Add a web site
Jeff Bull Swap Meet
Send a News Item
Site Search by Hauser Racing
2018 FIA/FIM Championships schedule
News, Coverage, Features
John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage
OCS Paint Points Standings
Features, Interviews, Tributes
Racer Blogs Derek 10/04
LA Racing Parts Links
Racers' web sites
Results, Reports, Info
Performance Parts, Merchandise
European and UK Bests
Editor's Diary archive
European Drag Racing News
31st January: 2004 MSA British Drag Racing Champion Doug Ripley will be defending his title in 2005 with a Top Methanol FC which is all but new. Contrary to rumour which had them moving to Fuel FC this season - although it was considered - Doug and the CC Racing team have spent the off-season working hard to install a 511 ci TFX92 acquired from Dan Larsen as well as several other new parts.
"We are happy to be entering the 2005 season as defending MSA Champions", says Doug. "We hope to put on a display worthy of such a title. A vast amount of time and money has been spent getting the car and complete operation to where we stand today. We have replaced our Keith Black motor with a short block from Dan Larson, which has just been freshened and is at present being installed in the car."
In 2004 the CC Racing team found that the car was not making enough revs with the new PSI blower. "Doug complained that the car would just die during the run", says clutch technician Darren Gould. "After much discussion, and after checking the datalogger, we found that the nitro heads we were running were the cause of the problem. So Doug took the decision to change to methanol components only."
The Fuel heads have been replaced with Brad Anderson Stage 5 fat heads, rocker gear and titanium valves. Other changes include a dry sump, which has necessitated plumbing modifications and work on the fuel tank to make room for a new oil tank and pump. "This should help run the motor a little easier as we had a problem with oil pressure dropping when the chutes were deployed and the car hit negative Gs for a second", says Darren.
To get all of the new power to the ground, the team have added a 10.7-inch Crower titanium clutch, the Lenco has been checked and has had new gearing installed. "With some new crew and an overhaul on the trailer, there isn't much from last season which hasn't been brought up to scratch for this year", says Darren.
At present Doug intends to contest all rounds of the MSA British Championship, and talks are underway with potential sponsors to compete in four rounds of the 2005 FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Championship. Doug and the team are pleased to welcome A1 Motor Stores as a new sponsor, as well as welcoming back Flint Insurance and Allglass who are both long-standing sponsors. "If any companies are interested in sponsoring CC Racing to help us compete on the FIA Tour, please contact Doug Ripley on 01322 380980 or via the CC Racing web site at www.freewebs.com/ccracing", says Darren.
You will be able to see the CC Racing TMFC at Xtreme Wheels at Alexandra Palace next month, and Darren says that there may be other appearances on the horizon.
31st January: The mechanics of Sweden's Andréasson Motorsports Top Methanol FC team went undefeated in the Spark Plug Challenge at the Auto Mässan in Göteborg last weekend, says team member Anders Magnusson. "Twice a day, Kristian and Lars went up against ten challengers to change four spark plugs on the Funny Car", says Anders. "Kristian and Lars went head-to-head and Kristian won with a time of thirty nine seconds". You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
Elliott 'Billyboy' Jones of the UK's Northern Quarter Racing altered team has been in touch to ask if any Eurodragster reader with a talent for cartoon or caricature would be willing to do some work for the team. If you can help then please drop Elliott a line at email@example.com, and if you would be interested in sponsoring the team's classically-styled altered then please E-Mail Danny Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minifair, big show.
31st January: The UK's Shakespeare County Raceway commenced its early season show commitments this weekend with a static indoor show hosted by the British Mini Club, writes SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson.
Held on Sunday at the spacious Staffordshire County Showground, Minifair attracted over fourteen thousand Mini enthusiasts to the first indoor show of the year. Providing the drag display were Ron Bartlett’s nine-second Pro ET/Super Gas Ford Anglia 105E and Mark Coulsell's Limited Funz Wild Bunch slingshot (right).
The stand also featured, as a promotion for the track’s British Mini Showdown in July, Pete Edwards' 2.0ltr 16v Vauxhall-powered Mini racer and Mick Miller’s stage four race-prepared Mini 30 bodied road and track warrior, which Mick says will be seen at the Raceway on more than one occasion this year flying the flag for Just Minis.
Throughout the day, SCR event calendars were handed out to the many interested visitors to the stand, Ultimate Power Championship and Hardcore Street DVDs played all day long, a new range of track merchandise was on sale, and the track’s full-size practice tree was in constant use. Even Ron and Mark staged their own mini-duels with Ron pulling a perfect reaction time of .500 on the Sportsman tree.
Come breakdown time at 4.00 pm both Ron and Mark were itching to start their motors and drive the cars out of the hall, and when the signal was given those who were left couldn’t believe the sound that these fearsome monsters can make under cover. Mark even pulled a few impromptu burnouts outside before boxing the car away.
On behalf of Shakespeare County Raceway I would like to thank Mark Coulsell, Ron Bartlett and their crew for the loan of the cars and for giving their time over the weekend, Roy Wilding for the build of the stand posts, Lee Child for the event calendars and use of the sponsors banners and flags, Wayne Schierer for the use of the tree, Julie Willcox for looking after the merchandise, and to Dave Hollis and the membership of the British Mini Club for inviting the track along. It was a most enjoyable day.
Shakespeare County’s next show date will be the Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh near Coventry on the weekend of 25th-27th February where our hosts will be the National Street Rod Association.
Web site updates.
31st January: The official web site of UK altered team Northern Quarter Racing has been updated with the latest news on the construction of the Between Heaven and Hell altered. You can check out the latest from the Jones family at www.northernqtrracing.com. Elliott Jones has asked us to thank Hi-tek Design Group (www.hi-tek.co.uk) for their help, and to family member Alan Wolstencroft, for setting up the site.
Thompson: Size matters more.
30th January: UK Super Street racer Peter Thompson has changed his plans for 2005 after losing his street-legal and car stereo-equipped Ford Capri to a fire. Peter will now be taking to the track in a Chevelle (right); referring to the name of his race cars he tells us that "Size does matter".
"Thanks to Eurodragster I bought and sold parts that enabled me to recover some of my costs and invest in a '65 Chevelle from Sweden", says Pete. "The car came over as a roller, but as usual many modifications have been made over the last three and a half months. The 502 and the TH400 came out of the Capri, and a supercharger was added. The engine was re-mounted to fit a full screen as I intend the car to be street legal later on in 2005."
Pete says that he has not yet decided in which class the Chevelle will run. "I have enjoyed Super Street, but the car is two hundred pounds lighter than the Capri and now has the supercharger, so it will be a huge learning curve for us", he says. "I have had lots of help from Fred Hone and the Smoke City Wheelers, many thanks to them."
Web site updates.
30th January: Eurodragster News Editor Tog has updated his personal web site Tog's Drag Racing Page with a special photo feature. Too Many Late Nights: Scenes From A Long Season tells the tale of 2004 from Tog's perch in Race Control as well as from the pits and other off-track locations. You can check out Tog's feature at www.togsdragracing.com/too_many_late_nights.
Racers: don't forget your credit.
29th January: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to remind racers that credit is available to offset the entry fee to the Easter Thunderball or any other event at Santa Pod this season. SPRC announced this credit back in November after both events were so badly affected by rain that little racing took place.
"You can claim a credit of £20 per event, or £15 for Junior Dragster, if you entered the 2004 UK National Finals and/or the Flame and Thunder Show", says Paula. "Obviously you can only use each credit once, and you must use it by the end of the season."
For more details about the credit scheme then please check out our news item Racers in credit with SPRC of 21st November 2004, call Paula Marshall on 01933 313625, or E-Mail her at email@example.com.
Blakemore secures factory backing.
29th January: UK Funny Bike racer Tim Blakemore received some great news last week when he was informed that the Blakemore and Rose team is to become an Official Team of Kawasaki Motors UK. The team have enjoyed support from Kawasaki for the past two seasons but now Kawasaki are to increase their commitment. The team is to receive significant parts support as well as some financial backing for 2005 on top of the support they currently enjoy. Tim believes this could be the biggest involvement ever by a motorcycle manufacturer in a UK based drag racing team. Kawasaki have been particularly pleased with the public response to Tim’s bike at shows and the bike will continue in this role being part of their display at both the BMF and the NEC. This in turn is helping to generate interest and awareness of the sport in a wider audience. The team is also to become a more regular fixture on the Kawasaki website at www.kawasaki.co.uk and in their Good Times magazine. Additionally, if all plans come to fruition, a high profile press feature could follow later in the year.
The backing will allow the team to continue their development of the exciting ZX-12R Funny Bike as they work to harness the enormous power the engine develops and try to take the bike to the top of the Funny Bike performance league. Work is well under way on developments for the 2005 season including a beefed-up transmission, new oil system and a diet that has seen the bike lose more than thirty pounds.
Tim would like to thank everyone who has helped support his efforts so far and is looking forward to repaying their faith in him with good track performances this year. He would specifically like to thank all at Kawasaki Motors UK (particularly Simon Belton and Martin Lambert), Paul Rose (patience, humour and the wallet), Steve C at Classic and Performance engineering (based here at Tim Blakemore Racing) for all the machining expertise, who lost many nights sleep and is probably a little greyer creating many vital parts, the hard working crew Augy, Paul (Spondon) Smith for outstanding commitment and perseverance, Wendy Clutterbuck for machining work (and brackets!) tech assistance and putting up with me (Tim), Steve Rice (top tuning advice), Chris Weismann (quality transmissions), John Webster (chassis), Paul Bland (bodywork), Tim Cox at TJC Custom Paintwork, Griff’s Motorcycle services (powder coating) and finally Andy at A.G Metal services (polishing and welding).
Meca Raceway to hold Pro test.
29th January: Many thanks to Jan Ekström for letting us know that in response to requests from a number of racers Meca Raceway in Malmö will be holding a closed test day for Pro racers in early May.
"The first racers to ask were Pro Stock racers Michael Malmgren and Janne Murén", says Jan, "as well as bike racer Ebbe Parnestål who is two-time world record holder for the eighth mile and one-time world speed record holder for naturally-aspirated gas engines under 1000 cc.
"We have now made avalable the entry form for this event which takes place on 7th-8th May. It can be moved to the following weekend, 14th-15th May. All motorcycle and car teams are welcome on 7th-8th May to test and tune their vehicles for the 2005 season.
"The entry fee is €550 and must be paid at least one week before the event. Skåne Racers Ideella Förening needs at least ten teams to show an interest, otherwise we will cancel this weekend and of all the entered teams will get the money back.
"Please note that no spectators will be allowed at this event, it is only for the teams and for the crew. That’s why we have to set a €550 in entry fee, so that the event is economical for us."
For more information please check out the Skåne Racers Ideella Förening web site at www.srif.se, drop an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +46-708-42 08 53 between 18.00-21.00.
Another deal for Englefield.
29th January: Following on from last week's announcement that UK Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield has acquired backing from Lucas Oil UK, Bert has been in touch again with news of another sponsorship deal.
"B A Racing have added Goodridge Hoses as a product sponsor", says Bert. "Goodridge have been supplying high-performance hose and fittings for over thirty five years, and were the first company in Europe to offer such a service. Their products are now supplied worldwide for every conceivable type of motorsport."
For details of the company's products and services, visit their web site at www.goodridge.net.
A score of Street Eliminator.
29th January: UK Street Eliminator Class Organiser Dale Reardon says that he is most encouraged with the response since the first call for interested parties to race in 2005.
"I received nearly thirty initial enquiries", says Dale. "Of these, more than twenty are now signed up. It's even more encouraging that at least half a dozen of these are new teams with new cars, some just fresh out of the UK's top chassis shops. We even know of a few names still to come off the fence! Naturally they will all be made to feel welcome amongst the core racers, and they will find out soon enough what it's like to race with some of the fastest street-legal cars in Europe.
"A number of the class' previous sponsors have returned to provide similar levels of support to those previously enjoyed. I am continuing to work with some new and prominent companies and will pass on details as soon as there is something concrete to report."
Dale has also wished the best of luck to the UK contingent in March's World Street Race in Louisiana. "I understand that the cars are due to be shipped out to the States shortly", says Dale. "Andy Frost, Ian Hook, Steve Pateman and Jeff Meads have put in a monumental effort, and we hope that all of you successfully promote the strength of the Street Eliminator series here in the UK."
If you are interested in participating in Street Eliminator in 2005, or if you would like to sponsor the class, then Dale can be contacted on email@example.com.
Grumpy makes the quality press.
29th January: 2004 FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson and the American Car Imports Racing TMD team are the subject of a very well-presented feature by Franca Davenport in the motoring section of today's (Saturday's) Daily Telegraph, the second piece in a week to feature drag racing as UK Comp Bike racer Sandra Chaplain was featured earlier in the week.
You can of course buy the Daily Telegraph at any good newsagent and an on-line version of the article is also available by clicking here.
29th January: Santa Pod Raceway have announced that Toyo Tyres are to be the official sponsor of SPR's Run What You Brung events in 2005. "Toyo has become one of the most respected tyre manufacturers among UK tuners, and produces a wide range of tyres to suit road and track cars", says Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing. Santa Pod's next RWYB takes place tomorrow (Sunday 30th); for more details visit www.rwyb.com.
The guys at the Dragsterworld web site are running a contest to win tickets to February's Xtreme Wheels show. For your chance to win, check out the contest at www.dragsterworld.com/features/xtreme_comp_2005.htm.
Wright likes a challenge!
29th January: UK Super Gas racer and sport sponsor Matthew Wright is currently embarked upon what sounds like his own version of the movie Vanishing Point with friend, fellow racer and sponsorship recipient Ashley Bell (although with a different ending to that film I hope! - Ed). Paul Marston takes up the story.
"Gleeson Wright Security as a company currently sponsor individual drivers and Sportsman classes, from Matt himself with his big bad black supercharged Chevy pick-up all the way up to 2004 UK National Super Modified Champion Andy 'Fred' Hone", says Paul. "Drag Racing could do with a few more Matt Wrights - he is a real asset to us all, in it for the right reasons and really enjoys his drag racing, no matter what.
"Matt volunteered Ashley Bell to go on one of his 'adventures'. Matt likes a challenge - anyone who has met this larger-than-life character will know what I mean. This particular challenge involves the latest addition to the team’s race car line-up, and very nice it looks too although I won’t spoil the surprise. Matt and Ashley can tell you all about it when they return, but where have they gone?
"Try Sweden, a fair journey at best during the summer - but the middle of winter, well, it is known to be a little cold over there during the winter. Cap this with Matt’s intention to cover this in three days, tops, with trailer on tow delivering a bodyshell whilst they are there and you start to get the picture. It's at least a thousand miles each way, neither of them speak Swedish, not to mention the ferries and the bridge crossings. When I visited the Jari Konola Pro Stock Racing workshop in Stockholm, it took Pro Stock Bike racer and Dynospeed Devemopments owner Paul Watson four days. Stockholm is further than Matt and Ashley’s destination, but nevertheless it’s a tall order for sure.
"One thing you can be sure of is that there are going to be some great stories to share at the Easter Thunderball, as well as the UK début of a stunning new race car. There is never a dull moment when Matt Wright is about!"
Murén returns - and how!
28th January: Swedish Pro Stock racer Jan Murén is returning to competition in 2005 after sitting out 2004 to acquire a new race car, this beautiful Rick Jones Race Cars-built Pontiac Grand Am (right, click on picture for large version).
The chassis was originally built in 2001, and has been checked over and updated by Bertans Race cars in Norrköping. The front end carries all Lamb components, and the 2003 Grand Am body is all carbon fibre. "We bought the car as an empty chassis", says Jan. "We had a lot of good parts left from the Oldsmobile which we last campaigned in 2003."
The new engine has been built by Patterson Racing. "Our goal is without a doubt to run 6.85 with this car during the season", says Jan. "There are going to be four or five teams who will perform very well this season, so Pro Stock is going to be tighter and tougher than ever!"
The team's primary sponsor will as in previous years be Jan's own speed shop Leufvens Racing.
Jan says that he and his team plan to test the car at Malmö's Meca Raceway before going to the first FIA Championship event at Santa Pod Raceway in May.
Easter Thunderball entry forms.
28th January: The Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc has been updated with entry forms for all classes for the Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 26th-28th March.
The official closing date for Easter Thunderball entries is Friday 4th March, after which an additional late-entry fee will be levied if entry is accepted.
Hal-Far 2005 calendar.
