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31st May: Congratulations to the winners at the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Stig Neergaard 5.4298/127.00 def. Micke Kågered 7.8660/95.09
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Jonny Lagg 5.4257/275.33 bye, Chris Polidano broke
FIA Pro Modified: Bruno Bader 5.9397/235.28 def. Micke Gullqvist 5.9649/245.07
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.4585/213.07 def. Thomas Lindström 6.7210/193.67 DQ red light
European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent 4.3432/278.49 def. Patrik Pers no time DQ
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Ian King 5.8931/239.95 bye, Rikard Gustafsson shut off
FIM Europe Supertwin: Samu Kemppainen 6.5875/220.04 def. Martijn de Haas 6.7981/210.12
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Alex Hope 7.3042/166.08 def. Gert-Jan Laseur 7.3419/163.66
FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup: Steve Venables 7.0050/208.00 def. Rick Stubbins 7.1496/200.68
Comp Eliminator: Belinda Bull (7.53) 6.9771/193.84 def. Kev Perkins (8.00) 7.5247/181.24
Super Pro ET: Billy Gane (8.18) 8.2120/166.64 def. Ian Powell (7.99) 8.0439/166.01
Pro ET: Glenn Pallant (9.36) 10.8911/93.25 def. Gino Bernadine (9.44) 15.9659/58.12 DQ red light
Super Comp: Pete Creswell 9.0280/129.20 def. Paul Letchford 9.0730/147.61
Super Gas: Collin Morrice 9.9397/149.56 def. Stu Doignie 9.8731/156.68 breakout
Super Street: Leigh Morris 10.9480/117.65 def. Matt Seamarks 11.2132/121.57
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Jordan Payne (7.93) 7.9551/83.16 def. Ruaridh Hart (8.97) 8.9789/70.24
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Gary Gooding 7.6648/180.55 def. Matt Smith 10.5084/97.14
Subject to official ratification the following records were set. Congratulations to:
European Nitro Funny Car Series ET: 4.343 seconds, Kevin Kent
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike speed: 239.95 mph, Ian King
FIM Europe Super Street Bike speed: 210.10 mph, Steve Venables
Congratulations also to Lucas Oil Juniot Dragster racer Harley Jay Darby and Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of NSPCC respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway in late June.
You can check our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored 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.
29th May: Congratulations to Laura Turburville, Carl Sim, John Parker, Anders Ahl, Jean Lane, Chris Connolly, Russ Weir, Wolfgang Windwarder, Tim Mugridge and Diana Macrae who each won a Lucas Oil team shirt and cap in our give-away. To those winners who have not already done so please check your mobile phones for details of where and when to pick up your prize.
A big Happy 70th Birthday to former Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer John Price. Hope you have a great day John and we'll see you tomorrow.
27th May: 23:59 UK time tonight (Friday) is the deadline for our give-away of crew shirts and baseball caps from Les Downey of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products. If you will be at the FIA / FIM Main Event tomorrow or Sunday and fancy a punt then check out Monday's news update.
We were sorry to hear that UK Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones has had to withdraw from the FIA / FIM Main Event as his truck broke down on the way to Santa Pod on Wednesday and it can't be it fixed in time to attend. "This is particularly hard on Crunch, considering the amount of work he's put in on both the race car and the truck since Easter", says Martyn, "and on my former crewman Ant Cook who did all the difficult work in swapping engines on the truck - essentially working seven days a week for the last three weeks. My heartfelt thanks to Crunch and to Ant for their efforts."
Smax does Kansas.
27th May: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith has been in touch with the second of two reports of his latest outings driving the Leverich family's Top Fueller in the NHRA Mello Yello series. This report is from the last weekend's race in Topeka:
Up at 4:00 am on Friday, Dan picked Jake and I up to meet Gary and drive to Detroit Airport. Unfortunately Aidan and Rooz couldn't make it so I was a little lost without them this weekend, but I needed to qualify to help Gary to get over not qualifying in Atlanta! Gary's dad Bob Leverich had driven the rig straight from Atlanta to Kansas and had the car teched for our arrival on Friday afternoon. We were parked by Luigi Novelli, a veteran racer who let us plug in our power cord as neither of our generators would start.
We got everything ready, I did the valves on one side. We decided to run to 330 feet on Friday night to make sure we didn't drop a cylinder. The conditions were awesome - Brittany ran 3.67 for a world record as did Matt Hagan 3.86/335! We did a strong burnout and launched with all eight header flames as high as the wing but only did a 0.960 sixty foot and only made 7300 rpm ! We realised our that our four-run blower was already worn so I ripped the blower apart and went over to Scott Palmers trailer to restrip it with his awesome crew guy Rick and the amazing Ashley, machined down the nilotron then Jake and I reassembled the blower in record time! Gary and Dan pulled the rack out and serviced all that as Jake redid the bottom end so I put in the clutch in that Bob had ready. I then redid all the valves and changed the bottom pulley. So we had a fresh blower and Scott Palmer gace us a pulley so spun 43% over for race day. Found a Hooters and met up with two English fans, Terry and his son Alvin who flew over to watch the race but spent nights sleeping in the car in Wal-Mart's car park to save money. Jake and I grabbed beer and met up at Scott Palmers pit - he had run a Personal Best of 3.87 - awesome job! Then we drove to a hole in the wall bar to meet up with bunch of racers - it was amazing to be partying with four other Top Fuel drivers.
Had a great night but now it was race day! We had Steve Torrence first round - no pressure there then! We went on stage for the driver introduction and got a great reception from the fans. Cruz Pedregon came over and said "Hi Smax!"... I didn't know he even knew my name (You should have said "And you are...?"- Ed). Del Worsham also came over and I had a quick chat with Matt Hagan. It was awesome meeting the stars of drag racing.
The car sounded amazing, hopped up, and we went to the line fully expecting our best run. I had been on my practice tree and was fully concentrated on the first round. I did a real strong burnout and backed up, then disaster! We dropped number two cylinder and fuel was sloshing out the pipe so we had no choice but to shut it off! I was gutted and whizzed my gloves into the air - damn!
It transpired that we had reused a set of spark plugs and I guess one failed. It's hard being low budget team but we went home in one piece and are nineteenth in the points! Antron Brown came over for a pic next to a sponsor decal on our car (the guys who got us plane tickets for Atlanta).
The journey back was drawn out: once we landed at Detroit the shift interlock bust in Gary's car, so we had to fix that then an hour's journey took three hours with traffic, then there was a then massive line-up at the Canadian border and they didn't like look of me so hauled us in for full search!. Home at 10:00 pm...
Our next race is at New England Dragway in two weeks. For more see leverichracing.com or the Ant Hill Mob Facebook page.
Beech sponsors Rat Trap 50th.
26th May: Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Rat Trap AA/Fuel Altered's 50th Anniversary world tour, Beech Underwriting Agencies, Maidstone, Kent, England, has signed on as a corporate sponsor. Beech joins several other European companies including USAutomotive in helping fund this exciting venture.
"We actually began the Anniversary Tour with our land speed cars at the ECTA Ohio Mile event in Wilmington, Ohio", said team owner and principal driver Ron Hope. "However, the exciting news is that we are now going to Europe for three races. The first event at Santa Pod in England celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Pod. Then we go to Hockenheim, Germany for NitrOlympX, and then back to Santa Pod for the European Finals. Incidentally, Randy Bradford's Fiat-bodied AA/Fuel Altered will join Rat Trap on the tour."
The Rat Trap story begins in the mid-1960s with original builder Don Green, however, today's Rat Trap is a continuation of the car developed by chassis builder Dennis Watson in 1968. Unlike the early cars that were conventional in design, Watson's car was revolutionary with independent front suspension, a nitro-burning Chrysler Hemi, and a distinctly wild paint scheme. Rat Trap was one of the four cars that participated in the celebrated Fuel Altered Tours of 1970, '71 and '72. Running on 90% nitro, Hope's best performance to date is a 6.35 E.T., and a speed of 229.88 mph
Geoff Stilwell, Managing Director of Beech Underwriting Agencies, also serves on the board of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame said, "I've been a huge fan of drag racing for many years and having the opportunity to see Rat Trap perform at Santa Pod - our home strip that opened Easter 1966 - is a boyhood dream come true. And, to be able to help make that happen is a special privilege.
"Incidentally, Rat Trap will also be displayed at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala, 19th November 2016, at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London's Heathrow Airport, England."
The three currently scheduled European Rat Trap events are:
FIA/FIM Main Event Wednesday gallery.
25th May: To whet your Main Event appetite we have posted a gallery of pictures taken during a couple of hours wandering around Santa Pod Raceway this afternoon including an early piece of testing and a "Did you notice?" for the Pro Modified afficionados.
You can check out our FIA / FIM Main Event Wednesday gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Automaxx Spring Edition cancelled.
25th May: Margot Schmidt has been in touch to let us know that this weekend's AutoMaxx Spring Edition at Drachten Drag Strip has been cancelled. Margot explains:
Yesterday we had discussions with Drachten City Council, partners and production companies. We visited the site with our crew to view the state of the venue. There has been a lot of rain in the Netherlands over the past few days; at the moment there are puddles everywhere and the ground has become soft. The city cannot cut the grass in its current state.
According to the weather forecasts the site gets two days to dry but lots of rain again at the weekend, 15 mm on Saturday and 90% chance of thunderstorms on Sunday. Looking at the state of the track and the weekend forecasts, we have been advised to cancel the event.
We are very disappointed as we have made all of our preparations and we were looking forward to a nice weekend at Drachten. But drag racing cannot take place in that kind of weather and we cannot offer our visitors the programme we have promised. So to avoid damage to your cars, motorcycles and the venue, we have decided to cancel the event for this weekend.
We are sorry to disappoint our visitors and participants who were looking forward to a nice race weekend.
Entry and racing tickets purchased via the ticket shop can be used at our event in France on 4th-5th June or the Quarter Mile Main Event at Drachten on 22nd-24th July. Of course, you may choose to have your ticket cost refunded to your bank account. If you would prefer to have your money reimbursed, please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your understanding, and apologies for the inconvenience. We hope to see you and the sun at the next event.
Ålund aims for 10/14.
25th May: This upcoming weekend signals the beginning of Jimmy Ålund's fourteenth year of racing in the FIA European Pro Stock Championship.
The European Championship season starts with the FIA / FIM Main Event held at the historic Santa Pod Raceway in the United Kingdom, also the scene of the final race of the 2015 season in which Jimmy dominated by qualifying number one and winning the event. The mid-season was more troublesome and Jimmy finished the Championship in second place; less than one round win separated the top two teams after a whole season of racing.
"Pro Stock leaves no room for margins", says Jimmy. "We reset the European ET and speed records twice but that did not help. 2015 was a real tough season for the racers but an excellent show for the fans, and I expect this year to be even harder". Indeed, this season will feature three new teams in the class and others with new cars and engines. "The growth and quality of the class is impressive and we are as focused as ever", says Jimmy. The gauntlet has already been thrown down. Pre-season testing at Tierp Arena should have Jimmy's competitors on edge as he and his crew took the car down the track at a sub-European record ET of 6.48 seconds.
Jimmy is running an engine out of the KB Racing shop this year, as has been the case for the last three seasons. "We are obviously very happy with the power they supply", he says. "Without KB Racing and the sponsorship of Summit Racing, we would not have won nine FIA Championships". 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.
The Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing Team is of course looking for a solid start to the Championship. "Yes, a win at Santa Pod would be great", says Jimmy, "especially as that would mean a follow up to Summit Racing's current success at the beginning of the 2016 NHRA season: eight events and eight wins for Summit Racing Team drivers Jason Line and Greg Anderson."
FIA / FIM Main Event qualifying commences this Saturday (28th).
25th May: Dutch Pro Modified racer David Vegter tells us that if you need energy during the FIA / FIM Main Event then his pit has copious supplies of Playboy Energy Drink for sale courtesy of his sponsor.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending Version 3 of the official entry list for the SPRC Summernationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th June. You can check out the SPRC Summernationals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on 4th June after which entry, if accepted, will 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.
Our good buddy Steve Moxley has again been hard at work flying the flag for drag racing with an APIRA Springspeed Nationals review and an FIA / FIM Main Event preview on the ACU web site at www.acu.org.uk and a Festival of Power review on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.
As our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA / FIM Main Event coverage is about to commence (see below), just a reminder that unless a standing agreement is already in place we take a dim view of the theft of our work be it report, result, pit note, picture, or screenshot or video grab of our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast. A polite request in advance usually results in a positive reply depending upon what it is you want to copy; no request at all or retrospective requests will result, at the least, in a demand for removal and possibly formal action up to and including sending Kirstie round. Sharing of links is of course fine.
With a little help from our friends...
25th May: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith has been in touch with the first of two reports of his latest outings driving the Leverich family's Top Fueller in the NHRA Mello Yello series. This report is from the Southern Nationals in Atlanta:
After a marathon thirty-hour drive to Charlotte and back tfor the Four Wides Aidan posted that we were looking for a sponsor to get us flights to Atlanta in exchange for televised advertising the car, and Lo and behold Active Collision of Timmings stepped in to help us big time. We got to Toronto on Thursday morning but missed the first flight of three to get us to Atlanta, so we sweet-talked Air Canada into giving us a direct flight to Atlanta which got us there even earlier than planned - even leaving at 2:00 pm so we could go to the bar for a swift half. We rented a car in Atlanta, got a room then went to track to see who was around, then met up with Dave Lindsay and Dave Richards nitro Funny Car crew at Applebees for late supper and pints!
Up early to meet Gary, Bob and Jake who drove the rig from Michigan and went over the car as usual. We got through tech OK and then found that we had issues with new carbon four-hole injector which we had just bought. Got that sorted and finally fired up and discovered another ignition issue, even though we had traded both of our 44 amp mags and got two good black mags off the ever-helpful Laganas! A couple of hours later tech said that the slicks which we got off Tim Wilkerson were illegal as of that race. I zoomed around to find tyres and our good friend Terry Macmillen gave us a pair of slicks with the required serial number. We thrashed to get them mounted and then JR Todd's team asked us to run brand new slicks on rims as they prefer tyres with one run to new tyres so we did! We decided not to run on Friday as only top the top twelve count and there were seventeen teams there. Got the car fired up and scared the fans with our nitro blast to seat the clutch and went out for food.
On to Saturday and as we had a poor timing signal on one mag, even though we purchased two good mags from Bobby Lagana, we took the coils and boxes to the MSD trailer and found a bad box so we put on the spare which they tested two weeks earlier only to find it wasn't any good! Damn! We had to tow down whilst Gary zoomed to buy new box and fitted it in lanes. Gary had put a little more fuel in and took six grammes off the clutch as the car was responding well to our changes, giving our best 1000 foot of 4.19 lifting early at Charlotte. We were quietly hoping for our first 4.0-second pass and were all taking bets on it. Aidan belted me in and made sure that the water was down then guided me to the burnout. Aidan did his usual perfect job of lining up the car and co-ordinating burnout and back-up while Rooz guided me back perfectly.
I mashed the throttle but it strangely dropped number eight cylinder and rattled a 4.4/270 being a thousand horsepwer down. We were sat at number seventeen and had two hours to get ready to beat Terry Haddock's bump spot of 4.17 - he was damaged and couldn't bump us back. Aidan thrashed and got his clutch done in record time as did Jake with bottom end but we had torched a gasket and had minor head damage. Dan was doing both heads and now we had to sort another piston, head etc and time was getting tight! Karamesines wasn't running thr fourth session so TJ from his crew came to help Dan on the heads then Crazy Scott Palmer was over with all his guys then Jeff Diehl and his guy grabbed wrenches. Meanwhile I had snapped a chute line so Scott Palmer gave us a chute which I fitted while Gary was trying to findout why we didn't have power to the mags when he was programming the timing but realised that the Leahy shut-off system was disconnected while Scott from Pat Dakin's team was looking at our graphic editor! It was so amazing that everyone was pitching in including the famous Jimbo who is Haddock's Crew Chief.
We got everything done but unfortunately missed the call by ten minutes. What a bummer after all that! At least the car was ready for Kansas following week. Sunday was hot and we watched a great day's racing then Aidan, Rooz and I shot to Atlanta Airport to try to switch our flight to Sunday night but it wasn't happening. We decided to drive the rental car back to Canada but we went via Illinois as I had sold the motor from our Funny Car and so we went to look at a Funny Car operation there. We did a deal and drove home but it took thirty hours in total!
Stay tuned for Smax's report from Topeka.
Women invited to Main Event photo call.
24th May: Santa Pod Raceway's Commercial Manager Caroline Holden and Santa Pod Racers Club's International Race Director Carole Ismail have issued an invitation to all women involved in this weekend's FIA / FIM Main Event to take part in a photo call.
"The Motor Sports Association's MSA Magazine has decided to publish a substantial feature on women in drag racing", explains Caroline, "and we'd like every woman involved in the Main Event in whatever capacity to join us for a group photo to help to illustrate the article."
The feature has been inspired by the recent founding of Dare To Be Different, described as "A high-profile new initiative that will inspire, connect and celebrate women who work in every aspect of motor sport". The organisation was founded jointly by Susie Wolff, former DTM racer and Williams F1 test driver, and the MSA. To date, D2BD has orientated itself towards circuit racing, but that is now changing.
"In fact", says Caroline, "when we first met Dare To Be Different's staffers earlier this year and pointed out that women have achieved more success in drag racing than in all other motorsports combined, some of them hadn't even heard of drag racing. So we have a job of education to do and we are making headway already. This feature in MSA Magazine presents a great opportunity to advance our case, and a healthy turnout for the photo shoot will really help push the point home."
Carole proposes that the group photoshoot should take place on the start line at Santa Pod at 08:30 this Saturday (28th), weather permitting. All women involved in the Main Event are invited whether racers, officials, marshals, crew members, track staffers, press and media: the bigger the turnout, the greater the impact the picture will have. Listen out for further information on NitroFM.
Carole adds "All you lovely ladies, please come down and join us for a photo. Seriously, this show wouldn't go on without our input, so please help us show the rest of the motorsport world how drag racing really ticks. If you are female – any age, any nationality – and are involved in making the Main Event happen in any capacity put on your finery, your race suits, your team shirts, dress yourselves up, and be there! Saturday morning, 08:30, on the start line."
Gunnarsson sticks to Top Fuel.
24th May: Sweden's Stefan Gunnarsson is leaving his injected-nitro Top Methanol Dragster in the workshop for the foreseeable future. Tuner and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Peter Lantz told Eurodragster.com that running both a Top Fuel Dragster and a Top Methanol Dragster was a crazy idea and that this season's goal is to get Stefan's Top Fueller into the threes - the sooner the better.
"We ran both cars at an event twice and it's definitely not an option I recommend", said Peter. "It was a stress test for all of us. There is a reason why there is a brains trust of two and sometimes three on a Top Fuel team, and tuning two cars alone was hard. It was hard too for Stefan driving. They are similar kinds of car but one goes all the way to the finish line. If I could turn back time then I would have talked Stefan into going Top Fuel straight away, but I didn't know what his passion for the Top Fuel car would be when he purchased the A/Fueller. The A/Fueller is not parked but we have no plan when we will race it again. It has been serviced and some stuff repaired, and it is more or less ready to run whenever we choose to do it. We still have gremlins to find, and we have unfinished business with that car, so we will try to run it sooner or later.
"Our main focus will be on the Top Fueller and I guess we have a big challenge running the one car. It has new style DSR cylinder heads, new rocker assembly, billet blower and billet manifold. We also put on a new injector etc, so the combination will more or less be new to us. We have also updated the clutch management, and added some clutches. The plan was to test at Tierp Arena but we didn't have all our ducks in a row at the time. Because of Stefan's busy schedule we will have no time to test at the Pod either, so we will need to jump right in during the heat of qualifying.
"Our parts supplier Michael Domagala of Premium Motorsports Products will be helping us out at the Main Event. Mike is well-known in Europe and he has tuned for Rune Fjeld Motorsport as well. He comes straight from Australia where they won the Top Fuel title with Mark Mariani. I need to step up my game and Mike will be the perfect person to keep me on the straight and narrow... it's very easy to go off track when you are working alone on these cars, although I get great help from all of my fellow team members.
"We plan to run at every round of the Championship but that might change depending upon how we get on in the points. Every team's biggest goal is to be Campionsin the end, and of course our team is no different. But we have to be realistic: we are racing against the top teams who are running very well and have done so for a while. So I see us as the underdog although hopefully a pit bull!
"Stefan has shown a great potential in his driving and it's the first time in a very long time that I have experienced that. He will be a winner sooner or later, but time will tell.
"We have added crew for this year who are new to Top Fuel but not to the sport. It was important to get crew who live closer to where Stefan lives, and two of the new members are from Linköping: Leif Pettersson, who had his own competition dragster for a long time, and Janne Wiberg who crewed on Micke Kågered's Top Methanol Funny Car. Also new to the team is Anders Ahl from Vanersborg who is making his first appearance in Top Fuel; he has already got nickname "Google" as he knows so much about the sport in the USA. The rest of the team are Peter Lagerstrand clutch, Mats Carlsson short block, Robin Lantz cylinder head, Andy Thungstrom cylinder head, Linus Lantz all round, and of course Stefan wife Maria Gunnarsson. So the team with all this new stuff and new people will be a nitro embryo at the Main Event."
Peter's son Robin is also planning to race an injected-nitro Top Methanol Dragster but Peter said that his car's début may be some way off yet if not that of the driver. "Robin's car has to be finished before it is ready to run, and the way the Championship calendar looks today we have no time to get it finished in time to run this year", he said. "All of our paid vacation from work is used up to run the Top Fueller and then work had to come first, that's the way it is. Hopefully we can get our funding together to use Stefan's car for licence passes later this summer, but time will tell."
Gulf Oil extend King Racing deal.
24th May: The Gulf Oil International Group has announced an extension to its agreement for multiple FIM European Top Fuel Bike Champions and record holders King Racing to manage the operations of the Gulf Oil Top Fuel Motorcycle Dragracing team in 2016. In an exciting year for the group King Racing are joined by English Premier League Football Club Manchester United, World Superbike Team Milwaukee BMW, Indian Premier League Cricket team Rising Pune Supergiants and the WEC Gulf Racing Porsche GTE AM team in a formidable sporting line up of Gulf Oil International partners.
Team Principal Ian King said "All of us at King Racing are extremely pleased that Gulf Oil International has decided to extend their partnership with our team activities in 2016. We are very proud to carry the most iconic brand in motorsports history on our record breaking machine for a sixth consecutive season alongside Grand Prix Originals and all of our blue chip technical and service partners who have committed to help make this another record-breaking season."
The Gulf Oil Dragracing team will contest the FIM European Drag Bike Championship, have been invited to appear once again at the world's biggest and most diverse motorsport event the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and are planning an attempt to break an official FIM land speed record – news to follow.
If you wish to see the Gulf Oil Dragracing Top Fuel Bike run "Up The Hill" then tickets are running out fast. The event attracts over 100,000 spectators and is always sold out well in advance. Weekend and Saturday entry tickets now sold out and other days extremely limited and likely to sell out very soon. Click here to purchase tickets for the world's biggest and most diverse motorsport event. For a taste of the action you can see on track, check out the promotional video on YouTube which includes the Gulf Oil Top Fuel Bike leaving the start line.
The team's next event is at this week's opening round of the European Championships, the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway in England. For more information on the team visit www.gulfoildragracing.com, @kingracing on Twitter, and the team's Facebook and YouTube pages. For more information on Gulf Oil International visit www.gulfoilltd.com.
The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history-making machine. The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in their endeavours to secure a tenth European Championship:
APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Bell Helmets - The most iconic name in helmets, since 1954
Cometic Gaskets - The premier manufacturer of racing gaskets
Drift Innovation - Europe's leading source for action sports cameras
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Goodridge - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Grand Prix Originals - The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
Graphite Additive Manufacturing - A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
Gulf Oil International - The world's most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants
Hotrod Hangar– Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
Hyperpro - The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
John and Dea Morgan Racing - The creators of the world's most advanced New Age Funny Bike
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc -The highest quality valve train components on the market
King Racing - The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European drag racing history
Mickey Thompson Tyres - Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC Engineering - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NitroShutter - Europe's leading drag racing photo-journalists
NCT Engineering - Manufacturer of the world's leading non contact torque sensors for motorsport
NGK Spark Plugs UK - The world's number one spark plug manufacturer
Pär Willen - Master webmeister and proprietor of HarleyDrags.com
Portable Shade - The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
Pro Alloy Motorsport - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
RSG Customize - The UK's most creative website designers and vinyl artists
Supertough - Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
Spies Hecker - The world's leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing
Tryka LED - The UK's cutting edge LED lighting manufacturer
Van Es mobility - The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
Vanson Leathers - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
Web Camshafts Inc - Simply the company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
Worldwide Bearings - The world's leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts
Team SDR double up.
24th May: German Sand Drags racer Sebastian Lindau has been in touch with an update from the workshops of the SDR Sand Drag Team, which includes news of a new bike and a second rider:
The off-season in Sand Drags is a bit longer and because of this we are still in the preparation phase for 2016. One big change is that SDR has a new bike in the stable. We purchased a Hayabusa last winter which is currently being built up. The Yamaha FZR which I raced for the last two seasons will stay in the team at least for this year and will be raced by a young and talented rider from Iceland named Hilmar Þór Magnusson. Hilmar comes from a motorsports family: his father Magnüs has raced his front-engined dragster for a long time and has been very successful in the premier Icelandic dragster class Opinn Flokkur. Hilmar himself has also a achieved a couple of successes and SDR look forward to having him in the team this year.
Sadly we will be not able to take part in the Icelandic Championship this year because the current flood of tourists has prevented us from booking a spot on the ferry. In February I tried to book for September and there was nothing available - that gives you an idea what is currently going on up there. Unfortunately that means that we will be on a very limited schedule with only one race this year, the Freeriders Offroad Drag Race in Switzerland on 16th-17th September. We will celebrate this as much as we can and everyone who is interested is invited to visit us in the pits and also to keep up to date via our new Facebook page.
I don't want to miss this opportunity to say a big Thank You to Rene Ehrismann of Switzerland's Drag Team Orangli. Because I started a new job my girlfriend and I moved to Switzerland last winter. Rene was extremely helpful throughout on many occasions. Without Rene and his numerous contacts I would still have no workshop, for example. A very helpful and friendly guy and I'm very pleased and proud to know him.
FIA/FIM Main Event Perfect Awards.
24th May: This weekend's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £175 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Brian Huxley at the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Thursday morning.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been increased to £125 after it went unclaimed at the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £150 for the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals. 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 (left), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Thursday morning.
Lucas Oil Main Event give-away.
23rd May: Courtesy of Les Downey of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products we have ten new Lucas Oil crew shirt and baseball cap sets to give away at this weekend's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway.
We have two each of the Small, Medium, Large, XL and XXL shirts to give away and each comes with a cap. The give-away is open to racers, fans, officials, everyone; the only condition of entry is that you are at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday or Sunday to pick up your prize.
To be in with a chance of winning a shirt and cap all you have to do is to send the following details to email@example.com:
Promising starts in Supertwin.
23rd May: Pasi Uponen writes that three Supertwins contested the opening round of the Finnish National Series at Alastaro this past weekend:
Samu Kemppainen was testing his new shorter first gear and made three really good runs. 6.912/193.9 mph, 6.772/207 and 6.806/ 204.7 bode well for Santa Pod.
Vesa Lipponen ran his first ever six-second pass whilst testing his bike. Unfortunately the sprocket suffered some damage during the run and so that was his only pass of the weekend. However, he got a very promising time and excellent speed 6.930/224.7 mph.
The third bike in this group was run by Aku Lantto (left) who made licencing runs. First he performed a couple of burnouts and then he made a pretty good sixty foot run. He finished with a really nice eighth-mile pass. Aku's goal is to attend the race at Tierp Arena in June.
