Leif Eklund.
31st March: FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with the sad news that Leif 'Fladder' Eklund passed away on Saturday evening after a long illness.

"Fladder started racing in 1985 with a Hedlund engine", says Lars. "This was a V-twin engine made in Sweden mostly for sidecar dirt racing. He later changed it to a Harley Davidson engine and was racing for many years. He was also involved in both Top Fuel and Top Methanol racing as a team member.

"Leif was also the organiser of drag races at Barkaby's former airport which was just outside the club house of Sofia Hogs which also was his home and club.

"Leif was well-known in Chopper and Drag Racing both in Sweden and outside.

"Let him ride in peace now."

There is nothing we can add to that save to send our deepest sympathies to Leif's family and friends.

Well Dones all round.
31st March: Easter Thunderball Street Eliminator winner Colin Lazenby has dropped us a line to congratulate his SE competitors on the tough fight they gave his Pinnacle-sponsored Chevy at the weekend.

"Commiserations to John Sleath on not backing up his speed of 179.27, which would have broken our record", says Colin. "To be totally truthful, a new speed record was on the cards given that John went 180 mph at the National Finals last year. I have always enjoyed racing against John, a genuine competitor, and with his now-consistent mid- to low eight-second form, the outcome of our meetings are almost impossible to predict. Crikey, even my own nephew predicted that John would win!

"Congratulations also to Steve Nash and his Wildcat Racing team on his 8.116 lap, the quickest ever in Street Eliminator history. There remain a number of teams clearly capable of running quicker times, but this achievement is more significant given that it was the first competition-standard track of the season. I guarantee that quicker times will follow.

"A big Well Done to Dale Reardon who did just fine after being eased into the mangerial role as Class Organiser. He did just fine - a good choice and a good guy too. I must thank Clive Bond, who was there just in case we needed him, and we did once or twice. Another very genuine guy - why can't more people be like that?

"Finally a huge thanks to all who contributed to this weekend's racing. With four of our boys' cars currently being shipped back from the World Street Race, and at least another six in the final stages of construction, I sincerely hope that we have a bigger field at round two, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 16th-17th April."

Just keep smiling!
31st March: The UK's newest Top Methanol Dragster racer, John Parkinson, said that he and his team aimed to keep smiling throughout the Easter Thunderball. Although a broken starter motor robbed John of the chance to make his first Top Methanol pass, the Every Penny team were happy with their progress.

"With all the pressure of the last weeks,I told the crew on Friday that whatever happened we must remember it's supposed to be fun", says John. "I said let's just get there, do what we have to do to get out on the track, but we must enjoy it and not lose heart if we don't get out."

john and the team arrived at Santa Pod Raceway with work left to do on the car, and despite their best efforts all weekend the starter motor let them down on Sunday. "We came knowing that we might not make too many runs over the three days, but we felt it was important to be there and to show some commitment to the class - and to get to know the rest of the teams as well", says John. "To that end I woudl like to say a huge Thank You to all the people we spoke to over the course of the meeting. They all welcomed us, and offered advice, which we took gratefully. Everyone made us feel welcome and gave us encouragement for the rest of the year. I did that I'd be no threat to them this year, and that I expected to be out in the first round. But just let them throw a blower belt, or shake their tyres, and I'd be more than happy to drive round them! Seriously though, everyone in the class made us feel at home and I thank them all for that.

"It was also really good to see Gary and Lin Malin and their kids. GarY and Lin stood at our pit trying to decide if it was us or not; so much time has passed, and lots of things have happened since we saw each other, so it took a while for us to recognise each other again. For me it was an emotional meeting as I was responsible for Gary ending up in the field at Shakespeare County Raceway, and I know he has battled to get back out, which he did long before me. I hope that Gary can get out again this year as we have a meeting to attend, at the end of the strip at SCR.

"We are getting on sorting out a new starter for the next meeting, and we have had help from Dave wilson, Martin Hannis and Martin Hill, all with good advice and offers of help. The car is still in the trailer, and will stay there till the next meeting as it is ready to go. That's a luxury I never thought I would see.

"I look forward to seeing everyone at the next race, and hope that we can keep on smiling!"

Satisfied customers...
31st March: Eurodragster.com Swap Meet sponsor Jeff Bull has been in touch to congratulate engine customer Spencer Tramm on his win in the Super Gas Twentieth Anniversary Shootout at the Easter Thunderball, and to let us know how his other customers fared.

"Spencer did look a little worried a couple of times when the engine developed a small water leak from one of the block heaters, and a tyre valve decided to leak, but they were soon fixed", says Jeff. "Not too many people know that Spencer is now on a advanced mechanics' crash course, now that he has all the necessary tools purchased by Martin Curbishley. As Spencer runs a Transmission Specialties Power Glide and 8" Spragless Converter he also gets the racers bonus paid by Transmission Specialties through Jeff Bull Race Engines. Well Done Spencer!

"Another happy Jeff Bull Race Engines customer was Mike Lacey. Mike damaged his TH400 and converter on his newly-reworked engine in testing the Saturday before the Easter Thunderball, leaving him looking for a replacement unit. After many phone calls to people in the UK who could have helped, Mike decided there was only one way to go and ordered a new Transmission Specialties TH400 and Spragless Converter, if we could get it to him on Friday. Bear in mind that this was Tuesday afternoon. We called Peter at TSI to check on parts availability, we then called on the services of Malcolm Francis at Air Sea Logistics to get it shipped over in time. Job done, the parts were delivered to the track by Malcolm and myself before Mike had got the sleep out of his eyes on Friday morning. Thanks for a great service Malcolm! Mike went on to have his first ever problem-free weekend with the car and ran his best ever time and speed without using the transbrake. Well Done Mike!"
If you were at the Easter Thunderball or tuned in to our Event Coverage then you will have read that Jeff's wife Belinda successfully licenced for Super Gas at the weekend. "We would like thank Paula Marshall for her help in the run-up to the event", says Jeff, "and big thanks to all the kind people and friends who gave Belinda their support over the weekend."

"Big big thanks to Darren Prentice and Ian Marshall for giving me the opportunity to do my observed runs on Saturday and Sunday", says Belinda Bull, "and thanks to all the Pod track team and my fellow Super Gas racers for bearing with me while I got to grips with the car. Thanks to Em for her help during the mopping-up operation on Friday after we had a slight technical problem with the fire extinguisher in the car, and also for the entertainment in the fire-up road (don't forget the lip balm next time love!). More thanks to everyone - too many to mention, they know who they are - who stopped by our trailer with support and encouragement, it meant a lot and certainly helped me big time. All the waiting around on Sunday didn't seem such a big deal after all when I managed to make my last-chance licencing pass very late in the day, and ran a PB of 9.75/153. The biggest thanks of course go to my hubby for having faith in me, for his patience, and most of all for all the long hours and hard work he has put in to get the car ready. It was great to see it pay off when the car passed tech with flying colours!"

Busy Newbury set for Main Event.
31st March: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Newbury says that his first race this season will be May's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway.

"The reasons for the late start are work commitments and the purchase of a new CNC machine and one of the latest CAD/CAM packages", says Martin. "As we speak we are producing our own range of race and street products for both bikes and cars, and the list is constantly expanding. We can also produce one-off parts at realistic racer prices. If any-one would like more information then please contact Psycle Workz on 01733 755917 or E-Mail
"The full range of products will shortly be on display at www.psycleworkz.com, and we have also launched our race team site at www.crew22.com which will be updated regulary.

"We are currently supporting Chris Stebbings and his Nitro Harley, and look forward to a successful 2005 season."

Swift snippets.
31st March: UK Pro ET racer Wayne Hiscock and his wife Pam were very pleased with the performance of their '71 Chevelle at the Easter Thunderball. "The winter season has seen the implant of a 468ci BBC purchased from Stuart Doignie and quicker ETs were hoped for, but not quite so soon!", says Pam. "Wayne jumped from #24 to #1 qualifier in the final session on Sunday and recorded a PB of 9.701 - completely unexpected as it was only the second full pass with the new set-up. A change of gears is now required and will hopefully result in many more nine-second passes. We would like to thank Carl Burton for setting up the Pro ET Sponsorship Scheme (definitely recommended to all Pro ET racers), and Darren Hulkes for providing the much-needed window net."
2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter would be pleased to hear from anyone who can assist him with an awning. "I know I have asked this before, but I had a problem with my computer and lost all the responses", says Andy. If you can help Andy to get hold of an awning (Don't B & Q sell them? - Ed) then please drop him a line at fiatopfuel@aol.com.

Web site updates.
31st March: Just when you thought the site couldn't get any better, Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a history of Swedish Top Fuel Dragster team P & G Racing. Written by long-time Archive contributor Andy Barrack with major input from Pelle Lindelöw (right) and Gunnar Elmqvist, the fascinating illustrated feature charts in minute detail the history of what was one of the longest-standing teams in European Drag Racing History. The feature is in the form of an interview and runs to no less than eight pages, with additional photographs still to be added. "I don’t think that any racer has been covered more thoroughly or given such an insight into European – and Japanese! – drag racing", says Alan Currans. "I am very proud that Pelle is the subject of our début interview". You can check out the feature under Feature Articles at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar has updated his LA Racer web site with an account of the Easter Thunderball, at which he ran a personal best. You can check out Lindsay's report at www.laracing.co.uk.
The Drag, Rod and Classic Review web site at www.drcreview.com has been updated with a review of the weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

Brian Fawcus has updated his fan site with one hundred photographs from Monday's eliminations at Santa Pod Raceway. "The pictures are under the rather pretentious banner People, pits and bits", says Brian. Pretentious or not, Brian's pictures make great viewing at drag.fawcus.com.

James Hands has added two sponsors to his Racing 05 fan site, namely Eurodragster.com and 3t Creative. James has also updated his site with a short interview with Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog, which you can find at pages.123-reg.co.uk/jimmy43-800350.

Erwin Raets has updated his European Drag Racing Database with the timing data from the Easter Thunderball. "I had to add between twenty and twenty five racers to the database", says Erwin. "That always happens at the first race of the year". You can find the results of Erwin's work at www.eurodrag.com/eventclasses.asp?event=223.

Exclusive Eurodragster.com offer.
30th March: Precision Welding Systems, who are responsible for the development and marketing of the REHM brand of welding products in the UK, are celebrating their new sponsorship of UK Super Modified racer Tim Garlick by offering Eurodragster.com readers exclusive special deals on REHM products. Discounts of up to fifty per cent are available on a range of six products from a welding helmet to Mig and Tig welders.
"We are very excited about our new sponsorship within drag racing", says David Rochford of Precision Welding Systems. David adds that PWS would be happy to offer further information, such as REHM welding knowledge, if readers would be interested.

You can check out Precision Welding Systems' exclusive Eurodragster.com offers at

NFAA account opened.
30th March: The inaugural event of the UK's Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association, the weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, was certainly a baptism of fire says co-ordinator Lawrie Gatehouse.

"All of the cars had new combinations to some extent or other and, of course, none had run since last year", says Lawrie. "Mickey Moore in The Mob ran strongly for most of the weekend, culminating in his first 210 mph pass on Monday, at the expense of a set of pistons. The Extreme Racing Topolino of Bob Glassup looked good and ran every which way but straight, as he struggled with the extra power, culminating in a best of 178.5 mph on Sunday, plus a trip to collect mud and grass at the top end when the 'chute failed to open . The following round saw a very out-of-shape trip and significant damage by way of bent inlet valves.

"Clayton Round's Rebel T laid down an observed run of 7.73/177.8 once a malfunctioning mag had been replaced, courtesy of a loan from Ian Hansen, after a trip to Birmingham. Sunday saw a stellar 7.23/188.3, Clayton's best ever, but at the expense of the valve train, sidelining their efforts. It looks like there is a six in that motor and Clayton, Chris and Julian intend to go looking for it.

"Jim Seward's Harry the Spider team thrashed all weekend getting the motor and clutch set up and finally fired up on Monday. They pulled into the fire-up area with a strong sounding mill, did a burnout and a couple of hops, only for the drogues to pop open due to the vibrations, so that was finito to their weekend. The efforts by Jim Seward, Phil Cornish and the team, who worked incredible hours to put on a show, were thwarted - such a shame.
"Special thanks go to the track preparation and safety crews, Santa Pod Raceway, SPRC, the commentators, Eurodragster.com and everyone else involved...it was a fraught but enjoyable weekend.

"At least we didn't oil the track - Bob Glassup's little leak was a catch can overspill, easily cleaned - and all the teams learned a lot about the set-ups, now that we have had some serious track time. We hope that we didn't disappoint the fans too much and look forward to our next outing in June when we will be better prepared and should be able to field eight cars, if all goes according to plan."

Not a good weekend...
30th March: UK Super Street racer Mark Watkins says that he will be taking a change of underwear to the track next time, after his wild ride in the Team Nippon Datsun at the Easter Thunderball. The engine let go and put fluid under the wheels, but a great driving job kept Mark off the guardrail and away from his opponent.

"It wasn't a good weekend", says Mark. "We ended up with the car intact but the engine destroyed. It looks like #3 rod broke or spun a bearing. I think most of the internals are shot but we hope to be sorted in time for the Main Event. I have already been phoning rounding and sourcing even stronger bits, thanks to all the donations from the public and racers alike.
"We are still very happy, though, as the car got lots of attention and I wish we had charged a pound for every photo, I could have been on a very good holiday with the proceeds by now."

The Team Nippon web site at www.teamnippon.co.uk has been updated with Mark's comments on his ride, and a video of his great driving job. "Sorry for the oildown", he says.

Racers: Send your Easter Thunderball reviews or Power Nationals previews to us at news@eurodragster.com and we'll publish them here.

Sportsmanlike behaviour!
30th March: UK Sportsman ET racer Keith Crampton has been in touch to congratulate fellow Sportsman ET racer Martin Lewis on his class win at the Easter Thunderball. Keith has also paid tribute to the Sportsman ET racers for their enthusiasm and commitment over what he says was a frustrating weekend at times.

"Although we are the little guys and girls, there are a lot of tough racers up in the 'top field' pits", says Keith. "It was good to see such a variation in the class too. Some regulars, newcomers, returners and a wide age range (I'm saying nothing more)!
"An interesting piece of trivia is that this is the second time in a row that Martin Lewis has beaten me in the second round - the last time was at last year's FIA European Finals. This weekend Martin was number one qualifier and I was number five - last September, I was number one and he was number five. Third time lucky!"

Wheels-up snaps sought.
30th March: Tom and John Atkinson say that they are over the moon at getting into their first Pro ET final and actually getting a win with their Time Is Money Ford Cortina Estate at the Easter Thunderball. They add would be pleased to hear from anyone who caught a shot of the race car launching wheels-up on Saturday evening.

"Saturday was absolutely freezing, and we were sat about in the fire up road for too long whilst they did all the demos which wasn't fun!", says Tom Atkinson. "On Saturday night, during the last qualifying run of the day, we managed to get the wheels up big time which was totally unexpected, hence the request for a picture. Sunday was much the same, getting called up then a lot of waiting about for the demos, but having a lot fun on the track and getting through the first round which is always a huge relief.
"Finally Monday, the sun was out and it was great. We didn't expect to get past Carl Burton (Ding Dang Doo) in the second round but managed to do it, in the semis managed to get round Keith Herbert then met our good friend Jonny Morris in the final. All in all a great day for us! Well done to Jonny Morris too. Also we would like to add huge congratulations to Jon Webster and Peter Knight."

If you have any pictures of John Atkinson with the front wheels up on Saturday evening then you can drop Tom a line at hellfireracing@hotmail.com.

Swift snippets.
30th March: UK Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head has been in touch to thank everyone who contributed to her collection at Santa Pod Raceway at the weekend. Scary was collecting for the local air ambulance whose attendance after her accident last year played a big part in saving her life. "The air ambulance is a much-needed service for any motorsport", says Scary. "If there were no racers there would be nothing to watch."
Darren Gould of UK Top Methanol Funny Car team CC Racing says that there is more to come from Doug Ripley's TMFC as the chutes were out early on both of his six-second passes and one was only to the top of second gear. "I can't tell you how happy we are that we got down the strip", says Darren. "We are looking forward to the next event at Shakespeare County Raceway to start clawing down the ET. Congratulations to all of the Top Methanol teams for a record-breaking weekend and a great display". You can read all about the CC Racing team's weekend on their web site at www.freewebs.com/ccracing.

We are grateful to Santa Pod Raceway's Track Manager Kjell Pettersson for forwarding us a preliminary and provisional running order for the FIA Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod on 27th-30th May. You can check out the FIA Main Event running order by clicking here, or for a more colourful PDF version click here.

This week's issue of UK motorsport newspaper Motorsport News, published today, includes a two-page illustrated feature on the World Street Race written by Jo Holland. Next week's issue of MN will feature an interview with 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter. Motorsport News is £1.99 and is available from any good newsagent.

Ready to Play?
30th March: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars have been importing parts from the USA for many years and have become UK agents for many manufacturers. To cover the rest of the market ARRC have now become sole UK agents of a major US warehouse and can now offer a comprehensive mail order service, writes Bob Roberts.

"The catalogue or Playbook has over four hundred pages stuffed with goodies from bling to hard core, from injection to exhaust and from bed liners to car bras", says Bob. "All of the usual suspects are represented such as Holley, Moroso, NoS, Comp Cams and K & N. There are also relative newcomers such as Chikara and CryO2 for the Sport Compact scene.
"When you’ve chosen your goodies from the catalogue (right) then just phone, fax or E-Mail ARRC for a quote for total cost and delivery time. Payment can be cash, cheque or credit card. Catalogues cost £5, which will be deducted from the first order of £50 or more, and can be obtained by calling ARRC on 01256 880589, or via their web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk."

1st Stop for Fastco.
30th March: Smax Smith has been in touch to let us know that Ben Heward of 1st Stop Body Shop is the new owner of Fastco-UK, taking over from Ian Pellant. "I wish Ian well with his future plans", says Smax.

"Ben is a keen American car enthusiast and plans to expand his speciality body shop to supplying new and used American cars and car parts supplied by me, says Smax. "Together we will endeavour to beat most prices on parts, so call us last with your best quote and we will try to beat it. Also if you are having trouble locating a particular part, or if you have a technical question either E-Mail me direct at smax@smax.co.uk, call Ben on 01603 665000 or fax 01603 665005, or E-Mail 1ststopbodyshop@aol.com. Ben is located at 130 King Street, Norwich NR1 1QE.
"I am in Canada, which is hot rod heaven, scouring the countryside looking out for bargains. I am getting set up for shipping on a more regular basis so if you need new or used performance parts then E-Mail us!"

Web site updates.
30th March: Slimboyfat has updated his web site with some excellent photographs from the Easter Thunderball. The pictures in the main concentrate on the three Volkswagen Drag Racing Club classes but other classes are also represented - don't miss the excellent portrait of Trev Capewell in his Top Methanol FC. You can check out Slimboyfat's photographs at www.pbase.com/slimboyfat/thunderball_05.
Also posting photographs from the Easter Thunderball is Andrew Bamford, whose Racing Green web site you can find at www.racing-green.co.uk.

James Hands has updated his Racing 05 fan site with some pictures from the Easter Thunderball including a feature on Pro Fuel Shootout runner-up Andy Carter. You can find James' web site at pages.123-reg.co.uk/jimmy43-800350.

Nataas takes Shootout.
29th March: Norway's Thomas Nataas won the 2005 Pro Fuel Shootout which took place at this weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. Thomas took his first Shootout win with a holeshot against Andy Carter in a race which saw the cars side-by-side all the way down the track, a mere nineteen inches between them at the finish line, and neither driver aware who had won.

"The car has been running well all weekend", Thomas told Eurodragster.com after the race. "We didn't set the car to go fast, we just set it to get down the track and it was running good times. I think it's going to be hard to beat the Rune Fjeld cars this year!"

"I never saw Thomas all the way down the track, and he never saw me", said Andy Carter. "When we got to the end of the track I asked Thomas "Do you know who won?" and he had no idea. We realised that it had been a very close race and we both put out our hands to shake at the same time". Thomas added that he only saw Andy's B&Q-sponsored car when he pulled his 'chutes. "I pulled my chutes before Andy pulled his and of course he went past, and I thought that must have been close", he said.

"I am very pleased for Thomas, and Rune, and for my new crew members", said Andy. "And if Thomas beat me then he must be good!"

Pro Mod winner Roger Johansson was pleased to have made the trip from Sweden. Roger's car disappeared into a cloud of smoke at the finish line and we all feared the worst for his engine but it transpired that a pressure hose came loose from the oil pump. "I couldn't see the finish line!", said Roger. "My plan was to run in the 6.2s but it just went dead after 1000 feet. I was waiting for Danny to come past me!".

Top Methanol victor Dave Wilson set a new MSA Championship record of 5.500 in the final round, taking the record away from Rob Turner who had set it in the previous round, but under MSA rules both racers receive points for setting a record.

Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables capped off a very fruitful week by running the first SSB seven-second pass in competition, winning the event, and setting new records of 7.742 seconds and 193.20 mph (subject to official ratification). "It was an up and down weekend", said Steve, "but we pulled through. I've never been so nervous going into a final round though!". Jamie Sneddon and Brad O'Connor also went into the sevens, Jamie twice holding the ACU ET record during the weekend, so that is three of the four Webster Race Engineering gold rings gone for seven-second passes.

Also on two wheels, Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King enjoyed a return to form, taking the event win after qualifying #1 and running Low ET of the event, whilst Chris Hall and Gary Jones won on their returns to competition. The first-ever running of 9.50 Bike saw brothers and team-mates Steve and Paul Coombs in the final round, Steve taking the win.

Spencer Tramm won the Super Gas 20th Anniversary Shootout which was held over from last year's UK National Finals, and went home an appropriate £990 richer.

As already reported Martin Hill became the fastest Jet drag racer on the planet at 336.10 mph; also in exhibition Eric Teboul recorded a best of 5.867 on his Rocket Bike.

Congratulations to the Easter Thunderball winners and runners-up:

Pro Fuel Shootout: Thomas Nataas 5.054/283.14 def. Andy Carter 5.047/274.62
Top Methanol: Dave Wilson 5.500/248.48 def. Rob Turner 5.541/251.43
Pro Modified: Roger Johansson 6.533/193.96 def. Danny Cockerill 19.589/37.79
Super Modified: Kev Perkins 7.776/177.10 def. Andy Kirk 8.289/162.40
Street Eliminator: Colin Lazenby 8.425/173.67 def. John Sleath 8.535/176.41
Super Pro ET: Ian Tubb (7.53) 7.591/175.12 def. Pat Talbot (7.97) 8.028/162.68 red
Pro ET: John Atkinson (9.22) 9.294/132.38 def. John Morris (10.75) 10.923/119.96
Sportsman ET: Martin Lewis (15.80) 16.379/81.53 def. Rick Denny (13.43) 13.358/99.11 red
Super Comp: Brian Pateman 8.960/152.65 def. Martin Curbishley 8.954/151.10 red
Super Gas: Spencer Tramm 9.947/118.79 def. Conrad Stanley 9.891/128.66 b/out
Super Street: John Grant 11.092/114.11 def. Dave Cherrett 11.240/111.32
Junior Dragster: Ross Norris (8.74) 8.825/74.24 def. Collin Morrice (9.33) 9.327/69.56 b/out
VW Pro: Jonathan Grigg (12.70) 12.841/104.88 def. Neil Davies (12.40) 12.093/109.77 red
VW Sportsman: Chris Bray (16.10) 16.181/83.31 def. Paul Herbert (13.31) 15.280/83.76 b/out
VW Alternate Engine: Matt Attwood (13.65) 13.840/97.19 def. Spencer Tramm (9.90) 10.054/113.14
Top Fuel Bike: Ian King 6.482/209.29 bye, Steve Woollatt no show
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck 7.380/167.90 def. Richard Gipp 7.820/166.66
Funny Bike: Chris Hall 7.194/179.46 def. Neil Midgley no time (broke on run)
Comp Bike: Gary Jones 8.232/168.54 def. TJ O'Brien 8.905/105.87
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.742/193.16 def. Jamie Sneddon 8.617/141.94
9.50 Bike: Steve Coombs 9.679/138.36 def. Paul Coombs 9.638/136.41

Both of the Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards were won this weekend. As previously reported, Super Comp racer Andy Williams won the Eurodragster.com/
LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award with his astounding 8.900000, and Super Gas racer Olav Skjervo took the Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award with a 0.000 Reaction Time during yesterday's eliminations.

Click here to view our American Car Imports-sponsored Easter Thunderball coverage, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.

Our good buddy Gareth Evans has also been posting end-day reports and pictures on his UK1320 web site at www.uk1320.com.

Easter Thunderball timing data.
29th March: We are indebted to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers for forwarding the timing data from the Easter Thunderball.
You can view the Easter Thunderball timing data by clicking here, or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Flint sponsor Wright TF.
29th March: The UK's Wright Racing Top Fuel Dragster team have confirmed that Flint Insurance will once again be team insurance broker for the 2005 season.

"Flint Insurance can give you a good deal on your commercial business insurance, cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles, and they specialise in race car insurance", says Lesley Wright. "The cover is provided whilst the vehicle is in the workshop and travelling from home to the track. They also do great rates on privately-owned transporters with cover extending to European travel. After spending all your hard earned cash getting a race car and trailer together this cover is invaluable for the peace of mind it brings.
"Thanks to David Taylor and all the team at Flint Insurance for their support. Call them on 0870 0115320, or visit their web site at www.flintinsurance.co.uk."

Swift snippets.
29th March: Further to the news item of 20th March about Crane Cams' sponsorship of Top Fuel racer Andy Carter, Crane Cams Inc of Daytona Beach, Florida have been in touch to let us know that Crane Cam products are available in the UK through their sole distributor, Bedford-based USAutomotive Ltd, and not direct from Crane Cams Inc. USAutomotive were appointed distributor in 1997 and can be reached on 01234 273155, sales@usauto.co.uk or at their web site at www.usauto.co.uk. The latest range of Crane Cams products includes a new line of street/race distributors and the recently introduced Zcams for all popular V8 engines including Ford's modular V8 in 4.6 and 5.4 litre capacity.

Venables' new marks.
28th March: Congratulations to UK Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables who, having laid down a brace of seven-second passes in testing last weekend, did it in competition at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway and set new National records.
Steve clocked 7.991/190.67 in qualifying on Saturday, then yesterday sat and watched Jamie Sneddon record 7.939 on his Honda Blackbird, then took away Jamie's ACU ET record with a 7.925/193.20 which subject to official ratification is the new ET record. Steve's 193.20 was too fast for a record, since Saturday's 190.67 didn't back it up within one per cent, but the 190.67 is the new ACU speed record.

Stay tuned to Eurodragster.com's Easter Thunderball Event Coverage since we're sure that this story isn't yet finished!

Stotz likes what he sees.
28th March: US AMA/Prostar Pro Street racer Kent Stotz is enjoying his weekend at the Easter Thunderball, where he is providing tuning advice to Super Street Bike racer Jamie Sneddon who purchased Kent's Honda Blackbird. Speaking to Eurodragster.com last night, multiple AMA/Prostar Champion Kent said that he was very impressed with Santa Pod's track and the approach and innovation shown by racers on this side of the Pond.

"This track works very well even in the cold and humidity this weekend", said Kent. "There isn't a track in the USA which could do this, so credit to the guys who do the track here. I have found that the track has not been a limiting factor here, it can't be used as an excuse.".

When Jamie purchased the Blackbird, Kent asked him and Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home/News page sponsor Dynospeed Developments whether they wanted the bike set up for a less grippy track. "They said no", said Kent. "I was sceptical but I came here and it's just as Grumps said. I've been 7.2 at 200 on that bike and it can do that here. This is the best track I have been on outside the US professional tours."