28th January: We are indebted to Malta Drag Racing Association President Anthony Borda for sending us details of this year's events at Hal-Far Raceway:
The track opens at 6:00 pm on Fridays (Test Day/RWYB), at 12:30 pm on Saturdays, and at 10:00 am on Sundays. Entry to the track is LM 2 per person on Fridays, and LM 2.50 per person on Saturdays and Sundays. Under-15s and Senior Citizens with cards go free.
Anthony also tells us that at the MDRA's Annual General Meeting on 23rd January, the entire MDRA Committee was re-elected. "This means that everyone is very happy with the work which the Executive Committee has done in the past year", says Anthony. The Executive Committee has nine members, with another two members acting as a sub-committee for the Bikes:
President: Anthony Borda
Secretary: Arthur Calleja
Cashier: Joseph Farrugia
PRO: Stephen Xuereb
Competition Secretary: Charles Galea
Members: Paul Pace, Rennie Zammit, Alfred Vella, Remigio Arapa
Bikes sub-Committee: Kevin Perry, Noel Grech
28th January: The Nordic Drag Racing Series has welcomed Mickey Thompson on board as a series sponsor for 2005. You can find out all about the MT deal on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
UK Top Methanol Funny Car team Wratten Brothers Racing have asked if any Eurodragster readers have pictures or video of their Top Methanol FC running at last year's Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. If you do have any pictures or video then please call Paul Wratten on 0208 586 1717 (daytime) or 07976 433454 (mobile).
Wizard explains NOS progressive.
28th January: If you were tuned in on 20th January you will recall that Brad O'Connor dropped us a line about a new Nitrous progressive unit, which has been developed by Trev Langfield of Highpower Nitrous Systems, who was dubbed the "Wizard of Nitrous" by six-second Funny Bike racer Peter Bossert. Trev has been in touch to tell us more about his new unit.
"My first valves were revolutionary when I invented and designed them twenty five years ago, and they still would be today", says Trev, "but because they were so different to the US solenoids they were not accepted by the majority of the UK market. My quality control was inadequate and although I had many happy customers we had more failures than was good for my reputation. I invented and designed a pulsing system about twenty two years ago but realised that it was a bad option and so I went on to invent and design two options of smooth control. These smooth units would only work with an existing system, and would have made the existing systems far more complex and expensive. Back then I hadn't got time to develop them or to resolve the problems.
"Some fifteen or so years ago, US companies started producing pulsed systems, and although I knew it was a bad option I also realised that I was getting nowhere doing things differently to the US way. I decided to drop my combined valve and develop a matched progressive system and pulsoids, which were designed to work together (unlike any other parts offered by other companies). I've now got the world's best progressive plus the most responsive and reliable solenoids - even British bike racers think so, at last!
"Over the years other people have realised the limitations and risks involved with pulsed systems, so I felt the time was right to start work on my old prototype smooth valves. Also at this time I feel that I have enough credibility (and the US systems had lost much of theirs) to take the market lead, despite it being radically different to US products which haven't changed in over twenty five years.
"My aim was to replace the solenoids, so the new valve had to be able to shut off the flow as well as vary it. It also had to be light enough to be operated by a small electronic drive system, and the whole unit had to be no bigger than existing systems and roughly the same price (eventually). Anyone who thinks that any of this is easy should try it!
"Although we don't yet have a prototype of a complete system in the format I eventually intend it to be in, I do have a working prototype of the basic principle and that unit works perfectly well despite being made from the wrong materials, using seals of the wrong material and being less than perfect in machining quality. So you can see why I'm so confident of the end result, as the improvements in those areas which will come when these are put into production will ensure trouble free outstanding performance. My intention for the end product is to be not much bigger than the biggest NX nozzle, it will have the control mechanics and the injector in an integrated unit - no pipe work. The design allows almost unlimited flow potential without the need for huge electrical units to drive them, as is the case with current solenoid designs, but I intend to limit them to 150 bhp and 300 bhp options. Since they will be roughly the size of a big nozzle it should be possible to fit one in each inlet, so even the smallest set will flow up to 600 bhp on a four-cylinder engine.
"The delivery from the valves will be one hundred per cent smooth from zero to full flow, and will be inherently smooth even when activated by a direct fixed power supply, although this may produce a rapid rise in delivery rate but this may suit some high-end customers. For anyone who wants full control, we intend to launch a new range of progressive units to reproduce the amazing control which we currently have over our solenoid systems.
"One thing I have learned, and intend to apply to these new systems, is that they will only be launched once I am one hundred per cent certain that they are one hundred per cent reliable - just as my current Pulsoids are. I will not have a repeat of what happened when I launched my first solenoids twenty five years ago."
For more information about the products and services which Trev already supplies, check out his web sites at www.noswizard.com and www.wizardsofnos.com, or call 01302 834343.
Lantern Recovers Malins' season.
27th January: Lantern Recovery Specialists are to be the main sponsor of Gary and Lin Malin's Serious Playtime Super Pro ET dragster in 2005. Lantern's owner Ray Coleman stepped in and offered a substantial sponsorship deal securing the team's future after Gary lost his workshop at the start of the year due to demolition and redevelopment, leaving him with nowhere to store his seven-second dragster. "Without Ray's intervention, the story might have had a very different end", says Gary.
Gary had a good end to his 2004 season when he took runner-up spot by eight hundredths of a second at the FIA European Finals. "We were up against very stiff competition right from the start", says Gary. "Barry Giles drove around me, and won the day - well done to Barry and the team. We are confident that we can take the number spot for 2005 and we intend to do it!"
The Serious Playtime team will be stepping things up in 2005. "A 7.4-second pass is our first target", says Gary. "There is so much we can do including upping the shift chip, and of course the converter chip. We will be rejetting the twin alky carbs, and giving the motor a little more ignition, and we will be fitting bigger and well-researched rear slicks from Geof and Ray at Hauser Race Cars. If things go well, then we plan to run a six-second pass nearer the end of the season! The car is more than capable of running these times and of course is tecched and tagged down to 6.30 seconds."
The team will also be making several demonstration appearances in 2005. "We will be returning to the Isle of Man", says Gary. "Roger Goring and his partner Helen of the Firestorm Jet Funny Car introduced us to Trevor Duckworth of Straightliners, who invited us to become the first dragster to run on the Island. So we are in the history books forever! We look forward to running there again this year. We will also be appearing at Max Power, Ultimate Street Car, the Jap Show, the Fast Show, the Mopar Nationals and Thorney Island, and I'm sure that we will enjoy these as much as we did last year. We have also been approached by large supermarket chains to attend open days and fund raisers for good causes."
Gary's 2005 crew will comprise Lin Malin, Anthony Bush and James Folly. "We are still begging Richard Shilingford for his catering and trackside skills alike!", says Gary. "Also we mustn't forget Nitro Nicky for her crowd and crew encouragement. "We have always had a good team, the European Finals proved it", says Gary. "Now we have a bigger and better team for 2005 with the addition of Lantern Recovery Specialists."
Lantern Recovery Specialists were established in the 1960s and now cover both the UK and European sectors. "Their service ranges from small breakdowns to huge rescues including artic units, and police matters", says Gary. "For any racing teams venturing out this year to Germany and other European tracks, it would be worth keeping LRS' twenty four-hour Control Centre number handy, which is 0870 609 0333. You can be assured of good service. You can also see their web site at www.lanternrecovery.com.
"Ray Coleman, the owner of LRS, will hopefully be at the Easter Thunderball, and I am sure that he will be more than happy to answer any questions about his recovery and rescue services."
The Nitro Mafia are back!
27th January: Glad tidings from 2004 NAST Supertwin Fuel Champion Ian Turburville, who was on the receiving end of a mix-up which has now been sorted out. If you were tuned in to Eurodragster News on 18th January you will recall that Turbo lost his primary sponsor S&S Cycle of Wisconsin, but the great news is that S&S are back on board.
"S&S Cycle say that there was a mix-up and that their British rider had been left out of the equation by accident!", says Turbo. "I am greatly relieved, and proud to be backed once more by the world's premier V-Twin motor manufacturer and that I will once again be the face of S&S at European tracks.
"This has come just in time to kick-start the Mr. Spokehead Top Fuel project and get it back on track. I would like to thank Brett Smith and his team for the continued support."
You can find Turbo's web site at www.turboville.com.
2005 SDC calendar.
27th January: Many thanks to our good friend Patrik Jacobsson for letting us know that the Swedish Dragracing Championship calendar for 2005 has now been finalised. The 2005 SDC dates are:
10th-12th June: Gardermoen Raceway, Norway
18th-19th June: Sättna Raceway, Sundsvall, Sweden
22nd-24th July: Armed Forces Raceway, Gothenburg, Sweden
12th-14th August: Tullinge Raceway, Stockholm, Sweden
20th-21st August: Sättna Raceway, Sundsvall, Sweden
You can find out all about the Swedish Dragracing Championship on its official web site at www.sdcracing.com.
27th January: Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost tells us that a limited-edition World Street Race T-Shirt is now available to help to support the UK racers' mission to Louisiana in March. "You can help us and look good at the same time!", says Andy. "The shirts (right) are £12 plus postage and packing". For more details or to order a shirt get in touch with Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shakespeare County Raceway track announcer Barry Bohannon has been in touch with the very sad news that he and fiancée Alison Gowlett, who works in Race Control at SCR, are to take a year out. "We have masses of saving to do for our wedding in October and the budget and the spare time just don't allow for trips to the track", says Barry. "We'll miss everyone like crazy (the feeling is entirely mutual - Ed) but we just can't afford the time or the money right now. Maybe we'll get a couple of tickets to the Allstar Nationals and spend the weekend hanging out like we used to."
27th January: Paul Marston Racing’s new main sponsor Black Box London Sound and Lighting, official suppliers of sound, lighting, production and visual equipment for February's Xtreme Wheels International at Alexandra Palace, have been in touch with news of a very special deal for any exhibitors at the show who may need special lighting or sound equipment.
As they will already have staff on-site at Xtreme Wheels, Black Box are offering a fifty per cent discount to anyone who would like to light their stand or exhibits. There are some extremely reasonable deals on offer, starting at well under £100. All prices include delivery, set-up and collection.
For details, or to book your lighting or sound equipment, call Peter Fearn at the London office on 0208 597 4575 or mobile 07970 029424, and quote the Xtreme Wheels offer for the preferential prices.
Web site updates.
27th January: Our good friend Alan Currans has added a 108th page of photographs to his excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "Readers' Gallery 8 is devoted exclusively to the work of Alan Peck, who now lives down under in Sydney, Australia", says Alan. "Fortunately for us Alan took all his drag snaps with him when he emigrated and this page features the Commuter Pro Fuel Dragster, Freddie Whittle's Shutdown Fuel Altered, contrasting pictures of the Stripteaser Minivan altered, the Priddle, Riswick, Gane and Stanford fueller of 1971, and some great candid shots of 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits. And, best of all, there are quite a few of Alan's shots yet to come!". Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Tall order for CBD.
25th January: Knut Söderquist's company Carbon By Design, who supply carbon fibre injectors to a large number of US professional racers as well as to teams all around Europe, recently received an unusual request from Worsham Racing in the USA. Knut took some time out from wooing his Ukrainian friend Svetlana to tell us all about it.
"I got an order for three of my 'tall' Top Fuel injectors from the Worshams", said Knut. "I wondered what they wanted with a Top Fuel injector since they are a Funny Car team. But as everyone has probably seen by now, they wanted to test a tall injector on Del Worsham's Funny Car in Las Vegas."
Knut said that he and Carlo Gandolfi have been working on the tall injector (right) - also known as the 'Giraffe' because of its long neck - for a long time. "We have had a lot of information from Top Fuel and Pro Mod teams in Europe and they all tell us that it is a good combination", he said. "We think that it offers a huge advantage and the way it looks now that will be the way to go. Del Worsham went 4.7 with the new injector so it can't be that bad!".
Feature: MPM Top Fuel Team diary.
25th January: As regular readers will be aware, Eurodragster.com has been following the story of Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon's move to a self-owned operation since the MPM team announced their intentions in mid-September 2004. In the four months since the announcement, the MPM Top Fuel Racing Foundation have acquired a state-of-the-art Top Fuel Dragster from Baca Family Racing in the USA and have signed Crew Chief Eddie Corr, as well as recruiting a crew and putting together all of the other arrangements needed by a professional race team.
Together with Lex and Team Manager Gerda Dijkstra we have put together in one place all of the news items about the MPM Top Fuel Team's move to a self-owned team and added a linking narrative to chart the off-season progress of Europe's newest independent Top Fuel Operation.
You can read the MPM Top Fuel Team's off-season diary by clicking here, or by clicking on the Features link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Gerda has also updated the MPM Top Fuel Team web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl with a report and photographs of her and Lex's recent trip to San Francisco to pack the dragster in its container for its trip to Holland.
25th January: Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice says that there is still room for more entries to the Charity Kart Race which is due to take place at Whilton Mill near Daventry on Sunday 6th March. Entry is £250 per team and to make things even easier we have added a direct link to the entry form to the left-hand side of every Eurodragster page. You can read full details of the Charity Kart Race on our news item of 7th January.
2004 ACU UK Comp Bike Champion TJ O'Brien and his partner Pat Ginn have been in touch to express their appreciation to APIRA for a very enjoyable Dinner Dance last Saturday. "Thanks to all of the staff, and to everyone for making us feel welcome", says Pat. "It was a very enjoyable evening. Also well done to Eurodragster for a very deserved trophy for all your hard work (Thanks! - Ed). I hope that Lee Child will forgive TJ for calling him Ian during his speech. You know what he is like, he is Irish and gets confused very easily!"
UK Wild Bunch racer Tom Coe tells us that his fiancée Jenny Archer is due to fly out to Phuket to help out with the Tsunami disaster. "Other Wild Bunchers may remember that on the weekend of the 2002 August Bank Holiday race at Shakespeare County Raceway, Jen was called to go to Jordan to deal with the bombing during the war", says Tom. "She has been called again and flies out on 5th February for three weeks in Bangkok, then on to Phuket."
Web site updates.
25th January: Japanese Import specialist GT Culture have updated their web site with photographs from their recent visit to the Tokyo Auto Salon. You can find the pictures on the News page at www.gt-culture.com.
Keep Saturday special!
24th January: Those who suffer UK television on a Saturday evening may wonder what is so special about Saturdays these days, but Santa Pod Raceway have come to the rescue with a Saturday Night Special on 19th February, which features Run What You Brung until 20:00 as well as exhibition vehicles and other attractions.
"This is a legal cruise", says Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing, "somewhere to bring your cars, bikes or dragsters, hang out with your mates or club and most importantly race without upsetting the police or other road users.
"The track will be open till 8:00 pm so you can stay late and race after dark. We even have the spectacular 270 mph Fireforce 2 Jet Funny Car making demo runs, and the Jet Truck Roaring Thunder will give free rides to the kids! On-site camping is free for weekend ticket holders. Catering facilities and a full bar will be open at night with a DJ keeping the party moving.
"The track will be open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturday 19th February, and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday 20th (track and weather conditions permitting). Entry is £10 per person on Saturday, £10 on Sunday or £20 for the whole weekend. Signing on for use of the track is the normal £15 per day! Don’t forget your driving licence if you want to sign on."
For full details check out Santa Pod's Run What You Brung web site at www.rwyb.com or call 01234 782828.
One Choice for Xtreme Wheels.
24th January: Choice FM, London’s No. 1 radio station for R and B and Hip Hop, has today confirmed its involvement at next months Xtreme Wheels International show, which takes place on 19th and 20th February at London's Alexandra Palace. Choice FM will provide entertainment throughout the weekend from the show’s main stage and its pre-event activity will include ticket giveaways via on-air and online competitions.
“The show, like Choice FM, is fresh and young as it stands out from the crowd in terms of its content and style", says Amba Callender, Marketing Manager of Choice FM. "Many of our listeners are interested in the presentation and customisation performance of their cars. This show offers the best examples of extreme machinery and will introduce many people to a new dimension of speed, performance and looks, and give them the chance to experience hot rods and drag racing.
"There are plenty of activities planned, both on the Choice FM stage, where we shall have live bands and the very best in Hip-Hop and R and B, and in the Great Hall, where a remote control racing challenge awaits all those who attend the show. We are delighted to be involved in an exciting event such as this.”
Doors open at 9:00 on Saturday and at 10:00 am on Sunday. For further information tune in to Choice FM on 107.1 FM and 96.9 FM or visit the XWI web site at www.xwishow.com.