Olstad: Back at work.
23rd May: Norwegian Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad tells us that he had a busy off-season, but that none of it was down to his bike:
My partner Anne Marit was in hospital for two months undertaking cancer treatment, and but is healing well now (Great news, hope that continues, love and hugs - Ed). I have been off work with a back injury. In late January I was on a two-month training régime for my back, and right now I have been back at work for a month. I have prioritised my health by training at least three times a week and it is a lot better now.
Because of all this the bike has been on hold the whole winter. Mostly, we have replaced all the parts which were burned at Mosten last year. We are going to upgrade the fuel system, we are making a new camshaft, and we have interesting new exhaust pipes. We feel that he motor is working well after last year's struggle, but you know Nitromethane can do bad things to an engine now and then.
Our plan for this season is to contest both Championships, Nordic and European. The goal is of course to win, but I think that this will be a challenge. With Samu Kempainen and Per Bengtsson on an entry list it will always be a hard race to win. Martijn de Haas also seems to be very consistent, and if he shows the same consistency this season he will also be a hard nut to crack.
My sponsors for 2016 are ENI, Lena Anleggsservice, Hydroscand, GMS Bike Store, Knapphus Energy, Kulelagerhuset, DekkTeam, Tech-Con, GB-Tech and Billakkspesialisten. I have a few new team-members and some of the old crew continue to wrench as usual.
We are looking forward to racing at Santa Pod again. News and updates will be posted on Facebook at Olstad Racing.
Adding spice to Junior Dragster...
23rd May: UK Junior Dragster racer Ruaridh Hart is pleased to announce sponsorship from local Indian Restaurant Le Spice Merchant. The restaurant is also offering discount on sit-down meals and take-aways. Ruaridh's dad Ian Hart writes:
It has become a tradition for the Eliminator Junior drag racing team to visit our local curry house when returning from events. Le Spice Merchant in Wellingborough has also hosted many of our good friends from the world of racing including reigning FIA Pro Stock Champion Thomas Lindström and the Green Goblin Pro Mod team of Mats Eriksson. And now, Le Spice Merchant restaurant are taking the relationship further with an agreement to sponsor Ruaridh's Junior Dragster for this weekend's Main Event.
"After Ruaridh won at Big Bang in April, I discussed some sponsorship for the car with the team, and we have come to an arrangement for the Main Event", says Imran of Le Spice Merchant. "I am really looking forward to visiting Santa Pod for the first time and to see the cars and bikes that I have heard about and also to support Ruaridh. It will be a thrill to see the restaurant name on the side of the car, and maybe it can win again with our help."
Le Spice Merchant is the number one restaurant in Wellingborough as described by Trip Advisor. With each meal individually cooked by the passionate chefs, all nut free, and with a low carb and low calorie menu available, Le Spice Merchant deserves its reputation as number one Indian Restaurant in the area. As an additional part of the sponsorship, Le Spice Merchant will offer a discount to any racer or race fan who quote Eliminator Racing when ordering a take-away or restaurant meal either over the phone or in person.
Le Spice Merchant can be found at 1 Farm Road, Redhill Farm, Wellingborough NN8 4UF, call 01933 679218, or visit www.lespicemerchant.co.uk.
FIA/FIM Main Event webcasts.
25th May: Attentive readers will know that broadcasts of this weekend's FIA / FIM Main Event will be provided firstly by Eurodragster.com's free Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam and then by Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe's excellent free Web TV. Below is your cut-out-and-keep reminder for the schedule for the webcasts and Web TV:
Links to both webcasts as well as to live reports, pit notes, galleries, provisional running orders and entry list are available on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA / FIM Main Event coverage index which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Race, Rock'n'Ride galleries.
22nd May: Eurodragster.com spent the weekend at Santa Pod Raceway enjoying the first Race, Rock'n'Ride. Although the weather eventually won yesterday (Saturday) we had a full day's RWYB today including some racers taking the chance for some pre-FIA / FIM Main Event testing.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Race, Rock'n'Ride 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.
22nd May: Kev Charman asked us to wish a big Happy 17th Birthday to Jake Charman. Our pleasure Kev, have a great day Jake.
Event entry update.
21st May: Entry is still open for the UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds of 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike and the APIRA rounds of ET Bike / NAST and Supertwin Gas taking place at Shakespeare County Raceway's Street Drags Public Track Weekend on 11th-12th June. You can download the official entry forms from SCR's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Margot Schmidt writes that Pro cars and bikes, Junior Dragsters and Junior Drag Bikes and Quads are invited to test free of charge at the Automaxx Spring Edition at Drachten Airfield next Friday-Sunday 29th-29th May. "Don't miss the opportunity to test your machine at the beginning of the season on a safe and fully-prepared track", says Margot. "All you need is a weekend entrance ticket which is €45 per person and which includes camping, showers, toilets, electricity etc. Entry is free for Junior participants. Tickets can be purchased at 402automotive.vstrs.nl/shop. To participate please sign up at www.automaxxspringedition.nl.
Chris Murty says that next weekend's Volkspower Powerfest at York Raceway offers four days of Volkswagen Festival with two days of drag racing and three nights of live music. "Gates open on Friday (27th) with camping and the first night of our live music", says Chris. "On Saturday we will have a static display by VW Clubs from the north of England, as well as live music though the day leading up to the evening. Sunday is the first day of non-stop drag racing action featuring Round 4 of American Super Stock, JDM-DRC, Pro FWD and NSCC. We will also have our first VW Run What You Brung to find a home for our £500 for the quickest VW. Amongst all that there is our Ultimate RWYB. Then once the final pass of the day is made it's time to party in the main marquee for our final night of live music. On Monday the track action continues with even more racing, our full schedule of: American Super Stock, JDM-DRC, Pro FWD, NSCC, Volks Stock, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Cup, RWYB and VW-RWYB - the final chance for the quickest VW to take home the £500 prize money. On the show field there will be a VW Show'n'Shine. There will be plenty of caterers and trade stands and shows put on by Julian Webb in the Split Second Jet Dragster, Steve Murty's Backdraft Wheelie Fire Truck, and the return of the hugely-entertaining internet sensation the Pat Van". More details at www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
A Picnic for the BHO slingshot.
21st May: Joe Bond says that the Bond, Hannis and Osborne team have been overwhelmed by the response since they débuted their new slingshot last year and that they are all set for this year's first outing:
We are very proud of the car, and we were very pleased to get to the NSRA Hot Rod Drags and leave the event with the first full run on the car, its first seven at 7.92/180.
At the end of last year, our beloved Nuthin' Fancy Topolino was sold to Richard Broms who drove all the way from Sweden to collect the car at Easter. I look forward to seeing him have a lot of fun with that car!
The dragster's racing season starts with the Supercharged Outlaws at next weekend's Gary's Picnic / Yanks Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway. We hope to continue baselining the car and creeping up on performance. This car is so different to the altered; both having four wheels is about the only comparison. We look forward to racing at Dragstalgia in the newly-formed Slingshot Showdown class (Yummy - Ed), hopefully the class has a strong turnout!
We'll have our new T-Shirts for sale at all of the events which we attend. The white shirts are available for £10 in sizes S to XXL. We also have prints of a piece of artwork of the car produced by the legendary John Mitchell from California. These full-colour A3 prints will be for sale for £1 each. Come to see us in the pits and pick one up!
Can I once again say a massive Thank You to Martyn Hannis, Doug Bond, Lawrence Osborne and all of the team for the work over the winter to get the whole operation ready to go once more. We are all looking forward to getting the season underway.
If you would like to follow us on Facebook then please Like us at www.facebook.com/teambho.
21st May: Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team are ready to testing before the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the team's preview and workshop update (Dutch-language PDF) by clicking here.
Racer VIP deal closing soon.
20th May: Santa Pod Raceway's Commercial Manager Caroline Holden tells us that SPR's special deal for FIA / FIM Main Event VIP hospitality for racers' sponsors and supporters is closing soon, so she recommends booking your places:
Guests can enjoy balcony viewing from one of SPR's 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 Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the event and are on sale 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.
Gullqvist: Bring it on!
20th May: 2015 FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullqvist is almost ready to take on all comers in his title defence:
Looking back, we had a great season last year! After a rain-out at Tierp Arena in June and an extremely disappointing first round exit after a red light at Alastaro, we really could not afford to make any more mistakes for the rest of the season if we were to keep our Championship hopes alive. It worked out extremely well as we won the three last events back-to-back, which led to our fifth FIA European Pro Modified Championship.
A move to a new workshop over the winter took quite some time and effort and we could not start preparing for the 2016 season until late March of this year. However we have a performance benchmark from last year of setting Low ET at all events and having the current ET record at every track, so I think we have a pretty strong baseline to work from. We have made some minor changes to the car and we should not be too far from getting it working, but we need a couple of runs to tune it.
I predict that the competition this year will be tougher than ever with some teams stepping up their game and hiring tuners. They'll chase us hard for sure, but they'll have to fight hard for it and I'm really excited about the increased level of competition. Bring it on guys!
I also want to say thanks to some great companies who support us such as Lucas Oil, Stavdal, Kjelland, Aeromotive, AirMobile, Pampas Marina and Blenco Racing.
For more information, please check out mickegullqvist.com.
Crane's innovative ride.
20th May: UK Funny Bike racer Stuart Crane's new bike will be making its competitive début in FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike at next week's FIA / FIM Main Event. Stu says that the bike is the first of its kind in Europe:
The bike has been manufactured in its entirety by Warpspeed Racing and uses the latest technology in engine, chassis ,and electronics. It has a 14" rear rim with a 10.5 tyre and has a longer wheelbase than my previous bike. It also has fixed rear axle adjusters and runs a pre-tensioner on the chain for tension adjustment. I have attended one test session and made one pass so far, and on that first pass the bike went 7.9/172 which was a very promising result (and then some - Ed).
The whole team will be doing the full FIM Tour. I will be tuning the bike myself and I have two goals this season: to run a 0.9-second sixty foot time and to run quicker than the 6.89 which Chris Hall recorded on his bike . This would make me the most successful British rider in history using nitrous oxide.
Thanks to my great crew and also to my sponsors MPM Oil and Warpspeed Racing.
The Main Event, live.
20th May: There is a bumper entry list of Pro cars and bikes plus Sportsman classes and an action-packed off-track line up including the Red Arrows at next week's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Drag racing fans from all over the country and further afield will be making their way to Santa Pod next weekend but if you are unfortunately not able to come to see the action first hand then fear not. Trakbak Racing Ltd and Track Group Europe are pleased to announce there will once again be a free to watch Live Web Broadcast featuring multi-camera coverage from Sunday (29th) qualifying through to the eliminations and finals on Monday, and this year's production will be the best yet.
You will be able to view the Live Web Broadcast at www.santapod.co.uk/webtv where you can also set a reminder now, or follow Santa Pod on Livestream at www.livestream.com/SantaPod to get updates on all future live broadcasts.
20th May: Thursday's news item has been amended but Pro Modified and Pro Stock racers please note that scrutineering for your classes at next week's FIA / FIM Main Event will take place in the Parc Fermé building (to the left side of the tunnel through scrutineering, as viewed from the pits). The error in the original news item was your News Editor's and not SPRC's; apologies for the misunderstanding.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending Version 2 of the official entry list for the SPRC Summernationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th June. You can check out the SPRC Summernationals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on 4th June after which entry, if accepted, will 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.
Further to the news item above, Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be broadcasting next Thursday's (26th) Pro Peak Peformance Test and Tune Day and days one and two, Friday and Saturday, of the FIA / FIM Main Event. We will post a ready reckoner of who is broadcasting when early next week but our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA / FIM Main Event coverage index, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, already contains links both to our own webcast and the Trakbak Racing Ltd / Track Group Europe Web TV.
Les Downey of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products passed on an interesting testament from a satisfied consumer. Mike Miller, an engine builder in southern California, dyno'd one of his customers' drag boat motors firstly with 5W30 Delo Chevron oil and then, after tuning and running in the engine at full power, Lucas Oil Racing 5W-30 Synthetic and promptly picked up twenty horsepower. The motor involved was a 583 ci inch Big Block Chevy sporting Brodix SR 20 cylinder heads and the test was carried out with the same oil levels and at the same oil temperatures. You can find out more about Lucas Oil Products on their web site at www.lucasoil.co.uk. Stay tuned for a Lucas Oil give-away in the run-up to the FIA / FIM Main Event.
European Top Gas Round 1 report.
20th May: Herman Jolink writes that the first Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas round of 2016 took place over the eighth-mile at Malmö Raceway last weekend:
The track gave very good traction, prepared by the GB's Lee Child.
Friday evening qualifyng from took place in nice dry weather between 18:00 and 22:00. On Saturday afternoon there was some rain, but after 18:00 we had a good dry track, and the first elimination rounds took place in car and bike classes. Sweden's Rikard Gustafsson made some test runs on his new Top Fuel Bike, he rode it like he has been riding it for years. 1.077 seconds to sixty feet and a very quick 4.029/305 kmh over the eighth.
Super Twin Top Gas qualifying:
E1: Schack 5.254-222 beat Lymant 5.823/190, Schack had a broken tube on the wheelie and the bike was jumping but Schack was first to the stripe. In the final Schack 4.752/232 with a repaired wheelie bar beat Anderssen 5.521/189. RTs Schack 0.270, Anderssen 0.283.
Germany's Team Oakland Orange were planning to come to Malmö but overnight 17th-18th April they had a burglary, five bikes and the team's camper were taken. The bikes were John Hansen's 2400 V-Twin Top Gas Bike, two V-Rod Destroyers Drag Bikes and two road HD bikes.
27th-29th May: Auto Maxx Spring Edition, Drachten NL
3rd-5th June: Grand Nationals, MSTO-Predators, Bechyne CZ
1st-3rd July: Main Event, DHRA, Drachten NL
22nd-24th July: The Main Event, Drachten NL
19th-21st August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim NL
2nd-3rd September: Mosten Race Days and Top Gas Finals, Allingabro DK
Racers sought for Aston Martin Show.
19th May: Phil Cottingham writes that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame are looking for two race vehicles to make up a display at the prestigious Aston Martin show at Burghley House, near Stamford, on Sunday 3rd July.
"We are looking for two more cars or bikes to make up our three-vehicle display", says Phil. "Ideally we are looking for one nostalgia style and one modern style to showcase the sport. The actual show will have 400+ Aston Martins of all eras, trade stands, Red Arrows flypast and much more."
If you are interested in displaying your car or bike then please contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01536 511123 during the day, or seek him out at mid-track VIP on the Friday of next week's FIA / FIM Main Event.
Mopar: The Next Generation.
19th May: After a turbulent off-season 2015 "Very humble" FIA European Pro Stock Champion Thomas Lindström and Team R/T are ready to head to England for what will be the first of a limited schedule of races in 2016. Thomas writes:
After our sponsor withdrew in favour of racing an operation of his own, we found ourselves facing a tough challenge as the heart of the car, some of the Hemi engines, were lost in the process. We have been working hard to raise funds to buy a new powerplant from Allen Johnsson to be able keep on racing in 2016, and we have managed to clinch some valuable sponsors for the European Mopar Pro Stock team. I can tell you all for sure that without our sponsors and their loyalty and the support they have given us we would not have been racing this year. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in us DK Lyft & Transport, Verkstadspartner, Contractor Maskiner AB, Flinks Järn, Björnbers Åkeri, Wrapzone, R/T Bil and Maskin and Pro Tools. They stepped up their game and with their support we could finally close that engine deal with AJ.
At time of writing we have run one test session in Malmö and it went really well. 4.23 over the eighth on a pretty cold and tricky track certainly proved that we are still in business. As usual the team worked well together and it felt good to be back on track after a winter during which we almost had doubts about what we would be doing.
A lot of people wonder how we will handle Jimmy Ålund's run in testing at Tierp when he basically drove through the sound barrier with that blue car. Well, first of all I will welcome the newbies to the Pro Stock field. We have three new drivers in Pro Stock, a couple of new cars entering the field and two of them have as much horsepower as money can buy. So this season will be awesome in every way. It will be the toughest ever year for Pro Stock in Europe and there is going to be hard core racing at every track to get the points needed to be crowned 2016 Champion. So it's not only that blue Camaro we need to keep up with, but a new Camaro and a new Dodge which will make our lives hell on the track. But then we have the rest of the cars, and although some of them might not run any 6.5 times they are killers on the Tree and you can't count anyone out. They are all enemies of mine at the start line, enemies which every fast car needs to pass before winning bragging rights.
With that in mind let's look back at 2015. Ours was not the fastest car at all, we didn't qualify better than #2 and sometimes #3 or #4 or worse. But we won the Championship anyway: not because of engine power, not because others in the field where faster, but because we simply did it best all the way. In every round our heads were in an ice bucket to keep us cool. So let them all come with as much horsepower as they have money for, we will be ready and we will do what we do best: race on race day and keep everything together as we always have.
We have had the same team for seven years now and that is important. As I driver I am getting better on each run and it finally feels like I'm the one driving the car and not the other way around. But to finally come to that realisation takes a lot of seat time and it isn't something you can achieve with the turn of a hand. Driving and tuning a Pro Stock car is more than horsepower and cool stuff, it's much more complicated then that. I would say that it's 50-50 between track time and sitting at home doing the mathematics at the computer. Comparing graphs, finding the good stuff and the bad things which didn't work. Plainly, if you want to be on top in this game you need to do the homework before you go to school. And we did that 2015. We must have in a thousand hours going through the car between races and working with different theoretical scenarios with the Racepak graphs.
The car has been uppdated with new shocks and electronics and is ready to fight for a win at Santa Pod. We have a new look for the car, the trailer and the crew. The car has already been wrapped by Wrapzone, I have a new driving suit from Simpson and cool new shirts for the team will make us look even better than we usually do at the track.
But this year will be a little different for Team R/T... we will be expanding the team a little. My wife Nina and I are going to have a little one. We did plan for a birth after the season, but you all know me: when I need to be fast I go slow and when I need to keep cool I go fast, and this time I did it fast. The due date is 10th September, yes the date of the European Finals at Santa Pod. So sadly we will not come visiting you there this year and kick ass. But this is one of the biggest things which has happened in my life and i will be home taking care of my wife and my son. I will gladly replace the #1 on the car for this because I know I will take it back later.
And we have another fast guy in the team, even faster actually! Tony our chassis specialist will also have a little one, a baby girl, who will arrive during the race in Hockenheim so that is another race which we not will attend.
The outcome of all of this is that we will have more children than adults in the team, if you count Roffe and I children of course. So let us raise some Mopar family this year and breed the next generation of Pro Stock drivers and then we'll come back 2017 to take back that number one from whoever has it.
See you at the Main Event!
Pictures courtesy and ©Stefan Boman
Ernryd steps up.
19th May: Having been Team Manager for Team R/T for five years, Sweden's Stefan Ernryd is stepping up and driving his own Pro Stock, an Allen Johnson Dodge previously campaigned in the USA by Richie Stevens.
"After testing and gaining an NHRA licence we shipped the complete race-ready car to Sweden", Stefan told Eurodragster.com. We have done a few small jobs on it as well as rewrapping it in a new colour as well as the trailer I bought from Jonnie Lindberg.
"We tested at Tierp Arena and after struggling with some electrical problems we made a full run of 6.70 so we still have some work to do before we come to Santa Pod for the Main Event. The competition is tougher than ever with Jimmy Ålund making two 6.4-second runs at Tierp, Bengt Ljungdahl also ran a nice 6.52 at the same test. Our car will be in the same range, we just need to get more rounds and experience.
"My Crew Chief is Ulf Wagnhester who used to drive Pro Stock in the car which Simon Gustafsson drives now. My clutch guy is Jari Eerola who has been with me for several years with my previous Super Street Dart, he also worked on Bo Pettersson's Pro Stock team as clutch guy. Erik Almström works with the transmission and rear end, he has raced Street cars and worked in Pro Stock a few years ago. Pekka Lampinen is a true Mopar enthusiast and is our all-round guy.
"Our sponsors are Ernrydcars, my own company which celebrates thirty years in business this summer; Hansen Racing, the biggest parts supplier for US cars in Sweden which is also celebrating this year with fifty years in business; Navterra, a US / Swedish car export company located in Detroit, is also on board.
"We are aiming to contest the full season this year. It's going to be interesting and we are all excited!"
Ljungdahl means business.
19th May: Ian Hart writes that Sweden's Bengt Ljungdahl has made some considerable steps forward in his quest to run with the Pro Stock big boys during the 2016 FIA European Championship season:
The opening round of Pro Stock at the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod will be the competitive début of Bengt's new wheels, a Gray Motorsports 2015 Camaro, in which Bengt has achieved a personal best of 6.517 at 210 mph. He ran 6.52 in testing at Tierp; when we consider that the European record is 6.498, set by Jimmy ålund in 2015 and backed up with a 6.50, it is easy to see that Bengt is taking things seriously this year and that the team really mean business.
"We know the car can run at the top", says Bengt, "so now it is up to us. We have a lot to learn to catch up to our competitors, but with hard work we are sure we can reach our goals."
The team consists of Bengt himself as owner and driver, whilst between rounds having responsibility for the engine and rear suspension crew. Christer Ilar works with the clutch and gearbox, whilst overseeing the whole operation is Crew Chief Markus Svensson who has Pro team experience on both sides of the Pond. Sponsorship is from Kinnan, Entrade, Safety Alarm, Varmt & Skönt, Däck Partner, and Lindgren Bil.
19th May: Santa Pod Raceway RWYB photographer Ian Blackett grabbed this awesome shot of Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell all-wheels-off during pre-Main Event testing last Sunday. "It gives a whole new meaning to the term "Leaving the start line"... cleared for take-off comes to mind", says Flav. "With a new clutch on board Team MFR were testing some new ideas which clearly need further research but we had a good day out overall. We left a lot wiser and, as usual when you try new approaches, with more questions than answers."
German Super Street Bike racer Thomas Granica says that he and brother and tuner Peter will be trying to get the best out of a limited budget this season. "The bike is ready and we have two fresh motors", he says. "There is nothing new apart from a new turbo as the old one quit its job at the last race. The plan is to contest all races of the FIM European Super Street Bike Cup and we will again try to get in the money at every race and go as many rounds as possible. Tuning is Peter's job as he is the best to suit my crap riding!"
Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster Smax Smith who is again driving the Leverich Family's Top Fuel Dragster at this weekend's NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka, and to Jonnie Lindberg who is contesting this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Norwalk. Qualifying commences in Topeka tomorrow (Friday) and in Norwalk on Saturday; live updates will be posted on Smax's Facebook page at Ant Hill Mob Dragracing and the Lindberg Brothers' web site at www.lindbergbros.com. In both cases you will be able to find results on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Racepak, MSD trackside support 2016.
19th May: Remco Scheelings writes that with effect from next week's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, Racepak and MSD trackside support will be based in the Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified pit:
Eurodragster.com sponsor Post & Dros Racing Engines & Parts, based in Dronten, The Netherlands, are the European distributor for Racepak and MSD and many other major engine parts and motorsport suppliers. Almost two years ago Post & Dros, in the person of Dick Koster, introduced a trackside support service at FIA European Drag Racing Championship races.
From now on, Dick will work from the Pro Dutch Racing trailer in the Pro Modified pits. If team needs assistance or parts for Racepak, MSD and Clevite bearings then go to the bright yellow, blue and red Pro Dutch Racing trailer and you will find Dick there, or the team will know where he is.
As it is Michel Tooren's first season in Pro Modified, Pro Dutch Racing will not attend the Scandinavian races of the Championship so at those races Post & Dros will co-operate with their Racepak and MSD sub-dealers in Sweden and Finland. At Tierp Arena Dick will work from Mats Brag's pit area and at Alastaro Jari Soini's KLS Teknik trailer.
Super Pro ET Challenge is go!
19th May: Our good buddy Markus Münch writes that going into its ninth year the Super Pro ET Challenge has a bigger entry and a more international flavour than ever:
You must register before the season and then you simply race. Your best four results will be counted for the overall points. No more than than two results from a single race track are allowed for the overall points.
Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France are in the game. The first to collect points was Silvio Strauch who competed at Malmö this past weekend. Many others will follow this weekend at Rivanazzano Dragway in Italy and then next week there will be some drivers at the Main Event at the Pod. As you can see we are quite international.
The racers for 2016 are Enrico Bailo (IT – Team AMP), Fabio Cassinelli (IT-Atomic Orange), Simon Rudiferia (IT – Team Racepoint.it), Nicole Rechsteiner (CH-Fancy Fly), Alain Dürr (CH-Drag Racing Dürr), Oli Petzold (GER-Schumann Motorsport), Robert Gassner (GER), Fränky Richter (GER-Customizers East), Franz Aschbrenner (GER – Team Bavaria Customs), Stefan Eisenhauer (GER-Eisenhauer Racing), Mike Bruckmüller (CH-74 Racing), Florian Uebel (GER-Skull Racing), Jochen Beck (GER-Hillbilly Hellfire), Eric Angeloni (F), Marc Henney (GER-Ethanol Guzzler), Karl Heinz Kleider (GER-Team 69Time Racing), Frank Wambach (GER – Team GTÜ), Silvio Strauch (GER – Team Engineghost) and Walle Strobel (GER – Team Wasttuning).
Our sponsors for 2016 are MSTO, Schumann Motorsport, Beat Rechsteiner, Turboscheune.com, Ehrismann AG, Mike Bruckmüller-Team '74, Eisenhauer KFZ Service and Hillbilly Hellfire Racing.
You can stay informed with results, driver profiles and more at www.suproet.de.
FIA/FIM Main Event racer update.
18th May: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for next week's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway:
Thursday 26th May
08:00 Gates open for the duration
10:00 Signing on opens (earlier for Pro Peak Performance Day participants)
12:00 Car scrutineering commences (NB Change from Final Instructions)
Pro car scrutineering order
Sportsman car scrutineering order
20:00 Signing On office closes
Friday 27th May
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences
Pro car scrutineering order
Sportsman car scrutineering order
09:00 Bike scrutineering commences
Pro bike scrutineering order
09:30 Track open for qualifying
Saturday 28th May
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Scrutineering commences
Pro car scrutineering order
Pro bike scrutineering order
Sportsman car scrutineering order
09:30 Track open for qualifying and eliminations
Sunday 29th May
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Scrutineering commences
Pro car scrutineering order
Pro bike scrutineering order
Sportsman car scrutineering order
09:30 Track open for qualifying and eliminations
Monday 30th May
09:30 Track open for eliminations
Pro Modified and Pro Stock racers please note that your cars will be scrutineered in the Parc Fermé building (to the left side of the scrutineering tunnel as viewed from the pits). This is to help to speed up the scrutineering process for both Pro and Sportsman cars.
Scrutineers have also asked that all racers remove their safety kit, helmet, leathers, firesuits etc from their bags and have them ready for inspection prior to entering the scrutineering building. This will again help to speed up the scrutineering process.
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 21:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to scrutineering, not driven. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Junior Dragster racers please remember the new rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside scrutineering.
18th May: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "To the Frozen North came additions to the armoury". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Congratulations to Duck Team's Donald Pottier who clocked the first five-second quarter mile on French soil at Chambley last Wednesday. Donald's Armageddon Jet FC clocked 5.958 seconds in front of TV cameras from TF1 who will be screening the feat on Auto-Moto on 22nd May. You can read more (PDF format) by clicking here.
Event entry update.
17th May: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending Version 1 of the official entry list for the SPRC Summernationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th June and which is a round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship, UK National Drag Racing and ACU UK Drag Bike Championships, Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships and a demonstration round for Nostalgia Super Stock. You can check out the SPRC Summernationals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on 4th June 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.
