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Editor's Diary archive
31st May: Santa Pod's Darren Prentice says "We are looking for about ten drag racing teams to put on demonstration runs for the Performance Vauxhall Show on the weekend of the 7th and 8th of June. Anyone interested or requiring more information should contact DJ on firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Also we are looking for drag racing demo teams at this year's UK Truck Show over the weekend of 28th and 29th June. This fully prepped track is already hosting a round of the BTRA racing trucks, Super Street Bikes, Super Modified, and Supercharged Outlaws. Eurodragster's very own Tog will be our guest commentator for the weekend - what more could you want? Any teams interested in coming should contact Darren at Darren@santapod.com.
31st May: UEM Supertwin Racer Per Bengtsson and the Bentec Racing team had a disappointing start of the season at Santa Pod Raceway during the FIA/UEM Main Event, writes L-O Johnsson:
The weather just allowed two qualification rounds and during the first one all clutchstands broke after the launch, something that never happened before. "We think the reason is the severe tireshake that we had during testing at MECA Raceway in Malmoe a few weeks back", says Per. "It caused a bent intake valve on the engine but nothing more serious. The problem was that we had no spare stands with us but we found some ARP clutchbolts in the pits and finally we needed a mashine shop to do the work on the clutch and stands. A special thank you goes to Mark Hawkins who kindly helpt us with the machine work during the Saturday evening and also thanks to the Leander Brothers for the ARP bolts.
"We were after all qualified and should have raced against Gunther Sohn in the first round if it wasn´t for that English weather. The plan is now to get some more test runs in Malmoe before the next UEM round in Finland."
Right after the cancelled eliminations at Santa Pod Per and L-O went straight to Dusseldorf in Germany for the Dupa fair, the worlds largest fair in the graphic business, wich will attend 500 000 visitors over two weeks. The Beast Dragbike will be displayed in the Flexoart stand. "We also had the owner of our sponsor Autoexperten Vaxjo as a guest during the race and we are sorry that we couldn´t put on a better show but we will be back strong in Finland thats for sure," says Per.
Karling on the right track.
31st May: UEM Supertwin racer Anders Karling says that in spite of not travelling down the quarter mike at Santa Pod, the Main Event proved to be a valuable test session:
Even if we did not get a run it gave us a lot. Just a burn-out and the data we got from it shows that we are on the right track. We did work in the pit for three days starting tuning testing to get a basic setup and also get all functions to work properly.
Since September last year, when we started the bike for the first time, we have made many changes - here are a few examples. The main thing is a newly designed mounting of the front primary drive pulley to the crankshaft. The McClure Overkill crank has been modified to fit the new mounting and the main bearings in the crankcase have been moved to give more room for the mounting.
The engine has got an improved lubrication system with some new ports inside the Overkill crankcase. Both the feed and return have been changed to get better circulation with fewer external hoses. The Autoverdi oil-pump is doing its job and the oil pressure variation is only 5 psi from idle 3000 rpm up to 7000 rpm.
The Clutch cannon has been redesigned with different seals to prevent the air from coming into the oil.
The 44-amp Dual MSD Magneto Ignition has received improvements, with waste spark boxes for the 14 plugs that we do not have on our two cylinder engine. This helps to keep the spark energy up.
These new designed or modified components seem to work very well and we are sure there will be more when we do more runs on the bike. We now look forward to the next event in Finland in July.
Frost going forward, not up.
31st May: UK Super Pro ET and Comp Eliminator racer Andy Frost says that increased media coverage of his World Street Race campaign will give his sponsors and WSR sponsors great exposure.
American Car World magazine (along with Steve Wilson) are going to to run a diary of my trip to the WSR with photos and a few pages of what goes on. Now, this is a great opportunity for some excellent sponsorship coverage for companies out there. They will get their logos on the pages of the diary in ACW,logos on my site and logos on the WSR site. We think for the coverage that is available the what we're asking is incredibly cheap.
I am the UK's only representative left now, as the two others slated to go have sadly had to pull out.This means that there are no shared costs. So, for us to try and uphold the honour of UK street legal racing, we need support. And, as we announce this, Peter Knight at Knight Racing services www.knightracingservices.co.uk have stepped up to support the team. Pete has been a long time supporter of our team. He has been the supplier of our engine parts since we began serious drag racing and of course runs the successful 2000hp Superflow dyno at his base in Daventry. He is also one of the reasons we are successful in what we do. A huge thanks to him for his support.
Another big thanks must also go to Jason Rueckert and Jim Kelly of VP racing fuels who are now supporting our team. We want to take advantage of the fuel rules in Belgium at the King of Europe and of course the WSR.That meant there was only one place to call and that was VP. Thanks to those guys and Steve at Motorshack for hooking up with our team.
As for the Main Event, I think the photos that are about tell the story really.We had two wishes coming in - get through the weekend in one piece and run over 190mph on pump gas. OK,so one out of two isn't bad.
The new ARE Cooling cored water to air intercooler allowed us to run faster in Competition Eliminator with less boost and more weight. Unfortunately four of the biggest wheelstands i've ever done have taken their toll on the front suspension and steering. Luckily Gaz shocks will be taking care of the shocks, WRE will be supplying the knowledge and all the hardware for the now required wheelie bars, and poor Nigel from Altiss www.altiss.com will be fixing.welding and modifying everything that needs fixing.
We'll be out again in 10 days for the Performance Vauxhall show, hopefully running forward not up.
Good omen from Banshees.
31st May: Super Pro ET Racer Vince Gibbs says that a smoky pass was nowhere near as bad as it looked and he was able to run a PB into the no. 1 qualifying spot at the Main Event.
The Banshee Racing Team arrived bright and early on Friday with nerves twitching and bitten finger nails. Was this meeting going to the first one without damage? From day one the Firebird had a hunger for main bearings, generally only lasting one run! We knew we were loosing oil pressure on shutdown and maybe running the oil too cold. This time we had a few extra tenths clearance on the bearings, an oil accumulator and extra heaters in the new design of pan. Ray Eldred, crew chief and Co-owner of the 'bird, had made an excellent job of the motor re-build and the whole team contributed to preparing the car for the meeting the week before.
For the first qualifying run I was a bit hesitant on the throttle but still managed a 7.37 at 183mph, but had our modifications worked? Back to the pits, oil filter off and it was clean, great. For the second run I mashed the throttle and brought our 60 foot time back to where it normally is and we ran a 7.34 @ 183 with a 7.30 dial in but this time the car disappeared into a cloud of smoke at the shutdown. As I came to a stop the marshals ran towards the car with fire extinguishers, the fire truck and ambulance turned up as I stepped from the car (they are really quick). Gladly there was no fire just very oily header bores on numbers 1 and 3 cylinders. I heard later that the language in the tow car from Ray was bluer than royal blue as he was convinced the motor was totaled. Back to the pits and a strip down revealed a blown inlet manifold gasket. Other good news was that the oil was still clean.
Third qualifier and gremlins struck again this time with a loose terminal on the starter motor solenoid so that was it for Friday.
As all who were there for Saturday know we had a strong tail wind so dialling in would be tough. My son, Sebastian, is responsible for all data and dial in, so by calculating the air quality, reviewing previous run history and using his best judgement for the tail wind he suggested a dial in of 7.30. This would be a new personal best if he was accurate and accurate he was. 7.302 at 191mph put us into no. 1 spot. A new personal best for ET and mph and still no damage. Sadly that was it for the rest of the weekend as the rain came down and didn't stop.
So a big thanks to our sponsors Torco Advanced Lubricants, scallywagsclothing.com and Hauser Racing. Also thanks to the safety team and marshals for their rapid responses. As always thanks to John Everitt who I have to say is one of the nicest blokes around and to my crew, Ray, Chris, James and Seb. Here's looking forward to a damage free Summernationals.
Baynton's Capricious weekend.
31st May: Pro ET racer Paul Baynton says that even with the weather intervening after round one of eliminations, his Main Event was a successful one:
For the Capricious Pro ET team, The Main Event was a success, coming away with the maximum points possible to help keep Lee Huxley of Team Top Banana in sight. The car was consistent and Crew Chief Mandy picked the dial-ins well. This was all her doing after I insisted on a 10.98 dial-on on the first run, even though she had said 11.02, and, oops, we ran 11.03. On the fourth run, we took the no.1 qualifier with an 11.0005 on an 11.00 dial-in to claim the Eurodragster/Gold RV Perfect ET award as well as the Pro ET sponsorship scheme trophy and money. Two runs earlier, we had recorded an 11.0009 but on an 11.01 dial-in. We also managed to get through round one of eliminations. Here's hoping for a good Summernationals with plenty of sun.
Thanks to Eurodragster/Gold RV and the Pro ET sponsors, Toxico, A1 Motorstores, Hauser Race Cars, WASP, Alley Jax, Penn Autos, Black Bear Harley Davidson, Inkwell Printing, Real Steel and Motorshack.
Thanks to all the SPR crew for their hard work and also to 11th Hour events for the excellent service they gave - no power problems even with lots of rain.
31st May: Big congratulations to UK Top Fuel Bike owner Dave Newbery and rider Ian Carruthers on a storming 6.484/188.91, even with a broken blower belt in the second half of the track, in testing at today's Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. Rush now has his TFB licence. Thanks to Steve Horn for letting us know.
The post-Springspeed Festival points standings in the 2008 ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Thanks to our good friend Hannele Höydén for sending us version 1 of the official entry list for the FHRA Nitro Nationals, the next round of the FIA and FIM/UEM European and NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod Championships which takes place at Alastaro on 3rd-6th July. You can find the Nitro Nationals entry list here, in pdf format.
Web site updates.
31st May: Sportsman ET racer and web services provider Nigel Holland has updated his website with a gallery from the Main Event, which can be seen at www.nigelholland.co.uk.
Jamie Dyks has updated his website www.topnitro.fotopic.net with pictures taken from the spectator stands from last weekend's Main Event.
US Automotive to support Cacklefest.
31st May: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsors US Automotive have been given the enviable task of aiding the US invasion of Cacklefest Dragsters designated for the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This is the second occasion US Automotive have had the honour of supporting Drag racing 'show and go' displays at the Festival of Speed. On the last occasion, ex-Santa Pod Chief Starter Stu Bradbury and Pete Stafford were on hand to help with the needs of the assembled Fuel Altered contingent, supplying parts and assistance with burnout positioning and operation.
At this year's event on 11th - 13th July, US Automotive’s Technical Director Steve Trice and Stu Bradbury will be on hand, along with other UK Drag Racing experts that are getting to grips with the rebuilding of the Allard Dragster at present on display at Beaulieu Motor Museum.
Sales Director Pete Stafford says "We have been getting more and more involved with Drag Racing over these last few years. On the last FIA meeting at Santa Pod, we had an emergency call from the Swedish Armed Forces, sponsored Alcohol Funny car of Leif Andreasson for a set of main bearings. US Automotive were able to supply the correct specification bearings from stock, along with a selection of VHT cleaning products to help keep the operation running. If things keep going this way, we might just have to keep the odd Keith Black short engine on the shelf."
Stand-in Editor's note: Tune into Eurodragster.com tomorrow for an exclusive and detailed account of Pro Modified racer Graham Ellis's competition debut in the Plymouth Superbird at the Main Event.
Glen Walker's funeral.
30th May: UK Super Modified racer Paul Brooks has been in touch with details of the funeral of his Crew Chief and friend Glen Walker, who died at the weekend.
Glen's funeral takes place next Tuesday, 3rd June. At 1:00 pm the cortége leaves the Funeral Director:
J. Stamp and Sons
15 Kettering Road
Tel: 01858 462524
The funeral service takes place at 1:30 pm at:
Albert Munn Chapel
A wake/reception will follow at the Top Club in Market Harborough. Paul does not have the address at present but suggests that anyone who plans on attending should meet at the Crematorium at 1.30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be welcome to the Hayward House Cancer Care Trust, which is where Glen was looked after during his last few weeks. The Funeral Directors will be glad to accept cheques or cash donations and pass them on to the Trust.
First steps with Cannon.
30th May: The UK's Chris Hannam has been in touch to tell us about his first outing on his Supertwin which he acquired from Rob Van Geffen:
First and foremost I would like to thank Darren and Kjell of Santa Pod Raceway for not only supplying a most excellent track but for allowing me to run the at the test day. We had this all arranged and with their help I managed to secure the help of Gerard Willemse to get to grips with the rapid blown V-Twin.
As Thursday dawned with bright sunny weather to say that the nerves were twitching was an understatement but we were looking forward to it. The team of Neil Midgley, Al Smith and Mike Vickers all set about getting two bikes ready to race as Midgo was due to test the Funny Bike as well. So with the extra help of TJ O'Brien and Steve Venables we all manged quite well until we realised that Gerard was running late due to working on the King Racing Fuel Bike. I didn't want to run until Gerard had run his eye over the bike, but all came good and we got both bikes serviced and ready to run. There was quite good interest in the pits over the bike and over the weekend the feedback was good that people were glad to see this fast underdeveloped bike back out there.
Time was getting on and we got the bike fired up and boy what a bark, I really started to get the butterflies and as I suited up I thought "What are you doing, you've been off a bike for two years and a Fuel Bike for four years, are you mad?". The answer is we just need to feel the speed and adrenaline and when that stops I guess its time to give up. You see I sold the last bike prematurely and since working with Midgo I have learnt there is a great talent and desire to go Fuel bike racing and although it's not the desired four-cylinder route Neil is slowly fullfilling his ambitions as a rider and wants to further his knowledge of Fuel bikes so I thought it only fair to get him one to play with. As the bike lives with Midgo he will be in total charge of crewing and making all the tuning calls, this coupled with the help of chassie legend Al Smith and Mike Vickers is proving to be a very competent team and one I can work with. As we all know this sport ain't cheap.
So we were ready to go and I got the call to tow the bike down to the line. This was the first time I'd sat on the bike with my leathers on and it fit OK. We fired up the bike and I thought "Here we go" and the nerves just went. Did an OK burnout but I knew we weren't going too far down the track as I was caucious about the brakes etc. On the hit the bike took off very steady and I thought "Is something wrong" as Rob always had the clutch set soft, then bang the clutch timer came in and ripped my arms out of my sockets and I was on and of more times than a bride's nightie. This culminated in an eight-second pass. I was annoyed with myself but also happy and ready to give it all next time.
We got the bike serviced, ran Midgo and got back down to the line. This time was a feet on the pegs more controlled burnout and a rider who was ready. We staged and we were off again, still a soft sixty foot but I was ready for the charge that had me short shifting for second gear way too early but settling down for the run when the bike ran out of fuel then surged back in. That is when I shut the throttle around the eighth mile and broke a drive belt running 7.9/159.
On getting back to the pits we found an empty tank and a warped front disk thus curtailing our test, but giving me the incentive I need to spend some more cash. Next up is a new Racepak from Zodiac Racing in Holland and some new bling wheels and brakes from Performance Machine all held on by some Ohlins forks if the budget runs that far. This coupled with a new larger more efficient fuel cell and some frame mods by crew and chassis guru Al Smith we should be ready to go around September with a setup which can tell how bad the rider is really riding.
So there you have it. Cannon Motorsports will continue to support Midgo this year in his quest to become the fastest Funny Bike rider in the world which in itself is no easy task and hopefully leading to a full season next year in Europe and the USA with the Fuel Twin. It only remains for me to thank the whole team, track, commentators, King Racing, Eurodragster.com and Pete for the great pics and kind words of support. Hopefully we will do a better job next time out, with a nicer looking bike too.
The big bang which ended it all.
30th May: UK Super Comp racer Steve Wells' unfortunate start to the season culminated in a big bang in the burnout box on day one of the FIA Main Event. Steve got in touch to let us know what happened to his fan-favourite Pop pick-up:
On getting the Pop back to the pits, the big bang and blowback turned out to be a rod punching a hole in one side of the block and making a good attempt on the other side. This then wrecked the crankshaft, smashed through the camshaft breaking it into four pieces, punched a big hole in the lifter gallery and bent four valves, as well as destroying two pistons. This left us with six pistons (luckily I have four spares), two heads which need new valves, and the blower!
As the rain came down on Sunday we decided to come home and strip the engine. A new Rover block arrived yesterday thanks to Turner Engineering, and other parts are being sourced and ordered to get us back out as soon as possible.
Thanks to everyone who generously donated to our collection. It wasn't all bad news in Teamorange as our crew Jay and Miranda got engaged live on Nitro FM (thanks to Nigel). Congratulations to them both (Hear, hear - Ed).
We will keep our web site www.teamorange.co.uk updated on our progress. Thanks to Cam Autos for sticking with us.
Back out to play.
30th May: It's been a long time coming together but Marius Blackburn, Chris Gray and the Escape From Reality Pro ET team got the '23 T back together to go and play at the FIA Main Event.
"We arrived, got scrutineered then set about getting the car running as we hadn't had a chance to run our new motor due to late arrival of parts (who's been here?)", says Marius. "After missing some of the qualifying sorting it - we used more fuel in the pits than on the strip! - we finally got out onto the strip and not knowing what to dial we just went with what the car showed us. We missed out by ending up #33 but we learned that the new combination doesn't respond to changes like the old one, so it's back to the drawing board to try to sort it by the Summernationals!
"Thanks to you guys at Eurodragster.com and also Speedflow for the Perfect Light Award (You're welcome - Ed). Thanks also to the following for all their help in getting us to the strip: Bob Regis, crewman and sponsor for burning the midnight oil, using up his weekends and holiday time; Robin Baker at John Mack Haulage at East Dereham; Carl Davies at CWD Engineering at Shipdham, Norfolk for all his efforts at short notice; Alan at Engine Engineering at Great Yarmouth for last minute work; Art Reed at Coan Transmissions in the USA for building us a one-off torque converter; Terry Parker at Parker Industries in Australia for sharing his secrets; Dave Powell at Performance Unlimited for info and sourcing parts; Malcolm at USAutocare at Acle for sourcing parts; Tim Harris for welding our cylinder heads; all at the Nationwide Building Society for upping my overdraft; Carl Burton, all the Pro ET racers and all the guys who support the Pro ET Sponsorship Scheme; and Rachel Sturman, my long-time partner and fiancée for putting up with all of this! Sorry babe."
30th May: Nissan Skyline racer John Bradshaw has been in touch to thank everyone for the fantastic welcome he and his team received at the FIA Main Event. "We really didn't know what to expect and when we turned up Friday we just could not believe the size of the event", says John. "It was an incredible couple of days for us and the sheer scale and professionalism of the event and other teams was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we will be back on at least two more occasions this year and certainly further events next year. I was delighted the car gave a decent account of itself on the first two days and now we will get out the midnight oil and beaver away to improve it further. A huge thank you to all the Santa Pod staff for great organisation during the event, they really deserved to have had better weather. Fingers crossed for events later in the year."
UK Pro ET racer Steven Anderson has asked us to say a big Thank You to Six-Pack Speed Shop for the swift despatch of an SFI-spec damper so that he will be able to contest the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway in mid-June.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us Version 7 of the official SPRC Summernationals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. If you think you should already be on the list, or if you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry, then you can contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Winners of the 2007 National Championships in Sportsman ET and Super Street won complete sets of racing clothing supplied by Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars and Stroud Safety. The happy winners, shown modelling their prizes, are Lee Huxley and Bob Lees. This year's prize in the same classes is a single parachute set-up; details can as ever be found on the ARRC web site.
A very happy wedding anniversary to Colin and Ann-Marie Lazenby. Son Bradley will be eleven in December, so we can deduce that it must be at least twelve blissful years of marriage. "It's fair to say that without Ann-Marie's genuine love of the sport, and the fact that she likes me too, there's no way we'd be considering another comeback so soon after last year's crash and this year's engine expiry", says Colin. Happy Anniversary, and can you please hurry up and make up your minds about the next engine combination for the '56.
Also celebrating a special day today is Ros Groves, who deserves the Happiest of Birthdays for being kind enough to let husband Simon come out to play with his Eurodragster.com colleagues every time we knock on the door. Have a great day Ros.
30th May: UK Pro ET racer Carla Pittau says that it took a lot of work to bounce back every time and to attend every race in a season, at least for the Heaven & Hell Racing team:
We managed to get to the Main Event with two cars, including the Heaven & Hell As Well '84 Camaro which spun at the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Even though everyone seemed to think that the worn rear brake rotors must have locked up and caused the spin I kept thinking about a couple of anomalies and wondering if the transmission was OK. In the end I took it apart and found the sun gear snap ring had broken again, so I reckon lifting and tapping the brakes at the top end may have caused the fragments to lodge themselves in the planetary carrier, leading to a momentary lock up in the transmission. Am I glad I checked it! Although the bits were chewed up and embedded in the carrier, other fragments could have floated to the gears with the same result later on, possibly causing another disastrous failure, which I don’t really want to contemplate.
Unfortunately the impact at Shakey caused more damage than at first thought, and the frame needed to be straightened as well as the wings and bonnet needing repairs and painting. It seemed impossible to carry out the repairs in the very limited time available, but as always fellow racers came to the rescue. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the following people, without whose help we would not have made it to the Main Event:
Gary Springford of Drag Race Engineering for his very valuable help and for putting us in touch with Roger and Chris of Trickett's Autos in Romford (phone 01708 347288). Roger went well over and above the call of duty working over the weekend to enable us to collect the car on Thursday and producing an excellent job, especially in view of the stringent deadline. We would not hesitate to recommend Trickett Autos to anyone with a street or race car who needs a good, professional job at reasonable rates. Thank you Roger! Ian Marshall of Webster Race Engineering for swiftly locating and shipping the new front runners and calling to make sure they were received in time, and Betty Lamb of Lamb components for shipping the brake rotors from the US so promptly. Peter Lane who over the years has always been ready to come to the rescue providing help and advice and certainly did not fail us this time either, initially coming over to assess the damage and help take the front of the car apart and then spending seven hours with us on Thursday to replace the brake rotors and help us put the car together again.
We finished loading up at midnight and left for the track, getting to bed at about 3:30 am. After very little sleep we rolled into the pits early Friday morning. I missed the first qualifier while Peter Lane helped by Mike Lacey did the front end alignment. In the second session I was supposed to make a checkout pass, taking it easy with a soft launch and making sure all was well, but all felt so good in the burnout that I must have forgotten, as I ended up making the quickest pass at the time, running a 10.38 on a lazy 10.85 dial in, oops. What a relief to feel the car run straight and strong, I was just so happy to be at the Pod racing and managing to qualify in the thirty two car field, and even better to see all the people who were happy we made it! Despite a problem with a deflating slick the car kept getting better and finally netted a 10.14, albeit with a tail wind, which was one hundredth quicker than the engine had gone in the Heaven & Hell '70 Camaro, excellent results already. Unfortunately the 10.14 was on a 10.27 dial-in which resulted in a first round loss to Lee Huxley, my .07 reaction not cutting it against his .01, with a double break out going in Lee's favour .
Rick did a bit better by qualifying eighth, sixteen thousandths off his dial in, and pulling gorgeous wheelies as soon as he went back to the trusty Phoenix radial tyres, old but still very sticky. Alas both of the Heaven & Hell cars were to succumb in the first round, as Simon Rowland's quicker reaction decided the race in favour of the Formula Tanker dragster.
Well at least we had a race, whilst most other classes didn't, the weather was once more really cruel to drag racing, let's hope it gets better for the next rounds!
One thing that did get really better was the electricity supply. 11th Hour Events did a great job over the weekend, especially as we did have problems with out supply. Our crewman Dave asked them to sort it out and they swiftly came firstly to apologise and explain that it may take a little while to fix as they needed a spare, then they fixed it quicker than we expected and came round again to check if all was well, acting with speed, courtesy and efficiency. Top marks to that kind of service – things may go wrong, what’s important is how they responded to our call and how they dealt with the problem. Great company if I go by that experience. ELP stated that the racers were unreasonable and rude, perhaps some of us may have been, but the impression I got and the general consensus was of an unprofessional, unhelpful and inefficient response to any complaint. So thumbs up to 11th Hour Events, what a difference!
Thanks also to Jemma Harrison who is learning more every day, and who is prepared to work hard for the team as long as I don't crash again - she says she'll quit if I do that to her - to Dave Buckland for his calm and assured dedication and to Chris Buckland, Dave's wife, who is now a fully integrated member of Team Heaven & Hell and who looked after us and our visitors too, tirelessly producing excellent food and drinks as if by magic.
Roll on the Summernationals, we'll be back!
Wild Bunch review, preview.
30th May: The UK's Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows, writes with both an update from the Springspeed Festival and a preview of this weekend's Yanks American event at Shakespeare County Raceway:
At the Springspeed Festival we had a field of nine Wild Bunch cars competing, and were pleased to be pitted nearer the track opposite the NFAA teams. The space limitations proved ultimately beneficial, in that seven of the teams were able to arrange a display of their vehicles in a neat row which looked great, especially when the sun did come out! Like most classes we only had a couple of qualifiers due to the weather. Darren Law with the Wicked Lady rear-engined dragster came into the event with the Real Steel Series points lead. He started off with an excellent 9.554/142 on a 9.54 dial-in, good enough to take and keep the #1 qualifier for the rest of qualifying. Crazy Chris Hartnell in the Backdraft slingshot was back to wheelying good form recording a 9.284/142. We saw the welcome return of both Darryl Howells in the Chemical Reaction slingshot, and Terry Clifford in the Ratcatcher Resurrection after the damage sustained at the Easter Thunderball, and both safely qualified with some checkout passes. Eurodragster.com sponsor Ed Yates of DS Racewear was running the Dog's Bollock's Team RamRaider slingshot and recorded a 9.263/144, getting his near his best ever speed and qualifying second. Dave Rowlands with the Destiny's Angel altered and Mark Richardson with his Pony Express altered were both in only their second MSA events. Dave ran a new Personal Best ET and speed of 9.750/144 in qualifying, and Mark ran better than he expected all weekend, ultimately posting a new PB of 9.59/132 in the quarter-finals. Phil Sweeney was out for the first time in 2008 with his Bone Idle altered, hoping to pick up where he left off last season. He put in some low nine-second passes before getting back into the swing of things. We welcomed newcomer Keith Crampton to his first MSA event with the Wild Bunch in his beautifully finished Soultown Shaker slingshot, making his first ever passes and licencing runs and being voted Best Appearing Car and Team by the commentators who unanimously voted for the "Beautiful little slingshot with the pie crust wheels"!
Surprisingly, our first round of eliminations didn't start until after 5:00 pm on the Monday! Wicked Lady had the bye run as Darren was #1 qualifier and there were two all-slingshot matchups with Backdraft and RamRaider advancing to the quarter finals over Chemical Reaction and Ratcatcher Resurrection. There was an all T-bodied pairing with Bone Idle recording a strong 8.655 to take the win over Destiny's Angel. Newcomer Soultown Shaker recorded a PB 12.520, with more to come, against winner Pony Express. Our quarter-finals took place at about quarter to seven! Ed Yates had the bye run and Chris and Darren paired up for a re-match of the Easter Thunderball semi-finals. Chris reversed the fortunes of that race and took the win with a 9.386/140 on his 9.20 dial-in over Darren's 9.856/131.79 on his 9.54 dial-in, in a good-looking race. The other pairing of the round was an exciting race between Phil and Mark, with a battle of the breakouts, Phil breaking out on his 8.58 dial-in with an 8.563/149, the Fastest mph for the Bunch for the weekend. Mark also broke out on his 9.60 dial-in, but by just one thousandth, to take the win due to the lesser breakout! Nice race, guys! Unfortunately racing ended there so we didn't get to the semis.
Many thanks to all the track crew and officials at Shakespeare County Raceway, who worked hard against the elements to ensure that all the racers got in some of their eliminations, a great effort, and much appreciated!
The results from the Spring Speed mean that the current Real Steel Series Points leader is still Darren Law in the Wicked Lady dragster, with Chris Hartnell's Backdraft in second place.
The Yanks American event this coming weekend will be our fourth Real Steel round of the year, and our second Wild Bunch round, with eleven drivers currently on even points due to the first round rain-off in mid-April (with all the teams only gaining their attendance points). So with the weather forecast rapidly improving for the coming weekend, we are looking forward to a bigger field of anywhere from a dozen to twenty cars, including some first timers for the year, coming out of hibernation! Can former Series winners Tony Smith in The Cunning Plan Minivan altered or Mikey Cresswell in the Living the Dream slingshot give everyone a run for their money again, or can currently on-form Darren Law move up the order after his first Top Four last season, or his fellow Riot Racers of Dave Rowlands and Mark Richardson take their first event win? Will the slingshot quartet of Backdraft, Chemical Reaction, Ratcatcher Resurrection or Soultown Shaker come out on top, or will Gina and Scottie's Gas Racing Ruby-bodied Tiki Munki show them all the way to go? We really hope to find out on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
A Grandstand view of UK Cacklefest.
30th May: This year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will reverberate to the sound of nitro. As recently reported in National Dragster, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is shipping eleven historic dragsters to the Festival, and Don Garlits is expected to provide another.
Last year, Goodwood's cricket pitch hosted a land speed record display, complete with replica salt flats. This year, an early drag strip will be recreated to exhibit the cars and the pitch will be the site of daily cacklefests. The dragster display will include Mooneyes, returning to England forty five years after its first appearance here.
Eurodragster.com News sponsor Grandstand Motor Sports provides tours to the Goodwood Festival including hotel, coach transfers, admission and grandstand seating. Britain's premier motorsport travel company has a few places still available for guests from home and abroad. Bookings are also coming in for Grandstand's Drag Racing USA tour to NHRA's Las Vegas and Pomona races in November.
For full details of all Grandstand's motorsport travel programmes visit www.grandstandmotorsports.co.uk or click the logo at right.
Web site updates.
30th May: TheCaravanTube have posted three new videos of Swedish Pro Stock racer Adam Flamholc. You can check out the excellent video clips at www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-9J8h9khaM, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jfv2Fhx968 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=emG5PW0Qm08.
Our good buddy Sharkman has updated his web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with shots from the FIA Main Event. You can check out Shark's work at www.topendtales.com. Don't forget that you can purchase shots by Sharkman and others on the web site of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Supercharged Images at www.superchargedimages.com.
Another good friend, Jon Spoard, has updated his UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site with pictures from both the FIA Main Event and the Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. John's pictures can be found at www.ukdrn.co.uk together with a huge library of historic pictures, video clips, and a discussion forum.
