Who's the King of the Street?
30th January:
Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Manager James Forster for an exclusive preview of an exciting new event in British drag racing involving both tracks:

Is it really a street car? We’ve all heard it. Whether it’s in the local pub, on the internet or in the grandstand, the whole street car debate has raged on for what feels like an eternity and everyone seems to have a different definition for the term “street car”. Even the popular Street Eliminator class comes under scrutiny at times. Now, we have the answer.

Over the Spring bank holiday weekend on the 1st-3rd May, we’re pleased to announce a collaboration of Santa Pod Raceway and Melbourne Raceway to bring you an all new street car event in the form of Street Weekend. In a tip of the hat to the coveted Hot Rod Drag Week in the USA, we’re looking at a similar format where drivers need to set and submit a time at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire before driving around 200 miles to Melbourne Raceway in York to set a time on day 2 before returning back to Santa Pod and setting a final time on the 3rd day. Times from the 3 days will be totalled together and the racer with the lowest TOTAL ET will be deemed the winner. Follow all Street Weekend developments at www.street-weekend.santapod.com

In summary, we’re looking at around 400 miles on the road across 3 days whilst also recording a time on track on each of those days. Track conditions will be different on each day too with a RWYB at Santa Pod on day 1, an unprepped 1/8 mile challenge at York on day 2 and finally a Performance RWYB with fully prepped track at Santa Pod on day 3. It’s quite plausible that we could see a different car on top of the charts on each day. If you can’t complete the street miles, you’re out – it’s a simple as that. Support vehicles are permitted (no car trailers) and you can bolt on whatever tyres you like at the track.

We all know that street eliminator cars are probably the quickest street legal cars on track in the Country right now, but can they really handle that level of road miles? There’s no room for trailer queens here, we’re really going to find out who’s King of the Street!

Visit rwyb.co.uk/street-weekend.php for full details.

Keith Alder-Barber.
29th January:
We were shocked and sorry to hear that Big Keith Alder-Barber, joint owner of the Heavy Chevy, passed away on Monday. Dave Caruso, the other co-owner of the car, writes in tribute:

Me and Keith set out five years ago to buy something a little different; the legend Barry Grimes found us a 58 Chevy, a big old land yacht.. The car really resembled Keith, big but very lovable; it was love at first sight so we bought it, I told Keith it didn’t need much work doing, two years later and with the help of Barry again and an obscene amount of money, the Heavy Chevy was born.

We loved taking the car out on the street, Keith was in his element and drove it with pride to car shows. We ventured to Santa Pod where we ran a very impressive 12.7 seconds, but my need for speed was greater than Keith’s and, without him knowing and with the help of Rob Loaring and Nick Davies from I.C.E., a new engine was built. I took the old engine out, sold it, and put the new one in. Keith was astounded; he took it to Santa Pod and ran a 10.8. He couldn’t believe it. At the end of the season, with Keith‘s blessing this time, we took the engine out and again sent it to Nick and Rob. I remember Rob's words, "Well, how fast you want to go?" "Nine seconds", I said. "Leave it to me." I did!

I remember the day when I broke it to Keith that our modified 582 was ready to be picked up, but there was a big bill to pay…After a nosebleed, chewing my ears off and a big slap with his very large hands to the back of my head, we picked up the engine and with a bit of skulduggery we set off to Santa Pod. The first run out was 9.7. Keith was ecstatic, "We have finally reached our goal", he said. He looked at me and he said "No, Dave, no more". I remember those fateful words. After a new gearbox and shock absorbers gave Keith‘s credit card another good bashing we later ran a 9.1.

Now Keith had the bug, "Let’s get it into the eights," he said. And sadly that’s where we’re at, the car is in bits again, the engine is with Rob and Nick, and a new gearbox is being built, all ready for this season.

My dear friend Keith was taken from us by the horrendous disease Covid. Keith was taken into hospital on Boxing Day, he fought it for 27 days before he went to sleep.

On Monday my phone rang and it was Keith‘s daughter Rachael. As soon as I saw her name on the phone I knew, I was beside myself, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, why, why did he have to go, this is so unfair, he is such a good man.

Keith was a very successful businessman, he had a loving wife and daughter and family whom he adored. He had everything to live for, his life was ended way too early, so unfair.

I will miss meeting up with him on race day at the petrol station in Hemel Hempstead with all the boys, from where we set off in convoy following behind Keith's rather extravagant motorhome where he catered for us like a Michelin star restaurant. Everyone was always welcome. He had a story for every occasion. Such great memories...

Keith's kindness, generosity and zest for life is what made him so special. His big size was only overshadowed by the size of his heart, his generosity and wanting to help everyone, which is what set him apart from everyone else.

I’m sure everyone who was fortunate enough to meet Keith will have their own memories. He was a real good man, one of the best. Your memory will live on in our car, and I promise you we will take it from strength to strength .Our eight second goal will continue.

Finally I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Elaine and Rachael, Keith‘s wife and daughter and all of his family at this very difficult time. I won’t say goodbye because I know you will be with me when we cross the finish line in the 8s.

Race in peace Big Keith.

John Charlton funeral details.
28th January: Many thanks to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson for passing on details of the funeral of 1970s-80s drag bike racer John Charlton who sadly passed away on 11th January:

The funeral is on Tuesday 2nd February at 11.00am GMT. It will be streamed by funeral media company Obitus and you can see the ceremony on-line by
clicking here and entering the username Nequ9100 and password 037923.

John's widow Kate conveys her thanks to all the messages of condolence and sympathy from fellow drag racers and friends who knew John from his 70s/80s era, placed recently on social media since the announcement was made. One comment from a former colleague of John at tool company Norbar, Andy Ball, recalls how he joined the company as an apprentice at the same time that John left: "Some 30 years later and his name regularly pops up in conversation at Norbar. He clearly made quite an impression on everyone he met, both at work and the track. I'm sure he's running some quick times up there".

Jerry says "Recently I came across one of John's trophies that he was presented in 1979 in winning the NDRC Midlands Overall Motorcycle Champion with his radical VW drag bike Lucifer. John won the championship by one point from Pat Coogan. Pete Smith was third. All rounds were raced at Long Marston Raceway. The trophy was presented by my mum at the annual awards evening held at the Saracens Head, Stratford Road, Shirley, Birmingham. The trophy has now been freshened up and will be given back to Kate and the Charlton family. The trophy ran for 10 years and in that period it passed through the custodianship of Terry Sidebottom, Tom Vivian, John Davies, Tony Wynne-Jones, Duncan Barron and Paul Grosvenor".

Photos from Jerry Cookson collection.

Video of service in memory of Nev.
25th January: Thanks to retired Eurodragster.com editor Tog for informing us that a video of the celebration of life for the late Neville "Nev The Rev" Motterhead at The Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium held on Monday 18th January is now available on Youtube courtesy of Dreamsounds Media Group Ltd and celebrant Alan Keegan.

You can watch the celebration of life for Nev by
clicking here.

Photo courtesy and © Tog.

Video round-up.
25th January: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded three more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 56 uses Harold Martin's cine film from 1976-1984 at Santa Pod and Blackbushe, Time Travel 57 using Kenny and Bev Coleman’s cine film and video from Blackbushe 1973, Long Marston 1980 and York Raceway 1980 and 1985, and Time Travel 58 uses Kenny and Bev Coleman’s betamax video from York Raceway 1985 and 1986. All are well worth seeing and are substantial in length for the long winter days and nights.

