Easter Thunderball racer update.
30th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for sending us details of racer arrangements for next weekend's Autotrader Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

Santa Pod Raceway's gates will open at 3:00 pm on Thursday.

On Thursday, car scrutineering commences at 3:00 pm and bike scrutineering at 4:30 pm. If at the track on Thursday, racers are encouraged to have their vehicles scrutineered that afternoon or evening. On Friday, scrutineering commences at 7:00 am and the orders are as follow:

Friday's car scrutineering order
Friday's bike scrutineering order

The Signing On office will be open between 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Thursday and will then reopen at 7:00 am on Friday.

Provisional running orders for all four days are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note that as ever these running orders are provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

Anita's class act.
30th March: Leena Nyyssonen writes that pupils at Mäntykallio School in Jämsänkoski in Finland have been learning about drag racing for months now courtesy of a Club in which the kids have got to know about the types of race cars, drivers, drag strips and technical aspects of the greatest sport on the planet. Wednesday of this week was a very special day for the Club:

Although extremely busy with her work as a chicken farmer and preparing for the coming season, Top Fuel's Number One Lady Driver, Anita Mäkelä still found the time to pop by on a two-hour visit. She had packed her race suit and helmet for the kids to marvel at. As nine-year-old Aapo, one of the youngest participants, remarked when he tried to carry the suit: "It is really heavy".

We started by taking Anita on a stroll down memory lane by showing her a clip from a 1989 Finnish drag racing season review video, found in his archives by Club Crew Chief Petri Liimatainen. Anita seemed glad to get her copy of the film "To be watched later with Tommi at home" - they are both racing in the video.

We got a real insight into Anita's coming season, her team, her free time activities, what she thinks of her fellow racers - all of them very nice, except maybe some really big guys from Switzerland who are, well, "Hairy" - her favourite track and so on.

The children have built a raceway complete with grandstands, pairing lanes, Christmas Tree and a set of race cars, both cardboard and miniature. It must have been modelled after Santa Pod as I was sure I saw a big Eurodragster.com ad somewhere.

Anita was kind enough to give out some t-shirts and posed patiently for pictures as every single one of us wanted to sit next to the 2012 European Top Fuel Champion. That's her goal, nothing less, and we're all for it! Thank you, Anita!

Charman steps off TFB.
30th March: 2011 ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Champion Kev Charman has announced that he will not be riding Rene van den Berg's Top Fuel Bike this season. Kev will instead be riding a Pro Stock Bike belonging to Richard Gipp. Kev got in touch to tell us how he came to what must have been a difficult decision:

Sometimes you really are better off quitting the Top Fuel Bike game when you are ahead and still have money in the bank.

Having won the ACU Championship in a rookie year was more than we could possibly have expected.  The Shark Attack bike, owned by Rene van den Berg, had retained the number one plate with two different riders and both the Nitrous Junkie team and Rene were very happy with that. Without the crew - Kev's Crew Chief Chris Pyke, Jake, Lizzy, and Bryony, plus Rene's crew Craig Boulton, and Binz - thank you all. We really couldn't have done this without you.

Testing , and crashing with Kev on board at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend kicked us all back into touch.  The damage, although luckily minimal, still needed to be paid for and that is when we got to thinking. The Top Fuel Experience has been something that we have only dreamed of. We will always be grateful to Rene for the opportunity but there came a time, especially when work was quiet and not as much money was coming in, when Kev decided to call it a day. In one very hard call to Rene, he said that he simply couldn't afford to ride the bike. It is an expensive piece of equipment, and (God forbid) should anything else get damaged, we would be in deep trouble. The deal was initially only for a year, until an offer was made and was accepted before weighing up the Pros and Cons.

Rene, and the team are working very hard to get the new Fuel bike ready for Easter. It's a fantastic bike and a lot of hard work that has gone into it but there are still lots of small jobs to sort out, so it may  be better to get Rene back on the track with the original bike and start the Championship on that if needs be.

There has been no falling-out. We are all still friends and we wish Rene, Ivana and the team the very best for the 2012 Championship.

Kev is not retiring. The idea was that would support Lizz in Comp Bike and Jake in Junior Modified in their endeavours this season.  Whatever he does - see next paragraph - they both have exemplary back-up and crew, so they can continue to race also.

Meanwhile from deepest darkest Nofolk, Richard Gipp called Kev up and said "So do you want to come to the dark side?". Richard lent Kev his Pro Stock Bike in 2010 when the crank broke on the Funny Bike and we had no time to fix it. Kev enjoyed Pro Stock and, as Lizzy put it, was possibly like "Riding a polo pony after a shire horse"!  Kev knows what to expect, after it nearly breaking his neck on the last launch, so he is is competing in Pro Stock Bike this Season.

Old racers never die, they just get fatter. After the Top Fuel diet Kev is now having to strive to get thinner. Pro Stock Bike could be interesting this year!

Backing for the Pink Lady.
30th March: It's been a long but fruitful winter for UK Super Pro ET racer Jayne Kay and the Pink Lady Racing team and they are happy to be kicking off the 2012 season by announcing a new sponsor:

The Easter Thunderball will be the start of our new collaboration with Wheel-Whores.com, a household brand name on the global modified car scene. The on-line car community, focused on all those addicted to wheels, is centred around a comprehensive forum where you can gain invaluable fitting information, inspiration, predict new trends or just chat with fellow Wheel Whores. Be sure to check it out! The site hosts its very own dedicated classifieds page, a standalone shop selling a range of quirky merchandise, plus a comprehensive links page and much much more. Whether you want to talk wheels, walk wheels, eat, sleep, breathe wheels, this is the place to do it. The brand is also developing its own range of premium wheels, plus an exclusive wheel cleaning product. "We look forward to working closely with Wheel Whores and making this a successful season for us all", says Jayne.

"We have fired the FC up for the first time this year and you can see us testing the gears on You Tube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=16g8We4OSjw. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again for a fast, safe season!"

SCR open for business.
30th March: The season starts in earnest this weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway with no less than eight Supercharged Outlaws stomping all over the property, writes Jerry Cookson.

Joining the line up of Dave McKenzie, Alec Coe, Vic Hammond and Roy Wilding will be Brian Gandy, Ian Hanson, Richard Davis and Paul Watts - but we're not sure if Paul will be débuting his much-talked-about new ride or not! The reigning series title holder from the Isle of Wight is remaining tight-lipped for the moment. So you'll have to be there to find out what will be rolling out of the tow truck; Chevy Truck or 7/8th scale Chevy Pro Mod? I know what I would like to see!

The man from Outlaw Street, Mark Wallington, is predicting a healthy line-up of cars for the American Car Magazine-supported nine round series with forty two drivers already signed up. How many will be coming through the gates at the weekend is unknown but whoever turns up you can expect a whole lot of nine-second ground thumping action all weekend. David from the Mustang Centre has been in touch to let us know that there will be a Mustang Stampede heading to the strip this Saturday consisting of seventeen 'Stangs ranging from a brand new 2012 5.0 to Saleens, to Roush, to Cobras, to Shelbys. A pair of Terminators and two Extreme V6 supercharged Mustangs which should actually run twelve seconds to standard V8s to convertibles: enough to make a Mustang Stampede! I can't wait. 

For bike fans the Bandit Owners' Club annual pilgrimage to Stratford starts on Friday with fifty plus riders expected to thunder through the gates. This is the third time that the Club has been to the Raceway and every time the pilgrimage gets bigger and bigger. The AMC Coating Ltd Street Bike Challenge also takes to the track for the first time for pukka street ridden to and from the track machines. There're £100 worth of vouchers waiting for the lucky winner come Sunday at four.

With Club participation coming in the form of the Volvo Performance Club, TVR Midlands, Comrades of Vag and owners from the Chrysler 300C Forum the weekend has something for everyone, and with a dry spring weekend forecast dare you miss out!

As well as Run What You Brung open to all, the weekend also hosts the National Sprint Association, Junior Dragster League, Honda Drag Series and Pro Street Drag Series Test and Tune. Admission is £12 each on Saturday and Sunday or £22 for the weekend (£20 advance). Track fees for unlimited runs are £20 per day or £35 for the weekend. Don't forget your DVLC licence and a crash helmet. For more information check out www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.

Swift snippets.
30th March: Our sympathies to the family and friends of US Pro Stock legend Bill Jenkins, the original Grumpy, who has died at the age of 81 after a lifetime of innovation and achievement. You can read a detailed obituary on the NHRA web site.

SFI Foundation President Arnie Kuhns tells us that there was again an increase in the number of items inspected on last weekend's European SFI Recertification Tour. A total of 319 items were inspected, up from 295 in 2011. "When you step back at look from the start in 1997, when we inspected 126 items, to now it shows real growth", says Arnie. "One positive indication of the health of European drag racing."

Racer, race car builder, UK Tech Committee member and Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs and Rosie Anukam are due to be married today. Our very best wishes to Chris and Rosie for a long and happy life together.

Gredzinski sets the model.
30th March: Regular readers will know that photo-journalist and graphic designer Mark Gredzinski is also a keen model maker with many years' experience. Mark has been in touch to bring us up to date on his latest work:

I have been working away in my spare time on some scale model engine blocks for future drag racing subjects in both 1/25 and 1/16 scales. I got fed up with using inaccurate kit parts and decided to do something about it. I needed to make replicas of both iron 392 ci Hemi blocks and their aluminium equivalent, the Donovan 417. I was about halfway through a fully detailed 1/16 scale slingshot project but realising that the Revell 392 ci engine was based on their 426 Hemi bothered me. However, following further research, I could stand it no longer, ripped off the motormounts and started again. I selected suitable photos in order to make myself a proper early Hemi replica from scratch. 

Though the block seen here appears to be in one piece, it was actually made from more than fifty separate pieces and it features all the core plugs, the correct shaped rear webbing and every rib on the block. Also in place are the asymmetrical engine mounts and the unique wavy edged valley cover with bolts. 

In a similar vein, I made a 1/16 Donovan block to the same standards.  Having accomplished that, I made a series of engines  in 1/25 scale.  Each of these three blocks is less than one inch long. The smallest is as a bare block for which there will follow a choice of four different lower grank girdles that can be attached, which I'm working on now. These will range from the early version with Donovan embossed lettering through to the later ribbed and billet types. The next block up has an integral girdle while the largest of the three has integral Donovan heads. This assembly is made from seventy one separate parts but will be cast in one piece from a silicone mould using polyurethane resin.  Some of the laminations on the girdle are made from styrene card of just ten thousanths of an inch.  Also can be seen on the left is a 392 ci Hemi head which can be fitted as an option instead of the Donovan heads.  The blocks have taken four months of work so far.

Other parts in progress are an accurate Donovan gear drive for the front of the block and supercharger manifolds.  I already have over fourteen different blowers on the go.  Following this are a series of later 426 Hemis to include iron motors, Milodon and Keith Black in both scales as it would be rude to stop here!  This is followed by big block Chevies and a 421 ci Pontiac, plus rear axles, transmissions and a full range on injectors, many of which are completed.  Eventually, I will be making entire cars from scratch as I can't seem to leave it alone.  

I believe these scale model components to be the most accurate of their type in the world, which anyone is quite entitled to dispute, however, I'd be curious to see anyone's better efforts as they will have put in more than the hundreds of hours I did!

They will be in production in a few months time as they need to be thoroughly tested first and any corrections made.  I have had plenty of enquiries from America about these, but nothing will be released until it is proven worthy and hopefully superior to what is around at the moment on the market.

The ultimate aim is to produce a scale model automobile that is indistiguishable from the real thing.  I think I can do it, but what is available at present is not good enough for my needs.  Not everyone understands the appeal of model making but for those who do, hopefully I can show some scale replicas to a very high standard in the coming months.

Get the body you've always wanted...
30th March: Venom, formed by long time friends Tony Betts and Kevin Miller to run a Fuel Altered in the UK, have decided to add another string to their bow with Venom Street Rods n Parts to supply bodies and parts. Their first deal is a joint venture with the US' Real Deal Steel:

Joe Whitaker and Randy Irwin, owners of Real Deal Steel, have been in the car industry since their youth and are dedicated to supplying top of the range bodies and panels to the public. Real Deal Steel supply '55, '56 and '57 Chevrolet steel bodies and panels in either hard top or convertible. These bodies are made to the same specification as the originals even down to the thickness of the metal. Venom will be the European distributor for these bodies and panels: you can check out the whole list of parts at www.realdealsteel.com then contact us at Venom with your order. We can import a body for you, or you can take care of it yourself.

Venom will also be entering into another partnership with a parts importer but there will be more news on that shortly. Check out our pages coming soon at www.venomracing.co.uk with all parts for sale also including Danchuk parts at reasonable prices. So why spend hours, days or weeks in the garage cutting out rust when the answer is a phone call away. Call Venom Street Rods n Parts. '55 bodies will be ready in the autumn so get your orders in now. There is a thirty-day lead time on all other bodies and panels etc are on the shelf.

SPR reinstate racer discount.
29th March: Santa Pod Raceway have announced that they are to reinstate half-price racer tickets, subject to limits and conditions. We have received the following statement from Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett:

An announcement was made recently at the Riders' and Drivers' meeting that Santa Pod Raceway was to abolish the half price racer ticket offering.

This was not a decision taken lightly but after agreeing a freeze in entry fees with the Santa Pod Racers Club, it was not deemed financially viable to keep this policy in place as well. Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC has one of the lowest level race team entry fees of all the major drag racing venues in Europe, especially those tracks that hold major international Championship events.

It will come as no surprise that in these tough economic times, we like many other businesses, are under pressure to keep costs under control particularly in areas where there is no revenue growth and in several cases there has been abuse of tickets.

Our costs are still rising right across the board but despite this, we've continued to make significant improvements during the off season including the full permanent lighting of the shutdown area and the return road. We have also erected new catch netting along the pit side of the track to improve the overall safety to both the public and the racers the pits, plus a new toilet block will be going into family camping.

We would like to think that when you come to race at Santa Pod you are always seeing a changing and a progressive race track and venue... yes, it still has a long way to go to be the venue that we want it to be, but we are making improvements year on year.

This sport still has one of the cheapest Sportsman entry fees across Europe which again helps keep you on the track. Compare if you like an entry fee for drag racing against other forms of Sportsman motorsport and you will see that Santa Pod still offers a lot more than many other disciplines. In many cases, your entry fee may give you your entry ticket alone and no prize fund either!

We have, however, listened to recent feedback from some teams who have contacted us and after some deliberation have decided to reinstate the subsidised tickets with the following conditions:

All entered teams will be entitled to buy two half price event tickets – either day tickets or full weekend tickets. These should be purchased by the actual entered driver at the event. The gate staff will be happy to leave these for collection as instructed by the driver.

We realise it's a case of creating a sensible balance and that is not always easy to achieve but hope this gesture will go some way to assisting teams in their entry requirements.

I hope that all the racers can understand our position and that we are all looking to find ways of making Santa Pod Raceway more efficient and a better-organised venue and at the same time to support all our sportsman racers, the backbone of the sport in the UK.

Swift snippets.
29th March: Eurodragster.com sponsor
Hauser Racing has a vacancy for an experienced fabricator who must be fully competent in all areas of race car construction and operation. If you think you are the right person for the job, please contact Geof Hauser for full details at sales@hauserracing.com or call 01933 682500.

Sam Marston and the Paul Marston Racing crew and Dave Gibbons and the Rough Diamond Racing team have asked us to wish a big Happy 50th Birthday to Paul Marston. Our pleasure, no sooner said than done. A big Happy Birthday also to Dave Crunkhorn, aka the yellow-tongued legend that is Crunch, and to race car builder Murf McKinney. Have a great day all.

Steve Dudley tells us that the next slot drag race at MrD Raceway takes place between 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm tomorrow (Friday) at the Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA. For more details check out the MrD web site at slotdragracing.weebly.com, and for more about the slot drags check out our recent Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Feature by clicking here.

Hello Honky Tonkin'.
28th March: If you are headed to Shakespeare County Raceway's Test and Tune weekend then you should have the privilege of falling in love at first sight with Lee Pike and Jerry Denning's new Honky Tonkin' II. The team plan to test the '64 Chevy Nova this weekend ahead of a season of Gasser Circus action.

"Jerry and I bought the car a couple of years ago and we have completely rebuilt it from the ground up", Lee told Eurodragster.com. "The motor is the original 461 with 8-71 blower from the original Honky Tonkin' 1957 Chevy. Kenny Coleman of EDA has done the business on the motor and Zane Llewellyn of Zannetec has done the gearbox. It's a proven engine and gearbox which ran as quick as 8.99 and 150 mph in the old car and had no problem running consistent 9.1s and 9.2s. This car is three hundred pounds lighter but we don't yet know what it will run, as we have to set it up. The chassis will be tagged to 8.50, though."

The royal blue metalflake paint was applied by Jerry and Lee, and renowned signwriter and detailer Neil Melliard did the artwork. "Neil did all the work in a couple of weeks", said Lee. "He has done an amazing job on the car, as you can see it works really well."

The team are picking up the bonnet today and will be heading for Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. "We are not going to try to set the world on fire this weekend", said Lee. "If we only do a couple of burnouts then we'll be satisfied with that. We will be attending all of the Gasser Circus rounds this year, and we plan to attend the FIA Main Event and maybe some other MSA rounds. But we will decide for sure when the car starts to run some numbers."

Swift snippets.
28th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "I knight thee, sir". We were always led to believe that once a knight is enough or words to that effect but if you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Natal Drums and Percussion is proud to join the many great brands affiliated with MPM Oil, FGR Motorsport and the Shockwave Racing Fuel Funny Car team: Natal, part of the Marshall Group of companies (which includes Marshall Amplification and Eden Electronics), like MPM, pushes design and performance boundaries to the limit. Natal's award-winning range of drum kits and hardware is testament to its commitment to excellence and innovation. Natal will be banging a drum for MPM throughout 2012 and beyond. So, please come and visit us in the MPM pits or visit www.nataldrums.com to see the extensive range of kits and colours on offer. We are really looking forward to seeing the racing, and hopefully meeting the fans who have been supporting the MPM teams over the years.