James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway writes with a final call for racers entered for the FIA / FIM Main Event who wish to test at this weekend's Race, Rock & Ride. Racers are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify the track in advance so that pit space can be planned accordingly. Please contact either James at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). "If we don't know that you are coming then your pit bay will be used for something else!", says James.
So long as you are entered for the FIA / FIM Main Event then it is not too late to enter the Pro Peak Peformance Test and Tune Day at Santa Pod Raceway on Thursday of next week (26th), the day before the race proper. Entry is limited to maximise track time and the event offers a race-prepped track and full safety cover. A discount is available for early entry. For more information or to enter check out www.rwyb.com.
SPRC test class calls by smartphone.
17th May: SPRC International Race Director and Eurodragster.com sponsor Carole Ismail says that SPRC will be trialling call-outs by smartphone for some classes at the FIA / FIM Main Event:
This will be a trial for Sportsman classes and we would like as many racers as possible to take part. This is a beta test, so whilst we encourage you to download the app and to give us feedback during and after the weekend, you must not rely on it at this stage. Nor will we be doing so: a pit marshal will still call your class as well as the usual announcements by the track announcers and posts on Eurodragster.com.
The app required is called App.net and is available on both the App Store for iPhone and the Play Store for Android. All you need to do is to download it, 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. We recommend 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.
Linn takes the TMFC tiller.
17th May: Bjørn Arild Sjøblom of Karlsen Racing writes that Arvid Grødem's Top Methanol Funny Car has a new owner:
The TMFC has been sold turnkey to Arvid's crew member Tore Karlsen. Tore's daughter Linn Engan Karlsen will drive the car. She ran 5.91 after only four passes when licencing at Gardermoen Raceway in 2013. Linn will drive at the reopening of Gardermoen Raceway in August but Tore hopes that the team can make more appearances in 2017.
All of the Westside Racing team will be on the crew of Karlsen Racing which is the team's new name.
Grounds for optimism.
16th May: After a 2015 season described as "Character-building" UK Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson and team had a lot with which to be satisfied at the Festival of Power. Luke Robinson writes:
In 2015 we had three major engine failures. However we made some real progress on the chassis side of the car, making runs from A to B consistently culminating in a win at the UK National Finals with every run on race day between 6.13 and 6.15. This gave us a real boost over the winter and we entered the 2016 season with an air of positivity.
Over the winter we decided to make some key changes to the chassis, most notably relocation of the fuel tank further forward to alter the balance of the car. We also constructed some new lightweight stainless steel headers and made some changes to the engine's oiling system in the quest to improve reliability. Work commitments and an unusually early Easter caused the planned modifications to rung late and we did not actually finish the car until late on Maundy Thursday evening, less than twelve hours before the first qualifying session at the Festival of Power.
We missed the first qualifying session due to some delays on the Friday morning but we were all set for the afternoon session. The car left the line reasonably well, if a bit sluggish, but by a thousand feet you could see the car nosing over. A flash of flame and the run was over. We had torched a head gasket due to low fuel pressure. We got the car back to the pits and started tearing it apart; we had very few spares with us but the motor was fixable so we got right to work. After a huge effort by the crew (and an 02:30 finish) the Camaro was ready to run again. The weather wasn't so co-operative on the Saturday but fortunately we did get another session of qualifying. Similar settings to the Friday netted us a soft 6.37 to take the #1 spot. At this point I should mention that the track conditions were outstanding for this time of year, a credit to the Santa Pod and SPRC crews, and we really underestimated how much grip was available.
The Sunday proved to be a tough test for all courtesy of the weather. We had a bye run in the first round but that was as far as eliminations went. We came away from the event with many positives: the chassis modifications had the desired effect and every run went from A to B, Dad commented that the car was the easiest it has ever been to drive. I was however a little disappointed as I felt that we could have gone much faster if we had pushed the car a bit more. I was certain the track would have held a low 6.2 or even a high 6.1.
For the Main Event the car is being fitted with a brand new BAE block with fresh rotating assembly, parts which didn't quite make it in time for Easter. We are aiming to test at the Peak Performance Day on the Thursday to try a few things with the driveline combination which, with the chassis modifications we have made, will improve our sixty foot times. I won't be happy unless we get back into the 0.98-0.97 range.
The Main Event field looks great with twenty two entries; if the top sixteen cars run close to their PB then we could see a bump spot in the 6.3 range, so we will have to work hard to be competitive. Our main focus right now is the prestigious MSA Championship but we love racing at the FIA rounds with our European friends and we hope to make one round in Europe later on this season.
Many thanks to our sponsors NGK Spark Plugs, Torco Oils, Nimbus Motorsports, BMRS Hose and Fittings, PAC Racing Springs, Aerocom, Aurora Bearing Company, Hoosier Tyre and Ringspann RCS. A big thank you also to our dedicated crew of Mark Balzaretti, Jerry Clayton, Ben Fisher, Nick and Jim Chandler (who were very much missed at the Festival of Power), Martin Dunks and Stefani Robinson. Without their help none of this would be possible.
16th May: Due to work and ill-health UK Super Comp racer Paul Watson has missed out on his plan to commit to the whole UK Championship in 2016 but he is all set for next week's FIA Main Event. "Hopefully we can showcase the car which is up for sale", says Grumps. "If anyone is interested them we would be happy to show them what goes in to running a Super Comp car in one of the toughest classes out there. The car is same as last year so we are hopeful that we have a competitive package again. If the car does not sell then we will run on an event-by-event basis."
On behalf of the team your News Editor spent yesterday at Santa Pod moving the Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam control PC to a less harsh environment after some (expensive) problems at Big Bang. All looks good after initial testing; two Ordeals by Fireforce are scheduled for this weekend's Race, Rock'n'Ride which will make sure of it. A big thank you to Julian Parsons of Nitro FM and AMP Audio Solutions for giving up his day to do all the clever bits and to solve the problems.
Web site updates.
16th May: The latest update to Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive is a gallery of yesterday's action from Shakespeare County Raceway's Late Spring Track Madness Public Track Weekend. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest updates via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
The start line beckons...
15th May: UK Pro Modified racer Roger Moore had a successful end to 2015, finishing third in the MSA British Drag Racing Championship and reaching the final at the last two events. The team then regrouped over the winter as Roger's daughter and crew member Lucy Moore writes:
No major changes were planned for the car during the off season; all the annoying mandatory regulation changes are complete and a few little improvements were made here and there during the general rebuild. The main alteration for this season is the change from Venolia to JE Pistons with a new Total Seal ring package. This will hopefully improve the reliability of the pistons allowing for a more aggressive tune-up to help us to chase down the quickest UK-based Nitrous Pro Mod racer, Rick Garrett.
The plan for this season is to compete in all of the remaining MSA Pro Modified rounds and to make steady progress always with the same goal: to get to the end of the track quicker!
I'm especially looking forward to the race season this year as I have passed my seventeenth birthday so I will get the experience of being on the start line. Dad said that I can do the backing-up after the burnout, but I don't fancy falling over in front of a big European crowd so it may have to wait until I've had practice at a smaller meeting (You'll be fine, just go for it - Ed).
Hopefully less of the crew will be moving house, having children, getting knocked off bicycles and travelling overseas this year. The team would like to say Get Well Soon to our Northern crewman Chris who is struggling with ill-health (Seconded, Get Well Soon Chris - Ed). We would also like to say a huge Thank You to our sponsors for their continued support this year: Shakespeare Engineering, Generator Power Systems and Challenger Solutions.
Packing an extra bullet.
15th May: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith says that he is going in to next week's FIA / FIM Main Event with two motors:
My bike has a new complete spare Warpspeed Racing engine which was built over the winter. It has been run up and all seems good. Warpspeed have also refreshed my 1755 cc motor and both now have new Warpspeed RPM-driven clutches. The bike itself has lost a bit of eight.
The team plan to contest three European rounds and ACU rounds for any testing we need to do. Our aim for this season is to try to go faster and to beat my PB but to keep it safe. The crew remains the same as it has been for six years. Crew Chief Kerry Smith, aka my wife, whose main job this season is to stop me making stupid decisions. Kerry now calls all the shots. Mark Green my crewman is up to speed with the new clutch set-up, I hope! We are all looking forward to a season with great things happening for us.
Sponsors this year are MPM Oil, Draper Tools, MDH Repair Centre, Greens Plumbing, TW Metals and of course support from Stuart Crane of Warpspeed Racing - without him I'd be nowhere. Thanks Crane. The team would like to thank Richard Stevens and Sam Stevens from MPM Oil for their continued support this season.
15th May: The post-APIRA Springspeed Nationals points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
We are very pleased to announce that Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett has kindly given us the go-ahead for a Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of the pre-Main Event Peak Performance Day and the Friday and Saturday of the FIA / FIM Main Event. Per Thursday's Snippet the excellent Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe free multi-camera HD Web TV will broadcast on the Sunday and Monday.
Racer VIP going fast.
15th May: Santa Pod Raceway's Commercial Manager Caroline Holden tells us that SPR's special deal for FIA / FIM Main Event VIP hospitality for racers' sponsors and supporters is proving popular, so she recommends booking your places soon:
Guests can enjoy balcony viewing from one of SPR's 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 Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the event and are on sale 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.
Jäger to field own bike.
14th May: German Supertwin racer Christian Jäger has announced that he has formed his own team. Having previously ridden the Black Seven Supertwin Christian is now putting together a bike of his own. Markus Münch writes:
The team will be known as the NitroHunter. Most of the crew are well-known from working with Christian in the past. The Team Manager is Chris Sass from Hockenheim, a full-blooded motormaniac. The NitroHunter bike itself is under construction at the moment and will have its first outing in 2017 unless sponsorship can be found in which case things can probably be sped up so that the team can compete at their home race, the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. If not this year then they will be ready to race in the big time with other European teams (and elsewhere) next season.
You can stay informed on the team's web site at www.nitrohunter.com. Social media will follow.
If the new bike is not ready for Hockenheim then Christian would not be shy about riding a Fuel bike or Funny Bike for another team so if you need a rider then you can contact Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fredlund set for title defence.
14th May: 2015 FIM European Pro Stock Bike Champion Fredrik Fredlund has been in touch with an update from the PAF.com-sponsored team:
We destroyed the engine in the final run at last year's European Finals so we needed to get a new one. Eddie Krawiec and the guys at Vance & Hines Motorsport helped us with a new engine with the latest tricks and bits. We have also made some more updates to the bike.
Our schedule for this year is to contest the FIM European Championship and we will also run one event at Tierp Arena in August. We aim to defend our Championship gold and also to try to go quicker and faster! We know that our competitors have stepped up and want to beat us, so we need stay sharp and smart and it won't be a walk in the park to stay at the top.
The team will be almost the same as last year. Brian Glaesner and I will tune the bike, Peter Janning Jensen and our new guy Lucas Ståhlman will be the mechanics and we have support from our US friend Gary Stoffer if we need help with tuning. My girlfriend and our excellent chef Jessica Karlsson Guligs will feed us and is my helping hand when its comes to keeping the team bus clean and ready for every race.
This would not be possible without our sponsors PAF.com, Ålands Färg & Tapet, Schakten AB, Rökeri Kiosken, Bärgarn AB, Ålcom, Bo-Bil AB, Budbilservice and Vance & Hines. Thank you all for your support!
Cancelled TMFC transforms to Altered.
14th May: Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the disappearance of Top Methanol FC from the FIA / FIM Main Event entry list. Steph Milam's was the only name in TMFC but the class has now been removed from the event.
"We can't remember when Top Methanol Funny Cars last didn't run at the Pod, it has been so long", say Steph and Dave Milam. "But we have no one to race so our entry has been returned. Fear not, She Devil Racing has gone into Altered mode and will be out at Dragstalgia so we'll see you there.
"As for later in the year, we will have to wait and see."
14th May: Santa Pod Raceway are seeking photographs of Rico Anthes' Top Fuel Dragster blowover which occurred at the 1993 World Finals. If you have any pictures whether trackside or spectator-side which you would be willing to allow Santa Pod to use then in the first instance please drop a line to Eurodragster.com at email@example.com.
Isaacs and Tramm: It's twins.
13th May: Spencer Tramm of the UK's Isaacs and Tramm Pro Modified team has been in touch with the happy news that their new set of twins arrived at 10:47 yesterday morning:
The team suffered an unfortunate setback at the Festival of Power when we managed to damage the impellers on both turbos. With the introduction of SFI turbos being mandatory from 2017, we had the dilemma of fixing our existing turbos or to saving up and buying new pieces which would likely set us out for the rest of the year.
We sent the old turbos to Scott at Owen Developments, whom we thank for taking the time to take them apart and evaluate the damage. However we came to the decision it wasn't worth repairing the turbos for five races.
Upon reading about our issues one of the first people who contacted me was Camp Stanley; his message was simply "Call me", which I duly did. Camp put me in touch with Roger Conley of Precision Turbo who upon hearing our story offered us an amazing deal. I have to thank Roger and his staff who have been amazing in getting everything in place and shipped in very short order to give us a shot at being at the FIA / FIM Main Event. I am very keen on making the Main Event because firstly we have never missed a meeting since we finished the car, and secondly we are the only turbo car entered in Pro Mod at the race and we can't have an FIA Pro Mod round with no turbo cars!
How was this all possible? Well, firstly we have some great sponsors and I have to thank both our main sponsor Direct Plastics for their ongoing support, and to introduce and thank our new sponsor as well as introducing new sponsor Oxberry who are #1 for support for Crestron products which control heating, lights, AV, security in homes, offices, hotels etc. Also joining the team is the Bradford Group, a Stafford-based group of accountants and business advisors. I also have to give a massive thank you to my parents Steve and Yvonne Tramm without whom we would be sitting out 2016 and planning for 2017 instead.
Now Chris, Jedd and Vince and the team are getting to work readying the car for the pre-Main Event Peak Performance Day. Watch this space...
Cannon's European return.
13th May: After a racing absence of three and a half years, on this side of the Pond at least, UK Supertwin racer Chris Hannam is looking forward to the European début of his new Hawaya Racing-built Top Fuel Harley at the FIA / FIM Main Event:
This bike was custom-built for me by Johnny Vickers to race in the USA, as we have our blown Top Fuel Twin in the UK. The new bike has the best of everything with a 196 ci / 3200 cc motor equipped with B&J two-speed and HRP clutch. The bike really is a work of art and has Cannon Motorsports input also. Its sister bike in the USA has run down to the low 6.2s and has many event wins under its belt.
As I said the original plan was to race this bike in the USA and our blown bike in the UK. However at the back end of last year our biggest customer made 260 people redundant and this made me reconsider my options as the team is solely funded by Cannon Engineering with a few associate sponsors. So we decided to bring the bike home, as the budget for racing had not been available due to purchase of a new Doosan DNM 650 milling machine for the workshop. Whilst this wasn't the plan, sometimes you cut your cloth according to the way things are and the workshop ultimately pays the bills so that has to be protected at all costs. I guess you could say the USA's loss is Europe's gain as we plan to run the full European Championship in what will be my last year in the seat ,so the pressure is on to run a six-second pass on a twin-cylinder bike and finish the re build on my blown-fuel twin which we hope to use in the Night Show at Hockenheim. Later in the year I will post more about next year's plans but I'm hoping that Neil Midgley will take over the ride of the blown bike; the Hawaya bike will either be sold or sent back to the USA.
So on to the Main Event we go, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to getting on track again with my European friends, in the hope that they can drag my performance back to the top of my game. We have raced in the USA but the only tests over here so far are the two Run What You Brungs we have attended at Santa Pod Raceway. So far the bike is reacting well to the changes and we are fitting a new Goodyear tyre in the hope that the stiffer side wall will better cope with my weight and keep me going straight down the track. Roll on the Main Event and more of this sunny weather!
I would also like to say a special Thank You to Les Downey and Tom Bogner of Lucas Oil Products for their continued support of my team. I met Tom when he was over at the Main Event many years ago. The Lucas product sorted out a big end bearing problem we had on the blown bike and since then we have had tremendous backing from Lucas Oil for the bikes and for my off-road race car. I have to say that I would buy Lucas products even if we did not have the support as they really are that good. We also have Portable Shade for the best race awnings and team shirts - Portable Shade are the company to get you covered; APE for the best aftermarket engine components, Hawaya Racing for tuning support of the bike; MRE for all things drag racing and trackside support; and finally Phat Wheels for changing all my tyres. If you have any damaged car or bike alloy wheels then Paul at Phat Wheels is your go-to man.
13th May: Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren tells us that apart from new Penske rear shocks there is nothing new on his Pontiac GXP. "Bob Ingles is still working on the engine to get more power up high", says Michael. "We don't yet know if it will be ready for the Main Event but we will be there regardless, and we will be contesting all rounds of the Championship. We have a new crew member and we have already tested at Malmö with good results, so we are ready to challenge for a top three spot even though it is tougher than ever before with Bengt Ljungdahl and Stefan Ernryd buying cars turn-key from the USA. This is very good for the class of course but very tough for the competition as both have top-shelf stuff."
2015 FIM Europe Supertwin Champion, The Netherlands' Martijn de Haas, says that he plans to defend his title with a full Tour this season and also to contest a race in Scandinavia if finances allow. "I have not made too many changes on the bike", Martijn told Eurodragster.com. "At the European Finals last year we broke the primary shaft in the gearbox so we changed that to a bigger, stronger piece. Our target this year to get in the 6.5s, we have fitted a braking chute as braking is getting more scary each time especially at Santa Pod. We have a new sponsor but we will update you later about that. We are looking forward to the Main Event and we will see you there."
With the FIA / FIM Main Event approaching Dutch Pro Stock Bike racer Gert-Jan Laseur says that his motor is still on the work bench. "We've got some faster heads from Star Racing and little more cam, and we have changed the exhaust again to improve flow", he says. "We hope to go 7.0 this year. We won't be testing, just full throttle at Santa Pod. We still have Eurol Oil as our main sponsor together with Zodiac International, Jongerius Amersfoort and of course Laseur Motors."
Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster Smax Smith who is again driving the Leverich Family's Top Fuel Dragster at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. "A few upgrades and changes on the car should hopefully get this thing quicker!", says Aidan Heatley-Smith. "Lots of live videos and updates will be posted on our Facebook page at Ant Hill Mob Dragracing". Qualifying commences today and as well as the Facebook updates you will be able to stay in touch with Smax's progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Dick Koster of Eurodragster.com sponsor Post en Dros. Have a great day Dick.
Shakey Spring Madness.
13th May: Now that Spring has finally sprung it's time for this weekend's Shakespeare County Raceway Late Spring Madness Public Track Weekend, writes Jerry Cookson:
In addition to the usual Run What You Brung for all models of cars and motorcycles, the latest round of the Bracket Gamblers on Sunday is another chance for drivers to spin the dice and win some money! The Honda Drag Series, backed this year by Krystal Kleen Detailing, gets under way with Round 1. The VW Eliminator also gets into gear on both days and if you like your nostalgia then it's the opening round of the Wild Bunch Series and Round 3 of the Spirit of Nostalgia Challenge.
Along with an eclectic mix of cars and bikes all looking to outdo each other on the quarter mile in RWYB all roads this weekend should lead to Shakespeare County Raceway. The track opens at 10:00. If you're taking part don't forget your driving licence and crash helmet. Full details can be found at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com or the Raceway's Facebook Group page.
12th May: Chris Murty tells us that York Raceway will be putting up £500 for the quickest pass at the Volkspower Powerfest VW Festival on 29th-30th May. "The VW racing scene is hugely diverse, with the retro air-cooled engines being as just as quick as their modern water-cooled counterparts", says Chris. "We have decided to put up the prize money in celebration of the scene and it will be awarded to the quickest pass of the weekend by anything VW or VW-powered including dragsters and fibreglass replicas. The money is also open to anything else with in the VW Audi Group umbrella."
Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä says that it is business as usual in 2016. "There are no major changes to the team or car", she says. "Dom Lagana and Jake Sanders will be with us at the Main Event - Jake worked with us at Alastaro last year. We have been updating bits and pieces but our combination works well. We will arrive at Santa Pod on the Wednesday before the Main Event and we hope to make some test runs on Thursday. I know the other guys in the class have got a lot of good parts and I'm sure that there will be more racers in the threes. But we are ready, too. I have a good crew and a good car, what more could a woman hope for!"
Fellow Finn, Supertwin racer Samu Kemppainen says that he has not made any major changes to his six-second bike over the off-season just basic maintenance, pistons, con rods, bearings etc. "We have a pretty hectic schedule this year", says Samu. "I'm planning to do contest both the FIM European Championship plus the EDRS Pro Series and three events at Alastaro where we will race for the first time this year on the weekend before the Main Event. My goal this year is to run a new PB in the 6.4s, anything else will just be a bonus! Mika Sjöstedt remains as my Crew Chief and the team is the same as it has been since I started to race in 2008."
We are currently collecting and collating more FIA / FIM Main Event previews and will run them very shortly including quite possibly the most detailed and informative Fuel news item ever written. Thanks very much to those teams who have already submitted pieces, and to everyone else in any class Pro or Sportsman we say that we have plenty of room for more. Send your Main Event previews to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do the rest.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding another slightly tweaked final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event. You can spot the difference by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Darren Prentice writes that Santa Pod Raceway are pleased to announce that the Pod Shop has been re-stocked with the ever-popular VP Racing Fuels jugs including new styles and colours V-Twin and pink. "Get your VP Racing Fuel Jug in your choice of colours while stocks last", says Darren. "Colours available are pink, V-Twin, purple, green, red, blue, white, orange and black. All jugs come with a filling hose included in the price of £34.99". Jugs can be collected at the FIA / FIM Main Event; to reserve yours please contact Darren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can't make the FIA Main Event (If not then why not - Ed) then a reminder that Trakbak Racing and Track Group Europe will again be broadcasting their awesome free-to-air, High Def, multi-camera Web TV on the Sunday and Monday of the race. You can set your Sunday-Monday bookmark now at www.santapod.co.uk/webtv.php; we will confirm the plan for coverage of the Pro Peak Performance Day, Friday and Saturday as soon as it is settled but you can stay in touch with our own schedules by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Tierp Arena was open for Test and Tune this past weekend. Lena Perés writes that weather and track conditions could not have been better, the sun shone all weekend and the track preparation crew headed by Kalle Brinell did an excellent job. You can find out more about the weekend's events at Tierp Arena at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
One of the teams testing at Tierp Arena was Mats Eriksson's Green Goblin Pro Modified team who made a promising start with changes to gearing and other updates. You can find out more on the team's web site at www.meracing.com.
The UK's Barry Holland writes that he is trying to locate the Flying Dutchman Kawasaki Comp Bike which the team campaigned before its sale in 2001. If you have any information then please drop Barry a line at email@example.com.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Matthew Wright of Eurodragster.com sponsors Wemoveyourcar.com and Wobblebox Motorhome and Caravan Hire. It's a special one (think Sportsman Tree); have a great day Matt.
Web site updates.
12th May: Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor writes that the latest issue of ACAG Update covers the work carried out on Sydney Allard's dragster since December 2015. "We should be firing the car up later this month and hope to make appearances at Beaulieu (Hot Rod and Custom Show), Santa Pod Raceway (Dragstalgia and European Finals), Burghley (Aston Martin Owners) and the Brighton Speed Trials", says Brian. "Work on the dragster takes priority so everything is yet to be confirmed. I have used the front cover to pay tribute to Sydney Allard who died fifty years ago on the same weekend on which Santa Pod opened in 1966. I think it is important to remember the Father of British Drag Racing as we celebrate Santa Pod's fifty years (Damn straight - Ed)". You can catch up at www.drceurope.co.uk/acag/may2016.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with a gallery of shots from the Saturday of the recent APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Huxleys seek help I and II.
10th May: UK Pro ET racer Brian Huxley is seeking help locating one of the team's previous race cars, the '32 Ford Roadster which they campaigned for several years with not a small amount of success. Brian writes:
The car is now on the road having been extensively worked on, registration XEG 772X (we think) - we helped with the registration. Last heard of in the Surrey area (we think again). The guy sent us photos and a nice letter thanking us for our help but when we moved we lost all of his details. Please help us find her and her new owner. If you know anything then please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07837 985973.
Brian and Lee are also seeking pistons to help repair damage suffered by the Dark Horse Mustang at the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The pistons are SRP/JE P/N 240856. We know that Brian has at least £50 to front up for these pistons as he won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award on the pass in question. If you can help then please contact Brian on the above address or phone number.
Fans to choose Havoc's rival.
10th May: James Forster has been in touch to let us know that Santa Pod Raceway are giving fans the chance to choose the opposition for the Havoc Fuel Altered at Dragstalgia which takes place at Santa Pod on 15th-17th July.
Regular readers will know that in one of the most logical, wished-for and popular moves in the history of UK drag racing Rob Loaring and Nick Davies of ICE Automotive are converting the previously blown-alcohol Havoc altered to blown-nitro in time to take on our US visitors Ron Hope in the Rat Trap and Randy Bradford in the Bradford's Topolino. Now you can decide which of our American friends is to
You can place your vote, Rat Trap or Bradford's Topolino, on Santa Pod's Facebook page by clicking here.
Staying with the subject of Santa Pod Raceway the Drag Racing Europe Blog has been updated with a 50th Anniversary interview with SPR CEO Keith Bartlett and Marketing Executive Caroline Holden, which you can check out by clicking here.
Crowded out of a grudge race.
10th May: Continuing the grudge match theme, Paul Marston tells us that his planned '94 Mustang v IS200 Lexus best-of-three with Gary Springford, scheduled for last Sunday at North Weald Drag Strip, did not take place due to the sheer popularity of the event which attracted a record attendance:
Sunday 8th May 2016 will probably go down in history as the busiest-ever event at North Weald. With a queue of three hundred cars at eight in the morning you can get the picture. Usually when you show up at North Weald at that time you expect to see maybe forty cars queueing but seeing three hundred tells you two things: firstly you will not be running on the drag strip today, as being that far back in the queue, all the spaces will be taken, and secondly that with such great weather yo may as well just enjoy a great day at the drags, which we did. It was just the Crewchief, Kingsize and I so we figured that was the best plan.
Everybody who is anybody was there as you would expect and a great day's racing was had by all in fantastic sunshine. Although the numbers were completely unexpected, the event ran very smoothly. I did get to run the Mustang in the Heads Up Street Car Eliminator and got down to the last four before being taken out by Chris Skinner of Taz Racing in his SBC-powered Fiat 500. The Shootout was won by George from Guinea Pig Racing with his Ford Zephyr running a big Small Block with a fogger. George ran 10.50, not bad for a proper street car on street tyres.
In the Quick 8 final UK Top Sportsman competitor Julian Davison in his Half Pint manually shifted gas-burning Rover V8 Ford Pop faced off against Kev Preston's SBC altered driven by his daughter Becca who put down a 9.80 to take the first title of the year. Well done to both teams.
The next event at North Weald will be on 5th June and we will be there competing in the Quick 8 Heads Up. If you are coming, make sure that you come early (Don't say it... don't say it... Editor's note to himself).
From asterisks to light-hunting.
9th May: Since the UK's Tom Margesson contested his first season in the SPRC Super Comp Championship driving Andy Williams' WildChild dragster there has been an off-season, a rebuild, the Festival of Power and the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. Tom got in touch to bring us up to date with events in the WildChild pit since a LB3A against Richie Webb at last year's UK National Finals:
The end of 2015 was not ideal - one day I will take a win against Richie, ha! The car was packed away with a good idea of what we wanted to do next. Some life bits and pieces got in the way of my getting down to Andy and Maggie's place in Westbury on Severn, but once I finally did got there the list was written on the white board and we started to tick off the jobs. New brake pads and fluid as brakes were getting used a bit more with the new gearing and faster top end; compression checked out OK; then we dropped the sump to double-check the correct oil capacity. There was still a question mark over what was causing the oil smoke. Then the awkward silence...