Veedub Racing videographer Simon Letkey has been at work editing compilation videos of the categories he specialises in covering, the first is Best VW Golfs filmed Mk1 to Mk7. This production is followed by Best of VW Aircooled Drag Racing. The last compilation for now is Best Audis filmed. The 52 minutes of clips represent Simon's best quality footage over the years. He adds: "Lets hope 2021 brings us all some good racing. Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more footage".

Will wins RRRC event.
25th January: Congratulations to Will Clark for winning the 2nd Annual RRRC Winternationals the first in what will undoubtedly be a Winter series of online drag racing organised by the Rip Rap Racers Club co-ordinator and honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Trammm.

Will used a Radial vs The World-style turbo Firebird to defeat Jon Crawford in the final round, having beaten Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters in the semi final; Jon Crawford had defeated Chris Grabham in other semi final. Watch out for details about the RRRC on Eurodragster.com or the series' Facebook page.

SPRC membership renewal.
24th January: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm of Santa Pod Racers Club who has reminded us of the need to renew memberships:

Now that the racing calendar has been published it is time to check whether your SPRC membership is due. You can renew by
clicking here. Any queries please email me at : yvonnetramm235@gmail.com.

Swift snippets.
24th January: The Mad Welshman has uploaded to his Flickr account several compilation albums covering different vehicle types. Mad says "Despite not attending as many events last year as usual we still managed to take a surprising amount of pics, so decided to pull together a few 2020 compilation albums of different vehicle types that had the most photos, split out into Mustangs, Escorts, Hot Rods & Altereds and Anglias (all marques from stock, rodded to Outlaw!)." You can see Mad's photos by going to this link.

Jon Giles has announced he will be racing Tim Adam's Brogie Roadster in Pro ET this year, after a 2018 'retirement' that lasted less than three years. He said "Little did I know how hard it is to leave this sport and fingers crossed I won't be trying that again in the near future".

FIM-E dates, rules released.
23rd January: Many thanks to Job Heezen for supplying the dates of the 2021 FIM-Europe Drag Bike Championship rounds which, along with the 2021 championship rules, are shown at the
FIM web site. The rounds are:

Pro Stock, Top Fuel, Super Twin, Super Street Bike:

30th April-2nd May: Kunmadaras, Hungary (Super Street Bike only)
29th-31st May: Santa Pod Raceway, England
10th-13th June: Tierp Arena, Sweden (TBA)
8th-10th July: Kauhava, Finland (TBA)
27th-29th Auugust: Hockenheim, Germany
9th-12th September: Santa Pod Raceway, England

Junior Drag Bike Cup 29th-31st May: Santa Pod Raceway, England
10th-13th June: Tierp Arena, Sweden (TBA)
8th-10th July: Kauhava, Finland (TBA)
9th-12th September: Santa Pod Raceway, England

Keep an eye on Eurodragster.com for news regarding the yet-to-be-confirmed rounds at Tierp and Kauhava. Covid travel restrictions may well have an impact on the racing fields.

Feature: The history of UK Pro Modified - part 1.
23rd January: "The barely running tick over, nitrous purges and the left hand front wheel dangling a foot higher than the right past the tree. Funny cars with doors", as described by one fan. Pro Modifieds have captured the drag racing world's attention since the class originated. But how did it start, and who were the pioneers that later spearheaded some incredible performance gains with rapid engineering advances?

Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products describes the start of the class in the UK in detail from its origins in a number of invitational races in the mid 1980s, and includes over 40 photographs of the cars and race results for 1986 and 1987, together with car details from the period. Future parts, each covering two years, will highlight the advances, together with organisational challenges as described by Mick Harle who founded the Pro Modified Racers Association in 1988.

We are grateful to drag racing historian and director of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Jerry Cookson for supplying archive material. You can see our feature by clicking here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.

UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting to be podcast.
21st January: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for an update on arrangements for this year's UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting:

As we are all aware, with the current Covid restrictions in place, social gatherings are not an option for the time being. Normally at this time, we would be releasing details of the UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting. The plan for 2021 is to still have a meeting as such, but this will be a podcast from Santa Pod Raceway; the date is to be confirmed, and of course, we will let you know in plenty of time when it will be, as we may not be able to do this live.

With a membership of more than 500, unfortunately we cannot have the Riders' and Drivers' meeting as a Zoom meeting, as our capacity for Zoom is 100 attendees. Also, a live podcast with comments switched on will allow non-members to interject. Hence we have no option but to have a non-live podcast and ask for all questions and comments to be sent in advance by e-mail.

Therefore it is more important now than it has ever been that any questions you wish to raise are emailed to SPRC at ir.marshall@btconnect.com so that we have the opportunity to answer any points raised during the podcast. Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett will also be in attendance as he would like to take the opportunity to speak to you all. As in past years, a summary of the points covered in the podcast will be published on Eurodragster.com. Supplementary questions arising from the podcast can be dealt with by e-mail to SPRC following the podcast.

Please note that the Podcast is purely about the SPRC UK Drag Racing Championships so please make sure the questions submitted are relevant to the meeting, if you could please get your points and questions to SPRC by 31st January it will help with us getting the date sorted and details out to you.

Rip Rap Racers return.
21st January: Thanks to honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Tramm for revealing that the Rip Rap Racers Club (RRRC) is holding another online race this coming Sunday 24th January at 6pm GMT. As before the popular online racing game ‘Doorslammers 2’ is being used as the platform. This Sunday's race, titled the 2nd Annual RRRC Winternationals, will be managed by Spencer kindly organising the ladders. The upper capacity is 96, which was filled on many occasions last year.

Spencer says "anyone wishing to take part is asked to add their name to the online entry list on the RRRC Facebook page by Friday night.

Nataas to chase NHRA Championship.
19th January:
On the heels of winning a second consecutive NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship with driver Megan Meyer, Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) announced yesterday it will chase the 2021 title with Julie Nataas. It will be Nataas’ third full-time season with RMR in the Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg (OTG) A/Fuel dragster.

“I’m glad to be back for another year with RMR,” Nataas said. “I have become really close with the guys over the last few years. Everyone works so hard and they always look out for me. Randy is a great guy and always teaches me new stuff, which I love. So I can’t wait to be back at the track with my crew and to learn even more. Randy is a master at what he’s doing and I’m grateful to be in one of his cars.”

Since joining the Randy Meyer Racing team in 2018, Nataas has collected two national event victories and four regional event wins. She earned the NHRA North Central Region championship in 2019, the same year she was named to the Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 list. With a career-best elapsed-time of 5.11 seconds, she’s the fourth quickest driver in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster history.

“I’m so, so, so proud of the team,” Nataas said. “We ended 2020 with Megan winning her second championship and me third in the points. Having two cars in the top 3 really shows how much work and effort Randy has put into the cars and the program. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team in 2021.” Nataas is focused on improving her national points finish in 2021, as well as chasing a second North Central Region championship. She’ll run a schedule of 10 national events and 8 regional races to contend for both titles.

“After finishing No. 3 in 2020 I definitely want to finish in an even better position in 2021 – that includes a lot of Wallys,” Nataas laughed. “I also want to finish on top in the North Central championship again after falling short in 2020.”