Web site updates.
28th March: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén anticipates the forthcoming season. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

A good day's work.
27th March: Several important objectives were achieved in the 1961 Allard Chrysler dragster restoration programme when the
Allard Chrysler Action Group Magnificent Seven of Andy Robinson, Bob Roberts, Chris Eames, Syd McDonald, Brian Taylor, Stuart Bradbury and Martin Dunks met up at Andy Robinson Race Cars on 18th March. Brian Taylor writes:

Stuart brought the recently arrived flywheel supplied by Bob Walker of Hot Heads. This was drilled to suit the half-inch bolts used (flywheel delivered with standard 7/16" holes) and a trial fitment showed all was well. Critical dimensions were taken to enable a starter motor to be ordered. It will now be machined to suit the clutch cover.

Thanks to the muscles of Andy and Martin, assisted by a couple of big mallets, one of the new Radir 900x16 pie crust drag slicks supplied at cost by Russ Pepper of R&R Hot Rod Imports was fitted to a Nick Davies sourced five-spoke rim. This was fitted to the axle for final check on clearance between headers and tyre. It was tight but once a gasket is installed on the headers it will be fine. Better not let the headers get too hot on a static 'cackle' though. The white walls will be on the inside for normal fitment.

The R&R Hot Rod Imports web site can now be accessed via the www.allardchrysler.org links page. The five-spoke wheels will be sent to a wheel refurbish specialist for blasting and polishing ready for red paint to be applied to the spokes.

Chris has all but completed the gear levers thanks in part to donations from Miles Sherlock of Jack Hammer who in addition is supplying gaskets for the rear axle. The Jack Hammer Speed Shop web site is also now on the links page. The brake lever mechanism was developed further. A second master cylinder is being ordered.

Brian and Stu finished prepping and polishing the front wheels that were then taken to Vintage Tyres at Beaulieu to have the replacement tyres and tubes fitted. As the car is only going to be used for 'cackling' it was not thought necessary to balance the tyres to the rims.

On the plumbing side Exact came up trumps with some extra fitments and Martin finished off the fuel tank attachments. He will now start assembling the fuel system hoses.

Although he has been travelling all round Europe Dave Davies has managed to complete most of the front end restoration. Just the front axle to polish and he will then be ready to put it all back together. This might be a special mid-week Work-In Day as Dave is out and about selling parts most weekends.

Syd McDonald fed us well as usual. His barbeque is one of the highlights of the day. The car was prepared for transportation to Alan and Lloyd Allard; Maurice Takoor will handle this on 27th March. The Allards will fabricate and fit two new blower tubes in their Gloucester workshop. The plan is for the car to be back at Andy Robinson Race Cars ready for another Work-In Day on 22nd April.

Swift snippets.
27th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "...and breathe". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

A Camaro refettled.
27th March: The Shakespeare County Raceway Camaro project was born out of one man's enthusiasm and desire to support and promote the Warwickshire based drag strip in every way he can. Wishing to remain in the background, our lead man in the story will simply be known as Martin. SCR's Jerry Cookson writes:

The liveried red 1989 IROC Z Camaro first appeared at the Raceway last season and was run occasionally at RWYB Public Track Days as well as being used as a promotional aid both trackside and at shows. You may have seen the car on display at last years Motorsport UK Show held in Coventry. As the months rolled by it soon became apparent that the car was getting tired so Martin thought that the time was now right to "Just freshen things up a bit" and that's where it all started. If only he had realised where this was heading!

After much consideration, both Andy Frost of Penn Autos and US Automotive were approached and chosen to become partners and sponsors for the project. Shakespeare County Raceway would like to take this opportunity to publically thank both Andy and Steve Trice for all their valuable help and assistance which has been and continues to be provided.

From the start the remit proved to be a tricky one as we wanted to aim for a car which would achieve respectable times on the strip but still be street-driven as well as being practical, so that the project car would be able to attend various promotional events throughout the country, which would be no mean feat!

The car is currently in the workshops of the very famous and talented VXR Racing Team Principal Andy Frost. Using his immense racing knowledge and know-how Andy has chosen the right parts which will work well together and complement the build. As most of you will know Andy is well known, amongst other attributes, for his meticulous attention to detail which shows in his latest project, Red Victor 1 Racing's street-driven VXR Pro Modified.

Meanwhile, down in Bedford, Steve and the gang at US Automotive have been equally as enthusiastic with the project, sourcing and delivering enough parts which will be unique to the build and sometimes viewed as a departure from items the company normally provide, which gives you a good indication of just how good they really are when it comes to customer service.

At the time of writing Martin's project is progressing nicely. We have just taken delivery of a new Edelbrock crate engine, at great expense! The motor is a 350ci, 435 hp unit making 435FT/LBS TQ, complete with Thunder Series AVS 800CFM carb, RPM Air Gap Vortech inlet manifold, and Performer RPM E-Tec 170 heads. A set of Hedman headers are being fitted along with a complete performance exhaust to aid the flow of those nasty gases. Moser are supplying a Ford 9" axle which will bolt in place of the original using 3.50 to 1 gears. TCI are supplying a suitable torque converter to further complement the rebuild of the transmission which is in the very capable hands of Andy who is strengthening the inherently weak 700R4. Subframe connectors will help to stiffen up the body and many other aftermarket parts will be employed to bolster the overall build.

So while you're enjoying another exiting and action-packed season's worth of racing at Shakespeare County Raceway, look out for the SCR Camaro project car in the pits or in front of the Claron Graphics sales stand in the trade area. And who knows if you're in the staging lanes ready to race at a RWYB you might just get drawn alongside as the challenge is issued? So be prepared to eat dust kiddies!

2012 European Top Gas calendar.
26th March: Many thanks to repeat Champion Herman Jolink for sending us the 2012 European Top Gas Series calendar:

9th-10th June: Drag Day Open and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Hoskovice CZ
22nd-24th June: Dutch Open and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Drachten NL
29th June-1st July: Pzout Motomejdan and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Bechyne CZ
20th-22nd July: Dutch Open and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Drachten NL
10th-12th August: NitrOlympX and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Hockenheim D
17th-19th August: Dutch Finals and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas, Drachten NL
30th August-2nd September: Mosten Race Days Sprint and Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Finals, Randers DK

The best six of seven rounds will count towards the Championship.

Team Orange juiced-up.
26th March: With the first meeting of the season only a couple of weekends away, the UK's Team Orange Super Comp and Outlaw Anglia team is ready to go, writes Steve Wells:

With the help of the Motlers again this year, we will be running in Super Comp at the Easter Thunderball but then we will be concentrating on the Outlaw Anglia series for the rest of the season. We will be supporting the Motlers with their race car Spellbound at the FIA Main Event and FIA European Finals.

As well as the usual engine, gearbox and axle rebuild over the winter, we have replaced the trusty old 4.71 with a billet 6.71 blower, just to liven things up a bit! Also new for 2012 is an adjustable rear spoiler. Hopefully our new blower will get us a bit closer to the competition and maybe to the production Rover V8 record of 8.33 secs still held by Steve Green in his Mark 1 Cortina - watch this space!

The Outlaw Anglia series had an exciting 2011 season, with three cars battling to reach the sevens. The battle was won by Colin Millar with a 7.9 at the Open Sport Nationals and Cliff Griffin won the Championship overall. Congratulations to both of them.

We have been supported for many years now by Cam Auto Developments and use many of their products including Goodridge hoses and fittings, Varley Red Top Batteries and Torco Racing Oil, all of which are available from their fantastic new web site at www.camauto.com. We would also like to thank Eurodragster.com sponsors Nimbus Motorsport for supporting us with their great products.

Here's hoping that everyone has a fantastic 2012 season.

Wilding backing Bretts.
26th March: Team Principal Julie Brett reports that UK Junior Dragster pilots Alex and Joy Brett have been invited to join forces with SuperCharged Outlaw and Super Pro ET racer Roy Wilding:

Both Alex and Joy are proud and excited to be invited by Roy to join his race team. We will be supporting Roy both on and off the track at Junior Dragster League events and shows, also we will be helping to crew for Roy at his race meetings.

Joy will be racing a new dragster, built by Roy for the 2013 season, campaigning the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Colours, whilst Alex's car will be running a new motor for the 2013 season and will be heavily liveried in Roy Wilding decals.

Roy and Angela do so much for the kids already, being both founder and principal of the Junior Dragster League. Roy will be mentoring both Alex and Joy and providing financial assistance.

Sponsorship extra.
26th March: Eden Electronics are proud to announce that they will now form part of the team of companies supporting the legendary international MPM Oil and FGR Motorsport Fuel Funny Car teams, joining Marshall Amplification and a number of other awesome rock and roll-worthy names including Smokehead Whisky to become the fastest-moving backline in the music industry. Eden is excited to joining and supporting the team in 2012, which will feature the FC touring Europe and possibly beyond. You can find out more at www.eden-electronics.com.

The organisers of Shakespeare County Raceway's Pro Street Drag Series are pleased to announce that the Mitsubishi Lancer Register will be supporting the series this year as well as providing post-race coverage in the Club's magazine Wastegate Chatter which will soon be merging with the recently-relaunched Evolution Tuner magazine. The Club, in association with many sponsors, have successfully tried every kind of motorsport possible from circuit racing to hillclimbs and sprints so they decided that a spot of drag racing should now be the order of the day. The first round of the series takes place on Sunday 22nd April but in order to blow those winter blues away there is a Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend, 31st March-1st April. Full details on the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com and to read more about the Mitsubishi Lancer Register check out www.lancerregister.com.

The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to announce two further supporters of the project to restore Europe's first dragster:

R & R Hot Rod Imports is a newly formed venture with partners on the US East coast and the UK. Their goal is to provide all frustrated hot-rodders with parts, wheels, cars, or whatever their heart may desire and their wallet will stretch to. Everything is sourced in the US and shipped primarily from the East coast. Radir Wheels and tyres are specialities and they have supplied two 900-16 Radir pie crust drag slicks at cost price.

JackHammer Hotrod & Kustom Supply was created in September 2007 and has quickly become one of the UK's leading Hot Rod and Custom supply shops. This success has been achieved by specialising in the traditional and nostalgic style of car building, which has always and continues to be incredibly popular with hot rodders worldwide. Some of the big name companies for whom they are agents include Mooneyes, Limeworks, Speedway Motors, Gennie Shifter, C & G Early Ford Parts, Tuckers Classic Truck Parts, Pertronix, Dynamat and many more. They have supplied control knobs and gaskets for the restoration project. ACAG will be announcing some more big sponsorship news within the next week or so.

Swift snippets.
26th March: Thanks to Lars Pettersson who sent us this picture of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation officials, staff of ME Racing, and the SFI Inspection Team at the 2012 SFI Tour's Swedish stop at Persåkers Speedshop. The SFI Tour completed today (Monday) at Santa Pod Raceway.

Last chance to test.
26th March: The UK National Drag Racing Championships commence with the Autotrader Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway next week. Racers have one final chance to test this coming weekend (31st-1st) and have the choice between two tracks.

As mentioned above Shakespeare County Raceway open their gates for the first time in 2012 with a Test and Tune weekend. As well as Run What You Brung open to all the Test and Tune also hosts the National Sprint Association, AMC Coating Street Bike Challenge, Junior Dragster League, Outlaw Street, Honda Drag Series, Pro Street Drag Series Test and Tune, and Supercharged Outlaws Test and Tune. Admission is £12 each on Saturday and Sunday (Sunday tickets available in advance at £10) or £22 for the weekend (£20 advance). Track fees for unlimited runs are £20 per day or £35 for the weekend. Don't forget your DVLC licence and a crash helmet. For more information check out www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.

Santa Pod Raceway are hosting a Run What You Brung on Saturday and a Peak Performance Day on Sunday. Saturday's Run What You Brung is open to all; gate is £10 and track fee for unlimited runs is £25. Entry to Sunday's Peak Performance Day is limited to guarantee track time and the event offers a track prepped to National Event standard as well as full safety and medical cover. Gate is £12 (£10 advance) and track fee for unlimited runs is £60 (£50 advance). SPR recommend advance entry for Peak Performance Days. For more information check out www.rwyb.com. Don't forget your DVLC licence for either event.

Eurodragster.com will be at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend holding a last dress rehearsal for our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored coverage of next week's Autotrader Easter Thunderball. We plan to post end-day reports and galleries on both Saturday and Sunday, and the Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be broadcasting live video and trackside audio as long as the track is open each day, with streaming services provided by Doyousee.me.

Hot cross tyres.
26th March: The UK's York Raceway holds its 2nd Annual Rolling Burnout Competition on Easter Sunday, 8th April.

Participants will be encouraged to burn out across the startline or to keep it in for as long as possible, and maybe even do figure of eight in the centre of the track. There is no restriction to the type of vehicle, no restriction to the use of props such as flares, and no pressure to burst the tyre, so it is the perfect opportunity to send off an old pair of tyres or to bed in a new set. This competition is not about sitting stationary and seeing who can burst their tyres first; it is about style, panache and more importantly skill. You can find a short video from last year's competition at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJwf6JkKC7E.

On Easter Monday it's the first round of all of the Northern Drag Racing Championships including Europe's largest American-only class American Super Stock, the ever growing Super Cup, Air-Cooled Eliminator, Pro ET, Sportsman ET and the début of the new race class Volks Stock, open to any pre 1990 Volkswagen.

You can find out more at www.york-raceway.org.uk.

Web site updates.
26th March: In the latest instalment of her exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler presents her diary of a trip to the NHRA Gatornationals. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Laura Turburville has been busy on web sites recently, moving her own web site to a new domain at www.jrturboville.com and adding a shop as well as the latest pictures and information on the V-twin dragster. "Be sure to keep up with how the team gets on with the new dragster!", says Laura.

Laura has also updated multiple Junior Dragster Champion Joe Kellett's web site with the latet information from the Drummin' Man put as well as new photographs from his travels and victories around Europe in 2011. You can find Joe's web site at drumminman.moonfruit.com.

Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe, fresh back from the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals and Daytona Bike Week, has added a Gatornationals gallery to his web site at www.nitroexposure.co.uk. The photos are of winners and runners-up on track plus a few more overall snaps and are mostly different from those ones posted here on Eurodragster.com and in other publications.

Nostalgia fans could do a lot worse than to check out the latest update on Dawn Mazi and Mark Hovsepian's Combustion Chamber web site which features the recent March Meet at Bakersfield. The update features pictures, reports and HD videos and can be found at www.maziracing.com.

Fourteen-year-old Callum Pudge has launched a photo web site at www.wix.com/pudgeyrocks/pudgeys-pictures. Callum's galleries cover both on-track and pitside.

Our good friend Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with the latest news and pictures on the restoration of Veney's Vega. You can check it out via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Joon's American Dream.
25th March: Dutch Top Fuel racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger, Lex Joon has long had an American dream. His dream is to compete on a full-time schedule with the best drag racers in the world and run for the Championship in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The time has finally come for Joon to take the first step toward realising this dream.

Joon, the most successful drag racer in the history of the Netherlands, won several class Championships before becoming the FIA European Top Fuel Champion in 2005 and runner-up in 2007 and 2008. Then in 2009, he competed at the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Auto Club Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and returned to the Auto Club Finals in 2010. This experience made Joon and his wife, Gerda, both natives of the Netherlands, realise that the United States and the NHRA was the place for them. That is when they launched their American Dream. They have now decided to stop dreaming and start doing.

"I'm excited to make our ‘Living the American Dream' idea a reality", expressed Joon. "I was aware of fast cars at a young age and I'm attracted to everything that has to do with the American way of life. To me it has to do with getting everything out of the things you do and you get a chance to do what your dream is telling you to do. And Americans are happy to support you. In Europe, you're caught in all kinds of rules and restrictions. The general opinion is against the individual that tries to put their head above the cornfield.

"When you look at my career as a drag racer, I've always been a pioneer. Gerda and I have found ourselves in a position where we couldn't find a real challenge in racing anymore. It sounds a bit arrogant but we have won everything there is to win. So we decided it is time to stop dreaming and immigrate to the land were our sport is strong and exciting; to the land where our team can have a chance to reach the ultimate goal and become a professional drag racing team."

To begin on this quest, Joon has started to put things into action. He has formed a U.S. company, Lex Joon Racing, Inc., to create a better possibility to work with American companies. He has hired a well-known motorsports marketing agency in the United States to get the team in the right place when it comes to finding the partner(s) that are interested in working with a proven winner.

"One thing we have learned in Top Fuel racing is that if you want to accomplish something you have to give it everything you have", explained Joon. "So now all of our work is focused on living our American Dream. Our truck and trailer are for sale and we are open to a nice offer. We are looking at our inventory and we will soon make a decision if we are going to sell the race car or bring it with us to the USA."

Joon knows that this is a big challenge to accomplish and that other racers have tried to make it in the competitive world of NHRA Professional racing. He is determined to make it work and hopes to be competing with the best in the world by the end of the 2012 season and be a full-time racer in 2013.

Swift snippets.
25th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about Easter Thunderball entry then you can contact SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail paula.marshall@btconnect.com.

Drag bike fans could do a lot worse than to get hold of a copy of John Stein's recently-published book Motorcycle Drag Racing: A History. We will publish a review shortly but if you're at all interested in drag bikes then we recommend that you don't wait for the review but just buy it as it is an exhaustive and lavishly-illustrated history. The book is available from www.gearheadpublishing.com and although the publishers are in the USA, orders from this side of the Pond will be fulfilled by the UK's own Kerryanne Frazier who will also bring copies to the Easter Thunderball. The book also has a Facebook Group.

Drag racing artist Paul Whitehouse has been in touch with news that he has had a very limited number of twenty prints produced of his Stardust painting. The prints, depicting Stardust in the capable hands of Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge launching at Santa Pod in 1973, measure 610mm x 410mm (24" x 16") printed on heavyweight textured fine art paper ready for framing. Cost for each signed print will be £22 plus P+P. Please E-Mail pwhitehouse3@aol.com to register interest in this print or to discuss any enquiries about drag race prints or original commissioned paintings.

