
With the Public Test Days fast approaching, we are going full steam ahead with the glue trailer and more rubber. Anyway, enough typing I am going to get back to sledding the track and will send another update in a few days' time.
Event entry update.
8th August: Entry closes this Friday (12th) for the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Wednesday 31st August. For 2016 there is a sign-on fee of £20 so Junior racers wishing to take part in the Junior Fun Day need to telephone the Santa Pod office on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828) to book their race voucher. Entry forms (PDF format) can be downloaded by clicking here. Forms submitted without payment will result in the racer not being entered for the event. For more information about the Junior Fun Day, please visit www.santapod.co.uk/e_junior_day.php.
Entry is still open for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships and ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 27th-29th August. The entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by Bacs rather than credit card or cheque, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. Shakespeare County Raceway's account details can be found on the entry forms.
8th August: Congratulations to Donna Shah of London, UK and Markus Stoller of Ried, Switzerland who have each won a pair of weekend tickets to the NitrOlympX in Eurodragster.com's contest. 97% of entrants correctly answered that Liam Jones' 11.3 gallons of nitro is 51.37 litres in imperial gallons or 42.77 litres in US gallons. Many thanks to the management of Hockenheimring Gmbh for putting up the prize and to our dear friend and NitrOlympX PR Christine Calwer for arranging it.
The rain finally got the upper hand yesterday after one round of eliminations at the Grand Reopening Drag Challenge at Norway's refettled Gardermoen Raceway. You can check out qualifying and results of those eliminations which took place at www.ndrg.no and an EDRS Pro Bike summary by clicking here. Photo galleries are available by clicking here (EDRS classes) and by clicking here (EDRS Pro MC classes).
UK Wild Bunch racer Mark Coulsell has asked us to say a big Happy 12th Wedding Anniversary for today (Monday) to his wife Lynne Coulsell. "Lynne is my rock, soulmate and best friend", says Mark. "Thank you for everything you do for us boys Mark, Josh and Harley."
Weekend of Champions entry open.
7th August: Margot Schmidt writes to invite racers to the Weekend of Champions, the fourth round of the Dutch Pro Chamionship, at Drachten on 16th-18th September:
This event is made possible by Quartermile, 402 events, AKR Performance and Oliehandel.nl.
We firstly want to thank all the participants who came to the Main Event in July. We also want to thank everyone for the feedback, this will help us to improve and grow to an even better event in the near future. One of the main things on which we will work on for the September event is the running order, turn-round times and the start of elimination rounds. We will post the event's running order shortly.
The following classes will earn points for the 2016 Dutch Championship:
Super Pro ET
Junior Drag Bike
Super Street Bike
Pro Stock Bike
Supertwin Top Gas
Entry fees are as follow:
Sign up and save and enjoy a great weekend with us at www.quartermileshow.com.
Russia's double-header underway.
7th August: The second rounds of the Russian Drag Racing Championship and the local Drag Racing Cup are taking place this weekend in Nizhny Novgorod. The event is the first of a double-header with the third rounds next weekend. Amongst the more than sixty racers are for the first time three purpose-built race cars joining the local Nissan Skylines, Nissan GT-Rs, Chevrolet Corvettes, Toyota Soarers and more. The three pure race cars will compete in Rear Wheel Drive and comprise two Dodge Vipers and a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Oleg Kondakov, Dmitry Samorukov and David Vegter respectively.
Also of interest is Maria Panova, a well-known racer from Nakhodka, winner of different Russian and international drag racing competitions. Maria usually drives a Toyota Soarer but it suffered a fire last season and has not yet been rebuilt. After receiving many offers of help from fellow racers Maris settles on the VAZ 2108 of Team Clubturbo's Vladimir Tretyak. "A few months ago, after I realised that the Soarer would not be ready for this season, I announced my search for a new car for the 2016 Russian Drag Racing Championship. Vladimir's offer was the most viable for various reasons. We decided that it will be fun and interesting because I have no idea how to race in a left-hand drive car with manual transmission, and moreover I am a lefty!"
Tickets are on sale for next week's event at Nizhny Novgorod either on the track's official site at www.nring.ru or at Kassir.ru. Entry is free for under-fives.
Robinson goes Top Fuel.
7th August: Luke Robinson has been in touch to bring us up to date with the last couple of MSA British Championship events contested by UK Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson:
After the letdown which was the first round of competition at the FIA / FIM Main Event, where a faulty mag changeover switch caused a huge misfire, it was decided that it would be prudent to test before the SPRC Summernationals. Unfortunately Mother Nature soon put paid to that idea so it was straight into qualifying for us. We opened our account with a great 6.15 to put us in the number one spot. We then managed to improve to a 6.11 in Q2, but in the final qualifying session we lost the run due to the parachutes falling out on the way up to pre stage! I happened to be behind the car at the time, unfortunately rugby was never my sport so despite flapping my arms and legs about, the parachutes landed unceremoniously on the track. We were able to make a run out of session after repacking the chutes and we improved to a 6.08. Despite it not counting it provided us with some valuable data.
Qualifying top meant that we had a bye run in the first round and another opportunity to test. Just as well we had a bye run as the car traveled approximately ten feet before going in to violent tyre shake! Time to change gear ratios and calm it all down a bit. In the second round we faced Wayne Nicholson and made we no mistake with a 6.14. Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch team, on the other side of the ladder, ran a 6.15 so we knew the final was going to be a tough race. We made some small changes to the set-up to hopefully improve our ET and Dad felt confident as the car was behaving well, the track conditions were great and so everything looked good. Dad managed to cut a great 0.05 reaction time and stayed ahead of Michel for the whole run, 6.09 to a losing 6.14. All in all it was one of our best meetings with only one bad run and more importantly a win and as a bonus, no broken parts!
So on to the Mopar EuroNationals. We arrived at the track feeling confident after our great performance at the Summernationals. Unfortunately our luck was due to run out! In the first session of qualifying we couldn't start the car due to an issue with the mandated shut down device. Okay, we knocked a plug off when fitting the diaper... After reconnecting the plug which took all of thirty seconds, we were left twiddling our thumbs for a couple of hours until it was time for Q2. The good news was that the car started! The bad news was that we identified yet another misfire in the burnout. We made the decision to run anyway, after all we needed to get a time on the board and most misfires are electrical, right? Well not all of them, it would seem. We managed to destroy an inlet rocker adjuster, causing the pushrod to come out, and somehow the exhaust pushrod also made a break for freedom. In doing this our boost pressure rose to unseen levels due to both valves being shut on that cylinder, and of course we did not have the correct amount of fuel to support such elevated boost levels in the remaining seven cylinders! The outcome wasn't pretty, we torched yet another cylinder head and damaged the deck face of the block. Luckily we have become experts at trackside engine block repairs so out came the welder. With the motor patched up it was time for a well earned barbecue.
Due to qualifying in the bottom half of the ladder, we knew we had a tough first round against Kev Slyfield. He posted a great 6.45 but our luck seemed to temporarily turn around and we netted a great 6.12. Michel and the Pro Dutch guys were the class of the field in the first round with an amazing 6.07! We knew we had our work cut out as we faced him in the next round, it was time to start turning screws as on performance we were fivehundredths behind. I was confident that we could close the performance gap and give them a run for their money. Unfortunately no amount of confidence will change the limits of tyre adhesion, to say we overstepped the mark would be an understatement! The car 'Top Fuelled' the tyres and shot across the track, fortunately behind Michel who also struggled for traction. A heart-stopping moment for the crew, we all had our hearts in our mouths stood on the start line, but thankfully Dad did a great job of bringing the car back under control and avoiding the barrier. I think it's safe to say that raised a few pulse rates amongst the team, however Dad was positively nonchalant about the run!
We now have a short break before the European Finals. Unfortunately we are unable to race in mainland Europe this year but it gives us some time to check the car thoroughly for any damage and freshen the motor. Our focus at the European Finals will be performance with consistency: we aim to get back in to the 6.0s again as I believe it will take a 6.1 to qualify in the top half of the field. So we will have to lean on it!
7th August: The weather has tried hard to spoil this weekend's Grand Reopening Drag Challenge at Norway's refettled Gardermoen Raceway but NDRG and the racers have still managed to put on an impressive show when Mother Nature has allowed. You can check out qualifying results at www.ndrg.no and an EDRS Pro Bike summary by clicking here. Photo galleries are available by clicking here (EDRS classes) and by clicking here (EDRS Pro MC classes).
23:59 UK time tonight (Sunday) is the deadline for entry to our NitrOlympX contest with two pairs of weekend tickets up for grabs. We have had entries from all over Europe with answers in both UK and US units (For the record, both are acceptable - Ed) but we have plenty of room in our mailbox for more. For details, and to enter, see our news item of 27th July.
7th August: Geoff Stilwell, principal of Beech Underwriting Agencies, Official Sponsorship Partner of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, has announced that he will be racing at the 2016 Bonneville Speed Week on the famous Utah salt flats on 13th-19th August.
Geoff will be driving one of Rat Trap Fuel Altered driver Ron Hope's land speed cars, initially making licensing runs. "I want to thank Ron and Brian Hope of Rat Trap Racing, Stewart Bassett and everyone at US Automotive, Sharon and Bob Muravez (Floyd Lippencotte Jr) and Tony Thacker for making this all possible", says Geoff. "My aim is to licence and then run as quick as Ron will let me". Ron's daughter Victoria set a speed record of 216.552 mph in his roadster in August 2012.
Conditions at Bonneville are looking to be the best in some years. Events in 2014 and 2015 had to be cancelled due to rain causing the natural salt crust to weaken and shrink. Southern California Timing Association, the organising body for the event, has liaised with US government agencies and local racing organisations about repairs to parts of the surface and the SCTA is confident that the courses are in good shape.
BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are thrilled that Geoff is able to take part in Speed Week thanks to Ron, whom we also thank as a major sponsor of the BDRHoF. We wish Geoff all the best and will be crossing our fingers that he will achieve the dream of running 200 mph at Bonneville."
Geoff also asked us to wish a safe and fast Speed Week to his friend and BDRHoF member Carl Olson who is aiming for 300 mph.
UK Top Sportsman review.
7th August: Paul Marston writes that as the weather played ball at last weekend's Mopar EuroNats the Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman racers took it from there, producing the best event yet with some of the hardest-fought and closest Sportsman Doorslammer racing you could hope to see:
It's difficult to know where to start, but let's go with the programme and Friday's Bracket race. It's fair to say that the track conditions were at times tricky, but right from the start the Huxleys had it covered. With Lee Huxley in the driver's seat and Brian Huxley as Crew Chief they really bought their A Game with them. Going through five rounds of competition they never missed a beat, laying waste to all before them. In the first round they took out Darren Peart, in the second round they were up against Kev Perkins who had to shut off handing them a bye run. In round three Lee was up against Peter Lane, one of the most experienced Super Gas / Super Pro ET drivers out there, but he again took the win being closer to his dial-in.
In the semi-final Lee was bang on his dial-in, 9.34 on a 9.33, to take out Nick Curtis in Jack Brewster's Just Mustard Pontiac Firebird. The final, run as first pair Saturday morning, was a rematch of his first round match-up against Darren Peart, who had bought back after his first round defeat. But the result was the same with Lee showing all his expertise by taking the advantage at the start line and dumping Darren's hard-charging nitrous-equipped Mk 3 Cortina, leaving Darren with a commendable 8.09/163.65 breakout to Lee's winning 9.48/131.02 on a 9.40 dial.
Next up was Saturday night's one-shot qualifier for Sunday's Heads-Up Eliminator. With £250 cash up for grabs courtesy of John Tebenham, it was hard-fought but Belinda Bull in her Jeff Bull Racing Engines Chevy S10 laid down a 7.06/192.11 to take pole. There was a fair gap to numbr two held by Rene Ehrismann's Shoebox '55 Chevy nitrous-assisted entry at 7.52/178.51. In third spot was a returning Dave Townsend who had really pulled out all the stops and burnt a lot of midnight oil just to make it to the track with his 666 ci nitrous-assisted 2007 Ford Mustang. Dave ran a safe 7.58/179.96.
Come round one on Sunday morning, you just kinda sensed it was gonna get ugly and it lived up to all the hype and expectation which Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman had promised. There were at least six, that's right six, Personal Bests including first-ever seven-second passes for Darren Peart and Paul Letchford, Darren with a 7.9942/169.80 and Paul with a simply awesome 7.9439/170.42. But both of those were eclipsed by Dave Townsend with a jaw-dropping 7.0018/195.46. Not only was this nearly a six-second pass, but also near 200 mph and over half a second quicker than his qualifying time, and quicker than Belinda who backed up her pole time with another 7.04. All the first round encounters went the way of their qualifying times with the top eight going through. Come the second round the gloves were most certainly off!
In the second round Rene Ehrismann enjoyed a bye when Tim Mugridge could not make the call with head gasket woes; the team had been up all night replacing the same offending item on Saturday. Belinda Bull disposed of Bob Doyle with a 7.03.16/190.53 to book her semi final slot. The pairing of this round, hands down, was our two seven-second doorslammers: Darren Peart's nitrous-assisted manually-shifted five-litre Rover Mk3 Cortina and Paul Letchford with his Steve Schmidt 582 ci BBC naturally-aspirated, two-speed Powerglide 1968 Camaro. Paul took 0.03 at the tree and Darren fought hard but could not quite manage to back up his earlier PB, but Darren never lifted and he made Paul earn it with an 8.1206/169.17 to a winning 7.9554/169.83. Dave Townsend went into shake just off of the start line then kicked the tyres loose and his day was done against Nick Curtis who booked a spot in the semi-finals with a fine 8.2717/166.07.
In the semi-finals Belinda Bull and Paul Letchford were up first and Belinda had it all the way, 0.01 at the start line and her first six of the day sealed the deal 6.9912/193.76 to Paul's game 8.0510/171.74 which was a new PB speed. In the second pairing Rene Ehrismann was up against Nick Curtis, who was eyeing up another giant-killing opportunity. Well Rene was having none of that this time, and dispatched Nick with a 7.4182/177.81, just as well as Nick had 0.15 in his pocket on the start line and ran his quickest time at 8.2032/167.29.
So the numbers one and two qualifiers faced off: Rene all the way from Switzerland with his seven-eighth scale nitrous-assisted Shoebox and Belinda with her monster-motored 760 ci naturally-aspirated Bob Panella-built Chevy S10. Rene, knowing he was the underdog, leaned a little harder and upped his nitrous tune as you would expect with £1250 cash on the table for the winner. Alas it was too much and Rene hit shake pretty hard, by the time he had pedalled and recovered it was done and Belinda took the deserved win with a 7.0295/190.53 to Rene's game 8.3695/155.22. Belinda is our first repeat winner in the Heads Up category.
All in all a great example of the very best in Sportsman doorslammer racing in both Fast Bracket and Heads Up.
Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman simply could not do this without the help of a lot of people, so in no specific order we would like to acknowledge the following: Gearhead Garage, John Tebenham, all of the Top Sportsman officials, crew and pit Runners, all the Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman teams who compete with us, Kenny Coleman at EDA, Jeff Bull Racing Engines, Damn Yankees ACC, Rough Diamond Engineering, Drag Race Engineering, Eurodragster.com, the Mopar EuroNationals Committee, Santa Pod Raceway management and SPRC track crew, Gary at London Road Tyres, Romford, Dave and Helen at Zeon TV, and everyone else who helped, you know who you are and we are forever in your debt. Roll on 2017.
Event entry update.
5th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry at standard fee closes next Friday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. 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 FIA / FIM European Final entry then please contact Ian Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
5th August: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with added hugs to Libby Mottershead. Have a lovely day Lady Lib.
Editor's note: Full news service will be resumed the next news update with a review of Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman, an update from Russia, an invitation to Drachten and more. Please keep the news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
5th August: Nostalgia fans could again do a lot worse than to check out the latest update on Dick Parnham's Flickr site which features pictures of 1970s Comp Altereds. Dick says that more Nostalgia pictures are to follow including shots of 1970s Doorslammers, Paula Murphy, Allan Herridge and Dennis Priddle. You can take a look at Dick's latest update at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
Racers sought for demo, display.
4th August: Santa Pod Raceway are seeking racers with vehicles which run 11.99 or quicker to make exhibition passes at the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day on Wednesday 31st August. Admission tickets will be free but there will be a sign on fee of £20 and of course any further donations to the event's chosen charity are most welcome: this year the charity is Harry's Rainbow, which works to support bereaved children and their families. Any racers wishing to participate in the Fun Day are asked to contact Donna Finnegan at email@example.com before Monday 15th August.
Race cars are invited to the first-ever car show presented by American Autoparts which is to be held on Sunday 4th September at the Gatwick Aviation Museum in Charlwood, Surrey, adjacent to Gatwick Airport. The Great Gatwick Hot Rod and Custom Show is an all-charity project in aid of the Museum, the Royal Air Force Cadets charity and a Local Council appeal to finish interior work at the village's new recreational pavilion. With the Gatwick Museum having recently undergone a major re-configuration, including the erection of a state-of-the-art hangar housing renovated classic British military aircraft, the aviation aspect of the show is reflected in its theme of Hot Cars, Cool Rides and Cold War Jets. Resident aircraft on show include a supersonic Lightning interceptor, a Buccaneer naval bomber and a Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft, all Cold War veterans.
The full content of the show is still being put together, but expect to see street muscle machines, Jason Phelps' FGR Motorsport Gladiator Mustang Fuel Funny Car, dragsters (including a Junior), altereds, street rods, American showcars, custom cars and bikes, pickups, NASCAR racers, Legends grass track racing and classic US military vehicles. There will be music from Radio Redhill, and automotive-orientated trade stands. Dodgems and kiddies' rides plus a "Stick and rudder" three-quarter scale Spitfire mechanical simulator are among planned amusements. And negotiations are in hand with the CAA for helicopter rides .
Adding a little spice to the day will be the glamorous girls from the Heels for Combat Boots charity, happy to drape themselves over the cars and pose for photos, all in aid of servicemen and women with post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Disorder.
If you would like to bring your race car - Mike Lintern mentions that there is plenty of room but that the entry is a little light on Gassers - then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't have a race car but would like to attend as a visitor then tickets can be purchased on-line from www.ticketsource.co.uk/americanautoparts, by phone on 0333 6663366 (small booking fee applies) or in cash on the day. Meantime details about the Museum can be found at www.gatwick-aviation-museum.co.uk.
Priddle to attend Bench Race.
4th August: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is delighted to announce that member and European drag racing legend Dennis Priddle will be attending the BDRHoF Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies, to be held on 19th November 2016 at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, Dennis campaigned a series of Top Fuel and Funny Cars, and was the first driver into the six-second range outside of North America with a 6.995-second pass at Santa Pod Raceway in 1972. This earned him his Mr Six nickname. During his career Dennis and Clive Skilton, another noted British drag racer, engaged in quarter mile battles across Britain and Europe, helping build drag racing across the Atlantic.
Dennis, who will be presented with his International Drag Racing Hall of Fame award during the gala dinner in the evening, will be present on the panel at the session to be held between 13:00 and 15:00 in the hotel's Atlantic Suite. The session will be hosted by Bob McClurg and includes Don Schumacher, Bob Muravez, Fred Miller, Harry Hibler, Paula Murphy, Carl Olson and other racing legends.
Admission to the BDRHoF Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies will be by ticket only. You can apply for tickets by sending an email to email@example.com to register your place. Tickets are going quickly.
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. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Of pistons, curry and PBs.
4th August: Lucy Moore of the UK's Shakespeare Engineering / Challenger Solutions-sponsored Viper Pro Mod team writes with a tale of pistons and curry with Swedes at the Mopar EuroNationals:
Back at the SPRC Summernationals the pistons were all removed, several times. The crew love doing it, especially late at night! In an attempt to learn more about the recurring damage, the pistons were left out at the end of the meeting so that was the first job for the Mopars. I think Dad was too lazy to put them back in. After Dad and some crew arrived on Thursday they set up the pit and rebuilt the engine with refurbished pistons and new rings.
Saturday meant the beginning of qualifying. After tweaking some fuel maps and other settings it was time to see how the car would perform. A 6.88/164.87 was a steady start putting us in third place. As Q1 appeared quite strong we decided to up our game a little in Q2 and see what we could do. Although the car drifted a little, the run was a good one! 6.395/218.13 was a new PB speed for us and very close to our PB ET! Finally it felt like a little reward for everyone's hard work. The decision was made that it would be best to check pistons again rather than risk doing more damage in Q3. We finished qualifying third.
Elimination day arrived and the first round was against a fellow nitrous car: Bobby Wallace, supported by the formidable duo of Roger Johansson and Alex Olsson, the best to come from Sweden since Abba. Dad was away first and took the win with a solid 6.557/213.88. Round two would be a tough one against Bert Englefield and Andy Wright as they had been running consistent 6.2s. It's really good to see them doing so well after years of taking the micky about the fact that they should have stayed with a Nitrous engine. Trying to render the opposition senseless with a toxic gas cloud, after a team trip to the local Indian, was maybe a little underhand.
We altered some things to try to improve the car's performance, and took some settings from our PB fuel map, and it worked! It was a fantastic nail biting-race. Dad was away first, it was side by side until the eighth but Bert pulled away as the extra power of the blown engine (or an extra boost from that curry) came in and clinched the win by 0.1148. However a loss couldn't taint our happiness at a new ET PB, 6.3904/214.93.
A huge Thank You to all the crew who worked exceptionally hard: Lamb Shank Dave, Prosecco Jane, Slim Martin, Chesty Chris, Legless Gary, and Lucy the Boss.
Withington's dynamic class change.
4th August: The UK's David Withington went into Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway with an untried Sportsman ET car and left with a Pro ET car. David writes:
Bug Jam 30 was my first outing in four years; the last time was in my Nirvara. Since then I have been trying to build a Opel Manta, however time and funds have always escaped me and nearly becoming bankrupt in 2013 nearly saw the end of the car altogether. In October 2015 searching round eBay (creating wish lists) I spotted a part project Manta with the back axle I needed for my own Manta. So off to Manchester I went, feeling hopeful that this car had all the spares that I needed to finish my Manta, and six hours later I returned with the complete car.
Two weeks later we decided to go to a Public Test Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway just to test what we had bought. To cut a long story short, I had to shut the car down at the eighth mile and had to be towed back to the pits. I was not impressed with the car, and it took me two hours to stop shaking.
Winter arrived and it was time to make one good car out of the two. We based the build on the part-project Manta as the paintwork and cage were in better condition. The old Manta donated its gearbox, shifter, brakes and a whole other bunch of parts. The suspension front and back were rebuilt with new rose joints and bearings. New parts were made where old Ford bits were used. Needless to say if it moved, or didn't look right, it was fixed or rebuilt.
We entered Bug Jam 30 as it is a good event at which to shake down cars. When we arrived on Thursday the car was still in bits but we soon got it finished and entered the RWYB. A soft launch was in order after the last time the car ran. It felt great! Fourteen seconds, good and straight, a different car. Through the weekend we set the car up getting more and more out of it, finally coming away from Santa Pod with a new PB of 11.35 seconds at 120.1 mph, and a Pro ET car.
We will be back at the European Finals and hopefully going quicker again.
4th August: We would like to say a big Happy 18th Birthday to former Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler. Have a lovely day Paige.
Allard Chrysler returns to Brighton.
4th August: The Allard Chrysler Dragster is to make a static return to the Brighton Speed Trials in September. ACAG Chair Brian Taylor sets the scene:
Back in 1960-61 Johnny Tillotson was high in the Pop Music charts with Poetry in Motion. The Beatles were yet to be discovered and traditional jazz was popular with bands like Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball competing for chart success in the UK. It was the time when Jaguar launched their first E-Type.
But in a small workshop situated in Clapham, South London something else was taking place; something which would change the face of British motorsport for ever. British sports car manufacturers and multi-motorsports champion Sydney Allard set his team the task to build Europe's first dragster – the Mk I Allard Chrysler. Powered by a blown 354 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi engine, it was for several years Europe's only dragster, appearing at the Brighton Speed Trials in 1961, 1962 and 1963. It was retired at the end of 1964 with the engine being used in a replacement dragster which was still racing in the late 1960s.
The original Mk I Allard Chrysler was then stored in several workshops and barns and went through a partial restoration carried out by Brian Golder in 1979. Upon Brian's death in 1992 it was bequeathed to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, still without an engine and many key running gear components.
Early in 2008 a group of drag racing enthusiasts got together and approached the National Motor Museum with a plan to complete Brian Golder's restoration and turn the static exhibit into a dragster which could be fired up and driven under its own power again – not to race but to parade. The Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) was formed under the Chairmanship of Brian Taylor, with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and American drag racing historian Traci Hrudka as its Patrons, and for the last eight years they have raised funds and carried out the work to achieve this aim. This July the dragster was driven under its own power for the first time since 1964 – a truly historic and emotional occasion for all those involved.