We asked Kent what input he is providing to the DSD team this weekend. "I told Paul and Jamie what I thought they should do and why", he said. "Paul agreed, or had already thought of everything I told him. Today (Sunday, when we spoke to Kent - Ed) I told Paul to make the calls because I won't always be here. We have been through combinations for different conditions, and the data which came with the bike from the USA is directly comparable. A data recorder, over time, is the cheapest piece of equipment you can buy if you factor in engines and parts saved. Buying a data recorder and using the data it gives you is what turns a Sportsman racer into a Pro."

Kent said that he has been impressed by the variety of bikes he has seen on his visit to Santa Pod Raceway. "In the States, fifteen of twenty bikes are similar, here maybe two in twenty are the same, and that's the biggest difference", he said. "The bikes are all within range of each other, and only a few use tried and tested methods, everyone else uses their own ideas. There is a lot of innovation over here."
Four-time Champion Kent found it difficult to let the Blackbird go but he said that he has a new bike at home. "There are some things I can do better on a new bike, and I have to do them because the competition is doing them", he said. "I don't wish to blow my own horn but I am the only repeat Champion in the class". Kent was quick to credit his sponsors for his success. "Honda Riders Club of America and Honda Pro Oils came on board after I won the Championship in 1998", he said. "They asked me if I could do it on a Honda. In 1999 Honda gave me a bike to look at, and I found it made a lot of power and was reliable. I built the bike in 2001, and in 2001 and 2002 I did the whole AMA/Prostar series, won the Championship, and held the ET and speed records. I am also sponsored by Pingel, Star Racing, Airtech, Falicon and Velocity Racing, and more recently Hyperpro Suspension, Joe Rocket Leathers, and JE Pistons have come on board - I wouldn't be where I am without them."

Kent and his family are returning to the USA on Tuesday, and Kent will be picking up his bike and going straight back to the AMA/Prostar tour. "The bike is running but not ready, but it should be good to go when I get back", he said. "This year we are taking the class to a new level. We are running with the NOPI Drag Race Association, also known as the NDRA, who feature Sport Compact cars. We are appearing at four of their events this year in front of twenty five thousand spectators over each weekend. NOPI Tuner Vision is on the TV each night so we will get good coverage. These bikes are popular with the fans, they can relate to them and even when you are doing 150 miles per hour at the eighth they could still sit up!"

Kent said that he would like to make more trips to the USA if funds and schedule permit. "It's Jamie's call", he said. "I would like to see some racing here in good weather! Honda's promotional schedule keeps me very busy, I don't get many free weekends, but I would like to come back."

SCR turning Japanese.
28th March: Maxed, modded and darn right outrageous are three kinds of terminology used in describing the growing sector of the Japanese import performance market. There isn’t a month that goes by without the specialist-modified press uncovering another seriously quick Skyline, Evo or GTR from the Japanese genre, writes Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson.

Years ago rumours turned into reality when 1000 bhp Nissan GTRs started to populate the UK cruising scene. But how quick are they in a straightline standing start quarter mile drag! Well, now’s your chance to find out as the first ever Jap Racer Days series is about to hit the strip running at Startford-Upon-Avon’s Shakespeare County Raceway this Sunday, 3rd April.

Import drag racing began in the United States in the seventies. Surely but slowly the import movement began to gather momentum before being thrust in front of the public’s eye in the late nineteen ninety’s where organisations began running the first national series dedicated to imports.

The cars are not your typical race cars but street sleepers in disguise. Chosen engines are now considered to be the most technologically advanced in the world, producing more power on eco-friendly petrol than any other engines in the world.

The Jap Racer Days series is designed to find the quickest and fastest street legal Jap vehicle in the country, points will be awarded for elapsed time and top speed with an extra bonus points haul for attending all three events. With a prize fund of £1850 on offer by season’s end, this weekend’s Jap Racer Day promises to be exciting, loud, and fast. If you have got what it takes, then bring it on!

Saturday, as well as Sunday is the second in the track’s spring Public Track Days where you can run your own road car or bike for as little as a weekend’s shopping. Saturday also plays host to the American Car World Street Racer Series where anything goes from big American muscle cars through to four or even eight-cylinder nitrous injected British and European imports.

Entry to the track will be £10 on Saturday and £12 on Sunday or £20 for the weekend. Another £15 per day or £25 for the weekend will buy you as many runs as you can make with certificate of speed to prove it!

Shakespeare County Raceway will be open 10.00am on Saturday and 11.00am on Sunday. The track can be found on the B4632 six miles south of Stratford town centre. For more details about Shakespeare County Raceway check out the track’s official web site at

The fastest Jet on the planet!
27th March: UK Jet Funny Car pilot Martin Hill became the fastest jet-powered drag racer on the planet this afternoon (Sunday) with a pass of 5.793/336.10 in his Fireforce 2 Jet Funny Car. Martin's speed beats the previous best of 330.90 mph set by US Jet Dragster pilot Bill Mattio. Martin clocked 288 mph on a 1000-foot pass yesterday and said that the car was accelerating very hard to that point; today he stayed on the throttle all the way to record the fastest-ever Jet terminal speed, Funny Car or Dragster.
Stay tuned and we will bring you Martin's comments as soon as we speak to him.

The return of the Rat.
27th March: UK Super Street Bike racer Rachel Pattison is to return to the track this season after purchasing Steve Venables' last SSB. Rachel acquired the low eight-second bike after selling her Bandit, the quickest in Europe, to former 9.90 Bike racer Jim Beck.

"Steve doesn't need the bike any more because he's moving on!", says Rat. "It's a ZX12R, bored out to 1500, with lots of ZX bits on. It's bloody quick - apparently! I've never had a Kawasaki before, at least not a Kawasaki race bike, but this one was affordable". Rat picked the bike up from Steve last week. "The cheque might bounce next week!", she says. "When I got it home I almost advertised it on the internet for more than I paid for it, just for a laugh!
Rat took a year out in 2004, so plans to test the bike this season with a view to running in competition in 2006. "This is a quicker and more technical bike", said Rat. "I am on a definite learning curve but I just need to get back into it and I will do the best I can. I won't be annoyed if it takes me all year to learn to ride the bike. We will be doing some Test and Tunes, but I hope it doesn't need much tuning!"

Rat asked us to say a big Thank You to Richard Cawthorn, whom she says she has borrowed from Ivan Birch again. "Sorry Ivan!", she says. "By the way, where are you when I need you Squirby!"

Zeroes as far as you can see.
27th March: Congratulations to UK Super Comp racer Andy Williams who was the first winner of the 2005 Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award with an 8.900 in qualifying at the Easter Thunderball yesterday (Saturday). It doesn't end there, though, as when Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew looked at Andy's ET out to six places, it was zeroes all the way - 8.900000! What are the odds?

After track announcer Graham Beckwith read off the string of zeroes on the PA at Santa Pod, he said "Now we need to ask Andy how did you do that?". We asked Andy, and he said "I just do what the computer says to do!".

Andy is now £50 better off courtesy of Eurodragster.com and
LA Racing Parts. "I would like to add my congratulations to Andy, well done", said Lee Child of LA Racing Parts.

The Perfect ET prize fund will be reset to £50 for the Power Nationals in mid-April, whilst the Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award is still available this weekend although we have had RTs of 0.002 and a 0.003 on day one.

Wolf heads for Wright Racing.
25th March: The legendary
John Woolfe Racing wolf head logo is to appear again on a race car in 2005. The Wright Racing Top Fuel Dragster is to return to the track sporting the wolf head with a number of demonstration and match race appearances already booked at events at Shakespeare County Raceway this year. The dragster, owned by John and Lesley Wright and to be driven again by Darryl Bradford, will be carrying the names of a number of other companies all of whose products will be available through joint Eurodragster.com Links sponsor LA Racing Parts in a co-operative marketing deal.
John and Lesley Wright kindly invited Eurodragster.com to their Rushden workshop to check out the dragster, now in John Woolfe Racing blue applied by Curbishley Automotive, and to talk to Dave Riswick of JWR and the representatives of the other companies involved in supporting the car.

Click here to check out our report and pictures of our workshop visit, or click on the Features link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Easter Thunderball running orders.
25th March: We are indebted to Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice and Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us the provisional running orders for tomorrow's (Saturday) and Sunday's qualifying at this weekend's Easter Thunderball.
Please note that, as ever, published running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by the Race Director.

You can check out Saturday's and Sunday's running orders on our Easter Thunderball coverage index, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.

Hauser will be fuelling.
25th March: Geof Hauser of Hauser Racing has been in touch to confirm that he will be selling race fuel at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend.
"Contrary to some rumours currently circulating we have abundant stocks and will be able to satisfy all racers' requirements", says Geof. "We are now distributors for Sunoco Race Fuels and are proud to be working with such a professional organisation."

You will be able to find Geof in the Junior Dragster pits as usual.

Warren Krazy about SSB.
25th March: UK Super Street Bike rookie David Warren had a very successful first on-track outing on the Krazy Kat bike at Santa Pod Raceway last Sunday. Until he went to Santa Pod with the Krazy Kat team, David's only experience of the bike was a dyno session. David got in touch to tell us how the testing went from his point of view.

"We got over the small problem of not having a tyre to go on the bike", says David. "Thanks must go to Ian Marshall of Webster Race Engineering for sorting it out so quickly and at such short notice. Then we were en route to Santa Pod.

"On Sunday morning it hit me what I had let myself in for. I was full of mixed emotions which ranged from "What are you doing?" to "I can't wait to get on this bike". We arrived at Pod to a cold misty day, checked the bike and warmed her up and then we were ready for the first pass. The bike was fired and pushed around to the bleach box and I was given the signal to start the burnout, with my heart in my mouth I started to spool the turbo and then dumped the clutch and she was spinning. After the burnout I got the pat on the back from Steve and the final check from Roger and from now on in I was on my own. I went in to pre-stage and went though the start line routine which I had gone through a thousand times in my head. I started to let the clutch go and this is where things started to get interesting as I shifted as the bike started to pick up speed. I have never felt a bike pull so hard but so smoothly at the same time. After I got her in top gear just before half track the bike started to pull really hard, and when the shift light came on after three-quarter track I shut her down to record 9.258/152.

"This blew my personal best out of the water and nicely topped up my speed. I shut the bike down and turned off the track, and waited for Steve to pick me up. During this time I had a while to think about what I had just gone through, and I just wish I could repeat half the stuff I said.
"After the back slaps and congratulations the time soon came around for me to go out for another pass. We set the bike up up and towed down to the fire up road. We finally got the call to go out and I could not wait. After coming out of the burnout and putting the bike in to neutral we found a false neutral which stalled the bike. We re-fired her and went to the start line. I got myself ready and started to spool the turbo and waited for the lights to drop. After a feather of the throttle at sixty feey I hit second and then third and she was off and pulling really hard! I went though the finish line and started to shut down and this time it felt quicker again. When Steve got to me and told me the time I could not believe it, and I had to see the ticket for myself, which read 9.068/159.45.

"I was over the moon and I couldn’t believe how many people were saying "Well done" to me at the track and on my phone (Eurodragster working well).

"Overall we are really happy with what we achieved at the weekend, but I still know that this is only the start of things and I have still got a mountain to climb.

"I would like to thank everyone who has given me their support and told me "Well done", you know who you are and you don’t know how much it means to me. I would also like to say thank you to Roger, Steve and the team, to my family, and to everyone else who has helped me get to where I am now."

Mickey Thompson back SCR.
24th March: LA Performance Services have announced that Mickey Thompson are to sponsor a number of series and classes at Shakespeare County Raceway. Winners and runners-up in selected Ultimate Power Championship classes, the Jap Racer Series, and the American Car World Street Racer series will receive cash awards as long as they run Mickey Thompson tyres, run MT decals, and produce a receipt from an authorised UK distributor.

The Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship classes to be sponsored by Mickey Thompson at the Ultimate Power events on 16th-17th April, 18th-19th June, and 27th-29th August are as follow:

Top Methanol: Winner £100, runner-up £50
Super Pro ET: Winner £50, runner-up £25
Street Eliminator: Winner £50, runner-up £25
Outlaw Anglia: Winner £50, runner-up £25
Super Street Bike: Winner £50, runner-up £25
9.50 Bike: Winner £50, runner-up £25
Mickey Thompson will also be sponsoring the Jap Racer Series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 2nd April, 29th-30th May, and 2nd October. The Jap Racer Series, which will be extensively covered by Japanese Performance magazine, aims to find the quickest ET and speed for a street-legal Jap vehicle, with points awarded for ET and speed and £1000, £500 and £350 to be awarded by LA Performance Services to the Series winner, runner-up and third place. Mickey Thompson will award £50 to the winner and £25 to the runner-up of each of the three Jap Racer Series events.

The American Car World Street Racer Series, which holds rounds at Shakespeare County Raceway on 2nd April, 14th-15th May and 2nd October, will also be sponsored by Mickey Thompson with £50 awarded to the winner and £25 to the runner-up of each of the three events.

"I am over the moon with the support from Mickey Thompson", says promoter Lee Child, who jointly sponsors Eurodragster.com's Links pages through
LA Racing Parts. "I would like to thank Julian Baldwin, Roger Everson and Nigel Underhill for their support over the last two years."

SPR gates, scrutineering.
24th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has kindly provided us with details of opening and scrutineering times at Santa Pod tomorrow (Friday 25th):
Santa Pod Raceway gates open: 11:00
Signing-on: 14:00 - 20:00
Car scrutineering: 15:00, weather permitting
Bike scrutineering: 17:00, weather permitting

"I am expecting the 2005 rule books to arrive this week", says Paula. "If they are available then I will put them in the envelopes."

Midgley makes it.
24th March: If you were tuned in to our coverage of the pre-Easter Thunderball Test Weekend, you will recall that 2004 ACU UK Funny Bike Champion Neil Midgley's season got off to the worst possible start when he suffered a catastrophic transmission failure whilst testing a new gearbox. Neil's crankcases were rendered scrap, but he tells us that he will be at the Easter Thunderball.
"I have now put last year's transmission onto my number one engine and installed it in the bike ready for Easter", says Neil. "On stripping the spare engine it is evident the damage is limited to the gearbox and cases. I have built the engine back up as far as I can with the spares available and will hopefully complete it on Friday with some borrowed parts at Pod."

If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on 27th February you will recall that Neil has decided that his future lies in a new project and has put his Championship- and record-holding bike up for sale. "With the sale in mind I am reticent to invest in the parts needed to replace those damaged on Sunday", says "I am therefore offering the bike race-ready with the 6.73-second engine, but no spares, for £15000 - no offers."

Glassup calms it down.
24th March: UK blown-alcohol altered racer Bob Glassup says that he is looking forward to joining the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association at this weekend's Easter Thunderball. "We are quite excited about being part of some good altered action", say Bob and Matthew Glassup.

Bob's was one of the altereds which has been doing pre-season promotion for the NFAA, including at Brentwood and at Xtreme Wheels International. "It was particularly nice to have four altereds under the NFAA banner at Xtreme Wheels", says Bob. "It generated a lot of interest and positive comments. It was a great effort from all involved in bringing along their cars."
Bob recorded a best of 8.00/175 last year, but team have done some work to prevent the wild launches. "Keeping the car in a straight line was quite a task in itself", says Bob. "Over the winter break we have changed the gear ratios from 4:56 to 4:11, hopefully this will help keep the front wheels out of the sky on the launch. We eagerly await the weekend to see if it has helped enough, as last year we didn't really get a great deal of track time to get the car set up properly and run the numbers we had hoped."

Bob and his team will be joined this weekend by the legendary Norm Wheeldon, who built the chassis and who will be giving them expert advice on running a blown engine.

Swift snippets.
24th March: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King will be accompanied by a TV crew at this weekend's Easter Thunderball as he is to be part of a Discovery Channel programme entitled Big Big Bikes. The King Racing team will this weekend be testing a new Automan clutch and fuel control system, as used by a number of NHRA Top Fuel teams.

Our good friend, photographer Richard Heeps tells us that he will be displaying his photographs in the Pod Shop at Santa Pod Raceway throughout the season, starting at this weekend's Easter Thunderball. "There will be a broad selection of images from the UK and America", says Richard, "and I will be refreshing the pictures for every event". You can check out some of Richard's excellent photographs on his just-updated web site at www.richardheeps.co.uk.
UK Street Eliminator racer Pete Smith tells us that he had to miss last weekend's pre-Easter Thunderball testing due to last-minute problems with his new Just Mental 'Vette. "Don't worry, I will be there this weekend", says Pete.

Steve Debben tells us that ZX12R cylinder studs, as used in the seven-second engine built for Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables by Debben Performance, are now available on-line on the company's web site at www.debben.co.uk. "We also have Gascacinch back in stock", says Steve.

Chiarella continues research.
24th March: Back on 6th March we brought you the news that UK Super Pro ET racer George Chiarella is planning to move up into Pro Mod. Ben Chiarella tells us that Straight To The Point Racing have had a number of enquiries about their blown-alcohol Small Block Chevy, and have also been continuing their research.

"We have checked out the chassis rules, and we just have to put in a few tubes to make us legal", says Ben. "This is because we built the chassis to six-second spec to begin with. Johan Samuelsson E-Mailed us with advice about running the Bruno in Pro Mod, he told us that we can do it but that we will have to release it with the left foot and we will also need a billet converter and 6.3 bellhousing. Thanks to Johan for the advice, it has saved us a lot of money because we won't have to buy a new gearbox or clutch set-up.
"We would also like to say a big Thanks to the Crew Chief of the West Coast Choppers Willys and Corvette Pro Mods for the interest in our car.

"We will keep you informed as we progress to Pro Mod!"

Bennett in with a bang, almost.
24th March: The tech inspection of UK blown-alcohol altered racer Frank Bennett's chassis almost got off to an explosive start at the B + J Nostalgia Skunk Works on Tuesday, says Johnny Hall.

"Frank Bennett was due to bring his Altered chassis over for inspection and updating in the evening", says Johnny. "At about three in the afternoon, there was a knock on the workshop door, and it turned out to be the Police . They told us that a hand grenade without a pin had been found on the fifth hole on the golf course behind our 'shop - about thirty five yards from our back wall.
"They told us that we had to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice and to keep away from the back wall in case the grenade went off. With chassis inspector Mark Norton and Frank Bennett due in a couple of hours it was a big problem, and they also decided to close Crow Lane which is the road containing our entrance. Bill and I were unconcerned and decided to carry on working, a stinking hand grenade is no problem to us.

"About an hour later, the bomb squad removed it, all was clear and the road was reopened. Frank and Luke Bennett put the chassis onto our jig, Mark turned up, did his business, told us what needed doing, and we all went home."

Carter signs two-year B&Q deal.
23rd March: Reigning FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champions and record holders Carter Motorsport have signed retailing giant B&Q as title sponsors for the 2005 and 2006 seasons in a two-year deal. Racing under the B&Q Power Tools banner, the team will also be supported by manufacturers Makita, Metabo, Ryobi, AEG, DeWalt, Bosch, and B&Q’s own power tool brands, Performance Power Pro and MacAllister, along with a wealth of associate sponsors.

The team’s closely-guarded new livery and web site will be launched during Santa Pod’s Easter Thunderball this weekend, prior to a fully-loaded tour of all FIA rounds, match races, exhibitions and promotional visits to B&Q warehouse stores throughout the UK.

"This is B&Q’s first venture into professional motorsport, so we are naturally delighted to have finalised this prestigious deal with such a high-profile household brand" said owner-driver Andy Carter. "B&Q’s reputation for quality, service, and value is second to none, and their range of power tools simply can’t be beaten. Our mission is to further strengthen B&Q’s presence in the trade power tool sector of the marketplace with the ultimate power tool, a 6500 bhp Top Fuel car!"

As the season opens, Carter Motorsport will also be rolling out their new pitside hospitality unit, an expanded range of merchandise, and some top-secret innovations on the car.

Interview: Andy Carter.
23rd March: Eurodragster.com interviewed Andy Carter on the eve of the announcement of the B&Q deal, which was particularly well-timed as Andy goes to the Easter Thunderball planning to be the first racer to win the Pro Fuel Shootout three times.
We asked Andy about his off-season activities, his plans to win the Pro Fuel Shootout and the 2005 FIA season, and the deal with B&Q.

You can read our interview with Andy Carter by clicking here, or by clicking on the Interviews link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Swift snippets.
23rd March: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News yesterday you will have read that Pro Mod racer-to-be Tim Mugridge promised us pictures of his new Pro Mod, which he will be racing in 2006. Tim was as good as his word, sending us the picture at right (click on picture for large version) as well as the hood scoop, Junior Dragster Champion Nick Mugridge in the driving seat, Nick Mugridge standing by the car, and the Mugridge family's two race cars.
Santa Pod Raceway are looking for doorslammers to make exhibition passes at the Fast Show, which takes place on Sunday 3rd April. "Street Eliminator, Pro Mod, Super Pro ET and Super Mod would be ideal", says Rick Cuthbert of Trakback Racing. "It should be a fun day for anyone who wants to test and/or showcase drag racing to this enthusiastic audience. If you would like to run demos at the show then please contact me at rick@thefastshow.com. If you want to just come along and have a look or participate in the Run What You Brung, the show is open to all, and a great mixture of cars were seen at last year's show from classic and American cars through to hot-hatches and supercars. For more information on the Show, visit www.thefastshow.com.

A very Happy Birthday to Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon, who is doubtless hoping for a Pro Fuel Shootout victory this weekend as a belated birthday present. Have a great day, Lex.

PMR postcard from Gainesville.
23rd March: Paul Marston spent the weekend at the Gatornationals in Florida and sent us an account of the race

The weather conditions swapped between England at Florida. On Thursday the main Sportsman qualifying day was a complete washout, with not a wheel turned in anger. It wasn't a complete loss as I made myself busy as usual. Amongst the people I met were Terry and Tina Gibbs, over to enjoy the very best in Pro Mod and collect parts, as all dedicated English racers should. Next were Gordon Appleton and Crew Chief Adrian Spencer, and finally legendary Street Racer Andy Harris, who was enjoying a month-long stint of Florida weather.

Friday was a little better, the weather hovered in the 40s to 50s as the sun failed to break through all day. It was cold and fairly miserable for us racers as it took hours to dry the track due to the near 100% humidity combined with the cold temperatures. Although Super Comp was due out about 8.30 am, by 10.00 am it was clear that the schedule was due some changes. Sure enough the news came that Super Comp was now to be run after all the Pro Classes were through both of their scheduled two sessions. This was to be changed again late afternoon, a complete scrapping of any runs Friday to a Saturday morning one-shot deal, after another 4.00am start to the day, at least we could now just enjoy the rest of the day and with better weather scheduled for Saturday, relish the opportunity of at last getting down the track.

Notables of the Pro sessions were Byron Hines’ Screaming Eagle Pro Stock Bike Harley Davidson, son Matt Hines casting his name in stone as the very first Pro Stock bike rider to run a six with a 6.99. Following close behind was the bun fight of the Pro Stock qualifying, with the mineshaft air and cool temperature conditions meaning massive power for these 1300+ HP monsters, if you could get hooked up you were on a mission. Greg Anderson was once again the class of the field, re-setting the Pro Stock ET and Speed Records once again with a second session mind-numbing 6.63/208, backed up by the first session run it is now the new official mark.

I once again kept busy, this time with my guests for the day Matt Wright and his partner Cheryl. With Fuel Funny Car running in the fours, John Force as #1 qualifier and Top Fuel Dragster in the 4.4 zone I think it is fair to saw Matt and Cheryl enjoyed the day. Matt and Cheryl would also like to extend their thanks to Tony Morris and Tim Hutcherson for their hospitality and warmth of the Toterhome during this cold day. We have also been joined for most of our stay by German Top Methanol Dragster driver Timo Habermann and his girlfriend Alex, also good friends of Tony Morris. Timo has been enjoying the sights and making himself busy amongst the Top Alcohol pits both here at the Gators and last week at the Florida Nationals. The Habermann team will be returning to Santa Pod for the FIA Main Event later this year. Other Brits over here were the man himself Steve Green and Ampar's Dave Riswick, who were enjoying the hospitality and atmosphere the Gatornationals provide.

Web site updates.
23rd March: Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a number of Windows wallpaper files from the weekend's pre-Easter Thunderball testing at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Sharkman's wallpapers at www.topendtales.com.

The war machine stirs.
22nd March: Holland's
MPM Top Fuel team fired up their new dragster for the first time at the weekend, indoors at Lex Joon's Zaandam shop (right) and a week before the car's first competitive appearance at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. Crew Chief Eddie Corr warned Eurodragster.com that this was just the first noise from the war machine in the 2005 campaign.

"A busy two-day schedule saw the car tested and fired, and the new crew got their initial training", said Eddie. "We have two more crew members available in England, the two Andys from the 2001-2003 Carter crew, hungry to get stuck in at Easter.

"System checks were made and I inspected the tune-up as supplied by the Bacas to see what it needs for Easter at Santa Pod. The ignition system needed some attention, and so the car was fired on fuel this weekend for the first time. The tune-up issue is interesting because the car is currently a 4.40 car on 90%, we will be running it this year throughout Europe at a lower level of tune than 4.40s, and Easter will be the lowest of all.

"The car is in very good condition, has a good spares package, is already SFI tagged for 2005, and the datalogger is a fantastic new 'toy' for me. It will be an interesting year. Easter will basically be a toe in the water for the car and the team, the FIA Main Event will be diving into the water. So we’ll see how we go. Everything is speculative until qualifying starts at the Main Event!"
"It was really exciting to fire up the car", Lex Joon told Eurodragster.com. "The car was sitting in our shop, and we knew it was good, but when it's fired and you can see everything is working the way it should it feels like a dream come true. We did not have to make any adjustments: Kevin Poynter, Baca Racing's Crew Chief, had given us a car which was ready to rock and roll, even the ignition timing was spot on. For Eddie and the rest of our crew it will be a steep learning curve, but we are ready for it no matter how it comes. Obviously we will not be looking to set any records at Easter as we will be working on a set-up for the car, and Eddie will not be there as he has a work commitment which was made before we knew we would be running at Easter.

"Knowing that I will be the one to drive this car is something else. I know people's expectations are high, and so are ours. Our competition will be ready when they have to race against us, and we will be more than ready - after firing the MPM Top Fuel Dragster I know that for sure!"

The Autosport.nl web site contains some great pictures from the fire-up taken by our good friend Remco Scheelings, as well as Remco's Dutch-language report on the day. Check it out at www.autosport.nl.

Mugridge Sr to return.
22nd March: Former Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Tim Mugridge will be entering the UK Pro Mod wars in 2006. Tim, father of 2004 UK National Junior Dragster Champion Nick Mugridge, was due to pick up the car at the premises of Eurodragster.com Home and News Page sponsor Air Sea Logistics yesterday (Monday).

"The car is a Tim McAmis-bodied '68 Camaro", Tim told Eurodragster.com. "The chassis was built to the latest spec by Dave Monday Race Cars. I bought the car new and unraced from Robbie Vandergriff who hasn't got the time to race it. The car is the sister car to Chad Hedgecock's Eagle Racing Camaro and is absolutely beautiful, everything down to the last nut and bolt is chromed. And it has a huge wing!"
Tim said that he estimates the car to be ninety per cent complete. "I brought a lot of parts back from Orlando last year intending to have a car built here so I haven't much left to get", he said. "I have to paint it, wire it, get a propshaft, engine, clutch and bellhousing. Whatever I bought and don't need I will be selling."

The engine will be at least 706 ci. "I could have had Gordon's 722 ci engine but the timing wasn't quite right", said Tim. "I have bought a four-speed Lenco from Gordon, though."

Tim said that it will be 2006 before he makes it out on-track. "We are moving house which is going to take some time", he said. Stay tuned as Tim promised us some photographs when he had taken delivery of the car.

Belinda takes the seat.
22nd March: Eurodragster.com Swap Meet sponsor Jeff Bull has been in touch to let us know how well his wife Belinda got on driving her Super Gas Camaro for the first time at the Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod on Saturday.