No news update yesterday (Saturday) and only a brief one today due to boring domestic duties which have of course generated brownie points for the next two weekends, so a Happy Birthday for yesterday to Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Lex Joon, and to Pro Stock and Super Street racer Conrad Stanley. Hope you had a good day guys. Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas and to Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson. Have a great day guys.

Our next Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcast will be from next weekend's Run What You Brung and Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway. The increased picture size and high quality picture as tested at the recent Saturday Night Special will of course remain but fans will be pleased to hear that as we will be back on the Doyousee.me streaming service there will be no advertisements this time. In association with Alamo Rent-A-Car we will also be posting end-day reports and galleries from the RWYB and Peak Performance Day.

Web site updates.
25th March: In the latest instalment in his Nostlgia Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent A Car, Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor brings us up to date with the latest work on the Allard Chrysler Dragster. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Speedghost TF gains 2012 support.
23rd March: The Swedish-British Top Fuel team Speedghost Motorsport, consisting of Patrik Pers, Mathias Westman, Daniel Ohlén, Mark 'The Animal' Bodimeade and Alan Jackson, has launched a 2012 collaboration with three new partners: Rockstar Energy Drink Sweden, 76 Oil/All American and Persåkers Speedshop.

The team has worked hard during autumn and winter to connect with new partners and is now building its social media structure with a new web site, a Facebook page, a YouTube account containing the team's video footage, and an RSS feed which will be updated frequently throughout the season. The hard work has paid off with a new graphic design, a new brand logo, five-page coverage in the popular drag racing fanzine Fuel Magazine and an exhibition area is booked for the Elmia Custom Motor Show during Easter weekend, 6th-9th April.

"We are extremely excited about the great response we've had with our efforts for the 2012 season", says Crew Chief Mathias Westman. "We have a great team of guys with a great community which has shown to yield results, the future lies at our feet."

Speedghost Motorsport is now preparing the Top Fuel car for its graphics whilst working on finalising the last work on the trailer before the season premiere scheduled for the 12th-13th May at the NDRS-Nationals at Tierp Arena. The team just got back from the NHRA Gatornationals in Florida where they met partners and picked up the last spare parts for the upcoming season. In just a matter of days the team will be loading up all of their equipment and heading to Elmia in Jönköping to meet the media and the Swedish motorsport audience at stand B07:10 in Hall B.

Gulf Oil enter Pro Stock.
23rd March: Gulf Oil Sweden is pleased to presents a new and exciting collaboration with drag racing team Sagelv Racing. "Together we are starting the new brand Gulf Pro Stock Racing team" says William Hansen, CEO of Hansen Racing who markets Gulf Oil in Sweden. "Gulf Oil Sweden has previously organised marketing campaigns in sports such as Camaro Cup and STCC, and now we look forward to working with Gulf Pro Stock Racing as a shining example of the Gulf Oil products incredible range".

The Gulf Pro Stock Racing team, led by father and son Rolf and Christian Sagelv, made a name in the ranks of Comp Eliminator with a one-off Ford Probe built by Jerry Haas. The team also includes Crew Chief Christer Säfström, who over the years in Comp Eliminator has contributed several unique concept solutions with the Ford product line as base resulting in a number of event wins. During 2011 the team tried out a new painted car with the Ford chassis and a unique 500 cubic inch big Ford engine under the hood in FIA Pro Stock and the results were excellent. For 2012 the Pro Stock car will be displayed in full attire with the classic Gulf colors.

The story of this collaboration is a modern development of a long and historic relationship between Gulf Oil and Ford, which stretches back to the very invention of motorsport. Driver Christian Sagelv says "We are extremely proud of this collaboration and look forward to promoting the well-known Gulf Oil brand". The début of the Gulf Pro Stock Racing team will take place in Hansen Racing's booth [D02:34] at the Elmia Custom Motor Show on 6th-9th April.

Zodiac Racing season preview.
23rd March: With the 2012 season approaching fast, The Netherlands' Zodiac Racing Supertwin team is eager to get back on the strip, writes Vincent Pels:

Parts-wise we have never been so prepared. Some small issues have been addressed over the winter, and our partners were a great help in this. And because we did not have any catastrophic engine failures, most effort was put into spare parts. Last year we were very close to the title, until the manifold broke at the European Finals. But it must be said that Per Bengtsson's team did everything right that last race. They qualified first and set Low ET of the meeting in the first round of eliminations, so their Championship was well-deserved.

Because the bike ran so well last season and has not shown its full potential yet, not much has changed. The oil system has been upgraded with advice from Spectro Oils of America and their SAE70 engine oil is going to be used for this season. The latest high pressure DJE fuel pressure regulator valve was installed (Zodiac is a DJE/BDK dealer) and more research done on the valve train components by Kibblewhite Precision Machining, enabling us to run higher RPMs if we wish. We are also very thankful that all our partners from 2011 have decided to continue to support us for this coming season.

So nothing much has changed bike-wise. Team wise a lot has changed. Last year, Roel Koedam had one of his hips replaced and his doctor advised him to stop riding our 1000 hp Top Fuel Zodiac Harley-Davidson. We were sorry to hear this and are grateful to have had Roel and Monique as part of our team for the last five years. We would like to thank them for all their help, fun and friendship and we will for sure see Roel and Monique at selected races throughout Europe this year. Rumour has it that he will start a new career selling Vietnamese spring rolls at the race track (although the Dutch and English sources of these rumours are well-known for not being very trustworthy).

After Roel announced his retirement to Ton and Vincent, they started to draft a list of riders they thought capable of riding The Godfather VII bike and helping them at the races. At the top of this short list was Job Heezen. He was already familiar with a T&V-built bike, as he bought The Godfather VI from Zodiac Racing back in 2008. Job proved to be very capable of riding and wrenching on the Zodiac Nitro Harley from day one, so he was a natural choice for T&V Racing. But obviously it was also up to Job and his family if they wanted to do the full European tour with us. Fortunately he decided to join our team and in a few weeks time he will have his first shakedown passes on the nitromethane-fed supercharged bike at Santa Pod's Easter Thunderball. Job and his daughter Eveline will also be working on the bike during the race events, taking some load from the shoulders of Ton and Vincent.

So 2012 is going to be an interesting year for the Zodiac Racing team. We know the bike is up to the task, and Ton and Vincent are pretty sure that Job will be as well. After the Easter Thunderball, we plan to run the full European Championship tour and with the bike's runner-up finish in last year's Championship we are only aiming one step higher for this season... #1!

Zodiac Racing's 2012 race calendar:

7th-9th April: Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway, UK (ACU Championship/Test)
2nd-4th June: FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, UK (UEM European Championship)
14th-17th June: Sweden Internationals I, Tierp Arena, Sweden (UEM)
5th-8th July: FHRA Nitro Nationals, Alastaro, Finland (UEM)
10th-12th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany (UEM)
23rd-26th August: Sweden Internationals II, Tierp Arena, Sweden (UEM)
6th-9th September: FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK (UEM)

The Zodiac SuperTwin Top Fuel drag racing team is proudly sponsored by Zodiac International BV, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, Spectro Oils of America, Accel Motorcycle Products and Kibblewhite Precision Machining. The Zodiac SuperTwin Top Fuel drag racing team is proud to use products from Zodiac International BV, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, Accel Motorcycle Products, Spectro Oils of America, Kibblewhite Precision Machining, National Cycle Windshields, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems and Flexion/Gates Belt Drive Systems.

Job's bike, a 175 ci (2860 cc) OverKill T&V Racing Top Fuel Harley, is still for sale. Anybody who wants a proven Championship-winning bike should contact him at jheezen1@hotmail.com or call him on + 31 622 788 100.

MDRA kick off 2012.
22nd March: Secretary Jason Camilleri writes that the
Malta Drag Racing Association held its first drag race of 2012 at Hal-Far Raceway at the weekend:

The event commenced on Friday with a Test and Tune day, which was something new for this season. In previous years we had two-day events but we took the decision to extend our races.

Eighty competitors  took part and battled their way through twenty one different categories. The track was prepared to a very professional level Lee Child who has been contracted by MDRA for the 2012 season.

Lots of racers registered Personal Bests once again but not just that: at this event we had a track record from the Kalanc Racing Keam. Chris Polidano drove his A/Fuel Dragster to an impressive 5.64 seconds, this made the Kalanc Racing Team the fastest team  in Malta and also won the DTA 6 Class in style.

The Open 6 Class was won by Jason Grixti driving Emanuel Mangion's Ford Cosworth-powered dragster with a 7.33, while Ruben Scicluna won the D6 Class in his Cosworth-powered Dragster with a 7.65. Mark Farrugia in his Pinto Turbo-powered Ford Escort managed to clock a Personal Best of 8.8 and won the Open 2 class. Paul Ciantar was the winner of the PS2 class with yet another Escort Pinto Turbo and he achieved a Personal Best of 9.9 seconds.

In the SS2 and Escort classes the battle was as always very exciting as eight vehicles were just milliseconds apart in qualifying. In the end Chris Borg won the SS2 class with an 11.18 and Gordon Micallef won the Escort class and also the SM2 class, running consistent 11.30s.

The Motorcycle Open class which was won by Franklin Borg with a 9.17 while the winner of the SS1 Motorcycle category was Glenn Borg with another personal best of 7.91. The most contested motorcycle category was SS2A with Simon Bonello placed in third, Melanie Schembri in second and John Cutajar in first place with an 8.80-second run.

A diesel-powered Fiesta was also amongst the long list of Personal Bests with an impressive 10.47 run. This car is owned and driven by Jason Grixti who won the Bracket Racing category for 10.00-10.50.

I'm sure that there is much more which can be said about this great start of the season. The next event will be MDRA for Charity on 31st March. Any vehicle can take part in this annual charity show and race event.

More information, results, photos etc can be found on our web site at www.maltadragracing.com or join our Facebook page Malta Drag Racing Hal Far.

Flamholc set for ADRL opener.
22nd March: After a couple of months' testing and racing at different events and series down in Florida, the 2012 ADRL season is about to begin. Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc says that although he has done well so far, now is the time to step up and perform:

On Tuesday of next week we fly out to Houston and on Wednesday there's a test session at San Antonio Raceway. On Thursday we need to get the ADRL chassis certification and other stuff done. We then have two qualifying runs on Friday and one on Saturday. Eliminations start on Saturday afternoon/evening. A live feed from the event will be available at www.b2livetv.com/flashplayer/adrl.asp and you can stay in touch with us on our Facebook page.

We are all extremely motivated, and can't wait to get the season started! This time its myself, Fredrik Akesson, Johan Pripp and guest mechanic Hakan Persson who are traveling overseas. As usual we are meeting up with the American part of the team, John Sloan and Mike Canter, when we get there.

I want to thank all of the people who are involved in this and who are supporting us in any way. I feel so fortunate to be able to do this. This is probably a once in a lifetime chance, and we really want to make the best of it. So again thanks to all of our loyal sponsors as well as the new ones, everyone over in the USA who gets things done when we are here in Europe, the people at Malmö Motorrenovering, where I work, who take care of business when I'm travelling backwards and forwards over the Atlantic, and a special thanks to my family who have to put up with a lot.

Let the season start!

A shiny Thing.
22nd March: Dave McKenzie has revealed that the race car featured in recent "Mirror, mirror" spy pictures is the Windridge and McKenzie blown-alcohol altered The Thing. The Grimsby-based team have had a busy off-season, says Fuzzie:

The car was stripped down to every last nut and bolt and the chassis was put back onto the jig and checked out, and we found a serious misalignment problem. The back axle was way out of alignment, which is probably why we were fighting with the car on every pass. Hopefully with this now sorted the car should be easier to drive - as altereds go!

We then stripped all the paint from the chassis with the intention of putting the purple back on. Our plan was to have a base coat of metallic silver then a top coat of purple. After applying the silver we liked it so much we decided not to have the purple.

We did not have much work to do on the engine as we had rebuilt the motor prior to the Hot Rod Drags so a quick freshen up, by replacing a couple of rod bearing, was all that was required. We had decided to revamp the fuel system and parts were ordered from Supercharged Outlaw sponsor Jim Maher at Good Vibrations in California. With the new fuel system parts on the car we had a test fire-up a couple of weeks ago and the fuel system worked exceptionally well. It will need a bit of setting up at the Test and Tune weekend at Shakey next week where between seven and ten Supercharged Outlaw teams will be testing.

As seen in the spy pictures the car has been updated with some mirror-finish stainless steel tinwork which was fabricated and fitted by Mark while I concentrated on polishing some of the other parts. As we always pit next to Lee Gallimore we thought that it was about time we made our car as shiny as the Red Mist altered, if the sun comes out when the sun comes out and the body is lifted you will need some good sunglasses on or it will dazzle you.

This year our targets are getting into the seven second zone at 170+ mph. If we achieve this we will be happy people up in Grimsby! We're looking forward to another great season with the friendliest group of racers around.

Swift snippets.
22nd March: Shelley Pearson says that the West Ten Motorsport Fuel FC will appear at race events later in the season to allow time for a chassis update to 10.5 spec. Kevin Kent will be completing his licencing passes before then at non-permit events. For more check out the West Ten Motorsport Facebook group.

We understand that former Pro Modified racer and more recently Havoc blown-alcohol altered pilot Nick Davies will be taking the seat of the Chaos Fuel Altered at the Autotrader Easter Thunderball. We will bring you more on this as we receive it.

If you were tuned in to our Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcast of the recent Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod then you may have seen Steve French's Anglia 105e exercising dynamic lane choice. Steve tells us that this was not quite the shakedown he intended but that he thinks that he has identified the cause of the problem and that he should be back on track soon to test out the necessary changes.

Nicola Hart has been in touch to let us know that rides are available in Santa Pod Raceway's Two Seat Dragster at the Autotrader Easter Thunderball. A £475 package will buy you entry and VIP admission for two people, plus a ride in the dragster for one of those lucky people. For more information or to book call Nicola on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).

Direct Plastics back Top Sportsman.
22nd March: The UK's Top Sportsman class is proud to announce that Direct Plastics will be headline sponsor for 2012. Direct Plastics enjoyed a very positive response to their involvement in 2011 and were very quick to sign up for this season's repeat running.

"We welcome the return of our principal marketing partner from 2011 and hope to give Direct Plastics and of all our other sponsors great exposure and value for money", says joint organiser Paul Marston. "There are a lot of exciting announcements in the pipeline for UK Top Sportsman and as soon as we can go public I will let you know.

"We still have some very attractive sponsorship opportunities available and I can guarantee you that your exposure and value for money are second to none. In addition I can think of no finer event to be associated with than the Mopar Euronats. So don't delay, contact us today. You can contact Jeff Bull through the link on the Eurodragster.com Swap Meet, call me on 07831 650230, or E-Mail me at pmracing@fsmail.net.

"UK Top Sportsman also needs all the racers who are interested in entering Direct Plastics Top Sportsman in 2012 to contact us as soon as possible so that we can get the entry list going. We need to know that you are interested so please either get in touch with your pledges or go ahead and enter now: the form is available to download now at www.topsportsman.co.uk. Remember, this event is run by racers for racers with a 100% payback prize fund after track fees. This is your event, so please support it.

"We also need the help of any doorslammer racers in any class who intend entering Direct Plastics Top Sportsman and who will be racing at the Autotrader Easter Thunderball. We need to produce a group shot of cars and drivers, and we also need cars in particular classes, Super Gas for example, to run as pairs as we are producing a promotional video and there are certain shots which the film crew need. The camera angles are a little different to the usual. It will not affect your qualifying run in any way, and you won't even know that the film crew are there. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated.

"Again please contact Jeff Bull or myself if you are interested. It's going to be great fun and the finished promo video will be placed on YouTube for everyone to see. It will also appear on both the Mopar site and the Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman web site which is kindly hosted by Paul Foote Ink."

Race cars sought for Shows.
22nd March: Shakespeare County Raceway's Jerry Cookson tells us that the popular Midlands drag strip has been asked to mount a display of race cars at RAF Lakenheath's annual Car and Bike Show on Saturday 28th April.

The one-day show at the home of the USAF 48th Fighter Wing attracts American Car Clubs, race machinery and the usual American style side shows and Shakespeare County's attendance will make for an excellent promo for the following week's Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals.

If anyone in the East Anglia region is interested and would like to bring along a car then please get in touch with Jerry on 01789 720180 or E-Mail enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.

Jerry also tells us that he's looking for cars to attend the Abingdon Air and Country Show on Sunday 6th May. This show would suit cars which would not normally appear at the same weekend's Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals and is a well-attended event with vehicles of all descriptions on display as well as the delights of a fully blown air show. Again interested racers should get in touch with Jerry to make arrangements.

See Puma for bike chutes.
22nd March: Puma Engineering Ltd, manufacturers of the world's fastest and quickest drag race motorcycle engines, are pleased to announce their appointment as exclusive European distributor of Stroud Safety's motorcycle parachute system.  

Ian King, Commercial Director of Puma Engineering and rider of the Gulf Oil Drag Racing Top Fuel Motorcycle, pioneered the product in European competition and has been an advocate of their use on high-speed machines when used on the shorter braking areas common in Europe.

The full line of Stroud Safety products for all car applications will continue to be supplied through Andy Robinson Race Cars.  

For further information and prices contact Puma Engineering at
admin@pumaengineering.com or call 01763 853985 (outside the UK +44 1763 853985).

Surgery at Springford General.
22nd March: The UK's Paul Marston Racing have their work cut out over the next couple of weeks to have everything ready in time for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball.

Paul Marston has been hard at work on the PT Bruiser over the past few weeks fitting extra telemetry, reinitiating all fluid systems, and of course one of Paul's favourite pastimes - cleaning! With the PT Bruiser due to return to Super Pro, Gary Springford at Drag Race Engineering provided an operating theatre and had his special stethoscope warmed up last Saturday. Paul brought the patient and was monitoring vital signs. With a full systems check on the operating schedule, all at PMR were hoping for a successful outcome and they were not disappointed. "It's great to have everything check out in the workshop", said Paul, "but it's on the drag strip where it counts. Come talk to me after the first day of qualifying, that's when we will know if it all works right!