ACAG Chairman Brian Taylor said "Back in 2009 Tony Johnstone of the Brighton and Hove Motor Club donated the SEMA Trophy to the National Motor Museum so that it could be with the dragster which first won it back in 1963. For many years it had resided in the Madeira Drive Club House but it now forms part of the Museum's trophy display. At that time we promised that we would bring the dragster back to Brighton once the restoration had been completed and, with the help of Lucas Oil Products UK Limited, who provide most of the lube requirements for the dragster, we are pleased to be able to honour that promise on 3rd September. Unfortunately local noise restrictions will prevent us firing up the dragster and parading but hopefully just the sight of it in Brighton will bring back a few memories – its first appearance there since 1963."
The following weekend the Allard Chrysler Dragster will be at Santa Pod Raceway for the FIA / FIM European Finals where it will be fired up and paraded. Once again people will be able to see and hear the sound which launched drag racing into Europe all those years ago.
More details about the Allard Chrysler dragster can be found at www.allardchrysler.org or on ACAG's official Facebook Page.
4th August: Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters Race Design has launched a brand new, fully responsive web site at www.pwrd.co.uk:
PWRD was founded ten years ago with the aim of providing a range of high-quality graphic design services to the automotive and motorsport industries. Spearheaded by Peter Walters, a highly skilled graphic designer and UK drag racer, PWRD has grown into one of the world's leading motorsport design agencies. With Peter's first-hand and in-depth knowledge of motorsport marketing, creative design and brand identity, PWRD has gone on to receive numerous accolades for its trademark eye-catching designs, including multiple wins and nominations for SPRC's Best Appearing Car and Most Professional Appearing Team awards.
The new web site is fully responsive to adapt with many mobile devices and desktops, therefore giving a more beneficial browsing experience. A selection of work from all the design services we offer is presented, but if you are looking for something more bespoke, do not hesitate to get in touch: our possibilities are endless.
From a full-blown team branding package to a simple logo design, attention to detail is the highest of priorities for PWRD. With established links in the motorsport industry and many high-profile clients, PWRD can help you win both on and off the track. #WINwithPWRD
Web site updates.
4th August: Colin Donisthorpe has updated his Flickr site with pictures from last weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Colin's great shots at www.flickr.com/photos/colin_donisthorpe.
Nostalgia fans could do a lot worse than to check out the latest update on Dick Parnham's Flickr site which features pictures of 1970s and 1980s Funny Cars kindly scanned for Dick by Sue Fordham. You can take a look at Dick's shots at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
Frosty's next step.
2nd August: After twenty one months of hard work by the team, and with the support of Red Victor 5 Second Club members, Andy Frost successfully tested his six-second (so far) street-legal Victor at the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Frosty got in touch to tell us what he has planned next:
As always, testing revealed little things which needed tweaking, but our data and performance bode well for the next step in the development of the car.
Our plans are to test again at the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod then, funds permitting, to ship the car to Bahrain in October for the whole of the BDRC drag race season (subject to BDRC confirmation). Of course doing this properly comes at a big cost for a privateer team, but our supporters have already raised 25% towards the total!
Included in this total is our newest sponsor Airservices Hellas, who have agreed a two-year deal to support Red Victor 3 in its efforts to regain the title of World's Fastest Street-Legal Car over the quarter mile. A big thank you to David Greenhalgh for brokering this deal for the team!
As usual a big thank you to all of the Red Victor team of Deb, Gary, Jan, Badger, Shane T and Nik Wadsworth, all the Red Victor 5 Second Club members, the team's supporters and great sponsors, and our loyal fans, for their support so far.
As mentioned above, to get the car to Bahrain to claw back the record is a costly business for a small team and we are looking for support from individuals or companies to take us that final step. You can join the Red Victor 5 Second Club and become a Full or Associate member. Joining the page is as simple as clicking the link to join; it's a closed group, but you will be accepted into the group and then you can ask how you can become a member. Or just E-Mail me at email@example.com to get involved in a World Record attempt, with all the publicity which will come with it.
See you at the Euros!
2nd August: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "How much do you like Pro Mods?" and a web address. 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.
Brian Burrows writes that racers wishing to test cars before the FIA / FIM European Finals are welcome to attend VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway the weekend before the event, saturday-Sunday 3rd-4th September. "Sunday 4th is a Peak Performance Day, but VW Action are happy to have Pro cars test during Saturday's RWYB sessions which include an evening session", says Brian. "The event is a great family weekend in its own right (We can attest to that - Ed). Any racers wishing to attend should please contact NAS Events at email@example.com or call 01279 725252 (outside the UK +44 1279 725252)". More about VW Action at www.vwaction.com.
23:59 UK time this coming Sunday (7th) is the deadline for entry to our NitrOlympX contest with two pairs of weekend tickets up for grabs. We have had entries from all over Europe with answers in both UK and US units (For the record, both are acceptable - Ed) but we have plenty of room in our mailbox for more. For details, and to enter, see our news item of 27th July.
Regular readers of our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage will know that it has some very faithful fans and we are very pleased to say Happy Birthday to one of those today. James Humphreys, a particular fan of our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts, is sixteen years old today and Tog, Kirstie, Simon and Julian would like to wish James the very happiest of birthdays.
Mopar EuroNationals results.
1st August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway:
MSA Pro Modified: Bert Englefield 6.2824/226.90 def. Michel Tooren 9.9729/67.46 DQ red
Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman
Heads-Up Race: Belinda Bull 7.0295/190.53 def. Rene Ehrismann 8.3695/155.22
Fast Bracket: Lee Huxley (9.40) 9.4892/131.02 def. Darren Peart (8.14) 8.0978/163.65 DQ b/o
The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award was not won and so has been increased to £75 for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway at the end of this month.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Mopar EuroNationals reports, galleries and pit notes, including a chat with recovering Pro Mod racer Roger Johansson about his future plans, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. It was the usual pleasure seeing the fruits of our hard work scrumped and posted elsewhere. The thieves we would ask what you would do for validation from fawning acolytes if we were to stop covering events; feel free to write and tell us.
McClurg hosts BDRHoF Bench Race.
30th July: A major addition to last year's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala was the Bench Racing session. The panel of US and European legends held the packed audience in thrall with their stories and views on the sport for two hours in the afternoon prior to the main Gala dinner and presentations in the evening.
Beech Underwriting Agencies, major sponsorship partner of the BDRHoF is delighted to announce that plans are in place for an expanded Bench Racing session at the Gala's new venue, the fabulous Sheraton Skyline Hotel at Heathrow. Bob Muravez, Fred Miller, Harry Hibler, Paula Murphy, Carl Olson plus some very special guests will be on the panel, and and the legendary US motoring and drag racing journalist and writer Bob McClurg will be hosting the event.
BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury said "This is a great chance to get face to face with some legends of drag racing from the sixties and seventies and movers and shakers of the sport in more recent years. We are offering the press the opportunity for individual interviews with panel members during the morning of 19th November, before the Bench Racing session. There will also be a unique chance to mix with legends socially before, during and after the Gala dinner."
Beech Underwriting Agencies Managing Director Geoff Stilwell said "We are delighted to have an expanded Bench Racing session this year as it was one of the most popular events during last year's gala. The addition of Bob McClurg is fantastic; he has been active for almost fifty years and interviewed all the legendary racers of the sport. The Gala has become a must for anyone remotely interested in drag racing and we urge attendees to apply for tickets now to avoid disappointment."
The BDRHoF Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies will take place from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on 19th November at the Atlantic Suite at the Sheraton Skyline Heathrow. Admission will be by ticket only. You can apply for tickets by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register and confirm your place. But hurry - the maximum capacity of the room is one hundred and it will be first come, first served. Be there!"
Web site updates.
30th July: It is the eve of a very special event for Norwegian drag racing: after months of extremely hard work by many volunteers it is time for the Grand Opening of the completely rebuilt Gardermoen Raceway, next week's NDRG Drag Challenge Grand Opening (3rd-7th August). The EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship plays a major role in the Drag Challenge as it is round three of their Championship and it's great to see that the hard work of the NDRG crew has been rewarded with a healthy entry in all classes. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Two weeks to enter Junior Fun Day.
29th July: Donna Finnegan writes with a reminder that Santa Pod Raceway's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day returns for its fourth year on Wednesday 31st August and that entry closes two weeks today, Friday 12th August.
For 2016 there is a sign-on fee of £20. Junior racers wishing to take part in the Junior Fun Day will need to telephone the Santa Pod office on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828) to book their race voucher. Entry forms (PDF format) can be downloaded by clicking here. Forms submitted without payment will result in the racer not being entered for the event.
For 2016, Santa Pod's chosen charity is Harry's Rainbow, which is committed to supporting bereaved children and their families in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
For more information about the Junior Fun Day, please visit www.santapod.co.uk/e_junior_day.php.
29th July: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry at standard fee closes two weeks today, Friday 12th August, after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. 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 FIA / FIM European Final entry then please contact Ian Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Good luck and stay safe to NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol FC Champion Jonnie Lindberg who is contesting this weekend's Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Divisional event in Topeka. You will be able to stay in touch with Jonnie's progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com and on the excellent Lindberg Brothers web site at www.lindbergbros.com.
Trakbak Racing and Track Group Europe have confirmed that they will again be providing a free high-def multiple-camera Web TV broadcast from next month's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim.
European Top Gas Round 4 review.
29th July: Herman Jolink writes that the fourth round of Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas took place last weekend on the well-prepared quarter mile at Drachten Airfield in The Netherlands:
Qualifying after Friday and Saturday:
E1 took place at 15:30 on Sunday: Schack 7.567/262 beat alternate Tonnie v d Berg 11.451/200; v Nimmen 9.074/230 beat Lynmant 11.554/200; Jolink 8.741/244 beat alternate Ivana v d Berg 9.294/200 a new Personal Best for Ivana; Andersen 8.633/236 bye (Menzi was upset because eliminations started so late).
Semi-finals: Schack 7.476/270 beat v Nimmen 8.727; Jolink 8.732/243 beat Andersen 8.559/236 (Reaction Jolink 0.102 and Andersen 0.288).
Final: Fredrik Schack DK 7.475/275 (new PB ET) beat Herman Jolink NL 8.835/241. RTs Jolink 0.090 and Schack 0.161.
Euro Series Top Gas Championship after four rounds:
Web site updates.
29th July: Our good buddy Steve Moxley has had his FIA / FIM Main Event review published on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.
Mopar EuroNats Perfect Award.
28th July: This weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £50 is available for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Sportsman ET racer Stephen Cherrett at last weekend's Bug Jam. It will be paid in cash to the first racer at this weekend's event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Award will be available in Pro Modified and Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman 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 Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in August; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Open Sport 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 will be available in the Signing On office from Friday morning or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
28th July: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for providing us with the post-SPRC Summernationals and Mid Summer Madness points standings in the UK National, APIRA and SPRC Championships. You can check out the latest UK, APIRA and SPRC 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.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from Bug Jam. You can check out the Bug Jam timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join Kirstie, Tog and Julian in wishing Pit Reporter, Blog Editor, Links Editor and Photographer Simon a very Happy Birthday. Have a great day buddy.
DFDS ferry discount continues.
13th January: With the NitrOlympX approaching photo-journalist Andy Willsheer has been in touch to remind readers of the deal between Santa Pod Raceway and DFDS for reduced-rate ferry crossings across the English Channel.
DFDS introduced two new ferries in February which greatly increased sailing capacity and frequency. You can check out the sailing schedule at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk and download the booking form (PDF format) by clicking here.
For more information about DFDS check out their web site at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk but to benefit from this discount please be sure to use the form, not the web site, to make bookings.
Sprinting for George.
28th July: Graham Sykes writes that the highlight of the 2016 Sprinting calendar takes place on 10th-11th September as East Kirkby hosts the George Brown Memorial Sprint for the second time in two years:
This year is going to be better than ever. This will be the sixth running of the event since the passing of George Brown and I have been lucky enough to have attended all but one of them. The first George Brown Memorial Sprinter was held at Santa Pod in 1982. There were some pretty impressive bikes there including Ted Dunmow riding Paper Tiger running 9.53/151, Brian Chapman on his 500cc Vincent Super Mouse running 10.02/139 and on Mighty Mouse the 1000cc Vincent 9.39/154. FTD went to Angus McPhail on the impressive Jade Warrior which ran 9.19/147. The next George Brown Sprint was held at the Famous Esholt Park in Bradford in 1985 where Tony Brown entered on Super Nero. Esholt is the main drive way into Bradford and District Sewage Works, but non the less the venue has gone down in Sprinting history as possibly the most spectacular venue at which the NSA have held a sprint with the famous Esholt Bump making bikes career skywards on one wheel over the crest of the hill just before the quarter mile marker at well over 100 mph.
The next George Brown Sprint was held at Bovingdon, just off the M25, on 9th September 1990 and was well attended by all of the NSA. Tony Brown was again in attendance on Super Nero, and ran 12.97/104. Derek Chinn was there on Pegasus and ran 11.76/115. Terry Homan on the 350 Rudge ran 10.84/105. The late great Dave Houghton was there with his immaculate 500 blown Triumph (the very bike on the NSA logo) running 10.44/136 and FTD went to Steve Cope on his TZ 700/750 10.07/137. It was mentioned that there was a lack of grip and therefore times were well down. Blyton Airfield near Scunthorpe was the setting for the 1991 George Brown Sprint. I didn't attend this meeting and the event turned out to be a very sad day. Dave Houghton brought out his 500 Blown Triumph which was to be featured in an article in Classic Bike magazine. Sadly it was to be Dave's last meeting as he tragically fell off his bike during a run and suffered fatal injuries. The NSA have never raced at Blyton since that day out of respect. RIP Dave.
The last George Brown Meeting was held at East Kirkby last year and was a great success, attracting many riders from all over the country. So building on last year's event, and on the back of Dragstalgia with all the legendary bikes and riders having already made their bikes ready for that event, this year's George Brown memorial Sprint is definitely one to put in your diary. Heading the line up will be George Brown's Super Nero which has been taken from the National Motorcycle Museum and rebuilt ready for this event, and it looks like George's son Tony Brown will again be taking on the riding duties.
We are planning on seven double-engined British sprint bikes attending - this is something which I don't think has ever happened at a NSA event before. John Hobbs will be campaigning the famous Weslake double-engined supercharged Hobbit as well as riding the newly-rebuilt Olympus after a monumental engine explosion earlier in the year. Colin Fallows' stable of bikes is making an appearance starting with Super Cyclops the double-engined supercharged Norton of Mick Butler fame, which blew its rear barrels off at Dragstalgia. Black Cat, the Velocette and his Weslake all are being entered. Gary Norman has agreed to bring along his two double-engined bikes, Denis 'Storming' Norman's Conquest double Triumph and Second Conquest double Norton. Ray Law is riding his double-engined supercharged Triumph and Kevin Fields will be riding Icarus the ex-Roy Daniels bike which held the British Land Speed Record at an average of 191 mph.
Sheelagh Neil will be riding her late father Ozzie's Scott outfit. Sheelagh is one of the first members to have joined the NSA. On the back of his success at Dragstalgia, Chris Illman will be bringing along the Methamon Vincent outfit once owned by Maurice Brierley and will no doubt be trying to better his times set earlier this year when Sheelagh Neil teamed up with him in the sidecar. Terry Homan has said he will be bringing along Ramrod and hopefully Bill Orris' wonderful 350 Rudge along with Clive Waye's ingenious Dragwaye, and is hoping to have better luck riding it than earlier in the year. Dave Clee will be there riding Shotgun along with the Baskervilles who will be bringing along their newly-built supercharged Triumph which is bristling with innovation. I saw it on display at Dragstalgia and Neil Baskerville said that they are hoping to have it finished and ready to run for this event.
I will be joining the three-wheelers on my record breaking 4000cc V8 Syko three-wheeler running nines on petrol. Trevor Duckworth will be bringing out both of his record-breaking three-wheelers: the TZ350cc cycle car which was once owned by Irene Scargill and which holds many world and British records, and the ex-Mick Ellis three-wheeler which now has a Rotax 604cc single fitted and which will be ridden by David Taylor. These bikes have never been run together and it is planned to run them side by side for the first time.
There is also a European contingent with entries from France. Hervé Saigne will be coming to join in the fun on his Triumph Sprinter. Clive Neale, who was a competitive rider in his day, is coming all the way from Switzerland to join us and catch up with friends old and new. Finally Peter Williams has kindly agreed to bring along his legendary double-engined injected Nitro Triumph Two Faced for the static display.
East Kirkby is the venue for the event and is itself steeped in history. The Air Museum is housed on the other side of the road and houses the famous Lancaster bomber Just Jane. The track is good long and smooth, without a doubt it's one of the best grass roots sprinting venues in the country. It is based in the south of Lincolnshire putting it within easy reach for most of the country (map).
We are intending to produce a souvenir programme of entrants so it is advised to enter as soon as you can, as this event may well be over subscribed. There are free race entries for all Vincents and two special Vincent classes, 500 cc and 1000 cc. Anyone wishing to bring along a bike for display only please contact me as we are putting together a static display of sprinters old and new. Everyone who enters a bike for either the static display or in any of the racing classes will receive a competitor's NSA George Brown Memorial Sticker for their bike. Gate entry is £10.
If you wish to enter then you can do so by contacting Helen Greathead on 07921 712266 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any information required on the event then please contact me on 07778 053506 or E-Mail email@example.com.
FAO NitrOlympX Super Pro racers.
27th July: Tech Inspector Frans Steilberg has been in touch to remind Super Pro ET racers about a rule which will be strictly enforced at the NitrOlympx at Hockenheim on 19th-21st August:
All Super Pro ET cars running 9.90 or quicker must have an accepted lower engine oil-retention device (diaper). A belly pan may be used in lieu of a device attached to the engine; the belly pan must extend from framerail to framerail and extend forward of the harmonic balancer and rear of the engine block and must incorporate a minimum two inch high (51 mm) lip on all sides unless specified in Class Requirements.
A non-flammable, oil-absorbent liner is mandatory on the inside the retention device.
If you have any further questions then please contact Frans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geoff Stilwell adds a warning about travelling through Dover: "There are and there have been horrendous delays getting through customs in France, and by all accounts the delays will continue. So I would recommend alternative routes if at all possible. This past week it has been taking sixteen hours or more to get through. The M20 has been backed up to Junction 10 with traffic waiting to get across."
NitrOlympX tickets to be won!
27th July: Eurodragster.com has teamed up with Hockenheim-ring Gmbh to offer two pairs of weekend tickets to the NitrOlympX which takes place at Hockenheim on 19th-21st August and which features European Championship and Sportsman racing together with US Fuel Altereds, the legendary Night Show which has to be seen to be believed, and more.
To win one of the two pairs of NitrOlympX weekend tickets, answer the following question set by NitrOlympX PR Christine Calwer:
UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones fuels his dragster with 11.3 gallons of nitro at Santa Pod Raceway. How many litres of nitro would he have to use at Hockenheim?
E-Mail your answer plus your name to email@example.com by 23:59 UK on Sunday 7th August / 00:59 European Monday 8th August.
Conditions of entry
SPR seeking sub 10-second demos.
27th July: Calling all sub 10-second race car owners: Neale Saunders of Santa Pod Raceway is offering free sign-on for teams who bring their cars to the following events:
Sunday 14th August: Mini in the Park
Sunday 21st August: Monster Truck Nationals
If your car runs quicker than 10.00 and you are interested in attending then please contact Neale as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vegter's Bear hug.
27th July: The Netherlands' Vegter Pro Mod Racing are about to embark on a very special adventure. At the invitation of Dragtimes, the driving force behind the Russian Drag Racing Championship, the team will travel to Russia in early August to take part in two races of the Russian Championship at Autodrom Nizegorodskoye Koltco. Remco Scheelings writes:
This is a unique event to which David Vegter is really looking forward. "We got in touch with Dragtimes through our tuner Adam Flamholc", he said. "They wanted us to race at their events and they did a perfect job of organising everything for us. Dragtimes is a very professional organisation and their future plans for drag racing are very promising. It's a great adventure and a chance you only get once in a lifetime."
Autodrom Nizegorodskoye Koltco is a full-size race track with a drag strip, located near Nizhny Novgorod four hundred kilometres east of Moscow. The classes in the Russian Drag Racing Championship are totally different to those in the rest of Europe, and that's why David will take part in the rear-wheel-drive category. The 3,000 bhp Vegter Pro Mod Racing '67 Camaro will have to face the ex-Flamholc Top Doorslammer Viper of Dmitry Samorukov, but also far less powerful cars. Traction might not be as good as at most FIA European Championship tracks, but Dmitry has already recorded quick elapsed times at tracks in his own country. "Dragtimes is a professional organisation, you can see that in the way they deal with everything", said David. "They also plan to build a new drag race track like Tierp Arena which can and will be used for international drag races."
Not much has been known about Russian drag racing in our part of Europe so far but Dragtimes want to change that as soon as possible. The first time we heard about Russian drag racing was a few months ago, when Adam Flamholc sold his Pro Modified / Top Doorslammer Dodge Viper to a Russian team, and the Swede was hired as their tuner. A few weeks ago the team had their first race outside Russia at the FIA European Championship race at Alastaro, Finland. "Dragtimes contacted me a few weeks ago and at Alastaro we had a meeting to discuss the details", said David. "We will take part in two races at Autodrom Nizegorodskoye Koltco on 6th-7th and 13th-14th August. That fits our schedule, as the following week we have the FIA European Championship race at Hockenheim.
"Although Dragtimes have arranged a lot for us, there are always many things we have to do ourselves, such as applying for a visa. The bus and race car are at Johnny Oksa's place at the moment. Next week we will fly to Finland, pick up the bus and drive to Nizhny Novgorod. There will be a Russian guide waiting for us in Finland, and he will accompany us during our Russian trip. In between the races we fly back home. After the second race we will drive the bus directly to Hockenheim. We have to take the same route as we did on our way to Russia, so we have to go back to Finland first. From Hockenheim we will drive to Tierp Arena, as the week after the NitrOlympX we have round five of the FIA European Championship. It's pretty hectic, but it's a unique opportunity so of course you accept such an invitation."
Vegter Pro Mod Racing is supported by Playboy Energy Drink, HKR Techniek, WVB Holland, PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance, DutchBoxx Golfkarton en Sonic Equipment.
SCR weekend bike report.
27th July: Under glorious sunny skies Shakespeare County Raceway hosted Round 3 of the APIRA ET Bike and NAST Gas Championships and Round 5 of the UK National 9.50 and 8.50 Bike Championships at its Mid Summer Madness Public Track Weekend. Jerry Cookson writes:
APIRA received a very competitive fourteen-bike entry contesting the ET Bike series. With Joe Elliott leading the points race heading into the round the quite rider from Deeping St James knew what he had to do to get a good place on the ladder early - preferably number one, which he achieved. But in the second qualifier Joe wasn't banking on the other BMW 1000 RR in the hands of Bolton's Wayne Bradley from stealing that position with a 9.023 on a 9.00 dial. Joe's earlier 9.017 (8.99) stood for second. Buckingham's Peter Austin has been in great form of late on the family run Kawabunga ZX10R to qualify third at 9.684 on a 9.65 dial.
Also posting some competitive numbers were Dave Smart (9.884) for fourth, the Yamaha R1 in the hands of Leo Lester (9.587) and a returning Chris Mott on his new 1300cc FBR Atak; 9.931 on a 9.50 dial for eleventh.
Round one opened with wins for Joe Elliott, Wayne Bradley, Fiona Moor, Peter Austin and Peter Harrison. Motty ran well and truly under his 9.48 index and lost with a rapid 8.978 PB, which in turn handed the Suzuki SV1000 of Dave Smart a round win to face Gary Hester later in the day.
Fiona Moor ended her day on the Team Elysion Buell on a red light against Peter Austin. Joe Elliott took an easy (!) 9.070 win on a 9.00 dial after Peter Harrison's Ducati failed to show. Wayne Bradley used an easy 9.183 bye to book his place in the semi-final while Dave Smart posted a 10.106 against Gary Hester's 10.868.
The semi finals turned into a battle of the breakouts and foul starts. Peter Austin took himself out of the competition with a -0.090 light against Wayne Bradley's 0.084 RT coupled to the bike's 9.026 on a 9.00 dial. Having come up against Joe's 1000 cc screamer before, Dave Smart knew what needed to be done! But in the end a 9.783 breakout on a 9.85 dial eventually gave us an all-BMW shootout for the trophy dash.
In the end it was all decided on the start light as Wayne reacted -0.021 too soon handing the win and the points to Joe; 8.921/159.50.