Paul Lister has posted his first set of FIA Main Event pictures on his Dragcaranon web site at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
Pro Mod Challenge standings.
29th May: Marco Maurischat of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Exhaust-coating.de has been in touch with the standings in the European Exhaust-coating.de Pro Mod Challenge after the FIA Main Event:
For more information about the European Exhaust-Coating.de Pro Mod Challenge, check out our news item of 14th May or E-Mail Marco Maurischat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
29th May: Eurodragster.com News sponsor Chris Isaacs dropped us a line to let us know the extent of the engine damage to his beautiful Standard Vanguard during qualifying for the FIA Main Event:
Our first run on Friday morning was an easy, no-nitrous pass of 9.73, right about where we would expect to be. The second qualifier, this time on the bottle, felt fine until about 1000 feet when the car suddenly stopped accelerating and the engine suddenly sounded a bit rough. As I lifted off, I checked the oil pressure gauge (which read normal), but as I clicked the motor off and got into neutral the car filled with white smoke and the smell of burnt engine oil. "Hmm", I thought, "This is probably not good then". As I gently braked to a stop by the shutdown area wall the engine was making nasty clonking noises not unadjacent to the sound of rods flapping about willy-nilly inside (?) the block. Upon coming to a halt, the oil smoke which had gathered at the rear of the Vanguard's cabin suddenly engulfed me, and I thought "Actually, maybe I ought to get out sharpish in case the b*****d thing's on fire as well".
A quick glance underneath revealed dents in the bottom of the sump, and oil dripping from the headers - oh dear. A big thanks to the Santa Pod top end crew who were immediately on the scene and got the car off of the track with zero fuss, and didn't seem at all annoyed that I'd messed up their nice clean track. Back in the pits, my crew of George Georgiou and Chris Dixon were all in favour of stripping the motor then and there to assess the damage, so we dived in and pulled the motor down to the short block.
In the event, the damage was not as bad as first feared - in actual fact, the culprit was not a rod but either a piston or wrist-pin failure on number one cylinder, which then allowed the still-intact rod to rattle about against the bore and poke a big hole in the piston crown, whilst bits of shattered piston skirt and wrist-pin tried to escape through the bottom of the sump. The block and heads appear to be salvageable, so although we are probably out for the rest of the year we knew it could have been a lot worse, and we were all fairly upbeat for the rest of the weekend.
I would like to thank George and Chris for their loyal support as usual, also thank you to everyone who put money into our 'sympathy bucket' over the weekend, strategically positioned next to the sump of broken bits. And finally, thanks to the unknown person who stole the damaged piston out of the sump at some point on Saturday. I know the value of scrap metal is going up right now, but that's ridiculous...
See you all at the Summernationals.
In with the Hemi.
29th May: Matt Glassup of the UK's Xtreme Super Pro ET and NFAA team has been in touch to explain Bob Glassup's unusual engine configuration at the FIA Main Event:
After the success of our trip to the Hot Rod Reunion last October Bob was left pondering what to do next and I guess you could say left Bakersfield somewhat inspired by the number of Hemis we had seen assembled in the pits. It wasn't long after we arrived back that the perusal of web sites began and a hunt for a suitable engine or donor car was on. The idea was to find an engine capable of making a serious difference to the performance in order to achieve similar numbers to the Nitro boys in the NFAA. The class has come on leaps and bounds since it began and everyone is really stepping their game up and we certainly didn't want to be caught napping. After a quick call from our sponsor, Gold RV's Derek Flynn (pictured), the search was over.
Derek was going Top Fuel and had a beautiful car that was surplus to requirements, which fitted the bill perfectly. A plan was hatched to purchase the Gold RV set-up and perform an engine and transmission swap between the two, providing us with a Brad Anderson Hemi and Bruno Lenco set up for the altered and leaving us with a beautiful and very quick Chevrolet-powered Super Pro dragster to have a play with and put up for sale at the same time. Derek retained the Whipple blower from the Gold RV TMD and we needed to source a blower for the altered which again pretty much found us by way of a call from Luke and Andy Robinson. Bob was then the proud owner of a freshly rebuilt Kobelco K8 supercharger thanks to Kev Slyfield. In superb order, the Kobelco should be just the right bit of kit to help us achieve our aspirations.
With the altered "under construction" Richard and Lee at J&W Automotive toiled hard and got the engine from the altered into the rail ready for the Main Event. Derek and Fiona from Gold RV came along to help as did Mole, Jon and Sarah from the Gold RV camp.
Bob's first run at the Prp Peak Performance Day went well. Straight out of the trailer he did a healthy burnout, did a Pro Tree launch on a Sportsman Tree and shifted conservatively to a 7.4/192. A pump problem meant we didn't have another opportunity to run the car until Friday qualifying. In the fire-up road on Friday we found that the brakes were binding. Not enough to cause any real issue so Bob did a good burnout, backed up and went into stage. Feeling the brake pedal Bob brought the revs up on the line but couldn't hold it and the car slipped through the beams and as it was all a bit far gone he nailed it and settled in for the ride. We had no timing slip but the computer read out was impressive - there were 7.1 seconds of pedal-down action and Bob had kept it in over the line.
On our second qualifier on Friday the burnout was another good one but engaging forward drive had been tricky so we had to shut off and tow back. Saturday morning came round and it was our last opportunity to qualify so we decided to play safe with the gear selection issue and do a very short burnout taking out the need to reverse. Bob did this perfectly and lit them up and stopped short of the start line, unfortunately it just wasn't enough and the tyres lit up on the launch leaving us with a 7.9 but thankfully qualified. With the weather our opportunity to really see what the car could do never materialised but the data from the second run certainly looked impressive, it's just a shame we haven't got a ticket to prove it was!
Bob would like to thank all the crew for their hard work at the weekend: Lee, Rich, Tom, Matt and Holley. The Gold RV team: Derek and Fiona, Mole, Jon and Sarah. The catering team: Cathie, Tina and Leah. Where would we be without the ladies looking after us?
It's not long now till the Summernationals and Bob has very kindly passed the rail driving duties over to me for this event. It's been nearly ten years since I got to drive the Pro ET altered and to say I'm chuffed that he has given me the opportunity is an understatement. There is easily a six in the car and hope that I can put it up on the board for the team, I am only mildly terrified! So thanks Mum and Dad, massive, massive thanks!
We are looking forward to returning to the NFAA. We don't have a date set yet, but you can bet it won't be long before we get back to having some serious front engine fun. It's a really superb class with some lovely teams in the running, and it'll be great to get back amongst the guys and gals soon!
Perkins puts on a show.
29th May: UK B&H Automotive Street Eliminator racer Mark Perkins tells us that a phone call from SPRC Race Director Darren Prentice put an end to a peaceful evening at home and to a weekend for himself and team Dave Dunmore, Chris Perkins and Tom Perkins.
"Darren asked us to run some demonstration passes at the FIA Main Event with three other B&H Automotive Street Eliminator cars", says Mark. "As you can imagine this put us into a state of extreme excitement having been given a privileged opportunity. The main crew guy, Dave Dunmore, was on holiday with his wife Jeanette in Greece and following some frantic texting everything was in place. As the class wasn’t originally scheduled to run at the Main Event the car was at Webster Race Engineering having a fogger kit fitted. The timescale was very tight but as usual the WRE guys had the car completed, ready and waiting for us to collect on the Thursday prior to the event.
"Darren kindly allowed us to run on Friday but the pass was unfortunately interrupted by a very small electrical problem, which I had overlooked. Saturday’s great weather meant that we managed two passes and with a little nitrous tuning by Jon Webster we were creeping towards the eights again with a 9.0/159. Sunday and Monday were rain-affected, to put it mildly, and even with their heroic efforts the Santa Pod track crew couldn’t bring the track round and we weren’t to venture out again during the meeting.
"We would like to say a big thank you to Santa Pod for giving us this opportunity and hope that the few passes the B&H Automotive Street Eliminator cars ran gave the public an idea of what the street legal class is all about. The rain will never put us off and we’ll be back running at the Summernationals in June."
29th May: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us Version 6 of the official SPRC Summernationals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. If you think you should already be on the list, or if you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry, then you can contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Thanks also to FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for forwarding the post-FIA Main Event points standings in the 2008 FIA European Championships. You can check out the FIA points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here, or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Joint Eurodragster.com webcam sponsor Jon Webster will be riding a 9.50 Bike for Tim Blakemore's team starting at next month's SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway. We understand that Jon will be riding a street bike supplied by Kawasaki, Tim's sponsor. Tim has promised us more about this so stay tuned.
UK Super Street racer Nick Curtis has asked us to say a big Thank You to fellow SST racer Mark Watkins and his Crew Chief Nick for their help at the FIA Main Event. "As I was turning off the track road after our first run on Friday, I had a car full of smoke and thought I was on fire" says Nick. "I got out of the car in record time and killed the power. My wiring loom had welded itself to the cage. Got a tow back to the pits from Nick's car and before I could even get my fire suit off Mark was in there, found the problem, rewired it and said "Try it now". Sorted. Thanks mate I owe you one. On my next run I was with team mate John Ricketts and in the shutdown area his engine let go big style. Nick again came to the rescue with a tow back to the pits. Thanks again to Nick and Mark from John and I."
Ireland's Import for sale.
29th May: UK Import racer Dee Ireland has decided to sell his Supra, one of the fastest Japanese cars in the UK.
"The decision has not been an easy one but due to a new baby daughter, ongoing work commitments and the lack of sponsorship I have made my mind up to sell the car", says Dee. "The car has well over £60K invested so whoever buys it will be getting a true bargin. The car has just had a full engine rebuild done by ourselves, which will be good for at least two seasons' racing without having to put a spanner near it. The engine has just had new rings, six new liners, new bearings, shells, head gasket, etc. The engine was making well over 1100 bhp with the old spec, the new spec should make around 1300 bhp and possibly more. The main change is the turbo which is now much larger and is able to flow over 1100 bhp on its own. The car has ran a 8.6/159, this was again on the old set-up, with the new set-up I would say the car will run very low eights and maybe even a high seven! The car is still very heavy, 1390 kg with me in it, so there is scope for a good bit of weight loss as well. The car is in very good condition, the bodywork was fully resprayed just over eighteen months ago and the car has done very little since.
"I have had some great help from some of the best people in the drag racing game and I am sure we can pass on all the knowledge we have picked up and some very good contacts who will be more than happy to help. The car has been built to meet all the latest safety regs and has been inspected by the guys at Santa Pod and passed with flying colours. All the chassis work has been done by Webster Race Engineering, the cage, prop loop, flywheel scatter shield and window net are all to the MSA rule book. The car is a solid body vehicle with a back half so it has built proof reliability. I can give a full spec to anyone who is interested.
"The car is very well-known across Europe, it has been in most big mags, it has been on TV, and has won many many events with loads of scope for it to do even better. It was proven to do over 200 mph in one and a quarter miles from a standing start (only running 800 bhp then). This car is very very special and will be sold ready to race with many spare parts etc. The price of the car is fixed at £29,995 but I am more than open to offers on P/X, swaps and so on, as I am in the motor trade I may be able to move it on. If you are interested then please either call me on 01506 880411 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It breaks my heart to sell this car but needs must. I just hope whoever buys it has as much fun as I have."
Yanks Weekend preview.
29th May: The star spangled banner is poised to fly over Stratford-upon-Avon's Shakespeare County Raceway once more for the second coming of Yanks, this weekend's celebration of American street and strip muscle cars and thundrous drag racing, writes SCR's Promotions man Jerry Cookson
Supported by the National Association of Street Clubs and the American Vehicle Owners Club, last year's inaugural event attracted over 200 quality vehicles to the Warwickshire venue.
Top draw on the drag strip this year will be the awesome 200 mph Supercharged Outlaws - an American mix of the maddest blown nitro/methanol fuelled dragsters, altereds and radical doorslammers ever to grace god's Earth. Backing them up will be the cars that made American automobile legend Henry Ford a household name, the humble sit up and beg Ford Pop. But these are no ordinary Fords. These are 150+ mph Outlaw Anglia Fords and there are ten or so coming to entertain the crowds who love this kind of racing.
Supporting cast includes old time nostalgia from the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Flat Four Gasser VeeDubs with invited guests from Europe, the new 10.5 Muscle Car Power Tour in association with the Mopar EuroNationals crew, Show and Shine, and much more.
Yanks also welcome the thirtieth anniversary of Gary's Picnic, the longest-established street muscle event in the UK today. From its small origins in the seventies at Santa Pod Gary's Picnic must have travelled to every major track and show site in its thirty year history thanks to long time speed shop proprietor Gary Healey, the founder of Gary's Shack. Gary's retired now but his son Gary Jr now runs the repair business from Wimbledon in south London.
Last year's winner Al Simms took his Street Eliminator 572 ci Vauxhall Cresta to a thrilling heads-up win over Lee Denham's small block Capri in thrilling 440-yard money run shootout to the finish line. With the eight class trophies and prize purse in place again this year who's going to be the lucky winner of the 30th Anniversary prize pot?
Cool dudes in cool cars will be the order of the weekend as all makes and models are welcome to contest the strip and street Run What You Brung event of the year. There will be trade stands, Show'n'Shine, Rumble'n'Jumble, bands (line-up includes The Cookie Monsters and The Infirmed), bar and disco, all for a weekend ticket of just £20. RWYB Track fees are £20 per day or £35 for a weekend of unlimited V8 fun.
For further information visit www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk or www.rodandcustom.co.uk.
Gullquist's bad weekend.
28th May: 2007 FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullquist says that he and his team had a pretty bad weekend at the FIA Main Event, but that he knows that other teams had a worse time. Micke has also given us his account of the decision to re-run his first round race with Marko Lantto which led to some controversy and, as is usual in such situations, rumour:
Running only two qualifying runs at the season opener, on a cold virgin track, is not the best way to start the season and a number of normally strong racers failed to qualify. Believe me, I know that feeling and you just want to bury yourself ten feet under the ground. You start thinking "Why did I do it that way, I should have done it the other way" and it's a tuners nightmare.
I was lucky to get down the track on the last qualifying run on Saturday, even if it was pretty much sideways most of the run, placing us in ninth qualifying spot with a 6.39. Then a full day of rain followed on Sunday with no more qualifying runs. On Monday morning I was lined up against Marko Lantto as the first pair to go out on the cold track, with a temperature around 53 Fahrenheit. We had softened everything on the car to get down the track. Marko in his lane had major problems after his burnout as his Lenco broke, leading to his having to launch in third gear.
When I let the clutch out my car was skating around and shaking and I pedalled it several times, but I did not see Marko so I continued trying to get it to hook up but after half track it started to pull me towards the centreline. I could not get it back and avoid crossing the line and I took out the thousand foot reflectors whilst Marko came flying by on my right hand side. After getting out of my car I found my front end was badly damaged from hitting the reflectors. I had a chat with Marko, who told me that his Lenco had broken and that the clutch had totally melted down on the run. The top end crew asked if I was OK and I replied "Yes I'm OK, but my car isn't and the track isn't either".
Then I went back to the pits and the guys started to prepare the car for loading in the trailer and I was sitting inside the trailer looking at the data from the run when a race official told me that Race Control had realised that the preparation of the track was not good enough and that they had done more track prep before letting anyone else out to run. As a result of that they had taken the decision to re-run the first pair after the others. Because of the damage to my car I was not sure we could do that, but my guys did a quick damage assessment and immediately started thrashing to fix the damage. Marko told me that they had problems getting the car ready in time, but I told him I would do anything to stall it to get them ready.
It was a situation I had not been in before, and I was not part of any decision, and I never spoke to anyone suggesting a re-run. The bad thing was that because the rain started before we could re-run, not every pair had run and so it did not count as a complete round. A while later I asked the race officials if there was any way they could change their decision back, but I was told that when a decision is taken it can't be reversed. Then I heard stupid rumours going around saying that I had protested my run and that that was the reason for the re-run. Never in my drag racing career have I protested anything, and I have gone out in the first round many times before, so the whole deal makes me a bit tired. I had my car smashed up, which I had a part in myself, and I was handed a decision by the race officials which I had no part in whatsoever and which I couldn't change, and I got a lot of blame from some of the other racers. That was certainly a bad day.
Editor's note: We would not normally breach confidences since we are guests in Race Control but, given that Micke is on the wrong end of rumours about this incident, we will say that your reporting team in Race Control on Monday certainly never saw Micke there after his race against Marko. Hopefully that fact combined with the above will put an end to the stories.
Sweeney bounces in.
28th May: UK Super Pro ET and Wild Bunch racer Phil Sweeney has been in touch to express his thanks to Santa Pod Raceway's top end crew who helped him after an incident in his Bone Idle altered on Friday:
On my third qualifier I went through the top end on a normal run, on a 8.8 dial in with a terminal speed of 150 mph. When I came off the throttle the car was bouncing more than normal and started bouncing left to right from the rear, getting progressively more violent and bouncing higher and harder, throwing me around like a rag doll in the process. I was convinced it was going to dig in and roll on each bounce, so was preparing for the worst, but thankfully it straightened out but landed hard, fortunately the right way up.
I pulled the car over to the wall and jumped out as I didn't know if it had damage. I was immediately met by the top end crew who pushed the car off the track to a safe place and saw to it that I was OK. Aside from feeling like I'd been kicked in the back by a horse and having a nice lump on my shin, I was fine. The cause of this has yet to be determined but we think it's a combination of a dip in the right lane just before the finish, a sidewind, and my braking too harshly with the car unsettled.
The car was undamaged but after pulling out all the stops to be there, and with the disappointing weather, we're going to have to sit out the Summernationals and allow the bank balance to catch up. Once again thank you to the top end crew for getting over to me and making sure I was OK.
Hunter's hot run.
28th May: Also having a bit of a time of it at the FIA Main Event was UK Pro ET racer Neil Hunter, who suffered a fire in his nine-second Seven year Itch Capri after the oil filter blew off at the top end. However Neil managed to come back on Monday morning and win his first round of eliminations and he wrote to tell us what happened:
Easter was a good meeting for us, Personal Bests falling all the time and a semi-final appearance to boot. The Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County was a different outcome, blown head gaskets on the only run, engine damage in the pits on a warm-up, not to mention the caravan bodywork destroyer. We hoped that our bad luck was over.
Then the Main Event was upon us. Repaired engine after some wise words from Jerry (Grim Beeper) Smith and Geof Hauser, new race fuel combination, and we were ready for action. All was going so well, number sixth qualifier in the oh so tight Pro ET field. Then on Saturday morning on qualifier number five the oil filter decided it was time to part company with the remote housing at 139 mph (and a 9.68 PB). The car filled with smoke, oil lights on and the instruments disappeared. It was getting hot in there and it was time to leave. A big thanks to Angie, Trev and all the rest of the Santa Pod fire crew (can't remember the other names) for what you did for me that day. I can't thank you enough even though you say "It's OK mate, it's our job". It takes something like that to realise what you folks do down there.
A big thanks also to Carl Burton and the rest of the Pro ET racers who were supportive in times of need, and to Geof Hauser for getting the parts available for us to race and to take a round win on Monday morning.
FIA Main Event FIM/UEM review.
28th May: FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with the first of this year's post-event reviews:
It was been a weekend with all sort of weather from warm to rain and cold winds. The rain started on Sunday morning and had not stopped when I left England. At half past two on the Bank Holiday Monday we aborted the meeting. At that time had many of the teams packed up and was ready to leave.
When I arrived on Thursday for the safety inspection of the track it was in excellent condition. Since we only managed to do qualifying on Saturday not so much happened. But in Pro Stock Bike it showed that this year is going to be a very interesting year. One more G2 Buell in the hands of Ulf Ögge sounded very good, but he had some problems with the gearbox. But Tom Tinndahn showed that he will be strong this year. Tom made the number one qualifier and the man from Åland, Fredrik Fredlund, was number two.
A little about Top Fuel Bike. Eric Teboul went out and showed eveeryone with a 6.29 run that he is one of the fastest in Europe. Steve Woollatt made the number two and Rickard Gustavsson was number three. The most remarkable thing was that Ian King did not manage to qualify this year either. But with all the rain this didn't mean so much for the Championship. He did the same last year but managed to win the Championship anyway.
In Super Twin Anders Charrley Karling returned with his new bike. A small fuel leak stopped him from qualifying but the bike did sound good. But at this event it was Lorenz Stäuble and Gunther Sohn who were at the top as they were several times last year. Two Norweigans in the next spots, and then Tommy Möller who was driving a Top Fuel car has now changed to Super Twin Bikes.
This was a short report from the first event. This text is almost a copy from last year when the weather also behaved badly. The next event is at Alastaro in Finland. Hopefully we will nave a nice race in the land of thousand lakes.
Lars has also provided the post-FIA Main Event European Championship standings which you can find on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here, or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
28th May: Nobby Hills Racing's Houndog Fuel Funny Car will be in attendance at this weekend's Gary's Picnic at Shakespeare County Raceway and will be fired up on nitro during the weekend.
Timing data update.
28th May: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the official timing data from the weekend's FIA Main Event. You can check out the FIA Main Event timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Wayne Schreier of Shakespeare County Raceway's Tech Crew for filling two gaps in our archive of timing data, namely the data from the 2006 and 2007 Open Sport Nationals at SCR. Again you can access this timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
28th May: Eurodragster.com reserve Photographer Peter Donaldson has updated his Fotopic gallery with more FIA Main Event shots, this time from Saturday. You can check out Peter's pictures at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
Also updating a Fotopic gallery with FIA Main Event pictures is Sue Whyte of drag racing sponsor Motorshack whose shots you can find at suewhyte.fotopic.net.
Last with an FIA Main Event update for today is Paul castle who has posted shots from the weekend at www.freewebs.com/grandpastoyracing.
As a result of a couple of queries and what can be diplomatically described as an incident at the weekend we have updated the Event Coverage section of the Eurodragster.com Frequently Asked Questions page. You can check out our Event Coverage FAQ by clicking here or by clicking on the Eurodragster.com FAQ link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Editor's note: We have a small backlog of news items which we will post on tomorrow's update; please keep those FIA Main Event reviews and other news coming to email@example.com and we'll post it here.
27th May: We were very sorry to hear from UK Super Modified racer Paul Brooks that his best friend and Crew Chief Glen Walker passed away on Sunday evening after a long battle with cancer. Glen was 47.
"Glen was my Crew Chief and best friend, or should I say he is and always will be", says Paul. "Without Glen I probably would have given up a couple of years ago when my engine blew and then the chassis failed the new regs, but Glen wasn't ready to quit. Drag racing is made up of a lot of characters, and Glen was one of them. Anyone who knew him liked him. He loved drag racing, and was dedicated to Super Modified. He crewed for a number of fellow SuMo racers during our enforced lay off, who will all no doubt miss him. He was always ready to help anyone that needed it, even those who weren't Mopar.
"Glen leaves two teenage sons, Zak and Blaise, and his loved partner, Karla.
"God bless mate, and keep those tune ups to yourself until I see you again."
Paul will send details of Glen's funeral, which will be in the Nottingham area, when it is arranged. In the meantime our deepest sympathies to Zak and Blaise, Karla, Paul and all of Glen's family and friends.
FIA Main Event rained out.
27th May: Round one of Pro ET and FIA NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified eliminations were all that the weather allowed to take place at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday. After wiping out some of Saturday's and all of Sunday's qualifying the rain came back as the first pair of Top Fuel Dragsters were burning out. The rain never eased up and Race Director Darren Prentice had no option but to call a halt.
Although the event was wrecked by rain, three new European records were set:
Pro Stock ET: 6.766 seconds, Jimmy Ålund
Pro Stock speed: 204.95 mph, Jimmy Ålund
Pro Modified speed: 230.29 mph, Urban Johansson
In addition the FIA Pro Stock field was the quickest ever with the #8 qualifier a 6.944.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award was won by Pro ET racer Marius Blackburn and the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award was won a couple of pairings later by fellow Pro ET racer Paul Baynton. Former SPR Race Director Syc McDonald donated an extra £20 to the Perfect ET Award and has left us with the same amount to add to the Award at the FIA European Finals, thanks Syd! Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals in mid-June.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored FIA Main Event coverage by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event.
FIA Main Event thanks.
27th May: UK Pro ET racer Rick Denny has asked us to thank those who helped after he broke the prop to axle UJ on his Firebird.
"Thanks to Paul Letchford for towing the car back to the pits, and Scottie from Reading for lending me his van so that I could go home to get a spare propshaft (which didn't fit)", says Rick. "Thanks to John Morris, Carl Burton and Rick McCann for their offers of help. Some damage has been done and I will have to change some parts, so I will miss the Summernationals but I'll hopefully be back for the European Finals."
Teresa and Paul Letchford would like to thank everyone who stopped to offer help on Sunday on their way home. "On the journey home the orange Camaro lost oil pressure and the engine had expired, fortunately no rods were lost", they say. "The AA brought the car home. It was such a rollercoaster weekend with problems with both cars. We'd finally made progress with the Pro ET Camaro, getting it to run in a straight line and get that all important eleven-second run. It could potentially be the end of this year's racing for Teresa. We're both absolutely gutted."
Web site updates.
27th May: Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger has updated his Nitro Exposure site with pictures from the FIA Main Event as well as a couple of vintage shots, which you can find at www.nitroexposure.co.uk.
Markus Münch has updated his web site with pictures from the FIA Main Event. You can check out Markus' shots at www.dragstripper.smugmug.com.
Dick Bodily is next up with the FIA Main Event pictures, in his Fotopic gallery at dicksphotos.fotopic.net.
Dave Grabham's FIA Main Event shots can be checked out at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk.
Finally for the FIA Main Event updates, Julian Hunt has posted pictures at www.julianhunt.net.
Rick Cuthbert writes to let us know that a YouTube clip has been posted of the quickest-ever side-by-side run by Japanese cars in the UK. "Shot by David Coleman at the PTM Show on 11th May, thsi video features Steve Whittaker driving a Toyota Supra (built by Webster Race Engineering) and John Bradshaw driving a Nissan Skyline (built by Andy Robinson Race Cars), both cars using six-cylinder turbo engines", says Rick. "This was the final qualifying session from the day, which is Steve's excuse for his dreadful reaction times!". You can view the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=z38G4aDqVK4.
26th May: Our congratulations and best wishes to Werner and Heidi Habermann on their silver wedding anniversary, which falls today (Monday). Werner and Heidi are spending their special day at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, where sons Timo and Dennis are racing in Top Methanol Dragster and Competition Eliminator respectively.
Web site updates.
26th May: First with the FIA Main Event photo updates is Gwynn Clark whose shots from Saturday you can find at www.pbase.com/slimboyfat/main_event_08.
Next up is Jamie Dyks who has updated his Fotopic gallery with shots from last weekend's pre-FIA Main Event testing. Jamie's Test Weekend pictures are at topnitro.fotopic.net.
Eurodragster.com Reserve Photographer Peter Donaldson has also updated his Fotopic gallery from pre-FIA Main Event testing, in this case Thursday's Pro Peak Performance Day. You can check out Peter's pics at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
Finally for today's update and again with a Fotopic update is Colin Donisthorpe who has posted shots from Friday and Saturday at colindonisthorpe.fotopic.net.
25th May: Santa Pod Raceway's General Track Manager and track prep supremo Kjell Pettersson has announced his departure from Santa Pod Raceway after twelve years. Kjell is to take up a non racing-related job in his native Sweden although he will still be involved in the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park in July. We will have a proper chat with Kjell when he is not quite so busy with the FIA Main Event but in the meantime we're sure everyone will join us in wishing Kjell all the very best for the future and on a personal note we would like to thank Kjell for all the help he has given Eurodragster.com in the last ten years.
eXplosion Drag Racing Club Race Secretary Annemieke has been in touch to let us know that due to an error in the on-line entry form all racers entered in Super Pro ET at the forthcoming event at Drachten have been listed in Super Comp. If this affects you then please drop Annemieke a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Heaven & Hell Racing crew member Jemma Harrison. Hope you have a great day Jemma.
24th May: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us Version 5 of the official SPRC Summernationals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. Entry closed on Friday so if you still wish to race at the event then you will have to pay a 100% late entry fee don't say that we haven't been warning you all week. If you think you should already be on the list, or if you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry, then you can contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
UK Fuel FC team Nobby Hills Racing are seeking crew. "The car is finished, testing is underway but we need some crew members to help us complete the testing and get the car racing", says Chris Blows. "Experience with fuel cars would be useful, but of more importance is the ability to learn and be a loyal, dependable and hard working team player. You should be able to devote the necessary time to work on the race car, both at race meetings and between races. It is located in Biggleswade Bedfordshire, so being close or able to travel would be very important. If you are interested in joining the team, or if you know someone who is, and think that you fulfil the requirements, please drop us an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a telephone number and we'll get back to you."
Our very best wishes to our good buddy Magnus Cato who is recovering from heart bypass surgery. Magnus' wife Martina says that the surgery went well and that Magnus was even up for a walk around yesterday. Get well soon Magnus. Must be the weekend for it as Jeanette Webster also asked us to send love and best wishes to her dad John who has had a pacemaker fitted but who still insisted that the Websters went racing this weekend. You take care John.
Go to Skool and learn Fuel.
23rd May: UK Top Fuel Dragster team McDonald Racing have announced FuelSkool, a range of Top Fuel training and experience days which will provide a unique opportunity for fans or aspiring crew members to become fully informed and hand-on with the with the ins and outs of Top Fuel racing.
"FuelSkool courses will cover a range of contect from the basic to the technical, and are aimed at the interested race fan to be able to get more from their racing experience", says Stuart McDonald. "Courses will take place in our large workshop where a complete race-ready Fuel car, equipment, parts etc are available to be worked upon. There will also be a classroom area for the presentation of technical information and multimedia. You will require no technical knowledge or training as we will guide you through.
"Further courses will be availalbe for those who would like to experience specific areas of the car at first hand such as clutch, cylinder head, bottom end and more."
We will be reporting more on this exciting project shortly; in the meantime stay tuned to its official web site at www.fuelskool.com where more details will be posted.
23rd May: This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been increased to £70 thanks to a contribution from former Santa Pod Raceway Race Director Syd McDonald. Many thanks to Syd for his donation.
All the news from Finland.
23rd May: Our good friend Hanski tells us that the first event of the year at Finland's Motopark started well, with five rounds of eliminations on the Saturday. "It was freezing cold but the sun was shining, so you ended up with a burned face, but your feet and fingers were frozen", says Hanski. "Unfortunately Sunday was rained out". As for how the Motopark looked on the Thursday before the event, the picture tells the tale. "You guys had winter racing at Easter, but we do that in May here" says Hanski.
Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Air Sea Logistics are again the choice of freight forwarder for a European racer. Finnish Pro Stock racer Rickard Sundblom engaged ASL to airfreight his Pro Stock motor from US NHRA Pro Stock racer Greg Stansfield, and rear end third members from Indy Gear in Indianapolis. "Richard call us last Tuesday to ask if we could arrange pick up and airfreight of his new engine from Greg Stansfield's shop in Bossier, Louisiana and third members from Indy Gear's shop in Indianapolis to the UK for the first round of the 2008 FIA Championship at Santa Pod this coming weekend", said Air Sea Logistics MD Malcolm Francis. "Richard has been a customer of ours for a couple of years now and we are always pleased to help him. We wish him good luck for this year's FIA Pro Stock Championship."
Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Janne Ahonen will be contesting two FIA European Championship events this season, the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro and the NitrolympX at Hockenheim. Janne will be driving one of Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragsters at these events and the Eagle Racing team will also attend the Veidec Festival and FIA European Finals with another Finnish driver in the seat as the Eagle team are learning how to tune a Top Fueller. Crew Chief will be Ben Allum and the team has plenty of nationalities including Finnish, Norwegian and English. is Crew Chief for the whole season and the team has no plenty nationalities: english-finnish-norwegian. Janne is not attending the FiA Main Event because his family has an imminent new arrival, and the whole Eagle Racing team is eagerly waiting to see whether the baby will be Lady or Mister Dragster Baby. Best wishes to Janne and his family.
Web site updates.
23rd May: Tim Fountain has updated his web site with photographs from the Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. The gallery contains a mix of on- and off-track shots and can be found at www.timtime.co.uk.
One thing at once for Page.
22nd May: UK Fuel Funny Car pilot Gary Page has a relatively quiet weekend at this weekend's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, as all he has to do is to drive a Funny Car. It is not unknown for Gary to drive one car and be working on another at the same event, but at this weekend's race he will be driving Kenneth Lorentzon's Mongoose Performance Exhausts, Pennzoil and Man Truck-sponsored Funny Car and doing nothing else.
"I usually work with Micke Kågered and I worked with him at Santa Pod last weekend", Gary told Eurodragster.com. "Micke is very happy with the way things went and I really hope he does well this weekend. But this weekend I will be concentrating one hundred per cent on the Funny Car, which is rare because usually I am rushing around like a blue-arsed fly. It's a shame that there aren't more Funny Cars here this weekend but Spuff and I will put on a show and maybe there will be more at the Finals. Kenneth and the team and I have a lot of small jobs to do on the car and we hope to put in a test run on Friday."
Gary told us that he has been enjoying the FIA Main Event previews here on Eurodragster.com. "It's interesting to read people saying how good they are", he said. "Maybe when they go out and do it they can say that. If some of them pedal any more then they'll have to put a bell and a water bottle on the car and wear Lycra shorts!"
King Kong...I am your brother.
22nd May: FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullquist comes into this weekend's FIA Main Event with a strong record of five final round appearances in the last seven events. Micke says that he is confident that he can give his competitors a hard time in 2008 too.
"I'm sure it's not going to be easy and I'm sure we will have some hard times, but I hope we can keep going like we have in the past", says Micke. "I have a great team with hard-working guys like Samuel Nordström, Janne Carlsson, Freddy Nyholm and Timmy Wiming. Freddy 'Turbo' Westerlind, who has helped a lot with the pre-season preparation, has been forced to stay home because of illness (Get well soon Freddy - Ed).
"I get really excited looking at the Pro Mod entry list for the 2008 FIA Main Event, because there have never been more Pro Mods at the first event of the year in Europe. I can even extend that and say that this is the biggest Pro Mod field in the world so far this year, as far as I know. The biggest field in Europe is normally at the event at Mantorp Park in Sweden and I predict a monster sized field there this year.
"We tested at Santa Pod last weekend and we tried some new things, with success in some areas and not-so-good results in others. The Chevy Hemi 'King Kong' which we ran last year has got a new, mean little brother named 'Ping Pong'. We will for sure shoot for a high position in the final qualifying list on Sunday, but anything could happen and we have failed to qualify before. These cars are mean and if you get slightly outside the set-up window it's like riding a rodeo bull.
"Thanks to NordicLAN, WNT and Lucas Oil for keeping us running for another European Championship."
22nd May: The paint job on UK Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson's blown-alcohol Studebaker was finished at the start of this week with the application of lettering by Neil Melliard, and now the 6.1-second car is headed to Santa Pod Raceway for today's Pro Peak Performance Day. Stefani Robinson tells us that Andy and Luke Robinson went to Santa Pod yesterday to set up, to be joined by most of the crew for today's test, and the rest of the team will follow tomorrow. "We are all very excited about racing again and having the paint finished has really topped everything off", says Stefani. "The new paint is still similar to the previous paint job, more of an updated version with some added extras. We would like to say thank you to Neil Melliard from Prosign and to Tony Gabriel from BodyTone for their hard work over the last couple of weeks to ensure the car is looking its best for the Main Event!"
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us Version 4 of the official SPRC Summernationals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. Standard-price entry closes tomorrow (Friday). You can download the SPRC Summernationals entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you think you should already be on the list, or if you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry, then you can contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
UK Supertwin racer Ian Turburville says that he will be bringing Simpson shoes, nomex underwear, visors, T-Shirts, mechanics gloves, ballistic vests, TF driver's gloves, Funny Car boots and Impact helmets to the FIA Main Event but no Simpson helmets, unless already ordered. "I also have a couple of sets of Hans clips and can fit them on site", says Turbo. "Anyone who wants a Doug Vancil die cast has got until midday today to tell me - best in the world, just one left. I had a bit of a panic after fitting a brand new motor for this event then realising I had no bearings for a standard crank, but I was overwhelmed with offers of help from everyone in the drag racing community. From Pro Mod and Methanol Dragster to NFAA racers, the response to the Eurodragster.com plea was heart warming. Thanks everyone! The old motor has now been fitted with new cylinders, pistons, bearings and rods, everything checked over and it is for sale at a knock down price. So if anyone wants a 160 ci Overkill motor with spares come and see me, these motors are pretty bulletproof and will give years of fun. This one has run 6.6 in Canada before I got it at 218 mph! I also still have the little 114 ci billet Shumaker motor, the predecessor to the Overkill, at a give-away price. The Red-Race trailer is still for sale and has everything you need to race any bike".
A very Happy Birthday to UK Funny Bike racer Tim Blakemore. "We will of course be bringing a barrel of 'Prapper wess coun'ry zider' to the Main Event and all are welcome to join us at our pits for a drop to celebrate!" says a representative of Tim Blakemore Racing operating without a safety net or interpreter. Have a great day Tim. Happy Birthday, too, to Outlaw Bike owner Stephen Moon who is we understand celebrating in a similar fashion. Have a great day Stephen.
Kings of Nitro preview, review.
22nd May: The various European versions of the Discovery Channel will soon be echoing to the sound of two nitro motors and a Harley destroyer as the Reality TV series Kings of Nitro - which follows a season in the life of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Urs Erbacher, his racing team, and his business Fat Attack Custom Bikes - starts broadcast. The series was filmed at Urs' home base in Arlesheim in Switzerland as well as England, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA. The producers of the series are The Gamma Project whose Director of Sales and Development Nina Carbone kindly sent details of the series as well as an episode for review:
Kings of Nitro follows Team Erbacher's bid to become European Champions in all three drag racing divisions and to fulfil Urs' ultimate ambition to race in the big bucks American NHRA pro league. But drag racing is expensive and back in Switzerland, Urs' Fat Attack Custom Bikes shop finances the team's racing dreams. Here Urs and his fellow racers build some of Europe's most celebrated custom bikes. Urs does his best to run a tight workshop, but with the distractions of racing, raising sponsorship for the team's American dream and family pressures, nothing ever goes quite to plan.
The series is made up of eight episodes:
Episode 1, Life In The Fast Lane: Urs' dream is to be crowned European Champion this year and take on the big boys in the USA. But with just a few weeks to go before the first Championship race of the season, Urs Erbacher still doesn't have enough cash to go racing. So he's organising an open day at his custom bike shop in Switzerland and inviting along every millionaire biker he knows.
Urs' entire extended family of mechanics, engineers and racers turn up to entertain the crowds with test rides, burnouts and demonstrations of their dragsters – but the pressure's really on. Urs and his uber-salesman Didi need to sell at least three of his 150,000 Euro custom Harleys to get the year off to a good start.
Next, tension runs high as Urs and his team of tattooed nitro-head men and women arrive at the famous Santa Pod drag strip in the UK for what turns out to be a highly explosive pre-season event.
Episode 2, Money Makes The Wheels Go Round: It's the start of the 2007 drag racing season and already Urs Erbacher is worrying about money. A massive engine explosion in pre-season has got his year off to the worst possible start. It's going to take serious money to get back on track and that means selling a load of custom bikes.
But his youngest mechanic Sascha has other plans; he's bought a 1980s sports car and is spending all his time souping it up. The boss is not pleased, especially when he receives an audacious challenge to his own motor racing skills from his young apprentice.
Plus, Urs delivers a custom bike to a wealthy and successful client at Switzerland's most stunning top ski resort and tries to cut a deal for the sponsorship to fulfil his ultimate dream to race in America at the end of the season. Will his dream go up in smoke?
Episode 3, Serious Fun: It's a week of high stress and big laughs at the Fat Attack workshop in the build up to two important drag races. Harley Destroyer Champion and errant mechanic Sascha's attempt to find his own sponsor backfires, while salesman Didi is stuck in hospital with a recurrence of his serious leg injury. All this leaves Urs stressed out and running round in circles – what could the team at the bike shop possibly come up with to cheer him up?
Sascha's soon off to the Czech Republic for his next Harley Destroyer race. With no Top Fuel Dragsters around, he revels in being the star attraction, but risks taking his eye off the ball.
Back in Arlesheim, a sexy bike photo shoot for a new advertising campaign is just the tonic Urs needs before he heads to round two of the European Championship in Finland. With Urs' Pro Crew Chief unable to make the trip from the States, the team will have to prove they can go it alone.
Episode 4, Growing Pains: Urs Erbacher needs to evolve to make the grade as a professional drag racer. He starts by raising home support at a huge grass roots racing event in the Swiss Alps. Urs has only one thing on his mind – breaking records. It's also the third round of the European Championships in Sweden and a chance to break away from the pack. But can his team continue the success of the last event in Finland?
Chief custom bike salesman Didi is furious after finding out that Urs used sexy female models to publicise his new bike. Didi thinks the bike business needs to raise its game and stop using cheap tricks.
Plus, young Harley Destroyer racer Sascha tries his hand at four wheel racing in the street legal hot rod he's been working on all summer.
Episode 5, Driving Ambition: Urs' season is on the brink – teetering between glory and failure. This week he begins an ambitious new custom bike project that could take him into the premier league of international custom builders. And at Hockenheim in Germany Urs has to solve the technical problems on his Top Fuel Dragster, and seal the deal with his potential sponsor for racing in the States.
Urs' top bike builder Lo has been talking about building their own custom bike frame, based on racing technology, for years – but in a make or break year for the racing team, is now really the time to start on such an ambitious project?
In Germany, in front of a roaring crowd that embrace him as their own, Urs needs the race of his life to keep his driving ambitions on track.
Episode 6, Never Give Up: It's the European drag racing finals at Santa Pod in England and crunch time for Urs Erbacher. His American dream is so close he can smell it, but screw up in Santa Pod and it could all be over. Last month, his European record was snatched by Andy Carter, and rival Lex Joon took what looks like an unassailable lead in the European Championship. But Urs never gives up.
Meanwhile, Didi, the chief salesman at Fat Attack Bikes is also having a tough week. He's off to the biggest custom bike event in Europe, but he doesn't have a star bike to enter in the prestigious best in show competition. With most of the team off racing at Santa Pod, Didi's going to need all his cunning to get out of this mess.
Can Urs and Didi get their acts together in the craziest week of the year – and will Urs and the Top Fuel team pull off a miraculous last minute bid for glory?
Episode 7, Viva Las Vegas: It's the moment that Urs has dreamed of all his life. He's taking on the fastest race cars in the world – the Top Fuel Dragsters of the American professional league. His sponsor has come through and the dragster has been shipped out at vast expense to compete in this glitzy Las Vegas event. Urs' goal is simple – he can't expect to win, but what he needs is maximum impact. This is his chance to get noticed - in front of a crowd of 100,000 fans and potential new sponsors – and to get financed to go Pro next year.
Just racing here is a result for the team. And they're determined to prove they've got what it takes to be competitive, and have fun while they're at it! It's David and Goliath time!
Episode 8, Dream Machine: Team Erbacher unveil the new custom bike they've been planning all series. After achieving his dreams on the track, Urs is back at Fat Attack, and he has just one goal: to build a revolutionary custom bike with sports bike performance, and pit it against Europe's number one bike builder in a biker build off. Urs has always dreamt big, but this time he's taken on Marcus Walz – possibly the only man in Europe with an ego bigger than his. Sparks are going to fly as they battle it out for the title of best bike builder in Europe.
Four years on the drawing board, twelve months to prepare, and just two days to put together, the story of its creation weaves together a sensational season of racing, revolutionary bike design, and the clash of two massive egos at the first ever European Biker Build Off. A fitting finale to this season on Kings of Nitro.
The Gamma Project kindly sent us a review copy of Episode 3, Serious Fun, and here are Tog's thoughts:
With Reality TV you have to accept that certain things are going to happen. For example, everyone has to have a character or role and is going to be portrayed that way whatever. So Urs is the occasionally-stressed boss of a big empire with dreams of racing in the USA, Urs' wife Veronika is loyal but has quiet misgivings, Lo Stäuble is the serious, studious head-down worker, Sascha Brodbeck is the young bad boy who goofs off on the job and wears his caps sideways, and so on. Also you have to accept that sometimes things are going to happen for the benefit of the cameras, my favourite being Urs speaking to his Swiss colleagues in English, or that what appears an anodyne situation will be ramped up for dramatic effect. The other thing to be borne in mind is that this series is not about drag racing, it is about a company owner who drag races, so we shouldn't expect a documentary about Top Fuel.
OK, caveats out of the way, if the rest of the series is as good as this episode then I think that the sport is going to benefit. Serious Fun is very good indeed. The human interest v racing, away from the track v at the track balance is very well managed and the racing sections include, I think, the best footage by a non-motorsport TV crew that I have ever seen. This particular episode includes two racing sections, firstly Sascha Brodbeck's Harley Destroyer Championship round in the Czech Republic and then Urs' participation in the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. Interwoven with this is a crisis at Fat Attack Custom Bikes when a crucial part goes missing just as one of Urs' famous custom bikes is due to be delivered to a stroppy customer, Sascha getting taken aside by Urs for a little chat about a sponsorship deal which appears not to be worth a lot, and a photo session at Fat Attack which irks front man Didi who doesn't believe that Urs' bikes don't need sweet young things draped over them to sell them, and Lo who is the only one left working by the end of the session.
Sascha Brodbeck's trip to Hoskovice in the Czech Republic does not, of course, go without incident as the guys got pretty well lost on the way (which doesn't say a lot for the SatNav which can be briefly seen in one shot) but once they arrive then the scene is set for the first racing action of the episode. The on-track footage is very well presented and one thing which is evident is just how narrow the track (an airfield taxiway) is. This makes for some close calls and some drama which is always good for the cameras but to producers' credit, and unlike some other TV companies I could but won't name, this is not overplayed and not harped on. After a good mixture of fast-moving on-track and pitside footage Sascha pretty much creams the opposition with a new track record and a Personal Best to boot, and he goes home with a firstful of Euros for the race ream to placate Urs after upsetting him by slacking in the days immediately before the race.
The big set piece of the episode is of course Urs' and Lo's appearances at the FHRA Nitro Nationals. In the commentary a big point is made of the fact that Urs has exploded an engine or two in his time (Haven't we all - Ed) and also of the fact that US tuner Glenn Mikres isn't there. Alas Urs has a kaboomer in qualifying and his team look utterly heartbroken. Again this isn't overdone, spectacular as the footage is. From this and other scenes in the Alastaro part of the programme, it jumped out at me that nothing was set up for the cameras - in the pits for example what you are seeing is what happened and the cameras happened to be around, which is the way it should be. The cameras are even permitted access when the are team are discussing may have caused the explosion. Everything comes right when Urs goes into the fours and sets a new track record, then wins a round against Siw Nystad before the rain kicks in and messes everything up, as happened a fair bit last season. There are some great camera angles on the start line, for one particular run you see the launch from each angle one after the other and that works very well.
The Alastaro footage concentrates mainly on Urs but Lo does get a look in and he has a much less stressful weekend although he does have the good grace to put in one spectacularly out-of-shape launch to make up for the fact that he usually makes it look so easy.
The Gamma Project came into this series with no knowledge at all of drag racing; what they did know was whom to ask (including the Eurodragster.com staff) and they weren't too proud to ask, and whoever wrote the script was certainly listening to the answers judging by the accuracy of what is said on the soundtrack. And let's not forget that this series is aimed at the casual viewer, not the fan, so the facts and figures have to be presented in laymens' terms, which you can't do unless you firstly have a good understanding. So a big thumbs up to the producers for doing their research.
Having watched this episode and seen how the drag racing is presented I am convinced that it will interest the casual viewer and will bring more people to the races. Proof of casual interest is that Mrs Tog, whom longtime readers know cannot in any way be described as a drag racing fan (this is the woman who said "What does that mean then " when I told her I'd run 9.79 at the Flame and Thunder Show), sat through the whole episode - even the racing parts - and said that she found it interesting and "A lot better than that other thing you made me watch", by which she meant Driving Force. The Gamma Project told us that they wanted this series to interest the general viewer, and that they made an effort to ensure that female viewers were not left out, and on this evidence they have achieved that.
At the end of this year we could well be thanking The Gamma Project for what they have done for our sport.
You can find out more about King of Nitro and view a couple of video clips (we highly recommend Clip 2) at www.kingsofnitro.co.uk.
King of Europe on EDRS bonus.
22nd May: The King of Europe has continued to grow over the last four years to the point that it needed to be divided into two events for 2008, East and West. With a wide variety of competitors from sixteen European countries involved, the racing is incredible.
"In North America we just don't see an eight-second all wheel drive Corvette face off against a turbocharged Honda in the finals of a street class!" explains Extreme Drag Race Shootout Event Director Raymond Knight. "King Of Europe Event Director Mike Procureur has definitely worked extremely hard on putting together an awesome set of events. The 2008 East Edition is now complete, with Polish Racer Grzegorz Staszewski taking the overall crown with his 8.80 all wheel drive Corvette.
"We would certainly love to see a team like Grzegorz make the trip to compete in the Lucas Oil Products World Street Event being hosted by the Extreme Drag Race Shootout. So it is with great enthusiasm that we are announcing a $2000 cash bonus for King Of Europe East Champion Grzegorz Staszewski to make the trip to the 2008 EDRS. "Only one question remains, Grzegorz, do you have what it takes to be in Miramichi in 2008?
"The EDRS would also like to remind to racers and any company considering sponsoring travel expenses for a European or out of continent race team to compete in the Lucas Oil Products World Street Event that the EDRS will provide Associate Sponsorship status at no charge to the sponsoring company."
You can find out more about the Extreme Drag Race Shootout, which includdes the second World Street Race, at www.cfscshootout.com or by clicking on the logo at left.
A good hosing for Bennett Racing.
22nd May: UK blown-alcohol altered team Bennett Racing have announced the addition of Abbey Hose to their already-impressive list of sponsors:
Since 1983 Abbey Hose has provided a fast and friendly service for all customers from their shop in Grays, Essex. They can provide custom hydraulic hose assemblies with a While You Wait service at their trade counter, and they also operate a twenty four-hour on-site service with their Hose Doctor mobile workshops which are part of a national network. The Grays branch features a Parker Store, a self-service facility for Parker products, and carries substantial stocks of hydraulic hose and fittings, Pioneer quick couplings, Ermeto DIN tube fittings, clamps, steel tube, Triple-lok fittings and many associated products. Automotive hoses are fabricated to pattern for air conditioning, power steering, brake, clutch, and air brakes over the counter for all cars, trucks and motorcycles. Pressure washer hoses are stocked for all makes of washer including K'Archer, Kew and Gurney. Industrial rubber and PVC hose and fittings can be supplied for any application, medium, pressure or temperature up to 24" bore. Pneumatic products include Presto-lok push-in fittings, nylon tube, air prep regulators, filters, lubricators, PCL connectors and more.
Abbey Hose's friendly technical staff will be pleased to take your call and offer the best solution for your application. They are also ISO9002 accredited and their engineers are City and Guilds qualified. Full details and a full range of products can be found on Abbey Hose's web site at www.abbeyhose.co.uk, call 01708 686600, or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
22nd May: Eurodragster.com Reserve Photographer Peter Donaldson has updated his Fotopic gallery with pictures from Sunday's Public Test and Tune Day at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Peter's pictures at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
The Beast is back.
21st May: Swedish Supertwin racer Per Bengtsson tells us that he is very pleased to be making his first full run at the FIM/UEM Championship since 2003. Per and the team have done a lot of work on The Beast, which is universally acknowledged as one of the meanest-sounding bikes in drag racing.
"We are going for the Championship of course", says Per. "We have a complete new fuel system, tank, pump, BDK, Electrimotion timed management system, Enderle metering valve and hoses too. We have stiffened the chassis and front fork, changed the crank balance, we have two MSD ProMag 44s and the Bentec three-stage lock-up system.
"We have new carbon fibre work by Knut Söderquist and a new design and paintwork by Löörs, who is one of the best in the business.
"My crew is Lars Tydinger (Fuel, computer); Mats Dehn (Engine); L-O Jonsson (engine and support); Jan Lindström (clutch, engine) who has been on my crew for ten years, he is my Crew Chief and will manage all of the UEM rounds even though he became a father only four months ago; and Set Pettersson (ignition, computer) who has also been on my crew for more than ten years.
"My sponsors this year are Swedcut, FlexoArt, Ulvsgården AB, QuakerState, AutoExperten and of course Bentec Engineering."
Cannon ready for first shot.
21st May: The UK's Chris Hannam has been in touch with the latest news about the Supertwin which he acquired from Rob Van Geffen. As well as tuning from Neil Midgley, Cannon will on his first outing enjoy the services of Gerard Willemse who with Rob Van Geffen was heavily involved in the bike's conception.
"The bike lives at Midgo's and he will make all the tuning calls so basically all I have to do is to turn up, ride, and of course pay the bills", says Cannon. "Although Neil and I have worked with Tom Perry and the McBrides in the USA, this twin is quite different but similar, if that makes sense. It is quite unique in that it has four valves per cylinder and is overhead cam, and will rev to 10,000 rpm where the normal twins are around 6000 rpm. On top of this it it blown too. The bike uses Top Fuel car pistons and rods. The whole engine was designed by Rob and Gerard and was the first of its kind. To say it's underdeveloped is an understatement and we think it has good potential, it was a lot cheaper option than the Brantley Fuel bike too.
"So now we have a bike ready to race, and we will see what the first test day brings and we can make our decisions from there. Neil is committed to racing in the ACU this year so I will have to fit around that unless things change, so we probably will only test this year unless we can get to the NitrolympX, who knows."
Ålund after fifth title...
21st May: FIA European Pro Stock Champion, Sweden's Jimmy Ålund struggled in his visit to the USA to test at Valdosta and race at Gainesville, but although the weather was unkind to to the team they we were able to learn a little bit more about how to make their car to go faster, writes Lars Rodeblad:
At the recent Meca Pro Test and Tune event in Malmö we were proven right as we managed to set a new track record 4.36/160 mph. The car ran perfectly with the set-up used in the USA. Our new race engine Maggan II will début at Santa Pod on Thursday. We hope she will shine and live up to our high expectations. It's going to be needed this year with all the new cars in Pro Stock. We expect this season to be a toss-up and I guess there is a bunch of guys out there who think our four titles are enough. We would like to prove them wrong!
In the quest for a fifth title we have a new team member, Mats Appelgren, who will be responsible for tuning Maggan II and Ior. Mats, who just turned fifty at the Meca Pro test, has a long career in engine building, tuning and testing racing engines. His talents and experience will come in handy and we welcome him on board.
The whole team is really looking forward to the Main Event, and let's hope for fair weather so that we can put on a good show for all our fans out there with really close racing door to door at over 200 mph!
...but Flamholc wants it too.
21st May: Fellow Swedish Pro Stock racer Adam Flamholc is one of the pack gunning for Jimmy Ålund having bought a car from US racer Justin Hmphreys and kitted it out with a new Steve Schmidt motor before becoming the first European racer to run in the 6.6s with a 6.699 in testing in the USA.
"This is only my second year in Pro Stock, but the goal for me and the team is to win the Championship", says Adam. "I know that there are other teams out there aiming for the same spot. I think that Pro Stock will be tighter than ever this year, there are five or six teams who have an equal chance of the Championship.
"The amazing adventure we had in the USA this winter was possible thanks to my loyal sponsors Amalie Oil, MMR(Malmo Motorrenovering), HC-Bilservice i Lund AB, Karlstad Bilförsäljning, YIT, Custom Graphics, Motorenova, Hurst Boiler and Welding Company, Progressive Performance, and Performance Plus.
"We were inspired by all the nice T-Shirts and caps we saw in the USA, so we have made some of our own. We will have these for sale at the tracks around Europe."
Pro Mod "Guess the colour" winner.
21st May: Krister Petersen got in touch to challenge us to guess the colour of Micke and Magnus Lindahl's Team Kendall blown-alcohol Pro Mod after a repaint over the winter. We took a wild stab in the dark and guessed that it was black and we were right, but Krister says that the European ET record-holding Camaro looks much faster now.
"The car was new in 2007 and we struggled before we found the right set-up", says Krister. "Thanks to information from Mark Barklage in the USA and more runs on the car we were able to set a new European ET record at the Finals. Big thanks to Mark. We also want to thank Victor Bray for giving us a memorable weekend at Mantorp Park. Last but not least many thanks to Peter Nilsson and his American buddies Bill Barett and Chip King for all help we get.
"Other than the paint we haven't changed much on the car since last year's European Finals and we hope that we can pick up where we left off before we lost against Patrik Wikström in the semi-finals. Our test at Malmö three weeks ago went well with some small gremlins and some progress.
"In 2008 Pro Mod will be tougher than ever before but Team Kendall are ready to go for the Championship. We have two engines, two clutches, two blowers and almost a perfect driver clone in Mikael's twin brother Magnus."
Anxious Grødem ready for kick-off.
21st May: Norwegian Top Methanol Funny Car racer Arvid Grødem says that he and the Westside Racing dream team have got everything together in time for this weekend's FIA Main Event. Arvid is on his way to Santa Pod and the team will be following him over tomorrow.
"I must say a big Thank You to the team", says Arvid. "Special thanks go to Crew Chief Pål-Henning and to Gunnar for outstanding work in order to get every task done in a timely and perfect manner! I'm on the journey to Santa Pod with the truck and trailer and the rest of the team are flying out tomorrow.
"Are we ready? Oh yes, we are as ready as can be. Last season ended in a disappointing way with a major engine failure at the Hockenheim race. The result was that we had to sit out the European Finals at Santa Pod, and we are now more anxious than ever to start this year's season. However, we still have a few things to sort out before Main Event qualifying starts on Saturday. We've had everything apart on the entire car and are just doing the finishing touches in order to rebuild everything. The car was loaded on Sunday and the remaining few things left will need to be sorted out at Santa Pod.
"The plan was to do some testing at the NDRG Spring Nats at Gardermoen, but lack of a fuel system prevented us from executing that plan. The fuel system has now arrived from Ken Lowe in Australia and has been mounted on the car. As this is a completely new set up, we will have to do some test runs before we can give the Sunoco Express Mustang full throttle. Our goal for the FIA Main Event will therefore be to tune the new set up and take it from there. Hopefully we can show some nice racing and some good numbers in the latter part of the weekend.
"When it comes to 2008 Championship chances, we do not know what to expect other than stiff competition. Even though last year's Champion Fast Freddy Fagerström has put his TMFC up for sale and decided to go back to his Pro Mod roots, the rest of the pack headed by Dan Larsen, Ulf Leanders and Leif Andréasson will not surrender without a fight. I think everyone in the TMFC class is eager to put down what ever it takes to win the Championship, which in turn will lead to lots of good racing for fans and spectators. May the best racer win!
"Our sponsors remain the same as last year: Sunoco (Keddell & Bommen AS), Phoenix US Cars AS, and Holmestrand Lakkering AS."
Bellio aims for fives.
21st May: Belgian Top Methanol FC racer Danny Bellio is going into the 2008 season with a full complement of team members, new engine and rear end set-up, a rapidly-repaired body after a mishap in testing, and sponsors for the first time ever.
"Last year we were a team of five: myself, my wife Micha, our sons Sandro and Christiano, and Sandro's girlfriend Nikka", Danny told Eurodragster.com. "During the European Finals several people were interested in joining our team. We have a guy from the UK, Chris Black; one Dutch guy, Erik Feijt; and a couple from our neighbourhood, An and Gino Verherstraeten. So now we are nine.
"We changed our old fuel engine, which did a good job last year, into a fat head Stage V engine and we have changed our rear axle to a 10½" Strange. Two weeks ago we damaged our body badly at the test weekend at Luckau in Germany, there was an obstacle at the end of the track which I couldn't avoid. A Dutch guy, Frencil, helped us and got the body prepared in two days and nights. It was such a hurry because we had to do show runs at Chambley four days after the crash.
"In 2008 we hope to make big improvements. The first thing we need to do is to go under six seconds and to go quicker and quicker from there.
"For the first time in our racing career we have sponsors, namely Kerfs NV and Vijfeyken, both from our home town."
Education at Easter.
21st May: Finland's Jari Halinen had the best possible start to his competitive Top Fuel Dragster career, winning the Pro Fuel Shootout at the Auto Trader Easter Thunderball. Tuner Eddie Corr says that Jari and the Mad Bomber team won't be reading too much into that win as the weather conditions were unrepresentative.
