European Drag Racing News

Outlaw Anglia do the awards.
31st January: Many thanks to site sponsor Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar on sending in an account of the very successful 2022 Outlaw Anglia awards and party last Saturday, plus a preview of what 2023 has in store.

The Kettering Park Hotel and Spa was yet again the venue for this years Outlaw Anglia Awards Presentation and Party just Saturday past, a great turn out by all the guys and gals with some making it a long weekend so they could use all the facilities at the pool and the wonderful Spa treatments on offer, a bit of behind the scenes planning made the evening just perfect with friendly staff and a wonderful location within the Rutland suite.

I have to say all our ladies were looking stunning and the boys all did a grand job and scrubbed up well, a big shout out to Barnaby Levy and Elisabete who won the long distance award making the effort from the deep south of Ireland.

Penny Bird had been working hard in the back ground as she always does, the Outlaw Anglia group try hard to raise as much funds as we can every year for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, after all we racers may very well need their services if we ever find ourselves in the wrong place, so worth all the effort, were raised nearly £800 so thanks to everyone who donated, there is still a chance to donate if you haven’t managed to yet, you can PayPal what you can afford to

Once we managed to get everyone settled, its like herding cats at times lol, we immediately kicked of with this year’s awards presentation and first up was Dave Gibbons of Tony Morris Carburetors / Rough Diamond Racing to present the TMC with RDR-sponsored end of season awards.

The two awards are designed to be won by anyone competing in the Outlaw Anglia class – irrespective of how much money they have (or had!) or how fast your car is. Each winner received a goodie bag containing a tee shirt, decals, a RHweldfab carb wrench, and £100 in cash. In addition, they were presented with a specially commissioned CARtoon of their car created by the talented hands of Graham ‘Durbie’ Durbridge, and we thank him for his fantastic work.

The ’surprise race outcome’ award was taken by Ben Rushforth (above left), who took a win light in his ‘Short Trip’ pop against Colin Millar.

The ‘personal achievement’ award for the racer achieving or surpassing his performance goal was won by Rob Stone (above right), whose Pop just seemed to get quicker and quicker in 2022.

Dave thanked the class, which he now realises is actually a drinking club that does a bit of drag racing!

TMC with RDR will continue to support Outlaw Anglia in 2023, again with two end of season awards, and a continued 10% discount to racers on parts and labour for their carburettor needs.

Moving on with the next award which is a hard one to win, is the best average reaction time calculated over the three non-MSA events and the winner who had not long sat back down was Ben Rushforth (below left), he had no idea he had taken the win as I could see the surprise on his face, well done Ben.

The next trophy in memory of Scott is the Outlaw Anglia Participants Trophy which is voted by the class of OA drivers and crew so pretty special to be put on a pedestal by your own guys and gals and much to his surprise it was unanimously won by Rob Nixon (below right), pretty fitting I have to say after starting the class 30 years ago, well done Rob.

Rob isn’t that used too or keen to stand up and speak on a microphone so instead of asking him I just waited until he came up to collect his award and presented him with the microphone and told him to present the three championship trophies and just sat down, I have to say he done a sterling job with a speech that came from nowhere and duly gave out third place to Rob Stone (above left), second place to Jedd Guy (above centre) and first place to myself (above right), well done Rob N you done that well, start writing that speech for next year?

Just a note to say that moving onto the SPRC Championship awards night Barry Woodford will be collecting the 2nd place trophy and Rob Stone will be collecting the 1st place trophy for the SPRC Outlaw Anglia Championship, well done lads.

And before I forget a special thanks to Jemma and Jedd Guy for presenting me (see left) with a fantastic reminder of that six and what team Flyin Fyfer achieved in 2022, thanks very much.

The meal was served right on time and fantastic food was had by all, the tables were cleared and the lights dimmed down, the resident DJ actually played some great tunes, he must have looked us up before the night to try and judge what sounds we needed to hear and the dancing started and I have to say I didn’t see an empty dancefloor all night even Penny Bird had her own special place allocated on the floor with help from both Adam and Barn.

As with all great nights, it's over far quicker than you know, no casualties and everyone was accounted for with just a few sore heads in the morning and everyone had breakfast and said their goodbyes.

Not long now until the dreaded winter period comes to an end with the Festival of Power kicking off the calendar for Outlaw Anglia and, as always, we hope to put on the very best show for all the fans out there, please see the OA dates for this year beow.

7th-9th April, Festival of Power
5th-7th May, Nostalgia Nationals
1st-2nd July, Summer Nationals
7th-9th July, Dragstalgia
19th-20th August, Green Light Nationals
15th-17th September, Hot Rod Drags

The Aussie Outlaw of John Willard will be joining the class to run in both Summer Nationals and Dragstalgia so keep a close eye on his progress. Also Simon Barlow is upgrading parts and as Karl Harrison stated “getting the orange Pop Fordson engine built ready for the Aussie invasion". If Jon Webster still has his Pop I’m going to try and twist his arm to see if he too can come out to play at Dragstalgia and, if it does get sold, fingers crossed the new owner can come out to play at least at Dragstalgia or even both.

Dave Sidaway is forging ahead with his brand new Wayne Allman build twin turbo BBC Time Bomb 2 and again fingers crossed Dave can also join the party. There is a strong possibility Dalton Scarlett will be campaigning the Fordson van “Hooligan” with its new combination and hopes are high for the big numbers. Mick Taylor, while helping John Willard, will also be there pushing his 7 second Fordson van hard, and as always I will be trying real hard to keep up with all these incredibly fast cars, keep your ears and eyes open for what is going to be a very exciting year, see you all real soon.

Swift snippets.
31st January: Happy Birthday for today to photojournalist Andy Willsheer, Top Fuel Bike engineer and tuner Phil Brachtvogel, 2022 Super Comp champion Leah Kellett, and Super Street Bike racer Richard Hann. We hope you all have a great day.

Pioneer stories: Ken Cooper, part 5.
30th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 5 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

During the mid to late seventies, Ken continued to work on Blast from the Past, the car getting longer and losing weight, Ken giving some attention to the rear axle and cylinder heads too. Ken raced with the British Flathead Association and even built cars for other racers. After he started a family, Ken kept wrenching the car however Pete Hollingsworth became the driver with Herb Andrews also on the team until Pete got his own car and eventually Blast from the Past was sold.

Part five of Ken Cooper's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Paul and Al return to Sick Week.
30th January: Brits Paul Mander and Al McSweeney are headed towards Orlando for Sick Week to repeat their event participation as one of 350 attendees of the American drag-and-drive competition.

Paul and Al will be sharing the driving in a new-to-them '86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Paul said:

"We bought the car in November last year from a guy in Corry Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie, and once again we drove it down to Florida and it's now in storage in Jacksonville Florida. it is an '86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo affectionately known as G Monte (as it's a G body). It has a 5.3 litre LS3 with a single 76mm turbo with a TH400, no cage, so again not allowed to run sub 10 sec 1/4's, so we are just aiming to complete Sick Week again.

Paul and Al thank Hot Rod and Dragster Illustrator for their artwork.

Sick Week 2023 Presented By Gear Vendors, from 12th-17th February , will see 350 of America’s quickest street cars descend on sunny Florida for five days of drag-and-drive competition. Racers set an average time at each drag strip across the week to determine their place, and must drive their cars between each track along a pre-determined route. Along the way, they will socialize, party and cruise with hundreds of other like-minded participants. The itinerary is:

12th February - Registration and Testing, Orlando Speedworld
13th February - Day One, Orlando Speedworld
14th February - Day Two, Bradenton Motorsports Park
15th February - Day Three, South Georgia Motorsports Park
16th February - Day Four, Gainesville Raceway
17th February - Day Five, Orlando Speedworld

Racing starts from 9am each day.

You can find out the latest information on Sick week by going to We will as last year be following any European, or expat European racers. Let us know if you're going.

Mooneyes media.
30th January: Owner of Dos Palmas Tony Thacker writes that the Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag was a great success. You can see some video highlights by clicking on the photo.

"Huge shout out to Chico and his team for a great 2023 Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag. We put a lot of kids in the 1964 Dos Palmas dragster (Denise Lefever) thanks to Scott Campbell. Special thanks to Nick Davies, Mick's Paint, Geoff Stilwell, USAutomotive and Evin Veazie & Justin Veazie—couldn't have done it without y'all."

Fellow supporters of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Bob and Sharon Muravez also attended, with Bob Beck doing announcing duties at his home track.

Tony kindly provided a gallery of photos from the event which can be viewed at this link, supported by Lucas Oil Products.

Also, for an excellently written article on the Moon Equipment Co., go to this link on the website.

New owners for Buddy's Paint Shack.
30th January: Pro Mod racer-in-waiting David Smith has announced he has bought Buddy's Paint Shack and will be running the business in collaboration with fellow shareholder Mike Lacey. Buddy's Paint Shack is based in Alcester, and is a high end paint shop specialising in detailed, hand finished paint and restoration, including body repair as well as accident repair.

David said "Buddy’s Paint Shack are at the very top of their game, have multiple show winning paint jobs under their belt, and are true artisians when it comes to historic restoration and show/custom finish paint jobs.

"Everything Buddy’s Paint Shop brand name has stood for since it’s incorporation, will remain, as will it’s loyal staff. Customers can expect nothing less than the quality they have always received.

"I’m hopeful that 2023 will see another huge expansion with the business, and will continue to stay as one of the number 1 bodyshops to use in the UK. I’m really looking forward to seeing all customers new and old, and excited to see where this journey takes us.

"If you’re looking for bodyshop services, restoration or that show finish paintwork, give us a call on 07533 199311 or e-mail on"

Chris O's tribute to Les Szabo.
30th January: Doorslammer racer and, need we say, Mopar devotee, Chris Orthodoxou has written in with his own tribute to the late, and fellow Mopar follower, Les Szabo.

"Was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Les. A lovely bloke. Always good for a cracki and some serious p*ss-taking. We used to be laughing our heads off in the pits. He along with Gordon & Alan Smith were the first guys to help me when I first started racing my Dodge Dart back in about 1988.

"My thoughts go out to his family."

Swift snippets.
30th January: Happy Birthday for today to Swap Meet sponsor Belinda Bull, Supercharged Outlaws racer Robbie Grabham, nitro tuner and driver extraordinaire John 'Bodie' Smith and VW Sportsman racer Andree Walklate. We hope you all have a great day.

SPRC entry forms updated.
29th January:
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall has let us know that the Festival of Power entry forms will be available from 6pm today.

Ian adds "The remaining forms will be available shortly; thanks to Pete Walters who has been working tirelessly to get us to this point."

Pete Walters added "You can now create an account which will save all your details and prefill entry forms to save a lot of time! A new addition for Car entries is the SFI/FIA Certification Declaration, which needs to be filled in before each event (also prefilled) to assist with the new scrutineering procedures." event coverage 2023.
29th January: We have posted our event coverage plan for 2023 which you can see at this link or by clicking on 'Event Coverage' in the main menu at the top of the page. As ever, the usual caveats apply: event coverage is dependent on weather and track conditions and team availability.

The event list has increased from previous years and we are thankful to our team for setting aside their time to make in some cases lengthy journeys to attend events. We are again scheduling events at Spitfire Raceway at Perranporth, Cornwall and Dakota Raceway, Smeatharpe, Devon. Also, as a sponsor of Melbourne Raceway, we are pleased to announce coverage of all events at the track this year, with former editor Tog attending.

At Santa Pod Raceway we are covering all championship events, both SPRC National and FIA/FIM-E as well as several lifestyle events and RWYBs, and plan to travel to Tierp and Hockenheim for the FIA/FIM-E events at those tracks (Tierp TBC for FIM-E). Thanks to Julian and Kieran for giving their time for overseas trips and to Kieran for allowing us to embed video footage into the galleries for the first time.

Swift snippets.
29th January: Today's Happy Birthdays are to former SCR official Julie Willcox, UK Nostalgia Superstock racer Neil Frances and FWD racer Craig Evans. Have a great day guys.

Extensive photo coverage of Nitro Revival 5 from last November by Don Ewald can be seen at this link.

Last call for SPRC dinner.
28th January: Yvonne Tramm of
Santa Pod Racers Club has said there are still tickets available for applications to attend the SPRC Dinner on 18 February at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, and applications will stay open until 7th February.

"Email me at this address, if you would like to put tickets aside before you action your application form. It will be a great night, hope to see you there."

Mooneyes alongside Dos Palmos.
28th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell for sending us these awesome shots of the Mooneyes dragster replica alongside the original and restored Dos Palmos.

Tony Thacker wrote: "How cool is this? Two A/GDragsters that came to the UK in 1963 (Mooneyes) and '64 (Goodnight-Keith and Williamson Dos Palmas) united for the first time ever at the 2023 Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag Race, Irwindale, CA — thanks to Scott Campbell, Nick Davies, Mick's Paint, Geoff Stilwell, USAutomotive and the Justin Veazie and Evin Veazie."

The Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag Race takes place today and we will link to photos of the event when published. One spotted already is at the Outlaw Gassers So Cal Facebook page.