"The next task is getting the new old trailer in shape.It's not quite as luxurious as our 2011 model but hopefully, with some TLC, it will come around. Giving it a wash will be a good start, as it has sat in storage for years - at least that way we will know what colour it is!

"Once that's done, well as much as we can do in the time remaining, there is a certain SPRC Championship runner-up Chevy Monza which needs some magic dust sprinkled on her. With countless years of loyal service, and after a long discussion with Gary the consensus of opinion was that although there was already a lot to be done prior to Easter it would probably be a wise move to freshen the motor. It's had an issue smoking through the lights for a while now, and whilst it does not affect performance it does give the fire crew something to worry about.

"With so little time till the start of the season, switching motors is probably the best move. Why such a drastic move, when the performance of the Monza is still spot on? It's probably because I don't want to give Springford the satisfaction of saying "I told you so" if it blows up at Easter and he would wear it out for years. It's just the kind of relationship that the two of us have had over the past thirty years. Gary and I disagree regularly, but it's healthy, as the right choice usually lies between the two opposing viewpoints. On this one however I had to agree with him, it's a smart move to do it now before the season starts. It's an investment in reliability.

"So just in case there was not enough to do already, there is a motor change as well. Just goes to show that the off-season is never long enough. Let's hope the weather plays ball over the next few weeks, looks like PMR are gonna need it!

Many thanks to our loyal business partners Disco Equipment, Drag Race Engineering, PiranaZ - Clothing with Attitude! - Geddex, London Road Tyres and all the rest of you guys and girls who support us. Last but not least Eurodragster.com - simply the best (Oh I say, thanks - Ed)."

Web site updates.
22nd March: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent A Car, street-legal Pro Mod racer Andy Frost concludes that he and the Red Victor team will make the ball... the Thunderball, that is. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Alan Currans has updated the official web site of the UK's Chaos Fuel Altered team with the latest pictures of the changes being made to the bodywork at FGR Motorsport. You can take a look via the Latest News link at www.chaos-fuel-altered.com.

Lenny Bennett.
21st March: Luke Bennett writes with the sad news that Bennett Racing patriarch Lenny Bennett passed away on 12th March at the age of 86:

Lenny will be remembered by racers and the like from years past, as he was the Crew Chief of the Phantasm Ford Pop which we very successfully raced in the 1980s. Also, of course, he was a father to five, grandad to fourteen and great grandad to seven. A truly great man, very dear to us all, who will be greatly missed.

For those wanting to attend his funeral, it is on the 27th March at 1:15 pm. If you wish to attend please E-Mail us at

Event entry update.
20th March: Entry is currently open for the Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals, variously the second and third rounds of the UK Championships, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 5th-7th May. Official entry forms are available on the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at
www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. If you have any queries about event entry at Shakespeare County Raceway then please contact the track at enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk or call 01789 720180 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180).

Entry is also open for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-29th April and which is a Championship round for Super Modified, Sportsman ET, Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Anglia and Junior Drag Bike. You can download the official entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Entry is still open for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April, but standard-priced entry closed last Friday so entry now, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. Again you can download the official entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out the Version 11 of the Easter Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

If you have any queries about entry to the Easter Thunderball or Big Bang then you can contact SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail paula.marshall@btconnect.com.

Santa Pod Raceway are accepting advance bookings for the Peak Performance Day on Sunday 1st April. Peak Performance Days feature limited entry to guarantee track time and a track prepped to National Event standard, with full safety cover. There is also a Run What You Brung on Saturday 31st March for which pre-booking is not necessary. For more information or to book check out www.rwyb.com.

Swift snippets.
20th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com shows a mystery style icon wearing highly-intimidating clothing which may or may not conform to current Health and Safety regulations. "If spotted do not approach without sunglasses", says our mole. "This could be the fashion for Dragstalgia weekend, if anyone else is brave enough". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Thanks to Dave Biggadyke for letting us know that Steve and Emma of the UK's Taylor Drag Racing Sportsman ET team became Mr and Mrs Taylor last Saturday. "May all their future times together be quick ones", says Dave. We second that, our best wishes to Steve and Emma for a long and happy future.

Editor's note: Due to continued pressure of work in your News Editor's day job we have a small backlog of news which we will post on the next update. Tune back for another spy picture revelation, news of a transplant operation at Paul Marston Racing and more, and please keep the news coming to news@eurodragster.com.

Thunderball VIP packages.
20th March: Kelly Dormer of Santa Pod Raceway says that SPR's hospitality package leaves is no excuse not to get the family together or to invite guests to the Autotrader Easter Thunderball.

"This is your chance for close-to-the-action viewing in our new VIP Bankside Suite for just £89 + VAT per person", says Kelly. "The package includes:
  • Admission to the event
  • VIP Bankside Suite admission for one day
  • Balcony viewing
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Hot fork buffet lunch
  • VIP toilets
  • Souvenir of the day
  • Privilege parking
"For more information or to book please call the office on 01234 782828 or E-Mail kelly@santapod.com."

MPM Oil backing Thaliah.
19th March: UK Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb is to be sponsored by
MPM Oil again this season. The youngest member of the MPM Oil team, and still one of the youngest drag racers in the UK at eight years old, is contesting her first full season this year after having to await her birthday before she could join the 2011 UK National Championship.

"Thaliah had a great time last year", said mum Sandie Gibb. "She was consistent and she had fun which we teach her is the main thing. She can't wait to get back out there this year. She is excited about the FIA Main Event where she will pit with all of the MPM-sponsored Pro Mods and Funny Cars. We would like to say a big Thank You to Michiel Van Wilgen and Richard Stevens of MPM Oil for sponsoring Thaliah for another season."

Thaliah is also involved in Team 4Gs with sisters Corrinne, Kirsty and Annalieze who are currently putting together a Citroen Dyane altered initially headed for Sportsman ET. This is a sister car to Dale Reardon's Dyane which longtime readers will recall was last seen in Street Eliminator. Meanwhile Sandie's '38 Opel, which is destined for Pro ET, is due to go into Fester Race Cars this week for final work before the chassis is powder coated and the motor replaced.

Swift snippets.
19th March: 15:40 Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 10 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Standard-priced entry closed on Friday so entry now, if accepted, will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you were tuned in to our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored coverage of Autosport International you will recall that Track Manager David Lloyd-Jones said that Santa Pod Raceway would remain open on the Tuesday after FIA Main Event weekend (5th June) possibly as a rain date but also because the day is a public holiday in the UK. Further to this, manageress Sue tells us that the Pit Stop Café in the pits at Santa Pod will be open on Tuesday 5th June between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Congratulations to Malta's Chris Polidano and the Kalanc/Gold RV Top Methanol Dragster team who set a new track record of 5.643/253.29 at Hal-Far Raceway at the weekend. Tuner and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn tells us that both Chris and the crew did very well indeed and that thanks are due to the staff of the Malta Drag Racing Association for their work and help over the weekend. The Kalanc/Gold RV team will next be contesting the Autotrader Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

Spencer Tramm asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Super Street Bike racer Wayne Saunders, which we are very happy to do: have a great day Wayne. No news update yesterday so we were unable to say Happy Birthday to our good buddy and Shakespeare County Raceway track announcer and Nicest Guy In Drag Racing candidate Barry Bohannon. Hope you had a great day Barry and let's hear no more talk about fruit.

Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell asked us to say a big Thank You to Leif Andréasson, Adam Flamholc, Ulf Ögge and their teams for their contributions to pit notes, help and hospitality at last weekend's NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville. We second that, thanks very much guys: judging by the feedback we have received Ed's pit notes from Gainesville went down very well.

We will mention this again before our next webcast but if anyone pulls a sickie to attend an event this season then we recommend that they do not walk in front of the Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam since with the increased picture size and quality this season they will be clearly identifiable. Not that we are suggesting that anyone would ever attend a drag race on a sickie.

Help sought in scam investigation.
19th March: UK Super Pro ET racer Sam Freeman has been in touch asking for help in tracing someone involved in an alleged scam (Not related to our own Swap Meet - Ed). We are presenting Sam's words verbatim and all enquiries should be addressed to him:

As far as I can make out someone has bought from a Midlands-based person a pair of Weld front wheels, the valve is on the inner rim. I would like to make contact with that person as it would appear that the seller did not own the wheels. The owner is in the USA where so far he is not only out of pocket for the goods but also the postage. I've been given two locations for the buyer: sixty miles west of Stratford upon Avon and Milton Keynes.

It is the only item that we have not managed to trace and either repatriate or sell on behalf of the true owner (and forward the funds), if the person that bought them is known to anyone could they let me know. 

I believe the current legal position is that although they have paid in good faith the goods were effectively stolen and therefore would be returned to the owner. However if that person could obtain a refund from the seller we could then pay the legal owner what he is due. 

This was not the only item that has been sold by the person, it's also not the only item that he bought and did not pay for. 

Please contact me by E-Mail by clicking here.

Feature: NHRA Gatornationals.
17th March: The latest in our occasional series of Features brought to you in association with Lucas Oil Products is Roger's illustrated report from last weekend's NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals in Gainesville.

Roger's report and pictures cover all classes contested at the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Don't forget that there is an additional gallery of Ed and Roger's Gatornationals pit note pictures, also presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog would like to say a big Thank You to Roger for his patience, as he sent all three of his recent NHRA event reports immediately each event finished but pressure of work in Tog's day job prevented their timely posting, and to Simon who stepped up to the plate and coded posted the two latest Features.

Springbridge Direct back Wild Bunch.
7th March: The UK's Wild Bunch are pleased to welcome on board a new sponsor for 2012. Springbridge Direct Ltd, manufacturers of topsoils and related products for industry, who will be sponsoring the Club's MSA Event Challenge series over the four MSA rounds at which the Wild Bunch are competing this season.

Springbridge Direct Ltd is one of the UK's top suppliers of landscaping materials. They have been in business over twenty years and are therefore well-placed to offer a quality product at the cheapest prices to the landscaping and construction industry. The business has grown from a small family-run garden centre into one of the most competitive landscape supply companies in Britain.

Springbridge Direct Ltd primarily supply topsoils, composts, barks, aggregates and turf, either loose or in bulk bags. They have their own fleet of low-carbon trucks and will deliver to your site and can supply anywhere in the South East, including London and all low-emission zones (further afield for larger orders) and are happy to deal with anyone from small retail customers up to large national and multi-national companies. The company prides itself on speed, timing and service and will always try to offer the best service possible along with the best price, because they understand that a good successful business is based upon customers who come back year after year.

For further information, visit www.springbridge.co.uk, E-Mail info@springbridge.co.uk or call 0845 370 1919.

The Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Challenge will be contested at the following events in 2012:

6th-9th April: Autotrader Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway
5th-7th May: Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
25th-27th August: Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
22nd-23rd September: VP Racing Fuels National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway

"The Wild Bunch are very grateful to Springbridge Direct for their generous support of this Series", says Wild Bunch Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows. "Let the Challenge begin!"

Swift snippets.
17th March: UK 8.50 Bike racer Jake Mechaell is pleased to announce a new sponsorship and support deal with EPS Motorsport for 2012. "Electronic Performance System, run by Dave Rowe, is a company involved in the supply and support of motorsport electronics" says Jake. "They design and build systems for all levels, from club racers to professional teams. EPS only work with the highest quality parts from MoTeC, Haltech, Asnu and Bosch. They can also provide full engine mapping and calibration services as well as trackside support. Please take a minute to check out the EPS Motorsport web site and on-line shop at www.epsmotorsport.com."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (above right) came with the words "Topspeed also do corners". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

The popular North London Ace Café and Shakespeare County Raceway have been asked to locate a race car or hot rod for prospective display at the Great British Tattoo Show to be held at Olympia on 21st-22nd April. If you would like your vehicle to be considered for the show then please contact Janet Wilsmore Cook at janet@ace-cafe-london.com or Shakespeare County Raceway at enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.

Richard Stevens of Eurodragster.com sponsor MPM Oil UK, FGR Motorsport, and the Shockwave Fuel FC team asked us to say Happy Birthday for yesterday (Friday) to MPM Oil International Director Michiel van Wilgen. Hope you had a great day Michiel.

Web site updates.
17th March: Our good friend and occasional stand-in photographer Julian Hunt has updated his gallery site at www.julianhunt.net with a large set of pictures from last October's Flame and Thunder Show and the next day's Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. As ever Julian's excellent pictures cover a range of subjects both on- and off-track and include a large number not seen on Eurodragster.com's Event Coverage of the event, for which Julian was photographing.

For the benefit of RWYBers, Santa Pod Raceway has just launched a new section of their forum dedicated to the RWYB Challenge. "The forum is open to racers, fans and teams alike and gives you a place where you can talk about all things RWYB-related", says James Forster. "This provides an easy to access platform to get any RWYB queries answered by track staff and fellow racers: perhaps they can help you out in your quest to get from start to finish in as little time possible. So what are you waiting for? Come on in and say hello at www.santapod.co.uk/forums/viewforum.php?f=13.

"Please also see www.rwyb.co.uk/cc_results2012.php for the latest tables and RWYB Challenge results. The Challenge is open to everyone running the quarter mile at public RWYBs and is absolutely free to register. The next eligible date is next Saturday, 24th March."

Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog has updated his Smugmug site with a set of pictures from last weekend's Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway. "The pictures are a bit samey, but as regular readers will recall we were testing a new webcam last Saturday and I was preoccupied with that all day", says Tog. If that hasn't put you off then you can check out Tog's Saturday Night Special gallery at eurodragster.smugmug.com or www.togsdragracing.com.

Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has updated his Smugmug site with pictures from last weekend's NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville. Ed managed to find time between his seemingly-ceaseless pit note efforts to catch some of the on-track action and you can check out his shots at www.surfphotonh.com.

Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a fourth page of pictures in the Peter Quinn Collection. " There are sixty nine images of Fuel Funny Cars from the Golden Age of 1972, when Peter visited Ontario Motor Speedway and Orange County International Raceway on the tour arranged by Queensway Travel", says Alan. "All the major stars of the period are represented in this flopper extravaganza". You can check out Peter's superb photographs via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Easter Thunderball entry.
16th March: Standard-priced entry closes today (Friday) for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. Entry after today, if accepted, will be subject to a Late Entry penalty.

You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at

Courtesy of Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club you can check out Version 9 of the official entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Fielding more than one driver?
16th March: Yvonne Tramm of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked us to remind teams that if they plan on fielding more than one driver in their vehicle in the same class in the UK Championships then they must register the fact with SPRC and APIRA, and they must do so before the Autotrader Easter Thunderball. Yvonne tells us that thus far she has been informed of only three teams who plan to field multiple drivers.

If you are planning to field more than one driver in the same vehicle in the same class this season then please send all driver names, team name, race number and class to Yvonne at ytramm@africonnect.com as soon as possible.

Speedgroup Finland meeting.
16th March: Speedgroup Co-ordinator Åsa Kinnemar has been in touch with a reminder that Speedgroup will be holding an information meeting in Helsinki next Friday, 23rd March. The meeting is open to FIA/UEM Championship and EDRS European Drag Racing Series teams, and stewards and officials are also welcome. The location is US Parts at Holkkitie 10, where SFI recertification will also be taking place that day.

"The Speedgroup meeting starts at 11:00 and is will go on for between two and three hours depending upon questions and discussions - we see the feedback and question part as very important", says Åsa. "We are holding one integrated meeting for FIA, UEM and EDRS. We will start with FIA and UEM Championship matters and then move on to the EDRS European Drag Racing Series.

"If you wish to attend the meeting or have any questions then please E-Mail me at asa.kinnemar@speedgroup.eu or call me on +46 705 31 53 32."

SFI Tour reminder.
16th March: On the subject of the SFI Tour, a quick reminder of this year's dates:

22nd March: Werner Habermann Racing, Kinzigstrasse 100, 63505 Langenselbold, Germany. Inspections 09:00 to 12:00.

23rd March: US Parts Speedshop, Holkkitie 10, Helsinki, Finland. Inspections 09:00 to 12:00.

24th March: Persåkers Speed Shop, 28 Solbergavagen, Akers Styckebruk, Sweden. Shop opens 10:00, inspections commence 12:00.

26th March: Santa Pod Raceway, Podington, England. Inspections 09:00 to 14:00.

SFI will be able to perform certification inspections on the following parts:

SFI 4.1 Rigid Auto Trans Shield
SFI 29.1 and 29.2 Flexplates
SFI 30.1 Flexplate Shield
SFI 15.1, 15.2 & 15.3 Drag Race Wheels
SFI 1.1 to 1.5 Clutch Assemblies
SFI 6.1 to 6.3 Bellhousings

Lucas Oil back NGMotorsport.
16th March: Further to Wednesday's spy picture, Nick Good of the UK's NGMotorsport Super Pro ET team is proud to announce a partnership with Lucas Oil Products.

"After a meeting with Lucas Oil (UK) Managing Director Les Downey at the Autosport Internataional Show in Janurary, we were delighted to come to an agreement to work together for the new season", says Nick. "Both of the NGMotorsport Beovax-Lucas Oil Dragsters will carry the Lucas Oil livery.

"Lucas Products have proven themselves at all levels of motorsport worldwide, their range of high performance racing oils and gear oils are second to none in the racing industry. Lucas also has one of the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry. A premium line of oils, greases and problem-solving additives have helped establish Lucas as a prominent figure in this market-place.

"It is testament to the hard work of the team that we have been able to attract a company such as Lucas - a company involved in motorsport at the very highest levels. We would like to say a big Thank You to Les Downey whose assistance will ensure that both cars will be able to compete at all Championship rounds this year.

"On the track, 2011 was the team's most successful season yet. I took the win at the FIA European Finals, and Dave Catton won the last round of the UK Championship at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals. The driver line-up will remain the same for 2012 and the team's first appearance will be at the Autotrader Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway.

"For more information on the team, visit www.ngmotorsport.co.uk and for more information on Lucas Oil Products visit www.lucasoil.co.uk or call 01284 723666."