"Our vehicle is a car hired from Norway's Rune Fjeld, and is the same car we campaigned last year with Finnish ski jump star Janne Ahonen driving", says Eddie. "Not only did Janne drive it but he drove well, showing some promise. As a team though 2007 just never had that elusive luck that kick-starts a good run at the Championship.
"We really went along at Easter to shake the crew down and get ready for a new year with a new-ish driver. OK, at Easter the track conditions are not representative neither of the FIA Main Event nor indeed any race in the series, so you may ask what is the point - what are you testing? Perhaps "testing" is the wrong word. "Breaking in" might be more appropriate, for the new crew and driver and to give everybody a wake up call: racing starts now afer a long winter. Of course the training never ends, even the experienced guys are still learning and want to learn. The minute someone thinks they've nothing to learn around a race car is the minute they're finished around a race car.
"The series offers so many challenges, the tracks being slightly different in characteristics, the air conditions too being different at each event, there is a lot to do to make the car work on paper before you even unload the thing at each track. Then add the complexity that is racing, i.e. beating the others who have turned up to do the same thing as you.
"Harry Raikkonen, who was on loan from Japa Kuutniemi's team for Easter, did a good job. Old Mad Bomber team member Riku Nieminen will be joining the crew this year, altough he already got his feet wet with nitro last year at Hockenheim. We don't have any sponsors and the body panels will have to be painted to disguise their roots on Thomas Nataas' scheme from last year, but we have plans for a nice paint scheme for the Alastaro race."
Carter Motorsport press release.
21st May: Andy Carter and the Lucas Oil Top Fuel Team kick off their assault on the 2008 FIA European Top Fuel Championship at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend.
After snow and very cold temperatures restricted racing to the eighth mile at the Easter Thunderball this will be the first time the 8000 bhp dragster has had a chance to fully stretch its legs since the FIA European Finals last September. Despite the conditions at Easter performances were very promising, Danish Crew Chiefs Per and Karsten Andersen handled the conditions well, tuning the car to consistently quick sixty foot times and the fastest speed of the weekend.
Since Easter the car has been back to Andersen Racing's Denmark-based workshop for final preparations for the season. Although it had no affect on performance a few parts were still crossing the Atlantic at Easter. Everything has now arrived and the trailer is fully stocked with more than enough spare parts for a full season's racing.
Confidence is high in the Lucas Oil camp. 2007 saw a new driver and new team gel together, building a solid foundation to spring into 2008. "2007 was spoilt by the bad weather, and we couldn't believe how unlucky we were to see terrible conditions at Easter too!", said Crew Chief Per Andersen. "We learned a lot last year and can't wait to get on the track at the Main Event."
As expected Andy Carter is also in confident mood. "We have a fantastic car, the best sponsor and a fantastic team", he said. "We will be going all out to the win the Championship this year, setting records is nice but they will only come as a by-product of winning races."
The Carter Motorsport Marketing and Hospitality team have been working overtime to make sure everything is perfect for the large number of guests and sponsors that will be joining us at the race. Following the bad weather at Easter the team still have a large number of Easter Eggs to give away to fans. If you are under the age of twelve then go along to the Lucas Oil pit on Saturday, say hello to the team and ask Andy for your Easter Egg.
The team will be continuing their popular live web site updates in 2008. Visit www.andycarter.net for updates from the Lucas Oil pit throughout Main Event weekend.
21st May: A bike-only Track Day is to be held at Santa Pod Raceway on Wednesday 30th July. Organiser Stephen Moon says that the track prep will be on a par with Peak Performance Days, i.e. "Good enough to support anything the quick guys can throw at it". "The entry fee will be £100 including track pass and entry for crew. If you are interested then please call me on 07967 564301. We need a minimum of thirty firm expressions of interest by Friday 30th May, with money to be paid by Friday 13th - no ifs, no buts, no rubber cheques. This is an ideal set-up for the guys contesting Hockenheim, and valuable track time to fill the gap between the Summer Nationals and August Bank Holiday meetings. So don't be shy, get your bookings in! – this is an opportunity to have virtually unlimited track time on one of Europe's premier tracks.
Proud grandad Bob Doignie has been in touch to let us know that UK Super Gas racer Stuart Doignie and wife Rachael have become the parents of Isabella who was born on Sunday. "Both Isabella and Rachael are doing well", says Bob. "We are taking this year out to welcome the new family member but will be back with a vengance in 2009. Looks like we'll have to build a Junior Dragster next!". Congratulations to Stuart and Rachael and of course to the proud grandparents.
Tog would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to his special friend Julia Cooper. We hope that you have a great day, Julia, and we wish that you were here or we were there.
Now that the advance guard of the Eurodragster.com staff are in place at Santa Pod Raceway we have switched on the Webster Race Engineering/MPM Oil webcam. The webcam will be broadcasting a picture every sixty seconds until the track closes on Monday evening and you can access it by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event.
Fourth outing - first wheel turned?
21st May: The UK's Team Alien Super Pro ET altered is just about ready to go for the Main Event after a string of bad luck so far this season, writes team member and Eurodragster.com Assistant Pit Reporter Kirstie Tramm:
The altered didn't even make it out of her trailer at Easter due to being very unwell indeed. Swiftly moving on and we were looking forward to the Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway at the beginning of May. Hopefully all the teething problems of a new set up were long gone. However the Alien had other ideas. The oil filter head broke during the first warm up spewing out oil all over the floor making Lake Alien. On a closer inspection and removal of the oil filter it was clear that the pressure was so great that the oil filter head had broken completely in half. After a wander around the pits we sourced one from Team Chaos. Many thanks to Danny for this part and who gave us the directions to his workshop where we found it growing cobwebs somewhere in deepest Leamington Spa!
So then we were all set. No, the Alien had other ideas, chewing teeth off the ring gear while throwing a flame burp out of the injector hat and then throwing the oil filter clean off this time with Lake Alien growing immensely. So, after another search around the pits we sourced a flexplate (pictured) from Eurodragster.com News sponsor Pete Walters. This time we had stripped the now naked Alien down to the bare minimum, it's ok she had privacy under Ashley Bell's awning, and we set to work on assembling everything again. After so much hard work over the weekend we were out of qualifying and a demo run seemed so far away after another ring gear was chewed up for lunch. "I learnt to give up drag racing thirty seven years ago and I'm still doing it", said John Everitt.
So after two meetings entered and not an Alien wheel turned it's really rather disheartening, yet the team still seem to keep going. They are the best bunch and we still manage to have a laugh and a joke all day.
The team arrived at Santa Pod for the RWYB last weekend and it was John's son Billy who was to have a turn at Junior Dragster driving, and daughter Jesse had not one but two passenger rides in Grumpy's Dodge driven by Mick Howling. The latter part of the day was to start up the Alien after some work was carried out after the Springspeed festival. She's stubborn, I'll give her that - nothing, not even a slight growl from the engine. After a discussion with Paul Marston we discovered that a faulty ignition system was the cause of this weekend's trouble. So here we are and it's just a few days until the Main Event. She's being worked on (probably as I type) in the hope that she can be rewired and explained to in plain English that in no way is she to play up this weekend. Of course I'm not on Eurodragster.com duty this weekend so the Alien had better darn run!
So onto the huge list of thanks, in no particular order! Team Stardust, you have been superb and such a great bunch of people, thank you for giving up your valuable time over the Springspeed weekend. Pete Walters and team for the flexplate - thanks guys and I'm glad we could repay the favour in a small way. Ashley Bell who loaned his awning for a huge part of the weekend as he knows green cars are never a match for purple altereds. Team Chaos, especially Danny for the oil filter head. Simon Rowland and the Forumla Tanker Rental guys for their concern and popping in and of course the offer of a flexplate. Andy Raw for his knowledge and help during the weekend - the lightweght went home early! Oh and of course anyone I may have missed who came over and offered help or parts too. To the test weekend and a huge Thank You to Team Paul Marston Racing whom John would like to mention in particular for your enthusiasm and professional help. Of course thanks to Mick Howling for his driving duties in the Dodge and giving Jesse two birthday presents to remember. Lastly to his crew, Chris the Crew Chief and Keith also who help behind the scenes giving up their free time to work on the altered in the evenings these past few months.
Onwards and to the Main Event! Have a safe and great weekend's racing everyone, from all at Team Alien.
Zodiac Racing update.
21st May: The Netherlands' Zodiac Racing Supertwin team is taking a new direction for the 2008 season. They are going to run a supercharger again, something they have not done since the famous double engined Double Dutch Puma Triumph which Ton Pels ran until 1988 (and this bike is still very much alive in the hands of Frenchman Jean Claude Draperi).
Roel Koedam ended his initial year riding for the Zodiac team very successfully, with a third place in the UEM European Championship and an event win in Sweden. So it was decided that he is going to continue as the team's jockey and even though Roel has found out that the nitro-burning twins can be high-spirited and untamed beasts with a mind of their own, he enjoyed riding them very much. The fact that he is also becoming a valued help in the workshop, where his engineering and mechanical skills have been 'upgraded' a bit, proves that he is becoming a real Zodiac Team member.
The idea was to have Roel running the Godfather VI injected bike until the new supercharged bike was ready and running. But Job Heezen decided to retire from his early retirement and he wanted to step up to Top Fuel. So when he asked Ton if he could buy the Godfather VI injected bike, the plans changed a bit. Job bought the Godfather VI bike from Ton and is going to campaign it for the 2008 season. And with a eight hundred-foot try-out in the snow at the Easter Thunderball, a 7.2/163 (4.4/158 at the eighth mile), it seems like the SuperTwin Top Fuel class has gained another strong contender. Too bad some small mechanical issues stopped Job from progressing his ET and that his maiden pass was his only pass that weekend.
With the much needed ignition technology available to control the power output of supercharged V-Twin engines and with Ton and Vincent getting more familiarized with CNC machining and the ability to create more complex engine parts in their own workshop, the Zodiac team decided to go for uncharted territories and build themselves a brand new supercharged bike with a "small" 1684cc (103 ci) forty five-degree four-valve head pushrod engine. Current "off-the-shelf" engine configurations for the push-rod V-Twins are not intended for small stroke and moderate bore engines, so the team has designed their own engine with the configuration they want and have put their Bridgeport INTERACT1 Mk2 CNC mill into overtime.
The UEM SuperTwin Top Fuel rules allow for bigger engines to be run with a supercharger, but among other reasons, Ton and Vincent decided to go for a 1684cc engine, so it is allowed to run over ninety per cent nitromethane - supercharged twins between 1700cc and 2000cc are restricted to a maximum of ninety per cent nitromethane. The engine has a short 3-5/8" (92mm) stroke and a 4-1/4" (108mm) bore and the team is planning to spin it up to a maximum of 7500 rpm which is a lot more than the 5000 rpm they were running with their injected bike. For the engine cases, the they started with huge blocks of 7075-T6 aluminum and after some aluminum excavation on their conventional machines, the blocks spent hours on the Bridgeport CNC mill and were machined to close tolerances, where they got their final shape as engine cases.
The 32CrMoV13 high quality steel crank has been designed by the team and has the unique "splined" output shaft again. This design is similar to the 5-1/4" version of this crank they had made for the injected bike they ran last year and this turned out to be a race proven, zero failure construction.
Eight inch rods will pump the pistons through the home made barrels and with this high rod-ratio, the ratio between engine stroke and rod length, the team is aiming for longevity and performance at the same time again. One of their main goals apart from extreme high performance is to build a reliable and consistent engine as the Zodiac Racing team's motto has always been "consistency wins you races and Championships". The cylinder heads are the same four-valve heads they have been running for many years now, as they believe this will again give greater performance, with less stress on engine components. The primary drive and three-stage centrifugal clutch are finished as well. Engineering Top Fuel motorcycle clutches is something they are quite familiar with right now, and the clutch has the team's unique one-piece hub and double-bearing design, where the clutch hub runs inside the pulley and the clutch output shaft is carried inside the clutch hat, as well as the clutch hub, giving it greater stability and reliability. The team has now pulled the frame-jig and tube-bender from under the dust cover and have started with the motor plates and chassis.
With Job running the Godfather VI injected bike this year, it means that the team can now focus on Godfather VII supercharged bike and progress quicker without the time it takes to maintain a Top Fuel bike during the race season. It also means that they will not come out to race until the new bike is ready. The team has set their hopes on the Alastaro race, the second race of the UEM European Championship season, but will have to work extremely hard to make that race.
The Zodiac Racing Team will be at the Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway to help out Job and his crew and teach them the ropes of Top Fuel motorcycle racing. They will also be supplying racers with tyres and parts out of the Zodiac Race Shop again and hopefully get some R&R at trackside to watch some close racing.
Next to Zodiac Racing's own products the Zodiac Race Shop can supply racers brands like G2 (exclusive distributor for Europe), S&S Race Products (exclusive distributor for Europe), McClure's Master Performance Racing, ARP, JE, Racepak, Kinsler, Gates, PM and much much more.
For any racing needs, please contact us at email@example.com. Check out our race catalogue at www.zodiac.nl/en/catalog/zodiacracing_shop.html
The Zodiac SuperTwin Top Fuel drag racing team is proudly sponsored by Zodiac International BV, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, ACCEL Motorcycle Products and Spectro Oils of America.
The Zodiac SuperTwin Top Fuel drag racing team is proud to use products from Zodiac International BV, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, ACCEL Motorcycle Products, Spectro Oils of America, Performance Machine Disk Brakes and Wheels, Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Midwest Acorn Nut Company, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems and Gates Belt Drive Systems.
Holland set for return.
21st May: UK Comp Bike racer Nick Holland says that his bike is finally coming together after extensive development work by dad Barry and himself.
"We have a newly ported and flowed GPZ1100 head thanks to Baz, nice to see he ain't lost his magic touch!", says Nick. "Extensive work has gone into fitting a new five-speed GPZ 1100 gearbox into the old Z1000 cases, but we got there in the end. We have many new engine parts for the bike this year including a brand new hybrid Garrett turbo. So let's see if we can beat our best of 8.0/162. You never know, the shiny new paint job on the bike may gain a tenth of a second!
"It has taken a long while to get this done due to our work commitments. I'm now working at Hauser Racing and Baz is now working for Force India Formula One. This has also put back Baz's début of his Honda Firestorm Supertwin until the Open Sport Nationals at Shakey in August, but I'm sure I can help him get back on track now that my bike is nearly done. So yes, the Flying Dutchman team will be a duo yet again!
"The crew are extremely impressed with our new Team Clothing, there's no missing us now - keep your eyes out for the red shoes! I must give a mention to the Rankin' and Rollin' crew welcoming Ollie and Mildred (car and caravan) into the family. Massive thanks to Baz (dad /Crew Chief ), Si (starter extraordinaire), Nikki ( trolley and brolly dolly ), Keith (tow master), Daz (cuisine chef ) and Babs (mum/finances) for their off-season help and for being so patient. Thanks also to Dave Branch Engineering for use of the machine shop and wheelie bar mods; Ian Turburville for the fantastic quality crew shirts and fleeces at a great price; Owen Developments for the new hybrid Garrett turbo; John Browse for a great supply of genuine Kawasaki parts; and last but by no means least Mick Linney for the great paintwork on the Comp Bike, dad's Firestorm and the pit bike.
We will be out at the Summernationals in June so see you all there and hope for a sunny one!"
Enter the Outlaws.
21st May: The UK's Supercharged Outlaws descend on Shakespeare County Raceway for the first round of their 2008 series at the Yanks Weekend on 31st May-1st June, writes Dave McKenzie:
This year is shaping up to be an excellent season for the Supercharged Outlaws with rounds at all three UK tracks, and a varied amount of machines on display, there will be something for everyone. On 31st May-1st June the air around Stratford will echo to the sound of blown injected slingshots, altereds and doorslammers. This is The Yanks weekend incorporating Gary's Picnic and it is promising to be a good one. At this time we have ten entries for the event with four slingshots, four altereds and two doorslammers.
One slingshot is a brand new nitro burning car direct from Fester Race Cars, which is appropriate as Bill Felstead is sponsoring this round. The car belongs to Jon Best who is running 90% nitro and who will be making his first passes down the quarter at this event. Also in the slingshots we have Roy Wilding with the very nostalgic Hemi Hunter an immaculately turned out operation, Alec Coe and his Shy Talker small block looking to get into the seven second bracket, and by no means least Wayne Colliver and the smallest engine in the series a 1.6 litre Ford Crossflow blown and injected on methanol.
In the altered ranks we have reigning series winner Lee Gallimore and his Red Mist small block altered. Lee has made some upgrades over the winter and is looking to improve on his 7.6 seconds from last year. Brian Gandy will be back with a new motor after totally destroying an engine at the Hot Rod Drags last year, and Tony Smith with the Faster Pussycat Topolino sporting a new paint Scheme. Fourth car entered is Steve Goode with the Wobble altered, Steve has removed the Jag engine and replaced it with a very large aluminium hemi with twin mags and a carbon fibre buzzard catcher, behind which sits a three-speed lenco. Steve tested at SCR last Sunday and he rang me to say the car flies, literally, as he had all four wheels off the ground at one point. This car will be one to watch in 2008.
Finally we have two doorslammers entered. First up is Paul Watts from the Isle of Wight with his Chevy pick up. Paul made the long trip for the Test and Tune weekend in April but due to the weather never turned a wheel, but he is back for the first round. Alongside Paul will be Richard Davies with his blown '41 Willys. Both these cars run on petrol. With two weeks to go there may be more entries and you can check up by looking on the Outlaws web site at www.supercharged-outlaws.co.uk. So if you do not get enough at the Main Event there will be plenty of blown injected nitro, methanol and petrol at the Yanks Weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Picture courtesy and ©Dave Derry
Toyo drag slicks promotion.
21st May: Toyo Tires are pleased to be able to offer committed drag enthusiasts a chance to buy drag slicks at reduced prices. Toyo Tires drag slicks have a proven track record on the drag strip. Years of investment in R&D means that Toyo Tires produce tyres of the highest quality. To take advantage of this offer, all you have to do is check if your tyre size is listed, phone or fax our sales office and we will do the rest.
This is a one-off special promotion and is unlikely to be repeated, so act fast or you may be disappointed!
To order telephone 01933 411144 or Fax 01933 410945. Note: all payment is strictly by credit card. Offer lasts while stocks last.
Anthes on NitrolympX FIA return.
20th May: Further to yesterday's brief news item about the addition of an FIA European Championship round for Top Fuel Dragster, Top Methanol Dragster, Top Methanol Funny Car and Pro Modified at this year's NitrolympX at Hockenheim Rico Anthes, who acted as a consultant in the negotiations, has kindly sent us the background to the story. Out of courtesy to Rico we have posted his words unedited apart from the tiniest of grammatical tweaks (Rico's English is a hundred times better than our German - Ed):
The Dragster Press-Office of the Hockenheimring, which is still handled by Christine Calwer at firstname.lastname@example.org, was waiting with the official announcement of the 2008 FIA Drag Racing Championship round at Hockenheim until the FIA had put it on their calendar. We had not been informed by the FIA that this was done already, but now we know and here are the facts...
As you have noticed there will be no Pro Stock class running in Hockenheim, and as this will cause the first questions I will start explaining the whole story.
When negotiations between the Hockenheimring and SpeedGroup, represented by Michael Gullquist, started in December of 2007, it was under the supposition that not all FIA categories could been run. FIA regulations do allow a minimum of two classes, as you will know. Hockenheim was interested to run Top Fuel, Top Methanol Dragster and Pro Mod.
On March 6th there was a meeting at the 'Ring with the Hockenheimring Management and SpeedGroup class representatives Michael Kågered, Urs Erbacher, Ulf Leanders, Gittli Koller and myself as consultant. This meeting was very constructive, the Hockenheimring explaining the very unique situation of the NitrolympX Drag Racing event and SpeedGroup representatives offering their assistance to resolve all important issues with racers and helping to co-ordinate the FIA Championship round at the 'Ring.
Noise limitations and time schedule deadlines are playing a major role as much as the fact that the NitrolympX at the Hockenheimring, being the main drag racing event in Germany, does focus on the responsibility to give all the German drag racers, as well as Swiss, Dutch, French, Italian and Austrian the opportunity to run their cars and bikes in front of a big audience.
Experience from the past twenty two events showed that it is not possible to run much more than two hundred vehicles (cars and bikes) with the current once a year organisation staff. The aim was not to drop any of the existing Sportsman drag racing classes and also not to increase the number of staff and costs because of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship.
As a result, all attending persons of the Hockenheim meeting in March appreciated the compromise to run only the FIA drag racing categories with participants from Germany and its neighbour countries. The application was made for Top Fuel, Top Methanol Dragster, Top Methanol Funny Car and Pro Mod as it is listed on the FIA calendar now.
Entry documents will be sent to FIA Championship participants by the end of May. The 'Ring would appreciate it if drivers who have not been receiving mailings in the past years would send their postal mailing address to the Hockenheim Race Office by E-Mail at email@example.com or fax +49-6103-52428.
Wishing all FIA participants a successful first round at the Pod and good luck for the rest of the Championship. We hope to see you at the NitrolympX in August.
The headaches were worth it.
20th May: German Top Methanol Dragster racer Peter Schöfer and his team have made several changes to the dragster over the winter, and the hard work paid off with a successful test outing, says team member Gittli Koller.
"Over the off-season we went to the USA twice and we hoped that the trips and the headaches would be worth it", says Gittli. "We went to Kunmadaras in Hungary, for testing on 1st May. Kunmadaras is an old Russian airfield, about 150 km east of Budapest. Its easy to get there now, because Hungary built a lot of good autobahns there. But is is still a twelve-hour drive from Munich. The car ran perfectly well and we were very pleased with the changes we made. The track was almost unprepared, just bare concrete and rubber, but Peter ran over 370 kmh.
"Everyone has times when something doesn't work, we had one of those times and we were nervous that we couldn't make it to Hungary. But its good to have good friends who are helping. Thanks a lot to the Carmel, Rob and Steve Turner for their support.
"The car will look a little bit different this year; we are still working on the design and we hope it will look good. Our crew will be the same as last year: the three Schöfer brothers Pat, Wolfi and Rudi, Gittli Koller, Heike Schäfer, Ralf Rowold and Kirsten Krause. We will get some additional support from Christl Sulz and Alfred Widmann who are going to join us for some of the races this year. We are planning to do the whole Championship series and several smaller events to which we have been invited.
"Our sponsors have all stayed with us and we have a new sponsor on board. We are working on another sponsorship deal but, as other teams have also said, sometimes you can't get the deal ready in time. Our sponsors are Normstahl, JE Pistons, Sunoco, Uvex, Weindel US-Parts, Norfolkline, mipa, Keyr and Armin Schneider."
Ready for some fun!
20th May: Dutch Pro Mod racer Robert Joosten says that the Pro Dutch team are ready for another year of fun with their former Jim Oddy Corvette. In their third yes in Pro Mod, the team are looking to maximise performance.
"In the off-season we checked and renewed some parts on the car", says Robert. "One of them is a new nose, as we made a big hole in it at the Easter Thunderball in 2007. The new nose was shipped in December but only arrived at the shop on 2nd May! Man, that must have been a long journey. So we hope to get that ready in time. We also have a second engine coming, as I speak it is off the dyno and on the way, hopefully the customs gods will be good to us because as usual time is running out and we would really like to run engine #2 at the Main Event. We hope to give the car some shots at the Pro test session on Thursday.
"As for our chances at the FIA European Pro Mod Championship, there are so many good race teams out there, most of them with years of experience and for us is it only the third year with a Pro Mod and our second year running the full Championship. But I can tell you that we are serious, and we have a front-running car and team, and that is exactly what we plan to do.
"Most of our sponsers are with Pro Dutch for another year. There are no changes to the crew, it's the same old gang. The crew tried to sell the driver but no-one was interested so I guess I need to drive for another year. We have a visiting crew member at the Main Event, engine builder and Oddy's owner Billy Leverentz. We will give him a good and hard time!"
From our man in the dust.
20th May: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Carey and the Purple Princess team are putting the bike back together for the FIA Main Event after stripping it to check it out after the Springspeed Festival.
"We didn't really get much chance to try out all the changes at the Easter Snowball, spinning up at hit on the first run and crossing lanes on the second run", says Steve. "So, the first qualifier on the Saturday at the Springspeed Nationals running a 7.1/200.2, with the clutch slipping all the way, and straight as well, made all the work to make the changes worthwhile. No signs of any fishtailing, and the bike felt so different, it's going to take a while to get used to riding something that's not trying to throw me off. It was good for Ken and Bob to see all their hard work over the winter come together and to see the bike do what it should. Having done that run where it went straight, I wouldn't want to ride it again like it used to be, been there-done that is a phrase that comes to mind.
"We had made some changes to the clutch settings for the final with Steve Woollatt at the Springspeed Festival, but as the meeting was terminated we will have to wait until the Main Event to see what effect they have. Still, the bye run I had bedded the clutch plates in well, as was evident from the big cloud of black dust as it went off down the track. No problems with grip between the tyre and track, just problems with the clutch slipping too much.
"Now that the bike is going straight, we can hopefully load it it up a bit and start to get the times down and the speed up throughout the year. If we can get it to run consistently below 6.5 and over 210, then that will be a good step forwards for us this season.
"We are looking forward to a good weekend at the Main Event, and I would just like to wish everybody taking part a good and safe weekend. I'd also like to say a big thanks to Ken, Bob, Annette and Colin for all their help, along with thanks to everybody else who helps and supports us, amongst others Ray Nicholson from NGK, Charley Whyte from Phoenix Motorcycles in Bexhill, Earls Performance, Weruwise Bexhill, Web Cams USA, Arias Pistons, Rossetts Eastbourne, G-Max Fuels, Andrew at G&S Valves, John Torring, Rich at P3 Unlimited, and Rother Triumph Owners, to name just a few."
ExhaustCoating.de 'Vette breaks cover.
20th May: Exhaust Coating.de Pro Mod Challenge creator and sponsor and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Marco Maurischat has unveiled the look of his new Pro Mod contender. The all-new '53 Corvette is almost complete and ready for paint at Marco's own paint, powder and coatings facility with a scheme created by Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Power Race Graphics, designers of the Pro Mod Challenge logo.
The team plans a testing programme before hitting the FIA trail with the last three Pro Mod rounds of the season at Mantorp Park, Hockenheim and Santa Pod Raceway. "The quality and performance of the European Pro Mod class is just unbelievable, and we're very excited about joining the battle with our blown 53 Corvette!", says Marco. "The class is a credit to FIA drag racing and such a huge favourite with the fans, what better place to introduce our company and services!"
Marco will be at the FIA Main Event this coming weekend to meet the Pro Mod racers and to introduce the Pro Mod Challenge concept personally. "I'm looking forward to meeting with representatives from Santa Pod Raceway, Tog of Eurodragster.com and all the great people who have worked hard to make the Pro Mod Challenge a reality", he says. "See you there!"
UK Championship points update.
20th May: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for providing the post-Springspeed Festival points standings in the 2008 UK National Drag Racing Championships.
You can check out the UK Championship points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The post-Springspeed Festival APIRA Championship points are currently being checked and will be available soon.
20th May: Finland's Alho and Lähdemaa Pro Modified team have a new engine after the previous incumbent was totalled at the Veidec Festival last year, says Ari Suhola. "We have made changes to the engine, blower, fuel and ignition system", says Ari. "The 2008 season will be a practice season and we will progress step by step. Our target is to qualify in the sixteen-car field at every race. It's not easy, but if things go well and we have some luck it's possible. We have some new sponsors and our main sponsor WellNutrition will also be supporting our team in 2008". You can find out more at www.promod.fi.
Not so much of a spy picture as a mole picture this one, maybe from one of the moles in the field at the end of the track at Santa Pod Raceway who would have been minding his own business on Saturday morning when a Cortina disguised as a tiger dropped in for coffee. Our mole had the presence of mind to grab a camera and snap a couple of shots (click on picture for another angle). The racer involved was of course fine, as was the car which in fact reappeared on the track later the same day after all the brown stuff (both inside and out) had been washed off.
UK Supertwin racer Ian Turburville urgently needs a set of Chrysler hemi, clevite, rod bearings CV1512-V (or M) if he is to race this weekend. "I have some on order but they have not yet turned up from the States so need a contingency plan!", says Turbo. "I need a four rod's worth if possible". If you can help then please drop Turbo a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp has been in touch to ask if anyone can help with a lift for a crew member from Tampere Airport to Alastaro at about 22:30 on the evening of Thursday 3rd July. "My crewman is more than willing to contribute towards the cost", says Richard. If you can help then please drop Richard a line at email@example.com.
This young supplicant is Tanita Gibbs, daughter of UK Super Pro ET racer Vince Gibbs, who is a crucial member of Banshee Racing. Tanita has asked if anyone with an American muscle car would be willing to drive her to her school prom in Brackley, Northamptonshire in Friday 27th June. "The drive will be only about one mile but as Tanita has been breathing nitrous, C15 and now methanol all her life, to her it's the only acceptable way to travel", says Vince. "Of course expenses will be covered plus a few beer tokens". If you can help then please get in touch with Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest racer to come ashore in England for the weekend's FIA Main Event is Swedish Top Methanol FC racer Leif Andréasson who with team member Willy is loading up the team's rig with the contents of a container of parts from the USA. The Andréasson Motorsports rig will then drive to Santa Pod Raceway where Leif is scheduled to test at Thursday's Pro Peak Performance Day.
A slow launch.
20th May: Pete Thornton, aka Sneaky Pete of the UK Street Racers, has kindly sent us a number of video clips of launches at last weekend's testing at Santa Pod Raceway. These are video clips with a difference, though, as they were filmed in extreme slow motion which for example allow you to count how many times the tyre turned before the car moved, or to see individual cylinders exhausting.
The videos come in .MOV (Quicktime) format and some are quite large although if you have Broadband you probably won't notice that. You can check out the videos by clicking on the names below:
Dave Day (Super Comp/Gas)
Gino Bernadine (Pro ET)
Henri Joosten (Pro Modified)
Mark Flavell (Super Pro ET)
Micke Gullquist (Pro Modified)
Paul Ingar Udtian (Top Methanol Dragster)
Tim Garlick (Super Modified)
Urban Johansson (Pro Modified)
If the videos download and then don't play then that is a plug=in configuration problem with your Browser so no E-Mails thank you. One way around this is to download the clips to the C: drive of your PC and play them from there which you can do by right-clicking the above links and saving the target.