63 and not out yet!
28th January: The 63rd running of the National Sprint Association Awards Presentation took place last Saturday at The Strawberry Bank Hotel, Meriden where class champions received there deserved trophies and Perpetual Awards were handed out, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.

Just before that there was a tinge of sadness in the air when at the AGM it was announced that the club had lost the use of its most prominent track, Somerset’s Westonzoyland lovingly referred to as ‘WZ’ following the sale in recent weeks parts of the World War 2 airfield’s runway and adjacent land where the sprint strips pits were situated.

The NSA had been operating from this venue when it was just a single lane eighth of a mile sprint strip since 1981, and later a dual lane quarter mile up until 2021 when it reverted back to an eighth due to the lack of braking area. Several options are now being investigated but the club will be hosting rounds at Smeatharpe Airfield in Devon, Landbedr, Wales, Melbourne Dragstrip and Santa Pod alongside Straightliners. Dates are expected to be confirmed shortly.

With 80 guests converging on the Meriden Suite the evening was conducted by commentator Jerry Cookson with assistance from ‘H’ Haward Boswell from B&H Motorcycles. There was the usual raffle and something new courtesy of Portatree’s Wayne & Janet Schreier Shakespeare County Raceway’s show ‘tree hooked up to a reaction timer and an exercise bike so that contenders could act out the stance of sitting on a real sprint bike! Quickest reaction of the evening was Junior racer Chloe Hayman with a .036, but managing not to avoid the booby prize was 500cc racer Kerry Phillips with the slowest reaction and two red lights.

Guest of honour for the evening was the Queen of Speed Sheelagh Neal who in her long sprinting career has ridden more bikes and sidecars at some of the UK’s best known sprint and drag strips. In fact Sheelagh used to ride in the chair of her father Ossie’s outfit in the sixties. The evening closed with the usual raffle and disco.

2022 National Sprint Association Class Champions:

1a - 50cc Junior - Sam Taylor
1c - 125cc Junior - Chloe Hayman
3 - 125cc Racing - Martin Bracey
4 - 250cc Racing - Stuart Buchanan
5 - 400cc Racing - Simon Hewer
6 - 500cc Racing - Kerry Phillips
7 - 750cc Racing - Andrew Langdon
8 - 1000cc Racing - Simon Havercroft
9 - Unlimited Racing - Mark Taylor
10 - 500cc 3 Wheeler - Dave Langley
11b - 350cc Vintage Pre 1946 - Peter Thomas
11c - 500cc Vintage Pre 1946 - John Young
11e - 250cc Vintage Post 1946 - Richard von Mach
11f - 350cc Vintage Post 1946 - Brian Priddle
11g - 500cc Vintage Post 1946 - Noah Harrison
12 - Scooters - Adie Horrocks
13a - Classic (Non Jap) Up to 500cc - Andrew Webb
13b - Classic (Non Jap) Over 500cc - Jasper Joy
13d - Classic Japanese Over 500cc - Jason Winterson
15 - 400cc Road Legal - Karl Jefferies
16 - 750cc Road Legal - Neil Jenkinson
17 - 1000cc Road Legal - Mark Wheeler
18 - Road Legal Over 1000cc - Steve Everett
19 - Superstreet - Barry Varndell

2022 Overall Elgar Shield Champion - Jasper Joy
2022 Overall Runner Up - Adie Horrocks

Special Awards

NSA Fastest E.T. – Andrew Boswell
NSA Fastest Terminal Speed – Mark Taylor
NSA Most Outstanding Achievement – Tony Davidge
Fastest Pre 1946 Vintage – John Young
NSA Ladies Award – Lucinda Langdon
NSA Marshal Award – Pete & Sue Richardson (pictured right top)
Martin Bury Endeavour Award – Janet & Wayne Schreier (pictured right bottom)
NSA Slip Up Award – NSA Committee
Alan Tinnion Appreciation Award – Sheelagh Neal

NSA photographer Carol Jenkinson has made her presentation photos available which can be viewed at this link, supported by Lucas Oil Products.

The NSA season is expected to start in late March with events running and counting towards the cubs National Championship until October. Further info and dates can be viewed at or on the club's Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
28th January: Happy Birthday for today to Jet dragster and funny car racer Martin Hill, British Junior Dragster Club admin and JD mum Edel McDonald, Straightliners and Melbourne Raceway announcer Paul Cumpstone, Straightliners Bike racer Andy Higham, Modified 100e racer Troy Bull and Top Methanol Funny Car racer Mikael Larsson. We hope you all have a great day.

Good luck and stay safe to expat Swede Adam Flamholc, who we reported on in advance of his appearance at the US Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park this weekend. After two qualifying sessions, Adam is in 34th place in Outlaw Pro Mod, an incredibly competitive field with 3.605/210.11 for the top qualifier and 3.730/213.30 for provisional bump spot. Adam's best time was 3.757/203.31. You can see further action on FloRacing (streaming starting Saturday at 15:00 GMT).

Les Szabo.
27th January: We were very sorry to hear of the passing of former Super Gas racer Les Szabo who passed away suddenly on Friday 13th January following a heart attack.

Les was brought up in North London, subsequently moving to Enfield. After owning a '68 Dodge Charger which he bought in 1977, his first race car was his 1971 Plymouth Barracuda (pictured left), in full street spec (including white leather seats), which with its 340ci engine ran 13.3's. Naming the car Hot Metal, he rebuilt the engine and tuned the car to a succession of bests finally running a 11.01/122 in 1987. Les raced around the country in championship meetings as well as Gary's Doorslammer events.

In 1988 he acquired a '67 Barracuda 440ci fastback (pictured right) from Rick Garrett, which he also ran as Hot Metal. Les became 1990 Modified ET champion at Santa Pod Raceway. The Barracuda got down to 9.96s at 133mph; Les had ran in Super Gas in 1989 before selling the car in 1991, but realised to be competitive he needed to make big changes to the rear wheel tubs and gearing, and he was more of a Stock or Super Stock guy.

A real drag racing enthusiast, Les was friends with many and being a Mopar enthusiast, was a keen follower of Mopars in Nostalgia Superstock. He continued to attend meetings at Santa Pod to chat to racers of similar ilk. Les crewed for John Davison on his his Soper & Heck '69 Road Runner before the pandemic. John remarked "There wasn't much that Les didn't know about Mopars". Indeed Les, with the encouragement of his family, had often considered a return to racing and to build another car, but sadly it wasn't to be.

We send our deepest condolences to Les's wife Elizabeth, sons Rob and Christopher and his whole family and friends.

1983 photo of '71 'Cuda by Steve Day.

Pioneer stories: Al O'Connor, part 2.
27th January: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and long time Super Gas racer Al O'Connor, pictured with girlfriend Lisa.

After Al's Gasser crashed in 1978, Allan Herridge built a new chassis for the car which remains in use today. Al mainly ran the car in Modified until the creation of Super Gas in the UK in 1984. Al had travelled to the US as a spectator, but in the mid 80s started to get the itch to travel with Al's Gasser, first to Germany and then to the US in 1988.

Part two of Al's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Straightliners Northern Ireland.
27th January:
Trevor Duckworth of Straightliners has announced a series of drag racing events in Northern Ireland after a year of work behind the scenes.

He said "We have set up Straightliners (N.I.) Limited to put on events in the province, this will be run much like Straightliners is now with a mixture of classes and RWYB events. 2023 sees five full events taking place with the intention of running a full UK championship with rounds in the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man in 2024."

Fellow Straightliners (N.I.) Limited director Ben Lawrence said "As many of you will be aware, drag racing in Ireland is back. After a lengthy hiatus due to Covid, losing tracks and spiralling costs, the future of drag racing in Northern Ireland was certainly looking bleak.

"After the success of Drag Day and other events on the calendar, the sport was growing and with it, a whole community of like minded folk who all wanted one thing, to race. Sadly after all the momentum, the above conditions ultimately led to the demise of our sport in Ireland. Until now.

"I am proud to say we are back.

"With the backing and full support of the UK's premier timing team "Straightliners" under the watchful eye of Trevor Duckworth, we now have a fully equipped team that is ready to take on the challenge of timing the five rounds of the 2023 Irish Drag Racing championship. In February will be holding a private test session for our entire team to run the entire system over a 1/4 of a mile to maximise our readiness for the first round at Bishopscourt in March.

"I will sign off by saying a huge thank you to Trevor Duckworth and his team at Straightliners, his trust in us to deliver quality timing and events is one we do not take for granted and we have a duty to uphold the company's reputation. To all the supporters of what we have tried to achieve over the years, those who stuck with us, come rain, sleet, hail, snow and possibly the odd ray of sunshine - thank you.

"Myself and the team look forward to seeing you all trackside, both competitors and spectators alike."

Dates and venues for the five round series have been agreed:

Round 1. Bishopscourt (pictured), Sunday March 26
Round 2. Kirkistown, Saturday 29th April
Round 3. Ballykelly, 26th-27th May
Round 4. Bishopscourt, Sunday 30th July.
Round 5. Enniskillen, Sunday 27th August.

Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race tomorrow.
27th January: Tomorrow, 28th January, at Irwindale Dragstrip in California is the Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race, which we mentioned on 17th January. It will be the first public appearance of the Dos Palmos dragster since it was bought by the UK consortium of Geoff Stilwell, Tony Thacker, Nick Davies, Stewart Bassett and Mick Jenkins.

Mooneyes, which has been supporting racing and rodding since the fifties, still makes many of its own parts right in Los Angeles and still races and they have a long history of supporting us Brits ever since the Mooneyes dragster driven by Dante Duce made its first UK runs at Silverstone on 10th September 1963, culminating in a 9.48/167 which was the quickest quarter mile pass the UK had ever seen up to that date.

Spectator Entry for the event is still available online at this link, however car show registration (for ‘72 or older vehicles) and vehicle entry for drag racing are both sold out.

The second annual Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show and Drag Race is is a one-day show which is modelled on the Mooneyes Shows of the past and will include a pre-72 Car Show, pre-72 drag racing, vendor booths, live bands, a pin-up contest, pinstriping and more. The show is scheduled for 09:00 to 15:00 on Saturday 28th January.

Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell said "There should be many legends attending. Dos Palmos has cleaned up well and we have solved a problem of it running rich which has been an issue since we first took ownership of the car. Nick Davies sent over a spare fuel pump and the fuel lines and injectors were cleaned up, thanks to Tony, Donnie Cummings and Scott from the Pure Hell team for the cleaning and installation. The Mooneyes organisers are expecting more than 10,000 attendees and Dos Palmos will be on display alongside the Mooneyes dragster."

Swift snippets.
27th January: Happy Birthday for today to sponsor and car builder Geof Hauser who reaches 70 today, Wild Bunch racer Alan Skipp, Junior Dragster racer Harley Darby and Gasser Circus racer Simon Prest. We hope you all have a great day.

The new edition of Hot Rod, due out in February has a full report of Steve and Cindy Gibbs' Nitro Revival 2022. Coverage is by photojournalist Marc Gewertz can be seen on the Hot Rod web site.

Santa Pod Exhibition Classes for 2023.
26th January: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Track & Events Coordinator Dan Melrose who has sent us the following announcement:

Santa Pod Raceway is pleased to announce the return of several exhibition classes for 2023, headlined by the Greenlight Pro heads-up class at the Greenlight Nationals on August 19-20. The class will run to a heads-up pro tree, pro ladder eliminations format, and will be open to all vehicles running 7.49 or quicker that conform to Motorsport UK regulations.

Big Bracket will also be back for two standalone events in 2023. Alongside returning to the Greenlight Nationals, Big Bracket will now also be on the bill for the new Sportsman Nationals event on June 17-18. The class runs to a Dial-your-own format between 6.00-11.99 at Sportsman Nationals, and 7.50-11.99 at Greenlight Nationals. The class is open to all vehicles conforming to Motorsport UK regulations.

Entries will be available via the Santa Pod Racers Club website, so keep your eye out for more information!

Batcheler retires.
26th January:
Comp Bike racer Dave Batcheler has announced his retirement and sale of his racing operation:

"Well it’s time to hang up the leathers. I’m giving up racing and moving on to different adventures. I would just like to thank all that made us welcome at the track and I’ve made some great friends. And thank you to all the track crews at Pod, Shakey and Eurodragster (you're welcome - Editor).

I’ve been sprinting and drag racing for 18 years-ish and enjoyed it all. I got my first 8 second run at Shakey, then started running in 8.50 Bike for few years then moved up to Comp bike and after a few tries (well, more like few years), got my 1st seven.

There’s been a few highs. Phil Crossley letting me loose on his great Funny Bike which was amazing, and coming second in championship was the icing on the cake. And the same year at Easter, surprising Sharon and asked her to marry me when I cut the motor on startline. She still had the starter in her hand. thank you everyone involved in that plan.

We will still pop down every now and then to see you all going fast and can’t wait to see my tech guru Phil Crossley's new Top Fuel Bike running down the track.

I’m going to be selling the dragbike and stuff hopefully as a complete package. She’s done me proud. The fastest Suzuki Bandit-based motor in Europe, maybe the world, with a 7.76. Correct me if I’m wrong.

But from us all thank you again and we will see you in the future. Dave, Sharon, Rhys and Tyler.