Tickets are now available with substantial discounts offered to advance purchasers. Buy online from the show web site or telephone the XWI hotline on 01483 236363.
Champions, Eurodragster honoured.
23rd January: The 2004 Ultimate Power Drag Racing Champions, a number of the 2004 UK National Champions and the 2004 Outlaw Anglia Champions were presented at the APIRA Dinner Dance and Trophy Night which took place at the Corus Hotel in a snowy Bristol last night (Saturday).
In a ceremony ably MC'd by Ozzy Ewing and Jerry Cookson the Champions and runners-up received their trophies and accolades, and the traditional Perpetual Awards were also presented as follows:
Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy: Scott Talbot
Iris Page Memorial Trophy: Eurodragster.com
Special Award for services to the sport: Janet Brown
We were very honoured to receive the Iris Page Memorial trophy (right) which is presented annually by the APIRA Committee to the Overall Achiever of the Season and which contains some of the sport's biggest names on its footing. Accepting the trophy on behalf of the staff of Eurodragster.com, News Editor Tog said that what Eurodragster does is to report upon what everyone present in the room does. The honour is due to the racers, officials, fans, and our sponsors, and we would like to thank the APIRA Committee for the award, and all of you for continuing to support Eurodragster.com.
Cyprus plans strip.
23rd January: Further to his passing comment about his contract on Cyprus on 19th January, UK Sportsman ET racer Jeff Rainbird tells us that drag racing is becoming established on the island.
"I got in contact with the Cyprus Motorsport Federation to see if any drag races are ot be staged on the island whilst I am over here", says Jeff. "The CMF got back to me faster than a Fueller! So far they have been holding two events a year on a temporary strip, but this possibly may not be so this year. With this in mind the CMF and other parties are active in getting a permanant strip up and running here.
"I have seen the plan area of ground they are looking to purchase. The whole Strip will be purpose-built to the latest spec, as they want to be able to provide the best to all those who race at the venue. The proposed project has not gone further than drawings at present but when all of the pieces of the jigsaw have been put in place I will inform Eurodragster of the parties involved other than the CMF.
"If any drag racing organisation or club can get some information over to the CMF about reducing illegal street racing etc. by having organised drag racing in their country, the Secretary at the CMF would be very grateful."
You can contact the Secretary of the Cyprus Motorsport Federation via the CMF web site at www.cmf.org.cy.
23rd January: Nobby Hills Racing have announced that the Houndog Fuel Funny Car will be appearing at Xtreme Wheels International at Alexandra Palace on 19th-20th February. You can find out more on the Nobby Hills Racing web site at www.nhracing.com.
UK Pro ET racer Malcolm Motler and his team are working on upgrades which should see the popular Morris Minor pick-up into the nines. "As you know, we ran a 10.12 at the European Finals Press Day, so we only have to pick up just over a renth of a second", says Malcolm's wife Marcie. "Malk has also repaired the scoop, which was unfortunately damaged after the bung was left in during the burnout, making the scoop implode". Marcie adds that the Spellbound team would be pleased to hear from any company or individual who are interested in sponsorship. "We would welcome any deal small or large, and are quite happy to run decals etc.", she says. "What we would really appreciate is someone who would be willing to put up entry fees for advertising on the car". If you are interested then you can contact the team through their web site at www.spellbounddragraceteam.co.uk.
The UK's Volkswagen Drag Racing Club has published the first issue of its magazine The Elapsed Times. The very professionally-produced magazine contains Committee and Club news, 2005 race calendar, a Where Are They Now feature, racers' season previews and much more. All VWDRC members will receive a copy and issues will also be available to non-members for £1. For more details contact VWDRC Chair Spencer Tramm at email@example.com.
Nostalgia supremo Roy Wilding tells us that his company Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars has plenty of work ahead of the new season. "I am building an altered which my wife Angie will be driving, and I am working on four other Altereds", he says.
Huge support for WSR.
23rd January: Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost has been in touch to tell us that another sponsor has joined the roster for the World Street Race, which takes place between the UK, USA and Canada at Louisiana's No Problem Raceway in March.
"Hot on the heels of the news from Bert Englefield and Andy Carter comes the news the Lucas Oils have stepped up to sponsor the WSR as well", says Andy. "We are proud to be associated with a company which produces as good a quality oil as we do cars. Of course a big thanks to Les Downey for showing his support for the UK racers in their quest to be the World's fastest street cars.
"Of course, followers of the WSR will know that we have had huge support for this race from companies here and in the US. They are Neal Chance Racing Converters, Nytrex Nitrous Systems, Composite Race Technology, Bespoke N2O, Torco Race Fuels, Autometer Performance Products, JW Performance, Lucas Oil UK, Webster Race Engineering, GZ Motorsports, Gleeson/Wright Security Services, Curbishley Automotive, Aldridge Trimming, Oaktree Property Managment, Benair Freight, RPM/NSCA magazine, Classic and Sportscar magazine, Total Heating services, Allglass Mobile Services, John Aldridge Accident Repair, Supasave Windows, Jeff Bull Racing Engines, Canadian Performance Depot, 1320autos.com, and Aquamist Water Injection systems.
"Last but not least thanks to all the generous individuals who have donated items and money towards our cause, who all know who they are but are too numerous to mention.
"Please don’t forget to visit the WSR web site at www.worldstreetrace.tk regularly as it is updated with news of the race on a regular basis."
22nd January: UK Pro Modified team BA Racing have announced a 2005 product sponsorship with Lucas Oil. Bert Englefield's blown-alcohol '38 Ford Coupe will be using Lucas Oil Products in its engine, transmission and rear end.
"We are honoured to ba associated with Lucas Oil", says Crew Chief Andy Wright. "Their products are used by the top teams in NHRA and in European Drag Racing from Top Fuel Dragster to the Sportsman classes."
"I would like to thank Les Downey of Lucas Oil UK for arranging the deal", says driver Bert Englefield. "We hope that we can repay Les by putting the car in the winners' circle this year. If you are interested in Lucas products then you can find details at www.lucasoil.co.uk - show your support for the people who support drag racing."
22nd January: Paul Watson of Dynospeed Developments tells us that he is off to the USA to spend a little time with Kent Stotz to make sure that all is well with Jamie Sneddon's Honda Blackbird. "We will be visiting Kents Crew Chief Mark, and testing the bike on the dyno", says Paul. "All being well it will be here shortly after that. The bike will then be in the workshops of Matt Hedger of Airstream, who as you know did the fantastic paint on the DSD Pro Stock Bike and the Wratten Brothers' Funny Car. Matt will also be doing a brand new paint scheme for Brad O’Connor's 'Busa. Brad will hopefully be running under the DSD banner this year too."
Carter Wynns again.
22nd January: 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and European record holder Carter Motorsport are proud to announce that Wynn’s Oil (UK) Ltd will be supporting the team for their fourth consecutive year during the coming season.
Founded in 1939 by Chestien Wynn, the Wynns’s name has been synonymous with professional drag racing for the past three decades, and during that period they have developed a range of products that out-perform and out-price any other brand in the marketplace. To reinforce this legacy, Wynn’s have chosen the Carter Top Fuel Dragster to be featured on the cover of their latest UK Product Catalogue, and will be promoting the complete Wynn’s range at every race and appearance by the team throughout Europe during 2005.
If you want to get your hands on a bunch of Wynn’s goodies for free, just visit the Carter Motorsport Live Pit Area at Xtreme Wheels next month!
To find out more about the Wynn’s range, please contact them at the following address:
Wynn’s Oil (UK) Ltd
Unit 3, Thames Court
2 Richfield Avenue
Telephone: 0118 950 4090
Fax: 0118 950 4001
Web site updates.
22nd January: Our good friend Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive web site with the concluding part of the feature Rex Sluggett - Drag Racing Pioneer written by joint Eurodragster.com Link pages sponsor Dave Riswick of Ampar. "Page three deals with the team's triumphant trip to Sweden where they completely blew the Swedish fans away", says Alan, "page four covers the successful world standing-start quarter-mile attempt at Elvington and the untimely demise of the team, and page five is a gallery of further pictures and magazine articles. It has proved impossible to include pictures of Elvington or of Tudor Rose II which was exhibited at Fairfield Halls in Croydon due to copyright problems. If any readers have such pictures (and the copyright!) would they please get in touch with me". You can check out the final part of the Rex Slugget feature at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
NFAA is go!
21st January: The UK's Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association has taken another step towards the track after a successful rules meeting with the MSA on Wednesday evening.
"We've got a class!", Laurie told Eurodragster. "We will be running in exhibition this season and will then be in the rule book for 2006."
Association member Paul Stubbings, who runs the Time Warp Fuel Altered with partner Wendy Baker, put together a draft set of rules using the Advanced ET class as a template. Lawrie said that these draft rules were considered by the MSA and were "98% OK". "Ollie Burn, Rob Loaring, Paul Stubbings and I are getting together to make sure that the minor revisions are absolutely correct and then we will be going back to the Tech Committee within a couple of weeks", said Lawrie. "One rule which we particularly like is that the Altereds will be allowed to make two burnouts!"
The NFAA rules incorporate legislation for engine size, blower overdrive and fuel pump size, all intended to keep costs down. Blower bags and diapers will also be run.
The NFAA's first competitive outing will be at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, but before that the Association will be exhibiting at Xtreme Wheels at Alexandra Palace in February. "We should have four cars at that Show", said Lawrie.
Carter takes a hosing.
21st January: Following the unprecedented success of this year's Autosport International appearance, two-time FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter is delighted to welcome Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Ltd (BMRS) to the team as official hose suppliers for the 2005 season. BMRS are worldwide leaders in the design, manufacture and fitting of ultra light-weight, hi-tech hose systems to the motorsport and aerospace industries, and have established an enviable reputation for innovation, performance and service over the past four decades.
If you want to compete in motorsport’s harshest environment, you need the very best from every component, and BMRS’s war-zone-proven range of products offer the reliability and weight-gains that will keep you at the very pinnacle of the sport. Engineered to offer the lowest possible weight, and also cope with every imaginable operating condition such as pressure, temperature, vacuum, flexibility and physical abuse, the BMRS range sets the standards that others only try to emulate.
To find out more about the BMRS range, please contact them at the following address:
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Ltd
Unit 7/7A, Langley House
Middlegreen Trading Estate
Telephone: 01753 553610
Fax: 01753 577477
MT introduce racing wheel.
21st January: Mickey Thompson have introduced a new line of purpose-built drag racing wheels, aptly named the ET Drag Wheel after the popular M/T ET Drag Tire line.
The wheels (right), which come in specifications for all classes up to and including Top Methanol, Pro Stock and Pro Mod, come in front and rear applications. Fronts are also available for spindle mount applications. The rear wheels feature three–piece construction, forged centre and are fully CNC machined. The fronts are a one-piece forged construction, fully CNC machined and highly-polished with the M/T stamp of quality embossed into the wheel. The wheels are dual-drilled for weight reduction and universal application.
The ET Drag Wheels come in the following sizes:
15 x 3.5
17 x 2.125
15 x 8
15 x 10
15 x 12
15 x 14
15 x 15
16 x 16
The UK's sole official dealer for the ET Drag Wheel is LA Racing Parts, who can also distribute to Europe. Prices will be on the LA Racing Parts web site very shortly; in the meantime for prices, sizes and backspacing please call LA Racing Parts on 01803 554308 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitchen emptied for WSR.
21st January: The World Street Race Balti Bash benefit arranged by FB Racing was a great success, writes Ian Hook.
"Collectively ticket sales, a raffle and some donations raised over £900 towards the UK team's transport costs", says Fatty. "The Everest Balti Restaurant in Cheltenham was almost taken over by more than a hundred rodders, racers and other petrolheads but, having dealt with FB events there before now, the restaurant was usurprised at the amount of food consumed! I would like to say a big Thank You to all those who attended and bought lots of raffle tickets, and also to the many organisations who donated prizes for the raffle (see story of 13th January)."
20th January: Sweden's Krister Johansson, Europe's only A/Fuel Top Methanol Dragster racer, has been shopping during the off-season and says that he is really looking forward to the 2005 season. The legendary Krister's shopping trip involved a concession which we suspect he didn't really want to make.
"I have bought a Racepak computer", says Krister. "That's bad for my ego but good for the car's performance - I'd love to go the whole quarter mile some day. The list of new parts includes a BAE-5 long block, the right gearing in the rear end, and the usual parts for maintenance. So am I really looking forward the coming season."
Krister has also taken the opportunity to welcome Mats Björklund to Top Methanol Dragster after his purchase of Simo Patoharju's Mad Bomber operation. "I am sure that there is going to be some hard racing", says Krister. "And Simo - what about an A/Fuel car for 2006?"
Krister is working on a web site and tells us that he hopes to have it ready soon.
Open House at Speedflow.
20th January: High-performance hose and fitting supplier Speedflow are holding an Open House at their Clevedon base this Sunday (23rd January). Speedflow's owner and Perfect Light Award sponsor Fay Fischer tells us that the Open House is timed to coincide with the APIRA Dinner Dance which takes place in nearby Bristol on Saturday evening.
"Everyone is welcome to pop in for tea and coffee on Sunday morning, to pick up parts or drop parts off for identification, or to place orders!", says Fay. "We are open between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Alternately you can hand parts over at the Dinner Dance on Saturday."
For more details, or for a map to Speedflow HQ, drop Fay an E-Mail at email@example.com, call 0870 225 0097, or ask Fay for a map at the APIRA Dinner Dance.
20th January: The UK's newest Top Fuel Bike racer, Dave Newbery, tells us that his ex-Rod Pallant TFB is coming along well, but not as quickly as he would like. "I now have the new injector, and the Performance Machine back wheel should be here any day", says Dave. "The front end comprises 2002 TL1000 upside down forks, polished front wheel and six pot calipers. I have purchased some more engine parts from Steve Woollatt - pistons, rings, wrist pins, etc. - and I have two sets of billet rods, four cylinder heads and some bottom end bearings. The last big thing on the list is the Opcon blower which I am living at work to save up for, I'm hoping to order it in about nine weeks. I have had lots of help and advice from Steve Woollatt and Phil Baimbridge, which is very much appreciated". Dave says that he will send some photographs soon.
Santa Pod Raceway is holding its first Run What You Brung of 2005 this Sunday (23rd January). "Warm up your engines, check your heaters are working, and get your motors on the drag strip this weekend!", says Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing. "Have a look at the recently-updated www.rywb.com for the latest info, and keep your eyes peeled for news of the Saturday Night Special taking place at the 'Pod on Saturday 19th February". Rick adds that Pod shop will be open on Sunday, and will be stocking the 2004 FIA, FIM/UEM and NDRS season review DVDs.
Nitrous in Utopia.
20th January: Mention of this Sunday's RWYB at Santa Pod Raceway leads very nicely into the news that Highpower Nitrous Systems are to show what Brad O'Connor tells us is a prototype true progressive at Santa Pod this weekend.
"To show the control of this device the progressive will be powering a remote-control car firing gas out the back!", says Brad. "The said car can be at a standstill, i.e. no gas, and gradually be accelerated by the gas until virtually fully open. The car can cruise at any chosen speed, such is the contol of the new progressive valve.
"As many have mentioned this is the Utopia of nitrous control and will allow even bigger hits of nitrous to be used without fear of detonation. It's apparently small too, and may include an intergrated purge valve. I have mentioned before that Highpower are the only manufacturer to manufacture their own valves and as such we're really the only company in the running to do something truly innovative!
"So it's back to the drawing board for all those nitrous companies using off-the-shelf pnuematic valves, and those others which just copy the leading companies' products! Bet you all love Trev now!"
Editor's note: If you will be at Santa Pod on Sunday and would like to send us a piece about the progressive demo then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carter getting organised.
19th January: 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter says that he was really pleased with the response which his Top Fueller received at Autosport International at the NEC at the weekend. In addition Andy says that his plans are coming together for 2005 including the appointment of a new Crew Chief, and that he is now a distributor for one of his sponsors' products.
"The first event of the 2005 season has come and gone, and it was really busy on the Santa Pod stand", says Andy. "Rog, Kim, Ben, John O, John A, Dan, Paul, Simon and new crew member Jim Tucker did a great job talking drag racing to everyone. I spent some time talking to people and was disappointed stillto be hearing the myths that fly about concerning Top Fuel Dragsters. These questions were coming from people in their early twenties so some people out there are feeding them complete BS. I really wish we could shake this off and move on into the era of modern drag racing, it can only be for the good of the sport.