Nataas will race for the North Central Region championship as a true resident of the region, as she’s moving to the Indianapolis area, just minutes from the NHRA Division 3 headquarters.

“After almost six years in California I’m moving to Brownsburg, Indiana, before the season starts,” said Nataas, who grew up in Norway. “It’s going to be a huge change, but I’m so excited. If I wasn’t already living and breathing this sport 24/7, I definitely will now.”

Nataas’ primary sponsor for the 2021 season is Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg, a Norwegian manufacturer of floor coverings, carpet, linoleum and wallpaper. Longtime RMR sponsors Lucas Oil, NGK Spark Plugs and Technician.Academy will serve as associate sponsors on the nitro-injected dragster.

“Without my sponsors, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” Nataas said. “I’m so grateful that OTG is coming on board for another year. They have been with me since I first started racing in Jr. Dragsters. Hopefully the coronavirus situation will calm down a little bit so the OTG representatives can travel from Norway to be with us at the racetrack in 2021. Lucas Oil, NGK and Technician.Academy have been a part of the team for years. I’m so glad to be representing such great companies.”

Nataas and the OTG A/Fuel dragster will kick off the 2021 season at the 52nd annual NHRA Gatornationals, March 11-14 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.

Melbourne Raceway No Prep 4 date.
17th January: Thanks to Paul Marston for supplying a clarification of the date of the No Prep 4 race to be held at Melbourne Raceway:

As many of you have seen, both Santa Pod and Melbourne Raceway recently published their fixtures for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, the date for No Prep 4 appeared as 10th - 11th July. This is incorrect and the actual date is 19-20th June for No Prep 4, and North v South (No Prep 5) is 7th – 8th August, which is correct as published.

Both events will feature Big and Small Tyre Classes, it's 1/8th mile Heads Up. Other than tyre size and safety there are no rules on engine size, power adder, or weight limits. Run whatcha Brung and make sure you bring enough. Prize money we anticipate to be up to £1500 per class to win in cash.

This kind of racing has NEVER been done at Melbourne Raceway, so watch out, who will be the first winner? It's 1/8th mile, it's all about goin' from A to B, so anyone who enters can win.

The entries are coming in, there is still space, (due to covid restrictions), so don’t delay, enter today, we are taking entries and deposits to secure your spot. Contact us via the FB page
No Prep Drag Racing or email pmdragracing@gmail.com or call/text Paul on 07831 650230.

Our thanks to Melbourne Raceway and Straightliners organisation for hosting us.

Autosport International update.
16th January:
Autosport International have announced details of this year's virtual show and a planned return to a physical show next year:

The health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and team is of the utmost importance to us, and it was with heavy hearts that Autosport International (ASI) 2021 did not take place this year. For 30 years we have brought together our industry and fans for a 4-day celebration of motorsport, and from the 13th-16th January 2022 we hope to be returning to the NEC, Birmingham's halls to continue our legacy.

Getting your brand in front of high-level trade attendees to network, do business and knowledge share is key, and ASI allows you to do this all under one roof. Thursday and Friday hosts Autosport Engineering (hall 3a), the trade-only event giving international suppliers, buyers, students and ore industry professionals the chance to do business uninterrupted, whilst Saturday and Sunday are dedicated to motorsport's fans and families. You can make enquiries about next year's event by contacting the organisers at autosport.international@autosport.com.

Turning back to 2021, Autosport International have announced that trade registration is now open for this year's virtual show Autosport International Connect.

The online-only event will take place on 10-11 March 2021 and is free to attend.

ASI connect gives you the opportunity to:
  • Network with exhibitors and other industry attendees
  • Book meetings with exhibitors, attendees and sponsors
  • Live stream panel discussions featuring influential industry leaders
  • Take part in live Q&As with the panellists
Throughout ASI Connect, attendees can book meetings on each exhibitor's virtual stand, build relationships and secure new business through the bespoke ASI Connect desktop and mobile app.

Registered attendees will also receive a complimentary six-month Autosport Plus subscription. You can register now by clicking here. By registering, attendees will be the first to gain access to ASI Connect upon launch in March.

There are an array of speaking opportunities at ASI Connect, including being a member of a panel, hosting a keynote and more. Themes covered will include:
  • Energy and environment
  • Motorsport in a changing world
  • Commercial and sponsorship
  • Performance and tuning
  • National and club racing
  • Student and talent development
Alongside the above topics and more, the ASI Connect dedicated content team want to hear from you about what you'd like to tune into across the two-day event - or even what you'd like to talk about to the ASI Connect audience.

16th January: Competition Eliminator race David Smith writes that the Powerflow Exhausts drag racing team 23-T Altered can now be rented or purchased by lease as well as by outright purchase:

Would you like an exciting opportunity to drag race in 2021 without the outlay of buying or building a race car! If so, read on...

As a lot of you will know, we have been advertising the car for sale in 2020, but due to the current going on’s in the world, we haven’t managed to secure a sale on the Model T Altered drag car.

After a huge change of direction with our race cars (watch this space !!) we will no longer have the opportunity to run the Altered. We would however like to see the car out on the track in 2021 being used for what it was built for.

We are now offering someone (or a team) the chance to rent the Altered for the 2021 season with self maintained or fully maintained options, and the option to buy on a payment plan if required. Long term rental will also be available.

Terms & Conditions will need to be discussed, and this will not be available to the masses. You will need to be known within the drag racing fraternity, or closely linked, and be able demonstrate the affordability if you are planning on a renting to buy deal.

The rental cost will need to be confirmed, which will depend on what sort of package you’re looking for. Full trackside assistance is available, as is transport to and from the track.

If this is of any interest to you or someone you may know, (maybe even a syndicate race team ?), please get in touch with either myself or Elaine Hancock.

For full details of the Altered, click on this link.

John Charlton's Lucifer.
16th January: Following on from our obituary of drag bike racer John Charlton in yesterday's update, our good friend and NitrOlympX commentator Benni Voss wrote to say: "I was sorry to read about John Charlton passing away, I never met him but have seen the “Lucifer” VW powered Drag Bike. Somehow it ended up in Germany, I first saw it in the late '80s at a bike show where I was actually allowed to sit (lie) on it. Decades later, it was brought back to the track by the Black Souls MC Drag Bike Team from Darmstadt where it was running blown methanol. It sounded very impressive and ran in the 11s or 10s; the MC even entered it into NitrOlympX. I've not seen it for a while, I guess it has a place of honour in the Clubhouse".

Further research revealed that Dennis Cheeseman rode Lucifer, renamed as Ommadawn, in 1983 before it was sold to Germany.

Swift snippets.
16th January: A reminder that voting for all categories in the 2020 SPRC Perpetual AwardsPerpetual awards closes at 23:59 UK time tomorrow, Sunday 17th January.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded three more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 50 is Nick's own cine film from Santa Pod 1983 and 1986, Blackbushe 1983 and Long Marston 1985 and then Andrew Bamford's video from the 1987 Cannonball at Santa Pod. Time Travel 51 includes Rod Pallant's cine film from Blackbushe 1979 and Santa Pod 1979 - 1980 plus some cine film lent to Nick by Roy Wilding from Long Marston 1978. Time Travel 52 is a fascinating compilation from Santa Pod in 1971, including Terry Ayers and Bob Rothwell's cine film, plus some 1971 audio recordings by Dave Paddick at the beginning and end.