All the best to Dave for his retirement. You can see details of his racing operation for sale at our Jeff Bull Race Engines sponsored Swap Meet pages.

Unusual Car Sales U.K. expanding.
26th January: Head of Facebook group Unusual Car Sales U.K. Nigel Taylor has been in touch with news of the group's expansion, and drag vehicles for sale.

Unusual car sales U.K. now has over 40,000 members between its main site and the parts and projects page.

When we started out 3 years ago we never had any idea that it would grow like it has, we have stuck with our zero policy on messers. We don’t allow negative comments, bad dealings, price slaggers, no show folk, no reply folk, no adverts without prices, no auctions, no competitions, no time wasters etc.

We enjoy helping everyone in the hot rod scene and drag racing scene and the feedback at shows and at Santa Pod has been amazing. We would like to say a special thanks to Mike and Stevie gates of Hayling Garage and Dan and Nik Williams of Williams bro racing for their continued support with the group and its members.

Vehicles this week that have sold include a drag racing Camaro, a pro street Fordson, a 56 Chevy, a coach camper, Chevy Blazer, Ford F150, a '58 Chevy Apache truck,a pro street Corvette, a 79 Camaro, a couple of Mopars and much more.

Some of the vehicles this week for sale include John Webster’s Amazing outlaw Anglia, Andy Frosts world's fastest street car, David Smith's Comp Eliminator Jag XKR (top left), Jiri Luke’s Funny Bike (top middle), Clive Charles's Topolino (top right), Kyle Rushby's turbo Hyabussa (bottom left), Kieran Turner's 9 second S10 truck (bottom middle), a couple of gorgeous 35 Ford’s, a gorgeous 58 Mercury and many more.

The admin team at unusual car sales U.K. consists of my wife and myself and up to now , we have had Chris Hepworth helping us along the way and he’s done an amazing job but due to the popularity and how busy it’s getting we have now added another 3 to our admin team. We would like to welcome Ross Simpson, Cliff “Firewalker” Mann and Adam Sayers who also happens to have an absolutely stunning 57 Chevy up for grabs on the site at present (bottom right).

The site also lists show/race dates, useful contact numbers, transportation services by area and anything else that helps out the scene. Thank you to for all the mentions, we know what hard work goes into this site and what a superb job Simon Groves does! Absolute legend. (you're too kind - Editor).

Grimhilde apparel on sale.
26th January: Street Eliminator racer and Serck Motorsport Global Motorsport Manager (UK and USA) Graham Smith has launched for the first time team merchandise for sale to fans. You can buy T Shirts, Hoodies, Zoodies and lack Zipped Tops, printed in extremely high quality using the latest technology and machinery by clicking on the picture.

Graham said "These products all feature our '57 Chevy Grimhilde. We are absolutely thrilled with the final finish thanks to Design by Binnie. Craig Dixon at Altered Apparel Tees has very kindly featured them on his web site at this link.

"We were thrilled with our first outing in the '57 at last years Euro Finals and look forward to the new season in Street Eliminator hopefully hunting a 7."

Swift snippets.
26th January: Happy Birthday for today to author and photojournalist Keith Lee, Nostalgia Funny Car racer Martin Maxwell, former Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car racer Birgitte Bremnes and ET Bike mum Sharron Collier. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

You can see eighth mile testing from the US Street Nationals streamed by NC ProModer on Facebook at this link with uploads also to Youtube; more live Facebook streaming is planned for today (Thursday). Some highlights of Tuesday testing have also been posted on Youtube by Straight Line Media.

SFI tour returns.
25th January: Many thanks to SFI President Jennifer Faye for announcing that after four long years of pandemic restrictions and international logistical challenges, the full SFI Inspections Tour will return for 2023:

The entire SFI Team is excited to return to the traditional four-stop inspections tour this year. We would like to thank everyone involved in European drag racing for supporting our efforts to return. We trust that most racers will be able to utilize the location that is closest to them and this will be much more convenient than shipping parts long distances for recertification.

The SFI inspection process is an important procedure for ensuring that certified parts are in safe working condition for the upcoming season. As a reminder, we are unable to inspect Weld wheels due to the special equipment that is not portable, however, we have added ME Racing Service in Sweden as an inspection site for Weld wheels. Details may be found in the list of inspection items (click to download, pdf format). For each stop listed below, the host name can be contacted for pricing in local currency and to arrange parts delivery or attendance at each inspection day. ME Racing requires pre-registration, which may be found on their website.

Stop 1, Netherlands (DHRA)
Thursday, March 16, 8:00am-12:00pm
Hotel Ibis Amsterdam Schiphol
Schipholweg 181
Bedhoevedorp 1171PK

Stop 2, Finland (FHRA)
Friday, March 17, 8:00am-12:00pm
FHRA Office
Teollisuustie 2
01800 Klaukkala

Stop 3, Sweden (ME Racing Service AB)
Saturday, March 18, 11:00am-5:00pm
ME Racing Service AB
Svetsgränd 10
781 72 Borlänge

Stop 4, England (Santa Pod, SPRC)
Monday, March 20, 9:00am-4:00pm
Santa Pod Raceway
Hospitality Suite
Airfield Road, Podington, NN29 7XA

Flamholc racing at US Street Nationals.
24th January:
Expat Swede Adam Flamholc had a busy 2022, attending over 30 events in the US and Europe, and is planning a similar, but more US oriented campaign in 2023, including NHRA, NMCA and No Prep Kings:

After a broken carbon fibre drive shaft (due to it coming into contact with the chassis) at the Snowbird Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, Adam had to withdraw after a best of 3.806/201.37 and #35 in qualifying in his Outlaw Pro Mod '57 Bel Air. He remarked "Super excited to go back out with the Bel Air. After making six runs with the car, I know what I wanna change and work on!"

On the following weekend Adam attended the No Guts No Glory grudge racing event at Orlando Speed World Dragway, then Adam and family had a short break. After Christmas, Adam continued working on the PDRA Pro street/Pro 10.5 doorslammer of Mike Reynolds as well as the Camaro of Dmitry Samorukov who is looking at competing in the whole NHRA Pro Modfied series in 2023, commencing at the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in March.

Adam's immediate racing priority is the US Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park this coming weekend. Information released by the track indicates an entry of around 56 Outlaw Pro Modifieds (see list of entries). Adam's new rear housing, brakes and axle parts arrived in time and he hopes to be at Bradenton to test tomorrow (Wednesday).

The following big race at Bradenton Motorsports Park after that will be the World Series Of Pro Mod 3rd - 5th March. You can see both races from Bradenton (and a lot more besides) on FloRacing (streaming starting Friday at 16:00 GMT).

One downside for Bradenton Motorsports Park is an amendment of use of land near the track to housing, passed by the local Manatee County in December in the face of mass opposition from local residents and the motorsport community, as reported in the Bradenton Times. We can only hope that development will be long delayed.

Swift snippets.
24th January: Happy Birthday for today to sponsor, car builder and racer extraordinaire Jon Webster, Santa Pod Raceway IT guru Dave 'DJ' Jones, ET Bike racer Blade King, Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman, VW Pro racer Paul Jackson and Jurgen 'Master of Desaster' Schomann. We hope you all have a great day.

The BBC have posted on their BBC Archive Youtube channel a report from Nationwide, originally broadcast 19 September, 1977 by Bernard Clark on events at Santa Pod Raceway. Included are interviews with SPR founder Bob Phelps, Roz Prior in the Maneater Top Fuel dragster and Harry Corrigan, who ran an Austin Westminster. See this piece of history by clicking here.

Pioneer stories: Ken Cooper, part 4.
23rd January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 4 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken built Bazooka Too, a more modern design, in 1967 which he ran until 1972 when he built Blast from the Past. With parts from Tony Beadle, Ken bored the engine out to 286ci and ran it on methanol with four Stromberg carbs and a full race cam. He then went direct drive with a slider clutch and ran 50% nitro, following which he experimented with different gearbox configurations and different fuels including hydrogen peroxide (not for long). In building a spare engine, Ken ground his own camshaft to the amazement of the competition - and knocked 3 seconds off the ET of the spare motor!

Part four of Ken Cooper's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Pro ET bash a success.
23rd January: On Saturday, the UK Pro ET bash was held at the Worcester Whitehouse Hotel and was again a great success, writes Mike Lacey. "Trophies were awarded to the following:

Best appearing car: Brett Featherstone
Best appearing team: John Bean
Crew Chief: Debs (Brett Featherstone)
Rookie: Warren Watts
Hard Luck: Lee Huxley
Wheelie: Tom Watkins
Comical moment: Andy Garnett
Spirit of Pro ET: Neil Topliss (aka Toppo)
Just Do It (new trophy in memory of Neil Hunter, pictured): John Bean.

"Thanks to all for coming. All the winners were very much deserved. Well done to all.

"I will be stepping down now and Brett Featherstone will be taking over the running of the sponsorship scheme. I wish him and all involved all the best. May you all have a fantastic years racing. See you all at Easter."

UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
22nd January: As mentioned in our update on
5th January, the SPRC riders' and drivers' meeting took place this afternoon at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton. Below is a summary of the items covered, thanks to SPRC club secretary Ian Marshall for providing details:


The dates and classes of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below, together with a table of other non-National classes running at Championship events. You may download and print the full tables in pdf format, including all FIA/FIM-E classes, by going to the links for car classes and bike classes.

Cars Motorsport UK
Pro Modified
Super Pro
Pro ET Sportsman
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May

STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
21st-23rd July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September

STP UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

Bikes Top Fuel
Pro Stock
Super Street
ET Bike Junior Drag
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May


STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September


UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

Other classes at
Championship events
Funny Car
Funny Car
Flat Four
Super Stock
7.60 Door Car Class
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-9th April
STP Springspeed Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th April-1st May
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
26th-29th May
STP Sportsman Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
17th-18th June
STP Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
1st-2nd July
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th July
STP Green Light Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway
19th-20th August
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
7th-10th September
STP UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-24th September

SPR and SPRC have added the Sportsman Nationals to help spread the load at race events. Pit space is becoming increasingly tight, at the Festival of Power we don’t have the room for all of the classes, this is due in one respect to there being a large VIP Marquee in the middle of what would be the bike pits; we see this growth as a positive. The bike racer numbers have grown by 35% over the 2022 season and we need to accommodate everyone, therefore we have moved three car classes from the Festival of Power to the Sportsman Nationals in June, they will be joined by all of the ACU Bike classes with the exception of Top Fuel Bike. They will also be joined by the Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus, Modified 100E and the 7.60 Heads up class.


The entry fees this year will sadly have to rise, as most people know the cost of everything is going up, we Santa Pod Racers Club and Santa Pod Raceway are not exempt, the track has seen huge cost increases in 2022 so we must all do our bit to sustain our racing facilities.

The fees will go up 10% across the board for all events, 7% going to the track and 3% to the club.

Entry Fees for the 2023 season will be:

Class Two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
Motorsport UK British Pro Modified; Top Fuel Dragster; Nitro Funny Car; Nostalgia Funny Car £198 £209 £247 (FC and NFC only)

NB FIA classes pay FIA fees for FIA European Championship events
ET classes; Super classes; Junior Dragster; Comp Eliminator; Street Eliminator; VW classes; Outlaw Flat Four; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; Nostalgia Super Stock; other Sportsman car classes £165 £181 £209
ACU Top Fuel Bike, FIM classes £203 £215 NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
ACU Funny Bike; ACU Pro Stock Bike; ACU Comp Bike; ACU Super Street Bike; 9.50 Bike; 8.50 Bike; ET Bike; ACU or FIM Junior Drag Bike £170 £187 NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events


The electric fees will remain as per the 2022 season, so thankfully no increase there (see table below).

Event duration Single phase Three phase
2 days £75 £195
3 days £87 £207
4 days £99 £219


The 2022 National Champion Winners will receive free entry to their respective National Rounds as normal.

A reminder that the new membership system has now been put in place, all memberships will run from 1st January to 31st December.

The SPRC website has undergone an upgrade, with several new elements, the most obvious will be the requirement for car racers to add their SFI equipment and safety kit with expiry dates. More details will be passed on before the site goes live.

This is linked into Santa Pod being given the green light for the new scrutineering system. At present, we are waiting for confirmation for this from Motorsport UK. Should we receive this, we will go back to the system used during the Covid season, in that there will be no queue to scrutineer at all but one event; the Festival of Power will remain as per our normal scrutineering regime, in that every car on site will be scrutineered. For all race events following the Festival of Power, scrutineering will be on a selective basis, we or our scrutineers will maintain records as to who has been seen and when, all vehicles will be scrutineered at least twice during the season, pro cars will be at every meeting. If you do not attend the Festival of Power then the first event you do attend, you will be scrutineered regardless.

We feel that this system is far better for our racers and scrutineers, as they will have more time to carry out a detailed inspection of the cars. Please note the new scrutineering system is not for Motorcycles.

As the website is going through an upgrade, the entry forms will not be available Sunday evening as usual. We will announce when they are available.

