European Drag Racing News

Springspeed Nationals entry closing next week.
31st March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for posting the latest version of the entry list for the STP Springspeed Nationals being held at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th April-2nd May.

The entry list can be seen at this link. Entry at normal fees will close next Friday, 8th April, and a surcharge will apply after this date so racers are encouraged to make their entries as soon as possible.

Ian adds "All events can be entered in advance, however the payment must be in our account 3 days prior to the event, if paying via BACS please allow time for the payment to land at the SPRC."

Spitfire Raceway's April drag and drift.
31st March: The second event of 2022 for Spitfire Raceway at Perranporth Airfield Cornwall, TR5 0XS is taking place on 9th April and participants are urged to register as soon as possible on this link. sponsor Lee Child commented " It's the best speeding ticket you will ever get, no fines, no stays in the slammer and no speed awareness course, just a great day out on the drag strip at Spitfire raceway Saturday 9th April " South West Sim Racing will be attending the next event, and if you are the quickest winner around the Brands Hatch Sim Circuit, you will receive a free track day at Perranporth Airfield worth over £100.

"Camping is available on-site so why not make a weekend of it? You can spectate or take part at Spitfire Raceway. For those using the drag strip, there will be run what you brung drag racing, all vehicles welcome. There will be printed times and speeds for every run so riders and drivers will have a record of their performance. To enter click on this link. Drifters can also enter for drift what you brung (£60 fee), all welcome, by clicking on this link.

"There will be a show & shine (no charge after admission), spectator entry is £10 per person, under 16s go free. You can event drag race after admission from £10 for one run (three runs will cost £20, unlimited runs will cost £35). Crash helmet and full driving licence are required and all vehicles are welcome at Spitfire Raceway Cornwall. Clubs can reserve their clubstands area by sending a PM to Spitfire Raceway's Facebook page.

"Gates will be open at 8am on Saturday 9th April with track action 11am to 4pm. All vehicles have a safety check for drag racing and drifting. There will be a drag strip riders and drivers meeting at race control 10.45am. Please respect the surrounding areas and speed limits when travelling to and from the venue."

Pictured: Nathan Lang will be trying to break the Spitfire Raceway track record of 9.368/146.72 set by David Lee with the RS3 powered Golf tuned by MRC. The bike record remains at 9.97/141 set by Mark Wolfy Smith..

Turner Racing's double Vegas.
30th March:
The multi championship-winning Turner Racing Funny Car team are entering two NHRA races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, returning to a track they have raced at since November 2015.

Driver Rob Turner said "We travelled to Las Vegas on 21st March to get ready to run at the upcoming 4 Wide at Las Vegas after 2 1/2 years of waiting to race. This will be the start of our 40th year of racing, it should have been 2020 but we had to take a couple of forced years off. We will be racing at the four-wide on 1st-3rd April and at the regional event the following weekend."

During their races in the US which started in 2015 after a two year break from racing, the team have competed at LVMS and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Their best times with the Funny Car in the US has been 5.765/246.30. The team consists of Rob, his wife Carmel and brother Steve who is crew chief. The car they are racing is a 2010 Chevrolet Monte Carlo powered by a PSI blown BAE 526ci engine with three speed Lenco gearbox.

Additionally, the Turners are looking forward to the new experience of running four wide, racing three other cars, instead of just one.

During his career in Europe, Rob won the RAC/MSA British Championship a record 10 times and was FIA Top Methanol Dragster champion in 2001.

If you are going to either of the Las Vegas races Rob would be glad for help, as they have no permanent crew. You can contact the team on to let them know your interest.

Picture courtesy

£90,000 on the line at Doorslammers.
30th March: £90,000 is up for grabs when Santa Pod Raceway presents its annual Doorslammers race in association with VP Racing Fuels. Entries from across Europe are expected to challenge for the record prize fund.

‘Doorslammer’ is a drag racing term for any car with functioning doors – a ‘tin top’, in circuit racing parlance – so no dragsters, altereds or roadsters are invited. But that doesn’t preclude machines that pack a mean punch. At the top level, any saloon-car resemblance may barely be skin-deep.

In 2018, Mattias Wulcan’s Chevrolet Camaro-bodied Blackbird entry from Sweden hit a jaw-dropping 262mph in pursuit of the big prize yet had to return the following year actually to win it.

As Associate Sponsor of the event, VP Racing Fuels is also the Official Fuel Supplier for the venue and Title Sponsor of the Doorslammers’ premier race class, Pro Doorslammer. These heavyweights attract the most attention – brutal machines radically different from any ‘tin top’ seen on a circuit. The no-holds-barred shoot-out pits class-legal Pro Modifieds – which otherwise contest national and European championships – against the unregulated monsters of Sweden’s eighth-mile Top Doorslammer league, reconfigured for this weekend to run the full quarter-mile – and indeed against any other outlandish vehicle whose owner considers it fit for the challenge.

In place of the usual, seeded qualifying ladder, elimination pairings are drawn at random before each knockout round until the last two contestants left standing dash for the cash.

It’s truly a matter of “run what ya brung… and hope ya brung enough”.

Alongside the headline VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer class, the Doorslammers weekend features five other heads-up categories – Pro Street, True Street, Front-Wheel Drive, 6-Cylinder and 4-Cylinder – plus separate daily Big Bracket competitions on Saturday and Sunday, all racing for hefty cash prizes.

VP Racing Fuels can be purchased online at this link or directly from the Santa Pod on-site “Garage” shop. Pre-orders are welcome too by calling the telesales team at Santa Pod Raceway on +44 (0) 1234 782828.

VP Racing Fuels is best known as the World Leader in Fuel Technology®, fuelling champions in virtually every form of motorsport on land, sea, and air since 1975. The company operates internationally with businesses including race fuels and lubricants, consumer small engine fuels and automotive additives, and licensed retail fuel stations. VP’s partnership with Santa Pod provides availability of its products to all racers competing at the renowned British venue. For more information, visit

Doorslammers 2022 takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough NN29 7XA, from Friday 20 th to Sunday 22 nd May. Full information and advance booking facilities are available online at this link or by telephone at 01234 782828. Advance admission prices start at just £25 per day, with kids aged 5-15 at £5 per day – advance booking only, no admission on the gate. There is free paddock access and overnight camping is free with multi-day tickets.

Swift snippets.
30th March: A very Happy Birthday to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and pioneer of the sport in the UK Clive Skilton for today, have a great birthday Clive in sunny California from all of us at! (picture of Clive and wife Kathy from July 2021). You can read all about Clive's career in our interview with him at this link.

We were delighted to see that after raising over £43,000, Melbourne Raceway's braking area has been relaid earlier this week making the total shutdown 500m in length. Racers at the season opener this weekend will also be treated to other improvements such as more asphalt in the pits and a clubhouse. Entry is still open, for more details see

SFI inspection at Santa Pod Raceway.
29th March: We attended the SFI UK inspection day at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday, and found the number of racers bringing parts for testing had increased considerably from the preceding two years. Testing was again carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars with Andy and Luke undertaking the diagnosis work and Kate handling the administration and ticket issuance.

Kevin Kent, driver of the West Ten nitro Funny Car, says that the Mustang is ready for the race and work is proceeding in preparing the new Chevrolet Lumina bodied car which the team bought in 2020. "We will debut the second car at the Main Event, depending on what data we get from the Festival of Power". As in previous years, US nitro racer and tuner John 'Bodie' Smith will be with the team at its four 2022 races, and the team overall is unchanged from 2021.

Jason Phelps, driver of the Gladiator Toyota Camry funny car run by Hawk Racing, anticipates a successful season after small issues last year prevented the car coming out as much as hoped. "It was a f***ing miracle Mark and Jackie came back from the explosion I had in 2020. I did the chassis and suspension work in the rebuild. Everything about that rebuild was done in-house, a new fuel tank needed to be fabricated and Jackie did that. Mark is an extraordinary engineer." Jason was joined by team member Stuart Lowes who raced between 1971 and 1996 latterly in Top Methanol Dragster.

Nostalgia Funny Car Racer Paul Harris said that he has new crew members who have had experience working with the late Dennis Priddle, with Brian Savidge, Stu Butler, and Paul's son on data logger.

Paul is anticipating there will be sufficient Nostalgia Funny Cars for a separate championship to be fought. Four will be competing at the Festival of Power, with Martin Maxwell making licensing runs at the FoP or shortly afterwards. Jayne Kay, Tim Garlick and Tony Betts are on the list as well as Paul. Wendy Baker will be out later in the season, and Simon Hayward's Duster will be getting a shot in the arm from Rob Loaring at I.C.E. Automotive. Jon Best's Corvette is being given upgrades, carbon brakes being the subject of some discussion as they are now required by NHRA rules for cars which have terminal speeds of 240mph or higher which is above the class's quickest of 236mph. sponsor and Pro Modified/Outlaw Anglia Jon Webster has been busy on various projects but still made time to enter his Outlaw Anglia to the Festival of Power. Why not Pro Mod though? He said "The turbos for the Mustang have not arrived back in time, shake on our passes last year resulted in them needing new exhaust wheels from Precision Turbos in the US, the class specs for turbos (88mm with boost limited to 36psi by an electronic controller) make it hard to get wheel speed up and avoid tyre shake on the launch, although the speed at the top end of 240 is great." Jon's Outlaw Anglia is technically for sale, Jon has made some upgrades to it which should produce improved performance at the Festival of Power. "I may run the Pop in Comp Eliminator as an alternative plan, but my main plan is to run the Mustang at Doorslammers and then Main Event". The other thing to look out for is new Hoosier tyres on the Pro Mod, which are the latest version.

Competition Eliminator racer Rob Smallworth is racing at the Festival of Power in his '55 Chevy with a single shot of nitrous and Bruno Lenco transmission which was in for SFI testing. "I run it in the Super Modified SM/A class, and are gradually getting it quicker, the ld car now owned by Iain Shurey ran a best of 7.46 and the new car has a best of 7.57. I've had to get new window nets and seat belts as the old ones had expired. It's great there are 14 cars entered for Comp Eliminator, more than ever before. The class is developing and it's a great idea to include the quicker Stock/Super Stock cars and, from this year, VWs. When available, Rob also helps out Dave Caruso, cousin Barry Grimes and other team members John and Brian with the Heavy Chevy at lifestyle events, although a new house for Dave may limit the car's appearances this year.

It was great to see Pro ET team Liz and Iain Malcolm (pictured left) returning to the sport with their four cylinder rear engined dragster Jus' 4 Fun, after a hiatus of five years. "We sold our house in Hemel Hempstead and moved to Lincolnshire but Iain still works at Apsley Transmissions for three days a week with help from staff", explained Liz. "We now live in a house on farmland where we store the dragster. The chassis has been retagged and we have all new safety equipment as all the old stuff was out of date. Our first event back will be the Main Event." Habit Racing Perfect Light Award sponsors Cath and Tig Napier were there with no less than three transmission shields. "There's one for Dave Billadeau's Challenger, another for Ash Rowson who runs a Duster and ours. We will be back at the Springspeed Nationals, where Tig will need to re-licence following an eye operation." As well as supporting the Pro ET class with a special award including a 'Bounty Hunter' cash prize for the racer who knocks out the winner of the previous event, Cath and Tig will be running the their Barracuda at Melbourne Raceway at an event.

New racer David Reid, who will be racing in Outlaw Street with an eye on Street Eliminator, has been the owner of this Austin A40 Devon for eight months, the car being the former Forty Below car of Dave Baldwin. "It had a 340 Chrysler which I fixed some issues on; I took it to the Hot Rod Drags and had some fun. But I wanted to go faster so put in a Jeff Bull 572ci BBC and will be putting some Holley Terminator EFI throttle bodies on top of the tunnel ram manifold. The Terminator system also has a nitrous controller and was originally designed for the LS engine. I work with fuel injection daily at DENSO diesel engines so it was an easy decision to take.

The manifold has a 1" spacer on top and with the throttle bodies and pancake filter the fuel system will be almost as high as the roof line. To go with this power I decided to upgrade the tag to 7.5 from 8.5 and Mark Norton has advised me on what needs changing. I've changed the front shocks to Escort based ones and the rear is a Ford 9" and there will be a full cooling system for street use. There will be a passenger seat and David has a couple of young boys eager to ride out on the cruise. "Everyone in drag racing has been so friendly and helpful" he finished.

Frans Steilberg, FIA Technical delegate and consultant, attended to talk to the UK tech team. There will be a new FIA tech scrutineer attending the Main Event, Connie Costanza, whilst Frans will be prioritising drag racing on his schedule, becoming an accredited track inspector, at the same time acting as technical delegate to the FIA European Truck Championship which is held in seven countries in continental Europe. "I have been travelling a great deal around Europe for the Truck Championship but also have been at Agrinio Raceway in Greece and Hal Far in Malta. Agrinio has had some great improvements to the track, and the local Greek racing community welcomed our suggestions with open arms. We will be keeping in touch with the redevelopment of Hal Far as well, we are all looking forward to that happening." If all goes to plan there will be another FIA European drag racing venue which can only be good for the sport.

We talked to UK Tech Team member Geoff Martin about his story and how he came to join the Tech Team. "In the 1970s I built and ran the original Oxford Builder which was a Model T with a Jaguar engine and coloured green. I worked for a builder in Oxford as a transport manager, which is how the name came about. I started building it after having an industrial accident in 1971 when some scaffolding planks fell on my head and I needed three months off work. The company allowed me to build the car in their workshop in return for me not suing the company. Norm Wheeldon helped me on the build as he had a similar car. The T bucket came from a Jago body, Geoff supplied two bodies, one used by the Wilkinson brothers as 'Blood Sweat & Tears' and mine. The design on the door of Oxford Builder 1 was from an art teacher who drew a trowel, and mortar board on a academic's head.

After finding the roll cage in Oxford Builder I a bit tight I decided I wanted a mini funny car and spent six years building Oxford Builder II. I got the Reliant body from the 'Poison Ivy' altered run by Pete Smith and John Williamson, I found it wouldn't fit on the original Oxford Builder chassis. So I had to build another chassis. I went to a tube supplier in Hayes who had been recommended and was a fan of the sport, he let me order all the CDS tubing I needed and after it arrived and I loaded it in my Land Rover he said "That'll be £25". The design of the chassis of Oxford Builder II came from a Revell Funny Car model of Ed 'Ace' McCulloch's car and I got a quarter scale drawing made up and the draughtsman for the builder I worked for did me a full scale drawing. The black paint included in the multicoloured paint scheme was acrylic laquer which had a high gloss but contained cyanide, not an easy paint to apply and no longer in use.

In 1991 I was made redundant from the building company and I stopped racing in 1993. The race director at the time Carlo Gandolphi asked me to join the tech team. In those days the SFI inspections were done by US visitors Arnie Kuhns, Murf McKinney, Tim Hiatt and Carl Olson together with NHRA Tech Team member Danny Gracia. Well, Danny came through the customs at Heathrow on one visit and had a heart episode in front of the cameras recording for a TV series on medical emergencies. They filmed him being put on a gurney and being transported to the local hospital! Fortunately he was ok but we had to get his wife to come over, she had no passport.

Over the years I must have signed off hundreds of drag racing chassis and the standard has got much higher – in the early days racers would use anything for chassis tubing. We had to develop a protocol for chrome moly testing by creating a spark on it. Now we have professional body builders who do certification. But it was tough in the past, having to tell a racer they couldn't race their pride and joy because the material for the chassis was all wrong.

The Oxford Builder II is being restored by UK Tech Team members Clive McReady and Dave Cumbridge for show, with a 4.2l Jaguar straight 6 engine.

2022 Gasser Circus dates.
29th March: Many thanks to 'Nervous' Nick Brooke Langham for sending us the dates of the 2022 Gasser Circus Championship of which the opening round is at Melbourne Raceway:

It gives an overview of the 6 yes 6 rounds of racing this year. It is a year when we will be kicking off the season, racing at Melbourne Raceway. This will be quite an adventure for the Gasser Circus, as we have not raced at an 1/8th mile before, and apart from our trips over to the Isle of Man, not ventured that far North before. We have also thrown a one off into the mixture, as this event will be our only Heads Up round.

Following that we look forward to racing the rest of the season on the hallowed grounds at Santa Pod. With returning and updated cars, new cars and new drivers, it look set to be another fine one when the Gasser Circus roll into town.

Be sure to visit us in the pits.

Swift snippets.
29th March: A Happy Birthday for today to Lyndden Hill No Prep organiser Paul Marston, crew chief extraordinaire Dave Crunkhorn aka Crunch, German Super Gas racer Rene Kloss and Norwegian Top Methanol Dragster racer on both sides of the Pond Fred Hanssen, have a great day all!

Pioneer stories: Tony Russell.
28th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features drag racing pioneer Tony Russell, a member of Team Phaeton who built and ran a slingshot dragster in the late 1960s. (picture: The team's dragster called 'Limelight' in 1968 - John Smith photo).

Tony Russell started in the sport by joining a car club called the Road Runners in 1966. He encountered Team Phaeton and joined as they were building their Jaguar engined dragster which became Phaeton 1 and, later Limelight. The team ran the car until 1969, with some great experiences along the way. The buyer of Limelight was Jaguar specialist George Nolan who replaced the 6 cylinder engine with a V12 and renamed it Methsdrinker. After running it throughout the 1970s, George sold it to Steve Clarke and Nigel Rigden who reverted it to 6 cylinder power and named it The Good Guys. Meanwhile author Tony now runs a self built Ford roadster. Tony Russell's story and history is at this link, including over 50 photos. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Tony for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Swift snippets.
28th March: Happy Birthday for today to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Rob Loaring, FIA Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg, Nostalgia Superstock racer Jack Bishop, and Super Pro ET racer Jan Scheppers who announced he will be racing a Dodge Viper this season. Have a great day everyone, and see you at the track shortly.

Festival of Power entry tops 300.
27th March: As at the close of yesterday, the entry list for the Festival of Power to be held at Santa Pod Raceway from 15th-17th April stood at 312 vehicles, yes, three hundred and twelve. Well done to the teams for entering the event before the closing deadline of yesterday.

You can still enter the event but at an additional fee, and to do so you will need to contact Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall at

Editor's note: We plan to run a preview of the event in the week before; if you would like to send your pre-race preview, contact us at or alternatively direct message us at Facebook.

Santa Pod RWYB notes.
27th March: Photos from yesterday's Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung, held in warm sunny conditions, were posted at this Facebook link by Callum Pudge of Pudgey's Pictures. We've also got some comments made by racers making passes during the day.

The top times from were:
  1. Craig Wright (Suzuki Hayabusa) 8.3467/166.05
  2. Ian Crichlow (Suzuki Hayabusa) 8.5084/169.81
  3. Claire Rule (Suzuki GSX1100) 8.5314 153.63
  4. Leo Lester (Suzuki Hayabusa) 8.794/166.68
  5. Sally Woolner (Chevrolet Camaro '68) 9.0336/151.61
  6. Stephen Venning 9.1117/153.16
  7. Neil Gillet 9.1839/148.09
  8. Sara Unsworth (Ford Mustang) 9.7044/139.88
  9. Bradley Head (Suzuki Hayabusa) 9.8378/141.23
8.50 Bike new boy Craig Wright said "First pass a nervous 9.20, slight wheelie but bottled it straight away, rolled off then got back to it...156mph. 2nd pass, had a right go at myself, and a few pointers from Jake Mechaell. I rode a 150ft wheelie all the way out but just ever so slightly rolled the throttle to bring it back down...8.37secs at 165mph, wow, absolutely buzzing! 3rd pass, same set up, big wheelie, whole bike off the floor (see Callum Pudge's photo above), got it back down then went 8.7secs at 166mph! Sore one again but all good. Final pass of the day, all I wanted was a true clean pass to use as a solid baseline, a few adjustments, she left hard 1.33 to 60ft, perfect shifts all the way to an 8.34sec pass at 166mph, just incredible. A mega mega end to the day, now to dial it back tomorrow...