John Charlton.
15th January:
We were very sorry to hear of the recent passing of 1970s Midlands based drag bike racer John Charlton after being diagnosed with a serious health condition. Drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson writes:

Shortly after Christmas complications arose which resulted in John being admitted to John Radcliffe Hospital where he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning. John was 70.

John burst onto the scene in the early seventies with his first VW powered drag bike conceived in a local pub from a beer mat drawing called The Demon with his friend and racing partner Chris Willbond. With its homemade chassis and engine and gearbox parts found in a scrap yard, the Mk 1 machine was superseded a year later by his Mk 2 machine called, simply, Evil. The layout was pretty much the same with its near standard VW motor and a Wade supercharger which damn virtually broke the bank! After a few hairy moments competing at events held at a bumpy Long Marston and Santa Pod Raceways, John and Chris slowly began getting to grips with the bike as the speeds increased to well over 130 mph. The tool company John worked for as a Technical Sales Engineer, Norbar, also began to show interest in the project and the realization of Lucifer.

Impressed with Tony Dawson’s lightweight aluminium bike chassis which had been featured on TV’s Tomorrow's World, the duo began mocking up their own chassis thanks to Norbar picking up the tab. By the start of the 1975 season they were in business and by the third Snetterton meeting the 1500cc engine began knocking out 10.7s despite smoking the rear slick for the first 150 yards!

Chris gave up the riding seat a year later, just after they had acquired a 411 Porsche motor. Although it had to be rebuilt, its true potential began to reveal itself as John began cracking the 10.5s ETs on methanol at Wroughton. Flushed with a new-found urge to go faster, John began to tip the can by adding 15% nitro which later increased to 55% resulting in 9.1s at 158 mph. Over the eighth at Long Marston the bike went 6.47 on a 47% nitro load.

John’s recognition for these performances started to pay dividends with eliminator wins at all the major strips and a 6.09 record at Long Marston. At Santa Pod, he very nearly got his third finger torn off after getting it caught in the machine’s blower belt pulley when he sat up after aborting a run in disgust. This also nearly got him blown off the bike. After a short stay in hospital, the docile old VW motor was wheeled out; Lucifer had mutated into an even faster animal with assistance from his friend Steve King.

The rest of the story led to a succession of eight second passes and countless races and wins in the Superbike Eliminator. Consistency on this occasion was certainly the key to John’s overall success in British drag racing.

And there the story ends. Later in life in 1991 John left Norbar to set up his own motorcycle business based in Chacombe near Banbury, developing and marketing his own quick shifters for bikes. John is survived by wife Kate and daughter Louise. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of John’s family friends. God speed John, and thanks for the entertainment.

Photos courtesy Jerry Cookson collection

Pegasus Reborn for sale.
15th January: In our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages there is a new offer of a drag bike for sale that will enable the buyer to own and operate a bike replicating that run by one of the UK's most famous drag bike teams:

The “Pegasus Reborn” Nostalgia Drag Bike/Sprinter is for sale. Based on the original Pegasus that had been built in 1968 using an unsupercharged fuel injected 998cc V-twin Vincent, described in the team's web site, team member Derek Chinn decided in the late 1980s to build a replica for sprinting and drag racing. Derek rode it in sprints until he retired from riding in 1995, and after the inaugural Dragstalgia, the bike was raced by Graham Martin for several years.

For sale is a replica of the original version of the bike campaigned by Team Pegasus (Derek, Ian Messenger and Mick Butler) between 1968 and 1972, incorporating some original parts. The original bike was taken to the U.S. for the 1970 NHRA Indy Nationals where the team won the long distance award to compensate for their failure to qualify due to travel delays. 49 years later the team were inducted into the British The price for this replica, itself part of British Drag Racing history, is £20,000, including spares & support.

It's not often that a for sale offer includes a chance to work with a legend in the sport, and genuinely interested parties should contact Derek on 01234 772280 or by email.

Santa Pod announces 2021 season schedule.
13th January:
Santa Pod Raceway has unveiled a full 2021 season of events running from March to December and embracing its usual array of championship drag races, modified car shows, specialist and family events, together with public track days (Run What Ya Brung) and regular mid-week dates (Drift What Ya Brung).

In a normal year, 400,000 people pass through Santa Pod's gates to attend more than 75 events. 2020's planned programme was halted abruptly by the pandemic's arrival.

From July, however, Santa Pod began staging reduced-scale events and developed Covid-safe protocols which allowed spectators to attend in limited, socially-distanced numbers under strict local authority supervision, at a time when most other sports venues across the country were shuttered. Supported by this experience, Santa Pod offers a 2021 programme of full-scale events with the proven ability to 'downsize' again should necessity demand.

Santa Pod's CEO, Keith Bartlett, said: "Last summer, Santa Pod worked hard to become a truly Covid-secure venue and successfully operated many events throughout the continuous changes in government guidelines. Despite spiralling costs, Santa Pod offered a full action programme on and around the track. Grandstand viewing, show-car displays, catering and trade stands, and even our popular camping provision, were all executed in an approved, Covid-secure manner. This year we are pushing ahead with a full season of events and adding some new ones too."

2021 highlights will include the opening and closing rounds of the FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championships, in May and September, and national championship rounds throughout the season, all featuring competition on two and four wheels. STP Oil & Fuel Additives returns to Santa Pod to present the STP Sportsman Series, comprising four of the national championship rounds. July's Dragstalgia will headline a trio of historic 'Nostalgia' drag races.

On the festival front, summer weekends will host Bug Jam, the Volkswagen headliner, and USC (Ultimate Street Car). Along with regular marque-specific occasions, celebrations of national car culture - as exemplified by Japanese events and the recent German addition, Das Auto Show - will be joined by newcomers Le French Fest (voulez-vous voiture avec moi, ce soir?) and, honouring the products and inventions of our own, sovereign sceptred isle, the Best of British Show.

At all times, Santa Pod will observe current Covid restrictions and regulations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all in attendance.

Key events:

Championship drag races:

2-4 Apr: Festival of Power (Rnd.1, Motorsport UK and national championships)
28-31 May: The Main Event (Rnd.1, FIA/FIM European Championships)
9-12 Sep: FIA/FIM European Finals

STP Sportsman Series:

24-25 Apr: STP Springspeed Nationals
17-18 Jul: STP Summer Nationals
21-22 Aug: STP Greenlight Nationals
25-26 Sep: STP National Finals

'Nostalgia' drag races:

7-9 May: NSRA Nostalgia Nationals
9-11 Jul: Dragstalgia
17-19 Sep: NSRA Hot Rod Drags

Festival events:

28 Mar: Best of British Show (new)
2 May: Le French Fest (new)
23-25 Jul: Bug Jam
6-8 Aug: USC (Ultimate Street Car)

Tickets go on sale on Monday 1st March, supported by a new ticket insurance scheme provided by TicketPlan, a leading provider of event ticket insurance. The full event calendar and comprehensive information about Santa Pod are available at www.santapod.co.uk.

Nitro Revival cackles again.
13th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival founder and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award winner Steve Gibbs for sending details of the forthcoming Nitro Revival at Irwindale Raceway, sponsored for Eurodragster.com by Land Speed Racer Geoff Stilwell.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ramifications thereof, it’s been almost two years since drag racing fans last enjoyed the simultaneous cackle of upwards of 50 flame-belching, nitromethane-burning vintage race cars that has become one of the cornerstones of Nitro Revival, the nostalgic celebration of drag racing’s golden age created and nurtured by former NHRA Competition Director Steve Gibbs.