2023 should see the launch of a brand new timing system. Our timing gurus have been working in the background for a year or so now, and have developed their own new system which, when launched, should see many important updates and new features. The plan at present is to test the system at RWYB events, then to run the system alongside our current timing system at the Festival of Power and Spring Speed Nationals. This is to allow our team the opportunity to iron out any bugs before we go live with the new timing system. We are currently looking at the Main Event to launch this, but will get back to all of our Competitors with a live date and details of what the system will offer to the racers, spectators, commentators and press once we are in a go condition.

All of our National Championship classes now have title sponsors, more details on these will be announced in the coming days.

Could any championship racers looking to run as a team please make sure the team’s name and driver/Rider details are passed on to either Ian Marshall or Yvonne Tramm. These must be in place one week prior to the Festival of Power please.

Finally we (SPRC) will be updating our marshals' crew uniforms this year. If there are any companies that would be interested in sponsoring part of our uniform we would be happy to hear from you, please call Ian Marshall on 01933 313625 or email for more details and what we can do for you or your company.

Goodale joins UK NSS Committee.
22nd January: UK Nostalgia Superstock co-ordinator Don Scott has announced a new member of the class committee:

"Chris Goodale, one of our racers and also a parts importer / supplier, has now joined us on the committee. With the class growing so big and so quickly, Bev Tyrrell, our membership secretary, told me she needed a hand with updating the website etc, giving her more time to concentrate on membership and finances etc alongside her busy daily work schedule.

"At our recent committee meeting, we identified Chris as being a suitable candidate for such a task, and coupled with his extensive knowledge of the type of cars that race in our class, we are very lucky to have him agree to join us.

Ecumaster supports Hobos.
22nd January: Thanks to 2022 ACU Comp Bike Champion Chris Neary for writing in about a new sponsor for Hobo Racing: "We have run Ecumaster products on Chris Neary’s competition bike and Mike Gooding’s STTG bike for the last eight years with great success. This new package will allow us to upgrade the bikes of Justin Malton and Luke Blundell.

As part of this sponsorship, Chris’s bike will be further upgraded in order to perform beta testing of the new Pro 16 ECU which is aimed at professional motorsport users. Ecumaster products are widely used by teams competing in many different forms of motorsports, such as drifting, drag racing, rally and circuit racing.

The full Ecumaster range can be viewed by visiting their website

Swift snippets.
22nd January: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Anglia racer Adam Cuthbert, Norwegian Pro Modified racer Odd Erik Fossum, Swedish Stock Superstock racer Thomas Strand and Marshals Club stalwart Chris Hobson who reaches 75. We hope you all have a great day.

Taylors turn to reporting.
21st January: Head honcho of the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook site Nigel Taylor and fellow hot rodder and photographer son Kenzie are turning their talents to reporting the UK street and drag scene for two major US titles:

"Kenzie and I have recently been approached by both ‘Dragzine’ and ‘Street Muscle', two very big magazines Stateside. These two magazines are asking for me to provide photos on the UK drag scene, as they believe it is deserving of far more coverage and exposure out there and we agree! They are wanting both on-track shots and photoshoots of certain cars for both magazines. One magazine is mainly aiming at the fastest, baddest, and quickest hot rods/drag cars in the country...Topspeed Street Eliminator boys, we’re looking at you.

"The other title, ‘Street Muscle', are looking mainly for street-driven hot rods, street rods, street gassers and pro street cars, anything along those lines.

"Hopefully throughout the year I will be asked to cover some cool events at Santa Pod Raceway for both magazines, featuring some of your awesome race cars and street rods. This will be a really exciting opportunity if I can get some of you lovely guys with some fast street cars interested and to possibly have your car pictured / featured in the States!

"They really want to get some good recognition for the UK scene in the USA and around the world. It's been underserved for decades, time to change that. Their goal is to build a content pipeline where they can cover the cool cars that are over here and tell the stories of the owners.

"If you have a car that fits the description, can you please contact Kenzie Taylor or myself via Facebook messenger or email with a brief description of your car, a couple of pictures and an email address."

Swift snippets.
21st January: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway starter David Warren, Pro ET racer Will Clark and NSA historic drag bike exponent Terry Homan. We hope you all have a great day.

A reminder that today is the last day of voting for the Santa Pod Racers Club Perpetual Awards. Any votes that arrive after midnight will be excluded. The Perpetual Awards will be presented at the SPRC Awards Evening at DoubleTree Hotel, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on 18th February.

John Bennett.
20th January: We are very sad to announce the passing of British Drag Racing pioneer and Santa Pod Raceway founder John Bennett at the age of 92. John had been in hospital for about a month, suffering from pancreatic cancer but too weak for an operation to alleviate some of the symptoms. He was visited by, including others, his son John Jr and Maurice Takoor, but sadly passed away peacefully on 18th January.

John Bennett joined the first committee of the British Hot Rod Association in 1962 and as Chairman organised the first British Custom Car show at his Spa Engineering workshops in South Norwood in Easter 1963. He was involved in early drag races in the UK with his Pontiac Chieftan usually raced by his soon to be wife Ann Palmer. At the 1965 BHRA AGM he made the historic announcement that five members including himself had been able to obtain a ninety acre site in Bedfordshire suitable for a permanent drag strip.

John had formed a company known as National Dragways to develop the site which in 1966 was to become Santa Pod Raceway. Also in 1966 he took over Drag Racing Magazine, incorporated the BHRA club magazine Kool Kams into it and renamed it Drag Racing and Hot Rod Magazine. In 1969 after seven years as Chairman, John decided it was time to step down from the renamed British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association committee.

In 2020 we published an interview with John which you can see at
this link. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Amy, son John and daughter Suzanne, John's other family and friends.

Pioneer stories: Al O'Connor, part 1.
20th January: The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and long time Super Gas racer Al O'Connor.

Al O'Connor lived near Podington Airfield and worked on auto mechanics from his teens. He had his first American car when he was 15 and, a couple of cars later, owned a Ford Zephyr which he called Rocky II after his son. In 1973 he bought Motor Psycho from the Gleadow brothers and converted it to a Street Altered which was named Al's Gasser. Al took Al's Gasser to events around the UK and to Sweden, however in 1978 the car, which had become well known for wheels up launches, crashed at Santa Pod, Al fortunately escaping serious injury.

Part one is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
20th January: A very Happy 70th Birthday today to sponsor and racecar builder Geof Hauser; Geof has finished building an altered for customer Ben Mace, who sent us the call-out following a tip-off from one of Geof's employees. Have a great day Geof, and see you soon.

Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny Car racer Andy Raw, Pro ET racer Tom 'Cherry' Watkins and Time Traveller II crewman Tom Hawkins. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Street Week Sweden organiser Mats Appelgren has announced that competition for the 2023 event will commence at Mantorp Park on 9th July and will this year take part in the south of the country. Four other tracks will be announced, but in the tradition of the event, it will conclude at Mantorp Park on 15th July. Registration for the event opens on 28th February at 10:00 via but competitors first need to register a profile at

FIM Europe publishes rules and records.
19th January: Thanks to FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen for confirming that revised rules for 2023 and existing records have been published on the FIM Europe website at

Readers should be aware that, in addition to the confirmed dates at Santa Pod Raceway and Hockenheim, negotiations for dates at Tierp Arena are still in progress and an announcement on them will be made in due course.

Edge Performance Transmission's SE plan.
19th January: Paul and Nick Evans of Edge Performance Transmissions are returning to the track with an uprated version of their '79 Vauxhall Viva estate in 2023 after completion of the new build. They said:

"We should be on to get the car out towards the middle of the year into Street Eliminator, changing over to the Chevy LS from the previous Pontiac was more work than we thought it would be. (The car was last run at Shakey just before it closed, running 8.90's at 165mph on some tune up passes). Our new block/ heads and parts were all supplied and machined in the States by Stefan at ACE for the new engine combo, Dart block/Trick Flow heads/Callies CCW crank, Holley EFI and intake. We've welded up the twin turbo charge pipes and the burst panel onto the intake top, thanks to Tom Atkinson for machining this up for us. All the stainless exhaust pipework has also been completed.

"It's more than just an engine build though - we've changed rear suspension and 4 link, chassis mods, cooling system, transmission (of course!), fuel system to suit the EFI, and some bodywork for good measure. We just have the 388 LS engine left to build."

Meanwhile some time ago, Nick posted a digital rendering from Design by Binnie (who also does Edge's new tee shirts designs) of Nick's droopsnoot Vauxhall Firenza that Paul and Nick are also building for Street Eliminator UK. So far, Robinson Race Cars supplied the chromoly tube and pre-bent some of the main cage for the 25.1H chassis, Bullseye Power Turbochargers supplied the SB billet 83mm turbos, supplied the race weight GRP doors, bonnet, bootlid, front wings etc; it also has a RRC chromoly rear axle setup/full Strange brakes, "This car being a slightly longer term build" said Nick.

Edge Performance Transmissions will be part-sponsoring Street Eliminator again this year, and, when the car is finished, both Nick and Paul will be sharing driving duties in SE. "We've always had a love for this class right from the early days, crewing on Joe's Stiletto for many years, it's a great class to be part of and we're glad we can give back something to our customers and the class in general. With cash prizes/goodie bags etc for quickest average reaction times, round wins and the championship win."

Edge Performance Transmissions provides automatic race transmissions for many cars in the SPRC National Drag Racing championship, in Street Eliminator, Pro ET, Super Pro ET, Outlaw Anglia, and Pro Modified as well as Outlaw Street and Supercharged Outlaws.

. Current Edge customers in Street Eliminator include Al Mac, Tony Higgs, Ashley Cooper, Dave & Elliot Day, Damian Halliwell, Mark Todd, Andy Bond, Joe Stevens, James Murray, Nick Hale, Nigel Hale, Steve Walker, Vic & Pete Smith - which is most of Street Eliminator!

One car which is returning will have extra attention due to its wild performances in the past and serious upgrades since it was last out at the Greenlight Nationals in 2021. Edge have uprated Joe's Stiletto transbrake race TH400 transmission, whilst Joe has also had input & help from Carburetor Solutions Unlimited (CSU), SCAT crankshaft and Robinson Race Cars (RRC).

A few recent new builds for Street Eliminator that will have Edge Performance Transmissions gearboxes are Vic & Pete Smith with their radial twin turbo Buick GS 455 , Steve Walker with his unique International Harvester pickup powered by a ACE Racing Engines 427ci LS and Mark Todd with the turbo BBC Aston - all cars will have an Edge 2500+hp ‘big shaft’ TH400, heavily upgraded to take all this power.

Edge Performance Transmissions has also added £250 to the prize pot for the first UK Street Weekend event and they see a bright future in this type of competition which has become popular in the US with Hot Rod Drag Week, Sick Week and others and Sweden with Street Week.

Backdraft Two.
19th January: Wild Bunch drag racer Chris Hartnell is joining the NSA! Yes, Chris (otherwise known as Crazy Chris) over the winter has purchased the 400 Racing Class bike formerly owned by Tony Pettitt. Besides racing his nostalgia slingshot dragster Backdraft at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway since 1994 Chris is expecting to run the bike at Westonzoyland, Smeatharpe and, of course, Santa Pod’s Dragstalgia this year with a view of the bike going on display, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.

"Commonly referred to (by me) as the 400 Clift Honda some say that the bike once started life in the seventies as Mick Warne’s ‘Jus’ Blue’ and raced in the BDR&HRA championships at Santa Pod with a W.R.E. 750cc Triumph while the Clift connection comes from the frame being constructed by BDRHoF member John Clift.

"Well, we can now confirm that the bike made its debut registered as DC131 at the 1976 Springnationals which ironically enough was the first drag race meeting that Chris attended to watch American Top Fuel hero Big Daddy Don Garlits race. The story goes that Mick’s other bike ‘Big Blue’, a twin engined Triumph was going to a show at the same time so Mick and John Clift built Tony’s and Chris’s bike in four weeks to get to the Pod in time for Easter. Funnily enough Warne qualified for Senior Bike to come up against and win against Clift; 9.90/141 to 10.52s after losing the carb (it fell off) at three quarter track!

"In all the years I have known Tony (a former 5 times Southern Sprint Champion) the bike’s motive power has come via a spiced up mid 12 second 400cc Honda and now joins the Bristol racer’s stable, shall we say, of unusual vehicles with Chris and partner Claire Meaddows' Backdraft slingshot dragster (ex-DB Motors Malibu Express/Pink Panther of Malcolm Olly), a 34 three window coupe street rod, a Harley road bike and now a pukka drag bike. Oh, and as Chris’ dragster is painted in the traditional Hartnell metal flake red expect to the merest hint of it on the bike real soon! Good luck Chris."

Mentioning the National Sprint Association, the club has its annual Prize Presentation and AGM this Saturday at the Strawberry Bank Hotel, Meriden, and we’ll publish a further item coming in the next few days of who won what, photos and dates for the 2023 season.

Photos by Carol Jenkinson and Chris Hartnell

Swift snippets.
19th January: Happy Birthday to Accidental Polymath Dave Gibbons, Supercharged Outlaws racer Simon Boot, also Crossfire (and future Wild Bunch) racer Jamie Faulkner, we hope you all have a fantastic day.