Craig thanks Bradley O'Connor, Jay Roe, Ian Chrichlow and Brad Head for their help.

Claire Rule who was the Old School Stockers champion in 2021, made a great start to her 2022 season with a new PB, well done to her, and we look forward to seeing the group run at various events this year.

Other quick bikes were 8.50 Bike racer Ian Crichlow who has a recomissioned bike originally built for SSB, he looks to be on the numbers straight away. Former 8.50 Bike racer Leo Lester who will be moving to Competition Bike with his Section59 Racing Hayabusa, made his first runs of the year and will continue testing today.

No less than three Rugrat Racing Junior Drag Bikes were making test passes, the machines all in white, Casey Holgate and Lyra Humber testing with newcomer Maggie Smallman making licensing runs.

Amongst all the bikes, the quickest car was Outlaw Street racer Sally Woolner in her '68 Camaro. We hope to run a report on Outlaw Street who also plan to conclude their round 1 today at Le French Fest. Also testing were Dan Holloway in his new Rattler and Dave Rudd in his Cobra, both entered for Pro ET at the Festival of Power.

Notes from across the pond.
27th March: Expat or visiting European racers were involved in two races in the U.S. this weekend with mixed results:

Norwegian-born Julie Nataas with Randy Meyer Racing entered the 1/8 mile Funny Car Chaos race at the Texas Motorplex in a brand new Ford Mustang, complete with an engine and gearbox combination from her Top Alcohol Dragster with which she has had success on the NHRA tour.

However the results for the untested new setup, with its shorter wheelbase and direct drive transmission with centrifugal clutch, were frustrating. Julie commented "We’ve made five test runs and haven’t made a full pass down the track yet! This is new for us, but we’re gonna figure it out." Team boss Randy Meyer said "We've been working on the combination trying to get it better, and be able to stop smoking the tires, as we make each pass. We were unable to make a solid hit down the track during qualifying; we have a long journey ahead of us in the Funny Car world. What a weekend though! Thank you to Funny Car Chaos for having us!"

With 55 funny cars having signed on to Funny Car Chaos, there was a great opportunity for a "group photo" which evoked memories of Orange County International Raceway in the 1970s, photo credit to Mark Gewertz.

There was a Swedish team at the race, Joacim Ljungberg who we met at the 2018 California Hot Rod Reunion. Joacim raced in various sportsman classes in Europe but took the decision to base his ex-Urs Erbacher and ex-Freddy Fagerström methanol burning FC in California as Raw Valley Motorsport. A PB 4.149/173.67 qualified Joacim 24th which placed him in the "C" field (there are four fields of 8 cars each), however he went out in the first round.

We also spotted a couple of crew members at Funny Car Chaos who have visited Europe on more than one occasion, Camp Stanley who we hope to see during the summer with Marcus Hilt at FIA events, and Jerry Inouye who crewed with Tony Betts in 2019 as well as attending the BDRHoF in 2017.

Meanwhile at South Georgia Motorsports Park, expat Swede Adam Flamholc (after an extended 26 hour journey to the track) commenced his new radial tyre drag racing career in the hotly competitive X275 class at the Duck X Productions Sweet 16 race, as reported on 12th March. Shakedown passes were the order of the day. Adam commented after late night qualifying on Friday: "First run in the new car, I lifted 100ft out, the plan on the second run was to make it to half track then lift, but it blew the tires just after the hit... A lot of new stuff to learn with Haltech EFI, how to spool and drive a turbo car etc, but its interesting! Now we are just done changing stator in the converter, and are ready for some sleep!"

Swift snippets.
27th March: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaw racer Jim Usher, have a great day Jim. Also belated Happy Birthday greetings for yesterday to Funny Bike racer and adrenaline junkie Dale Leeks and Street Eliminator burnout king Nick Hale, hope you guys had a great day!

To catch up on developments in drag racing in Bahrain, there are some excellently produced videos from the Bahrain Drag Racing Club championship which concluded 15th-18th 2022 at the Bahrain International Circuit Youtube channel, where events are streamed.

Pioneer stories: Gerald Cookson, Part 1 - Slingshots.
25th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features drag racing pioneer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Gerald Cookson who built and ran a slingshot dragster between the mid 60s and mid 70s, later running a Berkeley and an MG Midget. (picture: Gerald's Joker dragster in 1973).

Gerald Cookson had a mechanical and engineering career, during which he joined the Lucas Motor Club, read Hot Rod Magazine and built a Morris Minor engined slingshot 'Minor Leaguer' with the welding expertise of Ken Cooper. The dragster made its debut at Santa Pod in July 1966, with wife Joan and son Jerry helping out. A second dragster followed called 'Joker', which was upgraded, fitting injection, supercharger and stronger driveline components. Gerald ran the methanol-fuelled car to 1976 with recorded times in the low tens at 145mph.

Part 1 of Gerald Cookson's story and history, with input from son Jerry, is at this link, including over 100 mostly previously unpublished images. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Gerald for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Nitro Revival cackles again in 2022.
25th March: Many thanks to legendary former NHRA Competitions Director, founder of California Hot Rod Reunion and Nitro Revival Steve Gibbs who tells us that Drag Racing’s Golden Age is back in the spotlight on 5th-6th November at Irwindale Drag Strip.

Anticipation is already building for the Nov. 5-6 production of Nitro Revival 2022, presented at Irwindale Drag Strip on the grounds of the Irwindale Speedway complex. The fifth edition of Nitro Revival promises to be the biggest yet with more than 70 nitro-burners expected to participate in the two-day event that also will recognize a host of San Gabriel Valley racing pioneers.

“Nitro Revival brings back the sights and sounds of the early days of hot rodding,” said Steve, the event’s founder and driving force, “but it also serves as a reunion for racers from that era and it lets fans experience a drag racing museum come to life...not only through the vehicles themselves, but through the presence of many of those who built, maintained and drove those cars at tracks like the original Irwindale Raceway and two San Gabriel Drag Strips.”

Honorees for 2022 include legendary Funny Car racers Gas Ronda and Charlie Allen, engine wizard Bill Schultz, and the “Sour Sisters” Top Fuel Dragster team of Kenny Safford, Don Gaide, and Don Ratican. Additionally, brothers Russ and Doc Conroy will be honored for their decades long racing efforts, along with race promoter Stan Adams, and veteran track official Jim London.

Each of the 2022 honorees will be presented a custom plaque courtesy of staunch Nitro Revival supporters Jerry and Pat Baltes.

For some, the assemblage of nitro powered race cars, such as “Pure Hell,” the name of the legendary fuel altered owned by Rich Guasco, the Fitzgerald Family “Pure Heaven,” Ron Hope's “Rat Trap,” and Randy Bradfords's Fiat, will rekindle an image of the golden era of drag racing.

Among the other iconic vehicles that will cackle for the crowd are Ross Howard’s Custom Body Enterprises Dodge with former U.S. Nationals champion Marvin Graham in the harnesses, John Peters’ fabulous twin-engine “Freight Train,” Don Garlits’ “Swamp Rat 3,” restored by Sonny Messner, Greg Barta's Tom Hoover “Fishbowl” fueler, the Lynn Rose-owned Kuhl and Olson Top Fuel dragster with Carl olson at the wheel, Jerry “The King” Ruth, Mike Elsberry’s restoration of “Flamin’ Frank” Pedregon’s AA/Fuel Coupe, and Wayne Patrick's restored “Kansas John Wiebe” fuel dragster.

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

The lineup of special guests includes Top Fuel standouts “The Unsinkable” Kelly Brown, Gary Beck, “King Richard” Tharp, “TV Tommy” Ivo, and curren day standout Mike Salinas, Funny Car stars Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, Tom Hoover, Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, Tom Prock, “Fast Jack” Beckman and Al Segrini. Others expected to attend include wheelstanding great “Wild Bill” Shrewsberry, racing icons Ed Iskenderian, Linda Vaughn, Ed Pink, Herman Petersen, Roland Leong, Dave, Bones Balogh, and “Waterbed Fred” Miller plus Paula Murphy, Shirley Shahan, Mendy Fry, Bob Muravez, Butch “the California Flash” Leal. Most of the racing legends will be available to meet and greet fans during a special autograph session.

Festivities begin Saturday, Nov. 5, with fun runs, time trials, cackle car push starts, fire-ups, burnouts and exhibition runs from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Nitro exhibition runs at 1 and 4 p.m. will lead into the introduction of Nitro Revival 2021 honorees and subsequently into the recognition of participants in the day’s signature event, the Line of Fire featuring simultaneous static starts of more than 50 nitro burning race cars, followed by a spectacular fireworks salute.

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

Additional displays will feature vintage Gas Coupes and Sedans, Factory Experimental machines, and historic land speed vehicles.

On Sunday, a full day of more fire-ups, burnouts, push starts and exhibitions with nitro exhibition runs and wheelstanders at 12:15 and 3 p.m.

In its latest iteration, Nitro Revival will once again stretch the boundaries of the imagination by featuring another element that redefines the cackle genre...“One O’Clock Thunder.” On Sunday, Nov. 6, when the siren sounds sharply at 1 p.m., every nitro car on the grounds at Irwindale Dragstrip, along with many others, will participate in a group cackle sure to test the Richter Scale.

In the ‘70s, there were 64 Funny Cars all a-cackle at Orange County International Raceway. Now, almost 50 years later and 40 miles away, Steve Gibbs and his Nitro Revivalists think there may be as many as 100 nitro burners participating in “One O’Clock Thunder.” Top Fuel dragsters, nostalgia Funny Cars, fuel altereds, maybe even a fuel-burning margarita mixer or two.

It promises to be the ultimate in man made thunder and a fitting climax to two days of fuel and fun that offer up the opportunity for racers and fans to once again revel in the glory that was drag racing in the 1960s and ‘70s, an era in which the sport was pure and so was the nitro.

Although formal activities don’t begin until Saturday, a social gathering for Friday’s early arrivals will feature bench racing and food from long-time patron of the sport, In-N-Out Burgers.

Irwindale Dragstrip is located on I-605 at Live Oak Avenue exit, in Irwindale. For complete event information, go to

Thanks to Geoff Stilwell for his support on behalf of Nitro Revival.

Swift snippets.
25th March: Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel racer Antti Horto, who has confirmed he will one of three such cars making exhibition passes at the Festival of Power, former FIA Top Fuel champion Thomas Nataas, Top Methanol Dragster legend and BDRHoF member Dave Wilson Santa Pod Raceway Commercial Manager Caroline Holden, Super Pro ET racer John Przbyl, and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt. Have a great day, wherever you are.

In the latest issue of Custom Car magazine there is a great article by photojournalist Andy Willsheer about Nostalgia Funny Cars in the UK and Europe which is worth the purchase price alone, plus Tony Thacker's report on hot rods on display at the Bakersfield March Meet, Bob Roberts on the Bicester Heritage show, and Mike Pye on the NSRA's Swap Meet at North Weald. You can get a copy or subscribe at the Custom Car website.

Melbourne Raceway Season Opener next weekend.
24th March:
The first meeting on the Melbourne Raceway calendar set for 2nd-3rd April will have several championships and run what ya brung for racers and spectators to enjoy.

To register for competition, you will need to go to, where you will need to complete an Entry Form. All competitors, cars and bikes, should complete this form. You can also buy entry racer or spectator tickets by clicking on the relevant link on the Events Page.

The 1/8 mile event will include run what you brung, Duck All Prep, National Street Car Club and NSA championships. Spectators will be welcome for £10 on the gate, and track action will take place from 10am to 5pm, and in the evening the band Bang! Bang! Bang! will be playing in the clubhouse alongside fund raising auctions.

Entry fees are £80 per day (£120 for the weekend) for one competition excluding Duck All Prep, £15 per day (£30 for the weekend) for an additional vehicle/class, and £125 per day (£205 for the weekend) for Duck All Prep (including run what you brung and driver entry). Crew entry costs an additional £12.50 per day (£25 for the weekend). If you don't have a competition licence, one is required (unless you are doing RWYB) which costs £15 for the event.

Spectator tickets are 1 day £15, weekend £30 and camping £35. Under 16s get in free and don't need a ticket if accompanied by an adult. Dogs are also allowed if kept on a lead. Gates are open at 8am, parking, grandstands and pit access is free.

The Duck All Prep competition is heads up, no prep, first to the finish line wins, with cash up for grabs and top three trophies for each category. All pairings are pulled out of the hat for eliminations until the finals in each category. The categories are:

Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Pro Small Tyre Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres maximum height 30 inches maximum tread width 11 inches, interior removed.
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Super Pro Comp: Pure competition vehicles, altereds, rear engine dragsters, front engine dragsters and funny cars. where the driver is seated in a central postion in the vehicle.

Entry is still open, click on

Editor Simon and former editor Tog will be attending this race to provide same-day coverage, with pit notes, pictures and results.

Draught Kestrel Beer at SPR.
24th March: Some great news for Santa Pod Raceway fans - and teams after beer o'clock - and another opportunity to support those who support the sport:

The new long-term supply agreement will see five products being supplied to Santa Pod, an internationally renowned racing venue in Northamptonshire.

Scottish-born beer brand Kestrel beer has agreed a new Supply Agreement with Santa Pod Raceway, the best loved drag racing venue in Europe. Kestrel Beer has previously committed to being the left-lane sponsor at the track, one of the most prestigious sponsorship packages available.

In addition to the sponsorship, Kestrel has proudly won the right to supply, surpassing numerous multinational brewers in the process. The new deal will see two Kestrel draught beers being poured on site, which will allow some of the 400,000 annual visitors to experience the crafted lager firsthand. Kestrel Premium 5% abv lager and Kestrel Premium 4% abv lager will be poured from April 2022. The two varieties offer different taste profiles for the drinkers at different abvs. In addition to Kestrel beer, three new draught brands will be launched at the site, as part of the supply agreement These include Lionheart, an artisan ale, at 4% abv, Switchback Session IPA, an American-inspired craft offering at 4.2% abv and Apple Yard, a premium English cider at 4.5% abv, expertly crafted, using British apples and oak vats for conditioning. The Kestrel lager range will also be available across the sites various bars as a packaged option.

Nigel McNally, MD of The Kestrel Brewing Co. explains “the partnership with Santa Pod is a strategic move that supports our UK and Worldwide marketing objectives. We have been achieving strong growth in UK off-trade and export markets, and the international reach of Santa Pod will assist us in driving this forward. The venue is local to our Bedfordshire office, the proximity of which enables us to have a close relationship with the Santa Pod team. The dragstrip is an exciting place that echoes the bold values of the Kestrel beer brand. We developed the land-speed record breaking Flying Kestrel car, which will continue to be exhibited at the venue. We are proud that our leading beer brand supports such an iconic venue and that it will be available to a new audience in draught format”.

Caroline Holden, Commercial Manager at Santa Pod added “We are delighted that Kestrel Beer have renewed the sponsorship of the left-hand lane, after having a taster of what we could offer last season. They have previously sampled products on site for customers to trial, so bringing the pouring rights inline with the sponsorship made sense and takes the partnership to the next level. Having the Flying Kestrel Car present at events also bolsters the brand awareness, whilst at the same being a great attraction for our spectators.”

The draught range will be rolled out across other selected on-trade venues in the region as part of the brand’s strategy to increase visibility and trial with a younger consumer demographic. The products will be available from Sky Wines Limited, based in Rugby. The brand will be supported by a marketing campaign that includes print and digital advertising, as well as retail and consumer promotional activity.

Swift snippets.
24th March: A Big Happy Birthday to Funny Bike and former Pro Modified crew Lucy Moore, to Tierp chief starter Nettan Heleander, doyen of scrutineers Glenn Stockton and to former Pro Stock racer and Super Gas champion Conrad Stanley, have a great day all.

Festival of Power entry closing on Friday.
23rd March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the link for version 4 of the entry list for the Festival of Power being held at Santa Pod Raceway 15th-17th April.

The entry list which can be seen at this link now has 233 entries. Entry at normal fees will close this Friday, 25th March, and a surcharge will apply after this date so racers are encouraged to make their entries as soon as possible.

Teams: if you would like to send a pre-race preview, contact us at or alternatively direct message us at Facebook.

Julie to run A/Funny Car at Texas Chaos.
23rd March: According to the excellent Draglist, there have been but a handful of unsupercharged nitro Funny Cars raced competitively in the US since the class was effectively removed from the NHRA rule books with the cessation of Pro Comp in 1981, and the only examples in Europe go back to the 1970s with Bjorn Ardin and Hans Fromm. So expectations and curiosity will be running high when expat Norwegian racer Julie Nataas will be getting behind the wheel of one this weekend at the Funny Car Chaos event at Texas Motorplex.

After winning the last three NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster world championships with daughters Megan and Rachel, A/Fuel tuner and team owner Randy Meyer is looking for a new challenge. He’s found one – or built one, rather – as he plans to debut his new A/Fuel Funny Car this weekend at the Funny Car Chaos Classic, March 24-26 at the Texas Motorplex. Julie Nataas, Randy Meyer Racing’s primary driver this season, will drive the new car.

“We’re doing this for multiple reasons,” Meyer said. “I wanted a new challenge and we’re looking to diversify our operation and help drivers that want to eventually move up to fuel Funny Car but can’t get experience anywhere else. The Funny Car Chaos deal is becoming more popular here in the Midwest, so it’s an opportunity for us to go race close to home, have some fun, and take on a new challenge.”

Nataas has spent the last three seasons racing full-time in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster behind the wheel of one of Meyer’s nitro-injected A/Fuel dragsters. Like Meyer, she’s looking forward to a new experience.

“I can’t even describe how excited I am,” Nataas said. “Not just for me to drive the car but for the whole team. I’ve been wanting to drive a Funny Car for a while, so when Randy asked me if I wanted to drive, I couldn’t say no. It’s going to be a new and exciting project for all of us.”

“She might not want to drive a dragster again after this, who knows,” Meyer laughed. “She’s been first on the list to drive this car for a while. The time’s right to bring it out.”

The car is a 2016 Murf McKinney-built chassis formerly campaigned by Brian Hough in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car. It sustained damage in a minor crash, but racer and chassis builder Jonnie Lindberg fixed it up before Meyer bought it for the A/Fuel project. The car then underwent a series of changes in Meyer’s shop to prepare it for an injected nitro engine.

“For the last eight months, I’ve been building a lot of pieces and modifying a lot of stuff on the car,” Meyer said. “The car was never made for nitro or A/Fuel, so we had to do heavy modifications to get it to where I wanted it. Once we run it, we’ll probably modify it more to get it to where it works like it needs to, but we have to start somewhere. We’re starting with what we have and we’ll go from there.”

The car isn’t 100% ready from a cosmetic standpoint, as it hasn’t been painted yet, but Meyer wanted to take advantage of a break in the team’s hectic NHRA Lucas Oil Series schedule to get the car on track.

“We’ll only probably run it three times this year because of our NHRA schedule,” Meyer said. “Running the dragsters and chasing the world championship with Julie is still our priority for this year. Next year we look to run the Funny Car a lot more.”

Over the past two decades, Meyer has rented his cars out to other drivers, providing them with the opportunity to race at a high level and contend for race wins and championships. Some drivers use the A/Fuel dragster as proving grounds and a stepping stone for Top Fuel. Meyer’s goal for the A/Fuel Funny Car is to provide that same opportunity for drivers looking to make the move to a 330-mph nitro Funny Car.

“There’s a lot of crossover between an A/Fuel dragster and a Top Fuel dragster, but comparing an A/Fuel dragster to a fuel Funny Car is like comparing apples and oranges,” Meyer said. “We’re thinking this will be a good alternative for people who want to explore and see if they like a Funny Car. It’s a good stepping stone.”

Nataas, a two-time NHRA North Central Region champion, is one of those drivers hoping to get the feel for a Funny Car’s enclosed flip-top body and shorter wheelbase to prepare for a potential move to a quicker and faster Funny Car.