While the long wait is not quite over, anticipation is already building for the Nov. 6-7 production of Nitro Revival 2021 presented at Irwindale Drag Strip on the grounds of the Irwindale Speedway complex.

"We opted for a fall date simply because we thought that gave us the best chance of avoiding the uncertainty of a year ago," Gibbs said. "We didn’t want to put ourselves back in the situation of not knowing from week-to-week if we are going to be allowed to move forward. Hopefully, we will have turned the corner with regard to COVID-19, but I think it will be mid-year before we see a return to some degree of normality."

The fourth edition of Nitro Revival promises to be the biggest yet with more than 70 nitro-burners already committed to the two-day event that also will recognize a host of San Gabriel Valley racing pioneers including Ron Rivero, Phil Lukens, Mike Hoag and Sherm Gunn, Jack and Will Tice, Tom Tucker and the Snyder family, whose burger chain will host the In-N-Out Cookout, a Friday night social gathering for early arrivals.

"Nitro Revival brings back the sights and sounds of the early days of hot rodding," Gibbs enthused, "and it lets fans experience a drag racing museum come to life, not only through the vehicles themselves, but through the presence of many of those who built, maintained and drove those cars at tracks like the original Irwindale Raceway and two San Gabriel Drag Strips."

For some, the assemblage of nitro powered race cars, such as "Pure Hell," the name of the legendary fuel altered owned by Rich Guasco, the Fitzgerald Family "Pure Heaven," Ron Hope's "Rat Trap," and Randy Bradfords's Fiat, will rekindle an image of the golden era of drag racing. Throw in the Hough family’s "Nanook," the "Winged Express" made famous by the late Willie Borsch and Troy Glenn's "Over the Hill Gang" entry, and you might believe you’re back in the ‘60s.

Among the other iconic vehicles that will cackle for the crowd (click left for 5 min cackle video from 2019) are Ross Howard’s Custom Body Enterprises Dodge with former U.S. Nationals champion Marvin Graham in the harnesses, John Peters’ fabulous twin-engine "Freight Train," Don Garlits' "Swamp Rat 3," restored by Sonny Messner, Tony Nancy’s "Sizzler" driven for car owner John Neas by "Handgrenade Harry" Hibler, Chris "the Greek" Karamesines' "ChiZler" owned by Kol Johnson, the Lynn Rose-owned Kuhl and Olson Top Fuel dragster with Bill Tidwell at the wheel, Mike Elsberry’s restoration of "Flamin' Frank" Pedregon’s AA/Fuel Coupe and “Gentleman Joe” Schubeck’s self-titled dragster.

Nevertheless, Nitro Revival is as much about socializing as it is about racing and there will be ample opportunity for fans and racers to interact over the course of the two days. Fans and racers can trade stories at the Hospitality Center, hosted by The Jim McLennan Foundation.

The lineup of special guests includes Top Fuel standouts “The Unsinkable” Kelly Brown, Gary Beck, "King Richard" Tharp, "TV Tommy" Ivo, and Mike Salinas, Funny Car stars Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, Ed "the Ace" McCulloch, Tom Prock, "Fast Jack" Beckman and Al Segrini. Others expected to attend include wheelstanding great “Wild Bill” Shrewsberry, racing icons Ed Iskenderian, Linda Vaughn, Ed Pink, Herman Petersen, Roland Leong, Dave "Big Mac" McClelland and his "Tuna Tank," "Grandaddy Joe" Smith, Bones Balogh, and "Waterbed Fred" Miller plus Paula Murphy, Shirley Shahan, Mendy Fry, Bob Muravez, Jack Jones, Butch "the California Flash" Leal, Bob Noice, Larry Sutton and Jimmy Scott.

Festivities begin Saturday, Nov. 6, with fun runs, time trials, cackle car push starts, fire-ups, burnouts and exhibition runs from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Nitro exhibition runs at 1 and 4 p.m. will lead into the introduction of Nitro Revival 2021 honorees and subsequently into the recognition of participants in the day's signature event, the Line of Fire featuring simultaneous static starts of more than 50 nitro burning race cars. Also scheduled for Saturday's activity will be the All-Star Autograph session, featuring upwards of 50 legendary racers.

Saturday's activity will showcase the popular "Hot Rod Hangout," - a display of hundreds of street driven hot rods and custom cars, hosted by the famed Road Kings Car Club.

On Sunday, more fire-ups, burnouts, push starts and exhibitions at 9 a.m. with nitro exhibition runs and wheelstanders at 12:15 and 3 p.m. followed by the new Rolling Thunder Cackle Car Parade and Push Start Spectacular at 4 p.m.

For complete event information, go to www.nitrorevival.com.

Photo and video courtesy and © Kurt Borden.

Engine Performance Expo.
12th January:
Engine Performance Expo is an online US event that has been established in lieu of live seminars; it is of interest for those involved in engineering aspects of the sport worldwide. When you see the firms and individuals involved, you realise this is an exceptional event involving many major contributors, which makes it well worth a view. The Expo is free and only requires your e-mail address as registration.

Although the event took place on 7th-9th January 2021 all details and events are stored on the event web site engineperformanceexpo.com. Some of the highlights we picked out are:
  • Engine Builder Interview with Ed Pink
  • Cylinder Head & Manifold Porting with Warren Johnson
  • Nitrous seminar with Pat Musi of Musi Racing Engines
  • Turbo seminar with Mike Moran of Moran Racing Engines and Randy Neal of CWT Industries
  • Engine Builder Interview with John Callies
  • Engine Assembly Tips & Tricks with Jon Kaase of Jon Kaase Racing Engines
All of the three days were videoed to a high quality standard and individual pre-recorded segments are available, including video tours of manufacturing facilities such as Dart Racing Engines, valvetrain examples with Comp Cams, Engine Testing with Spintron by Total Piston Rings, and Testing with Goodson.

The event is hosted by Joe Costello of WFO Radio and NHRA National Event announcing fame and is highly recommended to those who want to see what goes on behind the scenes of some of the most famous names in engine building, and see them talking in detail about their craft.

Nev Mottershead: funeral and donations.
11th January: Many thanks to Libby Mottershead and Leah Hinchcliffe for forwarding us the details of Nev Mottershead's funeral webcast, and of how you can make a donation in Nev's memory if you wish.

Nev's funeral will take place in Stockport at 10:00 next Monday, 18th January. Due to the current restrictions only a very limited number will be able to attend, however the funeral service will be streamed on Zoom. The details for the stream are as follow:

Date: Monday 18th January
Time: 10:00
Stream address:

The above link should launch and access the stream without a login but should you be solicited for a login and password then they are as follow:

Meeting ID: 871 3330 7013
Passcode: 641925

If do not have Zoom on your device then please either install it before the funeral commences or, to access the stream from a web browser on the day, click on the Join from Your Browser link towards the bottom of the Zoom home page.

If you wish to make a donation in memory of Nev then, as Nev's Vauxhall Ventora race car has history at York, now Melbourne, Raceway then please donate to the Melbourne Raceway Phase 2 fund by clicking here. Please mention in the Comment field that the donation is in Nev Mottershead's memory.