"Next we are off to Scotland in early February to attend the opening of a new tyre depot for Goodyear, then it's back down to London for the Xtreme Wheels show at Alexandra Palace. While all this is going on Ben and one other crew member will be at Rune ‘the Wizard' Fjeld's Top Fuel workshop in Norway getting the baby ready for our first race, the Pro Fuel Shootout. We have a great record at this event: two wins and a runner-up, and although we have a lot of new systems on the car, I'll be trying hard to make it three!
"On the crew front I'm really pleased to announce that Carter Motorsport has a new Crew Chief, Ben Allum. This is a person in whom I saw potential and I wanted him on my side from the moment I met him. At the time he was crewing for arch-rival Barry Sheavills and had come straight from running a Top Fuel Drag Boat team in the USA. Ben will handle the full running of the team and car, but tuning of my car will still be handled mainly by Rune, with input from Ben, Assistant Crew Chief John Ogden and myself. Of course this year will be a massive learning curve for Ben and I'm looking for him to take over the tuning totally in 2006.
"While I'm here, I'd like to let people know that I will now be selling all Lucas Oil products. I have used Lucas Oil products in my Top Fueller, lorry, pick up and support car for the past three seasons and I can say, hand on heart, that they are excellent products! They have given us fantastic protection and we have had no issues whatsoever, I would not want to push anything that I did not have complete faith in. To check out their range of products go to www.lucasoil.co.uk. I aim to send out orders on the next day, and also to carry a full range of stock with me at the track. For orders or inquires please call +44 (0) 7860-405060 or E-Mail email@example.com.
"On the merchandise front, we have a new A2 poster out and it looks great! So please call in, say hello and buy a poster, it all helps to keep the team running! Look forward to seeing you all at Xtreme Wheels!"
Super Mods invited.
19th January: UK Super Modified racers have been invited to make demonstration passes at this season's American Car World Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 14th-15th May.
Super Mod Racers' Association Chair Tim Garlick is temporarily indisposed attending to a personal matter, so Lee Child of LA Performance Services would be pleased to hear from any Super Mod racer who would like to attend the event and to put on demonstrations together with the Gasser Circus and Outlaw Anglias. "American Car World magazine will be covering every round of the UK National Super Modified Championship in 2005, so if you would like to show your appreciation for their support then please bring your Super Mod along to the ACW Nationals and put on a show for them", says Lee Child.
If you would like to express interest in bringing your Super Mod to the American Car World Nationals then please drop Lee Child an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19th January: These sultry-looking dudes are members of Sweden's Andréasson Motorsports Top Methanol Funny Car team who are taking on all comers at the Auto Mässan in Göteborg between today (Wednesday) and Saturday. "Twice a day, our mechanics will challenge members of the public to change the spark plugs on one side of our TMFC's engine", says team member Anders Magnusson. "Do it quicker than they do and you will walk away with a nice prize from our sponsor Kamasa Tools". You can find Leif's Dodge Stratus TMFC on the KGK stand at C:02:02. You can find out more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
As the 2005 race season fast approaches there are a few jobs still to be done on Steve and Jayne Wells' Team Orange Ford Pop pick-up. "The work has included a new ignition system, fuel pump and slicks as well as continued development of the cryo2 chargecooler", says Steve. "Already complete is the engine rebuild - necessitated by melted pistons and damaged rings caused by a lean pass - and the design and build of a throttle stop to help us to be more competitive in Super Gas once we have got the hang of it. The aim for 2005 is to run in all the Super Gas UK National rounds and some of the Outlaw Anglia rounds. We would like to say a big Thank You to Cam Auto Developments for their continued support in 2005. They have just launched a new on-line shop at www.exhaustwrapshop.com, supplying heat management products from DEI Products, it's worth a visit."
UK Super Street racer Martin Green went 'Christmas' shopping on Saturday to pick up his newly-rebuilt Rods'n'Rockers Ford Consul from Jon Rathbone Racing (right). "There was no competition, really", says Martin. "The car now sits just right and the workmanship is superb! I just hope I don't let it down now that I've begun my work on it. Mind you, Saturday was also hangover day, especially for John (left), I think he was at a carol concert or scaring small children on Friday night. Anyway, thanks to Jon and Dave at Rathbone, and to my crew James."
UK Super Pro ET racer Derek Flynn tells us that he has sold last year's Gold RV Racing dragster to a new racer who plans to contest Super Comp. "For a while I thought we'd be running three cars this year!", says Derek. "I have sold the dragster to Nigel Turner, who has run in the twelves at Run What You Brungs, but is hoping to licence at or before the Easter Thunderball. Thanks to Paula Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club for her assistance in getting Nigel going and for some kind words about us and our car. Also thank you to Eurodragster for the advert!". You can view our Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Products Swap Meet by clicking here.
Blaze squad ready to roll.
19th January: The UK's Team Nova Blaze Sportsman ET team are sounding an appreciative note about 2004 as they prepare for the 2005 season. Jeff Rainbird also tells us that there will be a change in team personnel at the first race this year.
"It's not very often that we thank each other for the competion, coverage and everything else, so from myself, Martin, Lisa and Kane we thank everyone for being at the track and giving us so much fun", says Jeff Rainbird, "and we hope that some of you have been entertained by the Nova. A very special thanks to Geof Hauser and all of his staff for getting the drive shaft back together at the European Finals.
"I am writing this from Cyprus and will miss the first meeting as I have a four-month contract to work, so Lawrence Davenport is going to be with the team at the Easter Thunderball has the pleasure of all the support duties which Martin requires. If all goes well then this will give me more time to spend on my Skoda and get it back on the track, which should be hopefully in June but I will not race the car until the problems have been sorted out with the shifter's air system.
"The Nova is now at the point we need it to be, and the next step up will require changes to the engine internals, clutch, drive shafts and tyres for which we do not have the funds. So for this year we will have to be happy with 2.0 sixty foot times and maybe clipping some hundredths off the 15.3, but we went out swinging and we intend to be out there this season swinging again.
"We wish everyone a really successful season with no breakages. We just cannot wait till battle commences."
PDRC's Nite of Champions booking.
19th January: York Raceway PR Howard Holmes tells us that he has had a lot of enquiries about the Pennine Drag Racing Club's annual dinner dance The Nite of Champions and AGM.
"It seems that seems nobody wants to miss out on this thirtieth year of prizegiving and pre-season merriment on Saturday 26th February 2005", says Howard. "Some rather dull technical difficulties have been overcome and all the invitations will be with you this week. If yours doesn't arrive, then please E-Mail email@example.com and we'll email a PDF to you.
"The Nite of Champions Dinner Dance gets underway at the Cedar Court Hotel, near Huddersfield, from 7:00 pm with a drink or two in the bar, prior to dinner in The President Suite. Dress code for the evening is whatever you like - but preferably black, red and white. It ain't fancy dress, but if you don't wear black white and/or red, it'll be you that's standing out! The AGM starts at 2:00 pm, it's obviously very relevant if you are racing, but all are welcome to attend.
"Last year's sell-out has resulted in a new and improved venue. The Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top, right next to Junction 24 of the M62, offers something better and room discounts. Fifty bedrooms have been blocked for the use of guests, who get a discounted rate and can book direct with the hotel on 01422 314000.
"Two celebrated drag racing commentators are on duty: the Master of Ceremonies is Graham Beckwith, and the Guest of Honour is John Price. Also there is an auction, late bar and disco.
"The picture attached from last year's dinner dance shows American Super Stock winner George Chiles collecting a big fat trophy from Smax, last year's Guest of Honour, with MC Graham Beckwith. And congratulations again to George, who just married Samantha Carter, another American Super Stock contender at York."
See Power Torque for Ford.
19th January: Power Torque, specialists in engine upgrades and bespoke conversions for a variety of industries have decided to expand their racing engines operation.
Until recently, Power Torque Racing only supplied engines for Original Equipment Applications, which include Morgan, Noble and Caterham. A new link with Ford Racing in the USA now means that Power Torque are to be the official Ford Racing USA distributor of racing engines and related parts within the aftermarket for the UK.
Power Torque Racing now supplies across the industry spectrum: From O/E's, to tuners and engine builders, to the racing enthusiasts themselves. In particular, the range of Ford Racing V8 crate motors, cylinder blocks, cylinder heads and internal components are suited to the drag racing market.
A selection of the range of Power Torque Racing products are available to view and buy online at www.powertorqueracing.co.uk, but if you don't see what you want or should visitors have any technical questions or queries, then the company's technical team are only an E-Mail or telephone call away.
To support their full entry into this market place, Power Torque Racing are to exhibit at a number of racing events across the country. In addition they have also become the official sponsors of the Morgan Challenge Cup, which is awarded by the Morgan Motor company to the Morgan owner who wins the most races within the Morgan Challenge series.
Power Torque are very proud of their long standing association with Morgan and are proud to be supplying the engines for the new V6 Roadster. To celebrate this relationship they have commissioned renowned motorsport artist Graham Bosworth to paint the Roadster (right).
To encourage all racing enthusiasts to take a closer look at Power Torque Racing and what it can offer them, the company are holding a year long competition, in which limited edition prints of the painting will be given away. Anyone wanting to win one of these very special prints can do so by visiting the web site at www.powertorqueracing.co.uk.
For further information please telephone Jon Townley of Power Torque Racing on 02476 635757 or Sammy Rose, PR agent, on 0121 561 2800.
Turbo gets a Roller.
18th January: 2004 NAST Supertwin Fuel Champion Ian Turburville has taken delivery of a new state-of-the-art, Supertwin Fuel rolling chassis from Z-Man in Greece.
"The chassis was shipped with great efficiency by fellow drag racer Malcolm Francis of Air Sea Logistics, who made the whole deal really easy, affordable and comes highly recommended", says Turbo. "The 96-inch chromoly chassis was designed by the late Jim McClure, built by the legendary James 'Puppet' DiTullio in the USA, and features his new heavy-duty back rails, designed to take any amount of horsepower without flexing. It is the same as Jim's last bike now ridden by son Ziggy McClure.
"My team sponsor of some ten years' standing, S&S Cycle of Wisconsin, have now committed all their resources to the fabulous 'G-Squared' Pro Stock Bike which wowed the NHRA crowds in 2004. This left an opportunity for existing sponsors Custom Chrome Europe to increase their input which they duly did, thank god! The bike will be powered by a 142ci Karling/Delkron motor and it will be a Pro Fuel Bike, which means injected with no transmission. Power will be delivered via a Bentec jackshaft, and clutch set-up. Ton Pels of Zodiac Racing has also been giving lots of much needed assistance as has Ronny Aasen. Jimmy McClure at Master Performance in Virginia has been a great help too. The rest of the fabrication on the new bike, christened 'Mr Spokehead' in memory of mentor Jim McClure, is being handled by crew-chief Ian 'Rush' Carruthers of Pro-Mod Engineering. Rush is hopefully going to be playing in NAST again this year (more news later) and has a great new line in race parts coming out of his shop.
"The only fly in the ointment at the moment is a severe lack of cash due to the loss of a buyer for the 2004 Championship-winning bike. This has put the bike on hold for the moment. The Sure Shot is up for sale again at a knock-down price and I may take something suitable in part exchange so if you thought you couldn't go nitro racing think again! It's cheap to run and massive fun! We are actively looking for a sponsor to replace S&S so if you want a high-profile billboard, we're it! I also have lots of great new drag race stuff on the www.turboville.com web site, including carbon race helmets at £100 off, so check it out.
"I now count at least ten bikes being readied for the NAST 2005 Supertwin Fuel Championship, it's gonna be wild!"
Ian asked us to apologise for not showing at the NEC this weekend. "It all conspired to happen on the wrong day!", he says.
18th January: The UK's Jade Racing Supertwin team has increased by one as second-generation racer Scott Collier has decided to race on two wheels in Junior Drag Bike (right).
"The H2 is all ready and has been since the end of last year", says Sharron Collier. "Jerry is going to do all the Shakespeare County Raceway rounds, not the full Championship, and Scott will be doing the Shakespeare rounds on his Junior Drag Bike which is coming along great!
"The chassis was built by Jerry and Chris Hall, and our 50cc pit bike was the engine donor! It is completely stock for Scott to learn on. We have tried to build it as a two third-scale replica of Jerry's RD. As you can see the engine fits in the back and the fuel tank and electrics (which will be done by Stephen 'God' French) will sit in the front where the engine should be! This will be panelled in so you won't really notice that the engine is not in the normal place. We are playing around with bodywork at the moment. The fairing will be Cagiva Mito, the same as Rick Davies' RD, the tank will be the same as Jerry's RD, but the back end is still under development although it has to retain the same shape as the RD's.
"Scott is chomping at the bit to get practising, and he will ride it a few times before we strip it and have it polished, painted and finished. Red Line Oil are supporting both Jerry and Scott this year which we are very pleased about, this being our sixth season with them. Thank you Red Line!"
Marshalls seek crew.
18th January: Ian and Paula Marshall are seeking a crew member to work on their eight-second Highlander Camaro, which was last seen in Super Modified and which will be returning to the track in 2005.
"We are looking for someone who could attend races with us at both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways", says Ian Marshall. "You should be conversant with normally aspirated engines and automatic transmissions; some chassis knowledge would also be useful."
If you would be interested in joining the Highlander team then please call Ian on 07971 031898 or 01933 315236.
18th January: UK Super Street racer Nick Curtis will be contesting another season in the 10.90 class with his Team Lawbreakers '57 Chevy, but he tells us that Super Gas is the long-term aim. "We've got to lose a lot of weight the car is all original steel and is 3600 pounds - not good for Super Gas", says Nick. But I have gone 10.30 as it is, so we're not that far away from 9.90".
Nick also tells us that erstwhile Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Johnny Ricketts has assured Nick that he will be joining him in Super Street this year with his yellow Anglia.
Many thanks to everyone who responded to yesterday's request for advice on hearing protection for babies at the drag strip. All E-Mails received have been passed to Richard Gipp who is very grateful for your help.
Santa Pod Squadron.
18th January: Anyone who knows Santa Pod Raceway track announcer Graham Beckwith knows that he is a man of many talents: drag racing historian, stand-up comedian, and painstaking modeller. Graham tells us that he is now able to offer fans hand-prepared and painted replicas of aircraft which flew from Podington when it was a USAF air base in the Second World War. Click on the picture at right and any link below for a larger picture.
"Following the publication of Airfield Focus No. 63: Podington I realised I could gather sufficient information to design, modify, repaint, and rebuild an authentic 1944/5 US 8th Air Force, Podington-based bomber utilising the Corgi 1/144th scale metal B17F as a basis", says Graham. "Each model is six and a half inches long, and has a wingspan of eight and a half inches.
"I would like to offer fellow enthusiasts the chance to own one of these exclusive models. Obviously I don't have a production line, but I could probably turn out two to three models a month, and each will be unique. I can offer the following Podington wing Flying Fortresses:
B17G. 42-107222. NV-S. Mountaineer 325th Sqn. 92nd BG
B17G. 44-8329. NV-C. Fort Sack 325th, 92nd BG
B17G. 42-97288. NV-U. Flagship 325th, 92nd BG
B17G. 44-6101. NV-E. Satan's Lady 325th, 92nd BG
B17G. 43-37568. UX-Z. 327th, 92nd BG
"Each has a weathered aluminium finish, authentic codes and serials, as well as contemporary nose art and inclusive display base. The price is £90.00 each plus post and packing at cost, and I can also deliver to major meetings at Santa Pod. A fifty per cent deposit would be required with orders.
"Alternately, if you would like a model of any other B17 and have photographs, markings and name details, or if you would like me to look at conversions of other current metal aircraft models to the squadron or era of your choice, I could develop custom markings and undertake the conversion where feasible for an additional charge.
"If you are interested then please E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PMR fix Brentwood, sign sponsor.
18th January: Paul Marston has revealed exclusively to Eurodragster.com that drag racing is to be a permanent fixture of the Brentwood International Racing Car Show.
"Brentwood 2005 was a great success, with the drag racing display and trade stands being kept busy over the Saturday and Sunday", says Paul. "On behalf of myself and the organisers of the Brentwood Show I would like to thank everyone, especially Eurodragster, who helped make it what it was - a great success (It's what we're here for - Ed). The expanded drag racing area was visited by a lot of racers and fans, so many that there were quite a few whom I missed talking to. The Brentwood Show is fast becoming established as the first must-attend event of a New Year with so much to check out, people to meet and equipment to purchase at some unbelievable prices...there really were some great bargains to be had. Paul Marston Racing had the shopping list out for a few items and were very happy with the deals we had - in fact so happy that we spent a lot more than we expected to! The PMR Drag Race Driving School also did some solid business over the weekend, we spoke to a great many people.