Me: Andy, look at this
Andy: What's that?
Me: I know exactly what that is, it's part of an oil scraper ring
Andy and Tom in unison: ****, ****, ****
A lot of the off season had passed, the Festival of Power was getting closer, and the motor was about to get less and less complete! Once the motor was stripped we called Super Comp racer (he'll be back ) Zane Llewellyn at Zannetec and sent all the important components to him. We told Zane when we needed the bottom end back, and give Zane his due he got it done and sorted for us with no problems. Cheers Zane! In fact at the APIRA Trophy Presentation the bottom end had just been picked up and was still in the boot!
Andy and Maggie's son's stag do took one out weekend for getting the motor in and running so a deadline was set. Bearing in mind it's a 260-mile round trip from where I live to Andy's place it's not as easy as popping over for a hour to get something done, but now it seems a simple journey as regular weekend visits were the only way. That deadline came and went and the engine was in but not running, and by now my name was on the Festival of Power entry list - you know us, the glass is three-quarters full, still positive thoughts. Another visit and a few hours later, a few tweaks, it fired up sounded strong. That's it, all systems go, car back in the trailer until the Test Day.
Once set up at the Test Day there was lots of head scratching and timing light swapping, MSD plug ins, questions asked to other racers etc and we came to the conclusion that the MSD wasn't working correctly and we couldn't change it on the laptop. The motor ran, but not with the timing we wanted. By the time this was all figured out the Test Day was done due to rain.
Qualifying began the next day and I was ready for the buzz of driving again! We were expecting a break out but not as much as it did so that was pretty funny really, in the grand scheme of things! But it got down the track and all that effort seemed worth it. On the Friday night qualifier something didn't seem right in the shutdown area, had a quick check out and couldn't see anything obvious but here was definitly something which sounded strange. Fired up and moved off towards the pits but had to kill it and start pushing along with Paul 'Dave' Hudson's Camaro which also had issues, in fact very similar. Thanks for the extra shoves which helped me get back to the pits.
When I got back we confirmed that a cylinder was definitely down. The glass three-quarters full team said this isn't the end of our weekend and we will fix it! In the end we found a fault with a rocker which meant having the top end valvetrain apart, checked and reassembled thus missing a qualifier on Saturday morning. The next run was going to be a race.
I was up against Pete Cresswell whose car can run 8.90 and who can pull a good light! Having said that, I knew that the dragster could win a race like this - the question is whether the pilot can pull a green light which is also good, it's possible! Unfortunately for me Pete took the win this time round as I had a bit of a rubbish light (green though, last year a lot of reds), however it was a strong run for the motor. The new thing for me was something which Stuart Doignie suggested was to try to see the win light after the finish line. I knew that the left-hand win light wasn't working at the time so I had to glance across and, sure enough, Pete's win light was on... looking brighter than normal because it wasn't mine! I was cursing myself but well done Pete and team. After that, unfortunately for the other guys, the weather didn't allow the race to continue.
On to the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, five Super Comp cars entered but only four qualifying as Jon Morton was suffering some problems. Although short on crew we managed a 9.00 putting Andy in #2, Paul Brown's 8.90 was #1 with Paul Hudson #3 and Conrad Stenley # 4 with a breakout. Race day and it was Andy and Conrad.
Talking to Andy before the race I could tell he was looking forward to racing Conrad; two dragsters and two different styles of racing. Happy days! Andy took the win this time round by getting Conrad on the Tree. But sadly again the event was rained off so Andy didn't get to race Paul Brown in the shorty. But overall a trouble-free second meeting.
Regrettably I have not entered the Main Event and it sucks big time, really big time! But finances play a big role in this sport and this time they were just not there! So whilst having some time off we are going to make a few changes to the car, one being a larger deflector plate between engine and driver. But I think shall pop up to the Main Event, good luck and stay safe everyone!
Thanks to everyone who helped at Easter... Paul Hudson, whom we know as 'Yorkshire Dave' conveniently not from Yorkshire nor called Dave but he was a lot of help even when having trouble of his own. He's not a internet man as yet so won't even see this (The trick would be to slag him off and then people would be very generous about showing him - Ed)! Also to all the others who helped out. From me thanks to the crew, you know who you are, for giving me the opportunity of running WildChild again. Hopefully we will be back out later in the year, meanwhile check out our Facebook page for more updates.
Wheeler joins BDRHoF Board.
9th May: Former Junior Dragster team principal and Europcar UK Group Business Services Director Andy Wheeler has joined the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Management Board as Social Media Director.
Andy has over twenty years' experience in the highly competitive global car rental industry. He ran a multi-car Junior Dragster team with daughters Paige and Belle from 2009 to 2015. The team raced in the US and attended events at several venues including the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Gainesville Raceway, Bristol Dragway and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. During their time in the US Andy, Paige and Belle met and networked with many stars of the sport including Melanie Troxel whose team at the time, R2B2 Racing, recruited Paige as her Junior Dragster team-mate.
In 2013 Andy played a key role in helping to launch the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod. This event, held in August when all schools are on holiday, incorporates a day's racing with charity fund-raising and free entry for spectators. The Fun Day is an important part of promoting Junior Drag Racing and the sport in general. Santa Pod Raceway have announced that their charity partner for 2016 is Harry's Rainbow which is committed to supporting bereaved children and their families in the Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.
Andy Wheeler said "I am excited to be joining British Drag Racing Hall of Fame management board and to develop my involvement with the sport from what I experienced in six years of running a Junior Dragster team. Our experience as a team with social media has enabled us to utilise it to the best interests of promoting the sport and I hope this can bring an added dimension to the BDRHoF."
BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are really gathering some fabulous expertise on the Management Board now and I am so pleased that Andy has agreed to join us. With the plans for the Awards Gala Dinner and associated events now proceeding at some pace we will need plenty of hands to ensure everything runs smoothly for those attending. We already announced many great personalities from the world of drag racing who are attending and when everyone hears about the others they will be amazed. Watch this space but make sure you book your tickets."
Current Management Board Members of the BDRHoF are Stu Bradbury (Chair), Bev Bradbury, Guy Loveridge, Phil Cottingham, Phil Evans, Simon Groves, Robin Jackson, Geoff Stillwell and Rob Ward. Brian Taylor acts as General Advisor and Julian Parsons as Gala Audio Visual Advisor. Selection Board members are Stu Bradbury (Chair), Keith Bartlett, Graham Beckwith, Jeremy Cookson, Phil Cottingham, Phil Evans, Robin Jackson, Keith Lee, Ian Marshall, Ian Messenger, Darren Prentice, and Andy Rogers (aka Tog). Keith Lee and Nick Pettitt act as Drag Racing History Consultants.
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Main Event racer VIP offer.
7th May: Nicola Hart writes that Santa Pod Raceway are again offering racers a special deal for VIP hospitality for their sponsors and supporters at the FIA / FIM Main Event on 27th-30th May:
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 Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the event and go on sale this Monday (9th) 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.
Juniors to have Fun for Harry.
7th May: Donna Finnegan writes that Santa Pod Raceway's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day returns for its fourth year on Wednesday 31st August.
As in previous years, Santa Pod is working in association with a children's charity as beneficiary of the Fun Day. For 2016, Santa Pod Raceway has chosen Harry's Rainbow which was set up following the unexpected death of Odette and Lee Mould's son Harry in March 2009. Odette and Lee found it very difficult to get bereavement help and support for Harry's twin Jessica, then five years old, and as a result set up the charity in October 2011. Harry's Rainbow is committed to supporting bereaved children and their families in the Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, and all voluntary donations received on the Fun Day will go towards funding this great cause.
For 2016 there is a sign-on fee of £20. Junior racers wishing to take part in the Junior Day will need to telephone the Santa Pod office 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.
7th May: We were very sorry to hear of the death yesterday of Safety Group Sweden co-founder and top bloke Björn Eskelund (below left). Björn was highly competent, one of those guys who exuded quiet confidence, always a reassuring sight for racers and crew alike and very cheery and welcoming company when we met him around Europe. His passing is going to leave a void all around the track. Our deepest sympathies to Björn's family, friends and colleagues.
A big Well Done to SPR marshal Caroline Boncey and her goddaughter Chloe (above right) who raised just over £300 for the Hospice of St Francis in the Bubble Rush. As you can see Chloe and especially Oscar were thoroughly bubbled. "Thank you to everyone who sponsored us", says Oscar. "The money raised will go towards the Hospice to help out residents and their families."
Many thanks to our own Simon and to Yvonne Tramm for providing us with the post-APIRA Springspeed Nationals points standings in the UK National and APIRA Championships. 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.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding a slightly tweaked final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event. You can spot the difference by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Hayley Fife of the UK's Wrathchild Wild Bunch team and to Lars Pettersson of the FIA Drag Racing Commission. Have a great day guys.
Ready to roar...
7th May: Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor writes that more friends have come on board with support to restore Europe's first Dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu:
During a recent ACAG work session in the museum workshop the team removed the exhaust headers to check how much they had warped at the block end flanges. Both sides looked pretty bad. The headers were taken to Andy Robinson Race Cars for advice on building up the metal because there wasn't enough existing material to machine back the worst distortion. Andy's advice was to replace the flanges with stainless steel units.
Paul Garston at Whengparts.com came to the rescue and kindly donated two custom-made stainless steel exhaust flanges using the existing exhaust gaskets to locate the port openings. Whengparts, based in Derby, offer a range of parts and other items mostly hot rod-related and they know their stuff. When the replacement flanges returned they were welded to the chrome-plated headers using an alignment jig. After some work on opening up the retaining holes they fitted perfectly with the team replacing all header studs with those featuring an unthreaded portion of the shank in the centre. Fluid leakage via the header studs has been a problem with existing studs.
All of the fuel system hoses and components needed to be replaced in line with the decision to return the engine to its roots as a methanol burner. The team located a company to supply the period correct black fuel lines plus some other plumbing bits and pieces. That company was A1 Hydraulics based in Leicester (0116 276 1131), and drag racing enthusiast Guy Davenport gave us a very special deal. Guy has been very much involved in developing the Willys Wars event for Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway.
ACAG Chairman Brian Taylor says "We have to thank all the small specialist businesses who have helped during this restoration. Without their financial support and technical expertise it would not have been possible to see and hear the sound of Europe's first dragster. Our mantra is Treasuring the past by keeping it alive and lots of people have helped us in this quest and we thank them all. Their names are now on two pull-up banners displayed with the car."
Vegter's new sponsor, tuner.
6th May: Our good friend Remco Scheelings writes that a new and not-inappropriate name will be added to the sides of the Vegter Pro Mod Racing '67 Camaro as PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance have joined David Vegter as his main sponsor for 2016. The Dutch team also have a new tuner this season.
The successful and fast-expanding company from Sneek can now be mentioned in the same breath as the at least as successful and fast Dutch Pro Modified team, front runners in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship.
The team have also announced that Adam Flamholc will be tuning the Camaro this season. David made his first test run of the season at Malmö Raceway last weekend and was the quickest and fastest combination of all teams attending the two day test.
PedalToTheMetal Musclecar Performance are an all-round Speed Shop specialising in classic American cars, trucks and bikes. PTTM buy and sell, repair, restore and paint, have numerous different parts including driveline components, and offer know-how of all American muscle car engines. It was only three years ago that the company moved to a new location in Joure, but as PTTM expanded so quickly they moved again in January to a much bigger and state-of-the-art shop in Sneek. In the new facility PTTM have their garage, body shop, restoration shop, parts store and showroom under one roof.
"PTTM's activities match perfectly with the Pro Modified class, the fastest doorslammers on earth and the class in which David Vegter is racing", said a spokesman for PTTM. "We have our own drag race team, but lack of time forced us to put racing activities on hold. By teaming up with Vegter Pro Mod Racing, PTTM stay in close contact with the world's fastest motorsport and its technology and know-how."
Main sponsor PTTM Musclecar Performance join Playboy Energy Drink, Sonic Equipment, WVB Holland and HKR Techniek whom Vegter Pro Mod Racing presented earlier this year as their 2016 partners. "I'm very happy with this package", said David. "I'm sure that it's going to be a great season and that all our sponsors will get plenty of exposure. I'm sorry that we had to part ways with Post en Dros Racing Engines and Parts, and I would like to thank them for our long and successful cooperation."
Vegter Pro Mod Racing have more breaking news as Adam Flamholc will be the team's tuner for this year. The Swede not only has a long track record as a driver, but also as a tuner. Last year Mats Eriksson and Thomas Stiefel both improved on their performance thanks to Adam's tuning advice and this year David will join the Swedish and Swiss racer. Their first on-track test at Malm&oum;l was a great success as in his single full pass David's elapsed time over the eighth was 3.978 seconds at 306.9 kmh which made the Dutchman the quickest and fastest racer of the weekend. "I'm very happy for the opportunity to work with Adam", said a very happy David. "This deal also makes it possible to have another, more powerful blower."
Vegter Pro Mod Racing will again contest the full FIA European Championship Tour in 2016. The first race of the championship will be at Santa Pod Raceway at the end of May, and with more than twenty cars already entered it looks like Pro Modified will again be the most competitive and spectacular category in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships.
Event entry update.
5th May: Shakespeare County Raceway's Jerry Cookson has been in touch to let us know that the official entry forms are now available 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 Public Track Weekend / Street Drags on 11th-12th June. The entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Jerry adds that 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.
An invitation to test.
5th May: James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway writes that racers entered for the FIA / FIM Main Event who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride on the preceding weekend (21st-22nd May) are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track.
SPR do however request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify the track in advance so that pit space can be planned accordingly. Please contact either James at email@example.com or Darren Prentice at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
5th May: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us a combined and updated sheet of European and UK Bests. As well as the usual records, chronological records, closest races, best bump spots and more the sheet now also includes Santa Pod Raceway's track records with others to be added in future. To take a look click here or click on the European and UK bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Season-opening grudge match.
5th May: London's own drag strip at North Weald kicks off its 2016 season this Sunday (8th). Paul Marston writes that as well as the grass-roots RWYB for cars and bikes plus Quick 8 Eliminator, there is a grudge match to be settled:
In the red corner is Gary Springford of Drag Race Engineering with his unique IS200 Lexus into which Gary shoehorned a Lexus 400 motor - for which read 4.0 32V Toyota V8 - in place of the standard 2.0l straight six. Then he added a supercharger. Whilst Gary will freely admit that it's still a work in progress, this is one mean all Japanese machine.
I am in the blue corner, driving a Procharged 331 ci '94 Mustang, built in the States and then virtually imported as-is. This is the American muscle side.
Both of these cars are completely street-legal, taxed and MoT'd and can be (and are) used as daily drivers. Both cars will be driven to the track, none of this trailer nonsense, and will run on street tyres. Bets of three, the only limiting factor will be traction. It's gonna be loads of fun which is what drag racing is all about.
If you want to take part in the RWYB then gates open 08:30 and the maximum sign-on is 200, so arrive early because it will be busy! For more information on this and any North Weald event check out its official web site at www.maitlandracing.com.
Web site updates.
5th May: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures from the Sunday of the Spring Madness Public Track Day at Shakespeare County Raceway which took place on 17th April and which featured the Supercharged Outlaws and the NSA. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Attention FIA Nitrous Pro Mod racers.
4th May: Geoff Martin who heads up the UK's Tech Team has been in touch with a reminder to Nitrous Pro Modified racers taking part in this year's FIA European Pro Modified Championship:
A reminder about a change to the Diaper regulations for 2016. SFI 7.1 Lower Engine Ballistic Restraints were not mandatory in 2015, but are mandatory in 2016. There is still time to comply before the Main Event.
If you have any queries then you can contact Geoff at email@example.com.
Al Shammari: Main Event and more.
4th May: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on 29th April then you will have read that Kuwait's Hussain Al Shammari, who has raced in PDRA in the USA as well as the Arabian Drag Racing League winning events in Qatar and Bahrain, was set to join the Pro Modified entry at the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. Hussain has appeared on the final version of the entry list (see below) and he confirmed to Eurodragster.com that he will be driving Norbert Kuno's second blown-alcohol Avenger. Hussain plans to contest the whole FIA Tour.
Hussain raced a Ford Mustang in Outlaw 10.5 before moving to Pro Mod and campaigning a Nitrous-assisted 1970½ Camaro. He contested six events in PDRA as well as racing in the Arabian League. His best performance over the eighth is 3.80 seconds at 196 mph and he has so far clocked a best quarter mile of 6.05 seconds. His Camaro has run 5.8s over the quarter.
"I will be driving Norbert's blower car at Santa Pod but I plan to bring my own car to Europe", said Hussain. "Maybe my car will be at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. I want to race for the Championship; my team will be coming with me and we will work as one team with Norbert's team.
"I would like to thank the FIA guys for the invitation to race, big thanks to Norbert and his team, to my own team for coming with me to race, and to the Basel Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club in Kuwait for their help."
Holmberg to the rescue of Holmberg.
4th May: Swedish Pro Stock Bike rider Kenneth Holmberg had a choice to make after injuring his hand in a motorbike crash a few weeks before the season-opening FIA / FIM Main Event. Luckily Kenneth's expertise helped him to make the decision.
"This is not good timing", said Kenneth. "My hand is going to take eight weeks to heal so I would have to wear flexible plaster... or I could manufacture a plaster from carbon fibre!
"Events at Santa Pod are great and we don't want to miss the atmosphere and all of our fans in the UK. We will compete in all of the FIM rounds."
Three weeks to RV3's return.
4th May: Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that Andy Frost and his street-legal and five second-bound Red Victor 3 are on the official FIA / FIM Main Event entry list, Frosty's first appearance since September 2014:
There's a lot of water gone under the bridge since then, as anyone who follows us will know. And we certainly overcame all of that, with a fat middle finger to show everyone who was involved in those shenanigans. But I digress...
We are almost back with the help of the fantastic members of the Red Victor 5 Second Club, and a host of companies such as Lamude Racing Engines, Precision Turbo, Steve Morris Engines, Race Flow Development, Turbosmart UK, KA Sensors, Total Seal Piston Rings, Red Line Oils, Trackstuff UK, Turbowerx, Just Electrical Design, Fast Motorsports, Goodridge UK, Cam Auto Developments, Pro Torque Converters, Hard Knocks Speed Shop, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Powerlite, Diamond Pistons, Victory Performance, Wilson Manifolds, PE Composites, Radtec Radiators, Activ8, Braille Batteries, Plastics4Performance, Zircotec, Hutch Transmission Service, Cartek, Club Calibra, Protec Fuel Systems, Prestige Group, Precision Shaft Technologies, Manton Pushrods, Magnecor, C&C Engineering, and Intergalactic Custom Shop.
Obviously we'll not be in Pro Mod any more. Their rules, my car and I don't mix. So it will be Comp Eliminator for us, as all we want to do is go fast and keep the car safe! The car is currently at Pro Alloy Motorsport for some alli fabrication, and next will be Chris Isaacs Race Cars for baseline and final little jobs. Then back to RV HQ for final finish... it's going to get manic!
Thanks to the super crew of Jan Broersma, Gary Frost and Deb Frost for putting the basis of the car back together. From 21st May they will be joined by Mathias Sapa Edelsteen and the famous Shane T to finish and get it running again. There is a lot of work to do in the next three weeks, but we're confident it will all be done to make the Peak Performance Day on the day before the race.
4th May: Concluding the FIA / FIM Main Event news items, many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding the final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Springspeed Nats rained out.
3rd May: After disrupting the event several times the weather finally won the weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Yesterday's (Monday's) first rounds of eliminations and some second rounds had been run before rain set in early afternoon leaving race officials with no choice but to call the event.
Congratulations to Pro ET racer Brian Huxley who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.000 Reaction Time in the first session of qualifying. The Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway later this month. The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children again went unclaimed and will be increased to a hefty £125 for the FIA / FIM Main Event.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored APIRA Springspeed Nationals reports and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
NHRA's happiest loser.
1st May: Although ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith now lives in Canada, he still thinks of himself as English so going NHRA racing at Charlotte on the only four-wide Top Fuel track felt as big as it could get for an underdog from Lancashire:
My boys Aidan and Ronan and friend Jake set off on the fourteen-hour trip in Ronans less than glamorous CRV with a leaky tranny and dodgy wheel bearing to meet up with the Leverich family (who own the Top Fuel car) driving down from Michigan. Their drive down was full of the usual dramas, two trailer tiyes blown out and a five-hour delay caused panic as we had to pass tech by 5:00 pm on the Thursday! I had already sent my race suit etc with gary so that we could tech the car and my stuff same time - a good job as we only got there at 6:30! We got tech sorted, the only upgrade was new bolt on the inner diaper for $600 but trust me you don't want to oild own an NHRA track as the fines are huge and fans hate it!
With car ready to go the first qualifying session came around and I was so buzzing to race with three other 10,000 HP cars. I was in lane two but not only did two teams not show for the session but Pat Dakin in lane four broke and was shut off so I was on a solo. The car left well and ran a 4.3/278 to 1000 feet even with blower belt breaking! The car was perfect and ran like a Cadillac Escalade, so smooth that I even questioned if one of our mags had quit as it was a little flat. We ended up eighth after the first session which was amazing!
We stripped the car completely as we had a little crack in the crank, but it never moved and all parts were re-used. We didn't even hurt a spark plug! Aidan did his usual amazing job on the clutch, racing with the amazing Jake on the bottom end to see who was quickest, and Dan from Waterloo did one head while our new guy Russ from Michigan did the other with Kevin, Gary and brother Dan filling in all other necessary jobs. With the car ready to go we went over to crazy Scott Palmer's Top Fuel pit and partied till 4:30 am... and Scott hadn't even qualified yet.
We had decided to sit out Saturday's qualifying and light rain caused the second session to be cancelled. We got to watch lots of racing on Saturday with my boys and still ended up being number thirteen qualifier! Ronan met Antron Brown who came over to give us tribute T-Shirts to wear on stage for Mark Lyle, the NHRA Chief Starter who was killed in an accident. I met antron and had him sit in our car as it was his 2010 car, and he said how his newer car is an improvement. He is a really nice guy!
As our car was ready Gary was going to fire it up on Sunday morning in time for the first round at noon but Aidan was insistent that we fired the car on Saturday night to double-check everything. Good call as the initial fire-up revealed a huge fuel leak as the broken belt had whacked a fuel line. We then refired and found one mag not firing. It turned out that the MSD box plug was hit and damaged wiring. We put on our spare box but that didn't work either! We then fixed the plug on the original box and it worked. I took the spare box to MSD to fix but it tested out no problem... what? For the tune-up we wanted to get the RPM up higher and a quicker sixty foot so we took twelve grammes off the clutch and also put our nitro up from 85% to 88%. Finally we were happy with the car and went for food a few beers and a sensible 12:30 am bedtime!
I woke around 5:00 am buzzing for the race. We were first quad out at noon but NHRA has driver introductions on a stage so I went with all the drivers and had pictures taken with Brittany and Courtney Force, Scott Palmer, Chris Karamesines and Antron Brown to name a few. When they called Top Fuel number thirteen qualifier Smax Smith onto the stage no-one really knew me but as I was dancing about they will remember me as the crazy English guy and the man ready to take on Doug Kalitta, Clay Millican and Scott Palmer.
It was time to really concentrate as the lights are a bit of a mind-bender so no messing up. Aidan got me dressed and sat in the car tight and comfy, then we went to burn out but the startline guys failed to put water down. Our dragster just accelerated on the hot sticky track so I lifted but worried about no burnout although I remember having a similar deal in out FIA days with Rune Fjeld and no issues. Ronan started backing me up but the track ripped his shoe off, and four cars' worth of nitro burning his eyes had me snaking back rather than the usual straight back but it was funny!
We pre-staged but poor Scott had an idler pulley fail and was shut off. I staged and left right with the big guns and although we were third we ran our best ever 4.19 at 1000 feet, only 276 mph as I lifted early not wanting to risk oildown once I knew we were beaten, but hey a 0.915-sixty foot with no burnout and an arrow-straight run with no dropped cyliders did it for us... we were the happiest losers in the NHRA! It was the equivalent of a 4.90/300 run over the quarter.
We watched the rest of the racing but decided to leave before the finals as it was so packed that I knew we would be hours getting out of Charlotte plus at least fourteen hours home. We did pop over to say Hi to Jonnie and Johan Lindberg, Ulf Leanders and Karsten Andersen but it was really great to connect with Tony and Elaine Betts. We go back a long way to our Supercharged Outlaw days and for those who remember I took Tony's alky altered record by five thousandths of a second in 1999 with a 6.92/203 and mine was only the altered over 200 mph for years. I sat Tony in our girlie car - he now drives Nostagia Nitro Funny Cars - which was his first time sat in a dragster. Then Dicko (of Bulldog Bash fame), his niece and her boyfriend came to say hello and took pics, it made for a memorable weekend!
Big thanks to Gary and Bob Leverich who are really the unsung heroes of NHRA being brave enough to do what they do with no dollars and to let me drive. We all believe there is a sponsor out there who will see our marketing potential across the world! Big thanks as usual to my boy Aidan who really has my back, I would struggle to race without him, Rrooz my other boy for helping and making this whole deal fun, Jake for being reliable, hard-working and fun, Dan for sticking with us, helping and becoming a firm friend, and welcoming newcomers Russ and Kevin is always a blast. We are watching low car counts now and we may go to Atlanta in a couple of weeks to do this all over again. Of course televising qualifying and the race helps too.
It was fun with the boys blogging to Facebook all weekend so go to our Ant Hill Mob Drag Racing page on Facebook for more of that.
Web site updates.
1st May: Remco Scheelings writes that after licencing in 2014, Björn M&årtensson made his official Top Fuel début in 2015 with three races in the FIA European Championship. This year the Top Fuel driver and his Nitrobear team are stepping up their operation and with five races, including at Santa Pod Raceway, they intend to contest almost a full Championship tour. "There's nothing as cool as racing a Top Fueller!", says Bj&oum;rn. "We learned so much last year with the tuning but also about working together as a team. This season we want to go faster, but also to keep the car in one piece". You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
SFI 16.1 driver restraint recall.
30th April: Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Team has passed on the following urgent Notice of Recall issued by the SFI Foundation for Driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon:
Driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon have been found to be non-compliant with SFI Specification 16.1. All camlock type driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon must be immediately be removed from service and returned to Ruian Dragon.
This recall includes driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon, and sold under the Tanaka brand.
Ruian Dragon Auto Parts Co, Ltd
Buliding 1, No 2 South Development Zone, Economic Development Zone
Feiyun Town, Ruian City, Zhejiang, China
You can read the full SFI notice including Ruian Dragon's own recall (PDF format) by clicking here or by clicking on the picture at right.
Event entry update.
28th April: Tomas Pettersson writes that entry is open for the Tierp Internationals, which takes place at Sweden's Tierp Arena on 16th-19th June. Entry at standard fee closes on 17th May and entry (at increased fee) closes absolutely on 7th June.
You can enter the Tierp Internationals at www.dragracing.eu.
Simple: We can't stay away.
28th April: Having moved to Sweden from the UK last year, one of the first racing moves of Pro ET racers Carla Pittau and Rick McCann is to return to Santa Pod Raceway to compete in the FIA / FIM Main Event. Carla writes:
The Heaven & Hell team have much to do here at the new headquarters in Sweden (right), the most important task being renovating and altering the vast barn to make it into a workshop where we can work away on our race cars during the cold Scandinavian winter evenings. Builders are busy here and the project has been somewhat delayed, so the team ended up doing engine work on an improvised bench in the basement of the house in the company of the washing machine, tumbler dryer and heating system, but at least in a heated environment.
The building work has taken a lot of our time, and if we were really sensible we would not be racing until probably mid to high summer but, despite the rain-off, reading Eurodragster.com when all our friends were racing at Easter made us want to be where we are meant to be: at the race track.