"We had a great day", says Jeff. "Sorry Tog, the seat has now been booked for this year! It does look easy from the outside as you well know (from the outside, yes - Ed). I am very pleased with what Belinda achieved in four passes, and we are now looking forward to the next step. I would like to thank all of our friends who were there giving Belinda their support and encouragement, also big thanks to all the Santa Pod crew for keeping their watchful eyes on her.
Jeff Bull Race Engines, Doug Herbert (Performance Parts) and Peter at Transmission Specialties will be supporting this weekend's Super Gas Twentieth Anniversary Shootout, which takes place at the Easter Thunderball this weekend after being rained out last October. "Hopefully the weather will be kind enough for the Super Gassers to race for the big prize fund, and to reflect on all the great people who helped keep this class going over the years, thank you all", says Jeff. "Good luck to all the racers in all classes, have a safe and enjoyable weekend."

Interview: Nigel Anniwell.
22nd March: This weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway will be the first event at in some years without the presence of Nigel Anniwell on the start line, in a fire truck, or in the pits at one of the tracks in the UK. Nigel is a perfect example of the selfless and generally unsung supporter of drag racing having for many years been one of that small but select group who officiate at races, giving up their free time and putting their lives on the line for little or no reward or recognition, content in the knowledge that their efforts help to make events safer for racers and public alike and ease the pressure of responsibility on race officials and organisers.
Nigel has in his many years of active involvement performed a number of jobs at UK tracks including marshal, starter and fire diver performed a number of jobs at UK tracks including marshal, starter and fire diver before having to retire last year, hopefully temporarily, due to a shoulder injury. We spoke to Nigel this week and in a very interesting interview he tells us about his experiences supporting the sport, his favourite moments, his plans for the future, and more.

You can read our interview with Nigel by clicking here, or by clicking on the Interviews link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

ARRC continue UK sponsorship.
22nd March: Eurodragster.com Home/News page sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars have announced that they will again be posting contingency sponsorship of the UK National Championship in 2005.

The deal covers Hoosier tyres and Stroud Safety Equipment as well as Andy Robinson Race Cars. The ARRC and Hoosier deals are contingent upon racers displaying appropriate decals, and these will be available from Andy Robinson at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. The Stroud deal is contingent upon the driver wearing a Stroud race suit. "You know where to go if you need a new suit", says Bob Roberts.
Details are available by clicking on the Sponsorship link on the ARRC web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk.

Nelson Scheming elevens.
22nd March: Dave Nelson will be making his first competitive outing in his slingshot The Crooked Schemer at this weekend's Easter Thunderball. Dave is making a sensible start, running in Sportsman ET whilst he completes his licencing and gets a handle on the car.

"The name of the car was provided by Dave Mustaine of the famous heavy metal band Megadeth", says Dave. "The car has been built on a very tight university student's budget, and is powered by a slightly modified 3.5 Rover v8, and a little whiff of gas. It is entered into Sportsman ET for this weekend, although the aim is to run high elevens so it can run in Pro ET.

"My current personal best is a 14.3/93 while not running so hot, without the gas but with lots of wheelspin on a very cold and slippery Santa Pod RWYB track (it had been snowing). The plan is to complete my observed runs, and then see what happens. It would be nice if we could get below our best time, and maybe get closer to our eleven-second target. This is our first time as racers at any non-RWYB event, so any advice would be welcome."

On Cloud Nine with the Angel.
22nd March: UK Wild Bunch racer Sarah Howells turned substitute driver at the APIRA Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. Sarah took a turn driving Destiny's Angel for Bernie Nicholas of Evolution Racing and blasted her personal best.

"Regular drivers Bernie's daughter Tarzy and Chev Charman-Osbourne are busy with other things for a large part of this season, so another 'angel driver' was needed!", says Sarah. "I've not been in a dragster for well over a year since driving Ramraider so I was a bit nervous to say the least! Having undergone the cockpit familiarisation and pit fire-up, I was towed around the pits to get used to the steering and then drove the car under power around the top of the pits to get even more comfortable.
"By the time I got into the fire-up road I was amazingly cool, calm and confident, so much so that my promised 'shopping trip' in the car turned into an 11.647/129.61 which I think left everyone a little stunned back on the start line! My confidence grew and I used the transbrake on the last five of my weekend's seven runs. My best run was 10.285/143.39, ten mph quicker than I've ever been before! What a feeling!

"A massive Thank You to Bernie for the drive of a lifetime, which I get to repeat throughout the season until Tara or Chev are in a position to hop back in! Thanks to the Dogs B****cks team who all came to offer support (especially Gos for walking the distance from the first return road to the second when I flew past him on my first run!), thanks to the Hartnell squad for numerous hugs and wild celebrations as the times got quicker and thank you thank you thank you to my husband Darryl for leaving his own precious Chemical Reaction slingshot in the garage to spend the time crewing and encouraging me over the weekend.

"It's a long way down from Cloud Nine but I intend staying up here for quite a while!"

Swift snippets.
22nd March: Ben Linney has been in touch to let is know that the Top Secret Drag R ran an impressive 10.3/136 on its first and only proper launch after a warm-up run at Elvington at the weekend (right). "This was the very first run by Drag R since coming to the UK, with Tim just getting used to the R33", says Ben. "The run was at mid boost 1.5 bar, pump fuel map with 50/50 Optimax/Cool Blue for safety, ignition retarded three degrees CAS, run on Toyo Proxes road tyres and without Nitrous". You can read more at www.linney.org/newsnew.htm.
Ian Turburville has been in touch to let us know that he will be available for the supply of helmets, Simpson shoes, Sure Shots, uniforms, videos, nitro Harley parts, Milestones replicas and ACF 50 lubricant at the Easter Thunderball. "I will be in my bright orange awning with the Fansfueler project at the VIP Hospitality site at the bottom of the fire-up road", says Turbo.

Web site updates.
22nd March: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with a page of Nordic Drag Racing Series event invitations, entry forms, and supplementary regulations as well as forms for the FIA Main Event. "Be sure to check out the page frequently as it will be continously updated as new information becomes available", says Erik Zettervall. You can find the NDRS paperwork at www.dragracing.se/nerladdning.html.
Another good friend, Gareth Evans, has updated his UK1320 web site with photographs from the weekend's APIRA Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can find Gareth's great pictures at www.uk1320.com.

James Hands is currently holding a vote on his Racing 05 web site, the question being "Who will win this weekend's Pro Fuel Shootout?". You can vote at pages.123-reg.co.uk/jimmy43-800350/racing05/id23.html.

Cockerill misses the field.
21st March: The UK's newest Pro Modified racer, Danny Cockerill, expressed himself pleased with his first outing at Saturday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway. Danny made three passes at Santa Pod on Saturday, culminating in a 7.067/202.59 after which his parachutes failed but he got the '57 Chevy stopped at the cost of slight damage to his brakes.

"You know how it is when everything is new", Danny told Eurodragster.com yesterday. "I had a new car, new engine, new firesuit, boots and gloves and I couldn't feel anything! The routine is different from my Super Mod and it seems simple, except that I can't see the Tree in either lane - I suppose I'll have to lean over or something."
After a burnout and wheels-up launch on his first pass, Danny hit what looked like vicious tyre shake on his second pass. "I didn't think it was that bad", said Danny. "I didn't get the blurred vision or a headache or anything although people outside told me it looked bad. It didn't feel a lot different to the Rover."

The Chevy made a move towards the guardrail on Danny's third pass, but he pedalled and got it straight, then got back on the throttle. But for the pedal the pass would have been a six, but it was at the finish line that the real fun started. "There must be a huge area of dead air behind the car because the parachutes fell out and sat on the wheelie bars", said Danny. "We'll have to do something about that. I stood on the brakes and pulled the handbrake and I made it, but it stank in there afterwards! But I had the choice of going into the field or turning off the track, and I nearly ended up in the field."

Danny spent yesterday hunting for a new brake caliper so that he could put in another pass at the Run What You Brung, but in the end the part was unavailable and so he returned home to prepare for this weekend's Easter Thunderball. "I'm reasonably pleased with how it went", he said, "and I'm over the jitters now".

You can check out reports and pictures of the weekend's testing at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways in our
American Car Imports-sponsored event coverage, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Wells out until 2006.
21st March: UK Super Gas racer Steve Wells will miss the 2005 season after his fan-favourite Ford Pop pick-up hit the guardrail in testing at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday. Steve was unhurt and the Pop can be fixed, but we are unlikely to see him in competition this season, putting an end to what must be one of the longest ever-present records in European drag racing.

"We attended the Peak Performance Test Day to shake down the Pop before our onslaught on the 2005 Super Gas Championship", says Steve. "During the we freshened up the engine and made various modifications including a self-designed throttle stop.

"The first run out was an arrow straight half pass followed by a plug check. On the second pass something let go in the engine causing water to be blown out of number seven cylinder and onto the slicks. This happened about a hundred feet from the finish line causing a huge cloud of steam at the top end. The Pop went left, then hard right hitting the new wall at 115 mph. The back of the Pop then slammed into the wall and along for some yards.
"The concrete wall kept the Pop upright and slowed it down. All the safety equipment did its job and I was getting out as the safety crew arrived. I would like to thank all of the fire and safety crew for their swift response and for their help getting the remains of the Pop onto the trailer. Also a big Thank You to Sharkman, Spencer and Carol for looking after Jayne, who was watching it all happen from the start line.

"We have not yet discovered the full extent of the damage, but will update our web site when the Pop and engine are stripped. Unfortunately this is the end of our season before it starts. Since the crash in 1996 we have done eight years' racing without missing a meeting. We are not expecting to be back out until 2006, although you'll see us around at some of the races."

Flavell's dusty début.
21st March: If you were tuned in yesterday you will have read that UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell and his team were hoping to test their new chassis at York Raceway. Mark has been in touch to let us know that he made it (right) and that testing was satisfactory.

"While you guys were swanning around in the heat of the deep south, we 'tuff nuts' from Up North - actually just read nuts - made it as far as York to iron out a few bugs in our latest creation", says Mark. "We couldn't have been more pleased. We kept stopping the work party of Pennine Drag Racing Club members who were out in force licking the venue into shape for their very busy 2005 season.
"With no timing equipment and a dusty racing surface it was only ever going to be a systems and driving check but we learned a few things and came away very happy with our efforts. Steve Murty made us very welcome and the Flavell Racing Team will be returning with fire in those pipes later on in the year to attack the northern asphalt with a vengance. Thanks guys.

"Thanks also to everybody who has helped us; hopefully the Easter Thunderball will see us quickly find consistent form and start our Championship bid."

Nitro is brilliant!
21st March: Johnny Hall has been in touch to confirm that the B + J Nostalgia Nostalgia Fuel slingshot broke a roller rocker and a chromoly pushrod on its pass at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday.

"Everything else seems OK apart from the burst panel", says Johnny Mental. "Bill and I will tear the engine down to check that there is nothing untoward, new parts will be ordered from the States, and we will be out as soon as possible."
Johnny says that he was very impressed with the reaction of the top end crews after there was a loud bang from the car in the shutdown area. "I would like to pass on my thanks to both the rescue and paramedics, as they where both on me before the car had stopped", he says.

"We really enjoyed ourselves yesterday and feel as though we have made progress, all the info gleaned will all come together soon. One of the best decisions of my life...going Nitro racing, it's brilliant!"

The magnificent eleven.
21st March: In addition to the recently announced deals with Wynns, Crane, Lucas Oils (UK) Ltd, Norfolkline, Mike Shorer, and Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, British Top Fuel Dragster team Carter Motorsport have now re-signed the following eleven sponsors for the 2005 season:
  1. NGK Spark Plugs 0144 282 1000
  2. Binamic 0144 224 4833
  3. Sigma Signs 0189 527 3268
  4. K & N Filters 0192 563 6950
  5. Yuasa Batteries 0121 777 3262
  6. Gold RV Sales and Service 0142 054 4482
  7. Motorgraphic 0198 372 1041
  8. Rainbow Conference Sets 0189 544 8102
  9. Pioneer Print 0208 505 1552
  10. Shipleys Fruit and Veg Ltd 0175 353 1520
  11. 3t Creative 0120 247 0170
“We are absolutely delighted to have the continued support of these great companies”, said team PR John Andrews. “At this level of competition, good sponsorships are a vital ingredient to the success of any team, and we are lucky enough to have the very best in European drag racing”. The car will also be displaying Webster Race Engineering and Eurodragster.com decals as a show of appreciation for all of the excellent work they have done for the team over the past few years."

Meads Expresses thanks.
21st March: Paul Webster has been in touch to pass on a big Thank You huge thank you to Jon and Regina Phillips of Nitrous Express for the immense amount of support which they gave UK Street Eliminator racer Jeff Meads at last week's World Street Race at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana.

"Jon was walking round the pits on Thursday night and spotted we were using an NX Shark Nozzle system", says Paul. "We have just fitted this and it was our first outing with it. On looking around the car Jon spotted a fault from then on he was a man possessed.

"Without Jon's help we would probably still be struggling to find the fault and are indebted to him, over the weekend Jon offered constant help and support and his product and tuning knowledge were awsome.

"As well as the incredible amount of help he gave us Jon also put his money where his mouth was by offering us contingency if we won or were runner-up, he was true to his word by handing over two new NX bottles."

UK Test Weekend coverage.
20th March: This weekend was UK racers' last chance to test before the UK National Championship season starts at next week's Easter Thunderball. Test events took place at both Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway, Eurodragster.com reported from both venues in association with
American Car Imports.
You can access our Pre-Easter Thunderball Test Weekend event coverage index by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Many thanks again to Gareth Evans of UK1320 for reporting for us from Shakespeare County Raceway.

Two inches enough for Pateman.
20th March: World Street Race winner Steve Pateman was understandably very happy with his week in the USA. "It was blinding", said Steve. "It doesn't get any better than that! The Americans were so friendly and helpful and showed great interest in the car. From Friday morning people we telling me I was going to win and I kept having to say to them "Anything can happen on race day"!"

Steve was running short passes during testing, leading spectators to believe that he was concealing his hand. "I wasn't sandbagging", said Steve. "I always sort out the first sixty feet before I worry about the other end. I might have run the Low ET but my best sixty foot was 1.31 and one of the Americans ran 1.29."

Reading the race results, it looked as if Steve had the perfect weekend, but it could have been different. "The car flew!", he said. "The only real disappointment was on the Cruise when I ran out of petrol literally across the road from the gas station. That was my mistake, my crew were telling me to put more fuel in it and I said it would be OK.

"Then I did something stupid in the semi-final and almost put myself out of the race. I left on the other guy and the engine was screaming. I tried something, which was a stupid thing to do - and no, I'm not going to tell you what it was! - and it blew a fuse in the control box. The engine went dead and it suddenly went very quiet - all I could hear was the tyres sticking to the track as I slowed down. The Brits were up on their feet yelling me on and the other guy came screaming past on the finish line and I thought I had lost. But I won by 0.0009 seconds!". We calculated Steve's margin of victory and it turned out to be 2.4 inches.
Steve also managed to have some fun whilst in Louisiana. "We had a real laugh together", he said. "One day all of my team and all of Fatty's team, nineteen of us, got on one of those air boats and went out on the swamps, and the boat was powered by a 502 Chevy! Fatty must have been suffering having to ride a Chevy. But then Fatty's motorhome had a big Chevy in it too, I spotted him in the middle of the night with a tape measure taking its measurements."

The car is now on its way back to the UK and is scheduled to arrive in time for the Power Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in mid-April. "The car is now back to where it was at the National Finals a year and a half ago (where Steve set the ET record which still stands - Ed)", said Steve. "There's a lot left in there and now we can push it a bit harder and progress it."

Steve said that he was glad that he went to the World Street Race. "It was well worth all the grief, expense and travelling", said Steve. "Hats off to Andy Frost, he put in a lot of effort and pulled it off, hopefully he will be able to get a few nights' sleep now! Obviously I must add a huge thanks to my crew for supporting me and to my sponsors who got me there and int he case of Mickey Thompson even had stuff delivered to the track!"

The World Street Race participants are to be presented with their team trophy during Sunday's Street Eliminator qualifying at next weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. "Matt Wright, who sponsored the World Street Race, will be presenting the trophy", says organiser Andy Frost. "We will be also selling the remainder of the WSR T-Shirts from Matt Wright's trailer at the Thunderball, and during this week we will be auctioning a special framed WSR T-Shirt, signed by all the competitors. The auction will be taking place on my forum at members5.boardhost.com/REDVICTOR, bids will be E-Mail only and I'll announce the winning bid on Thursday of this week."

Malmgren's nose job.
20th March: Sweden's Malmgren Racing Pro Stock team have been working hard on their six-second Pontiac Grand Am to make it ready for the 2005 FIA European Championship season. Anyone who knows the team, though, will not be surprised to hear that they will be making time to have some fun.

"The Grand Am is still stripped down for some additional paintwork, as well as some repairs to the nose of the car, as you will remember we landed in the gravel trap at Mantorp", says team member Magnus Cato. "Both our engines have been overhauled; everything was fine but some minor work needed to be done to the heads as all Pro Stock engines were affected by the change to unleaded fuel last season."
The team have also worked on the front suspension. "We think that this was one of the reasons that the car didn't run as strongly as we thought we could", says Magnus. "The front shocks sunk together too quickly, which made the car dig the nose in, causing tyre spin."

The team will be meeting up during Easter to add the final touches, and also to have a party. "It will be great fun meeting all the guys again over a pint or two.", says Magnus.

Add nitrous, fuel, money...
20th March: UK Comp Bike racer Phil Leamon says that a few changes have been made to the Vehvac-sponsored Leamon Brothers bike for the 2005 season. Vehvac have come back on board as the main sponsor and the bike now has new blue and white decals on the tank and tail. "It looks a little like the Scottish Saltire!", says Phil.

"The engine combination the same as last year", adds Phil, "with a few mods to the clutch, hopefully to get more consistent sixty foot times. Our super crew is the same as in the last three years, no need to change a combination which works!"
The former ACU Comp Bike Champion and last year's runner-up thinks that the class will be even quicker this season. "TJ O'Brien, Vaughan Foster and Gary Jones will all get more consistent if they sort out the gearbox and various other mechanical problems", says Phil, "I may have to add a little more nitrous and fuel and, dare I say, spend some money if I want to stay in the top three!"

OK, who moved Easter?
20th March: UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell has one question to ask as he and his team prepare for next weekend's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

"Who went to the Committee Meeting and voted to move Easter forward, I’d like to know?", he says. "Instead of being linked to the phases of the moon or whatever, it should be set by a democratic vote by the entrants to the Easter Thunderball, and run when we’re good and ready - admittedly, in some cases that might be late May."
Mark says that the team have spent more time preparing their newly-acquired chassis than they have spent at home or in the office. "We get in the workshop and I lock the door, so nobody leaves until the job’s done!", he says. "We did take on a lot this closed season but we’re nearly there.

"Whilst everybody else is testing at either Santa Pod or Shakespeare County this weekend, we’ve still got a lot to do, but if things come together we’ll undertaking limited testing at York Raceway on Sunday. If it does come together, we’ll send some pictures. If it doesn't, is it too late to try out my idea of a vote?"

Carter gets lift from Crane.
20th March: With just days to go before the first race of the season, FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has been joined by one of the biggest names in drag racing, Crane Cams. Crane will be supplying cams and lifters for the 6,500 bhp car as the team prepare to defend their FIA Championship crown.

“Having Crane on board is a huge bonus,” said Crew Chief Ben Allum. “With this kind of power we need reliability and consistency from every component, and Crane have been setting the benchmark for innovative camshaft and valve train design since the early 1950s”.

Crane Cams was founded by Harvey J. Crane Jr, and was originally based in an unused corner of his father’s Florida machine shop. Harvey was well aware of the critical effect that accurate, consistent camshaft design can have on engine power, and very shortly his cams were being used by hot rodders and drag racers across the state. Since then Crane Cams have diversified and flourished, and the drivers who have won Championships using Crane products reads like a Who’s Who of professional motorsport. Now based at Daytona Beach, and with an even stronger focus on the future, the employee-owners of Crane Cams call upon a rich and colourful racing heritage to move their company rapidly forward.

Crane Cams Inc. can be contacted at: 530 Fentress Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114, United States of America. Telephone: +1 386 252 1151. Fax: +1 386 947 5124. Web site: www.cranecams.com.

Swift snippets.
20th March: UK Pro ET racer and sponsorship co-ordinator Carl Burton has been in touch with a plea to Eurodragster.com readers who are familiar with the Barry Grant Carburettor Professor Sharp PC 125OA. Carl's model has lost its memory and he would be very pleased to hear from anyone who may be able to help. If you can assist the English Rose team then please call Gary on 01354 650289.

UK 9.50 Bike racer Steve Knapp says that he will be adding nitrous to his bike because of the change from 9.90 Bike. "The bike made 190 bhp on the dyno, and I will be trying it out at Santa Pod on Sunday", says Steve. "Hopefully it will run some good times. The nitrous is on a gear position indicator, so it will be launched as normal on 130 bhp, then when it is in the chosen gears the gas cuts in on its own with no buttons to press."

UK Super Pro ET new entrant Nigel Taylor, who ran into the 8.4s at yesterday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway,has already got himself a fan club. "Good luck to Nigel and his crew, Dave, Giles and Ian, and we hope all goes well", say Moya and the Fan Club. "Although Nigel is no rookie, I imagine this is going to be a weekend of pure adrenalin. We look forward to seeing Nigel compete at the Easter Thunderball!"
The UK's Predator Racing Funny Bike team are entering their sixteenth season full of anticipation, says Shaun Howard. "Last year was forgettable due to various nitrous-related woes", says Shaun, "So we have tried to move away from using as much laughing gas. We have done this by improving the turbocharger to make more horsepower without relying on nitrous. To check if this is working we have also purchased a Racepak V300 datalogger to keep tabs on what's happening. Predator Racing would like to take this opportunity to thank Universal Turbos, Dave Branch Engineering, Richard Stubbings and Dave Beck for their assistance."

Nostalgia race car builders B & J Nostalgia have delivered Terry Clifford's updated Ratcatcher slingshot (right), which should be pounding the strips of England this summer. "We are busy all the time now at the Skunkworks", says Johnny Hall. "We have a waiting list of about two months for full chassis or updates which require the use of our jig, although other jobs can be accommodated pretty much as and when."

Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing tells us that the Nostalgia display at next weekend's Easter Thunderball is coming along nicely, but that there is still room for more. “We have a great selection of famous cars from Santa Pod’s past already booked in", says Rick. "However, if you own a famous or interesting car or bike from the early days of drag racing and you want to show it off at the Easter Thunderball, then please drop me a line at rick@trakbak.com as there are a couple of spaces left. Vehicles do not need to be in running order but must look complete for the indoor static display which is to be held on all three days.”

Dan Eaton writes from the USA to tell us that he has a rare Chassis Research dragster for sale. "The car is one of a kind", says Dan. "For information please E-Mail me at fastcars@twcny.rr.com or call me on +1 315 697 8646."

Score one for the ladies.
20th March: Bahrain Drag Racing Club Secretary Fahad Taqi has been on touch to let us know that a female racer has competed in Middle East drag racing for the first time.
"Abeer Abdulla is the first ever Middle Eastern female to compete in a drag racing championship", says Fahad. "Abeer took part in the second round of the Championship in her own car, an Audi TT, and recorded a time of 16.105 on her first time on a drag strip. Abeer said that it was great for a female to race, especially in the Middle East. She thanked the BDRC for the event and confirmed that she will be taking part in the third round of the Championship.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain is proud to have a female competing, to show people that this kind of sport is not dangerous but is safe and fun."

Web site updates.
20th March: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with the fully-detailed NDRS racers' calendar for 2005. Check it out at www.dragracing.se.

The Finnish Hot Rod Association web site has been updated with full details of next weekend's American Car Show, which our good friend Hannele Höydén tells us means the beginning of the Finnish season. You can read all about the Show, and a special associated hotel offer, at http://www.fhra.fi/fin/index.php?page_id=87.
The Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine has been updated with a retrospective of the NHRA Winternationals written by our good friend Andy Willsheer. Check it out at www.drcreview.com.

John Hutchinson has updated his Nitromaniac web site with pictures from the 2003 Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals. You can see John's web site at community.webshots.com/user/nitromaniac.

Venables into sevens.
19th March: History was made at today's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway as Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables went into the sevens with a 7.918/186.83. Steve followed up the historic first seven-second pass by a UK Super Street Bike with an even quicker 7.787/188.41. The first seven was Steve's fourth pass of the day and followed an 8.03 opener, an 8.29 with wheelspin, and an 8.06 going through the clutch.

"What can I say?", said Steve. "Just fantastic, I'm bloody chuffed. Thanks to everyone involved, I have been waiting over a year to get that."

Steve's incrementals for the first seven-second pass were:
60 feet: 1.391
330 feet: 3.590
Eighth ET: 5.293
Eighth speed: 149.42
1000 feet: 6.676
ET: 7.918
Speed: 186.83

Congratulations Steve!

TMFC team logos urgently sought.
19th March: Anders Magnusson of Sweden's
Andréasson Motorsports Top Methanol Funny Car team has been in touch with an urgent call to fellow TMFC teams. And we mean urgent, since the deadline is midday today (Saturday).
"We are about to print an event T-Shirt for this year's Kamasa Tools Mechanic Challenge and would like to include the logos of all TMFC teams. Having your logo on this pre-event T-Shirt does not mean that you are signing on to participate in the Challange, but a chance to get some free marketing for your team.

"So far we got logos for Andreasson, Kågered, Leanders/Lundkvist and Erbacher...are they going to be the only ones? TMFC racers please E-Mail printable team logos to anders@andreassonmotorsports.com noon today (Saturday)."

£50 more for .500!
18th March: If you were tuned in on Monday for the announcement of this year's Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme we promised some special news about the Eurodragster.com/
LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award at next week's Easter Thunderball.

As racers and regular readers are aware, the Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award presents a cash prize, in this case £50, to the first racer at an event to record an ET to the thousandth on their index or dial-in.
To celebrate the introduction of the new 9.50 Bike and 10.50 Bike classes in the UK National Championship, we are pleased to announce that should the first Perfect ET next weekend be run by a 9.50 Bike or 10.50 Bike racer then we will add a bonus of £50, making a total of £100.

The usual Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award condition applies, namely that the prize money will be paid to the first racer to record a perfect ET, so if the first perfect ET is recorded in a class other than 9.50 Bike or 10.50 Bike then the bonus will not be available. 9.50 Bike and 10.50 Bike racers, you know what to do...

Hello, Blackbird.
18th March: Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home/News sponsor Dynospeed Developments tells us that Jamie Sneddon will be testing his ex-Kent Stotz Honda Blackbird Super Street Bike at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. Jamie will then be welcoming Ken Stotz to Santa Pod Raceway to provide input at next weekend's Easter Thunderball.

"The Blackbird arrived on Wednesday, and after a very successful day on the dyno at Dynospeed Developments we are ready for this weekend's testing", says Paul. "Kent arrives with his family on Saturday morning and will be staying with us until the week after Easter. Jamie and the team are very excited to have them over as our guests, and we hope they will feel at home here.
"We would like to thank Malcolm Francis of Air Sea Logistics for shipping the bike over for us - great service! - and a big Thank You to Ed Bush in the 'States who helped so much with the shipping - great team!"

Rich Fielding new bike.
18th March: UK Comp Bike racer Rich Fielding is returning to the track this year on a very smart new Comp Bike (right). Rich last raced in 2002 and then spent a couple of seasons crewing for Dave Beck's Pro Stock Bike team.

"I purchased this new bike initially for spares", says Rich, "but a check-over by Dave Branch showed that it was a better base from which to move forward. So a rebuild turned into a new build. All hopes of racing last year were delayed by the typical frustrating little problems which hamper any new build. As the bike originally competed in Super Street, so it needed some chassis modifications as well as wheelie bars. I was told that John Clift built the chassis so I guess it's now a John Clift/Dave Branch hybrid.