In the final of 8.50 Bike the ZX12 Kawasaki of Llanelli's Dave Thomas picked up his first win of the season against Jay Roe's Fossil Fuellers GSXR; 8.659 to 8.753 while in 9.50 Bike the final came down to a straightforward shootout between Evesham's Brett Cordelle and Somerset's Rich Sawatzki. With both riders trading times all day long in qualifying Brett eventually posted a 9.529 on the family-raced Hysteria Racing Busa against a losing 9.607.
Alfie Udall was certainly on his game for this event posting a 9.490 in qualifying for NAST Gas which was later improved to a new 9.347 PB from the 1450 cc Harley Sportster in the final against the Honda SP1 of Robbie Dobbie who ran 10.113.
The next round takes place at Shakey's Open Sport Nationals on 27th-29th August and you will shortly be able to view the latest in the points race via the OCS Paint Points Standings page on Eurodragster.com.
Event entry update.
26th July: Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman (see below) starts this Friday (29th) at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway and if you are quick you can still enter for the Fast Bracket, Heads-Up race or both. You can get the entry form from the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact Paul Marston by E-Mail at email@example.com or on the phone on 07831 650230. You can check out the current 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 is open for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships and ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 27th-29th August. The entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by Bacs rather than credit card or cheque, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. Shakespeare County Raceway's account details can be found on the entry forms.
26th July: If you are thinking attending next month's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim then have the front of your pocket diary or an on-line unit converter handy and tune back for the next Eurodragster.com News update as we will have two pairs of weekend NitrOlympX tickets to be won.
...got the T-Shirt.
26th July: This weekend the competitors in Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman descend upon Santa Pod Raceway to do battle at the Mopar EuroNationals. Paul Marston writes that with some of Europe's very best and most experienced Sportsman teams and drivers in attendance, plus some last minute entries still to be posted, it looks as if the event will deliver some of the closest and hardest-fought action to be witnessed this year.
In addition to being Title Sponsor Mick Pusey, head honcho at Gearhead Garage who incidentally is competing Grumpy's Dodge, has gone the extra mile and as a token of his appreciation and by way of a Thank You to all the teams competing in his event has had T-Shirts designed and printed. Mick will be distributing the shirts free of charge to all drivers. "Believe me, I have been around drag racing for a jolly long time and I know how much work, time, money and self-sacrifice goes into getting to the track", said Mick. "And that’s before the really hard work even starts. The shirts are just a small Thank You, a show of my appreciation to the racers for all their efforts."
John Tebenham has also stepped up to the plate and will be putting up an additional £250 cash bonus for the #1 qualifier for the Heads Up eliminator. JT has already posted a huge additional cash prize of £1000 for the winner of the Heads Up race, over and above the prize money from the Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman prize fund.
You can follow the Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman racing by coming to the Mopar Euronationals at Santa Pod Raceway this Friday to Sunday. You' witness the very best in fast bracket racing - it's the toughest race of the season, with the toughest competitors, if you wanna be the best you have to beat the best.
Many thanks to the Mopar EuroNationals organisers, Santa Pod Raceway staff and management and the SPRC track crew, all of the Paul Marston Racing crew who will be running the event doing it all for free, and Zeon TV who will be filming the event for future broadcast on Motors TV. Thanks also to our sponsors Gearhead Garage, John Tebenham, Jeff Bull Racing Engines, Engine Data Analysis, Drag Race Engineering, Damn Yankees American Car Club, to our many supporters and friends who help make this happen. And last but by no means least the absolute stars of the show, the UK Top Sportsman race teams and drivers who compete in Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman and Eurodragster.com, especially Eurodragster.com we owe you all (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).
Web site updates.
26th July: Colin Donisthorpe has updated his Flickr site with pictures from last week's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/colin_donisthorpe.
Bug Jam 30 results.
25th July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway:
European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent 4.8036/193.87 def. Gordon Smith 8.2240/86.19
Sportsman ET: Andy Dibley (13.78) 13.8026/89.06 def. Tom Atkinson (12.72) 12.9925/104.54
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Matt Smith 17.9580/61.60 bye
VW Pro: Sam Young (9.80) 9.9981/107.91 def. Dave Crowhurst (10.20) 10.8159/130.14
VW Sportsman: Tom Herbert (14.30) 14.3676/88.35 def. Adrian London (15.03) 15.1439/87.18
Outlaw Anglia: Jedd Guy 7.9924/164.85 def. Cliff Griffin 8.8038/160.17
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Cannonball: Dylan Bradley (9.72) 11.1593/62.73 def. Kaitlan Deevey (9.29) 9.2685/69.41 DQ b/o
Congratulations also to Sam and Olly Young and the Black Current VW Pro team for resetting their own world record for an electric doorslammer with an 8.470 during eliminations, and to Sportsman ET racer Stephen Cherrett and Sportsman ET racer Elaine Hancock for winning the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for this weekend's Mopar EuroNats and August's APIRA Open Sport Nationals respectively.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
24th July: We have no less than three birthdays today. First up is a very Happy 21st Birthday to Heaven & Hell and Earsplittenloudenboomer team member, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member and Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf. Have a lovely day Grace. By one of those nice coincidences which you get all too seldom it is also the birthday of Grace's mum Mary Roaf. Happy Birthday and hope you have a lovely day too Mary. Finally another big Happy Birthday to our good friend Lotta Andersson. Have a lovely day Lotta.
Hot-foot from Letsby Avenue.
23rd July: Just about everything which happened at last weekend's Dragstalgia was a highlight but one of the undoubted great moments was the on-track début of Chris Manning's classically-styled slingshot The Villain. Chris got in touch to tell us a few weeks ago the team were going to Dragstalgia as spectators:
AWe had asked Bryan Whitfield if Dragstalgia was possible, but he said that it was doubtful that The Villain would be finished. Bryan's place is well busy and we hadn't said that we wanted to be ready for Dragstalgia so we left it at that and said "No problem Bryan".
A week later Tania got a text saying "Cinderella will be going to the ball!". Bryan and his guys really pulled one out of the bag. I drove to Bryan's to sort out the panel painting and where the sign writing was going, went home and next time I went to Bryan's it was to pick up The Villain. Got it home and started to put the top half of the engine and the fuel system back on and checked it over front to back. I told everyone that we knew that The Villain was going to make its début at Dragstalgia and with our best friends crewing and helping it was turning out perfectly. Loaded up Thursday and went to Santa Pod on Friday. Being a brand new member of the Wild Bunch we were pitted with them - including our team there forty one teams in the Wild Bunch alone.
Now for a plan. Burnout with a launch and get The Villain down the track, that would make a good weekend. Big Steve Dowler was on towing duty, so he dragged me to the pairing lanes. Ragin' Ray White was Crew Chief, he fired The Villain up, and crewmen Terry and Paul Howarth saw me round to do the burnout. The burnout was not that great, but since it was the first time I had ever sat in The Villain when it was moving under its own power it was bloody excellent! I was guided back to the line by Tania and was all set, then I was shut down for having no arm restraints... totally my fault.
While Big Steve towed me back to the pits I saw people clapping and cheering which was great. By the time I got back to the pits my lack of arm restraints was already known and some Wild Bunch members were all ready with restraints which I could borrow. A quick valve lash check and then went to fire up The Villain but the starter was shrapnel and other pieces. I quickly scooted to the Tower to ask if they could put out an announcement for a starter motor, which they promptly did, and Dan Williams of Williams Brothers Racing said that he had a new one in a box. After a bit of skullduggery the starter fit (crewing in Pro Mod obviously taught me something).
Next round and a crap burnout then reversed only to be shut down for some trans oil dripping. Gutted! Back in the pits we took a look to see where it was dripping from. We thought we were going to miss the Cacklefest because we had to drop the pan and clean and reseal it,but fellow Wild Bunch member Paul gave me a hand and it was done. On Saturday night we stayed up late chatting rubbish and lying, like you do.
Sunday morning, up early and the tank was topped up the oil heater turned on and we were ready. Ragin' Ray had to leave early on Sunday (something about getting a perm done) so Terry up The Villain up and with Paul saw me round to the line. Burnout done and backed up, I was ready to pre-stage, Ian Marshall waved me foward and I pulled in to the lights. The Tree came down, I mashed the throttle, came off it at sixty foot-ish, everything OK and back on it. It made a little movement to the right but nothing bad. Lifted then back on and it took off straight as you like and across the stripe. It was such a good feeling, I can't wait to put in some full passes.
Thanks to Tania, John, Ray, Big Steve, Tel, Paul, Hazel, Bryan, the Wild Bunch and anyone else I've forgotten. And I think Dragstalgia is getting better every year!
European Top Gas Round 3 review.
12th June: The third Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas race of the season took place at Hoskovice in the Czech Republic last weekend. Herman Jolink writes:
After the cancellations at Drachten we went Hoskovice on the way home from the World Ducati Week in Misano, Italy which had eighty one thousand visitors from sixty six countries. Piet Mom told us on the phone that Drachten had been cancelled because of the muddy pits and that Frederik Schack, Birch Andersen, Miia Maria Vepsalainen and Janne Malmberg were going to Hoskovice. So we went too. Twenty three Top Gas teams said that they would attend races this year, there are a lot of great Top Gas races and I don't know why more of the teams do not come. We have been going to Hoskovice since 2004, we love the friendly atmosphere and the very good concrete track. Yvona Kneblova and her team always do a very good job. Test and Tune was available on Friday and we had nice sunshine on Friday and Saturday. Milan Kolacny lives near Praha but waas not at Hoskovice because of some old issues which was a pity.
Qualifying after Saturday morning:
Semi-final: Jolink 8.511/247 def. Schack 16.393/73 RTs Jolink 0.111 and Schack 0.203. Schack had a broken inlet manifold. Malmberg 7.971/233 bye
Final: Herman Jolink NL 8.493/248 def. Janne Malmberg SE broken piston.
Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Championship after three races:
An invitation to Madness.
22nd July: If you like motorcycles, and in particular fast motorcycles, then Shakespeare County Raceway is the place for you on Saturday and Sunday as it hosts the Mid Summer Madness Public Track Weekend. There will be a lot taking place on the quarter mile both days, writes Jerry Cookson:
To start us off there's a great entry for the next exciting round of ET Bike, which this weekend is backed up with NAST Gas and the UK National 9.50 Bike and 8.50 Bike Championships. Joe Elliott is so far having a ball in ET Bike with 200 points separating his rapid BMW from Peter Austin's Kawasaki and the other BMW of Wayne Bradley.
The National Sprint Association have posted a great line-up of machines for the weekend including John Young's Triumph Jap, Andy Boswell's Harley Sportster, the Dragonforce Suzuki of Peter Ford and the Baker Honda 500 Sidecar of Clive Causer and passenger Martin Bracey. Completing the line-up is the annual Kawasaki Triple Euro Weekend featuring a few seriously quick H2s from Germany and the UK. Last year there was a full sixteen-bike eliminator with more of the same this year all looking to get there name on the Pro Joint Fabrications Eliminator trophy.
It’s another double header race weekend for the Wild Bunch in their twenty first anniversary season with the July Shootout and their annual Fancy Dress parade; this year's theme is Hawaiian to carry on the tributes and celebrations for Scottie Durrant.
There's a full weekend of Run What You Brung for both cars and bikes including a test outing for Roger Goring's new Mustang-bodied Firestorm Jet Funny Car as well as the usual Summer Bracket Gamblers Shootout on Sunday.
The track opens for RWYB at 10:00 each day. If you intend on taking part then you'll need a crash helmet and your DVLC licence at Signing On. Details about RWYB, Bracket Gamblers and the event in general can be found at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Dragstalgia two-wheel highlights.
22nd July: Keith Lee wrotes that Dragstalgia was a brilliant weekend spent celebrating all that is good with nostalgia drag racing:
Great weather, great crowd, and great action - what more could we ask for?
It must be at around thirty five years since we have had so many double-engined bikes running, as no less than seven of them took to the track - with another capable of running on display in the Historic Marquee. They may not all have been capable of running quickly, but that would be to miss the point, as part of Dragstalgia is to celebrate the machines of the past. Just to see and hear them is really something special. Some of the bikes only ever appear for Dragstalgia, which is quite a challenge to man and machine.
The NSA Shootout was won by John Hobbs. He only made two passes on The Hobbit, taking the final with an 8.98/145 over Martin Willmott. Earlier, Martin had earlier whipped his little 500 Triumph to one of his quickest ever times on the bike, 9.375/149, but broke the blower on the final run.
Highlights included a series of blower belt shedding runs from Jan Honee's 500 Jawa. So close to an eight-second pass, at 9.07, and an amazing 1.24 sixty foot time. The Methamon outfit, with the ever young Sheelagh Neal in the chair, making its best launches ever. Jeff Byne hitting a very creditable 10.71/130 on his double Morgo Triumph. The only bad news was seeing Pip Higham come off the Orient Express due to a mechanical failure. He was battered but happily was walking round the pits the following morning.
There were three special prizes, which were kindly donated by John Stein, of his book on the history of American Motorcycle Drag Racing. Thanks to Ian King, who chose the restored ex-Derek Parnell Velo as his recipient of Most Interesting Machine, with Colin Fallows collecting the prize following his excellent restoration job. Moment of the meeting, chosen jointly by Tog or Eurodragster.com and myself, ultimately went to the Pegasus team after all their efforts in bringing the iconic double Norton back to life once more. That really was something to see for so many of us. Finally, Chris Illman was presented with the Services to Dragstalgia award for all his efforts liaising with the National Motorcycle Museum, and providing some memorable moments on track with Methamon. Congratulations to all of the winners, and a big Thank You to all those who helped make it a super weekend - in particular Neil and Ray Baskerville, aided by Terry Homan, who kept the wheels turning.
Unforgettable moment for myself, in a weekend of highs, was standing on the start line commentating alongside Jeff Byne's double Triumph as the mighty Spitfire roared right over my head. That is some great organising by James Forster!
22nd July: Lee Johnstone and family say that it was with great sadness that they learnt of the passing of Pat Johnson. Lee writes "A gem of a person, leaving us with fond memories and more than a laugh or two. Our deepest sympathies to Steve and family."
Courtesy of Eire's Junior Dragster team McDonald Racing Ireland, Eurodragster.com is in the house at Thunder Valley in Bristol, USA where Liam McDonald is taking place in the Eastern Conference Finals Junior Dragster race. "You can't miss it, right on the start line, forty feet by thirty feet", says Edel McDonald. "Bristol Raceway celebrated its fiftieth in 2015". Liam made test runs yesterday, today's plan is one Test and Tune pass then the first eliminations. Edel adds that it is 45°+ in Bristol.
31st July is the deadline for entries for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Sydney Allard Media Awards for Photo and Written Journalism. This year the crystal trophies are sponsored by Mintex and Brian Taylor writes that some fantastic photographs have already been received. "Get yours in now and don't forget the written journalism which can include books, articles and blogs", says Brian. You can find full details of how to enter at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk/allard-award-entries.
Promising weekend cut short.
22nd July: With the quickest elapsed time of the Pro Modified field on the Saturday, second qualifying position and a first round win, the Netherlands' David Vegter was on his way to a great result at Alastaro. But on Sunday a thunderstorm and rain showers forced an early end to round three of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship.
Alastaro Circuit, situated in the middle of the beautiful Finnish forests, hosted the third round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. With plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures, there were almost perfect weather conditions during qualifying for the FHRA Nitro Nationals. Until a few years ago traction was a problem at Alastaro, but since the track was resurfaced it has become better every year, and now even low 6.0-second elapsed times were possible. David Vegter was the first one to prove it, and in the first round of qualifying on Friday the Vegter Pro Mod Racing '67 Camaro stormed to 6.10 seconds, just behind reigning FIA European champion Michael Gullqvist and good for the number two qualifying position. "There was a bit more in it, as I had some problems with the gearbox and couldn't shift to high gear properly", said David. In the second qualifier, the Camaro suffered severe tyre shake. Having had a good first run, David lifted to prevent any damage and ended day one still in a great second position.
There were two qualifying runs scheduled for Saturday also. The first run was no improvement, but the fourth and last run was a great one. At 6.08 seconds at 384.7 kmh David not only improved on his Friday performance but he was also the quickest Pro Modified driver of the day, and remained number two qualifier after four runs.
In the first round David had to face Rolf Simonsson of Sweden. The Dutchman was away first and in 6.17 seconds he advanced to the next round. "We had a safe set-up, as we knew it would be difficult for Simonsson to match our numbers", said David about his first round win. But there was more good news, as Championship leader Michael Gullqvist pulled a red light and was out of competition. This gave David, number five in the Championship, an opportunity to make up some ground to the leader. But shortly before the start of the quarter finals, a thunderstorm and rain showers came in, leaving the Race Director no other option than to cancel the race at 15:30.
"Everything went very well", said David. "The Camaro was running straight and consistent, and my Reaction Times were also good. A great result would have been possible and we had the opportunity to catch Michael Gullqvist in the Championship. It's a pity, but on the other hand I can only be happy with the way we are performing at the moment, also thanks to the great work of tuner Adam Flamholc."
The FIA European Pro Modified Championship is now at its half way point. David is still fifth, but the Vegter Pro Mod Racing racer scored more points than any other Pro Mod racer and came a bit closer to the top four in the Championship. The fourth round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships takes place at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. With 60,000 spectators it is the most popular drag race event in Europe. The NitrOlympX takes place on 19th-21st August, but before then Vegter Pro Mod Racing have some other activities planned.
Vegter Pro Mod Racing is supported by Playboy Energy Drink, HKR Techniek, WVB Holland, PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance, DutchBoxx Golfkarton and Sonic Equipment.
Should you have six eyes...
22nd July: We know that there are fans out there just about
The Summer Nats commences at Malmö Raceway at 18:00 European / 17:00 UK this evening and continues through to Sunday. You will be able to tune in at www.ustream.tv/channel/malmo-raceway.
This year's regular Finnish Hot Rod Assocation webcasts quickly became a must-see and this weekend's offering is from the Blåkläder Summer Nationals from Kalajoki. The FHRA coverage will be on-line tomorrow and Sunday at www.livestream.com/fhra.
As you already know if you've been paying attention Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast will broadcast live video and commentary / Nitro FM audio from Bug Jam 30 tomorrow and Sunday. You will be able to tune in by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
22nd July: It's great to see the Drakie's Americans web site active again with coverage of the Phantoms Hot Rod Hootenanny in Stirling, Scotland. "This is only my second event of the year but loving getting back into it", says Drakie. "Hopefully the more time goes on the more events I will be able to attend, although I don't think I will ever beat my best of twenty four events in one season!". You can take a look at www.drakies-americans.co.uk.
21st July: After what has affectionately become known as the "Hollywood Run" against Pure Hell in 2014, the question was posed to Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and the Havoc Fuel Altered team: "So, what are you going to do for an encore?" The answer was more difficult than the question. Nick writes:
Havoc never ran again with the blown Chevy alcohol engine which had served so well. Final PB figures of 6.83 and 205 mph were recorded.
Lawrie Gatehouse was largely responsible. Having retired the mighty Chaos and sold the rolling chassis and support equipment to Jon Best, there was a drivetrain available. Lawrie likes altereds and wanted to see the heart of Chaos beat in another altered, so a deal was struck. Havoc was mothballed so may as well sit doing nothing with a nitro hemi as with an alcohol Chevy, right?
Coincidentally, with the Fiftieth Anniversary of Santa Pod Raceway looming, the ruling powers had begun negotiations for a return of Ron Hope's Rat Trap and his travelling show, also celebrating their fiftieth year. The Rat Trap and Havoc teams have stayed in touch over the last couple of years exchanging a myriad of crazy ideas, ideas which only altered guys would consider, and this one looked another real prospect.
Roll the clock forward to the Friday of Dragstalgia and we unloaded Havoc from the Apache truck (thanks again, Tim), into the Santa Pod marquee alongside Rat Trap and the legendary Bradfords Fiat, driven for the last fifty years by one of the most personable racers you could ever meet, Randy Bradford.
Round 1 - Friday evening: Hopes were high for the Havoc team after successful testing a couple of weeks earlier. A short thousand-foot checkout pass showed the challenges of racing and the affect of different weather conditions. Cylinders which lit with ease two weeks ago, now refusing to play ball. Hmmm...
Round 2 - Saturday morning: The Bubblegum Capri didn't stage so we were on a solo. Keeping cards close to chest for the moment, another thousand-footer gave us a 6.87 - nearly a quarter of a second slower than a fortnight earlier on a supposedly similar set-up. Hmm... Easy this, eh?
Round 3 - Saturday afternoon: The Bradfords. I've followed this car for an eternity and am well aware of its capabilities. Havoc would need to run a healthy PB to compete, assuming that Randy and the team were on the ball. Two cylinders dropped at the hit, one picked straight up and the other at a thousand feet by which time Randy was long gone.... 223 mph was encouraging but the ET wasn't good enough. Round 1 to the Americans - good job Team Bradford.
Round 4 - Sunday morning: Rat Trap. Interesting one. Some may think that nostalgia racing is all about the show and that competition is for Pro classes. I can tell you that Ron and Brian Hope (and family) are good friends of the Havoc Team but that once the straps are pulled tight and helmets fastened, both teams will do all but kill for the win light! With that in mind, we were, once again, surprised by the generosity of Ron, like Randy before him, knowing that we had fuel system issues, giving us a head start when the tree ran. He then did his utmost, despite flying blind owing to a minor oiling issue, to run us down in one of the tightest races it has been our pleasure to be involved in. A Margin of Victory of 0.04 seconds tells some of the story, Havoc taking the marginal win light on a holeshot.
Round 5: Cannonball final - Ramon. Number one qualifier status gave us lane choice and another holeshot gave us a chance but the impressive front half of a blown-alcohol converter car was too much for the lame back half charge of the little altered. Congratulations Ramon.
We didn't think that we could top 2014. The spectator feedback indicates that from the perspective of many, we came pretty close in 2016. The roll call of people to whom we owe thanks is huge but high-fives to Ron, Brian and the Hope family; Randy and all the Bradfords, Stewart, Lynn and all at US Automotive, James and the whole organisational, track and safety crews at the mighty Santa Pod, all the media guys and particularly Eurodragster.com (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), to the Havoc crew who make it all worth it but perhaps most of all to the British spectators who applaud, wave and smile (and buy T-Shirts!). Your support is extraordinary - thank you.
Can we do it again sometime?
The highlights just kept coming!
21st July: Dave McKenzie says that such a great show was put on by the Supercharged Outlaws at Dragstalgia that he does not know where to start:
A great entry list with a good contingent from Germany and France to give an international flavour to the weekend. Some great side by side racing and burnouts all weekend, the Outlaws put on a crowd-pleasing show. Commiserations must go to Keith Freeman who ended up hitting the wall. I thought he had saved it at first but then the car turned sharp right and into the wall. In the Supercharged Outlaws pit area a collection was made for Keith’s rebuild.
The results were:
Santa Pod awards:
Check out the Supercharged Outlaws Facebook page for up-to-date news and points standings.
170 years on track.
21st July: It was a moment to savour for throngs of fans at Dragstalgia; perhaps the most poignant moment in Santa Pod Raceway's half-century of history.
The plan for the Dragstalgia historic drag race meeting had been to recreate the first run ever made down the Santa Pod drag strip: early on the venue's opening day, Easter Monday 1966, Harold Bull and his little hand-built dragster, Strip Duster, powered by an engine lifted from a Morris Minor, had traversed the length of the track, the first of countless thousands of runs to be made over the next fifty years. Recently, Harold's son, Simon Bull, had built a perfect replica of the car under Harold's supervision (the original Strip Duster chassis is believed still to exist somewhere in Germany) and would mark that inaugural moment in Santa Pod's history by piloting the car up the strip during Dragstalgia.
Alongside would be another modern replica of an early racing machine. Ken 'Flathead' Cooper was a drag racing pioneer whose activities pre-dated Santa Pod – his nickname arises from his predilection for Ford's workhorse flathead V8 of that era. Son Bradley Cooper had lately replicated one of Ken's cars, again with his father's help, and races it at historic events. Simon Bull and Bradley Cooper would drive their respective mounts side-by-side up the strip as a fitting Fiftieth Anniversary tribute.
That, at least, was the plan.
Yet as the two dragsters swung out from the pairing lanes and approached the start line, it was not the sons discovered at the controls but the fathers themselves. At ninety one years of age, Harold Bull was about to become not only the first driver ever to traverse the Santa Pod quarter mile, but now the oldest too. Ken Cooper, a mere stripling at just seventy nine, might well be next in line. Decades have passed since either had last piloted a competition car.