Wish we had been able to swap weather with you guys: Easter here was sunny and settled (although winter came back briefly last week) if a bit cold, and we thought it would have made great racing weather. But no meets here yet, such is life.
Don't get me wrong: we love Sweden and we are very happy with our decision to move here. Sweden is an excellent country, very civilised, friendly, efficient and absolutely gorgeous, and we thoroughly enjoy our life here, especially as there are so many gearheads everywhere. But family is always family, and we miss our racing family very much. So Rick and I have entered the Main Event. We are not 100% sure that we will make it with both entries as we have transport issues which not even Simon Gough could solve this time! But we will try our best, as there is nothing we enjoy more than run on the track side-by-side. But at least one of us will be there, and the other will be Crew Chief if we have only one car. That's it.
One way or another we will see you all next month, and we look forward to it very much. Happy racing!
Sagelv's new ride.
29th April: Stefan Boman writes that Swedish Pro Stock racer Christian Sagelv is replacing his Ford Escort with a Jerry Haas-built 2012 Ford Mustang.
"The car has been in NHRA Pro Stock competition with drivers Frank Gugliotta, JR Carr and Robert Patrick but has not done any full seasons, so it's a low mileage car", says Christian. "We bought it as a rolling chassis as we still have the motors and transmissions from the old car. We will start with this equipment and watch the development of EFI engines before we decide in which direction any updates will be. The car is delivered with two fronts, one for EFI and one for carburetted engines."
The car will arrive in Sweden after the FIA Championship season has started and will make its competitive début at Hockenheim or Tierp 2. "We will not be able to hunt for Championship points this year", says Christian, "so our main team goal for 2016 is to get the car sorted out and to be in good shape for 2017."
Burgess Ties up a sponsor.
29th April: UK 9.50 Bike racer Lewis Burgess and the BM DragRacing team are proud to announce a a new sponsor for 2016.
Scott Patrick, owner of Tie Specialist Logistics Ltd, has decided to sponsor Lewis with support for fuel costs and contributions to funding. Scott owns a succesful transportation business delivering anything throughout the UK, from motorcycles to household items. He even helps with the transportation of Lewis' bike.
"Scott is a great guy and it is an honour to have him on board with us", says Lewis. "Support is everything for a succesful race team." You can check out Tie Specialist Logistics' web site at www.tielogistics.co.uk or find them on Facebook at Tie Specialist Logistics Ltd.
View from a Bridge.
29th April: UK VW Pro racer Dave Bridge has been in touch with a report of his weekend at Big Bang with the Plan B buggy:
Over winter there we had done more development work on the 2110 cc air-cooled motor, with a slightly bigger SU carb added to the drawthrough turbo set-up. All looked good on the rolling road, with 197BHP and 217 ft/lbs of torque, all from a single barrel carb! I was looking forward to seeing what it could do.
The first thing the motor did when we fired it up in the pits was leak. Neil Baskerville had knocked me up a great little aluminium drip tray for the car in the week before the event, just in case, but while it caught the oil this was not a drip! Luckily Paul and Kyle Miller of Harry Harpics were on hand to help me change the pulley seal, after which all was well.
On the first run I felt very rusty, but things improved through qualifying and I ended qualified fourth. The car also provided me with new PBs of 1.51 at sixty feet, 11.89 ET and 109 mph terminal speed. The fact that I had dialled in at 11.90 on that run didn't annoy me too much given the PBs!
In the first round of eliminations I drew Alex Knott in his turbo beetle and we were on similar dial ins. Alex couldn't get full throttle and I took the win, having backed off slightly. In the second round I got a bye run, so I used it to see how the changing weather had affected my times and then dialled in slightly slower for the semi-final. Unfortunately in the semi the car got out of shape in the wheelie and then veered towards the wall, so I had to back off losing the run which was a shame after my best light of the weekend.
It was great to be back though and I'm looking forward to the Summernationals. Huge thanks to Harry Harpics Engineering for the turbo motor development, and to Rob Judge and Simon McGee for crewing.
29th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 6 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Although not yet on the entry list we understand that Kuwaiti Arabian League racer Hussain al Shammari will be contesting the FIA / FIM Main Event in Norbert Kuno's second blown-alcohol Avenger. More news about that when we receive it.
Rat Trap, Thacker and Friends.
29th April: With the idea of building a better world tour – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous AA/Fuel Altereds of all time – Rat Trap Racing has retained the services of Thacker & Friends to help with the logistics, media relations and sponsorship. The Rat Trap World Tour kicked-off last month at the historic March Meet in Bakersfield, CA, and will soon head to Europe for a series of events, including two at Santa Pod, England and another at Hockenheim, Germany. Additional dates are being added.
"With four race cars and five members of the family driving, we're as busy as the Pied Piper", said Rat Trap Racing team owner Ron Hope. "It gets pretty hectic, and that's why we're thrilled to have the experience, enthusiasm and resources of Thacker & Friends to help us with our anniversary world tour. Tony and his team will be laying the groundwork for the European Tour, helping with scheduling and transportation, handling hospitality, and lining up some additional sponsors. Thacker & Friends are the best there are at this kind of work."
"This is a dream project", said Tony Thacker, principal of Thacker & Friends. "I was at the very first race at Santa Pod, at Easter in 1966, so to be involved in the car's return for not only its 50th Anniversary, but also for the 50th Anniversary of Santa Pod, is fantastic. And, Rat Trap Racing is a wonderful addition to our roster. Ron, his whole family, and the team are great people and dedicated racers. The world tour is a project where we can promote hard because the car is so legendary with fans all over the world. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and we're looking forward to a fun tour."
There have been a series of record-setting Rat Trap AA/Fuel Altereds. The first was constructed circa 1965; however, today's Rat Trap is a continuation of the car developed by chassis builder Dennis Watson in 1968. Unlike the early cars that were conventional in design, Watson's car was revolutionary, with independent front suspension, a nitro-burning Chrysler Hemi, and distinctly wild paint scheme. The Rat Trap was one of the four cars that participated in the celebrated Fuel Altered Tours of 1970, '71 and '72.
Rat Trap Racing runs two Fuel Altereds and two land speed roadsters. The cars and team race regularly for nine months of the year, in both the US and Canada. They have also made previous appearances overseas, having been invited to participate at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, and at Rod Millen's Leadfoot Festival in New Zealand. Rat Trap Racing is based in Franklin, TN.
"In racing, it's the team work that makes the difference. Rat Trap Racing has a terrific crew and fabulous sponsors, and adding Thacker & Friends makes us even stronger", concluded Hope. "We can't wait to see all our fans around the world."
For the full Rat Trap World Tour schedule, please visit www.RatTrapRacing.com/schedule.
Springspeed Nats running order I.
28th April: Many thanks to Tony Smith for passing us Saturday's provisional running order for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out the running order by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that the running order is subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Tony asks that Pro ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racers be in the pairing lanes promptly at 10:00 on Saturday.
50 Shades of Big Bang.
28th April: UK Sportsman ET racer Andy Dibley has been in touch with a report of the two-car 50 Shades of Racing team's weekend at Big Bang:
Kirstie Tramm was again in the green Camaro and I was in the red Camaro. After a rained-off Festival of Power, both of us were very eager to flex our respective cars' muscles in eliminations, just hopefully not against each other in the first round!
Qualifying was a very mixed bag with my car having some interesting gearbox shifting issues on Saturday. Kirstie managed a brilliant 0.006 light in the first round of qualifying and ended up tenth the order, whilst I fell much further down. We both ran several PBs, just not when we wanted to! The alternator failed in my car on Sunday which also threw a large spanner into the works, but the got the car going again thanks to Jamie at CM Frosts in Wellingborough (01933 225564) who opened up on a Sunday just to help us.
In round one of eliminations, Kirstie paired up against number one qualifier Stephen Cherrett in the S-Car-Go Vauxhall Astra, and although it a close race to the stripe Kirstie sadly broke out handing the win to Stephen. I met Sportsman ET newcomer Harley Smithies in his Peugeot 206. Harley pulled a 0.199 light versus my 0.019, I met him half way down the track and we had a very interesting side-by-side race to the line which was a little too close for comfort: I only won by 0.010 seconds.
In round two I paired up against Felicity Gibbs in the Li'l Miss Rampage Mustang. Having seen my light in the previous race Felicity knew she had to pull something out of the bag, sadly her light was -0.029, handing me the win on the start line. I ran a new PB of 13.38 which gave me an idea of what to dial in for the next round.
In round three I was up against rival Jemma Hale in her Supra. After losing in a final to Jemma at the end of last year, I really wanted to get one back over the Redneck racer, but it wasn't to be. Jemma pulled a cracking light against my 0.22, and although I managed to get to the stripe first by 0.001 (2.29 inches), sadly I was the wrong side of my dial-in handing her the win on a breakout.
The weekend was a great learning experience for both Kirstie and I. We are both competing at the APIRA Springspeed Nationals this weekend and we are really ready to roll in to Shakespeare County Raceway.
This wouldn't have been at all possible without a lot of help from other teams in the Sportsman ET pits, notably Alan and Gillian Medley for the loan of a power pack on Sunday 'Just in case', and Nick and Nigel Hale of Redneck Racing for loaning a battery charger and also doing the dash to CM Frosts to pick up the new alternator. I'd also like to thank Georgie and Mike Smith who helped with the alternator swap and also Street Eliminator Chairman Ben Barnwell for pushing of the car and start line help. I'd also like to thank my dad Dave for the support and for a mercy dash back to 50 Shades HQ to pick up a spare alternator, and Tom Atkinson for not crashing my caravan into a fence... if only the same could be said for Kirstie's caravan (see below - Ed).
I'd also like to thank our sponsors for this season: Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd - CNC Precision Engineering (01628 530448) and V8UK - V8s in the UK.
First round Fudder.
28th April: Staying with Sportsman ET at Big Bang, Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com Brother-in-Law Tom Atkinson made an outing in the class in his Potato Wagon '64 Ranchero, but it seems that just getting into the pits was an achievement in itself:
The hard work started the day before I headed to the track. I thought it would be a good idea to give the pick-up a proper blast up the road to blow out the cobwebs on the way home from work before the weekend's beating... yes, it's my daily driver. I'm rather glad I did, as it chose to blow the intake gasket between the water gallery and #4 cylinder. I'd sooner it happened there than at the track. After a good ten thousand miles and numerous trips down the strip I'm not complaining, these things happen.
I limped it half a mile up to Jacks Hill Truck Stop in Towcester where it would be easy to load up on the trailer. However after a bit of thought I decided to sort it out at the truck stop as luckily Mike (stepdad) has a Sunbeam Tiger with a Small Block Ford. He had some gaskets in the garage a few miles up the road and was finishing work in a couple of hours. I stripped it down, and then we built it back up outside the café. I got home at about 10:00 pm, thanks Mike!
That must be the bad luck over and done with, right? Nope! While bringing Kirstie's caravan round from the main gate we had another bit of excitement, in the space of about 0.1 of a second while driving through the pits I went from "Hmm, feels light towing" to "Why's everybody shouting?" to looking in the mirror and seeing the caravan exiting stage right (This is known as Doing an Abrahamson - Ed)! Apologies to the stall owner whose bike we knocked over, but luckily it was all taken in good humour.
Finally on to the racing. After a few little changes over winter I was on the hunt for a twelve. I'd have been over the moon with a 12.999999 by the end of the weekend but I really wasn't expecting it on the BFGs. Much to my surprise the first pass in the Run What You Brung was a 12.82, get in! Luck was starting to change, for now. A couple of runs later there was smoke at the top end, here we go again! It had blown out the rear of the rocker cover gasket blowing oil onto the header, after some hunting about and help from fellow racers and crew we got it fixed.
After a few more twelves, getting quicker and quicker and breaking out on every qualifying run I thought I'd play it really safe to get a number on the board. I dialled in a 12.50 and ran a 12.527 which was good enough for third in the tough Sportsman ET field, awesome! This was then followed up by a 12.46, to say that I was over the moon was an understatement, going to that from a 13.02 previous best in two days! The Calvert drag shocks and the TrueTrac diff from Hauser Race Cars made a huge difference, and all still on the mud and snow knobbly BFG's! That little 347ci ATK crate motor from Topspeed Automotive was really doing the job.
In the first round of eliminations I met Felicity Gibbs in the Mustang. I was a little overambitious with the dial-in following the last run, put a 12.45 on the back but just couldn't quite chase Felicity down. She was on the number and it was a great close race with a win margin of 0.02 at the stripe, well done Flick!
I'm now looking forward to having a play in the Cortina in Super Pro ET this weekend whilst watching Kirstie have some more fun in Sportsman ET. All being well the truck will be back out at Bug Jam for another go, I had a great time!
Finally I'd like to thank everyone: Dad, Mike, Kirstie, Dibs, Nigel Hale and Redneck Racing, Ben 'Hovis' Barnwell, Georgie and Mike Smith, Jake Mechaell and everyone in Sportsman ET, just for being a great bunch!
28th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 5 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes tomorrow (Friday) after which entry will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting this weekend's NHRA Springnationals in Houston. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.
Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy future to SPRC Assistant Race Director Karl Birkinshaw and SPRC Timing Crew member Nikki Chesters who have become engaged. A nicer couple you couldn't hope to meet.
Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc has revealed the reason for putting his racing on hold: he has taken a job with Dragtimes, organiser of the Russian Drag Racing Championship which commences in June. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu. Also now showing on the Blog are a preview of this year's first EDRS event, registration for the EDRS Riders and Drivers Club, and a visit with Junior Dragster racer Patrik Lind.
Springspeed Nats Perfect Awards.
28th April: This weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Billy Ringer at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Saturday morning.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been increased to £100 after it went unclaimed at Big Bang. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike / NAST and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM Main Event. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing on Saturday morning.
FIA/FIM Main Event entry.
27th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 4 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes this Friday (29th) after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Racers entered for the Main Event who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride at Santa Pod Raceway on the preceding weekend (21st-22nd May) are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track, but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify either James Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Preparing Havoc to reign.
27th April: Nick Davies writes that work is progressing on the conversion of the 1932 Bantam Havoc to full nitro Fuel Altered specification by the team at ICE Automotive at Silverstone:
The task has become a little more extensive than originally planned, as decisions have been made to undertake several upgrades which should aid the longer term durability of the car, including safety and drivetrain modifications. The team will run the same 417 Donovan which took Europe's quickest fuel altered, Chaos, down into the 6.0 zone, albeit with some more 'period' detailing.
Whilst the work on the car is pretty much on target for the Dragstalgia showdown with the travelling American altereds, race fans will have the opportunity to support the home team by investing in one of the limited-edition full colour T-Shirts produced to celebrate the re-vamping of the popular altered. Featuring artwork and design by the talented Chris Froggett, the high-quality black T-Shirts will be available at the 2016 Dragstalgia meet for the princely sum of £15. Once they're gone, they're gone, so don't miss out!
Hope for Nimbus Motorsport.
27th April: UK Drag Bike team Hope Racing are proud to welcome Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport as a sponsor. Steve will be supplying Alex and Mark Hope with Torco Racing Oils and a range of racing fuels for the 2016 season. Mark Hope writes:
Steve has been a big part of the team from the onset, supporting our father Chris throughout his career in ACU and FIM Pro Stock Bike. When Chris hung the leathers up and Alex and I stepped out of his shadow to start racing careers of our own, there was ever only one choice in engine oils - it had to be Torco.
Alex and I are proud to continue the legacy Dad started and honoured to be able to continue the relationship which he built with Steve and Nimbus Motorsport, putting to use the extensive range of quality race oils and fuels that are available. Steve offered support from the outset with the 9.50 Bikes in the form of Torco Oils but has stepped up in a big way this year and we are excited to have secured a deal on racing oils and fuels for the turbo bikes and the Pro Stock Bike on which Alex will contend the FIM Pro Stock Bike Championship.
Steve imports and stocks the following products at Nimbus Motorsport: Torco Racing Oils and Fuels, Fuse Fuels, VP Racing Fuels, Ringers Gloves, and Thermo-Tec and DEI Thermal Control Products.
Visit Nimbus Motorsports' web site at www.nimbusmotorsport.com or call Steve on 01759 322100 for your needs!
The Mob turns Psycho.
27th April: Adam Gleadow writes that although it is a long way off the 2017 season will be a very special one for the Motor Psycho team as it will mark 50 years since Brian, Mick and Bob Gleadow's first appearance on the track after spectating since 1963:
Brian, Mick and Bob originally fielded a Pop Gasser initially called The Mangler before becoming the first Motor Psycho in 1968. Little did they know what they'd let themselves in for!
To celebrate this landmark Motor Psycho is going over to the dark side, nitro! We have purchased The Mob Fuel Altered operation complete from Ollie Burn, and will be transplanting the nitro-breathing 417 Donovan Hemi into our '34 Ford.
It's going to be a steep learning curve but one into which the team are eager to get stuck; none of us have been this fired up for racing for a while. The car will be going down to Comanche Race Cars for the motor mounting, re-locating the rear axle to suit a smaller tyre size and a few other updates whilst I undertake the engine strip down and freshen-up. All being well the car should be ready to make some noise towards the end of the year and to do battle in 2017.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ollie for allowing us the chance to purchase The Mob along with his guidance and help through our transition to nitro, his many years of experience and knowledge will be priceless.
In a way it's very bittersweet as it means the end of The Mob, a car I gre up watching and which fuelled my passion for Fuel Altereds when I watched it match racing Jim Seward's Harry The Spider, but rest assured that we will do Ollie and the team proud. Motor Psycho will always carry a tribute to their part in drag racing history.
Further Thanks Yous to Mick for transporting the car to our workshop, Dom Romney for a lot of help over the past few weeks, and the crew for their work at the weekend getting everything sorted.
To follow our rebuild to full blown AA/Fuel Altered status, Like our Facebook page and follow our newly launched Instagram account @motorpsycho_aafa.
27th April: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the Fast Show timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
27th April: DJ of Santa Pod Raceway writes that there are several new shows on Santa Pod's own YouTube Channel SantaPodTV including Street Eliminator 2016 Festival of Power - new for 2016 is the first of a series of WebTV Shows following drag racers in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator as they compete in the Santa Pod Raceway rounds of their 2016 Championship; FWD Drag Series 2016 Fast Show - Round 1 of the 2016 Front Wheel Drive Drag Series from The Fast Show; Big Bang highlights; Fast Show highlights; and Festival of Power highlights.
The NitrOlympX is always one of the highlights of the European drag racing season. The Hockenheimring facility, the special atmosphere of the Motodrome and of course the traditional Saturday Night Show all make this race of the FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championships a special one. After the very successful thirtieth edition last year, number thirty one promises to be even bigger and better. Now, with the start of the 2016 European Championship season quickly approaching, our good buddy Remco Scheelings has interviewed Jerry Lackey, who since 2009 has been the race director of the NitrOlympX and who with forty seven years in drag racing is one of the most experienced people in the sport. The former racer and still promoter, organizer and race director talks about the event that marks his life on the Drag Racing Europe Blog at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Springspeed Nats racer update.
26th April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us details of the arrangements for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Version 3 of the official entry list is now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The final version of the entry list will be posted on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Racer tickets, final instructions, vehicle passes and scrutineering slips have now been sent out to every racer who submitted their entries before close of play last Friday. Anyone who posted their entry since last Friday will be able to collect their tickets on arrival at the main gate. If any crew member arrives before their racer then they must notify the track beforehand, or wait until their driver / rider arrives at the track to gain entry.
Entry to the pits will commence at 12:00 on Friday. If racers wish to arrive on Friday morning, before the pit gate opens, then they are more than welcome to park up and wait. Please note that pit marshals will escort all racers to their designated pit, so please be patient if a queue develops on the entrance road into the pits. Anyone who pits incorrectly will be politely asked to move to their allocated pit space.
Scrutineering will commence for both cars and bikes at approximately 17:00 on Friday. Scrutineering will resume at 08:00 on Saturday. Signing On will also open at these times.
Saturday's running order will be posted here on Eurodragster.com later this week. Copies will be available in the Signing On office which will be open between 18:00 and 20:00-21:00 on Friday.
Anyone who did not collect their 2015 APIRA Championship trophies at last month's Presentation Evening can do so this weekend. They can be collected from Sue in the Signing On Office.
Shakespeare County Raceway would also like to remind everyone of safety requirements in the Staging and Fire Up lanes. No crew members under the age of seventeen may enter these areas. Under-age Junior crew members can still watch their respective teams race from the grandstands. The grandstands can be accessed from the top of the lanes by the Signing On office. We understand that this may upset some of the Junior crews, however your safety is paramount and must be considered at all times. These rules obviously do not apply to under-17s who are riding or driving a race vehicle which is in the pairing lanes (for which you must be a holder of an MSA/ACU licence or you are participating in observed runs). All children remain the responsibility of their parent or guardian at all times. Thank you for your co-operation.
If you have any queries about the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, then please contact the Raceway office at firstname.lastname@example.org or between 09:00 and 17:00 call 01789 720180 or 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180 / 414119).
Ashdown: It's the nuts!
26th April: The UK's Steve Ashdown is looking forward to making his final Top Fuel Dragster licencing pass before contesting May's FIA / FIM Main Event, having thoroughly enjoyed his outing at the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway. Steve made three runs on Saturday in one of Rune Fjeld's cars running a best eighth of 3.5564/210.65 and best thousand foot of 4.6821/193.78 leaving him with one full-bore pass to get the coveted signature on his licence.
"I never thought I'd see "Steve Ashdown" and "Top Fuel" in the same sentence!", Steve told Eurodragster.com. "It's one of the best things I ever did and I consider myself very fortunate. There's not a word which can explain driving a Top Fueller. You sit there strapped in asking yourself "What am I doing?" and you think "I can't do this" but then you have a go and it's brutal and it's awesome and you think "This is the nuts!" and you want to do it again!"
Steve has his medical next week then plans to make his final licencing pass at the pre-Main Event Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day on Thursday 26th May. "The idea behind running on the Test Day is that there's less pressure during qualifying", he said. "At the race there will be enough to think about with needing to qualify and having someone in the other lane for the first time, without the extra pressure of actually getting the licence to qualify in the first place.
"I really must thank Rune Fjeld. He has been a big help and is an absolute gentleman. He is a very clever man, nothing but professional and he believes in working with you rather than shouting at you. All of Rune's crew were brilliant and Liam Jones gave me a lot of advice and a lot of... let's say banter! I must also thank my missus and kids for their support and for going without holidays and other treats, and I must say a huge Thank You to Kathy Taylor as without her help I would never have got into a Top Fueller.
"Everyone at the track was so kind and so welcoming. I really appreciated the Big Bang people letting me run at their event and all the help I got from Ian Marshall, Darren Prentice and the Santa Pod staff."
Steve plans to contest the FIA / FIM Main Event and the FIM / FIM European Finals and has already lined up some sponsors in support; he asked us to say a big Thank You to Aerial Scaffolding, Robey Scaffolding, the Telephone Shop, Demon Ink Tattoo Shop, Epic Integration, and Richard Deevey.
26th April: After two years of false starts and missed deadlines UK VW Sportsman racer Ryan McGrath is set for his début at this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Ryan says that what started off as a drunken bid on eBay back in September 2013 has developed and changed into a very loved car with a lot of crazy character, which is not named Polo-Loco for nothing:
The car is a 1998 Polo Saloon, never the most popular of Volkswagen models, from the late 1990s and a parts bin mixture of a Mk3 Golf and Mk2 Seat Ibiza. The underpowered 1.6 8v engine has been cast aside for the 2.8 12v VR6 from a Mk3 Golf coupled with the same gearbox. The car has been lightened as much as possible whilst still remaining in a safe and road-legal state as I am having to drive up from Portsmouth in it, which is all part of the fun!
Externally the most noticeable part of the car is the Harlequin paint scheme. It was twenty years ago that Volkswagen first showed this scheme at the London Motor Show and it's still as divisive today. Love it or hate it, you can't deny it's hard to ignore (Column A here - Ed).
Our current Personal Best is 14.55/90.69 on a RWYB prepared track. We are gunning to break into the thirteens which, with an improvement in technique and a reduced sixty foot time, should be achievable on the current set-up.
Débuting at Shakespeare Country Raceway holds a great significance for me, as it was there twenty two years ago that my late father took me to see my first bit of drag racing over the URO / VW Dream Machine weekend. The strip has held a very special place in my heart since then, and even today still has that unique atmosphere.
The guys and girls of the VWDRC have been fantastic over the last two years, getting me to events, crewing for them and keeping me motivated and on track despite setbacks. There is a real family feel about the VWDRC which helps make the track feel like a home away from home.
You can follow our progress, the highs and the lows, on our Facebook page. See you all in the fire up road!
Brown's Vegas tale.
6th April: Regular Eurodragster.com readers will recall that after a chance meeting with Jeff Strunk, owner of Land Shark Racing and DragTarp, last October, UK Super Comp racer Paul Brown was invited to drive Jeff's car at the K&N Las Vegas Spring Fling Millions Challenge. Lesley Brown says that most of Team Paul Brown Motorsport ("Sorry Lee and Andy") attended the event, and Paul adds that the team came home with a new sponsor. Lesley writes:
The plane was diverted to California due to three inches of rain falling in about thirty minutes in Las Vegas. We were wondering whether Paul's drag racing career was always going to be hampered by rain, but from then on our trip was mostly bathed in sunshine.
At the track we met up with Crew Chief Jeff, his wife Linda and team-mate Phil Baladez, and once pitted Jeff took Paul and Phil off in his golf buggy - the best-ever drag racing invention in Jeff's opinion - to show them the ropes. The next thing I heard on the PA was "Will the person driving the golf buggy up the track please remove it!".
The next day was a Test Day. For me it was a surreal feeling being surrounded by over five hundred dragsters and door cars, especially when I realised that Jeg Coughlin and Shawn Langdon were only a few spaces away from our pit. We were all waiting at the start line for Paul and I was pinching myself as he drove under the Las Vegas Speedway gantry for his first test run. To think it was only six months ago that I felt privileged to do the track walk at an NHRA event!
Although Jeff's car is also a shorty, it is very different to Paul's car and there were several things to get used to, including the delay box on the start line. Paul's first test run netted him a reaction time of 0.034 and an ET of 5.404 on a 5.38 dial-in, and after a second and final test run with a Reaction Time of 0.011 and a 5.384, again on a 5.38 dial-in, Paul felt good to race.
Paul's race day was the Wednesday $10,000 competition with 514 entries, including approximately 250 door cars including a Pro Mod, no buy-backs and racing over the eighth mile. Pairing was random with dragsters and door cars racing separately until the last sixteen. The dial-ins ranged from 3.90 to 9.90 and the standard of cars was mostly exceptional. A new red light system, called Trulight, was in place. If the first driver left on a red light, it would show green until the second driver left the line. If the second driver was OK the first driver's light would change to red and the race was lost. However, if the second driver red lit by a bigger margin, he or she would lose instead.
Lining up in the pairing lanes in the glorious Vegas sunshine surrounded by hundreds of dragsters is an experience we will never forget. Paul was really up for the race and cut a decent 0.04 light but unfortunately the gears didn't shift into second gear, running a 5.62 on a 5.38 dial-in; by the time Paul realised and changed it manually it was too late to recover on the eighth mile. The winner was seasoned NHRA racer Chris Lindsey who took out Jeg Coughlin in the third round. Round one started at 8:00 am took almost four and a half hours to complete, and it took until midnight to complete all ten rounds.
On Thursday roles were reversed and Paul was part of the crew for Phil in the $20,000 dollar race, but unfortunately he too suffered a first round exit. Unlike Wednesday, Phil was allowed a buy back which he won but then bowed out in round two. The big prize day, for which we were not entered, was the Friday race. This year 270 cars raced to win the top prize of $270,000 and this was a case of dreams really can come true. Faced with tremendous opposition (with numerous cars making Perfect Lights and Perfect ETs) and big money cars, the winner's story was very different. Jeff Verdi had towed his Pontiac Firebird on an open trailer 2,400 miles from Virginia, breaking down several times along the way. He paid $50 for a raffle ticket and won the $2,000 entry fee for the race and then went all the way to win. You couldn't make it up!