“This can definitely be a stepping stone to nitro Funny Car,” Nataas said. “The last couple years I’ve said I can see myself in a nitro Funny Car, but I really don’t know what it’s actually like to drive one compared to a dragster or anything else I’ve driven. We’re about to find out.”

The Funny Car chassis will also give Meyer the option to swap out the Funny Car body for an Altered body to run Fuel Altered events or match races. It’s all part of Meyer’s plan to diversify his options.

“This will allow us to race closer to home and still mess around with the A/Fuel stuff,” Meyer said. “We’re going to have the option to do the Funny Car, the dragsters or the Altered. That’s kind of my plan. We’ll have them sitting there and if someone wants to rent one, we’ll go run it. We’re looking forward to going out and having some fun with this new car.”

Meyer has been secretly working on this project for months, and it’s finally ready to hit the track.

“I just want to thank the handful of people who’ve donated parts and helped me on this deal,” Meyer said. “They want to see what it can do and what the potential is. There are a lot of people watching to see what happens.”

The Funny Car Chaos Classic is billed as the “biggest Funny Car race in the world,” with 60-plus cars entered. Qualifying is set to begin at noon on Friday (5pm UK time), with another session Friday night and a final session at noon on Saturday. Eliminations will begin Saturday at 5 p.m (10pm UK time).

You can see the action from Texas Motorplex on Floracing (subscription required).

Swift snippets.
23rd March: We have several landmark birthdays today. Happy Birthday to Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell who reaches 65, Pro Modified racer Mick Payne who attains 60, Top Methanol Dragster racer Tony Bryntesson who is 65, expat Top Fuel racer Lex Joon, nitrous guru Trevor Langfield, and a relatively youthful Outlaw Anglia and 9.50 Bike racer Scotty Crookston who hits the three-oh today. Have a great day from all of us at

Videos from last Friday's VWDRC pre-season testing day have been posted on Youtube by our Kieran at Mk1Kieran (34 minutes of coverage), and by Simon Letkey at VeeDubRacing whose page also includes recently posted videos of Europe's quickest VW Golfs.

Also posting from recent events is drag racing historian Nick Pettitt, whose 82 minutes of footage of the Dakota Drags from Smeatharpe Airfield last Saturday can be seen at this link.

Ian's Safety Safari miracle.
22nd March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending his account of a memorable NHRA Gatornationals when he served with the NHRA Safety Safari who brought the track round in a few hours from a torrential downpour to a record setting surface as soon as racing commenced.

Gainesville 2022, what a prospect, Pro Stock cars, Factory Stock Showdown, Pro Stock bike, Comp Eliminator, Top Methanol Dragster and Funny Cars, plus a vast number of nitro cars and sportsman classes, 28 degrees of glorious sunshine...Hold on, someone didn’t get the sunshine memo.

The reality was slightly different, two and a half days straight of what can only be considered monsoon weather, 15 inches of rain in less than three days, driving to the track Thursday at 6.30am at only 30mph because you can’t see the road in front of you was not my idea of fun, but having the opportunity to work with the NHRA again was too good to pass up.

Move forward to Saturday, and following a small tornado passing close bye in the morning, the clouds began to break and the track prep could begin, however when we all started to clear the water, sadly most of the rubber went with it. After several hours of clearing water and rubber from the track the prepping process began, three and half hours later at 3pm the track was now in a go condition. During the cleanup I asked Brad Hardy (Chief Starter) what the first class on track was going to be, well you can imagine the look when he said Factory Stock Showdown, 1500hp on a 9 1/2 inch tyre on a track with 3 and a half hours prep, that’s it, oh and now it’s getting colder by the minute.

I don’t know how much glue went down, but it was a more than a barrel or two, excepting changing tyres, the counter rotators didn’t stop for three hours solid, the end result was nothing short of incredible, spectacular, amazing, the first pair of Factory Stock cars down the track matched the National record, within six pairs the new ET record had been smashed by 11 hundredths, and the bump spot was way lower than anything seen before.

As the day progressed watching the Crew Chiefs pouring over the race surface, a few concerned looks but in most cases an attitude of this is what we have let’s make some adjustments and get on with it, continuing, more track and National records were set, 6.45 Pro Stock car, 6.66 Pro Stock Bike; not records but outstanding, TMFC funny car in the 5.30’s and the dragsters in the 5.1’s, just amazing.

I have had the pleasure of working with the NHRA guys on many occasions and at a few tracks, but to see this track turned around in such a short space of time was unbelievable, and I certainly learned a great deal to bring home going forward, for those Brits and Europeans that were there, an event to remember for many reasons, congratulations to Stefan, just to qualify in Pro Stock is something to be proud of, the Leanders brothers continuing to do very well both racing and with their clutch business and Julie Nataas making another final in Top Methanol Dragster.

To finish I would like to thank Phil Evans for organising the visit, From the NHRA Glen Gray, Jeff Conley, Jeff Parker, Lonnie Grim for helping out with the Comp index stuff, Brad, then Chief Starter, who has now moved on to new things in Vegas, good luck in your new venture, Fuzzy, the New Chief Starter, Cash and all of the other NHRA staff for making me so welcome, I look forward to working with you all again, in slightly better weather conditions.

Photos of Ian courtesy Nikki Marshall.

Dakota car report.
22nd March: Many thanks to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson for sending in a report and photos from the Dakota Raceway meeting held last weekend. Congratulations also to Street Rear Wheel Drive winner Kevin Headon (Pontiac Le Mans), runner up Pete Lane (Mercury Station Wagon) and All Wheel Drive winner Nathan Lang (Nissan GTR35) with runner up Mark Swanborough (Tesla)

Heading into a stiff head wind which, to some must have felt like hitting the proverbial barn door, was okay for some and in particular the driver of the JM-Imports Nissan GT-R. I’m sure with all of its whistles and bells inside the cockpit turned off Nathan Lang’s GT-R scorched down the Dakota quarter in 9.739s not once but a further four times leaving the crowd stunned at the super cars jaw dropping 145 mph plus speeds. I’m sure Nathan was shocked but not entirely surprised at these figures after the engines recent rebuild at JM-Imports, but I’m doubly sure he will be back next month to make further improvements and, hopefully, in calmer conditions!

Former Dennis Priddle crew hand Brian ‘Star’ Savidge made the short journey to Dakota from Yeovil and promptly turned his self-built Westcott bodied Roadster from a street sleeper into a racing roadster. Although the highly tuned 383ci Chevy wasn’t quite at home on the strip when Brian mashed the loud pedal lighting up the tyres on every pass a day’s best of 13.006/117.46 mph was a far cry from the roadster’s 10.26 PB set at Santa Pod’s Dragstalgia in 2019. Brian also gave a courageous young lady a passenger ride of a life time; not once, but twice!

Nice to see former Honda Drag Series and Pro Street Drag Series racer Paul Hackley at Dakota. Paul had in previous years raced a few quick Japanese imports at Shakespeare County Raceway where he was runner up to Keith Cowie RB 32 at Rotorstock in the mid-2000s. After that Paul became involved with Shakey’s premier Japanese PSDS series and he’s still not kicked the habit yet as he’s now racing a very clean looking diamond white Nissan Skyline GT-R to a day’s best of 12.086/117.08 mph.

Dakota regular and Cash Days racer Nick Martin ran new personal best figures of 10.791/129.05 achieved from his AMG 53S Mercedes.

One of the biggest cars at the raceway, and I mean big as it would have taken a week to walk round (!) was the 1977 Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon of Dakota champion and Outlaw Street racer Pete Lane. Marketed, back in the day, by the Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company between 1957 and 1991, this was the 5th Generation of 6 with its distinguishing simulated wood grain panelling. Originally equipped with a standard 460 the motor has been bored and stroked to 545ci (just short of 9 litres) with advanced timing, AFR aluminium heads and long tube headers. And if that wasn’t enough Pete has added twin Torqstorm Prochargers which at the weekend and so not to blow the tyres, or the doors off, 3ibs of boost, and its LOUD. Very loud! And it’s so big that Pete barely just got the beast round and lined up for Dakota’s right lane without running me down!

Very much testing before next weekend’s opening round of Outlaw Street at Santa Pod to seat the rings while getting a feel for what she’ll do over the eighth before further transmission and final drive upgrades through the season, Pete eased the wagon, known as ‘Freddie’, to a comfortable 11.373 over the eighth mile against Kevin Headon’s Pontiac GTO Le Mans. Pete also sponsors Dakota’s Cash Days trophies through his Gloucestershire based grass Seed Store.

Making a return to the quarter mile drag strips with its new southern based owner was the ex-Brian Watson Scottish based Wild Bunch slingshot Interest Free now in the hands of Dan Wilson and his dad Mark. Still packing a 355 Chevy the Allard inspired slingshot in Brian’s hands net regular 9.9s and 9.8s with the best being a 9.867/129.51 mph. With tuition during the day from dad (Mark used to crew for Jim Seward’s dragster and fuel altered), the day ended with a respectable 12. 854 racing Peter Fone’s self-built rear engined dragster. While testing at early season RWYBs, Dan is making plans to return the slingshot to the Wild Bunch championships from the Nostalgia Nationals onwards while keeping the colours and engine combination as original as possible. Well that’s the plan!

Galleries of pictures by Kieran (pictures 1-65) and James Webber (pictures 66 to 125) and Jerry can be seen via our coverage page at this link, with thanks to John Woolfe Racing for their sponsorship of event coverage.

NSA Spring Training at Dakota.
22nd March: Spring training came early for the riders of the National Sprint Association as 40 or so braved the windy conditions to make their presence known at Smeatharpe Airfield’s Dakota Raceway last Saturday, writes Jerry Cookson.

Although this was classed as non-points scoring round in the NSA’s new modern era, from the first to the very last pass of the day riders faced a stiff head wind despite the cloudless sunny skies.

No less than five riders managed to tame the conditions and run down into single figures with the first nine of the year going to the Cornish based B&H Motorcycles team rider Andrew Boswell. Mounted on the team’s trusty 1200cc Harley drag bike Gonzales Andrew was very quick to knock out a 9.714/135.47 mph pass on his birthday despite a slight drift towards the centre line markers.

Second quickest was Mark Taylor’s rapid 1425cc Suzuki which not only flew down the Devonshire quarter mile to an impressive 9.716/137.04 mph but did it a further 3 times to the tune of 9.8s and 9.9s.

The NSA’s fastest OAP, Blackdragon Motorcycles Peter Ford rung the neck off his blown 750cc Suzuki Bandit to the tune of 9.752/140.06 mph. Pete, whose a secret hillclimber as well, coaxed the sleeping Suzuki called Jabberwocky to a slightly slower 9.956s but fast 137.00 speeding ticket.

Although dropping his Hayabusa into the Racing class from Super Street this year Ian Wicks was also in the mood to run a nine against the conditions. Head down Wicksy did that alright as his red rocket slammed out a 9.784/142.81 mph. Also in the 9s was another Hayabusa; this being the silver machine belonging to Road Legal entrant Steve Everett who used all of its 1300cc’s to maximum effect to score a 9.855/138.97 mph ticket.

The day also provided the perfect opportunity for some of the club’s newest riders to gain some valuable track time. Making use of that time were the racing machines of Lester Hammond (Suzuki X7) and the 500 Honda of Adrian Scrivens. Also making a return to the sprint strips was former Straightliners racer from a few years back, Colin Lloyd riding a stretched swing arm 810 Kawasaki; best being an 11.880/107.98 mph. Also in the Racing class was Jonathan Deacon whose GSX 1100 Turbo ended the day’s activities at 10.885/122.90 mph.

The day also saw the debuts of some very nostalgic machines from some of the club’s existing members. Last year’s Southern 500 class Racing Champion and Triples racer Peter McGuiness debuted another sharp looking H1B Kawasaki that ended the day 13.616 timing ticket while in new to the Vintage class was a 1954 500 Triumph belonging to Mark Richards. 750 Road Champion Neil Jenkinson also debuted a pretty much standard (for now) 675 Triumph Street Triple to the tune of 11.915s.

The NSA will commence its new nationwide championship series of sprints next month with the first round of the NSA championship taking place at Melbourne Raceway on 2nd-3rd April, then 23rd April at Dakota Raceway followed a week later by a two day weekender at Somerset’s Westonzoyland eighth mile strip April 30th/May 1st.

In the meantime check out the day’s galleries of pictures from Kieran (pictures 1-65) and James Webber (pictures 66 to 125) and Jerry's NSA pictures, with thanks to John Woolfe Racing for their sponsorship of event coverage, or find the NSA on Facebook and the web.

Note: The NSA have announced that due to a training exercise, the first round of the NSA Championship at Dishforth on 9/10th of April has been cancelled. The June and September Dishforth meetings are still scheduled to go ahead but are pre entry only via Straightliners website. (The venue is a working military airfield so there is a need to know who is on site.)

Dial-in Day completed.
21st March: Santa Pod Raceway's Dial-in Day, started on 5th March and held off due to rain, was completed on Saturday 19th when two heats of qualifying and eliminations took place. You can see the detailed results at this link on the Santa Pod Raceway results site. Congratulations to winners Kyle Poolman (Bikes Heat 1), Dion Hartley (Bikes Heat 2), Sharon Bassindale (Cars Heat 1) and Huw Button (Cars Heat 2). Many thanks for longtime spectator Huw Button for sending in his account of his first experience of drag racing competition:

"Having recently had some upgrades completed on my 2005 Mini Cooper S by Scott and Thomas Barnes of 1320 Mini, I was keen to see how the car’s performance had improved. However, rather than just attending a normal RWYB day, I thought it would be fun to try an introduction to bracket racing and opted to attend the Dial in Day.

"The event, limited to a small number of entrants, was split over two weekends due to bad weather (who’d have thought that could happen) and consisted of both classroom sessions and a series of qualification runs and eliminations, for both cars and bikes. Led by Ian Marshall, all the basics of bracket racing were explained from start through to finish, including staging etiquette, how to mange your dial-in, understanding your time-slip, being consistent in you runs, considering the finish line and shut down. There was always something new to learn, even for the seasoned spectator and there was a plethora of assistance available to all the entrants from veteran competitors and class champions, cheerily discussed over a tea or coffee.

So, onto the track, both qualification and eliminations were fun for the vast majority (there was the odd breakage unfortunately for one or two). Many discussions with the experts and fellow entrants on how your run had gone, each other’s mistakes, red lights, breakouts, PB’s, the day had it all, but mainly lots of laughs and happy faces.

"For me personally, I came away more educated about our great sport. A new PB for me and my Mini and a mile wide grin after winning (more by luck than judgement) the second eliminator. For the overall winners of the day in both cars & bikes, William Lau and Kyle Poolman, both get a paid entrance to their respective class (Sportsman ET and ET Bike) at the Festival of Power at Easter and the best of luck to them both. I’m sure others from the day will go onto or continue to compete, but for me, I will happily retire with one win and return to my spot in the stands. Still with that mile wide grin. Many thanks to the SPRC staff, the Experts and Santa Pod who made this such a fun event. So, if you’ve ever fancied having a go at competition, this event is the perfect introduction to our sport. Get your entry in early next year."

Picture credit: courtesy Blackwell Photography, Santa Pod's Resident RWYB Photographer

Cars for sale.
21st March: We received details of cars which are looking to be sold quickly so have added them to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet as well as mentioning them here. First up is the Pro Mod spec Corvette of Swedish Comp Eliminator racer Peter Thörnäs. This is a Jerry Haas-built car, with carbon body and interior, Moran 440ci Small Block Chevy with billet block and heads and twin 88mm Garrett turbos. It is offered with a Wilson Trailer with 12 berths, kitchen and shower.

For a quick sale is Pro ET racer and former SPR Events Manager James Forster's Duster. James says "In a nutshell, it's an MSUK Legal, low 9 second car (ideal for Pro ET, Doorslammers etc - 9.31 pb), 540ci BBC with all the good stuff throughout, looking for £20k. Posting now to give someone the opportunity to get organised and racing at Easter! Full spec. and details available on request. Trailer and even the tow car are also available but will only be sold with or after the race car. I'm in no rush to sell so once the season starts I may even change my mind but right now you can take it away!

You can see either of these cars at our Swap Meet pages.

Also, Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell tells us of an opportunity to get into Land Speed Racing in the US. "This Bantam Landspeed car owned by Larry Frontuto is for sale at $65000. It is just down the road from my shop. It has a 540 Ford billet hemi on nitro and has run 249. Loads of spares and ready to go racing. I can help if storage needed or a base." You can contact Larry via Facebook.

Pioneer stories: Geoff Jago, Part 4.
21st March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features British Hot Rodding pioneer Geoff Jago's son Stuart who has been running a successful paint and repair business S. Jago Designs. (picture: Stuart's first build, a Jago Geep, put together when he was 15 years old).

Stuart Jago grew up in the 1970s and 1970s, quickly becoming interested in custom painting. As a schoolboy he acquired a lot of skills in building and painting cars, setting up his own business at a young age, later acquiring his own workshop. At the start of 2021 Stuart moved into Dad Geoff's workshop where he works to build and paint cars using the original Model B and Jago Geep moulds, and in his spare time Stuart helps Geoff on his a 1958 Chevy Longbed Fleetside pickup project, an 80th birthday present.

Part 4 of Geoff Jago's story, Stuart Jago's story and history, is at this link, including a link to video footage of dad Geoff's mancave. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Geoff for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Spy picture.
21st March: We received this spy picture with the message "The last piece is in the oven...Best of British hopefully!"

If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at

NEC Restoration show exhibits.
21st March: Those who attended the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC over the weekend of 19th-20th March would have noticed three drag cars in attendance. The National Street Rod Association, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, included Jake Cawthorne's Flag Jumper '63 Dodge Dart Nostalgia Superstock and today's birthday boy Martyn Payne’s eight second Outlaw Anglia The Great Barrbarian.

Robin Read brought along his latest dragster Spirit of Le Patron which was displayed on the stand of Fiennes Restoration, whose Performance Engineering branch has carried out work on the engine of the record-holding Daimler-engined rail. Robin commented "I’m surprised and pleased with the level of interest that Spirit of Le Patron has generated, it’s humbling to experience the appreciation and support that the visitors have given. It was good to chat with folk that had made a special effort to come and made themselves known."

Photo of Spirit of Le Patron courtesy Mad Welshman.

Swift snippets.
21st March: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster, Funny Bike racer and tuner Stuart Crane, car constructor and racer Bill Felstead, and Sportsman ET and Nostalgia Superstock racer Alan Medley aka Captain Caveman. Have a great day all.

Crail season starts tomorrow.
19th March: Scotland's one and only dedicated 1/4 mile drag strip and drifting track Crail Raceway have announced their dates for 2022. "Tomorrow, Sunday 20th March, “The Big One”, the Willie Robertson Memorial, sponsored by Falkland Performance takes place. This is the weekend we celebrate the life of Crail Daddy Willie Robertson who we sadly lost in 2013. Without Willie, there never would have been a Crail Raceway, so come along and make some noise in his memory as he loved the action here!

"As well as the usual 1/4 mile and drifting bedlam, the show season will be launched with the ‘Top 5’ show awards and Best Club Stand. Clubs get in touch through PM from the Facebook Page or email if you want to display and reserve space on the grass!). On track, we will have drag categories and many trophies for the winners.

"Some special cars will be present to open the track too with a bit of a display. To book your Club Stand – pm the FB page with Club Name and anticipated car numbers or email

"The event is open to all clubs and all types of cars, with trophies for Best Club Stand and Top 5 Show Trophies for individual cars. No need to pre-book to spectate, go down 1/4 mile or drift, just turn up and pay on the day. Entry is £10/adult, under 16yrs £5 each and under 12yrs free. To go down 1/4 Mile, pay at sign on £20/driver (which includes drifting) or if just Drifting it is £10/driver paid at sign on."