Awaiting them on the line was Santa Pod's former Chief Starter, Stuart Bradbury, wielding the flags he had used in the days before the electronic Christmas Tree starting system was installed. With a wave of the flags, the pair were under way. Age plainly does not dampen the competitive fires, and what was intended simply to be an exhibition pass turned out to be anything but a meander. Harold Bull got the jump on his younger opponent and appeared to be ahead at the finish line too. Since neither car staged in the modern manner, times and speeds were not recorded. In their heyday, both racers were accustomed to clocking ten-second passes at over 130 mph. Their 2016 performances certainly looked respectable by comparison. Applauded by spectators all the way to the finish, the pair received a further ovation from the track marshals as they pulled to a halt at the end of the shutdown area half-a-mile beyond.
For those onlookers old enough to have watched Harold Bull and Ken Cooper in their prime as leading lights in the formative days of British drag racing, this extraordinary match-up was an occasion none would ever have expected to see happen. Those too young to remember found themselves privy to a unique moment of motorsporting history that they will do well to treasure for the rest of their days.
21st July: It seems incredible to think that the VWDRC Championship season is already beyond its halfway point, but this weekend's Bug Jam is the fifth round of the seven-race series. For the Crawford Motorsports team, getting to know the new car has been the main priority along with building the Engine Carbon Clean brand in the sport of drag racing and beyond. Jon Crawford writes:
As we approach the biggest event of the year, we are delighted to announce the return to competition of Sharan as part of a two pronged attack on the UK's biggest ever Sportsman ET field. Lining up alongside Jon Crawford in the Engine Carbon Clean Golf will be the rising star of Super Pro ET, Chris Parker. Chris and Jon have been good friends for many years, and Chris' knowledge of the theory and practice of bracket racing is second to none. Chris achieved the remarkable feat of taking the off the trailer #1 qualifier award at four consecutive events over the past year in the NG Motorsports / Lucas Oils / Windscreen Wizards Dragster, and who would bet against a repeat performance this Saturday in a car which has been number one qualifier on two previous occasions? Chris, who has crewed with both Jon and Matt Moxon in Sportsman ET for a number of years commented "After being a part of the team in an advisory capacity for some time, I'm really thrilled to be asked to drive Jon's race-winning Sharan under the Engine Carbon Clean banner. Knowing it was going to be the biggest event of the year, Jon asked if I'd be interested in driving the world's most unlikely race car. Of course my answer was a resounding "Yes I'd love to". Sharan and I should be a great marriage."
Both Sportsman ET and VW Sportsman have their biggest ever fields, with the possibility that one SP/ET and four VW/SP racers won't even qualify. With returning Champions Spencer Tramm and Craig Wright as well as a positive plethora of Pro ET and Super Pro ET racers joining the fray, competition is going to be tight. With 1060 points potentially available in each class, this one race could make someone's season.
The Engine Carbon Clean promotions team will be trackside for all three days of the event ready to meet and greet race fans and Vee-Dubbers. If you are at the event, make sure you come along and find out all about the thirty minute detox for your car. Whether petrol or diesel, air-cooled or water, European or American, ancient or modern, their patented Hydrogen Technology will help you rediscover lost power and restore torque to your engine whilst reducing emissions and fuel consumption to boot. Their long-term commitment to drag racing is very much appreciated by both Crawford Motorsports and the VWDRC, and we know that fans of the greatest motorsport in the world have a unique loyalty to those who support any racers in our endeavours. Pop along to their Facebook page and show your appreciation, and whilst there, give the Crawford Motorsports page a Like as well.
If you can't make it along to the track, remember to keep up with all the action on Eurodragster.com's peerless live event coverage. Santa Pod Raceway's fiftieth birthday year is also Bug Jam's thirtieth, and we are all bursting with pride at playing some small part in the greatest year-long party ever.
21st July: The picture at right, with the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame logo in the background, shows a scene which appeared in a recent episode of Hollyoaks on the UK's Channel 4. The episode bought in 1.75 million viewers so there was some good coverage for the BDRHoF. Watch out for more appearances of the BDRHoF brand, organised by Prop Portfolio, on Emmerdale and Coronation Street when the script demands filming in the garage areas of these soaps and others.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good buddy, His Worshipful Flatulence The Very Reverend Sir Neville Mottershead ODE. Have a great day Nev.
Timing and stats guru Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has enhanced his tables of European Bests and FIA European Championships qualifying positions, results and round wins. "I was asked if the spread of 0.151 seconds from #1 to bump in Pro Stock at Alastaro was the tightest ever in FIA competition", says Marrs, "and as you know any such enquiry invariably leads to my spending way too much time with my head buried in spreadsheets! As it turns out it's not the tightest - in fact it has been bettered three times just in Pro Stock. I've added a sheet to the European Bests tables showing the tightest fields in FIA, and have added a row below each qualifying list in Spreadsheetosaurus showing the spread at each event where there were enough cars to have a bump spot."
Bug Jam Perfect Awards.
21st July: This weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 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 Nostalgia Super Stock racer Nic Williams at Dragstalgia. 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 next week's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Mopar EuroNationals. 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 from the Signing On office.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer James Forster at the SPRC Summernationals. 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 Sportman, Sportsman ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 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 £75 for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in August; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Open Sport 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 will be available from the Signing On office first thing tomorrow (Friday) morning.
Bug Jam 30 coverage.
21st July: The Eurodragster.com team will be at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you all the news from Bug Jam 30 in association with John Woolfe Racing.
Our coverage will consist of real-time reports and results from qualifying and eliminations (qualifying commences at 16:00 on Saturday) together with a photo gallery at the end of Saturday and Sunday. The Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast will broadcast live video and commentary / Nitro FM audio so long as the track is open on Saturday and Sunday; please note that we will not be broadcasting on Friday. Thanks to Doyousee.me for the provision of streaming services. Please ensure that you read, understand and accept the conditions on the webcam landing page before clicking through to the broadcast.
You can check out our Bug Jam 30 Event Index, which also includes links to the official entry list and provisional running orders, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
21st July: DJ of Santa Pod Raceway writes there have been no less than a dozen new shows premiering on SantaPod TV this month. The latest drag racing shows include the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator from the SPRC Summernationals, SPRC Summernationals highlights, Round 3 of the 2016 FWD Drag Series, and Web TV shows from the first three rounds of the MSA British Pro Modified Championship.
On Pegasus' brief flight.
20th July: Ian Messenger of Team Pegasus has been in touch about the return to the track at Dragstalgia of the legendary and hugely-popular Drag Bike:
Despite being unable to put in a creditable performance over the weekend Derek Chinn and I would like to say a huge Thank You to the many fans, old and new, who took the time to drop by our pit area to offer support for the double engine Norton fuel bike.
As the bike had been on static display at the National Motorcycle Museum for thirty-plus years, there were ultimately just too many issues to overcome in the time available. Even so, we would still like to thank the Museum, Santa Pod Raceway, and everyone who helped particularly Eddie Keighley, Graham Martin and Chris Illman for giving us the opportunity to bring Pegasus back to its natural home albeit only on a temporary basis.
Blood on the Beach.
20th July: Whilst Bloodlines Racing compete in the UK National Super Pro ET Championship with Laura Turburville at the wheel of the Bad Blood dragster, Dragstalgia is reserved for dad Ian to get in his driving fix:
It was decided by the team principals that Ian should drive their Beach Bomb injected slingshot this year and James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway invited him to enter it in the Slingshot Showdown. The car hadn't run since its check out début this time last year and True Blood was in the middle of getting a very famous Hemi transplanted into it (this is going to blow some minds).
Dragstalgia turned out to be the biggest and best year yet with 312 entries and hundreds of heroes and stars from yesteryear under the blazing hot sunshine. The quality of the cars in all classes was phenomenal and many fresh nostalgia cars appeared for the first time. We pitted up with fellow class competitors, Joe Bond, Jon Webster, Mike Oates, Mark Bishop, and Bob Hawkins, a pretty tough field! Chris and Declan were at work until Saturday afternoon so ace team members Shaun and Rachel Nutter stepped in and not only crewed but supplied a brilliant 1950s Ford Step-side as a tow truck.
Ian hadn't driven since Dragstalgia last year and so it was decided to turn down the rev limiter on the magneto and give the car and driver a sensible check out pass first time. All went perfectly so the car was serviced and made ready for the second qualifier. This time Ian replaced the full face nitro helmet with his trusty open face Ivo helmet and Tom Hoover's old fuel mask. He also had Don Ewald's silver gloves and boots which Don said had been upside down and on fire at Lions back in the day! As the team got ready in the pairing lanes a strangely familiar face appeared at the fence yelling "Drive safely young man"! It was Bob Muravez, aka Floyd Lippencote Jr, great to see him at last!
The class was being run heads-up on a Pro tree, which came as a shock to some of the racers used to a Sportsman tree, and the special nostalgia Tree was in use! On the green, and way too late, Ian stamped on the gas pedal and the car took off perfectly, no wheelies or dramas this time. Unfortunately when the car got to to the last half of the track it misfired badly causing some concern. There was no need to panic, some idiot (aka Ian) had forgotten to turn the rev limiter back up to 8000 rpm. The car did a respectable 9.0 at 140 mph anyway so all was good and with full revs a low eight would be no problem. We all know John Force saw Elvis at 1000 feet, but Ian came back and said that he had a similar experience and saw photographer Steve Moxley in the shutdown area taking chute shots. Ian said he waived so we await the photograph!
Meanwhile Joe Bond was setting the world on fire on his thirtieth birthday by demolishing the European record for methanol slingshots with a 6.692, astounding! Guess who Ian was paired with for round one of eliminations on Sunday? Yup, Joe, a bit of a challenge there! We got the call to the lanes for round one so all warmed our cars up. The Beach Bomb sounded great until at the end of the warm-up when it mis-fired and went very lumpy. Ian jumped out, looked things over and told the boys to take the valve covers off quickly. There it was, a broken lifter stand and jammed lifter, game over. A big shame but a fantastic weekend, one of the best races ever.
While the racing was over for us the work didn't end as Laura was doing back-up duty for our buddy Ramon van der Weurf who brought the house down in his match races against the Fuel Altereds. Ian ran around like a maniac helping as many other teams as he could and at one point was about to return to his workshop in Nottingham to fetch a part for Randy Bradford. Roy Wilding was a bit closer so he saved the day.
A team decision was made there and then that the motor would get pulled from the Beach Bomb and repaired to be sold later and that the complete chromemoly chassis'd slingshot would be sold as a roller complete with new racing Powerglide for just £12,000. So, if anyone want this beautiful bargain then get in touch with Ian at Turboville Racing, take it away, plop in the motor of your choice, and join in the fun!
The whole team is recovering with a bad case of Pod Face but will be back out at the FIA/ FIM European Finals in September. Work commitments prevent any appearance at the NitrOlympX this year but we wish Jerry Lackey the very best of luck.
While the racing was going on all weekend, team sponsor Nefarious Pinstriping were busy on the nose of Laura's dragster and did a stunning job to finish this sinister car off nicely... check it out at the Finals!
As always Bloodlines could not function without the help of our great drag racing family (especially Ian and Laura's new relations Ray and Lin Irish as their daughter Vicky married into the clan last month) so a quick list of thanks for all sorts at the weekend: Bloodlines Racing, Laura Grace Turburville, Chris Wilson,Declan Baker, James Forster, Shaun Nutter, Brian Hope, Nick Davies, Rob Loaring, Syd McDonald, Mike Oates, Norm Wheldon, Herb Andrews,Simon Nefarious Pollock, Kenny and Asa Gomez, Mick and Julie Hannah, Keith Lee, Pete, Barry Sheavills, Ramon van der Weurf, Andrew Stones, Josh Bassett, Stewart Bassett, all the Pod track crew from Ian to Angie and all the pit runners.
She who must be obeyed.
20th July: Not able to run at the FIA / FIM Main Event due to lack of support in Top Methanol Funny Car, Steph and Dave Milam put the altered body back on the She Devil and went in search of more records at Dragstalgia:
We made a gentle check out pass to settle back in, 7.26/209.94. The second pass was against Bubblegum Bob Glassup's Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car, so time to let the altered off the leash. It might have been the long way round, taking out the 1000 foot markers on the way down, but with a 6.1868 we set a new European record, just to add to the speed record of 234 mph which we got at Dragstalgia last year.
We have to thank our long time sponsors Torco Oil, Nimbus Motorsport and NGK Spark Plugs whose support helps us to perform at this level, and all the spectators and fellow racers who come round with words of encouragement and appreciation. Finally thanks to all of the crew who make our dreams possible.
Smith shocks at Dragstalgia.
20th July: One does not usually associate Santa Pod Raceway's historic drag racing event Dragstalgia with the breaking of world records, but that didn't deter Jonny Smith, the motoring journalist and broadcaster owns and drives the Flux Capacitor.
Dragstalgia's historic vehicle cast-list tends towards the big, brash, brawny and loud, but the Flux Capacitor is tiny and silent. A short-lived flirtation with electric power intended to cope with the mid-'70s oil crisis, its 1974-vintage, Enfield 8000 bodyshell is entirely consistent with Dragstalgia's retro theme, but the kiddie-car appearance should fool no one. Beneath the bright yellow shell lurks some serious electricity, derived from a battery pack lifted from a Bell SuperCobra attack helicopter.
With so much heft on tap, the Flux Capacitor had to be strengthened accordingly, but it remains entirely road-legal – taxed, insured and MOT'd. And amid all Dragstalgia's bellowing action this past weekend, it sped noiselessly to a new world best for a road-legal, battery-powered car over the standing quarter-mile.
Before Dragstalgia, America held the world mark at 10.25 seconds, and Jonny's best was 10.51 seconds at 129 mph. By the event's end, Flux Capacitor had demolished existing standards with an elapsed time of 9.869 seconds, with a top finish-line speed for the weekend of 122.43 mph. Moreover, Jonny is convinced there is plenty more to come from his little golden zipper. In comparison, a 2015 Tesla Model S has covered the standing quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds.
At Dragstalgia, Flux Capacitor was running against the clock as part of the event's Run What You Brung programme, but it will return to full competitive mode at Santa Pod's forthcoming FIA / FIM European Finals, where it will race in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator. Satisfying the unique demands of that class are Jonny's next target: not only to clock further nine-second passes but also to complete the mandatory twenty five-mile, public highway cruise required of Street Eliminator entries once on-track qualifying has finished.
British drag racing boasts two electric cars and each is now the world's quickest in its category. Sam and Olly Young's VW Beetle-bodied Black Current – not road-legal – is the world's quickest and fastest full-bodied electric car at 8.711/151.58.
Two days in history.
20th July: Two days of July 2016 will go down as important milestones in the history of European drag racing and the restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
Since 2007 the Allard Chrysler Action Group, headed by Chairman Brian Taylor with Museum Trustee Nick Mason and Quarter Mile Foundation Chair Traci Hrudka as Patrons, has been working hard to restore the machine from a static exhibit without an engine (but with many broken and rusty components) to a fully working dragster. Raising funds and providing the expertise, their efforts finally saw the strived for success at Beaulieu on 6th July when for the first time since 1964 the dragster was driven under its own power.
This was followed up by an appearance at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday when, driven by Alan Mann Racing's Martin Dunks, the dragster completed the standing start quarter mile for the first time since it appeared at Blackbushe in 1964 – well before Santa Pod had been opened.
You can watch a YouTube video of the Beaulieu run by clicking here and a video of the run at Santa Pod by clicking here.
Here are some of the many congratulation messages received by the Allard Chrysler Action Group after the momentous event:
"The culmination of a marvellous set of achievements upon achievements; something you and the entire ACAG group have continuously been doing since 2007. Congratulations are not enough and I would fully expect that Sydney would have had plenty of superlatives to say" (Gavin Allard, Grandson of Sydney Allard)
"Awesome! I got the goosebumps.... So very proud! This is historic... Love, love, love it! I knew it would happen, no doubt in my mind! I am so proud to be a member of this organisation... Hold your heads high. That was a huge endeavour" (Traci Hrudka, Chair Quarter Mile Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio)
"Congratulations, and thanks to you and everyone that's helped to put this awesome piece of drag racing history back into running condition" (Carl Olson, Former NHRA Vice President and FIA Drag Racing Commission Chair, California)
"Just wow again. Thank you so much. Such an important motor car now in operating condition. Just Brilliant. Well done all of those involved over the years" (Doug Hill, Museum Manager and Lord Montagu's Chief Engineer, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu)
"Brian that is fab-u-lous! I found it very emotional watching the videos. You and the guys must be extremely proud. Thank you very much" (Andrea Bishop, Director of Collections, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu)
"Well done to all of you. Wish I could have seen it myself. Dad would have been pleased to hear and see it too" (Alex Hume, son of Sydney Allard's Chief Engineer the late John Hume)
"You've done it! CONGRATULATIONS! Good show, all round" (Jon Lundberg, legendary American drag racing commentator, California)
Old guys rule!
20th July: Mike Matthews writes that at Dragstalgia he witnessed the dream we all had in the 1970s:
An enormous field of quality race cars, quality rods and customs on show and racing. It had the enthusiasm and atmosphere which those of us around in the 1970s dreamed about. Rodders and racers comparing ideas, superb organisation and racing in a great facility with Darryl and Colin in the Tower getting the whole thing right. Thanks Brian Taylor and Stu Bradbury who I believe conceived and to Keith Bartlett who backed it.
How right was it? As a Custom Car ad rep in 1972, the Pod was Scene Central and CC was its mouthpiece. Enthusiasm was the E we partied on. By chance I got a bit part at various race venues, the CC and Rod and Custom Shows to promote that. We all dreamed the scene would get bigger and better. It sure got bigger, but splits in clubs, venues and promoters made you wonder whether it was better, for race and rods separated and did their own thing. Lots of folks just drifted away.
I think this weekend righted all that. Sure, both have separate identities, but together they make a hell of a show and loads of the old faces I saw there want more of the same please. Hats off to Brian, Stu and Keith. To quote the shirt a lot of folks wore: "Old guys rule".
Happy 75th Arthur!
20th July: Nigel Taylor writes that Arthur Bonner, builder of the Detroit Spinner Prefect back in the 1970s, turns seventy five today:
Detroit Spinner sponsors,supporters and friends would like to wish Arthur a very Happy Birthday and appreciate all the recent work which he has put in to get his car back out this year.
Arthur brought the Prefect for £20 many years ago and built the whole car in his back garden, then he campaigned it at Blackbushe, Long Marston and Santa Pod as well as a few others, including abroad, for many years. Arthur rolled the car at Long Marston a few years later and ended up building a new chassis to return yet again under the Pontiac power.
The car was then sat up in Arthur's shed at the bottom of his garden for twenty years until Detroit Spinner Racing sponsors got together to fund its return in 2014 with Arthur still in the driving seat (most of the time). His enthusiasm has been faultless!
In 2015 the Pontiac engine let go, and a move to a Dart motor was decided. We were all ready to go with the new motor at the start of this year when a problem occured which meant we had to change the crank, cam, lifters etc. Again Arthur's work was faultless but as we rushed to get ready for Dragstagia we had it running all spot on, then one gasket let us down. So we had to pull out to prevent wrecking the motor.
We now aim for the NSRA Hot Rod Drags with Arthur back at the wheel. Dedicated hard working drag racing nut Mr Bonner... Happy Birthday top man! You know you're still twenty one years old when you're behind the wheel of your old car and it will happen again very soon. Thanks again to everyone who has been involved in the project.
Bug Jam racer update.
19th July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding details of the arrangements for this weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway:
Thursday 21st July
10:00 Gates open
21:00 Gates close
Friday 22nd July
09:00 Gates open for the duration of the event
12:00 Track opens for RWYB (DVLC licences only)
14:00 Scrutineering commences, no class order NB Please note change from Final Instructions
19:00 Track closes
Saturday 23rd July
08:30 Signing on opens (Competition licences required for race sign-on)
08:30 Scrutineering commences, no class order
09:30 Track opens for RWYB
15:00 RWYB ends
16:00 Qualifying commences
Sunday 24th July
08:00 Signing on opens (Competition licences required for race sign-on)
08:00 Scrutineering commences, no class order
10:00 Quallifying and eliminations commence
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 and Junior Funny Car racers please remember the new rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
As well being made by pit marshals and via the PA, class call-outs will also be made on-line via App.net, which is available on both the App Store for iPhone and the Play Store for Android. To receive class call-outs on smartphone download App.net, follow the instructions to create an account, then search for and follow the SPRC channel. You will then start to receive notifications as messages are sent. It is recommended that you download the app and follow the SPRC account prior to the event so that you start to receive notifications for the first round of qualifying. The app relies on mobile network or wi-fi so you will need some kind of connection throughout the weekend for it to work.
19th July: Congratulations to the winners of the classes contested at the weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway:
Cannonball: Ramon van der Weurf 6.4263/212.09 def. Nick Davies 6.6121/223.40
Cannonball 3rd-4th: Bob Glassup 7.5356/162.47 def. Jim Draper 8.8667/113.63
Slingshot Showdown: Joe Bond 6.7571/210.82 def. Jon Webster 9.0892/80.51
Nostalgia Super Stock: Lee Chiles (11.21) 11.1781/121.39 def. Nic Williams (9.98) 9.9687/129.89 DQ red
Gasser Circus:Ray Turner (12.50) 12.6144/104.67 def. Ray Irish (11.39) 11.3617/116.71 DQ red
Outlaw Anglia: Jedd Guy 8.0177/164.85 def. Cliff Griffin no time broke
Wild Bunch Top 4: Alan Loten, Keith Crampton, Liz Malcolm, Terry Clifford
We await the Outlaw Street result.
Visiting firemen Ron Hope and Randy Bradford in the Rat Trap and Bradfords Fiat Fuel Altereds were not afraid to take on the local boys and the results of those races were:
Ramon van der Weurf 64327/208.86 def. Ron Hope 7.6830/133.62
Nick Davies 6.7126/223.29 def. Randy Bradford 6.5059/219.30
Randy Bradford 6.4063/234.08 def. Ramon van der Weurf 6.4893/208.02 (win margin 0.0009 seconds, 3.7 inches)
Nick Davies 6.5992/220.16 def. Ron Hope 6.5378/231.66
Final Fuel Altered match race: Randy Bradford 6.5278/220.06 def. Ron Hope 6.5765/223.66
Congratulations to Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Nic Williams who took the £75 Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.0004 Reaction Time in Nostalgia Super Stock eliminations. Congratulations also to the Special Award winners:
Low ET: 6.1868 seconds, Steph Milam, Cannonball
Best Appearing Car: Ian Merryweather, Banzai altered
Moment of the Weekend: Phil Moules and Richard Warburton, Willys Wars
Bike Moment of the Meeting: The return to the track of Pegasus
Best Appearing Team: Roy Wilding, Supercharged Outlaws slingshot
Best Burnout: Andy Hadfield Twister, Supercharged Outlaws
Best Wheelie: Gerry Treit, Willys Wars
Best Driving Job: Matt Cooper, Outlaw Anglia
Best Back-up Girl: Alison, Raphael Caruso Strudel Outlaw Flat Four
Spirit of Dragstalgia: Claire Meaddows, Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator
The first recipient of the Spirit of '76 Award posted by Peter Crane and Santa Pod Raceway was British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury to whom congratulations.
Congratulations are also due to Joe Bond who reset the best for a British-built blown-alcohol slingshot at 6.692 seconds, to the Allard Chrysler Action Group for the return to the track under its own power of the Allard Chrysler Dragster (left), and to UK legends and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame members Harold Bull and Ken Cooper for taking to the track in their slingshots.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored pit notes and photo galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, and courtesy of Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe you can check out the official timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Finally on a domestic matter we would like to thank everyone who got in touch about or commented on the Event Coverage and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast (which attracted 18,000 viewers). The new DowntimeCam featuring the Nitro FM studio proved very popular, even when it was Oz on camera, and will now be a regular feature should there be downtime. Tog would also like to say a personal Thank You to Kirstie, Simon and Julian for their unceasing hard work on photography and pit notes throughout the three days of the event.
James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway writes: "I'd like to say a massive Thanks to everyone involved with Dragstalgia including all the SPR staff and marshals. Every single role is crucial in keeping an event running so thanks to everyone who put in a shift in some pretty tough conditions. I'd also like to thank all of the racers and teams who pull out all the stops for this event every single year, it's often the little touches like dressing up that make all the difference and you guys really do put on one hell of a show. My only request would be for more of the same for next year please!"
19th July: Michelle, Jay, mum, dad and everyone at Orange Pop Racing asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow. "Happy Birthday Simon, have a fantastic day", they say.
Editor's note: Apologies for the lack of a news update yesterday; your News Editor had to deal with an emergency in his non-racing life. Don't fret, it's not health- or maritally-related. Please keep the news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll catch up on the next news update.
17th July: The Eurodragster.com team are at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you all the news from Dragstalgia in association with John Woolfe Racing.