Pete has also uploaded some video of last weekend's UK Street Racer action at Santa Pod to www.ukstreetracers.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6587.
Web site updates.
20th May: Our good buddy Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with pictures from the recent Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Sharkman's shots at www.topendtales.com.
The name of John Hobbs is legendary within the sport of drag racing. He dominated European drag bike racing in the second half of the 1970s with his famous bike The Hobbit. What is perhaps less well known is that he was also a highly successful figure in motorcycle sprinting and world record attempts. Our good friend Alan Currans has been collaborating closely with John over the last few months and now his entire racing career has been authoritatively documented in a substantial new feature article on The Acceleration Archive. There are four pages of richly illustrated narrative which start with his first BSA Bantam-powered sprint bike in 1966, and take you all the way up to 2004 which was his last outing on The Hobbit. And if this were not enough, there is a gallery page with well over a hundred further pictures. You can access this article from the What's New link on the Site Map at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Tubby has been in touch to let us know that the Shakespeare County Racers web site at www.shakespearecountyracers.com has been updated with more than one hundred pictures from the weekend's Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Marcin Gwozdz has updated his web site with a large number of pictures from the recent PTM Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Marcin's shots at www.marcingfx.co.uk.
It rained, but when doesn't it...
19th May: A number of racers took the chance to test for the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway at the weekend. Saturday's Peak Performance Day was badly affected by rain although thanks to the usual huge effort by the track crew some running was possible. In contrast yesterday's Run What You Brung was held under sunny skies and the pairing lanes were never less than full.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored reports, pictures and pit notes by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event.
NitrolympX back in FIA.
19th May: This year's NitrolympX at Germany's Hockenheimring on 15th-17th August is to be an FIA European Championship round for Top Fuel Dragster, Top Methanol Dragster, Top Methanol Funny Car and Pro Modified. This has only just been made official so we will bring you more news as soon as the powers-that-be have had a chance to send it to us.
FIA Main Event running orders, gates.
19th May: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding us the provisional running orders for this weekend's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the running orders by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event. Please note that these running orders are provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Paula has also informed us that Santa Pod Raceway's gates will be opening at 2:00 pm on Thursday for unless you are entered for that day's Pro Peak Performance Day in which case you can of course get in earlier. Signing-on will be open from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Thursday.
Entry deadlines approaching.
19th May: This Friday, 23rd May, is the entry deadline for two forthcoming events. In both cases, entry after deadline will incur a penalty fee.
First up is The Netherlands' eXplosion Drag Racing Club's return to Drachten Airfield on Friday-Sunday 20th-22nd June. Entry is currently €165 but the deadline is this Friday (23rd May) after which entry will be €215. You can enter on the eXplosion Drag Racing Club web site at www.explosiondragracing.com/?page_id=13.
Also closing this Friday is the SPRC Summernationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday-Sunday 14th-15th June. Entry after this date, if accepted, incurs a 100% penalty fee. You can download the SPRC Summernationals entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has forwarded us Version 1 of the official entry list for the SPRC Summernationals, which you can view by clicking here. If you think you should already be on the list, or if you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry, then you can contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Rapp recounts inferno.
19th May: Swedish Pro Modified racer Ulf Rapp has recounted what by all accounts was a horrifying fire at a recent Test and Tune at Meca Raceway. The great news is that Ulf is OK and that he is already planning his return:
I made a long straight burnout and backed up again, into stage, full throttle and away, bang, the carburettors and the manifold flew off and the nitrous started to burn in the engine bay! I got myself out of the burning inferno at the second attempt, forgot to remove the steering wheel and broke a rib. The fire came into the opening in my helmet, but I still got myself out in ten seconds.
An ambulance took me to the hospital in Malmö with first degree burns on my face and hands. The doctors said that they wanted me to stay until Monday for observation, but I told them "Stop! I am going home today". "Do what you want", the doctor said, "it seems impossible to stop you". The team picked me up in a wheelchair as I couldn't walk due to the pain.
Both the team and I are very grateful for all support and consideration we got at the track and afterwards from the other teams especially Team Kendall, Roger Johansson, Jörgen Karlsson, Jimmy Ålund and Tommy Möller.
Don't count us out for the rest of 2008, we will be at Mantorp Park and the European Finals! The new front end of the body is on its way to Sweden, and the carburettors are being repaired.
Editor's note: Thanks to Patrik Jacobsson for his help with this news item.
FIA Main Event snippets.
19th May: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Air Sea Logistics were used by UK Pro Mod racer Danny Cockerill to arrange airfreight of his BAE engine block to and from Brad Anderson Enterprises in California. "Danny damaged the motor at the Easter Thunderball and shortly afterwards gave it to us to send to BAE to be repaired", says Malcolm Francis of Air Sea Logistics. "The block was repaired and was ready for collection and shipment back to the UK in the middle of last week. At the same time Danny also used us to airfreight the rods, pistons, camshaft and bearings for the motor from Canadian Pro Mod racer Carl Speiring. Both consignments arrived at London Heathrow on Sunday morning and Adrian Spencer collected them from our warehouse Sunday afternoon so that the team could start rebuilding the motor for next weekend's first round of the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. We wish Danny the best of luck for next weekend - he could do with some after the last few races! - and we hope that he gets back to his six-teen / 230 mph form he showed last year."
Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Lex Joon says that the MPM Oil-sponsored team have not changed a lot on their car. "Several teams' budgets are growing each year", says Lex. "It was important to upgrade our transportation after last season, so that's what we did. You can only spend your dollars once and that leaves us another year with our threee engines which have already been in use for more than four years. We have changed the blower for the latest design on the market, we need to adjust the tune for this blower but I'm confident that we will be ready in time to run the numbers. I'm really curious to see what Urs' and Micke's American tuners are going to show us, with Per and Karsten who already made their statement at the Finals last year it promises to be a very interesting first round of the 2008 season. Our crew have some new faces compared to last year but from what I saw at Easter, where we had to make three runs in one day, I know my team is ready to perform."
UK Pro ET racer Nigel Green's new engine arrived from John Maher's engine build shop in the outer Hebrides over the weekend. "I expect my husband to be lost to the garage until the Main Event where hopefully the new engine (and gearbox) will have their first outing", says wife Lisa.
Dutch Supertwin racer Job Heezen says that if everything goes OK at the FIA Main Event then he plans to attend every round of the FIM/UEM European Championship. "The season can go anywhere", says Job, "everything is new to us - the class, the bike, the crew, you name it. We will start at thebeginning and see where we are after every race. We found out that the problem with our run at Easter was that the timing was not working, which caused a series of problems such as not shifting into second gear. Looking at the split times of that run, however, it looks very promising."
Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Kjell Sjöblom will not be racing at this weekend's FIA Main Event after a pretty important part failed to materialise. "Kjell has two rolling chassis (one for sale), three FC-bodies, two engines, two clutches, three gearboxes and so on...but no supercharger!", says Anders Magnusson. "A new blower was ordered in October last year after Kjell sold the old one to a Top Doorslammer racer. It was paid for in February, but it hasn't showed up in his shop yet. We persistently thought "next week" but time has run out, and Kjell has decided not to run at the Main Event. Instead Kjell is spending time exptending the buildings of his laser cut and manufacturing company. His season is expected to start at with test and exhibition runs at Sundsvall Raceway on 14th-15th June, if the supercharger turns up that is". You can read more at www.pritonaracing.com.
Swedish Pro Mod racer Mats Eriksson should have new colours on his tow car and does have a new team member this weekend, says Lena Perés. "If we're lucky we'll be able to show you that at the Pod", says Lena. "A new team member is trying out this kind of life now, as our team member Saxström has other things to take care of. Now we would like to introduce Masse Johansson and we hope that he likes it so much that he just has to follow this circus around Europe for the rest of his life."
Lee Baxter has been in touch to wish good luck for the weekend to Team Lawbreakers team mates Nick Curtis and John Ricketts. "Both are entered in Super Street", says Lee. "It's John's first time back on the track with his Big Block Chevy-powered Ford Anglia since he raced in Street Eliminator many years ago. The Anglia is even being MOT'd this week! On the two wheeled front I have now sold my ZX12R 9.50 Bike as I can't race this year due to work commitments, but I am hoping to have a new bike possibly next year for the new 8.50 Bike class."
Carter Motorsport press release.
19th May: The Carter Motorsport / Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster team were delighted to be invited along to the FIA European Championship Press Day at the Sports Café on London's Haymarket. The event, organised by Santa Pod Raceway in association with Image Wizard would bring journalists together with some of the top names in European drag racing - Andy Carter, Andy Robison, Martin Bishop and Martin Hill.
Preparations for the event started weeks before with the Carter Motorsport marketing team writing biographies, press releases and the preparation of press packs which included CDs, hero cards and information about the team.
The day started at 1:00 pm when the Carter Motorsport team met in central London for a working lunch. Amongst the items on the agenda were forthcoming press releases and sponsor and guest arrangements for the Main Event. Andy also took some time to work on his forthcoming book Andy Carter's Top Fuel History. The book is starting to look really good and we hope it will become a must-have for drag racing fans when released in 2009.
The event kicked off around 3:00 pm when journalists started to arrive at the Sports Café. The Santa Pod team had done a great job with the venue. A display of a Supertwin Bike and a Junior Dragster outside was capturing the attention of the passing public. Inside FIA coverage was being displayed on numerous plasma screens and there was even a Scalextric drag strip to capture the imagination of the assembled media.
Throughout the afternoon and evening we spoke to journalists from all areas of the media. Newspapers, magazine, web sites and radio were all keen to talk to Andy Carter to find out about drag racing and exactly what it is like to drive the 8000 bhp, 300 mph Lucas Oil dragster.
The event drew to a close around 9:00 pm and the Carter Motorsport team left for home. It was a very successful and enjoyable day for the team; we made a number of new contacts and hopefully created some excellent publicity for the sport. We were happy to leave empty-handed - all of our press packs had been snapped up by journalists eager to find out more about Top Fuel drag racing. We hope to be back there next year representing the sport.
Your team at the FIA European Championship Press Day were Andy Carter and Gary Cottingham. We would like to say a very big thank you to Santa Pod Raceway for inviting us to attend to represent the sport. Thank you to the Santa Pod staff for all of their help throughout the day and also thank you to the Image Wizard staff for their help.
Editor's note: You can check out our coverage of the Press Call by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event.
16th May: In the excitement of the approaching FIA Main Event it would be very easy to forget that next Friday, 23rd May, is the official closing date for the SPRC Summernationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 14th-15th June. Entries received after Friday, if accepted, will be subject to a one hundred per cent late entry penalty. You can download the entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about SPRC Summernationals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield's Willys is at the workshops of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars for repair and chassis modifications ready for the FIA Main Event after his Christmas Tree-punting and guardrail-denting mishap at the Springspeed Festival. "I would like to say sorry to all my fellow racers for cutting qualifying short on Saturday and causing the Shakespeare County Raceway staff a whole bunch of work", says Kev. "Thanks to everyone for the kind words and generous contributions which are much appreciated. Apologies to Lawrie Gatehouse for stealing the NFAA's thunder, but that kind of glory you can keep! With every direction having been explored so far - up, down, right and left - the only way left to go is straight. Here's hoping."
FIA Main Event Perfect Awards.
16th May: Next weekend's FIA Main Event is the fourth event in the 2008 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.
Next weekend's Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award is £100. The money will be presented to the first racer next weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to all racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first perfect light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the SPRC Summernationals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow, whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.
As Santa Pod's timing system works to four decimal places we must clarify that although the Perfect Light Award goes to three places, we will not pay out for red lights with zeroes in the first three decimals since a foul is a foul however far in the first non-zero digit may be. So 0.0001 will win you the money (if you're first to do it), but -0.0001 will not.
Decals are not formally required for the Perfect Light Award but of course we appreciate it if racers carry Eurodragster.com decals: you can get Eurodragster.com decals at the track from any Eurodragster.com staff member.
Next weekend's Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Gas racer Conrad Stanley at the Springspeed Festival. The money will be presented to the first racer next weekend to run to the thousandth on their dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Junior Dragster during qualifying and eliminations (eliminations only for Junior Dragster) but will only be awarded for the first perfect run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the SPRC Summernationals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the SPRC Summernationals. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV, whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers will be required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle whether car or bike. The decals are available at signing-on but please note that, as is usual with contingency schemes, racers are responsible for requesting or picking up decals when signing on. A list of required decals per class is always on display in signing-on.
Udtian takes the gate.
15th May: Norwegian Top Methanol Dragster racer Paul Ingar Udtian is the first racer to arrive at Santa Pod Raceway for next weekend's FIA Main Event. Paul and the Q8 Oils-sponsored Islanders Dragrace Team completed their marathon journey yesterday afternoon and are now preparing the car for its first outing of the year at Saturday's Peak Performance Day.
"We have a lot more work to do at the track because of the problems we had before we left the Islands with missing parts and shipments not arriving as promised", says team member Konrad Ree. "Again we have to say a big Thank You to Gittli Koller of Peter Schöfer Racing who helped us with the German customs and Fannreim Motorverksted who helped us to machine the block. Without thieir help we wouldn't be at Santa Pod today. Hopefully we will be ready for some testing on the Norwegian National Day."
The team have a web site under construction at www.islandersdragracing.com which they plan to update during this year's European Tour.
Editor's note: Racers please be sure to keep those FIA Main Event previews coming. Pro or Sportsman, drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll post it here.
The cold has no bearing...
15th May: UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell says that it all went seriously downhill after unveiling the team's new Funny Car at the Auto Trader Easter Thunderball at Santa Raceway, but that the team will be back for next week's FIA Main Event.
"An old driver in a new car needs to be observed' to be competent to drive that car. Team MFR in our new Steel River Hot Rod Saab 93 Funny Car suited up in near freezing conditions and went through the burnout and staging procedure. In the right hand lane I launched to sixty feet as required and all was OK. We came back around for our eighth-mile pass when the rain came down just as we were readying to fire her up. We towed back to the pits as instructed and the day looked like it was over. My team went down to help our good friend Derek Flynn with his awning in the wind after battening down our own hatches in the MFR pit.
"Now, I have every confidence and great admiration for the time and effort the Santa Pod crew put in to the track, but I never thought the track would re-open that afternoon. So when the pit marshal appeared and said "Five minutes" you can imagine the panic and flurry of activity to get the Funny Car out so that we could get the last of the observed runs in before we could actually run the quarter and qualify. Mobile phones were rung and the crew reappeared with minutes to spare. Unfortunately the temperature had dropped still further and we had no time or means of warming the driveline through quickly, as we were going to miss our slot. We figured we'd get the chance to warm through in the collection area but on arrival were told to go.
"Well, we should have known better because at four degrees with an engine with ally rods and 50wt oil the gauge can read what it likes but the laws of physics won't allow oil to flow across a 0.0025" bearing gap which was set at seventeen degrees so was probably down nearer 0.001". A quick short burnout and off the throttle. The motor came to an abrupt stop and we pushed back. Does anybody want a Dart block, Scat crank and a set of BME 396 rods previously enjoyed for approximately thirty five seconds? No, I thought not...all scrap.
"After thirty years of building and racing I can only take this one on the chin as it was all self-inflicted. We'd hoped to be back out for the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway but work and race transporter MOTs conspired against us. We're ready now and hungry to get on track for the Main Event. I'd like to thank my crew Craig Owen, Steve Metcalfe and Mali Rigg for the monumental effort they've put in. Thanks also to Karl and Rod Harrison for helping out and to Universal Engines of Las Vegas for their help. So keep your eyes on the Welding Specialists / NGK / Simoniz / DAPO Super Pro ET Funny Car, we intend to have some fun!"
Web site updates.
15th May: We don't know how he did it, but in between Eurodragster.com duties and even longer bouts working on the event programme for the FIA Main Event, Roger has updated his personal web site Nitro Exposure with a sample gallery from last week's Springspeed Festival as well as come vintage shots from 1988 which you can find on the Home and News pages. You can check out Roger's shots at www.nitroexposure.co.uk and if you like what you see either on Nitro Exposure or on Eurodragster.com enough to want to buy copies then you can contact Roger through either web site.
Photo-journalist Dick Parnham has updated his Fotopic gallery with pictures from last week's Springspeed Festival. You can find Dick's MotoPhoto Gallery at dickparnham.fotopic.net.
Take the Pro Mod Challenge.
14th May: Eurodragster.com News sponsor Exhaust-coating.de have announced that they are to sponsor a Pro Mod Challenge in 2008. The idea is the brainchild of soon-to-be Pro Mod racer Marco Maurischat. Exhaust-coating.de is a division of Marco's own company Pulverbeschichtung Nord GmbH Germany, and it is this brand that will be the title sponsor for the Challenge, to be held at the 2008 European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
The Challenge is open for the top eight drivers as determined by qualifying points earned by the top sixteen qualifiers at preceding 2008 FIA European Championship rounds. The winner will be awarded with €2000 and the runner-up €500. A decal on each side of the race car is all that is necessary to earn points and prize money. The points system and standings will be available on the European Pro Mod Association web site at www.promod.nu, on the Exhaust-coating web site at www.exhaust-coating.de, and here on Eurodragster.com after each FIA Championship round.
"We feel very proud to become a sponsor for the European Exhaust-Coating.de Pro Mod Challenge in 2008", says Marco Maurischat. "Firstly I have to thank the EPMA and also Santa Pod Raceway for helping us to make this happen. I also have to say that without the support of great companies such as NIC industries with Brian Hall, Brandon Grady and all the other great people, this simply would not have happened.
"We were thinking initially about some prize money for the winner of the European FIA Championship. But then we decided to switch to the Shootout format. We know that not all Pro Mod racers will be able to win the FIA Championship, but to earn qualifying points is possible for most, so to get points to stay in the top eight at the end of the season is something that can happen for almost everybody in the class. It will be very exciting to see who takes the €2000 for the win and €500 for runner-up at Santa Pod in September. We will visit the Main Event to talk to the racers and to hand the decals out to them. Hopefully all of Pro Mod racers will enjoy the extra excitement of racing to earn some money!”
For more information about the European Exhaust-Coating.de Pro Mod Challenge, E-Mail Marco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marco also told Eurodragster.com that he is seeking associates from all over Europe to become certified applicators for his products. "I feel very proud to offer and sell exclusive Cerakote™ ceramic products Europe wide", he said. "We see drag racing and the fastest door cars on the planet as an ideal marketing platform to make our line of Cerakote™ Ceramic products well known all over Europe. Besides our powder coating and car painting divisions Pulverbeschichtung Nord is specialising in Cerakote™ High Temperature Ceramic Coatings such as polished Chromex and many other colors for exhaust systems, as well as thermal barrier coatings for internal engine components like piston domes and valve faces. The company also offers the full line of Solid (Dry) Film coatings. Having worked with these products for more than three years Pulver Nord is now the first and official exclusive European distributor and dealer for Cerakote™ products. Cerakote™ is one of the best and well known ceramic products and is used by many big exhaust manufactures in the US motorcycle and car industries. For more information please visit www.exhaust-coating.de and www.nicindustries.com.
Them bones are set to shake!
14th May: Simon Mitchell is aiming to run in Super Pro ET in the UK next season in his recently-acquired altered named BoneShaker. The altered came into the UK at the end of 2007 and Simon acquired it a couple of months ago.
"I own a body shop in Kent, Mitchville Autobodies, so the first thing we've done is named it and painted it!", says Simon (click on picture for another angle). As you can see from the photos, the airbrush artist has been let loose!
"I've got a 440 Chrysler wedge motor bored out to 500 ci with Eagle crank and rods, SRP pistons, Edelbrock Performer heads, Edelbrock cam kit, Competition Cams roller rocker kit, Milodon sump, Weiand high-rise tunnel ram with twin Holley 650 double pumpers and Pro billet distributor with MSD 7AL2 ignition. It all runs through a Powerglide box to a Ford nine-inch rear with 4.11 Pro gears. Thanks to Dave Milam at She Devil Racing for building the engine.
"I'm hoping to have the car together and running at least for the Southeast Custom and Classic Show at Farming World near Faversham in Kent in June. We have a couple of other cars coming down: Nigel Turner is bringing his Super Pro ET rail and Mad R's Racing are bringing their Shy Talker. Mick Payne may appear with the Artful Dodger if the engine is back in time. It should be a good show - any other racers who are free that weekend and fancy bringing their dragsters down should get in touch, the more the merrier!"
Bikes invited to Thunder...
14th May: Ian King writes that after the success of the Nitro Thunder competition at the 2007 NitrolympX at Hockenheim it has been decided to run this format again at the 2008 NitrolympX:
Nitro Thunder is open to riders of both twin- and four-cylinder Nitro powered bikes. Racers will be divided into the two categories and given the chance over three runs to run the lowest aggregate time and meet the respective winner of the other category in a Twin v Four final run-off.
Alongside Nitro Thunder there is a possibility of a Pro Bike Challenge if enough interest is shown. This will be open to all slick-tyred and wheelie bar bikes and is designed to to cater for Funny Bike/Pro Mod Bike and Pro Stock Bike.
Finally, there will be another Super Street Bike competition for which many entries have already been submitted.
Rico Anthes has asked that riders interested in competing in any of the above classes E-Mail him their interest as soon as possible at email@example.com.
...and all welcome at Drachten.
14th May: If like UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell you think the mid-June to mid-August break in the UK National Championships is way too long then why not join the rest of the touring Brits and head for Drachten in The Netherlands on 11th-13th July.
"An excellent track, which has now been extended to form a permanent drag racing venue, awaits just three and a half hours' drive from the ferry along motorway-standard roads right up to their front door", says Flav. "In 2006 a group of us Super Pro ET racers headed to Holland and had a real party. The track at the time ran on the City Airport which meant it was perfectly flat and smooth from start line to the end of the shutdown area. We were beaten by Martyn Jones in the final, red-lighting away a 7.01/197.
"Now they have extended the asphalt and the drag strip is being treated and sledded, whilst the air traffic is restricted to the shutdown area. It's a great venue and affordable. You can enter on-line via the eXplosion webs it at www.xplosion.nl then call Dave Higgs at Allsports Logistics on 01873 859500 and get the best ferry deal available. We sail from Harwich at 9.00 am-ish on Thursday 10th July and docking back at Harwich at 7:00 pm-ish on Monday 14th July.
"No matter what class you choose to contest, you'll receive a tremendous welcome and I can guarantee a great time. If you have any questions then please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to fill in any blanks, but it couldn't be any easier and it's the most fun you'll ever have with your clothes on!"
Stay tuned as we will have more from Mark Flavell tomorrow, this time about his own racing operation.
York's Round 1.
14th May: The first rounds of the Pennine Drag Racing Club Northern Drag Racing Championship took place on the 4th-5th May at York Raceway's UK Open Nationals, with a great turnout once again for American Super Stock, writes Richard Smith:
Having spent many late nights rebuilding his Hemi-powered GTX, Dave Billadeau fought through the ladder to defeat Trevor Cadman's Camaro in the final round while recording a 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds. Over in Sportsman ET, Lee Chiles started his Championship defence in the best possible way by reaching the finals and taking the win over Des Taylor, who had borrowed Andy Leigh's VW-powered buggy which destroyed yet another drive shaft on the start line! Meanwhile Andy Bales, in his consistent Anglia, took the honours in both Pro ET and the Hot Rod Challenge.
On the Sunday was the first-ever running of the new Power Tour series, which will be hitting Santa Pod and Shakespeare County later this year. The first round was won by Pete Youhill in his 582 ci powered Chevelle, who also managed to run the first nine-second pass ever recorded in American Super Stock competition. Well done Pete!
The winter work from the York Raceway and PDRC crews certainly proved worthwhile, with the new concrete burnout areas helping improve track conditions and allowing for plenty of wheels-up action. The great weather on Monday certainly helped too! The next event, the UK Spring Nationals, takes place on 25th-26th May and more details can be found at www.york-raceway.co.uk/events.html.
You can check out Richard's pictures from the event at richardsmith.fotopic.net.
14th May: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Derek Flynn has announced that he will not be contesting the FIA Main Event and that he will probably not be racing in Top Fuel Dragster this season. Since the termination of his deal with Knut Söderquist Derek has investigated other options but has ultimately decided against licencing and racing next weekend in case something should go awry and affect other racers' chances. You can read more in the latest entry in Derek's exclusive Racer Blog which you can read by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The UK's Pro ET Sponsorship Scheme has this year been extended to include the two UK Championship meetings at Shakespeare County Raceway, writes Carla Pittau. Ian Brown of Team Thatadoo led at the Springspeed Festival 0.016 off his dial-in and Sir Numero Uno Qualifier of the Springspeed graciously agreed to pose with his trophy. The Pro ET Sponsorship Scheme is supported by Alleyjax, Toxico Clothing, WASP, A1 Motor Stores, Inkwell Printing, Penn Autos, Hauser Race Cars, Black Bear Harley Davidson, Motor Shack and Real Steel, so when shopping for products supplied by these fine organisations remember to support the companies who support your addiction to speed.
Congratulations to UK Import racer John Bradshaw who clocked a Personal Best of 8.29 in his Nissan Skyline GTST at the PTM Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday (see below for report). "The car kept improving on each run which was great: 8.44, 8.39, 8.31, 8.30 and then 8.29" says John. "We had real consistency and no reliability issues at all despite the hot track temperature which was 43 degrees plus. My licencing runs are now complete so we are all ready to go. I can't wait for the Main Event."
Four B&H Automotive Street Eliminator racers will be appearing in exhibition at next week's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Steve Nash, Steve Pateman, Jeff Meads and Mark Perkins were invited to represent the class and will be making demonstration passes during the weekend. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime check out the official B&H Automotive Street Eliminator web site at www.streeteliminator.com which has been updated with the latest news from the class including race reports and video.
Sweden's Fast Freddy Fagerström clocked 6.41 seconds on his return to Pro Mod at the NDRG Springnats at Gardermoen at the weekend. You can check out a report and pictures from Gardermoen on the Racebilder web site at www.racebilder.nu - don't miss the picture of Freddy's tow vehicle.
Psycle Workz have expanded their machining capabilities with the purchase of new CAD/CAM software and machining centre. "We now have another Bridgeport VMC and, to go with that, state of the art 3D CAD/CAM software which enables us to model in 3D, products and custom parts prior to machining", says Cindy Newbury. "This has enabled us to produce more complex products with the VMC, to increase our product line and to give our custom parts that individual design. We can rapidly prototype anything you may need and develop products you may already have". Psycle Workz can be found at this weekend's BMF Show in Peterborough, or you can contact them via their web site at www.psycleworkz.com.
Advance ticket sales for the FIA Main Event close at 5:30 pm this Friday, 16th May. You can buy tickets on-line at www.santapod.com or call the ticket hotline on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). "To ensure you take advantage of the advance ticket price, please don't wait until Friday to order your tickets", says Jo Harris. "Get on-line to book tickets or get calling now! Also you have a last chance to get some track time prior to the Main Event as we still have a few places available for the Peak Performance Day this Saturday (17th May). Tickets will be now be available on the gate only on a first-come first-served basis."
A very Happy Birthday for yesterday (Tuesday) to Gerda Joon, Team Manager of The Netherlands' MPM Oil Top Fuel Dragster team and of course Lex's missus. We hope that you had a great day Gerda and we'll pass on your hugs next week.
The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "One for your Can You Guess What It Is section". We have a sneaking suspicion that we know what this one is about, but if you have any more information, or if you would like to send your own spy pictures, then please drop us a line at email@example.com.
Shakespeare County Raceway would be pleased to hear from racers who live in the Worcester and Gloucester areas and who would be interested in helping charity. "We've been asked by David Williams to mount another display of drag racing at the Evesham Show on 7th-8th June alongside the River Avon at Crown Meadow", says Jerry Cookson. "Last year the show featured a wide cross section of transport including grass roots motorsport and hot rods, live music, hot air balloons and a firework and laser show on Saturday evening, and all in aid of childrens charities". If you want to get involved and support a worthy cause whilst promoting the sport then please give Jerry a call on 01789 720180.
There are only a few weeks to go to the King of Europe event for street-legal cars which takes place at Brustem Airbase in Belgium on 21st-22nd June. Sixty two cars are entered from eleven countries, with the ultimate winner dubbed King of the West and facing off against recently-crowned King of the East Grzegorz Staszewski. You can check out the official entry list at www.kingofeurope.net.
HKS and Euro Compact success.
14th May: The second season of the HKS Drag Series got off to a flying start at Santa Pod Raceway Sunday, with superb action in all three classes writes Rick Cuthbert:
A high rate of attrition both before and during the event meant that the remaining cars were the very best in the series, and exemplified what the HKS Drag Series is about. In the Pro class, John Bradshaw won an uncontested final with a new personal best run of 8.292 seconds at a data-logged 165 mph (the timing data Terminal Speed is believed to be incorrect). John had a tough opponent in Steve Whittaker, who was unable to make the final after an incredible qualifying session produced the fastest side-by-side Jap pairing in the UK, Steve running an 8.062/165.80 against John's 8.314 at an identical 165.80 mph. Unfortunately for Steve, this awesome qualifying run resulted in a broken transmission, confining the car to the trailer before the finals.
In the Street class, a large entry was whittled down to just Johnny McKeon in the RK Tuning Skyline and Kevin Huntley in the Envy Performance Supra. Both cars had been running similar times all day, and a supremely close race was won by Johnny by what must have been just centimetres. Kevin actually ran the faster ET with a 10.882/144, but Johnny's better reaction times saved him, and his 10.947/136.56 was enough to take a hard-earned win.
In the Front Wheel Drive class, it was an all-CPL Racing final, with Guy Chamberlain up against his customer Scott Whitelaw. Guy reached an incredible 140 mph on his 10.721 run, but Scott's better reaction times came within a cat's whisker of saving him, and his 10.802 was frustratingly close to being good enough. Another breath-taking race from the HKS Drag Series!
The first ever Euro Sports Compact race also took place at the PTM Show on Sunday, and it was fantastic to bring together so many famous cars from different tuning scenes and run them together in proper drag racing eliminations. All entrants had to have European cars running European engines, and all had to be six cylinders or less. Front wheel drive and four wheel drive ruled, and VWs certainly made up the bulk of the field, but with a Lancia, MG and a Mini also entered and running competitively, it showed that everyone could compete.