Willard OA visit is on!
18th January: Outlaw Anglia racer Mick Taylor has been in touch to tell us of his connection with Sydney, Australia-based Outlaw Anglia racer John Willard, who plans to bring his car over later in 2023:

I started building my own race van about 8/9 years ago. Through Facebook, John Willard started following the build, messaging me and we would chat about the build etc. I learnt he was an Anglia fanatic and already had a Ford Thames van. As, a chassis and race car builder, he was building an Australian Holden Monaco, but after learning about the UK Outlaw Anglia class, sold the Monaro and decided to build an Anglia instead.

John told me he used to race a Thames van in the mid-1990’s which unfortunately crashed. At that time he was a plumber in Sydney and didn’t have much idea about building cars. After the crash, he decided to work out what sets the good cars apart from the average ones, and after a stint building cars at home in the garage after hours, decided to start up a chassis-building business. He then said to me he was coming over to the UK for the 2018 Dragstalgia. I said why not stay with me for a couple of weeks, so I met John at the track that weekend, getting to know him and giving him the opportunity to meet many others in Outlaw Anglia.

He crewed for me at Summer Nationals the weekend before, and watched the car leave the line. He said "I can get you going down the track and lower your 60ft times." So we spent the whole week in the garage and every evening drinking beer and re-tuning the suspension, then off to Dragstalgia the following weekend. Unfortunately the van really didn’t go down the track as well as we thought. But John had highlighted the big problem with top-heavy weight distribution. This made us look at other aspects and now the van is running in the sevens at 180 mph.

John's previous project was a supercharged BBC Street rod Thames that ran an 8.70 ETs at 150 mph in the early 2000s (pictured above left). Being an Outlaw Anglia fanatic, he wanted the best start and got in touch with Colin Millar who made and shipped over a body shell. Shipping costs were more than the cost of the body. John told me he was building this car for one purpose and that was to run 6 seconds at over 200mph. Any record is only recognised at an Outlaw Anglia event and has to be backed up, and so wouldn’t stand in either the US or Australia. Then building the Chromoly chassis to the class rules maximum wheelbase of 101” and highly modified the body shell, then took a mould and laid the modified sections up in carbon, but left the roof, side and windscreen area in the original fibreglass.

The engine is a 451 cu in Brad Anderson Hemi with a Littlefield 14:71 supercharger and a Lencodrive trans, it’s tuned by Brett Gillespie who is also a racer and engine builder in Australia. The car was all but finished and we had talked about John coming over to the UK and putting together a Gofundme as he had always wanted to race in Outlaw Anglia in the UK. Then Covid struck, a year laterJohn had a bad back, then Sydney Dragway decided to resurface the track. Finally, John booked into the first weekend event possible at Sydney Dragway.

On Saturday morning 5th December 2020 about 5:30am I had a phone call from John in his lazy Australian voice saying "Sorry to wake you so early", What’s up John? "I've just run a 6!"…WHAT?? "At 200mph!" This was his first full pass in the new car and set up, after just having done a launch, a 60ft, and a 1000ft pass for Brett to confirm the tune-up. He did his first full run with a conservative tune running 6.93 at 201mph both unofficial records straight away. John has been out since and ran a 6.67 and 208mph.

The current outright record for a Ford Anglia is 6.659 at 207.7 mph and has been held by American Chuck Moore since 2007. The last time John was out August 2022 and ran 6.67 at 198 mph, shutting off early. The previous run was 6.72 at 208.33 mph beating Chuck’s speed record by 0.6 mph. John still wanted to come to the UK and I noticed a post from Rob Nixon, who started Outlaw Anglia back in 1993, saying we must get him over here. Rob has been the perfect person to front the Gofundme and you can view their progress at this link.

Our target was £10,000 but the more we can raise reduces the overall cost for John. We've had a few auctions and people have donated various things, Tony Betts, one of his funny car bodies, Roy Wilding, sitting in he's dragster on fire up, Wayne Allman, parts from Mental Breakdown, Ben Rushforth from Engine Data Analysis, dyno and balancing work, Chirs Bourton a Bespoke exhaust, just to name a few.

Many people have donated £5, £10, then Geoff Stillwell who runs a land speed car donated £2000 and has expressed additional help if needed, also donations from individuals in Outlaw Anglia, all of which are valued, no matter how big or small. This wouldn't have happened without you all, thank you all so much. At the Festival of Power 2022 I spoke with Keith Bartlett and told him of our plans to get John over and he was very enthusiastic about it and would help where he could. Since then I've been communicating with Dan Melrose at Santa Pod, it just so happens he's Australian and has worked at Sydney and Melbourne Raceways and knew of John. Santa Pod has agreed to pay 10% towards shipping costs and will be letting the cars stay and use their workshops whilst over here.

There are actually two cars coming over, it was actually cheaper for a 40ft container than a smaller one for one car. The other car is Paul Stephen's competition Altered (pictured left). John and us would like to thank Keith for his generous offer that has made things so much easier, also to Dan for the technical one-to-one support, all round nice guy! The cars will go into a container in March, not cheap, then flights, hotels, container transport from the docks and return, the container being bought and kitted out before delivery to the docks.

Events we plan to run are the Sportmans Nationals for some checkout passes, Summer Nationals (an OA MSUK round) Dragstalgia (an OA lifestyle round which John is really looking forward to), then the Ford Show for demonstration passes. John would love to set both records at one of these events and make it official, but, if not, just competing against his beloved Outlaw Anglia (especially Banshee) would be more than enough - you never know, the Aussie Outlaw might need to be pushed harder than ever to have a chance at beating the local competition! Unfortunately, John's crew chief/engine tuner may not be able to make the trip, however, he will be on the other end of the phone and two other crew members are coming. Both have worked on the car from the beginning, and I'll arrange a few crew members here too.

John will hold one record here, being the longest distance for a racer coming to Santa Pod Raceway beating Arthur Christy's record from South Africa in 1971.

VP Fuels are sponsoring us with Fuel, we'd be pleased to hear from any other company who may like to help with funding, and sponsorship to cover costs such as transportation etc. All I can say is hold on to your hats, it's gonna be fun! John, Mick and all the crew would like to say a big thank to everyone so far for making this happen.

You can see Mick's drag cars in his garage by clicking on this link.

Track photo of John credit Brad McDonald. Thanks also to Mick for helping John Hunt out with contacts on one of our Pioneer stories.

Swift snippets.
18th January: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Bike engineer and tuner Marius van der Zijden who reaches 70, Supercharged Outlaws racer Andy Park, VW Pro racer Sam Chisholm-Brown, FWD racer Ian Pepper, and Willys Coupe racer Gary Daley. We hope you all have a great day.

2023 FIA Regulations published.
17th January: Many thanks to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg who has announced that the 2023 Technical and Sporting Regulations for FIA Drag Racing have been published on the FIA website and can be found on
this link. As before, the changes from the previous regulations have been marked up.

First outing for Dos Palmos.
17th January: Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has let us know that the famed Dos Palmos dragster which appeared at the 1964 Drag Festival in the UK will be making its first outing under its new ownership at the end of January.

Tony Thacker (pictured, click for video of start-up) posted that he, with co-owners Geoff, Nick Davies, Stewart Bassett and Mick Jenkins plan to have the car on display at the 2023 Mooneyes New Years Party Car Show & Drag at Irwindale Raceway, California, on Saturday 28th January.

Crewmen Scott Campbell and Donny Cummins helped to get the ex-Chris Goodnight Keith & Williamson dragster running after some fuel leaks were fixed. Scott handled the leak-down test while Donny handled the fine adjustment.

Geoff said he plans to attend the Grand National Roadster Show the following weekend 3rd-5th February. He said "I will be at the Mick's Paint booth plus helping out in the SCTA booth as well, and will be interviewed by Bob Beck." Geoff added that his car sadly won't be exhibiting at the GNRS as his trailer is being replaced by a new custom-built one after suffering serious chassis damage on the way to Bonneville last August for the abortive Speed Week.

Swift snippets.
17th January: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel and Funny Car racer and Junior mum Shelley Pearson, Super Pro ET racer and Junior Dad Matt Peters, former Top Fuel racer Andy Craddock and Pro Stock Bike racer Frederik Kirkhoff Schack. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

Finnish Super Twin racer Vesa Lipponen (pictured), who was the first rider in his class to run a five, has run a best of 5.92/217mph and whose bike was run to a 5.99 at last year's Main Event by Samu Kempainnen, has announced he will be competing on the whole FIM tour this year. His announcement means we should see Vesa in action at Santa Pod Raceway at two events in 2023. You can support Vesa by putting your company logo/colours on his helmet by messaging him, and find him on Instagram at #topfueltwin.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, part 3.
16th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 3 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken started building his first dragster in 1960, meeting other British Hot Rod Association dragster constructors at their first Custom Car Show in 1963. RAC regulations put the project on hold and Ken hot rodded a '33 Ford Cabriolet for the first BHRA AGM. He resumed work on the dragster, completing it by the end of 1964 and took it to the BDRA Practice Day at Graveley in August 1965 when there were eight UK-built slingshots. Ken then took it to the first meeting at Santa Pod, recalling some of the personalities of the time.

Part three of Ken Cooper's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
9th January: Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Mark Dainty and VW Pro racers James Gould and Ed Keech, both of whom reaching their 40th birthday. We hope you all have a great day.

Hayley Hadfield funeral stream.
15th January: Andy Hadfield has reminded us that late wife Hayley’s funeral is tomorrow at 13:45. We announced details of the live ceremony on 31st December, however if you can't attend in person a stream is available to watch remotely. Andy says:

"I have organised the stream and you can get to it by clicking on this link. Please bear in mind, this is a bit techie and will depend on bandwidth and streaming capabilities of the signal at the church. Should the livestream fail at any point, the whole service will be uploaded as a video which I believe will be on the same link. This could take up to 12 hours after the event.

"Hopefully it will be perfect and you should be able to watch it live. For those of you who are attending, I’m looking forward to seeing you there."

Sjödin Motorsport planning UK trip in 2023.
15th January: Thanks to Andreas Sjödin for letting us know that his Top Doorslammer team is planning to travel to Santa Pod Raceway in 2023, if sufficient funding is forthcoming:

"The 2023 season is here already! Thanks for the support to all of you out there during our Summit EDRS Top Doorslammer Championship Winning 2022 Season! The truck and trailer got the yearly inspection in the mid of November last year and are ready to hit the roads in 2023.

"We had a great time at the EDRS prize giving banquet in the end of November at Aronsborgs Konferanshotell in Bålsta together with a lot of other drag racing friends!

After winning the Top Doorslammer series in 2022, and as far as I know today, there is no schedule out yet for the series in 2023.

"So, I’m looking at what I want the most during 2023 and that is going to England and Santa Pod Raceway again for The Doorslammers and Main Event in May and we are looking for partners to get the funding for it! I want to go there and get the Chevelle into 3.7s in the 1/8 mile and 5.7s in the 1/4 mile! I’m pretty sure I got it in the car after looking on the data from when we were at Santa Pod in 2019!

"I will still be using the same motor that we got in the car in 2019 without any updates except small changes in tuning! I’m just looking to beat my own world record with a conventional headed big block Chevrolet!

"Once again I want to say a huge thanks to my awesome team, Dad (Åke), Max, Sofi, John, Krille, Dennis and Fredrik and to our partners, Åkes Bil & Motor, Birka Motorrenoveringar, Sjödin Motorsport Race Cars, Swecomposite, LSF Custom Lackering, Swelube Amalie Motor Oil, LVV AB, Bengtssons Smide, Loggamera, Clearwrap, SnapOn Pro Tools Peter Hult, ICA Gärdet, W-Linds Bärgning, Kustservice, Supra Trading, T. Grundström Plåtslageri, Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports, Swedol Arninge, CP-Carrillo, Alwerco Svets & Smide, Catch With Care, Edlunds Maskinservice that made our 2022 season so successful!

"If you are interested and want to see us at Santa Pod Raceway again in 2023 and want to be a part of it and help us, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and visit our home page.

Alice's hike for Macmillan.
15th January: Photojournalist Alice Fairhead has announced she will be undertaking some fundraising activity for Macmillan Cancer Support:

"This May myself and a close friend will be walking the North Norfolk mighty hike for Macmillian. We'll be walking the full 26 mile route on May 20th raising money for Macmillian Cancer Support. For myself personally, I've lost two people very close to me to cancer and as a racing family we've lost many. Any support and donations big or small are greatly appreciated.

"I'm also offering any of my photos from 2022 and anything from 2023 that are purchased before May 20th, the money will go straight to Macmillian cancer support. My photos can be viewed on my Facebook page and donations can be made at this link."

Swift snippets.
15th January: Happy Birthday for today to FIA Pro Stock racer and legend Michael Malmgren, Outlaw Anglia racer Garry Hill and German Pro Modified racer Jürgen Kath. We hope you all have a wonderful day.

We were sorry to hear of the passing of Outlaw Street crewman and occasional racer Adam Smith who raced a Mk1 Escort (pictured). OS co-ordinator Mark Wallingford wrote: "He was a really lovely guy who will be greatly missed by everyone. All our love & thoughts go out to Carly and Cameron." We add our deepest condolences for their loss.

Autosport International coverage.
14th January: A smaller Autosport International show at the National Exhbition Centre, with some notable motorsport industry absences, had less of drag racing interest than in previous years but long time supporter Bob Roberts and former editor Tog still managed to track down a couple of big stories (see below) and talk to those racers who were exhibiting.