The organisers of the Spring Fling Millions made us Brits feel very welcome, as did our fellow racers. Thirty two states and four countries were represented. The Long Distance Award went to a racer in Alaska, as you had to tow your vehicle, but in recognition of the distance Paul had travelled to be there he was awarded a racers appreciation prize of weather station software from sponsor Raceworks.
Paul said of the experience "It was an amazing experience racing against a huge field of vehicles. The quality of the vehicles and the equipment which people brought with them was unbelievable. Some racers were even bringing two vehicles with them. Racing over the eighth mile was completely different as it felt like the race was over before it had even started, but I saw some very interesting start line tactics involved. Unlike the usual burndown on the tree, racers were burning out straight into full stage and even reversing straight back into full stage. Previously being the fast car in Pro ET and receiving red light wins, I believe Trulight is great idea and think it's something we should work towards using in Sportsmans classes to even up the playing field for slower vehicles. As a team we have learned a lot from this event and we hope to fly out again in the future.
"Thanks to Jeff and the organisers for letting me drive his car, to our sponsors, and to Ian Marshall for helping me towards getting an NHRA licence."
Team Paul Brown Motorsport are also delighted to announce that DragTarp, whose web site can be found at www.landsharkdragsters.com, are sponsoring us for the rest of the season.
Drag Tarp make heavy custom race car covers with 100% waterproof denier material for all types of vehicles including dragsters, doorslammers, altereds, and Junior Dragsters and Funny Cars. Three different colours are available on which you can have your team's custom logo printed.
If you are looking to buy a new cover, come to visit Paul in the pits at this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals or at the FIA /FIM Main Event to have a look at his cover. Paul can arrange to measure up your car and get pricing from the company.
The UK's coolest quarter mile?
26th April: Spitfire Raceway, dubbed the coolest quarter mile in the UK, opens its gates on 7th May. Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child International Track Preparation Services explains why Spitfire Raceway deserves the "Cool" epithet:
Not many venues are located on the north Cornish Atlantic surf coast, with miles of sandy beaches just minutes away. It's worth the journey! Drag race on the Saturday and spend the remainder of weekend enjoying the area.
February's event was chilly but held under sunny skies, with 150 people taking part on the drag strip in front of an audience of 1500. Quickest of the Day in the car categories was Ross Stokoe, who travelled over 300 miles from East Sussex in his Nissan R35 and ran 11.0s all day long. Local man Mike Gray, from St Ives, went 10.0 on the no-prep surface with his 1000cc Honda.
The event is open to any vehicle and you can just turn up for Test and Tune. But this is also Round 4 of the South West Championship in the following categories:
For more information, check out Spitfire Raceway Cornwall on Facebook. Spitfire Raceway is located on Perranporth Airfield, Perranporth, Cornwall TR5 0XS (map).
6th April: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-Big Bang points standings for the UK National and Santa Pod Racers Club Sportsman ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Championships (8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike were non-points rounds at this one - Ed). You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Speedgroup CEO Åsa Kinnemar writes that a new Board was elected at the recent Annual Shareholders' Meeting. You can find out the new make-up of the Speedgroup Board at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Web site updates.
6th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with a large gallery of shots from the recent Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Draper Tools on their trolley.
26th April: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to announce that Draper Tools has joined the list of those businesses supporting the restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Draper Tools has donated a toolbox for use on the dragster's starter trolley (below right).
Draper Tools was established in 1919 and is now based in Chandlers Ford, not far from the National Motor Museum. It is a hugely-respected and much-used automotive industry trade supplier being a one-stop shop for professional mechanics, motor factors, MoT garages and automotive repair workshops. The focus is always on quality and their range includes hand service tools, diagnostics and workshop equipment. As well as the Draper branded products the company also supplies Knipex, Elora and Kapro Tools. Their web site address is www.drapertools.com and UK Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith of Draper Tools can usually be found in the pits at race events.
ACAG Chair Brian Taylor says "I would like to thank Draper Tools for their support. With the 354 Chrysler engine switching from nitro to methanol we no longer needed the pressurised fuel system on our starter trolley. We wanted to replace this with a neat toolbox to carry equipment likely to be required during the start-up procedure and Draper had just the job with their blue two-drawer unit.
"We had conversations with Mark Smith and John Draper and they came up trumps. The unit was prepped at Chandlers Ford for us to fit to the trolley at the next Work-In Day at Beaulieu. I look forward to inviting them to the museum once the box has been installed."
Draper Tools' Marketing Director Clive Richardson, pictured above with the toolbox, says "Draper Tools is pleased to provide one of its toolboxes to the Allard Chrysler Action Group. It's great to be able to have our brand associated with a project like this and we wish them the best of luck with the restoration of such a legendary machine."
BDRHoF honour the Juniors.
26th April: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is delighted to announce that Junior Drag Racers will again be honoured when the Gala Awards Dinner takes place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow Airport.
The Hall of Fame Gala is the most prestigious night of the year for Britain's drag racing community. Last year, for the first time, the top three Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike racers in the UK National Championship were invited, with their parents, to attend the occasion for their accomplishments to be recognised before the gathering of distinguished guests from Europe and America. 2016's young drivers and bikers will share the evening with the new Hall of Fame inductees along with leading figures from the States such as Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy, who brought the first American Funny Cars to Santa Pod Raceway in 1973, and Carl Olson, Founding President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission.
BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury commented "While the Hall of Fame's prime purpose is to recognise drag racing achievements of the past, we're particularly pleased to welcome and celebrate the rising new generation of racers too, and we salute the sponsors whose generosity and foresight have allowed us to create this opportunity. It's a wonderful thought that some of today's young achievers might one day, perhaps, return to the Gala stage for induction into the Hall of Fame in their own right."
Once again, the Juniors' tables at the Gala will be sponsored by Atlantic Fluid Tech Ltd, Santa Pod Racers' Club, US Automotive and Lucas Oil Products, and the young racers can expect to take home some valuable mementoes of the occasion. The Hall of Fame is grateful to Lizz McCarthy and Wayne Jackson for their help with arrangements.
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact email@example.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Springspeed Nats Junior update.
25th April: APIRA officials would like to remind all Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike drivers and riders participating at Shakespeare County Raceway that all vehicles must be pushed back to pit bays after passing the Medical Centre on the left-hand corner of the return road.
To ensure the health and safety of Junior racers, the Junior Dragster pits have been relocated to the left hand side of the pits just past the Medical Centre. This has been done so that the Juniors do not have to push all the way through the pits. Junior Drag Bike pits will remain on the left hand side of the pits as normal, but moved further up.
If you have any queries then please do not contact the Raceway but either Glenn Stockton (MSA) 07774 142892, Jane Read 07970 293967,or Tony Smith (ACU) 07787 398614.
Big Bang results.
25th April: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway:
VW Pro: Richard Brook (12.50) 12.6352/106.25 def. Christopher Bayliss (12.50) 13.1662/103.71 DQ red light
VW Sportsman: Paul Day (15.30) 15.3619/83.62 def. Dave Lea (13.50) 13.6878/97.97
Sportsman ET: Chris Creswell (16.10) 16.219/78.73 def. Jemma Hale (15.43) 15.5241/89.44
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Ruaridh Hart (9.10) 9.1468/64.56 def. Billy Ringer (9.43) 9.5979/67.30
Outlaw Anglia: Cliff Griffin 8.0786/154.19 def. Phil Middleton 8.7426/157.43
JDS Street: David Greenhalgh 8.4473/161.34 def. Jeff Ludgate 9.2108/156.29
Front Wheel Drive: Allan Duthie 9.6544/155.22 def. Ben Dalgleish 10.1178/139.97
Nostalgia Super Stock: Dan Williams (10.00) 10.0656/133.61 def. Rob Tyrrell (10.20) 10.2145/130.22 DQ red light
8.50 Bike: Ian Chrichlow 9.3234/120.15 def. Jake Mechaell 14.8454/56.18
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.5340/128.40 def. Steve Ashby 9.5897/140.70
Congratulations also to Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Billy Ringer who won the £50 Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.0008 Reaction Time during qualifying on Saturday. The Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 for this weekend's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was not won and so has been increased to £100 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals.
Click here to check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Big Bang reports and pictures, or click on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Event entry update.
23rd April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us Version 2 of the official entry list for next week's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out the APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and for more information about the APIRA Springspeed Nationals check out SCR's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.
Chris Murty writes that the UK's York Raceway hosts the Bank Holiday Super Street Shootout on Sunday 1st May and Monday 2nd May. "This is the first big weekend of the year with fourteen race classes hitting the track, as well as Run What You Brung meaning non-stop drag racing action over the two days", says Chris. "We will have two rounds of American Super Stock, JDM-DRC, Pro FWD and NSCC. There will also be one round of Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Volks Stock, HRSC and Super Cup not to mention Straightliners shoehorned in, and amongst all that there will be plenty of chance for RWYB". For more information check out York Raceway's web site at www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
Post en Dros racer offer.
22nd April: Dick Koster of Eurodragser.com sponsor Post en Dros writes with a pre-season offer for racers, which is valid until Saturday of next week (30th):
Now is the time to get the A/F sensor kit on your race vehicle, or to renew your sensors. Get the most out of your injection or carburettor tuning.
Racepak A/F sensors are compatible with either gasoline- or methanol-fuelled engines. The gasoline application will display A/F ratios between 9.55:1 and 20:1, while methanol is shown from 4.22:1 to 8.7:1. Please specify the type of fuel you will be using when ordering:
1 channel air/fuel ratio kit (module / heater / sensor) April only €299
Air / fuel ratio sensor (Lambda sensor) April only €65
4 channel wide band controller (without sensors) April only €899
For more information, or to place your order, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going west with the Turners.
22nd April: UK Top Methanol Funny Car team Turner Racing contested recent NHRA National and Regional events at The Strip At Las Vegas. Driver Rob Turner got in touch to let us know how he, brother and tuner Steve and the team got on:
Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals: This was the first time we raced the car without Steve's girlfriend Vicky Reid, who is a vital help to the team and especially to my wife Carmel who has MS. Steve went out a week early to prepare the car at Bernie Harrington's shop and we all met up on the Wednesday.
We made two minor changes to try to get the car leaving straight, a tyre pressure change and more height on the wheelie bar. These changes worked as on the first pass the car left arrow straight with the wheels up just right. About two hundred feet out it shook pretty hard and needed a quick pedal to settle down to a 6.5-second run. The next qualifier was good to about a thousand feet when I got near to the wall and had to lift, but a bit quicker at 6.15.
We almost didn't make the final qualifier due to crank trigger failure. It had been giving us some problems, firing up on warm-ups but not firing on the run. Steve connected the mag direct, under a lot of pressure when everybody is watching you those plugs just don't seem to fit together! We made the run which was a 6.05, we think that from incremental times it was about a 5.90 (I rolled the staging beams). Unfortunately we didn't qualify for this event.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7: When we serviced the car after the National event we found three burnt plugs, and all the bearings were flattened. This was due to the mag fluctuating the timing. We know it was at least two degrees advanced so we were so lucky to not have done more damage. We spent the next few days servicing the car and we fitted a crank trigger changeover switch.
The weather forecast wasn't good for this event. The first qualifying session was delayed and we finally ran about 6:00 pm. The car left perfectly then about two hundred feet out the second gear hub let go and broke through the casing losing drive. Annoyingly this was our best sixty foot time in the USA, and still rolled through at nine seconds flat.
We got back to the pits and it poured! A flash flood ensued and we had to abandon servicing the car until morning, instead drying out at the hotel. Next morning we got to the track early and checked the spare transmission, took a head off to change a valve and springs, and serviced the bottom end. The car was back together and about to fire up when at about midday the pit marshal came by and said "They are going with Top Alcohol first when the track is dry, in about thirty minutes". We were second pair with Annie Whiteley so we readied the car as quickly as we could whilst the marshal was watching to see if we could make it. I was getting myself as ready as I could whilst still in the pit. We towed out to the front of the class just as Annie was going under the arch. I got into the car as quickly as I could and we just made it.
When we were servicing the car I had noticed the clutch release bearing was binding, so w adjusted it and now the pedal felt much better. However the car wouldn't move into stage when I let the brake off. I had to de-clutch to get the car into stage, which upset the staging. The car launched well and got to the finish line under power, running 5.88 at 246 mph. Our best speed ever by 2 mph! We qualified fourteenth or fifteenth but there is only an eight-car field at a Regional event.
Unfortunately the event was called off due to the storms after only two sessions of qualifying. It will be re-run in November between the National and Divisional events. Qualifying is set after the two sessions.
The team feel confident. We now know what the car needs to pick up the first incrementals, so we are looking forward to October / November.
Thanks to Bernie Harrington, Jeff Carroll, Reggie and Tina, Mike Simpson, and our sponsors Lucas Oil, GRP Connecting Rods, Center Point CnC, CP-Carrillo Pistons and Roy Wilding Race Cars.
The PT Bruiser fuelled for its return.
22nd April: Paul Marston writes that his very popular PT Bruiser it all set for its return to competition:
The last time we saw the PT Bruiser in competition was in Super Pro ET at the 2014 FIA European Finals. The car was then sporting an all-aluminium 540ci Donovan on injected methanol. That has not changed, but with the data from that last event there were questions to be answered and some work needed. It was nothing sinister, although the motor being all aluminium means that you have to set the valve lash as near zero as you dare when it's cold - aluminium motors grow due to the expansive properties of the material, and the growth causes the valve lash to open up as the motor heats. This was a problem at that race as the Ron's Primer Plus system, which we use to start the motor and idle to build heat, was not working properly. Primer Plus is a very simple petrol injection system custom-built to work with alcohol / methanol fuel injection and if it doesn't work properly it can be very difficult to build heat in a motor due to the cooling properties ofalcohol as a fuel plus the heat dissipation characteristics of aluminium.
When we ran in 2014 the motor never got to the temperature for which I was looking, plus it was down a little on what I expected speed-wise. Bear in mind that we are only able to compare this to the data on the previous motor, which was a Chrysler 500 ci Pro Stock wedge.
With lots of questions that needed answering I figured that prior to our next race event, which was scheduled to be the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, we needed to book some rolling road time with John Sleath Race Cars. Matt Wright of Eurodragster.com sponsor wemoveyourcar.com had recommended John Sleath Race Cars' rolling road dyno as it has helped him get the fuelling right on the UK Top Sportsman twin turbo BBC Rolls Royce which Matt owns and drives. It made sense as you are dynoing the whole car, which is important as it is real world condition: fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pump, ignition system, plug leads, along with the motor you test everything as a whole. With the Primer Plus system working properly (the top of the sheet metal tunnel ram needed some extra machining) we could also get heat into the motor and run it at the correct temperature.
Gary and Arron Springford, PMR crew Sefton Whitlock and I travelled to John's workshop facilities last Tuesday for the day on the rolling road. The first pull was the baseline, the last run from 2014, followed by another to back up the data of the first pull. This returned 665 HP at the rear wheels, and the fuel reading from the Lambda sensors showed that it could possibly use some more fuel. This system runs a main pill (jet) on the return to the tank side, which regulates the fuel pressure; the fuel pump is belt-driven from the crankshaft so delivery increases with rpm. To control this increase in fuel pressure we also run what is referfed to as a high speed lean which is a separate pressure-sensitive valve to reduce fuel pressure and prevent overfuelling the motor which is a common problem with these systems.
For the next couple of pulls more fuel was added by upping the opening pressure point of the high speed lean. Doing this we saw an increase in horsepower to 681 then 692, 695, then with a small adjustment to fuel and a little less timing (from 38 to 36 deg) over 700. This gave us exactly what we were looking for, the answers were as I had suspected. There was more power to be had, with an increase of nearly ten per cent, and just as importantly it showed us where the motor made power and how long for in its RPM range - we were taking the motor to 7400 rpm on the rollers. Probably most importantly, we now knew that the motor was being fed the correct amount of fuel all the way through its rev range and the fuel curve now matched the engines needs. If you get this wrong and run too lean with alcohol it can hurt the motor, real bad, real quick.
One thing which a rolling road cannot give you is the torque figures, which we will find out once we run the PT Bruiser on a race track: torque is what accelerates a race car.
So did we achieve what we set out to, does the motor produce what we wanted? The rolling road is a very useful tool and did exactly what we wanted it to do, it pinpointed a problem I suspected was there, but without data it was just a hunch. I could have spent three or four races working on the fuel system and as any racer knows there are so many variables from day to day, let alone event to event, so it would be very difficult to interpret any data accurately meeting to meeting. So long as your car is reliable and you have a good idea of where you want to be with it, you can use a rolling road to get done in a day what could otherwise take months otherwise.
It will be interesting to see what difference this makes to the performance of the PT Bruiser. Personally I think it will make a little difference, she has run 8.29/160 and I now know that the motor is where it's happiest and we should pick up a little. The rest of any more potential is in making the chassis work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Many thanks to John Sleath and his team who were very helpful and knowledgeable, Gary Springford for his sagely advise, Arron for the videos, and Sefton for being Sefton. John Sleath kindly sent me all the data I need, and John's advice to put the PT Bruiser on the rolling road just prior to competing was very good advice indeed. If you are thinking of having this done yourself call John Sleath Race Cars 07976 751742. If you want it right dyno it; John Sleath offers a variety of services so check out his web site at www.john-sleath.com for full details.
Web site updates.
22nd April: Our good buddy Alan Currans writes with news of the latest update to his excellent Acceleration Archive: "The sun shone on Shakespeare County Raceway on Sunday 17th April and a great field of two-, three-, four- and even six-wheeled vehicles assembled for what promised to be a great day's action. Undoubtedly the headline class was the Supercharged Outlaws who were holding their first of seven rounds for the 2016 season. However, what really made my day was the appearance of one man and two rather small bikes which did not even put in a single pass. That man was Brian Chapman who back in the day was the scourge of Top Bike with his world beating Vincent-powered bikes". You can take a look at Alan's pictures at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Event entry update.
21st April: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing us Version 1 of the official entry list for next week's APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. "If you have sent in your entry but are not yet on the list then please wait for the publication of Version 2 before panicking", says Jerry, "we can only process the entry list as quickly as the Post Office deliver. Please also note that final instructions will be sent out shortly; we are just awaiting updates from the relevant officials."
You can check out the APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes next Friday (29th) after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Our Kirstie needs your help.
21st April: Regular readers know that Eurodragster.com staff member Kirstie Tramm has embarked upon a racing career after winning the Dial In Day at Santa Pod Raceway earlier this year. Kirstie put up a good showing in Sportsman ET at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, qualifying eighth and pulling the class' best Reaction Time, and she is planning to contest this weekend's Big Bang, but has put out an urgent call for help if she is to compete.
Kirstie's new crash helmet has not yet arrived so she is looking to borrow a helmet to use at Santa Pod this weekend. The helmet needs to be legal for Sportsman ET and of size Small. If you can help then please get in touch with Kirstie pdq at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
21st April: We don't suppose it will change a thing but we can highly recommend an excellent article on bangshift.com named Baghdad Bob and the New Power of Words.
LAS Aerospace back Allard Chrysler.
21st April: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to announce support from LAS Aerospace for restoring Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler.
The group was looking for a timing buzz box for the 354 Chrysler Hemi engine. Chris Eames identified a unit offered by LAS Aerospace Limited in Okehampton with a part number LED51. ACAG checked with Ray Howe at LAS that it was suitable and Managing Director Scott Powell agreed to donate the unit to the project.
The LED 51 unit being used by the Allard Chrysler Action Group is really designed specifically for aircraft magneto synchronisation and engine timing, but it is ideal for timing a Chrysler Hemi with a single magneto (they have another unit for twin mag application). It eliminates all guesswork and provides a greater safety factor by creating perfect timing quickly and reliably. You simply attach three clips to the magneto and adjust until the illuminated LED turns off and the tone sounds.
LAS Aerospace was originally founded by owner Stephen Saywell in 1982 and has been at the forefront of supporting the Sport and General Aviation market since then. Day to day running of the company is overseen by MD Scott Powell. They have one of the largest stocks of British and American specification hardware in Europe - in total over 100,000 parts - all available for next day delivery. They have shipments leaving the USA daily, meaning that most products are delivered in under a week. Full details can be found on their web site at www.lasaero.com or call 01837 658081.
LAS Aerospace MD Scott Powell says "This application is quite different to our normal requests but we are pleased to support such a unique project. Heritage is important to protect and being an American engine it is very much in line with our normal generic aviation products sourced in the USA. We were very pleased to be able to help."
ACAG Chair Brian Taylor says "Support for this restoration project has come from many different companies and private individuals, some based in the UK and others in the USA. It is very rewarding that so many see the value in what is being achieved."
20th April: Multiple FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Dave Wilson's operation is up for sale turn-key on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet. If you are quick then you can get a great deal in time to enter May's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. "Please someone, buy this car or I will be forced to enter the Main Event myself!" says Grumpy.
Good Luck and stay safe to Smax Smith (Top Fuel Dragster), Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol FC), Roy Olsen (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Jimmy Ålund (Stock Eliminator) who are contesting this weekend's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. Qualifying commences on Friday and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com and not forgetting the excellent Lindberg Bros Racing web site at www.lindbergbros.com.
Santa Pod Raceway are celebrating the inaugural Race, Rock'n'Ride on 21st-22nd May by giving away a Two Seat Dragster ride. To enter the give-away go to www.racerockride.co.uk/win. You can find out more about the event at www.racerockride.co.uk.
Our good buddy, photo-journalist Steve Moxley has been in touch to let us know that his Festival of Power report of the bike classes is now showing on the ACU web site at www.acu.org.uk.
VW Sportsman and Sportsman ET racer Jon Crawford asked us to say a big Happy 15th Birthday to his son, Crawford Motorsports and Engine Carbon Clean ace crewman Dominic Crawford. Our pleasure Jon, have a great day Dominic.
Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe asks if Dave Alexander could please get in touch with him.
If you plan to tune in to our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of this weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway, which is scheduled to commence at 12:00 midday on Friday, then please remember that there is now a status message box on the webcam landing page at www.eurodragster.com/webcam which will be updated with anything you need to know (track closed etc). We take no responsibility for, nor can we promise to be gentle with, those who can't or won't read.
Big Bang racer update.
19th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway.
Pit marshals will be available when gates open on Friday.
Racers are welcome to run in the Run What You Brung sessions on both Friday and Saturday but please note that DVLC licences must be presented; Competition licences are not accepted for RWYB (Junior racers have their own arrangements for RWYB sign-on - Ed).
Thursday 21st April
10:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates open for racers
21:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates close
Friday 22nd April
08:00 Santa Pod Raceway's gates open for the duration of the event
11:00 Signing on office opens for Run What You Brung NB DVLC licences only for RWYB
12:00 Track opens for Run What You Brung
19:00 Track closes
Saturday 23rd April
08:30 Signing on office opens NB Competition licences required for race sign-on, DVLC licences for RYWB
08:30 Car scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
08:30 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
09:30 Track opens for Run What You Brung
15:00 Run What You Brung ends
16:00 Track opens for qualifying
20:00 Track closes
Sunday 24th April
08:00 Signing on office opens
08:00 Car scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
08:00 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order (scrutineering notes)
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations
The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Junior Dragster racers please remember the new rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
19th April: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with no words at all. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Web site updates.
19th April: Santa Pod Raceway's YouTube channel has been updated with a Web TV programme covering the first round of the 2016 FWD Drag Series which took place at the recent Fast Show. The programme was produced by our good buddies at Zeon TV which tells you all you need to know about its quality. You can take a look at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jOf-N0FQs.
All welcome at Drag and Drift II.
18th April: Dakota Raceway in the south west of the UK is set for its latest Drag and Drift day this Saturday (23rd). Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child International Track Preparation Services writes:
Last month's season opener was a success with plenty going on at the grass-roots, no-frills Devon quarter mile. The event had more variety than Heinz 57! Newcomers were amazed at Lee Johnstone's blown Volvo Nostalgia Gasser and Philip Masek's BMW i8 hybrid, which ran in the 12.7s, also earned appreciation from fellow racers and spectators. The diversity of vehicles at Dakota Raceway is demonstrated by the category winners:
The drag strip will be open between 09:00 and 16:00 and you can buy one run, three runs, or unlimited runs. Perfect for Test and Tune! Passenger rides are allowed but only for cars of course. Dakota Raceway has three Signing On booths so you can get on track as quickly as possible.
You can pre-order race fuel for collection at the venue on the day. For details about that and more information about the event check out our Facebook page at Dakota Raceway Southwest. Dakota Raceway is located in Smeatharpe, Devon, postcode EX14 9RF (map).
York Raceway offers fuel outlet.
18th April: The UK's York Raceway is now offering pre-ordering of race fuel. Orders are delivered to the track saving delivery charges. Steve and Chris Murty of York Raceway have added this service in co-operation with Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts who writes:
All unleaded, leaded, oxygenated and non-oxygenated fuels will be available to order. All fuels need to be ordered by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01803 391740 seven working days before an event at York Raceway; the deadline for orders for the next event is this Thursday (21st).
Technical support will also be available via LA Racing Parts so the best advice will be available to competitors at York Raceway. Other products will be added at a later date.
Big Bang Perfect Awards.
18th April: This weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Mike Lacey at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Sportsman ET, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals are available in Signing On or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
NHRA's BDRHoF Award.
18th April: It is a well-known fact that the National Hot Rod Association, founded in 1951 by Wally Parks, is the largest promoter of drag racing on the planet, with 70,000 members and 40,000 competitors. What is not well-known - until now - is that NHRA is receiving its first-ever Global Achievement Award, sponsored by Lucas Oil, at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala to be held at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, near London's Heathrow Airport, on Saturday 19th November 2016.
The Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award was inaugurated in 2014 in memory of Pat Garlits, the late wife of legendary drag racer Don Garlits. This year it marks the role played by all people at the NHRA as without their support in developing drag racing it could not happen at the level it does today.
NHRA will be represented by Senior Vice President-Racing Operations Graham Light who is also president of the FIA Drag Racing Commission. Graham, who joined the NHRA Board in 2004, oversees competition and operations at all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races. In addition, he oversees NHRA Field Operations / Divisions and the NHRA Technical Department, supervises the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA, and serves as Chairman of the NHRA Competition Committee.
NHRA has always been dedicated to safety and in 1950s the Safety Safari travelled around the US for early national events and to the NHRA network of member tracks. Track facilities developed rapidly and a programme of upgrading of facilities to stadium quality, with fan amenities, VIP towers, and tall grandstands took place in the 1980s and 1990s under the direction of Dallas Gardner, who is the current Chairman of the NHRA Board.
As well as overseeing incredible growth and success in the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA has over the years been closely involved in the development of the sport overseas. In the UK Wally Parks was personally involved in organising the 1964 and 1965 Drag Fests which established the sport in Europe. In the 1990s the NHRA organised a number of races in Japan. The NHRA also chairs the FIA Drag Racing Commission which organises championships in Europe and Australia.
In 2011 NHRA announced the creation of NHRA Worldwide Network, a program which will enable drag racing facilities around the world to conduct events under the NHRA banner and have access to NHRA technical resources. The first track to be included in the Network was Bahrain International Circuit and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi joined in 2013. And in 2016, world-wide online streaming and in-house TV production has begun under current President Peter Clifford.
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chairman Stu Bradbury said "It is an exceptional honour to be able to present the Lucas Oil Global Achievement award to the organisation that we owe so much to for the establishment and growth of the sport across the world."