MPM Oil back Meihuizen.
16th March: MPM International Oil Company is the new main sponsor of Dutch Pro Modified racer Marc Meihuizen, writes Remco Scheelings.

"Last year was our best season ever", says Marc who finished fourth in the 2011 FIA European Pro Mod Championship. "But we wanted to step up to the next level and together with MPM we can make that happen. I'm very happy with this deal and I'm sure that it will lead to a long-term co-operation between JWR Racing and MPM."

You can read more at Autosport.nl.

Garrett exposes his Willys.
15th March: The UK's Rick Garrett has revealed that the Willys Pro Mod featured in Monday's spy picture is his 2012 ride.

When we last heard from Rick he was all set to import a 1970½ Camaro from the USA, so we started by asking him what had happened to that car. "I went over there and found I couldn't fit in it!", Rick explained. "The cage was tiny. So I had to leave it and it has taken me this long to find something else."

Rick's new car was built by Tommy Mauney Race Cars and is a proven quantity, running competitively in ADRL in the USA. The body is carbon fibre by Hairy Glass and the powerplant will be a 738 ci Fulton nitrous motor with an automatic transmission. Rick said that the car is very light, featuring lots of titanium and also a full set of carbon fibre brakes.

"We won't be out at Easter because work commitments are pressing and we won't have time", said Rick. "We will definitely be out for the FIA Main Event and we will attend a couple of test sessions beforehand."

Rick asked us to say a big Thank You to Ian and Claire at Schumacher Cargo UK who arranged the car's shipping, arriving thirteen days after leaving New York. "It's a family-run business, honest, with good rates, and they deliver on time", said Rick. "Bringing in a car can be quite daunting but they take the stress out of it."

Springspeed Nationals entry.
14th March: The official entry forms for the Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 5th-7th May, are now available on the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at

Entry forms for August's Open Sport Nationals will be posted on the SCR web site shortly.

If you have any queries about event entry at Shakespeare County Raceway then please contact the track at enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk or call 01789 720180 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180).

Feature: NHRA Arizona Nationals.
7th March: The latest in our occasional series of Features brought to you in association with Lucas Oil Products is Roger's illustrated report from the recent NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix.

Roger's report and pictures cover all classes contested at the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

VWDRC kick off 25th Anniversary.
14th March: The UK's Volkswagen Drag Racing Club kicked off the year with a great display of race cars at club sponsor Dubs Shows UK's season opener Ultimate Dubs at the Telford International Centre. Club Chair Luke Stevenson writes:

It was an extremely busy show with a lot of interest in the cars. We were there not only to show off the cars but to champion the art of Bracket Racing with potential new racers, and fingers crossed we acheived our goal. Partnered with Santa Pod's stand we were able to promote our sport and this year's calender and also play with the Christmas Tree, which was a great chance to blow the cobwebs off our reaction times.

With round one of VWDRC's 25th Anniversary season coming fast the whole Club is getting very excited and cannot wait to be back at the track, although Easter's meeting will be missing some of the club's regular racers who are taking part in a Chartiy Event which involves enduring a seven-day ride on a 50cc moped from John o'Groats to Lands End in aid of Brad's Cancer Trust.  So keep an eye out for them on the road, you won't miss them as there's about a hundred of them. You can follow them and make a donation on the Jogle 4 Brad's Facebook page.

Next weekend it will be the turn of the Club's Aircooled representavives who are showing their Cars at the Volksworld Show at Sandown Park in Esher.

The latest news on Club sponsors is that we have been joined by Bears Transmissions, one of the UK's best names in VW/Porsche transmission rebuilds and upgrades. They can cater for all kinds of gearbox options from fast road cars to full on drag cars and circuit dubs. Thanks to them and to all of our other sponsors for 2012: Volkszone, Dubz-by-Dan, Reichspeed, Bio-Cam, Vibra-Technics, WRP Paint and Restoration and Sub11Motorsport.

A brace of Pro Mod sponsorships.
14th March: UK Pro Modified racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing team are proud to announce a partnership with Topspeed Automotive and Hoosier Tire for 2012:

An established business based in Surrey which also has an on-line shop, Topspeed has become one of the premier speed shops in the UK. Topspeed carry a large range of EU-compliant Hoosier drag and street tyres in stock and can order and deliver ex-stock items in two weeks. You can find some of the more popular items on the web site at www.topspeedautomotive.co.uk.

Red Victor 1 Racing team principal Andy Frost says "Being involved with Billy and Vinnie at Topspeed Automotive is great news for the team, and with backing and technical info from Hoosier Tire, it can only complement our racing program this year. We're looking forward to a successful 2012 and beyond with both companies."

Bill, Vinnie and the team at Topspeed Automotive Ltd say "We are pleased to announce we are helping with the supply of Hoosier slick tyres for the Red Victor 1 race team for 2012. We are all looking forward to this year's racing and are extremely happy to help support and supply Hoosier tyres for one of the best-engineered cars on the planet. We wish Andy and his entire team the very best of luck over the coming season."

The team wish to thank Topspeed Automotive and Hoosier for their support, and look forward to highlighting their products on Red Victor 3!

Fellow Pro Modified racer Wayne Nicholson and the Lucky Devil team are pleased to welcome Dent Repairs as sponsors for the 2012 race season.

"Dan and his team carry out paintless dent repairs, offering a fantastic service and great quality of workmanship", says Wayne. "A great wealth of experience is shown massaging metal without the need for paintwork.

"A big Thank You to Dan for his support. I don't think the performance figures we were talking about were making sense at first when we were discussing the racing!"

You can find out more on Wayne's web site at www.luckydevil777dragracing.com.

Swift snippets.
14th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 7 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes this Friday, 16th March, after which entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Having moved from Comp Eliminator to a Ford-powered Pro Stock Sweden's Christian Sagelv has signed a sponsorship deal with Gulf Oil Sweden. Christian has launched a Facebook page which you can check out by clicking here.

We have no less than three spy pictures for you today. The first came with the words "Green for Green" whilst the second came with no words. The third came from the same E-Mail address as last week's "Mirror mirror on the car" spy picture so it is probably safe to assume that it is the same car. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä has a provisional plan to test at Tierp Arena in May before contesting the entire FIA European Championship tour. Anita says that there is a lot to do but that the team are making good progress.

Sweden's Thomas Lindström and the Ernryd Cars-sponsored Pro Stock team have a new motor on the way giving the team the luxury of a spare motor. Modifications to the car include new front struts and the operation will be riding in a new trailer.

France's Jean Dulamon is rebuilding the damaged motor of his Camaro Pro Modified and plans to contest four of this year's Championship rounds.

Hans Olav Olstad's new Supertwin, named Thunderstruck, is well on the way to completion and Hans Olav plans a couple of test sessions before the FIA Main Event. The new bike will be running 100% nitro.

Svein Olav Rolfstad and Jan Sturla Hegre will be carrying parachutes on their Supertwins this season. Jan Sturla's bike also has a new motor.

You can read a lot more about the above, plus workshop updates from EDRS racers and the latest about the European Championships and EDRS Drag Racing Series, in the latest issue of the Speedgroup newsletter which you can check out by clicking here.

The UK's Junior Dragster League is proud to announce that Bradleigh Vardy is the latest driver and recipient of a Driver's Scholarship. Bradleigh, an experienced Junior Drag Bike racer, has decided to replace two wheels with four in the newly-sponsored Voltz Energy Shots dragster and will race alongside his younger brother Jason who drives the Fueltopia-sponsored dragster. Over the course of the season Bradleigh will be tutored by JDL officials, past drivers and assigned mentors.

Further to our news item of 5th March Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe is getting very close indeed to his target of £1000 for the London to Brighton bike ride to aid the British Heart Foundation in memory of his father. It's not too late to make a pledge so if you would like to help Andy towards a grand and a sore butt then please check out www.justgiving.com/andymarrs.

UK JDBs cancel Round 4.
14th March: The UK's Junior Drag Bike calendar has been amended after the fourth round, originally scheduled for 6th-7th July at Shakespeare County Raceway, was cancelled. The revised JDB calendar is as follows:

6th-9th April: Autotrader Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April: Big Bang, Santa Pod Raceway
5th-7th May: Voltz Energy Shots Springspeed Nationals, Shakepeare County Raceway
25th-27th August: Open Sport Nationals, Shakepeare County Raceway
22nd-23rd September: VP Racing Fuels National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway

Sharron Collier explains: JDB along with NAST, NSA and any other class running a permit at a Run What You Brung weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway are no longer allowed to practice in the RWYB sessions until all qualifying is finished on Saturday, and until each individual rider is knocked out in eliminations on Sunday. All RWYB has previously been included in our race entry fee.

On speaking to a representative of SCR we further found that our three ACU permitted qualifying slots and all our eliminations slots would not be start line times, but the time at which the class had to join the back of the RWYB queue. We were concerned as this is usually a busy meeting with queues sometimes stretching as far as the catering area. Last year our riders struggled in the baking heat whilst waiting to go into our JDB eliminations behind the queue of RWYB vehicles which can use the track as much as they like all day long. It takes six minutes to run a whole field of JDB qualifying, and obviously less and less time to run eliminations on Sunday. We expressed our views and said that we would be happy to accept the no RWYB rule if a compromise could be reached regarding official ACU permit slots. We submitted our ideas, but sadly we were unable to reach a compromise.

We discussed the rules with all of the parents who discussed with their children, and the overwheling majority said that they would prefer to drop this round from the Championship.

We love SCR and have no bad feeling towards any official or representative concerned. However we always strive to look after the welfare and morale of our riders. JDB will continue to race at SCR, and will be at Springspeed Nationals and Open Sports Nationals and some of the test weekends.

The new ball and chain.
14th March: When UK Wild Bunch Series Champion Adam Price of Team Gridlock had his stag party, fellow racers Chris and Claire of C&C Racing took a Drag Racing twist to the customary ball-and-chain which is attached to the prospective groom's ankle. Dexter Price writes:

Chris and Claire made an ally fuel tank instead of the heavy ball. After trudging around the race track all evening, Adam has had this in pride of place in the workshop to remind him of the great thought that went into making it. He eventually decided to incorporate the tank into the 2012 build of the Go Hard or Go Home altered.

Adam said "The tank means a lot to the team and I, and we wanted it to be seen rather than just sit in the workshop. So we took it to Fester Race Cars to be turned into a fully-fledged tank". The team had hoped to keep it under wraps for the Easter Thunderball to show C&C Racing what we had done but a few keen photographers have already spotted it, and it has appeared in several places, so we thought we should tell its story.

Swift snippets.
12th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 5 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by
clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes this Friday, 16th March, after which entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Sitting in my workshop". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Job Heezen has good news for those sad about Roel Koedam's retirement from drag racing. "Roel has bought himself a nice mobile kitchen where he can make his famous Vietnamese spring rolls - see the picture", says Job. "He will take the rig to the track, starting with the Easter Thunderball. Orders will be taken by Monique (+31 613 589 620) who will also take care of the PR of this newly-born and fresh company."

Further to our US Correspondent Ed O'Connell's pit notes from Gainesville over the weekend we have posted a gallery of all of the shots with which Ed supplied us together with some pictures sent by Photo Editor Roger Gorringe. The Gatornationals Pit Notes Gallery is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

A day late for which apologies but a Happy Birthday for yesterday (Sunday) to UK Super Street Bike racer Graham Dance. Hope you had a great day G.

Steve Dudley tells us that the next slot drag race at MrD Raceway takes place between 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm on Friday 30th March at the Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA. For more details check out the MrD web site at slotdragracing.weebly.com, and for more about the slot drags check out our recent Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Feature by clicking here.

EDRS Funny Bike update.
11th March: Race Director Jerry Lackey has been in touch with news of the inclusion of EDRS Funny Bike at two events:

The 27th NitrOlympX at Hockenheim on 10th-12 August will include EDRS Funny Bike. Based on our present time schedule, we will only accept twelve Funny Bikes for an eight-bike field. We will therefore require recent time slips with each entry form. We expect to have all our Event Entry information on our web site at
www.nitrolympx.de by May.

The organiser of the Grand National event at Bechyne in the Czech Republic on 29th June-1st July will also include EDRS Funny Bike for the first time. MSTO entry forms will be on the MSTO web site at www.msto.org at the end of April or the start of May.

Gainesville pit notes 3.
11th March: Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has been in touch with another set of pit notes from this weekend's NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville:

Pro Stock Motorcyclist Ulf Ögge finally made a clean run in the fourth qualifying session, running a 7.034 which qualified him at #16. After watching the four riders who could bump him from the field fail to better his time, he was in the show to race today. Ulf said this was his only clean run of the event and his best ever eighth mile time at 4.46. He will face #1 qualifier Eddie Krawiec today. Ulf wanted to thank Mike Hammock from Vroom Racing for all his help this weekend. It was an uphill struggle all through qualifying because mechanical failures prevented him from completing the first two qualifying sessions. In qualifying session #3, high winds forced him close to the wall, and slowed him to a 7.37. Ulf felt that if data had been collected from the first two sessions, he would have been more competitive and improved his qualifying time.

The UK's Andy Bissett, clutch specialist for John Force Racing, is very pleased with his start of this season, finally getting a win at Pomona with John Force's Funny Car. Andy has been racing at Pomona since 2002. Over that ten year period, he raced as crew chief on Dave Wilson's Top Methanol Dragster, and then as clutch specialist with Ashley Force's Top Alcohol Dragster and Nitro Funny Car, and finally as clutch specialist on John Force's Nitro Funny Car. He has been with John Force Racing for eight years.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson commented on his 5.80 run in qualifying session #1. He stated that he had to overcome tyre shake by pedalling at least once. During the second qualifying session, he had too much power and spun the tires immediately. Leif said he was amazed at the amount of power this car has. In preparing for qualifying session #3, he planned to keep the same power but run with less clutch. One of the major adjustments he has to make from his old car is the difference between the hanging clutch pedal and the standing clutch pedal. His preparations paid off in qualifying session #3 with an ET of 5.619 which qualified him #8 but then he made a first round exit to #9 qualifier Andy Bohl.

Pro Mod driver Adam Flamholc and his fuel system specialist Mike Canter described their qualifying session #2 run of 6.146. At four seconds into the run, a rocker arm came off and caused the motor to drop a cylinder. Additionally, the fuel system lean out did not activate. The team tore down the transmission because they were gun shy due to previous transmission problems but found the unit undamaged. During the first round of eliminations, Adam made his first full pass of the meeting with no mechanical problems, and despite leaving first and running an ET of 6.064, he was defeated by Rickie Smith. Adam was pleased that they got to sort out a lot of problems this weekend and plans to compete in the entire ADRL series.

Running into Paul Spaxman, Laurie Bamford, and Barry Sheavills without Gary Page, Barry commented "England's Fab Four have become the Three Musketeers". Unfortunately, Gary was in a Gainesville hospital being treated for extreme dehydration. He was expected to be released this afternoon. Our best wishes to Gary.

Ulf Ögge has his first round of eliminations today and you will be able to stay in touch with his progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Good luck Ulf and stay safe.

Revealed before Dragstalgia!
11th March: Cool Green Racing have confirmed that the recent spy pictures of a car to be revealed at Dragstalgia are of their Nitro Fuel Altered named Mayhem. Chris Emms writes:

The car was purchased from Glen Child after passing through the hands of Tony Betts, Jim Seward, Darius Walters and originally belonged to Rob, Carmel and Steve Tuner back in the late 1980s at which time I crewed on it.

The car has been into the FGR Motorsport workshop and has been extensively updated with a new roll cage, new front end and steering cross bracing to name just a few modifications (Ricky is 6' 2"). Jason and the guys at FGR have done some great work on the car and have been very accommodating, and produced excellent work as usual.

The body has also had some minor updates carried out by Cool Green Racing, and other modifications of which there are plenty include a new front and rear wing constructed by Richard Walters who also does excellent work, I am really impressed with his craftsmanship in construction of the wings and his attention to detail.

The engine is a TFX 96 block from Shockwave Fuel Funny Car. We have JFR cylinder heads, JFR 14/71 SSI blower, Brad inlet manifold, 44 amp mag and other goodies to make the car run well on 85% nitro.

The car will make its first appearance at Dragstalgia. However we are unsure if the car will run there due to parts sourcing issues and a shortage of funds, but we will have our artic, trailer and awning there to display the car. Come and have a chat we would love to meet you and show you around the car.

The plan is for me to drive the car for a few meetings then Ricky will take over as the primary driver.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the excellent drag racing family. I would like to say an extra big thanks to Bob Jarrett and John Spuffard who have been brilliant, their knowledge and support has been very much appreciated. Thanks also to Dave Bryant, Jason Phelps, Roy Phelps, Bill Sherratt, Lawrie Gatehouse, Bob Glassup and all the guys at the NFAA - the best bunch of guys you could ever meet. Thanks also to Rob, Carmel and Steve Turner, James Forster and David Lloyd-Jones at Santa Pod Raceway, and to my family Sue, Ricky and Summer.

Swift snippets.
11th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "All the money in the Pro Mod engine = very very cheap paint booth". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Chris, Mark, Jade, Ben, Lee, Sarah, Liam and TJ asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows. Our pleasure guys, have a lovely day Claire.

Grazzi Malta!
11th March: After a successful private test at Malta's Hal Far Raceway providing track prep for FIA Top Methanol Dragster driver Chris Polidano, VP Racing Fuels UK and Ireland distributor and Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child is returning to Hal Far for the first round of the MDRA Drag Racing Championship. Lee tells us that he has an excellent week providing track prep for Chris and the whole Kalanc team:

After some maintenance on the track prep equipment we were ready to rock with five days of track prep..Mother Nature decided different on this and gave us some unseasonal cold temperatures and a splash of rain showers for two days. With the showers gone the cool temperatures remained but this was not a problem for the track prep. Malta's VP Racing Fuels distributor delivered the VP Racing Fuels traction compound Lane Choice 7 and we were ready after continuous cleaning and sledding.