Our coverage will consist of Simon's pit notes updated throughout each day of the event and a gallery of Kirstie's and Julian's photographs at the end of each day. The Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast will broadcast live video and commentary / Nitro FM audio so long as the track is open each day, commencing with today's Run What You Brung which is scheduled to start at 12:00 midday. Thanks to Doyousee.me for the provision of streaming services. Please ensure that you read, understand and accept the conditions on the webcam landing page before clicking through to the broadcast.
You can check out our Dragstalgia Event Index, which also includes links to the official entry list and provisional running orders, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
17th July: Geoff Stilwell writes on behalf of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame to wish a very Happy 45th Wedding Anniversary to Ron and Dianne Hope. Dianne is with Ron at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. A very Happy Anniversary to you guys.
Pat Johnson's funeral.
16th July: Many thanks to Steve Johnson for passing on details of the funeral of the late Pat Johnson.
Pat's funeral will take place at 2:30 pm on Wednesday 27th July at Wessex Vale Crematorium, Bubb Lane, West End, Southampton SO30 2HL (map).
Steve says that the dress code is "Loud. No black, no flowers, all donations to the Cats' Protection Gosport. The undertakers are Freemantle and their phone number is 07769 314741.
"All are invited to a get-together for food and DRINKS at the Solent Hotel and Spa, Rookery Avenue, Whiteley, Fareham PO15 7AJ (map). Their phone number is 01489 880000."
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame 2016.
16th July: The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame in association with US Automotive continues into its tenth successful year and is pleased to announce the 2016 intake. Nominees are eligible by dint of having raced, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing in any capacity, having been involved for at least twenty years, or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport.
The 2016 inductees are:
PAULA MARSHALL Profile by Tog
Paula Marshall became interested in drag racing in 1986, attending races with a group of family and friends including then-boyfriend Ian Marshall whom she later married. Paula and Ian soon volunteered to work at events at Santa Pod Raceway and starting in 1989 Paula filled almost every possible role at the track, from working in the Signing On office at both race events and Run What You Brungs, to marshalling in the pairing lanes and collection area, to working on the fire crew. She started to race at the 1996 Cannonball at Santa Pod Raceway, making test runs in Jon Webster's Comet before driving her own car, the Highlander Camaro, in Super Gas.
In 1998 Paula became Secretary of Santa Pod Racers Club. At that point she had no experience of the organisation of UK and European Championship events but she was a quick learner and equally quickly earned the respect of racers and authorities both for her efficiency and for a no-nonsense approach which became legendary. In a sport in which many people think that they know everything, Paula genuinely did know everything. Whether obscure questions about rules, or queries from UK racers wishing to compete overseas or overseas racers wishing to compete here, Paula knew the form and was always ready to inform, to assist, and to deliver.
Paula played a leading role in the formation of the current UK National Drag Racing Championship, whose first season was contested in 1999, forging links between Clubs whose relationship had historically been uneasy. The UK National Championship is administered by Santa Pod Racers Club and as well as working on regulations and paperwork on behalf of both SPRC and APIRA, she also organised the annual UK National Championships Dinner Dance. She was one of the first to realise the potential of the internet and in 1999 set a precedent for providing event entry lists and notices to racers for publication on-line.
Paula continued to race until the end of the 2000 season before stepping out of the car to have daughter Holley, who now races and who also assists Ian both with SPRC administration and marshalling at race events. Paula returned to the track when Holley was a few years old to contest a few events in Super Modified before finally hanging up her firesuit and concentrating on her duties as Club Secretary.
Paula was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, and although she faced up to the disease with her characteristic toughness she passed away on the evening of 6th January 2013. There were tributes from all over the planet to the Club Secretary, the racer, the wife, the mother, the daughter, the sister, and the friend. The sport as a whole in the UK and Europe, and all of us as individuals, will be forever in debt to Paula Marshall for her hard work, for her friendship, and for the lifetime of dedication and service to the sport for which she is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
ROB LOARING Profile by Simon Groves
Rob Loaring is one of the most versatile and accomplished engineers in European drag racing. Working as ICE Automotive from premises at Silverstone, he has won six UK Pro Modified Championships as Crew Chief or tuner, created a highly-respected engine building business, fostered the introduction of new class regulations into the sport in the UK and built and run some of the sport's best performing and spectacular race cars.
Rob was in his late teens when he first ventured to Santa Pod with the Draper Brothers, carrying out minor roles on their first few cars. He then acquired a dragster from them which became his grounding as a Crew Chief and tuner.
In the mid-eighties Rob made the momentous decision to work in drag racing for a living. The name ICE Automotive was coined as it was a suitable length to place on his customers' hood scoops and fenders. The initials stand for Internal Combustion Engine. Pro Modified had just started by 1988 and Rob had an opportunity to work with Tim Cook on his '56 Chevy and, later, a smaller '55 Chevy. The class' technology was growing quickly, albeit solely with nitrous engines, and the pair won winning the Championship in 1990 and 1991. Rob then joined with Tony Rose, who in July 1993 ran the first six-second pass by a European doorslammer, for two years. Subsequently they both took the 1994 Pro Mod Championship. A further collaboration, with Dave Mingay in 1995, gave Rob his fourth Pro Mod title.
Rob teamed up with current business partner Nick Davies in 1997, the pair winning the Championship in 1999 and 2000 with Nick driving. He drew up plans for a heads-up doorslammer class which would be more affordable and yet be highly competitive - Super Modified. The class was an instant hit and fields of eight cars were common during its ten-year reign.
During recent years Rob has developed turbo engines for Pro Mod and Street Eliminator and built the iconic Havoc Altered, which he and Nick memorably raced against the legendary US Fuel Altered Pure Hell at Santa Pod Raceway's 2014 Dragstalgia. Rob also turned his attention to Nostalgia Funny Cars and built the superb Apache for Tim Garlick and Perry Antoniou, and also found time to help with the recent restoration work on the Allard Chrysler dragster.
It is for his continued determination to pursue engineering excellence and influence drag racing's development in the UK, along with his willingness to help others that Rob Loaring is being inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
SANTA POD RACEWAY Profile by Robin Jackson
The history of Santa Pod Raceway began when John Bennett announced plans to establish a permanent drag strip on Podington airfield, near Wellingborough at the British Hot Rod Association's 1965 Annual Meeting. A new company, National Dragways Ltd, leased part of the airfield and operated it as Santa Pod Raceway – "Santa" to evoke visions of Santa Ana, scene of California's first commercial drag race in 1950, and "Pod" for Podington. The founding directors were Bennett, Bob and Roy Phelps, Ted Peddle and landowner Ernie Braddock.
Staging its first event on Easter Monday 11th April 1966, it was the first permanent drag strip sited anywhere in Europe. For the first two seasons, the start line stood close to where today's finish line is located, the current track layout being completed at the start of 1968. It is impossible to overstate the importance of Santa Pod to the history of British drag racing, and arguably European drag racing as well. To every UK legend of the sport, Santa Pod has been the cradle. And visitors from the homeland of drag racing have been in evidence from the beginning.
In June 1966 a team billed as the American Commandos headlined one of the earliest meetings. Led by Al Eckstrand it included the Ultra-Sonic AA/Fuel Dragster driven by Bud Barnes plus the eccentric biker EJ Potter, The Michigan Madman. Bud returned in 1967. Since then, the numerous American luminaries to have graced the track have included Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy, who together gave Britain its first, thrilling experience of full-tilt US Funny Cars in 1973. Don Garlits raced at Santa Pod in 1976 and 1977. Other American stars include Ken Annesley, Marion Owens, T C Christenson and Danny Johnson on their bikes; Sammy Miller and Al Eierdam with their rockets; Raymond Beadle, Gordie Bonin, Tony Nancy, Frank Hawley, Tommy Johnson Jnr, Darryl Gwynn, Leroy Chadderton, Dale Emery, Gene Snow, Don Prudhomme and Al Segrini with their fuel dragsters and Funny Cars. And let's not forget Melanie Troxel in her Pro Mod. Scandinavian racers became a regular and valued addition to the ranks as early as 1970. At this year's FIA / FIM Main Event, no fewer than sixteen continental European countries were represented. Entrants from further afield have ranged from South African Arthur Christie who raced a fuel dragster on the track in 1971, to 2016's début European appearance of a competitor from the thriving Arabian Drag Racing League, Pro Mod racer Hussain al Shammari of Kuwait.
Santa Pod Raceway has been run by three distinct management teams in its half-century of history. After John Bennett stood down in 1969, the Phelps family assumed full control, with Roy Phelps accepting sole charge after father Bob retired in 1983. Don Brister and Bo Meftah acquired the venue in 1989 and the current team, led by Keith Bartlett, took over in 1996. For fifty years of continuous, and sometimes challenging, operation Santa Pod Raceway has served as the bedrock and the heartland of drag racing in Europe. It is for this signal and abiding achievement that Santa Pod Raceway is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
BOB KEITH Profile by Brian Taylor
Although perhaps not so well-known as some American drag racers, semi-professional Bob Keith played an instrumental role in establishing the sport in Great Britain. But his drag racing exploits started like many Californians back in the day when his father gave him a cherry 1940 Ford as his 1955 graduation present. That led to the next 20 years of his life being spent at drag strips across the USA driving a variety of vehicles.
His influence on drag racing across the globe leaped to a different level when in the early 1960s he became one of the first American drag racers to contact Sydney Allard in the UK after reading about his exploits in developing the Allard Chrysler in American magazines.
Regular correspondence (hand-written letters in those days) resulted in Sydney insisting that Bob be included in the National Hot Rod Association team that launched the sport in the UK during the 1964 Allard-promoted six-race Drag Festival. Still just semi-professional, but now with a blown Small Block Chevy motor in a Tommy Ivo chassis and called Dos Palmas, he found himself in the company of America's top drag racing stars of the era. What a thrill.
He sold his car to a UK team, helping them learn the techniques to get the power to the ground. The machine went on to play an important role in establishing drag racing in the UK during the next few years under the name Asmodeus, then in the hands of American Bill Weichelt who took the dragster back to the USA. Bob managed to track down this car in later years and Ray Evernham financed its restoration to original condition.
Bob captained the American team that raced at Blackbushe and Woodvale in the 1965 Drag Festival. By this time the Small Block had been replaced with a blown Chrysler in a Kent Fuller chassis. The following year, with a Big Block Chevy, Bob captained a team which visited Australia. This car too has been recreated and Bob is recognised as playing an important role in developing drag racing in Australia. He met his wife Lee there and they married in 1967.
Bob kept in contact with many UK pioneers during the years that followed and returned to the country several times. He was very involved in the research for Crazy Horses – The history of British Drag Racing. Sadly he passed away during the summer of 2015, but he remembered the period between 1964 and 1966 as the highlight of his career. It is for his involvement in launching drag racing into the UK in 1964 and 1965 that Bob is being inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Members of the Hall of Fame receive a 'Bootsie', a trophy encapsulating an image of the late Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge, a man who put so much into British drag racing, together with an exclusive commemorative pin. They join the élite list of inductees from previous years and will be listed on the official British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the British Hall of Fame link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The Hall of Fame trophies will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow on 19th November. 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. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is sponsored by Beech Underwriting, USAutomotive, Santa Pod Racers Club, Mintex, Pennine Drag Racing Club, Eurodragster.com, Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway, Santa Pod Raceway, York Raceway, Lucas Oil Products UK, International Organization of Professional Drivers Ltd; The National Street Rod Association, Aptitude, Atlantic Fluid Tech Ltd and Rat Trap Racing
Trophy picture courtesy and ©Ian Messenger
More tributes to Pat Johnson.
15th July: We have received more tributes to the late Pat Johnson to add to those published here on Tuesday.
Dave Crunkhorn (aka Crunch) says "I was shocked to hear of the death of Pat on Monday. Pat and Steve have been there right from the beginning of Super Pro ET. Many mad nights in the pits after racing had ended, that laugh that you could hear from a distance and you knew it was Pat. Pat was Steve's soul mate, best pal, we will all miss her! My condolences to Steve, I'm so sorry bud, if you need me for anything just give me a shout mate."
Stephen and Pat Talbot write "It's taken a long time to write this... We were devastated to hear about Pat passing so suddenly. Pat and Steve have always been always great company, fantastic hosts and above all else a great racing team. We will always remember Pat for her natural warmth and generosity – nothing was ever too much trouble. Our hearts go out to you Steve – we can only imagine how you feel. Please accept our condolences - and of course, love always."
John and Maxine Everitt of Team Alien express their heartfelt condolences to Steve on such sad and shocking news. "Pat was such a lovely, lovely lady, it's unbelievable she will be so missed. Our thoughts and love are with you Steve."
15th July: On behalf of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Geoff Stilwell asked us to congratulate Sharon and Bob Muravez on the birth of their grandson Paul Hikaru Muravez (Floyd Lippencotte Jr) who was born on 21st June and weighed in at 7 lbs 10 oz. Bob and the original Floyd will be appearing at the autograph signing in the Historic Marquee at 13:00 tomorrow.
Don't forget that this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced here on Eurodragster.com at midnight UK tonight (Friday-Saturday).
15th July: The Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team led the point standings going into last weekend's FHRA Nitro Nationals continuing a season which has had its ups and downs. Two races, two number one qualifying spots, one event win and one with an early semi-final exit.
The weather outlook for the weekend was not good with rain expected to disturb qualifying but that changed, unfortunately not for the better. All four rounds of qualifying were completed in dry and warm conditions, but on race day the event was called early due to inclement weather with no elimanation runs completed.
Jimmy made four consistent and quick qualifying runs and ended up in the #2 qualifying spot. "We're OK with that", he said, "we were #4 here last year and ran with a different approach this year which took us up to #2. We had the fastest speed in all four qualifying rounds which indicates that we could run better elapsed times, we felt we had a good race day tune-up".
Jimmy leaves Alastaro with a lead of thirty one points, less than two round wins in front of Bengt Ljungdahl in second place.
Jimmy of course would like to express his gratitude to all his sponsors: Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Exclusive Cars, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuels, and X Parts. The next event for the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team is the NitrOlympX at the Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Qualifying starts on Friday morning, 19th August.
The Fugitive breaks cover.
14th July: Matthew Wright of Eurodragster.com sponsors Wemoveyourcar.com and WobbleBox Hire has been in touch to confirm that last week's "I spy" pictures of what was pretty obviously a slingshot dragster were shots of his new ride.
At first glance the picture below left seems to show a slingshot with the top of the motor yet to be installed, yet look closer at the picture below right and you will see that that the complete engine is in place - that engine being a Rolls Royce Gem turbine previously used to power a Lynx helicopter.
"I got the inspiration from Tim Arfons' Green Monster 19", Matt told Eurodragster.com. "I fancied doing something different and I saw that car. I was having a slingshot built for my fiftieth birthday so I asked Bill Felstead to modify it to accommodate the turbine. And I told him that he had six weeks to do it! Bill had to rebuild the car. He saved the safety cell but had to extend the wheelbase to 220 inches.
"The Gem makes up to 1200 horsepower and turns a gearbox which can turn an axle. We are in the process of modifying a TH400, if that works then we'll use a Powerglide to get a reduction in first gear. The rear axle is a Ford nine-inch. The air intake is in front of me, i.e. at the back, and the huge exhaust is at the front! I am talking to Roger Goring about installing a flame show on the exhaust."
The dragster, named The Fugitive - "Wanted for crimes against the piston engine" - has been started once so far and testing will commence shortly, before a planned visit to the NitrOlympX. "To get it off the start line you idle it to sixty per cent holding it on the brake, bring the throttle up until it won't hold and then you have to launch!", said Matt. "Tim Arfons runs direct drive but it doesn't sixty foot. On paper the car should run in the sevens but we are looking for eights to start with."
You will be able to take a look at The Fugitive on display at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway where Matt will also be running his Outlaw Rolls Royce which is now toting a twin-turbo 711 ci motor.
Matt asked us to thank Bill Felstead for building the car, Nigel Storer of Precious Metals for sponsorship and help, Lee Revill, Dave Reed, Christian Carlo, and his long-suffering wife and daughters Danielle, Stevie Jane and Summer Louise.
NitrOlympX: Important racer notice.
14th July: NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey has been in touch with an important message for racers intending to compete in Super Pro ET, Pro ET and Junior Dragster at that event:
Although we have not enforced the clause (in German and English) in our yearly invitations for the last three seasons, we must ask that all racers in Super Pro ET, Pro ET and Junior Dragster submit two time slips from events this season. This is due to the tremendous number of entries we have received to date.
As you all know, the NitrOlympX is not a four day event and in order to stick to our very tight schedule,we must limit the numbers in the three largest sportsman classes. We use your time slips to choose those who run closest to their given index in order to give our spectators the best field of cars in these classes.
If you have already sent in your entry form but did not read the clause in the invitation then please send your time slips by the fastest possible method to ensure that they arrive by the closing date of Monday 25th July. You may use time slips from the same event if you do not have an assortment from several events.
I will be attending Dragstalgia this weekend until about 14:00 on Sunday so you may want to give me your time slips direct, or even give me your time slips from Dragstalgia.
14th July: All-star autograph sessions during Dragstalgia will afford drag racing enthusiasts an opportunity to meet some of the sport's past heroes and heroines, and will maintain the event's on-track transatlantic flavour.
The autograph sessions will feature two significant figures from American drag racing history. The name Tom Hoover will also spark happy memories for British fans from the 1980s. The visiting US Funny Car star and his Showtime cars were a Santa Pod fixture throughout that decade and his legacy lives on with today's Bob Jarrett / John Spuffard Showtime entry. Joining Tom Hoover on Saturday only is Bob Muravez, the legendary Top Gas Dragster racer of the 1960s, notably at the wheel of John Peters' twin-engined Freight Train, and nowadays an occasional campaigner on America's Nostalgia drag racing scene. Famously, many of Muravez's Top Gas victories were registered to his nom de guerre, Floyd Lippencotte Jr, after severe parental disapproval of his burgeoning racing career obliged him to adopt a pseudonym.
Alongside the two Americans, important names from Britain's drag racing past are expected to include Gerry Andrews, Allan Bates (Sunday only), Harold Bull, Russ Carpenter, Peter Crane, Roz Prior, Bill Sherratt and Brian Sparrow.
The autograph sessions are scheduled for 1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday and will take place in the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame marquee located near Santa Pod's pitside grandstand. The marquee also houses a display of historic and Nostalgia drag racing vehicles, with Hall of Fame managers on hand to explain the organisation's aims and activities.
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame was founded in 2006 to recognise and celebrate the contributions of individuals and organisations central to the sport's UK history. This year's roster of new inductees will be announced during Dragstalgia here on Eurodragster.com at tomorrow / midnight Friday/Saturday. Since 2014, the induction ceremony has taken place during the Hall of Fame's black-tie Gala Awards Dinner, to be held this year on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow Airport. Further news about the Hall of Fame, and information on obtaining Gala tickets, can be found at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.
14th July: UK Wild Bunch racer Bob Hawkins always knew that Dragstalgia was going to be a busy time for the Time Traveller team:
For the first time ever we've got two blown alky slingshots entered for a meeting. Young gun Tom Hawkins will be making his and the new blown Time Traveller 1's competition début with the awesome Wild Bunch. As for myself, I'm going heads up with Time Traveller 2 in Dragstalgia's first ever Slingshot Showdown.
I'm a bundle of nerves already! It was touch and go if we would be ready in time. A huge amount of work was needed to rebuild our Thunder Mouse 434 ci motor which had hydraulicked earlier this year. However, at last, we're good to go and we can't wait! A huge Thank You goes out to Crew Chief Dave Williams and all of our crew, especially my brother Ted, for all their efforts. We wouldn't even be there without you guys.
To all: good luck, go fast and stay safe.
The Empire strikes back.
13th July: Havoc Fuel Altered pilot Nick Davies has been in touch prompted by fellow Fuel Altered racer Ron Hope's comments in Monday's news update. Before Nick gets to this week's Dragstalgia he has some background:
At Dragstalgia in 2014, owing to unfortunate circumstances the Havoc Austin Bantam was given the opportunity to run with the world-famous Pure Hell Bantam of Rich Guasco, driven by Brian Hope of the Rat Trap Hope family. It transpired that for the Havoc team it was one of those runs that you get now and again when everything seems to come together... everything, that is, except the fact that the car in the other lane drove off into the distance in the back half of the track. Who actually won the race that day was academic. The extra power that Pure Hell had was not.
"Come on back, and we'll put it on fuel" was the adrenaline-fuelled offer to the Hope family from the Havoc team as a superficial incentive to try to get a re-run of that extraordinary afternoon. Roll the clock on eighteen months and a phone call from the Santa Pod executive: "Remember what you said? Well, they're coming!"
So, instead of dropping the compression and changing the blower, out went the Chevy and in went the Hemi Chrysler Donovan which had served so well in the Chaos altered, with a number of modifications. Limited testing has proven so far so good, now here we are again at Dragstalgia. It goes without saying that thanks are due to Ron and Brian Hope and to Stuart Bassett for coming back and giving us the incentive to make the switch, added to the carrot of a potential world tour of our own. Thanks also to Santa Pod Raceway and to Randy Bradford for making the 50th Anniversary meeting one to look forward to with great anticipation.
It only remains to be said to Ron Hope that we appreciate the tip about the nitro percentage. We really hadn't appreciated that you could run more than 100%. Oh, you thought we could run that quickly in testing on a lower percentage? That's a big compliment! Remember we're the new boys here, so go easy on us my friend. That having been said we are on our home track, with home support, so when you unload everything just make sure you've both packed your A-game. Because, if everything goes to plan, you're gonna need it...
Dragstalgia: The Ever-Presents.
13th July: Eurodragster.com Pit Reporter Simon has been working hard researching and identifying potential Event Coverage victims for this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway, and made a couple of interesting discoveries along the way:
Looking at the entry list, there are eighty eight racers making their Dragstalgia on-track début at this year's event. And there are no less than eighteen racers who, assuming that they sign on this weekend, will have attended all six runnings of Dragstalgia. The Dragstalgia Ever-Present List is:
A Perfect bonus for Dragstalgia.
13th July: We are very pleased to announce that Cath and Tig Napier of the UK's Bad Habit Racing Pro ET team, who sponsor the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award, have again requested that we post the Award at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the SPRC Summernationals, and will be paid in cash to the first person at this weekend's event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to all, whether in the organised classes or Run What You Brung, 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 £100 for next week's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Bug Jam.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried, although we understand that this may not be possible on period-correct vehicles. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office from Friday morning or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
Russia's EDRS début.
13th July: The weekend's rained-out FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro made history as the first European series race with a Russian participant.
Russia's current national ET and speed record holder Dmitry Samorukov of the SMP Racing / Dragtimes team took #1 qualifying spot in Top Doorslammers, part of the European Drag Racing Series, with a 4.128/270.69 kmh over the eighth mile. Dmity's Dodge Viper DT is Russia's quickest and fastest car and participates in 2016 Russian Drag Racing Championship. Famous driver and tuner Adam Flamholc and the Flamholc Racing team are responsible for the preparation of the race car for national and international competitions.
"All of the cars ran as we hoped during qualifying except for Mats Eriksson's car", says tuner Adam Flamholc. "David Vegter qualified number two in Pro Mod, Thomas Stiefel number four, Mats number eight, Håkan Persson number nine and Dmitry as number one in his Top Doorslammer!
"In the first round of eliminations we finally got Mats' car to go, and he won with low ET of the round. David and Thomas also turned on the win-light. Unfortunately it started to rain just after Pro Mod ran, and they decided to cancel the event. So Dmitry never made any runs on Sunday, but I'm very satisfied with both his and the whole team's performance.
"Now I have one weekend off, then its time for my son Mattias and daughter Isabell to run their Junior Dragsters in Malmo."
Boot the Street Racer Champion.
13th July: Chris Murty writes that the The 39th Annual Street Racer Championship took place at York Raceway on 3rd July and that a large field of passionate and enthusiastic racers competed for the £1000 winner-takes-all prize:
Regular PDRC Championship racing took place on the Saturday of the race weekend with the Sunday now dedicated to the Street Racer Championship for the second year running, in response to the re-emerging desire and commitment shown by racers to achieve the title Street Racer Champion. Such is the allure of the Street Racer Championship that not only had racers worked hard before the event but on Saturday night and Sunday morning the pits were alive with racers toiling on their cars to ensure they had the best shot at the title. Some racers made small tweaks, whilst others went as far as a near-complete engine rebuild.
The Street Racer Championship final was as always the last run of the day, and as the finalists waited at the top of the pairing lanes racers and crews stopped what they were doing to join spectators to watch. The finalists were Simon Boot in the big, black, blown Bootlegger Camaro and Ian Walley in his turbo small-block powered Cortina. Ian had experienced engine problems during the weekend and had been running the car on a fairly safe tune in the mid-tens. He had qualified third and his experience as a drag racer saw him through the early rounds of racing and a semi-final bye into the final.