Graham Light said "The NHRA is thrilled to receive the Lucas Oil Global Achievement award and I am looking forward to meeting UK drag racing racers and fans at the BDRHoF Gala. NHRA and its two hundred dedicated employees have a passion for drag racing. They love the sport, they love the people in the sport, they just love being involved. The Safety Safari guys, the guys that haul the equipment down the racetrack and the guys that work cleaning up oil spills to drying race tracks, they work all hours to get it done and they keep the show on the road."
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Like father, like daughter.
17th April: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher has been in touch with news of the team's plan to race as a duet in 2016:
At the NitrOlympX my daughter Jndia will be driving Anthony Dicerio's Nitro University A/Fuel Dragster which she recently drove in Las Vegas. Anthony will attend the race with us. Transport of the car and equipment will be provided by Jndia's sponsor JH Ferry GmbH. JH Ferry's Managing Director Tobias Jaursch was with us in Las Vegas and he has agreed to cover all of the costs of transportation. Tobias is willing to offer special terms on ferry agreements to racers; if you are interested then you can contact Tobias through JH Ferry's web site at www.jh-ferry.de.
Jndia has her own page on our team web site at club111.org/jndia-erbacher.
I will be racing the full FIA European Championship Tour and after five years I will take the Championship back to old Switzerland. This season I will be racing the car last driven here by Noah Stutz, a Hadman chassis with many changes so it is virtually a brand new car. We have two new billet superchargers from Aaron Brooks and a complete new fuel system from Alan Johnson and the Lagana Brothers. Robin Grice and John Stewart will tune the car. The set-up is close to that used when Noah raced in Las Vegas last October, so we will be able to share data with our friends the Laganas.
We have another new sponsor this year, DMax Television who will follow us for the whole season. Their decals are already on Jndia's car and mine. They will be with us at the FIA Main Event to make a pilot programme. You can find their web site at www.dmax.de. All of our other Main Sponsors remain the same. When my car is painted I will send pictures.
Urs' team web site at www.club111.org includes videos of Jndia's stellar Top Alcohol Dragster début in Las Vegas as well as pictures, news, fan shop, sponsor page and more.
SPR seeking tyres for sleds.
16th April: Ian Marshall writes that Santa Pod Raceway are still seeking used tyres for their sleds to help to prepare the strip. Both slicks and ET Street Radials can be used. If you can help then please get in touch with Ian email@example.com or on 01933 313625 and he will arrange collection.
Read's record aims.
16th April: The UK's Robin Read has spent the off-season making changes to his blown nitro-burning Daimler dragster to achieve his aim of the world's first 200 mph terminal speed from a British-engined car. The dragster made its third best run at the 2015 Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway, clocking 6.91/190, and Robin and the team have since been addressing issues identified after that outing:
I have a 200 mph timing slip from the late 1980s but I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now! Part of the work I have been doing is to change the gear ratio; when the car was conceived and built in the mid 1980s I couldn't have imagined the times and speeds it was to achieve and so the choice of axle was a bit light. This was not a problem initially, but as the power of the engine increased the short gearing became a problem. Making more power just uses up the gearing quicker, so it needs taller gears. This is a bit tricky as the ratio I want is not available in 9310 spec material, so I have obtained 8620 spec and had it all re-tempered to soften it a bit. I tried taller ratios in the 1980s and 1990s and most recently at Dragstalgia in 2012, and they all broke! It was this problem which prompted the decision to build a new car and that is proceeding, albeit slowly.
What is to stop the new gears from breaking? Hopefully the re-tempering, and I will also drive the car a little differently by short-shifting off the line to try to make the first-second gear change before the clutch has locked, which should lessen the shock loading. I was going to save the first 200 mph pass for the new car, but it's worth a try to run it in the old car.
I have also freshened the blower, although the difficulty was not knowing how tired it was and how fresh it is now. So that we don't run lean I've increased the fuel jet sizes above the blower and gone up a size on the fuel pump. There are also more changes to the lubrication system: we have increased the pressure again and revised the oil pickup and sump lay-out, which is to improve the durability of parts during and after the run with the loss of oil pressure experienced when the chute hits. The problem with a nitro engine is not making power, it's engineering it to survive the power it makes!
New headers have been fabricated which will cure the problem of their coming loose on the run, which was caused by a combination of damaged threads in the cylinder heads and warped flanges on the headers, all as a result of many repairs over the years. Both cylinder heads have had all the threads replaced. The old headers are now hanging on the wall; the new headers look different but very nice (see spy picture of 22nd March - Ed).
So now we have to try all these modifications out, let's go testing! Many thanks to James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway for allowing us to test at the Race, Rock'n'Ride on 21st-22nd May. If all goes well, we should see the world's first 200 mph terminal speed from a British-engined car and hopefully an elapsed time better than a 6.81. Both would be world records.
Many thanks to Bertie Hopkinson, Mark Evans, Tim Read, Ella Chapman and Bill Mears.
Main Event Pit Tour guides sought.
16th April: Brian Taylor writes seeking volunteers to give Pit Tours to young members of the Institute of the Motor Industry on the Friday of May's FIA / FIM Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. The Pit Tours, organised jointly by Santa Pod Raceway and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, have become a regular feature of this event and have proven immensely popular.
Brian says "If you would like to offer your services as a Tour Guide to introduce the young guests to top racers in their pits and to explain the finer points of drag racing, then in the first instance please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01395 579733."
16th April: Thanks to our good friends Lena Perés and Remco Scheelings for passing on details of the latest features on Speedgroup's Drag Racing Europe blog:
Jan Phersson is the manager of the European part of Simpson Safety Equipment. Jan and his staff are located in Röbäck just outside Umeå in the north of Sweden but he travels all over Europe to help out with safety in all motorsport categories. Click here for more.
A small airfield in the beautiful Setesdal in south of Norway hosts a spectacular drag race event. It is set between high mountains and the roar of the race cars sends shivers along the spine. That's where the name of the race comes from, Thunder Valle. Click here for more.
In his fourth year in Top Methanol Funny Car, Finland's Johnny Oksa will chase an important goal: a race win in the FIA European Championship. After several round wins, semi-final finishes, and even a runner-up position in last year's home race at Alastaro, it's time for the Finnish driver and his OK Racing team to win a trophy. Click here for more.
FIA Main Event entry update.
14th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 2 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
FIA / FIM Main Event entry closes on Friday 29th April after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about FIA / FIM Main Event entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
The return of the Duo of Destruction.
13th April: Nigel Taylor writes that the Detroit Spinner Racing Team and Acute Angle Racing Team are up and running and ready to test and tune at this weekend's (16th-17th) Spring Madness Public Track Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Last year the Pontiac engine let go in the Prefect, which was originally built by Arthur Bonner. The new powerplant is a 555 ci Dart motor on which Arthur is still getting his hands dirty, maching, drilling, grinding, and making parts all the time. He is now set to get back behind the driving seat at the age of 74 to try out the new motor! The Detroit Spinner Racing Team would like to say a big Thank You to all those that have made this possible: Nigel, Sophie, Elisha, Kenzie and Fletcher Taylor; Arthur Bonner; Graham Smith; Serck Motorsport; Andy Frost; Peter Borrett (saunashop.com); Justin Horne (Joust Performance and Recovery); Michael Hawkins; Jeff Goddard; Bob Hancox; Chris and Cindy Cotton; Ben and Lez Waldron; Graham True; Col Law; Steve and Paul Dale; Stephen and Anita Lowth; Kelvin Helsdown; Dave Dip Fulton; Stuart Ashton; Rob Gregory; Edward Ede; Nick Dunford; Richard Hicks; Neil Gibbs; James Gilmour; Andover Trailers; Mark Gardner-Nitrous; William Underhill; Mark Timson; S-C Raceway; the Flyin' Fyfer Team; Richy Barnett; Jeff Bull Race Engines; Rob-Co Tooling; V-G Speedshop; Oscar Jack Meaton; JP Santos; Denise Moore; Danny Mitty; Mandy Darlison; Mick Patey; Cliff Hepton (American Motor Factors); Pete Harrison; Kirsty Cleall and Ray Andrews
Acute Angle Team Owner Paul Dale would like to say a special Thank You to his dad Steve Dale and to Nigel Jenkins of UK Blowers, and a special mention to his daughter Somer for all her support. Paul's 105E also suffered a destroyed engine but it now has a 355ci motor with Brodix heads and a lush supercharger sat on top, ready to run in the Supercharged Outlaws.
Both teams are excited as we enter a new era! See you there.
The Outlaws' early outing.
13th April: The first outing of 2016 for the UK's Supercharged Outlaws is early this year as the popular series also hits Shakespeare County Raceway's Spring Madness Public Track Weekend. Dave McKenzie writes:
The Supercharged Outlaws are looking very good this year and we would like to thank Jim Maher of Good Vibrations Motorsport, California for his continued sponsorship of the Supercharged Outlaws in 2016.
Round one has traditionally had a low turnout of Outlaws, but this year we have bucked the trend with ten teams entered and two more trying hard to make it, so we could have twelve cars on site at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend. So we start five weeks earlier than usual and we get a bigger entry list... it's puzzling but I'm not complaining.
The entry list includes four Funny Cars: Dave McKenzie in Team Thing, Andy Gallimore in the LA Commercials FC, Mark Flavell driving the Flavell Welding Specialist FC, and Trace Froome whose team are desperately trying to make it this weekend. Three altereds are entered: John Reeve, Andy Fadster with the wild street-legal altered, and Ian Kerr who has bought the ex-Ghost Train Funny Car chassis and fitted the old Team Thing five-window Plymouth body along with a Big Block Chevy motor. Ian also has a new paint scheme on the car.
Five doorslammers are entered including reigning Supercharged Outlaws Champion Paul Watts who starts his title defence this weekend. Also entered are Simon Boot with the Bootlegger Camero, and two new cars to the Outlaws. These are Paul Dale with the Acute Anglia and Joel Kerr, no relation to Ian, who will debut Ian Kerr's old Pontiac with a new paint scheme. Andy Osbourne is the fifth entry with his Chevy truck.
With the series increased to seven rounds this year the Supercharged Outlaws are going to be busy. There are a few more new teams and a few regular teams who hope to be out for Round Two, more news on these at later date but I can tell you that there are some great new cars coming into the class in 2016. We look forward to seeing you all at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend.
12th April: Fans at Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-24th April will get extra lungfuls of nitro on top of those from the two attending Nostalgia Funny Cars as the UK's Steve Ashdown will be continuing his licencing in one of the Rune Fjeld Motorsport Top Fuel Dragsters. Licencing at Big Bang will be a family affair for the Ashdowns as Steve's son, Top Fuel crew and former Junior Dragster racer Tyler Ashdown will also be making observed runs, in a Super Comp dragster.
Racers entered for May's FIA / FIM Main Event who wish to test at Race, Rock & Ride at Santa Pod Raceway on the preceding weekend (21st-22nd May) are most welcome to attend and to take advantage of what will be a fully-prepped track, but SPR request that any racers planning on attending this event and looking to set up their pits for the Main Event notify either James Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Darren Prentice at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the weekend's Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the Fast Show timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
12th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures of the Saturday's action at Shakespeare County Raceway's first Public Track Weekend of 2016. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Feature: SPR 50th Anniversary gallery.
11th April: To mark today's Fiftieth Anniversary of the first event held at Santa Pod Raceway, which took place on Easter Monday 11th April 1966, Simon has scanned and posted 214 historical pictures which were kindly donated by former Pro Fuel Dragster and Funny Car racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Clive Skilton.
The gallery is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and features pictures dating from 1966 to 1968 which were originally shot for Drag Racing & Hot Rod magazine, although many have never been published. The pictures have been ordered by vehicle over time and include shots of Santa Pod Raceway's original timing system built by Peter Billinton, the Golden Hind AA/FD, Harold Bull's Stripduster, Alan Allard's Dragon Anglia, EJ Potter, Nobby Hills' Houndog III, Derek Metcalfe's V4-powered dragster, Mark Stratton and Dave Riswick's Hustler, Spa Engineering's promotional vehicle, Commuter campaigned by Tony Densham, Roy Phelps' Wheelie Stingray, Freddie Whittle's Shutdown, Bo Sandeberg's The Deejays GTA, Pat Church's Gold Rush and others.
You can check out the 50th Anniversary gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
From the Eurodragster.com staff a big Happy Birthday and Thank You to all involved with Santa Pod Raceway then and now, and a big Thank You to Clive Skilton for passing on the pictures.
11th April: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with the words "Got boost"...
...whilst the second (above right) came with the word "Snap!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No news update yesterday (Sunday) so we were unable to say Happy Birthday for yesterday to Comp Bike racer Lizz McCarthy and to Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Colin Theobald. Hope you had a great day guys.
Europeans and more in Las Vegas.
11th April: Our good buddy and occasional Eurodragster.com contributor, the currently un-fired Markus Münch of Dragmag.de, attended his first NHRA National Event in Las Vegas last week. Markus got in touch with a report of his weekend:
What can I say? Everything is a bit bigger there. The grandstands, the facility, the parking lots... and the entry list. Over three hundred participants in various classes fought for Mello Yello and Lucas Oil points. Sixteen fuel dragsters, nineteen Funny Cars and nearly twenty Pro Stocks. The weather was hot, up to 30° Celsius.
Two Europeans were at the track, Rob Turner with the Turner family Top Alcohol Funny Car and Jndia Erbacher in her first race ever in an A/Fuel Dragster. Rob Turner did not manage to do better then 6.05 seconds in qualifying and did not make it into the field. Jndia Erbacher won her A/Fuel licence during the winter and went faster and faster on every run in her driving school's dragster. There were only eleven Top Alcohol Dragsters on site, so Jndia contested her first round of racing. She met Chris Demke in round one but the number two qualifier made no mistake at all with his 5.29 second Run. India reset her Personal Best on this run to 5.51/265, good job! We had the chance to chat with Noah Stutz and he told us that it is possible that we will see this combination of Jndia and the car in Europe this season if everything turns out right. Noah himself is busy sealing his deals for more NHRA races later this year and perhaps a full-time engagement in the future. He is talking to many sponsors and teams and is confident that the puzzle is coming together quite well. We wish him the best of luck.
I had many impressions of this race. The most impressive was how quickly the Pro cars were sent down the strip. The Funny Cars are celebrating their fiftieth year and put on a killer show. In qualifying ten of the nineteen FCs were in the threes. Jack Beckman set a new track ET record and Del Worsham a new track speed record. Side by side sub four-second runs are pretty impressive. In eliminations there were a bunch of exciting races. Brilliant. Alexis Dejoria finally won against Del Worsham, margin of victory 0.021 seconds and both in the threes. Previous to that Alexis beat John Force, who was on fire and kicked his FC after the race. But the old man is still loving what he does best, he eliminated his daughter Courtney in round two in a close one. In the first round he got "The Hagan Kid" and won. Del got Chad Head in the semis, Chad had a superb weekend with good times and two round wins.
There were some upsets in round one of Top Fuel. Tony Schumacher, Shaun Langdon, Steve Torrence, Clay Millican and Richie Crampton all went out. Antron Brown was in the final against underdog Troy Buff. Brown took the win, but Buff had a fabulous weekend eliminating JR Todd, Brittany Force and Richie Crampton on his way to the final. Pro Stock was Summit country with Jason Line and Greg Anderson dominating the field. In the K+N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday they were in the final; Jason Line had to be shut off after the burnout cause of a leak. Greg Anderson took his fifth K+N title, the first with an EFI engine. Jason Line took the event win on Sunday against strong Bo Butner.
What a race weekend... I will be back to NHRA sooner or later. But it will soon be time to go to the FIA Main Event.
You can check out Markus' extensive gallery of shots from The Strip at Las Vegas by clicking here.
Some you win, some you lose.
11th April: Paul Marston Racing fielded three entries at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, and Paul got in touch to let us know how the team's weekend went:
Our team included new boy, countless and reigning Sportsman ET Champion Craig Wright in the PMR four-Link Miller dragster resplendent in its new livery. Craig was competing in Super Pro ET as he wanted a new challenge. Easter being early this year meant that no real meaningful testing could be carried out. Team PMR arrived at Santa Pod on Wednesday to be ready for Thursday's Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune but the weather soon put paid to that. So we spent the day checking the dragster over again and installing an MSD three-step control box so that Craig had a burnout limiter. Qualifying went well; Craig naturally had a very steep mountain to climb as this was the first time he had sat in our dragster, having licenced in the Kellett family's dragster at the end of 2015. Those two dragsters are fundamentally different so there was plenty to keep Craig busy. As usual we had the most problems with the newest part on the dragster, namely the brand new fuel pump which leaked and caused us to miss Q2, but we made up for it in Q3. Craig also had the luck of the Irish in E1 as his opponent was declared broken so with no alternates he got the bye run. Then, as we all know, the weather played its part and the event was rained out. All in all not a bad first outing for Craig, his crewman Chris and their respective better halves. Craig's next outing will be at the FIA Main Event, once again in the PMR dragster.
Meanwhile I was on driving duties for our other two entries in the Whoopass Chevy Monza: Pro ET after too long an absence and Super Pro ET. The Monza finished off the 2015 season with two runners-up, with Mick Howling behind the wheel in Super Pro ET at the FIA/FIM European Finals and myself at the UK National Finals. Other than winter housekeeping the Monza was left untouched. I made Q1 no problem and got a full pull in Pro ET but Super Pro ET was another story as I had to lift at half track to save the car. In Q2 the Monza decided that it did not particularly want to go down the track again that day. I was in the staging lanes ready to go, hit the starter button and... nothing! Much thrashing ensued from the PMR crew but alas to no avail so we towed back. Once back in the pits I removed the 4 lb lump hammer from the toolbox, gave the starter a little tickle, and it worked fine again. But the starter was replaced and has since been repaired. This gave us kind of a one shot qualifier on Saturday as I was towards the bottom in Pro ET and dead last in Super Pro ET. In Q3 we improved in both classes with conservative dial-ins to get us further up the qualifying lists.
In Pro ET E1 I was up against Tony Harter in the ex-Vic Amato Ford Mustang. It's a real pleasure to race this car and great to see it back competing again. I had experienced a lack of gears in the Monza earlier that morning on my warm-up drive but they had reappeared, but that was really not a good sign with a racing transmission so we knew something was up. However all appeared to be working fine again. After a couple more disappearing acts I finally got to run first round. Burnout went fine, pulled up to the start line fine, both cars in full stage, put the motor on the launch chip, fine, let go of the transbrake button and bang! The first gear disappeared. Shifted into second and off I went in pursuit but never caught Tony who chalked one up for the next round.
I came up with the lucky dog in Super Pro ET as my opponent Tom van der Wijden had already broken and packed up and gone for the ferry back to The Netherlands. I had no first gear at all, but I still had second gear and reverse. So I staged for the round win and then hot-footed it back to the pits where the PMR crew began removing the transmission so that it could be repaired. As it was the event was rained out, so we got lucky in Super Pro ET and unlucky in Pro ET. In the great scheme of things no great advantage or damage was gained by anyone so both Championships are still left with all to play for.
Not the best start to the season but it will do; the weather is the weather, you cannot beat it (You want to try making rain sound interesting - Ed). Besides, it was great to see everyone at the track again. Our next outing is the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway where we will hopefully be fielding the PT Bruiser in Super Pro ET. It's all ready to go and once we have visited John Sleath's shop to set up the alcohol fuel injection system we should be able to see the potential of the current combination.
Meanwhile the Monza's transmission has been stripped and rebuilt by Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering after a rare component failure. This is actually good news, as if it had lost the first gear assembly it would have been a much bigger problem! The Monza is scheduled to run in the Quick 8 Eliminator at North Weald on Sunday 8th May.
Many thanks to Eurodragster.com for the pinpoint coverage at Easter (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed) and to Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering for turning the transmission around so quickly. Thanks also to our tireless crew at PMR and to our fans and sponsors.
Lindberg to drive The Old 51.
9th April: A change to the driver's seat has been announced from Sweden's The Old 51 Drag Racing Team. Magnus Petersson, owner and Crew Chief of The Old 51 Chevy Coupe Pro Mod, and driver Niclas Andersson had to make a tough decision this past week as Niclas' back problems are preventing him from competing on the FIA European Drag Racing Championship series.
In his place, Magnus has named Johan Lindberg as the driver of The Old 51 for the 2016 season. Johan was is the 2014 FIA Top Methanol Funny Car champion.
"It's with a heavy heart that Niclas isn't driving the car", said Magnus. "Niclas injured his back, so he wasn't comfortable about driving the car this year. I bought the car in 1998 and have only had two drivers. Niclas has been driving it for nine years, so it was quite emotional when Niclas couldn't drive the car any longer. We have been running the Pro Mod series for the past four years. Last year, we decided to run for the FIA European Championship. It's a bit sad, because Niclas was excited about doing it.
"I knew that Johan was out of a drive in Sweden and Europe, so we talked together about him driving my car this year. We have had our car for years, and we helped them out when they started and became friends. We get along well. There are only so many guys you can think of that you'd want to drive a car like this. We feel very confident as a team that Johan is the right guy to do this."
Niclas Andersson exits the driver's seat with a heavy heart. The supercharged, carbon-bodied Chevy Coupe won seven Scandinavian Top Doorslammer Championships before switching to Pro Mod, and the best seems to be yet to come with the team embarking on the FIA Tour.
"I have some back problems with a herniated disc which has got worse and worse", Niclas explained. "It was a tough decision to make, but safety has to come first. I've been driving the car for nine years. I love this car. We scored a lot of wins, and it gets faster and faster every year. Magnus and I talked about it, and we thought it would be best to have Johan drive the car. He is a very good friend and a very good race car driver. It is going to be a good year for him and the team. It's a really good race car."
Johan is excited about joining the team. With Lindberg Bros Motorsports becoming increasingly more concentrated in the United States in order to focus on brother Jonnie's defence of his 2015 Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship in the National Hot Rod Association, the opportunity to get back into Pro Mod with an established team of trusted friends is a perfect fit for the 33-year-old from Upplands Väsby, Sweden.
"It felt very good to have Magnus call me up to ask if I wanted to drive the car", said Johan. "I am very happy to do so. Magnus and all his guys are great people who are good friends of ours, so driving for him is going to feel like home. I'm looking forward to driving a Pro Mod car for the first time since 2012. Hopefully, it's going to be a good year."
"It's a good car and a championship contender", added Jonnie Lindberg. "It works out perfect for me and my brother. He was looking at getting back into Pro Mod, and this allows him to do that with a great team without taking focus away from racing for a Championship in the United States with my car."
The 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championship series begins at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. A test is planned to take place at Malmö Raceway on 13th-15th May.
"It's a strong team", added Magnus. "There are very mixed feelings which are difficult to express. I'm very sad that Niclas won't be driving. At the same time, I'm extremely thrilled to have Johan join the team. I think this year is going to be a lot of fun."
The Baltic States join the fold.
9th April: The first ever Drag Racing Conference for the Baltic States was recently held in Lithuania, where the sport has grown since the country regained independence in 1990. The conference was attended by Paul Marston and Bill Felstead and Paul has been in touch with a report of their trip:
The tracks are currently ex-military airfields and are no prep affairs, which make the times and speeds all the more impressive. As you can imagine a lot of the race cars are home grown, for example some very impressive Audis and BMWs with home made ECU and injectors which run either E85 or Alcohol and producing between 800-1200 hp using huge turbos. The events now draw fields of up to 130 cars and the National Record is 7.90/180 from a fuel injected LS1 twin turbo-powered altered built for a customer in England by Bill Felstead of 2015 UK Top Sportsman event sponsor Comanche Racecars then exported to Lithuania a couple of years back.
The organiser of the Conference was Andrius Tiknius who recently became the SFI representative for the region and is the FIA representative for drag racing in Lituania. Andrius was a very successful promoter of Lithuanian drag racing events in the 2000s, but became disillusioned. He then moved to England for four years and built race at Johnny Hall's Stamford Speed Shop. When in England Andrius was a regular at Santa Pod, guiding and advising the many visiting Lithuanian drag racers who were either bringing their cars from Lithuania or who had bought or had cars built turn-key in the UK and were testing prior to returning home. Andrius eventually returned to Lithuania himself with batteries recharged and he lost no time in sharing his knowledge and once again helping to move the sport forward.
To this end Andrius knew that the time was right to introduce the drag racing rule book to which people build their cars all over the world. Up to this point home-grown race cars were built to rally spec as those were virtually the only rules around. He invited experts from different countries to come to the conference to talk about specialist subjects pertaining to drag racing as it would help the sport to develop in the right way and in the right direction. It would also give racers and teams the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss their race cars. The invitees were from Sweden, Jan Phersson, Managing Director of Simpson Racing Products; from The Netherlands, Dick Koster and Egbert Dros of Racepak datalogging products and Post en Dros; From Lithuania, Andruis Tiknius representing competition rules and classifications for drag racing in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Drag Racing Cup; From Lithuania, Saulius Stanaitis the LASF technical chassis scrutineer for Lithuania; from England, Bill Felstead the race car chassis constructor and drag racing historian; from England, Paul Marston covering Sportsman class racing and promotion, marketing and sponsorship. Guest speakers were Romas Austinskas, the President of the Lithuanian Automobile Sport Federation and Tigran Seferjan, the head of the Drag Racing Committee of the Russian Federation of Automobile Sport and member of the FIA Drag Racing Commission.
Having known Andrius for quite a while when he lived in the UK Bill and I were not going into this blind, but having never been to Lithuania before we did not know what to expect. My first task was to get Bill to the airport on the right day, let alone the right time... anyone who knows Bill Felstead will know what I mean! But we arrived at Luton Airport at 05:30 in the freezing frost for an 07:30 flight. We were met at Vilnius Airport by Giedruis Jurevicius, owner of the ex-Taz Racing Boudicca Altered which currently holds the Lithuanian ET and Speed records.
A short trip to Giedruis' motor mechanics servicing workshop business and a viewing of the altered confirmed that he is a very brave man! There was a lot of home grown technology in the altered, mixed in with American parts. As I mentioned above it's a Bill Felstead build, in fact we found three of Bill's cars over there. Bill and Andrius have quite a few Eastern European connections including the World Record-setting Nissan Skyline from Russia, which incidentally set that record at Santa Pod Raceway a couple of years back. That evening we take toe 300 km road trip to the other side of the country as the conference was being held in Klaipeda on the Baltic coast.
The conference lasted two days and started on the Saturday morning with Andrius. Strange as it may seem, nearly all of the conference was conducted in English as nine out of ten Lithuanians can speak English. Andrius gave a brief background on himself and his involvement with drag racing and explained that the purpose of the conference was to help the drivers and teams to build safe race cars which complied with the rules to which cars in the UK are built, so that they could compete in other European countries.
The first conference of its kind went very well and was very well-received by all the attendees, also offering networking opportunities of which full advantage was taken. At the end of each day there was an opportunity for the teams to ask the speakers any questions they wished. What was also surprising was how many racers had actually run cars at RWYB events in England.
Tracks in Lithuania currently like North Weald, ex-military bases where the surface is OK but could be better. The ingenuity employed by the teams reminded me very much of our drag race scene in the late 1980s, when I first competed with the NDRC at North Weald. The only difference is just how much faster their cars are, which is why Andrius Tiknius will prove to be such an instrumental part of the sport's development. By acting now, the cars being built will have safety built into them. Bill and I went into Lithuania with open minds, how can you ever know until you have been there, and we found a great country with very friendly people, outstanding hospitality, great food and beer, and very clean and tidy. If you are thinking of travelling to Lithuania I would recommend it with no hesitation, but bear in mind that during the winter its -35° and in the summer it hits 90° so go in the summer! Would we go back again? Most certainly! Personally I would like to attend a race meeting there. Hopefully some of the Lithuanian organisers will be able to come over to the Mopar Euronats at Santa Pod at the end of July to see how we run UK Top Sportsman.