November Nitro Revival.
11th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell for notifying us of the revised dates for Nitro Revival in 2021. Nitro Revival will take place at Irwindale Dragstrip on 6th-7th November. This will be the first time that the Steve Gibbs production which first took place in 2017 will be a two day event plus an evening social.

Friday 5th will incorporate a In-N-Out Cookout social gathering at 5pm, and Saturday 6th will consist of time trials and fun runs, cackle car push starts, burnouts, exhibition runs, fire- ups, nitro exhibitions and wheelstanders. Also included will be an all-star autograph session, honoree introductions, and 'line of fire' cackle car static starts with a 'nitro overdose' scheduled (Ed: and why not?). Sunday 7th will include more of the same, plus special guest category eliminations over the eighth mile (Gassers & A/FX).

The timing of Nitro Revival will make it possible for fans to visit it and incorporate a trip the following weekend to the Auto Club NHRA Finals (12th-14th November), and/or other events the preceding couple of weeks such as the SEMA show (2nd-5th November). All events are of course subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

Entries already include 58 cackle cars, 62 A-list Drag Racing celebrities, 22 exhibition cars and even a Top Fuel Hydro drag boat and will surely increase ahead of the event. For up to date information, head towards nitrorevival.com and its Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
11th January: We would like to join Perfect Light Award sponsor Cath Napier to wish her husband and Pro ET racer Tig Napier a big Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Have a great day Tig. A big Happy Birthday also to our good friend Mikey Durbridge, hope you have a great day Mikey.

FIM-E application form, medical requirements.
9th January: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for supplying licence and medical requirements for those wishing to compete in the 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championship.

Riders looking to apply for their 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike licence, please see details below from the ACU concerning medicals.

Please be aware, before an FIM or FIM-E International licence may be issued you will need to be in possession of a valid National Licence. To apply for a National licence please click this link.

You can now download the FIM/FIM-E application form that you will need to complete to apply for an International Licence by clicking here. The cost of a licence for the 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championship is £218.

Please read page one carefully so that you complete and sign the necessary sections applicable to you, this will avoid delays.

The most important change for this year only is that if you had a medical completed and this was submitted to the ACU for your 2020 FIM/FIM-E international licence this will be carried over for 2021 provided you sign the declaration on page 5. Hopefully, this will make life a little easier as we understand it is difficult to get to see GPs at this time, obviously if you are a first time applicant, you will be required to have a medical.

Important: Please note that if you are required to take a stress ECG test as part of your licence application, you will still need to have this carried out as normal.

Editor's note: the dates of 2021 FIM-E races will be published at www.fim-europe.com/drag-bike along with rules, records, results and a roll of honour.

UK tracks announce 2021 dates.
9th January: Both permanent UK tracks co-incidentally announced their 2021 calendars of events yesterday - and the news looks good.

Santa Pod Raceway has announced a full range of events and run what ya brung dates. Trakbak Racing CEO Keith Bartlett released the dates on Santa Pod Raceway's web site and its Facebook page. He stated "You will see from the calendar that we are pushing ahead with full season of events plus adding a few new ones too. This will of course be subject to current restrictions being lifted or at least eased to the level needed to welcome you back properly. We intend to put tickets on sale for March 1st."

The reason for this later than usual date is that SPR plans to introduce a new ticket insurance policy provided by TicketPlan, one of the leading providers of event ticket insurance. Holders can apply for a refund if they are unable to attend the event they have booked for due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, transport issues and illnesses including if you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19. By logging into their account, holders of tickets to cancelled 2020 events will be able to claim a full credit to their Santa Pod Ticket Shop account equal to exactly what they had already paid, which can be redeemed against any Santa Pod Raceway event within the following 24 months.

The Santa Pod Raceway coronavirus page gives full details on the continuing Covid-secure precautions the track successfully put in place to allow races with spectators to take place in 2020 - something that othermany other sports and motor sport disciplines were not able to achieve. Readers are directed to that page for full details, because these precautions will still be in place in 2021.

Keith Bartlett also thanks Santa Pod Raceway supporters: "May I take this opportunity once more to thank every single person who has supported Santa Pod in 2020 whether you are a regular fan, a once-a-year visitor, racer, crew, sponsor, supplier, or just a follower of Santa Pod on social media - all your support counts for so much. That support will surely be needed again as like many businesses in the leisure and events industry, the cost of existence has risen dramatically and our ability to generate income is thwarted once more".

Also yesterday, Melbourne Raceway announced a provisional series of seven events to take place on the eighth mile track in Yorkshire, events being run by Straightliners, headed up by Trevor Duckworth. Melbourne have confirmed that run what ya brung entry will be available at each event. Covid-secure precautions will also continue to be applied, with online ticket booking required and social distancing measures in place. Dates at other venues will be announced in due course.

Trevor stated on the Straightliners web site "The drag-racing community, their friends and family, came together and saved this historic racing venue in Melbourne, Yorkshire. But the project continues and the fundraising must be maintained to build on this incredible venue ensuring it's future, we have a track to race on but the site requires a lot more work.

"So, here's the plan...We now need to raise £11k in order to plain out the paddock area and then extend the track. We already have £3455.28p in the bank/Paypal towards this, so now we are asking the community to step up and help with fundraising for the next stage of making Melbourne Raceway the home of drag racing in the North.

"Straightliners would like to thank each and every one of you who has had an input into this fundraiser and for putting your hands in your pockets, you are a credit to the racing community, Melbourne is saved because of you".

Swift snippets.
9th January: A big Happy Birthday to Robinson Race Cars' Stefani Fisher, we hope you have a great day Stefani.

SPRC travel advice.
8th January: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for kindly supplying advice for racers wishing to compete in the European Union:

Now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU, racers looking to compete outside of the UK will need to deal with many new regulations to be able to move their race vehicles and transportation around Europe. Below are some pointers to items you may need to consider before looking to travel to European events when the season gets started.

Race licences
Race licenses will be accepted as normal across Europe; you will require start permission and insurance to race outside the UK as was the case prior to 2021.

Passports will now require a minimum of 6 months before the expiry date to travel within Europe, this is 6 months prior to the date your travels begin not your return date. However the passport may not be more than 10 years old; if you re-applied for a passport early and had the additional remaining time from the old passport added to the new one, then it is worth checking that you do not exceed the ten year limit of the current passport, if you are unsure please check with the passport office.

Travel insurance
Your travel insurance may not expire until later this year, it’s important to check that the current policy covers you for travelling outside of the UK as our connection with Europe is now changed.

Health Care
Your E111 card is still valid within Europe so should you need medical attention, there should be no problems in getting help, if you have private medical cover it’s worth checking with your insurer to cover any changes that may have taken place.

GB stickers are now required on all vehicles registered in the UK, your GB on your number plate does not count, you should have the correct sticker visible on the rear of the vehicle.

You must also carry your V5C and vehicle insurance documentation, the insurance documentation should include a green card, it’s important to make sure you have a green card that covers all of the road going vehicles, cars, trucks, caravans and trailers as they all have to be covered by a minimum of third party insurance.

You need to carry these with you either as paper documents or electronically when travelling into Europe as you may be asked to show them.

Driving licences are of course required, if you have a card type licence you are covered for every EU country, however if you still have a paper licence you may need an International Driving licence of some EU countries, if you have a paper licence still please check.