The Kalanc team worked really hard to get the car race ready to make this one shot on Thursday late afternoon. Mr Sun had other ideas and the track temperature was low and falling very quickly. The air was fantastic and the ex-Gold RV was making excellent power, well too much to be fair.Chris staged the car after a good burnout but on the hit the tyres rotated thirty percent and then smoked but newest member to FIA Top Methanol Maltese Drivers' Club was off the gas like a flash.

The next two days the Kalanc team were turning the car round like pros with the team's tuner Derek Flynn. Chris ran sub one second sixty foot passes and clocked two five second passes to finish off his private test and gain his FIA licence.

On the Friday evening MDRA Committee invited me to their meeting to discuss the 2012 season and my findings on attending two events back in 2011. The meeting was very positive making the future of Maltese drag racing very promising. I have no doubt that some really good things will happen at a progressive rate at Hal Far Raceway. The MDRA also gave me the excellent news that I am to be hired for track prep at all five MDRA Championship rounds.

A big thank you to all of the Kalanc team and to Chris Polidano's family for making me feel so welcome. It was an absolute pleasure to be involved. Also a big thank you to the MDRA Committee for hiring me and for being a pleasure to work with.

Saturday Night Special gallery.
11th March: In association with Alamo Rent-A-Car we have posted a photo gallery of today's action at the Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out yesterday's gallery via the Saturday Night Special event index page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Many thanks to Mark Skinner for passing us a picture of Paul Hudson having a Terry Grant moment in his Super Gas Camaro, a moment which luckily ended with the car still shiny side up.

We would also like to thank all those who sent feedback on the new Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam. The issue of frequent advertisements on UStream appeared to be the main concern but that's why the UStream server is the contingency recourse: advertisements will not of course be an issue when we broadcast using the usual Doyousee.me service.

Gainesville pit notes 2.
10th March: Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has been in touch with another set of pit notes from this weekend's NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville:

Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc and crewman Oscar Berseus described a thrash to rebuild their transmission after arriving in Gainesville Thursday evening. During testing at Valdosta they had fitted their existing Lenco three-speed transmission with an automatic air shifter, legal in the US, but not accepted in Europe for FIA competition. The unit appeared to have a defect which burned out the transmission and clutch assembly. Adam is currently running a Leanders nine-inch three-disc clutch and a blower from Mike Janis who is helping him out this weekend. Adam said jokingly that Mike Janus had guaranteed a 5.90 run. Adam ran a 6.147/230.69 in the first qualifying session damaging the transmission again. After a between-rounds thrash he ran a 6.146/231.04 in the second qualifying round and is currently qualified at #12 with one session remaining. Adam's favourite restaurant in the US is the Bonefish Grill.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson was racing for the first time in a new car purchased from Steve Harker who is helping out Leif this weekend. Leif jokingly said that Steve came with the car, which has a similar set-up to Leif's previous car with Brad Anderson components. Leif purchased the car last May but was too busy with getting the Tierp facility up and running to arrange to ship the car to Europe. He ran a few events last year with his previous Funny Car which he sold to Malta's Chris Farrugia, who he hopes will get licenced and race a few FIA events this year. Leif made two successful test runs at Valdosta and was optimistic that his new car and new SFI 2012 Stand21 firesuit, made in France and which Leif said was extremely flexible and comfortable, would run well this weekend. Leif ran a very clean 5.804/251.02 right out of the box and is currently qualified in the #11 spot. Leif's favourite US restaurant is Tony Roma.

Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Ulf Ögge had some incredibly bad luck in qualifying round #1 when at the launch a $2.00 washer in the transmission broke on the launch, aborting the run giving him no time and collecting no data. His nightmare continued in qualifying round #2 when his bike broke before the burnout. Ulf doesn't have a favorite US restaurant as he has not eaten since arriving in the US, living on protein shakes. He lost twenty five pounds last month, but said he is not ruling out a trip to Outback Steak House on Monday, after the race.

Jörgen Leanders is at Gainesville helping out customers of Leanders Clutch. He spoke of the plan for this season to run the current FIA Championship-winning TMFC Leanders Brothers car for the full FIA season with only minor changes. The car ran a 5.61 at a test session at Tierp and he is confident that there is a 5.5 run in the car. Jorgen's favourite restaurant in the US is the Gainesville Ale House.

Leif, Adam and Ulf Ögge will all be in action again today and you will be able to stay in touch with their progress from Friday courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Good luck guys and stay safe.

Elsom returns.
10th March: It has been a busy time at the workshop of the Elsom Motosport team as Rob and Sharon Elsom and crew prepare to return to the track in Super Modified:

We bought the car about eighteen months ago and stripped it down and went through it top to bottom. Although we knew that the car had everything we wanted to go quickly, a lot of it was a bit tired and looking a little unloved so we went through it nut and bolt, repaired the front body where it was so thin that you could bend it between your finger and thumb, and got it painted in a more familiar and subtle paint scheme.

During this time we agreed to buy an engine from ex-Super Modified racer Steve Rawlings, who generously held the motor for us while we gathered up the funds to buy it - which to be fair took much longer than expected. Thanks to Steve for waiting.

Along the way we swapped Sharon's Mustang for a motorhome, but after not being able to source a trailer with what we thought was the right money we decided to go another route.  This was probably the biggest project of the lot. It's safe to say that converting a coach to the way we wanted it was a lot of work and yes, Conrad, you did warn me. The coach build started in October and seeing as I work away we only have the weekends to get on with it. This made Christmas really busy, but we did get a lot done. As I write the coach is close to being finished.

With help from our sponsors Dijitul, who have built us a web site at www.elsommotorsport.co.uk, Delta Pixels who are funding our oil and Abbey Motorsport who are providing technical assistance, we are working hard to reach the Easter Thunderball and work permitting (it's a little too slow at the moment) we will be there.

We regularly update our Facebook page, so please visit it and click Like, it all helps.

We are doing what we can to make a go of it in Super Modified. I would like to take a minute to thank the wife, crew and sponsors for their support up to now and hope that we can all get together for a great weekend's racing at the Pod. Hopefully we'll see you all there.

Bond minds the shop.
10th March: UK blown-alcohol altered pilot Joe Bond has been in touch with the latest from the Nuthin' Fancy pit:

Firstly I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone so much for voting for me to win the APIRA Outstanding Achievement award for 2011. To have been nominated by my peers in the first place was a big surprise, but to win it is extremely humbling, and I thank everyone for voting for me. It certainly put the icing on the cake of what was easily the best year to date of my racing career. We would also like to thank everyone for their nomination of Martyn for Crew Chief of the Year. He was certainly amongst esteemed company, and was very flattered to have been shortlisted.

Regarding the car, we were all so thrilled with how the new front end on the car has performed, running us deep into the mid six-second zone. We were also thrilled with the reception the car has received in its new configuration, and to receive the Best Appearing Car award at the NFAA Dinner Dance earlier this year was true testament to all the team, as well as to Wayne Allman at Intergalactic Customs and Rich Walters for respectively doing a great job at fabrication and painting of my dream hot rod.

We hope for more of the same in the coming season. If we can run consistent mid-sixes with the car throughout the NFAA calendar then it should put us in good standing for the Championship again. 'Dad' Doug, Martyn and Lawrence are currently sunning themselves at the Gatornationals, leaving me here (albeit jealously) looking after bits and continuing preparations for Easter. Right now the Topolino body is in Somerset for a new paint job thanks to Richard and Pete Walters of Peter Walters Race Design. Don't worry, it's still black and flames, just more flames!

Please keep up to date with our racing web site at www.nuthinfancyracing.co.uk, which will forward you to our temporary Blogspot home page. If you prefer social network sites, please follow and like our Nuthin' Fancy Racing Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
10th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Still revealed at Dragstalgia!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

The UK's Motorsport Association have released guidelines for the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and internet forums. Although a lot of it is common sense anyway the MSA guidelines are worth a look and can be checked out (PDF format) by clicking here.

Testing the Mr Magoo Junior Dragster at Santa Pod Raceway today (Saturday) is Birthday Girl Joy Brett who is eleven years old today. Mum, dad and brothers Robin and Alex asked us to wish Joy a very Happy Birthday. "Let's have some more Perfect Lights please Joy!", they say.

Another backer for Red Victor.
10th March: Street-legal Pro Modified racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing team are proud to announce a new association with Europa Consultants.

Europa Consultants provide professional accident management solutions and replacement like-for-like vehicles to those involved in no-fault road traffic accidents. Making them your first call if you or somebody that you know has been involved in an accident means that they'll help guide you through the oft-complicated process, whilst remaining at all times cost-effective to the insurers.

Team Principal Andy Frost says "We're delighted to be involved with Steve and his company and thank him for backing the team in 2012. We know Steve is an avid race fan and via his company Europa Consultants is putting something back to the PH race team for this year! We also know that Europa offers a great service for racers and fans alike, and our job will be to tell people about what the company offers."

Steve Greensmith, Director at Europa Consultants, says "We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to provide sponsorship to the Red Victor 1 Racing team. We would like to wish Andy and the rest of the team all the very best for the coming season and look forward very much to seeing (and hearing!) Red Victor 3 taking to the track in the coming months. We hope to see some of you there!"

"We thank Europa Consultants for the opportunity to work with them in 2012, and thank them for their support!", adds Andy Frost.

ACAG get Hot Headed.
10th March: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is pleased to welcome on board another American supporter of the Sydney Allard 1961 dragster restoration project. This time it is Hot Heads of North Carolina who specialise in early Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge Hemi engines and parts - '51 through '58 Chrysler, writes ACAG Chair Brian Taylor:

To give the company its full title, Hot Heads Research and Racing Inc USA was established by Mike and Mellonie McLeod in 1996. Mike always had a passion for early Hemi engines and began designing and manufacturing aluminium products to suit. One of his first distributers was Bob Walker of Power Play and American Hemi Speed Centre. A few years later Bob and Debra Walker purchased the business, their initial product being the Hot Heads aluminium Hemi heads to fit the 331, 354 and 392 cubic inch engines for street rod, marine and race applications.

Their range is much broader now and we already have quite a few Hot Head bits on the Allard Chrysler dragster that were purchased by Sam Eidy and Denny Hummel when they were with Booth-Arons who recreated our 354 Chrysler Hemi engine. These include bearings, by-pass, valley cover, valve cover spacers, spark plug tubes, oil pump, intake spacers and intermediate shaft.

We even have a Hot Heads 130-tooth flywheel reflecting our original plans regarding this aspect of the recreation. But our thoughts have changed and we required a 146-tooth flywheel for an eight-bolt crank, Hot Head part no 25006.146 1951-56 Hemi engines with a list price of $465.00. Bob Walker of Hot Heads was pleased to donate this on a sponsorship basis and US Automotive supported by SBS agreed to bring it in to the UK.

Bob said "It's a privilege to be involved in such a project. I remember seeing pictures of the car in Hot Rod magazine back in the day. At present, we either manufacture or supply all of the parts required to build a new 50+ year old Chrysler Hemi engine except for a crank and block and we're working on that. Our purpose is to continue development of these beautiful and powerful engines and bring them to the attention of the hot rodding public in order to save them from the crusher. Our motto is "Thanks for helping to keep the Fire Power lit". Congratulations on the nice work to restore Hemi history. Let us know if you want any further help."

ACAG Chair Brian Taylor said "This sort of component support is so important to the project and with Bob on board we have access to one of the world's leading Hemi experts. I'm sure we will be making regular contact as we get close to firing up the engine."

Gainesville pit notes 1.
9th March: Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has been in touch with his first set of pit notes from this weekend's NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville:

Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Ulf Ögge is very excited to be preparing for his first race in the US. On Wednesday he ran a Personal Best test run of 7.08 in high winds at Valdosta GA. His best previous run was a 7.13 at Tierp last season. The high winds limited his testing to just two runs and was also responsible for an accident involving Katie Sullivan. Katie is OK but will not compete at Gainesville as the accident totalled her bike.

Ulf is being helped by John Hammock of Vroom Racing in his US efforts. He predicted a bump spot of 6.90 for this meeting, and is confident that he can be the second European Pro Stock Bike racer to get in the sixes (Fredrick Fredlund's 6.995 being the first at Pomona last November).

Denmark's Top Fuel Dragster owner/driver Stig Neergaard spoke of his plans for 2012. He will have two brand new cars, one of which he will drive. Both are new chassis built by Stig himself. The cars will have new motors built by Stig with Alan Johnson Stage 6 cylinder heads and Alan Johnson blowers. Stig will provide the tune-up and maintenance on both cars. Stig's son Kenni Neergaard may drive at two or three races, depending on funding. Stig plans to run the entire FIA Tour, and if the new combination proves successful and funding is available he will enter the Fall NHRA Las Vegas race.

Stig will also be running a Nitro Funny Car owned by his crewman, Henrik, who will also be driving it. The car was purchased from Knut Söderqvist, but will be fitted with the motor from Stig's 2008 Top Fuel car, using the same tune up which produced a 4.82 ET in the dragster. Henrik will start his licensing passes at the April meeting at Mosten race track in Denmark and hopefully complete the licensing process at the FIA Main Event. Stig stated that Mosten has a first class racing surface, and that he had run 324 mph at their September meeting.

Leif Andréasson (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Adam Flamholc (Pro Modified) and Ulf Ögge will all be in action today and you will be able to stay in touch with their progress from Friday courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Good luck guys and stay safe.

Swift snippets.
9th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 4 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes next Friday, 16th March, after which entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Anders Sjödin writes that Sweden's LLC Racing will soon be back on track after their crash at the Night of Fire at Tierp Arena last season. "Sjödin Motorsport have rebuilt the chassis, changed the whole front end, mounted some new sheet metal and a new body on the chassis", says Andreas. "Keep an eye at the LL Racing '70 Cuda in Top Doorslammer this year!"

Jonny Nilsson writes that after a successful trip to South Africa in early February he and the Fuel Funny Car team have been invited back. "We did some good burnout shows at Killarney race track and the crowd loved the smell and the noise", says Jonny. "We were really pleased that the guys from Killarney made 1000 posters for that race featuring our car and put them all up all over Cape Town. Next we're going to Tarlton Raceway in Johannesburg on 21st March: the owner of the track invited us to come down and do some more show runs, this time on a fully prepared quarter mile track!"

Accommodation on offer.
9th March: Workshop and living accommodation will be available from various racers this season.

First up is Rick Garrett who has new workshops of various sizes with electricity and water, and sldo a large yard, available one month from now. The shops and yard are in Epsom a couple of miles off Junction 9 of the M25. "These workshops are very secure, as they are on my premises", says Rick. "There would also be room for your trailers / caravans/trucks etc and we have good access for large vehicles". For more information call Rick on 07428 242744.

Leo Knight offers a master bedroom to rent in Bozeat village at £40 per night. "From summer season stays to overnight stopovers, this is the perfect alternative to hotel accommodation which is so close to Santa Pod that you can almost smell the fuel and feel the throttle!", says Leo. The room comes complete with a double bed, 42" plasma TV with Sky and Freeview plus a working desk area with fast broadband connection! Contemporary decor throughout, including a recently-refitted bathroom and kitchen with white goods and all utensils, spacious living room with an additional 42" plasma TV on wall and downstairs WC. Lovely garden overlooking fields with livestock. Off-road parking. Five-minute car journey to Santa Pod. For more information or to make a booking please call 07834 493137."

If you want to stay on site then Carter Motorsport are offering a motorhome hire service for racers at all races at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways. "The motorhome will be delivered direct to site for you and collected when you have finished", says Andy Carter. "As an example a thirty-foot, four-berth (one double, two singles) American motorhome with all usual refinements including on-board generator would be £800 for a four-day weekend. A £500 deposit would also be payable". If you are interested then you can contact Andy on 07860 405060.

SPR racer ticket notice.
7th March: Ian Marshall of
Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch with an important message about racer tickets at Santa Pod Raceway:

From the beginning of 2012, the racer tickets which you receive must be retained and looked after whilst at the track. This year the tickets are all bar-coded and must be scanned on entry and exit. It is also important that the right amount of tickets are scanned for the head count entering or leaving the site. Please make sure that you have your tickets with you as they will all be checked and scanned.

If you have any queries then you can contact SPRC on 01933 313625 or E-Mail paula.marshall@btconnect.com.

Feature: NHRA Winternationals.
7th March: The latest in our occasional series of Features now sponsored exclusively by Lucas Oil Products is Roger's illustrated report from February's NHRA O'Reilly Winternationals at Pomona.

Roger's report and pictures cover all classes contested at the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Lucas Oil increase support.
7th March: We are very pleased to announce that Lucas Oil Products have increased their support of Eurodragster.com by taking over over sole sponsorship of our Features and Interviews to add to their sponsorship of Eurodragster.com News.

Although they are tried and tested by the world's top drag racing teams in some of the toughest on and off-road racing conditions, Lucas Oil's range of additives and engine oils are not exclusive to motorsport teams. They are designed for everyday use in cars and motorcycles, which means that Lucas Oil users get the same quality performance and service from the lubricants and additives used by their favourite racing drivers.

This season Lucas Oil are supporting Chris Andrews (F&A Racing Top Fuel Dragster), Martin Bishop (MB Motorsport Pro Stock Bike), Conrad Stanley (Panther Racing Pro Stock) and 2011 FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullqvist.

For the 2012 racing season, a new Lucas Oil discount loyalty card has been introduced. Card holders can buy Lucas Oil products at the Santa Pod shop and hundreds of other outlets around the UK at better than retail prices.

To find out more about the Lucas Oil range check out their web site at www.lucasoil.co.uk.

Many thanks to Lucas Oil UK MD Les Downey for his continued support of Eurodragster.com and to Andy Carter for supporting us for so many years.

Welcome Quantum Tuning.
7th March: We are very pleased to welcome Quantum Tuning as a new sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.

Quantum Tuning is a nationwide ECU remapping service. For this sponsorship we are indebted to Pro ET racer Steve Anderson of Quantum Tuning Bucks is who is one of the company's Mobile Technicians working out of the central Operations and Technology Centre located in Ickenham.

Mapping is done seven days a week on a custom basis and offers improvements of 15-35% in power and 8-15% on fuel consumption. The service can be applied to any car which has an ECU, and works particularly well on turbo or supercharged cars and diesel vehicles. Quantum's remappings are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee, lifetime software warranty and come at prices which won't be beaten.