"The engine is from my old bike and was again built by Dave Branch, with help and advice from Ray Debben and Dave Beck. A rather large nitrous system has been added as well. It’s a big step up from the old bike in many ways. Dave Branch has worked his magic elsewhere generally tidying up and providing nice touches."

Rich is to make his first outing at next week's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. "Our hopes are very conservative at present", says Rich. "The main aim is just to get down the track and work from there!

"Thanks to Dave Branch Engineering, Dave Beck Racing, Debben Performance, M A Nicholls of Didcot (Paint), and to my crew, Andy and Paul."

Whither the off-season?
18th March: It has been a manic off-season for UK Super Modified racer Andy Kirk and the Rat Fink team. "We're not sure there even is an off-season!", says Lee Kirk (Tell me about it - Ed).

"Thanks to the commitment and support of Lawrie Gatehouse and Process Systems International Ltd, we have been able to capitalise on last year's third place finish and to do everything possible to make our Camaro a serious contender. Changes this year are an air-shifted four-speed Lenco and Ram clutch, chassis modifications, a rear wing to provide some top end stability, Mark Williams aluminium centre section and propshaft, Strange rear shock absorbers, Jesel shaft rocker system, titanium valves and a oil accumulator. Alongside the usual engine freshen we've also mounted our generator on the tractor unit and made several other little changes to the trailer.
"So as you can see, we've been quite busy! I'm typing this about eight hours before we leave for Heathrow Airport to take in the Gatornationals in Florida and some last-minute parts buying!

"Once again everyone on the team would like to say a huge Thank You to Lawrie and Judith at PSI for their continued and much-appreciated support, Andy, Kate and all the staff at Robinson Race Cars for all the first-class work and parts sourcing, Clive Bond at Ultimate Race Cars for supplying the horsepower, help and priceless advice and to everyone else who gives us the backing we need to stay on the track. Thanks guys!

"I would also like to thank all the Super Modified racers for the support I received in getting the Super Modified Racers Association web site up and running and for providing us with such a challenge on the strip. I'm sure it's going to be an incredibly tough year."

You can find the Kirk Motorsport web site at www.kirkmotorsport.co.uk, and the SMRA web site at www.supermodified.co.uk.

Mental Swamp Rat.
18th March: Johnny 'Mental' Hall and Bill Felstead will be testing their Nostalgia Fuel slingshot at Santa Pod Raceway's Peak Performance Day on Saturday. Johnny tells us that it is going to be a close thing to get ready for the weekend.

"Bill and myself are readying the car in between jobs, and everything is looking good", says Johnny. "We were due a container with my new SFI 20 suit, diaper and a bunch of other stuff, but it is four weeks late due to a stolen car in the same shipment which was impounded at LA docks, just the normal stuff! Frank Bennett has offered his SFI 20 suit as he is the same size as me, so we will take him up on that."
The panels are currently in the paint shop and will be collected on Friday. Johnny tells us that the B+J Nostalgia team have decided on a classic paint scheme. "We have decided to go for gloss black, like the Garlits '69 Swamp Rat 12", says Johnny. "The red stripes, white pinstriping and gold leaf signwriting will be added and finished in a couple of weeks by Neil of H Signs who did the art work on the Happening 1."

The dragster has a new trick fuel tank, constructed with input from Billy Robins of Nitro Thunder fame. "We completely misinterpreted the instructions for the first fuel tank, which didn't work", says Johnny. "On that subject we are collecting a drum of nitro from Antony Billinton of G Max Racing Fuels when we get to Santa Pod, and we are looking forward to talking to him."

The plan for Saturday is to make a full pass. "A seven of any kind would be accepted as a start!", says Johnny. Stay tuned as we are expecting some more big news from B+J Nostalgia shortly.

Blomer to miss Thunderball?
18th March: UK VW Pro racer says that he is likely to miss next week's Easter Thunderball as he is still awaiting parts to rebuild his engine, which apart from the heads and crank was destroyed at last year's Flame and Thunder Show. "We still have a week and will do everything possible to get there, but it's not looking good", says Ken.

Ken says that he was pleased with the outcome of the Ghia's first year. "In what, after all, was basically a test season we became the first UK VW-powered doorslammer into the eights, took the British and European VW doorslammer records and won the VWDRC Pro Championship!", says Ken. "The season was only marred by the loss of the engine."
Ken has big plans for the Ghia this year. As well as rebuilding his current engine, he is also having a new engine built by Billet Race Engines of Florida. "The new engine will be blown and will give us a huge increase in power over the 700 bhp we have now", says Ken, "so this year will be another test year for us. We won't be at the track as often as last year as I am still unemployed and unsponsored - unless someone out there would like to change that."

If Ken has to miss the Easter Thunderball then he hopes to test at the GTI Spring Festival in April, and return to competition at the Big Bang at the start of May.

Swift snippets.
18th March: Congratulations to Malta's Chris Polidano who recorded a time of 8.6 seconds in his Cosworth-powered Mark 1 Ford Escort (right, picture courtesy and ©Malta Drag Racing Association). Tuning is by the famous Manty Bugeja.

Jan Ekström has been in touch to let us know that FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund has joined the line-up for Meca Raceway's Pro Test and Tune on 7th-8th May.
York Raceway's PR Howard Holmes tells us that there is a second Work Party at the UK track at 10:00 am this Sunday (20th March). "There's plenty to get done, but things are looking good", says Howard. "Not many of us there last Sunday the first party, but we did do a lot. We know what we want to achieve this Sunday, all we need is a few additional hands to put the shovels, paint brushes etc into! So, please give it your support, and we can get a lot accomplished. if the gate is locked, go down the road a little further and use the Melrose Farm entrance. Help maintain York Raceway and help maintain drag racing as a national sport!"

We are very pleased to wish a very Happy Fiftieth Birthday to our good buddy Barry Bohannon, who reaches what he describes as "Half-track" today. How Barry manages to look so young we don't know (Is that down to you, Alli?), but we don't begrudge him and we're sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in wishing Barry a brilliant day.

Web site updates.
18th March: Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com has been updated with preliminary running orders for next week's Easter Thunderball as well as the event entry list.

Scary heads for Santa Pod.
17th March: UK Funny Bike racer Sarah Jane Head will be attending next week's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. Scary is recovering well from her terrible top end crash at last year's Thunderball, and although she has a way to go she has every intention of getting on a bike again eventually.

"I am walking around without crutches now", Scary told Eurodragster.com last night. "The frame around my right ankle is due to be removed in the summer. My shoulder and upper arm are coming back slowly, bit by bit, but I have another operation yet on the lower arm. The doctors are happy with my progress, I'm surprising them, although my parents told me that when I was a little girl I used to heal very quickly. The hospital have got me doing lots of exercises, some of them are just like riding a bike again! I am getting very pissed off with all the hanging around though."

Scary is pleased to be up and about and is able to go out accompanied by her partner Dave or friends and family. She is also putting weight back on. "I am eating cream cakes like a little piglet!", she said. "The only problem is that with all the medication I am on I can't drink, and I get really pissed off about that when everyone else is falling over!"

Scary's long-term aim is to get back on a bike. "I am definitely going to race again if I can", she said, "I want that six."

Meanwhile Scary will be at Santa Pod Raceway next week collecting funds for the air ambulance which came to her aid last Easter, whilst Dave crews with Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp. "I will have a couple of buckets with me which I would really like to fill with money", said Scary. "We must keep the air ambulance going, you never know when you are going to need it, and us racers know that more than anyone."

Venables imports secret weapon.
17th March: UK Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables says that 2005 could be a historic season in the class. With the race on for the first seven-second pass, Steve has revealed his secret weapon for the start of the ACU UK season.

"Firstly, I must thank everyone who voted for me for the SPRC Best Appearing Bike trophy", says Steve. "That was the second year running that I have been nominated and it was an honour to win."

Steve is headed for the Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday to test before the Easter Thunderball. "I want to test out a few things and get some numbers on the board", says Steve. "I think a seven-second pass could be on the cards. I have already run at a Run What You Brung this year and went 8.2 at 174 mph and the conditions were not perfect."

A very special guest will be joining the Velocity Racing team for the Easter Thunderball. "Barry Henson is flying over from the USA on Good Friday", says Steve. "He will be helping me with my set-up his year, and he really needed to come over here and see everything so that he is fully informed. I can't wait to see what Barry thinks, and he is well up for it! Then he is flying home on Tuesday, he gets home on Tuesday evening and goes straight to his shop to prepare has bike and then drive up to Atlanta for the next AMA/Prostar round."
Although Steve is one of the favourites for the first seven-second pass and the 2005 Championship, he doesn't see it that way. "There are lots of threats", he says. "There's Jamie Sneddon with the Honda, Graham Dance has a new bike, Brad O'Connor, Richard Stubbins, Mark Fisher, they all have new set-ups and you can't discount any of them. I don't see why they won't all be in the sevens this year. But Easter should be good. With the right track conditions I think a 7.6 is possible. Our goals for this year are mid-sevens and runs over 190 mph."

Steve has been working hard on his sponsorship for 2005. "Ray Debben is building my engines again as he did last year", he says. "My Crew Chief Graham Balchin is again sponsoring me through his company Tracecraft. This year we also have ASAP Signs supplying decals for the bike and trailer, they are a great bunch of guys. Dale at DRE Race Car Composites has been working with me to design and supply new carbon kevlar bodywork, it will be lower and further forward. The moulds are done and the bodywork should be ready for the Speedfreaks Ball. We can sell the current or new bodywork to order. Andy Robinson Race Cars have offered help and services and Andy has already been a lot of help. Peter at Bournemouth Kawasaki has done me a good deal. And of course it is great to be associated with Barry Henson of Velocity Racing, he is a very clever guy and very quick. Thanks to all of my sponsors for their support in 2005."

Bailey: More nitrous etc.
17th March: UK Funny Bike racer Dave Bailey tells us that with the new season comes a new "nothing really". Dave then goes on to tell us what is new in the Scalded Cat pit. Needless to say, it involves more nitrous.

"Last year saw the last-ever pass of the Brutefarce Super Street bike (an 8.5 despite destroying one piston at half track)", says Dave. "It has now been sold and although the bodywork is being changed, along with many other parts, it will keep its name and may return to the track in the near future. The Scalded Cat Pro Mod Bike on the other hand is fully repaired and ready for battle after its foray into the field at Shakespeare County Raceway last year. Last year’s steep learning curve has taught me so many useful things that I'm expecting nothing less than spectacular things from this bike – if I can hang on."
Dave's first outing of 2005 will be this Saturday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway, where he says he will be trying to remember how to ride the bike. "Then, to quote the immortal Brian Johnson, it's back to 'Performance at any cost' for the Easter Thunderball where the size of the nitrous jets will be limited by only the track conditions and the strength of my spindly arms.

"My crew from last year, Paul Hollway and Corinne, are making a return to racing and will be entering 9.50 Bike on The Nightmare Suzuki (all race bikes should have names!) so the best of luck to them. And last year’s Shakespeare County Raceway crew member Malc Fenn has kindly agreed to help out at all the ACU rounds this year – you're going to be busy, mate!"

Dave's 2005 sponsors consist of "nobody", he says. "So thanks to you. But before I finish I have to mention Ken Cooper who, as always, has been loads of help. Though no one can stop me doing my own thing, I do take notice and respect your advice. Cheers mate."

Dave is offering DVDs of Brutefarce and Scalded Cat action. "The DVD covers the 2003 and 2004 seasons", he says, "and is an approximately twenty-minute compilation of the crew’s trackside videos (mainly the bikes launching). Pop in at Easter, donate a couple of quid towards my racing expenses, and I’ll sort you out a copy. See you all at the track."

Swift snippets.
17th March: Further to Tuesday's news item about entry forms for events at Santa Pod, Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has now supplied the FIA and FIM/UEM entry forms for the FIA Main Event and FIA European Finals. You can download these and all other entry forms for 2005 events at Santa Pod Raceway on the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at

2004 Santa Pod Racers Club Sportsman ET Champion Rick Denny will be defending his Championship in his 2004 car. "The only change is a new intake", says Rick. "Thankfully Chris from WASP (01945 588091) has continued his sponsorship and having the free entry this year from SPRC will help a lot as well. I might be taking a year off next season, as I am supposed to be crewing for my mate in Pro ET, providing he can get into the elevens! But knowing what I do about his set-up, I'll probably be racing next season!"
Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing tells us that Martin Hill will be testing the Fireforce 2 Jet Funny Car at Saturday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway. "Any other racers wanting to test for the Thunderball would be wise to book their Peak Performance slot now, as we are down to the last few sign-ons for this strictly limited event", says Rick. "For bookings call 01234 782828, or visit www.rwyb.com". Rick also tells us that a host of new exhibition vehicles is attending next week's Easter Thunderball, including a ten-second methanol-burning Beetle pick-up wheelie car (right), monster trucks, and freestyle motocross stunts. You can read more about the Easter Thunderball at www.santapod.com.

If you were tuned in yesterday you will have read that birthday boy John Hackney was in hospital last week; today we must send Get Well wishes to our good friend Pat Ginn, partner of 2004 ACU UK Comp Bike Champion TJ O'Brien, who has been in hospital but is now on the road to recovery. "The rumour is that I have had a boob job, I must get a false pair to get them talking!", says Pat. We're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in wishing a very rapid recovery to Pat, and in looking forward to seeing her at Santa Pod next week.

Vic Smith tells us that he is working on arranging a regular drag racing night in the north of England. "The suggested venue is the Green Dragon pub in Emley, West Yorkshire, on a Wednesday night", says Vic. "The landlord is keen as he is a fan himself and will lay on food. We need more interest and help with videos etc". If you are interested in northern drag racing nights then please drop Vic a line at vicgo13@aol.com.

Paul Marston has been in touch to offer his congratulations to the UK team at the weekend's World Street Race. "It is a success that needs to be recognized as it truly was an against-all-odds win, to travel so far and stamp such authority on the event in the birthplace of drag racing, wow!", says Paul. "No-one should ever forget such a momentous achievement and the people who competed and made it possible, once again congratulations from us all". Paul is currently in the USA crewing with ex-Pat Tony Morris and his buddies, and you can read his detailed report on the latest race by clicking here.

Backdraft heads north.
17th March: Following on from their appearance at February's Xtreme Wheels International, Chris Hartnell and Claire Meaddows have another show lined up for the Backdraft Wild Bunch slingshot. Claire tells us that this show involves quite a journey from their Bristol base.

“We were recently invited by Zane Llewellyn of Boot Soop fame to a really special car show", says Claire. "Every year, Zane (also from Bristol) organises a British contingent of cars to go to an American car show, and to get to this show we have to put the cars in containers! On Monday Chris and Zane went up to Tilbury docks where Backdraft and five other cars, including Pandemonium and some custom cars, were loaded into containers to be shipped out for a show held every Easter, in...Helsinki, Finland! This year is pretty special as it is the thirtieth anniversary of the Finnish Hot Rod Association, and we are very proud to be able to take the car there to be displayed in an exhibition hall, next to a Finnish slingshot, so we will really be celebrating Nostalgia at the event! We are really chuffed to be representing the Wild Bunch over in Scandinavia! Chris and I and son Mark are flying out over Easter to be at the show, and will also be joined by Dash Racing's Darryl and Sarah Howells who are also really enthusiastic nostalgia fans! Although we are not racing yet, it will be a great start to the season, which will be our eleventh year of racing and the tenth anniversary of the Wild Bunch.
"Many thanks to Zane for inviting us and huge thanks to the Finnish Hot Rod Association for making it all possible. We can't wait to go to the show and we are really looking forward to talking with all the Finnish drag racing fans, making some new friends over in Finland, and seeing all the great cars on display there! Zane is sure to have a report on the show on his web site after Easter, so stay tuned for that.

"In the meantime, we hope to be crewing for Lee with his Dazed and Confused altered at this weekend's APIRA Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway, and hopefully soon also for Mark's debut: Mark is nearly finished revamping his slingshot dragster, which is the ex-Nutcracker slingshot of Team Dog's Bs. You never know, there could be a trio of Hartnell cars at one of the events this year! Well exciting for the team!"

Ferry deal still available.
17th March: Caroline Day of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to remind us of the special deal available for ferry fares through Norfolkline Ferries. "Norfolkline Ferries have supporting the sport for a few seasons now - many thanks to them", says Caroline. "They also have great domestic passenger deals on some brand new ships which I am told are state-of-the-art - for more details visit their web site at www.norfolkline.com."

The details of Norfolkline's special drag racing tariff for the Dover-Dunkerque crossing are as follow:
  • Minimum Fare £60 per leg (£120 return) for vehicles up to seven metres in length, for vehicles over seven metres in length please calculate at £12 per metre or part thereof for each leg
  • No height restrictions
  • Bookings are non-refundable and must be paid at the time of booking
  • No amendment charges
  • Travel must be completed by 19 December 2005
  • All bookings are subject to space availability
To make your booking, call +44 (0) 870 870 10 20, Fax +44 (0) 1304 218 415, E-Mail doverpax@norfolkline.com, quoting Dragster Offer.

Web site updates.
17th March: Our good friend Alan Currans has posted a ninth Readers' Gallery on his excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "All of the pictures were taken by Barry George and include some shots of the Commuter Pro Duel Dragster, the Tee Rat altered, a convertible version of Stardust, a Pro Fueller in the street, and some rare shots of Alf Hagon and his all-conquering JAP-powered bike", says Alan. Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Thanks to our good friend Patrik Jacobsson for letting us know that the Top Doorslammer web site has been updated with details of some of the new cars to be seen in Sweden's Top Doorslammer class in 2005. Check it out at www.topdoorslammer.se/eza/pages/page1.asp.

Blown and blue.
16th March: The UK's Team Nippon Super Street team have an all-new look this season. Mark Watkins, Nik Kerswil and Dave Watson have fitted a supercharger to their Datsun 280ZX (right, click on picture for large version) and have given the car a new pearl blue paintjob.

"A lot of work has been done over the winter break", says driver Mark Watkins. "We hope it's all worth it! We have now gone supercharged, Forge Motorsport have done us proud and made us a superb ally radiator and god willing we will be out at Shakespeare County Raceway testing this weekend.
"I started it up last night and all seems well. We only had one fire (oil on lagging on exhaust), six-inch flames, no problem! We just have to fine-tune everything now, we know in true racing fashion there will be plenty of advice and help (thought I would get that one in now). We're looking forward to the new season and to meeting up with old friends."

You can find the Team Nippon web site at www.teamnippon.co.uk.

Swift snippets.
16th March: Many thanks to Jan Ekström for letting us know that a number of racers have already signed up for the Meca Raceway Test and Tune weekend on 7th-8th May. Christer Håård (Super Small Block), Jan Murén (Pro Stock), Ulf Jonsson (Pro Stock), Michael Malmgren (Pro Stock), Ulf Ögge (Harley Drag Bike) and Magnus Hansson (Pro Stock) will all be testing over the eighth mile track. You can find out more about the Meca Test and Tune at www.srif.se.
World Street Race US team member Eric Kenward has been in touch to say a big Thank You to the event organisers for the prizes and trophies which he won at No Problem Raceway at the weekend. Eric took the trophies for best sixty-foot time and Best Wheelie.

Roger and Dave Moore's fan-favourite Super Pro ET Triumph Herald looks set to miss the Easter Thunderball as new pistons and other parts have not yet arrived from the USA.

A very Happy 40th Birthday to UK National 10.90 Bike Champion, Santa Pod Raceway timing crew member, and our good friend John Hackney. John should have been celebrating his birthday in Las Vegas with his wife Alison today, but unfortunately ended up in hospital last week and so the trip has had to be postponed. We are pleased to hear that John is on the mend. We are also pleased to wish a Happy Birthday to UK Wild Bunch racer Tony Smith. We understand from Jim Broome that Tony has reached the Sportsman Light age today. Finally, a Happy Birthday to UK blown-alcohol altered racer Frank Bennett, who as we reported yesterday had an early birthday present from his sponsors. We're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in wishing John, Tony and Frank the very happiest of days.

Web site updates.
16th March: James Hands is pleased to announce that his Racing 05 fan site has a sponsor in the person of 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter. You can find James' site at pages.123-reg.co.uk/jimmy43-800350.

Bennett rides again!
15th March: Luke Bennett has been in touch with the great news that UK blown-alcohol altered racer Frank Bennett will be back on the track in the summer. If you were tuned in to our coverage of Xtreme Wheels International then you will recall that Frank was looking at missing this season unless he could find a sponsor to help fund the rebuild of his engine. Luke tells us that one of Frank's sponsors has come up trumps.

"We have put in a massive order for parts from the USA, and this is all down to one of our sponsors, The Car Clinic", says Luke. "We would like to thank The Car Clinic but we really can't show how much we appreciate their huge gesture. We will just strive to run the car as we always have, and to beat them Fuel Altereds in the NFAA! Without the help of The Car Clinic the car would not be out this year.
"My own altered, which I will be running in the Wild Bunch, will also be sponsored this year with an engine from RPI Engineering, who are Rover engine specialists."

The Bennett Racing web site at
www.bennettracing.moonfruit.com has been updated with a page featuring nostalgic altered and slingshot pictures, as well as photographs from Xtreme Wheels International.

NFAA ready to roll.
15th March: From one Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association news item to another, as NFAA organiser Lawrie Gatehouse has been in touch to let us know that the NFAA rules for 2005 have been finalised, and all being well this season will be inserted into the UK "White Book" in 2006. With the rules sorted, it's full steam ahead for the NFAA's first outing at the Easter Thunderball.

"Having only started the work and applications six months ago, it is not bad progress to be accepted as a new class in this timescale", says Lawrie. "The regulations can be found on the NFAA web site at www.nfaa.co.uk.
"As you know, we are starting in a modest way for the first meeting at the Easter Thunderball with six cars entered, but others are being constructed or modified to comply with regulations, so we expect to field more cars as the season progresses. The enthusiasm out there is palpable and there has even been some interest from racers in Sweden to see if they could race with us in the UK, and also to see if our AA/FA boys could go out there. Obviously this is something we are investigating, but as always it comes down to money. Are there any sponsors out there that would be interested in helping with the costs?"

If you are interested in sponsoring the NFAA then you can contact Lawrie Gatehouse at info@psilpump.com.

Entry forms update.
15th March: Santa Pod Raceway have written to remind racers that the traditional pre-FIA Main Event and pre-FIA European Finals Professional Test Days on Saturday 21st May and Saturday 3rd September are now Peak Performance Days. Other than the change of name and the entry fee of £50 (£60 on the gate, although pre-booking is recommended), everything else about the test days is the same including the track prepped to event standard, full safety cover, and on-site catering. You can find a booking form for the Peak Performance Days on the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
The SPRC web site has also been updated with the complete set of Sportsman forms for the Big Bang, FIA Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, Bug Jam, FIA European Finals and UK National Finals. The closing dates for each event are given with their forms. "I will accept post-dated cheques if you want to enter any of these events now", says SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall. Paula adds that FIA and FIM/UEM and other Pro-class entry forms for the FIA Main Event and FIA European Finals are currently being finalised and should be available soon. You can find these entry forms on the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Finally the SPRC web site has also been updated with entry forms for the three Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship rounds to be held at Shakespeare County Raceway this season. This cross-hosting was introduced last year for resilience and was well-received, so both SPRC and APIRA will be doing the same this year.

Swift snippets.
15th March: Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson has a spectacular new colour scheme on his truck and trailer this year. The superb scheme (right, picture courtesy and ©Bosse Lindström) was designed by Forcewebs, the company of team member Anders Magnusson, printed by Made in Sveg Graphics and applied by Reklamstugan of Borlänge. The small picture does not do the trailer justice so be sure to check out the Forcewebs web site at www.forcewebs.com for a better look.

2004 NDRS Super Comp Champion Jonas Staflund, who is moving up to Top Methanol FC this year, has installed a webcam in his workshop and is inviting fans to visit at www.staflundracing.com. "Click on Övright and then Garagekamera", says Jonas. "Hopefully you will not see anything gross". We checked it out and the TMFC looks just fine, nothing gross going down. As revealed by our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing Jonas has sold his Volvo Super Comp FC; stay tuned as we hope to bring you more news on its new owner shortly.

Proving that if you really want to know you just need to put out a call on Eurodragster.com, John Hutchinson has been in touch to say that after we published his appeal last Monday, the historic Hawaiian slingshot has been tracked down by an Italian Eurodragster.com reader to the Turin Motor Museum.
Let's see how we get on with today's two calls for help. First up is an appeal for video footage of the UK's Showtime Fuel Funny Car in its 2004 colours. If you have any video footage of Showtime running in 2004 whose use you would be willing to allow, then in the first instance please drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

The second of today's two pleas is from Les Sanderson, who is looking for information about a chassis. "Thanks to Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive web site, I found that the chassis I have seems to be that of Frantic, a Topolino-bodied straight six Jag-powered altered which I believe was campaigned by John Foden and Ken Hessey. I would like to find out as much as possible about this car, can anyone help please?". If you can help Les then please drop him a line at les.sanderson@blueyonder.co.uk.

Middle Eastern promise.
15th March: If you were tuned in on Sunday you will recall that Fahad Taqi of the Bahrain Drag Racing Club kindly let us know that Ali Aryan (right) ran the Kingdom's first six-second pass at the second round of the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship in his ex-Pat Musi Popeye Camaro. Fahad tells us that there is more to come.

"Ali Aryan has promised that he will set another new record at the forthcoming third Round of the Bahrain National Drag Racing Championship", says Fahad. "From the looks of things here in the Middle East and following the news of Ali Aryan's quarter-mile time, round three will see cars from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait fighting it out in the Pro and Pro Street Classes.
"The Bahrain Drag Racing Club has noticed that sport of drag racing is becoming a crowd favorite with the local community and also in the Gulf regain, with competitors from Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman coming to the Kingdom of Bahrain in the heart of the Middle East to take part in the Drag Racing Championship.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain has always played a leading role in sport entertainment, and a huge thanks goes to His Royal Highness Sh. Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain for his endless support."

Frost: We cleaned up.
14th March:
World Street Race organiser and racer Andy Frost says that he is very proud of the outcome of the US v UK v Canada event at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana. The UK's Steve Pateman won the event, defeating fellow Brit Jeff Meads 8.241/167.99 to 8.523/167.14, whilst the UK also took the Team trophy, Low ET, high speed, and just about everything else except best wheelie and quickest sixty foot time.

"We did what we came here to do", Frosty told Eurodragster.com. "We won everything and cleaned up. We took the team trophy and the individual win, numbers one and two qualifiers, we had two Brits in the final. It was very satisfying to go to the USA, the home of drag racing, and beat them at their own game. The Americans will have to sit up and take notice now: we've proven that we have the quickest and fastest pump gas cars in the world and if they want that title then they will have to come and take it off us!"

Race day started with the Cruise, which Andy said went OK. "Steve Pateman ran out of petrol before the gas station, and Jeff Meads overheated, so they both lost half their Cruise points", said Frosty. "But we didn't lose anyone, we all got round and successfully negotiated the sheriffs with radar guns! It was just a blast to be driving our cars on American roads and I can't wait to see the pictures."

Andy redlit away his own chances in his match-up with Jeff Meads. "I feel I let my crew down by reding", he said. "I know we could have won the whole thing because we were number two qualifier, second-quickest car there, fastest car there, and we were running consistently.

"But hats off to Steve, he was favourite at the start and he did it, it was a fantastic job. Jeff Meads never stopped working on his car, even when he bent the chassis he got it fixed and he must have spent a lot on parts after he broke. He deserved to get as far as he did. Ian Hook also never stopped working. They are all a great credit to their sport and to their country.

"The US team were one down at the start of the weekend but the others never gave up. They kept running and breaking, and when they broke they fixed it and ran again. They were there to race. The Canadian team also worked very hard just to get to the track, and they gave us a tough race."