A silly one, but remember what queue to get in at the port as we are no longer in the EU or EEA, this will also apply at passport control.

You are not able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, and special food or pet food required for medical reasons . Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

Visas in most cases will not be required, unless you are going on an extended tour, a visa is only required for those travelling for more than 90 days at any one time.

If you travel to races with pets you will also need an animal health certificate with you, these can take up to a month to organise, so don’t leave it to late.

Regarding phones, there are agreements in place with some phone companies, but it is worth checking with your phone company to check on your roaming surcharges, as they may well of changed due to Brexit. There are UK regulations that limit an overspend of £45 but worth talking to your phone provider.

Carnet (CPD)
At present the regulations for Carnets are not clear for non-professional motorsports, we are still awaiting details from the government as to what if anything may be required. A Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) which may be new to some, is basically a government document you complete that has vehicle and goods details outlined within it, of what you are taking out of the country, a voucher is then stamped when leaving the UK and then stamped again when returning to the UK; there is no point getting too detailed just yet, as we may not need such documents, once we have more detail, we will of course keep you up to date.

There are two Government sites you may wish to visit, the transitions site www.gov.uk/transition can give you a basic insight as to your personal requirements for EU travel, and the driving abroad site www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit will help you with possible requirements for an International road driving Licence.

Blog update.
8th January: In the latest instalment of his autobiographical blog, John Hunt describes his experiences at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in detail. You can read John's blog here or by clicking on Racer Blogs in the main menu. As an option, you can read John's blog in a first-to-last sequence which you can find by clicking here.

Kågered retires.
7th January:
Multi-championship winning racer Mikael Kågered has announced his retirement from drag racing. The Swedish racer who has a career going back over 30 years, has been in two of the toughest categories, Top Methanol Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster, winning five FIA championships and innumerable events on the way. Micke said 'In recent years I've run a STCC TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship team as Kågered Racing with two cars competing; however managing a Top Fuel Dragster alongside the Touring Car team takes too much time, so I've reluctantly decided to retire my Top Fuel operation and team, many of which have been with me for 25- 30 years.

At the start of the '80s, Micke got to know drag racing by driving a street Dodge Challenger before a couple of years as a rally co-driver, returning to a Chevy Vega doorslammer. He then started his professional drag racing career in 1988 running Top Methanol Funny Car in Sweden and England. His first major Funny Car wins were in 1990 when he won Santa Pod Raceway's Cannonball and the Top Alcohol class at the World Finals at SPR.

His first championship title came in 1993 when he won the European Top Alcohol Challenge and repeated the feat in 1995 and 1999, which was his first FIA Championship. Micke's final Top Methanol Funny Car title came was in 2002, the second of six years in which he raced an alcohol flopper alongside a Top Fuel Dragster.

Micke said 'I've had a great career in drag racing. Thanks to our sponsors we had very few budget constraints. To be honest, if we did have a tight budget we wouldn't have raced. We have always had the best parts available and run as hard as we could with them. The high spot of my drag racing career is the 2015 Top Fuel Championship, it's such a tough class to run in, super competitive quite apart from the challenges of running nitro.'

Those challenges include some spectacular fires and, at the 2002 Finals, a burst tyre in his Top Fuel race taking out his rear wing, sending his car into the field at Santa Pod Raceway and destroying the car. He rebounded from this setback, as he always did from other less major problems, to become runner up in the following year's championship.

Reflecting on his long racing career, Micke said 'My team have been fantastic, my sponsors also have been with me for a long time and many are supporting my Touring Car team too. If I have one regret it's not having drag raced enough in the US, I did race in 2000 at the Gatornationals and really wanted to have done more.'

Thirty years at the top of any sport is a long time, however, and Micke has enjoyed his racing years. 'Drag racing in Europe is very good, we have a lot of spectators that get excited, show their appreciation at every event and are very knowledgeable about the sport'. Micke's Top Fuel car is still in his shop ready to race, so any budding Top Fuel racer could do a deal to acquire a championship winning car and team. If not, you never know...

Photos: 1999 FIA Euro Finals in Top Methanol Funny Car by Tog and winning the 2015 NitrOlympX in Top Fuel.

Swift snippets.
7th January: For those teams looking for crew, we have had a rare offer of crew help available, which you can see at our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded two more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 47 is from Glyn Jones' cine film and slides of the Pennine Drag Racing Club at Melbourne Raceway 1977 - 1978 and the renamed New York Raceway 1979 - 1980. Time Travel 48 including Adrian Sidwell's cine film from Blackbushe 1964 and Alan Dear's cine film from Santa Pod 1968 - 1969 and some slides from 1973.

Boston Brawler returns.
6th January: The new owner of the iconic '33 Willys British Gasser, the Boston Brawler, has emerged, along with a new look and new powerplant. The new owner is Blaise Lewis, who commissioned original builder and owner Jimmy Hibberd of
Valley Gas Speed Shop to carry out the revamp.

Blaise told us "I bought the Brawler from previous owner Steve Bloomfield in April 2019, it was in bits and looking a little sore . It had a 460 Big Block Ford engine and my son suggested trying to buy my old 392 Hemi back from a guy I sold it to in 2010. I found he still had it and had fitted it to a ride-on mower for his son's 18th birthday! Anyway, a few phone calls and a little negotiating and home it came, along with a chassis, Dana 60 rear axle, tube front axle, and two 12 spoke spindle mount ARE mag wheels. Basically I bought back all the stuff I sold him all those years ago.

"Next stop was Valley Gas as Jimmy had built it originally and I felt it only right for him to rebuild it. The 392 Hemi is being fully rebuilt by Jimmy, now 40 over with new Hilborn mechanical fuel injection. The gearbox will be a three speed TH400. "The new look comprises paint by Phil Norman at Brickfield Restorations and finished by Neil Melliard of Prosign, just as the first time".

Blaise commented "Hopefully the Brawler will be out this year. It's been a while since I raced at the Pod and Avon Park with a Ford Pop that Bob Nixon built for me back in 1987! So I will be taking it a little easy to start with, but next year might go alcohol. So watch this space".

2021 SPRC race numbers.
5th January: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending an update on race numbers for the 2021 season:

To all National Championship Racers, first of all, Happy New Year to you and we at the Santa Pod Racers Club hope your time over Christmas was as good as it could be under the current circumstances, and are looking forward to a far better 2021, for many reasons, we of course hope the race season can start as soon as is possible.

In 2020 we ran a small, three event Race Series, the Covid Cup, with winners of the series in all of our usual race classes, and we congratulate them on their winning efforts. This however was not a full National or SPRC Championship, and therefore will not affect race numbers for competitors going into the 2021 season.

The race numbers you would have used in 2020 will still stand for the 2021 season in all classes, however if you are unsure of your race number for this year, then by all means please get in contact with me at the SPRC office, and I’ll be happy to help, of course if you are to compete for your first time within the National or SPRC Championships please get in contact with me at either ir.marshall@btconnect.com or 01933 313625 and I’ll be able to help with your enquiry.

Drag-Seen still available.
5th January: Trackside photographer Paul Martin has been in touch to let us know the amount raised for charity by his publication of Drag-Seen, a collection of photographs taken during the summers of 2019 and 2020 at nostalgia drag racing events at Santa Pod Raceway, first covered in our update on 9th December:

I had a very good response from Eurodragster and have just sent a donation to Cancer Research for profits from sales up to 31st December of £97.93, so thanks so much for your support.