"With even more space available to us next year, there are truly exciting times for National Championship Drag Racing."
Paul also tells us that Paul Marston Racing have reached an agreement in principle on a new sponsorship deal with Black Box London Ltd. "Black Box London Ltd specialise in supplying a great many outdoor and motorsport events with sound and lighting equipment, consultancy, production and event management, and have chosen us as their instrument to pay a little back to their motor sport customers", says Paul. "Black Box have been awarded the honour of being the preferred sound and lighting provider for the forthcoming Xtreme Wheels show at Alexandra Palace. CEO Paul Black contacted us, we met and reached an agreement in principle and we will close the deal, which by all accounts will be multi-year, after the show. With such an expansive portfolio - Paul Marston Racing plus the Drag Race Driving School - we need to come up with a package that which suits the exposure needs of Black Box in the most cost effective fashion."
"Winning the Xtreme Wheels contract for the second year running really is an honour for Black Box", says Paul Black. "At Black Box we believe in investing in people, we like to think that our clients recognise this as what helps to set us apart from the rest. Terry and Tina Gibbs and their family, along with Bob and Cath Glassup, are true motorsport people - honest, tough, and hardworking and prepared to invest in what they believe in. We are very proud to work with and be associated with everyone at Xtreme Wheels which is shaping up to take its place as a premier motorsport event. We will be doing our job in the background ensuring that the main stage sound and lighting production runs as smoothly and successfully as possible."
Web site updates.
18th January: Our good chums at Svensk Dragracing have started a series of features on new cars. "First up is Ålands-Pelle and his buddy Nixon", says Erik Zettervall. This first update is a real treat and you shouldn't miss it at www.dragracing.se.
The Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine at www.drcreview.com has been updated with the first part of a two-part feature on US legend Tommy Ivo. The fascinating feature comes complete with pictures of Tommy in action at the British Dragfests of the 1960s.
It's about six weeks off yet, but please note that at the start of March we will be optimising Eurodragster for screen dimensions of 1024x768. Eurodragster is currently optimised for 800x600 and has been since 1998, but the 1024 width is now standard, and we will be taking advantage of that to make some cosmetic changes.
SFI 38.1 head and neck restraints.
17th January: UK Tech Inspector Geoff Martin has been in touch to let racers know that the SFI Foundation has released a new Spec, 38.1, for head and neck restraints.
"Please visit the SFI web site at www.sfifoundation.com and take a look at the update about Spec 38.1", says Geoff. "You can see that there are two participating manufacturers."
If you have any queries then please drop Geoff an E-Mail at email@example.com.
Andréasson stays in TMFC.
17th January: Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson has decided to remain just that in 2005 after investigating other options for the season.
Team member Anders Magnusson tells us Leif had most of a deal arranged to race a Fuel Funny Car in the USA in 2005, but could not find an experienced tuner and was not willing to run without one. The team also considered a move to FIA Top Fuel Dragster but decided that it was too late in the day to get everything together for this year, so the decision was made to race the Dodge Stratus in TMFC again this season. Some chassis mods will be made to the car in time for the start of the season.
You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
Parkinson back after tough time.
17th January: UK Super Pro ET racer John Parkinson will be returning to the track in 2005 after rebuilding his Every Penny Racing dragster, which was damaged in a crash at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2002. John says that one phrase has kept coming back to his mind during the rebuild.
"It's easy driving one of these isn't it mate? The words came from a spotty-faced youth stood behind me whilst I puzzled over why the car wouldn't run", says John. "At the time I treated the remark with the contempt it deserved, I smiled at him and said "Oh it's not that easy" and continued to double-check everything. Over the last two years these words have come back to me in the wee small hours when we've been working to rebuild the chassis, make the bodywork, modify the trailer because the new longer car no longer fits inside, make a framework for the new awning on the trailer, make untold new brackets, source new cables to make things like the fuel shut-off, chute release and of course the throttle, manufacture new front wings and a rear wing and supports, new clutch rods to operate the triple-plate Crower, air lines to run the gear change, new exhausts, new hat, motor plate, 9 1/2 Strange top loader rear end - not to mention keep working at the day job."
The new Every Penny dragster is a different animal to its predecessor. "We have front and rear wings, ten-inch triple-plate Crower clutch, three-speed B+J air shifted into a 9 1/2 Strange top loader, new wheels and tyres all round, and a new body", says John. "It will be the same colour, though, and hopefully have some graphics to break it up a bit. We also have a longer trailer, new full-length awning attached to the trailer, and a new tow vehicle - well, new to me."
John has had a tough couple of years since the crash. He lost his father some time back and his mother last week. In addition John's brother was ill and lost his job so John took him into his business to help him through it.
"I will be glad to get back to the easy bit - driving the thing", says John. "Looking back, that kid wasn't far off when he said driving was easy: it's the thing you spend the least time doing when you race a car or bike. I'm hoping to be out early this year to start having some fun again and I am really looking forward to seeing you all again."
John has a number of people to thanks for their help since his crash. "Thanks to Paul Stubbings for looking at me laid in the hospital bed and saying "It's not that bad, I think we can re-build it" and for his help in doing so; Andy Robinson for the tubing and lots of other bits that I didn't even know he did; Chris Hartnell for support and some welding; Mark Norton for words of encouragement and always asking how it's progressing; and to all the people I have spoken to in the last two years who have encouraged me simply by asking when I'll be back out. See you all soon and I wish you all a good season's racing."
Ultimate Power updates.
17th January: Engine builder and tuner Engine Data Analysis (EDA) has renewed its sponsorship of the Ultimate Power Championship for the 2005 season. Kenny Coleman's Castleford-based business builds and dynos engines for both drag racing and circuit use.
"I am delighted that one of the country's leading engine builders have decided to repeat their sponsorship this year" says promoter Lee Child, who jointly sponsors Eurodragster's Links pages through his company LA Racing Parts. "I am very grateful to Kenny Coleman for his continued support and I look forward to seeing his dragster back at Shakespeare County Raceway this year."
You can find the Engine Data Analysis web site at www.engine-data.co.uk.
Shakespeare County Raceway is seeking more marshals for the 2005 season. "We are looking for people to train up on the track and safety side for Championship events, lifestyle events, and Run What You Brungs", says Lee Child. "These are all very responsible jobs and require commitment and a serious attitude. One vacancy is for a spotter at the top end now that Sharkman has stepped down after several years of service. I am grateful to Sharkman both for his spotting and for his work on track preparation with Darren Prentice".
If you are interested in becoming a marshal at Shakespeare County Raceway then please drop Lee Child a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee also tells us that there are still sponsorship opportunities on offer at Shakespeare County Raceway including waste bin covers. "We now have plastic covers for the bins which are very strong and waterproof", says Lee. "Any logo can be placed on these covers, in a wide range of colours, and they will be permanently on show to the fans around the facility. It is a unique opportunity for exposure at a reasonable price". If you would like to sponsor a bin or bins, or if you are interested in sponsorship elsewhere at Shakespeare County Raceway, then again please contact Lee at the above E-Mail address.
Web site updates.
17th January: The B+J Nostalgia web site at www.bjnostalgia.com has been updated with the latest news and pictures from Nostalgiaville, and has been moved to a new server with more space which Johnny Hall says will allow more articles and photographs to be posted as the previous server filled up. Johnny Mental also says that B+J Nostalgia are working on what he says is a "super radical" new vehicle; stay tuned and we will bring you details as soon as we receive them.
Eurodragster Photo Editor Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a photo gallery from the weekend's Autosport International featuring pictures over and above those published on Eurodragster's Event Coverage including more pictures of Santa Pod's display, US muscle cars, and the occasional circuit car. Check it out at www.topendtales.com.
Sheavills on Fansfueler.
16th January: If you were tuned in to our coverage of Autosport International yesterday, you will recall that we promised the latest news from Barry Sheavills about the Fansfueler project, which aims to finance Barry's return to Top Fuel Dragster with pledges from fans and companies. Barry said that despite some setbacks the project team are still working hard to get onto the track in 2005.
"In November I went to the Finals at Pomona and made a sponsorship presentation to a number of potential corporate sponsors", Barry told Eurodragster. "I got absolutely no response from that, which knocked me back a bit - when you make presentations like that you would normally expect even a small response. As you know I then suffered a close family bereavement, and Chris Parker and his partner Becky (of the Fansfueler project team - Ed) worked very hard whilst I was dealing with that.
"Where we are right now is that we have put together a presentation for corporate sponsors here in Europe, and we have a number of meetings this month and next. We need one decent corporate sponsor and we are on our way. We are at Autosport International this weekend and we will be at Xtreme Wheels in February, it is all about keeping the momentum going and that is what we are doing."
Barry said that one of the problems which he has come up against is verbal pledges not being translated into written pledges. "I am desperate for those who have said they will send pledges to do so", he said. "If you are going to fulfil your promise then I really need to hear from you by the end of January - you can find the pledge form on our project web site at www.fansfueler.co.uk."
Barry said that he has options and offers should the project not amass enough funding to run in 2005. "If we get to the end of February and the funding isn't there, then we'll have to have a serious think about what we do", he said. "We could run the project throughout 2005 to race in 2006 but I really would rather not go on that long. I have been offered a drive in a Fuel Altered this year, which I would love to do: I would be going back to my roots since I started in altereds and drove one until 1980. In fact I could drive both the Fuel Altered and the Top Fueller since the dates don't clash! But the most important thing right now is that people keep those pledges coming in."
Sponsor seeks JDs, Jets.
16th January: US data logging company Digatron are looking to sponsor Junior Dragsters and Jet cars in Europe and would like to hear from interested parties.
"Digatron manufactures data recorders and analysis software", says Doug Carothers of Digatron. "For Junior Dragsters we measure such parameters as engine rpm, jackshaft speed, throttle, steering, and exhaust temperature and we provide Windows software for analysis. These come in at around £230 to £240. We also manufacture Jet-specific dataloggers which are on most of the Jet cars in the USA.
"We currently cover the USA and Australia but we are expanding into Europe and we would be interested in sponsoring Junior Dragster and Jet racers."
If you run a JD or a Jet and would like to put a sponsorship proposal to Doug then please contact him by E-Mail at email@example.com. For more details on Digatron products, check out the company's web site at www.digatronusa.com.
SPR/Norfolk Line fare deal.
16th January: Santa Pod Raceway have tied up with sponsor Norfolk Line Ferries to offer a special discount scheme for travel to and from Europe. Special deals are available for vehicles up to 6.5 metres and up to nine passengers, with concessionary rates for the addition of a caravan or trailer up to 6.5 metres, as well as bikes with up to two passengers.
You can check out Norfolk Line's special offers (PDF format) at:
Bookings must be made before the end of January: call 0870 870 10 20 and quote Santa Pod.
16th January: We couldn't resist publishing this picture of UK Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp's son, who Richard tells us has just cut his first tooth. Richard says that he would like to take him to the races but one thing is stopping him. "I don't know what the effect of all that noise would be, and I haven't got any ear defenders that small", says Richard. If you have any advice on ear protection for tiny tots then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass them on to Richard.
Supertwin Fuel racer, graphic designer and photo-journalist Ian Turburville says that he has just imported of Brownells which he describes as "The best gun-blue in the world. It is just perfect for bare chromoly, gives a brilliant deep finish and is best covered with ACF50 afterwards for a perfect protective finish!", says Turbo. For more details check out Turbo's web site at www.turboville.com/turbo-7/stop.htm.
Web site updates.
16th January: Carl Wadkin-Snaith tells us that he has updated the Junior Drag Bike site www.juniordragbike.co.uk. "There are new rider profiles and some new photos from 2004", says Carl. "If any teams have been left out, or would like further information posted, then just drop me a line at email@example.com. Don't forget we have an Autojumble page, so if you have Junior-specific bikes or bits for sale or wanted then please let me know."
Our good friend Alan Currans has been in touch with news of the latest update to his excellent Acceleration Archive. "I have just posted the sixth page in the Geof Hauser Collection", says Alan. "There are a number of great pictures of 1970s US cars taken at Ontario Motor Speedway and Orange County with exhaustively-researched and well-written captions by Andy Barrack, who I swear knows more about OMS than the NHRA. Also included are some shots taken at Mantorp Park which feature some well-known and some rather less well-known Scandinavian cars". Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Autosport International coverage.
15th January: Over the last couple of days we have been at Autosport International in Birmingham, where Santa Pod Raceway are putting on an impressive display to promote drag racing to the public. In association with American Car Imports we have been checking out Santa Pod's display and talking to all of the racers who stopped by.
Click here to view our Autosport International coverage, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Bartlett on 2005 and beyond.
15th January: Eurodragster spent some time at Autosport International yesterday talking to FIA European Championship Promoter and Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett. Keith took us through the current state of affairs both with the Championship and with Santa Pod Raceway and outlined his future plans.
We started by asking Keith about the FIA round in Bahrain in November. "The race is going to happen", said Keith, "and it will be an FIA event. There will be an official announcement about the race within the next four weeks. There will be strong financial support for the teams to help them to make the journey".
We asked Keith about a European race being held in Bahrain and he explained that FIA rules allow one round of a European Championship to be held outside Europe. "The FIA European Finals will be the last FIA round held geographically in Europe in 2005", he said. "By 2006 it is unlikely that the UK will host both the first and last rounds of the Championship. My ultimate aim is, and always has been, to have ten rounds in ten countries and to run the Championship between March and November because a marketing year of May to September is just not long enough."
Keith has this week been in Italy where a new state-of-the-art track is to be be built. "We are in discussions about an FIA Championship round in Italy in 2006", he said. "I am concentrating on Italy, France and Germany to develop the Championship", he said. "They are all huge markets with a huge potential fan base. We are looking for locations with the climate, with the money, and which can run a race. As the Championship develops and new tracks are introduced there is a chance that other, older tracks could be left behind if they do not upgrade."
Keith said that in 2004 Santa Pod Raceway had the most spectators through the gates, and had made the most money, since it opened in 1966. "I am most proud of the fact that we've got something going on at Santa Pod almost every weekend this year", he said. "With the Formula One testing during the week we have one of the busiest drag strips on Earth. We have done well at Santa Pod and we want to make it look as good as it performs".
Upgrades planned for Santa Pod include the replacement of the shutdown area armco with a concrete guardrail, more work on the pits, more grandstands on the pit side, tarmac in the catering area, and maybe a new toilet block behind the spectator banking at about 1000 feet. Of course many of these are subject to planning permission. Later projected upgrades include the replacement of some of the spectator banking with grandstands, and improvements to the water supply. There is also a plan to provide plug-in electricity points in the pits. "All available funds are ploughed back into the facility", said Keith.
Keith himself will be continuing to develop the Power Racing Group, which manages the Championship and the brand. "Santa Pod is in capable hands, I have an excellent management team there", he said. "I need to build up the PRG structure and infrastructure. Last year I spent a lot of time on improvements to the TV which put back my work on PRG, so this year I will be concentrating on investing in and staffing PRG and introducing new tracks in 2006 as I said."
After Bahrain, the question we hear most often about the FIA Championship is whether Pro Modified is to become a Championship class, so we asked Keith about that. "Pro Mod needs to be an FIA class, it is the best show in town, but right now it should stay as it is", said Keith. "We mustn't forget that we would have to lose a class and I don't have the right to tell a class that they are not wanted any more. The promoters couldn't afford to run five FIA classes, and they must realise that only an eight-car field could be run. By the end of the year the racers would be so dispirited that only nine would turn up."
Keith confirmed that we will be seeing the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association's show of blown-fuel and blown-alcohol altereds in 2005. "I am very pro the new altered association", said. "There is room for them to run demonstrations at FIA events and to run at other events too. The crowd will love them."
Santa Pod Raceway is planning to become even more involved in the rapidly-growing Import scene. "We went to the USA at the end of last year to see how the Sport Compact series is run", said Keith. "The import shows which we run are amongst our biggest events and that scene can't be ignored, it just has to come into the mainstream. It is Hot Rodding for the 2000s and it's what we used to do - drive to the track, put on a pair of slicks, and then drive home again and boast about how we did. It has a big part to play and we're catering for it. Personally I am keen on running a class such as Pro Outlaw where anything goes. A lot of our spectators could relate to it and there is scope for the manufacturers to get invoved as they did with the Funny Cars in the USA back in the 1960s and 1970s. And what would be ideal would be a Pro Stock class with European-bodied cars and Imports."