You can see our Autosport International report and gallery, presented in association with
John Woolfe Racing, at this link. Many thanks to Tog and Bob for supplying a report and photos.

Williams Bros announcements.
14th January: Eurodragster com sponsor VP Racing Fuels have announced that Williams Brothers Racing have become the exclusive UK distributor for VP’s range of lubricants.

Speaking at Autosport International yesterday, VP Racing Fuels’ International Sales Manager James McVey said “Our brand is growing on the lubricant side and we are excited to be partnered with the Williams Brothers. They can promote the product and they go to the track so they have hands-on experience. We know that there is a lot of choice for customers and we offer a superior product which racers know will be consistent. Dan and Nic have been working with Freddie Turza for years; he understands the market and he said that these are the guys to work with."

Tech Manager Freddie Turza added “The Williams Brothers are premier engine builders and racers and I would say that they make good Brand Ambassadors. Their reputation speaks for itself. They will be the exclusive distributor of our lubricants in the UK and will be there on the technical side to help racers. They will have all of our products at their own facility.”

Freddie also said that VP Racing Fuels will also be supporting Dan and Nic Williams when they race in the USA in 2023.

Also in Williams Brothers news, track announcer and owner and driver of Bruce Colin Theobald told that he will shortly be starting to work part-time for OCS Group, primarily at the Williams Brothers Speed Shop but also the paint shop and workshops. “Because of the expansion of OCS Group, Nic is so busy that he needs extra help", said Colin. "So as from next week I will be working for them on marketing, social media, customer liaison and behind-the-scenes work. The boys have given me a new challenge!”

You can read more about both stories on our Autosport International report by clicking here.

Santa Pod wants you!
14th January: If you’ve ever wanted to be part of the volunteer track marshal team at Santa Pod, there’s no better time to join than now! With over 50 events each season ranging from Run What Ya Brung track days all the way through to our FIA European Drag Racing Championship events, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for you to get stuck into at the track, writes Events Coordinator Dan Melrose.

Roles are available in the following areas:
  • Trackside/Startline
  • Fire Crew
  • Timing
  • Signing On Office
  • Pit Marshals
One role we’re looking to fill in particular is for a new Race Director for 2023 and beyond. This fast-paced role will see you responsible for the safe and efficient running of all our Motorsport UK-sanctioned race events, alongside our existing senior race management team.

This is ideal for any racer, crew member or fan looking to give back to the sport they love. Previous experience is not a pre-requisite to joining, as training will be provided. For more info and to apply, check out the Santa Pod website at where there is an online application form.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
14th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the 2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 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 readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy 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:

Dániel Donát Lencsés (Dániel Donát Lencsés, Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike)
Vote for Dániel Donát Lencsés

Luke Robinson (Andy Robinson, Motorsport UK Pro Modified)
Vote for Luke Robinson

David Gane (Billy Gane, Peter Nee Super Pro ET)
Vote for David Gane

Chris Todd (Kevin Jenkins, Track Worx Competition Eliminator)
Vote for Chris Todd

Rick Stubbins (Alan Morrison Jnr, Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike)
Vote for Rick Stubbins

Marius van der Zijden (Neil Midgley, Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Marius van der Zijden

Chris Neary (Chris Neary, Comp Bike)
Vote for Chris Neary

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

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 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 Peter Walters for designing and implementing the online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to 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. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

Autoart Motorsport in collaboration with Mantorp Park.
14th January: Autoart Motorsport, with Johnny Nilsson as owner and Dennis Nilsson as driver, together with Mantorp Park is looking for more teams in the Top Fuel class for this year's edition of the Drag Festival at the famous strip. Yes, you read that right, this year the event goes by the classic name Drag festival and will take part as usual on the last weekend in July!

The ambition is to get a total of four Top Fuel teams (Autoart motorsport are already signed up) together and to run a so-called Cannonball race where the time is added up, quickest cars goes to the top! We run one round on Friday, two on Saturday. And the two quickest cars go to the final on Sunday, and also car nr3 and nr4 compete for third and fourth place.

In case of interest or more information contact Johnny via or call on +46-707-982222.

Swift snippets.
14th January: A very Happy 91st Birthday to drag racing legend Big Daddy Don Garlits, we hope you enjoy your day Big.

Happy Birthday for today to Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi and former Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook, have a great day guys!

Videographer Thomas Cook Abbott has uploaded to Youtube his highlights of 2022, in memory of Hayley Hadfield, and he packs a great deal into two and a half minutes, definitely an off-season pick-me-up. You can see Thomas's video at this link.

Pioneer stories - Chris Pattison, part 2.
13th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of UK drag racing pioneer and enthusiast Chris Pattison.

Chris first went to the USA in 1968 on holiday and his hosts took him to drag racing at Fremont Dragstrip. On his return to the UK, after completing his mechanical engineering studies, he worked at local motor dealers' workshops in his hometown of Wycombe, then joined British Airways as senior cabin staff. He was involved with classic motorboats and powerboats, eventually returning to drag racing, building the Grim Reaper altered which runs in the Supercharged Outlaws with Aaron and Mark Windridge.

Part two of Chris's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Above photo: Ian Blackett

Huxley Motorsport car at Autosport International.
13th January: Thanks to multiple Pro ET champion Brian Huxley for letting us know that a family car will be at Autosport international show this weekend:

"Darren Huxley who races his Nissan S13 180SX in Sportsman ET at Santa Pod Raceway will be at the show this weekend. It will be on the Formula D stand in Hall 3, stand W520. This car has run 12 seconds flat over the ¼ mile, running on VP Racing fuel.

"The car which also doubles as a drift-gymkana car. will be there from Friday until Sunday. Please call in at the stand & have a chat."

Swift snippets.
13th January: Happy Birthday for today to Sportsman ET racer Stephen Cherrett and Street Eliminator crewman Andrew Shakeshaft. We hope you both have a great day.

VP Racing Fuels hosts Williams Bros.
12th January:
Williams Bros Racing have announced they will be displaying Dan Williams' 2022 Competition Eliminator championship winning Chevelle at sponsor VP Racing Fuels' stand at Autosport International from today until Sunday. Also taking part on the VP Racing Fuels stand will be Santa Pod Raceway announcer Colin Theobald, and VP Racing Fuels UK & Europe Business Development Manager Tom Davis.

If you want to meet up with other drag racing people, in the absence of Santa Pod Raceway, who have chosen not to have a stand this year, VP Racing Fuels stand is 2370. You can also visit Robin Read who, with Herb Andrews, will be displaying both of his Daimler engined dragsters at stand 3250. Sraight to the Point Racing, headed by Benito Chiarella, will be at stand E320. The stands are fairly close to one another.

Also at the show will be the UK’s Top Tuned Cars including Andy Devine's Ford Escort Mexico Mk2, opportunities to get into motorsports engineering, the Live Arena and much more.

Autosport International is at the National Exhibition Centre from today until Sunday. Tomorrow, our reporters and photographers Tog and Bob Roberts will be concentrating on the drag racing aspects of the show and we will publish their work from Friday evening. Tickets are from £37.25 at this link. More information on Autosport Internation is at

Straightliners Show call-up, jets aplenty.
12th January: The Straightliners Elvington Top Speed Show will be taking place on 25th-26th February 2023 at Elvington Airfield YO41 4AU and is planned to have a major drag racing element on display. Rocket Bike racer Graham Sykes writes:

"We are looking for exhibitors who have drag cars and bikes, or Top Speed cars or bikes, to come and exhibit at the show. Hot rods, custom cars and bikes are also welcome, what have you.

"The show was run last year for the first time and, even though the weather was against us, it was a great success. We are now expanding on last years success. There will be four large heated marquees, catering, trade stalls, toilet facilities, class room and a hospitality trailer. We will have a dedicated marquee to Melbourne Raceway, and Top Speed vehicles.

"Outside, depending on the weather, we are planning a 1/16 mile Drag race Demo and jet car Static Flame shows. Already confirmed will be Julian Webb showcasing his brand new Jet Dragster Spiderman, who will be giving a flame show both days in the outside display area, Martin Hill with the famous Fireforce 3 Jet Funny Car and Graham Sykes with the steam Rocket Force of Nature.

"Everything permitting, we will also have Bluebird K7, the restored famous land speed boat of Donald Campbell, on display and they hope to fire the jet engine up for everyone to enjoy.

"Also we are hoping to get the current British Land Speed Record holding car Vampire and again we hope to start the car up with a flame show. Entry is £10.00 per day per person under 16 go free and free camping over the weekend. You can get tickets via the new Straightliners web site at Free entry for exhibitors is one free ticket per vehicle." Anyone interested in exhibiting their vehicle please contact Graham Sykes on 07778 053506 or by email at

Swift snippets.
12th January: Happy Birthday for today to European Top Fuel legend Anita Mäkelä and Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd. We hope that both of you have a wonderful day.

Santa Pod Racers Club have issued the 2023 Car and Bike Drag Racing Yearbook, including rules and regulations relating to the sport in the UK at this link (pdf download). Changes from last year are marked in red.

British Drag Racing Historians.
10th January:
Today we launch the logo for British Drag Racing Historians.

British Drag Racing Historians is open to anyone who writes about the history of British Drag Racing and has been published through the internet or print media. John Hunt founded the group by contacting those in the group and others in early 2020 asking if it was a good idea to operate under one banner as a group of like minded individuals who are dedicated to the History of British Drag Racing.

The group aims to discuss and share information on a mutual basis and meets occasionally and informally. Our first meeting was held on 28th July 2021 at Blackbushe Airport, the site of the Drag Festivals held in 1964 and 1965 and where many races were held in the 1970s and 1980s. The second meeting was at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu on 29th November 2022. The Group aims to promote the history of our sport through websites, Facebook, books and magazines. The group operates as an association and is not formally registered as an organisation.

You can contact John Hunt via at Names and background of individual members are shown here.

Paul Foot kindly designed the logo on behalf of the group for which we are thankful; the bike image was supplied by Jerry Cookson.

Swift snippets.
10th January: Perfect Light Award sponsor Cath Napier has asked if we can wish her husband Tig a very happy 60th Birthday for tomorrow 11th January. Hope you have a great day tomorrow Tig.

Also celebrating tomorrow is megafan Mikey Durbridge, we hope you have a great day Mikey.

We send our very best wishes to Santa Pod Raceway founder and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Bennett who is unwell in hospital.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, Part 2.
9th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is part 2 of the story of UK hot rodding and drag racing pioneer Ken Cooper.

Ken joined the British Hot Rod Association and took his yellow '37 Ford Coupe to the historic first meeting in September 1962 at the Watling Street Cafe near Junction 9 of the M1. Thanks to Brian Sparrow who was involved with the National Sprint Association, cars were allowed to run at sprint meetings. Eventually, having already run at the Brighton Speed Trials cars had their own meetings and Drag Festivals took place. With all this activity, the RAC were involved in regulating the sport and Santa Pod Raceway opened in 1966 only a short time after the Drag Festivals.

Part two of Ken Cooper's story is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Swift snippets.
9th January: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified team member Stefani Kate Fisher and former Funny Car racer Gary Willy, we hope you both have a great day.

UK Nostalgia Superstock crew member Charlotte Cawthorne appears in the latest programme in the BBC documentary series We Are England, entitled We Make Supercars. Charlotte is shown from around 9 minutes in, working as a maintenance technician apprentice at McLaren's new plant in Sheffield and enjoying racing on brother Jake's Dodge Dart team. Thanks to Martin Dunks for locating the programme.

An article on by Lena Perés reports that the two junior dragsters of Swedish racers Marcus Andersson and Chris Callin have been sold to Spain to race in the Centauros Drag Dragracing Team of Spanish Super Pro racer Angel Romero, Drag Race Union's champion in the class for 2022. The 16 year old Marcus Andersson will himself move up to Super Gas in dad Carl-Eric Andersson's Chevy Vega. The expanded Centauros Drag Dragracing Team plans to return to Tierp Arena this summer.

Autosport International call-up.
8th January: From Thursday 12th until Sunday 15th January, Autosport International will be taking place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham (Halls 1-5). It's the first live show since 2020 and those attending can buy advance tickets online at Tickets bought for the 2022 show may be carried over to this year.

The show opens at 09:00 each day and closes at 18:00 on Thursday and Saturday, 17:00 on Friday and Sunday. As usual Thursday and Friday are exclusively reserved for people who are involved in the motorsport industry or to those studying a motorsport or engineering related course. will be attending the show on Friday, there will be photos and a report by former editor Tog and sponsor Bob Roberts. We have identified some friends on the list of exhibitors, sponsors VP Racing Fuels and Anglo American Oil, also British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Robin Read has announced he will be exhibiting both of his Daimler engined dragsters on stand 3250.

We would be delighted if any drag racing folk attending the show, either as visitors or exhibitors, with products/services or vehicle(s), could contact us before Friday to ensure we can arrange a rendezvous. Send a note to or FB message editor Simon.