The final came down to James Hodson in his FWD VW Golf turbo up against Mark Gunns in his 4WD VW Corrado. Despite an excellent 10.931/125 from Mark, he couldn't beat James' 10.813/134, which combined with his better reaction time put James a car-length ahead at the finish line. An excellent race that showed perfectly what Euro Sports Compact is all about. Watch out for a re-run at Ultimate Street Car in August!
You can find a fuller report and pictures on the HKS Drag Series at www.japdragseries.co.uk/hks_round1_2008.php.
British Hall of Fame update.
14th May: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in association with USAutomotive are pleased to announce that Nick Pettitt will be joining the BDRHoF as Historical Consultant to the Board of Selectors.
Nick's interest in Drag Racing started in 1971 at the tender age of eleven after seeing Chris Church in his T bucket on the London to Brighton vintage car run. Nick started buying Custom Car magazine (a BDRHOF member) and nagged his dad to take him to the drags at Blackbushe. Nick subsequently became very interested in the history of British drag racing and over the years has built up a large collection of old magazines and programmes. In the mid-1990s Nick got hold of some colour slides and cine film from the 1960s and put it onto video, adding his own narration using the magazines and programmes to identify the cars and bikes. The Time Travel video series is now on DVD and Nick is currently working on number fifty six; you can find details as well as extensive photo galleries on the Time Travel DVDs web site at www.timetraveldvds.co.uk.
Nick's expertise and knowledge of drag racing will be of great assistance to the Board of Selectors when assessing candidates for the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame.
Web site updates.
14th May: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon describes some of the work which the MPM Oil-sponsored team have been doing in the run-up to next week's FIA Main Event. You can read Lex's Blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The official web site of the UK's Showtime Fuel Funny Car team has been updated with a report and pictures from the team's recent appearance at the Rushden Cavalcade which featured a mixture of steam engines, trucks and tractors from the 1930s as well as a Funny Car with probably more power than the rest of them added together. Check it out at www.showtimeracinguk.com.
13th May: We are sorry to report that our good friend Peter Frost passed away overnight on Saturday at the age of only 48. Peter succumbed to cancer after a fight of just two weeks. Christer Abrahamson writes:
Peter came into the world of NDRS and Svensk Dragracing years ago like a breath of fresh air. He was big, positive and had new angles and fresh ideas about every issue with which Svensk Dragracing had to battle in those days. Peter quickly became the head of "The Travellers", as he called them, the girls and guys who travelled to almost every NDRS event to promote drag racing and who became the focal point for racers and organisers with questions and problems, and at the same time the place for a cup of coffee.
Before his years with Svensk Dragracing Peter was deeply involved in Comp Eliminator and he continued to have a special place for the class in his big heart.
Peter also had an interest in art and was very active in the local Art Club. He loved drag racing art, combining his two interests, and he also created a couple of NDRS' best-looking T-shirts.
Our sympathies and thoughts are with Peter's relatives. We are going to miss you so much buddy!
Tog adds: We were privileged to work with Peter on a number of occasions, usually around the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. Peter was a very friendly and helpful guy and thus ideally suited as an NDRS Traveller, a role he filled with some distinction and to the benefit both of the NDRS and drag racing as a whole. When visiting the Veidec Festival we were assured of a warm welcome from Peter and his colleagues at the NDRS stall and he was always amongst the first to ask if we were OK, if we had everything we needed, and if we wanted a free T-Shirt. Peter also did a great job during his time running the Svensk Dragracing web site, a task which seemed to have been dropped on him somewhat but he took it on willingly and in good heart and provided a good service to racers and fans. Peter's death is going to leave a big hole in the sport.
We would like to add our own sympathies to Peter's family and friends who should be assured that we will be thinking of him especially at Mantorp Park in July.
Peter did not want a formal funeral, so if you would like to make a donation in his memory then please do so to a local cancer charity.
12th May: Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered has been longing for his 2008 season to start. Micke will kick off 2008 at next weekend's Peak Performance Day and Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway.
"I was in the US twice this winter, mainly to meet suppliers, but I also met and watched my fellow competitor Urs Erbacher run", says Micke. "I admit I envy him and I think he did well. At the same time I know what tremendous work (and budget) lies behind a tour to the US, so for my team it has not an option for a long time. We simply have too many commitments in Europe during the winter as well. That is one of the reasons we can operate this on a professional full time basis."
"I'm looking forward to a fresh start this year with a new combination and fresh parts, last year was a disaster really" says Micke's UK-based head tuner Alan Jackson. "Although the car ran 4.83 at Mantorp, afterwards a mix of faulty parts, the weather and some good old bad luck made sure it was a year to forget for us. This year we would like some good weather so we can get some laps on the car, and learn what it needs to be consistently quick and happy!"
"With a whole new combination and a lot of new parts we are going to take it easy to start with next week, but hopefully we will make some half and three-quarter passes", says Micke. "The best scenario would be a full pass before the weekend of testing is over. We already been preparing a great deal at our base in Sweden, which will hopefully save us some time servicing the car and help to prevent those failures which can easily occur when working and assembling parts under stress. We have never invested so much in parts and knowledge as we have this winter. There is really not much more we could buy to improve our chances, so I hope for the best and I'm really looking forward to getting out on track at Santa Pod a week from now."
"Team Kågered is carrying a new selection of souvenirs to Santa Pod, so don't miss visiting us in the pits!", says Team Manager Åsa Kinnemar. "Reports from testing and the Main Event will be posted on our web site at www.kagered-racing.com, and for full live coverage as always we encourage you to take advantage of the excellent service Eurodragster.com provide (Thanks - Ed)."
Editor's note: Racers (both Pro and Sportsman) please note that it's neither too early nor too late to send your FIA Main Event previews. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post it here.
12th May: The first instalment of our FIA Main Event build-up, our report from last Thursday's European Championships Press Call, has now been posted in association with American Car Imports. You can check out what Martin Bishop, Andy Robinson, Andy Carter, Martin Hill and Keith Bartlett had to say to us by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event. Next up will be our live coverage of this weekend's Peak Performance Day and Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway.
Following the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, both APIRA and SCR would like to thank the racers as well as the spectators who braved the misfortunes encountered during Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's weather. "Thank you for sticking it out with us", says Jerry Cookson. "Monday as we all know was a bit of a bummer too but at least we managed to get some racing and rounds in for as long as the we could. We're also thankful that Kevin, Carla and Simon were OK after their mishaps on Saturday and Monday respectively. Hopefully a better prospect will be encountered for the Open Sport Nationals in August. Good luck guys for the next round at Santa Pod Raceway."
Come to Europe, have fun.
12th May: Karl Ellwein of the USA's East Coast Impala SS Racing Series is shipping his street/strip 1995 Chevy Impala SS to Europe. Karl plans to race at the Midnight Sun Internationals at Pite Dragway and the Gold Town Summer Drag Race in Skellefteå in July with Anders Envall and Kent Edin, for whom he has built an engine, and will then accompany Anders to Santa Pod Raceway to contest Pro ET at the FIA European Finals in September. Karl hopes to promote his business Ellwein Engines and intends to have fun along the way.
"A Sportsman racer touring Europe may sound eccentric, and maybe it is (No it isn't - Ed)", says Karl. "But this is something I have wanted to do since first attending the European Finals as Santa Pod in 2004 where I supported Anders in Pro ET. At Santa Pod I met a few of the Pro ET racers such as Carla Pittau and Rick McCann and it was there that a goal was set in my mind to race my own car at Santa Pod one day. I have since attended the 2006 and 2007 European Finals as a spectator, to support Anders, and to enjoy the nitro and Pro Mod cars.
"Back in September 1994 in my home town of Saint Leonard Maryland, USA, I had just received the brand new 1995 Chevy Impala SS which I had ordered from a few months earlier. The 350 ci V8 cast a spell over me. The car could beat almost any late-model Mustang or Camaro to the eighth mile. But after the eighth the big heavy car would lay down and I would see tail lights. I had to learn how to make this car quicker. Maybe that is the typical story of what brings someone into the sport of drag racing. A friend talked me into bracket racing a few years later and during that first bracket race I "blindly" went to the third round and that third round losing time slip had the word "Money" written on it. That $30 award hooked me! Since then I have been drag racing that 1995 Chevy Impala SS mostly in the trophy bracket racing classes of numerous USA drag strips. USA professional bracket racing is too businesslike and serious for my taste.
"In the USA the 1994 to 1996 Impala SS car has developed a cult following and numerous Impala clubs have sprung up. Impala Club drag racing events are held at drag strips all up and down the east coast of the USA. In 2000 I created an Impala SS bracket racing point series with the purpose of supporting all of the local Impala SS car club racing events and providing a reason to attend more races. That racing series, the East Coast Impala SS Racing Series, is now in its ninth year. Attending ECIRS events is really a great time with the family while having fun with the car. ECIRS basically keeps me racing and tuning on my car.
"A few years ago I developed a keen interest in engine building as a hobby. During a visit to Autoshop Racing Engines in Florida, Lennart Bergqvist suggested that I might try engine building as a profession. "You should try it", he said simply. Those words came from someone who I looked up to and truly idolised: the Lennart Bergqvist of Autoshop Racing Engines in Orlando Florida saying such things to me! I took his words to heart and started Ellwein Engines. I was shocked and deeply saddened when Lennart passed away in November 2006 after a short but courageous bout with cancer.
"The shipping of my Impala SS is supported by many friends who have been long supporters of my new engine building business. Autoshop Racing Engines in Orlando, Florida is the major sponsor of my car. As mentioned above Birgitta Bergqvist and her late husband Lennart gave the initial encouraging words and vouched for my business when establishing accounts with major suppliers such as Callies Performance Products. Carolina Performance Transmissions is providing two GM 4L60E transmissions - maybe having a spare is wise, yes? Advanced Induction Cylinder Head Development provides cylinder heads and camshaft design for Ellwein Engines. McKeown Motorsports Engineering Inc has been providing engineering, design and testing support for Ellwein Engines. Mark McKeown designed the blower piston used in Kent Edin's motor, forever to be called the Kent piston. Now, when a customer desires a strong forced induction motor we usually suggest an upgrade to the "Kent" piston. Mark McKeown has been a Jeg's Engine Master finalist each time he has competed in the event, 2006 and 2007.
"I also have one non-racing related sponsor, Vindouro Burmese and Bombay Cattery. I have to learn more about what a cattery is exactly. But if someone reading this is looking for a Burmese or Bombay kitty cat then Denise Hall's Vindouro Cattery would be a very good place to enquire. They are located in the USA and have experience with exported cats. I am fond of cats and have a nine year old grey shorthair cat named King Xerxes. He's like all cats: if you feed him he likes you, if not then he has no use for you (Didn't you know that dogs have owners but cats have staff - Ed).
"Now I finally have a booking with a shipping company to have my car in Gothenburg in Sweden some time at the end of June. I hope to promote my engine building company and have fun while doing it. How can you not have fun while drag racing in Sweden and England?
Outlaws take over the Manor.
12th May: In the lead up to the forthcoming Yanks Weekend and Gary's Picnic at Shakespeare County Raceway, the Supercharged Outlaw teams led by Roy Wilding and Brian Gandy made the trip to Drayton Manor Park yesterday to the 16th Annual NASC Neil's Springnationals, writes SCR's Promotions man Jerry Cookson.
"Although the show field was filled to capacity with rods and customs, both Roy and Brian entertained hundreds of onlookers by starting their cars several times throughout the day which ended in a mini cacklefest minutes before the main prize giving", says Jerry. "SCR owes a great debt of thanks to both teams for supporting the event and giving up their valuable weekend time, especially as Brian's altered was still in pieces late Saturday evening following a delay in parts, but thanks to a last minute thrash and a quick test fire on Brian's front drive late in the evening - much to the amusement of the street, I'm led to believe - the job was completed with both teams arriving at the Park dead on nine Sunday morning.
"SCR also would like to thank NASC Chairman Mark Ashman and his merry band of helpers for making us feel at home throughout the day and my personal thanks to Brian for allowing me to sit in his altered during the last cacklefest fire-up."
Yanks Weekend is scheduled for 31st May-1st June at Shakspeare County Raceway culminating in the thirtieth running of Gary Healey's American dream, Gary's Picnic.
Head for NHRA with Grandstand.
11th May: We are pleased to welcome Grandstand Motor Sports as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com News as for the first time a premier UK motorsport travel company has turned its attention to drag racing.
Grandstand Motor Sports' established tour and holiday programmes embrace Formula One, Le Mans, Historic Car Racing and Classic Motoring events, and MotoGP and World Superbikes. Now Britain's leader in motorsport travel has added America's NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series to its extensive portfolio.
NHRA's twenty four-race Powerade Drag Racing Series climaxes with events at Las Vegas and Pomona and Grandstand Motor Sports is offering three action-packed itineraries in one of the world's great holiday destinations to British and European followers of the sport. Both races showcase drag racing's four Pro classes - Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle - plus huge Sportsman fields. In addition, Las Vegas will present colourful, rumbustious Pro Modifieds for their final NHRA appearance of the season while Pomona will host the best Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars. Every NHRA ticket doubles as a pit pass, of course, but doors which still remain closed to ordinary fans have a way of swinging open for Grandstand guests.
Drag Racing USA with Grandstand Motor Sports offers individual trips to each race, plus a bumper twenty-night holiday encompassing both events and allowing guests ample time to enjoy the myriad attractions of America's Golden West. Importantly, Grandstand can provide price options ranging from budget-conscious to official trackside hospitality. All itineraries include flights, hotels, car hire and reserved race ticket. Quality hotels feature at both events - at Las Vegas, the legendary Flamingo Hotel, situated right at the heart of the action on the Vegas Strip - for Pomona, the stylish Ayres Suites Hotel at Ontario, a stone's throw from the giant Ontario Mills Mall and just twelve miles' drive from Pomona Raceway.
Off-track activities will include specially arranged visits to Shelby Automobiles, John Force Racing's palatial Funny Car team headquarters, the So-Cal Speed Shop - heartland of Southern California hot rodding for more than sixty years - and Boyd Coddington's Garage, scene of the late rod and custom creator's TV show American Hot Rod. Pomona guests will be treated to a welcome party at a remarkable venue: Dalcorp's amazing Area51 custom/classic car showroom and Racer's Lounge. Grandstand can arrange admission to the colossal SEMA Show for guests who qualify as Automotive Business Professionals.
The tour price also includes NHRA membership and automatic entry into a special prize draw to win a day at the races with Don Schumacher Racing, the largest Pro team in NHRA Drag Racing. Prices for Drag Racing USA with Grandstand Motor Sports begin at just £1469. For further information about Grandstand's itineraries and news of other events and attractions taking place at the time, please visit www.grandstandmotorsports.co.uk or call 0845 375 0300 (outside the UK +44 116 231 1222).
We would like to thank Grandstand Motor Sports for their support and Robin Jackson of Bluprints For Travel for his help. We are very pleased to add still more to the range of products and services which our readers can acquire via Eurodragster.com. If you are looking for the drag racing trip of a lifetime then be sure to check out the great deals on offer from Grandstand Motor Sports.
It's all new to Erbacher.
11th May: Reigning FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Urs Erbacher and the Fat Attack Team are toting a lot of new equipment in 2008 both on Urs' 4.5-second Top Fueller and FIM/UEM Supertwin Champion Lorenz Stäuble's mid six-second bike.
"Almost everything is new on the Top Fuel Dragster", Urs told Eurodragster.com. "The dragster is like the newest cars in USA. We have a new back half on the car, so the front end is Murf Mc Kinney and the back end is from Hadmann done by Hassey. We have eight ngines and new heads, a new injector, new fuel system, new wheels and new front and rear wings. So the car is pretty light now and ready for new European records and another Championship. We are sure we can run in the 4.55s at Santa Pod, maybe not at the Main Event but at the European Finals.
"Team wise, we have three American crew members: Crew Chief Wayne Dupuy, Assistant Crew Chief Jeff Twitchel and Brian on engine right side. Our European crew is almosr the same: Robin Car Chief, Andreas Blitz engine left side, Lüss Abt bottom end, Monika and Beat on the clutch, Chris on the heads, Martin bottom end and fuel, and Dario works on both the bike and the Fuel car. Our old Crew Chief Horst Pauli and his girlfriend Andrea Wucher, who brought me four FIA European Championships, cannot come to the Main Event with us.
"We working on a new global sponsorship deal but we can't make the deal before the Main Event. So we running with our long time partners Midland Oil Switzerland, Techno AG Switzerland, Innotec Switzerland, SCS IT Producment Switzerland, and Baner Art.
"We have changed a lot on the Supertwin. We put new cylinder heads on, so now we have two injectors, one on the left and one on the right, so that will give us more power. That's all we have changed on this winning combination. The only problem is that we haven't had the time to test this new combination so it will be hard for Lo to find the set-up at the Main Event. If we don't find it in the first two runs we will go back to the old set-up.
"The team is the same: Lo Stäuble rider, Cinzia Vivarelli, Dario Durso the Italian who will now give Chris Nigg a hand on the car heads too. Sponsors are Rick's Motorcycle Parts Germany, Ralph Marti Switzerland, Midland Oil Switzerland, Innotec and Techno Switzerland.
The tale of Carla's pirouette.
11th May: If you were tuned in to our coverage of last weekend's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway you will have read that UK Pro ET racer Carla Pittau went for a pirouette in the team's new Heaven & Hell As Well Camaro. Carla says that this is the latest incident in what has been a hellish season so far for the Heaven & Hell team:
After rebuilding the transmission which let us down at Easter, using a spare sun shell and sun gear complete with snap ring, we were hopeful that we would have no more trans blues, but we took the spare trans with us just in case. Rick was on the start line to observe my first run at Shakespeare County Raceway in the '84 Camaro, then running back to Heaven & Hell for his own qualifier. The first pass netted the car's best ET so far, a 10.46 which was unfortunately a break out on the 10.50 dial in, with Jemma lining me up on the burnout and carefully observing the run afterwards. The car's suspension needs a few changes and the runs did at least tell us as much: new springs and shocks are certainly on the cards as she sits too high, does not transfer the weight very well and we were softly spinning off the line and at each gear shift despite having a lot of rubber for a change, with the 14.5" slicks almost but not quite making it. Heaven & Hell had her own problems with traction and spun the tyres during each of the three qualifiers, not even managing a nine-second run.
Sunday brought a watery end to our hopes for improvement, and the adjustments to the four link in Heaven & Hell As Well and the grip juice application to the Heaven & Hell Mickey Thompsons had to wait for the first elimination run on Monday to prove their worth.
Rick was racing Paul Baynton in the Numero Uno blue Capri, I had to battle John Atkinson in the eight-second blue Cortina...great, we could have done with an easy one after the changes, not that there are many of those in Pro ET, but no luck there. I lined up and felt fairly confident that I could give John a fair and good race, but I must have staged too deep and for the first time in my life I did not know I red lit, which proved to be fatal on this particular run. I normally see the red bulb light up: it takes up the whole of my visual awareness, it shines brighter than the sun, explodes like a supernova, as I cry "Oh, how unfortunate" as I leave the line. Not this time. I ran the race as if I hadn't already lost. Big mistake. Huge.
So I took off and the car was a bit straighter off the line, good, I shifted into second and I felt it spin slightly but it stayed very straight, shifted into third and then sat at 7800 rpm with the limiter on thinking "We must change the gearing as soon as possible". Then I looked in my wing mirror - yes, a wing mirror, would you believe - and saw John bang in the middle of the frame, coming up fast. The finish line was right there, I had to take a chance and try to lose three or four hundredths just in case. Would John pass me before the line with his much higher mile an hour? I literally had thousandths to make a decision, I thought "Yes, I'll tap the brakes", and I did and spun.
I spun to the left in what seemed to be slow motion, felt the rear right hit the armco, kept spinning and had the vague feeling of hope that I wouldn't hit with the front but I did, front right end, kept spinning and hit again with the front, finally stopping at forty five degrees to the centre line facing the wrong way. I was sitting there switching all the switches off and could see the rescue team appear in no time at all. They wanted to know if I was OK, I thought I'd joke and say "I'm OK as I only hit with my head" then thought that they may have taken me seriously and I kept repeating "I'm fine".
The only thing I wanted to know was how bad the car was hurt, that was my first thought, so as they dragged me into the ambulance I tried to resist and bent to check underneath to see if any fluids had found their way out, but all looked dry and the body damage not too terrible, so I relaxed and thought my second thought, "Rick and the crew are back at the start line and they don't know I'm OK". I pleaded that they sent the message that I was unhurt and that I hoped that Rick would get on and race. Then the really nice paramedics kidnapped me and insisted upon doing their job properly to check me over accurately, rather than taking my word for it. They took me to the Med Centre and measured my blood pressure, then asked what it was normally. Er, I don't recall having it checked, ever. They asked all the other questions and did all the other checks then decided I seemed alright and let me out. Jemma was outside the Centre looking all worried, a big hug was needed here, and all seemed better already.
I wanted to know if Rick had run yet, he was running then so we ran to the fence and saw him go by in Heaven & Hell. The grip juice worked brilliantly, he pulled a 1.35 sixty foot and he knew he was on a breakout if he didn't slow down so he was on and off the power but crossed the line a whisker behind Paul (8.81 inches - Ed). A great race, but a defeat.
So all that was left to do was a group hug for the Heaven & Hell team back in the pits. The sticky brown stuff happens at times but the important thing is to fix it and come back to do battle again. We are in the process of repairing the '84 and are at present very hopeful that we will still be at the Main Event in two cars. Heartfelt thanks to the SCR rescue team for their swift and reassuring action, to the paramedics for being wonderful and putting up with my silly sense of humour, to Jemma Harrison and Dave Buckland, my brilliant crew, for their dedication and support, Peter Lane for springing into action and coming over to our house to assess the damage and offer help and advice, to the whole Pro ET class and drag racing community that never lets you down and whose concern and offers of help and advice were heart warming, to the Eurodragster team, and last but not least to John (I don't know his surname!) who sent me a video of the whole run which we are examining very closely for further clues as to why I spun. Also apologies to John Atkinson for not giving him a proper race, I'll try and do better next time!
11th May: Fellow Pro ET racer Steve Hudson could also have had a better 2008 so far but he has been in touch with his story and some thanks to those who have helped him:
After watching drag racing for fifteen years, the death of my brother in law in a buggy racing accident in Australia made me realise that life was too short to keep saying "One day!". I managed to persuade the good lady to allow me to purchase a '77 Pontiac which I ran at the Saturday Night Special in October 2006 and the bug bit. I then purchased an altered which I took to Andy Robinson Race Cars for some chassis mods and it was deemed to be beyond repair. After I bought the wife some flowers and sat her down for a long chat, we decided that Andy Robinson would build us a new chassis and that we would spend the 2007 season as spectators again.
By October last year the chassis was collected from ARRC and needless to say it was superbly built (thanks Rob). We spent the winter rebuilding the motor from the Pontiac and getting the car ready for Easter. Our first outing was the Saturday Night Special in February. All the well-laid plans about taking it easy on the first few runs went out the window, and the car was in the elevens by its third run. At Easter the car ran down into the low tens on the Friday and then we all know what happened from there to the rest of the weekend.
I sat out most of the Springspeed Festival after suffering complete loss of drive at one thousand feet on my first qualifying run on Saturday. After removing the trans on Sunday we found the oil pump ring gear had shattered and we would not be able to fix it on site. Again, one quick call to Andy Robinson and the box was rebuilt by Wednesday evening. I would like to thank my fellow Pro ET racers who offered help and advice to get me back on the track.
I would like to pass on my thanks to everyone at Andy Robinson Race Cars for all their help in building the car and putting a big grin on my face, my wife Angie for letting me get away with spending so much, and everybody who helped put the car together.
Flying with the light aircraft.
11th May: UK Supertwin racer Ian Turburville says that with the Springspeed Festival being held over the UK May Bank Holiday, he knew what to expect as soon as the sun came out on the preceding Thursday - rain all weekend:
That's exactly what we got apart from a brief respite on Saturday which enabled us to get some qualifying runs in. Bruno and his team had been prepping the track for days and done their best to get us a race surface and it was OK, just a little green from lack of racing but we knew that would come around over the weekend. We set up in the Top Fuel pits with Rene from Holland, Steve Carey, Steve Woollatt and Ian 'Rush' Carruthers, with the help of Steve DD Leedell, Martin, Ingrid and Adam Charnley, who was also on track duty.
My first pass was in the left lane and the slick lit up on the hit so I feathered it down the track to get a time on the board. Steve Woollatt had the same outcome but Steve Carey went nice and straight for a beautiful 200 mph lap. Pass two was in the right hand lane. I launched as hard as I could and it took off nicely. Unfortunately the clutch on my bike locks-up at the exact point of the transition from the concrete launch pad to the tarmac surface, this causes the bike to jump in the air and when it comes down at full wheel speed it breaks something in the drive line. This time it was the belt, last time the sprocket. I quickly shut it off and pulled to the side of the track. The sudden deceleration actually made me bite my tongue!
Rain stopped play until midday Monday when the sun came out and 250 racers tried to get the meeting done in an afternoon! Our first round was at about 5:00 pm so it was a long day. We were #2 qualifier so had Steve Woollatt and lane choice (thank god), Steve Carey had a bye, Rene and Rush still had to do licencing runs. The track felt better underfoot so I put a good clutch setting in but I noticed the oil pressure dropping and the rear cylinder getting hot. Oh well, ya gotta be in it to win it as they say. Racing a Puma with a Harley is quite hard, not only do they out-power me by two hundred horsepower but they have a totally different starting routine. Our bikes use a lot of nitro even ticking over so you need to gauge your burn-out and staging time so that you end up in stage together, there are no staging 'duels' allowed in nitro classes as there are in Pro Stock. We managed that part quite well and got the tree lit both sides.
Steve and I launched hard simultaneously with reaction times of around .025 seconds, the race was on! By sixty foot Steve was way out in front as expected but my bike was pulling stronger than ever before and going nice and straight, cool! At that point my front wheel started its climb and was getting some serious air. At mid track it was playing with the light aircraft from the adjoining air strip and still pulling like a freight train! At a hundred feet I was having too much fun so the powers that be decided that was enough, and my rear piston let go bringing me down to earth with a bump. Steve won with a 6.4 pass and even though I had shut the throttle at a hundred feet and slowed the bike to 155 mph I still carded a 7.5.
The bike is now being freshened for the FIA Main Event and the first round of the UEM European Championship, at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-26th May. Unfortunately we do not have the funding to attend the three European rounds of the UEM but we look forward to playing with the big boys for the rest of the year here in the UK.
Well done to Steve and the Dealer team, to Scarey and the Purple Princess team, and to the very hard working track crew and club members at Shakespeare County Raceway/APIRA.
11th May: UK Funny Bike racer Kev Charman had a successful outing on his new bike at Shakespeare County Raceway although it appears to have scared the living daylights out of him initially. Kev dropped us a line to let us know how his weekend went:
The brake line that we had been waiting for did not arrive with the post as promised, so as you can imagine we were not very happy at all. To get this far, and not be able to go fast because we would be unable to stop, seemed so wrong. We made a long call voicing displeasure, Martin from Goodridge was however very apologetic and understood completely. He made a call to Goodridge at Silverstone, called us back and said that if we could collect the line the replacement would be made up there. We of course said yes, as it is only a few miles from us. Martin called back half hour later to tell us it was ready. What a star, we cannot thank Martin and Goodridge Silverstone enough for going that extra mile for us. So with bike and tools in the van and caravan hitched up, we must have looked a right sight as we drove into Silverstone. Collected the last piece of the bike, and drove on up to Stratford.
Our first run was normally aspirated. We advised the start line crew that we would prefer to run singly as it was a new bike and if it did get out of shape it would not interfere with anyone in the other lane and they agreed. I was very nervous, not being too sure what the bike was going to do.
A good strong burnout, stopped a little short of the line. Chris put me straight, and somehow I managed to get myself a bit crooked after that. The bike launched hard to the left, I corrected it as best as I could as I was also rolling on and off the throttle, managed to correct, and got it straight. I got back on the throttle and got to the end, but didn't have enough power to get off the track so I had to push it off as quickly as I could as I was horrified to hear two Pro Stock Bikes burning out, no one appeared to be aware that I was still in the middle of the track. I was very relieved to get to the other end in one piece and with no major hiccups. The bike, however, does not like normal aspiration so I ran 11.84/133.
I was not too happy about getting back on the bike after that, but knew I had to. Chris had already told Lizz that he hated normally aspirated Funny Bikes, as they were not safe under little or no power, so the gas had to go in. The nerves were obviously still there for the second run, I had a healthy respect for the bike. This time there was going to be proper power, and again I was not too sure what it was going to do. To say that I was very scared (the polite version) was an understatement!
The burnout felt good, I got myself closer to the start so there as less room for error, and Chris went further back to make totally sure that it was straight. It launched well, but again went off to the left. I tried to correct it, but still felt the need to back off the throttle to correct it. Got it back into the groove, rolled back onto the throttle, and felt the nitrous kick hard. Through the gears and finish line, 8.22/174, not bad at all considering that when we checked the data, I had in fact been off the throttle for two seconds! The bike pulled like a train, and this time had enough speed to get me to the end of the track. I have a lot to learn, and need much more seat time, it scares the living wotsit out of me at the moment, but it's a hell of a lot of fun! And I was number three qualifier. Rain stopped play on Sunday, out to play Monday.
The third run was 7.62/172.5, long story short the bike just got quicker quicker and went straight and bear in mind that it is running on relatively no power, with soft settings. On the last run I knocked out Stu Chamberlain in the semis with a 7.46/174.8 and got into the final against Chris Hall. Time was not on our side and the event was called.
It was a very successful weekend's testing, and I am very happy with the new bike. I have a lot to learn, and there is plenty in there yet, which is scary! Thanks to my amazing crew, I really couldn't do it without you. Lizz - ditto, will thank you later! Thanks Ken for such an awesome engine, and to all my sponsors as always. www.nitrous-junkie.co.uk will be updated in the next couple of days, so please keep an eye on it.
No go on the Bank Holiday.
11th May: UK Rocket Dragster pilot Carolynne Campbell should consider predicting the lottery numbers given her skill at foretelling the future before the Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. "In my last press release I ended with a cautionary note: "This is drag racing, even the best cars don't go every time and the weather can always interfere" - what a spot-on forecast", she says.