The US team's weekend was further marred by Eric Kennard crashing his eight-second Monte Carlo after a couple of huge wheelstands, but luckily Eric is A-OK and the car can be fixed.
The World Street Race attracted a lot of attention. "We had a lot of interest from the media and from the fans", said Andy. "There must be thousands of pictures and miles of film. People had come thousands of miles to see us. There were a lot of British fans at the track and it's great to know that we sent them home with smiles on their faces! Huge thanks to everyone who came along to see us, and who helped out in whatever way."

The guys are hard at work today putting the cars into their containers for the trip home, but Andy found time to take a breath and reflect upon what he had achieved. "At the end of yesterday I realised that we'd pulled it off", he said. "We had taken four cars to the USA on a limited budget, and won. It went exactly to plan and I am very proud for all of us for our achievement. It was a class act all round!"

We're sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in congratulating the UK team on their team win, Steve Pateman on the event victory, and Andy Frost for coming up with the idea and never giving up on achieving his dream. Congratulations, too, to the US and Canadian teams for putting up a great showing. Great job guys!

Final results and photographs, including a large number of Cruise pictures, are available on the NSCA Racing web site at www.nsca-racing.com.

2005 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards.
14th March: We are very pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com will again be running its Perfect Award Scheme in 2005. The Perfect Light and Perfect ET Awards have already paid out hundreds of pounds in prize money to racers since their inceptions, and in association with our scheme sponsors we look forward to awarding Perfect performance again this year.

The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award is again sponsored by high-performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow, continuing an association with company owner Fay Fischer who has been a practical and moral supporter of Eurodragster.com since it started in 1998. We are very grateful indeed to Fay for her continued support.

The 2005 Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award will run to the same rules as in previous seasons, with a cash prize being awarded to the first racer at an event to record a perfect Reaction Time of 0.000. The Award is open to all classes and is available during qualifying or eliminations but not open practice. The prize fund will start at £50 and will grow by £25 per event if not won; if the Award is won at an event then the prize fund will be reset to £50 at the next. The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award is available at any Championship event covered by Eurodragster.com, which in 2005 will be:
  • Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Power Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Shakespeare Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • SPRC Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Veidec Nitro Festival, Mantorp Park
  • Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
  • UK National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
For full information about Speedflow's range of hoses and fittings, which have contributed to countless Championship wins and European and National records, check out the company's web site at www.speedflow.co.uk or call 0870 225 0097.
The Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award has a new sponsor in 2005. Performance product supplier LA Racing Parts, already joint Links sponsor with Ampar, has come on board to support the Award in its second year. As with Fay Fischer, Lee Child of LA Racing Parts is a long-standing supporter of Eurodragster.com and we are very grateful to him for his further backing.

The 2005 Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award will run to the same rules as in previous seasons, with a cash prize being awarded to the first racer at an event to run to the thousandth on their class index or dial-in. The Award is open to all index and dial-your-own classes and is available during qualifying or eliminations but not open practice. The prize fund will start at £50 and will grow by £25 per event if not won; if the Award is won at an event then the prize fund will be reset to £50 at the next. The Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award is available at any Championship event covered by Eurodragster.com, which in 2005 will be:
  • Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Power Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Shakespeare Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • SPRC Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
  • Veidec Nitro Festival, Mantorp Park
  • Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
  • FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
  • UK National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
LA Racing Parts have just published their 2005 Drag Racing Parts and Accessories and Street Performance Parts and Accessories catalogues. The drag racing catalogue comes in at more than 400 full-colour pages and as every other year will become a collector's item as well as a catalogue. The LA Racing Parts catalogues are available at £10 for both, which includes postage and packing, and can be ordered by calling 01803 554308 (outside the UK +44 1803 554308). You can also check out LA Racing Parts' products and services on the company's web site at www.laracingparts.com.

We are sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in thanking outgoing Perfect ET Award sponsors Martin and Ruth Curbishley of Curbishley Automotive for their support in the Award's first year.

Stay tuned to Eurodragster.com News as we will shortly be making a very special announcement about the Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award at the Easter Thunderball.

Last chance looms.
14th March: This weekend (19th-20th March) is the last chance for racers to test before the UK National Championship season starts at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. Testing takes place at both Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend and Eurodragster.com will be reporting live from both tracks.

Shakespeare County Raceway hosts the APIRA Test and Tune, its traditional season opener, on both Saturday and Sunday. The APIRA Test and Tune is open to to racers, car and bike clubs, sprint clubs, circuit clubs, the public, and anyone else wishing to test before the season starts. The track will be prepped to National event standard. Entry to Shakespeare County Raceway will be £10 on Saturday 19th and £12 on Sunday 20th, or £20 for the weekend. Another £15 per day, or £25 for the weekend, will buy as many runs as you can make down the track. A valid DVLC licence and a crash helmet must be presented to sign on, and racers should wear safety gear appropriate to their class. The track will be open between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm on Saturday and 11:00 am and 5:00 pm on Sunday. For more details about Shakespeare County Raceway including a map check out the track's official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Santa Pod Raceway hosts its first Peak Performance Day of the year on Saturday and a normal Run What You Brung on Sunday. Peak Performance Days offer a track prepped to event standard and sign-on is limited to one hundred to guarantee track time to participants. Advance entry is available now at the discount price of £50 and is highly recommended; sign-on is £60 on the day if spaces are available. Entry to the track is £10 in advance, or £12 on the gate. Sunday's Run What You Brung is open to all. Entry to the track is £10, and sign-on is a further £15: a valid DVLC licence must be presented to sign on. On both Saturday and Sunday gates open at 8:00 am and the track will be open between 10:00 and 5:00 pm. For more details check out Santa Pod's Run What You Brung web site at www.rwyb.com.

Two testing events at two different venues on the same weekend threatened to leave Eurodragster.com with the dilemma of which track to attend, but luckily our good friend Gareth Evans of the UK1320 web site kindly offered to help, and he will be reporting live from Shakespeare County Raceway on both Saturday and Sunday whilst Tog and Sharkman report from Santa Pod Raceway on both days. Coverage of both events will be posted on Eurodragster.com in association with American Car Imports. Many thanks to Gareth for his kind offer.

The Webster Race Engineering/MPM Oil webcam will be broadcasting from Santa Pod Raceway on both days and is scheduled to broadcast a picture every two minutes.

We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage as soon as it commences this weekend, but in the meantime you can view the event index page by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Racers: If you are testing at either SPR or SCR this weekend then drop us a line at news@eurodragster.com and we will publish it here.

Ripley fired up for season.
13th March: 2004 MSA British Drag Racing Champion Doug Ripley (right) and the CC Racing team fired up their new engine for the first time at their Northfleet workshop yesterday (Saturday). With everything from the clutch forwards changed from last year, Doug was keen to check everything before he starts his title defence at the Easter Thunderball, and he kindly invited Eurodragster.com along to watch.

"It's a completely different configuration to before", said Crew Chief Cliff Gould. "We have a TFX 92 short block which we bought from Dan Larsen, BAE Stage V heads, new manifold, new titanium clutch, a dry sump system - all the same stuff as the Europeans are running. We have two new tanks, one for fuel and one for oil. This is the first time that we have had all alcohol parts - last year we were using some fuel parts and trying to get them to work with alcohol."
Team Manager Jane Ripley said that she had spent the whole off-season on the internet sourcing parts. "Everyone we've bought parts from has been helpful and forthcoming", said Jane. "Mark White was particularly helpful", added Cliff, "he gave us a starting point". As well as new parts on the car the team have new pit flooring, for which Doug asked us to thank Ray White, and the trailer has been treated to a new generator, new winch and new roof panels. "I have become a real E-Bay fiend!", said Jane.

The engine was fired twice. During the first warm-up the crew checked all around for leaks and then afterwards carried out a hot lash test. Everything checked out just fine and then the engine was started a second time and run for a couple of minutes, sounding very smooth indeed. "I'm very pleased with that", said Cliff. "All of the new systems we've put on are working properly and so we're happy. We just have to make a few little adjustments for Easter."

"The fire-up was good", said Doug Ripley. "The motor sounded fine, we just need to tune it now! We don't do bad considering that we run this car on our own money out of a little workshop, and I have a great crew in Cliff, Gavin, Jay, Darren, Colin and Kieran. The biggest thank you must go to Jane, the car would not be here without her."

We took a number of photographs of yesterday's fire-up, which you can view by
clicking here, or by clicking on the Features link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.

It has been a few years since we did this but we also arranged for a sound recording from Doug's seat during the second warm-up. The sound clip is in MP3 format, mono, 794 Kb, lasts for three minutes and twenty three seconds, and sounds best through speakers. You can listen to the audio clip by clicking here.

Brits lead WSR.
13th March: The UK's Steve Pateman and Andy Frost lead qualifying for today's eliminations at the USA v UK v Canada World Street Race at Louisiana's No Problem Raceway. Steve at 8.321/168.30 heads the eleven-car field whilst Andy has high speed at 172.17 mph. Andy Frost kindly took another early-morning alarm call from Eurodragster.com to tell us how things are going.

"Things are looking good, but you know what it can be like on race day!", said Andy. "I can't believe that we're finally going to race after all these months of phone calls, E-Mails and oganisation and I must thank the racers, crew, organisers, Chris Biro, Ian Hook, Marty van Heule and the WSR sponsors Neal Chance Racing Converters, Composite Race technology, Torco Racing Fuels, Nytex Nitrous Oxide Performance, Brand X Engineering, Borla Performance Industries, Griffin Thermal Products, Lucas Oil Products, Automater High Performance Products, Oaktree Property Management, FSC Investment Services, Aldridge Trimming, Benair Freight Forwarding, Corteco Holeshot TV, Total Heating Services, Allglass Mobile Services, Curbishley Automotive, Webster Race Engineering, JW Transmissions, GZ Motorsports, myfirst-car.com, 1320 Autos, RPM/NSCA Street Shootout Magazine, Canadian Performance Depot, Gleeson Wright Security, Corporate Signs, John Aldridge Automotive, Supersave Windows, Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Products, Aquamist Water Injection Systems and Darren Hussey for getting us here."
Jeff Meads had some more repair work to do yesterday after pulling a huge wheelie in qualifying. The front of the chassis was bent but Jeff fixed the damage and subsequently ran into the 8.7s. "All of the Brits have got more in there", said Andy. "The cameraderie here is just brilliant, we're all in and out of one another's pit helping each another and lending parts. For example Chuck Clague broke his trans, he went and got a junkyard trans and we helped him to fit it. Eric Kennard has also hurt a trans but he is fixing it. And what a trouper Steve Szczepanski is - he spent six months solid working on his car, took it out on the street to test it, lost oil pressure and spun a bearing. But he crept down the track and recorded a twenty six-second pass to get into the field. He must be the unluckiest man on Earth and we all really feel for him but what spirit! I must thank Butch Schreier for helping me out, he is my technical director this weekend and he is keeping my feet on the ground!"

After the qualifying dust had settled, Steve Pateman gets the first-round bye whilst Jeff Meads and Ian Hook face off, Andy Frost meets Steve Szczepanski, Sheldon Root meets Will Kieizer and Rich Mason meets Brady McNew. "Steve gets a first round bye as usual!", said Andy. "He has got the more difficult side of the ladder but at least he and I aren't meeting in round one like we usually do!"

The WSR racers firstly have to negotiate this morning's cruise, which was postponed from yesterday evening. "The cruise is twenty five miles into Donaldsonville, the nearest town", said Andy. "That is at nine o'clock and eliminations start at midday. It's going to be a tough day and every competitor deserves a huge pat on the back for making it this far. Everyone has brought great credit on themselves and their country."

You can find Brian Wood's report and photographs and full WSR qualifying standings on the NSCA Racing web site at www.nsca-racing.com.

Different year, same CRAP.
13th March: UK Super Modified racer Kev 'Kiwi' Taylor says that he and the CRAP Conversions team should be at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, even though he says that he is far behind on changes to the eight-second Capri and his new transporter looks like a mobile skip.

"We are pleased to announce that we have kept our sponsors Sussex Auto Parts, Spax Performance and Snap On Tools through Pete Baldock, our local rep", says Kev. "We have also secured a new sponsor: Capri Club International are on board for 2005, we are very pleased that CCI Chairman John has decided to join our team and we are looking forward to an exciting season with CCI behind us.
"We are staying in Super Modified and looking forward to running our first seven-second pass. Our team is down by one car this season, with Mark Anderson sitting out 2005 with the intention of moving up a class or two in 2006, but Ron 'Studmuffin' Haffenden will be racing in Super Gas this season moving having moved up from Super Street.

"We have a new crew member as well. Angie O'Neale will be our new cook, sales babe for our merchandise, carry out the data downloading from the car's new data logger, and generally assist on the car. I warn you all, she may be small (most ants dwarf her), but she's trouble!"

Into the sixes in Bahrain.
13th March: This week's second round of the Bahrain National Drag Racing Championship saw history made as the first six-second pass was recorded in the Kingdom, says Fahad Taqi, General Secretary of the Bahrain Drag Racing Club, third from left in this picture together with BDRC President Isa Al Kooheji, Pro winner Ali Aryan, and Pro runner-up Khalid Moh'd.

"It was a full house with twelve cars taking part from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and a packed house of spectators", says Fahad. "The big winners were Jassim Al Qamber, winner of the Super Street 4/6FWD with his Honda Prelude with super time of 11.79, and the other shocker was Adel al Khameri with his '96 Fire Hawk taking first place in the Super Street V8 Class in 10.15.
"The crowd and racers saw the first ever six, a 6.93/328 kmh run by Ali Aryan in his Pro Class '69 Camaro and that was with just one stage of nitrous. That is the quickest-ever ET in the Middle East and far the fastest car.

"Drag racing is the #1 sport in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The local newspapers announced that the income generated in one day's event exceeds a full soccer season's income. That in itself is a big indication of what is to come in the near future."

You can find the BDRC web site at www.bahraindragracingclub.com.

Swift snippets.
13th March: Five-time NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champion Håkan Nilsson has yet to decide upon his game plan for 2005, says team member Ulf Stadig. "This year's schedule has just come out, but we will definitely reveal our plans in the near future", says Ulf. The team are pleased to announce that Rickard Pålsson has renewed the sponsorship deal with Veidec. "It is a pleasure to be associated with Rickard and the products from his expanding company", says Ulf. The team are also talking to other potential sponsors and also looking at racing at extra venues in 2005. You can read full details on the Nilsson Motorsports web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.

Malta: good and getting better.
13th March: It was obvious from February's race at Malta's Hal-Far Raceway that this is going to be the most interesting season ever, says Malta Drag Racing Association President Anthony Borda. "Everyone wants to see that the the time and effort they are spending are giving them the results they want", says Anthony. "We have seen improvements from the racers and especially the tuners, who are trying the latest and best components.

"At the upcoming events we will have a good mixture of new cars. We will be seeing the Top Methanol Dragsters once again. The Elbros Racing Team with Banzai John Ellul (see what you started, Sharkman? - Ed) will be competing in the next event and if I'm not mistaken he will have better components on his Fontana Dragster since he just came from the USA laden down with parts. Joe Carabott, better known as Mr Whippy, will be competing with his newly-acquired American Top Methanol Dragster at the second or third Night Event. He still has plenty to do, such as painting the whole dragster, and the engine needs some modification too. As for the mighty Small Block dragster of the Borg Brothers, they will be competing too during one of the Night Events but right now they are pretty busy with the local council elections and their everyday work. This season we should also see Frank Skorfna with his nice-looking Top Methanol Dragster which he bought from the USA two years ago. The dragster has a totally new blown engine. Frank will be having an American tuner over here soon, perhaps in June. Frank has spent a few bucks on this dragster and he says he wants to run good elapsed times.

"You should keep an eye on the Altered Class, because these four cylinder Cosworth engines will certainly break the European four-cylinder ET record. These cars are being fitted with T8 and T10 turbos nowadays. We'll wait and what happens when these monster four-cylinder cars take each other on. As for the other classes, we've still got the best out of these cars as well. We think that we are the have the best aspirated four-cylinder engines in Europe.
"I must mention two special cars, both Ford Escorts, which race with different engines in two different classes. The first is Sandra Balzan's Mk1 Escort, fitted with an OHC 2.1 litre aspirated engine, tuned by Roger Carabott of the Recordhouse Racing Team and driven by his best friend Rennie Zammit. This season it looks like Sandro's car is going to be a pain for the his competitors. With the ability of all the guys at the Recordhouse Team, this car is going to be a great contender for the local Championship and best ET in PS2 and CA2. During his first outing this season, Rennie Zammit achieved an 11.1/116 set-up wasn't a hundred per cent, a great ET for an old Ford OHC which came from a Transit. Another car I would like to mention is another Mk1 Escort, which has a Cosworth engine fitted under the hood. This Ford Escort belongs to Mario Borg, a Cosworth fanatic! During the last event held at Hal-Far Raceway he achieved the best ever ET, which no-one expected, an 8.6. This was achieved with the help of his tuner Manty Bugeja and his best friend, racer Chris Polidano. Mario and everyone in the Powerhouse Racing Team was over the moon with what they achieved, especially Mario. At the next event, this car will keep on improving since they have already made some small modifications to the engine.

"The ETs we achieve with these engines is due to the good tuners we have here in Malta. They tune them perfectly to their limits. The other competitors in these classes are not that far away, since everyone knows what to do to get these engines to their limits."

You can stay in touch with all the news from Malta on the MDRA web site at www.maltadragracing.com.

Web site updates.
13th March: The official web site of UK Fuel Funny Car team Nobby Hills racing has been updated with the very popular historical video footage which was screened at the recent Xtreme Wheels International, as well as video of the Houndog FC being readied for the show and behind-the-scenes photographs. Check it out at www.nhracing.com.
Our good friend, UK photographer Richard Heeps has updated his web site with photographs from the 2004 season, as well as a fascinating new collection named Hot Heads East which documents a 1950s-style drag meet which took place in Germany last September. You can find Richard's excellent work at www.richardheeps.co.uk.

WSR testing update II.
12th March: UK Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost has been in touch again to let us know how the last day of testing went for this weekend's US v UK v USA
World Street Race at Louisiana's No Problem Raceway.

"Everyone's got their stuff together now", said Frosty. "The Fat Boys have now got second gear and Ian Hook put in three checkout passes. Jeff Meads put in a checkout pass under the lights last night and pulled a huge wheelstand to two hundred feet! He had to get off it when it came down because the Pop was headed for the guardrail. But he was buzzing when he got back to the pits!
"Steve Pateman is still not showing his hand, he ran an 8.90 last night. We ran 8.4s all day yesterday, the Victor is like a bracket car! I went 171 mph. We've not hurt anything, it's been really easy. Hopefully Fatty and Jeff will get into the eights today and that will be all four of us."

Andy said that the Canadian contingent are on the facility, and their quickest test yesterday was a 9.2. The US contingent is down to three after Bobby Amons broke and his substitute withdrew - it would be uncharitable of us to imply that the withdrawals had anything to with the UK team's performances, so we won't say any such thing. Of the three US racers remaining, Chuck Clague broke a diff but repairs are underway, Eric Kennard has made a couple of checkout passes, whilst Brady McNew has yet to arrive - he must get to the track, get tecched and make a qualifying run by the end of today.

"The track is going to be really good", Frosty said. "The weather is going to be fine all weekend, and every time I look up there are more Brits here cheering us on!"

Brian Wood will be covering the event, which starts today, on the NSCA Racing web site at www.nsca-racing.com, and we will continue to bring you news as we receive it.

Santa Pod extend guardrails.
12th March: Santa Pod Raceway now has concrete guardrails along the entire length of both sides of the track (right, click on picture for a large version) after the latest upgrade to the facility was finished yesterday (Friday).

The existing armco on the left-hand side of the shutdown area has been removed and replaced with concrete, and the existing concrete rail on the right-hand side of the shutdown area has been extended to the end of the track, making a total of 850 metres of new guardrail. Click on any link for a picture.
"We started to remove the armco on 28th February", said Track Manager Kjell Pettersson. "Between then and this Sunday's Run What You Brung was the longest gap we had this year without having to cancel an event. The concrete work was all meant to be done last week but it was just too cold on some days."

The new guardrail is 1.2 metres in height, exceeding NHRA specifications. The first turnout has been replaced by a heavy-duty gate, which opens away from the track and which will be open for some Sportsman classes but will otherwise be closed with marshals on hand to open the gate for anyone stopping short. The second turnout, which in any case was not far from the end of the track, has been removed.

The concrete was again poured by Fitzpatrick, who installed the right-hand shutdown area guardrail last May. "The concrete is a C35 mix reinforced with four twenty millimetre bars", Richard Budden of Fitzpatrick told Eurodragster.com at Santa Pod yesterday. "We installed the eight hundred and fifty metres in four and a half days. It takes two days to cure so will be ready for the event here on Sunday."

ICE Automotive set to cause Havoc.
12th March: Eurodragster.com main sponsor ICE Automotive's long-awaited classic-styled altered will be making its competitive début at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway in May. The Bantam-bodied car (right), to be named Havoc!, is to be driven by former Pro Mod racer Nick Davies, with ICE Automotive business partner Rob Loaring as Crew Chief and Nigel King crewing.

"The car has turned out exactly as we wanted it", Nick told Eurodragster.com at yesterday's SFI Day at Santa Pod. "It's straight out of 1970!". Rob and Nick built the 114" wheelbase chassis, and installed a blown-alcohol burning 526 Rodeck Chevrolet engine. The altered, capable of six-second passes, will also sport a small rear wing and is equipped with a datalogger to aid tuning.
"The body is currently at Specialist In Design, being painted in metalflake green by Jon Hogarth", said Nick. "We plan to test at Santa Pod Raceway on the weekend before the FIA Main Event, and then we will run in Super Pro ET at the race."

Nick said that he and Rob are still planning a replica of the Stones' legendary Tee Rat. "We have a long-term plan to turn this car into Tee Rat", said Nick, "and we will make it exactly as it was."

UK SFI Day report.
12th March: The SFI inspection team made their 2005 UK stop at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday. SFI Foundation President Arnie Kuhns and inspectors Tim Hyatt, Murf McKinney and Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson inspected a near-record number of clutches, bellhousings and wheels.

Eurodragster.com went along to report on the SFI Day in association with American Car Imports. We kicked off by interviewing Arnie Kuhns about the SFI programme and how SFI specs are set and spoke to Tim Hyatt, Murf McKinney and all of the racers who brought parts for inspection.
You can view our report and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.

Bishop's move.
12th March: UK former Super Pro ET racer Ian Bishop will be contesting Pro Modified in 2005. Talking to Eurodragster.com at yesterday's SFI Day, Ian said that he plans to contest the FIA Main Event, FIA European Finals and one event in Europe.
"I thought I might as well go Pro Mod!", said Ian. "I want to learn to tune the car, it's very easy to end up standing still". Ian has merely to change the nitrous system to compete in Pro Mod. "I ran 7.1 on one kit and that wasn't a full pass", he said. "Two kits should be good for 6.8s although I suppose it really ought to have a blown hemi in it!"

Ian is planning to test at the Big Bang at Santa Pod in May. The Big Bang is fast turning into a Pro Mod test extravaganza with Andy Robinson, Gordon Appleton and John Ellis also intending to run at the VW festival.

Return of the Spider.
12th March: UK Fuel Altered racer Jim Seward is to return to the track in his Harry The Spider altered at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, after spending "Far too much" on new parts during his year out in 2004. Jim last made a pass at Santa Pod in 1998 although a more recent visit was thwarted by rain.

"We have a new engine, which we got from Mark Hawkins", said Jim. "We also have a new transmission and a new set of tyres - which I've never had before! I will be sponsored by Somerton Motor Company, DT Beal Haulage, Torco Oils, and Dave Hughes Engineering".
Jim will be competing in the new Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association, whose first outing is at the Easter Thunderball. "The NFAA gives us something to build on", said Jim. "Hopefully we can put together some good hard racing and not disappoint."

Jim is very grateful to all those who have helped him to return to the track. "A special Thank You to my team for their support over the winter and for getting the car ready", he said. "Thanks Phil, Bear, Mitch, Reg, Danny, Nick, Charlie, and to Sue for putting up with the expenditure although she might now know how much it was! Thanks to Mark Hawkins who was very helpful when he sold me the engine, and also to Lawrie Gatehouse for helping to get the NFAA up and running."

Swift snippets.
12th March: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor DynoSpeed Developments are holding a Dyno Day today (Saturday) at the company's Chigwell premises at Unit 11, Taylors, Gravel Lane, Chigwell, Essex IG7 6DQ. "All are welcome", says DSD Press Officer Pixie.
A very slightly belated Happy Birthday to UK ACU Super Street Bike Champion Graham Dance, whose birthday it was yesterday. Hope you had a great day, G.

The final sponsorship total raised by Eurodragster.com readers for last weekend's Santa Pod Racers Club/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge was £295. Many thanks to everyone who sponsored our Event Coverage.

WSR testing update.
11th March: Whilst we were at today's busy SFI Day at Santa Pod Raceway we found the time for a transatlantic phone conversation with UK Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost about yesterday's (Thursday's) testing before this weekend's
World Street Race at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana.

"Jeff Meads fixed his valve spring and pushrod, but when he tested yesterday he had a fuel pump seize", said Andy. "He is working on that, and he is also getting nitrous help from John Phillips of NX Nitrous Systems, for which he is very grateful. Ian Hook and the FBs were still waiting for their input shaft, they will be running today.
"Steve Pateman ran 9.3 without nitrous and then an 8.7 checkout (which Tom Barnes tells us was at 165 mph - Ed). I also ran an 8.7 checkout pass. John Phillips checked out our nitrous system and I am grateful to him for his help.

"The Canadians arrived yesterday, but only one has tested so far, a couple of nines struggling to get the tyres to hook up."

The WSR teams will be testing again today before the race starts tomorrow. The Cruise route has been decided and scheduled for 17:00 tomorrow, and the weather forecast is very good.

Don't forget that Brian Wood will be covering the event on the NSCA Racing web site at www.nsca-racing.com, and we will continue to bring you news as we receive it.

Swift snippets.
11th March: UK Street Eliminator racer Jeff Meads has fixed the broken spring and pushrod which he suffered in testing for this weekend's World Street Race at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana. "Jeff, Paul and Paul would like to thank Caroline at Cammotion for helping them out", says Tom Barnes.

A very Happy Birthday to UK Wild Bunch Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows, who reaches her Ruby birthday today (Friday). "On behalf of the whole Wild Bunch please wish Claire a very very Happy Ruby Birthday", says WB racer Sarah Howells, and we're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in adding their good wishes. Who was that at the back said "Ruby birthdays mean an SFI check"?
On that subject, we are on our way to Santa Pod Raceway for today's SFI Day. Stay tuned and we will bring you a report and photographs from Santa Pod tomorrow.

Postcard from PMR.
11th March: Paul Marston Racing are making one of their regular trips across the Pond to support ex-pat UK racer Tony Morris together with Tim and April Hutcherson, Steve and Ro Deatherage. "We must thank Tony and Lynn Morris for their wonderful hospitality, as well as Dollar Rentals who didn't have the car I ordered, so we have to make do with a luxury car instead - what a shame!", says Paul Marston.

"All the guys are competing in Super Comp at the Florida Nationals at Speedworld, which unfortunately coincides with the World Street Race in Louisiana. No Problem Raceway, the WSR host track, is a great facility: well-organised, clean, with good safety record and most importantly a great management and staff. They have won awards for their service and dedication to the sport. Weatherwise, it is unseasonably cold at the moment, still a lot warmer than England was when we left, in the sixty degree area and overcast. Nevertheless weather will play its part this weekend, this may be an advantage for the English teams as the weather will be familiar territory for their tune-ups and settings."
Paul tells us that he is making himself busy. "I have visited JW Performance and delivered a couple more converters for John Winters to work his magic, and visited all the guys at Bo Laws Performance to collect the carburettor parts order", says Paul. "I've also visited Dave Hartman at CRC, the motor shop and dyno cell which shares the facility at which BLP is based.