Swift snippets.
8th January: Happy Birthday for today to Melbourne Raceway Community FB admin Kelli Barrett, Junior Dragster dad Matt Fordham, and Swedish Pro Stock racer Lasse Britsmar. We hope you all have a great day.

2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 4.
7th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the
2022 SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation on 18th February 2023.

For several of the 2022 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 readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

Today's category is Most Professional-Appearing Team. The Most Professional-Appearing Team trophy recognises not just the presentation of a race vehicle but the team's overall approach to racing. As well as a well-turned-out car or bike, the Committee have considered such aspects as the appearance and attitude of team personnel, the organisation and appearance of their pit area and support equipment, and their readiness when their class is called.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Ellie May Brown (Miss Stig, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
Vote for Ellie May Brown

Dan De'Ath (Sidechick race team, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike)
Vote for Dan De'Ath

Tom Kaye (Tom Kaye and Black Belt Racing team, Modurstang Pro ET)
Vote for Tom Kaye

Paul Morton (Mortified Racing team, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator)
Vote for Paul Morton

Allan Schofield (Scud Dragster team, Modurstang Pro ET and B Fast R Super Comp)
Vote for Allan Schofield

Meg Talbot (Rise Racing, Junior Drag Bike)
Vote for Meg Talbot

Craig Wright (CW Motorsport team, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike)
Vote for Craig Wright

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to

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 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 Peter Walters for designing and implementing the online SPRC event entry system and website. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to 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. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at Voting for the Awards closes on 21st January 2023.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing or commenting on social media.

The next, and final, voting category will be the James Edgar Memorial Trophy awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member.

Herman's ode to racing.
7th January: Ducati bike racer since 1976 Herman Jolink is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of his win at Drachten, and has kindly sent in an ode to commemorate his historic achievement, also marking the end of drag racing at Drachten Airfield:

Time is going    the new time
is coming    the older we let
behind  the new    is coming
it's exciting    you don't know
what is coming    that is okay
riding    with your bike
no diesel    no mud
on the road    nice riding
the front wheel    going
the right    way

By way of information on his 1984 win (pictured left), Herman took 1st Place in the 1984 Netherlands finals at Drachten on his Ducati Bevel 998cc drag Bike (with home made pistons from material supplied by Mahle), running on high octane petrol. His best time over the 1/4 Mile in 1984 at that event was 10.388s with a terminal of 209kmh (130mph). 2nd place was Martin de Jong on his Kawasaki.

Pictured right is a recent photo of Herman with his Beloved Old Lady, a rare Ducati Mille S2 (only 171 were made), also dating back to 1984/5.

Pioneer Stories: Chris Pattison, Part 1.
6th January:
The latest in our third series of Pioneer Stories is of UK drag racing pioneer and enthusiast Chris Pattison.

Brought up in a RAF family, Chris Pattison lived in Hornchurch and was introduced to motor racing by his father who, after retiring from the RAF, ran a country garage. Chris attended the 1964 International Drag Festival at Blackbushe. A major event for him was winning an Allard Dragon dragster in a competition in the British Drag Racing magazine. The car was initially driven by its designer John Hume and Allard works driver Rob Mackie, however Chris first had the opportunity to drive it in Spring 1966. In the first year of Santa Pod, Chris shared the driving with his father, gaining 13 awards from 11 meetings. His entrance to college resulted in the Allard Dragon being exchanged for Alan Ing's roadgoing Turner Climax.

Part one is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

End of drag racing at Drachten Airport.
6th January: The Dutch Hot Rod Association (DHRA) yesterday posted the following sad announcement:

After a very successful event in 2022 in collaboration with 402 Events & DragNL, preparations and planning for an event in 2023 had already started.

Unfortunately today it was officially confirmed to us that the drag races at Drachten Airport have come to an end. Drachten Airport has been the drag strip of the Netherlands since 1975 and unfortunately this now comes to an abrupt end.

It is with pain in our drag racing heart that we have prepared this message.

DHRA, in collaboration with the various partners, will continue to look for alternative locations in the Netherlands.

Through this message we would like to thank everyone for the contribution they have made to the long history of drag racing in the Netherlands on the drag strip of the Netherlands.

Below is a copy of the message that we received from the Drachten Airport Foundation via the municipality of Smallingerland:

Decisions of the Board of the Drachten Airport Foundation

With a view to the future and the intended developments at Drachten Airport, decisions have been taken by the foundation board that affect the use of Drachten Airport for activities and events that are not related to flying. One of these decisions concerns the change of the approach route, regarding the circuit runway 07 for GA and the associated 5.11 procedure. For this new approach route, the entire runway must be used and the runway must be completely cleaned. The track section with rubber residues will be cleaned by an expert company. Due to the high cost, the removal of the rubber is done only once, so the track cannot be used for racing again.

In addition, further developments in the field and the new airport decree, current legislation and regulations exclude events that could affect the order and safety of the airport grounds. Events for which the airport must be temporarily closed will also be excluded.

Result for races

This means that from calendar year 2023 no more (drag) races can be organized at Drachten Airport.

Alternative location

No alternative location is available within the boundaries of our municipality for organizing your races, so we cannot facilitate your (drag) races at an alternative location.

Conclusion ....a sad day for Dutch drag racing.

Dave Rudd's Banzai 2022.
6th January: Thanks to Pro ET racer Dave Rudd for sending in his 2022 season review with his immaculate Banzai Cobra.

2022 went a whole lot better than I could have ever expected. Considering it was my first full season competing in the SPRC National Drag Racing Championship and Banzai Cobra's first season back on the track following her 5 year long rebuild.

At the start of the season I would have been happy just to complete every round but we did a little more than that. Finishing 19th out of 57 in the Pro ET Championship, finishing 2nd best “newbie” behind Marie Mills who was also competing in her first full season (I think), and we weren’t the lowest positioned who received the “all rounds” bonus. As well as that I somehow managed to bag the £50 Perfect Light award (and sticker thanks to award sponsors Tig n Cath) with a 0.0003 in Q1 of the Summer Nationals, also qualified 7th at the Euro Finals being 0.0038 off my dial in!

Whilst on the subject of times, I have been around drag racing for many years, spectating then crewing, so I am familiar with how close competition is, but until this season I have never really put into context what is done. Driving a ¼ mile in a car (or riding a bike) to within 38 thousandths of a second of your predicted time and that only gets you 7th qualifier, and if you were a 100th off your dial in you were lucky to get qualified in the top 10 at some meetings, it’s crazy how close things are!

Anyway, onto racing (or trying to)...

Our first outing was at Le French Fest for testing and re-gaining my race licence. It was a very cold, damp and misty weekend, but we completed the required licensing runs and came home very happy with how she had ran on her first outing with no (major) concerns.

Between Le French Fest and the Festival of Power, we decided not to change anything on the car as I still wasn’t running her flat out so after a full spanner check, it was off to the Festival of Power at which we ran the test day for more data and practice. Over the weekend we did 7 runs all within 0.1006 overall but we never got the dial in right so ended up 31 out of 34 (so at least we had qualified). First round against another newbie, Warren Watts and I had a cracking race, a RT of 0.085 and 0.0090 off my dial in for my first round win. Second round against Amy Watkins and I was fast asleep on the tree giving her the win, TBH my RTs are all over the place (recurring theme for the season) but looking at the run log, the car is within 0.10 at all the increments on each run, it’s all about learning and practice.

Looking at photographs, videos and my feedback from the Festival of Power, we still had a lot of work to do on the setup and to improve the launch and try and stop a little lunge to the right at approx. 300 ft. Following a few tweaks in the garage, we headed off to the STP Springspeed Nationals. We again ran the test day and we appeared to have taken 0.20 off the ¼ mile times with the tweaks, but I was still not very happy with how she was handling. Qualifying went reasonably well but I still was all over the place with RTs and not brave enough with dial ins so we ended up 20th out of 24. Round 1 had an excellent RT, I got a bit excited with the gearshift and changed straight into second gear after the launch so handed Alan Medley an easy win.

Again more tweaks before (and during) the Main Event, but as we had so many qualification rounds, decided not to do the test day even though I had finally plucked up the courage to switch the transbrake on and use it. Which, looking at the run log, didn’t make a huge difference in times apart from making the 60ft times more consistent, but that’s a good thing. Also due to using the transbrake meant we had to re-tune the rear shocks etc. and by the end of the meeting we had run out of adjustment! Qualifying itself was fun! At one point we were up to 17th but the air conditions changed dramatically between Friday and Saturday and we were running 0.20 quicker on the Saturday so after a few breakouts, we scraped in 2nd last qualifier at 31st out of 37, 0.0465 off our dial in. I went out in the first round against Dan Holloway with my first eliminations cherry on the tree with a -0.0525.

Due to running out of adjustment on the rear shocks I was straight on the phone once at home to Andy Robinson Race Cars for a chat and ordered a pair of new softer rear springs and once they were fitted Banzai Cobra was set up again on the corner scales. After the usual once over we were ready for the STP Summer Nationals. Once again due to the new rear springs we ran the test day which was a bit damp with a strong head wind, we only got 2 runs in but good news the errant lurch to the right had gone and she was launching what felt a lot smoother. First round of qualifying again with a strong headwind brought a pleasant surprise of a 0.0003 RT earning me the Perfect light money and sticker (thanks to Cath and Tig for the award sponsorship). Q2 brought another 0.0610 RT but I was not allowing enough for the head wind and we qualified 25th. In the first elimination round Amy pulled a very rare (for her) -0.0018 red light against my terrible 0.2622 handing me the win. Second round was lost against Neill when I had an even worse RT of 0.3266! I was pulled by the top end crew as Banzai Cobra was smoking heavily from the left hand side which I knew nothing about till I was nearly stopped. Turned out the rocker cover gasket had given way and was spraying oil onto the exhaust manifold fortunately not enough to get onto the track. However that was not the end of tales of woe as I asked Steph to sit in Banzai Cobra so I could have a closer look for leak with the engine running and once that was done as she climbed out of the car she dislocated her knee tearing the medial collateral ligament, ending up with Dan giving her a ride round to see the medics who were great.

After new rocker cover gaskets were fitted back at home and the usual once over (with no tweaks) we were ready to head down for the Euro Finals, an event I don’t think anybody involved with drag racing in Europe will forget. Following a damp test day with more wet stuff on Thursday morning our Q1 went quite well with a 0.0620 off dial in to be 13th out of 44. We were called to the pairing lanes late afternoon for Q2 where the news that the Queen had passed away filtered through, followed shortly after by the news that fellow racer Jon had also passed away returning to his pit after his last run - R.I.P. Jon.

Needless to say Q2 was a fairly sombre affair with some Pro E.T. racers choosing not to run that round. The following morning in Q3 resulted in a -0.0377 break out for us the only round we got that day. Then on Saturday morning in Q4 we finally hit the right number running 9.6538 on a 9.65 dial in moving us up to 7th after that round. Another point to note was that in the 4 qualifying rounds so far my RT had been 0.07 or less, maybe we were getting there? Q5 our last one was not too bad either with a 0.1971 RT and 0.0346 off dial in. Needless to say I went to bed quite happy with myself and my little team. In the morning we had Marie in the first round and as we both pulled into stage I hit the throttle and as Banzai Cobra hit the launch limiter instead of the usual cracking from the exhaust she gave a cough and splutter, after a quick glance at the gauges all looked well but when I looked up my light was green and Marie was away in the distance. The run was fine with me being 0.0248 off my dial in so was a bit puzzled about what had happened on the start line!

Once back in her nest we checked Banzai Cobra over concentrating on the wiring of the 2 step and line lock and it all checked out ok, checked fuel system which is mechanical so not much to go wrong there, check boost pressure reference hoses for leaks, all good there! The plugs looked OK but we fitted a new set anyway, warmed her up and gave a couple of seconds on the launch limiter a couple of times (much to the “surprise” of the neighbours) and all seamed OK, so ready for the STP UK National Finals. We couldn’t make the test day so Q1 was the only chance to find out if all was well and it was but we broke out by - 0.0162 ending up 24th. There was a huge entry for this event so qualifying runs would be limited so were very important. In Q2 I was -0.0535 off the line but ran 0.0582 to dial in to qualify 16th. Round 1 the following lunch time was up against Geoff and I had decided to stage as shallow as possible following my cherry in Q2. As I edged forward to full stage the yellow flicked then stayed on but as I hit the launch limiter it flickered again and as the tree ran the red light came on, I won’t stage that shallow again!

So all in all a very good season and a huge learning curve for us all in the team.

A few highlights from the year not mentioned above, the main one being finally turning up at the track with my own race setup.

Having both my girls start line crewing for me at the Main Event and Euro Finals, all the comments on how great/immaculate/super/fantastic Banzai Cobra looked, which was a great relief to me as I was a bit concerned on how well the new look would go down.

All of the above would not have been possible without the dedication, help and support from my family and friends, supporting me in ways that I did not expect and I am extremely grateful for, I could not and would not have done it without you all.