Gus: I've blown it.
15th January: UK Pro Modified racer Andy Robinson will be driven by blown-alcohol power in 2005. Gus has sold both of his nitrous engines and acquired a state-of-the-art blown-alcohol engine from the USA for his beautiful Studebaker.
"We've now got a Brad Anderson 526 with Stage V heads, a Kobelco Superman blower and a Carbon By Design FC injector", says Gus. "The blower comes back so far that we've had to modify the bulkhead! The crew are really up for it: we have all the right bits but we realise that we are on a vertical learning curve and may effectively be testing all year. But we have Dave Wilson as a wizard guru which is going to be useful because we know nothing!".
Gus says that the team are hoping to make the Easter Thunderball even though Andy Robinson Race Cars has a fair amount of work on, including work on fellow Pro Mods. "We had Marc Meihuizen's car in the Shop recently for rear axle upgrades", he says. "Danny Cockerill's blown-alcohol Chevy Pro Mod, which we built, is currently being painted at Wackyshack and Gordon Appleton is also putting in a blown-alcohol engine."
Andy's son Luke says that his nicely-turned-out Anglia will be appearing at Xtreme Wheels International in February. "I've lowered the car and put on a new exhaust and Borla muffler", says Luke. "I also have a two-litre sixteen-valve engine to go into it."
Italian backing from Lucas.
15th January: Lucas Oil Products are to sponsor the Italian drag racing Championship in 2005, says organiser Lorenzo Lauro.
"The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Challenge will cover all Sportsman classes up to Super Comp", says Lorenzo. "We will have right or nine events in all but five rounds will count towards the racer's Championship standing. We will run over the eighth-mile at Monza and Imola and over the quarter-mile at Modena at two events. We are also working on a new track near Rome, and we will be working very hard on track prep at Modena. We will have some demonstration runs from Top Methanol cars but we use airports so there is a lot of safety stuff to think about."
Lucas Oil Products will also be sponsoring Italian Top Fuel Bike racer Antonio Ferretti, who broke into the sixes in 2004. "Antonio will be racing the whole FIM Championship", says Lorenzo. "He is also building an alcohol bike with nitrous and turbo to race in Eastern Europe - the sport is growing fast there."
Milams try to stretch time.
15th January: UK Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam is returning as promised in 2005. Steph and husband and Crew Chief Dave spent 2004 making major changes to the six-second FC and are aiming for an appearance at Santa Pod Raceway's Easter Thunderball.
"There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do", says Steph. "We've tried extending the day to thirty six hours but it doesn't work! We allowed ourselves Christmas afternoon off but that's about all! The new Dodge Avenger body is finished, we have a PSI blower and a new fuel system, we have changed the Lenco and everything else. So it's virtually a new car!"
Steph says that the She Devil Racing FC will be at the Easter Thunderball "Come hell or high water!". In the meantime you can stay in touch with all the latest from Steph and Dave's pit on the team's official web site at www.shedevilracing.co.uk.
Spuff's weight loss scheme.
15th January: UK Fuel Funny Car racer John Spuffard has launched a company to produce a range of drag racing parts as an alternative to import. Titanium Racing Products, as its name suggests, is producing various parts in titanium alloys.
"We are offering a full range clutch pressure plates, a full range of engine studs, valves, valve covers, blower restraint brackets and blower plates", says Spuff. "We are planning to offer beadlock bolts and other fasteners. Titanium is forty per cent lighter than steel so we can offer substantial weight savings."
For more information about the Titanium Racing Products range, drop Spuff a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th January: UK Fuel Altered racer Jim Seward will be returning to the track in 2005 with a refettled Harry The Spider. "We have new parts front to back", says Jim. "We have a new engine, new gearbox, new slicks, new paint - a real nut-and-bolt job. The motor we have has already run in the fives!". Jim plans to race with the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association and should make the NFAA's first outing at Santa Pod at Easter.
13th January: Lee Child has announced that performance supplier LA Racing Parts is to post contingency sponsorship for this season's Ultimate Power Championship at Shakespeare County Raceway.
LA Racing Parts vouchers worth £50 and £25 will be presented to the winner and runner-up respectively in every Ultimate Power Championship class at the three Championship events. LA Racing Parts decals must be carried and the racer must have made a purchase from the Paignton-based company.
"2005 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of my first drag race and this seems a fitting way to celebrate" says Lee, who together with Ampar sponsors Eurodragster's Links pages. "This is the first of a number of a number of Ultimate Power Championship sponsorships, so stay tuned to Eurodragster for more announcements."
For terms and conditions of the LA Racing Parts contingency scheme, send an E-Mail to Lee at email@example.com.
Nataas Batting at Easter.
13th January: Norwegian Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas says that he will be ready to compete in the Pro Fuel Shootout at Santa Pod Raceway's Easter Thunderball, before contesting the entire FIA European Championship Tour.
"We will be racing the same car this year", says Thomas. "We are making the necessary safety updates including the new regulations on rear wings, and we have also moved the rear end closer to the engine. We are building the engines and adding spares, but we will be racing the same set-up this year because we were very happy with our performances at the end of last season."
Both of Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragsters, the Batmobile which Thomas drives and the dragster to be driven by Andy Carter, will be contesting the Pro Fuel Shootout. "We will run the whole FIA Tour and we have demonstrations to make at Gardermoen and maybe Hockenheim", says Thomas.
Gipp races less, but still busy.
13th January: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp tells us that he is to race a restricted schedule this season, although it sounds to us as if he will have plenty to keep him occupied.
"I plan to race the European and UK Championship rounds at Santa Pod Raceway this season", says Richard. "This is due to combining two houses into one this year and having to build a new workshop - and with the added constraint of spending time with my son I don't want to be too far from home this year."
Although Richard won't be racing as often as usual, including missing out on his anuual trips to Scandinavia, he says that he will still be in attendance at the track. "As well as making up the numbers in Pro Stock Bike at the Pod, I will be assisting with crewing on Chris Tombleson's Pro Mod Bike, Martin Newbury's Pro Stock Bike, and Chris Stebbings' Top Fuel Harley", he says. "In 2006 I will be back to it with a vengeance as I will have the money from the sale of my house to waste! Next year may see me with a blue bottle attached - or two cylinders?"
FBs buy curry to get the runs.
13th January: Despite working flat out on their eight-second '34 Ford in preparation for the World Street Race, Cheltenham's Fat Boys have managed to find time to organise a very fitting fund-raising curry night, says Ian Hook.
The WSR Balti Bash will be held at the Everest Balti Restaurant in Cheltenham next Wednesday 19th January. Tickets are £15 a head, of which £5 goes into the UK team's transport fund. Tickets are still available; for more details please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Fatty on 01452 856926.
"As well as rodders and racers, the event is being supported by enthusiasts from many fields – hot hatches, motorbikes, customs and rallying, to name a few", says Fatty. "Over a hundred tickets have been sold to date and the FBs hope that the fund will be boosted even more with the superb raffle which has been arranged. Generous donations from Hot Rod Tees, LA Performance Services, Quarter Mile High, Street Rodding in Motion, A & E Fire Equipment, American Car World, Custom Car and Eurodragster.com, as well as items from FB Racing themselves and fellow WSR competitors Red Victor 1 Racing means that there are over £800 worth of goodies up for grabs from a colour TV to bottles of wine.
"So if you fancy an enjoyable night out and that smug feeling you'll get from helping the UK bring the World Street Race trophies home, get in touch with us now."
13th January: British Olympic hero and now OBE James Cracknell was involved in a photo shoot for Xtreme Wheels International yesterday. During the shoot James took a seat in Bob Glassup's Xtreme Racing blown-alcohol altered (right). Xtreme Wheels PR Steve tells us that James will be attending the show in February as he is a big fan of extreme machinery.
This week's issue of the UK's Autosport magazine, which is due out today (Thursday), includes a preview of the 2005 FIA European Championship season. Marcus Pye of Autosport tells us that the magazine is planning to feature drag racing on a more regular basis this year after a feature about the 2004 FIA European Finals was well-received.
Web site updates.
13th January: The latest update to Andy Kirk's Drag, Rod and Classic Review on-line magazine includes a feature on the legendary Pegasus drag bike. Check it out at www.drcreview.com.
Johansson on Grand Am purchase.
12th January: Anders Johansson of Sweden's Anders Johansson Pro Stock Racing has been in touch with some more details about the team's purchase of an ex-Greg Anderson Pontiac Grand Am (right).
"This 2004 Pontiac Grand Am is the fastest Pro Stock in the world", Anders told Eurodragster. "We bought the car from Ken Black Racing, the owner of Greg Anderson's team, and we had the help of Marcus Svensson when doing the deal - many thanks to Marcus.
"The car was built by Jerry Haas Race Cars. This year I have two engines, Obelix and Helga, to use in the car. Of course Magnus Hansson will still be driving."
We asked Anders if the purchase of a new car meant that he was not satisfied with the team's previous Firebird. "The old car was very good", said Anders, "but it's more fun with a new car!"
The car is due to arrive at the Anders Johansson Pro Stock Racing workshops in February. "We will be contesting all of the Championship events to get the number one", said Anders.
12th January: Many thanks to Finnish Hot Rod Association President Tapio Väljä for letting us know that the FHRA offices have moved.
"Our new office is located in Espoo, a city west of Helsinki", says Tapio. "Travel from downtown Helsinki to the new office has increased a little, but not much. The address has changed but all other contact info (telephone, Fax and E-Mail) remains the same:
Telephone: +358-9-2515 250
Fax: +358-9-2515 2515
Abrahamson takes a break.
12th January: From our good buddy and Honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing comes the shock news that he will be taking a sabbatical from his various drag racing duties in 2005 including his renowned track announcing all around Scandinavia. The good news, though, is that we shall still be seeing Christer at the track.
"I just want to let you all know that I'm taking a sabbatical year from drag racing during 2005", says Christer. "That means that I will leave all my voluntary undertakings for Svensk Dragracing and the NDRS. I will also leave all the hot track commentary booths and I will not do any licence courses during the coming season.
"I can't emphasise enough that there are no hard feelings or conflicts behind this decision. It is just the fact that I have been taking on more and more workload over many years and suddenly found myself in a situation where I walked from my regular job to a drag racing job! I still love the sport itself but somehow it wasn't fun any more doing too much work!
"There is still a possibility that I will help the TV production for the FIA and UEM rounds, if things go the way I want.
"Otherwise I will attend a couple of races, perhaps take a couple of pictures, harass some of the web staff (Just you try it - Ed) or just simply have a beer with some of my many friends!"
We're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in wishing Christer a relaxing and stress-free year. If anyone can come up with a fiendish scheme to drag Christer back in then please write to the usual address.
Rapport på Svenska hos Svensk Dragracing.
2004 SPRC Championships.
11th January: We are indebted to Santa Pod Racers Club Championship Co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm for forwarding us the final standings in the 2004 SPRC Championships. Congratulations to the 2004 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions:
Pro Modified: Patrick Wikström
Super Modified: Rob Smallworth
Super Pro ET: Ian Tubb
Pro ET: Team Heaven and Hell
Sportsman ET: Rick Denny
Super Comp: Paul Letchford
Super Gas: Conrad Stanley
Super Street: Mike Bentley
Junior Dragster: Collin Morrice
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Carey
Funny Bike: Neil Midgley
Pro Stock Bike: Richard Gipp
Comp Bike: Phil Leamon
Super Street Bike: Graham Dance
9.90 Bike: Fred Furlong
10.90 Bike: John Hackney
The points ended up incredibly close in many of the SPRC classes, with tie-break rules having to be called into play in Super Comp where Paul Letchford and Tim Adam both ended the season on 1520 points.
You can view the full SPRC points standings by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Many thanks to Spencer Tramm for his help in getting the points to us.
11th January: A big thumbs-up to UK Supertwin Gas racer Les Harris who raised £200 for the Asia Tsunami Appeal by donating for auction a day with the Tilly III race team at an event this season. The auction organised by Les' local radio station Radio Broadlands raised £28,000 in all. Nice one Les!
Les asked us to say a big Thank You to Motorsports Promotions for a little surprise which he received in the post last week. "I set the Fastest Time of Day in the Unlimited class at the sprint at RAF Wattisham last year", says Beardy Bloke. "Last week I got a trophy in the mail! It was an unexpected surprise and I am very grateful to the organisers". Motorsports Promotions have also sent trophies to the FTD runners at July's London City Airport Bike Drags.
Xtreme Wheels press release.
11th January: Crash.net, the world's leading motorsport portal, is the official on-line partner for the 2005 Xtreme Wheels International show taking place at the Alexandra Palace on 19th-20th February.
In less than five years, Crash.net has become the world's busiest point of reference for motorsport enthusiasts with over one million unique monthly users and forty million page impressions. The company also provide a range of online solutions to the motorsport and automotive industry and Xtreme Wheels International will utilise two of these, Press Release Manager and Crash Photographic.
The decision by Crash.net is further evidence of the growing stature of Xtreme Wheels International as a leading UK event and enables Crash.net to create awareness within developing markets whilst demonstrating its commitment to all areas of the motorsport spectrum.
From the conventional to the collectable and the weird to the wonderful, Xtreme Wheels International aims to inspire and wow with its presentation of automotive power and motoring mayhem. The event includes over 200 exhibits, glamour, trade stands and more than its fair share of public interaction. There will be something there to whet the appetite of anyone with an interest in cars and bikes, however extreme or wacky.
As a part of the media tie-up, Crash.net will keep its audience updated on show news, provide an online ticket ordering facility and have a significant presence at the show. One of its most recently formed divisions, Crash Merchandise, will be retailing a wide range of official licensed merchandise including lines from Formula One and World Rally.
“Xtreme Wheels is fast establishing itself as one of the UK's leading motor related shows" says Bryn Williams, Managing Director, Crash New Media. "The essence of the show is in its range and variety, providing a superb day's entertainment for anyone with an interest in cars, performance and styling. For Crash.net the show enables us to reach beyond our traditional motorsport audience whilst demonstrating our commitment to all areas of the sport, whether it be drag racing or Formula One.”
Pels and Koedam honoured.
10th January: 2004 FIM/UEM Supertwin and Top Fuel Bike Champions Ton Pels and Roel Koedam (right) were honoured for their Championship feats yesterday at the annual prize-giving ceremony of the KNMV (Royal Dutch Motorcycle Federation).
"After being interviewed - and having some good laughs about Ton's answer about his age and some Oohs and Aahs when he answered the question about his top speeds - Ton and Roel received their gold medals and UEM plaques", writes Monique Pels. Congratulations to Ton and Roel.
Xtreme Wheels update.
10th January: We are indebted to Bob Glassup for bringing us up-to-date with the latest news about Xtreme Wheels International, which takes place at London's Alexandra Palace on 19th-20th February.
Starting with the drag racing contingent, the list is sizeable and is scheduled to include:
The import, modified and hot hatch scene is well-represented including a selection of modified VWs from Belgium and Germany and a hot rod and Cadillac from Holland, and Holley Glassup will be débuting her new modified VW hatch which she has put together with the help of her brother Matthew. Discussions are underway with the owners of Alexandra Palace for a special demo area where cars will be able to perform exhaust flameouts (NB race fans, this doesn't mean fire burnouts - Ed). Lady Penelope's FAB 1 Rolls Royce is also expected to attend.
Cream Developments, Turismo and Girl Racer have displays and trade stands whilst Santa Pod Raceway and Crash.net are holding give-aways. "We still have room for trade stands, so if you are interested then please call Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236363 or E-Mail email@example.com", says Bob.
For more information about Xtreme Wheels International including ticket prices, check out the Show's official web site at www.xwishow.com. Bob Glassup asked us to say a big Thank You to Derek Flynn of Gold RV for sponsorship of the Show web site.
Brentwood Show coverage.
9th January: Drag racing is putting on its annual display at the Brentwood International Racing Car Show this weekend, with classes from Fuel Funny Car to Junior Dragster represented in an exhibition organised by Paul Marston.
Eurodragster.com's News Editor Tog spent yesterday at the Brentwood International Exhibition Centre checking out the display and talking to the racers in attendance. You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored report and photographs by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Papafilippou on Oddy purchase.
9th January: Greek Pro Mod racer Filippos Papafilippou has been in touch as promised with more details about his purchase of Jim and Dave Oddy's 6.0-second Corvette Pro Mod from the USA. Fil says that getting into Pro Mod was the only way to achieve his ambition of running a six-second pass. Click on any link for pictures by Ron Lewis.