"We were scheduled to run at the end of Saturday's qualifying sessions. All the crew were there and we were ready to go. Just as we were about to put the gasses into the car, a racer put his car through the start lights and went into the barrier. That closed the track for the rest of the day. The Saturday run was off! Sunday - where's Fred? Our departure controller was absent without leave and no phone call. The phone rings. "It looks a bit wet from up here". It was Fred flying overhead in a light aircraft. Ironically he had flown in from the airstrip next to Santa Pod. It rained, they dried the track, then it rained. And so on and so on. Later in the day the truck carrying the track drier did a graceful pirouette and crashed into the guardrail wrecking the cowling. Sunday's run was off.
"David and I returned home for a decent night's sleep in our own bed, and headed back to the Raceway early on Monday morning. The weather was fine leaving home, but as we neared Shakespeare, the heavens opened. The track wasn't dry and ready until 2:00 pm and ahead of us were a couple of hundred racers all as desperate as us to get a run in. The organisers were frantically attempting to fit a full day's racing into the next four hours and, frankly, it all got a bit frenetic. We need an hour's notice to gas-up and ready the car and the notice didn't come. When we finally got a go-ahead, we gassed up and ended up waiting for an hour in the pairing lane. The car is not designed to sit and wait once it is fuelled. It was nobody's fault, just the way things turned out.
"Dave Burditt from Datron Technology had very kindly fitted two of their trick bits of kit, one a Doppler Radar unit that would give me a speed readout in the cockpit, and the other a super SatNav that would log our run precisely and allow us to calculate the exact thrust and performance of the car.
"We went to the line, fired the pyros, and the pilots did not come on. We'd lost pressure in the air system that operates the pilot valves. No run, and no time to return to the pit, replace the pyros which we can do in about forty minutes - and try again. Racing was over. We never got to try out Datron's kit, which was a real shame. Hopefully, Dave will be able to lend it to us again and we can get some hard data on the next run. Other racers may want to check out the stuff available from Datron - it's amazing stuff.
"We were gutted, but then so were a couple of hundred other racers including guys who'd come all the way from Sweden and accomplished little. There were many grim faces in the pits. Ah well! That's drag racing! We'll be back out in a couple weeks at a less frenetic event, hopefully with the weather gods smiling upon us, and we'll get her down the track."
11th May: UK blown-alcohol altered team Bennett Racing have signed a sponsorship deal with the US' Darton Sleeves. Darton pioneered modular sleeve designs and specialised ductile iron material beginning with their manufacture of Top Fuel sleeves in 1978. Darton sleeves excel in the harsh environment of all-out racing. Their centrifugally cast nodular composition represents the highest quality of any cast material and its unique matrix provides unexcelled surface toughness. Darton's unique casting process provides a bore finish which, while very tough, promotes quick and total piston ring seal for the most complete combustion possible from each cylinder. Darton has now engineered a superior solution to open-deck sleeve weakness by using a unique design which creates a solid deck of sleeve flanges held in tension, reinforcing the upper deck area and provides for in-field replacement with what they call Modular Integrated Deck. You can find out more on Darton's web site at www.dartonsleeves.com.
Web site updates.
11th May: To celebrate the start of the Scandinavian drag racing season Eurodragster.com News sponsor Supercharged Images are happy to announce that their archive of photographs from the 2007 Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park is now on-line and available for purchase at www.superchargedimages.com. "Our photographers will be of course also covering the Main Event at Santa Pod in a few days' time and will be ready to capture great images of all of the Professional and Sportsman classes in attendance", says Sharkman. "For those of you new to Supercharged Images we aim to post professional standard photographs from each major European race on the web a few days after each event happens. We have already published our 2008 Easter Thunderball and Big Bang photographs. We also have thousands of images from the last few seasons of racing on-line and are currently publishing more of our archive on-line each week. We sell prints, canvas prints and electronic images and our web prices include shipping anywhere in the world. We hope that you will enjoy visiting the site, and if you have any questions regarding purchasing from us then please E-Mail us at email@example.com. If you are a photographer who signs on at European drag racing events and are interested in publishing your images via our web site please also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you are attending the FIA Main Event then look out for me in the press areas."
Eurodragster.com Reserve Photographer Peter Donaldson has updated his Fotopic gallery with shots from last week's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Peter's shots at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
Swedish Pro Stock racer Adam Flamholc tells us that Caravan Films have released some more YouTube video of his trip to the USA, where he ran into the 6.6s. To check out the latest video, search for Flamholc at www.youtube.com.
Gipp OK after Outlaw spill.
10th May: Stephen Moon has been in touch to let us know that UK Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp is OK after Stephen's Outlaw Bike tipped him off in testing at Santa Pod Raceway this afternoon.
"Richard kindly agreed to test my Outlaw today, to give the new motor some track time", says Stephen. "It was clear that the track was fairly marginal when the first run (motor only, no nitrous) started with some serious wheelspin and a hard left move to the wall. For the second run we followed Shaun Branch to see if that would give more grip, but with a similar result.
"We then took a lot of timing and some fuel out of the motor to make it as soft as we could, and also had the launch revs low. On leaving the bike spun hard left and then bit, highsiding Richard off the bike. Richard was quickly to his feet, and being the gentleman that he is, he was apologisng as soon as I ran over to see how he was. Importantly he was OK and a check over by the paramedics confirmed this. I expect he will be a touch sore in the morning, but he was threatening to do damage to a single malt tonight!
"The great news is that Richard is OK. And what a class act: taking a day to come and help me out, taking a trip down the track apex over base, and then being mortified that the bike was damaged. Richard, I hope you're feeling OK tomorrow. Thanks for the help and apologies for the less than resounding result. Good luck for the Main Event!"
"It was a privilege to be asked to try out the new motor, which I can say felt awesome for the distance I travelled on it, it's certainly going to wake Conrad up", says Richard Gipp. "I'm somewhat disappointed with the damage the bike sustained due to its tumble, and I hope that Stephen can fix it as soon as possible. Maybe I'll get the opportunity to break it again."
10th May: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm for forwarding us the post-Big Bang standings in the 2007 Santa Pod Racers Club Championships, which you can view on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
If you are headed for the PTM Show at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow then keep an eye out for Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter and the Lucas Oil/Landmeco team who will be on hand with their show car. "This will be our last display before the season proper starts at the FIA Main Event", says Andy.
Dave Ward and the UK's Rampage Super Pro ET team would like to send a belated Happy Birthday to the youngest member of the team, Daniel, who was thirteen yesterday (Friday). "The team had a good weekend at the Springspeed Festival, qualifying second and making it into the semi-finals before the curfew", says Crew Chief Ian Gibbs. "Dave is now looking forward to the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod. Finally thanks to Eurodragster for your informative reports on all events". Thanks very much Ian, you're welcome, and we hope you had a great day Daniel.
Editor's note: Only a brief update today as home commitments got in the way. We have a sizeable backlog, including the pieces promised yesterday, which will be posted on tomorrow's update, and please keep those news items coming to email@example.com.
Doing the Tour with Gran Turismo.
9th May: For 2008 FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champions Dave Wilson Racing and the Silverline A/Fuel dragster once again team up with long running partner Playstation. Legendary Supercar driving simulator Gran Turismo livery will feature on the car for 2008 (click on picture for large version, rendering courtesy and ©Power Race Graphics). Version 5 of the thrilling Gran Turismo 'digital racetrack' has stunning new graphics and the latest exotic production cars and is a real thrill ride for all motorsport fans!
The transformation of the Silverline TMD dragster from blown methanol to A/Fuel is coming together at speed as the FIA Main Event is nearly upon us. Armed with knowledge from time spent with A/Fuel champ Bill Reichert at the recent NHRA Atlanta event, the team are excited about the new challenges which lie ahead with the new combination. "We will be at the FIA Main Event - armed with nitro!", says Grumpy. "It's a learning curve of course, so we'll see how it shapes up over the season. Thanks to everyone who has offered encouragement with the new combination, and as with every new season we aim to thrill European drag racing fans, only this time with fire in the pipes!"
Santa Pod pit power, snippets.
9th May: Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to confirm that 11th Hour Events will be providing pitside electricity at the forthcoming FIA Main Event and for the rest of the season. 11th Hour Events is a Cardiff-based company, specialising in supplying temporary electrics and lighting to the entertainment industry, whilst offering a variety of other production services. "We very much enjoyed being part of the Big Bang event at Santa Pod, and look forward to being part of the forthcoming season", says John Davies of 11th Hour Events. "We wish all competitors the very best."
"We had a very successful Big Bang with no interruptions to the power supply and everyone receiving their full 16 Amps, and the staff had a friendly and professional attitude", says Darren.
A Press Call took place in central London last night (Thursday) to promote the 2008 FIA and FIM/UEM European Championships. On hand to talk to the media were Andy Carter (Top Fuel Dragster), Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson (Pro Mod), Martin Bishop (Pro Stock Bike), Martin Hill (Jet FC) and Championship Promoter Keith Bartlett as well as Santa Pod Raceway staff. We shall publish our full report and extended photo gallery tomorrow, so tune back then to see what the two Andys, the two Martins and KB had to say, but in the meantime you can check out a small gallery, presented in association with American Car Imports, by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event.
Following on from Import racer John Bradshaw's news that he is entering the FIA Main Event, you can see John in action along with some other incredible Japanese cars - watch out for Steve Whittaker's newly-rebuilt 8.0-second Toyota Supra - at the PTM Show which takes place at Santa Pod this Sunday (11th). The event features Round 1 of the HKS Drag Series, the first ever Euro Sports Compact race, and lots of other performance road-car oriented attractions which will be a great way to pass the weekend for anyone into serious horsepower. The track is also open for Run What You Brung and all types of car, from Mustangs to Minis, are welcome. For full information, and to check out the entry lists for the HKS Drag Series and Euro Sports Compact, visit www.ptmshow.co.uk.
Springspeed Festival timing.
9th May: Many thanks to Wayne Schreier of Shakespeare County Raceway's timing crew for forwarding us the official timing data from last weekend's Springspeed Festival. The timing data is in Excel format and comes complete with the weather conditions for every single run courtesy of the weather station linked to SCR's PortaTree timing system.
You can check out the Springspeed Festival timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Also on the subject of timing, thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing on information of the two new track records set at Shakespeare County Raceway last weekend. Congratulations to:
B&H Automotive Street Eliminator: 7.775 seconds, Steve Nash
Blown-alcohol altered: 205.80 mph, Paul Wratten
You can check out the complete list of Shakespeare County Raceway track records via the Downloads link at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Kings of Nitro broadcast dates.
9th May: The Gamma Project have provided the first broadcast dates for the Reality TV series Kings of Nitro which documents the 2007 season of FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher and the Fat Attack team. Schedules have yet to be finalised for broadcast in the UK and Germany but below are the dates we have so far for the first episode, with subsequent episodes at the same time on the same day each week:
Discovery Channel Romania: 2nd May, 22:00
Discovery Channel Middle East and Africa: 29th May, 17:30
Discovery Channel Spain and Portugal: 5th June, 23:10
Discovery Channel Italy: 7th June, 22:35 (Italian language in Switzerland)
Discovery Channel Russia: 21st June, 20:00
Discovery Channel Central Europe: 21st June, 20:00
Discovery Channel Sweden: 21st June, 21:00
Discovery Channel Denmark: 21st June, 21:00
Discovery Channel Norway: 21st June, 21:00
Discovery Channel Poland: 4th July, 23:00
The great news is that Kings of Nitro will also be available on DVD. Stay tuned as The Gamma Project have kindly offered to send us an episode for review and will also be sending video clips and pictures for your pleasure within the next few days.
9th May: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our very own Simon for providing the post-Big Bang points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships, which you can view on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The post-Springspeed Festival points are currently being checked and will be available soon.
Editor's note: Your News Editor has a fair bit on in his day job today and so we have some news queued up for tomorrow. Tune back then for the full European Championships Press Call report, the latest from Urs Erbacher and the Fat Attack team, Carla Pittau's personal account of her on-track pirouette, Kev Charman's Springspeed Festival report, the identity of the latest American coming to race in Europe, another sponsor for Bennett Racing and more, and please keep those news items coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Islanders work towards National Day.
8th May: Konrad Ree writes that Paul Ingar Udtian and the Islanders team are working hard to get things together for an on-time departure from the Islands in the mid west of Norway.
"The coach has to leave at the latest on Saturday evening to get to Stavanger for the ferry which leaves for Newcastle on Monday evening", says Konrad. "We received the blower today, and we expect the new sleeves to arrive at Oslo / Gardermoen airport tonight. They will then be sent five hundred kilometres north to Fannreim Motorverksted: thanks to them for helping us and for standing ready to prepare and hone the block. Hopefully the block will be finished on Friday so that we can load the coach on Saturday and start on the 1670 km long drive and twenty one hours on the ferry to get to Santa Pod Raceway.
"If everything goes as planned we will be testing at Santa Pod Raceway on the Norwegian National Day, 17th May.
"Whilst fighting to prepare everything we also have to thank our Sponsors: our main sponsor Q8 Oils, Lerøy Midnor AS, Eidsvaag AS and Sande Gård AS. Without their help this wouldn't have been possible."
Announcing the Sunoco Drag Challenge.
8th May: Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen have announced that Sunoco will be the main sponsor of their Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway on 1st-3rd August. The event, which includes a round of the FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship, will now be known as the Sunoco Drag Challenge.
"Sunoco supply race fuels, oils, methanol, nitromethane, trackbite and much more", say NDRG. "They have everything for car and bike racers, for race organisers, for your needs at home, for industry, and even for farmers. Their products are of a high standard, start using them and you will never change! Sunoco is a separate department of the company, Keddell & Bommen AS which is situated in the centre of Oslo. Sunoco and Keddell & Bommen have been with us for many years and have supplied us with many gifts such as clothing, T-Shirts, and caps. They have always delivered products for our track Gardermoen Raceway.
"NDRG is proud of this agreement with Sunoco and we are looking forward to working together towards the Sunoco Drag Challenge in August."
NDRG are hosting the SpringNats at Gardermoen Raceway this weekend; you can check out the entry list at www.ndrg.no.
From no engine to a round win.
8th May: All things considered, UK National Pro ET Champion and pigeon fancier Paul Baynton was pleased with his weekend at the Springspeed Festival, as he says that his Capri was without an engine the week before.
"Dave Milam did a great job stripping it, checking it and delivering it back to me in time to attend", says Paul. "We qualified second and in round one I was up against Rick McCann. We have met in eliminations a couple of times before but Rick had always come out on top. We started the burnout only to have to shut down as Carla Pittau's Camaro disappeared in a cloud of smoke and could be seen spinning at the top end. I was so relieved when the news came back that Carla was OK.
"After a few minutes we were given the go-ahead. I managed to get to the finish first by about 0.004 seconds. Although it's a win I can't help but feel that Rick's mind wasn't one hundred per cent focused. I was having a problem with the Capri not running properly but was surprised to be called straight back down for the second round against Lee Huxley (I like doing things the hard way!) so I had no chance to look for the fault, which I later discovered was a problem with the carb. I pulled a 0.007 red against Lee but when the car coughed a few times I pulled over and coasted up the track.
"I am now looking forward to the Main Event. I hope that Carla and Rick can get the car repaired and that their season will improve, as they put so much effort into their racing. I also hope that Neil Hunter can get his car repaired after the nightmare weekend he had."
Cherry, cherry, cherry...
8th May: B&H Automotive Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook has been in touch to say a big Thank You for all the offers of cherry pies, cherry bakewalls, cherryade and all other things of a cherry persuasion which he was offered after his first red light in seven years of SE competition, at the Springspeed Festival on Monday.
"I'd like to add a special thank you to Shelby Webster (daughter of SE racer Jon) who provided me with a Jammy Dodger to go with my post-exit cup of tea", says Fatty. "It wasn't cherry but it was full of red jam!. Thanks too to my crew for hardly mentioning it at all...as if!
"On a more serious note I'd think that the track crew at Shakespeare County Raceway deserve a big pat on the back for working so hard on Monday in order that at least some of the eliminations were run. And, with Eurodragster.com's headline in mind, perhaps they could set up a goal on the start line if it happens again so that we can go to penalties!
"The FB Racing annual Rodders'n'Racers curry night is to be held on 13th May. There are spaces remaining, the cost being £15 a head for all the curry you can eat and a free raffle with some great prizes. If you'd like to take part in a great evening then please contact me at email@example.com or telephone 01452 856926. I'd like to say a quick thank you to Santa Pod Raceway, Speedflow, Swindon Road MoT Centre, The Everest Balti Restaurant, Quartermilehigh.com, Widdows Motors, A&E Fire Equipment, American Car World magazine, The Wizards of NOS, hotrodtees.co.uk and Bayliss Vauxhall for donating prizes this year."
NFAA Springspeed review.
8th May: After the disastrous weather at Easter for the 2008 Snowball, as it is being called, the UK's Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association thought that they couldn't be that unlucky again for the Springspeed Festival but how wrong they were, writes promoter Lawrie Gatehouse:
The majority of the teams had new combinations and uprated parts fitted during the long winter break, which they had been unable to test at Easter due to the inclement weather. For the first round on Saturday morning only seven teams were able to make the call. The Mob discovered fuel leaks from the headers, Chaos had ignition woes (subsequently traced to a duff condenser on the mag), and new entry The Dog crew were working on the fuel distribution flow balances.
First up was the beautifully engineered Havoc, first time at Shakey, versus defending champion Clayton Round in Rebel 'T'. Nick Davies laid down a smoky long burnout in Havoc, but broke the blower belt in the process, meaning he had to be pushed to the side of the track. Clayton meanwhile had sportingly been holding as long as he could, but then had to go, unfortunately no time was recorded for the run. Next up was Dennis Wratten in the Dirty Harry IV Topolino against Neil Townson in the attractively engineered '32 Ford. Dennis laid down a tremendous eighth-mile burnout, good enough for the Best Burnout points award, whilst Neil was experiencing fluctuations in the oil pressure supply. At the hit, Dirty Harry stormed past the tree to record an impressive and best to date 6.776/205.70 for the win, whilst Northern Spirit could only manage a 10.025/102.53.
Dave Grabham's newly'engined Freddy's Revenge had a solo when the Burning Desire of Pete Radcliffe lost drive on firing up. Dave's Topolino ran a PB improvement to 7.427/174.43 with the Norm Wilding tune-up to take the points. Nuthin' Fancy was requested to perform a solo half-pass to demonstrate control of the larger, more powerful engine for Joe Bond to get to grips with. This was judged to be satisfactory for the officials and Joe was approved for future paired runs, having run an 'easy' 11.44.
Eight of the ten teams were ready for the second call at 5.00 pm and were all about to pull down into the staging lanes when it was announced that the track was shut for the day. Apparently a demo Pro Mod car had got out of shape on the burnout, comprehensively demolished the Tree and smacked the barrier. Thankfully no-one was hurt, apart from dented pride, but it was another round lost for the NFAA, a pity because the climactic conditions were ideal.
Sunday was a complete rain-out for our class, so two further slots were lost. Monday dawned to yet more rain and drizzle, finally ceasing at around 1.00 pm and the track was dried and re-prepped by 2.30 pm, thanks to the sterling efforts of Bruno and all the track crew and marshals. We were allocated our final slot for 4.45 pm and were ready on time, but with a somewhat depleted field of six teams: first round damage sidelining Northern Spirit, Burning Desire, Havoc and Rebel 'T'.
The final session paired The Mob against Chaos, both nitro burners scheduled to run half-passes to get some feedback on the new combinations. The cars left almost together, but Jim Usher had steering problems caused by the front wheels being somewhat skyward, instead of in contact with the track. John Wright launched hard with a 1.02 second sixty foot time and the car was planted and arrow straight, but at two hundred feet severe tyre shake caused John to lift as his vision blurred over. Back in the pits, all the plugs came out. It looked good and the oil was clean, so with a bit more clutch and fuel system tuning Chaos should run the numbers.
Next up was Joe Bond paired against Dennis Wratten, but the Nuthin' Fancy car locked up solid prior to the burnout, subsequently traced to a dropped valve, mashed piston and spun mains. So the Dirty Harry IV Topolino had a solo, but Dennis wasn't about to take it easy, recording a 6.700/203.03 pass for an elapsed time PB – more points to add to the Best Burnout points for the second time in a row. The Essex Boys are going to be tough competitors to get around in 2008. Freddy's Revenge, shoed by Dave Grabham, had a bye run but couldn't improve on his first run, carding an off the pace 8.906/125.15.
Finally, Björn Martensson got his chance in The Dog (so named because it bites), to begin his licensing runs with a burnout, launch and sixty foot observed run. The car sounded very strong on an eighty per cent nitro mix, but broke the reverser after the burnout and had to be pushed back so it could stage. On the green the car left straight and true, with all candles lit and ran to over one hundred feet before Bjorn lifted. Apart from the non-permitted push back, the Officials seemed satisfied with the first licencing run. Björn and all his crew were relieved it was all over, were very enthusiastic and appreciative of the support from all the NFAA Teams and promised to return soon to continue the process.
So the Event Winner, based on lowest ETs as the scheduled format was curtailed by the weather, was Dennis Wratten. Runner-up was Dave Grabham, with John Wright and Neil Townson filling third and fourth spots respectively.
All in all a disappointing start to the 2008 season, caused by the weather about which we can do nothing, but we are looking forward to our next event, the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod on 14th-15th June, when we all aim to do better.
8th May: Racers please note that contrary to general belief there is no Press Day at Santa Pod Raceway before the FIA Main Event. If you wish to test before the FIA Main Event then there is a Peak Performance Day and Run What You Brung on 17th-18th May, and a Pro Peak Performance Day on Thursday 22nd May. For details including track fees check out www.rwyb.com. Advance booking is recommended for both the Peak Performance Day and the Pro Peak Performance Day.
UK Super Gas racer and self-proclaimed "lifetime idiot" Peter Lane says that it is fantastic that Import racer John Bradshaw is competing at the FIA Main Event (see yesterday's news). "I hope John gets plenty of welcome from the rest of the competitors and kicks some butt", says Peter. "As for the rest of you Import racers, I think it would be great if you will come out and play too! The more the merrier."
Congratulations to Ozzy Ewing and partner Karen on the birth of son Harry Finlay Maguire who was born at 11:48 on Monday. Ozzy tells us that both Harry and Karen are doing fine.
Web site updates.
8th May: Jamie Dyks has updated his Fotopic gallery with a selection of pictures from the weekend's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out Jamie's shots at topnitro.fotopic.net.
Crossing over at the FIA Main Event.
7th May: John Bradshaw is set to become the first Import racer to contest a UK National Championship event when he runs his Nissan Skyline GTST at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. John's car has already run mid-eights and he is hoping to break in to the sevens before too long.
"I bought the R33 GTST as a completely standard road car back in November 2004 with only a set of aftermarket wheels", says John. "In 2006 it was still road-legal and we started drag racing in the Jap racing HKS Series. After god knows how many broken drive shafts on the start line we eventually ran a 9.9 at the end of 2006.
"Over that winter I knew the car had to move forward, but to do it meant a tough call and forgetting about standard suspension etc. In early 2007 the car went to Andy Robinson Race Cars. Andy worked his magic and the first time out in competition in August 2007 the car ran 8.51, which was great. Abbey Motorsport took over the tuning of the car in 2008. We want to get to understand the car properly this year; pre-season testing has looked really good with our sixty foot times down to 1.17 - our best last year was 1.29.
"We have never run in mainstream drag racing before and I think we are the first Jap car in the UK to cross over. I am not sure which class we will choose long-term so we have entered Super Pro ET and Comp Eliminator at the Main Event to get a feel for it all. Super Pro ET will be really difficult as being a small-engined turbo car which is still in development we are nowhere near running consistently. We expect to get our backsides kicked in 2008 but we have to start to learn the ropes and continue to improve the set-up of the car. I would love to see the car break into the sevens this year but it will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a huge slice of luck.
"I am really looking forward to getting to meet everyone and finding out more about main stream racing. Hopefully a Jap car crossing over in 2008 will bring more cars over as there are a number of quick cars around now, for example Steve Whittaker has run 8.0/180."
Collier happy with PSB.
7th May: Jerry Collier's Jade Racing Suzuki TL1000R GLS Pro Stock Bike had a successful début at the Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, running a straight 8.062/158.97 observed run. Jerry told Eurodragster.com that he is very happy with the bike.
"This was only the initial pass and I only saw the shift light in top gear", said Jerry. "There are more bits to go on it and we need to get the computer to talk to the Racepak data logger. I've always wanted to go into Pro Stock Bike and this season we will run the remaining ACU round and hopefully the European Finals. Next year I plan to run the full Pro Stock Bike season - hard!
"The bike is based on the Kosman frame which I previously ran in Competition Bike with a Kawasaki H2. I added extra rails to it for Pro Stock. Thanks go to Martin Bishop for supplying the Suzuki engine.
"Thanks also to my Crew Chief Baz, Dave Beck, Ric Naylor and wife Sharron and son Scott for their help and support. It's been a busy weekend for me as I have also been working on Scott's and Jordan Bissell's Junior Drag Bikes. Scott is thrilled with the new 125 cc engine and MSD have especially manufactured a two-step for it."
It's War in Devon.
7th May: The Sunday Street Wars return to Devon's Dakota Drag Strip this Sunday (11th May). Organiser and Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child tells us that the concept of eighth-mile racing is going down a storm with South Western street racers. "We have heard from a lot of people who attend Sunday Street Wars that they are buying performance parts to go quicker" says Lee.
A whole bunch of trophies are up for grabs on Sunday for all types of cars and bikes:
Quickest street car
Quickest street bike
Quickest RWD car
Quickest FWD car
Quickest 4WD car Heavy Street Trophy for the quickest American car/truck
Quickest air-cooled car
Quickest air-cooled bus/camper
Quickest air-cooled buggy
Quickest water-cooled VW
Best appearing car on track
Quickest British bike
Quickest Suzuki bike
Quickest Honda bike
Quickest Kawasaki bike
Quickest American bike
Quickest Italian bike
There are also trophies for the handling circuit and the Show categories. For more details on the event including entry and track fees and directions check out www.streetnights.com.
"To continue our growth at Sunday Street Wars there are a number of advertising and sponsorship opportunities at Dakota Drag Strip at very competitive rates", says Lee. "We are looking for sponsors from trophies right up to Event Title. I am proud to say that our current sponsors have had increased business because of their association with Dakota Drag Strip; a big thank you to Enginetuner ltd, Copyprint Depot, Devon Car Shows, Eclipse Photos, and Chelston Valeting Centre". For advertising and sponsorship details contact Lee on 01803 554308.
7th May: UK Pro Stock Bike and Supertwin Gas racers Dave Beck and Ric Naylor are looking for a crew member to assist at the Peak Performance Day and SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 13th-15th June. "We need help getting Ric's and my bike ready and to the start line because the Championship-winning crew of Charlotte is now looking after Penelope, Stephen is running his own bike, and Ric is now running his own bike as well as crewing for me", says Dave. "The ability to ride a pit bike would be a help (Rules you out Shark - Ed). If you are interested in helping and getting a hands-on insight into what goes into prepping and tuning the bikes over a race weekend then please contact me on 07771 652139."
FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Urs Erbacher is holding a party at the Fatt Inn in Arlesheim on Saturday 17th May. The party starts at 20:00 and then the Rammstein cover band Randstein comes on stage at 22:00. For more information check out the Fat Attack web site at www.fatattack.ch. Urs' Blog on the US Competition Plus web site has also been updated and you can check that out at www.competitionplus.com.
Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association promoter Lawrie Gatehouse writes that he proposes to take legal action against UK Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield for copyright infringement after Kev demolished the Christmas Tree at Shakespeare County Raceway on Saturday. "It is well-established with historical precedent that only Fuel Altereds are allowed to take out the Tree during burnouts", says Lawrie. E-Mails about taste to Lawrie, please, not to us.
We are very pleased to welcome John Hackney as an Honorary Staff Member of Eurodragster.com. Honorary Staff Membership is awarded on a very occasional basis to non-sponsor individuals who have given us particularly strong practical or moral support over the years and John has certainly done so both through his work on Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew and as a companion at race events and at dinner.
Web site updates.
7th May: The official web site of the UK's Sportsman ET class has been updated with a report from the Springspeed Festival and a video of Nick Gay's Metro pick-up on the dyno. "Which obviously worked for him at Big Bang!", says webmaster Nigel Holland. You can find the class' web site at www.sportsman-et.co.uk.
Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a gallery of Saturday's action at the Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look via the What's New page at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Alan has been hard at work since he has also updated the official web site of the UK's Chaos AA Fuel Altered with a report from the Springspeed Festival. "The weather played its part (again!) but the team were heartened by the single pass they were able to make", says Alan. For the full lowdown click on News and then Latest News at www.chaos-fuel-altered.com.
Photo-journalist Dick Parnham has updated his Fotopic gallery with shots from the 2006 FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Dick's pictures at dickparnham.fotopic.net.
Also updating from Santa Pod is Pete Roberts who has updated The Pod - A Look Around with shots from Saturday's Monster Truck Nationals. If you've not visited Pete's site then we can recommend a look since it contains some amazing 360-degree panoramas of Santa Pod, a daily wallpaper, history of USAF Podington, and more. You can find Pete's work at www.podlook.co.uk.
Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with shots from Big Bang, which you can find at www.topendtales.com. Don't forget that you can purchase shots by Sharkman and others on the web site of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Supercharged Images at www.superchargedimages.com.
Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site with pictures from the weekend's Test and Tune at Malmö's Meca Raceway. You can check out Patrik's pictures at www.racebilder.nu.
The Hassebilder site at www.hassebilder.se has also been updated from Meca, in this case with extensive video coverage.
Springspeed Festival 1 Rain 1 AET.
6th May: A heroic effort by track crew, race officials and racers allowed a measure of success at the weekend's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway. After Sunday's qualifying was lost to the weather it looked as if yesterday's race day may suffer the same fate, but the rain finally relented and after very hard work by all concerned racing started early afternoon and as many as three rounds of eliminations were run in some classes against a very tight timescale and under the ever-looming curfew.
The weekend was not without incident as Kev Slyfield's Pro Mod reduced the Christmas Tree to its component parts before nosing into the guardrail on Saturday and Carla Pittau and Simon Barlow had incidents at the top end yesterday, but all three racers were uninjured and the cars involved suffered minor or no damage. The jet dryer even got in on the act as it rear-ended the guardrail in very tricky conditions on Sunday.
Conrad Stanley took the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award with a 9.900 in yesterday's Super Gas eliminations. The Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 for the FIA Main Event. The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award went unclaimed and so has been increased to £100 for the FIA Main Event.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored Springspeed Festival by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Springspeed Festival.