"Along with various other part-ordering which has taken up most of the spare time, we are set well for testing at Speedworld with Steve and Ro Deatherage's newly-installed ignition system. All of the drivers - Steve, Tony and Steve - have bigger, more powerful motors than last year, it's a trend over here to be faster through the speed trap to gain an advantage. That's a trend that I am sure will filter through to the English racers over the next few seasons."

Web site updates.
11th March: Our good friend Alan Currans has taken time out from working on his Acceleration Archive web site to provide a story to Bill Pratt's excellent Draglist site. Alan sent a report and pictures on last year's London City Airport bike drags, which you can find at www.draglist.com/artman/publish/daily_stories/article_00973.shtml.

WSR racers take to track.
10th March: The four UK participants in this weekend's US v UK v Canada
World Street Race took to the track for the first time at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana yesterday. UK Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost got in touch to let us know how testing went.

"Ian Hook, Jeff Meads and I all ran our best-ever no-nitrous ETs", said Andy. "I ran a 9.8. I don't know if Steve Pateman did the same - he was making half passes and running very strongly but he is not saying! The track was really good at the start of the day, really sticky, but had gone away a bit by the end of the day. We had two runs each, on my second run we put some more power in and spun the tyres."
Ian Hook and Jeff Meads suffered a broken input shaft and valve spring and pushrod respectively but repairs are already being effected in time for today's test session. There is also a bracket trophy race this evening in which Andy says he may compete.

"Some of our supporters are already here", added Andy. "I have already seen Matthew Wright, and some of the guys from Bristol, and some of our sponsors are here too. It's great to see the support we are getting."

Stay tuned and we will bring you more news from Belle Rose as we receive it.

Bon reduces schedule.
10th March: Dutch Top Fuel Bike racer Joey Bon has announced that he will be racing a limited schedule in 2005. Joey and his MPM Oil-sponsored bike will contest the Drachten Nationals, MPM Internationals and Dutch Finals at Drachten and the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim, before contesting the full FIM/UEM European Championship Tour in 2006, although he does hope to make an outing at Santa Pod Raceway at the end of this season after fitting new parts

"When we started to build the new bike, we had hoped to go for it this season", says Joey. "However things have been a little disappointing, therefore we will only race at Drachten and Hockenheim. But we have not been sitting still this winter: the fuel system and some other parts have been changed. We were also pleased to re-sign MPM International Oil Company as our main sponsor. We were at the Race and Rally show last week, where Lex Joon's dragster was unveiled, and next week we will be at the AutoVak Rai, an international trade show for the automotive industry.
"After Hockenheim, we plan to mount the new billet head, which is currently being developed and will later be milled at Machinefabriek Goedhals. Furthermore a new cylinder block and self-made pistons will be installed. We will then test and race at the Finals at Santa Pod. We plan to run the complete European Championship with the fully-ready MPM Top Fuel Bike in 2006."

You can stay in touch with all the news from the MPM Top Fuel Bike pit at www.joeybonracing.com.

Parkinson goes full-time.
10th March: The UK's newest Top Methanol Dragster racer, John Parkinson, is racing against time to finish his Every Penny Racing TMD for its début at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. John says that he has turned full-time drag racer for the next couple of weeks to get everything done.

"I have parts somewhere between here and the 'States, and there's welding still to be done on the chassis", says John. "My Crew Chief Bob is running round like a headless chicken saying "We're not going to make it, we're not going to make it", the trailer is going off to have its awning made, the exhausts have still to be made, the heads are at ICE Automotive, my firesuit will be express-delivered as soon as it's made, and I have lots of bits still to be sourced such as valve covers and a sump. Andy Robinson is getting the seat belts for us. Oh, and we still have to upholster the trailer when it gets back.
"But am I worried? Too bloody true I am! I'm taking time off work from now until Easter to get stuck in and finish it. I'm still trying as hard as I know how to get there, and I feel that we will make it somehow - it's do-able (That's the spirit - Ed)."

As if John didn't have enough to do, he tells us that he has proven that he is "Completely out of my tree" by buying back an old dragster of his. "The slingshot was called Street Fighter", says John. "It had a Lancia twin cam engine running through a Rod George-modified Borg Warner 35. Last time we ran it we were sponsored by Chromes and Flammes magazine. Years ago - it must have been 1983 or 1984 - we sold the car to Tony Grace, who at the time published UK Drag Racing magazine, and he still had it after all these years.

"We might put our youngest crew member in the car and let him run it in the Wild Bunch, to see if he is good enough to step into my car one day...maybe!"

500 ci to cure engine problems.
10th March: UK Pro ET racer Dave Ward has decided to install a new powerplant into his Rampage Funny Car. Hauser Race Cars are building a new 500 ci engine to replace the previous 440 ci Chrysler.

"The 2004 season was a difficult season for Team Rampage", says Crew Chief Ian Gibbs. "We suffered engine problems in the second half of the year, with engine rebuilds after the Nostalgia Nationals and the European Finals at Santa Pod. The 440 Chrysler will be replaced by a new 500 ci Chrysler stroker engine, increasing the capacity from 7.3 litres to 8.2 litres, and a new water cooling system is also to be fitted.
"This season we are reverting to conventional fuel in order to return to the consistency experienced prior to the change to methanol, and we anticipate runs into the nine second bracket."

The Rampage team hoped to enter the upcoming Easter Thunderball, but are now set to make their first outing at the Power Nationals at Shakespeare County in mid-April.

Ian also tells us that Dave has been working hard over the winter and has secured two new sponsors: Paintbox of Banbury, who were initially involved with the colour scheme, and Smith's of Bloxham.

Swift snippets.
10th March: Eurodragster.com Home/News page sponsor Gleeson Wright Security have announced that they are to be main sponsor of 2004 UK Super Modified Champion Andy Hone for the fourth year running. "Fred and Crew Chief Mick Combes have both been friends of mine for many years, and Gary Gleeson and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Fred, Mick, Andy and the rest of the Andy Hone Fan Club all the best in their defence of the Championship", says Matthew Wright. "If anyone out there is looking for a good advertising tool for their business then please approach us - it really is not that costly. There is plenty of room on that big and very fast Granada, and I know that Andy and the crew would welcome the support."

Markus Svensson tells us that he can now offer clutch servicing. "If you need a hand with clutch service then please call me on +46 70 875 1996, or at AJ Hanson International, Lindefallet 7724, 82596 Enanger", says Markus.
Former Fuel Funny Car racer, Norway's Ragnar Nordli would be pleased to hear from anyone with photographs of the FC which he campaigned between 1983 and 1987. If you have any pictures then please get in touch with Ragnar at ragner_nordli@hotmail.com.

Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us another updated entry list for the Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod on 26th-28th March. You can view the Easter Thunderball entry list by clicking here.

Santa Pod Raceway update.
10th March: Rick Cuthbert of Trackback Racing has been in touch to inform us that the Peak Performance Day scheduled for Saturday 19th March is not yet fully-subscribed, although the limited places are going very quickly. "To avoid disappointment, call 01234 782828 now to book your place", says Rick. Alternately, there are normal Run What You Brung days on Sunday 13th and Sunday 20th March, so it's not too late to get tuned up! For more information about Peak Performance Days check out the events' web page at www.rwyb.com/performance.htm
Rick adds that for those who dream of racing their pit bikes, information is now available about the 2005 Scooter Hijack which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 13th Augus. The show this year includes a new Scooter Show Zone for classic and custom scooters. You can find out more at www.scooterhijack.com.

Newbery ready to roll.
9th March: UK Top Fuel Bike racer-to-be Dave Newbery has been in touch with an update on his Top Fuel Bike, purchased last year from Rod Pallant. Dave told us that things are going well.

"My back wheel has turned up", Dave told Eurodragster.com last night. "Ian King is bringing it in for me. It's a new Performance Machine design, the first one I think, and I am looking forward to seeing it! The front end is coming together, and the frame is coming on - it has new wheelie bar mounts and new engine mounts. The exhausts have been remounted and the billet yokes have come."
Dave said that the chassis is virtually rolling now, and should be literally in a week or two. "I can see some light at the end of the tunnel now!", he said. "There will still be a lot of work to do, though. I was not going to order the Opcon blower until the bike was a roller, when that comes there is plenty of work."

Dave has also had some offers of help. "Steve Woollatt has lent me a Super Mag 3", he said. "A lot of racers get good results running the single mag, and it helps to keep it simple whilst I'm learning! Gary Jones and Dave Friend offered to help with fabrication and so they may be doing the bodywork - I don't want to do it myself and end up with a jelly mould!"

Dave hopes to make an outing on the bike in 2005. "These things take so long, you are at the mercy of suppliers to some degree", he said. "When you have fabrication done you're the little guy and sometimes you drop down the queue."

Stay tuned as Dave has promised us some pictures of the bike in the not-too-distant future.

Sponsorship updates.
9th March: Joint Eurodragster.com Links sponsor
LA Racing Parts is proud to annouce that Jim Kelly of Eurodragster.com Home/News page sponsor VP Racing Fuels has appointed LA Racing Parts as the distributor for VP's revolutionary Lane Choice traction compound. "We can supply UK and Europe with all the Lane Choice products: LC5, LC6, LC7, LC21 and LC activator", says Lee Child of LA Racing Parts. "Shakespeare County Raceway will be using VP's LC6 from their extensive range of products. LC6 is proven to be the safest, best performing traction compound on the market whose chemical technology has been engineered with the same precision which has made VP Racing Fuels the choice of race teams worldwide. Tests have shown that with LC6 track surfaces change very little from hot days to cool nights, from 38F to 150F track temperature and is not affected by humidity. The higher viscosity of LC6 makes it tougher than other products and its make up allows it to bond better with tyre rubber as well as to adhere better to track surfaces, especially concrete". For more information on VP's Lane Choice, or to make a purchase, contact LA Racing Parts on 01803 554308 (outside the UK +44 1803 554308), Fax 01803 550306 (outside the UK +44 1803 550306) or E-Mail lee@laracingparts.com.
Mickey Thompson UK through LA Racing Parts will be sponsoring UK Street Eliminator racer Steve Pateman with tyres during the 2005 season. "We are very happy to be involved with Steve, a record holder and four-time Champion", says Lee Child of LA Racing Parts. "We hope that these will be the tyres which allow Steve to achieve his dream of a seven-second run!". Mickey Thompson Tyres UK and LA Racing Parts arranged for Steve to find a set of tyres awaiting him when he arrived at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana for this weekend's World Street Race. "We wish Steve all the best - bring back the trophy and the seven-second timing slip!", says Lee. For more information on Mickey Thompson tyres and wheels contact LA Racing Parts on 01803 554308 or E-Mail lee@laracingparts.com.

Dave Friend of UK Comp Bike team Jones and Friend Racing has been in touch with the good news that the team's primary sponsor, and team member, Eric Humphrey of Extreme Electrical is again continuing his sponsorship into 2005. "This is greatly appreciated by Gary and I", says Dave. "Last season's racing was stopped due to Gary's injury, but Eric has yet again come up with a superb sponsorship package for us for another year's racing. This will allow us to continue the development of our alcohol turbo EFI-systemed bike to run in the low sevens with the consistency and reliability we need to win the championship. Gary and I would also like thank all of our other sponsors for their continued support for the 2005 season: Worldwide Bearings USA, BEK Wholesale, Ian Carver, Mistral Engineering and Universal Turbos."

Swift snippets.
9th March: UK Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost checked in from Louisiana last night to let us know how things are going in the run-up to this weekend's US v UK v Canada World Street Race. "One container has yet to arrive, but fingers crossed it will be today", said Frosty. "We are scheduled to test tomorrow evening (i.e. today, Wednesday - Ed). Right now the weather is sunny."
Above-mentioned Top Fuel Bike racer Dave Newbery has for sale six tickets to this year's NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove on 15th-18th September. "I have three Saturday tickets and three Sunday tickets for sale", says Dave. "They are actually 2004 tickets but as the event was rained out they can be exchanged for tickets for this year's event. They cost me $350 but you can have them for £150. I will of course give you any advice you need about exchanging the tickets, how to get to Maple Grove etc". If you are interested then please drop Dave a line at dave_newbery@hotmail.com.

The UK's York Raceway is holding its annual Work Party and Marshal Training this Sunday and next Sunday 13th and 20th March, writes PR Howard Holmes. "Meet at the track at around 10:00 am", says Howard. "You'd best wear warm scruffs and bring thick sandwiches and tea. York Raceway's pre-season work parties check everything out, carrying out maintenance and repairs. And it's a good time for some bench racing too" So please come along and bring a shovel". You can find a map of York Raceway's location on the track's web site at www.york-raceway.com.

Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us an updated entry list for the Easter Thunderball which takes place at Santa Pod on 26th-28th March. You can view the Easter Thunderball entry list by clicking here.

Test and Tune with APIRA.
8th March: The APIRA Test and Tune, Shakespeare County Raceway's traditional season opener, takes place on the weekend before Easter, Saturday-Sunday 19th-20th March. With the Easter Thunderball on the following weekend, Shakespeare County Raceway are offering racers comparable conditions to allow them to set up for the 2005 Championship.

"The track will be fully-prepped, as usual", says Lee Child of LA Performance Services. "We're going to start as we mean to go on and I look forward to seeing everyone at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2005."

The APIRA Test and Tune is open to racers, car and bike clubs, sprint clubs, circuit clubs, the public, and anyone else wishing to test before the season starts.
Entry to Shakespeare County Raceway will be £10 on Saturday 19th and £12 on Sunday 20th, or £20 for the weekend. Another £15 per day, or £25 for the weekend, will buy as many runs as you can make down the track. A valid DVLC licence and a crash helmet must be presented to sign on, and racers should wear safety gear appropriate to their class.

The track will be open between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm on Saturday and 11:00 am and 5:00 pm on Sunday. For more details about Shakespeare County Raceway including a map check out the track's official web site at

Eurodragster.com will be reporting live from both the APIRA Test and Tune and Santa Pod's Peak Performance Day/Run What You Brung on the weekend of 19th-20th March. Stay tuned for details.

Ultimate Power entry forms available.
8th March: Entry forms for all of this year's Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship events are now available on the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. The forms are available for download or printing in both Word and PDF format.
As was the case last season, it is planned that APIRA and SPRC entry forms will also be available on each other's web sites; stay tuned for news.

Swift snippets.
8th March: Erstwhile UK Volkswagen racer Cath Bishop tells us that her buggy Rosie has a new home. "She was collected yesterday and should, all being well, make her début with her new owner at Big Bang!", says Cath. "It was very sad to see her go, the end of ten years racing VWs. I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear as she disappeared into the distance, but I'm sure she will have a long and happy career with her new owner. As for me, who knows? Keep watching at Shakey, that's all I'm saying for now!"

Photo-journalist Brian Wood of the National Street Car Association and Competition Plus web sites will be covering this weekend's Cajun Shootout at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana, which includes the US v UK v Canada World Street Race. Brian tells us that he hopes to post qualifying and elimination results and photographs on the NSCA web site at www.nsca-racing.com, and we shall of course bring you any news we receive.
This week's issue of the UK's Motorsport News, which is published tomorrow, is scheduled to contain an article about how to start drag racing. Motorsport News is available from all good newsagents.

Ian Turburville says that his long-awaited delivery of shoes from Simpson has arrived at last! "We have limited stocks of all three styles, and it is first come first served!", says Turbo. "The Crew shoes are just £34.99, the Pit shoes are £39.99 and the Sport shoes are £49.99 Bike racers remember I have a limited number of Craft carbon fibre, ACU-stamped helmets at £100 off! Harley racers remember I sell Sure Shot sprayers and ballistic vests!". For more information visit www.turboville.com or E-Mail topfuelturbo@ntlworld.com.

Charity Kart Challenge thanks.
8th March: Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice has been in touch to thank everyone involved in the weekend's Santa Pod Racers Club/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge.

"To the guys at Whilton Mill for their help, to all the companies and people who put in pledges to Eurodragster.com, to Tog and Sharkman for the report and great photos (well done boys), to Paula Marshall who also put in a lot of work behind the scenes, and to Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club for the prizes and trophies, and to everyone who turned up and cheered - thank you one and all", says Darren.
APIRA's Ozzy Ewing also has some thanks. "I would like to thank my team the ‘Shakey Starters' for an excellent day's racing", says Ozzy. "Huge thanks go to Holly, Annette and Nigel who all stepped in at the last minute as members of the original team all found other excuses not to come racing. Well done to Sol who managed the seventh-quickest lap overall, and many thanks to all the other drivers who overtook me repeatedly!"

Web site updates.
8th March: Many thanks to our good friend Patrik Jacobsson for letting us know that the Swedish-language Mölndals Dragracing Förening web site has been updated with news of Sylivia Karlsson's 747 ci Nova, and an ex-Rickie Smith 'Vette which will be seeing action in this year's Scandinavian Dragracing Championship. Check it out at home8.swipnet.se/~w-86996/webbsida/mdrf.htm.

Easter Thunderball entry list.
7th March: We are indebted to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us the current official entry list for the Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod on 26th-28th March.

The list shows a healthy entry in just about every class, with Pro ET as usual leading the way as the largest class although the new 9.50 Bike, Junior Dragster and Super Street bike also look particularly well-subscribed as does Top Methanol. The Pro Fuel Shootout currently has four entries although one more, Norway's Thomas Nataas, is also expected to enter. The first outing of the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association has attracted no less than six entries, and as befits the first round of the 2005 Nordic Drag Racing Series Santa Pod welcomes entrants from Sweden, as well as some from Norway.
You can view the Easter Thunderball entry list by
clicking here.

"If you have entered but don't appear on the list, then please contact me", says Paula. "If you have not yet entered but wish to, then please get your finger out as time is running out - and don't forget that there is now a late entry fee of £40". If you have any queries then you can phone Paula on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail paula.marshall@btconnect.com.

Super Gas racers please note that the Easter Thunderball will now be hosting the Super Gas Twentieth Anniversary Shootout, which was curtailed by rain at the 2004 UK National Finals.

For more information about the Easter Thunderball including ticket prices, check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.

Kart Challenge won by Dummies.
7th March: The Crash Test Dummies won yesterday's Santa Pod Racers Club/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge which took place on the National Circuit at Whilton Mill. The team of Graham Rice, David Rice, Tom Wilson, Simon Parker and Dennis Johansen won by two laps, or about one minute and forty seconds, after a three-hour endurance race. The Isaacs Race Cars team of Chris Isaacs and Steve Harrington came in second and Ruck Sack Racing , made up of Darren Prentice, Ian Marshall, John Cross, Dave Lee, and David Evans, were third (right, click on picture for large version).

The Brain Research Trust will receive around £1000 from the Challenge prize fund, and a further £300 or so raised by Eurodragster readers who kindly sponsored our Event Coverage.
We were not able to post the Event Coverage live due to a dead phone line. However we wrote the report in real time as if we could cover the event live. You can view our SPRC/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge coverage, which includes a full run-down of the thirteen teams and a large number of pictures, by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.

Many thanks to the following for sponsoring Eurodragster.com's coverage of this event: American Car Imports, Jeff and Belinda Bull, Paul Bryan, Andy Carter, Dave Alexander, Team Heaven and Hell, Cottingham Engineering, Dragsterworld.com, Jim Broome, Peter Knight, Yvonne Tramm, Andrew Mackenzie, Dave Cumbridge, Alan Currans, Draganbuild, Lesley and John Wright, Shelby Webster and Kirsty Spendlove, Kathy Taylor, and Dave Lee.

Swift snippets.
7th March: Kamasa Tools, primary sponsor of Sweden's Andréasson Motorsports Top Methanol FC team, have been nominated for the prestigious Gyllene Hjulet award, presented by Sponsrings och Eventföreningen for originality in promotional ideas. The nomination is for the Kamasa Tools Mechanics' Challenge which took place in Stockholm last July. For more information check out the Andréasson Motorsports web site.

A very Happy Birthday to VWDRC Volkswagen Alternate Engine Champion, Super Gas racer, Eurodragster.com honorary staff member and all-round good guy Spencer Tramm. "Happy Birthday Spencer, from all of your family, friends and crew" says mum Yvonne, and we're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in seconding that.
John Hutchinson has been in touch asking if any reader knows the whereabouts of the Hawaiian slingshot, owned by Roland Leong and driven firstly by Don Prudhomme and secondly by the late Mike Snively between 1965 and 1967. The car was sold to Italy and was last heard of donated to an Italian Motor museum in 1969. If anyone has any information then please drop John a line at nitromaniac@blueyonder.co.uk.

Straight to the Pro Mod!
6th March: UK Super Pro ET racer George Chiarella has announced plans to move up to Pro Mod with his Straight To The Point 2 '37 Ford, one of the most-photographed race cars in the UK. The move is contingent upon the sale of the car's current engine, which has propelled George into the sevens even though the car weighs two and a half thousand pounds and is "Shaped like a caravan".
"We have sourced our new Big Block blown-alky motor which, with a few modifications, will fit nicely into our car", says George. "All of our running gear will be OK, including the Bruno, although we will probably have to put another gear on the Lenco. We also have a few alterations on the body to bring it in line with Pro Mod spec. The looks and paintwork will stay, but our big fat wing might have to be altered!"

George's blown 350ci engine is now for sale and as mentioned above has proven form. If you would be interested in purchasing the engine then drop George a line at
straight2thepointracing@yahoo.co.uk, or call him on 07870 122594. George would also be pleased to hear from anyone interested in sponsoring the Coupe.

Swift snippets.
4th March: Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson has announced a sponsorship deal with the Loctite, manufacturer of engineering adhesives, sealants, and coatings. You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.

Surfers' sister surfaces.
6th March: Breaking cover for the first time during last weekend's International Historic Motorsport Show at Stoneleigh Park was Mark Fullard's very retro looking 'new old stock' slingshot dragster (right, courtesy of and ©Dr John), writes Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson.

Mark, whose backgound in drag racing spans for more years than he cares to let on, together with his association with the organising team for the NSRA's Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags, first knew of the dragster's existence when it premiered for sale on E-Bay two years ago. "We first saw the car advertised complete turnkey on the internet while looking for a pretty nostalgia dragster for Viv (Mark's wife) and myself", recalls Mark. "As we couldn't afford the asking price we still followed the auction through but it went unsold so we crossed it off our list. Following a visit with friends in Los Angeles to the Bakersfield Hot Rod Reunion we received a call telling us to look at a car on the Internet. Surprisingly it was the very same car. Thanks to our good friends Steve and Carol Dennich from the Limeworks we were able to make a bid on the car and we promptly won it."

With the dragster based in Oregon the problem now was how to get it back to the UK cheaply! The following week, and still on holiday in LA, a couple of phone calls were made and a deal was struck with former drag racer and lakes racer Kiwi Steve Davies who towed the dragster back from Portland via Bonneville over to LA on the back of a U-Haul trailer. Once in LA a container was sourced and the car eventually arrived in the UK this time last year.

Although no plans had been made to run the car in 2004, Mark spent the best part of the year stripping the car down while looking after his long time buddy Martyn Payne who races a '53 Ford Pop in the Outlaw Anglia Championship. "The engine at the moment is a 355ci small block Chevy from Martyn's Anglia and the fuel injection set up, which again was sourced from good old E-Bay, is from a racer who owned a Gas Roadster in Texas."

Prior to coming to the Stoneleigh show and displaying it on the NSRA stand, the engine was fired into life for the very first time somewhere in the back alley of a sleepy suburb of Birmingham. "It fired for the second time of asking before settling it down to a respectable idle speed albeit rough and rich", Mark recalls.

Although the car has quite a chequered history behind it, the chassis first saw the light of day in 1966 from Frank Huszar's Race Car Specialties (RCS) and is the sister car to the famed Surfers' slingshot. From there an undisclosed enthusiast purchased it from Dufer, Oregon and promptly took it apart and stored it in the rafters of his shop. "There it stayed there for some thirty years before he was persuaded to sell the car in 1996 by the guy I bought it from John Miessinger", says Mark.

John spent a further four years rebuilding it before returning the car back to the drag strips in 2000 where it spent a further three years running the Goodguys Nostalgia Eliminator circuit up to 2003 where it promptly finished as class runner up and with a best time of 7.58 seconds at 173 mph.

With the start of the season just around the corner Mark and Viv plan to debut the car in shakedown mode at Shakespeare County Raceway's Season Opener on 19th-20th March. "We plan to make the car run near to A/Fuel standards as possible but we intend to be at every Run What You Brung event possible, maybe Wild Bunch, but we intend to be getting out and about and be seen doing it before going to a bigger but blown alky-burning motor possibly later in the season". Amen to that.

You can see more of Mark's slingshot dragster at www.drjohn.cc; follow the links to Historic Motorsport Show.

Joon unveils MPM Top Fueller.
5th March: Holland's Lex Joon and the MPM Top Fuel Team officially unveiled their new Top Fuel Dragster at the Race and Rally Show in Den Bosch yesterday. In front of a large number of press, TV and spectators the team pulled away a sheet to reveal the dragster in MPM's corporate blue (right, click on picture for large version). Click on any link for a picture courtesy of and ©Remco Scheelings.

"We were a bit late, everyone was waiting for us!", Gerda told Eurodragster.com. "There were four of us round the car holding the sheet, then Lex gave the signal and they removed the sheet. There were lots of flashes from the cameras and applause. It was nice to do it like that!"

Lex Joon Racing has a four hundred square metre stand at the Race and Rally Show, featuring not just the MPM Top Fueller but also Joey Bon's Top Fuel Bike, Robert Koper's Pro Mod, and Jessica Selles' Junior Dragster. "We had enough room to have our trailer in there, but it is still being worked on", said Gerda.

After the presentation to the press, Lex was interviewed for a popular motorsports TV programme. "The guys couldn't believe that the car has eight thousand horsepower! One of the guys got in the car for the cameras and he had to do it a few times because he kept forgetting to pull in his elbows! The car is also up on air jacks so it was a bit of a climb to get in. We gave him an MPM Oil barrel to use as a step."

The MPM team will all be together for the first time next week as Crew Chief Eddie Corr and the two English members of the crew will be flying out to Zaandam for a weekend working on the car. "The car is race-ready but we will be training", said Gerda. "This will be the first time that Eddie has seen the car in the flesh and he is very excited. We have been swapping lots of E-Mails but there is no substitute for being there."

The MPM Oil rig will be towed to Santa Pod by a tractor unit supplied by sponsor VOS International Logistics. "VOS International supplied us with a tractor unit last year, and they have renewed their sponsorship for 2005 so we are very happy about that", said Gerda.

A few finishing touches remain to be done on the car and trailer before the MPM team depart for the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway. You can see a full-length picture of the MPM Top Fueller on Lex's web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.

Swift snippets.
5th March: UK Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook says that the first of the two containers containing the cars for next weekend's USA v UK v Canada World Street Race has touched down in the USA. "Steve Pateman's car and my '34 Ford have cleared Customs", says Fatty. "The container holding Andy Frost and Jeff Meads' cars is due to land shortly. Assuming no hold-ups all four cars should arrive at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose on Monday afternoon as planned". You can find out more about the World Street Race on the event's official web site at www.worldstreetrace.tk.

See MotorShack for VP.
5th March: Eurodragster.com Home and News page sponsor VP Racing Fuels have announced that they have reached an agreement with MotorShack to be their recognised UK importer for VP Racing Fuels products and accessories.

"MotorShack has done an excellent job in promoting our products over the past six months and have established a tremendous distribution base of stockists throughout the entire United Kingdom", says Jim Kelly of VP Racing Fuels. "Through their dealer network and with their trackside sales and support at Santa Pod, our customers should be able to find the VP fuel they need when and where they need it."