"I pushed my blown Pontiac over its limits in Malta in July", says Fil. "I never expected that I could run low sevens at 185 miles per hour with a Powerglide car. But very careful fine-tuning of the engine and the set-up of the four-link gave me Pro Stock sixty foot times of 1.09 and sixteen successful runs during a weekend, all of them in the low-to-mid sevens. That wasn't enough, since my team and I always wanted to see the magic six. The decision was taken at that time to enter a faster class, and that had to be the fastest of all: Pro Mod."
Fil started to look around Europe for a Pro Mod and also considered building one from scratch. "Like most fans in Greece, I like doorslammers a lot and everybody on the planet know that Pro Mods are the ultimate doorslammers", he says. "I made several trips to look more closely at the cars and I spoke to several people to collect information about chassis and engines. The two options were either to build a new car without any rush in 2005, and try to have it ready some time in the summer so that I could do some testing at the end of the year, or go for a rolling chassis built after 2000 and finish it some time in 2005 so that I could have the time to run at some events."
Fil spoke to several people in the USA, Canada and Europe includind Oddy's Automotive Racing and therein lays the tale. "I already knew of and followed the Oddys' car, which is a legend in the USA", says Fil. "My first contact was with Dave Oddy and then with his father Jim. That's how the story starts - and the end of the story is that instead of a complete roller I bought the car turn-key with brand new Hemi Stage X engine, Lenco gearbox, bellhousing and clutch.
"This car was probably one of the most feared Pro Mods before it ever turned a tyre on the drag strip. It was built in Australia in 2001 by Murray Anderson and the combination of an Anderson chasis and Jim Oddy's engine building was enough to get the competition talking. The machine eventually produced a 6.12 and proved to be a worthy replacement for the '54 Corvette which Fred Hahn drove to the IHRA Championship in 2000. 2003 proved to be an incredible one for Fred Hahn as he propelled the machine to the quickest legal run ever, a 6.07/234.53 (with 25% overdrive) at E-Town and clinched the 2003 Pro Modified crown."
Fil says that he and his team intend to keep their feet on the ground and take things one step at a time. "We are not in a hurry and we know exactly what we have", he says. "Firstly I am already collecting as much information as I can on blown engines and clutch settings. Including myself there are three mechanics on the team and I am going to make the best I can of my visits to the Oddys' in the near future."
The plan for 2005 is to enter some European Championship events, to run at Hal Far Raceway on Malta, and to make exhibition passes in Greece. "We want to get down the track safely and make runs in the sixes on a proper and well-prepared track", says Fil. "We want to have fun in 2005, to make new friends and to extend our knowledge. As time progresses I believe that we can improve and have even more fun trying to catch up with the other fast European Pro Mods."
Fil would be pleased to hear from any company or individual interested in sponsoring his Pro Mod campaign; if you are interested then drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodyear runner sought for demo.
9th January: Santa Pod Raceway's PR Caroline Day has been in touch with a request for a Goodyear-shod race car to attend an event in Scotland in February.
"One of Goodyear's dealers is opening a new HiQ tyre service centre in Scotland on Saturday 12th February", says Caroline. "The dealer, who happened to visit us at the 2004 European Finals, is asking for a drag racing team to attend and exhibit their race vehicle - but it must of course be running Goodyear tyres!
"The dealership is in Spiersbridge, Glasgow, and Goodyear will pay for travel and accommodation."
If you would be interested in appearing then please drop Caroline an E-Mail at email@example.com or call her on 01234 782828.
SPRC full of Dinner.
9th January: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to let us know that the SPRC Dinner Dance, which takes place in Bedford on Saturday 5th February, is now full so no further tickets can be sold.
"We have over three hundred attending the Dinner Dance", says Paula. "Some people have rung me recently and their tickets are OK, but I can accept no more bookings in the post or enquiries by phone."
9th January: The UK's Andrew and Sandie Gibb have sold their Witchcraft slingshot, which they ran in the Wild Bunch, and will be contesting 2005 with their '38 Opel which Sandie will initially be driving in Sportsman ET with the eventual aim of running in Pro ET. For more details check out our Brentwood Show report.
UK Super Street racer and drag racing sponsor Matthew Wright will be entering the Super Gas wars in 2005. Matthew's C-10 has had its chassis upgraded for Super Gas and he is expecting a new blower to arrive next week. Matthew tells us that he still intends the pick-up to remain street-legal.
UK Street Eliminator Championship Co-ordinator Dale Reardon tells us that the class is looking very healthy for 2005, with no less than eighteen racers registered to compete in the street-legal series.
The UK Pro Mod field is set to grow in the next season or two with a Dodge Viper-bodied on the drawing board. The Moore brothers, famed for their wild Super Pro ET Super Pro ET Triumph Herald, have a Viper body and a 706 ci engine and will be constructing the car as time and finances allow. Stay tuned and we will bring you more details as we receive them.
If UK Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp is tuned in, could you please get in touch with us again at firstname.lastname@example.org with a valid E-Mail address as that given in your last E-Mail is not working. Thanks Richard!
Web site updates.
9th January: Zane Llewellyn has updated his Bootsoop International Drag Racing Team web site with a very interesting preview of the Bristol Doorslammers' plans for the 2005 season. Check it out at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
Hilt goes shopping.
7th January: Swiss Pro Mod racer Marcus Hilt will be returning to the track in a newly-acquired Corvette after his Trouble Racing '55 Bel Air was damaged beyond repair in a top end collision at last years' Nitrolympx.
"I ran a smooth 7.23/193 on a surface which felt slippery as ice and then got tangled with my opponent in an unnecessary accident", says Marcus. "When I got home, luckily with almost no damage to me other than my wallet, we took the Bel Air down to its bare bones to see what we could do with it. We quickly figured out that the chassis was a total loss; to get the Bel Air back on track we needed a new chassis and we had to decide whether to rebuild the Bel Air or get a new car."
Marcus started to negotiate with a number of race car owners in the USA to find the best deal for his available funds and then made his choice. "We acquired Tom Carter's Jaw Breaker '63 blown Pro Mod Corvette as a rolling chassis", says Marcus. The Corvette is a Tommy Mauney-built car with carbon fibre body, and has been as quick as 6.24/226 with Tom's Veney-hemi at 20% overdrive. Tom Carter attended ten of twelve rounds of the IHRA Pro Mod Championship, won several rounds, and ended twenty first in the Championship."
The car is now on its way to Switzerland where it will be repainted by CAL and then fitted with the reworked BAE hemi, three-speed Lenco and Crower clutch. "I can't say too much right now about our 2005 plans", says Marcus. "It depends upon how soon the Corvette is ready".
Marcus says that acquiring a new car in such a short space of time would not have been possible without the help of his sponsors Sunoco, Treffpunkt Magazine, Hammer Sounds, Dakota Industries, Justice Brothers, Express Autoglas, Alrepa GmBH, Cal Airbrush, and Cars and Speed Equipment.
Marcus has promised a photograph of the car as soon as it is in its new colours.
Racers: If you have a new vehicle for 2005, or if you already know of your plans for this year, then don't hesitate to drop us an E-Mail at email@example.com and we will publish it here.
Charity Kart Race details.
7th January: Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice has been in touch with the promised details of the charity kart race which he is organising. Darren tells us that it is not too late to enter a team if you would like to do your bit.
"The kart race will take place at Whilton Mill near Daventry on Sunday 6th March", says Darren. "If you would like to take part, then there is space for eighteen teams and I have had expressions of interest from sixteen teams so you will need to move fast - it will be first come first served!
"If you would like to enter a team then the fee is £250. Please send cheques made payable to Santa Pod Racers Club to:
Santa Pod Racers Club
PO Box 12
"You can also pay by credit card by completing the entry form and returning it to Paula. All payments by credit card will be subject to a four per cent charge.
"All team members will need to be sixteen years or older, any contestant younger than sixteen must hold an MSA Karting licence."
Entry will close in mid-February and Darren will then send the rules to all teams entered.
Eurodragster will be reporting on the charity kart race and we will be offering a limited number of sponsorship slots on the report, with all sponsorship money received going to charity. Stay tuned for more details.
7th January: Many thanks to our good buddy and honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing for alerting us to Swedish Pro Stock team Magnus Hansson Racing's purchase of 2004 NHRA Pro Stock Champion Greg Anderson's 2004 Pontiac Grand Am. You can read more about the new car on the Magnus Hansson Racing web site at www.mhansson-racing.com.
Following on from yesterday's announcement that Jamie Sneddon has acquired Kent Stoltz' Super Street Bike and that Kent will be coming to the UK to assist in its development, fellow Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables has announced that Barry Henson of Velocity Racing, who has been deeply involved in supporting Steve's bike, has agreed in principle to attend the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway to assist Steve and his team.
Stuart Hepworth of Tyre Technology tells us that the British company is taking on the world of motor sport with a patented microwave and black frequency tyre heating concept. "By heating a dragster tyre to seventy five degrees centigrade just prior to the start, we can offer a driver a better hook up and sixty foot time, with only half a burnout instead of a full burnout!", says Stuart. "This of course saves on tyres, clutches, transmissions and engines as well. For details please visit our web site at www.tyre-technology.com. We can offer an inexpensive rental scheme which allows two or more drivers to share the cost."
UK Wild Bunch racers Andrew and Sandie Gibb tell us that they will have entry forms for the contest to name Doug Ripley's Top Methanol Funny Car on their display at this weekend's Brentwood Show. Entry is £1 a time, all proceeds go directly to the TMFC.
Web site updates.
7th January: The Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc has been updated with Club membership forms for 2005.
Elias Vathias' interview with Eurodragster.com on the Greek Dragster web site is now available in English as well as in Greek. You can read the interview at www.greekdragster.com.
Sneddon set to fly on Blackbird.
6th January: The UK's Jamie Sneddon has purchased Kent Stotz' record-breaking Honda Blackbird Super Street Bike from the USA. Jamie and sponsor Paul Watson of Dynospeed Developments have pulled off quite a coup not only in acquiring the bike but by securing the help of Kent Stoltz with development over three years.
"The bike will be fully backed by Dynospeed Developments", says Paul Watson. "The team will comprise of Jamie, Jules, Kim, Doug and myself. We have put together a three-year deal with Kent which will hopefully enhance the future development of the Blackbird both in the States and the UK. Both Jamie and I are looking forward to Kent and his wife coming over to help at Easter.
"I will shortly be off to the States to bring back the Blackbird, but also to spend some time with Kent and the bike.
"We would like to thank Kent for all his help over the last few months and we look forward to a great and successful Transatlantic relationship. Jamie would also like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to Mark Fisher for all the help over the years."
Impressive show at Brentwood.
6th January: The drag racing contingent at the annual Brentwood International Racing Car Show gets bigger each year and Paul Marston, who has organised the drag racing part of the Show, has been in touch with a run-down of this year's attendees:
Santa Pod Raceway's display Fuel Funny Car in its first Show appearance
The Wratten Brothers' Customville-sponsored Top Methanol Funny Car
Paul Watson's Dynospeed Developments Hayabusa Pro Stock Bike
Bob Glassup's Xtreme Wheels blown-alcohol altered
Mick Payne's seven-second Artful Dodger Super Pro ET Dodge Coronet
Andrew and Sandie Gibb's Witchcraft Wild Bunch slingshot
Gary Springford's new Pro ET race car
Santa Pod Raceway's Junior Dragster
"Paul and Terry Wratten expect to be serious contenders for the British Championship", says Paul. "The car is resplendent in its new colour scheme and with backing from Customville (0208 590 1449) they mean business! Bob Glassup will be on hand representing the newly-formed Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association which will be coming to both tracks in 2005. Gary Springford will be bringing his part-built budget race car, a chance for fans to see work in progress.
"Brentwood is very much a hands-on show, part and parcel of its unique flavor is the chance to talk to drivers and crew in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. There are also chassis builders, engine builders, fabricators, custom painters, and graphic designers in the drag racing part of the hall. So whether you want a custom crash helmet or a turn-key race car or bike bring your ideas for an on-the-spot quote. You can pick up your 2005 race calendar at the Santa Pod stand along with the European Championship DVDs.
"Representatives of Paul Marston Racing will be on hand at the Show to chat to fans and answer any questions about the Paul Marston Racing Drag Race Passenger Ride Programme and the Drag Race Driving School, and to generally co-ordinate proceedings. There will be interviews on the main stage which will feature drag racing, as well as the video wall showing European Championship, Ultimate Power Championship and Custom Car Street Eliminator footage.
"There is also a live action arena and race vehicles on display representing short oval, grass track, model car racing, ASCAR - you name it and it's there. Don't forget to bring your Christmas money, as there are always plenty bargains to pick up from the many traders - it's all there at prices which will leave a smile on your face and some money still in your pocket!"
The Brentwood International Racing Car Show takes place at the Brentwood International Exhibition Centre in Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex, minutes from Junction 28 of the M25: click here for Eurodragster's legendary hand-drawn map. The Show is open between 10:00 and 17:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. Entry is £10 for adults and £6 for OAPs and children, and a family ticket is £24.
If you can't make the Brentwood Show then stay tuned to Eurodragster.com as we will be publishing a report and photographs from Brentwood on Saturday afternoon.
Pels hitting the aluminium.
6th January: After spending quite a few hours at the computer designing and drawing their new 'one piece' clutch, 2004 FIM/UEM European Supertwin Champion Ton Pels and his son and Crew Chief Vincent have been into the workshop to make it happen for real, writes Monique Pels.
"For the new clutch they started out with four blocks of aluminum with a total weight of 110 Kg - the piece for the clutch hub alone weighed over 70 Kg", says Monique. "After machining, the weight is now less than 10 Kg, the other 100 Kg ended up as chips in the dustbin. The solid Primo rear pulley also came in 'overweight'. They took off 7 Kg and brought it down to 2.5 Kg.
"The engine plates are getting a 'cosmetic' face lift and have to lose some weight as well.
"Check the News page at www.zodiacracing.com for photos."
Carter fit for 2005.
6th January: With the 2004 season firmly behind them, the FIA European Championship title in the bag, and the Champagne galas, trophy presentations, and accolades from Motorsport News still fresh and happy memories, the real business of Top Fuel racing is underway with a driver and team that are fighting fit and ready to let battle commence, says the latest Press Release from Carter Motorsport.
In many ways, the off-season in the Carter camp has been almost as dramatic as anything witnessed at the race tracks. There have been changes to the crew, new sponsors to sign and many existing deals to be re-negotiated. The magnificent Carter Motorsport transporter has been completely stripped out, steam cleaned, re-floored, and re-built inside and out. A new VIP Hospitality suite will accompany the team to all UK events and will feature hot and cold refreshments, large-screen DVD and just about everything else our guests will need to thoroughly enjoy a day out at the races, whatever the weather throws at us.
The coming year is going to be full to say the least, with no less than fifteen races and promotions pencilled in between January and November. The season kicks off as usual with an appearance at the NEC's Autosport International show this month. Andy and the team will be representing Top Fuel drag racing on the Santa Pod stand, and if this were not enough, we will be launching our new 2005 TF1 poster (right, click on picture for large version) from Pioneer Print, welcoming new clutch man Jim Tucker, and displaying one of our 6,500 brake horsepower engines on the Brown and Miller Racing Solutions stand, the team's new high-tech hose supplier. Andy will be on hand to sign autographs and have a chat throughout the show. See you there…
6th January: Michaël Procureur tells us that with 94 of over 200 street-legal contenders over 400 bhp, fourteen cars over 1000 bhp, four national street legal drag champions, and JUN and Top Secret Skylines, the Toyo King of Europe Challenge event shouldn't be missed. Europe's biggest street-legal challenge takes place at Chimay in the south of Belgium on 25th-26th June. You can find out more on the event's web site at www.kingofeurope.net.
UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar is looking for new crew members for the 2005 British Championship season. "Unfortunately (for us) two of our crew will not be available for the 2005 season as Clayton Round is intending to run in the new Fuel Altered class with his own blown BBC Rebel T and brother Chris will be helping", says Lindsay. "Unfortunately their race dates conflict with the British Championship rounds. Having been involved with Clayton's car from day one I know this combination will be a tough one to beat and I wish him all the best for 2005". If you would be interested in crewing on Lindsay's five-second TMD then you can find details in the Drivers/Crew Required section of our Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts-sponsored Swap Meet.