Simon, who was in strong nine-second form and had qualified number one, met previous Street Racer Champion Russ Pursley in his Small Block powered Dutton in his semi-final. Russ had achieved Low ET of the event with a 9.94 in the previous round. Russ spun the tyres off the line but shortly afterwards Simon's Camaro shed its blower belt. Russ pedalled and charged after him but couldn't quite make it. Simon's 10.82/126 was enough to cover Russ' closing 10.84/139.
As the two finalists took to the track in the deciding round Simon impressed the crowds with a huge rolling burnout, clearly demonstrating his intent, with Ian adopting a much more measured approach. Would the blower belt stay on the Camaro? Would Ian take the plunge and add just a little more boost for the final? There was no long burndown in pre-stage, both drivers keen to get the race underway. The cars left the line together but Simon had taken the early lead by sixty feet. He stretched the lead out all the way down the track, crossing the finish line ahead of Ian by several car lengths to take the 39th Street Racer Championship title.
As has become traditional, the finalists returned down the track to the start-line for the presentation of the winner's laurel, bubbly, prize money and huge trophy. Thanks to Street Racer Championship sponsors Blue Bar Catering, The Turbo Shop, KC's Hot Rod'n'Race Shop, Performance Unlimited and the PDRC, and to Aford Awards, York Raceway's official trophy partner.
Smax scores a win.
13th July: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith and the Leverich family rode the wave from Grand Bend, where the team recorded their first four-second quarters and a new best speed of 295 mph, to Smax' local track Cayuga Dragway where he took the win and reset his PB ET. Smax recounts the tale of another successful weekend:
Gary and Bob drove to the track on Friday morning to meet Aidan, Jake and Josh who were ready to service the car from last weekend. Dan like me had to work his day job! I forgot to mention in the last race report that when we hurt our block we had also cracked our crank and good friend Barry Paton let me take a crank out of his spare motor so we could race against him last Sunday. We ween't going to run until 5:00 pm on Saturday so had plenty of time to build our freshly repaired block from Engine Technology and build a spare pair of heads. Gary was still perfecting the tune up working with Aaron Grant to get more fuel in down track and fine tune our timing curve. We partied on Friday night with our local band Doghouse Roses in the start line bar (yes, it really is on the start line) then called it a nite at 3:00 am ready for race day.
I mixed the nitro and I was ready, hoping to go over 300 mph. We raced terry haddock who to our delight brought over great friends Dave Bryant and his missus, and Lee Webb from the Shockwave team who were helping Terry to run his Funny Car as well as his dragster! Dave was happy as I made him a cup of proper English tea. Aidan got the car to the startline and got me dressed and strapped in ready to fire up in front of a capacity crowd. Aidan motioned me forward and dropped his hand for me start our fierce burnout.
Staged against Terry, I was away first and rocketed towards the quarter for the win but our blower belt broke at 1200 feet. So I was slowing but when Aidan and Ronan came to get me they were screaming 4.84! 4.84! That's my best ever, I ran 4.88 in Norway twelve years ago, but the speed was 297 mph - slowing! We ran 4.11 to 1000 feet so probably a 4.79 at around 310 mph had the belt not broken. I also ran 260 mph to the eighth in 3.2 seconds! The crowd went wild as ours was now the quickest and fastest car.
We were all adrenaline fuelled for the late night run in hopefully better air. We also had Todd Paton again in the final, I wanted to beat him after he beat us last weekend, and I wanted to better my 303 mph run at Santa Pod in 2003. Burned out, thanks to Audrey who did a stellar job backing us up in the cold trying not to choke on all the nitro fumes and also trying to follow Aidan's direction. But the crowd loved her boots. Waited for Todd to pre-stage but they were having idling issues and took almost a minute to stage. If it had been a race I would have had to have staged and timed them out as we were burning up too much nitro. I got the better reaction time and beat Todd to 1000 feet on a holeshot but then ran out of fuel and banged the burst panels. Coasted to the quarter with a win of a 5.04 to his 5.07 at only 260 mph. We were still ecstatic and had won our local Nitro Nationals!
We went back to dance the night away in the start line bar with the Doghouse Roses again. Then back to our pits and lit a fire. My youngest Az is a DJ and brought big speakers so played away to over forty people in our pit. Lee said he had a great time and I partied until 7:00 am while the kids carried on. A great weekend!
Web site updates.
13th July: Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has been in touch to let us know that day one, final qualifying, and elimination reports for the EDRS Pro Motorcycle classes are available on the Drag Racing Europe Blog. You can check out the day one report by clicking here, the final qualifying report by clicking here, and the elimination report by clicking here.
Remco has also posted two FHRA Nitro Nationals reports on the Autosport.nl web site. As ever there is a race report and an off-track report, both of which are excellent and well-illustrated for those who don't understand Dutch. You can check out Remco's race report by clicking here and the off-track report by clicking here.
12th July: UK Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones writes with a heavy heart to inform us of the death yesterday (Monday) of Pat Johnson, half of the UK's Motor Mouse Super Pro ET team with Steve Johnson, after complications arose during a hospital procedure.
Pat and Steve were inseparable at and away from the track and their long and happy relationship was reflected in a very successful racing career. We have very happy memories from the earliest days of Eurodragster.com of balmy evenings spent in the Super Pro ET pits sharing a laugh with Pat whose sense of humour was ever-present and refreshingly saucy.
"Everyone who knew Pat will be as devastated as I am", says Syd. "We can only imagine how Steve is feeling, as Pat was his life". Be assured of our love and support Steve, and our deepest sympathies both to Steve and to all of Pat's family and friends.
Paul Fischer writes "Wonderwoman personified. Pat was the centre of the social side of Super Pro by sheer personality, she didn't even have to work at it. Her warmth, magnetism, intelligence and super confidence just drew everyone to her and so, for many years, a wonderful track-side social life was enjoyed by many. Many of us considered Santa Pod as our second home, Pat was a major reason why. So sorry to learn we've lost her."
"Deepest condolences Steve, you're in our hearts and thoughts", say Steve and Babs Saunders. "Stay strong, take care."
Karl Harrison, the Harrison family and RKS team write "I can't believe I've had to read this. I only saw Pat and Steve a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, they stopped by our pits as we were unloading the Funny Car. All our love and best wishes to Steve and family."
Lisa Shone writes on behalf of Robin Shone and herself "I was sad last night when I heard the very sad news about a lady who made me laugh so hard I couldn't breath on many occasions whilst pitted next door. She was always a smiling bundle of joy and someone that had the happy factor. Pat was like Nutella on toast, scrummy, naughty and delightful. Both my and Robin's love to Steve, I don't want to say the normal stuff because he deserves more than that. Our love is all yours Steve, I'll say no more."
Fay Fischer says "Love and best wishes to Steve at this heart-wrenching time. Just want to reiterate everybody else's comments on Pat's warmth and humour by sharing a little story from fifteen or twenty years ago... Paul and I were fostering our first pair of children from Belarus, Irina and Anya - we had picked them up from Gatwick and more or less gone straight to Santa Pod. They had no English and at the time we had little Russian. I think the four of us were in shock! We were struggling to say the least until Pat stepped in to help. She didn't hesitate to give warm cuddles and smiles to the girls and instantly won them over. She was able to instantly lift the mood with her presence and it all made for a wonderful, if not different, weekend. Pat will be sadly missed."
Mark Flavell writes on behalf of himself and Ann, Craig, Big Steve, Mali and Andy "Laugh, I've nearly choked sharing a glass of wine and a good tale with a lady I think it's safe to say we all loved and admired. When Team Motor Mouse bowed out of Championship drag racing it left a big hole in the Super Pro pit. I can't even begin to imagine how Steve must be coping but believe me when I say from all of us at MFR we all thought the world of you both and we offer our heartfelt condolences at this terrible time. Lots of love mate."
Wayne Nicholson writes for himself, Belinda, Gareth and Joe "Life is far too short, way too short. Like many have said already a very warm person , and always a laugh... I can hear it now. What can you say, such a sad loss. Very warm wishes to you Steve , I can't imagine how you feel."
If you would like to send a tribute to Pat then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing the Fiat...
12th July: US Fuel Altered pilot Randy Bradford is excited about his first racing visit on this side of the Pond when the Bradford Fiat Topolino appears at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway.
As we have not seen Randy on these shores before we asked him for some background on the car and team.
"The Bradford family started racing in 1946", he said. "Brad Bradford and his father ran roadsters at the dry lakes during the late 40s and early 50s. In 1963 Randy Bradford (son) started racing with dad. The first Bradford and Son drag car was a 1940 Ford truck which was 327 Chevy powered. The next race car was a 1955 Chevy C Gasser which was run 1963-1966. This was a very competitive car and won many trophies at local drag strips in Southern California, and won a gold cup race at Fontana Raceway.
"Fuel Altered racing began in 1966 with the purchase of a car from Lee LeBaron. This car was powered by an injected 427 Chevy on nitro with best times in 1967 being 8.60/178. The injected car was a giant killer and they were runner up at three Fuel Altered shows in a row at Orange County Raceway and won many rounds at all the tracks. During late 1967, the local promoters of Fuel Altered shows put pressure on injected altereds to add superchargers and so the Bradford Fiat complied. This was also a success as Fuel Altered racing was at its peak in southern California.
"Randy was given the opportunity to join the army during half of 1968 and all of 1969 returning to drive March 1970. While Randy was in the army, Frank Harris drove for Brad and they were very successful winning three Fuel Altered meets in a row and many winning weekends during the year. They were runners up for the Bakersfield Smokers Meet in March 1969 against the winner Pure Hell. 1969 and 1970 were interesting years as the Bradford Fiat was called to run the East Coast tour with Pure Heaven, Rat Trap, Leroy Chadderton and Wild Willie Borsch. The team of Bradford & Son raced all over the country from May to September each year. In 1969 the race car was re-powered with a 392 Chrysler and with the use of better tyres and slipper clutches the Fiat kept competitive running a best of 7.06/209 winning a Fuel Altered show at Fremont.
"During 1972 it was obvious that the Fuel Altereds were fading and Funny Cars were taking over. Randy and Brad decided to build a Funny Car. This car was started but never finished partly due to the commitments and demands of family.
"In 1999, Brad and Randy began building a new replica of the original Fuel Altered. The new car was built to modern safety specifications, keeping the original classic look of the old car. The new car was completed Oct 2000 and first ran at the California Hot Rod Reunion.
"We now normally run between six and eight events a year from NHRA National events and Nostalgia events to match races with other Fuel Altereds and of course the California Hot Rod Reunion. To date we have run a best of 6.34/229.74. This year is our fiftieth anniversary of running the car and I am the last active Fuel Altered driver who drove in the 1960s."
Randy said that the team have had good reports about Santa Pod Raceway and about the local resistance group. "I heard wonderful people, a great racing track and lots of fun", he said. "We have seen and heard about Nick and the gang with Havoc and we are looking forward to a little international competition.
"To the fans I would say thanks for having us here. All of the crew and I want to meet and talk with everyone."
Randy asked us to say Thank You to sponsors Egge Machine (supply of engine parts for all types of antique motors), Riolo Racing Engines for advice and support, and his engine building shop Bradford's Motorsports as well as to his crew for all the work they do to make it possible, his ovely wife Susan Bradford, and Bob, Joann and Rachel Parker.
Editor's note: We heard from Havoc Fuel Altered pilot Nick Davies after Ron Hope's can-tipping recommendation yesterday and you will be able to read what Nick had to say on tomorrow's news update here on Eurodragster.com.
12th July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the MSA Pro Modified part of the entry list for the Mopar EuroNationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July. You can check out the Mopar EuroNationals Pro Modified and Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman entry lists by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman entry is still open and you can get the form from the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact Paul Marston by E-Mail at email@example.com or on the phone on 07831 650230.
Good luck to Eire's own Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald who is headed to Thunder Valley in Bristol, USA for the Eastern Conference Finals Junior Dragster race. "We are proudly representing Santa Pod Raceway at this event spread over a week", says Graham McDonald. "Thanks to Darren Prentice for the large Santa Pod 50th banner and a special Thank You to Halfscale Dragster for building Liam's car for this event". Graham promises more news to follow.
Darren Prentice writes that Santa Pod Raceway have fully replenished their stock of VP C16 race fuel and that it is waiting for racers in the Pod Shop at the track or pre-order at www.santapodshop.com. "As part of our ongoing partnership with VP Racing Fuels we have a new race fuel on offer, MS98L VP Vintage which is formulated for older vehicles which relied on lead for engine protection. VP Vintage is a leaded fuel with an octane rating of 98. It contains no ethanol and offers extra protection against detonation. It has a shelf life of up to two years in its original sealed container. Santa Pod Raceway are offering VP Vintage in a one-time deal of only £40 per 19L pail. When it's gone it's gone."
Timing and stats guru Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has updated his 'Spreadsheetosauruses' showing qualifying positions, results and round wins for all FIA Championship events after the FHRA Nitro Nationals. Marrs' tables are available on the Champions' Champions page which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Extra cash for UK Top Sportsman.
12th July: The organisers of Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman are very proud to announce that, as in 2015, there will be an extra cash bonus awarded to the winner of the Heads Up race. This extra prize money is over and above the cash which is usually awarded to the winner:
Once again we have entrepreneur businessman John Tebenham to thank. Due to his work schedule John simply cannot commit to competing at this time but he is prepared to invest his hard-earned cash into furthering heads-up doorslammer drag racing in the UK. JT provides a service to Sportsman drag racing which few hear about, by investing in its future. But without JT and the good work he does, and not just with us, the sport of drag racing would be the poorer.
The cash is in our account and ready to be awarded! Stay tuned to Eurodragster.com as there may well be another announcement regarding even more money.
Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman is held at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July and is the richest, toughest, no holds barred, no rules other than safety, Heads Up and Fast Bracket, televised Sportsman doorslammer event of the season. Everyone is welcome and entry is still open. Looking at the entry list so far, the event is still wide open with regard to whom you would pick as a favourite. Neither Friday's Fast Bracket Race nor Saturday's and Sunday's Heads Up Race has ever had a repeat winner.
For any further information, questions or an entry form visit the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact Paul by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone on 07831 650230.
Many thanks to all of our investors and marketing partners: Gearhead Garage, JT, Kenny Coleman at EDA, Gary Hall and the Damn Yankees ACC, Drag Race Engineering, London Road Tyres, Eurodragster.com, Santa Pod Raceway management and, last but by no means least, the organising committee of the Mighty Mopar EuroNationals inviting us and and for hosting Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman.
Dragstalgia racer update.
11th July: James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch with an important update for participants in this week's Dragstalgia:
Santa Pod Raceway's gates will be open to racers only between 09:00 and 20:00 sharp this Thursday (14th). Please do not travel to the track if you can't make it before that time, as you won't be able to get in. Gates then reopen at 08:00 on Friday.
We would also like to make a plea to all racers to keep vehicles in the pits to an absolute minimum. We have an enormous entry and we lose pit space due to the Big Top marquees being set up for Bug Jam. We will make space available for trailers outside the pits.
We would also like to request that those taking part only in the RWYB on Friday remove all of their vehicles from the pits and back into the camp sites once racing has finished on Friday to ensure that there is enough space for other competitors.
Message of Hope.
11th July: Rat Trap Fuel Altered racer Ron Hope and the team are looking forward to returning to Santa Pod Raceway for this weekend's Dragstalgia and to renewing their acquaintance with the fans.
Rat Trap last appeared at Santa Pod Raceway in 2014 and as well as Dragstalgia is scheduled to appear at this year's FIA / FIM European Finals and the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. Since Ron's last racing visit to the UK the team have attended three events in New Zealand, an event in Newfoundland, several events in Canada, and between twenty five and thirty events across the USA as well as finding time for Ron be named an Honoree at last year's NHRA Hot Rod Reunion. As well as appearances with Rat Trap Ron and the team contest five or six events annually with their Bonneville Land Speed Cars.
"Our events take us literally around the world", Ron told Eurodragster.com. "This year, in addition to our appearances at Santa Pod, we will be appearing in Canada and Germany. The events in Canada and Germany occur on the same day but we are able to run at both by fielding three identical cars. So I will be racing in Germany on the same day as my son Brian is racing in Canada. At the end of this year, we will be shipping one of the cars to New Zealand for three events during the early months of 2017."
Appearing at Santa Pod is a dream come true for Ron. "I love the opportunity of meeting and seeing all of the British fans", he said. "I have told the Bradfords to expect a wonderful race course and terrific fans. I am also love Santa Pod because it is an historic race track. Celebrating fifty years makes this event even more special to me. Rat Trap and Bradford's Fiat are also celebrating fifty years this year. I have been driving the car continuously for the past twenty one years and the joy of driving it has never changed. I may pay a bit more attention to things now than in years past, but the joy remains the same."
At Dragstalgia in 2014 the UK's own Nick Davies raced Havoc against Brian Hope in Pure Hell and Ron says that he would relish the chance to run against the Bantam especially since he heard that it is now toting a Fuel-burning motor and that Nick, Rob Loaring and the team made a 6.599 early shut-off look easy at the SPRC Summernationals. "In addition to being competitors, they are also true friends and we are excited at the possibility of racing them", he said. "The one piece of advice I would give to the Havoc team is that they should put a little more nitro in the tank, because they will need it."
As well as to Santa Pod Raceway Ron asked us to say a big Thank You to Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting and to Lucas Oil, and he had a final message for the fans. "We are very pleased to be returning to this international race venue and we look forward to the opportunity of meeting as many fans as possible", he said. "As a side note, we are leaving it up to Eurodragster.com to organise good weather for this event (OK Ron, leave it with us - Ed)."
11th July: We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today (Monday): please join Tog, Simon and Julian in wishing a very Happy Birthday to our Photographer and Sportsman ET racer Kirstie Tramm. We would also like to say Good Luck in her new job to Eurodragster.com Contributing Photographer and Heaven & Hell Racing and Earsplittenloudenboomer team member Grace Roaf. Hope it all goes OK Grace.
Web site updates.
11th July: Continuing the Nostalgia theme as Dragstalgia approaches, Dick Parnham has again updated his Flickr site this time with shots of Clive Skilton in Pro Fuel action in the early 1970s. You can check out Dick's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
FHRA Nitro Nationals rained out.
10th July: Today's eliminations at the FHRA Nitro Nationals were called mid-afternoon due to bad weather. The day, and the racing, started well but a thunderstorm and rain left race officials with no option but to call it.
Qualifying and results are available at www.fhra.fi/keskustelu/threads/7-10-7-2016-fhra-em-osakilpailu-nitro-nationals.485 and, courtesy of Speedgroup, post-event FIA European Championship points are available on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Our buddies at Speedgroup are posting end-day reports and pictures at www.dragracingeurope.eu and a daily gallery by Mika Frilander can be found at kuvia.1g.fi/kuvat/2016/FHRA/Nitro+Nationals.
Thanks to Lena Perés for letting us know that FIA Pro Modified and FIA Pro Stock were this weekend sponsored by Jarl Holm (right) and Island Race Cars. Jarl runs the race car business which specialises in doorslammers and sponsored the two classes with $500 to the #1 qualifier to promote Island Race Cars and Strange Engineering. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog together with a visit to the beach.
Dragstalgia's two-wheel stars.
10th July: Keith Lee has been in touch with a look at the veritable cornucopia in store for bike fans at next weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway:
This year's Dragstalgia brings even more new entries to what has developed into an amazing meeting to enjoy nostalgia drag racing.
It has been a fraught run-up for a number of competitors in the run-up to Dragstalgia, with John Hobbs suffering his biggest blow-up ever on Olympus, which did massive engine and frame damage. Thanks to help from many friends around the world, be has somehow managed to rebuild with a week to spare, so the bike can make the field alongside his other ride, the double Weslake Hobbit.
One notable thing about the bike entry is that so many of them are the original machinery that was campaigned all those years ago - and still ridden by the same riders. Some may not be able to be blasted flat out any more due to scarcity of parts, but part of this event is about enjoying another chance - or even a first opportunity - to see early icons of the sport under power once more.
Talking of early machines and riders, the Methamon outfit will be back again. Chris Illman will pilot the red Vincent as usual, but the passenger this year will be someone special. Way back when Maurice Brierley raced this bike in the mid sixties, he would enlist the help of a young girl who was a popular passenger with a number of quick sidecar racers of the day. Her name is Sheelagh Neal, and she will be in the chair again this weekend!
The National Motorcycle Museum has once again been very helpful in allowing two star exhibits of their amazing collection of British machinery to appear at the event. Those who were at Santa Pod last year will remember seeing the best show and go bike of its era on display. Somehow, after some thirty four years, the team have actually got the Pegasus double Norton running, and fingers crossed we might possibly see it out on track! Also on display from the museum will be the record-breaking Super Nero blown Vincent raced that was raced by George Brown.
Please do make sure to take a trip to the Historic Marquee during the event. Among the bikes on show, I am very pleased that for the first time we will have the original giant-killer Brian Chapman, with both Mighty Mouse and Super Mouse on display. Joining him will be the late 60s Two Faced double Triumph of Pete Williams. Also of interest will be the first engine and transmission units specially built for drag racing in Europe, the Baskerville-Miller BM900. The sport is noted for some wierd and unusual bikes, and my very own entry in that first category will be on display. After it disappeared for nearly thirty five years, I was reunited with my unique Triumph powered scooter, and have frantically been trying to get it in a fit state to display. On the unusual front, Terry Homan will have DragWaye back again, but following a testing issue the blown VW entry may only be a static display.
John Stein, author of the the huge book Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History, which covers the American side of the sport, has kindly donated two books as prizes. Ian King will judge the award for the Best / Most Interesting Bike, and I will pick the Moment of the Event on track together with Tog of Eurodragster.com.
With the possibility of no less than seven double-engined bikes on the strip, plus the World's quickest single cylinder bike, it is going to be a brilliant weekend - however many wheels you prefer to see racing!
2016 Russian Championship kicks off.
10th July: The first round of the Russian Drag Racing Championship, which was held on 25th-26th June at the Krasnoye Koltso race track in Krasnoyarsk, was as usual unpredictable. On Saturday the weather interfered in the competition whilst on Sunday the track record was reset and a newcomer and citizen of Krasnoyarsk podiumed in front-wheel drive class. An attempt was also made to reset the national records for the quarter mile.
The first day was absolutely ruined by the weather: it was raining all day long. According to the rules, no races can be made in such weather conditions so race officials decided to postpone qualifying until Sunday. The second day was sunny, so runs started at 9:00 am. In almost ideal conditions, Dmitry Samorukov set a new track record in his Dodge Viper DT of 6.548 seconds, which was 1.4 seconds quicker than the previous record set by Vadim Timashev last year. The terminal speed was 362.90 kmh which was also the best result on this track. These results were also better than the current national record, which was also set by Dmitry in October 2015. The Championship administration company Dragtimes has made a submission to Russian Automobile Federation in order to ratify the record and if it is then Dmitry will become a two-time record-breaker in Russia. Other participants also improved their results.
Although the first event is usually difficult for the drivers and their cars: different parts usually breaks during the pre-season tests, so they have not enough time to change them or repair. The same situation occurred again, which is why only sixteen of the twenty six entered racers attended.
Although the number of participants was lower, the races were quite frantic. Two women met in the Front Wheel Drive semi-final: Yana Kholodkovskaya (Sotova) against Oksana Yakovleva. The two Honda Civics started at the same time, but Yana misshifted and lost time. Oksana's car got ahead and won the race. Artem Demikhov was Oksana's opponent in the final: his VAZ 2108 got ahead of her Civic at mid track and he won the race with ET of 9.833. This was a very good result for an FWD car in Russia, one of few to break ten seconds. Second place went to newcomer and citizen of Krasnoyarsk Oksana Yakovleva, third place went to Yana Kholodkovskaya from Tolyatti.
Artem Demikhov, FWD winner said "I am very glad to win, it's my longtime dream. It took half a year to prepare the car, one week to adjust the settings and we got a serious project in the end. And now my dreams about the win came true at the first event of the RDRC. I was able to break ten seconds. It's a very good result for the FWD cars in Russia, especially for Russian built cars. Now I dream of going into the low nines. I will try my best to do that in the coming races. Thanks to my team, and thanks to Dragtimes who organise and host such excellent events!"
FWD runner-up Oksana Yakovleva said: "From one side, it was very hard, from the other I haven't realised it yet, as it was my début. To tell the truth, I wanted to win and I could do it. But I do not have enough experience. I had few test runs, the first using only half power then more and more. I just cannot deal with such a car right now, but my boss Igor Baranov, last year's FWD Champion, is helping me with everything. He explains to me all the details, controls my performance. I want to brag a little: during today's tests, I was 0.3 seconds quicker than Igor. He was very happy, as he thinks it's great when the pupil is better than the coach. And Igor is a very good coach. I am pleased to get second place at my home track."