Other drag events at Crail are:

10th April Drag and Drift Thrash
24th April Full on Ford Sponsored by Laird Performance
15th May Drag and Drift Thrash
29th May Tora Tora Banzai Sponsored by AWD Motorsport
19th June Open Track Day (Circuit)
26th June GI22 - German invasion Part 1 (sponsored by Ecotune)
17th July Drag and Drift Thrash
30th-31st July Big Weekend (theme TBA)
14th August Drag and Drift Thrash
28th August Forever Smitten - Vauxhall & Retro Day
11th September GI22 - German Invasion Part 1 (sponsored by Ecotune)
25th September Open Track Day (Circuit)
9th October Who's The Daddy (Big Battles, Big Prizes)
30th October Drag and Drift Thrash

Keep an eye on the Crail web site for further details.

VWDRC's successful (for most) testing.
19th March: Yesterday the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club held their pre-season testing at Santa Pod Raceway. We've collected the top times and some racer notes. You can see a gallery of the action posted by Callum Pudge at Pudgey's Pictures, and by Alice Fairhead at AF Photography (both on Facebook). Video will be posted by Kieran in due course, for a teaser see his footage of Joe Bristow.

The top 10 quickest times from our analysis of the excellent were:

  1. Dan De'ath (Hayabusa SSB) 8.7904/161.92
  2. Dougal Bennett (MRC Tuning Golf/RS3) 8.9495/159.59
  3. Dave Henderson (DH Automotive/MRC Audi RS3) 9.0449/159.04
  4. Joe Bristow (Golvo Golf/Volvo) 9.0759/157.37
  5. Mason Griffiths (Dragster LS) 9.1869/142.97
  6. Lewis MacDougall (Ecotune Golf) 9.3432/150.60
  7. Roberto Caira (Ecotune Audi RS3) 9.3745/159.58
  8. TBC (blue Audi RS3) 9.4239/149.05
  9. Grant Parker (Golf) 10.3616/129.43
  10. Chris Todd (Fiesta) 10.3815/118.84
Super Street Bike tuner and rider Brad O'Connor wrote: "A great day for Dan De'ath. After four runs he went and run an 8.7! Not bad for a guy who has never run on the track before, well done Sir." Dan admitted: "When people say I haven’t ridden anything I literally haven’t, I ride a Suzuki Burgman 650 Max Scooter for work and that’s my lot."

Specialist Audi tuner MRC Tuning had two of the top cars, with boss Dougal Bennett running a RS3 engined Golf running his first eight, and customer Dave Henderson of DH Automotive taking his Audi RS3 to a 9.0.

Scottish tuning company Ecotune were also represented - Lewis MacDougall took his stock block Golf to a 9.343/150.60 which they claimed is the "fastest 2.0 MQB pass ever". You can see video footage of Lewis posted by Simon Letkey at his VeeDubRacing Youtube channel. Crail track record holder Roberto Caira also ran in the 9.3s.

Not so lucky was Adam Mcgraw whose Toyota MR2 powered by a stock block Honda K24 engine suffered engine failure on a run, necessitating a clean up that interrupted action. Also, VWDRC Chair, announcer and VW Pro racer Luke Stevenson discovered that his dragster had shrunk over the winter and he couldn't fit into the cockpit any more. Well done to Andy Voce for taking over the drive at short notice, recording a respectable 10.8088/116.81 and 10.4769/123.71 in his first runs in the car, and to Luke for persistence in getting the car on track after needing to repair a turbo oil feed fitting.

Photos courtesy Callum Pudge.

Introducing Crazy Lady Racing.
19th March: Many thanks to Competition Eliminator racer Elaine Hancock who has sent in details of her rebranding and apparel to be sold this year:

"We are really excited to provide our first update for the 2022 season. After my little mishap in 2021, the team felt it was time for a fresh start and a rebrand for the 2022 season.

The Team will debut the new team brand Crazy Lady Racing at the Festival of Power. Massive thanks to Colin Theobald for gifting us our new team name, Colin Hardy for the fantastic designs capturing Elaine & Zephyr perfectly and Craig Dixon of Altered Tees Apparel for creating the clothing.

T-shirts and hoodies will be available to order shortly on Craig's web site. Thanks also to Simon at for the publicity (you're welcome - Editor).

Sponsors, we have a short time until our clothing is available, so it’s not too late if there are any companies that would love to be a part of our racing this season and have their logos displayed on our clothing, cars or race truck.

Pioneer stories: Geoff Jago, Part 3.
18th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features British Hot Rodding pioneer Geoff Jago. (picture: Tony Puttick's Model B roadster - Ken Robbins photo).

In this part, Geoff tells the story about the unlikely components for his Big Moose wrecker he built in 1967, then how he developed the body and chassis for a Ford Model B with several configurations and a strong chassis for a Ford Pop. After his father died in 1968 he was able to move to new premises in Chichester, which were named The Rodding Scene. In the 70s he produced the Jago Jeep and worked to build chassis for the Panther sports GT car. Geoff's son Stuart got involved with building rods and became a paint specialist, eventually taking over Geoff's workshop whilst Geoff found and restored his first rod Jago One.

Part 3 of Geoff Jago's story is at this link, including photos of many British altereds using Geoff's fibreglass bodies. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Geoff for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Doorslammers entry update.
18th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Co-ordinator Dan Melrose who has sent details of a prize draw from sponsor VP Racing Fuel for entries to the Doorslammers to be held on 20th-22nd May:

"Doorslammers Entries are online, and one lucky racer has the chance to win before a wheel has even been turned! Any racer that enters Doorslammers before 5pm on April 8th will be entered into a draw to win a can of VP race fuel of their choice. All racers who have already entered into the Doorslammers will also be part of the draw."

Racers can enter the Doorslammers along with all other Santa Pod lifestyle events at Other event details are at

Santa Pod Raceway have posted a whopping £90,000 prize fund for Doorslammers - the most cash for any UK race this year.

Fast Show entries close next Friday.
18th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Co-ordinator Max Frost who has reminded us that entries for the The Fast Show Shootout to be held on Sunday 3rd April will close next Friday:

“Just one week to go until entries close for The Fast Show Shootout! If you’ve got a 4, 5, 6 cylinder or rotary engine car that runs quicker than 12 seconds, this is your chance to get in some early competition, racing with the possibility of winning up to £750! Entries close at 5pm Friday 25th March – Get those entries in now!

"For more information and rules, visit For racer entries please visit

Melbourne Raceway poster raffle.
18th March: Thanks to Kelli Barrett who has contacted us about a fundraising event for Melbourne Raceway: "A very unique framed picture is up for raffle. Each and every individual picture is signed by each racers featured - a piece of history in the making. This is a one off opportunity to win it. The picture measures 32x24 inches.

"There will be 250 numbers available at £10 per number (or 4 for £30) and will raise a potential £2250 for the track. Hopefully we can get this raffled and announced before 21st March so the money can go to the braking area extension. Payment must be made via PayPal (friends and family only!) to

"I would (preferably) like to hand this to the winner at the first Melbourne Raceway meeting of the year which is on 2nd-3rd April. So please buy your numbers today. Send me an e-mail or drop me a pm. If this raffle goes well I do have enough to raffle two more pictures during the year.

Let's go, this is not to be missed. Thank you to each and every racer for signing the pictures and also to Mike Burrowes for supplying the pictures."

With the current Melbourne Raceway Appeal now standing at £30,620 out of £45,000, this is a great opportunity to get the appeal closer to that target and get the braking area extended.

7707 promoted by SCTA.
18th March: sponsor and Land Speed racer Geoff Stilwell's 7707 blown fuel roadster has been given the honour of being included on posters and t-shirts for the Southern California Timing Association's El Mirage meeting to be held on 14th-15th May.

Geoff said "It's a great honour for my team and me. I can't thank the SCTA enough. If anyone wants to take part in Land Speed events, they make life easier by being so kind and helpful, you just have to ask.

"The car's all ready for travelling to El Mirage, and now have a complete spare engine with Brad Anderson heads and block. We only need to do a minor service and change the blower pulley to get it spinning a little faster for more boost. Land Speed motor guru John Beck will be in charge at El Mirage with Paul Bowman assisting. In August we will be going to Bonneville Salt Flats for Speedweek on 6th-12th August for which Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes who will be joined by regulars Mick Jenkins, Paul Rivera, Rick Lefever and others.

"There are so many spares we have had to rent another three ton truck to get everything to El Mirage, plus we will have a large RV for the team. We will also have ten 42 gallon barrels of 70% nitro to burn!"

Swift snippets.
18th March: Happy Birthday for today to Power Race Graphics and RAD Design Lines head Darren West, Nitro Funny Car co-owner Jackie Hawkins, former Shakespeare County Raceway announcer and Wild Bunch crew Barry Bohannon and Pro ET racer Rhiannon Bellenie, have a great day from all of us at

Thanks to owner of the 1978 Apollo 2 Altered Maxim Spaans for finding on his local Ebay an advert for sale for the rolling chassis of Mean as Hell Vega originally owned by Dave Warne but now located near Hamburg, Germany. Described rather uncharitably as a 'Rat Rod', the car appears in somewhat mucky condition but we're sure it will buff up nicely. Price: €3,690 negotiable.

Santa Pod SFI inspection postponed to 28th March.
17th March:
Many thanks to SFI President Jennifer Faye who has written to tell us that the Santa Pod Raceway SFI Inspection originally announced for Monday 21st March has had to be postponed:

"An issue has come up that forces us to reschedule the inspections. I’m very sorry to announce that we must unfortunately postpone the SFI Inspections that were scheduled for this coming Monday, 21st March at Santa Pod Raceway to the following Monday, 28th March. Due to an unplanned circumstance we must delay the inspections, to be able to conduct them properly.

"Racers may still send parts to Robinson Race Cars beginning Tuesday, 22nd March or contact RRC on 01256 880589 or to schedule an appointment. We are very sorry for this revision and SFI appreciates everyone’s understanding and patience."

Festival of Power entry deadline approaching.
17th March: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the link for version 3 of the entry list for the Festival of Power being held at Santa Pod Raceway 15th-17th April.

The entry list which can be seen at this link now has 148 entries. We are now a week away from the entry deadline; entry at normal fees will close on 25th March and a surcharge will apply after this date so racers are encouraged to make their entries as soon as possible.

Swift snippets.
17th March: A very Happy 86th Birthday to 1960s racer John Wright whose recently posted hot rodding and drag racing history you can read by clicking here (part 1) and here (part 2). Also Happy Birthday greetings to Swedish Nostalgia Funny Car racer Erik Wallinder. Have a great day both.

€16 million agreement signed for Hal Far track project.
16th March:
The dream of every motorsport enthusiast in Malta to have a motor racing track moved a step closer yesterday, writes Valhmor Camilleri of the Malta Sportsdesk website:

In fact, SportMalta and the National Development and Social Fund signed an agreement with the Malta Motorsport Federation that would see the first €16 million passed to the governing body so that the works on the project can start.

The Motor Racing Track project had been announced last September by Prime Minister Robert Abela who had said that the €20 million project would be built around similar, existing facilities in Ħal Far.

The plan is to upgrade existing drag racing and karting facilities in the area while also building a racetrack close to them.

“Today is an important day for the Maltese motorsport enthusiasts as their dream of having a top-quality racetrack has moved a step closer,” Clifton Grima, the Minister for Sport and Education told a news conference.

“The agreement will see the first €16 million of funds provided by the National Development and Social Fund to start the works on the project, once the necessary permits are issued by the Planning Authority.

“The project will bring with it a substantial upgrade to the current drag racing facilities that have existed for several years while also will improve the karting facilities that attract to it hundreds of youngsters who use these facilities to improve their driving skills.

“It was not an easy journey to arrive at this signing of the agreement but the government has worked diligently to ensure that keep the promise we made to the thousands of motorsport enthusiasts in Malta.

“This project is a major statement from the government that proves how much sport ranks high on the agenda of our country and I look forward that in the next weeks and months we will finally get the necessary construction works under way.”

On his part, Alex Muscat, the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship, said that he was positively surprised on the huge popularity of motorsport in Malta and said that this project will also provide a huge boost to the country’s finances.

“It’s impressive to see the great popularity motorsport enjoys in Malta,” Muscat said.

“This is a huge project that will boost not only sport in Malta but also will give a strong return to our economy as it is expected to generate more than 300 new jobs.”

On his part, Duncan Micallef, the president of the Malta Motorsport Federation, thanked the government, the NDSF and SportMalta for their continued support.

“We are grateful to the government, NDSF and SportMalta for all their support as since the start of this journey I never felt alone,” Micallef said.

“This project is a strong recognition by the government towards our sport and our goal is that through the new motor racing track we will be able to help our young drivers to nurture their talent and hopefully produce our future champions in our sport.”

Feature: Flower Power - Sam Beatty's Triumph Mayflower.
16th March: Our latest feature sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, written and photographed by Andy Willsheer, is a close look at the Triumph Mayflower street/strip car of Californian resident Sam Beatty.

We spotted Sam Beatty's street/strip Triumph Mayflower at California nostalgia meetings. Coincidentally, award winning photojournalist Andy Willsheer had penned an article on Sam's car. Sam was only too happy to approve it for publication and Andy's pictures, taken at a nearby marina, accompany it.

Only a handful of Mayflowers were imported to the U.S. and retired police detective Sam has taken great car to restore it sensitively, at the same time adding a powerful Ford engine that enables the car to run 10.9s at 119mph on the Famoso Dragstrip quarter mile.

You can read Andy's Flower Power feature at this link or by clicking on News and then Features in the main menu. Many thanks to Andy for supplying the article to us.

Position required - travel covered.
16th March: At this time of the year several teams will be wondering how they will be filling crew positions for the season. Félix Hernando Mir from Spain has written in with his CV and his story to offer his services. Felix is looking for a crew position and says it’s no problem for him to pay his travel expenses if required. Here's his story:

My name is Félix Hernando Mir and I was born in Tarragona, a small coastal city near Barcelona since I was a little boy and cars, where my passion and my love for drag racing started the moment I saw my father's slot cars, he has an amazing collection of cars but the ones I remember liking the most were two dragsters he used to have, I was amazed by the fact that the engine was sticking out so much and the overall aesthetic of the car, but I didn’t know at the time that I was contemplating a drag racing car. As the time by I started to learn more about it and I was fascinated with the big V8s and massive tires; by the time of 16 I was in love with this motorsport.

When it was time to decide what to do with my future I knew I wanted to be a car mechanic, and so I did. I studied for a 2-year degree in my town about regular car mechanics, but I wasn’t satisfied, I knew I wanted more. And I asked my parents If I could study at Repsol Monlau Technical School (now Motul Monlau), a school dedicated to the training and professionalization of motorsport technicians. There I learned everything about motorsports, from karting to single-seaters, we built a rally car, we even got a scholarship, but I was missing something, drag racing wasn’t even mentioned during the 2 years I was there, I mean it’s logic since in south Europe is not popular, during my time there I went to different teams, mainly Nou Onze, dedicated to classic Porsches, my other big passion, after drag Racing and old American cars.

Nontheless, throughout my time in school I met a very cool teacher who happend to be a Nascar engine builder, he thought me everything about small and big blocks, and he even brought me to his house where he had an amazing collection of cars, including a '70 Prostreet Firebird; we tried to get an internship for me in the drag racing world here in Europe, because he knew important people in the drag racing world, but unfortuatelly they were in the United States and nothing really happened and it seemed that my dream to becoma a drag racing was vanishing at some point. After being in some teams I realized that motorsports like GTs and Rallies weren't really my thing, I knew I wanted to be a drag racing mechanic and after ending my pirod at my school, I decided to go and try something different, and I chose to work as a locomotive mechanic, until I left the job and started my journey as a racing mechanic again, because this is what I need to do; it’s such a beautiful job for me, even though the job's a great sacrifice I don’t care, it’s my passion and I will always do it with all my will and knowledge.

As contacts, I have friends working around Europe like in ELMS SERIES, Europen TCR, Formula 3, Rallies, GT Open and I still have the support of my school, which is actually a big deal, also my school was behind GPX, and now they work behind numerous projects like TCE, Karting and even Formula 3.5, but I don’t really know no one working in Drag racing unfortunately and it’s hard for me to get to know someone, mainly because here, as I previously mentioned, there’s next to nothing of drag racing, I still keep in touch with my beloved teacher, but nothing more.

My knowledge about drag racing, I’d say, is pretty good, even though I never worked there, I watch a lot of things about drag racing and I always learn something new, I’m a sucker for the golden era of drag racing and all the vintage stuff related to it, especially gassers and old funny cars, with their crazy paint jobs and madness they have attached to it, as far as real knowledge it’s good but if I could work in a team it would always be better! I’ve worked in racing before and I don’t think it would be any deal for me to get used to, the rush and pressure is something I’m familiar with, I’ve also learned a lot about engines in my school and during my internships, as I assembled a few flat sixes.

My young age and my desire to work and learn I think it could be really helpful to a professional team because I could bring things like optimism, energy and perspective, affordability, an open mind, adaptability, and of course all my skills about motorsports, while they give me a work where I can just keep getting better and better, I’d say it's like a mutual relationship, I’m sure of it. For me, money is not the main goal, to be completely honest, I just want to make my dream come true and I’m doing whatever it takes to do it.

About my team knowledge of drag racing, I guess it’s pretty much like other racing teams, at least this is what I can say from the perspective I have after watching hundreds of videos, I have to say almost all videos I’ve watched are located in the USA, and some in the UK, at the famous Santa Pod dragstrip, my guesses are that the sport here is more like a family business since the amount of time the championships are open is not very large, and as you’ve told me earlier most of them are not professional, I with that in mind it might be more difficult to enter in a team, but this also can be a benefit because it means there’s going to be a good ambient in the team, again all of these are guesses from the perspective I have, not really sure how it is as I’ve never been there.

As far as I’m concerned Speedgroup plays a big role in drag racing in Europe, being the epicenter of the administration and promotion of the different Scandinavian drag racing events, having even arrangement with FIA, sincerely I was pleased to know something like this exist here in Europe because sometimes Drag racing is way too much associated with the USA and it’s understandable but it’s good to know here in Europe is finally getting some recognition and I’m glad it’s happening and I hope in the near future this motorsport gets the attention it deserves because I see drag racing like something very spectacular to watch more than some other motorsports, especially nowadays where everything is going in a direction I don't really like.

As a final word, I’d like to add that I’m not afraid of anything new I want to see the world and work hard, and I’m not trying to be pretentious, but working on something like this would be my dream and I’m capable to do it right and in a very professional way because I’ve been really lucky to go to a school like Monalu where I’ve learned a lot and met true professionals. I hope those words are enough to express my admiration for this sport, and I have to be very thankful to you for taking your time and consideration, it means a lot for me because it’s been hard for me to get a response like the one you did and the chance you’ve given to me it’s very good. I hope someone notices me and knows how to value me as a professional.

Any teams who wish to contact Felix can do so at the contact details on his CV. If you want to get involved or need to hire new team members, write to us at and we'll publish your advert in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Swift snippets.
16th March: Happy Birthday to Junior Dragster racer (and Supercharged Outlaw-in-waiting) Purdie Hadfield who reaches 16 today, Competition Bike racer and Big CC Racing boss Sean Mills, French Gasser Circus racer Laurent Levi, former Pro Stock Bike racer Nick Pepper, SPR Thrill Ride crew and former SPR startline marshal John Hackney and Santa Pod startline and former Wild Bunch racer and APIRA official Tony Smith. Editor Simon and hope you all have a great day.