Steve Anderson can be contacted on 01494 564605 or E-Mail quantumtuning@yahoo.com, or via the web site at www.quantumtuning.co.nr.

On the racing front Steve has sold his nine-second Dodge Dart and is looking to import a Super Gas car from the USA. Steve also crews with Super Gas racer and Eurodragster.com decal sponsor Paul Foote.

Swift snippets.
7th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April. You can check out the Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes on Friday week, 16th March, after which entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Steve Dudley tells us that the next slot drag race at MrD Raceway takes place at the Sturdee Social Club at Hoo in Kent this Sunday, 11th March. For more details check out the MrD web site at slotdragracing.weebly.com, and for more about the slot drags check out our recent Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Feature by clicking here.

We would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member, Pro Mod racer-in-waiting and anybody's crew Spencer Tramm. Have a great day Spencer.

Bulking up the Muscle.
7th March: Paul Dodd writes that 2011 was not the best of years for Surrey Muscle but that there is a lot to be optimistic about in 2012:

In 2011 we lost a member, Brin Thomas, and his '68 GTO due to personal and financial reasons. Mechanical woes also meant that there were a good few cars off the road including my Olds whose converter let go early in the year wrecking the transmission in the process. However things were not all bad and I was back on the road and back at the MoparEuronationals in late July. Craig McManus, who had been flying the flag for us all year in his Nova, was running as strong and consistent as ever setting a new club record of 8.74/156, and he also won the Mopars' first ever Wheelie Competition. To achieve this Craig raised the wheelie bars and disarmed his Nos controller then reached for the skies!

Nick Woods was back as well after Roger had tinkered with his Roadrunner and he ran his first nine which was enough to win the King of Street title. The Nitrous system on the car is still not flowing properly so low nines could be on the cards this year. This means that we could see a very interesting Mopar showdown between Nick and Mad Dog who, as I write, is having his trans rebuilt and engine freshened for the Duke Charger.

Fast forward to 2012 then and things are really looking up as we enter our eighteenth year with the return of two old members and two new members joining. Alan Wise was a member back in the early days, first off with a '69 Mustang then with a very trick Nova. Now he is back again this time in a beautifully turned out second-generation Camaro, but the real beauty is the new ProCharger installed by none other than our own Roger Luty and so another nine-second contender is on the cards. Longtime member Carl Henderson is returning too though his stock white '72 Cuda, which as I write is half way across the Atlantic, is more for show than go but no worries there as a very quick Cuda is about to make its Surrey Muscle début.

We don't actually take on new members of the Club as we have been going for so long and become one big family but every now and then someone fits in and this has been the case with Mopar Mark Sherridan and his mate Jerry. Both have been joining us at the track and Club meets over the last couple of years and have slotted in nicely. It also helps that Mark happens to own one of the most awesome street cars in the country in the shape of his '71 Cuda which really is in another league. The cockpit is all out race car and beautifully finished in ally panelling with a lot of the work including the roll cage being carried out by Mark himself. Then there is the Kevlar supercharger scoop which probably cost the same as a family car and the supercharger itself which on its own is as powerful as a family car without the 572ci Hemi engine which sits below it. But all that is set to change for 2012 as Mark is currently rebuilding the motor and having two huge turbos installed for an estimated 1800 BHP! On paper this could put the Cuda into the sevens but there is a long way to go before Mark gets anywhere near that, but one thing for sure is that things are going to get very exciting at the Club soon. Jerry is not such a threat in his land yacht in the shape of a 69 Plymouth Fury then again the 440 engine and trans have been rebuilt by Roger so it will be no slouch and we welcome both cars and members to the Club.

Talking of Roger Luty, he is now retired as a dairy farmer which means he can concentrate on what he does best, i.e. building engines and transmissions, and things are going well. In fact Roger has been so busy he has not yet had time to work on his own car which has a persistent misfire on the Nitrous, but hopefully we will see his yellow 442 pounding the quarter mile again this year. As for me, or should I say the Olds, it is coming out with a new look this year. Well it is the old girl's fortieth birthday this year so she has been treated to a new set of Weld Draglites all round. Moroso trick springs have now been fitted to the rear but the car still sits too high at the front so a pair are going on up front too soon to help with the launch and to give a killer stance. I also have a pair of Mickey T drag radials to go on and hope they will be able to handle a Nitrous launch, and who knows with the new springs I could be reaching for the skies too!

ACAG Work-In update.
7th March: Chair Brian Taylor writes that the Allard Chrysler Action Group restoration team's latest work day took place at the workshops of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars on 26th February:

Those assembled this time were Andy Robinson, Bob Roberts, Syd Mcdonald, Chris Eames and myself. We gave the new team uniform overalls a run out. It was always planned that the support team would dress in accordance with the era. They may have been in T-shirts at Lions but Sydney and his crew wore white overalls, shirts and ties. At the moment we are working on a sponsorship deal for these overalls.

Chris and Andy carried out more work on the gear shift lever in line with new detailed photos which have recently become available from the Allard Register. Chris and Bob also worked out the hand brake mechanism and Chris will lead on this part of the restoration. Chris also worked on the battery plug-in point for use when starting the car and supplied a set of leads.

We have now ordered a Hot Heads 146 tooth flywheel for an eight-bolt crank Part No 25006.146 1951-56 Hemi engines. This will allow us to complete the starter mechanism. After communication between Stuart Bradbury and I and Bob and Debra Walker of Hot Heads in North Carolina, it was agreed that Hot Heads would supply this free of charge and it should be with us before the next Work-In day on 18th March. So we have another great supporter and we will be preparing a full release about this shortly. The transfer will be organised by US Automotive and SBS. A brand new medium size Royal Blue ACAG T-shirt will be winging its way to Bob within the next few days.

The group temporarily fitted the rear axle with the second set of five-spoke mag alloy wheels which were found by longtime ACAG supporter Nick Davies who has given us permission to use them on the restoration. The fit is so good that, although we are still trying to get an actual track on the ownership of them since 1964, we are 99% sure that these were the originals. Measuring the clearance between the rims (when fitted with 900x16 slicks) and the exhaust headers produced a tight fit, but no tighter than indicated on photos taken during 1961/62. And we still have room for adjustment on the headers and axle spacers.

These wheels now need to be sent to a specialist wheel conditioner before being crack-tested. The spokes will then be painted red. Chris has located a set of Pie Crust 900x16 slicks to fit. The price is only £400 for the pair and they are already in the country so we do not need to worry about the black oil content issue and clearing Customs. All we need now are tubes.

I completed cleaning up the front wheels before crack-testing proved that they were sound. The next job is to wet and dry the outer rim face ready for polishing. They can then be painted red up to the outer rim and the tyres and tubes waiting at Vintage Tyres can be fitted.

Some of the plumbing was installed and the fuel pump mounted. The newly-found photos of the car taken in 1961 indicate that we might need some slightly different pipe adapters. Exact have some of the new requirements but not all of them.

The fuel tank was pressure tested and a couple of leaks welded by Andy. The oil filter adapter, supplied by Roy Wilding, was modified by Syd and is ready for use.

The dragster is not the only Allard in the ARRC workshop at the moment. Like a magnet it has been joined by Sydney Allard's 1950 Le Mans car which is being fitted with a roll cage as part of a major restoration. More Allard roll cage jobs are in the pipeline.

Syd provided a fantastic BBQ and all ate heartily in the sunshine. The next Work-In Day at ARRC is Sunday 18th March. Come and join us: extra hands will speed up the work. After that the dragster will be transported to Alan and Lloyd Allard who will manufacture the blower pipes in their Gloucester workshop. If you would like to come along to help on 18th March please contact Bob Roberts at roberrl-1@robinson-race-cars.co.uk.

Web site updates.
7th March: Our good friend Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a fourth page of Alan Holland-Avery's pictures featuring the Hot Car/Radio Luxembourg Grandnationals meeting held on 20th August 1972. "This meeting was interesting because some new national terminal speed records were set including a 211 mph blast by Dennis Priddle in Top Fuel", says Alan. "There are also some pictures showing the Hillbillies' Transcontinental Funny Car on its last pass and the aftermath of the accident which wrote it off". you can check out the new gallery via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Swift snippets.
6th March: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first came with the words "Ongoing body work"...

...whilst the second was sent from the same address as Sunday's "Revealed at Dragstalgia" spy shot. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

European racers should have plenty to cheer about at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville this weekend as the Swedish trio of Leif Andréasson (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Adam Flamholc (Pro Modified) and Ulf Ögge (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are mixing it with the US' finest. Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell and Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe will be attending the event as will Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Andy Willsheer and the plan is to bring you daily notes from our heroes' pits. You will be able to stay in touch with Leif's, Adam's and Ulf's on-track progress from Friday courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.

With only a few weeks to go to the start of the 2012 UK National Drag Racing Championships this weekend's Saturday Night Special and Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway offer a chance to test before the season starts. The track will be open between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm weather permitting. Entry to the track is £10 a day, or £15 advance two-day ticket. Signing on fee is £30 for the whole day, £25 for 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, or £10 for 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. A valid DVLC licence must be presented to sign on. Attractions include Martin Hill in the Fireforce 3 Jet Funny Car, entertainment and licenced bar on Saturday evening, and free camping for weekend ticket holders. More details at www.rwyb.com.

Further to the above, Eurodragster.com are planning our first Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motosport webcam broadcast of the season from this weekend's Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway. We will be broadcasting via Ustream but there is nothing sinister in this, just a routine check of our contingency streaming arrangements and we will of course be broadcasting via our regular streaming server Doyousee.me starting with the pre-Easter Thunderball test weekend at the end of this month. In association with Alamo Rent-A-Car we also plan to post a photo gallery of Saturday's action but this may not be posted until Sunday morning.

Further to yesterday's news item Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has declared himself "Gobsmacked" and very grateful for the generous response of Eurodragster.com readers to his sponsorship appeal for the London to Brighton bike ride to aid the British Heart Foundation in memory of his father. It's not too late to make a pledge so if you would like to help Andy towards his target of £1000 and a sore butt then please check out www.justgiving.com/andymarrs.

Ruud Brinkmann has been in touch to warn Swap Meet users of one Adam Simpson who tried to pass a dud cheque for the purchase of Ruud's race car. Per the warning on the Swap Meet, scammers are common on classified advertisement services the world over but if you keep your wits about you, as Ruud did, they are easily spotted not least because they only have one or two tricks and the wording is the same every time. Ruud kindly let us know rather than the more common recourse of going onto a forum and slagging us off as if it were our fault and not a word said to us, so thanks to Ruud for that courtesy.

Easter Thunderball entry.
5th March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall of
Santa Pod Racers Club for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the Autotrader Easter Thunderball, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-9th April.

You can check out the Easter Thunderball entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Entry closes on Friday week, 16th March, after which entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. You can download the Easter Thunderball entry form from the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

FAO Super Street Bike racers.
5th March: Ian Marshall of SPRC has also been in touch with an important notice for those Super Street Bike racers competing at UEM events this season:

Please note that the licence required for these events is to be a Promo Sport licence. The FIA Main Event and FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway will host rounds of the UEM Super Street Bike Cup and therefore any Super Street Bike racer entering these events will require the licence upgrade. This will also be the case for the rounds at Hockenheim and Kunmadaras.

If you require further details about the licence then please contact the licencing department of the ACU, or your country's authority.

Shockwave catch the Mongoose.
5th March: The UK's Shockwave Racing are very pleased and excited to announce the acquisition of the complete Mongoose Exhausts/Powerchips Fuel Funny Car operation from Sue Collins of Collins Performance, and that they plan to run the FC as part of a two-car team for the 2012 season.

"Sue has reluctantly decided to let the car go as her work commitments don't allow her to devote as much time as needed to campaign the car to the level that she would have wanted", says Jason Phelps of FGR Motorsport. "Sue would still like to return to the class if circumstances were to change but having worked with Shockwave Racing and FGR Motorsport in the past she was assured that the car has gone to a good home and that it will be used to its full potential.

"The car is a very nearly brand new 10.5 chassis, big pump, state-of-the-art Fuel coupe which has been put together with the best equipment available for the purpose. It definitely has the potential to be the first to 'that number' given the right conditions.

"If all goes to plan we intend to début the car at the Easter Thunderball. However luck will have to be on our side as we only took delivery of the car on Saturday, leaving us only four weeks to get to grips with all the new systems on the car, but we promise that it will not be for the want of effort! If we can overcome the lack of time, Gordon Smith will be in the seat of the new car, next to our original Mustang-bodied car with its fantastic new sponsors on board for this year Marshall Amplification and Smokehead.

"After Easter the old Shockwave 10.1E chassis, which has served the team so well over the years, will be retired and replaced by a completely new car built by FGR Motorsport. After a weekend or maybe two of testing the new car will first be used in anger at Santa Pod's FIA Main Event giving us our new line-up.

"As a team, Shockwave Racing are true Funny Car people and we would find it hard to see where we would fit into racing if the class ceased to exist. It is for this reason that we have decided to take the huge step of trying to run a second car. We are well aware of what we are letting ourselves in for, but we are happy to take the gamble with the good showing of Leif Helander at last year's European Finals and the eagerly-awaited début of the new Showtime, as well as Kevin Kent's and Shelley Pearson's Mustang Funny Car and at least two others waiting in the wings.

"None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our volunteer team and the the fantastic support our sponsors who have helped us bring to team up to the next level. Massive thanks to MPM Oil UK, Marshall Amplification, Smokehead, Mapei, FGR Motorsport, Hone All, Unipart and GMax."

A few more horses...
5th March: In 2011, the UK's Paul Brown Motorsport completed their first full National Championship season in two classes, Pro ET and Super Comp, having another great year setting a new Personal Best of 8.86/148 and taking runner-up spot in the UK National Pro ET Championship. Paul Brown writes:

This didn't come easy as we had problems along the way - managing to snap the shaft on the distributor, getting the fuel cap stuck which caused us to miss qualifying sessions because we couldn't fill up the dragster, snapping the throttle pedal and on another occasion the scoop deciding to depart at the 1000-foot mark, hitting my rear slick, shooting up and heading sky high.

After having a few weeks off and chatting to my dad about what to do in 2012, we started to take near enough the whole car apart. Once the engine was out we took it to John Sleath's to have a go on the dyno. A couple of hours later, with some adjustments made to the motor, it pulled 605 bhp which was a 93 bhp gain. I also purchased four new tyres, new harness, new scoop (Tuesday's spy picture - Ed) and a few other parts.

We started to put the car back together, checking everything and tidying up all the wiring in our outdoor workshop and with some good weather we fired it up. I'm now itching to get back in the seat, and with just a little left to do we will hopefully be ready to head to Santa Pod for testing at the Saturday Night Special next Saturday and see what happens. My plan is to run Pro ET and Super Comp at the Easter Thunderball and see how it goes.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get back on the track when I had the problems and also my crew Dad, Mum, Lee, and Mark Fairhurst who has helped a lot away from the track. We are looking forward to seeing Mark back on the track racing this year.

Marrs bikes it for charity.
5th March: Authority on timing matters and honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe is taking part in a bike ride from London to Brighton to raise money for charity, and is asking Eurodragster.com readers to help him to reach £1000 for the British Heart Foundation.

"At about 01:00 on 27th May I'll be setting off with thousands of others at around from an as-yet-undisclosed location in London and arrive five or six hours later at Madeira Drive in Brighton", says Andy. "I have wanted to do something in memory of my Dad for a long time now, and perhaps do something to help others at the same time. The L2B is the obvious choice, combining a very relevant charity with my love of cycling.

"I know the drag racing community is always very generous when it comes to charitable causes so I'm hoping that they'll prove it again. Please donate if you can, it all helps."

For more information, or to sponsor Andy, check out his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/andymarrs. You know what to do folks.

Junior Dragster League update.
5th March: The UK's ever-growing Junior Dragster League is pleased to announce Paul Marston Racing as a supporter. Tim Long writes:

Paul and his team will be working with us behind the scenes to ensure that the racers have great and varied season.

The Junior Dragster League would also like to introduce our new child protection officer KerryAnne Frazier. Kerryanne will be on board for the start of the new season and will also be responsible for our new Little Leaguers membership. Membership is free to all children under racing age who have older siblings who race. Little League members will have a program created for them over the 2012/2013 season. Kerryanne will be responsible for helping the Little Leaguers prepare for when they become old enough to race in the MSA, JDL or JDB series. Membership is not restricted only to Junior Dragster racers: we welcome the siblings of Junior Drag Bike racers too.

For further information contact kerryanne@juniordragsterleague.com, and to sign up to the Little League please E-Mail your name, age, address and a photo to littleleague@juniordragsterleague.com or fill out a membership form at any Junior Dragster League meeting.

Web site updates.
5th March: If you ever wanted to re-live or experience the 1964 British Drag Festival for the first time then now's your chance because our good friend Jon Spoard has updated the Audio section of his excellent UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site with a recording event. "Hear the sounds of the visiting Americans including Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo, KS Pittman, Tony Nancy, Bob Keith, Dave Strickler, Ronnie Sox, Dante Duce and others", says Jon. "The British boys are well represented too with Allan Herridges Buick, Nobby Hills' Jag-powered Houndog, Tony Densham's Worden and the Allard Dragon's of Alan Allard and Dennis Jenkinson. You will also hear all the big bikes of the day such as Don Hyland's twin-engined triumph, Alf Hagon's Jap, George Brown, Bill Wood and others. The recording finishes in style with a classic matchup between the big AA/Fuel diggers of Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits and TV Tommy Ivo. Special thanks to Brian Taylor for the recording". You can tune in at www.ukdrn.co.uk.

UK Super Modified racer-in-waiting Rob Elsom has launched a web site at www.elsommotorsport.co.uk. The very nicely-designed web site tells you all you could wish to know about Rob's Oldsmobile and team including news, details about the car, team, sponsors and more.