Supertwin Fuel racer, photo-journalist and graphic designer Ian Turburville has been in touch with news for anyone contesting Junior Drag Bike in 2005. "If anyone needs a top-quality, carbon composite, ACU-approved helmet in Xtra Small 54 cm then I have four on special offer at just £99 on E-Bay!", says Turbo. "They should be £275 so now's your chance. These are ideal for younger racers as they are very light and put less strain on the neck. I have lots of adult helmets on offer too!". You can find Turbo's E-Bay listing by clicking here.
Proving that we meant what we said about keeping track of schedule changes, tonight's repeat of the Land Speed Record documentary In Search of Speed on UK satellite and cable channel BBC4 is now to be broadcast at 19:00, and not 18:00 as originally published in listings magazines.
Web site updates.
6th January: Our good friend Elias Vathias has turned the tables on Eurodragster.com by interviewing us for a feature on the Greek Dragster web site at www.greekdragster.com. The interview is presented in both Greek and English; a big shout to Elias for his hard work in translating Tog's prose and a big Thank You to him for his interest.
Another good buddy, Sweden's Stanley Mellström has updated his personal web site at www.bigstan.se with a superb 2004 Junior Dragster photo gallery.
WRE announce 2005 Test Days.
5th January: Webster Race Engineering have announced three Test Days at Santa Pod Raceway this year. Two of the Test Days are on Saturdays and the other is on a Friday, the day before the SPRC Summernationals.
The 2005 Webster Race Engineering Test Days will take place on:
WRE Test Days feature a track prepped to event standard as well as full marshal and safety cover. Catering is also available on-site throughout the day. The track is open betweeen approximately 10:00 and 17:00 with a half-hour break for lunch.
Entries will be accepted up to four days before each Test Day; after this deadline an additional £25 late entry fee will be payable if entry is accepted.
You can download the official WRE Test Days entry form (Word format) by clicking here. For more details about the Test Days, call Webster Race Engineering on 01933 315236.
Want to know a Secret?
5th January: The burgeoning UK Import scene is to have its presence augmented in spectacular fashion as the legendary Top Secret-built Drag R Nissan has been imported to the UK from Japan by Japanese import specialist GT Culture. The nine-second street-legal Drag R (right) generates a thousand horsepower with its twin-turbo engine and has clocked over 200 mph on the street in Japan.
"The base car is a Nissan Skyline BCNR33 GTR", says Ben Linney of GT Culture. "It was built as a demo vehicle for infamous Japanese tuners Top Secret and became notorious for doing 215 mph through the Tokyo tunnel, driven by President of Top Secret Smoky Nagata."
The car is to be driven by Tim Webster with sponsorship from GT Culture, Castrol, Auto Glym, and Toyo Tyres. "We are after the European four-wheel drive record in 2005", says Ben. Race dates planned include events at Santa Pod, the King of Europe event, and Ten Of The Best 4 as well as appearing at several static shows.
You can check out the full technical specs of the Drag R and see some more pictures at www.linney.org/topsecretGTR.htm.
2005 UK Pro ET sponsorship.
5th January: Carl Burton, sponsorship co-ordinator for the UK's Pro ET class, tells us that a number of sponsors have signed up for the 2005 Pro ET sponsorship scheme.
The Pro ET sponsors for 2005 are:
AAFAs put on a Show.
5th January: Lawrie Gatehouse of the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association has been in touch to let us know that the Association will be appearing at a couple of upcoming shows.
"The NFAA will have a presence at this weekend's (8th-9th January) Brentwood Show, and we will have quite a display at Xtreme Wheels International at Alexandra Palace on 19th-20th February", says Lawrie. "It's all part of ramping up interest in the Fuel Altered Series for 2005, which has been considerable."
For up-to-date information about the NFAA's involvement on the Show circuit, contact Bob Glassup on 01784 244255 days or 01483 715401 home, or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org."
Stay tuned for full details of the exhibitors at this weekend's Brentwood Show.
TIL set for Autosport.
5th January: Also on the show circuit are drag racing sponsor Titanium International, who will as usual be exhibiting at next week's Autosport International at Birmingham's NEC.
"We will be in the Engineering section (Hall 20 Stand E270)", says Nigel Hoskison of Titanium International. "Drag racing will be well-represented, with our literature and display panels featuring photos of Dave Holland's Funny Bike and the Showtime Fuel Funny Car. Titanium parts as used by several car and bike racers will be on display, together with a selection of prototype components.
"We are also pleased to announce that the company responsible for machining some of the parts, Titanium Bitz - who are part of Colbree Precision Ltd - will be a new sponsor for the Funny Bike in 2005.
"Colbree director Dave Field is a motorcyclist himself and has been manufacturing a wide range of titanium motorcycle parts for circuit and road use for many years. This is his first involvement with drag racing and he believes that it will be an effective way to promote Titanium Bitz to both racers and enthusiasts alike. You can contact Dave on email@example.com.
Web site updates.
5th January: Our good friend Alan Currans has been hard at work again on his excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "I have published the sixth page of The Long Lost John Woolfe Racing Archives", says Alan. "This is an all Mr Six affair. For those readers long enough in the tooth to remember seeing this car blast its way into the sixes (and the record book) here is a chance to see this beautiful car again, and for those with a few less miles on the clock take a look at the most successful British-built Top Fuel dragster of all time. There are pictures of the car racing Tony Nancy at HMS Daedalus, at the opening of John Woolfe Racing's shop at Staples Corner in London, with all four wheels off the ground at over 200mph, and rare pictures of team member Tony Gane at the wheel". You can check out Alan's update at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
James Hands has updated his Racing 05 fan site with a poll to decide Best Drag Racing Web Site and Best UK Top Fuel Racer. You can find James' site at pages.123-reg.co.uk/jimmy43-800350.
Joon TF heads for new home.
4th January: Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon's 2005 ride will shortly be on its way to the Netherlands after Lex and Team Manager Gerda Dijkstra spent the week before Christmas at David Baca's workshop in California loading their newly-acquired MPM Oil-backed Top Fueller into its container. Gerda tells us that the process was far from smooth (click on links to see pictures).
"David Baca and his guys were going to help us out to load the car and parts into the container", says Gerda. "The only problem was that the container didn't arrive! Eventually David had to let his guys go because it was Christmas and they all had flights home to their families. When the container didn't turn up I started to get worried so I called MPM Oil back in the Netherlands and they started to call around. They managed to track down a container on Wednesday but there was no truck or trailer to bring it to the Bacas' Shop. So David called one of his truck drivers who had a trailer but then the container didn't turn up anyway!
"MPM Oil made a fuss for us and we got the next available container. David's truck driver went and fetched it for us and brought it to the Shop. We had exactly one hour to put the car and parts in the trailer because David was going home for Christmas. We had no means of getting the container off the trailer and onto the floor so we had to use the tail lift on David's race trailer to pick up the car and then reverse the container up to it. We got everything into the container in the hour and then Lex and I stayed on to secure everything. I bubble-wrapped all of the delicate parts including the rear wing and spare engine. It all got done eventually and everyone did a great job."
The container was then driven to the docks where more problems arose. "We had to guarantee that there was no petrol anywhere in the container, and we had to prove that there was no fuel in the car, and that the battery was safe", says Gerda. "We even had to activate the parachute release so that it wasn't sprung!".
Whilst waiting for the container to turn up, Lex and Gerda went shopping. "We bought a tool chest and tools from Triple T, and we got lots of nice stuff from Home Depot!", says Gerda. "We spent hours in there!".
The container is due to leave tomorrow and is scheduled to arrive in Rotterdam on 3rd February. "We should have the car in our workshop on 4th February", says Gerda. "We have a busy schedule then as we need to become familiar with the car, and put everything together, and the car will need to be painted. We are having this car airbrushed - as it is now our car we don't have to use vinyls. The design will be similar to Joey Bon's Top Fuel Bike and it must be ready for the first weekend in March as we will be displaying the car at the Netherlands' biggest car show.
"We would like to say a big thank you to MPM, David Baca, Kevin, Jeff, Rocky and Dennis for helping us out, not only during that week but also on all the occasions when they took the time to answer all our questions."
You can stay in touch with all the latest from the MPM Oil/Lex Joon Racing pit on the team's official web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.
4th January: Thanks to Jo Holland of Motorsport News for confirming that this week's issue of the motorsport newspaper will contain the Sporting Scene Heroes article, which includes a list of five drag racing heroes, held over from before Christmas. Motorsport News is due to be published tomorrow and should be available from WH Smiths and all good newsagents.
Web site updates.
4th January: Anders Envall has updated his Blackout Fullsize Racing web site with a number of pictures of the preparation of the new workshop which his ten-second street-legal Impala SS will be sharing with Patrick Wikström's Pro Mod. You can find the workshop update in the News section at www.blackout.nu.
Cannon seeks crew or buyer.
3rd January: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Chris 'Cannon' Hannam has been thinking seriously about his plans for 2005 and has come to a decision: either he needs an extra team member with a flair for engine-building and organisation, or he needs to sell his six-second bike.
"As a lot of you will know, after racing in the USA and achieving my goal of a six-second pass back in March 2004 my Fuel bike had to take a back seat as work had to come first", says Cannon. "After investing in new purpose-built premises and new up-to-date state-of-the-art CNC machinery racing was the last thing I needed to worry about. I was twitching all year to come out and play, which we did at the European Finals in September totally unprepared and broke a sprocket and now it would seem the sprag on the first pass. This is not how I want to race, and after some serious thinking over the the last week of doing nothing I have made a decision.
"I now feel that Cannon Engineering is settling down in its new building, so I have time once again to look at the bike. In november I spoke at length with Tony Lang of MTC, Larry and Steve McBride and of course the big stinker Jay Regan about working and racing, and the way forward. They all have different opinions but all are veterans with a wealth of experience. Being over there smelling the nitro and watching the five-second pass at Gainesville certainly revs you up, I even spoke with Larry about new Vance and Hines heads and a new Opcon blower. All very attainable and along with a new spare gearbox we would have at least two of everything which is what you need when you are learning. As most will now Fuel motors are not easy to tune, especially with my big butt on there which makes our achievement all the more impressive, and I would relish the challenge to go faster and get out there and race once again.
"This is where it gets hard, as I now know what is involved to go fast. Money alone can not make this happen, you need a good crew, although I feel that in the USA we did have a super crew of Neil Midgley, Al Cook, Andy Richards with help and advise from Tony and Gina Lang and Larry McBride this does not prepare the bike back home, which is where the between-meeting work is done. I would love all the boys to say "Let's do it" as they are a great bunch of guys who deserve every accolade for the six too, but it is not to be: Neil has a fourth Funny Bike title to chase, Al has options in the car world, and Andy is working hard at his electrical business. They will all help out where they can but this is not how a Fuel bike should be run.
"I still have Paul Beaumont and Jnr who are good crew, but we need that special person who can take the presure from me: someone who knows how to build a motor and organise when under pressure, and be able to work within a team for the team. So there you go, if you think that this might be your thing and you are interested in Fuel bike racing then please let me know as I cannot and will not make a half-baked attempt to race. I know I can race, and I have what I believe to be one of the best chassis and set-ups in the world - it just needs that team to gel and start working together to bring that out, and with time I am sure that results will come.
"However there is always a catch. If no one suitable can be found then I am going to put the operation up for sale. So if you fancy going Fuel bike's your chance, and at a bargain price too especially as the bike is only two years old and built by Frank Brachtvogel and Pete Davis. You only have to look at the bike spec to see the potential: Puma chassis design; 1325cc Puma engine with Suzuki skulled heads and Sprintex supercharger; new spare Puma bottom end; spare MTC block with pistons; new spare Suzuki MTC skulled head; 120 PTFE piston buttons; twelve spare pistons; twenty sets of rings; spare clutch plates; two new spare Enderle fuel pumps; MTC nine-stage clutch; ART multi-stage clutch (spare); sixty spare valves; three sets of spare drive and blower belts; spare Sprintex supercharger; spare 30% first gear ratio; full Racepak datalogger; six-stage Van Geffen fuel and clutch timer system; MSD 12 Amp Promag; two new chains and sprockets; numerous jets ,pills, fuel hoses, hydrometer etc; 100 plugs; Torco Oil; starter cart; 20 ft x 10 ft awning; and much more. Everything required to go racing, the price is £35000 sterling.
"So there it is, if you are interested in crewing or in buying the bike I can be contacted as follows:
Office phone: 01132 797300
Mobile phone: 07775 501371
"May I wish everybody all the best for 2005."
3rd January: Very many congratulations to Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice and his wife Nicola on the birth of their son Mason Jonathon Harry Prentice (right), a brother for Owen, who arrived at three minutes past midnight this morning and weighed in at 5 lb 11 oz. We are sure that all of Eurodragster's readers will join Tog and Sharkman in congratulating Darren, Nicola and Owen on their new son and brother and in welcoming Mason. We look forward to seeing him in Race Control!
Darren also tells us that January's Drag Racing Night will be taking place tomorrow (Tuesday 4th January) at The Swan pub in Newton Bromswold (near Santa Pod). "There probably will not be any food because we expect it to be quiet, but we will be showing the European Championship and Pro Modified DVDs", says Darren. The Swan is in Newton Bromswold, near Rushden, not far off the A6: click here for a map of the area. You can call The Swan on 01933 413506.
Darren also says that he will shortly be announcing the date for the Charity Kart Night which will be taking place at Whilton Mill near Daventry. For more information in the meantime, including how to enter a team, check out our news item Karted off for charity of 28th October 2004.
Those UK readers who are also Land Speed Record fans, and we know that there are a lot of you out there, will be interested to hear that UK satellite and cable channel BBC4 is this week starting a three-part documentary series entitled In Search of Speed. The first programme, about the classic 1960s LSR showdowns between Art Arfons and Craig Breedlove at Bonneville, is to be broadcast on BBC4 between 21:00 and 22:00 on Wednesday (5th January) and again on Thursday between 18:00 and 19:00. As ever with satellite/cable channels be sure to keep an eye on the on-screen programme listings or teletext to stay in touch with late schedule changes.
One week for Perpetual votes.
3rd January: Voting for the Santa Pod Racers Club Perpetual Awards for the 2004 season will be closing at midnight next Sunday (9th January). A large number of votes have already been received from Eurodragster's readers, and these will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides the winners, but it is not too late to submit your vote for any category, or your nomination for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy.
The SPRC Committee's shortlists (in alphabetical order) for the six voting categories are as follow:
Jerry Denning/Lee Pike
Most Professional-Appearing Team
Anna and Conrad Stanley
James Edgar Memorial Trophy
Most Promising Newcomer
Paul Giddings Memorial Trophy
For more details, or to place your vote for any of the six voting categories, go to the official SPRC Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are still being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Raceway's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing.
There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Kjell Pettersson and David Lloyd-Jones of Santa Pod Raceway. Again see the official web page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Trophy as the subject and your nomination in the body of the mail.
1st January: We were sorry to hear from our good friends Filippos Papafilippou and Elias Vathias that Greece's Drag Warriors team have lost a good friend.
"Tasos Zafeiris, a racer in the T1 class and member of the Drag Warriors team is no longer with us", says Elias. "Two days ago he went to hospital because he could not breathe easily, and died from pneumonic swelling. LENOTH, DRC and all of his friends are desperate over his loss and express our heartfelt sympathy to his brother Dimitris and to his family."
Tog and Sharkman and all of Eurodragster's readers would like to extend their deepest sympathies to Tasos' family, friends and his Drag Warrior colleagues.
Belle looking lovely.
1st January: Steve Conway of racing sponsor Bikes of Brighton tells us that his ex-Dean Williamson GSXR, which he has spent some four years rebuilding, is looking "lovely" and that he is looking forward to getting it out on the track.
"2005 is the twentieth anniversary of the GSXR and so it would be fitting to get the Brighton Belle out there", says Steve. "I am currently negotiating with MetMachex for a new set of wheels but the bike is looking lovely!".
Steve's web site is now complete and awaiting visitors at www.steveconwayracing.co.uk is now complete. The very professional-looking web site tells you everything you need to know about the Brighton Belle including technical specs and photographs, as well as details about Steve and his team and a sponsor page. Steve says that his then-incomplete web site received no less than two thousand visitors after its mention on Eurodragster News in October. "I'm chuffed that so many people showed interest, thanks very much", he says, "and now that everything is there please come and take another look!".
Sharkman and Tog would like to wish all of Eurodragster's readers a very happy and prosperous New Year.