2022 Funny Car Cup at SPR.
15th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for a preview of the Funny Car Cup which returns to the track after a two year break:

The 2022 season will see the return to track action for the ever-popular Nitro Funny Cars. Competition will take place over 4 rounds: Festival of Power over the Easter weekend, the FIA Main Event at the end of May, Bug Jam in July and the FIA European Finals in September. With all rounds taking place at Santa Pod Raceway, we’ve dropped the European element from the previous name and rebranded the series as the Funny Car Cup. Taking part this year will be the usual 4 Brits: Ashdown, Chapman, Phelps, and Kent, with the addition of Swede Patrik Pers. There is also a surprise for later in the season when West Ten Motorsport field a second car, driver to be confirmed. In the run up to the first round of the Funny Car Cup at the Festival of Power, we’ll be focussing in on a driver and team to give you an overview of what it takes to field one of these monsters and have the monumental stones to actually drive one down the track.

Undertaker Nitro Funny Car
Driver: Steve Ashdown
Crew Chief: Dave Bryant

One of the most dedicated drivers in the class is Steve Ashdown, who originally licenced in 2017 with the Shockwave team. Steve has seen the track from various cockpits, from Super Pro to Top Fuel but his true passion has always been for Funny Cars. “I’ve always felt an affinity for the class, it’s the brutal unpredictability of the driving experience that keeps me enthused” says Steve. The path for Steve hasn’t been smooth, a spate of engine damage lasting nearly 2 seasons followed by expensive rear end failure last season hasn’t daunted Steve, “These things can be extremely expensive, especially when they go wrong.” Steve went into the class fully aware of what kind of financial commitment it would take. Steve added “Getting these things down the track is very difficult even with an experienced tuner like Dave, you can have a string of unsuccessful runs behind you. It makes you question everything, the crew feel it, Dave feels it, everyone can have their head in their hands. Then everything clicks and the car will make a pass putting a decent number on the board and the boost for everyone is fantastic. It’s a roller coaster ride that just keeps me wanting more.”

Dave Bryant has 25 years’ experience around these cars, a very well respected and generous source of advice and problem solving for anyone with a funny car issue in the pits. Dave has hosted many drivers in his funny car including Alan Bates, Jason Phelps, Gordon Smith, Terry Haddock and Jayne Kay. As ever the aim for the coming season is pretty simple; to win. Both Steve and Dave lead a crew that is determined to win every time they square up on the start line, with a mixture of wise old heads and young enthusiasm, the crew is the heartbeat of any race car. “We’ve got some new faces for the season which is really nice, all nitro teams struggle for willing crew members so I’d ask anyone who’s interested to drop by the pits and ask the question.” The tune up in Dave’s car will remain broadly similar, the everlasting struggle with the track being the dictator in tuning issues. “The track is proving a tricky customer to tackle” said Dave “sometimes it can be extremely aggressive and we just cannot get enough power into it to allow us to build up the necessary wheel speed at the hit. Tyre shake has been an almost ever-present problem for the class, leading to breakages and damage. We need to see if we can approach the issue in a different way.” Dave added. The team are eager to hit the ground running at Easter and secure that all important 1st win of the season.

Vegter Pro Mod Racing takes steps towards season start.
15th March: Although it will take until the end of May for the Vegter Pro Mod Racing season to start, David Vegter's team is currently making great strides, writes Remco Scheelings.

The '67 Camaro is being updated and brought into top condition at Robinson Race Cars in England, while a new partner has joined the team with Velocity Classics.

Vegter Pro Mod Racing is once again targeting the FIA ​​European Championship in the Pro Modified class this season. Due to the corona pandemic, this most important title battle in European drag racing for the past two years had to be cancelled.

This season, the FIA ​​European Championship, which will be decided in five matches, is back on the calendar. David Vegter consistently finished at the top of the final standings in the years before the pandemic and the Dutchman is very keen to do so in 2022.

Currently the Vegter Pro Mod Racing '67 Chevrolet Camaro is at Robinson Race Cars in England. Not only did the damage to the chassis sustained during last year's European Finals had to be repaired, but the opportunity was also taken to provide the Camaro with various updates. In just under two weeks, the car will return to the Netherlands, after which the outfitting process can begin in-house.

Also on another level positive news for Vegter Pro Mod Racing. In Velocity Classics, the team can welcome a new partner. Velocity Classics, based in Rijsenhout, specializes in the sale of exclusive (American) muscle cars and classics. Velocity Classics does not only have its own stock, but they also search worldwide for a dream car desired by the customer. For all information and an overview of the stock, see

Vegter Pro Mod Racing can be followed on Instagram via vegterpromodracing and on Facebook Vegter Pro Mod Racing.

Text and photos by Remco Scheelings and Vegter Pro Mod Racing.

VWDRC Pre-Season Training this Friday.
15th March: The VW Drag Racing Club will be holding its Pre-Season Training day at Santa Pod Raceway this Friday, 18th March. It will give club racers and others an opportunity to race on a prepped track with numbers limited to 100. The latest published entry list can be seen at this link.

Club chair Luke Stevenson who will be running his rear engined VW Dragster, hoping to get his first eight second timeslip after winter work on it, says "There are only seven places left and we are now welcoming non-members for racing, slicks preferred".

Others entered include Marc Taylor who will be aiming for his first nine second run in his rapid Seat Leon. Dave Henderson from Falkirk has a new RS3 which recently made 1000hp on the dyno. Also on the entry list are Rob Carter and Ben Mace, both of whom have big builds on the go, Rob's Passat getting a full tube frame and LS engine, and Ben with a Bantam altered featuring a state of the art chassis from Hauser Race Cars, with a FuelTech controlled methanol powered 20vt engine built by Pro-Race Engineering, however the appearance of these two on Friday is to be confirmed.

Other recent developments for the VWDRC include a new range of VWDRC 35th Anniversary t-shirt designs. T-shirts will be available to order very soon but anniversary mugs are already available to order and collect at the Pre-Season Training Day both mugs come as a package for just £12 at this link.

You can sign up at the VWDRC shop for £75 with crew £10 apiece.

Swift snippets.
15th March: A very Happy Birthday to Dutch Pro Modified racer Michel Tooren who we hope to see at the Festival of Power, have a great day Michel!

Pioneer stories: John and Richard Wright - Part 2.
14th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features Part 2 of the story of British drag racing pioneer John Wright who was part of the sport in the 1960s (pictured: John's Kool Kams altered and production class Jaguar Mk2).

John built his first hot rod based on an Austin A40 cab 60 years ago, having studied US hot rodding magazines for some years, his brother Richard following suit with a Cadillac engined Fiat Topolino. The brothers attended the first Big Go at Duxford in May 1964, after which more builds took place, one based on a Studebaker, another by Richard a self made Ford T-bucket. John brought his hot rod to Santa Pod in 1966, racing in the altered category until 1969, but he still owns his original hot rod with its Jaguar engine.

Part 2 of John Wright's story, with over 150 images from John's collection, is at this link. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks John for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

NHRA Stock and Super Stock: not on the endangered list.
14th March: Thanks to Stock/Super Stock racer Carla Pittau, now resident in Sweden, for sending some comments on our feature Lock, Superstock and Barrel published on Saturday:

I read with interest the article about the UK Nostalgia Super Stock class, which was well presented and informative, however I feel that it is important to clarify a few inaccuracies with regard to the NHRA classes Stock and Super Stock.

Far from being “bracket classes”, both of these NHRA classes are firmly based on performance, albeit under strict rules about what can be modified, which of course makes achieving high horsepower from close to stock parts quite challenging, but highly rewarding. This is because it is hard, and forgive me if this reminds me of President Kennedy when he explained why NASA was preparing a mission to the Moon: not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

Bracket racing is great. It allows anyone to have a chance of winning a race regardless of their car’s performance (as long as it is reliable) and I for one have greatly enjoyed racing in Pro ET for years, but Stock and Super Stock are something very different. Far from just requiring a vague “stock appearance”, in Stock the suspension must not be altered other than with bolt ons like Caltracs or slapper bars, (even welded frame connectors are illegal) you are not allowed to use an engine which was not available in the year and model of your car, you must use the same model carburettor and cannot change the size of the valves. You are allowed changes to the camshaft duration but must not alter lift, as well as many other restrictions which are far too numerous to list here. For a full list, please refer to the NHRA rule book or visit Despite these constraints, many engine builders manage to get the power needed out of these combinations, which to me looks much like getting blood from a stone.

My small block Chevy, for instance, is a 350ci LT1, originally rated by GM at a generous 360 HP, which merrily made 550 HP on the dyno, and which delivered a best ET, so far, of 10.45 seconds in a car with a MINIMUM weight of 3258 lbs. This means that my car ran 1.10 seconds under the index, set by NHRA at 11.55 seconds, basing this on their evaluation of the power to weight ratio of my combination. The so-called shipping weight, the engine horsepower and the transmission in my car determine the class that I race in, namely “D” Stock Automatic, or D/SA for short. My engine was built by Brian Tilburg in the US, and it performed just as I hoped. We normally build our own engines at Heaven & Hell Racing, but when you cannot choose whichever parts you want, the expertise and long experience by a specialist Stock engine builder is irreplaceable to run a competitive combination.

Super Stock allows a few more modifications, including back halving, for instance, and the engines can be massaged to a greater extent, but here too the modifications are governed by very strict rules.

These classes, far from “dying out” or being replaced by cheaper or easier options, are extremely popular in the US, where they attract huge fields at all major events – 175 entries for the Stock class alone is average for the US Nationals meeting at Indianapolis; the recently completed Baby Gators meet at Gainesville where UK competitor Dan Williams raced his 1969 A/S Nova attracted a “modest” (!!!) 85 qualifiers, and the reason why the Gatornationals “only” has 60 entries is that 60 is the maximum allowed entry for the class at this meeting. This hardly suggests a stampede from these classes, in my view. Here in Scandinavia the class attracts about 60 competitors over the season, and entries at single events vary but we easily get fields of 40 plus cars at major events, despite having about 20 tracks to choose from in Sweden alone. No, I wouldn’t say that the rules have put anyone off… on the contrary, the fruits of such labour of love taste ever sweeter…

The cars qualify according to performance, so if you manage to squeeze more power out of your combination you qualify higher in the ladder. After each run, the car is weighed on the return road, to make sure that all is as it should be, so I learned that I needed to be a bit heavier just in case, as a qualifying run is immediately disallowed, and an elimination run is automatically awarded to the opponent, if the car is found to be under minimum weight.

In the US, where such huge fields are common, it is likely that a few cars will be meeting opponents in the same exact class, so a D/SA car meets another D/SA car. Both combinations are rated the same, and therefore the race is heads up, no breakout, the quickest and fastest wins. In addition, they often run a race within a race and have class eliminations, where they only meet other cars in the same class. Being the record holder in your class is a very sought after and prestigious position to have too. Everyone I talk to in the class speaks with passion about it, and I cannot even describe the sense of achievement that shaving those further 2 hundredths of a second gave me at Sundsvall Raceway last year, when that meant I qualified number 1. It was a small race and quite a few cars over here have an amazing performance, which means I will probably be number 5 to 11 in a larger race, but that day I felt on top of the world. Winning also helped, but that’s another story.

Now, it is true that we have quite a bit of “bracket style” racing, but let me explain when this occurs.

Whenever in a ladder a car meets another which is not in the same class (for instance a D/SA car with an opponent in G/S or B/SA or any of the numerous combinations, they are able to dial their own time, as long as it is below or equal to their index, and the race will be a proper bracket race, with breakout rules. This happens very frequently, especially in Europe, because the fields are not as big as in the States, but the very concept of class racing is performance based, with dial in only used as an expedient to allow cars in different classes to race against each other, nothing more.

The rules do not restrict us. On the contrary, they push us to the limits of engineering, they make us progress ever further to make more out of less. The experience and know how trickle down to Stock and Super Stock from Pro Stock, and indeed many Pro Stock racers also have a Stock or Super Stock car because that’s where their roots are, and that’s where their passion came from.

I could go on and on about this because I also feel very passionate about the class, so much so that it was to be able to race in Stock and Super Stock that my husband and I moved to Sweden seven years ago and we still believe it was the best decision we ever made.

But if you are still in doubt, and you want to know about how exciting and fun these classes are, and how well attended, perhaps you can ask Dan and Nic Williams. They will tell you that although they live practically on top of an excellent racing facility in the UK, they believe it is worth shipping their cars all the way to the US to race in the NHRA Stock Eliminator, they will describe the exhilarating atmosphere of an NHRA meeting and how being part of the same effort to achieve the best performance makes them feel. Dan will tell you how satisfying it is to drive a four speed combo and tune the clutch to go faster, how exciting it is to compete with like-minded racers who have the same bug. They also travelled to Sweden many times in the past with us and hopefully will again this year.

This is what NHRA Stock and Super Stock are. Not life and death though, much more important than that.

Editor's comment: it is true there is space for both NSS and S/SS in European drag racing; that is reflected in numbers of competitors in each category, and the welcome overlap between them. We hope both categories thrive in the future which will enable competitors to have a real choice as to which category they can choose to race their classic American cars competitively.

Swift snippets.
14th March: A very Happy Birthday to Dutch bike photojournalist, pit note helper and President of Super Twin Drag Racing Association Mike Kraaij, have a great day Mike from all of us at

Well done to Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas who was runner up at the NHRA Gatornationals being held at Gainesville Raceway. In her semi final, Julie ran her best ET of the weekend, a 5.146/279.90, however was outrun by Jasmine Salinas in a tractionless final which was run today (Monday) due to weather delays during the first three days of the event. Other Europeans did not fare as well, all going out in round one: Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol Funny Car) on a red light despite running a PB of 5.378/268.71, Lex Joon (Top Fuel dragster) going up in smoke against eventual event winner Tripp Tatum, and Stefan Ernyd running a creditable 6.607/207.46 but losing to the quickest run in Pro Stock since the change to fuel injection in 2016 of Aaron Stanfield, a 6.457/213.47. Streaming and website coverage continues on the same links as posted yesterday.

Gainesville notes.
13th March: Congratulations to our European or expat European racers all four of whom qualified for today's eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Florida following two and a half days of torrential rain.

In Top Fuel Dragster, Lex Joon was in the first pair down the track and ran a well controlled 4.060/295.66 to be #16 at the end of the sole qualifying session. Lex is looking forward to his round one matchup against #1 qualifier Tripp Tatum (who had run 3.674/331.53). Lex said "First pass of the 2022 season and the Hot Wheels Premium Car Care Top Fuel dragster did not disappoint!" Lex's principal sponsor Hot Wheels Premium Car Careposted: Lex only needed one round to get in the NHRA show in Gainesville today, no pressure as you take on Tripp, make it an epic drag race for the fans gentlemen, good luck to the both of you and your teams on Sunday.

Pro Stock saw Stefan Ernryd's Dodge run a wild 6.989/188.86 in the first pair as the car made a big move to the right at 60ft and Stefan wrestled it back into the groove. Others, including Stefan's car owner Alan Prusiensky in the other Dodge, had similar problems on the rapidly cooling track however Stefan's time gave him the #16 qualifying spot at the end of the session. Stefan now faces Aaron Stanfield in round one, Aaron having carded a 6.468/211.66, the quickest run since Pro Stock adopted electronic fuel injection in 2016. Stefan commented: "We're in! Not a run you write home about, with car loose and the driver having a handful to qualify on the only run we got, but we're qualified!"

In the Alcohol ranks, Julie Nataas was #1 qualifier in Top Alcohol Dragster with a 5.177/275.84, her quickest pass this season, and Ulf Leanders was third out of only six qualifiers with a great 5.439/265.69, the car working well with the well-prepared track and cool air.

Talking of track prep, it was great to see Santa Pod Raceway chief starter and SPRC secretary Ian Marshall on the startline working as hard as usual to keep the track grippy even after the effect of the rain. A busman's holiday, no doubt, but a proud achievement for British drag racing when we are represented in such an important role at a premier NHRA event.

You can see the Gatornationals live streamed at (subscription required). Results will be posted at with live timing and results at

Hal Far notes.
13th March: Congratulations to Marius Muscat who won the FWD Open Haltech Trophy at yesterday's Malta Drag Racing Association Run What Ya Brung at Half Far Raceway in his stock block Celica which ran a new PB of 11.2. Team member Charlie Galea commented "Big thanks go to Marius Muscat, Ruth Galea, Aaron Galea, Kevin Galea and our tuner Mark Farrugia (aka The Gladiator). Thanks also goes to Andre Bugeja for sponsoring the trophy."

Also making the headlines yesterday at Hal Far was the Toyota 2JZ-powered turbo alcohol dragster of Clifton Abdilla. Clifton had made observed runs in the November MDRA Finals but gave it full welly yesterday to a 6.65/202 pass. Clifton remarked: "What better way to kick off the 2022 drag racing season than smashing through the 6s with a 6.65 second 1/4 mile run at 202mph on our first ever full pass! The feeling is indescribable! Now that we have some good data it’s time to make a few minor modifications and crank up the power to improve our time even more. The numbers that flashed on the board are the results of all the hard work my team put in, working like clockwork to make sure every area of the dragster is the best it can be. And none of this will also be possible without our industry leading partners coming together to support our goals. Thank you to everyone for your support and catch us at the next round". You can ride onboard with Clifton with this Facebook video.

You can see a playlist of video posted of each run in yesterday in MDRA secretary Konrad D'Anastasi's Youtube channel. You can also see photos of the event by Samuel Mifsud on the Samuel's Photography Facebook page.

Swift snippets.
13th March: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Drag Racing supercrew Andy Fensome to Andy's son and Super Pro ET racer Aaron Fensome, also to Supercharged Outlaws car chief Mark Windridge, Super Pro ET racer and painter extraordinaire Marc Manning, and Comp Bike racer Tony Clark. Have a great day guys!

Lex's thanks.
12th March: Many thanks to expat Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon who, during the biblical rain experienced at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway over the last two and a half days, has written to thank his team, headed up by him and wife Gerda, and sponsors for getting him to his first race of the year and ready to qualify:

We have made some changes in our crew, a couple of guys were hired by newly formed teams; I’m really proud to see they were able to move on. Becky Larsen is promoted to Car Chief and is taking care of short blocks and racks. We have two crew members, Kevin and Big John, for the clutch department who previously worked for The Greek.

Will, who still is with the team, is taking care of cylinder heads and his son Matthew is one of our floaters for the weekend. Brandon, who is with us for the first time, came through the NHRA Launch program and is our other floater. David is taking care of the top of the engine (cylinder head) and John will be the guy who’s taking care of our superchargers.

Our partners for this weekend are Hot Wheels Premium Car Care products, Unforgettable Classics, Nitro Alley Graphics, Gates, CP Carrillo, Custom Floaters, Redline Oil, Save22. Special thanks to Kim and JW for their NeverQuit support and help to make this all happen.

As we write at 19:35 (2:35pm Florida time), the track is having rubber applied to it, a lot of the previously laid rubber having peeled off with the rain. Good luck and stay safe to Lex and the other teams competing at what should be an exciting, if truncated, race this weekend. Racing will start imminently with qualifying for Factory Stock Showdown, then the Alcohol classes, then Top Fuel.

Feature: Lock, Superstock and Barrel.
12th March: Our latest feature sponsored by Lucas Oil Products is written by Nïamh Frances Smith with pictures by Richard Smith, looks at the origins of UK Nostalgia Superstock, and the types of car that race in the class.

Nowadays, Nostalgia Super Stock is one of the fastest-growing and popular classes in global drag racing. Displays put on by America’s NSS class, the UK Nostalgia Super Stock class and Europe’s Stock/Super Stock mean that the Super Stock revival has risen through the ranks to be some of the sport’s most highly anticipated selection of cars at the strip.

If you’re a fan of British drag racing, you probably recognise Stockers in the UK Nostalgia Superstock class, known for their roaring V8 muscle cars, doing wheel stands and edge-of-your-seat handicap racing. But before UKNSS came American Super Stock, whose inspiration came from the hey-day of drag racing’s Stock classes such as Junior Stock and Super Stock.

In this article, Nïamh takes a little look into Super Stock’s history as a class with everything from the ‘family sedan’ to full blown race cars and everything in between.