And finally a huge thanks to the businesses that helped with the rebuild:
  • Dave Downes of North Race Speed Shop for the full chassis rebuild (and much more).
  • Micky at HTG Body and Paint for the body and paint work.
  • Glen from AB&C Solutions for the powder coating of the frame and painting of the tin work.
  • Kenny and all the staff at EDA Racing Engines for the new SBC Single Turbo engine.
  • Paul at Lagonda Garage for Gearbox and Axle work
  • Andy Robinson Robinson Race Cars for their vast technical help, supply of parts and support.
  • ALL the staff at Santa Pod who do a fantastic job and finally but not least the Staff at Eurodragster for keeping us up to date and informed (and a lot more) (thanks! - Editor).
2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
5th January: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall for sending details of the 2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting:

The 2023 Riders' and Drivers' meeting will take place on 22nd January at the Hilton Hotel Northampton. The hotel can be found at junction 15 of the M1 on the east bound carriageway of the A45 and is the first exit after the M1 junction.

The Riders' and Drivers' meeting will commence at 13:00 and be followed by the SPRC AGM no later than 16:00. Should any members have items for discussion in AOB could you please send them to by 16th January at the latest. Please note as normal the person submitting the items must attend the meeting in order to have the item heard.

SPR lifestyle racer tickets.
5th January: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events coordinator Max Frost for a reminder that race entries for our 2023 non-permit, lifestyle and nostalgia events will be going online tomorrow, Friday January 6th, at 11:00.

Max says "As usual, entries will be available at for the relevant events. As in previous years, tickets and vehicle passes for each event can be collected at the Advance Ticket Collection Office."

Swift snippets.
5th January: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Bike racer Mark Smith, Top Fuel crewman Ian Pellant, Norwegian Super Street Bike racer Dag Wagenius and Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Kempe. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

The Malta Drag Racing Association have released their 2023 calendar which you can see by clicking here.

Not often that we receive Australian Pro Mod car for sale adverts in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages, however of note is the BMW 850i Pro Mod/blown gasser rolling chassis for £17,000 that did service for many years in the hands of Alf Sorbello. You can see photos and video links at this link. For further information and many other cars for sale go to our Swap Meet page.

SPRC Awards Night update.
4th January: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club committee member Yvonne Tramm who has sent an update about the SPRC Dinner Dance Trophy Presentation Evening.

With just a few weeks to the big night I wanted to update you all regarding tickets and presentations. The Dinner will take place at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes on Saturday, 18th February, 2023.

Once again we will be presenting the ACU Championship trophies for the 2022 season to both Winners and Runners Up and hope you can join to receive your award.

Ticket sales are still open with no restriction on numbers, however, applications will close on 31st January in order to give us time to organise food and seating arrangements with the hotel.

Finally, if you are a Winner or Runner up of our National, SPRC Bike and Car Championships or the ACU Championship and are not able to attend the Dinner, please email me with the name of someone that can receive your Award up on your behalf, and I will add it to my list.

Happy new year to all, hopefully see you in Milton Keynes in February.

Dale's US venture.
4th January: Funny Bike racer Dale Leeks has announced he is shipping his bike to the US for the 2023 season for it to race in both the newly owned Man Cup series and drag bike sanction Xtreme Dragbike racing (XDA).

Dale's 1640cc turbo Suzuki GSX ran a best of 6.941/197.94 in Top Fuel Bike at the 2019 Euro Finals. Now, the engine is the new GSX1400 engine platform campaigned by Dan Wagner and Stuart Crane of Warpspeed Racing, with the world record setting billet Hurricane cylinder head masterminded by Dale's crewman Andrew Lock and Stuart Crane.

Whilst Dale will ride in the Man Cup series that we mentioned in our 1st January update, US rider Rob Garcia will be riding the bike in the XDA series which takes place at Maryland International Raceway and Virginia Motorsports Park over four events from February to October. Rob has competed in the eighth mile XDA Pro Xtreme class for a number of years but suffered a double blow at the end of the 2022 season.

Rob said "I crashed my bike at the last race of the year and then a fire at builder and tuner Dan Wagner's house pretty much destroyed my entire bike except for the chassis which did not get caught in the fire as it was elsewhere. Then Dale stepped up and was willing to ship his bike from England to the United States for me to race until I get my new bike completed. I cannot thank Dale enough for doing what he did. And also Dan Wagner and Kathie Mcgregor for hooking me up with the ride. I am going to try my best to get a championship on Dale's bike."

Swift snippets.
4th January: Happy Birthday wishes for today to Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tim Garlick, Team Walters crewman Mick Slocombe, and Swedish Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster racer Patrik Pers. Have a great day all from us at

Custom Gang in royal collection.
3rd January:
Visitors to Monaco in the winter months can view two European drag racing related exhibits in the principality's museums.

The Collection de Voitures de S.A.S le Prince de Monaco has had a facelift in its new setting located at Port Hercule, just a short distance from the Formula 1 circuit. This new space exhibits around 70 vehicles in a modern decor, and French team Custom Gang Racing have donated the Super Pro ET dragster of Fabien Dubois for display - until the start of the European season.

The other exhibit at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Turkish videographer Ali Kazma's has on exhibition a video of European Top Fuel legend Anita Mäkelä. For the 15 minute video on display until 15th January, Kazma travelled to California, Germany and Sweden. The characteristic blurb states "Top Fuel transcends its subject: rather than a documentary about drag racing, it becomes a meditation on time and the quest for the absolute."

Swift snippets.
3rd January: Diana has asked if we can wish Harry AKA Brian Palmer (member of Mark Sheridan's SE crew) a very happy birthday for today. Diana adds the bus pass is in the post...

Swedish photographer Henrik Lindberg has published a Facebook album of 387 photos from Kjula Raceway, well worth a look by clicking here.

Pioneer Stories: Ken Cooper, Part 1.
2nd January:
Today we commence the third series of stories of British drag racing pioneers which will be published on Mondays and Fridays in January to April 2023.

Ken Cooper was first influenced by American culture when he had access to the former World War 2 American barracks in his home town of Sutton Coldfield which was bombed during the war. He decided to go into the motor trade aged 15. He worked on English and American cars and learned to drive. After discovering hot rods in a film he then found hot rodding magazines in Birmingham and bought his first car, a '37 Ford Coupe with a flathead V8 engine. He then built his first hot rod, a ‘33 Ford Cabriolet, which resulted in a change of job...

Ken's story will be told in five parts bringing it to the present day. Part one is at this link. You can see our list of pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link under News in the main menu. would like to thank John Hunt, Nick Pettitt and Mick Gleadow for recording, transcribing, editing and providing illustrations for our stories.

Smax buys back.
2nd January: Thanks to Top Fuel racers Smax Smith and Aidan Heatley-Smith, now based in Canada, for getting in touch with a New Year message and with news of the re-acquisition of one of Smax's old cars, which can claim to be the original member of the UK Supercharged Outlaws:

Wishing all our racing families, friends and fans a safe and fast Happy New Year. We are hoping to race our two Top fuel cars in the NHRA with Aidan also driving our recently reacquired 35 Chevy.

Smax said "We kept the '35 Chevy body, put Mark Needham's '48 Fiat Topolino body on the chassis and sold it to Alberta ages ago, then bought it all back so get it together for this season!" The '35 Chevy body first appeared in Smax's hands back in 1993 as this clipping from European Dragster magazine testifies.

Swift snippets.
2nd January: We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop. Have a great day Martin.

In his first upload to Youtube of 2023, Kieran has gathered his footage of incidents from 2022 which you can see at this link. Kieran says "We're taking a look back at last seasons wrecks, wheelies, close calls and some explosions too. Kieran says "I can't wait to get filming again and bring you even better content this year! Support the channel by ordering your Mk1Kieran T-Shirt from"

The latest January 2023 issue of Practical Sportsbikes has a multipage colour photofeature in their `Heroes’ series with a retrospective of multiple European Top Fuel Bike champion Ian King's motorcycle builds and drag race career. To obtain a copy, go to this link or head to your local newsagent.

No Hair to race into 2023.
1st January:
Thanks to Dan Page who has released a news bulletin about his racing activities for this year.

"As we head into 2023 without our team leader Jon Morton at the helm we now have to look how we can honour him and keep his memory going.

"As a family we have decided to continue racing the No Hair 3rd Gen Camaro in Super Gas next season with me behind the wheel. It has been a very hard few months and sadly we haven't really had a chance to think about racing with so much going on behind the scenes and lots of lose ends to sort out. However the Christmas break has allowed for some time to reflect and plan for the upcoming race season.

"We managed to get The tow truck and trailer all moved to a place where it'll be easier to work on and start working on the car for next year and, fingers crossed, we can start to really make racing the number one focus from now on. The crew has taken on a couple of new members with (uncle) Gary Page, (brother in law) Daniel Stocker, and old family friend Duncan Harris coming to support and help me and old time crew member (Nice) Neil Earthrowl with preparing the car.

"We have had some amazing offers of help and support from people (you know who you are) and I will be very much taking you up on your offers thank you. But with limited funds at the moment we are only looking at doing the three big Santa Pod meetings (Easter,Main Event and Euro Finals) we of course are looking for any support with doing more events or even race the full season.

"After Jon's passing at the track we wanted to do something for people to have as a memory to either have on the race car or bike. Darren West at Power Race Graphics quickly got in touch and offered to design a sticker in Jon's Memory. Darren said "I just wanted to do something, it was a big shock to all of us... Jon was brillant with me, we did a couple of T Shirts way back that i loved doing and it was always great to see him the pits. Putting a sticker together is something I could do to give back!"

"We have a small run of stickers that we will be selling to fund a memorial for Jon at the track and to help fund running the car next year. They will be £3 each or a pair for £5 including postage and packaging by emailing me on or by DM on Facebook. Watch this space on this.

"We want to just take a chance to thank everybody for all the kind words and help that they have given us. We miss him so very much and the first time I've been to Santa Pod in 32 years without Jon being there was when I took his car to the national finals for the memorial. That was strange but racing without him limping about the startline leaning of the barrier giving me the thumbs up will be even stranger!

"We Look forward to seeing you at the track next year and I look forward to keeping his name at the top of the Super Gas wins!"

Shakeup at Man Cup.
1st January: The US Drag Bike scene is experiencing a major shakeup as ownership of the Man Cup series has changed and new rules introduced, as well as 2023's schedule, including the Finals which is often attended by European racers.

Jay Regan, previous owner of Manufacturer's Cup motorcycle drag racing in the US since 2010, confirmed that the sanctioning body had been sold to Broderick “Hollywood” Jackson on December 1, 2022. Broderick, already competing in the Pro Ultra 4.60 class and running a streaming and social media company at, became the new owner and Chief Operating Officer of Man Cup on that day.

The sale became publicised at the PRI show in December of 2022 which Hollywood attended to talk through with sponsors and racers. Jay will be present during the transition to new management during 2023.

The story of Man Cup goes back to June 2010, when the AMA/Dragbike sanction, which was formerly AMA/PROSTAR, was dissolved, Jay Regan, Dave Schnitz and seven others banded together to hold the initial Manufacturer’s Cup event in November 2010. The intention was for manufacturers to fund prize money and track hire of the South Georgia Motorsport Park track. The series became two races in 2011 and four in 2012, however in recent years several of the founders left, leaving Jay and Dave in charge until Dave retired.

Broderick Jackson has been a motorcycle drag racer since 1984, firstly in sportsman classes, then in NHRA Pro Stock briefly in the early 1990s. He also has had a role in bringing the Trick-Start 7hp Dragbike Starter to market, its carbon fiber enclosed 24v lithium-ion battery replacing the age-old start carts and heavy batteries.

As well as marketing and social media, the area Broderick has focused on is avoiding hours of downtime due to cleanups after engine explosions. Among the first announcements has been a rule that mandates that all motorcycles in all classes must have an oil retention device. Whilst track operators have been delighted by the new rule, there has been a lively debate amongst cash strapped racers. However the rule has encouraged engineering solutions to be drawn up for US sportsman bikes which have not previously had the benefit of such devices, diapers or catch trays.

Broderick Jackson wants to see the Man Cup series become more family friendly and better attended by live and on-line audiences. He told “I want to see this motorcycle drag racing sanction become like the NHRA level for motorcycle drag racing. A sport where we have fans in the stands and people can watch in real-time at home, thus creating viewership both in person and online that warrants advertising numbers that represent a good return on investment (ROI) for advertising dollars that will grow the sanction."

The Man Cup 2023 schedule is as follows:
  • 14th-16th April, South Georgia Motorsports Park
  • 19th-21st May, Rockingham Dragway
  • 16th-18th June, Alabama International Dragway
  • 18th-20th August, Rockingham Dragway
  • 20th-22th October, World Wide Technology Raceway
  • 17th-19th November, South Georgia Motorsports Park
The New Man Cup Series official website is, however, as it is still under construction, stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.

To read the full story by Tom McCarthy go to

Photo credit: Steve Moxley who attended the Man Cup Finals in 2017 to see several European teams when Rikard Gustafsson (pictured) and Ian King ran in Top Fuel, Anders Horntröm, Greger Johansson, Jaska Salakari and Per Bengtsson's Beast team in Top Fuel Twin, also Steve Venables and Mogens Lund in Pro Street.

Swift snippets.
1st January: Happy Birthday to erstwhile Top Fuel racer Tethys, Comp Eliminator racer David James, and German Super Pro ET racer Robert Gassner. We hope you have a great day.

Earlier news