I still have some left, however due to postage costs rising and the cost of Paypal I have increased the price to £5.99. If Eurodragster.com readers are able to pay by bank transfer then I can offer them the original price of £4.99 - they just need to email me on paul@shot-well.com for details - mentioning Eurodragster.com.

Drag-Seen documents not only the racing but the culture and the atmosphere, by using original 35mm film cameras and digital cameras fitted with vintage lenses to make images that have an authentic aesthetic of photographs taken in the era when these cars were in their heyday. Sixty of these images featuring Outlaw Anglias, Gasser Circus, Nostalgia Superstock, RWYB and Wild Bunch are presented in the A5 sized ‘zine Drag-Seen with an introduction by Niamh Frances Smith @racewayhussy. Drag-Seen is printed on quality silk 170gsm paper and wrapped in a 300 gsm cover.

I have also listed it on Ebay for those who prefer this if they want to buy a copy.

2020 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
4th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards. The location and date for presentation of the trophies will be announced in due course, as the SPRC Dinner Dance is subject to Covid restrictions being lifted.

For several of the 2020 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy. The James Edgar Memorial Trophy is awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Phil Baimbridge (Al Smith Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Phil Baimbridge

Dave Bryant (Steve Ashdown Undertaker Fuel Funny Car)
Vote for Dave Bryant

Ashley Cooper (Ashley Cooper Street Eliminator)
Vote for Ashley Cooper

Karl Harrison (Andy Raw Nitro Bug Nostalgia Funny Car)
Vote for Karl Harrison

Marc Huxley (Mark Todd Six Appeal Street Eliminator)
Vote for Marc Huxley

Steve Mead (Steve Mead Super Street Bike)
Vote for Steve Mead

Aaron Springford (Colin Millar Flyin Fyfer Outlaw Anglia)
Vote for Aaron Springford

Annie Wallace (Bobby Wallace Pro Modified)
Vote for Annie Wallace

To place your vote, either click on the appropriate link above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to 2020sprcawards@eurodragster.com.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to SPRC marshal Alison Hackney. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to 2020sprcawards@eurodragster.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at 2020sprcawards@eurodragster.com.

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

Voting for all categories closes at 23:59 UK time this coming Sunday, 17th January.

Nev Mottershead: a tribute.
3rd January:
Thanks to retired Eurodragster.com editor Tog for sending a tribute to Nev Mottershead his friend and supporter of the site, who passed away on 31st December:

Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, cancer reminded us what an utter bastard it can be. Having responded to treatment to the point where he got to ring the little bell in the hospital, Nev got on with his life with Libby and with his family and friends, attending to his business and planning the return to the track of his Ventora race car, all of us unaware that the Big C was just biding its time before coming back mob-handed and taking our friend from us.

Now, I am going to break my own rules here. One of my pet hates is tributes which get turned round to being about the person writing them rather about than the person whom we have lost; in fact after all these years I could (but won't right now) give you a list of those who are prone to doing it; suffice to say that they never let us down. So you'll have to forgive me for bringing myself into this tribute but Nev and Libby have been such good and generous friends to me that some random memories from our escapades will give you a measure of the man, and I am sure that a lot of you reading will have had similar experiences.

Nev and Libby were always big supporters of Eurodragster.com but my first encounter with Nev was at a Press Day at Santa Pod Raceway very early on in the days of the web site. I had been offered a passenger ride in Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod but found myself without a crash helmet. I walked a couple of pits down and found the Super Gas Toyota Supra which was then being driven by Will Furniss, with Nev crewing. I asked if there happened to be a crash helmet going spare for a few minutes and Nev quickly obliged.

Towards the end of 2004 a race car drive fell through, through no-one's fault. I was sitting at home minding my own business late one night when the phone rang and it was Nev, now the driver of the Supra, on the other end of the line. "Lib's had an idea about this weekend", he said. "She suggested that I get in my car and put down a time, and then we put you in the car and you try to beat it. She says that's just like racing!". So that's what we did on a legendary weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway during which Nev introduced me to the pleasures of a transbrake launch - a strange mix of wondering whether one is totally in control yet at the same time wanting to shout "Whee!" at the same time. That's an experience I would not have had but for Nev and one which like all of my drives helped, I hoped, to make me a better reporter. The damp weekend ended with a windscreen full of Christmas Tree followed almost immediately by a windscreen full of guardrail but Nev saw it as unfinished business and quickly offered another drive in better weather.

Thus it was that I found myself at a Summer Test Day at Santa Pod. I was a little worried that I could not push the foot brake all the way down; after some scouting around Nev cut a large block of hard rubber from the camper's doormat and with a few cable ties we were good to go (OK, stop). Not quite tight enough in the seat? Libby fetched a couple of flowery cushions which to this day are probably still the world's fastest. Armed with the cannibalised doormat and Brentford Nylons' finest, and with patient coaching from Nev, into the nines I went. Nev and Libby also turned up to cheer me on when Carla Pittau and Rick McCann offered me a drive of their Camaro, and then Libby treated us all to one of her delicious meals.

I lost count of the number of evenings I spent with Nev and Libby eating their food and drinking their drink, and swapping stories from the stands and Race Control. Nev would list all the subtle comments on which he had picked up in the race report, and in commentary if I happened to be commentating. Some of those nights were very late because Nev and Libby were always more than happy to wait until I had finished my Eurodragster.com duties.

Still on the subject of food, I don't know what it was about something as simple as dining with Nev and Libby in an Indian restaurant, but it frequently engendered hysteria. We traditionally went for a curry the night before the UK Championships Dinner and Dance and on one occasion in particular Nev and I ended up helpless. The dessert choices were quite limited but I went for the Orange Surprise, i.e. a hollowed-out orange filled with orange sorbet, and Nev went for the Lemon Surprise, the same concept only a hollowed-out lemon. When the waiter brought our desserts and handed me the orange I pointed at the lemon and said "No, that's the Orange Surprise, that's the surprise you see". To make things worse the waiter momentarily went to give me the lemon before he realised, which was long enough for Nev to turn red and almost weep with laughter. For the rest of the evening we could not look at each other without cracking up.

On another occasion we visited the Curry Mile in Rusholme and we were served by an Indian waiter who had shoulder-length silver hair. The guy was quickly dubbed "Peter Singhfellow" and, realising that Nev was having trouble holding it in, I called the waiter "Pete" to his face every time he attended to us. Cue another wet shirt front.

When we returned to Nev and Libby's home after that meal, Nev showed me stacks of pictures of the work being done on to upgrade his Ventora at Wright's Mechanical Engineering Fabrication. Nev had every intention of running the car at the next available Dragstalgia but, as we since discovered, that bastard of a disease had other ideas.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Nev was beloved of everyone. A kind and gentle man, a loyal friend, always cheerful, always ready to help, always to be seen with his trademark bum bag, and a man given to going missing for ages on what for the rest of us would have been a simple walk from A to B in the pits: he would see someone and get sidetracked. Those pits are going to miss him very much.

To Nev: thank you for everything my friend. You enriched my life beyond measure. Love and thanks to Libby, Leah, Andy and Sharon, and to all of Nev's family and friends, of whom I was very privileged to be one.

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