In addition to drag racing, MotorShack also attends events in many other forms of motorsports. MX, Jet Ski and road racing competitors can expect to see the familiar VP and MotorShack logos popping up at venues throughout England, Scotland and Ireland.

"With the racing season fast approaching, we encourage our customers to contact Motor Shack to locate their nearest stockist or to pre-order fuels for the new season", says Jim.

Tracks, dealers and racers interested in finding out more can contact Sue Whyte at MotorShack on 01926 633379 or visit the MotorShack Online Superstore at www.motorshack.com. MotorShack is involved in various forms of motor sports and offers a unique 'track side' race fuel service at many major racing events in the UK.

VP Racing has been manufacturing fuels for motorsports since 1975, currently producing more than sixty unique blends. With these blends, VP has fuelled champions in virtually every racing category and class from drag racing, circle track and road racing to motocross, off-road, off-shore and even aeroplane racing. In US race venues not controlled by a fuel rule, VP consistently fuels more winners than any other fuel company. VP's fuels have earned a reputation for superior power and consistency as illustrated by NHRA Pro Stock Champions who have made VP their fuel of choice for twenty nine consecutive years, a record unmatched by any major sponsor in the industry. VP's consistently superior performance was also evident as it swept every Pro class championship in U.S. motorcycle racing in 2004, including Motocross, Supercross, Superbike and Flat Track. VP-powered riders include Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, Mat Mladin and many others.

VP Racing is the Official Racing Fuel of NHRA Championship drag racing, as well as exclusive fuel supplier and/or sponsor of AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Supercross; ASA (American Speed Association); IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association); NMRA (National Mustang Racing Association); SKUSA (Superkarts! USA); Star Mazda; Stars of Karting; Rmax Challenge; Toyota Atlantic; and Trans Am, among others in the US In addition, VP is the spec fuel for the FIA European Pro Stock Championship. You can find the VP Racing Fuels web site at www.vpracingfuels.com.
Control your Sanity.
5th March: Paul Cann of Twisted Sanity has been in touch with news of the latest product from the UK nitrous specialist company.

"Twisted Sanity have just launched another digital nitrous controller (right)", says Paul. "Using digitally-encoded potentiometers we are able to maintain the simplicity of older rotary control analogue units, which seem to be more popular with racers due to their ease of adjustment and quick visual reference, with the accuracy and reliability of modern-day programmable units. As with all Twisted Sanity products they are unique to us and designed and manufactured in-house.
"The controller has a simple four wire hook-up, so installation time is kept to a minimum, and three rotary controlls allowing selection of start power (20-60%), build time (1-10 seconds) and end power(50-100%). The units weigh in at only 140g for the weight conscious amongst you, and have eight power LEDs to give a quick visual reference of power progression. The units are priced at an amazing £150 including delivery within the UK - now that's twisted!"

You can find out more on the Twisted Sanity web site at www.twistedsanity.com.

Web site updates.
5th March: The B+J Nostalgia web site at www.bjnostalgia.com has been updated with the latest from the Romford Skunk Works, including a report and pictures on the latest work-in-progress and a video page featuring clips of Johnny 'Mental' Hall doing what he does best in The Happening nostalgia slingshot. Johnny tells us that video clips of B+J Racing's nostalgia Fuel slingshot will be posted very shortly, and that we should stay tuned for some very special news from B+J.

Ian Roddy's funeral.
4th March: Many thanks to Paul Harvey for letting us know that the funeral of Wild Bunch racer Ian Roddy, who died at the weekend, is to be held on Tuesday, 8th March, at 10:55 at Southern Cemetery in South Manchester (
click here for a map).
A book of condolences has been placed in the Gossip and Chat section of the Wild Bunch message board, which you can reach via their web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk. Messages of condolences would be gladly received and the list will be printed off and given to Ian's family.

That's what friends are for...
4th March: UK Super Pro ET racer Paul Harvey and his team are trying to get organised for 2005. "We are in the process of preparing the dragster's mechanicals, but we still have some updates to do finances permitting", says Paul.

The team were strongly placed last year until their sponsors didn't come across leaving their funds depleted. However the team have attracted backing for 2005 from an expected source. "A long time friend, David Lee who is Customer Director of Advantage Chemicals in Malvern, Worcestershire, surprised us all when he mentioned he was a drag racing fan, and offered us a little assistance", says Paul. "Advantage Chemicals supply the ingredients for the automotive paint industry, and some of their customers are well known auto manufacturers. We expect to see David crewing with us one time in 2005.

"We would also like to thank Alex and John from Food &; a newly released magazine for the restaurant bar and food industry in the North. We are looking forward to having them along too."
Paul's 410ci aluminium Cleveland block is on its way back from Dave Storlien of Porting Dynamics USA. "The delay is partly due to the fact that the rotating assembly needs to be rebalanced again to suit our needs", says Paul. "The good news from that part of the world is that after all the disappointment with the Engine Masters 2004, Dave will be included in the Engine Masters Big Block shootout 2005, in conjunction with CHI Heads Australia. At present they are preparing a monster 536ci Big Block Ford with specially manufactured alloy heads and manifold which will be on the shelf for sale via CHI Heads. Rrecent testing has seen upwards of 700bhp and torque. They have had to completely design, manufacture and test these new heads and manifold since November 2004.

"We plan to be out and about by the Main Event, and also spend some time with the Wild Bunch racers enjoying some good heads-up racing."

Swift snippets.
4th March: Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson has announced a sponsorship deal with the ABA Group, manufacturer of hose and pipe clamps and connectors, and automotive design and engineering supplier. You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
The European Pro Mod Racers Association has announced its preliminary racing schedule for the 2005 NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Series. You can see the schedule on the Racedates page of the EPMA web site at www.promod.nu.

Web site updates.
4th March: Longtime drag bike fans will be delighted to hear that the legendary TC Christenson has launched a web site at www.nortonhogslayer.com. The web site features the renowned Hogslayer Norton-powered bike which in its time visited the UK in between setting world records and winning Championships in the USA, together with a biography of TC, racing history, details of a Hogslayer CD, and more.
The latest update to the Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine includes features on Colin Lazenby's Street Eliminator Chevy and the Moore brothers' Super Pro ET Triumph Herald. Check it out at www.drcreview.com.

Big Bang ET Challenge details.
3rd March: David Lloyd-Jones of
Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch with details of the all-in car bracket which is to be run at Santa Pod on Monday 2nd May, the last day of the Big Bang:

The Big Bang ET Challenge is open to all car racers from all classes, including VWDRC, for a massive dial-your-own ET bracket challenge with a huge prize pot. The entry fee is £90 and admits four people for the day. VWs can enter both the Big Bang and ET Challenge for £150. £40 per entry will go towards the prize fund, with 50% of that going to the winner, 30% for the runner up and 10% to each of the semi-finalists.

Therefore if only sixty four cars enter and run, the winner will walk away with a mere £1,280, second will take home £768 and semi-finalists £256. That is without any buybacks! Big money is at stake for the winner! Obviously the more cars that enter the bigger the prize pot!

There are no limits on how fast or slow entrants cars may be, or what engine size or configuration they have, but please note the rules:
  • There will be an “all run” open practice in the morning.
  • Racing will be from a Sportsman Tree, with random pairings until the final 32 vehicles and then an elimination ladder will be produced.
  • All race vehicles must meet the current National MSA Specifications.
  • Buybacks at a fee of £10 may be available depending on entry level, weather and track conditions.
  • Scrutineering and signing-on may take place on Saturday 30th April, but will take place on Sunday 1st May or from 7:00 am on Monday 2nd May. Confirmation of times will be in the final instructions.
  • The entry form is available to download at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Big Bang track schedule:

Saturday 30th April: VW-only Run What You Brung
Sunday 1st May: VWDRC qualifying and eliminations and Super Mod qualifying
Monday 2nd May: Big Bang ET Challenge and Super Mod eliminations

Street Eliminator gets Real!
3rd March: Street Eliminator UK organiser Dale Reardon is very pleased to announce that the series has a new title sponsor. Real Steel is a name familiar to every racer, rodder, American car enthusiast and Rover tuner. Everybody remembers the Real Steel Rover V8 challenge, another class which, like Street Eliminator, the fans could identify with.

From crankshafts to shifters, converters to carbs Real Steel's range is extensive and their price promise means you know you'll be getting value for money. In addition to hard parts Real Steel's catalogue includes lubricants, sealers, chemicals, etc. And they don't just supply parts. If you're looking for somebody to prepare your block, crank and heads ready for all those shiny new bits Real Steel can port, balance, build and dyno test your engine ready for street or strip action (or even a bit of both if you're a Street Eliminator UK racer!).

"I'd like to thank Charles Pinion (Real Steel's head honcho) for his belief in the future of this popular class", says Dale. Real Steel can be contacted on 01895 422047 or via E-Mail at sales@realsteel.co.uk.

"There will be more news regarding class sponsors very soon" says Dale. "But for a sneak preview of the names teaming up with the ultimate UK street-legal class get yourself over to www.streeteliminatoruk.com and check out our new web site". Created by Darren James, builder of the World Street Race web site and written by Street Eliminator UK racer Ian Hook, the site is comprehensive with features, photos of current competitors and even a Work In Progress page (including pictures of future Street Eliminator cars). "I must thank Darren for the great work he has done on this web site, and also Ian Hook who did an awful lot of research to produce the History section in particular", says Dale.

The first Real Steel Street Eliminator round will be held on 26th-28th March at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

Frost on World Street Race.
3rd March: If you were tuned in yesterday then you will have read UK Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook's thoughts on next week's US v UK v Canada World Street Race. WSR organiser Andy Frost, who is of course on the UK team together with Fatty, Steve Pateman and Jeff Meads, has also been in touch about what is being billed as the most exciting thing to happen to street-legal racing anywhere.

"I sincerely hope that we live up to everyone's expectations", says Andy. "It's been a long, hard road to get all of this organised. Chris Biro reminded me that my first E-Mail to him about this race was dated 2nd January 2004. Wow, one year and two months later and we are a couple of days from flying out of here and beginning the race proper.

"An exercise of this magnitude takes an incredible amount of work, time and dedication. Although I've done a bit of work myself, the people who have helped to take this race from just a foolish Brit's idea to reality really need to be thanked. These are the people who need to take a collective bow:

"First and foremost are Chris and Trish Biro. Maybe not known to many people in the UK, they have helped behind the scenes since the WSR's inception and have been one of the major driving forces behind the WSR. Secondly Ian 'Fatty' Hook, who has nearly done himself in with the countless hours dedicated to getting things written and organised. Again he is one of the driving forces of this race.
"Special mentions must also go to Debbie Frost, Ian Marshall, Bill Erickson, Butch Schrier, Marty Van Heule, Jimmy Biggs, Mick Pusey, Flapper (WSR webmaster), Dan Bennett, Matt Wright, the whole of the NSCA family, all the WSR competitors, families and crews, Andy Rogers (Tog), Keith and Bronwyn from Benair Freight Forwarding, and Marty Chance. Without the contributions from these people we definitely wouldn't have been having a race next week.

"Thank you also to the sponsors from the UK and USA who have put their faith in a new and untried race. Please visit the WSR web site at www.worldstreetrace.tk and browse through our sponsor list: please support all of them as they've supported us.

"Lastly, to the fans who are not only leaving messages on the WSR guestbook and sending E-Mails but who are flying out to support us in person. We all appreciate every good luck message, and we hope that the trophies are on the plane ride home.

"OK, so it turned out like an Oscar acceptance speech (It's the right week for it - Ed),about the only thing missing was the blubbing! A big apology if I've left anyone out here, everyone knows who has contributed and we're all in your debt. Let's hope for a good race and a better result for the UK team."

Coverage of the World Street Race is planned either via E-Mail or text messages to Eurodragster.com, and the race itself should be covered by Brian Wood of Competition Plus who again should be able to furnish information to all the fans left back in Blighty.

We are sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in wishing Andy Frost, Ian Hook, Steve Pateman and Jeff Meads Happy Trails in their journey to Belle Rose, and every success in taking on the US and Canadian teams.

Santa Pod Raceway latest.
3rd March: Rick Cuthbert of Trakback Racing writes that Santa Pod Raceway have added another Saturday Night Special after the success of this year's first event on 19th February. The second Saturday Night Special will take place at Santa Pod on Saturday 15th October and will again feature Run What You Brung action into the night and under the lights, plus demonstrations from the Fireforce 2 Jet Funny Car.

Racers are invited to SPR's first Peak Performance Day, which takes place on Saturday 19th March which is the weekend before the Easter Thunderball. Peak Performance Days offer a track prepped to event standard and sign-on is limited to one hundred to guarantee track time to participants. Advance entry is available now at the discount price of £50 and is highly recommended; sign-on is £60 on the day if spaces are available. Entry to the track is £10 in advance, or £12 on the gate.

This year's other Peak Performance Days are on 21st May, 2nd July and 3rd September. For more information, or for an entry form, check out the Peak Performance Days page at www.rwyb.com/performance.htm or call 01234 782828.

Santa Pod Raceway have entered a team for this weekend's Santa Pod Racers Club/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge. The team is called the Santa Pod Inmates and is taking no prisoners. "If we can drive the Santa Pod site vehicles, we can handle anything", one anonymous team-member was quoted as saying.

Swift snippets.
3rd March: Many thanks to our good friend Gittli Koller for letting us know that doping control rules, as mentioned in yesterday's news item from Lars Andersson, are available in German at www.dmsb.de. Follow the links Service then Anti-Doping-Bestimmungen.

Further to the news item from Andy Frost above, Abbey Discount Tyre and Exhaust Centre have signed up as the latest sponsor of next week's World Street Race in Louisiana. Abbey Discount Tyre and Exhaust Centre is jointly owned by Matthew Wright of Eurodragster.com Home/News Page sponsor Gleeson Wright Security, who are also backing the World Street Race. "Thanks to Matt for his continued generosity and support for UK street legal drag racing", says Andy Frost. You can contact Abbey Discount Tyre and Exhaust Centre on 01992 710728.

Glen Child is looking for recommendations for a paint shop to transfer Eurodragster.com Home/News Page sponsor Power Race Graphics' design onto his Funny Car. "I am based in South Devon", says Glen. "It would be handy to find something local, but I've not had much luck at present so I'm open to suggestions". If anyone would like to suggest or volunteer a paintshop to Glen then please drop him a line at childsplayracing@supanet.com.

Web site update.
3rd March: Our good buddy Alan Currans has added a sixth page of his own Pro Fuel Dragster pictures to his excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "The new page contains four galleries containing sixty nine pictures in all", says Alan "This has the dual benefit of giving you loads more pictures than a standard page, and you don't have to wade through my captions! You will find galleries featuring 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits (thirteen pictures); the late, great Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge (fourteen pictures); Peter Crane, the first man into the fives in Europe (ten pictures); and a selection of other Pro Fuel stars including Andy Craddock, Ron Picardo, Trevor Young and Pelle Lindelöw to name but a few (thirty two pictures)". Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Ian Roddy.
2nd March: We were very sorry to hear from Paul Harvey that UK Wild Bunch racer Ian Roddy died unexpectedly at the weekend. Ian was most recently seen at Shakespeare County Raceway driving the ex-Top Fuel Dragster previously campaigned by Angie Wilding.

"Ian was a friend and colleague of twelve years or more", said Paul Harvey. "He was young guy and this always proves to be a shock; I know it touches us all when a fellow racer loses their fight for life so young."

We are sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in sending their deepest sympathies to Ian's family and friends.

UK entry fees update.
2nd March: If you were tuned in to our
UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting report last week you will recall that we left this year's Street Eliminator entry fee hanging as there was an issue over insurance for the class.

We are indebted to Ian Marshall for letting us know that the insurance issue has been resolved, and that subsequently the entry fee for Street Eliminator will be the same as other Sportsman car classes:
Class One- or two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
ET classes; Super classes; Super Modified; Street Eliminator; VW classes; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; other Sportsman car classes £90 £100 £110

If you have any queries then please contact either SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at paula.marshall@btconnect.com or APIRA Club and Race Secretary Wendy Talbot at wendy@apira.org.uk.

Doping control reminder.
2nd March: FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with a reminder for both bike and car racers about doping control:

A lot of racers have a receipt from the Doctor for medicine for blood pressure or other diseases. If you are using any kind of medication you must remember to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), as it is called.

You must apply this from the sport's governing body in your country. They are the only ones who can grant you a TUE. If we will have a dope test as we had in Germany this can result in big problems even if you are taking medicine which the doctor says that you must take. Remember to always check whether or not your medicine is on the list. In Sweden for example is this Riksidrottsförbundet, and you can find more information in Swedish on their web site at www.rf.se.

Such things as blood pressure medicine are almost always on the list so remember to apply for a TUE for this.

We hade a doping check in Germany and we can have it again. Next time could it be in England, Sweden or any other country. So remember that you are racing at the highest standard in the world.

It is not enough that you tell the doping control people that you are taking medicine. You must have written permission for it. This is confidential to the national body and you so do not have to tell any other person about your problems.

Not too busy to reflect...
2nd March: There is less than a week to go before the contestants fly out to Louisiana for the US v UK v Canada World Street Race which takes place at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose. FB Racing's Ian Hook says that with his car long departed for the USA you could be forgiven for thinking that there would be little to do, but that that is not the case.

"It still seems non-stop", says Fatty. "Accommodation, insurance, travel arrangements, changing money, sorting an itinerary and the hundred and one other little jobs which need doing have kept me as busy as ever!

"In between all this I do occasionally have time to think about the significance of what we're doing. For the first time ever, a team of British Street cars is going to the birthplace of drag racing to take on their North American counterparts in a competition for both our own pride and that of our country. This could really put British street-legal drag racing and Street Eliminator UK on the map world-wide. Racing for the UK – that's the pressure one. So may people have backed us and sent their good wishes that I really hope we don't let them down. I really believe that we can win this thing for the UK, but one bit of damage, one red light could cost us dear. So am I nervous? Yep, just a bit!

"I know it's been said before, but it bears repeating that none of this would have happened without the generous support of a lot of companies and individuals. I shan't list them all out here but pop over to www.worldstreerace.tk and take a look, and remember to support those who have supported UK drag racing. Whilst you're there feel free to send a message to the team (or to the North American teams) via the Guest Book.

"And one last word: massive thanks must go to Andy Frost (WSR organiser - Ed) who has really worked his cobs off to make this happen. The WSR final is on Sunday 13th March – I think Andy has his nervous breakdown booked for Monday 14th!"

Ready nice and early.
2nd March: UK Sportsman ET racer Nick Gay completed the off-season engine mods on his Metro pick-up last week and has already tested in preparation for the new season.

"The stock Rover 1.8 litre K series with twin cam (right) has a Nick Gay Stage 1 head and more blower boost!", says Nick. "Having made the mods a trip was booked to the local rolling road. After the first run the Solex carb was richened and the second run made 164 BHP at the wheels. The guys at Regal Autosport are used to tuning chipped turbo and modded road cars, but I think the mighty Metro at full chat on an open exhaust got their attention! When we go back we'd better fit a silencer.
"Then we were ready to head to Santa Pod for last Sunday's Run What You Brung. We arrived at about eleven and it was bitterly cold with a freezing wind blowing in from Sweden. In between the snow showers we made four runs, all with loads of wheelspin (even shifting into fifth!) with a best of 13.2/102.

"So now we cant wait for Easter when if we don't get snow showers and freezing weather SSPW 1 should be well in the twelves!

"By Easter we hope to have the car repainted and signed with our local benefactors: SSPW (Jim Parker), which stands for Southampton Special Purpose Workshop, is a sheltered workshop for people with special needs and is where I work on the car as a project for the garage/mechanical section; Owselbury Crankshafts; Kingston's Autoparts; Regal Auotsport and Viking Rover."

Awaiting a happy arrival.
2nd March: UK Pro ET racer Tig Napier tells us that he is in the enviable position of having his name on the waiting list at Keith Black. Tig and wife Cath have ordered a new block to go into their beautiful ten-second Dodge Challenger.

"The engine won't be cast for a month or two, and we won't fit it until next season", says Tig. "It's going to be a few more cubes and slightly more radical than the 528 we've got now. No nitrous, but still a fair bit more horsepower than what we've got now."
Tig says that he and Cathy haven't neglected the Challenger over the off-season. "We are secretly (You mean 'were secretly' now - Ed) hoping for nines this season, but we were last year too. We found some problems with the chassis, namely the rear suspension. The gearbox was absolutely knackered too, with burnt clutches and bands: a new heavy duty version, with some trick bits, has been installed. We have also done the usual freshening on the motor and fitted huge headers, in preparation for the new motor really, as they are too big for the little 528.

"We'll see how it goes in April!"

Racers: It's not too late to tell us what you have been up to in the off-season, or what you have lined up for this year. Whatever your class, drop us a line at news@eurodragster.com and we'll publish it here.

Swift snippets.
2nd March: Detailed arrangements for the SFI European Recertification Tour's stop in Stockholm on Saturday-Sunday 12th-13th March are now available in both Swedish and English on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se/short/sfisbf2005.html.

If you were tuned in yesterday you will have read that Vernasca Silver Flag Hill Climb won the Speed Event of the Year award at the weekend's Historic Motorsports Festival at Stoneleigh Park. Nostalgia drag racing was on the shortlist, although the eventual winner has a connection in the person of organiser and veteran drag racer Mike Kason. "Whilst being very pleased that Claudio Casalli received the award on behalf of the Italian event, I was torn between my two loves and was disappointed for the Nostalgia drags guys as this is a top event", says Mike. "It is an honour for them as they are probably the first drag racing representatives to be nominated in such an event. There is no reason why they should not win next year."
A number of readers have been in touch to comment on yesterday's marathon news update, which was easily the longest update in the history of Eurodragster.com although one news item short of our record for the number of news items in one day. Yesterday's update took no less than six and a half hours to type up, in one sitting on Monday evening. "That is a record, but not one which I am fussed about backing up", says Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog. "We'll call it an 'unofficial' record as they used to in the old days."

Carter's diamond sponsor!
2nd March: With the first meeting of the season rapidly approaching, FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter is delighted to announce that Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery will be supporting the team throughout 2005. Mike first became involved with the team at the 2004 European Finals and he has been present at every show and race since then.

Based in East Sussex, Mike is a long-time race fan and has competed on two and four wheels. His family has been associated with the jewellery trade for over two hundred and fufty years. In 1994 he was made a Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company and given the Freedom of the City of London.

Mike specialises in creating exquisite bespoke jewellery and trophies for major sports events. He uses a greater variety of traditional and modern techniques, precious stones and metals than any other single craftsman outside London. Mike has made pieces for royalty, Rock ‘n' Rollers, Film and TV stars and would like to offer you West End quality at an affordable price.

To see Mike's work, visit his web site at www.mikeshorerjewellery.com or pick up a brochure from the Carter Motorsport merchandising stall.
Maltese season opens.
2nd March: The Malta Drag Racing Association opened the 2005 season with its first National Event, which was held in Hal-Far Raceway last weekend. Our good friend Anthony Borda, President of the MDRA, kindly dropped us a line to tell us how it went.

Everything went well except for lots of rear end and transmission breakages, and for the Portatree lights", says Anthony. "We had a few problems with the lights due to pouring rain on Satirday night. But apart from that everything went fine. A lot of competitors bettered their Personal Bests during the weekend. The track was very well prepared as usual, using VP Track Kote, and lots of competitors complained about the grip because they were breaking driveline components. But everyone ended up happy in the end.

During this event we had a lot of new competitors with beautifully-built new cars. We started the event on Friday with a Test Day for all competitors who tested their cars, bikes and trucks until alost midnight, since the weather was great. It seemed like we were holding a night event with the track fully lit with artificial lighting. During the Test Day, we saw lots of improvements from a few drivers and we knew that we would be in for some good Elapsed Times.

We continued on Saturday with two qualifying rounds for cars, trucks and bikes. The teams were well-prepared for this season, so we saw plenty of cars running their best ETs during qualifying, in fact in every class someone bettered the record. On Sunday we continued with eliminations. As soon as we finished the last final it started raining, and we would like to thank God once again because we finished our three-day event in great sunny weather although it's still February. That's what's good about Malta: we have great weather almost all year round.

During this event Alan Zammit, a good young driver, drove Emanuel Mangion's (Dilja) Altered Cosworth Escort, and clocked a personal best of 7.8 seconds. It was good for all the team, they worked really hard for it. Alan was real close to running the class record of 7.7, but as Alan told me after the race they still have plenty more power and the car will run 7.4s easily. Emanuel Mangion would like to thank all his crew, his driver and mainly his tuner Charles Camilleri (Zoqdi), who worked very hard on this car. I have to say well done to the Zoqdi Racing Team this time, because they really deserved what they achieved. Another competitor who did very well was Emanuel Muscat, with his White slick-looking Altered Cosworth Cortina, who recorded an impressive 8.3-second run. This was his best ever ET, since his previous best was 8.8 seconds. Emanuel will put more effort into this car and he will be running faster next time. Thanks once again go to his tuner, Joe Catania (il-Ginger) who made some good modifications on the engine and had the best result ever. Good job indeed, Joe and Manuel.
Another person I would like to mention is the Joe Carabott, better known as Mr.Whippy, who bettered his personal best to 7.4 seconds too in his dragster. Joe's driving abilities are improving at every race. For this achievment, Joe would like to thank all his new crew and especially Manty Bugeja for tuning the dragster. I have talked with Manty and he tells me that when Joe gets used to the dragster it will run 6.8 with its supercharged engine. Once again I must mention Manty Bugeja, who was tuning another new car, a Ford Escort fitted with a T6 Turbo Cosworth engine. The owner of this car left the driving to the well-known Chris Polidano, since they are great friends. Chris and Manty gave Mario the happiest time of his life when Chris registered an impressive time of 8.6 seconds for an Open Class 1 car. The Escort did miracles in this class because the best previous time in the class was 9.4 seconds and it was achieved on a standard-based Escort with the factory chassis still there. Well done Power House Racing Team. Manty, for me, you're the best Lumenition tuner in the world. Who knows, may Lumenition may give you a job!

Another driver I would like to mention is Karim Cassar, who with his street-legal Escort fitted with a 2.1 litre Pinto engine registered an incredible time of 11.4 seconds. He is the best of the rest in the Super Street Class 2 thanks to his clever tuner Joseph Tabone (is-Sieheb), who tunes the car with great skill and is getting better results all the time. Good job Joseph and the Sieheb Racing Team, without you Karim will be like a lonely person in the desert - keep it up guys.

I could keep in mentioning names, but I'm better off to say Well Done to everyone who competed in this first event and to everyone who made this event a success once again. I would like to thank all the people who worked very hard for our Association, and not least you guys for posting our news on Eurodragster (You're welcome - Ed).

Eurodragster.com sponsors 2005-6.
1st March: The first day of March being the start of Eurodragster.com's sponsorship year we are very pleased to announce that all of our existing sponsors have renewed for 2005 and that seven new sponsors have joined us, many of whom have been patiently sat on our waiting list for a considerable period of time.

Our longest-standing sponsor ICE Automotive returns as one of Eurodragster.com's two Main Sponsors. Now in its second year at the Silverstone Grand Prix facility, ICE Automotive has continued its diversification into other areas of motorsport, although still considering drag racing the area of primary interest. Customers across the spectrum of drag racing have come to rely on the benefits of Superflow dyno testing, unrivalled success in UK heads-up drag racing engines and a regular and reliable parts supply business.

"ICE Automotive is very pleased to renew its sponsorship of Eurodragster.com for 2005", says Nick Davies. "Our long association with Europe's premier drag racing web site has undoubtedly increased exposure of the engine-building and dyno development as well as performance parts supply businesses as Eurodragster.com continues its year-on-year growth. ICE Automotive would like to wish Tog and Sharkman continued success for 2005 and best wishes to all Eurodragster.com's readers and ICE customers for the coming season."