The most unpredictable results were in All Wheel Drive class. Alexander Albin was not able to start in the quarter finals due to technical problems with his Nissan Skyline GT-R, whilst Stanislav Lunev's car broke in the semi-finals. The second semi-final had no winners, as both Aleksey Krivolapov and Oleg Krokhin made false starts. As a result, Dmitry Mandrikov (Subaru Impreza) won the first place almost without any effort. Third place went to Stanislav Lunev. There was no runner-up due to the drivers' failures.
AWD winner Dmitry Mandrikov said "I have quite mixed feelings. On one hand happy to win, on the other it was easy and without serious effort. Very experienced drivers are participating in our class and they make few mistakes. All of them have a huge background, and they can do a lot. I am pleased to run against them. But today some cars were broken, some of drivers made mistakes and we got first place without any fight. So, it was very important to cope with the excitement. I did that. I hope that in the coming races we will have real competetition with our opponents. I like to be intoxicated by racing, when you feel the real euphoria – the taste of the win is different in this case. Expect this season to be interesting!"
The participants in Rear Wheel Drive also faced technical problems. The transmission of Andrey Mulenko's Chevrolet Corvette Custom Turbo broke at the start in the semi-final against Aleksey Onopchenko (Toyota Chaser). In the second semi-final, Dmitry Samorukov (Dodge Viper DT) was much faster than Denis Ponomarev (Nissan Silvia). According to the cup system, Dmitry had to race for third place, but he won the run without any effort due to the Mulenko's broken Corvette.
The final of Rear Wheel Drive made the audience nervous: technical problems could appear at any time even on a Viper Pro Mod, or a driver could make a false start. It didn't happen; Samorukov took the green, but had to get off the gas after first 200 metres due to the short shutdown area. The result was 6.850/256.95. Second place in RWD went to Alexey Onopchenko and third to Denis Ponomarev.
Dmitry Samorukov, RWD class winner, said "I was aiming for the win in Krasnoyarsk and I got it. Thanks to all those involved from the Krasnoyarsk locals to our team and I. This win is very special for me: for two years in a row I failed here. My cars were more powerful, but they did not want to win. Frankly speaking, this time I was a little bit nervous also. I had a feeling something was gonna happen in the semi-final and it happened: the car was so fast that it was hard to stop it, so it got some damage. As everyone saw I've finished with a broken hood. But I overcame those feelings, my team fixed the problems, and the final run was ideal. Maybe this was my most enjoyable win. The way you start the Championship influences the whole season."
Results of the first round of the Russian Drag Racing Championship
Front Wheel Drive (FSA class according to RAF classification)
1. Dmitry Mandrikov (Novosibirsk), Subaru Impreza
2. Stanislav Lunev (Chelyabinsk), Nissan Skyline GT-R Kiwamaru
=4. Oleg Krokhin (Barnaul), Nissan GT-R**
=4. Alexey Krivolapov (Vladivostok), Nissan Skyline**
5. Konstantin Katykin (Vladivostok), Nissan Skyline GT-R
6. Alexander Albin (Omsk), Nissan Skyline GT-R
** 4th places are assigned according to competition regulations, note 15.4
Rear Wheel Drive (US class according to RAF classification)
10th July: Robin Jackson writes that MSA licence holders who have received the Summer 2016 edition of MSA Magazine will be pleased to see Louise Woodhams' article on Women In Drag Racing prominently featured. Ms. Woodhams attended the FIA / FIM Main Event and interviewed several female racers and officials. Sad to say, Andy Willsheer's group photograph of more than one hundred women involved in the event – for which they all trooped cheerfully to the start line at 08:30 on Saturday – was the only image not to make it into the final publication. Last-minute editorial changes were cited as the reason. However, we should like to thank everyone involved in taking the trouble to create the picture. Rest assured, it will find its way on to a printed page before the year is out.
Plans for our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Dragstalgia Event Coverage are not yet 100% finalised. A detailed live report may prove tricky because the event is run as a huge RWYB and so participants will not be logged by name on the timing system nor will classes run separately. What we definitely have planned are pit notes, end-day galleries and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast. Stay tuned for the final word.
On the subject of Dragstalgia this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced here on Eurodragster.com at midnight UK on Friday-Saturday (15th-16th).
Priddle presented again at HoF Gala.
10th July: Back in March 2016 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and European drag racing legend Dennis Priddle travelled to Gainesville in Florida to receive his International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Award (the Andy Willsheer photo at left shows Dennis at Gainesville in March with 1960s Top Fuel racer Jerry Baltes (left) and Summit Racing's Rick Green). Dennis is only the second European to receive this accolade, the other being Sydney Allard. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, in association with the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, is proud to announce that the official European presentation of this award will take place during the 2016 BDRHoF Annual Gala Awards Dinner at the fabulous Sheraton Skyline Hotel Heathrow on 19th November.
Dennis Priddle said "Receiving this award from Don Garlits in Gainesville was one of the proudest moments in my life and I was so honoured to be in the company of many of the great names in world drag racing history. I must thank my friends Phil Pead and Dave Riswick for making it possible. The only regret was that so many of the people who have helped me during my drag racing career were unable to be there. So when the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame said that they would like to re-present it at this year's Gala Awards Dinner it gave me the opportunity of celebrating the award with more friends and European fans. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with people I have met from the USA and Europe and getting involved in the Bench Racing Session, talking about my days in drag racing and seeing how they compare to stories from the Americans on the panel."
Donna Garlits, Chief Financial Officer of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing and very much a prime mover in the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, said "I am so pleased that the trophy will be presented again in Europe where Dennis is so revered and respected. The function is such a prestigious affair and I know how hard everyone works to make this occasion special for the award winners and the other guests - be they sponsors, organisers, promoters or fans."
European drag racing's glitterati will be joined by American drag racing personalities including Don Schumacher, Paula Murphy, Harry Hibler, Graham Light, Carl Olson, Traci Hrudka, Eileen Daniels and Tony Thacker. With more celebrities yet to be announced it is going to be a very special day.
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. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Smax hits the beach.
10th July: After five events racing over 1000 feet with NHRA, ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith and the Leverich family headed to Grand Bend in Canada for the IHRA Mopar Nitro Nationals over the quarter mile:
This was a match race against Todd Paton, former Champion Bruce Litton and Ike Maier. We were feeling much better about our tune-up as we seemed to have mastered our dropped cylinder issues, and we had our damaged heads repaired ready to build. We arrived on Friday to do final prep for our night run against Todd Paton. There was a good crowd. We were a little concerned about having enough fuel so I mixed 86% nitro (to use up what we had left over), filled the tank to the brim and advised the crew to tell the start line guys not to shut us off if they saw fuel leaking!
I did the shortest ever burnout and pre-staged then seemed to wait forever for Todd to stage! Got the light and we both ran side by side and both shut off before the finish. Damn! Aidan came flying up the return road and said we ran 4.91 at only 272 mph. We were ecstatic! I had waited eight years to run another four after driving the McDonalds' Top Fueller at Santa Pod! I did feel engine was a little unhappy and maybe it spooked me and I lifted after 4.4 seconds. Todd ran 4.86/278 for the win.
Aidan had the clutch out in fifteen minutes and Jake had the bottom end apart in record time as Dan and Josh thrashed to rip off the heads. We found that the crank was flapping, broke the side main bolts and pulled some main studs so we had to change blocks as this would require a restud and line bore. The problem was that our other block was at a weld shop back in Michigan where Gary and Bob live. A pleading call to the weld shop had the guy welding the block until 2:00 am while Bob drove back to get it hot off the press!
We planned to be at track ready to build the motor at 7:30 am but Bob had a sleep and didn't get back until 11:00 so we had a big thrash all day. Our good friend Aaron Grant who is a Top Fuel tuner although only in his twenties, came to help along with his girlfriend Audrey who is also our back-up girl (she has driven over 160 mph in a slingshot as well as backing up Bruce Larsens nostalgia car). Gary figured out we needed more fuel down track. Aaron worked on our timing programme and between us we came up with a strong tune-up to run in the heat against Bruce Litton in the evening because we missed the afternoon session by fifteen minutes.
IHRA President Mike Dunn came to our pits to meet me with the great Larry Dixon. Mike had read my biography and knew all about my European exploits and being the first rookie to win the Top Fuel Championship. Larry was there with his father-in-law (who is also Tony Pedregon's father-in-law) and he knew Bob Leverich - wow, small world!
In the evening session I burned out and staged and I got the light, rocketed off to a 3.30/248 eighth mile but broke the belt at 800 feet, whilst Bruce had smoked his tyres and handed us the win - aces! It would have been another 4.9 run if the belt hadn't broken.
Sunday came around and we were up against Todd Paton again. I wasn't taking any chances, got the light and ran hard to the quarter mile with a 4.92/295 but Todd ran quicker to a 4.86 but at only 286 mph. We were the fastest car of the weekend and I had the best lights so mission accomplished... except that I knew I was close to 300 mph so yanked the chute lever too hard and it compromised the brake lever so no brakes. I looked down and saw what had happened so I pulled the chute lever back but the cable was wrapped around the brake lever so had I to peel that out of the way still doing close to 200 mph! Anyhow I didn't know where Todd was and I didn't want to roll it so I opted to go into the sand, necessitating five hours of cleaning the car. Sorry guys!
Best ever at 4.91 and a 4.92, another 4.9 had the belt not broken, and fastest car of the weekend. Party time!
Three videos are available for your enjoyment at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGtfwea6L44, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLBEL8sRHyo and www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xhUS5Q3vpc.
Editor's note: Smax asked us to point out that contrary to the otherwise excellent feature on Competition Plus he never claimed to be the first to 300 mph in Europe; he said "Third" but he guessed that in a noisy environment it did not come out clearly.
Web site updates.
10th July: Continuing the Nostalgia theme as Dragstalgia approaches, Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr site with shots of Tony Nancy's early 1970s visit to Santa Pod Raceway with what your News Editor considers one of the best-looking rear-engined dragsters ever campaigned. You can check out Dick's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
The Mad Welshman has also updated a Flickr site, in this case with a large album of his pictures from the Sunday of the Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Drags on a summer's day.
9th July: North Weald Drag Strip opens its gates tomorrow (Sunday) for its third event of the year. Damian Burke writes:
Tomorrow will be another Test and Tune Day featuring three eliminations for Fast Eight cars,Top Eight bikes and Front Wheel Drive cars. If the first two meetings of the year are anything to go by then it promises to be a busy day as the approach road to the track was gridlocked well before the gates opened. Early arrival is advised as signing on is usually oversubscribed - there is an entry limit of two hundred entrant to enable everyone to get plenty of track time.
Away from the drag strip the increasingly popular Club display area is packed with a great variety of cars from all over the local area. At the last event more than four hundred enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of North Weald. A fully licenced bar, food outlets, trade stands and kids' rides are also on-site.
Entry at North Weald is still only £10 with under-14s free; £25 gets you as many runs as you can fit in. Helmets can be provided for car owners who don't have one. North Weald Airfield is signposted locally from Junction 7 of the M11 and is just off the A414. The post code is CM16 6HR. Come along tomorrow for some real grass-roots drag racing in a laid-back atmosphere.
Event entry update.
8th July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall and Paul Marston for forwarding us the MSA Pro Modified and Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman entry lists for the Mopar EuroNationals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July. You can check out the Mopar EuroNationals entry lists 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're quick then you can download the official entry form for MSA Pro Modified from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc and the entry form for Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman from the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact Paul Marston by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone on 07831 650230.
Ålund at Alastaro.
8th July: It's time to round off the north-eastern swing of the 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championship with the third race of the series, the 2016 FHRA Nitro Nationals at the Alastaro Motopark, and the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing team is all set up, anxious to get back to their winning ways after an early exit at the Tierp Internationals.
Jimmy and the team have made no major changes for this race. "There is nothing new or fundamentally changed", says Jimmy. "We have a car with a strong bullet from KB Racing under the hood. The car can win races and has qualified number one in the first two races but we need to work on our chasss set-up. We ran into tyre shake twice at the Tierp race and it cost us.
"This will definitely be a very exciting and challenging weekend for both racers and fans. Thirteen cars are battling it out for eight places in eliminations. The weather looks to be tricky as regards to rain which means that we are not at all guaranteed four qualifying runs, so everyone needs to be at their absolute best from the first burnout."
Jimmy of course wishes to express his gratitude to his sponsors Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Exclusive Cars, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuel, and X Parts.
The HoF and half a thousand Astons.
8th July: Phil Cottingham writes that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame attended the Aston Martin Show at Burghley House near Stamford last Sunday:
The Hall of Fame team on the day were Angie Cottingham and I, Stu Bradbury and Robin Jackson. Around six hundred Aston Martins attended what was a very good day. Russ Carpenter's Daimler-powered dragster was the main feature of our display; we were due to have three cars but one had to pull out with a broken gearbox and then Steve Neimantas, who was also due to be there, was the victim of a ram raid on his premises days before the event.
We had many people visit our display, and a lot of interest in the dragster and drag racing in general, which should result in many new visitors to our drag strips. Many thanks to the Carpenter family for bringing the dragster along.
Our next On Tour event is of course next week's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway.
Announcing the Spirit of 76.
7th July: Over the 1976 Easter weekend, Peter Crane set the world alight at Santa Pod Raceway by not only taking out reigning NHRA Champion Don Garlits in the first round of Pro Fuel Dragster, but also by running the first five-second quarter mile outside North America on the very same pass. Peter ran a stunning 5.97 at 213 mph.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of that very pass - and of course Santa Pod's 50th - Peter has decided to team up with Santa Pod Raceway and put up an award dubbed the Spirit of 76. The Award will go to someone who has played a major part in creating and shaping the Nostalgia Drag Racing scene of today, someone who has faced a major challenge and succeeded against the odds as Peter did in 1976, someone who has demonstrated extreme commitment to drag racing in this country, or simply someone who goes that extra mile to achieve their goals or to help others within the sport. For example, many racers did just that after the robbery at that event in 1976, returning their prize money and or even gaving financial help to keep Santa Pod afloat.
The recipient of the Award will be chosen by Peter himself and announced and presented at Dragstalgia each year. The first Award will be presented at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway next Friday-Sunday.
Dragstalgia build-up underway.
7th July: Nigel Taylor writes that the Detroit Spinner Drag Racing Team are in the process of putting everything back in the Prefect for its appearance at next week's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway:
The Dart motor has been treated to a new crank, cam, lifters and other parts. We are waiting on the lifters, but at least we can reassemble the block back in the car, put the heads, gearbox, fuel tank and all of the other components back on whilst praying that the last bits turn up on time so that we can get it ready for Dragstalgia which takes place the weekend before original builder / driver and current driver Arthur Bonner turns seventy five years of age... and here he is assembling parts, making them fit, laying on the floor, lining things up, cutting, welding and drilling. He just doesn't stop where his old car is involved!
I have owned the Ford Prefect since 2013, when support from sponsors gave us the finances to rebuild it and get it back out on the track in 2014. Arthur was more than suprised when I told him that due to my family commitments that I had no intention of driving it myself and that he would still be the main driver, along with a few of our sponsors as back up - this still includes Graham Smith, Col Law, Michael Hawkins, Bob Hancox, Kelvin Helsdown, Paul Dale and Andy Frost. I would like to say a big Thank You to my long suffering wife Sophie and my children Elisha, Mackenzie and Fletcher, who have put up with me doing this project for the last three years even though they still don't fully understand why I do it, and to all the sponsors who have got involved in the project along the way.
Paul Dale, my adopted brother as we call him, is now running the Acute Angle Anglia in Supercharged Outlaws and after a lot of changing around of induction parts and a few headaches is now running down in the low tens, without any nitrous at present so there is plenty more to come. Paul and his family, Steve and Pam Dale, Somer, Lou and Sommer would like to say a massive Thank You to Wil Mackenzie and all the Supercharged Outlaws for welcoming them into the class and for all the amazing fundraising which they have done for Somer.
7th July: Good luck and stay safe to Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences and Ulf Leanders who are contesting Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol FC respectively at this weekend's K&N Filters NHRA Nationals in Chicago. Mike and Ulf go into action tomorrow (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with their progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Web site updates.
7th July: Richard Smith has been in touch to let us know that there were some nice treats at York last weekend, including the return of the Firestorm Jet FC and Bill Sherratt testing his Yesterday's Dreams slingshot, both of which and more you can check out in his excellent gallery at rdsmith.zenfolio.com.
One of Europe's most legendary drag races, the Midnight Sun Internationals, takes place this weekend at Pite Dragway just shy of the Arctic Circle and thus blessed with perpetual daylight. You can read a preview on the Drag Racing Europe Blog together with a review of the Estonian Drag Racing Association's first EDRS event.
Event entry update.
6th July: This Friday (8th) is the closing date for MSA Pro Modified entry to the Mopar EuroNationals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July and which also hosts this year's running of Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman for which entry will remain open beyond Friday. You can download the official entry form for MSA Pro Modified from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc and the entry form for Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman from the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact Paul Marston by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 07831 650230.
Entry is still open for the Championship rounds of 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike (both UK National), Supertwin Gas and ET Bike / NAST which take place at the Mid Summer Madness Public Track Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway on 23rd-24th July. The entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by Bacs rather than credit card or cheque, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. Shakespeare County Raceway's account details can be found on the entry forms.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending an updated final version of the official entry list for Bug Jam, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th July (racing 23rd-24th). You can check out the Bug Jam 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.
Now with added Nitro!
5th July: With just three weeks until Dragstalgia, it was essential that the new combination of blown nitro Donovan, installed in the little green car aka Havoc, was tested in advance of the arrival of our American cousins, and Santa Pod Raceway's SPRC Summernationals provided an ideal opportunity. Driver Nick Davies writes:
The intention was to make it to the track on the Friday, but last-minute teething problems prevented that happening and so the abbreviated team of Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes arrived on Saturday morning. Plans were to try to validate the new oiling and fuel systems and, if the car were to make it to half-track by the end of the weekend, the team would go home happy.
With Tim Garlick's Apache Nostalgia Funny Car sidelined with axle issues, Team Havoc displayed shameless opportunism, commandeering the entire transport and pit support equipment of the sister car, pleading that they would be unable to fix the Funny Car until after Dragstalgia, but would willingly store Tim's truck and ensure the batteries didn't go flat. "Thanks Timmy, we love you man!"
The early-Saturday under-awning pit warm-up underlined the entire crew's pathetic intolerance to a little dose of nitromethane fume, having to shut off early and push the car into the open air much to the amusement of surrounding teams. Masks? Who needs em? All of us, evidently.
So, run one and lining up with the beautiful Nostalgia Funny Car of Bob Glassup all seemed fine. That is until the Tree ran and we managed to put out more cylinders than we kept lit. Having decided beforehand to only go to sixty feet, or so, we towed back with a little head-scratching knowing that we couldn't have gone much further anyway. Well with thanks, once again, to the all-seeing and recording (when the battery is charged and operational) datalogger, a potential root cause of the fuel system glitch was identified and, with the other checks all giving the thumbs-up, the team once again towed down for another test-hit. With a 1.11 sixty foot time, the team headed home with more positives than negatives, ready for another crack on Sunday.
Sunday morning's post warm-up checks revealed an oil leak from the front crank seal. Not good. A decision had been made before the meeting that, should there be any issues or breakages, the team would pack up and go home as two thirds of them were a little old and couldn't be bothered and the remaining third would be outvoted. No spares would be carried. Of course, the best-laid plans are ignored in the heat of the moment so Team Member One headed off back to Oxfordshire to retrieve a spare seal whilst Team Member Three took the smart option of having a quick scout around the pits to see if anyone carried a spare. With thanks to Luke Robinson, a spare was procured and fitted just in time for the return of Team Member One with the spare seal, amidst clipped instructions to "Get your race suit on, we have been called!".
A planned eighth-mile pass (might have gone slightly further...) and the altered behaved surprisingly well. The timing ticket showed decent progress with an ET of 7.02 at 152 mph. Really? Apparently so... And that was it. The team were ready to pack up and go home happy, until the question was asked whether they wanted another go when the finalists pulled down. Sure. Why not? Well, how about because of the oil leak around the valley. No worries, it's not like there are only two of us – there are three! Blower off, valley plate off, re-sealed, re-assembled, back together and towed down. "Data looks good, bearings and plugs look good - take it to a thousand feet. We need to know if we're in the ballpark of the Americans here". No worries.
A planned 1000' pass (might have gone slightly further...) and all felt good. In fact it felt better than at any time that the car had run with the alcohol engine in. Longer gearing, 'glide clutch, two-speed, linear power delivery? Maybe a combination of a number of things. Before the Summernationals, the quickest the car had been was 6.83 at 205 mph. The Maltese One Thousand Foot pass generated numbers of 6.59 at 174 mph. Really? Apparently so...
Apologies to the Top Fuel Bike guys who had to be shut off due to the ineptitude of the driver parking the car in the middle of the shutdown area and making the marshals earn their evening beer by pushing the car to safety, but that's life.
A good weekend. Particularly so when a strip-down and service the following weekend revealed zero issues. Bring on Dragstalgia 2016 and let us at 'em... Oh, and after all the Nationalistic trials and tribulations over the past few weeks in the sporting and political arenas, don 't forget to support The Home Team by buying one of the amazing Havoc T-Shirts, available at the meeting!
5th July: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with the words "I spy I spy I spy". 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.
Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for providing us with the post-SPRC Summernationals points standings in the UK National and SPRC Championships. Again you can check out the latest 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.
Flamholc goes east.
5th July: Sweden's Adam Flamholc has been globetrotting again but in an easterly direction providing support and consultancy to Russia's Dragtimes organisation. Adam writes:
The Dragtimes Organisation wanted me to help them run a Pro Mod-style car in this year's Russian Drag Racing Championship this year. I talked to Rasmus, Kent and Mike from my team about it, and we decided to do it! A lot of stuff had to be organized in a very short period of time to get a car to them, tools, spares, a working transport vehicle and so on. We made it happen and in May we had their Viper turn-key, ready for the season!
Since Dmitry Samurokov never had been in a blown Pro Mod car we decided to go to Tierp Arena, to let him get familiar with the new car. Dmitry did exactly what I was hoping he should do, and ran 4.18s to the eighth, first time out! After the test at Tierp the bus, car and everything else was transported to Moscow in Russia. Dragtimes used the car for display at a couple of car shows and meetings.
In the last weekend in June the team and I flew over to Moscow for the first time, and from there to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia for round one of the Championship. In the first run we lost traction after about two seconds, but from there on, we went faster and faster. The second run was a new track record, we qualified as number one, won the event and ran new Russian ET and speed records of 6.548 seconds and 362.9 km/h. You can see a video on YouTube.
Racing is racing no matter where in the world you are... Things were a bit different in some ways, but every single person I talked to was very friendly and helpful. Ansi Pinola from Finland prepped the track, and did a great job. Kristian Nyström, also from Finland was there and helped the guys and I with a bit of everything. The biggest problem on the track (and all their tracks) is the shutdown area.. They only had around 400 metres from the finish line to the end of the track. Another thing we had to deal with, was that they where only allowed to prep 201 metres. But together we made it work! There were many up sides as well. Like their TV show! Excellent production, with many cameras, interviews and so on, a fresh way of thinking.
The next event will be four hours from Moscow on the first weekend in August, and if everything goes as planned there will be three or four Pro Mod / Top Doorslammer teams from Europe there! David Vegter, Håkan Persson, Lenn Lindell and Mats Lusth are preparing their cars for a batle in the East!
Thanks from me to Andrey Veremeev, Dmitry Samorukov, Alexander Ocheretin, Anastasia Starostina, Tigran Seferian and everyone else in and around Dragtimes for giving me the opportunity to play a part in building drag racing in Russia!
4th July: We were not able to attend last week's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway but word quickly filtered back of one of the undoubted stars of the show, Ian Merryweather's 392 Hemi-powered, classically-styled Banzai altered. Ian got in touch to let us know about what sounded like a very successful début:
We loaded up on Thursday evening, headed for the 07:30 Douglas to Liverpool Ferry then trundled on down the M6 to Shakespeare County Raceway, arriving mid afternoon. We pitted next to Roy Wilding (thanks for saving the space Roy), up and carried out the checks in readiness for the Saturday start.
Saturday morning began with a fitting and moving tribute to Scottie Durrant, spectators and racers lining both sides of the quarter mile for almost it's entire length. RIP Scottie.
Unfortunately the rain showers teased with us all day Saturday, in and out of the pit bay until late in the afternoon when we were two cars from fire-up when the final shower shut the track for the day.