You can read Lock, Superstock and Barrel at this link or by clicking on News and then Features in the main menu.

Flamholc goes radial.
12th March: Expat Swedish drag racer Adam Flamholc has posted that he has sold both his doorslammer cars, and bought a radial tyre Mustang from X275 racer John Keesey.

Adam says "It was a tough decision for me to sell my blown alcohol cars, especially the Corvette, which I've raced for 8-9 years in almost every drag racing organization here in US.

"But with my work, tuning cars, building engines, spending time in Europe and Russia, it's just not possible to spend the time and money to do it right anymore. In a "normal” year, I head over to Europe end of April and come back Stateside by the end of September, and it's just not worth it to have a turnkey car sitting here for a couple of events in Bradenton Motorsports Park and maybe one or two more. And the cost of driving to NMCA, PDRA, Midwest etc events is crazy now, and I have to be gone for a week at a time.

"I'm not gonna quit racing! I have a plan, and I think its a good one! I'm gonna go radial racing! Theres a bunch of races wintertime at the Ducks races in South Georgia as well as in Orlando and Bradenton, all within 5 hours from my shop!

"I will still tune and build engines for Alcohol teams, but I'm gonna run a turbo setup, starting at Sweet 16 in 2 weeks. The car is being put together as we speak, and hopefully it’ll be done in time! This wouldn't have happened this fast without the help from John Keesey that I bought the car from (pictured right). I'm excited and ready to learn something new."

As for racing in Russia, where he helps FIA Pro Modified competitor Dmitry Samorukov, Adam hopes that peace can be achieved as soon as possible. "I know some people from Ukraine, that we are racing with in the Russian dragracing series...Any issues, whatever it is should be solved way before it comes down to killing each other. I really hope they can end this and come to some kind of an agreement."

You can read an article about Adam and his racing plans at
Race Pages Digital. We can only echo Adam's thoughts and wish him best of luck in what looks to be another exciting season for him.

Swift snippets.
12th March: Happy Birthday for today to Santa Pod Raceway fire crew member Angie Daly, to Super Pro ET racer Mark Turner, and to VW Pro racer Bruce Kopasz. We hope you all have a fantastic day.

For those hoping to see notes on Europeans at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Florida we were disappointed to hear that, due to torrential rain, the first two days of the event were cancelled without a wheel turning on the track. However the weather looks better today, if a little on the chilly side and we hope to have some notes to give you tomorrow. Good luck and stay safe to Stefan Ernryd (Pro Stock), Julie Nataas (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol Funny Car). You can see the Gatornationals live streamed at (subscription required). Results will be posted at with live timing and results at

Drag racing scrutineers' training to align with return of FIA.
11th March: On the occasion of this year’s return of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, the FIA and Sweden’s National Sporting Authority, Svenska Bilsport, are set to host the inaugural training for drag racing scrutineers, writes FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg.

FIA EDRC returning this season for the first time since 2019, in order to bolster positive developments around drag racing, the FIA Drag Racing Commission and Svenska Bilsport are planning a technical seminar for drag racing scrutineers with the aim of hosting the event on the first weekend of May.

Partly funded through the FIA Sports Grant Programme, the event will welcome technical scrutineers from Sweden, Germany, Finland and the UK, and is set to take place at Tierp Arena, known as the long-time host of the country’s FIA EDRC rounds.

“The last couple of years have been particularly challenging for the discipline of drag racing, however, there have been many positive developments behind the scenes, with this training being one of them,” said Lars Pettersson, FIA Drag Racing Commission President.

“Given the nature of the FIA EDRC, accommodating five different classes, each for cars technically vastly different in terms of performance and safety, the scrutineers face a very complex challenge. It is therefore important that they follow the same protocols and use the same technical language regardless of the country. The training will allow us to go through all the procedures and exchange best practices.”

“This is an important step in the process of professionalisation of drag racing. The aim is to have similar initiatives held on a regular basis,” Pettersson concluded.

“For us in Sweden, it is with pride that we can host the FIA grant project to raise the quality and knowledge of the technicians working within FIA EDRC”, said Helena Rapp the Chairman of the Svenska Bilsport Drag Racing Committee.

The exact date and further details of the training will be revealed in due course. For more information contact Luca Midali from the FIA Sport and Touring Cars Department:

Stu inducted into IDRHoF.
11th March: With thanks to Tony Thacker for the photo and streaming produced by Masters Entertainment and presented by Competition Plus TV, we were able to see the induction of Stu Bradbury into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

The ceremony which took place at the at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville Florida, was introduced by NHRA announcer and WFO podcaster Joe Castello, with Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits giving a filmed profile of each inductee. The citation for Stu was read out by British Drag Racing Hall of fame director Robin Jackson and the trophy presented by Ron Hope to Stu's widow Bev Bradbury.

Robin said "To date just four individuals have been honoured with membership of both British and International Drag Racing Halls of Fame. Sydney Allard, known as the father of British Drag Racing, who worked with Wally Parks to bring some of America's leading stars to race in England in 1964 and 1965; Carl Olson, founding president of the FIA Drag Racing Commission; Don Garlits, the biggest star on that tour to England in 1964 who I believe has enjoyed further success in drag racing since then; Dennis Priddle, British Top Fuel and Funny Car pioneer of the 1970s and 1980s. Now there is a fifth: Stuart Bradbury.

"Stu to everyone who knew and loved him, served as chief starter at Santa Pod Raceway from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, was involved in another track for a short while after that and in 2005 became the founding chairman of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, a role he maintained until his death in 2020 following an intense, brave ten year battle with cancer.

"In that time, and never letting his illness distract him, he played genial host to many legendary American figures, who joined us at our annual Hall of Fame banquets to help us celebrate our British version of the sport. Big Daddy was the first, Waterbed Fred, Dale Emery, Bruce Larson, Bob Muravez and Floyd Lippencotte Jnr (now there's a conincidence). Don Schumacher, Connie Kalitta, Ed 'The Ace', Steve Gibbs, Isky, Eileen Daniels, Harry Hibler, Roland Leong, Marvin Graham, Dan Richins, Clay Millican, Doug Herbert, Tom Hoover, Rich Guasco, Gentleman Joe Schubeck are just some of those who followed.

"Stu became a drag racing nut by accident. One day in the mid 60s he went along to play drums in beat combo booked to liven up a garden fete in the grounds of an English stately home. There he came across a small band of car enthusiasts showing off their American style hot rods, a quite un-British sight at such a time and in such surroundings. Intrigued, he chatted with the group, an innocent first step into a realm which would come to dominate the rest of his life.

From that contact Stu was introduced to the business group working to transform an airfield, located by pure chance just ten miles from his home town, to Europe's first permanent drag strip. Santa Pod Raceway opened in 1966 and young Stu was handed the job of crowd controller, then in 1967 deputy starter, then in 1968 chief starter.

"Over the next 20 years he started anyone and everyone who came to race at the track, from occasional weekend warriors to stars of the sport from both sides of the Atlantic, and sometimes beyond. When Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy brought the first full tilt American funny cars to Santa Pod in 1973 it was Stu's startline from which they launched. Whem Big Daddy packed the place out in 1976 and 1977 it was Stu who flicked the switch. Beadle, Snake, Hoover, Segrini, Harlan Thompson, Darryl Gwynn all took the green light from him. He once shut off Tony Nancy and stood his ground when the furious Nancy burst out of the cockpit to debate the matter. On an NHRA visit one year, he manned the startline alongside Buster Couch, an experience he was pround to remember. The drag racing connection also came into play in Stu's day job; he spent most of his working life as a sales specialist for two leading importers of American car parts into Britain; first John Woolfe Racing then US Automotive.

"To walk the pits with Stu in later years was an excercise in slow-motion standing around, because everyone who saw him wanted to stop and talk about old times, new times. So many people, so many conversations. 'Who was that' you'd ask. 'I've no idea', he would often say. 'Face rang a bell, but I really can't remember.' But they all remembered him. Stu was inducted into his own British Hall of Fame in 2017 by an act of subterfuge contravening the iron clad rule he had imposed banning anyone involved in management being eligible for membership. The directors, members and international ambassadors secretly decided to change the rule in this single, so-deserving case. And we sprang it on him one afternoon in the middle of a race. I announced the presentation myself: 'Stuart Bradbury, whether you like it or not, you are now a member of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.' First, shock and surprise. Then Stu accepted it with good grace. But I don't think he was ever truly convinced that he merited it. But if he'd ever imagined that one day he'd be inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, he would have been thrilled, tickled pink, well chuffed, properly made up as we sometimes say.

It's so sad that Stu can't be here to partake of the moment himself, but if he's looking down now, he'll be pleased to see his wife Bev, daughter Jenna, and Jenna's fiance James, make their way up to the stage to accept his membership.

Making the presentation was a great friend of Stu's, of the BDRHoF and of the British drag racing scene, Mr Rat Trap, Ron Hope. Ron said "I first met Stu in 2002 while he was at US Automotive, he had left Santa Pod by that time, and was working there supplying parts for vintage American cars. We struck up a friendship which lasted for many years. He was a great historian on the British drag racing scene and did a fantastic job of bringing together the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. I was honoured a few years ago with being named an international ambassador for the BDRHoF and was pleased with that.

I was invited to the first BDRHoF gala at the Saville Court Hotel many years ago and have attended every one of their Hall of Fame dinners ever since. There are many experiences and thoughts I could offer regarding Stuart Bradbury but in the interests of time I must defer to the presentation for which we are gathered tonight. As with all great men, they are supported by equally great women. To accept his nomination and award for the IDRHoF is his lovely wife Bev.

Bev said "To say that we are overwhelmed to be here to accept this award for Stu is an understatement. We were completely bowled over when informed by, yours truly, Big Daddy that Stu was going to be inducted into your hall of fame which is a great accolade and thank you so much. We are just so sad that he is not here to accept it. He would have been so very proud and honoured. Stu forged a great relationship between our Hall of Fame and yours, when inducting Big Daddy into ours in 2014. and we have very fond memories of you coming to the UK to attend our induction gala in 2014 and also when you came over for Goodwood in 2015.

Stu, Jenna and I also had the pleasure of coming over to Florida in March 2015 to attend your gala presentations and go to the Gatornationals. It was an amazing trip and great memories. I really don't know what else to say in fear of my emotions running away but thankyou, thankyou, thankyou from the bottom of our hearts and also from all of his friends and associates in the UK.

You can see the whole International Drag Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony at this link.

Pioneer stories: Geoff Jago - Part 2.
11th March: The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features British Hot Rodding pioneer Geoff Jago. (picture: Geoff's first Model T in the pits at Santa Pod Raceway where it raced in the Street Altered category - Ken Robbins photo).

Geoff designed and built a mould for a Ford Model T body, building a hot rod that he displayed at the 1965 Blackbushe Drag Fest, but it did not run. Advertising in Drag Racing & Hot Rod Magazine, national newspaper coverage and display at the International Racing Car Show helped spread the word. Geoff also got his first hot rod registered for road use. Within years he had sold hundreds of T buckets, many of which became used for drag racing, and Geoff became a full time hot rod builder.

Part 2 of Geoff Jago's story is at this link, including photos of many British altereds using Geoff's fibreglass bodies. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Geoff for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Swift snippets.
11th March: Super Pro ET racer Ash Bell wishes his son AC Bell a Happy 17th Birthday, and reveals that AC has entered Pro ET in his new Dodge, named “Teenage Dream” (pictured left) in the Festival of Power in April; "We would like to wish him all the best from the crew", Ash says, which we echo and look forward to seeing you both at the track. Also a big Happy Birthday to Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows, and Pure Hell fuel altered owner and tuner Rich Guasco, have a great day Claire and Rich!

Tomorrow is the Malta Drag Racing Association Run What Ya Brung at Hal Far Raceway, an event being visited by European FWD admin Luke Stevenson. The MDRA announced a FWD competition will be held during the RWYB, and thanks to Andre Bugeja a cup will be presented to the Open FWD Winner, sponsored By Haltech. The cup will be open to all FWD cars taking part in tomorrow's RWYB. Drivers who are there and who are interested in participating will be invited to take part in the event, and a knockout race will be held with an elimination system. Racing will take place at Hal Far from 10am to 7pm or as far as conditions will allow. Watch out for Youtube videos from MDRA secretary Konrad D'Anastasi which will be posted soon afterwards.

For those in the UK in need of race reporting from the Bakersfield March Meet, Tony Thacker has posted his thoughts on this year's event at his Torq Talk blog. It's well worth a read with some great photos.

Tonight: Stu's induction streamed live.
10th March:
Thanks to Geoff Stilwell for sending us the link to the ceremony for the streaming video of the 32nd International Drag Racing Hall of Fame tonight at which British Drag Racing Hall of Fame founder and chair the late Stuart Bradbury will be inducted. The event will be held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville Florida.

The Youtube link to go to is here, the streaming produced by Masters Entertainment and presented by Competition Plus TV, to whom we are grateful.

Drag racing legends Scotty Cannon, Tim Richards, Rick Stewart, Jack Ewell, Jack Moss, and Stu Bradbury all receive their induction tonight. The stream will commence at 00:40am GMT and will be able to be viewed after the event.

Artist and automotive cartoonist Thomas Estrada has completed artwork including images of the 2022 inductees which you can see above that will be donated and auctioned at the IDRHoF Ceremony.

SFI UK inspections: prices and payment.
10th March: Many thanks to sponsor Andy Robinson for confirming the prices and payment method for SFI inspections to be carried out at Santa Pod Raceway on Monday 21st March which we reported on February 24th. Prices, which are unchanged from 2021, are:

SFI 1.1-1.5 Clutch Assemblies - £40
SFI 4.1 Automatic Transmission Shields (rigid type) - £20
SFI 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Bellhousings - £40
SFI 14.4 Valve Cover Shields - £10
SFI 15.3, 15.4 Wheels - £10 each
SFI 29.1, 29.2, 29.3 Flexplates - £10
SFI 30.1 Flexplate Shields - £20
SFI 61.1 Turbocharger - £40

The sole payment method is cash.

Swift snippets.
10th March: Happy Birthday to two Americans who have an association with British drag racing: former Freight Train AA/GD driver and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame International Ambassador Bob Muravez aka Floyd Lippencote Jnr, and owner of Premium Motorsports Products and Top Fuel guru Mike Domagala both celebrate today. Have a great day fellas.

British tin at Bakersfield.
9th March: Those who attended the Bakersfield March Meet at Famoso Dragstrip would have noticed a number of British vehicles making runs, adding diversity to the array of cars that made the journey to the historic race track.

Police officer Tom Gibby competes in the C/Gas (9.60 index) and Super Gas with his 300e Ford Thames "Paddy Wagon" (photo: Herb Andrews). Tom has also run in a "Top Cop Challenge" at the Irwindale Speedway, to have some fun, but also raise awareness about the dangers of illegal street racing., which he has been doing for over 20 years.

A car that has competed at Famoso Dragstrip for over a decade is the wild Nash Metropolitan of Bryan Thatcher. Notable for its blown 502ci BBC 'hunting' on idle and the car "jumping like a playful puppy" when the throttle is rapped. The 1950s classic was designed by Nash motors in Wisconsin, built in the UK by Austin, then imported into the US. Bryan has not only squeezed the bodywork over a full tube chassis with its big engine but applied a paint job which is true to the design of the original car, but with wild flames adorning it as well. Bryan runs the car in the 7.60 index A/Gas class.

Sam Beatty has an even rarer Triumph Mayflower of Sam Beatty (photo: Herb Andrews). This car was built between 1949 and 1953 of which only a handful of the 35,000 built were imported into the US. Designed as an upmarket small car, one description of it was "Honey, I shrunk the Rolls". A few years ago, Sam took his example and keeping it as stock looking as possible, fitted a Ford Windsor 351 stroked to 427ci. He mainly uses it on the street but takes it to nostalgia meetings such as the March Meet (where he ran it in the Hot Rod category), and the Barona Dragstrip 1/8 ,mile Antique Drags, held in an Indian reservation.

These classic vehicles, apart from the Nostalgia Funny Cars, AA/Fuel Dragsters and Fuel Altereds are a reason why Famoso Dragstrip should be on everyone's bucket list.

Straightliners headed towards SPR.
9th March: This Sunday, 13th March will be a dedicated Straightliners Test & Tune day at Santa Pod Raceway, following a run what ya brung on Saturday alongside other vehicles.

Entries are available at the Strightliners website or on the day for £50. Riders are requested to go to the caravan near the grandstand from Saturday afternoon for signing on; your numbers and wristband will be handed out before scrutineering.

Riders are also asked to complete a Test Day Entry Form online, which will greatly help the signing on process.

As well as a good number of Straightliners machines there will be some Naional Championship riders making test passes. Craig Wright will be running his 8.50 Bike in its new Callum Pudge-designed livery for the first time (picture above), and Super Street Bike racers-in-waiting Dan De'ath and Jonathan Hines will be getting to grips with their new machines as well as ET Bike racer Leo Lester.

Unusual car sales' drag cars aplenty.
9th March: Many thanks to Nigel Taylor for giving us an update on his Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group which is growing rapidly and currently has several drag cars for sale:

Unusual car sales U.K. Facebook group has now been going for just over 2 1/2 years and now has over 30,000 members. We would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone who has got involved, we have managed to help out many drag racers, hot Rodders, enthusiasts through the custom/American/ Hot Rod scene and it’s going from strength to strength.

We now have an extensive events list, contact numbers list, parts and projects page as well as the normal sales etc. Williams Bros Racing and Gliptone Europe Ltd are big supporters of the group. Tim Moore vehicle Transportation , Hydrahose, Old Bones Fabrications, Altered Tees Apparel and many more also back what we do.

We will promote any groups, pages etc that support the scene like Eurodragster, Custom Car Magazine, Santa Pod Raceway, NSRA and are always open to new ideas to keep the page interesting and knowledgeable.

Head over to the Unusual car sales U.K. facebook page and treat yourself to a new toy , drag car, race car or just for a browse as there maybe someone you know we can help out. Thankyou.

Pictured: Dave Gadney's Brogie Roadster, ref 17439 in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet, Andy Frost's Red Victor 3 (ref 17437), Thomas Cook Abbot's Junior Dragster (ref 17444), Michael Pusey's Camaro (ref 17443), Ian Dawes' newly built A40 Austin 283ci gasser all steel for £19500, Funny Car (ex Mark Hawkins, ex Doug Ripley) complete car minus engine/trans, 125in Chromoly chassis with Strange rear axle £10k ono, Frankie Fordham Junior Dragster with engine, reduced to £3500 incl trailer.

Swift snippets.
9th March: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Anglia racer and constructor Ben Rushforth, VW Pro racer Russ Fellows, and Gasser Circus racer Ken Brookes. Also belated birthday greetings to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and former Top Fuel racer Roz Prior. We hope you all had or are having a great day!

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted more historical video footage of UK events, this time the 1991 Santa Pod Main Event, 1992 Santa Pod Main Event, and 1992 Santa Pod Cannonball, all produced for the Anglia TV Wheels programme. Tremendous nostalgia, all commentated upon by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Price.

Festival of Power entry list.
8th March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the link for version 2 of the entry list for the Festival of Power being held at Santa Pod Raceway 15th-17th April.

The entry list which can be seen at this link is filling up nicely with 61 entrants, still five weeks before the event. Entry at normal fees will close on 25th March and a surcharge will apply after this date so don't delay getting your entries in.

Feature: Grace Roaf joins Shockwave Racing, by Andy Willsheer.
8th March: Clutch girl for Shockwave Racing Grace Roaf is the subject of our latest feature sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, written and photographed by Andy Willsheer.

Grace has had many roles in the sport since becoming interested at the age of 10, when her dad Colin Roaf started taking her to the races. After some photography experience for, she quickly became closely involved as a crew member for Heaven & Hell Racing in Pro ET and Stock/Super Stock. She then studied mechanical manufacturing engineering as the only female on the course and subsequently joined G&A Fabrications in Walton-On-Thames, making custom parts for exotic road and racing cars.