For more information about ICE Automotive and the services which it provides, check out the company's new web site at

American Car Imports is again doubling up as Eurodragster.com's second Main Sponsor and sponsor of our Event Coverage. With fifteen years' experience, American Car Imports is the European market leader in providing an unrivalled turn-key service in the import and supply of American vehicles to order. With an American base and office and showrooms in London, ACI provide a trusted and professional approach to the supply and ownership of vehicles not normally offered by the US manufacturers in Europe. ACI also have the largest stock of new and late-model American vehicles available for viewing view in the UK. ACI are never knowingly undersold, pricing vehicles exactly on their Dealer Pricing system, and then locating or ordering it directly from the manufacturer. The company also proudly boasts a 100% pass rate on Single Vehicle Approval tests courtesy of its in-house Type Approval and Electrical Engineering laboratory, and is affiliated to or authorised by every major industy body.

"American Car Imports is proud to continue sponsoring Eurodragster.com for another year in recognition of the excellent coverage provided to drag racing fans in Europe and around the world", says joint Managing Director Anthony Cohen.

You can find full details about American Car Imports and its services at www.americancarimports.com.

Returning as Swap Meet sponsor, Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts specialises in custom-built performance Chevrolet engines to suit all budgets, and is the UK leader in carburetted Methanol engines, offering a complete engine machine shop and crankshaft balancing service. The company is also a supplier of performance parts and products from leading brand names in the industry, with regular shipments from the US. The UK dealer for Transmission Specialties, Jeff Bull is able to provide racing transmissions, torque converters and related parts. As well as sponsoring Eurodragster.com, the company pays contingency money to winners and runners-up of UK National and Club Championship rounds.

"We are proud to be associated with Europe's best Drag Racing web site, and we are very pleased to be able to continue our backing of Eurodragster.com's Swap Meet free classified advertisement service for 2005", say Jeff and Belinda Bull. "We would like to wish all our customers a safe and successful season."

You can contact Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance parts on 01787 227789 or E-Mail jeff.bull2@virgin.net.

Webster Race Engineering and MPM International Oil Company have renewed their sponsorship of Eurodragster.com's webcam, which has become a very popular feature during events at the track.

Webster Race Engineering prides itself in creating race vehicles to the highest possible standards and specification. Its four thousand square foot workshop five miles from Santa Pod Raceway houses the state-of-the-art equipment required to meet customers' demands and aspirations. WRE-built or -maintained vehicles have won Championships and set records in many classes. Company principal Jon Webster has been involved in numerous high-profile vehicles including the world record holding the four-cylinder Ford Focus built for Ford USA, Chrysler's first PT Cruiser race car and Bentley's race car program.WRE also provide specialist Test Days to assist customers in achieving the highest level of performance from their particular vehicle, and supply and manufacture the highly-successful and race-proven Power Pour fuel additive.

"We at Webster Race Engineering are delighted to renew our sponsorship of the Eurodragster.com webcam", says Jon Webster. "The feedback we receive is always positive. The reputation which Eurodragster has for informative, factual and captivating detail is unparallelled with any other site or even publication I can think of. Because it is compiled by enthusiasts for little or no personal gain we feel that our small contribution is the least we can do. Not only do we feel that the commercial exposure we receive from Eurodragster.com contributes to our business in no small way, but also we feel that the kudos through association is invaluable."

You can find out all about Webster Race Engineering on the company's web site at www.webster-race-engineering.co.uk.

MPM International Oil Company sponsor Eurodragster.com's webcam via Lex Joon and Gerda Dijkstra, promoters of events at the Netherlands' Drachten Airport: the Drachten Nationals on 11th-12th June, the MPM Internationals on 15th-17th July, and the Dutch Finals on 27th-28th August. MPM are of course the primary sponsor of the Top Fuel Dragster driven by Lex Joon. "We are pleased to renew our sponsorship with Europe's leading source of drag racing information", says Lex and Gerda. "We are very proud to be part of one of the most popular drag racing web sites in the world; we just have to click on the webcam and there we are!"

You can book tickets for this year's events at Drachten on the MPM Top Fuel Racing web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.

Eurodragster.com's Links pages are again jointly sponsored by LA Racing Parts and Ampar.

LA Racing Parts has been in business for almost six years, with one outlet at the moment in Paignton in Devon. LA Racing Parts specialises in race and performance parts, tyres, restoration parts and diecasts, and is a distributor Mickey Thompson tires, Strange Engineering, Blower Drive Services and many other high-quality parts manufacturers.

"Our sponsorship of Eurodragster.com did not need a second thought", says Lee Child of LA Racing Parts. "In drag racing there are some great people that push the sport forward. Tog and Sharkman are in this category with endless hours of commitment and hard work. The news service they provide is fantastic and I am sure that everyone who reads Eurodragster.com thinks the same."

You can find the LA Racing Parts web site at www.laracingparts.com.

Ampar, whose mission statement is Keeping American vehicles on the road, is a nationwide network of dealers stocking parts for American cars, vans and light trucks. Dave Riswick of Ampar has been involved with drag racing for many years, firstly involved as a racer, then as a sponsor, and most recently as a continuing contingency sponsor of the Ultimate Power Championship at Shakespeare County Raceway.

The Ampar web site at www.ampar.com contains full details of the company's services.

As well as welcoming back all of our renewing sponsors, we are very pleased to welcome on board our new Home and News Page sponsors, whose logos are displayed on the right-hand side of the Home and News pages. A number of these sponsors have been on our waiting list for a number of years and we are very grateful to them for their patience.
Currently celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, VP Racing Fuels has been manufacturing the best fuels for motorsports since 1975. Now with more than sixty unique blends, VP has fuelled champions in virtually every racing category and class - from drag racing, circle track and road racing to off-road, off-shore and even aeroplane racing. VP's fuels have earned a reputation for superior power and consistency as illustrated by the NHRA Pro Stock Champions who have made VP their fuel of choice for twenty nine consecutive years, a record unmatched by any major sponsor in the industry.

VP is the Official Racing Fuel of NHRA Championship Drag Racing, the premier sanctioning body for drag racing in the US, as well as spec fuel provider for the FIA European Pro Stock Championships with its SV-05 unleaded racing fuel. VP is also the fuel of choice for Champions in AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Supercross; IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association); SKUSA (Superkarts! USA); Star Mazda; Stars of Karting; Toyota Atlantic; and Trans Am, among many others.

In addition to fuels, VP's product line includes synthetic oils, two-cycle lubricants, performance chemicals and traction compounds – each designed to produce the most power and best performance in their respective racing applications.

"VP Racing is proud to sponsor Eurodragster.com, the pre-eminent website for drag racing news in Europe", says Jim Kelly of VP Racing Fuels. "Our partnership with Eurodragster.com affords VP the opportunity to reach more drag racers and fans with its message, building awareness for its brand as well as building awareness for drag racing in hopes of supporting the sport's growth."

More information can be obtained from VP Racing Fuels' web site at www.vpracingfuels.com.

Air Sea Logistics Ltd, whose head office is based at London Heathrow Airport, is a multi-modal freight forwarder providing air, ocean and road freight import and export services on a global basis. Air Sea Logistics has been providing chassis builders, parts companies, race teams and racers with import and export services from the USA and Europe since it started in 1994. The company has also recently aquired a freight company based near Southampton as part of its continuing development and expansion programme.

"We have been supporters and readers of Eurodragster.com since its inception in 1998 and when Tog approached me to discuss a sponsorship deal he hadn't even finished his sales pitch before I said yes", says Malcolm Francis, Managing Director of Air Sea Logistics. "Eurodragster is the leading European web site for up to date news stories and reports on the European Drag Racing scene and we are only too pleased to be associated with them."

You can find Air Sea Logistics' web site at www.airsealogistics.com.

Andy Robinson Race Cars offers every kind of fabrication service necessary to build a complete race car. The company's speciality is Drag Racing but it also builds circuit cars, historic sports cars and even bikes. Services include axles in all sizes and strengths, roll cages for everything from an Austin A35 to a Ferrari Testarossa, and the supply of components if you wish to build your own car. ARRC represents many US companies in the UK and ships parts in monthly. Andy Robinson fields his own self-built race car, a blown-alcohol Studebaker Pro Mod, and the company is also a contingency sponsor of UK drag racing.

"We are really pleased to have the opportunity to offer our support to a web site which has become such an important means of communication between racers and which we also enjoy reading ourselves", says Kate Robinson of ARRC.

Andy Robinson Race Cars' web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk gives full details of the company's products and services.

Paul Watson bought Dynospeed Developments from Brad O'Connor in 2003. DynoSpeed Developments tunes street bikes via Dynojet kits and Power Commander custom mapping of fuel injection. DSD has been in business for eight years and was the first in the country to use the Dynojet 250 dyno with the eddy current brake and real time air/ fuel ratio, essential for mapping fuel injected bikes. DSD is also a Dynojet-authorised Power Commander tuning centre. The company has worked with everything from basic 600 cc to BSB bikes and made over 500 bhp with Turbo Hayabusas. DSD is also a dealer for Akropovic, Yoshimura, Micron, R & G, Gilles, MTC, and BTC Moto Electronics who make dry nitrous kits and quickshifters.

"We at DSD know that Eurodragster is a vital source of information for the European drag racing scene, and we are proud to support it", says Paul Watson. "Bring on the 2005 season!"

You can find the DynoSpeed Developments web site at www.dynospeed.co.uk.

ATI Titanium International is a dedicated titanium stockist which has been supplying and supporting the motorsports industry worldwide for over thirty years. All materials are fully tested and certified under our ISO9001 quality systems. As well as supplying material, metallurgists and engineers are available to offer technical support and advice as appropriate. TIL were first introduced to drag racing by Dave Holland when he acquired his Pro Mod Bike in 2000, and have continued their support Dave ever since. In the past couple of years the TIL name has also appeared on the Showtime Fuel Funny Car. John Spuffard and Bob Jarrett have always kept up with the latest developments in US racing and one of these has been the increasing use of titanium by the top US teams, so it seemed a natural link up.

"From day one of our involvement in drag racing it has been obvious that the place to go for up to the minute news and reviews - as well as quality photos, thanks Sharkman - is Euroragster.com" says Nigel Hoskison, Market Development Engineer of ATI Titanium International. "We see our part sponsorship of the updated site fitting in with our overall drag racing involvement to promote the motorsports activities of ATI Titanium International."

You can find out more about ATI Titanium International on the company's web site at www.titanium-international.com.

Gleeson Wright Security was founded in 1999 by Gary Gleeson and Matthew Wright to supply man-guarding and security solutions to the commercial property market and building trade. With over twenty years' joint experience in pub and club security, Gary and Matthew are constantly expanding the company to meet the needs of their clients needs old and new, which include local government and large blue chip property owners in the City. Local pubs and club nights are catered for by the licensed door supervisor team, and event security, mobile patrols, cctv and security consultancy are also provided.

"We are proud sponsors of Super Mod Champion Andy Hone, Super Pro ET racer Ashley Bell, the World Street Race, and now Eurodragster.com", says Matthew Wright. "As racers ourselves - Gary races comp safari land rovers - it is nice to put a little bit of our success into the sport I love so much, and I have the unequalled support of my best friend and business partner Gary Gleeson to whom I am indebted."

Gleeson Wright Security will soon be launching a web site but in the meantime you can contact the company to discuss your security requirements on 01992 767164 or Fax 01992 766349.

It's been a busy time at Power Race Graphics since the launch of the graphic design company in spring 2003, and the new web site has been very well received. The site is to be updated in the next few weeks with the addition of new designs for 'The Godfather' Ton Pels, Danny Cockerill, Glen Child and Ross Norris amongst others, plus new T-Shirt designs including the design for 2004 NDRS Super Gas champion Hakan Mattsson. PRG also supplied some of the new sponsor logos on Eurodragster.com.

"I'm not exaggerating when I say I've been on the waiting list for nearly two years for an opportunity to advertise on Eurodragster", says Darren West. "That says something about the popularity of Eurodragster.com and how it's become an essential for racers across Europe to launch news, buy and sell, and to promote businesses and web sites. Power Race Graphics are delighted to be involved with Eurodragster, and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Eurodragster team, and to wish all racers and suppliers a safe, and successful season!"

The Power Race Graphics web site can be found at www.p-rg.co.uk.

We are very grateful indeed to all of our sponsors for their support. We are very pleased to greet our new backers as well as to welcome back those existing sponsors, all of whom have remained loyal to Eurodragster.com for a number of years - probably a record in itself. All of our site sponsors are prestigious names with the highest reputation for service, professionalism and quality, and confer that prestige upon Eurodragster.com through their association.

At the same time as keeping up-to-date with the latest drag racing news, it is possible to come to Eurodragster.com and acquire anything from a nut or bolt to a ground-up race car or bike, to buy its power plant, to fuel it up and lubricate it, to have the vehicle's paint scheme designed, to buy a tow vehicle or a new car, to have crew wear designed and supplied, to have an event or property secured, and more all courtesy of our sponsors.

Many thanks to our new sponsors for their patience whilst on our waiting list, and also to those companies who are nominally in competition yet are happy to put that aside to support Eurodragster.com.

We are sure that all of our readers will repay our sponsors' support by using their services.

We have also added a Home Page logo for Capture Your Life, which is Photo Editor Sharkman's photographic business. You can find out about Sharkman's photo services at www.captureyourlife.co.uk.

Stay tuned as we will shortly be publishing details of this year's racer Award schemes.

Charity Kart Race update.
1st March: Santa Pod Raceway's Race Director Darren Prentice has been in touch with the final arrangements for this Sunday's (6th March) Santa Pod Racers Club/Eurodragster.com Charity Kart Challenge, which takes place at Whilton Mill near Daventry.

"Signing on is at 10:00 am, and there will be a terms and rules briefing at 10:30 am. You can find directions to Whilton Mill on its web site at www.whiltonmill.co.uk.
The teams entered so far are:

Captain Team name Chosen charity
Ian MarshallRucksack RacingCancer Research UK
Ray ComerUK Street RacersMake A Wish Foundation
TethysTFZElectronic Frontier Foundation
Stephen TalbotRound The Bend RacingMedical Action Research/St Luke's Cheshire Hospice
Martyn JonesH & C RacingTsunami Appeal
Osmond EwingShaky StartersTBA
David MayTeam Farkem HallTBA
Dave WilsonAmerican Car Imports RacingBreast Cancer Research
Chris IsaacsIsaacs Race CarsSt Francis' Hospice
Paul VennersTeam BotchBrad's Cancer
Andy RobinsonRobinson Race CarsTBA
Rick CuthbertSanta Pod InmatesCancer Research UK

"We have one other team still to confirm, and there is room for more so if you want to join in then you can download an entry form by clicking on the Charity Kart Race entry form link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page", says Darren.

Tune in to Eurodragster.com News tomorrow and find out how you can contribute to charity by putting your name to our Event Coverage from Whilton Mill.

M+W Racing update.
1st March: Dave McKenzie of the UK's McKenzie and Windridge team has been in touch with the latest news from his Grimsby workshop, where a Ford-powered slingshot and a blown altered (right) are under construction.

"We have been upgrading the workshop by extending it", says Fuzzie. "We have also built a new jig so that we can separate the fabrication side from the engine-building side of the workshop. This means that Mark Windridge can work on engines in a clean environment.

"Now that the jig is installed, the first car on it will be our crewman Nathan's Wild Bunch slingshot which has been supplied in kit form by B+J Nostalgia as Johnny and Bill have the expertise in slingshot construction. This leaves us to weld up the chassis on the jig and for Nathan to put the finishing touches to the engine. This is a 360 Ford Windsor unit which is being freshened up and will go into the car with a Holley carb set-up. This will be Nathan's first dragster; I will do a feature and pictures of this car in the spring. Nathan hopes to be on the track early summer.

"On to the altered and as you know this has taken a back seat over the last twelve months due to work and commitments to the Fuel slingshot. We now are back working on the car. All the parts I bought on my last USA trip have been checked, and the crank has been fitted into the block to check clearances etc. Mark is also fabricating a bottom end girdle for the block to strengthen it, has we cannot afford a new race block. On the top end we have managed to get a 6-71 blower - not ideal, it is a v6-71 type blower and is in street trim, but Mark and myself are refreshing it and it should be OK until funds allow us to purchase a new blower next season. The bodywork is nearly finished fitting and will be rubbed down and painted very soon.
"Last Saturday we assembled the car with the parts we have ready, and wheeled her out of the workshop to see if all looks well. We were very pleased with the lines of the car. This has given us the inspiration to get cracking on, and now it is full steam ahead to get the car running by the Northern Nationals at York in August. We will not set the world alight with this car, but we hope it will be an eye-catcher because the paint scheme Mark has in mind will be a stunner if it works out.

"One of our sponsors Tom of Colorfast Coatings, Wickham Road Fish Docks, Grimsby has promised to powder coat all of our steering parts and he has already powder coated the blower with a high temp gold to save us polishing. His work is second to none."

The M+W Racing web site is now a separate entity from the B+J Nostalgia web site but Fuzzie is at pains to stress that this does not mean a split with Johnny Hall and Bill Felstead but rather a logical progress to give the Alkyoneus web site its own identity. The M+W web site at www.alkyoneus.co.uk has been updated with a large pictures of the altered's first airing.

Big, blown, bad.
1st March: UK Super Gas racer Matthew Wright has been in touch to let us know about the off-season work to his huge pick-up truck.

"Firstly I must thank John Sleath Race Cars for a first class job he has again done on the blown beast" says Matthew, who as announced above sponsors Eurodragster.com's Home and News Pages through Gleeson Wright Security. "The track has a new alloy bed floor, headers, 4' exhaust system, and a few upgrades needed to run 9.90.

"Yes, that's right, we are going Super Gas this season (You still can't burn out over the start line - Ed) and this was the reason for a new blower. The last one was a B & M 420 mega blower, B & M said it would make 800+ bhp and true to their word it made 843 bhp on my motor with which we ran 10.14/130. The old B & M served us well for two seasons and I hope it will serve Super Street racer and friend Peter Thompson who bought it to help fund my new blower. The new blower was supplied by Nigel Jenkins of UK Blowers in Birmingham (07816 777602). It is a Mike Kuhl 8.71 delta blower with a UK Blowers 3' spacer which realy gives that "hang out of the bonnet" look. I strongly recomend that you speak to Nigel for any blower needs. The deal I got was basically at-cost, in exchange for this we will be campaigning the truck with UK Blower decals. The new blower should give us the few extra bhp we need.
"Another project we have had on the go and still ongoing is an all-new race car transporter in the shape of an old Dupal Lazer 2 coach, which should be finished this week.

"In the near future I will let you know about our sponsorship deals which are on the table for Super Mod Champion Andy Hone and Super Pro ET racer Ashley 'Dinger' Bell. There will also be some more information about the tyre deal we have with TJ O'Brien through Abbey Discount Tyres and Exhaust Centre, a new partnership with Ray Madden who will also be crewing on the team this season.

"Gary Gleeson and I would like to wish the four hard-core racers winging their way to distant shores to prove to the world (I hope) that we run the meanest, fastest cars on the planet. Cheryl and I will be out there flying the flag, returning on 24th March and getting some sleep then up to the Pod for the Easter Thunderball. I can't wait - see you all at the track."

Double launch for Gold RV.
1st March: The UK's Gold RV Racing team had a great day at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday as Arlo Reddick and Derek Flynn tested their new Junior and Super Pro ET dragsters in very cold conditions.

"Arlo managed to stage the car well and on his first full pass managed a very respectful and successful 9.49/74 on a very cold track, well done Arlo!", says Derek Flynn of Gold RV. "He followed that run up well and can now apply for his licence! Arlo's face when he returned to the pits each time was a picture (right). Thanks to Richard and Lee of J & W Automotive for their assistance in building the Gold RV Junior Dragster, now available from Gold RV Racing and all good RV Stores.

"We also managed to get our new Super Pro ET car down the track three times, in between snow flurries. The first pass was just a shake down and familiarisation, wow, that was slippery even though we just pootled down. Then under the gaze of Ian Marshall we were able to do our first real burnout, awesome even if I do say so myself! It definitely got my attention and that of the frozen people who were in attendance. Then to our first launch and sixty foot click-off and all I can say is I am well and truly converted to blower power already, it was great, although not too straight ! The second burnout felt just as good and the sixty foot was a little straighter, as the Santa Pod crew had prepped the track and I knew more what to expect. I was loving it, unfortunately the cold track thwarted any chance of the final full pass so we shall be doing our final observed run at the Easter Thunderball, and we just can't wait. If I can keep this animal straight we will be hoping for seven heaven for sure.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian Marshall for his guidance and positive feed back and a big Thank You to all the Santa Pod crew (including the Ambulance and Fire Crews who were in attendance), all of whom must have been absolutely freezing but still managed to keep the snow off the track and the show most definitely on, their dedication to our sport is great and very much appreciated, and I think all those in attendance seem to have a great day. Also a belated thanks to Geoff Martin and Mark Norton of the Tech Team who came to our workshop to inspect and pass our cars back in January.

"Thanks also to our sponsors Gold RV and the Triple fff Brewery who have pledged their support again for this year, and finally a big thanks to the Go Gold Crew; it was a very long and tiring day on Sunday (5:30am - 10:00pm) and your support in artic conditions was very much appreciated by both myself and Arlo."

The bookings keep on coming.
1st March: Fireforce 2 Jet Funny Car pilot Martin Hill has been in touch to let us know about the team's upcoming bookings.

"We will be with the Fireforce jets at the Scottish Motorcycle Show at Ingliston Show ground just outside Edinburgh on 12th-13th March", says Martin. "We will be demonstrating Fireforce 2 on both days (weather permitting). Our next event after that will be the Easter Thunderball at the Pod. I have had several enquiries for the Jets outside of our normal venues, and hopefully when all has been finalised I will post the news."

Martin asked us to apologise for the lack of web site updates recently. "Eurodragster.com has been good enough to post news when I have supplied it, or when Tog has managed to lever it out of me", says Martin. "I have not been able to keep up with things as the workload gets tougher. I thought that at one point I had the web site sorted but it all failed due to not being able to commit time to updates and posting calendars. I had an offer just before Christmas which I thought would solve all the site problems, but alas that seems to have gone the way most offers do. Until we have got the site up and running again I will try and post bits of news on Eurodragster. The Speedfreaksball web site is being updated and we will keep Eurodragster informed as we book more vehicles."

Carter rules the waves.
1st March: 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has added ferry and logistics giant Norfolkline to the growing list of associate sponsors supporting his team as they prepare to defend the FIA European Championship this coming season.

Norfolkline's heritage is sea transportation and this area of operation has generated much of their reputation for quality of service. Norfolkline's services between Scheveningen/Felixstowe and Dover/Dunkerque provide one of the most efficient and convenient ferry options for international transport operators. They have combined their experience as both a ferry operator and an international road haulier to provide a service designed specifically for the freight market and the speed, comfort and economy of their customers.

The company's dedication to quality in the commercial sector is more than adequately reflected in their award winning passenger service between Dover and Dunkerque. They concentrate on the needs of motorists and their passengers and do not carry coach groups or foot passengers which means no more long queues at the bar or restaurant, and no more crowded gangways. During the 120-minute crossing passengers can take advantage of the vessel's many modern features including a spacious lounge, restaurant, sleeper seats, bar, bureau de change and video lounge. Naturally, cigarettes, alcohol and perfumes can be purchased at knock-down prices.

A new fleet of ships set to be launched in September this year, will further help to enhance the company's outstanding reputation, if you are looking to get around Europe during the 2005 season, then Norfolkline should be your first port of call!

Norfolkline have offices and depots throughout Europe which can be found by a quick visit to their excellent website at www.norfolkline.com.

Francis adds sponsors.
1st March: UK Super Comp and Super Gas racer and Eurodragster.com Home/News Page sponsor Malcolm Francis is pleased to announce that Lucas Oil UK Ltd have re-signed as sponsors for his Air Sea Logistics Racing Pontiac Grand Am for the 2005 season.

“I am very pleased that Les Downey of Lucas Oil UK is continuing his relationship with us in 2005, and we will do our best to represent and promote their products as much as possible", says Malcolm. My company Air Sea Logistics has been using Lucas' range of truck motor oils, lubricants and injector cleaners in our fleet of HGVs and light vans for over two years now and we have seen definite improvements in engine wear and fuel economy as a result.”

Lucas Oils will be supplying the team with engine oil, transmission oil and rear end gear oils for the 2005 season. "We are also an official distributor for Lucas Oils and able to supply and deliver the full range of Lucas Oil Products nationally and internationally", says Malcolm. "For more information on prices and orders please call +44 (0) 7976 411598 or E-Mail me at malcolm@airsealogistics.com.
Malcolm has also announced that G-Max Racing Fuels is to be his official racing fuel partner for the 2005 season. "We have been using G-Max product since the middle of last season and Antony Billinton's service and products have been excellent", says Malcolm.

"We are pleased to be associated this season with Malcolm Francis and the Air Sea Logistics Racing team as a dedicated fuel supplier for all the rounds the team will be competing in 2005, including Europe", says Antony Billinton, Principal of G-Max Racing Fuels who have been suppliers of high performance racing fuels of all types since 1967. "Our range of fuels cover from hobby model right through to full size rocket propulsion grade fuel. I wish Malcolm and the team every success this season."

G-Max Racing Fuels can be contacted by telephone on 01832 731555 or gmax@enterprise.net.

G-Max Racing Fuels join Air Sea Logistics Ltd, American Car Imports and Lucas Oils as 2005 sponsors of Malcolm's Pontiac Grand Am.

On the short list.
1st March: In addition to the weekend's successful NSRA/Shakespeare County drag racing display at the Second International Historic Motorsports Show at Stoneleigh Park, Nostalgia drag racing was one of the nominations for the Speed Event Of The Year award presented at a special Charity Dinner on Saturday evening, writes SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson.

Other nominations included the VSCC/MAC Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb, VSCC Prescott Meeting, Circuit des Remparts d'Anglouleme and eventual winner Vernasca Silver Flag Hill Climb. The award was presented by rally legend Paddy Hopkirk. Also on the list of nominations for Journalist Of The Year was former drag racing photographer Eric Sawyer whose long list of credits includes National Dragster, Custom Car and Fire Up magazines. The eventual winner was Paul Lawrence.

Out in the sun too long...
1st March: UK Sportsman ET racer Jeff Rainbird, who is currently based on Cyprus, dropped us a line to let us know what racers stoop to in the absence of drag racing, namely rallying (right).

"The car was sponsored by various people including the Parisbond SVA centre and the team finished the East Safari Rally with no major problems after 141 km of special stages around Eastern Cyprus over two days", says Jeff. "I had spent the previous weekend with Kleanthis, not in the picture, going round all the special stages in a rental Suzuki Vitara. In places where I had time to look at the speedo, it was quite frequantly reading 140/160 kmh. My thoughts were that these cars 'fall over' standing still, what's next with no roll bar or cage. I spent a lot of the time with body parts pressing against the interior and not the seat.
"There is no report to send back at this moment regarding Drag Racing on the island of Cyprus. The wheels turn slowly here but they are still turning. I am hoping that the clutch will hook up and the slicks are smoked hard before I return home. Most of the fingers are on the buttons, just a few more to be covered that's all that can be said at this moment."

Web site updates.
1st March: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with a brief article about the forthcoming Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, which is again a round of the Nordic Drag Racing Series. Check it out at www.dragracing.se.
UK 9.90 Bike racer Fred Furlong has launched a web page at www.furlongtyres.com. The web page details the services which Furlong Motorcycle Tyres offers, and lists Fred's 2005 sponsors.

Colin Stevens of Colin's Hot Rod Tees and Gold Digger Wild Bunch fame has launched a web site at www.uknitro.net. The very tidy UK Nitro web site features Colin's Wild Bunch slingshot as well as his T-Shirt and Die Cast stock. "Thanks to everyone who came up to say Hi when we had Gold Digger out at Ally Pally", says Colin. "I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again when the season starts."

Earlier news

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