Sunday, although cloudy, turned out to be good up to 4:00 pm. Running in the Supercharged Outlaws, we were first up against Andy Fadster in Twister. After problems with his race motor at a previous event, Andy wedged his eight-second 'street' motor between the frame rails. We got the jump on Andy off the line and continued to pull away at sixty feet, 1.372 to Andy's 1.64. Banzai netted a 9.26/150 with a half track lift due to the barrier coming close. This was due not to traction issues but to driver blindness causing a lift of the throttle! Note to driver: Rainex visor before runs!
In an attempt to equal the score Andy and Twister went up against us again for the second run. Two tenths better reaction from Andy proved that he meant business, but an arrow straight launch and the grunt of the Hemi pulled the Topolino to a 1.395 sixty to a Twister 1.574. Traction problems halted any recovery from Twister as it crossed the centre line at the one hundred foot. An attempt at a blocking manoeuvre if ever we saw one! Banzai netted an 8.88/154. To say that we were over the moon would be an understatement. The third and final pass of the weekend we ran a solo. Arrow straight, 1.35 sixty foot, 5.66/124 at the eighth, 8.84/150 at the quarter gave hints at consistency.
Although the car has run twice with a similar combination at our local track at Jurby on the Isle of Man, a prepared track was where we wanted to be. Shakey supplied and we took advantage with the three good runs in on Sunday. We came away well chuffed.
We would just like to thank everyone, spectators and racers alike, for all the appreciative comments; Shakespeare County Raceway for dealing with the British weather as best as possible and giving us great track to race on; the NSRA for putting the event on and awarding us with one of their Quick Six trophies, and my crew Lee Merryweather, Steven Russell, Malcolm and Beverley Forbes and last but not least my better half Selena Merryweather who made it all happen.
We now look forward to the big one, Dragstalgia! See you all there.
Banzai is the subject of a great feature in the current issue of Custom Car magazine so be sure to pick up your copy.
Stripduster qualifies #1 at Dragstalgia.
4th July: In drag racing, the V8 is king and there is no substitute for cubic capacity. So says the received wisdom. Yet it is not strictly true, either today – when all manner of powerplants propel all manner of vehicles up the track – or in the earliest days, when eight-pot locomotion was a comparative rarity on the British scene.
Indeed, when Santa Pod Raceway opened for business 50 years ago on Easter Monday 1966, the very first car to traverse the quarter-mile packed all of 948cc into its four-cylinder engine. Harold Bull's Strip Duster was a slingshot dragster powered by an engine lifted from a Morris Minor. It was an immaculate miniature version of the thundering V8-motored dragsters which had so impressed and inspired Harold when an all-star team from America had toured Britain two years earlier, though there was nothing miniature about the car's performance. With constant modifications and improvements made over the next few years, Strip Duster would not only win races against opponents at Santa Pod but would set world records against the clock at the Elvington records meeting in Yorkshire which still stand today.
When Harold Bull and his fellow BMC-powered arch-rival, John Whitmore, pulled to the Santa Pod start line, fans would hurry from all parts to watch. The same response is anticipated when Strip Duster recreates its maiden Santa Pod voyage at Dragstalgia, the venue's annual historic revival meeting taking place from 15th-17th July.
When he made that inaugural trip up the track, Harold was already 41 years old. Half a century later and still living at Wymington within earshot of Santa Pod, the self-taught, expert engineer and tool-maker has supervised the construction of a perfect Strip Duster replica by his son, Simon, who will pilot the car on its Dragstalgia outing. The original Strip Duster, now modified beyond recognition, is believed still to exist somewhere in Germany.
Dragstalgia brings forth a veritable treasure trove of historic drag racing machinery. Some 300 cars and motorcycles of all shapes, sizes and vintages will be in attendance over the July weekend, many in action on the track and others displayed alongside. Top of the bill and visiting from America will be the spectacular Fuel Altereds, Rat Trap and the Bradfords' Topolino, along with a bygone era's array of Dragsters and Funny Cars, Altereds and Stockers, plus bikes of many classes and kinds. There'll be no mistaking the moment, however, when Simon Bull guides Strip Duster on its historic passage up the fabled quarter-mile.
For further information on Dragstalgia and to book tickets, please visit www.santapod.com or telephone 01234 782828. Tickets may be booked on-line and printed at home. Kids go free – under-16s are admitted free of charge, up to three per paying adult – and overnight camping is also free with weekend tickets. As always there is open access to the pits for a close-up view of all the machinery in the show.
Vegter: A lot to feel good about.
4th July: The Netherlands' Vegter Pro Mod Racing are proud to announce DutchBoxx Golfkarton as a new partner. The Heerenveen-based company have joined the Dutch Pro Modified team with immediate effect and for at least two years. Remco Scheelings writes:
DutchBoxx Golfkarton are the leading Dutch manufacturer of boxes and corrugated packaging. With six modern production lines, the produce in-house a complete range of boxes and custom-made packaging. In addition to American folding boxes and shipping boxes DutchBoxx also produce plates, wrap packages, standard packaging, sleeves, pallet boxes, XXL sizes, and corrugated cardboard interiors, available in both large and small orders. DutchBoxx not only offer a wide range of products, but these packages can also be provided with prints. DutchBoxx combine fast delivery with the option of both "stock" and "just-in-time" delivery. A great company where the customer comes first. You can find more information about DutchBoxx Golfkarton on their web site at www.dutchboxx.nl/golfkarton.
"We are very happy and proud to represent such a great company that makes such high quality products", said David Vegter, driver and driving force behind Vegter Pro Mod Racing. "I'm looking forward to great co-operation and I'm sure it will be successful for both DutchBoxx and our team. The two-year deal gives us both a good base to work from and we can make a long-term plan for our co-operation. We are very happy to represent such a great company on and off the track."
DutchBoxx Golfkarton join Vegter Pro Mod Racing partners Playboy Energy Drink, HKR Techniek, WVB Holland, PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance and Sonic Equipment at a very successful time as Vegter Pro Mod Racing have had a great start of the season: during the second round of the FIA European Championship at Tierp Arena, David reset his Personal Bests to 6.002 seconds and 390.5 km/h, qualified fifth, and advanced to the semi-finals.
After the season-opening round at Santa Pod, the state-of-the-art drag racing facility at Tierp Arena, 100 km north of Stockholm, was host of the second round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. With extremely fast Scandinavian teams on the entry list, the Tierp Internationals had a very competitive Pro Mod field. Unfortunately, qualifying was badly affected by the rain and so the four planned sessions had to be rescheduled to two qualifying runs on Friday evening. On a green and cold track David recorded an encouraging 6.36 seconds, at least good enough to qualify for eliminations. In the second run, David had a problem with a fuel leak, causing the tyres to spin at the start line. With the 6.36 seconds from the first run David was number five qualifier, a good result in the seventeen-car field. But David knew there was more to come.
"We have a new short block, and with the tuning Adam Flamholc has in mind, we can improve dramatically", he said after qualifying. "We changed the chassis set-up this season and the car feels much better now."
In the first round against Freddy Fagerström, David immediately proved that it wasn't wishful thinking. In a great run the Vegter Pro Mod Racing '67 Camaro stormed to a winning 6.003 seconds at 389.9 km/h. David not only reset his personals best from 2013 (6.05 seconds), but the 6.003 was also the best ET of the first round. In the quarter final David had to face the always-consistent Bruno Bader, winner of the first race at Santa Pod. David and Brunp both suffered traction problems at the start line, but the Dutch racer got control of his Camaro and took the win light in 6.41 seconds. In the semi-final David had to face Mats Eriksson, the number one qualifier and last year's runner up in the Championship. Mats had a much better Reaction Time and although David's 6.002 seconds at 390.5 kmh were quicker and faster than Mats' ET and speed, it was not enough to beat the Swede. With a 6.002 at 390.5 km/h David again reset his Personals Bests and was the third quickest and fastest Pro Mod at Tierp Arena.
David knew that he had lost the race at the start line and that made him angry, but he knew that he could only be happy with the way the team and car performed. "The car immediately rolled into stage and at the same moment a warning light lit up", he said. "I lost my concentration for a moment and then you know it's over. But, after all, we did a great job and I'm very happy with the way both the team and the car performed. The ETs and speeds were very good and we have one of the quickest and fastest combinations in the field. We are extremely happy with our performance in Sweden. This a real boost for the coming races."
David is fifth in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship points standings after two races. The third race of the championship is this week's FHRA Nitro Nationals which takes place at Alastaro, Finland between Thursday and Sunday.
One more off PMR's bucket list.
4th July: Historically your News Editor always got the moose, but Paul Marston tells us that it is now his turn:
I recently said goodbye to my beloved 1967 Camaro street / strip car which got me back into National Championship Drag Racing in the Street Class of Custom Car Street Eliminator in the 1990s along with fellow Damn Yankees car club member Gary Petley, Ray White, Billy 'The Kid' Macdermid etc. The '67 Camaro had sat for some time in perfect preservation but had not been driven for about twelve years other than trips to the MoT station and back. I count myself as very, very lucky to have owned her for so long. I have been very careful with my Camaro and never cut her up and kept her as stock as I could other than a 50 0bhp Super Gas-spec 396ci BBC and the corresponding upgrades to cope with the extra horse pressure.
I was equally as careful when it came to selecting a buyer for her. She was sold to a very good friend who will cherish her and use her as she was intended. As the last two vehicles I sold came to rather unfortunate ends (a long story for another time) I made sure that the Camaro which I owned for twenty eight years did not suffer the same fate. I know it's just a chunk of metal but you do become attached to them.
The Camaro was not sold for any particular reason other than it was simply not used. An opportunity arose a few weeks ago to purchase a race car of a type which has been on the top of my Bucket List for a long time: Jon 'Moose' Hollingworth's twin-turbo Big Block-powered Street Eliminator Mk5 Cortina which now resides at PMR HQ in Romford. I did think that I was going to have to import one from the States as they are pretty thin on the ground in Blighty. Nevertheless when it came up I was interested enough to go for a look-see. Now it is fair to say that this will be a very long term project as the race car will need to be completely repurposed before it can be used, but I could see the potential and the car comes with a great pedigree. It ticked all the boxes, plus it receives technical support from John Sleath Racecars who built, designed, mapped, developed and supported the Cortina all its life. I am pleased to say that this will continue and that we are looking forward to working with John Sleath Racecars with this project.
It is the fault of Bill Felstead of Fester Race Cars that I bought it, as Bill has always been harking on that with so much power you need a lot of control. It must be fuel injected, small Big Block, 88mm turbos, data logger, etc, etc. To put it simply this Cortina has it all, in fact it's very similar tp although not as powerful as fellow UK Top Sportsman competitor and former title sponsor Matt Wright's mighty Rolls Royce. The aim of the project is simply to remove weight which is now not required and to see how fast it can go with slicks and a wheelie bar. There is no rush, no agenda as I honestly did not expect to be given this wonderful opportunity. It costs nothing to think, and before we start on this one it will receive a lot of thought before any firm decisions are made. This will be a challenge as our knowledge of turbo cars, although not non-existent, is on a different level. It will be a fascinating journey.
You simply cannot over-emphasise the explosion of very fast power-adder doorslammers, in particular turbo drag race cars, in the States. It is astonishing and has there has been huge growth in cars, crowds and events - seeing is believing. For example, an event called Lights Out at SGMP Georgia earlier this year had nearly seven hundred competing teams and so many spectators that the police shut the Interstate for three exits and closed the doors at SGMP with a fifteen-mile queue outside. That just paints a small picture of just how fast this kind of racing is growing. It is coming over here. It will take time, but the Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman event has these kind of cars showing up in greater numbers each year. So if you want to see the very fastest Sportsman Doorslammer competitors compete in the richest, fastest, no rules other than safety, heads-up and fast bracket races which are televised, then you need to be at the Mopar EuroNats on 29th-31st July, either to compete against the best or to watch the show. You can download the entry from the UK Top Sportsman Facebook page, or contact us by E-Mail at email@example.com or call me on 07831 650230.
4th July: Paul Warne has asked us to say a big Thank You to everyone for the kind words and support after the death of doorslammer legend Dave Warne. "A big thank you to Eurodragster.com for putting the notices on for us and for the flowers", he adds. You are very welcome, Paul.
Bernie Newbury has put his immaculate nine-second VW Beetle up for sale due to family circumstances. If you are interested in a spectacular and rapid VW then you can take a look under Cars For Sale in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.
Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team had another fantastic weekend at the SPRC Summernationals, beating Personal Bests and making it to the final against Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson. You can check out the team's review (Dutch-language PDF) by clicking here.
As Dragstalgia approaches (see above) a reminder that this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced here on Eurodragster.com at midnight UK on Friday-Saturday of next week (15th-16th).
We have two birthdays today. First up, a Happy Birthday and hugs to Santa Pod Racers Club official Kathy Taylor. Have a lovely day Kathy. Happy Birthday also to street-legal Comp Eliminator racer Andy Frost. Have a great day Frosty.
Also on the subject of birthdays we would like to wish all of our friends and readers in the USA a Happy 4th July. Have a great day guys.
Fifty Shades of Summernationals.
4th July: UK Sportsman ET racer Andy Dibley has been in touch with a review of last week's SPRC Summernationals at which he and Eurodragster.com Photographer Kirstie again made a two-pronged attack:
There was a complete change in track conditions for elimations on the Sunday. I stuck with a 13.85 as I went into round one against Jemma Hale. My rivalry with Jemma goes back to last year's UK National Finals lat which I missed out on top spot after a misjudged top end pedal. I wasn't going to let her Jemma away with it again. I just managed to p ut my front wheel ahead going through the top end to take the win by 0.016 seconds. Kirstie drew Alan Medley in the first round in his Captain Caveman Racing Oldsmobile Omega. Alan was running mid twelves which meant tha Kirstie was being chased. Both cut good lights and Kirstie was almost bang on the money but at the top end, in fear of breaking out, she just got off it enough to give Alan the win by 0.0018 (2.37 inches). Sadly that was the end of the Summernationals for Kirstie.
In round two I ended up meeting Jane Mcready in the Clueless Racing Ford Escort Van, a lovely turned out van! Jane cut a 0.5 light to my 0.08, she also sadly missed a shift going from first to fourth resulting in my catching her before the eighth and just idling through the top to take the win.
In round three I drew Gill Medley in the other Captain Caveman Racing vehicle, a big white Jeep Cherokee! Gill was a former event and Dial-In Day winner and is definitely one to watch. Sadly I lost that race on the start line pulling my first ever red in MSA competition! Gill won the next round against Alan but sadly broke out in the finals against Ricky Hale.
Half way through the season and the points table is really tightening up at the top. Both cars will be back out in a few weeks' time for Bug Jam which is a great meeting for Sportsman ET with a lot of guest entries from other classes joining in the fun!
Thanks to our Sponsors Hutchinson and Dibley LTD CNC Precision Engineering and V8UK - events, cruises and blogs about V8s in the UK.
4th July: Many thanks to Nervous Nick for forwarding us Sean Milsom's review of the Gasser Circus' outing at last week's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
The event had much to offer the drag racing fan, with a good turnout from Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, the Wild Bunch and the first running of the Tri-Chevy shootout for 1955–1957 Chevrolets. Plus, of course, the highlight of the programme (in my humble opinion): the second round of the 2016 Gasser Circus Championship. Seventeen cars had entered including two new entrants for 2016 in the form of The Money Pit Ford Pop panel van of Derek Gibson and Martin Bishop and his Bad'n'Blown Ford Pop. We were also treated to the welcome return of Ken Brookes in his 1957 Chevrolet Roaring Rat, Chris and Beverley Hill with their 1956 Chevrolet Gas Guzzler, now with a new injected 427 Big Block engine and Mick Allen with his small block Chevrolet powered Henry J (a rare car in this country, having been built by the Kaiser Motor Company in America in the early 1950s).
I don't know whether Antonio Vivaldi ever visited Stratford on Avon in late June, but if he did and on the evidence of last weekend, I'm pretty sure that's where he got his inspiration for The Four Seasons. OK, it didn't snow but we got simultaneously soaked and sunburnt, were either too hot or too cold and had some pretty impressive thunder storms – all on Saturday when we had hoped to be putting in some qualifying runs. The track crew worked hard all day to try to keep the track dry and by mid-afternoon, it looked like we would get a run in so we all pulled round into the fire-up road; we would be racing after the cars in The Wild Bunch class.
And then, with about eight Wild Bunch cars left to run, the computer which controls the timing lights spat out its dummy and stopped working. So we all had to sit and wait for the now customary Ctrl-Alt-Del attempt at a fix followed by several attempts at rebooting the hard drive. After twenty minutes, the start line crew decided to let the remaining cars run with a fla -start, as would have been the case in the 1950s / early 1960s. That was not really going to help us, as we needed to record a time against our dial-in to set our place on the elimination ladder for Sunday, so it looked like we would have to run anyway and then draw names out of a hat to populate the ladder.
Fortunately, as the first pair of cars came around to do their burnouts, the computer decided to play ball and the timing lights came back on so normal service was resumed. Except, unfortunately for Steve Dixon in his High Roller Ford Falcon which wouldn't start and Mick Allen in Horrid Henry who needed a bump start due to starter motor problems. As it turned out, with only one attempt at qualifying due to the weather, that would mean both cars would not be eligible for eliminations on Sunday as Steve had not recorded a time and Mick had needed assistance to start his car; our rules require the vehicle to get to the start line under its own power. Also out would be Derek Gibson in The Money Pit who had not run quick enough to qualify.
There was even worse news for Louise and Mike Noble who suffered severe engine damage in qualifying in their historic 1957 Chevrolet Honky Tonkin'. At best this is the end of their racing year; not good news for a really nice couple who work really hard to fund their racing.
In qualifying, I ran a disappointing 10.519 second run on a 10.05 dial-in which was good enough for seventh place and meant that I would be racing Martin Bishop in his Bad'n'Blown Ford Pop in Round 1. I dialled-in at 10.25 and ran a 10.32 against Martin who broke out with an 11.97 on a 11.98 dial-in giving me the win into round two of eliminations which would once again be against the lovely Katie-Jayne Booth in her Mighty Mouse Ford Pop. Katie-Jayne earlier ran a new personal best of 10.4 seconds so this was going to be another tough race.
There was more disappointment and early departures in eliminations for Lee and Jerry and Honky Tonkin' 2 when a needle valve in one of their carburettors stuck open, flooding the engine such that it would not start for round one and also for Ken Brookes when the fuel pump on Roarin' Rat started to fail in round two. There was also another learning opportunity for us all in round two when the Strevetts in their 1941 Ford Coupe faced off against Brian Gibson in Identity Crisis. Racers need to show their dial-in on the back of the car, usually in shoe-white on the rear screen. The track crew then transfer that into the computer and the dial-in is then shown on the finish-line gantry; it is up to the driver and crew to check that the dial-in on the gantry is shown correctly; if it isn't, the driver should not stage the car until it is corrected. Unfortunately for the Strevetts, they did not notice that their time of 11.91 seconds had been incorrectly entered as 11.1 seconds and they staged as usual. Given that their car runs consistent 12.1s (they were number one qualifier in the first event, number two qualifier at this event), this mistake gifted the win to Brian.
For round two I lowered my dial-in to 10.15 against Katie-Jayne with a 10.49 and we pulled round to do our burnouts, then into stage. We would be away at virtually the same time, with Katie-Jayne leaving just before me. Slowly into stage, followed by a brilliant race! It was soon clear that we were both trying too hard as we both broke out and went quicker than our dial-in, me by 0.075 seconds and Katie-Jayne by 0.085 seconds. Unfortunately for Katie-Jayne she also went early on the lights putting a cherry on the tree and giving me the win into the semi-finals. This would be against Brian Gibson in his Dodge Dart Identity Crisis, or at least it would have been if the weather gods had not intervened with a light shower at just before 4:00 pm turning into persistent rain and bringing the race meeting to a close before we'd been able to conclude matters.
Congratulations to the semi-finalists for their efforts: Brian Gibson in Identity Crisis, Chris Hill in Gas Guzzler, Merv Barnett in Psychedelic Relic with Yours Truly taking the final slot. More congratulations to those running Personal Bests this weekend: Chris Hill in Gas Guzzler, Katie-Jayne Booth in Mighty Mouse, Mick Allen in Horrid Henry and Nick Brooke-Langham in Nogbad the Bad (and also congratulations on getting through to round two with an 11.60 on an 11.60 dial-in!). Best of all though were Lee and Jerry in Honky Tonkin 2 who ran 8.75 seconds at 156 mph, the quickest-ever time in Gasser Circus history! Well done guys!
The top five in the Gasser Circus point after round two are as follow:
Web site updates.
4th July: Our good buddy Steve Moxley has again been hard at work flying the flag for drag racing with an SPRC Summernationals review on the ACU web site at www.acu.org.uk.
There are a few days to go before the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship holds its second race of the season at Alastaro Circuit in Finland. After a great opening round at Tierp Arena, the leaders will try to increase their leads in the Championship whilst the rest of the pack will try to catch up with the leaders. Samu Kemppainen, Kalle Lyrén, Rikard Gustafsson and Henri Kolehmainen were the winners in Sweden, while the finals in Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike were rained out and so these categories will have their first race winners at Alastaro. Who are the favourites to end their Sunday afternoon upside down in the water barrel? You can find out courtesy of Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.
Balchin's world record.
3rd July: Thanks to Adrian Mosley for letting us know that UK Super Street Bike racer Graham Balchin set a new world record for a Kawasaki on his ZX12 SSB at last weekend's SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway:
The record was previously held by Jeremy Teasley in the USA on Roger Starette's ZX14 at 7.195/194, but Graham smashed it in to next week with a 7.135/199.75. Unfortunately he caught a red bulb to Richard Hann in his semi-final so he could not back it up.
There is still more potential as Graham fine-tunes his modifications from last winter's rebuild and an FIA-prepared track for the European Finals. I am sure that the late Brian Johnson, who developed and fabricated Graham's one-off clutch system, will be looking down on Graham with so much pride. Congratulations to Graham and also to his Crew Chief Neil Wilkes for his dedication to and enthusiasm for the project.
You can check out a YouTube video of Graham's record-setting run, plus a certain amount of start line terpsichory, by clicking on the image at left, or click here for Graham's own Facebook video.
2nd July: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with the words "I spy I spy". 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.
Congratulations to Martin Hill who clocked 300.19 mph in the Fireforce 5 Jet Dragster at the Retro Show at Santa Pod Raceway today (Sunday), the first 300 mph terminal speed by a Jet Dragster outside North America - and there have not been that many 300 mph Jet Dragsters there. The ET was 5.249 and you can be sure that there is a lot more left in there yet.
31st July is the deadline for entries for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Sydney Allard Media Awards for Photo and Written Journalism. This year the crystal trophies are sponsored by Mintex and Brian Taylor writes that some fantastic photographs have already been received. "Get yours in now and don't forget the written journalism which can include books, articles and blogs", says Brian. You can find full details of how to enter at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk/allard-award-entries.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending the final version of the official entry list for Bug Jam, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th July (racing 23rd-24th). You can check out the Bug Jam 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.
No news update yesterday (see Editor's note below) so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Podington Pea Diana Macrae. Hope you had a great day DD.
We have had enquiries from eagle-eyed readers who noticed the removal of next week's FHRA Nitro Nationals from our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage schedule. As we had neither the time off work nor the funds to go to Alastaro the original plan was to repeat previous years' remote coverage of results and pictures sent to us by people on the ground. However FHRA will be posting results to their own web site in real time and there will also be a free webcast so it seems only fair to us that, since they are doing the hard work, FHRA's web site should get the visitors. The Facebook thieves and their acolytes will perforce have to spend next weekend pretending that FHRA do not exist, rather than Eurodragster.com.
Editor's note: The lack of a substantial news update since Friday has simply been down to your News Editor being shagged out and needing some Me Time after two busy race weekends on the trot, one of them out of the country. We are now working on the news backlog and it will all be posted on tomorrow's update. Please keep the news coming to email@example.com.
1st July: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending Version 4 of the official entry list for Bug Jam, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th July (racing 23rd-24th) and which is a Championship round for the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club, Sportsman ET, Outlaw Anglia and the European Nitro FC Series and a non-points round for Lucas Oil Junior Dragster. You can check out the Bug Jam 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 (Saturday) after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Today (Friday) is the anniversary of the death of Eurodragster.com Staff Member Ed O'Connell. You can honour Ed's memory by eating a full English breakfast, or by having fish and chips and/or pizza for lunch and/or dinner. "All three" is an acceptable option.
Editor's note: Full news service will be resumed over the weekend and we have some great stories for you. We still have room for more so please keep the news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll squeeze it in.