An offer to help on the clutch of the Undertaker Funny Car driven by Steve Ashdown developed to Grace joining the Shockwave Racing team for the 2020 season, and she is now looking forward to the 2022 Championship.

You can read about Grace's drag racing career at this link or by clicking on News and then Features in the main menu.

Spy picture.
8th March: We received this spy picture from France with the message "For those who wonder what happened to this car (well,the rolling chassis), here it is! New owner,new disguise!"

If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at

Betts to go on salt.
8th March: Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tony Betts has struck a deal which will enable him to race at Bonneville Speedway for the first time in the August Speedweek. Yesterday, Tony visited Land Speed Racer Fred Blanchard for a fitting in his Adrenaline Rush Lakester, which is capable of 300mph.

Fred Blanchard has owned and run the Adrenaline Rush Lakester with Brian Bacik and Ben York since 2008, and it has raced in the B/BGL class meaning it is supercharged and runs on gasoline. Tony will soon be getting familiar with the on board water tanks, driver cool suit, dry sump system, safety equipment and controls. Tony commented "Big thanks to Fred Blanchard, Andy and Ben for showing us around the lakester today. Now what does the future hold?" You can see and hear more from Fred Blanchard on his Youtube channel.

Tony would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in sponsoring his Land Speed bid and you can get in touch with him using Facebook messenger or via e-mail.

Swift snippets.
8th March: Happy Birthday to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame chair Lesley Wright who will be celebrating by attending Stuart Bradbury's induction to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame on Thursday which you will be able to see via live streaming (links to be published). Also celebrating today are Projoint Fabrications boss and former Pro Stock Bike racer Jerry Collier, Street Eliminator racer Joe Stevens and Comp Bike racer Jordan Kenway, a very Happy Birthday to all of you.

Pioneer stories: John Wright - Part 1.
7th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features British drag racing pioneer John Wright who was part of the sport in the 1960s (picture: John and his wife with a 5 ton Caterpillar-engined car he built).

John Wright, brought up in a farming family, was encouraged by his father to become mechanically minded from an early age and became a collector of vehicles as space on the farm allowed for storage of many diverse and sometimes extremely rare cars, which John was able to practise his modifying skills on. Later, he sold a Rolls Royce which became the basis of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also got a flavour for American cars and hot rodding which would prove invaluable when he discovered drag racing.

John Hunt commented: "Chris and I interviewed John and what an interesting guy. Special thanks to Chris for all his work with John to sort out his story and Nick Pettitt for most of the editing and Simon for finishing off the story by placing the photographs which was the hardest part for Chris and Nick once we had got all the text sorted, great job guys." (You're welcome - editor).

Part 1 of John Wright's story is at this link. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks John for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

John Wright has some parts for sale which you can see at this Facebook listing.

RAD Mr Six colouring comp winner.
7th March: Thanks to Darren West of Power Race Graphics for writing with news of his latest colouring competition:

Excited to announce we have a winner for our RAD Design lines win the 'Mr Six' book colouring competition! The competition ran thoughout the month of February and was open to entries from all ages, with no restriction on use of media. All entries were judged by author of the 'Mr Six' book Keith Lee and ace drag car painter Jeff Glasser, who squabbled over the entries and picked their winner, who we are delighted to announce is Phil Brown.

A copy of Keith Lee's fabulous book - 'Mr Six' The Story of Drag Racing Legend Dennis Priddle will be heading Phil's way!

Keith commented: “It was a pleasure to see all the entries submitted. The Avenger funny car was special to Dennis Priddle - and also to Jeff, who produced the standout paint schemes. I actually deferred to Jeff in the selection, as this body was so personal to him - but must say that I was in full agreement with his favourite design entry. Darren West was so helpful with the design of the Mr Six book cover, that it was nice to be involved in a small way in his aim to stimulate creativity and interest in race car graphics though his colouring books.”

We had some fantastic entries, a huge thanks to all the super star artists - we loved them all!

The competition has been a lot of fun, I would like to thank Keith and Jeff for being great sports judging the entries and a big thanks to Keith for the idea and donating the great prize!

The mission continues to inspire creativity amongst the drags mad kids - lookout for more news and a new colouring product coming very soon from RAD Design Lines!

Swift snippets.
7th March: A very Happy Birthday to honorary member and Competition Eliminator/Nostalgia Superstock racer Spencer Tramm, have a great day Spencer! We also send Happy Birthday wishes to crew chief and tuner extraordinaire Karl Harrison, Danish Super Street Bike racer Mogens Lund, Supercharged Outlaws racer Nigel Rigden and Outlaw Anglia racer Pete Ashworth. Have a great day all.

Dakota Raceway March date coming up.
6th March:
In two weekends' time on Saturday 19th March, Dakota Raceway will be opening its doors for the first time in 2022 for a drag and drift day, writes sponsor Lee Child. To register for the event you will need to go to and click on Events, then Drag and Drift Events, where you will find a Drag & Drift Entry Form. All competitors, cars and bikes, should complete this form; you can also buy entry tickets by clicking on Drag and Drift Events.

The event will include 1/4 mile run what you brung, an 1/8 heads up drag race cash day, drifting and clubstands. Spectators will be welcome for £10 on the gate, and track action will take place from 9am to 4pm.

For racers, pre entry will save you money. For instance, if you pre-enter the 1/4 mile run what ya brung, which includes an admission ticket for £60 compared to £70 on the day.

If you want to take part in the 1/8 mile heads up drag race cash day for cars, which includes unlimited run what you brung, pre-entry including driver entry and one admission pre entry will cost £105 compared to £115 on the day.

It will be a a great day out for any petrolhead, and all vehicles are welcome. In the 1/4 mile drag strip run what ya brung, you can grudge race your friends and carry a passenger down the track. The exciting 1/8 mile drag race for cash competition will be run Street Outlaw-style.

Drag racers will have the chance to win £400 per category, first across the line wins in a no time 1/8 mile drag race. Each sixteen car category has a £400 winner takes all prize fund; in the event if numbers in each category are not for filled there will be a reduced prize fund for example 8 car category £200 prize fund and 4 car category £150 prize fund. In event of the category exceeding 16 cars the prize will go up from £400.

Lee says Dakota Raceway are looking for sponsors to increase the prize funds so be aware things are subject to change. All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from a out the hat selection until the final two race for the money. Details of entry fee and classes are:

Entry fee: Driver entry is £105 . If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile no time drag race , you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge. Passengers have an additional charge of £10.

The categories are:

Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Small Tyre Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres maximum height 30 inches maximum tread width 11 inches, interior removed.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.

Street Rear Wheek Drive entrant Pete Lane, 2021 Dakota Raceway champion and owner of the Grass Deed Store, a DEFRA registered supplier of bulk grass seed mixtures, has kindly sponsored trophies for all winners and runner ups, in all 1/8 mile heads up drag race cash day categories. Jerry Cookson has been confirmed as announcer for the event, his voice being heard at many other drag and sprint tracks around the country. Confirmed entries in the popular Street AWD category include the Tesla of Mark Swanborough who has previously competed in FWD, and the Lichfield GTR of Simon Cooksey.

Entry is now open, click on

Dial-in Day suffers rain.
6th March: Despite a fantastic entry, the 2022 Santa Pod Raceway Dial-in Day competition was rained off after only two qualifiers got sent down the track. Thanks to Kirstie who sent in these photos of the driver briefing and demonstration of the timing beams by chief starter Ian Marshall. Other seasonsed racers who were there to impart their knowledge included Sportsman ET sponsor and Super Gas racer Andy Dibley and 8.50 Bike sponsor and Super Street Bike racer Jake Mechaell.

Kirstie commented: "Although only two qualifying runs were managed, SPR are hoping to continue the competition during a RWYB in the near future; today looked like a sell-out with the whole classroom full with car or bike competitors. Jake Mechaell was overseeing the three bikes who showed. There was a whole range of new talent from drag racer family members to people who have never been to Santa Pod at all. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves regardless of the weather!"

Swift snippets.
6th March: Although the weather affected the Famoso DragstripMarch Meet with conditions likened by some attending to winter at Santa Pod Raceway, there were still some great cars there, and great runs. You can catch up with all the detail at Competition Plus and see a playlist of videos by Jake Simmons for Competition Plus at its Youtube channel. Watch out soon for a look at some of the English tin racing there, thanks to Herb Andrews for making contact with them.

At the Baby Gators, well done to Julie Nataas who was runner up in Top Alcohol Dragster scoring a runner-up to Will Smith, running three consecutive 5.2s passes in eliminations at speeds of up to 276mph. The result makes Julie NHRA National points leader in the Top Alcohol Dragster class after three events. Full results are available at

Dutchies are returning...
5th March:
Thanks to Super Street Bike racer Margot Schmidt who has written to confirm she will be racing at Santa Pod Raceway in 2022:

"The Dutchies are returning to Santa Pod! Margot and Stefan Schmidt from Schmidt Performance Dragracing will returning to Santa Pod this season for 6 events if all goes well. After almost 2 years and 8 months without Santa Pod it feels awesome to go back to our second home.

In the last two years we only have been to Clastres in France for one event, and last year we went to Kunmadaras Hungary for one event. We were very happy to be able to ride the bike at these events to keep the feeling a little bit. In the meantime we were watching the livestream for two years and saw our fellow Super Street Bike friends go faster and faster.

Last winter we decided to give the Busa some serious upgrades, so we can try to keep up with them. We've also had to deal with the Brexit rules and documents, but that’s now all been taken care of. Our first event will be the Festival of Power. So let’s hope for some great Easter weather and a great race weekend! Oh and… the bike will have a complete new look.

Thanks to our sponsors, and supporters: Vanson Leathers, Orient Express Racing, APE Raceparts, Ad van Gils Motors, Plasma Service b.v, Radical Racegear, Motorhuis Seppe, Dolfo Racing, Quist Racing.

Updates from Baby Gators.
5th March: Good luck and stay safe to the Europeans and expat Europeans who will be competing at the Baby Gators, the NHRA Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional race being held this weekend at Gainesville Raceway.

In Stock Eliminator, class eliminations took place yesterday and well done to Dan Williams for going two rounds in the A/S class, eventually losing out in the final to Joe Martens with a 0.002 red light. Dan's final qualifying position is #21 with his -1.015 against index 9.935 from Thursday. Footage of Dan's first run on Thursday has been posted to Youtube by the Class Racer channel.

In Top Alcohol Dragster, Julie Nataas qualified fourth in the eight car field (total entry was 16 cars) with a 5.263/277.49. In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Ulf Leanders (photo credit: Charlie Carroll) qualified second out of six with a 5.555/256.31. Eliminations will take place today.

You can see the Baby Gators live streamed at (free, registration required). Results will be posted at with live timing and results at

Swift snippets.
5th March: Happy Birthday to Super Street Bike racer-in-waiting Jonathan Hines, have a great day Jonathan!

Pioneer stories: Geoff Jago - Part 1.
4th March:
The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features British Hot Rodding pioneer Geoff Jago. (picture: Geoff's first hot rod, Jago One - Bob Rothwell photo).

Geoff Jago left school at 15 and, after a year in the Portsmouth docks, gained an apprenticeship at a local garage in Portchester. During his nine years there he got interested in American cars and hot rods, starting by customising his dad's Ford Consul Mk1. After leaving the garage he set up his own business doing car repairs and bodywork. Getting into hot rodding, he was the first importer of metalflake and created his first custom, Jago One, from a Ford Thames van which won a prize at the UK's first custom car show organised by the British Hot Rod Association. Although his early customs were on British cars, his introduction to fibreglass got him thinking about Ford Model Ts...

Part 1 of Geoff Jago's story is at this link. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu. thanks Geoff for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.

Editor's note: Geoff is keen to acquire two copies of Hot Rod Magazine, January 1957 and July 1957, which were an inspiration to him when he originally had them. If you have them and would like to do a deal with him, please contact us at

What's on at Santa Pod.
4th March: Santa Pod Raceway will be off to a flying start in 2022 with three car shows that are sure to get every petrolhead’s heart racing. The trio is headlined by The Fast Show on April 3rd, one of the crown jewels of the car show calendar and a must-attend for any car enthusiast. Joining The Fast Show will be two brand new events to Santa Pod Raceway, starting with Le French Fest on March 27th and followed by Best of British on April 23rd.

Giving the ‘Va Va Voom’ touch to the Pod’s packed events calendar, Le French Fest celebrates everything great about French automobiles. There’ll be plenty to see and do on the day both on and off the famed quarter-mile dragstrip. All French car owners are invited to take their car down the track in the public Run What Ya Brung (RWYB) session, with the 10,000hp FireForce 3 Jet Funny Car also on hand to shake off the winter cobwebs with mind-blowing 270mph passes! A highlight of the show will be the flame-throwing Jet Peugeot 205. Coming all the way from France, pilot Herve Franquin will be warming up the spring air in the Live Action Arena, joined by multiple world-record holding stunt driver Terry Grant. Other attractions such as the Autoglym Show & Shine Competition, Car Club displays and Handling Track will be there to entertain one and all. Tickets start at just £19, with Kids 5-15 just £5 per ticket (under 5’s go FREE).

If fast and furious is more your style, then The Fast Show will absolutely feed your need for speed. The track will be open for anyone who wants to take on the clock, joined by the FireForce 3 Jet Funny car and the first Sports Compact Drag Racing Shootout of the year. The Live Action Arena will be alive with drama and excitement, with the stunt driving duo of Terry Grant and Lee Bowers plying their craft for your entertainment. The fun doesn’t stop there with the prestigious Autoglym Show & Shine Competition, Propper Droppers Sound-Off Competition, Drift Rides, Influencer’s Paddock, Ford Mustang Passenger Rides, and much more. Tickets start at just £25, with Kids 5-15 just £5 per ticket (under 5’s go FREE).

Celebrate the St George’s Day weekend at Santa Pod with the brand-new Best of British car show. A fun-filled, action-packed schedule awaits the whole family, featuring the very best of British engineering both on and off-track. Some of the quickest British drag cars in the country will be doing demonstration runs throughout the day, alongside Martin Hill’s FireForce 5 Jet Dragster in resplendent St. George and the Dragon livery. The Jet action isn’t restricted to the track, with a jet-powered Mini lighting up the Live Action Arena along with world-class motorcycle stunt rider Lee Bowers and his all-new stable of Royal Enfield bikes. There’ll be plenty more at the event to enjoy, including Autoglym Show & Shine Competition, RC Drag Racing, Historic Aero Engines, plus a varied and eclectic display of show cars, and much more! Tickets start at just £19, with Kids 5-15 just £5 per ticket (under 5’s go FREE).

Tickets for all events are pre-bookable and can be purchased online or by phoning the Box Office on 01234 782828. For more information, check out the Santa Pod Raceway website at

Photo: Fords at The Fast Show Picture: Scott Gay / Santa Pod.

Williams Bros Racing at Baby Gators.
4th March: UK racer and speed shop owner Dan Williams is competing this weekend at the 6th 'Baby Gators', the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held at Gainesville Raceway in Florida the week before the NHRA Gatornationals. Dan is driving his 396cu in Chevy Nova in A/Stock and at the end of Thursday qualifying was placed 7th in the order with a 9.935 which is 1.015 below the A/S index.

The Chevy Nova has been raced by Dan since 2012, racing at Tierp Arena in the June Sweden Internationals in Stock/Super Stock. At that stage the newly imported car had an automatic transmission. Back in the UK, Dan was in Pro ET at the Euro Finals that year. In 2013 he raced the Nova at both Tierp events, his Santa Pod racing limited to the Euro Finals. In 2015 the Nova returned to Tierp in August and Santa Pod in September. By the 2016 Festival of Power, the automatic transmission had been replaced by a Jerico four speed manual box, Dan taking aim at the A/S index and competing at Tierp at both events there in 2016 and 2017.

In 2018, Williams Bros Racing travelled to race in the US for the first time, brother Nic had racing his Camaro in 2018 at a divisional event and the U.S. Nationals, returning in 2019 to the Baby Gators.

After one Santa Pod appearance at the Main Event in 2019 the Nova was transported to the US a month later and the team were over to race it at a divisional event at Bowling Green and then in the A/Stock challenge at the U.S. Nationals. Dan was interviewed by Competition Plus which you can see at this link. After that, though, the pandemic delayed the team being able to get back to the U.S. to race it, until this weekend.

Whilst Williams Bros Racing won't be competing at the Gatornationals, we're sure they are enjoying their time in Gainesville at the Baby Gators and wish them good luck and stay safe. You can see the Baby Gators live streamed at (free, registration required).

2022 Drag Race Union Challenges.
3rd March:
Many thanks to Drag Race Union secretary Markus Münch, who with chairman Hans Niesner and treasurer Oliver Krautberger have announced the 2022 DRU Challenges for Pro ET and Super Pro ET, the first time the competition has run since 2019:

Hello everybody, good news for us all. After two years of cancellation, the 7th running of the DRU Challenge in Pro ET and 13th running in Supro ET will be back in 2022. So far the race calendar is full again. Two races at Rivanazzano, three in Clastres, two "Clubsport" races in Zerbst (Pro ET only), and up to six races at Santa Pod Raceway offer plenty of races and the NitrOlympX as well. Also in the Czech Republic there should be a new race near Pilsen. Four races count to the overall points.

The entry for the 2022 Challenges is open. €100 brings you in again (including a personalized driver shirt). The rules are the same as in 2020 and are set out below. At the end of the season there will be a trophy party. The date and place for the party will be announced soon. Drivers who have already registered for the 2020 season and do not wish to participate 2022 can get a refund of their money.

Races in England: Don´t forget to name your three races, you want to attempt to collect Challenge points. Name them with your entry or latest by the deadline of March 31st 2022. This is for all drivers of course, not only English racers.

. Sponsoring: It is still time to get involved in the Challenges as a sponsor. Little money (€100, €200, ...) brings you in. So if you know somebody, Pro and Supro ET will have seperate prize money funds.

You can register for the Challenges at: (Pro ET), Supro ET – mail to Markus on

Here are the terms of participation for the 2022 Pro ET and Super Pro ET Challenges: Entrymoney is €100 for each driver. That includes a driver Challenge Shirt. You need to send your start number and T-Shirt size with your entry. More shirts can also be ordered for Team members, costs are €25 each.

  • Every Racecar has to carry two Challenge Stickers (Challenge Logo and Sponsors Logos) Size: Din A5
  • Every official Race counts for points.
  • Each driver can bring 4 results into the overall points.
  • No more than two results from a single racetrack count for the overall points.
  • For the races at Santa Pod: Each team that wants to collect challenge points at Santapod has to name a maximum of three races for 2022 with the entry where it wants to collect challenge points. A maximum of two Santa Pod races count to the overall points.
  • The driver with the most points wins the Challenge.
  • Trophies and prize money is for the drivers finnishing upfront.
  • Prize money will be from entry money and sponsor money minus running costs of homepage, trophies, etc; most money is given out as prize money.
  • Trophy party will be at the DRU Trophyparty at the end of October 2022, the venue will be announced soon.
The four best results of the races count to the overall points for each driver. Only official races count (NEAFP...). For the races at Santa Pod (GB) three races can be named before the season starts to collect points for the Challenge. A maximum of two results from each racetrack count for the overall points.

Qualifying Points: Qualifying order is terminated by qualifying against your dial in. Closest to dial in eaquals top qualifyer. A maximum of 16 points is awarded to the top qualifyer. For each position (2, 3, 4,…) one point less is awarded. The last qualifyed gets one point. If there are more the 16 participants, from position 17 onwards, one point is awarded. Examples:
  • 16 Participants, Top Qualifyer gets 16 points, 16th gets 1 point.
  • 20 Participants, Top Qualifyer gets 16 points, position 16-20 receive 1 point.
  • 7 Participants, Top Qualifyer gets 7 points, 7th gets 1 point.
Elimination Points:
  • You get 20 Points for each round you are qualified.
  • The winner of the Race gets 20 points on top.
  • So… hope to see you all out there again this year.
Any Questions? Interested? Contact us.