Swift snippets.
4th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Revealed at Dragstalgia". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Carla Pittau would like to wish her own personal Champion a very, very happy birthday: Rick McCann is 32 (plus shipping, VAT and duty) today, and Carla hopes that he will keep pulling great wheelies with her for many, many years to come. We second that, have a very Happy Birthday Rick.

Smoke, but no fire...yet.
3rd March: Eurodragster.com sponsor
MPM Oil UK, FGR Motorsport and the Shockwave Fuel Funny Car team spent the day at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday for a photo shoot to promote new and existing sponsors for the 2012 season.

"Many thanks to Marshall, Smokehead, Hone-All, Mach Show 2012, Mapei and Unipart for their support for the forthcoming season", says Richard Stevens of MPM Oil UK. "We were also very happy with the number of journalists who attended from numerous publications to cover the shoot, and we that hope the efforts we are making to promote and bring in new companies to the sport will filter down to all racers.

"The car will be officially unveiled on the Marshall stand at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in a couple of weeks' time. We will forward pictures as we get them, as some big names in the music industry will be making appearances on the stand through the week to celebrate Marshall's fiftieth anniversary.

"Many thanks to Dom Romney for attending and facilitating the shoot, and for being as professional as ever.

"MPM Oil UK, FGR Motorsport and the Shockwave team will be announcing some more news later in the week, so keep your eyes on Eurodragster.com - we love you ED - for the news, as you will see it here first."

Welcome Marshall...
3rd March: We are very pleased to welcome Marshall as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.

Marshall, who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year, shaped the sound of the electric guitar with their legendary range of amplifiers and secured their position in music history with customers such as The Who, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Iron Maiden, Gary Moore, The Prodigy, Oasis Snow Patrol and of course the guitar hero's guitar hero Jimi Hendrix; the list is endless. They can claim to provide an amp for every occasion and with a large enough stack could probably give the Marshall-sponsored Fuel Funny Car a run for its money.

You can find out more at www.marshallamps.com.

... and welcome Smokehead.
3rd March: We are also very pleased to welcome Smokehead as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com:

Smokehead is an explosive Islay Single Malt that demands your immediate attention, a little like our Fuel car sitting in the beams waiting to launch.

In partnership with iconic music brand, Marshall Amps, we are proud and excited to be supporting EuroDragster.com this season, including the sponsorship of a new Fuel Funny Car which will be running out of the MPM and FGR Motorsport camp in 2012.

Marshall Amps and Smokehead go back years, sharing their affinity and passion for all things Rock and Roll, from working together to discover unsigned bands of the future to celebrating music icons at the Classic Rock Hall of Fame Awards. Described as being vigorous and unapologetic for its big and intense peaty flavours, this Single Malt matches the spirit of drag racing, celebrating the craftsmanship and dedication of the teams that go into making the sport of drag racing one of the most popular racing sports in the world.

A new Limited Edition Smokehead The Rock Edition will be available in the UK and international markets throughout 2012. Smokehead is widely available throughout the UK and worldwide. Details of some stockists can be found on the web site at www.smokehead.com.

Please help to support the sponsors who support drag racing by considering Marshall and Smokehead for amplification and liquid refreshment.

Eagerly awaiting Easter...
3rd March: The UK's Amanda Cox and the Yenkonova Pro ET team will be racing again this season and are excited about the Autotrader Easter Thunderball.

"This will be my third year in Pro ET and I am looking forward to it very much", says Amanda. "The last couple of years have been a good experience in many ways, with lots of ups and downs and steep decision making, but I'm happy to say were heading in the right direction with many modifications having been made this winter.

"I would like to thank Pro ET Sponsors Topspeed Automotive for my tyres, gauges and third member, Pro ET sponsor Penn Autos for my newly-built gearbox, Pro ET sponsor Hauser Race Cars for my modified back axle, Jeff Bull Race Engines for my new engine, which I'm excited to say I will be collecting today, Super Gas racer Paul Foote's company PFI for the vinyl wrapping of the box trailer, my crew who I have to say have the patience of a saint, and lastly my friends and family who have finally accepted that it's not appropriate to have birthdays, weddings or any other important events during the race season!

"It's been a busy time since we finished racing last year but I'm happy to say it's all coming together very nicely with the help from all these guys. I can't express how important it is to support the people who sponsor us, many thanks to you all. See you at Easter."

Swift snippets.
3rd March: Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Kalle Lyrén has been to the US for some pre-season training at Valdosta under the tutelage of George Bryce. Kalle got in seven runs and you can read more on his Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Racer Blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Mirror mirror on our car, who is the shiniest of them all?". If you know more, of if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Also so keen to go racing at Easter that he turned up two months early was Pam and Wayne Hiscock's son Samuel who took the ChevyHelle Racing team by surprise with an early arrival on 6th February. "Samuel is now home after a few weeks building up strength in hospital", says Pam, "so we may be able to make the Easter Thunderball after all, although as crew for Alan Didwell rather than racing ourselves. He just couldn't wait!"

Ron McNeil.
2nd March: The Allard Chrysler Action Group is sad to report that Ron McNeil, Santa Pod marshal of the late 1960s/early 1970s and regular ACAG supporter, passed away in February. Ron had been struggling with illness for many years but helped the restoration of Europe's first dragster financially and by helping out when the dragster was on display. His video of the Allard Chrysler at Autosport International 2011 can be seen at

Ron's funeral is at Milton Keynes Crematorium at 10:45 on Monday (5th). Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

ModUrStang goes Perfect.
2nd March: We are very pleased to announce ModUrStang as the sponsor of this year's Perfect Light Award. The Eurodragster.com/ModUrStang Perfect Light Award will be available at all UK Chamionship rounds in 2012 and will again award £50 to the first racer at an event to pull a 0.000 Reaction Time. The amount will also continue to roll over by an additional £25 if not won at any event.

ModUrStang is run by UK Pro ET racer Mike Lacey of Team Metamorphosis, who writes:

We specialise in taking stock Mustangs and making them into something exceptional, but we don't just do Mustangs. Almost any American car can be tackled. We have modified Vipers, Corvettes, Camaro, F150s and Dodge Rams. We can offer:
  • Modify body styling, including specialist paintwork
  • Tune engines including installation and set up of NOS systems, superchargers, turbos, and cams. With or without spring and fazers
  • Dress up kits, strut brace, underdrive pulleys
  • Upgrade the drive train, clutch and short shifters aster camber plates, etc.
  • Upgrade brakes and suspension
  • Bespoke exhaust systems, headers, H/X pipes, back boxes, bypass valves/cutouts
  • Diagnostics with OBDII and Allen Computer Test Centre
  • Interior gauges, starter button, ICE
We are not tied to any specific manufacturers or parts as we are independent. We can supply and fit Saleen, Edelbrock, Kenne Bell, Roush, Whipple, Vortech, Paxton, Hellion Turbos, Steeda, Hurst, B&M, FoMoCo, Tokico, Eibach, Dynotech, Brembo, Baer, Powerstop, Stoptech, BMR, BBK, MSD, Zex, NOS, K&N, Comp cams. Pypes, Magnaflow, Borla, SLP, SCT, Superchip, Diablosport, NGK, Brisk, and Autometer. If you do not see what you are looking for, don't hesitate to ask.

Full contact details and our whereabouts can be found on our web site at www.modurstang.co.uk.

The Eurodragster.com/ModUrStang Perfect Light Award will be posted at the following events:

6th-9th April: Auto Trader Easter Thunderball, Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April: Big Bang, Santa Pod Raceway
5th-7th May: Springspeed Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
1st-4th June: FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway
23rd-24th June: SPRC Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway
20th-22nd July: Bug Jam, Santa Pod Raceway
25th-27th August: Open Sport Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway
6th-9th September: FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
22nd-23rd September: VP Racing Fuels National Finals, Santa Pod Raceway
6th-7th October: Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, Santa Pod Raceway

In a change from previous years, ModUrStang decals will be mandatory for the Perfect Light Award and must be on the vehicle when the 0.000 RT is pulled.

"Karen and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you at the track this year", says Mike. We would like to say a big Thank You to Mike for his support of Eurodragster.com, for the second time as he has previously sponsored the News page as well. As with all of our sponsors please be sure to consider ModUrStang when shopping for goods or services.

We would also like to thank Jim Smith of Cotsweld Race Cars for his support of the Perfect Light Award in 2011, and Derek Flynn of Gold RV who will be continuing to sponsor the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award in 2012.

Sponsorship works!
2nd March: UK Pro ET racers Carla Pittau and Rick McCann always try to support the companies who support their racing. Carla says that she and Rick received great service from Pro ET contingency sponsors RockAuto when they urgently needed to order parts to keep their daily drives mobile:

I have ordered headlamps and wiring stuff for my Firebird and shocks and headlamps for our Chevy Blazer from RockAuto at a fraction of the cost of obtaining them locally.

After the fuel pump expired in our trusty Chevy Silverado we rang local suppliers as we really needed it to be repaired very quickly. I use the Silverado to tow my Camaro to the races but Rick uses it daily for his building business and the courtesy car kindly supplied by the AA Stay Mobile service didn't have much space in the boot to carry bricks and ladders.

After a few calls we were quoted £290, plus VAT, plus shipping, with a delivery lead time of two weeks. Resigned to have to wait, we thought we might as well go to RockAuto, and the result was an upgraded fuel pump which cost £216 including six fuel filters, shipping from the States and VAT, which was ordered on Monday night and which I received in my office yesterday morning (Thursday). Not bad huh?

See what I mean? Pro ET sponsors positively rock! Thank you RockAuto!

2012 Pro ET Tees unveiled.
2nd March: Carla Pittau also has news from the UK's Pro ET sponsorship scheme:

The all-new 2012 Pro ET Championship T-shirt will shortly be available for sale. Supplied and printed by Pro ET sponsor Toxico, the clothing store with attitude, you'll be able to purchase the Tees in all sizes, from Neil Hunter to Big John.

Sporting a great design skilfully drawn by ineffable tat-artist Carl Tatfink Burton, the uncontroversial slingshot picture should stop all Chevy versus Mopar versus Rover versus Ford quarrels in the pits!

The Tees will be printed in Tan, Prairie Green, Red, Blue Dusk, Charcoal and Military Green and will display all of Pro ET sponsors' logos on the back. To pre-book yours please contact Sponsorship Co-ordinator Mike Lacey, as they will sell like hot cakes!

It is thanks to the support received from our sponsors Avonside Engineering, DS Racewear, Engine Data Analysis, Gran Prix Racewear, Hauser Race Cars, LA Racing Parts, VP Fuel, Level 7 Demolition and Construction Ltd, Lohrspeed, MPM Oils, Marshall Amps, Unipart, Smokehead.com, NGK, OCS Paint, Penn Autos, Power Engineering, Real Steel, RockAuto.com, Sick Boyz, Topspeed, Toxico, Power Pour, Wolfy's Workshop and last but certainly not least ModUrStang.co.uk that we can once more price the Tees at only £10, same as last year. Remember to support the companies who support your favourite class and your favourite sport!

Finally, the purchase of each shirt will ensure automatic entry in the free prize draw: weekly winners will enjoy a candlelit dinner, and possibly extras, with the triplets modelling the lovely Tees. Only kidding, we'll just send them to your home if you don't buy the shirts!

Team Gridlock's shot of Voltz.
2nd March: Voltz International Limited, owners of Voltz Energy Shot Drinks, have signed off a second year of sponsorship with Essex-based Wild Bunch Champions Team Gridlock and their Go Hard or Go Home!!! Topolino Altered.

"We are very proud to have the Voltz name on the car for a second year and with the close partnership with Voltz and Shakespeare County Raceway we are looking forward to continuing to bring the high energy of Voltz to the high octane sport of drag racing", said Team Principal Dexter Price.

Dex said that the Voltz logo will not only be on display on the car for 2012 but also on team wear; also watch out for the new Voltz pit marquee, donated by Voltz International, coming after the Voltz-sponsored Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.

Voltz Energy Shot is a high energy drink for high energy people living high octane lives making the brand the perfect combination for drag racing! Voltz International has also been involved with two popular car shows, the Modified Nationals and the French Car Show. More recently Voltz has been riding on the quest of the wave with European Ladies Open Surfing Champion Sarah Beardmore as well as being featured on the counter of the corner shop in TV's Coronation Street. "We now have major distribution deals in place in the UK, Europe, India, Australia and the Middle East and continue to grow our business globally", said Voltz International's CEO Rob Arnold. "The Voltz International brand is currently enjoying several motor sporting sponsorships and are now also backing the Junior Dragster League, Bracket Gamblers Race, and the revitalised Pro Street Drag Series to show their commitment to these exciting areas of motorsport."

The whole of Team Gridlock would like to thank Voltz Energy Shot Drinks for their support in 2011, and for keeping Dex awake after 9 pm! In the defence of their Wild Bunch Championship in 2012, they will be Going Harder and hopefully not having to Go Home!

For further information check out www.voltzenergyshot.co.uk and www.teamgridlock.co.uk.

Welcome Ross Racing Pistons...
1st March: We are pleased to welcome Ross Racing Pistons as a new sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.

Ross Pistons support Pro Mod racer and fellow Eurodragster.com sponsor Marco Maurischat who swears by the product having used Ross Pistons in his motor. Ross Pistons have over thirty years in the business and design and manufacture pistons for all forms of motorsport. Ross Racing Pistons has met the continual need for the most advanced forged pistons in the racing industry and their products are used in all kinds of engines from Top Fuel to Stock.

For more information please visit www.rosspistons.com.

...and welcome Evnetics.
1st March: We are also pleased to welcome Evnetics as a new sponsor of Eurodragster.com News.

Evnetics LLC designs and manufactures the most advanced electronics specifically for electric vehicles, all in the USA.

"Our main products (as of now!) are high power brushed DC motor controllers for electric vehicle applications, the 1.2MW Soliton Shiva racing controller, the 300kW Soliton1 and the 150kW Soliton Jr", says Chris Fisher of Evnetics. "Upcoming products are the programmable charger and 13.8V output wide-range input dc/dc converter.

The core development team here at Evnetics LLC consists of three slightly deranged dudes with complementary expertise in electrical, mechanical and software engineering. It is through pooling together our individual talents that we are able to come up with such uniquely optimized products and our brushed DC motor controller line is just the beginning!"

For more information please visit www.evnetics.com.

We have a number of new sponsors to announce over the next few days. Stay tuned as tomorrow we will be revealing the new sponsor of one of the Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards.

CPC training postponed.
1st March: Jame Smith, Managing Director of Eurodragster.com sponsor Phoenix Personnel, writes that this Saturday's (3rd) CPC training course has had to be postponed as trainer Emma has laryngitis.

"We will reschedule this course as soon as possible", says Jane. Stay tuned for the replacement date.

Our best wishes and hugs (Not easy on your knees - Ed) for a rapid recovery to Her Royal Highness the Princess Emma of Race Control.

Final 2012 BDRHoF trophy awarded.
1st March: Further to Tuesday's news item from Al Perkins, the late Tony Murray's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame trophy was presented to his son Peter by BDRHoF Chair Stuart Bradbury at the Pennine Drag Racing Club's Night of Champions held in Bradford on Saturday. Tony's full citation details are available on the BDRHoF web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.

"These awards have received extensive publicity this year, particularly in the USA" writes Brian Taylor. "The BDRHoF web site received a huge increase in hits as soon as the announcements were made on 1st February and the hit rate is still high as press releases are gradually being published. The Quarter Mile Foundation web site now displays a direct link to the BDRHoF site and vice versa. This means that drag racing enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic can easily access information about the sport's pioneers.

"There are plans to extend the BDRHoF's activities and profile, so as part of the necessary restructuring process extra help is now required in the fields of Press and Sponsor relations and Event Management. If you are interested then please contact Stuart Bradbury at britishdrhof@aol.com."

Another sponsor for Bennett Racing.
1st March: UK blown-alcohol team and Eurodragster.com Bloggers Bennett Racing are very pleased to announce their latest sponsor FK Rod Ends:

For nearly twenty five years FK Rod Ends have been providing fair priced, quickly dispatched and always in stock parts. FK Rod Ends feature in many different industries from the wilds of Baja Mexico, to the "Good old boys" of NASCAR... from mowers to care for your lawn, to fitness equipment to groom your body, you'll find FK Rod Ends!

In an evolving programme designed to supply rod end products to users everywhere, you will find rod ends and spherical bearings made from mild steel, chromoly/alloy steel, aluminum, and stainless. Special care is taken during every step of the manufacturing process to ensure you the highest quality products. With almost ten thousand combinations of rod ends and spherical bearings available, you will appreciate the effort goes into filling each order. Within our state-of-the-art facility, we carefully craft our products, so we are able to say "Yes, it's in stock" when you call.

FK Rod Ends also offers self-lubricating PTFE liners on nearly all of their rod ends and spherical bearings, the PTFE liner is chemically bonded to the inner diameter of the race. The liner offers a very high load-carrying capacity and has greatly increased dynamic wear characteristics. The operating temperatures of the liner range from -65 F to 325 F.

Bennett Racing were very excited to have signed another big company from the USA. It means a lot to us, and our thanks to Brian for offering this partnership and long may it continue. We will of course be using FK Rod Ends on all three of our race cars and also their huge range of threaded weld-in tube inserts (available with left and right hand threads) and an extensive range of bearings. For advice or product queries speak to us at events throughout 2012 or contact FK themselves, All of FK's sales personnel have extensive product training to assist you in the selection of the proper bearing for your application. They work very closely with sales and engineering, to ensure you excellent service and on time delivery.

"We are thrilled to have FK Rod Ends join Bennett Racing as a sponsor", says Luke Bennett. "With their huge product knowledge, were in good hands and look forward to a long and successful partnership."

For further information visit www.fkrodends.com, E-Mail sales@fkrodends.com, or call +1 800-662-4003 or +1 860-628-8722.

Web site updates.
1st March: Our good friend and occasional stand-in photographer Julian Hunt has updated his gallery site at www.julianhunt.net with a large set of pictures from last October's Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway. As ever Julian's excellent pictures cover a range of subjects both on- and off-track and include a large number not seen on Eurodragster.com's Event Coverage of the event, for which Julian was photographing.

Earlier news