Once again special thanks to Andrius Tiknius for inviting us and for the great cooking, he kept Bill well fed. I look forward to the next time I encounter any of the guys and girls I met in Lithuania as they are now my friends. Special recognition also to Eurodragster.com, it is amazing how many people over in Lituania rely on sites like Eurodragster.com to keep up with the latest news (Thanks, good to know - Ed).
See LA for Holley and more.
9th April: Lee Child writes that Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts has added another product range:
After the last few years concentrating selling race fuel, an opportunity came up for a perfect partner to our race fuel sales - a company which supplies fuel induction components. I am proud to announce that LA Racing Parts is now a dealer for Holley. I have been selling Holley products for as long as I have been trading, but with the strength of our fuel sales and knowledge this is going to be a great performance advantage and easier on your racing budget.
The Holley brand group is massive: Accel, Demon, Diablosport, Earls, Edge, Flowtech Exhausts, Frostbite, Hays Clutches, Holley, Holley EFI, Hooker, Hooker Blackheart, Lakewood, Mr Gasket, MSD Performance, NOS, NOS Sniper, Quick Time, Superchips and Weiand are all part and LA Racing Parts will be selling every brand.
With NHRA Pro Stock now running Holley EFI I can see it being very infectious with other applications going through the Sportsman ranks. Whatever your vehicle, we will have something from the Holley group which will lower your times and increase your power.
For more details call Lee on 01803 391740 or e-Mail email@example.com.
H's Scary tribute.
8th April: On the day of the funeral of Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head, her friend Heather Read (aka H) writes from Australia with a tribute:
I hadn't spent much time on the computer so I wasn't aware of the news until Dave called me on Saturday evening to let me know of Sarah's passing (thanks Dave).
During my time in the sport in the UK Sarah and I became good buddies while she was racing, but our bond grew stronger when she had her top end spill at Santa Pod. I remember she held my hand when she was in A&E and just looked into my eyes. She was worried, but showed true grit that a lot of men would crumble at. The girl had backbone.
Over time Dave and I sat in corridors and were just there for each other waiting for the next instalment of news. Slowly but surely Sarah healed and I knew that she was on the mend when her colourful language began to appear again... but I thought it would be after she came out of ICU (smile).
On one of my trips back to the UK I took a trip up to see Sarah and Dave and found her in a very positive frame of mind, working out when she would be ready to throw her leg over a frame again. She wanted that world record with her name on it.
Sarah, you will always be in my memory as a fighter and if what they say is true then you are doing what you love best. See you some day. H.
Smax Smith writes from Canada: Sarah was a joy to know and had bigger balls than me. Rest well my friend.
A Split weekend.
8th April: Thanks to Rick Johnson for passing on Split Second Jet Dragster pilot Julian Webb's account of the Tate Oil-sponsored team's weekend at the Festival of Power:
After numerous changes to the Tate Oil Split Second Jet Dragster, including the burner fuel delivery system and ride height, we all headed off to the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway full of enthusiasm for some good runs.
The intention was to run on the Thursday to check out the changes but the weather stopped us. Our first run was a side-by-side with our good friends in the Fireforce team. We needed to check the burner pressure and the upgrades certainly worked, however the increased stress on components culminated in a broken burner pump drive. We were able to run but without the burner and we were thoroughly beaten by Martin Hill, but we got some good information from the run.
Unfortunately I had tidied the race trailer and left the spare fuel pump and drive back in Leeds so had to take an eventful round trip of three hundred miles for spares!
With an old pump and drive fitted we were not sure what to expect. The first hit of the afterburner shot the car forward more than ever before and blew the door off the workshop behind the start line, which was a good sign! After a massive flame show and a few small burner pops we were shut off with a leak. This turned out to be a failed solenoid causing the catch can to fill. Sorry to the start line crew who had to clean up the leaked fuel.
We repaired the problem and massively reduced the burner pressure, deciding that it was best to build back up to our regular levels. The last run was really good and has proved that the high flow system which we now run is the way forward.
We then made our way over to our local track, York Raceway, for some fun on the Monday. Although it was raining Steve Murty's uncanny understanding of the local weather kept us waiting for the rain to stop. Just as Steve predicted the rain stopped and the crew started to prepare the track. As time went on we decided that it was not fair to take the limited track time from the regular racers so we called it a day. Five days and two runs was not what we hoped for but that's the weather for you.
We have new burner drives being made so we can start to get the full potential from the new system and now can't wait for the next meeting on May Bank Holiday at York Raceway.
Thanks to my crew for all their efforts and everyone who dropped by to say hello over the weekend.
8th April: Good luck and stay safe to the UK's Rob Turner who is contesting Top Alcohol FC this weekend's NHRA Divisional race in Las Vegas, to ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting this weekend's NHRA Regional race at No Problem Raceway, Louisiana, and to Sweden's Adam Flamholc who is contesting the NMCA / NMRA All-Star Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. Qualifying commences at each event today (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com. Additionally you will be able to tune in to a free webcast of the All-Star Nationals courtesy of our buddies at Bangshift.com. Click here to watch the webcast.
Oil pump and rod manufacturer the Auto Verdi Company have been a faithful sponsor of Pro Stock and Pro Mod for many years, have worked with different racers to develop their products, and are backing the EDRS with contingency sponsorship this season. Lena Perés writes that you can read more about Auto Verdi's involvement on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
Sweden's Ida Johansson loves motorcycles and she can't help it as it must have been genetically determined. The Swedish student from Hofors got her first bike when she was three years old, joined the Junior Drag Bike racers when she was fourteen, and took over her dad's ride in Super Gas Bike at the age of sixteen. Now, at nineteen years old, it's time for the next step as Ida follows in the footsteps of her father Niclas by taking over his Super Street Bike and making her entrance into the no slick, no wheelie bar class for the brave. You can read more courtesy of Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog.
Gearhead Garage UK Top Sportsman.
8th April: The organisers of UK Top Sportsman are very pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com sponsor Gearhead Garage have taken the title rights for the 2016 outing of UK Top Sportsman at the mighty Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway on 29th-31st July.
Gearhead Garage Head Honcho Michael Pusey explains a little background to this new venture and the services which Gearhead Garage can provide:
Gearhead Garage has been a long-nurtured idea and, as time goes on, it's time to think about slowing down the physical side of the building business so here we are. We have already got a few stock vehicles and parts for sale. Sourcing of vehicles and parts, with containerised shipping from California, is available through our San Diego based agent, vehicle appraisals are also possible in CA for those far-away purchases! A forty-foot container arrives in the UK every fortnight.
Our market is American cars and trucks from old to new, maybe the odd race car and hot rod; stock and commission sales are also catered for. At our rural Peak District location we have substantial yard storage for up to forty vehicles and secure garage storage for four cars, with local unit secure storage for many more within half a mile. We welcome any enquiries for vehicles and parts at any time, contact us via our web site at www.gearhead-garage.co.uk.
Paul Marston adds: Gearhead Garage were a contingency sponsor in 2015 and very kindly provided apparel for all the UK Top Sportsman crew. They were impressed with the level of excitement and entertainment which UK Top Sportsman provided and have elected to take the top spot for 2016. As most people know UK Top Sportsman attracted interest from TV companies from the outset, and all events from the second year have been televised. This provides a very attractive platform for businesses who are looking for quality, high-profile exposure in our niche market. Gearhead Garage is a relatively new company, run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts of American cars and associated high performance parts. By taking the UK Top Sportsmans title sponsorship Gearhead Garage will be able to substantially raise the profile of their company to the public, to competing teams, to the on-line audience and to the TV audience which covers most of Europe. Gearhead Garage see this as excellent value for money investment which will accelerate their growth and which will simply keep on giving way into the future.
There will also be a cross-over into mainstream National Championship Drag Racing as Gearhead Garage has become a business partner with Paul Marston Racing in 2016 season.
UK Top Sportsman is the fastest-growing, richest Sportsman doorslammer heads-up and fast bracket event of the year. It's the race where you come to be measured against the very best in England and Europe. It's the race with the richest payouts, all in cash. There are two races over three days, and other than safety there are no rules: so long as it's a Doorslammer and you run quicker than 9.99 seconds you are in. No, you do not need an MSA license; no, you do not have to have all your safety equipment in date, just so long as its there. This is without doubt the toughest, hardest-fought event of the year. In our six-year history no-one has won the Heads-Up or Fast Bracket races twice. Many have come but no-one has ever dominated, so anyone who is good enough can win.
For more details and information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07831 650230 (outside the UK +44 7831 650230). We are always looking for business partners to join us to share the exposure which being associated with UK Top Sportsman attracts. If you are interested then please contact us for more information.
Event entry update.
6th April: Entry is still open for the APIRA Springspeed Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing, ACU Drag Bike and other Championships, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 30th April-2nd May. You can download the official entry forms from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee via Bacs rather than credit card or cheques, as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. SCR's account details can be found on the entry form. If you have any queries about APIRA Springspeed Nationals entry then please contact Shakespeare County Raceway at email@example.com or call 01789 414119 (outside the UK +44 1789 414119).
Entry is open for the FIA / FIM Main Event, a round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships, the FIM European Drag Bike Championships and some classes in the UK National Drag Racing Championships, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 27th-30th May. You can check out Version 1 of the official FIA / FIM Main Event entry list by clicking here, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
6th April: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "There was a knock at the door...". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for forwarding us the post-Festival of Power points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn. Have a great day Derek.
The plan came together I.
6th April: Karl Harrison writes that the NUA/RKS Motorsport Top Methanol Dragster team headed to the Festival of Power with two goals. The first was to get Rod Harrison down the track in 6.40 seconds or quicker, and over 200 mph, twice get his licence signed off so that he could compete in FIA Top Methanol Dragster, and the second was to get back to the team's performance at the end of 2015. Karl says that both objectives were achieved and that in fact, from his standpoint as Crew Chief, they achieved more than that:
We arrived at Santa Pod and met up with Abby and our good friend Andy Boyce (who travels from Ireland each meeting to support us, thank you Andy). Dad, Tash, Abby, Andy and I then set about getting the pit set up. That all went surprisingly smoothly given that we hadn't done it for months. Mum and the rest of the crew arrived late afternoon. The dragster was pretty much ready to go; we went through a couple of small bits which needed sorting and then chilled out for the rest of the evening, then got an early night ready for what would hopefully be a good day's testing the next day.
Friday dawned and it looked good, sun out and a dry track. We got the ninety minute call and were all ready to warm up. Got the thirty minute call and fired the car up, again all went to plan with everyone happy and we were excited to get down on that start line.
The plan was a half pass check-out as there were a lot of new parts in the engine and the whole car had been apart over the winter. The half pass went smoothly, 1.06 to sixty feet, a bit of tyre shake about 150 feet out, Dad stayed with it and then clicked it off just past 330 feet. We got back to the pits and serviced the engine and all was good. We got out for the last session of the day and plan was a full pass. And a full pass it was, 5.96/230, we were a happy bunch! We serviced the car again all was good to go for Saturday.
As we all know Saturday wasn't great when it came to the weather. We got out late afternoon and got the first goal of the weekend done, after a great driving job from Dad he got it down the track in 6.33 seconds at 215 mph, licence signed off.
After a very windy Saturday night a still breezy but sunny Sunday arrived... and this was the part which not many people knew about. We and the Apache Nostalgia Funny Car team had discussed the possibly of a match race if Dad's licencing was sorted. Rob Loaring walked into our pit on Sunday morning and asked "Well are we having a race then?". This was quickly followed by "You bet!". The rest is pretty much as normal other than the race, which was nothing other than fantastic and great finish to our weekend. We ended with a 5.92/229 win over Tim Garlick's 6.13/230. Now that's racing!
We are now officially a Top Methanol Dragster team and we can't wait for our first entry into FIA Top Methanol Dragster at the Main Event.
As always a massive thank you to Tash, Andy, Lisa, Abby, Jacko and Lee for being simply the best crew. A massive Thank You to Ian Marshall not only for signing off Dad's licence but also for allowing the match race between Tim and Dad. Thank you also to all of the Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC staff, track and safety crews.
Last, but definitely not least, a huge thanks to NUA Motors for their sponsorship this season. We would also like to welcome Willow Transport Solutions as a new sponsor for this year, thank you for your support and I hope that we do you proud on the track.
We now have the long break between Easter and the FIA Main Event. We will service the race car and we have some work which we would like to get done on the trailer so we still have plenty to do to keep us all busy. See you at the Main Event!
The plan came together II.
6th April: Colin Millar has been in touch with a wee update from the Flyin Fyfer Drag Racing Team, whose new driver took the wheel for the first time at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday:
Scott Crookston now has his name on the Flyin Fyfer together with a new Outlaw Anglia number OA106. Scott managed to bag his licence with the help of Ian Marshall who was as always keeping an eye on the day's activities.
Scot was unable to have his breakfast on Saturday morning but after his first run and his nerves settled and he was able to down a square of sausage, brown sauce and a cup of tea! We have been busy getting the car back together and it is now sporting a new Shafiroff 582 ci BBC which has proven a good decision; it's now running on pump gas and you will also note the lack of NOS this year (Oh boo - Ed) as we are still paying off the dreaded credit cards from our wee trip to the States. So we plan a year of cost reduction and ensuring no engine damage and staying trouble-free whilst still delivering a reasonably fast car.
We had the dyno sheets from a recent test on Kenny Coleman's Dyno at EDA (thanks Kenny) and we had an expectation of what was achievable. On Scott's final full pass for his licence he ran a very straight and controlled and surprisingly fast 8.79/152 and on his final pass he ran 8.77/151, both trouble free and with the help of an excellently-prepped track as always and some warm sunshine. Everyone was happy with the exception of Scott's mum Lynn who was told that Scott would be eased in and running tens all weekend!
On Saturday night we made our way to Shakespeare County Raceway and with the exception of Scott we had a nice night in Kenny's Bar. In the morning we made two runs which proved somewhat challenging, but it's what you make it and we had all in all a fantastic and successful weekend. The set-up is still quite soft so there is a bit more still in it going forward.
If you look on the entry list for Big Bang Scott's name is there in black and white; we will début there with the Outlaw Anglia family followed by the Springspeed Nationals a week later.
Scott, Nicole, Lynn and I are so looking forward to seeing everyone at the track again.
Festival of Power awards roll over.
5th April: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch to let racers know that, following the rain out of the Festival of Power, the unpaid prize fund for those Sportsman classes which contested the event will be carried over to the SPRC Summernationals in June. The prize fund for the Wild Bunch will be carried over to the UK National Finals in September.
Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway writes that Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels and Santa Pod have also decided to roll over the unclaimed VP Racing Fuels prizes from the contingency sponsorship programme. The fuel unclaimed from the Festival of Power will be awarded to the number one qualifiers in each class at the FIA/UEM Main Event in May, in addition to the regular prize awarded to the winner of the event. The same terms and conditions apply as for the prizes awarded to event winners.
A reminder of the sponsorship scheme:
Santa Pod Raceway will be offering one nineteen-litre pail of any of its VP Racing Fuels to the winner in the following classes at our five UK National Championship and ACU UK Drag Bike Championship rounds in 2016 (Festival of Power, FIA/FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA/FIM European Finals and the UK National Finals):
You are only three steps away to a chance of winning with this fantastic offer:
5th April: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us the final version of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Remco Scheelings writes that Ari Pietilä and the Woodstock Racing Top Methanol Funny Car team have recruited top-level motorsport knowledge in the form of former Formula 1 engineer, and Technical Director of Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Ossi Oikarinen. You can read more at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Feature: Long Time Dead.
4th April: If you like your dragsters front-engined then you will enjoy the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, in which Sam Freeman gives us the low-down on his new slingshot named Long Time Dead.
Sam Freeman is well-known as a Super Pro ET racer and, in the late Vic Hammond's SpeedDemon slingshot, as a Supercharged Outlaw racer but his involvement in the sport dates back as far as 1971 when he was shanghai'd into Clive Skilton's Pro Fuel Dragster team and then worked with Trevor Young.
In a fascinating and entertaining Feature, Sam details his career in the sport then tells the story of eventful trips to the USA to acquire the components of his new car and then its construction in his own workshop. You can check out the story of Long Time Dead by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
4th April: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures of Friday's action at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Also updating from the Friday of the Festival of Power is Paul Lister whose pictures you can find at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
More welcome returnees.
4th April: Consultant to the NHRA Eileen Daniels and Chairman of the Quarter Mile Foundation Traci Hrudka are planning a return visit to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala evening which takes place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London's Heathrow Airport.
Eileen, together with husband Bob who died in 2007, helped to grow NHRA to the prominence it currently enjoys. In their racing career, their Fiat Topolino Altered enjoyed many wins. In 1959 Wally Parks recruited Bob as a Division Director for NHRA. After twenty years of opening tracks and organising events in his Division, Bob was appointed as General Manager for Indianapolis Raceway Park where he and Eileen worked until their retirement.
At last year's Hall of Fame Gala, Eileen inducted Yvonne Tramm into the BDRHoF. Eileen said "What a wonderful time we all had in England last year, it was a trip of a lifetime. Yvonne Tramm followed the same path as me in working at Santa Pod for thirty two years. Her history is very near my life career story. She is a lovely lady and I was proud to present her award."
Traci operates the Quarter Mile Foundation which has a mission to preserve drag racing's history from interviews with its pioneers and legends. She has to date interviewed 265 legends with over three hundred hours of footage which will be made into a documentary series for television and live streaming. Traci is the niece and daughter respectively of Mr. Gasket Co. founders Joe and Tom Hrudka.
Traci said "What a great time we had at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame gala in 2015 and it is really exciting to be visiting the new venue with such great folks".
Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are delighted that Eileen and Traci plan to return for this year's Gala and look forward to their enthusiasm and fun which was infectious last year."
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.
Grødem announces retirement.
2nd April: Norwegian Top Methanol Funny Car racer and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Arvid Grødem has announced his retirement from racing. His FC operation is up for sale.
"Time's up and the decision is finally made", says Arvid. "I am now officially announcing my retirement. I was always of the opinion that I would return to TMFC racing, but as time has passed the Norwegian krone has nosedived against the US dollar (and most other currencies), as has the oil business which has been my major source of income and racing funds. So the decision to quit has been forced more by external factors rather than not enjoying racing any more - I have enjoyed all of the time I have spent on racing and have memories which I will treasure for the rest of my life.
"I would like to take this oppurtunity to say a big Thank You first and foremost to my better half Bente, and to my extended family the entire Westside Racing team: Pål-Henning Sørensen, Tore Karlsen, Bjørn Arild Sjøblom and Jan Vidar Vestvik and to everyone who has been part of the team over the years with special thanks to Per Egil Nordby, Gunnar Olsson and Sten Erik Tverraaen. Thanks also to Lars Ruud at Keddell and Bommen and all other contributors, the entire race family - especially the TMFC competitors, you know who you are - and also to the fans and spectators. I hope that we have given you a good show over the years (You bet - Ed).
"Last but not least we wish all racers a safe and fast season.
"The race car, truck and trailer and everything that goes with it all is for sale. If you are interested then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com."
Business as usual!
1st April: It will come as no surprise to the 5,950 people who read Eurodragster.com News on 30th November 2015 but Jerry Cookson writes that, following a winter of uncertainty about the future of Shakespeare Country Raceway, the track can confirm that there will be a minimum of two seasons' racing starting with this weekend's Season Opening Public Track Day:
The Raceway is already looking forward towards the full 2016 season of nostalgia, lifestyle and Championship drag racing events which will lead into a full 2017 season as well. We will confirm 2018-19 at a later date (Will Facebook users therefore please give us a minimum of one year's respite from moaning about the sky falling in, thank you - Ed).
This weekend we host the first of two Public Track Weekends. Shakedown @ S-Town features two full days of RWYB which includes the first of the track's series of Bracket Gamblers events. The track will be open from 10:00 each day and caters for all Competition Cars and Bikes to come and test and iron out those winter blues. All makes of car, motorcycle and race machine, including Clubs, are welcome to participate before the season really gets going in two weeks' time. The track will be prepped.
General admission is £12 per person each day or £22 for a weekend pass. Track fee is £25 each day or £40 for a weekend of unlimited runs. Helmets are required along with a driving licence. Overnight camping is available on the purchase of a weekend ticket. Kenny's Bar will also be open Saturday night. So for a great weekend of fun on the drag strip make it Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend!
1st April: Further to yesterday's news item, Eurodragster.com reader Simon Paul writes that scrutineering tickets have changed somewhat in the last thirty nine years. "This is a picture of my first scrutineering ticket", says Simon, "dated 9th April 1977. It is from my 1965 Ford Zephyr 6 which I ran in the Production class between 1977 and 1980. It all seems a long time ago!"
Santa Pod Racers Club have asked us to clarify that the rule about Junior racers pushing back to their pit after passing through the arch next to Scrutineering at Santa Pod Raceway applies to Junior Drag Bike racers as well as to Junior Dragster and Junior Funny Car racers. If you have any queries then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625.
Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, and you can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please contact Ian Marshall by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Good luck and stay safe to Jndia Erbacher (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Rob Turner (Top Alcohol Funny Car) who are contesting this weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas, and to Adam Flamholc who is contesting Pro Mod at the Good Vibrations Motorsports IHRA Texas Nationals in San Antonio. In both cases qualifying commences today (Friday) and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com.
Easter Street Eliminator review.
1st April: Many thanks to Street Eliminator Chair Ben Barnwell for sending us a review of the action in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator at last weekend's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway, with pictures by Matt Woods Photography:
The first round of Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator came around quicker than most people expected. Before we knew it the Test Day had arrived and, already down on numbers with ten entered, we lost two more. Jon Webster unfortunately had to pull out last minute as he was extremely busy with work and did not wan to compromise his work in any way so he decided to give it a miss. The other casualty was Andy Bond who decided that he was in desperate need to get work done on his twin turbo '56 Chevy so gave round one a miss. Down to eight cars, but still with spirits high, we attended the Peak Performance Test Day. With most drivers wanting to get in as many runs as possible everyone was set up and ready to go. The finishing touches were applied to the newly-released Bentley Continental GT of Martin Smith and the Nissan GTR of Matt Smith at class sponsor Webster Race Engineering. With the sun shining a few test passes were made by other classes but unfortunately before any Street Eliminator cars could get out, the rain came down, test day over, weather wins this time!
On to qualifying day 1 and again at the start of the day the sun was shining. Luckily for us, this time it stayed! Two runs were scheduled for Friday and although there were some oildowns and stoppages we got both runs in, thanks to the Santa Pod track crew for their hard work as always. In Q1 2014 Champion Stu Williams returned to the track having missed the last three meetings of last year to try to find a problem within the Carma-Supra. His first run off the trailer was a mighty impressive 8.07, however alongside him the twin turbo '33 Willys of David Murdoch just managed to trump Stu for number one, an 8.05 enough to do it in the first round. The second pairing came was Matt Smith in the Nissan GTR which used to be owned by his brother, alongside big brother Martin in his new ride, the 3000hp Bentley Continental GT now sporting its black paint and looking stunning! Unfortunately Matt pushed back due as he was not able to get the car to burn out. He waited at the Barn trying to find the problem, whilst brother Martin took his solo in the Bentley and was off to a flier, 150 mph at the eighth but unfortunately the car started drifting left and crossed the centre line. Unable to get the car to straighten up Martin took out some timing blocks and sustained some damage to the front of the Bentley. Not the first run he was looking for, but he'd be back just as strong! The third pairing in the session featured the Hale Brothers, the big 1400hp Chevy pickup for Nigel, and the Small Block Mercedes for Nick. Side by side tens was a good way to start the year! Gary Gooding had problems in the next line up, but still broke into the eights on his first run. The final pairing for this round featured Matt Smith back for his run alongside the Howlin' Hauler of Al Williamson, both drivers sporting very smart looking Stand21 Suits! Matt ran an 8.30 to start the year off, with loads more to come and Al an 8.40, very close to his PB. So all in all a good off the trailer session to kick off 2016.
In Q2 all the cars were still in one piece and back around for another crack! First pair in this round was the same as the first with the '33 Willys up alongside the Carma-Supra, a big wheelie for David and broke a turbo drain so had to back off, luckily no oil down, in the other lane Stu took number 1 for then with an 8.008, almost that seven! Unfortunately this was Stu's last run, damage to the Supra engine meant Round 1 was over for him. In the next pairing Matt Smith took on Martin Smith again! This time Martin rolled through stage so did not get a time, but the run looked strong so encouraging for Team Extreme. Matt however nailed his run with the first seven in Street Eliminator for 2016! A PB for Matt and the number one spot with a 7.76. Al Williamson and Nick Hale also both got PBs, Al with a massive 8.11 second pass in the Howlin' Hauler, and Nick back into the nines.
Saturday came and the weather looked against us from the off. As a class we decided to take the first qualifier and go out on the Cruise because the weather wasn't looking great! This session included an unusual run for Dave Murdoch with the Willys blowing its tyres away, a bit sideways and off the gas for Davey and stayed third. Matt Smith backed up his 7.76 with a 7.85, the car looking to be quicker at the eighth however tyre spin and a quick pedal slowed him down. A good driving job to still clock a seven, Matt is one to watch this season. Big news of the session was Martin Smith, another driving job for him but got a time on the board and qualified sixth, not as high as he would have wanted but in for race day. Gary Gooding the only one to improve, getting an 8.4 second pass on a colder track than Friday which was a sign of good things to come from him. With all eight cars qualified only seven would go on the Cruise, but no dramas on the Cruise ensured that seven would race on Sunday. Choosing to go out on the Cruise early turned out to be the right decision, with the rain hammering down just after getting all of the cars in.
Raceday morning and the weather looked to be on our side, so cars were warmed up and drivers readied for round one of eliminations. In the first pairing we tested out the new Sportsman ladder for the first time, the change from a Pro ladder to make for closer racing. Nick Hale took on Dave Murdoch and with the uncertainty of what the Willys would run Davey was careful with the tune. Nick was away first and did all he could, but the twin turbo Willys had the power advantage in the second half and clocked off another low eight second pass to take the win and move on to E2. Next up was the truck race, but a lot of rain meant two hours between the first pair and second. Another massive thanks to Santa Pod's track crew for drying up and finishing the session. Nigel Hale took on Al Williamson, Nigel away first and a slow get away for Big Al in the Howlin Hauler, but Al took the win with an 8.6 to Nigel's 11.9. The most anticipated pairing for round one of eliminations was the Team Extreme pairing, Matt Smith against Gary Gooding. Gary knowing he had to get the jump on Matt and did just that, drilled Matt to the TTree and by half-track was still two car lengths in front. Matt somehow managed to get past Gary after 1000 feet and took the win by 0.04 of a second, one heck of a close race! Martin Smith took a solo pass - he was supposed to face Stu Williams - a launch and some spin from water finding its way under the tyres was all he needed to book his place in E2.
Unfortunately the weather set in and the event was called, leaving all points relatively close after the first event but Matt Smith leads Dave Murdoch. The next round is the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Street Eliminator send our best wishes to Street Eliminator and VW Pro racer Carl Goldsmith who had a top end crash at the race. We understand that Carl is OK and the car is reparable. We hope to see you back soon Carl.
On behalf of the class I would like to say a big thank you to our class sponsors to whom we are very grateful: Topspeed Automotive, Custom Car magazine, RPM magazine, Webster Race Engineering, Serck Motorsport, Insane Creations, AW Upholstery, Quartermile High / Zeon TV, Matt Woods Photography, On The Bottle and Eurodragster.com, all of whom can be found on our new web site at www.streeteliminator.com. If you would like to become a class sponsor please contact us via the web site and we can discuss the options.
Web site updates.
1st April: Mike Collins writes that the latest issue of American Auto Parts' AAP Insight includes twenty four pages of his pictures and "Ramblin" (His words - Ed) about Nostalgia Funny Car at Bakersfield. You can take a look at AAP Insight (PDF format) by clicking here.