Ernryd heads to Gainesville.
3rd March: Swedish Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd has entered to race at the Gatornationals. We spoke to Stefan about his plans for his first NHRA National Event.

He said "When Allen Johnson quit Pro Stock at the end of 2017, Alan Prusiensky took over the mantle of the sole Dodge team in NHRA racing. Alan builds his own engines the same as Allen Johnson but a smaller operation, which is titled ARC Race Engines. As well as Pro Stock Dodge engines Alan works on Mopar racing and street engines including some for Stock Eliminator. He has workshop capacity indoors for two cars with more outside. Sponsor-wise he has some small ones but keeps the Mopar flag going for the Hemi.

"Although 2021 was financially problematic for Alan, he kept the faith in Pro Stock by maintaining two cars, his own 2016 Jerry Haas built Dart and a newer 2018 Dart also built by Haas. The newer car which had to be rebuilt following a 2019 crash at ZMax Dragway which resulted in Alan suffering a fractured vertabra.

"Alan, knowing my predilection for Mopar products reached out to me several times particularly after he visited the Vegas race in October 2019. Stefan hit it off with Alan but covid put things on hold after March 2020."

Now the pandemic is in retreat, Stefan has renewed enthusiasm for racing in the US, hopefully as a prelude to a European campaign. However his European campaign has some question marks over it.

"We have questions over the travel costs, the ferry charges are up by 50% and the cost of diesel is up to £1.76 per litre, plus there is more paperwork with the ATA Carnet which we will need to avoid a deposit of 30% of the value of the race operation. Talking to all the European Pro Stock teams, there could be eight or nine at the Main Event, but it depends how well they can absorb these additional costs. We could be spending £2000 one way."

Both Alan Prusiensky and Stefan are relatively new to Pro Stock. Alan started racing in the class in 2015 and became a regular qualifier, but round wins were hard to come by, Stefan started racing in 2016 after working with Thomas Lindstrom and was runner up in the European championship in 2017 and 2018, running a best of 6.547/211.03mph in his carburetted Dart.

Stefan's only US racing experience is testing his Dart before importing it to Sweden, and he has never driven one of the new-style injected cars with rev limited to 10,500 and shorter wheelie bars. So he is looking forward to getting some testing in at either Bradenton Motorsports Park (where he ran before) or at Gainesville, but conscious that many other teams will also be testing there in the days before the Gatornationals commences.

"Testing will be crucial to learn the throttle response and shifting, the shift light is set as part of the tuning process rather than revving it to 10,500 in every gear. I am fortunate to have two of my regular team helping me, Ulf Wagnhester, resident on the west coast of Florida, who is a fuel injection expert and has been my crew chief in Europe, and Simon Renevall who will be helping on the rear end and transmission and is my chassis man in Europe. My objective is to qualify, it will be tough as there are 21 entries and a lot of talent in the class. Also the weather in Gainesville can change dramatically between Friday and Saturday, giving us a curved ball on the tuning. On Sunday I will need to get some good lights in addition.

Alan would like Stefan to compete in a couple more races and, if things go well, that could be an option as his two race engines and his car are all ready for European competition starting in May.

We wish Stefan good luck and a safe racing weekend at the Gatornationals. Knowing that there are many Europeans paying a visit to the race, if you’re there why not stop by the pits and say hi?

Swift snippets.
3rd March: Happy Birthday for today to Competition Eliminator racer Kev Jenkins, Gasser Circus racer Lee Pike, Super Pro ET doorslammer racer Jens Könnecke and Super Twin racer Christian Jäger, both from Germany; have a great day guys.

Echoing words from regular contributor and BDRHoF director Jerry Cookson, a very happy 66th Wedding Anniversary to British drag racing pioneers and BDRHoF members Gerald and Joan Cookson, we hope you have a wonderful day.

Good luck and stay safe to Dan Williams, who with Williams Bros Racing have been testing for Stock Eliminator in their 427 ci A/S Chevy Nova at the NHRA 'Baby Gators' (Division 2 Race 2) which will be taking place from today through to Sunday. You can catch up with results from later this afternoon GMT at with live timing and results at

Danny Ongais.
2nd March: We were sorry to hear of the passing of US racecar driver Danny Ongais at the age of 79.

Danny had a wide ranging racing career including land speed racing, sports car racing, Indycars and even F1, and he started his racing career on motorcycles in his native Hawaii following discharge from the US Army in the late 1950s.

His first dragster drive in 1963 was a Dragmaster Dart gas dragster owned by Jim Nelson & Dode Martin, winning Top Gas at the AHRA Winternationals at Beeline Raceway, Phoenix, then in 1964 he drove several gas dragsters including Roland Leong's first Hawaiian car. 1965 was Danny's first Top Fuel Dragster drive, in the Mangler, co-owned with the Broussard, Garrison, Davis team, with John Garrison as crew chief. Racing mainly in Southern California at tracks such as Fontana, Carlsbad and Riverside, Danny started the year triumphing at the UDRA race at Fontana.

With wins under his belt and a national record 7.59 set in April, Danny was invited to come to the UK to race at the 1965 Drag Festival with an eight car Top Fuel team also including Bob Keith, Tony Nancy, Nick Colbert, Buddy Cortines, Chuck Griffith, Gary Casady and Merek Chertkow. But the weather didn't play ball as it had in 1964 with Garlits, Ivo et al.

Woodvale photo credit: Nick Pettitt,

On paper, Danny's was the quickest car with two of the others running nitro for the first time, however at Blackbushe on 25th-26th September there was torrential rain and as Drag Racing Magazine put it, "The spectators were continually given the impression that the American drivers had scarcely ever seen rain, let alone driven in it". The reluctant drivers finally decided to run in the rain and Danny was described as "like a packet of itching powder, fretting to make a run whatever the others wanted to do". Danny's times were 9.62/120 and 9.76/150.

The following weekend at Woodvale the conditions were better and Danny ran 7.99/196, 7.91/200, and 7.90/200. Buddy Cortines did win the event, after Danny had a split blower manifold in the final, and set an ET record of 7.74, but Danny was first to 200mph on UK soil and his performances wowed the crowds for their bravery on a track that was not as smooth as those he was used to.

After the Drag Festival in the UK Danny returned to the US to continue his drag racing career which lasted another four years before circuit racing beckoned. He was runner up at the 1966 NHRA Nationals in Top Fuel and in 1969 he won the NHRA Spring Nationals and NHRA U.S. Nationals in the Funny Car class driving a Ford Mustang for Mickey Thompson.

To read a full tribute to Danny go to We send Danny's family and friends our deepest condolences.

Tim Hines' funeral arrangements.
2nd March: Many thanks to Lee Huxley for forwarding the arrangements for the funeral of Tim Hines whom we paid tribute to on 26th February:

The funeral for Tim Hines will take place on Monday 14th March at 11:30. The service will be at Broadwas Church and the wake will follow at The Royal Oak in Broadwas.

Due to limited parking near the church please park at the Royal Oak WR65NE and walk down. Family flowers only, donations in lieu of flowers to St Richard’s Hospice Care at home team (details will be provided on the day).

If you have any stories you wish to share in the eulogy please email them to by 08/03/22. Please pass the above information to anyone you feel would want to attend.

The family would like any custom/performance cars and motorbikes to follow but not into the church yard. Also any Drag Racers that could display any cars/bikes at the pub please contact Lee Huxley on 07967 157899 or email him at

I.C.E. Automotive & Precision Turbo.
2nd March: Thanks to I.C.E. Automotive's Nick Davies for an announcement about continued working with their longtime supplier of turbos:

I.C.E. Automotive are pleased to announce their enhanced partnership with Precision Turbo for the 2022 racing season.

Having used, distributed and supported Precision Turbo products for more than ten years, we are proud to be associated with such a prestigious manufacturer.

Precision Turbo has been a worldwide supplier of high performance turbochargers that have set the standard for uncompromised quality and unsurpassed performance since the late 1990s. Over the years, they have designed, tested, and manufactured record setting and championship winning turbochargers for many racing organizations.

We are very grateful for the support of Precision and look forward to sharing data and information during the upcoming season.

Rat Trap Racing Announces New Team Member.
2nd March: Ron Hope, owner/driver of the infamous Rat Trap AA/Fuel Altered has announced that his grandson Michael Hope is to take the wheel of a new Rat Trap Altered, writes Tony Thacker:

“We purchased the PRO 7.0 car ‘Mechanical Bull’ from Ronny Robbins,” said Michael’s father Brian who can most often be seen driving Rich Guasco’s Pure Hell AA/Fuel Altered when he is not wrenching on father Ron’s Rat Trap.

“The Keith Black Hemi-powered T-bodied car will be run under the Rat Trap Racing banner,” continued Brian, “and it will, of course, be painted in Rat Trap style by Jeff Embrey at Embrey’s Customotive and lettered master striper by Dennis Jones.”

“Ronny’s quickest and fastest times on alcohol were 6.94/199. Not quite the magic 200 but hopefully with a little time behind the wheel Michael will be hitting the magic numbers.”

22-year-old Michael is no stranger to the dragstrip having been around the family’s numerous racecars, including Rat Trap, since Ron resurrected the car in 1995. He is currently the clutch man on the Hilton Family Great Expectations II Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster and an all-rounder on Tony Lombardi’s PRO 7.0 front engine dragster. Prior to these duties he was the clutch assistant on Mike Morrell’s ‘Little City Charger’ nitro Funny Car.

“I’ve been around drag racing and Bonneville cars my whole life,” said Michael who works at the family business Trailer Cabinets/Technocraft in Mount Pleasant, TN. “Now, it’s my turn to carry on the family tradition of driving an altered and we thought a PRO 7.0 car was a good place to start. We’ll have the car on display at the Goodguys 16th BASF Nashville Nationals and at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion but I won’t drive it until later in the year.”

Rat Trap Racing, Mount Pleasant, TN, is an internationally renowned racing team competing in both land speed and drag racing. Headed by Ron Hope and his son Brian, the team is a family affair that sees Ron’s wife Dianne, granddaughter Victoria and grandson Michael all taking turns piloting the racecars along with other family members and friends. In addition, crew chief Brian can often be found behind the wheel of Rich Guasco’s Pure Hell AA/Fuel Altered.

The Rat Trap Racing web site is at

Swift snippets.
2nd March: A big Happy Birthday to SPRC director and UK points co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm, have a great day Yvonne!

Alan Currans, webmaster of the excellent Acceleration Archive site, has posted two more Youtube HD slideshows of his shots from Shakespeare County Raceway, comprising from 2008 the Hot Rod Drags and the Wild Cat Day, and from 2009 the first RWYB of the year, followed by the SpringSpeed Nationals and finally the Yanks' Weekend.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted more historical video footage of UK events, this time the 1990 Santa Pod World Finals, produced for the Anglia TV Wheels programme, and the 1995 Shootout #7 from Avon Park produced by Keith Taylor of First Image Drag Racing Video.

Safe journey to all those from the UK who are making the journey to Famoso Dragstrip, Bakersfield for the Good Vibrations March Meet. With a lack of streaming video we look forward to seeing social media posts.

Supercharged Outlaws and Outlaw Anglia's joint presentation glitters.
1st March: Many thanks to Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar for his review of the OA/SCO awards presentation held on Saturday:

What a fantastic weekend was had by all at the annual AGM and awards party for both Supercharged Outlaws and Outlaw Anglia held on Saturday at Kettering Park Hotel and Spa, a lovely venue which we certainly took full advantage of.

Once the serious discussions were over we quickly moved on to our joint awards presentations with a huge thanks to Colin Theobald for guiding us all through with his “well kent” voice of Santa Pod.

First up was Outlaw Anglia with Dave Gibbons giving out two trophies on behalf of TMC / RDR (Tony Morris Carburettors / Rough Diamond Racing) with the Tight End Trophy and £150 with tree-shirts and stickers going to Rob Nixon, well done Rob, next trophy was the Grand Job Trophy and £50 with tee-shirts and stickers going to Ben Kennedy, well done Ben and a huge thanks to Dave Gibbons.

Pictured: Dave Gibbons with Rob Nixon, Dave Gibbons with Ben Kennedy, Jon Webster's 1st Round Reaction Trophy

Next up was 1st Round Reaction Trophy which is averaged over the three Non-MSA events within OA, presented by the last winner Scotty Crookston to winner Jon Webster, unfortunately Jon was otherwise engaged and our good friend Ginner Man accepted the trophy on Jon’s behalf and will be popping into Jon’s workshop to present in person.

Ginner Man stayed up to present the next award which is OA Participants Trophy and voted by all within the OA family, as he was the last person who had won it, this is a very special trophy and close to the heart of Ginner Man and the winner was well deserved going to Ben Kennedy for all his efforts and struggles throughout last season.

The OA Championship was in the end a close fought battle, Rob Stone being the longest serving member of OA was up on stage to present these awards, first up in 3rd place was Colin Millar, onto 2nd place which was Mick Taylor and winner of the 2021 OA Championship was Jedd Guy, thanks Rob.

Pictured: Ginner Man with Ben Kennedy, Rob Stone with Colin Millar, Rob Stone with Mick Taylor

Moving on to the Supercharged Outlaws, with Chairman Andy Fadster coming up on stage to present the awards, first up was the 200 MPH – Kev Mortimer Trophy with Joe Bond taking the honours after a storming season on track, well done Joe.

Next up was Best Appearing Team Trophy, this trophy is voted for by all members of SCO with a well-deserved winner going to Roy Wilding, well done Roy.

Moving onto Most Improved Team Trophy with a very happy Gary Parkes up on stage to take the trophy, again its always a great feeling to get a trophy voted for by your fellow class mates.

Pictured: Rob Stone with Jedd Guy, Jedd Guy's special Six Second Trophy created by Steve and Anna Cassisi of Piston Rings and Things, Gary Parkes with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield

Another special trophy is the Vic Hammond Trophy and won by a very surprised Mark Windridge, well done you sir.

Moving onto the SCO Championship which saw a fierce battle to the end, in 3rd place was Andy Park and in 2nd place Mike Couch who was beaming with pride to go up and collect and the winner of the 2021 SCO Championship was David McCallan, thanks Andy.

As we do every year we raise funds for the Air Ambulance which covers Santa Pod if they are ever needed and this year we did very well with fund raising prior during and after the party, we even had a personal special message on screen from one of the AA fund raisers George thanking both groups, thanks George, one special item the V8 Coffee table which managed to make £650, thanks going out to Niz Hasham for buying it, Ian Tweddle for the transport and Rod Turner for the kind gift, we did have a an odd donation of £200 from Martin Christopher Davidson for a pair of yellow Crocs signed for by Colin Millar but we always aim to please and they are in the post lol.

All in all with still more to come in we have raised in excess of £2,400.00 so well done to everyone involved.

Pictured: Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield with Mark Windridge, Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield with Mike Couch, Colin Millar with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield

A call went out for everyone to come up on stage as we had two special awards to present with the first going out to Andy Fadster for the True Grit Award for all his endeavours to keep coming back no matter how many time he brakes it, the second award went out to Jedd Guy for making history in 2021 and becoming Mister 6, I even woke up with confetti stuck to me in the morning lol.

Special thanks got out to many people but here is a few that I can remember apologies if I have missed you or forgotten you, I am getting old, Jeff Ludgate Renegade Racing Fuel, Jim and James Maher with Good Vibrations, Dave Gibbons, Tony Morris Carburettors, Rough Diamond Racing, LE Personal Prints, Kenzie Taylor, Callum Pudge, Steve Cassisi, Anna Cassisi, Hayley Fyfe and Ben Rushforth at EDA.

And last but not least to my long suffering Lynn who puts up with all the “stuff” I get involved in, thanks for letting me do what I do xx

See you at the racetrack real soon!

Dodds and Surrey Muscle celebrate.
1st March: Many thanks to Paul Dodd who has been in touch with news of two special celebrations, one for his Dad John Dodd's Beast's 50th anniversary, with the 27th anniversary of Surrey Muscle car club also being celebrated:

February has been quite the month of celebrations for the Dodd family . First up it was 50 years ago in Feb 72 when John Dodd's Beast made its debut at the Custom Car Show, Crystal Palace. The following month saw a feature in the magazine with a photo of the Beast over Epsom Downs with his more sedate Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in the background. The Beast went on to cause a sensation when it hit the road and featured in many TV programmes, newspapers and magazines. The main cause of interest was the 27 litre Merlin engine under the huge bonnet, which in fact was a non supercharged version of it, the Meteor. Still it was powerful enough to set a flying half mile record at RAF Elvington runway and ran tyre smoking 12’s at Santa Pod. Then of course there was the RR grille that Rolls were not too happy about, especially when potential customers started to call them to put an order in, and a court action was started; but then tragedy struck when the car caught fire on its way to a show in Sweden.

Whilst the car was destroyed, the chassis was salvaged and with the skills of Bob Phelps the rebodied Beast Mk 2 was back on the road by 1980 featuring a true but non supercharged Merlin, and with another RR grille. It did not take Rolls long to notice it was back again and finally successfully sued for breach of trademarks by the mid 80’s whereupon both car and owner fled to Spain. Of course the Beast has been back many times since and was last seen roaring up the strip at Dragstagia in 2014. Always evolving, the car is currently having a Ford 9” rear fitted, and John is trying to work out a way to power steer it as it is a bit of a handful in tight confines for a man that is going to be 90 this year!

Next up is my Oldsmobile, born 50 years ago in 1972; last weekend on the Saturday I gave it a run over Epsom downs to celebrate the same day I bought it 33 years ago. How we are both still here to tell the tale is probably down to luck more than judgement, we certainly have been on some wild rides. I still drive it to and from the Pod for RWYB’s and am now just a 10th away from the 9’s , hopefully we will see the magic number this year.

Finally we had an extra special Club meet at the end of the month to celebrate 27 years of the Surrey Muscle car club. Notorious for our partying as much as the racing during our golden days from around 2000 to 2015, we still put on quite a show. In our heyday we had about 25 cars but when you add on family, friends crew etc, up to 50 of us would descend on Santa Pod for events like the Mopar EuroNationals, Gary’s Picnic and to Shakey for the likes of the Hot Rod Drags.

In truth we are more a bunch of long time friends nowadays than a club with many of the cars gone, but the new blood is up and coming . Club member John is letting his son Connor take over the reins of his ‘68 440 Cuda that has just been to Andy Robinson’s for an 8.50 cage, then my son's mate Phil will be taking to the track this year in his blue 78 Camaro with a hot Luty built 383 under the hood. Then of course there is my son himself, Jason, who has exceeded all expectations in his black Trans Am. When we got the car we had a mission to turn it from a 14 to a 9 sec street terror, and a lot of work and parts later including engine, gearbox and rear end Jason finally cracked it last year with a 9.61 @ 137mph with a soft Nitrous tune. He is quick on the tree too having reached the semis at the first Doorslammers meet and the quarterfinals at last years event and I could not be more proud of him and, of course, my father for inspiring me from about the age of 8 when he first took me to Santa Pod for the first time in the late 60’s. No wonder we keep going back there!

Swift snippets.
1st March: Happy Birthdays for today to Santa Pod Raceway marshal and Street Eliminator racer-in-waiting Antony 'Butch' Wilkins, also to long time fan and Podington Peas founder member Kerry McCartney Jeyes, hope you are both having a great day.

Many thanks to Tony Thacker for bringing our attention to a piece on the MSN News Channel by NHRA Top Fuel Racer Mike Salinas who wants to give the main US sanctioning body a bit of a shake-up. To read Mike's thoughts, click here.

Earlier news