6th May: Our best wishes to Swedish Pro Mod racer Ulf Rapp who spent Sunday evening in hospital with second-degree burns to his face and hands after a major fire on the start line at Meca Raceway. Ulf sat out 2007 and was testing his new 738 ci motor at Meca before contesting the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Get well soon, Ulf, and we hope to see you out on the track again before too long.
5th May: From the UK's Chaos Fuel Altered pit comes news of the nuptials of Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association promoter Lawrie Gatehouse and fiancée Judith who are to be married this coming Saturday. We're sure that everyone will join us in wishing Lawrie and Judith all the very best for the future.
Best wishes also to Scott and Michelle Talbot on the birth of son Jack who arrived at 3:00 on Thursday morning. We hear that Michelle and Jack are just fine.
Jane Maloney has been in touch to thank everyone who sent information about the original Stripduster slingshot which was campaigned by the legendary Harold Bull. "Hopefully the information will lead to finding Stripduster, or Scorpion as we think she is now called", says Jane. "We are keeping fingers and toes crossed for a positive result. Meanwhile, you guys may be interested to see the quarter scale V8 engine and the Harley Davidson lookalike V Twin actually running. I have managed to upload a couple of videos to our web site at www.stripduster.co.uk which have proved quite a success so far. Enjoy!"
Lazenby's Big Bang.
3rd May: If you were within about twenty file miles' radius of Santa Pod Raceway last Sunday morning then you may well have heard a loud bang. The source was UK B&H Automotive Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby's engine which threw a rod and then threw its hood scoop some distance into the air. After what has been a very emotional week Colin has been in touch to tell us about his weekend at Santa Pod:
You all know of the thrash we had with the insisted disassembly and inspection with the trans, this following the pinion breakage and the prop rattling around both safety hoops at the Easter Thunderball which this pushed the transmission slip yoke into the back of the trans, and cracked the flange between all six bolts of the tailpiece. Apparently this type of damage is relevant, at least to Carl Rossler, because the hammering flattens the ring on the sprag cage.
The replacement item arrived as promised on the Tuesday, which rendered fitting it before the event without help not an option. So, after we'd set up on the Friday, me and our kid pulled the trannie out and with Steve Nash began to take it apart. An hour later the transmission case was completely empty...typically the offending part was always going to be right at the very back of the case, right? On the Saturday morning the girls were despatched ftoor London to collect a new pump gasket as we damaged ours getting it out. As it happens, through the dogged determination of Mick 'the Fish' Smith both Dave Eady and Kev Cerusale came up with the goods, almost at the same time. Dave arrived at the track just as the girls returned from London, and even though I still have my doubts they still insist they weren't shopping. Many thanks to Mick, Dave Eady and Kevin Cerusale for their efforts.
By mid-afternoon, and after much cursing (by Splinter), we had the trans finished. At this point it's fair to say without Splinter - and it was I who assisted him - we wouldn't have even taken the task on. An hour later it was back in the car and having undergone our usual checks we fired it up. Half an hour later we were called for our first session.
The first run was a fat and misfiring one-system 8.9. And remarkably I shifted through all the gears with ease, I even shifted one or two right on the shift light. Rare for me if you listen to Garry or Luke. An hour later and with a bit more of a tune, soft though it was, we ran an 8.3. This now with Splinters spare rear wheels and the new Mark Williams prop assembly, which combined had eradicated all of our previous tyre shake problems. We were back.
Sunday morning, and with some time before our final two qualifying runs Luke Robinson did a spring pull - everything was normal. The boys elected the tune-up and we readied ourselves for the third qualifying run. We waited until we were called, and Splinter had pulled alongside (cheeky monkey). At the launch it spun the tyres; I pedalled it, recovered and chased. About one thousand feet there was an odd flat spot - hey, it happens - and being focused up ahead all I actually saw was a flash. The accompanying noise was instantaneous and gone just as quick. I looked down, and having noticed that both my feet were still there, I shut the motor down. Everything was off before the finish line and I rolled to the first turn off - somewhere I never stop.
By now I couldn't see out of the car for oil smoke (the smell is quite distinctive) but I knew I was off the track. I exited the car, the marshals were already there and I pulled the hood. The engine damage was obviously terminal. On the radio I heard the marshals request a call, the Team '56 crew wanted to know I was OK. I was, it was just my pride and likely my wallet that was damaged. The team hooked the car up, I walked back and wept silently.
I have since had offers from 468 to 615 ci motors to a complete car, although I did tell Martin Taylor that Li'l Whopper wasn't really my sort of car. And the offer of help or parts for everything else in between has created its own emotional roller coaster ride since. To everyone, thanks.
Picture courtesy and ©Powerpoint Communications.
Seven runs, two wheels, three seconds.
3rd May: Also taking a wild ride at last week's Big Bang was Outlaw Anglia racer Lee Cohen who has his blown-alcohol mount up on two, and according to some accounts one, wheel on one run. Lee told Eurodragster.com how it felt from his perspective and what The Devil team did about it.
"Just past half track it decided to get a bit out of control", said Lee. "I tried to correct it and then it did what it wanted to do, and that's when it went up on two wheels. It felt like it was going to go on its side. I took my foot off the throttle as it was going up, and I think that's what saved the car from going on its side. It told me what it was doing so I just had to ride the storm and thankfully it came back down to Earth. I gave it a little more throttle and went through with a twelve.
"We put the wild ride down to putting more pre-load into the four-bar link. When Chris Isaacs saw what had happened, he was straight round to put more pre-load in to the car. We went out with the Outlaw Anglias to make a test run and what a difference it made. My mate Mark video'd all the runs after that so that Chris could look back at the video and then put more pre-load in as it needed. Anyway the after the third run out I was starting to get a fill of what the beast was like to drive, so I made my third run of the day and we had a 10.0/132 out of it. I couldn't believe it when the boys told me, I thought that I may have got into the elevens. That was it for Saturday as we were shut down on the last run of the day due to a small oil leak. We went back to the pits and drained the oil, dropped the sump then cleaned every thing, up put on a new pan gasket and put the sump back and then we were ready for Sunday morning. The crew had worked until 10.30 pm to get it done.
"On the first run out on Sunday morning we hit a 10.3/128. The car was starting to feel good again, and Chris was with us and watching with the crew to see if it needed any more load in the rear. When we got back to the pits Chris decided to put a very small amount in. I couldn't wait for the next run. A nice long rolling burnout this time then I staged, the lights went, I put my foot down about a quarter throttle and carried on putting it down slowly. It was going faster even though I hadn't reached half throttle. I went through the traps and bang! My screen smashed in under pressure and at that point I knew I was going quicker than last time. When the crew came down to tow me back they told me that I had run 9.3/152. I couldn't believe it. I was shocked to think that I had only had seven runs in total with the new set-up, going from high twelves to a low nine in a weekend and nearly putting it on its side.
"I can only say a massive thanks to Chris Isaacs for everything he did, to my crew for working so hard, and to all the crew at Santa Pod. Well done guys. When I told my sponsor Prolong Oil they were gutted - they haven't seen the car run yet."
Lee would be pleased to hear from any Eurodragster.com reader with video of Saturday's wild ride; if you have any video then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put you in touch.
3rd May: Santa Pod Raceway have a new start line glue sprayer manufactured by Martin Hill Enterprises. Dave Jones of Santa Pod Raceway tells us that the unit has many advantages over the previous sprayer, with larger capacity and the option of various spray nozzles for different track conditions. These units can be built to order; for price and availability contact Darren Prentice at Santa Pod Raceway at email@example.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Steve Dunn of the UK's Tokyo Toy Super Gas team has asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to fellow driver Jon Evans. "Number one qualifier and a race win would certainly make for a great birthday present", says Steve, "but I'm sure Jon would settle for a handful of points and a fun weekend". Have a very Happy Birthday Jon.
Racers wishing to test before the FIA Main Event are reminded that Santa Pod Raceway are hosting Peak Performance Days on Saturday 17th May and Thursday 22nd May - the latter is only open to racers entered for the race itself. Pre-booking is highly recommended, either on on-line at www.santapodshop.co.uk, by downloading and sending/faxing the forms available at www.rwyb.com, or by calling Santa Pod Raceway on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
FIA Main Event update.
2nd May: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to inform racers that entry is now closed for the FIA Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-26th May.
You can check out the final FIA Main Event entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA Main Event. If you think that you should be on the entry list, or if you have any queries about FIA Main Event entry, then please call Paula Marshall on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSD Ignition and Racepak will be in attendance at the FIA Main Event. To help serve their international customer base, MSD and Racepak will have factory technicians on hand at the race. Joe Pando from MSD, and Tim Anderson of Racepak, who between them have over thirty years' combined experience will be working out of the GPR support and product trailer. GPR is a UK-based high performance source and will also have product on hand. If you've ever wanted to ask about certain MSD components or an application for Racepak, then the Main Event is the place to be. To get your product queries ready, check out www.msdignition.com or www.racepak.com.
The drinks are on Knight-Hawk.
2nd May: The season's started, races are being run but just when you thought things had all gone a little quiet on the Funny Car front, it's all systems go and the UK's Knight-Hawk Racing team have come up trumps and landed a whale in the independent brewing world: provocatively named, multi award-winning Hogs Back Brewery.
In what is to be a substantial financial deal which has taken the team months to conclude, we're extremely pleased and excited to announce what has been agreed as a primary sponsorship programme lasting right through to the end of the 2010 season with Hogs Back Brewery. The programme will see the 300 mph, sub five-second 8000 hp Dodge Stratus, race transporter and crew members in the brewery's deep green colours.
Martin Hunt, Managing Director of the multi million pound, Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery is out to make a very clear and strong statement to the world. "Hogs Back are passionate about its products, it's committed to the people that buy them and it delivers excellence bottle after bottle.
"These same few, highly important qualities are just some of the attributes I saw in the Knight-Hawk Racing team during our negotiations: passion, commitment and excellence. It's a great combination to have in business, likewise in a highly-demanding motorsport like Funny Car drag racing. There's absolutely no room for errors and we apply the same principles to producing real ales."
You'll remember back in January at the Autosport show the team released the first photos of this highly reliable and straight running Fuel Funny Car which came from the Terry Haddock stable in the USA. That turns out to be the start line for this high profile deal with Hogs Back.
The brewery brewed its first barrels in August 1992 and since then has gone from strength to strength with several hundred outlets around the UK including some major stores. The brewery has an onsite shop and also has a thriving online point of sale where UK and international customers can purchase bottle and draught beers along with merchandise to their hearts' content, and all delivered direct to the doorstep.
If you should happen to visit the brewery's web site at www.hogsback.co.uk in an attempt to sample some of their goodies, then when you place the order please mention Knight-Hawk Racing in the order and you'll be added to the team's mailing list for exclusive team updates and photos. Those of you who do visit the web site will get an insight into the Mr. Tea connection. Take a couple of minutes to check it out.
When it comes to silverware and trophies Knight-Hawk Racing are looking to mirror the success of the brewery which is no stranger to awards. With several Campaign for Real Ale gold medals and Supreme Champion titles to their name this company knows exactly what it's doing.
Of course let's not forget the people behind this exciting new team: car and Team Owners Mark and Jackie Hawkins, 2007 National Super Comp Champion Paul Knight, and John Hunt for his critical involvement in brokering this deal.
Mark and Jackie said "It was extremely important to make sure we kept everything under wraps until we knew exactly what we were going to be doing this year. The interest since the January's release has been really difficult to handle actually. We've wanted to open our mouths and shout about what we've been up to but we knew the importance of keeping everything very low profile". Paul and Mark will be in touch soon to offer more details via the via the Blog with some more exciting news and to keep us all up to date on their activities. More sponsorship releases are on the way from Team PR Wayne Corbitt.
The team's web site is currently under construction but will be up and running over the next few weeks at www.knight-hawkracinguk.com.
Funny Bike and girly reaction.
2nd May: UK Funny Bike racer Kev Charman tells us that the bike in Tuesday's spy picture was his Nitrous Junkie/Mistress Minx and that it is ready for action at this weekend's Springspeed Festival:
The only part is the missing brake line, which Dave Friend of Jones and Friend fame are bringing up to the track, just in case ours doesn't get posted in time. It has been a very long work in progress with moving house, which has been a long drawn out affair, my work commitments, and Lizz's new job which have all taken their toll. We only just got everything in one place - contents of house, lizz's rabbits installed, van, contents of container, caravan etc - on Sunday just gone. But on the bright side Big Chris turned up on the Saturday with a fresh pair of eyes in case there was anything we had missed - all good, a couple of loose bolts and a nut on new saddle, read into that what you like - and with the bodywork that only Lizz had seen from photos. I never ever thought Lizz capable of girly "Oooh! Cool!" etc etc. It is very nice though.
The village we live in is superb. We tell a few we are going to be noisy, the jungle drums start, rumours of a celebrity in the gathering. No hassle when it was started up apart from sheep scattering, horses bolting, dogs howling, and a tame journalist neighbour on standby with a camera! Thanks John! All was good and no ASBOs. When the bike started, it was a heart-in-the-mouth moment. It sounded sweet and crisp. Let it cool down, checked for leaks and there were none, checked we put oil in and we had. Hope we are not bigging the engine up too much, but thanks to Ken Cooper, is he the man. Cooled the engine down, started it up again to make sure it wasn't a fluke, looked at the clutch and all appears to be fine. We were hoping for a test weeks ago, but you know what it's like, it wasn't to be.
We all have our work cut out this weekend, as Lizz is still being stubborn, torn between loyalities and crewing for PMR. She is also doing stats so is going to be run ragged and a nervous wreck when the bike is on start line. All the best to PMR this weekend and Mick, if you out before us, drive the other way round!
Big thanks as always to our sponsors Ensys, Andy and Kate at Zone Security, Ryecroft Design Services, and Coconut Couselling. All the best and thanks to Ken Cooper, Graham at Revolution for the great paintwork, and our great mates Gipp, Big Al, Dave F Sam, Paul and Sprout for phoning at the most inopportune moments! Come and see us in the pits this weekend, it's always a pleasure to meet new and old faces. We are basically testing this weekend, so don't expect too much...it's there, we just have to find it!
The full burn for Campbell.
2nd May: UK Rocket Dragster pilot Carolynne Campbell and the Laffin-gas team are headed for Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend for a full-fuel burn down the track:
The first track test of the year was inhibited by lousy weather, so we only attempted a short burn. The car went off very strongly, but blew though the Nitrous sooner than we had anticipated for the amount of fuel we'd put in the car.
The last two weeks have been very, very busy while we tore the fuel system apart, re-mounted all the gas cylinders at an angle of forty degrees and re-jigged all the high-pressure hoses to fit the new configuration. The result is now pressure-tested and working fine and the car looks much better with a lower and neater profile behind the cockpit. More importantly the set-up now allows for forward G much better and will make much better use of the Nitrous. The rockets are now sitting in the oiling rig, soaking up a few litres of bio-fuel and there are loads of last-minute jobs still to do.
After successful winter testing, and a very positive first outing, our confidence is fairly high, but this is drag racing and it's a very unpredictable sport. Even the best cars don't go every time and the weather can always interfere, so we will need a bit of luck for everything to go well.
Knut Söderquist, who helped us in the early days building the chassis, paid us a visit last week. He is very excited about the car. "One good run is all you need now", he told us. "There are people from Lithuania to Thailand who want to book you car". If anyone in drag racing can deliver international bookings, then it's Knut. So no pressure there, then!
We hope to see all our supporters at the track - not just to see us, but to expose them to a fantastic weekend of top-quality non-stop action at Shakespeare County Raceway.
2nd May: Show organiser Grant Norris has been in touch to invite Classic Ford race cars to attend the Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday 1st June. Free weekend entry for driver and crew are on offer together with hard standing display area and three on-track demonstration sessions on the day. Attendees will also be promoted on the event web site at www.classicfordshow.co.uk. If you would like to volunteer then please E-Mail Grant at email@example.com specifying Classic Ford Show Drag as the subject and including a spec and picture of the the car plus your address and phone number. For more details call Grant on 07917 529136.
UK Super Pro ET racer Chris Orthodoxou says that he and his seven-second Dodge Viper will not be able to attend this either weekend's Springspeed Festival or, probably, the FIA Main Event. "This is due to urgent repair work at our Surrey HQ following storm damage during the hurricane winds at the end of February", says Chris. "Building work has become more extensive than first thought and will take far longer then predicted. Thanks to all the Viper fans who have E-Mailed the team to ask when we're racing again. We realise you're all missing the best looking car and sexiest driver in European drag racing (Yes, but we're missing the Viper and yourself too - Ed) but if you can possibly wait just a little longer, we promise to be back at the track as soon as possible. If you miss the car, see our recently jazzed-up web site at www.apocalypsemotorsport.com for lots of pictures and information."
Bahrain Championship Round 3.
2nd May: The Bahrain National Drag Racing Championship took a thrilling turn this weekend, as the third round saw Emirates' Al-Kaabi clinch a Pro Mod victory, writes Fahad Taqi.
Thousands of fans attended the third of action on the drag strip to see over a hundred racers step up to the challenge in various categories, including the Outlaw and popular Pro Mod category, until the early hours of the morning.
The highlight of competition was seen in the Pro Mod category which saw all eyes locked tight on the Bahraini Popeye Racing Team, owned by His Highness Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Team drivers Ali Aryan and Khalid Mohammed faced a tough bout on the strip from Emirati Ali Al-Kaabi who won by reaction, and series of bad luck, having seen Khalid Mohammed's car fail. Al-Kaabi finished with a time of 6.600 seconds by reaction, whilst Ali Aryan came in second place with 6.391 seconds and Khalid Al Balooshi finished in third place with 6.600 seconds. Ali Al-Kaabi had the crowed go wild as he clocked a personal best and also the event best time during eliminations with a 6.35 second run which sent a huge message to all Pro Mod drivers that he is in it to win it.
Juma Al Kaabi (team owner of SPG ) also set a new time of 7.39 in the Outlaw 10.5 class which gave him the big win to take him on top of the leader board in the points standings. As of Round 3 of the Championship SPG are on top of the standings in both Pro Mod and Outlaw 10.5 so it looks like there will be a battle in the fourth round.
Standings after the third round
Street Front-Wheel Drive:
1. Fadhel Saleh ( BRN ) 14.975
2. Moh'd Saleh ( BRN ) 15.784
3. Faisal Salman ( BRN ) 12.704
Street Rear-Wheel Drive:
1. S.Nader Alalawi ( BRN ) 12.982
2. Jameel Hillal ( BRN ) 12.663
3. Jaffer Al qassab ( BRN ) 12.784
1. Ali Haji ( BRN ) 9.951
2. Moh'd A.redha ( BRN ) 10.045
3. Ahmed Moh'd ( BRN ) 11.242
Super Street Front-Wheel Drive:
1. Bader Dashti ( KWT ) 10.525
2. Ebrahim Bin Hasher ( BRN ) 10.734
3. A.Rahman Bin Hasher ( BRN ) 12.360
Super Street Rear-Wheel Drive:
1. Moh'd Al Koonazi ( BRN ) 9.094
2. Moh'd Haji ( BRN ) 9.899
3. Ebrahim Kanoo (BRN) 9.64
Super Street V8:
1. Khalid Yousif ( BRN ) 9.639
2. Mizher Al Tanak ( KWT ) Broke
3. Adel AlKhameeri ( BRN ) 22.262
Outlaw Front-Wheel Drive:
1. Ebrahim Bin Hasher ( BRN ) 9.864
2. Moh'd Al Koonazi ( BRN ) 24.192
3. Moh'd Redha ( BRN ) 12.423
Outlaw Rear-Wheel Drive:
1. A.Rahman Al Salani ( UAE ) 9.239
2. Moh'd Al Koonazi ( BRN ) 10.612
3. Ahmed Hassan ( BRN ) 17.154
1. Juma Al Kaabi ( UAE ) 7.318
2. Hussain Alshumeri ( KWT ) 8.505
3. Salah Salahuddin ( BRN ) 26.478
1. Hussain Al Ali ( KWT ) 7.517
2. Hisham AL Mulla ( KSA ) 7.953
3. Emad AL Jassim ( KWT ) 7.747
1. Ali Al Kaabi ( UAE ) 6.600 ( Beat Ali by Reaction )
2. Ali Aryan ( BRN ) 6.391
3. Khalid AL Balooshi ( UAE ) 6.600
1. Bader Bin Edan ( KWT ) 9.112
2. Khalid Al Foozan ( KWT ) 9.245
3. Yahya Hashim ( BRN ) 9.597
Super Street Bike:
1. Moh'd Darwish ( QTR ) 7.763
2. Mushari Al Turki ( KSA ) 8.980
3. Sagher Essa ( KWT ) 8.439
1. Mishal Al Saber ( KWT ) 7.306
2. Khalid Al Foozan ( KWT ) Broke
3. Moh'd Bu Rashid ( KWT ) 10.542
Springspeed Festival update.
1st May: Julie Willcox has been in touch with the promised pit plan and Saturday's provisional running order for this weekend's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Racers' attention is drawn to the notes at the bottom of the pit plan concerning adherence to marshals' instructions, pitting out of place, trailers and caravans, and taking up excess pit space. Please also note that Saturday's running order is provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
You can check out this weekend's pit plan and Saturday's running order by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Springspeed Festival.
Udtian announces Q8 backing.
1st May: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on 21st April you will have seen the spy picture of a bus with a hint of a new look. The bus has since been repainted (click on picture for large version) and turns out to belong to Norwegian Top Methanol Dragster racer Paul Ingar Udtian and the Islanders Dragracing Team who are very proud to announce main sponsorship from Q8 Oils.
"We have to thank Gunnar Brännström from OK-Q8 who has made this possible", says team member Konrad Ree. "The new design for the team is being put on the dragster and onto the coach at the moment.
"We have a lot of things to organise to be race ready for the Peak Performance Day and then the FIA Main Event. As it is our first season preparing to get everything ready, we have had some problems getting everything certified and updated. The blower was sent to Peter Schöfer Racing to be recertified and we had problems with the German customs (some text missing on the pro forma invoice), but thanks to Gittli from Peter Schöfer Racing who helped us with this we will hopefully get the blower back this Friday. We are starting to get the engine together again; we are still waiting for some new parts to arrive from the USA but hopefully we will get them in time.
"The coach will be leaving Norway on 12th May so we will probably have to work some nights to get everything ready for racing."
Lisa goes for Gold.
1st May: The weekend's Test and Tune in Luckau was a successful event in more ways than one for The Netherlands' Selles family and particularly Lisa who was on her first outing having made the switch from Junior Dragster Crew Chief to racer. Henriette Selles writes:
The weather gods were with us, so we had two whole days of sunshine to see if Lisa liked driving the JD as much as she liked being Crew Chief for her sister Jessica. As we agreed the first two runs were made by Jessica: this JD has a little more bite than our old one and Jessica has more experience. The JD was straight off the line and handled perfectly and Jess had her first and last PB of this year in her pocket a 8.4/127 kmh. Let's do that again next year on the quarter mile!
Then it was time to make the big switch. Lisa was told to take it easy on her first runs to get the feel of the speed. Let's make no mistake about Junior Dragsters, they will defeat your average street machine over the eighth mile, or at least this one does. Lisa pedalled a bit, but we closed the day with an 8.3 at 127 kmh, not bad at all.
The next day was supposed to be a day fot getting comfortable with an opponent and concentrating on reaction times. Lisa decided it was time to put the pedal to the metal. The first run she made was with a Pro tree, so the RT was not one for the books, but she squeezed out a stunning ET of 7.8/127 kmh. That was a Personal Best for both Lisa and the Junior Dragster. On the last run of this Test and Tune she proved herself to be a true Gold RV team member when she ran another Personal Best, 8.2/137 kmh.
We spoke to our sponsor Derek Flynn over the weekend and it was a good thing that we gave him a reason to flash the famous Flynn Grin. We were sorry to hear the bad news. It was a shame. We know a lot of racers, but we haven't come across many teams so tight and dedicated as Gold RV Racing.
"After having a really disappointing weekend myself it was great to get some good news over the weekend as Jaap was keeping me up to date with what was going on with the Gold RV Junior that is now jointly owned by Gold RV and the Selles family", says Derek Flynn of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Gold RV. "Congratulations to Lisa and Jessica on your PBs as well as a new best for the car! Another Selles racer making his debut was Jan's son Levi, cousin of Jessica and Lisa and by all accounts he took to it like a duck to water too, well done all!"
Comer and back are back.
1st May: UK B&H Automotive Street Eliminator racer Ray Comer has been in touch to confirm that he is putting in his first appearance on the track for 2008 at this weekend's Springspeed Festival.
"Contrary to the various rumours floating around, I am still racing and I am entered at Springspeed for the coming weekend", said Ray. "Following remedial surgery on my left shoulder back in February I have been unable to test the Camaro other than to start it up and drive around town, much to the annoyance of the neighbours and locals. The surgery involved removing a major ligament in the shoulder, removing some bone and the bursary sack which protects the joint so a hard launch or hard braking was totally out of the question until it had healed up some.
"The Small Block nitrous Camaro is ready and raring to go; the aim is firstly to back up the eight we ran at the UK National Finals against Mark Perkins (my turn this time, Mark) following the removal of the faulty FAST Air/Fuel Monitor that had been creating electrical gremlins and holding the car back most of the season. Once we've done that then we'll see what else is in there and where we stand against the other back-halved cars in the class. A change of gearing ought to help the Camaro get its wheels back up in the air too."
1st May: Bob Roberts of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars has been in touch to remind those racers with Firefox on-board fire extinguishers that they will need checking and recertifying before the FIA Main Event. "We should be able to do this at the track but please contact us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to do this", says Bob.
Happy and Gay.
1st May: Big Bang Sportsman ET winner Nick Gay took his second career event title at the weekend's Big Bang at Sants Pod Raceway. Nick says that this win was far more gratifying than the first.
"My first win was at my second meeting with SSPW1 and I was handed the win when my competition redlit!", says Nick. "We all try to run bang on all meeting, qualify first, cut zero lights and win the class. But when it actually happens its sort of humbling.
"After Easter's semi-final finish I was happy with the car's consistency but not the times it was running. So last week we went to the rolling road at Regal Autosport to try some different timing settings but we couldn't get any more power. This was due to the low compression pistons in the motor needing more boost! This is the plan when finances allow.
"I'm sure that everyone was glad to see Henry the Wasp back at the track and getting better with every run. Well done Petch and John. Another highlight was when we ventured over to the other side of the track on Saturday night. The sight of ten fancy-dressed cavemen battering each other with inflatable clubs on the dodgems was one of the funniest things I have ever seen! Sunday's weather was far better than forecast, so all the racing was finished at a decent time and even I got home in time to see John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett at our local music venue to end a great weekend! So lets hope this one is as good, see you all there.
"Thanks to everyone who has sent congratulations on the forum at the Sportsman ET web site, or by phone or text."
Springspeed Festival Perfect Awards.
1st May: This weekend's Springspeed Festival at Shakespeare County Raceway is the next event in the 2008 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after went unclaimed at Big Bang. The money will be presented to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to all racers in all Championship classes during qualifying and eliminations but will only be awarded for the first perfect light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA Main Event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow, whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.
As Shakespeare County Raceway's timing system works to six decimal places we must clarify that although the Perfect Light Award goes to three places, we will not pay out for red lights with zeroes in the first three decimals since a foul is a foul however far in the first non-zero digit may be. So a reaction time of 0.000100 will win you the money (if you're first to do it), but -0.000100 will not.
Decals are not formally required for the Perfect Light Award but of course we appreciate it: you can get Eurodragster.com decals at the track from any Eurodragster.com staff member.
The Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been also been increased to £75 after went unclaimed at Big Bang. The money will be presented to the first racer this weekend to run to the thousandth on their dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Junior Dragster (aliminations only), 9.50 Bike, Supertwin ET, Junior Drag Bike, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, and VW Alternate Engine during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first first perfect run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA Main Event. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV, whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers will be required to carry Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET decals, one on each side of the vehicle whether car or bike. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. The decals (pictured) will be available in the Signing On office; please note that, as is usual with contingency schemes, racers are responsible for requesting or picking up decals when signing on. A list of required decals per class is always on display in the Signing On office.
Web site updates.
1st May: Our good friend Alan Currans and his contributors have been busy on Alan's excellent Acceleration Archive with no less than two Blog entries posted on the latest update. First up is Brian Taylor's Blog in which he brings us up to date with progress on his book detailed the history of UK drag racing, provisionally entitled Crazy Horses. Also from Brian is the latest news from the Allard Chrysler Action Group with a note of some new members who have recently joined, together with a fascinating description of the construction of many aspects of the Allard dragster. An inspection of the car, and any spare parts held in the National Motor Museum, is due to take place in June with a view to producing costings and a timetable for the restoration to running order of this historic car. As always, new members are extremely welcome and Brian's contact details can be found on the Blog. You can check out both Blogs via the What's New page at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Sue Whyte of drag racing sponsor Motorshack has updated her Fotopic gallery with pictures from the weekend's Big Bang at Santa Pod Raceway. Sue's shots feature a mix of on- and off-track action and you can take a look at suewhyte.fotopic.net.
Monster Saturday at Santa Pod.
1st May: The world's greatest name in Monster Trucks, Bigfoot, has joined the line-up of monster trucks competing at the UK Monster Truck Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday, 3rd May.
As Round one of the European Monster Truck Racing Championship, this event will feature a host of monster trucks in action - not just car-crushing but also racing and in freestyle action, even devouring vans, caravans and more! Bigfoot 17 is the reigning European Champion, and will be defending the title against former Champion Red Dragon from Wales, plus Santa Pod's own monster truck Podzilla and other challengers from around the UK.
This USA-themed day of horsepower and mega-machines will also feature a round of the British Tractor Pullers Association Championship. These incredible beasts are built purely for brute-force pulling power and provide spectacular action.
Visitors can also catch back-flips and other extreme freestyle Motocross motorbike stunts from the UK FMX display team which feature champion rider Gary Taylor.
Elsewhere at the show there will be plenty of entertainment for all ages including cheerleaders, a family funfair, trade stands, plus catering and a bar.
Tickets are priced £15 for adults or £5 for children on the gates, or discounted in advance: for details see www.monstertrucknationals.co.uk or call Santa Pod Raceway on 01234 782828.